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RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models
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1/18 Scale Electric Monster Truck:

Thunder-Tiger ZK2 - TTR 6551 F (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the TT ZK2:


  Introduced by Thunder Tiger circa 2004, the 2WD ZK2 EP Mini Monster Truck - TTR 6551 F - came RTR with a 280 motor, ESC, radio system and was available with a number of bodyshell options.

  The TT model is based on a molded plastic chassis, with a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and bushings, ring type bearings.

Thunder-Tiger ZK2
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  To race the TT ZK2, it calls for fine tuning to attain better steering response and improve grip when cornering so you don't slide off the side of the track. Minute changes can make huge advancements. Our easy to understand list will show you how and lead you to the optimum Set-up to put you in front of the rest on the track.

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★ Thunder Tiger ZK2 ★
Thunder Tiger ZK2

★ Thunder Tiger ZK2 Chassis ★
Thunder Tiger ZK2 Chassis


Buying a Used Thunder-Tiger ZK2
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Thunder-Tiger ZK2 Electric Monster Truck, or any used RC Model, has a number of advantages. It is generally cheaper than new, ready built and may come with a variety of expensive hop-ups already installed. Cheap, pre-loved bargains are always becoming available. However, depending on the age of your purchase, it may need a little tender loving care before you can take it out on the back yard.

   The one thing you will always need is an instruction manual. If not supplied with your purchase, they can often be downloaded from the Thunder-Tiger website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Monster Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Thunder-Tiger Monster Truck, make a general visual inspection of the chassis, front and rear wishbones, suspension shock towers etc, for any broken parts that may need to be replaced. Then, take a screwdriver and box spanner and check each self tapping screw and nut for security, taking care not to over tighten.

   Next, for those Thunder-Tiger models with oil filled shock absorbers, remove them from the chassis and dismantle the coil springs. The damper shafts should push in and pull out with a smooth action. If you feel a jolt as you change direction, this means the oil has leaked out and must be topped up. At the same time, change the O-Ring seals to prevent more leakage. Also check the damper shafts for damage. If they are scratched, change them as soon as possible.

   If the body shell of your Thunder-Tiger ZK2 is broken, ripped or damaged in any way, this can be easily repaired with rubber solution glue. Also, for added protection and if available for your ZK2 model, fit an under guard to stop dirt and gravel entering the chassis.

Titanium Turnbuckles
   Examine the drive shafts for wear and replace as required. If possible, change them for titanium. The steel shafts wear and bend too easily.

   If you intend to race your ZK2 Monster Truck model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   The gearbox of your used Monster Truck should be opened up to check for gear wear and lubrication. A thin coat of grease is often used on internal gears and although this is fine for basic running around on the back yard, if you intend to race your Monster Truck at a higher level, this should be removed and replaced with racing oil (ZX1 or Teflon Oil). Of course, this should be reapplied after each race meeting.

Spur Gears
   Gears are a weakness on all Monster Truck RC models. Head on collisions can easily damage the gear teeth on nylon and plastic spur gears. Heavy impacts can also loosen the nuts or self tapping screws that hold the Electric Motor in Position, allowing the pinion gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops off the teeth on your spur gear. To minimise this possibility, fit bolts with locking nuts to the Electric Motor mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Electric Monster Truck racing, the plastic ball connectors should be checked and if deemed necessary changed after every meeting. A simple thing like a loose fitting connector popping off could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

Servo Gears
   The ZK2 steering servo is also prone to damage. In high speed crash situations, the fragile gear teeth of the servo can be broken off, rendering your expensive servo useless, so be sure to obtain a good quality "Servo Saver". Check out my Servo Information article.

   If body roll on your Thunder-Tiger ZK2 is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of stabilizers, anti roll or sway bars, stiffer tuning springs and, or, thicker silicone oil in the dampers.

Ball Bearings
   If your used Thunder-Tiger Monster Truck comes with plastic and sintered brass bushings (ring type bearings), check the shafts that run in them for wear. Dust and grit can get into these bearings and abrade the shafts. Therefore, you should replace them all with shielded ball bearings. If the model has been run with ring type bearings, you may have to change all the axles and driveshafts. For more information, take a look at my article, How to get the best from your Bearings.

   Finally, good luck with your ZK2 model and good racing.


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Or, check out our RC Model Car Setup Guide


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Manufacturers and Brands Catalogued and Listed by RC-Scrapyard.


   At present, the RC Model Manufacturers, Brands and Distributors covered by us are: ABC Hobby, Academy, Acme Racing, Agama Racing, Amewi, Ansmann Racing, ARRMA, Team Associated, Atomic RC, Axial, AYK, Bolink, BSD Racing, Capricorn, Carisma, Carson, Caster Racing, Cen, Corally, Custom Works, Durango, Duratrax, ECX - Electrix, Exceed RC, FG Modellsport, FS-Racing, FTX, Fujimi, Gmade, GS-Racing, Harm, HBX, Helion, Heng Long, Himoto Racing, Hirobo, Hitari, Hobao, Hong-Nor, Hot Bodies, HPI, HSP, Intech, Integy, Jamara, JQ Products, Kawada, Kyosho, Losi, LRP, Maisto, Mardave, Marui, Maverick, MCD Racing, Megatech, Mugen, New Bright, Nichimo, Nikko, Nkok, Ofna, Pro-Pulse, Protech, PTI, RC4WD, Redcat Racing, RJ-Speed, Robitronic, Schumacher, Seben, Serpent, Smartech, Sportwerks, Step-Up, Tamiya, Team-C Racing, Team Magic, Thunder Tiger, Tomy, Top Racing, Traxxas, Trinity, Tyco, Vaterra RC, Venom, VRX Racing, WLToys, X-Factory, Xmods, Xpress, Xray, XTM, Yankee RC, Yokomo, ZD Racing and Zipzaps.

   This is an ongoing project, with new and "lost in time" RC Model Brands being added as they are found and although most of those listed above have been covered in relative detail, some are still being researched and will be completed in the near future.


















Hints and Tips

Battery Connectors

   Over the years I have been racing radio controlled model cars of all descriptions, I have tried a number of different connectors for my batteries.

   My first car was a Tamiya Boomerang and of course the batteries I used all had the standard Tamiya connectors, which were fine with the kit supplied 27T silver can electric motor, but I soon discovered their problem when I installed my first Modified motor. The high current demands of the motor created so much heat, the plastic surround of the connectors melted and fused together. No matter how I tried they could not be disconnected. My only option was to cut the wires.

   From there I moved over to Corally connectors, commonly referred to by many now as Bullet connectors. Comprising of a short length of 4mm gold plated tube at one end and what looks like what we used to call a Chinese lantern fitting that slotted inside the tube, also gold plated. Although they were highly efficient and reasonably easy to install and use, I never really took to this type of connector, I think it was the fact that there was always the possibility of the positive and negative being connected wrongly in poor light and also that if positioned side by side, each connector could work loose and become exposed, leaving the possibility of a short circuit.

   Then I remember buying some second hand batteries at an area meeting one day, they had these little red block connectors I soon learned were "Deans" rated at around 40 Amps. They looked like just what I was looking for so I gave them a try. They worked fine, although I didn't like the shortness of the part to be soldered. However, for about two years they were my connector of choice, until I stumbled across an advert in the "Radio Race Car International" magazine.

   The latest development in connectors at that time were named "Power Pole", made by a company called Anderson and were rated at 45 Amps. The design uses a small tube, plated with silver, with a short extending lip, that slots over the exposed wire and can either be crimped onto the wire or soldered. For safety and efficiency, I prefer the latter. To complete the connector, a colour coded plastic cover fits neatly over it.

   It was way back in 1995 I first used Power-Pole and to this day they are still the most efficient I have come across and never overheat.

   So, if you are looking for a connector to change over to, that has a high current rating and won't cause you any overheating problems "Anderson Power Pole" is the one I recommend.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.







Information and Advice

Electronic Speed Controllers

History:

   ESC were originally developed to be used in conjunction with brushed 27T stock and modified motors in the late 1970s, early 1980s. Compared to modern day Controllers, they were Bulky and heavy, constructed using basic resistors, rheostats, capacitors and transistors, crammed together on a simple circuit board, to provide stepped but smooth acceleration when compared to the old mechanical, servo operated sweeper Speed Controllers. An Electronic Switch to change the direction of current flow was used on some of these early ESC to give reverse operation. Although they were a vast improvement on the old mechanical speedos of the time, they were expensive, jerky to control and prone to burn out if not carefully looked after.

   As new technology became available, improvements were slowly made and with the introduction of the new FET (Field Effect Transistors) and some basic mass produced silicon chips, ESC were made smaller and their reliability gradually improved.

   By the mid 1990s, "regenerative breaking" was developed. This meant that energy that would have been lost slowing down the car by effectively turning the motor into a generator, was harvested and put back into the battery. This of course was long before F1 had KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) and adjustable anti lock breaking was introduced.

   Brushless Motors came to RC in the late 1990s early 2000s, which required a new breed of ESC to be developed to fully utilise the new technology. Ni-Cad Rechargeable Batteries were superseded by Ni-Mh and more recently Li-Po Batteries which provided higher Current output for the ESC to regulate. The latest ESC now use sensors to manage the motor and can be adjusted remotely to suit varying conditions.


Brushed Motor ESC.

   The "Silver Can" Stock Motors that come in a wide number of RC model kits are often accompanied by a 5 Amps to 20 Amps ESC. However, if you want to upgrade to a more powerful Modified Brushed Motor, 20 Amps may not be enough, so you will have to buy a something well over 20 Amps depending on the number of turns of your motor. As a rough guide, a 9 Single has a much higher current requirement than 20 Single.

Brushless Motor ESC.

   ESC for Brushless Motors are in no way compatible with brushed motors. The DC (Direct Current) input from the battery, on brushless ESC is transformed into three phase AC (Alternating Current). Each "phase" connecting three wires on the Brushless motor. By changing the frequency of the output wave the motor will spin faster for acceleration or slower for breaking. Reverse is simply achieved by changing over any two of the three "phases".
   At the time this article was written, Brushless ESC range from 3 Amps to around 300 Amps.
   For beginners I recommended you buy an ESC and Motor Combo, that way you can be sure the ESC Current rating is correct for the Motor.


For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.










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