The Fox
Model Number: 58051

Released

29-Oct-85

Drive

2WD rear

Suspension

Double wishbone all 4 corners

Chassis Description

ABS monocoque

Body Type

Lexan polycarbonate

Motor

RS-540S

Similar

None!

Original Price

N/A

Width

225mm

Length

425mm

Height

133mm

Wheel Base

260mm

Tread Front

198mm

Tread Rear

183mm

Ground Clearance

29mm

Weight

1580g

Scale

1/10

Tires

front:23/83mm
Rear:34/82mm

One of Tamiya's more popular buggies akin the Frog, the sharp-looking Fox introduced many people to offroad racing. Tamiya's 'Hotshot' designer must have dreamt this 2WD buggy up too, the similarities in design most evident. At least here the Fox actually gets the gold wheels as seen on the box pic! Worst of all (imho) is having all RC gear locked up in a sealed chassis marinating in accumulated moisture; Fox has a unique steering servosaver & fiddly speed control too, but the rest is pretty robust. Many Foxes were relegated to the 'Rent Me' rack at local offroad tracks, so they pretty tough overall. Definitely one for the nostalgia list.


Reviews

JCShifty

1/5/2005 9:57:35 AM

I would just like to say that the Fox is the worst car to own. Every time you need to work on it the whole car needs to be taken apart. I your thinking of getting this car DO NOT and if you still want to get this car after reading this...well mine is for sale! I have a great time and enjoy every one of my other Tamiya cars and trucks but you can have this one folks. JCShifty OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

HunterZero

7/28/2003 9:26:59 AM

The Fox stands alone as one of Tamiya's best looking 2WD off road racers. Not just for good looks, the Fox was also a great performer. As the ad says, 0 to 80 feet in 3.5 seconds! I remember one of my friends having one of these in our racing group, and was always envious of it. It was quick, smooth and agile as well as looking very slick.

Construction of the Fox is straightforward, and it's a great car to build. I've built a couple of these. Highlights for me were construction of the front suspension and steering, plus adding the Tamiya factory stabilizer bar.

The car has four wheel double wishbone suspension, with independent dampers on the rear and monoshock on the front. This model marks the debut of the bright yellow CVA short shocks (but not the long shocks!) which appear on Tamiya models to this day. While this default setup wasn't bad apart from fairly average suspension travel, the front setup badly needs a stabilizer or independent dampers for any serious driving. The Tamiya stabilizer is an essential hopup option (but you do need to dismantle a fair bit to install it), and other third party makers came up with their own methods for mounting a second damper.

Weaknesses are few with this car, but the greatest complaint is the sealed mechanism box which makes changing crystals or adjusting to the flaky speed control a chore, and can trap moisture. You literally need to dismantle the car into two halves to get into the mechanism box! BEC is compulsory for this car, there's no room in the mechanism box for receiver batteries. The gearbox as usual is bulletproof, but the drive shafts are not if not well maintained. The halfshaft is secured into the drive shafts by flanges, so you have to replace the whole unit when the halfshaft wears out.

Also, the method for mounting the motor with the right meshing between spur and pinion gear is messy and fiddly.

Fox parts are still quite common and thus priced fairly due to the longevity of this model, however you can expect to have trouble tracking down the F parts (front suspension arms and steering knuckles). Older versions of the X parts with the X9 free piston part (the older version of this kit had dampers with free pistons instead of an oil seal) required by earlier versions of this kit are tricky to find as well. The gold wheels are notoriously hard to find new, and since they're always chipped on used models, they command very high prices on eBay.

The steering horn on this car is quite unique - if you buy a second hand one, make sure all the parts are there for the steering horn and servo saver, as missing parts will mean trying to track down bits from several parts bags/screw bags/sprues.

miramar

12/8/2002 10:27:09 PM

The Fox was a great car for its time, and really the first Tamiya 2WD buggy with acceptable handling for racing. Many thought the radio box to be a good idea, but for those of us who had experience with the SRB-cars, water tight boxes meant that water would enter......and stay. Also, getting to the radio gear and the often failing speed control was a hassle. The gearbox and suspension were basically sound and the then new CVA-dampers were very good for its time.

The first edition of the Fox was delivered with dry (but assembled) drive shafts and even though Tamiya told the builder to grease them, most builders forgot or ignored. Being a development of the Frog's "hex" axles it meant they would wear out quickly, and another assembly failure accelerated the process. The early CVA-dampers had an upper floating damper piston instead of the now familiar diaphragm, and to push it down to its proper level, a special "collar" was used. In the first edition this collar was circular, so if you forgot to remove it after damper assembly, it would make it impossible to screw the damper top all the way down. This would cause the dampers to be longer, pushing the suspension arms down. This increased the angle (and thus the wear) of the drive shafts further. As Tamiya knows by experience that most such assembly failures can't be cured by highlighting these assembly steps in the manual, a second edition Fox was launched. It had factory-greased driveshafts, oval piston collars and stops on the rear upper suspension arms and the gearbox. With these changes, the Fox was an unproblematic and popular model.

To make it race-worthy too, Tamiya released a front stabilizer bar (# 50272). This option should really have been in the kit. With the front stabilizer bar, the car suddenly kept both its rear wheels on the ground, and apart from being rather rear heavy (thus understeering), handling and traction was immensely improved. The fiberglass mounts for the stabilizer bar were quite thin and protruding in the front "crash zone" of the Fox, so they had to be replaced quite often, but apart from that, the Fox was a durable model. A great model for its time, and a beautiful Tamiya classic today.


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