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CR01 Toyota Hilux - Alejo's "Tamiya Chain Reaction" project thread

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When back in 2019 Tamiya announced their upcoming CC02 chassis, boy was I excited. By then, a Land Freeder CC01 had been my trusty hiking sidekick for several years. This CC01 was so great that even my wife wanted to drive it and she is not really into this kind of thing!

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During that time I also had a Toyota Land Cruiser 40 shell accommodated into a TT-01E converted for hiking trails. It performed reasonably well, but I can't dismiss the fact that it was quite an odd-ball :wacko:

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Around that time, my brother got interested in RC. The Land Cruiser was installed into my old CC01 chassis and passed to him. The TT01E got converted to a rally car.

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I immediately bought a CC01 Isuzu Mu to replace the Land Cruiser, but this body never really clicked with me. Perhaps it's because I rushed on the paintjob and used leftover colors to reduce cost. The fact that I haven't taken any pictures of this car speaks for itself! Below is the only picture I have of the car before being painted, sitting next to the MF01X Mercedes G320 (later converted to an Escort but that's a story for another time). I plan to eventually re-paint the Isuzu and have already given some hints on other threads :)

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I eventually ended up buying a Land Cruiser body for the CC01. This body is so great though, that I wanted to have a second one in different colors but could not at the time justify spending on another CC01.

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When Tamiya announced the CC02, it was paired to a Mercedes G500 body, something I was not too keen on since I already had a G320. Judging by how frequently CC01 models were released in the past, I thought it would be a matter of time before Tamiya released a Land Cruiser with a CC02 on its belly.

I patiently waited, nothing new came out in 2020, then the Unimog 406 on 2021. I liked the Unimog but was really looking forward to some classic Japanese 4WD looks:

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(not quite a paint job I'll go for, but this was one of the digital mockups I played with just for fun)

 

Then in late 2021 the Land Rover Defender 90 was announced, I am sure to the joy of many, but to my disappointment. It is a great car, just not for me. This triggered the “Tamiya Chain Reaction” and is where this happy project begins.

Tamiya marketing folks are very clever guys. Instead of releasing the CC02 Land Cruiser 40 and sell one kit, they tapped into my subconscious and decided that by not releasing it, they would in fact sell 3 kits instead!!

  • CR01 Land Cruiser 40
  • CC02 Unimog
  • G601TR Dynahead

The Land Cruiser body will go to the CC-02 chassis (already built) --> The Unimog body will go to the G6-01TR chassis (with the bed modified for dual axles) --> The CR-01 being without body will get a new Hilux hard shell.

I now find myself with 3 full kit projects (plus some spin-offs from them) and my entire 2022 RC budget spent. That’s right, I’m talking about next year’s budget :)

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CC02 Toyota Land Cruiser 40 Build

Let's start off with the CC02, which was built last month. The main adjustment that had to be made was the wheelbase.

Wheelbase:

Tamiya designed the CC02 chassis in a way that is easily adjustable between 272mm and 242mm, in increments of 5mm. Note that you might need different bits & pieces (e.g. propeller shafts, etc) when making wheelbase adjustments.

The earlier released CC02 G500 has a wheelbase of 267mm:

  • Both front and rear arm pivots are placed on the long position
  • The front arm pivots are placed on the short orientation (C5B on the right, C6A on the left)
  • The rear arm pivots are placed on the long orientation (C5B on the right, C6A on the left)

1939801585_CC-02WheelbaseG500.jpg.fb2167391bfd980ecfec1f73ac56e5d9.jpg

The CC02 Unimog has a wheelbase of 242MM, compared to the G500:

  • Both front and rear arm pivots are mounted on their short position (shortening by 10mm each, total 20mm)
  • The front arm pivots remain placed on the short orientation (C5B on the right, C6A on the left)
  • The rear arm pivots are placed on the short orientation (C6A on the right, C5B on the left, shortening by 5mm).

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In the case of the Land Cruiser 40, the desired wheelbase was 257mm (although the CC01 has a reported 252mm, I feel 257mm fits better). To achieve this only one set of arm pivots would have to be shortened when compared to the G500, but since the body posts and shocks both mount on the same C11/12 parts, I ended up having to also flip both arm pivot set's orientations so that body posts, body and shocks were in a good arrangement. It was a really time consuming process! In the end (on the diagram below, don't mind the visually represented part but note the red markings):

  • Front arm pivots were placed on the short position and rear arm pivots are placed on the long position.
  • The front arm pivots were placed on the long orientation (C6A on the right, C5B on the left)
  • The rear arm pivots were placed on the short orientation (C6A on the right, C5B on the left)

1846293723_CC-02WheelbaseLC40.jpg.ce2bc4d9ba2b63230fc8d9d94cec6160.jpg

The above also meant that I had to buy another set of body mounts for the rear, since one mounting part C11/C12 was needed for each body mounts and shocks on each end (a total of 4 pairs, the Unimog kit came with 3). I couldn't find Tamiya's C-Parts (10015091) in stock anywhere convenient so I ended up buying an aluminium set (installed in the rear).

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Body:

Washing was the first step, followed by trimming and then checking it's fit in the chassis. Painting was done as follows:

  • PS2 Red main color
  • PS1 White roof and backed the red with white at the same time
  • Rear wheel arches and side step were done in PS5 black, as well as backing everything black at the same time. I like to always have a final backing of black on all my bodies to prevent light bleed-through. This gives them a solid look.
  • Panel lines were done with a black fine permanent marker
  • Stickers are Team C TC905 set. They are quite low quality, quite transparent, the body color shows through. Not really recommended but since I had them, they got some use.

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The body accessories are:

  • eBay roof rack. 2 white + 2 yellow LEDs
  • 2 white (front) + 2 red LEDs on main body
  • Sand ladder
  • Two felt fabric rolls, clamped with zip-ties
  • Tamiya rally cockpit set (54491)

1.JPG

I'll cover details on the chassis on future posts ;) 

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Nice work, your paint work is fantastic. I'd just about at the level of spray painting one colour. 

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A great ‘evolution’ of your fleet and some very nice models.

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Thanks for the comments guys :)

A few more notes on the body. Here you can see the underside backed black with the soldering work on the LEDs. I normally use whatever old cables I find in the house, in this case wires were scavenged from a ethernet cable. Rigid cables such as these work great since you can bend them to shape and will stay put, as opposed to silicone cables (the commonly used in brand-name LEDs) which and move all over the place. The LEDs of the body and the roof rack were soldered in pairs to give 20mA on each using the BEC's 6V output.

  • Two white 3V LEDs in parallel with one 39ohm resistor at each end (total 78ohm).
  • Two red 1.8V LEDs in parallel with one 56ohm resistor at each end (total 112 ohm).
  • Two yellow 2V LEDs in parallel with one 56ohm resistor at each end (total 112 ohm).

The cockpit and wiring was fixed with duct tape.

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Chassis

Detailed build guides abound on the net. I'll focus on some specific aspects related to this build.

On the front end:

  • With the 257mm wheelbase, the front necessitated 2 pairs of C11/12 mounts: one for shocks and another one for body mounts.
  • The servo was mounted on the vertical orientation since the horizontal interfered with it's cable.
  • Using large tires meant having interference with the front bumper. A simple aluminum bracket was made to push the bumper 10mm forward.

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Similarly on the rear, two mount pairs were needed. The Unimog kit came with 3 pairs total (the G500 kit comes with 2 pairs only), thus needing one more. I couldn't find Tamiya's C-Parts (10015091) anywhere convenient so I resorted to buy an Xtraspeed aluminum mount set. 

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Moving on to the gearbox, my targets were:

  • Max speed at jogging pace (about 7 km/hr).
  • High-efficiency to minimize battery usage. This greatly helps me in not needing to carry heavy battery packs during long hikes.

Which resulted in using:

  • 55T motor
  • 25T pinion on the low-speed gearbox option (18.74 gear ratio).
  • 1.9" Maxxis Trepador tires (~115mm OD)

The standard 27T silver can + 16T pinion on the low-speed option would have resulted in higher max speed, higher low-end torque and higher power consumption. The higher torque might sound attractive, but I find it unnecessary and, more importantly, it can result in stripped gears when the wheels get stuck with vines/rocks. The selected 55T motor + 25T pinion setup still has sufficient torque to easily climb very steep slopes and enough wheel-speed to friction-climb slippery areas. It also provides very granular low-speed control. A huge bonus is it's low power consumption! On my latest hike, the car ran 11km on a single 3600mA NiMh battery pack. This means not needing a spare battery on shorter hikes or just a few on very long ones. Another alternative could be to use a 35T motor + 16T pinion, which would result in a very similar speed to my setup (perhaps a tad higher) also with an increase in torque and power consumption.

The Maxxis Trepador tires were initially rubbing a little bit with the shocks (you can see some early rubber marks on the shots above). 12mm offset hex-adaptors were added to solve this (as opposed to the kit-standard 5mm).

As an extra reliability measure, on all my offroad cars I seal the gearbox's seams with shoegoo (or Goop, E6000 or whatever I have handy) after building them to fully eliminate any dust/particle ingress. Many cars have gearboxes without stepped seams (just flat surfaces) which under stress can open-up a little bit and let dirt in. You can see the sealing on the picture below although it might be a little hard to see given the shoegoo is transparent.

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The underbelly of the car was protected using a set of Yeah Racing's steel skid plates. I normally build skid plates myself from aluminum sheets but this time I preferred to save some time and went ahead with Yeah Racing. They seem quite nice, steel is more durable than aluminum but has the downside of catching rust (unless it's a high-grade stainless). The plate are simple shapes, if they do rust, I'll just copy their shape in aluminum sheet. Seems Yeah Racing designed the central skid plate for the Mercedes G500, where both front and rear arm pivots are on the long wheelbase setting. In my case, the front had the short wheelbase setting, causing some interference. I had to bend the skid plate a tad to fit (you can see some small bending bumps on the picture below).

Having an intended short wheelbase, the Unimog kit comes with sorter drive shafts for both front and rear. In my case the front was only lengthened by 5mm and the short drive shaft seems to still engage sufficiently. The rear was lengthened by 10mm, creating very short engagement, needing to be replaced by a steel driveshaft I had spare. I believe the G500 kit comes with longer drive shafts, which looks like are the same 51327 part supplied with the CR-01 kits.

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On the next few posts, I'll cover the electronic gear used and then some observations on the car's handling & off-road capabilities.

Thanks for reading! :)

 

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Electronics

Sound system: ESS One Plus. This car goes vroom vroom!! Highly recommended. It has the option of downloading all sorts of different engine sounds from the manufacturer. I love to hear the car rev-up instead of just the usual gear sounds. My little neighbor really likes the sound :)

ESC: The trusty Hobbywing Quicrun 1080. Drag-brake disabled as it consumes too much battery and there is little benefit when trailing. After googling an eternity to find out what the freewheeling setting was without any success, I did some testing. With freewheeling disabled (default) the car can freewheel. That means if you throttle input is less than the actual car speed, the car will continue at it's speed. With freewheeling enabled, if your input is less than the actual car speed (say for example going downhill), then the ESC will match the car speed to the throttle input, thus essentially braking. Again something perhaps useful when crawling but I found it annoying when trailing. The programming card allows doing adjustments in a breeze.

Servo: Power HD 1812MG waterproof 18 Kg-cm. I went with a low cost servo to try out. So far so good. Skipped the servo saver and used an aluminum horn. It's the first time I have such a high-torque servo, previously only used Futaba's S3004 and S3010 and on recent builds decided to try something different.

Radio: Flysky FS-GT3E receiver with FS-GT3B transmitter. As with servos, I've only been using Futaba but decided to try something that wouldn't burn a hole in the pocket. So far I really like the Flysky system, seems on par with Futaba, except that it requires 8xAAs instead of just 4x.

Motor: Team Raffee 55T, nothing special, good price, performance seems good. It didn't come with cable leads, which was perfect since the HW1080 ESC does not come with motor connectors.

 

On my next post I'll take some comparison shots of both the CC01 and CC02 Land Cruisers and comment on their performance.

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On 11/13/2021 at 7:31 PM, Nikko85 said:

Nice work, your paint work is fantastic. I'd just about at the level of spray painting one colour. 

I encourage you to give it a shot, it really is easier than it looks ;) Practice and experiment, experiment, experiment.

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Cant wait to see what you do with the Dynahead. I'm a real fan of 6 wheeled Unimogs!!!!!

IMG_1723.JPG.ea2965f3cb12a519e1db6496122f93d0.JPG

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20 hours ago, Busdriver said:

Cant wait to see what you do with the Dynahead. I'm a real fan of 6 wheeled Unimogs!!!!!

Your thread about the 6-wheel Unimog was my inspiration to start the chain reaction project! :D Your truck is really good looking.

I haven't decided yet exactly what to do on mine or what colors to paint it with. I'll probably start with a flat bed, then add a wooden box. I have some questions regarding the build and will ask to tap into your experience when I start this build :) I'll continue with the CR-01 after the CC-02, then the G6-01TR.

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9 hours ago, OoALEJOoO said:

Your thread about the 6-wheel Unimog was my inspiration to start the chain reaction project! :D Your truck is really good looking.

I haven't decided yet exactly what to do on mine or what colors to paint it with. I'll probably start with a flat bed, then add a wooden box. I have some questions regarding the build and will ask to tap into your experience when I start this build :) I'll continue with the CR-01 after the CC-02, then the G6-01TR.

Happy to help when you get round to it.

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Colours are interesting. I once found a list that showed how many in percentage terms Mercedes painted in each colour. Now that obviously is standard 406’s but it shows that over 80% were green and then varying percentages for other colours . Interesting to note that grey, the colour that Tamiya chose for the pre painted body is probably the least produced. Popular colours were green, red, orange and mustard yellow. Racing/off-road models have been painted in various colour schemes.

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Performance

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They look lovely together :wub:

On to some numbers. A few things to note:

  • Both cars have their suspension 100% stock
  • The CC01 is using Tamiya 1.9" Rock Block tires (~94mm OD)
  • The CC02 has 1.9" Maxxis Trepador Tires (~117mm OD)

Ground Clearance:

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To make a fair comparison, I also fitted the Rock Block tires on the CC02 and took measurements (but forgot to take pictures!).

Putting all the ground clearance measurements together (Front/Rear/Middle)(mm):

  • CC01 Rock Block: 28/29/35
  • CC02 Rock Block: 25/25/37
  • CC02 Maxxis Trepador: 32/32/45

To be fair, the CC02 is using skid plates. If the ones protecting the differentials were removed,  it would gain about 2mm of clearance. Removing the center skid plate would make it gain 3mm. This would put the CC02 with only 1mm less clearance front & rear.

With the same tires, the CC01 has better Front & Rear clearance but lower Middle clearance. The key thing with the CC01 is that, unless you modify the chassis, you cannot fit tires much larger than the Rock Block. The Maxxis Trepador cause interference with the wheel wells on the CC01.

Wheel Travel:

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Measured the height of the black Lego tower until the extended corner wheels had slight contact with the ground. Same here, I forgot to take pictures of the CC02 with Rock Block tires.

Wheel Travel (mm):

  • CC01 Rock Block: 46
  • CC02 Rock Block: 78
  • CC02 Maxxis Trepador: 100

Here the CC02 massively outperforms the CC01, even with the same tires!

Clearing Obstacles:

With it's larger wheel travel and clearance, the CC02 + Maxxis Trepador tires is a far more capable trial car. Its aftermarket weighted steel bead-lock wheels mean that even though it has a higher center-of-gravity, it feels more planted to the ground than the CC01 on lighter plastic wheels. However, it's worth noting that if the CC01 were to use the same steel bead-lock wheels, it would be even more planted than the CC02, albeit still inferior at clearing obstacles. There is a short hiking trail I normally go to that I know like the back of my hand. There are some obstacles that the CC01 has never been able to clear (large rocks upslope) and the CC02 climbed up like a champ.

Maximum Speed & Wheel Speed:

Both cars are running 55T motors and because of their pinions (16T on CC01 and 25T slow gear on the CC02) and tire sizes, they both have the same final ratio and achieve about jogging speed. Since I take the cars out for exercise hiking, I find this speed sufficient. It also means you can't be tempted to go too fast on rough terrain and encounter unseen edges/rocks/stumps that can really cause damage if hit at high-speed. Impact can be damaging since these cars are quite heavy.

Sometimes you do need high wheel-speed to friction-clear obstacles or go up slippery slopes. The wheel-speed associated with jogging speed on both cars so far has proven adequate for mildly muddy terrain. I reckon it could prove insufficient for very fluid mud going up-hill.

Gearbox Noise:

While both cars are not very noisy (unlike the TT01 :o), the CC01 is slightly more silent than the CC02. Both cars are fitted with the ESS One Plus and their noise is hardly noticeable with the engine sounds, which is kept almost at minimal volume level.

Turning Radius:

Both cars have a fairly wide turn radius, it would be great to have it smaller, but nothing to really complain about. The CC02 has a slightly smaller turn radius.

CC02 Bump Steer:

The much maligned bump-steer of the CC02 initially was a concern. After assembly I was quite worried that it would be an issue and actually started to think of ways to mount the servo above the axle. I decided to try out the car as-is, with the servo mounted on the chassis and I am glad I did!

It is indeed a scary thing to see how much the car steers when you manually compress or extend the suspension. You would setup the steering trim so that the car goes straight on its normal suspension droop. If you manually compress the suspension, it will turn a bit right, if you extend it would turn a bit left. However, once it was on the trail, I could not feel this at all. When you are trailing fast, the ground is mostly flat so the car would go where you point it. When you encounter obstacles, you will naturally slow down and therefore the bump steer really does not show it's ugly head, or at least you don't really notice it. The larger the obstacle, which would either compress or extend the suspension, the slower you would go so it becomes a non-issue in my experience. I plan to keep the car with the servo mounted on the chassis :)

Durability:

The CC01 front end has no exposed elements. I would think this alone would make it more robust against constant running in terrain with abrasive obstacles (rocks) as far as front-end damage goes. Its rear differential, which is somewhat covered, eventually cracked. To be fair it was after significant use.

I find the differentials of the CC02 awfully exposed, specially the front one. If you only run the CC02 on dirt it would probably be ok, but if you run it where there are rocks and edges it might eventually crack. This is what triggered getting the metal skid plates. You can see the CC01 also has a front metal skid plate, but I added it because I didn't like the looks of the plastic bumper and not because it is really needed. The belly of the CC02 also seems weaker to abuse compared to the CC01, with the gearbox case completely out open to the bottom. I would say skid plates are good investment with the CC02.

I have replaced many stock CC01 drive shafts over the years. Their pin slots wear down until the universal joint breaks apart. The CC02 comes with plastic joints which might wear-out faster.

Final Thoughts:

All things considered, I think the CC02 is a more capable trail car for rougher ground. I plan to use it on hikes with more difficult terrain. The CC01 looks more scale and I like it better for easier hikes.

What I like the most is that both are great and different. This way both remain relevant and viable options depending on what you are looking for :)

 

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An excellent review. Interesting stats. Looking forward to building my CC02 but it won’t be for a few weeks yet 😔

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CR01 Toyota Hilux Build

Fresh from completing the CC02 Land Cruiser, along the path of the chain reaction it's another of Toyota's great classic 4x4: the Hilux N30. I'll start with the body, then the chassis and finally compare it with my Tamiya Hilux High-Lift:

683018088_HiluxHighlift.jpg.4aa0f2e1a0bc047162e78121958d7ca8.jpg

Body

Pulling the Land Cruiser body from the CR01 kit has left a void to be filled with a Hilux body. I could not find a Tamiya original hard shell so I went with a Trasped version. Modeled in white plastic, it looks well built and accurate. The rear windshield is actually secured via tabs and a slot in the bed, which is much better than Tamiya's where you had to glue. The plastic seems to be of different quality than Tamiya's and time will tell if there is any practical difference. Other than this, it seems to be a very accurate reproduction of the body.

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Currently I'm doing the rounds with digital mockups of paint schemes. As far as stickers, the stash has a bunch of Castrol logos of questionable but functional quality and also a ton of Tamiya's logos & sponsors. I am leaning towards reserving the Castrol livery for a future Isuzu Mu project and going with a red/white/blue "Tamiya Team" livery for the Hilux.

Hilux-PaintOptions-1.thumb.jpg.390e0f317a638a6cdfe2596007c3747d.jpg

Monsoon season is bringing quite a bit of rain, which leaves very few time windows to do some painting. I'll prep the body and hope to get some white primer spraying done over the weekend. This would give me a few days to settle on the livery.

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It has been raining so much that I'm wondering if I should have started building an RC boat instead of a car! :o

Progress on the Hilux body has been not as fast as I would have liked but it's moving forward. The livery has been decided, spray painted primer, white and blue.

Waiting on sunshine, I started studying the CR01 chassis instructions.

Something interesting is that, with a handful exceptions, this chassis has mostly no screwed joints at all! Everything is held together via M3 bolted joints: sometimes with a plain nut (instructions calling for AG thread-lock) and others with lock-nuts. After watching other member's experience with the AG thread-lock accelerating the ageing of plastic (even plastic that was not in contact with it), I am a bit hesitant to use it too much. I would think most of this deteriorating effect might happen if the thread-lock is used on places that cannot vent (e.g. inside a gearbox) and if used on places that are open to the atmosphere it should not be too harmful. I am also considering building completely without thread-lock altogether and trusting a good old fashioned tight torque.

What is your experience?

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Up to now I haven't had bad experience with thread lock. I'm using Loctite 243, but I'm always aware just put as less as possible of it on the screw. 

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There is quite a good number of reports on the internet about thread-lock in general, including Loctite 243 damaging ABS and PC plastic. Its acetone solvent seems to be the culprit. However, there are also many conflicting pieces of information as is usual for the internet (too many variables, too many experiences). At any rate, venting should minimize any harmful effects, if any.

I'll go ahead and use your approach @Aerobert but with a twist. I've counted all the locknuts provided by the kit and it seems there are a few extras that I can use to replace a regular nut. I also have few spares leftover from other kits. I will then use AG Threadlock, sparingly, and only on bolts that do not have easy access for either inspection or torque-checking. If they can be inspected/checked, then they will go without thread-lock.

I'll also do some testing. I've made a few test coupons using the kit sprues and spread some Tamiya's AG thread-lock to them. Will check them after a week.

Edit: Weather has been great today! Red spray went nicely in the morning. Removed masks and added gloss clear this afternoon. All is left is the bed: black + matte coat.

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Very nice weather today as well, finished spray painting the entire body :) I'll give it 24 hrs to fully cure and then proceed with the stickers and rubber wheel arches.

The CR-01 chassis is around 50% built as well. At this rate the whole project should be completed before the end of the weekend :D.

So far the only place where a tiny bit of AG thread-lock was used was on the 2mm cap screws that secure the differentials. Looking closer at the manuals, Tamiya stresses being careful with the thread-lock.

TL.jpg.20c0865edea912ce7b7fefe716e2a6d1.jpg

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The Hilux body is now complete. I went with a triple-striped Tamiya-sponsored livery:

HiluxBody-1.thumb.JPG.adba16e4ae5b689534d7d17b66b3a321.JPG

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Tamiya colors used:

  • White Primer
  • TS-26 Pure White
  • TS-93 Pure Blue
  • TS-86 Brilliant Red
  • TS-14 Black
  • TS-13 Clear
  • TS-80 Flat Clear (bed)
  • X-18 Semi-gloss Black (windshield frame and underside)

Add-ons:

  • Rubber wheel arches
  • 2x 5mm white LEDs (front)
  • 4x 3mm red LEDs (rear)

The body is also complete on its stock form. It looks gorgeous :wub:

On the to-do list are skid plates and a front bumper.

HiluxBody-3.JPG.631e1c7eeb5eedd024c8b34148614527.JPG

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HiluxBody-5.JPG.6b6f57c8bf6e6af8afd100170e834638.JPG

 

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