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Killajb

Tamiya Super Avante: First Impressions..

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As others start to receive their Tamiya Super Avante kits, I'm sure there will be some opinions about the actual parts inside of it and the build process.   I know there are YouTube videos about the build, I've watched what I could find before I put anything together.  For that reason, I don't think there is a need to cover those basic details.  However, I did notice a few things that are not typical "Tamiya" traits.  I thought I would share my experience thus far, in hopes to provide useful info t those who may be on the fence about either buying a kit or some of the available hop-up parts.

 

The Kit:

- The plastic used for the chassis and suspension arms is excellent.  The chassis has some minor flex to it in one spot (more on that later) but is super stiff when assembly is complete. The suspension arms are bulky as well and feel quite solid, and feel like they can stand up to quite an impact.  Let's hope I don't test that however..

- The build is just different by Tamiya standards.  Those who have build 25+ Tamiya kits and feel that most of the chassis, ball differential and suspension assemblies could almost be done on second-nature would be best advised to double check the instructions carefully.   

- Space for electronics and wiring is minimal.  I opted for a Tamiya TBLM 10.5 brushless motor which helped avoid hassle with the motor installation, but routing the wires to the esc requires careful planning.  One major hinderance in wiring is getting to body to fit.  Another, is keeping wires away from the steering assembly.  Tamiya suggests installing the battery (normal hard case pack) with the end where the wires exit the battery pack facing the motor, the winding back towards the esc.  I tried this, but when all was installed the battery wires were pressed against the side of the motor.  I didn't feel confident with that.  My fear is that the motor will get quite warm and possibly melt the insulation on those wires and cause the battery to short against the motor casing.  Instead, I opted for a "shorty" hard case pack, using a foam spacer and L - terminals which allow the wires to exit the battery and clear any of the steering assembly.

- Speaking of batteries..  yes the battery pack installation/removal is a pain.  One of the snap pins that secures a steering rod must be inserted into a pin that is upside down, and the small hole is hardly visible.              Moreover, the two 3 x 8 mm screws are "captured" by small rubber O-rings, one of which fell off during the many times I had to remove that screw.  As a bit of a "hack",  I used the snap pin to capture that screw while I  change the battery now and it keeps the screw in place until the battery is installed again.  

 

Performance:

In a word, Excellent.  The car feels very solid and well-balanced.  Turning radius is bit large due to the steering "blocks" preventing full travel, presumably to keep dog bones from possibly coming out.  Suspension is spot-on, kit supplied oil and springs work very well.  Acceleration on asphalt with grippy tires and the 10.5 turn TBLM motor is smooth and straight.  The chassis feels rock-solid at top speeds as well.  VERY easy to drive this thing, it's very nimble.  I am very impressed.

 

Hop-Up Parts:

To preface this, I already purchased a load of hop-up parts along with the kit.  Having said that, I initially thought they would be needed as Tamiya usually seems to purposely leave a bit more to be desired from the standard kit to entice us to opt for that fancy blue alloy bling.  With this kit, not so.  If your aim is solely performance, I'd say only the universal shafts are necessary (for increased steering range).

 

-Aeration Big Bore dampers:  Yeah, I bought these.  I'm a bit of a fanatic for dampers as it is, and this is (for me) bucket list stuff.  However, I'm a bit disappointed in the YouTube live video from Tamiya that showed a Super Avante stock being dropped on a table.  It bounced and jiggled then the hopped up Super Avante with fancy Aeration dampers was dropped and landed nice and plush.  Very misleading..  I bought those Aeration dampers right after watching that video.  I even bought the little blue X-rings instead of standard orange O-rings, and the special grease for the O and X rings and assembled them just as they did in the instructional video...  and they're VERY good, those Aeration dampers.  However the stock shocks are good as well.  I did a drop test with the stock dampers and they were very smooth.  I don't think the video reflected how good the stock dampers really are.  I share this because I hope to prevent someone from rushing out to purchase upgraded dampers solely on the thought that the stock ones are insufficient.

 

-Alloy Servo Mounts: Look nice, but not needed.  I bought these as well.  Glen from Tamiya Legends YouTube channel noted that when turning the front wheels from side-to-side, you notice how much the steering servo moves back and forth.  Well, surprise it still does after installing the blue alloy bits.  The reason?  The servo mounts to the chassis at two points, which then flex the chassis (recall  I mentioned a place where the chassis flexes) when you turn the front wheels by hand.  With steering endpoints set properly, this simply is not an issue.  Furthermore, the allow servo mounts don't improve it at all.  Look nice though (even though you can't really see them when installed).

 

-Alloy Differential Nut and Screw:  Purchased couple of these but not yet installed.  For now, not needed.  I didn't have an issue when assembling the standard plastic diff nut, but when its time to service the diffs, I'll swap the plastic nuts out for the alloy ones.

 

-Slipper Clutch Set:  Purchased but not installed yet.  Admittedly, I haven't run on loose dirt yet either where the slipper would be most effective.  However for those who question whether or not the standard diff is up to par for a 10.5T motor, it is.  I'll be able to run on lose dirt next week and will revise this comment at that time.

 

-

 

 

 

SuperAvanteFront.jpg

SuperAvante4.jpg

SuperAvante3.jpg

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Thank you for the write-up and the photos.

Interesting to have your thoughts on the hop-ups too. I had ordered the servo mounts on the assumption that it is typically a spot that benefits from a solid mount. 

I take it that the steering doesn't appear to suffer for having its arrangement compromised by the battery placement?

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2 hours ago, Badcrumble said:

Thank you for the write-up and the photos.

Interesting to have your thoughts on the hop-ups too. I had ordered the servo mounts on the assumption that it is typically a spot that benefits from a solid mount. 

I take it that the steering doesn't appear to suffer for having its arrangement compromised by the battery placement?

The steering mechanism works great, there's no hinderance at all by the position of the servo.

@Superluminal yes indeed the Big Bores are worth the price (to me):wub:, but totally unnecessary.  

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29 minutes ago, Killajb said:

The steering mechanism works great, there's no hinderance at all by the position of the servo.

Can you please post a pic from straigt above to show steering total left and total right? I am interested how they set the ackerman.

Wold be really great if you can do that.

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Great write up.

Am I the only one that buys Hop Ups because they look great rather than because they are needed?

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Great write up and thanks for posting. I'm not sure if I will get one, it's more likely that I wait for the TD2. But it's interesting to read a post base on (first) experience with the car after weeks of speculation. 👍

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20 minutes ago, toyolien said:

Great write up.

Am I the only one that buys Hop Ups because they look great rather than because they are needed?

No, not at all :ph34r:

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1 hour ago, toyolien said:

Great write up.

Am I the only one that buys Hop Ups because they look great rather than because they are needed?

All depends on available budget :D.

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9 hours ago, Collin said:

Can you please post a pic from straigt above to show steering total left and total right? I am interested how they set the ackerman.

Wold be really great if you can do that.

 

SuperAvanteFullLeft.jpg

SuperAvanteFullRight.jpg

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14 minutes ago, Killajb said:

 

SuperAvanteFullLeft.jpg

SuperAvanteFullRight.jpg

yea not very good radius. i have the universals coming so will be taking out the steering limiters. how hard was the body to cut out?

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The fenders over the wheels don't help in showing how far the steering travel is.  Those photos are with the steering limiters removed.  It's enough steering..  enough to traction roll if attempted at full speed and full steering throw (ask me how I know). 

The body wasn't too difficult to cut out.  I took my normal approach, cut as best as possible with lexan scissors, then follow up with a rotary tool and sanding wheel at low speeds on the corners and curves.

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5 minutes ago, Killajb said:

The fenders over the wheels don't help in showing how far the steering travel is.  Those photos are with the steering limiters removed.  It's enough steering..  enough to traction roll if attempted at full speed and full steering throw (aske me how I know). 

The body wasn't too difficult to cut out.  I took my normal approach, cut as best as possible with lexan scissors, then follow up with a rotary tool and sanding wheel at low speeds on the corners and curves.

Oh okay nice. You get body masks in the kit right? Are they only for the windows?

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Correct.  Masks for the windows, canopy and front area exposing the front shocks are included.  

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14 hours ago, toyolien said:

Great write up.

Am I the only one that buys Hop Ups because they look great rather than because they are needed?

Nope.

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12 hours ago, Killajb said:

The fenders over the wheels don't help in showing how far the steering travel is.  Those photos are with the steering limiters removed.  It's enough steering..  enough to traction roll if attempted at full speed and full steering throw (aske me how I know). 

The body wasn't too difficult to cut out.  I took my normal approach, cut as best as possible with lexan scissors, then follow up with a rotary tool and sanding wheel at low speeds on the corners and curves.

Definitly enough steering.

Thanks for the pics.

Next one : ) Can you shoot a closeup with the turnbuckles on it? They look pretty much like the one form the 90s.

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Any issues with motor heat? It looks pretty tucked away without much airflow or space to add a fan.

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15 minutes ago, Bash said:

Any issues with motor heat? It looks pretty tucked away without much airflow or space to add a fan.

There’s a 25 mm fan mount in the chassis, under that air scoop/gearbox cover. Whether it’ll fit under it, that’s the question.

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@Collin the turnbuckles are like the ones from the 90's.  They do the job but I'm sure will be swapped out for blue bling later on

@BelknapCrater It may be possible to mount a shorty lipo sideways, but the side plates screw in, so you would have to unscrew them to install/remove the battery each time.  Then there's the issue of routing the wires..     And that little fan mount is useless.  There's hardly any space to install a fan in there for one, and secondly, with the body in place not much air gets to that "air scoop".   

@Bash I ran a full 2s 4500 shorty lipo pack last night and had no issues with heat from the 10.5 TBLM motor/stock gearing.  It's quick but not exactly going to set any land speed records on top end.  Very suitable for a dirt track actually, and again spot-on for what this car should be.

 

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27 minutes ago, Killajb said:

@BelknapCrater It may be possible to mount a shorty lipo sideways, but the side plates screw in, so you would have to unscrew them to install/remove the battery each time.  Then there's the issue of routing the wires..     And that little fan mount is useless.  There's hardly any space to install a fan in there for one, and secondly, with the body in place not much air gets to that "air scoop".   

 

I’ve figured that part out- slot the mount holes inward, 20mm or so grub screws in the patch plate, and secure with knurled nuts on top, maybe a washer in between. As for the fan mount, maybe just cut the air hood off and be done with it.

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On 11/28/2021 at 3:30 AM, toyolien said:

Great write up.

Am I the only one that buys Hop Ups because they look great rather than because they are needed?

They help performance? 
 

;)

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Bit of a thread revival, but did you use the shorter 165mm sensor cable with the motor? I’m about to build mine and don’t have any brushless cars yet - so thought this build would be a good candidate to try out Tamiya’s stuff. I know there’s faster and cheaper, but I want to stay true to the brand!

 

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