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bRIBEGuy

bRIBEGuy vs. The Frog...

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I'll start off by just blatantly laying out my blasphemy... I really do not like the The Frog.

While "Quirky and Odd" are some of the most endearing qualities of Tamiya's kits (IMO), the "Quirky and Odd" of The Frog always just sort of came across as "Crappy" to me.  The body was ugly.  The front suspension was...er...a thing.... and overall?  Ya... just don't like it.  I think it's one of the worst looking kits Tamiya has ever made.

Yes, it's ironic given my LOVE of the Monster Beetle.  Yes, I get that I also like the Brat and the Blackfoot, and that a lot of my distaste for The Frog seems misplaced. 

But it is what it is.

And yet, now I find myself here:

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Wait.... what?

Ya, this might not make any sense, but here we are.  Welcome to bRIBEGuy vs. The Frog...

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So backing the bus up a bit, and we find ourselves back in THIS THREAD where a search for a Midnight Pumpkin yielded a few extra goodies.

haxdfGL.jpg

The seller noted that The Frog was a write off, and only good for parts.  So it sat for a bit until I had a chance to go thru it a bit and... low and behold, it's actually in better shape than originally indicated.  Chassis is badly yellowed, but it did include a NIB spare.  A few parts are missing... no big deal.

Current plan is to do a full strip down, clean, and rebuild.  A few missing & damaged parts will be replaced/swapped.

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I get a lot of enjoyment from the build process.  Also from "the hunt", whether that is tracking down a particular car, or particular parts to go towards a car.  So while The Frog is no close friend of mine, it has been fun over the last few months slowly figuring out what this rebuild would take, and sourcing those parts.  

Originally the plan was to make the car as perfect as possible, but a few factors sort of put a hiccup into that ideology:

1. The NIB chassis that came with the car appears to be from a rere Frog.  Not a huge deal, but it seems like a bit of a shame to replace such a core part of the car just to make it a bit prettier.
2. Reading thru the great BRUISER RESTORATION thread done by @dinorider really left me with a new appreciation of letting a restored vehicle share it's beauty thru some of it's scars.

So for now, with most(?) of the bits I'll need for the project, out came The Frog.

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The car got fully stripped down to see what is what...

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Next up will be some time with the ultrasonic cleaner...

 

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1 hour ago, Frog Jumper said:

OG body with wing intact?!?  Keep that as is!

Condition is okay, but not great.  I'm going to do a new body for it anyway, but the future of the OG one is still up in the air.  

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Yellowing on the chassis:

AikcSXO.jpg

I love "The Frog" script on the transmission gear:

0nRTcvT.jpg

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14 minutes ago, bRIBEGuy said:

Yellowing on the chassis:

AikcSXO.jpg

I love "The Frog" script on the transmission gear:

 

Those are called "tan lines"...

Terry

 

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18 minutes ago, Frog Jumper said:

Those are called "tan lines"...

Ha ha ha!  Love it!

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Have I mentioned how much I love my ultrasonic cleaner?

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The family was out for a couple hours yesterday evening, so I managed to get most of The Frog bits washed up.  10 minutes cycles in 55 deg (C) water with a squirt of dawn dish soap, and most of the parts came out looking great.

I love when you can just see clouds of dirt and grease getting washed off....rising up like smoke from a fire....

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Had a free evening last night, so I opted to go for a bike ride, and then cool down after with a frosty wobbly pop and a first kick at rebuilding The Frog.

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Now don't get your hopes up too quickly that I've changed my tune about this model... but I will say that going back to the ridiculously over-engineered chassis assembly and front suspension did make me smile quite a bit.  :)

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My intension originally was to swap out any of the plastic bits that showed notable wear, but as I've been going thru the re-re parts I have on hand, it is interesting to note that pretty much all of the rere parts are physically different.   Trailing arms have the hole at the pivot capped off, and a different texture to the "frog skin bumps" molded on the inside.  Gearcase has different shaped holes.  Etc, etc, etc...  I do want to keep this mainly original, and the OG bits aren't in terrible shape (for the most part), so I've swapped plans once more, and opted to just re-use the OG bits for now.  As such, original chassis braces went back in, as did the OG front suspension arms.

The one part I think I will swap out is the front bumper.  I LOVE that it has the OG bumper c/w "Quattro" and "Made in Japan" stamps still visable, but it is in fairly rough shape, and badly warped/bowed.

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The rere version is notably different in the stamping details...

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Wifey says "keep it mainly original, but make it look good", and that seems like solid advice.

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Thoughts from the TamiyaClub pros?

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The one part for this build that I could just not track down, was the Resistor Stay for the MSC.  Luckily for me, the Frog Master himself, @Frog Jumper had one NIB and was gracious enough to send it my way.

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Ironically, he had purchased it from Alberta at one point in the past, only to end up mailing it back here many years later.

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These are well traveled parts at this point...

The Resistor Stay comes with a new "Glass Plate" for the front of the chassis as well, which is nice as the one with the car was badly discolored.

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Original (used), original (NIB), and rere...

 

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On 9/16/2022 at 5:26 PM, Frog Jumper said:

Keep it OG.  Build a ReRe for every day driving.

It's probably blasphemy, but I think I'm gonna sort of do neither.  While I LOVE the idea/concept of an all OG car, I really get no joy of having one sitting on my shelf if it's in visibly "rough" condition (unless I'm the one that put it in that condition...lol).

My initial plan for the car (pre-start of this thread), was to clean it up quick with some rere parts, and sell it.  Since I have no love for the Frog, it seemed like a good way to make a few $$$ to recoup some of what I spent on the lot-buy it came from.  

The problem started when me and my daughter built up her Midnight Pumpkin in the "alternate" color scheme (that no one ever uses...)

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And then when I stumbled upon a great deal on this:

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I'm still not 100% sure on the future of this buggy, but right now it will likely get a few parts to pretty it up, and a modern DT03 version to run/sit next to it. 

Since my plan sorta changed and I have more "spare parts" then expected, I might build up a spare parts runner too... or not.  I am still kinda just making this up as I go... :lol:

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My Frog has never had a body, so let me know if you decide you don't want that one anymore. It's not the color scheme I had in mind, but I'd love it just the same.

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On 9/13/2022 at 5:27 PM, bRIBEGuy said:

I'll start off by just blatantly laying out my blasphemy... I really do not like the The Frog.

No blasphemy, I also hate the Frog.

Max

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The best thing about the frog has got to be the slogan on the wing. 

That's the only bit I admired back in the day anyway and I'm pretty sure I had more sense back then 

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21 hours ago, El Gecko said:

My Frog has never had a body, so let me know if you decide you don't want that one anymore. It's not the color scheme I had in mind, but I'd love it just the same.

Sounds good.

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Flipping The Frog over, it was time to take a look at the hoppers...

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Shocks are in good shape overall, though pretty oxidized.  Springs are backwards.  Started to clean them up a bit...

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And then got an idea.  Hit them up with some 800/1000/2000 grit sandpaper to clean up the raised edges, leaving some patina down in the nooks and crannies.  I think it looks pretty cool.  The little 3mm nuts were missing, so I added those back into place as well...

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All mounted up, and starting to look (a bit) like a buggy again...

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The last photo also shows hard proof that I completely forgot to take any pictures rebuilding the rear gearcase and suspension.  Whoops!!! :wacko:

The gearcase was in great shape (aside from the pinion...), so everything got rebuilt with OG parts.  New bearings were installed.  OG driveshafts and cups were in great shape, as were the OG rubber boots, amazingly.

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New zip ties for old boots... and that NOS resister stay..... :)

JgFSfFz.jpg

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With all the work to get the original resister stay, you just new the OG MSC was going back in.  Amazingly, the original ceramic heatsinks are in great shape.

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Wheels wheels wheels...... oh, and tires.

The OG tires are bald and cracking, so it's an easy decision to put on new rubber.  The OG Wheels are in pretty rough shape too, and are yellowed as if they spent a life in direct sunlight... in a cigar lounge.  Luckily the wheels that came on the Super Champ from the same lot-buy are in much better shape, so my plan is to just swap them over, and deal with the Super Champ later (it's likely an "over winter" project).

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Unfortunately the wheel & tire train got badly derailed when I went to take everything apart for cleaning.  I guess I should have looked closer, as this ended up being the proverbial "Good from far, but far from good"...

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Yup, the wheels are all badly cracked and broken.  It appears they were being held together by dirt, grime, and luck.  :wacko:  Dang.  Time to go digging in my parts bin...

Another hold up at this point was the pinion.  The OG 18t pinion on the car looked like... well, a 35+ year old aluminum Tamiya pinion... That is to say I washed most of it off the other gears and gearcase in the ultrasonic cleaner.  :lol:  A dig thru the parts bin and.... well, I have 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 1nd 23t.  That is zero help. A trip to the LHS and..... also no 18t pinions.  ARG!!!  Check the stock of another LHS and..... ALSO no 18t pinions!  Come on!!!

Drowned my sorrows in new paint and placed an order online for the pinion...

xe0vXCN.jpg

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Took a week off on the build due to life... my daughter had a camping trip with the local Brownies group last weekend, so that was pretty much a monopoliser of all free time.  Luckily it was a lot of fun... and the view was pretty spectacular:

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Last night yielded a bit of free time, so I sat down with an adult beverage and picked up where I left off...

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They say everyone has a pinion... or something like that... :lol:

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