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Another Madcap, Astute, Super Astute Restored Runner

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I hope to keep this updated with my findings of turning a run-down Madcap (Tamiya No# 58082) into a half decent runner. Hope to include as many part numbers, costs and suppliers in the posts for my own reference and for others interested. Note costs will be in various currencies and approximate only. I know for a fact the costs will also not be the cheapest, however, for me cost is not everything...service and convenience plays a big part too. As a lot of my research is done on TC I will try and reference members and posts where I gained info from so others can follow up. Will also be adding lots and lots of photos.

(From Showroom) Dad bought me and my lil brother a second hand Madcap in approx 1999. At the time it was a basher for me (13yrs old) and my lil brother (9 yrs old). Once the novelty of the remote control car wore off it was placed in the shed. It briefly made a reappearance in approx 2004 to get a respray of the body and then placed back in the shed. In Jan 2014 (my age twenty eight) I was remotivated to take another look at it only to realise it was a Tamiya!! Its storage in a non weather proof shed has taken a toll and as I mentioned the body has been resprayed black (very roughly). It is/was always a great conversation piece between me, my brother and my dad and decided rather than to buy a brand new Tamiya model (very tempting) I will look at getting the Madcap up to a running state and then improve on it as much as I can.

I started looking on the Bay for a body and any spare parts which could be a bonus. I found/bought a good condition Madcap (Tamiya No# 58082 from zulu_warrior1976 for approx AUS$160 delivered) with body (no servos or transmitter/receiver). Although it was a touch pricey it has a really nice body (which is exactly what I was after) and the rest of the parts were in a great condition.

Since I was never involved in the original build I decided to strip both models down to nuts and bolts and select the best parts of each model and reassemble one Madcap. The rest of the parts were boxed and will be used as spares as it becomes necessary. The original Madcap had a Sanwa Dash Saber Transmitter but in the years I have lost the battery cover. In all my hunting the only way I could replace the back cover was to buy a new remote (Approx AUS$50 from various on-line vendors). This has not happened..

Top View (Original)


Bottom View (Original)

Top View (Added Model)

Bottom View (Added Model)

Body (Added Model) Only reason I really bought the Added Model

Before I dismantled both models to nuts and bolts I took a few photos. The following are the original Madcap dad gave me and has been sitting in the shed for some time. Original NiMH batteries do not hold charge anymore, which shouldn't be a great surprise. We didnt have the patience back in the day to wait for a charge at 1C. Dad used to connect the battery to the car with a current limiting resistor and we could charge a battery in about the same time it took to run one flat... Good times.. Bought 5 new Powertech 7.2V 3.3A NiMH batteries (Jaycar Part No# SB2314, Cost AUS$50, down the road from me so extra cost doesnt bother me). Went with NiMH as the Madcap can house the battery in the chassis. Will look at Lipos at a later stage.

Original Tyres (I think it is Tamiya No# 53040 Hybrid Wide on the back, GBP16.25 from Vintage_Tamiya and Tamiya No# 53039 Hybrid Narrow on the front, GBP 14.29 from Vintage_Tamiya).


Original Wheels.

Original Motor and Resistor, Has definitely seen better days.

Original Friction Dampers..

Original Receiver and Steering Servo

Some photos of the Added Model bought through the Bay...

Added Model Motor, Resistor and Friction Dampers


Added Model Friction Dampers

Added Model Motor Controller and Rear Friction Dampers

All parts were broken down to nuts and bolts and thrown in a Ultrasonic Bath with some detergent. I then picked the best parts and turned the two madcaps into a single stock madcap.

So the current plan is (Will keep updating as I figure out what the plan is)..

  • Reassemble all good parts between the two Madcaps to end up with one Madcap. This will be almost stock everything... Transmitter, receiver, servos, MSC, motor, gearbox, tyres, wheels etc.. Only part not original/stock will be the batteries.
  • See how it all goes with stick transmitter and original tyres.
  • Swap out tyres, still stock but in newer condition. This was from the Added Model I bought through the Bay.
  • Swap out MSC for ESC. This will be a Tekin RS Gen2 Brushless Sensored/Sensorless D2 ESC 8.5T (Tower Hobbies Part No# LXDHNS, Cost: US$175). The ESC allows me to test my Brushed setup for initial stock reference and then change over to brushless without too much effort. Completed
  • Will buy ESC in combo with Tekin Redline 17.5T Motor (Tower Hobbies Part No# LXCVMC, Cost US$100). Combo for ESC and 17.5T motor (Tower Part No# LXDHNY, Cost US$250, I wanted quick delivery so approx US$300 to Perth, Australia in 4 working days!!). Will not install motor till after first reference run with brushed motor. Completed
  • Swap out Transmitter and Receiver. From various discussions at my local club it seems everyone loves Spektrum DX of some sort. Will go for latest version Spektrum DX4R Pro, comes with receiver SPM4100 and SR410. Bought through stealth351 on the Bay for AUS$440 delivered. Touch pricey but he is an Australian supplier and would like to support him as much as I can.
  • Do a practise run at my local to establish base time. Completed, 62secs where most cars on the night did 35 to 40secs
  • Swap out brushed motor for Brushless motor. Completed
  • Do a practise run at my local to establish base time.
  • Start modifications
  • Buy Hi Cap Dampers Rear (Tamiya Part No# 53037 Cost GBP 65, Supplier Vintage Tamiyaparts), I have put this on the back burner due to cost.. bought Yeah Racing (#DP-1004Tl) 70mm Damper Set from RCMart (AUD$14.63). Completed
  • Buy Hi Cap Dampers Front (Tamiya Part No# 53036 Cost US$73, Supplier Vintage CTY300 Ebay), I have put this on the back burner due to cost.. bought Yeah Racing (#DP-1006Tl) 90mm Damper Set from RCMart (AUD$14.63). Completed
  • Buy Al Gearbox Plate (Tamiya Part No# 53060 Unsure, will check Ebay)
  • Buy Stainless Steel Ball Bearings 8*2.5*5. (RS Part No# 138641 Cost AUS$8.77 for 2, Supplier RS Eec, NMB Brand)
  • Buy Stainless Steel Ball Bearings 11*5*5. I think this should be a 4mm wide bearing but while I am going to RS I will try this one. (RS Part No# 747765 Cost AUS$9.40 for 2, Supplier RS Eec, NMB Brand)
  • Buy Stainless Steel Ball Bearings 16*8*5. (RS Part No# 747765 Cost AUS$9.40 for 2, Supplier RS Eec, NMB Brand)
  • Bought Tamiya (#51206) Astral Rear Wheels 60/29 (35mm) (AUD$5.31 RCMart). Completed
  • Bought Tamiya (#51205) 2WD Astral Front Wheels (60/19) (24 mm) (AUD$5.31 RCMart) Completed
  • Bought a few sets of tyres, mainly just to try them out.All Initial Tyres Completed
  • Tamiya (#54284) Off Road Wide Grooved Soft Tires (2WD/Front,60/19) (AUD$6.39 RCMart)
  • Jconcepts (#3004-02) Groovy Tire Super Soft (Green Comp) For 1:10 2WD Front Buggy (AUD$10.83RCMart)
  • Jconcepts (#3017-01) Bar Codes Tire Soft (Blue Compound) For 1/10 buggy (F) (AUD$11.81 RCMart)
  • Jconcepts (#3005-02) Rounder Tire Super Soft (Green Comp) For 1/10 Buggy (AUD$8.78 RCMart)
  • Jconcepts (#3006-02) Double Dee\'s Rear Tire Super Soft (Green Comp) For 2.2 (AUD$10.73 RCMart)
  • Jconcepts (#3016-01) Bar Codes Tire Soft (Blue Compound) For 1/10 Buggy ® (AUD$10.78 RCMart)
  • Jconcepts (#3016-03) Bar Codes Tire Medium (White Compound) For 1:10 Buggy ® (AUD$13.87 RCMart)
  • Jconcepts (#3016-04) Bar Codes Tire Soft (Orange Compound) For 1/10 Buggy ® (AUD$9.64 RCMart)
  • Jconcepts (#3016-05) Bar Codes Tire Soft (Gold Compound) For 1/10 Buggy ® (AUD$14.30 RCMart)
  • Cont...
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Welcome Aboard !

That's a great first post and a great story to boot. I really enjoy hearing about folks that rediscover their first car and it reignites an interest in Tamiya. Quite a few of us are lucky enough to have found our way here just the same as you have.

I would encourage you to open an account with an image hosting website (eg: photobucket) to make posting your images into your forum posts much easier. There is a couple of ways of doing it so the thread below might be helpful for you too.


Best of luck on your Tamiya journey and don't forget to ask plenty of questions and post plenty of images. :)

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Welcome to the forum, and please keep us up to date with any Madcap goodness. This is my favourite Tamiya, and it's always nice to see more of them around here.

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that's the way my king cab looked when I pulled it out the loft , all dirty and slick tyres. it started me on a slippery slope that is restoring old Tamiya's.

in the past 5 years I have spent thousands on Tamiya some I still have, some have been traded on for something else but my king cab will never go.

as for the madcap they are great fun but really benefit from cva dampers and the aluminium motor plate. that's were I started with mines. its now 90% astute.

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I've just found my old frog.. It is a complete mess but I love and can remember it in its prime...I think I'm gonna restore it.

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Been street bashing outside on the road waiting for a rainless day to go to the local track.

Couple of interesting mishaps along the way.

This was still with the original Brushed Motor.

As most people have discussed the understeer and steering slop is an interesting one..

Kept loosing the rear wheel nuts. This has been fixed with threadlocker (Loctite 243).


To try and rectify the understeer I stiffened the rear dampers and loosened the front dampers. However, the 20 year old spring retaining clips snapped off where the screw tightens the clip. Only temporary solution I had at the time were cable ties. The amateur way of setting distances...


The outcome..for now...while I get some clips or new dampers.


As a few people have mentioned the motor gear "loosens" as the day goes on... Remember only a plastic gear plate for now..


Jumping ahead in time a little.. On my first practise night at the local track the motor "loosened" again causing a bit of wear on the gears.


Another 20 year old plastic bit bites a dust... the piece on the left is the replacement part (intact). The broken part is still on the car.


A annoying little mishap... This might be from various bumps to the curb as well as the car going front first after each bump at the local track... Trying to get over the PVC tubing (after a numerous understeer mishaps)at the local track also doesnt help.. Had to dismantle most of the front of the car to replace this part...


Bit of a close up..


Adding to the steering slop and understeer was a stripped servo post. This meant I couldnt do the screw up tightly. I retapped this hole deeper and replaced the screw with a 3mm screw longer than the original.


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Hi, have a look at my Astute Guide thread:

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


I yet not wrote the last part about the read geartrain.

Your car is understeerer because your diff is too closed, it's almost a spool. You can't do many thing about this problem, it's structural. If you loose the diff it will sleep.

The only think you can do is work on the front end, soft oil dampers, bigger wheels and better tires.


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Hey, welcome.

Another Madcap restorer (me too)!! Every old beautiful Madcap deserves a second chance ;).

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