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JD's Tamiya Tundra build

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Ok so after some consideration I thought that I would ease my way into scale RC by purchasing a Tamiya Tundra. I was eyeing off a Brusier and Mountain Rider but for the first one thought that I would make something I could use and abuse and also make a blend of functional and scale all at once. The Tundra fit the bill for me as it has no 80s heritage like the Bruiser (which I simply would not be able to bash) and also after seeing much inspiration for mods the trigger was pulled.

I decided to purchase:

  • Tamiya Tundra
  • Junfac high lift kit
  • Junfac steering mod
  • Tamiya bearing kit
  • Tekin FXR ESC
  • Tekin 35t hand wound motor
  • Tamiya GT Tuned motor (will use in another build but for now will be in here)
  • Turnigy TGY 9x Mode 1
  • 3Racing winch
  • Traxxas E-Max waterproof servo (80oz)
  • Turningy 620DMG High Torque waterproof servo (10.6kgs)
  • Fenders
  • Snorkle

Still deciding on:

  • Shocks (colour, look and size.. tough call)
  • LED light kit... not sure easiest / cheapest way to go here. As long as I have full control from the 9ch I don't mind
  • Wheels and Rims - again, so many decisions to be made here. I am after 2.2 for this build, just need to make the call on body colour.
  • Body style and colour - I am very particular. Hopefully I don't give up and paint it black... may happen!

So I commenced tonight after receiving the box today. As everyone says, this kit is magnificent. I've built a lot of cars very big ones and small ones and this is a joy. Hard to really understand until you do one as each time I read a build thread with the owner saying the same thing I never 'got it' until I was putting the gearbox together and bolting it to the fram. magnificent - highly recommend 10/10

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After grinning ear to ear it was time to get going... Glass of red and off we went!

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Decided to stop for the night at the diffs. Looking forward to the next part tomorrow.

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hi mate, I've just got one too and started the build, i have a rolling chassis at the moment, I have also bought the MFC-02 to go in it, can I ask where did you get all the hop-ups for it. I haven't heard of Junfac before.

i am going to upgrade the bearings to full ball race. Why do you need a 9ch Transmitter and what advantage does it give?

Sorry for the questions mate but your suggestions appear to be great upgrades

All the best

Ritchie

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hi mate, I've just got one too and started the build, i have a rolling chassis at the moment, I have also bought the MFC-02 to go in it, can I ask where did you get all the hop-ups for it. I haven't heard of Junfac before.

i am going to upgrade the bearings to full ball race. Why do you need a 9ch Transmitter and what advantage does it give?

Sorry for the questions mate but your suggestions appear to be great upgrades

All the best

Ritchie

Hey Richie,

They're rad trucks from what I can see and man the build is great fun.

Jun Fac seem to be the best option for modifying the stock steering to be beefier and better, straight axle adapter for the rear axles so they are fixed with no play (stock setup will have a lot of wiggle) and also to accommodate bigger wheels like 2.2" you use the high lift kit.

As for the 9ch radio, well if you want to run a winch and anything else you need more than 4 channels.

Channel 1 - ESC - Throttle

Channel 2 - Steering

Channel 3 - Gears (servo needed to change from 1st, 2nd to 3rd)

Channel 4 - Winch

Channel 5 - Lights etc...

I think with the MFC-02 you don't need as many channels and also Go here. If you wanted a winch you need another channel.

I got the 9ch purely because it was a cheap purchase until I get comfortable with what I want. I've always had Futaba but as have worked in the scale land need to settle in and work it all out.

Hope that helps.

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Ok so with my third coffee of the day (another love...) I started the diffs and just kept going...

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The gear is simply beautiful...
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I used marine grease that I always used in the 1/5 scale beasts, it has served me well. I also locked the rear diff, will see how I go. I am however really thinking that if I had put a lot more brain time into this I would have firstly sprayed the diff housings in matt black, and then sealed them with Loctite gasket goo or even silicone to make the waterproof.
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Front axles and rear JunFac straight axle mod - it's beautiful gear. Highly recommend 10/10.
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As everyone notes about Jun Fac, no instructions which adds to the mystique... anyhow hope these pics helps someone, someday. for google juice: Jun Fac steering installation.
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Shocks are average, but sexy and to scale. They will not last long but will have a play for a week or so with them...
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Issue is that I don't have shockers yet or wheels (2.2 that is) so the whole JunFac mod will have to wait for a week or so until I work it out, order and get them here...

I can tell the leaf springs are ridiculous, but I built them stock regardless as always like to know how the models were intended to be built and feel them, then modify the heck out f them ;)

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A couple of items to mention. You'll have a tough time using a MFC with your radio that has digital trims. It needs analog trime to allow the extra features to work. The leafs when built per the manual will be too stiff. You have to take some of the leafs out.

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A couple of items to mention. You'll have a tough time using a MFC with your radio that has digital trims. It needs analog trime to allow the extra features to work. The leafs when built per the manual will be too stiff. You have to take some of the leafs out.

Hey Shodog, I don't have a MFC, was quoting Richie who asked.

Yeah I've read that the leafs are crazy... Will modify as I go on TV stiffness.

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Hey Shodog, I don't have a MFC, was quoting Richie who asked.

Yeah I've read that the leafs are crazy... Will modify as I go on TV stiffness.

I knew you didn't have one right now but if you were thinking of getting one.

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I knew you didn't have one right now but if you were thinking of getting one.

Yeah I've definitely been thinking about it but not for this build. I would have to get on other control if I went down that path...

Maybe for the Hilux ;)

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So I had a thought about running in water - not sure who has experience with this and three speeds? Firstly, the gearbox is completely open, anyone waterproofed the Tundra gearbox before? I kind of want to be able to run this in deepish water without trashing the insides, however in stock form it would just be a mess and require regular re-build of tranny and diffs.

Other question is best the way to seal the receiver and ESC inside the body?

Love some advice from anyone who knows.

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Ok so got it to rolling status... I need to make some serious colour scheme decisions as will have to already pull some stuff off to to get the scheme I will end up wanting.

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Also been hunting around and looking at combinations of wheels and tires. Hard to work out the whole balance of scale and usability. Seems like 2.2" wheels are massive (139mm) which is up to the current fender height! Had no idea they were so big. Also didn't realise how EXPENSIVE the alloy ones were. I guess it makes sense as they are CNC alloy. But MAN.

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As long as there are no steel parts in the gearbox and the insides get a liberal coating of grease, all should be well, but you'll need to strip and rebuild more often than you normally would. You may have to use rubber sealed bearings and pack them with grease as well though, or use plastic or sintered bushings instead. The diffs can be packed with marine grease to delay any corrosion.

You could use a 'waterproof' case for the ESC and receiver (either a Tupperware 'spider-box' or an off-the-shelf option), but waterproof electronics are available and not as expensive as they used to be.

Dorvack

Awesome, thanks Dorvak. I didn't really think about that fact that the gears are plastic. The Tamiya bearings however are not rubber sealed... I put a fair bit of marine grease in there as well.

I guess the reality is if I want to get it wet then I can just be a peace with the fact that I will have to re-build and put in rubber sealed bearing etc and just enjoy it till it breaks ;) Always been my theory with RC cars.

OK - So need to pull the trigger on some LED lights.

Who can help?

I want all the front lights and rear light to work - the top roll bar is optional as I may not install it.

I want to be able to control it from the radio and have them on switches. Is my best bet to just use the Tamiya LED kits? What does everyone else use?

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Ok, decision made... World's smallest drum roll inside only my head...

Arctic white / storm trooper.

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And the hero:

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Looks like to get the look I'm after I will have to paint the grill and bumper white with black in the middle. Also the fender flairs will be white... big question is if I should do the top roll bar with lights white, black or not at all????/

As for wheels, going white like this dictates the wheels should be really all black. Even thinking something like the Gmade-air 2.2's.. would give a real solid look, but I'm worried the wheels will look too big...

gt_car.jpg

Any thoughts as always welcomed.

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Black roll bar and all other chrome parts and G-air wheels since you have the Junfac 4 link kit already.

I really don't like the proportions on the stock Tundra, but the Junfac/Gmade kit corrects that imho.

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Black roll bar and all other chrome parts and G-air wheels since you have the Junfac 4 link kit already.

I really don't like the proportions on the stock Tundra, but the Junfac/Gmade kit corrects that imho.

Ok so the question is (if anyone knows) with the GMade air system what would be the appropriate size shocks? I am thinking red now considering that the body will be white. On JunFac there are two options: 94mm red which is sold out... and then 104mm red which they have...

Not as scale as these... So the reality is that if I go for the zero shocks it will have to be 104mm which may jack it up too much for my liking, but if not then I would have to go for the more scale red 90mm...

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I like white. I've had white cars before but in this case a white body just looks like you didn't paint it.

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I like white. I've had white cars before but in this case a white body just looks like you didn't paint it.

I agree that if it's done poorly, it's going to look boring at bat... I think the clincher for me was the fact that my next two builds are going to be older trucks (Hilux and Bruiser) that I will do it red for the Hilux and the box blue for the Bruiser. I also am very attracted to the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8's in white at the moment, as the Tundra is a modern truck I think it can pull it off...

There will be no chrome on it now except the exhausts, which are still line ball. Have just primed everything and will sand tomorrow and do second coat if needed.

Was nice to get some fresh paint...

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These spotties were annoying to mask...
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Knocked a lot off the front bar as the mould wasn't awesome, nice and smooth now...
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I was tempted to putty up the holes in the side but wasn't sure about mounting. I guess I could just velcro, but kinda gave up on the idea...

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You'll love the Bruiser build. When you say Hilux, what kit do you mean?

Will you de chrome the diff covers on the Tundra?

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You'll love the Bruiser build. When you say Hilux, what kit do you mean?

Will you de chrome the diff covers on the Tundra?

I currently have on the way from Japan the Tamiya Hilux and the Bruiser. They were basically giving away the Hilux and as I has so much trouble with my attempted purchase of the Mountain Rider they looked after me and spit out the Hilux as it is currently only sold as a package deal with the Futaba radio and MFU which made it very expensive.

As for the Bruiser, I made a decision to get the grandaddy which was that or the Mountain Rider. The Mountain Rider I had in my cart and was trying to purchase (after the Tundra, literally as couldn't have them shipped together due to customs issues here in Aus). Long story longer, even after they held it somehow it got sold and they have no more, and can't get any more. No one can.

As for the Bruiser, the next day they got some stock and it's the cheapest price in the world currently. Even to the point where my best mates father who owns a hobby shop can't even get them for that price wholesale. So I pulled the trigger as it 'feels' like they are getting more scarce and the people on eBay are trying to fleece people with prices....

As for the diff covers... GOD I FORGOT TO DO THEM!!!!!!

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Ok so now they're off, may as well do the winch. The stock grey looks a little meh...

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Ah you mean the Hilux highlift. Same chassis as your Tundra. You can recreate the Mountain Rider easily enough, just need the chrome rear bar and sticker sheet.

I was fortunate to get a Mountain Rider at the beginning of the year (still unbuilt), that Bruiser chassis is addictive, I bought mine after I enjoyed the Bruiser build so much, I had to have the pair (shelf queens), then last month I went and bought another Bruiser, the rate exchange at the time made it relatively cheap from Tamico at £370 and this one will get used as intended without guilt!

Good man with the diff covers! Looking forward to seeing this come together.

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Ah you mean the Hilux highlift. Same chassis as your Tundra. You can recreate the Mountain Rider easily enough, just need the chrome rear bar and sticker sheet.

I was fortunate to get a Mountain Rider at the beginning of the year (still unbuilt), that Bruiser chassis is addictive, I bought mine after I enjoyed the Bruiser build so much, I had to have the pair (shelf queens), then last month I went and bought another Bruiser, the rate exchange at the time made it relatively cheap from Tamico at £370 and this one will get used as intended without guilt!

Good man with the diff covers! Looking forward to seeing this come together.

Yeah I have a feeling that unless you want to pay mega bucks for a Mountain Rider, they're going to be gone as when Banzai can't get them and have no indication from Tamiya Japan...

As for the Bruiser, it's totally going to sit on my shelf and run around the house (I say that now...) This and the Hilux will will be driven hard.

My spray booth and progress. That's going to be it for tonight. Tomorrow more progress I think... (As you all may have noticed, when I do a build I move fast, once the decisions made I like to build 'em!)

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Ok so got some small progress done over the past two night, into the fiddly stuff now to say the least. As everyone know, the bodywork is always the place where you can spend unlimited time. I'm sort of playing at the moment in between caring enough to make the average punter who doesn't model say "wow" but not caring so much that it's going to take weeks / months. As this is going to be well and truly run and probably run hard (every wet sand I do that becomes a little softer I fear) I can't allow myself to go down the rabbit hole too far, I can save that for the Bruiser.

I am still experimenting a bit with putty, paint and sanding. While I've been painting bodies for multiple decades, I've never spent the time to take it to the next level, and never played with putty etc on a body, so now is the time to see what I can learn! Decided to remove the body screws in the main cab as they are the most obvious places that make the truck look like a model... also it gave me the chance to experiment with putty. Let's hope that velcro will hold it in place well or it's going to be an epic fail.

Also had a chance to put a spring in the Turnigy 9ch so that all four directions of both levers were sprung. Fiddly little job but all good! Need to get my hands on a H pattern to go in there now.

The high torque servo also turned up, it's a cheapie from HobbyKing, but I decided I don't care anymore. I've had all the mega dollars Hitec servos for the 1/5 scale stuff (where you literally need it or people cna be maimed) and I'm willing to be I don't have any troubles with my 10.4kg $12 servo... we'll see!

Also finally, the black is coming along well, the front bar looks awesome and with the spotties up front I think the look will be very strong. Happy with the finish so far. Just a bit of head scratching on the winch. For it to look right, it needs to sit behind the bar, but it also needs to have the rollers pulled off their rivets ad put onto the front of the aluminium properly to look awesome. I am yet to work out how to achieve this.

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Starting to get my OCD organisation back as well... Must. Have. Control.

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