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It's been a while since I built a Tamiya "fun" kit.  Good thing I just won a NIB Desert Fielder TA02T on eBay.  This will be my very first TA build.  I'm looking forward to it.

I have a few questions:

What is the body that comes on this truck?  Is it the S-10?  Is it the Ford F-150?  Or is it something else?  I can't tell for certain from the photos.

I ordered ball bearings right away.  Are there any other upgrades I should start with?  I'm going to use this as an on-road truck with maybe some light off-road, rally running.  Thank you.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Truck Norris said:

The body is the Hi-Lux Monster Racer, also used on the Toyota Prerunner.

Thank you!  That helps a ton.  Now I know which decals to get.

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I love these trucks :) interestingly there's two other threads about them on the top page of TC today!

They're tall and narrow, so they roll over easy if you're not driving at scale speeds.  Taking it steady and trying to keep it upright is what it's all about.

As for upgrades - it is possible to fit Manta Ray shock towers to give you more suspension travel, although you'll probably want to fit universals to stop the dogbones popping out.  This is only really relevant if you're going to heavy off-road, which you might not want to do.  Serious crawlers even do away with the tub chassis and go metal or FRP plate to get loads of ground clearance, although these days that's really just a technical exercise as there are plenty of capable crawlers out there.

If you're mostly running on road then you'll probably want to keep the diffs as standard.  If you want to go on rough terrain then you can put the ball diff in the front, then lock the gear diff and put it in the back.

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3 hours ago, Mad Ax said:

I love these trucks :) interestingly there's two other threads about them on the top page of TC today!

They're tall and narrow, so they roll over easy if you're not driving at scale speeds.  Taking it steady and trying to keep it upright is what it's all about.

As for upgrades - it is possible to fit Manta Ray shock towers to give you more suspension travel, although you'll probably want to fit universals to stop the dogbones popping out.  This is only really relevant if you're going to heavy off-road, which you might not want to do.  Serious crawlers even do away with the tub chassis and go metal or FRP plate to get loads of ground clearance, although these days that's really just a technical exercise as there are plenty of capable crawlers out there.

If you're mostly running on road then you'll probably want to keep the diffs as standard.  If you want to go on rough terrain then you can put the ball diff in the front, then lock the gear diff and put it in the back.

Are the Manta Ray shock towers and universals still produced?

I did order the Yeah Racing prop shaft and motor plate, but they will probably arrive weeks after the kit so I will probably build stock at first.

I did forget to order a stainless steel screw kit.  I like Allen/hex heads and fine thread screws.  This time around I might use the stock screws.  I need to get a good Phillips driver so I don't strip the screw heads.

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2 hours ago, JatoTheRipper said:

Are the Manta Ray shock towers and universals still produced?

I did order the Yeah Racing prop shaft and motor plate, but they will probably arrive weeks after the kit so I will probably build stock at first.

I did forget to order a stainless steel screw kit.  I like Allen/hex heads and fine thread screws.  This time around I might use the stock screws.  I need to get a good Phillips driver so I don't strip the screw heads.

Order the 8 piece tamiya driver kit its like $25 And is a fantastic investment. 3 screw drivers two nut drivers... And 3 hex drivers. Yeah I know.  He said nut drivers..  

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19 minutes ago, Dojo Dave said:

Order the 8 piece tamiya driver kit its like $25 And is a fantastic investment. 3 screw drivers two nut drivers... And 3 hex drivers. Yeah I know.  He said nut drivers..  

Thanks.  Nice looking kit, but I have plenty of hex drivers and nut drivers (heh heh).  I just need a couple good screwdrivers.

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2 hours ago, JatoTheRipper said:

Are the Manta Ray shock towers and universals still produced?

I did order the Yeah Racing prop shaft and motor plate, but they will probably arrive weeks after the kit so I will probably build stock at first.

I did forget to order a stainless steel screw kit.  I like Allen/hex heads and fine thread screws.  This time around I might use the stock screws.  I need to get a good Phillips driver so I don't strip the screw heads.

I believe the Manta Ray shock towers are still around, I ordered a few Manta Ray parts trees recently.  The parts tree *may* also be included with the re-re Top Force, although the towers themselves won't be used as the Top Force has FRP shock towers.  Universals-wise I have no idea, they would either be listed as specific for the TA02T or you would have to check for part number differences between TA01 and TA02 arms/hubs as ISTR the TA02T is a hybrid of TA01 and TA02 parts and I'm not sure which arms and hubs are used.

Prop shaft and motor mount is a good idea - they're the weakest parts.  Prop shaft because the stock one is all wobbly and flexible, motor mount because the weight of the motor hands off a stress point.  The motor mount can be cracked just landing a heavy jump.  I got the Pargustore alloy motor mounts and found the holes to be badly drilled, running with Robinson Racing pinions on my Top Force it wouldn't mesh.  Hopefully the YR ones are better.  I'll be investigating proper sliding motor mounts for when I rebuild the Top Force next year.

You don't need a Phillips screw for Tamiya kits - you need JIS.  You'll find the difference to be night-and-day.  The Tamiya kit has the right JIS heads for 95% of your Tamiya needs, although there are cheaper JIS drivers out there if you don't want to spend the money on the Tamiya kit.

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I ordered some Vessel brand JIS screwdrivers - #1 and #2 sizes.  Hopefully that works as well as people claim when it comes to the Tamiya screws!

Now I need to determine which brushless motor I want to upgrade to.  I'll start with the brushed system and go from there.

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Well she arrived today. Luckily I only work 8 minutes from home so I was able to run home at lunch and open it up. :D

This build was supposed to be first, but my RC4WD Trail Finder 2 arrived yesterday and that build was started right away. This one will get put away for a week or two, but I'm still really excited to build this.

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I ordered some JIS screwdrivers before the truck arrived.  These are Vessel brand which, apparently, are high quality.  High quality tools are everything.

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Ah take a deep breath of the plastic and rubber chemical smells emanating from the Tamiya box. Under any other circumstances these smells would be putrid. But to RC addicts they are an awesome smell. :D

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I also picked up some Fast Eddy bearings. Tamiya should kill the plastic bushing mold forever.

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Step 1 in the build is a diff.  Oh, what's this?  It's a ball diff!  I've built ball diffs before, but never a Tamiya ball diff.  I've heard good things about them so this should be fun.

It looks great all laid out.  I was questioning how much I should tighten the screw that holds the diff together.  Other ball diffs are adjustable and you can ruin them from making them too tight or too lose.  In this case it looks like Tamiya designed in the correct tightness by using the shoulder on the screw.  After much contemplation and dismay I tightened it all of the way.  Hopefully that was right.  But even at all the way tight it doesn't seem to bind.  It actually seems kind of loose for my liking, but Tamiya knows what they're doing so I will trust them.

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Diff installed in the housing.  I am not a fan of this shade of blue by any stretch of the imagination.  I wish these components were still made in red.

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The JIS screwdriver fits tightly in the screws.  Still, there are stubborn screws that are difficult to thread into the plastic and the screwdriver wants to slip and strip the screw head.  That's why I'm not a fan of Phillips / + screws.  As the build continued I also found that there were screws in which the #2 was too large yet the #1 was too small.

Tamiya is awesome.  We all know that.  You won't find more fun per dollar in RC.  They also include clever little tools like this that make certain assembly steps so much easier!

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Very tight clearance between the pinion and diff housing!

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This is my very first TA build and this is a cool little diff!  I'm impressed.

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I really like the plastic coated dog bones.  I'm not sure how well they hold up, but it's a great idea for lubricity and reduced wear!

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Here is the finished rear clip.  It's the diff housing with the suspension bits installed.  I'm not a big fan of plastic links.  I might have to upgrade these to turnbuckles at some point.  Does Tamiya make a TA02T turnbuckle kit?

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As it usually happens, my enthusiasm and excitement take over during a build and I forgot to take many photos.  There aren't many photos of the front differential / front clip, but it's not a big deal as it isn't much different internally than the rear.  The main difference is that the front is a gear differential.

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Here it is with the suspension components attached.

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The next step was to build the shocks.  This is always one of my least favorite tasks in a build.  I've built many shocks, but I still don't feel that I'm good at it.  I do think a large part of that is because of my lack of patience.  I probably close the shocks before all of the air bubbles have risen out of the oil.  These shocks were easy to build and relatively pain free.  I used Noleen SF3 (AKA Associated Green Slime) on the o-rings.  I did not use Teflon tape on the threads like I normally do.

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Next up was attaching the shocks to the front and rear clips.  

One thing I found really interesting is that clinch nuts are used to hold the top shock mounting screws onto the tower.  I've never seen these used on an RC before.  Is this common for Tamiya?  I use clinch nuts quite often as I am a Project Engineer at a large sheet metal fabrication company.

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Shocks on the front clip.

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*Crickets*

But, alas, I will continue...

Here's the chassis with the steering bellcrank and the Savox servo installed.

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Then I installed the rear clip on the chassis.  It looks pretty finished to me.

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Doh!  I forget to install the prop shaft.  What is this?  It's the most spindly looking piece of junk I've ever seen.  Oh well, it will have to do for now because my Yeah Racing shaft has not yet arrived.  Time to remove the rear clip and install the prop wire err shaft.

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There.  That looks complete.

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Press nuts are the DEVIL!

On 10/2/2017 at 6:00 PM, JatoTheRipper said:

One thing I found really interesting is that clinch nuts are used to hold the top shock mounting screws onto the tower.  I've never seen these used on an RC before.  Is this common for Tamiya?  I use clinch nuts quite often as I am a Project Engineer at a large sheet metal fabrication company.

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On 10/2/2017 at 6:00 PM, JatoTheRipper said:

One thing I found really interesting is that clinch nuts are used to hold the top shock mounting screws onto the tower.  I've never seen these used on an RC before.  Is this common for Tamiya?  I use clinch nuts quite often as I am a Project Engineer at a large sheet metal fabrication company.

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They've featured on a few vehicles over the year - four of them are used to bolt the front end of the Astute buggy to the fibre chassis plate. And guess what that design is a bit of a weak link on the Astute !

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As I said earlier, I have wanted the TA02T since the Chevy S-10 body came out.  What reignited my interest in the truck was watching a friend drive his during an "on road day" that a few of us had about a month ago.  It just looked like a ton of fun.  He has the HPI WR8 Rally tires on his F-150 TA02T and they were squealing like 1:1 tires in turns.  It was really cool so I had to have them.

Gluing tires - sometimes it's painless, fun and even kind of relaxing.  Other times it's a pain.  These tires are not the easiest to glue and get the bead seated properly and looking good.  And then, of course, on the last tire the tube popped out of my glue bottle and glue went everywhere.  Luckily, I was able to quickly clean it up so there isn't much left on the tires.

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I think installing the wheels and tires is always the most exciting step.

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Looking good!  Don't mind the messy workbench.  And you can see some of the errant glue on the rear tire in this photo.  

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I took it out for a quick test drive.  It is fun and wow does it stick to the pavement, but it is slow.  This might be a brushless motor.

Of course I received the Yeah Racing motor mount two or three days after I finished assembly.  Oh well.  I'm still awaiting the arrival of the Yeah Racing propshaft.

And my least favorite step is to paint, cut, and decal the body.  I think this is going to get Tamiya's Anodized Blue.  I ordered a decal sheet from MCI Racing, but when it arrived it was the wrong one.  They responded to my email within minutes, literally, and sent out the correct set yesterday.

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On 04/10/2017 at 3:33 PM, JatoTheRipper said:

As I said earlier, I have wanted the TA02T since the Chevy S-10 body came out.  What reignited my interest in the truck was watching a friend drive his during an "on road day" that a few of us had about a month ago.  It just looked like a ton of fun.  He has the HPI WR8 Rally tires on his F-150 TA02T and they were squealing like 1:1 tires in turns.  It was really cool so I had to have them.

Gluing tires - sometimes it's painless, fun and even kind of relaxing.  Other times it's a pain.  These tires are not the easiest to glue and get the bead seated properly and looking good.  And then, of course, on the last tire the tube popped out of my glue bottle and glue went everywhere.  Luckily, I was able to quickly clean it up so there isn't much left on the tires.

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I think installing the wheels and tires is always the most exciting step.

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Looking good!  Don't mind the messy workbench.  And you can see some of the errant glue on the rear tire in this photo.  

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That looks great. Love the wheels on this car

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This is the first I've ever seen this on a Tamiya or any other brand of body.  Only the wheel wells are precut.  That's good because those are the most difficult to cut nicely with the compound curves, but bad because Tamiya decided how large they would be.

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After test fitting the body I think it looks pretty mean even with the large wheel wells.  The front needs to be large for the wheels to turn without contacting the body.  I'm really liking it. B)

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I've been wanting to try Tamiya's Anodized Blue paint since I first learned about it, but I couldn't find anything to use it on.  I decided to give it a shot on this build along with some custom decals I ordered.

I'm not a painter.  I hate everything about it except peeling the outer masking film off of a lexan body.  **** that's such a satisfying feeling! :mrgreen:

I cut out the body and then washed it with dish washing soap like I always do.  I usually go a step farther and scuff the lexan with steel wool, but I decided against that in this case.  I figured the scuffs would show through the anodized color.

I then took my time to spray very light coats for the first two coats.  This tested me because I have the patience of a 5 year old and my lexan paint jobs are usually one or two thick coats.  The third coat was heavier.  The body was still translucent and they want you to back it with black.  This scared me because I thought the black would show through.  While painting the black backing I also cut some of the outer film off of the bed and window trim and painted those black.  That makes a nice, matte finish on the outside.  Good news is that the black backing did not show through the anodized blue paint.  Phew!  Disaster averted...or was it?

As I was peeling off the outer film I noticed what looked like drops.  What the badword?  Hopefully this is on the outside.  It is not! :evil:  The more I peeled the more I noticed tons of defects in the body.  I'm not a happy camper.  I was annoyed that I took the time to do this right and it turned out like crap and it doesn't appear to be any of my doing.

Defects out the wazoo!  The side marks seem to be scratches in the body.  I have no idea what the spots are.  Does anybody have any ideas what they are?

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It looks much better from far away.  Still, the defects drive me nuts!

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This is very, very unlike Tamiya, but the body is also way too thin at spots.  As you can see here there is actually a hole where the body got too thin.  It sucks.  This body is a cluster F from the start at this point.  I guess the benefit of that is I can drive it without worrying about the first scratch.

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