rc_ox

rc_ox's FJ40 CC01 Build

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Hi TC folks! This is my first thread on the forum.
 
A quick r/c biography: I admired the Hornet in the late 80's and finally got my first kit, the Madcap in the early 90's. I gave nitro a go with a Thunder Tiger Celica rally car (hated it with a passion), then came back to electric cars with a second Madcap. My last car was on-road, a TA02 upgraded special edition Calsonic Skyline - awesome car, loved it! Sadly my Madcaps are long gone but I still have the TA02 and hope to rebuild it as a runner in the near future - keep an eye out for that thread!
 
I started looking at r/c cars again (+20 years on) when my son was old enough to become interested (a common scenario, I'm sure!) I fell in love with the FJ40 (CC01) probably thanks to my grandfather having one back in the 80's. I did a LOAD of reading of online forums (a little too much perhaps) in anticipation of the build. There is so much info out there on the CC01 chassis. I found @XV Pilot's CC01 Pajero Project thread a great resource and kept coming back to it. I also became addicted to Matteo's Youtube channel - every time I hear that backing music in his videos I reach for my wallet and want to buy another kit or upgrade something....anything. 
 
I've been reading these pages for about a year now. What a great community and resource it is! I thought I would share the love and upload a build thread of my FJ40 (CC01) as I learnt a thing or two along the way. Unfortunately I didn't photograph a lot of the initial build but there are already a bunch of CC01 build threads out there. I thought I'd highlight some of the changes and upgrades I've made over the past few months.
 
The plan was to keep it stock and upgrade slowly to appreciate the difference of each modification. From all my reading, the following areas needed some attention: 
 
Tyres - stock ones look scale but are way too hard.
Steering - the stock plastic steering is pretty crude and develops quite a lot of slop. 
Suspension - the rear plastic links are fairly soft and interfere with the engagement of the shocks.
Motor and pinion - something a bit slower than the stock 540 would give it a more "scale speed" and I heard steel pinions are the way to go. I remember chewing through the aluminium ones on my Madcap and TA02 regularly. 
Bearings - the first thing I learnt back in the day was to get rid of those plastic bearings and bushings ASAP. Better run times and no slop with wear. 
Scale accessories - that FJ40 body looks fantastic but I was really looking forward to adding some cool scale accessories. 
 
So I took the plunge and picked up the following gear from my local hobby shop:  
  • Toyota Landcruiser FJ40 (CC01 chassis)
  • Futaba 3PRKA 3 channel radio. 
  • Hitech D645MW servo
  • 4700 NiMH battery
  • Paint for the body (white roof, black fenders and main colour) 

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I ordered the bearing kit online around the same time so I had to slow the build down (rather than use the stock plastic "bearings") and wait for them to arrive. In the meantime I built everything I could that didn't need bearings.

It was pretty exciting unpacking another Tamiya kit after all these years....(that smell)....Unpacking.thumb.JPG.a570a7755d436ccd5207ebefe725eb8e.JPG

The bearings finally arrived so I got stuck into the build. All wired up and ready for a test run around the house...

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To be continued....
Next - body trimming, washing, masking, painting and decals!
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Cheers @TurnipJF! Here is the next instalment ;) 
 
I was looking for a "classic" colour - I seem to remember my grandfather's FJ40 was grey. The PS colour range is pretty bright but I thought Corsa Grey (PS-32) would work well for a vintage look. (I later read about adapting the TS colours with a base coat of clear PS - maybe I'll try it out on a new shell one day). 
 
It was pretty tricky to trim some of the corners in the front but I was happy with the end result. I also sanded out the rough edges left over from my cutting. Windows and headlights were all masked off, next is the roof. As it was to be white, it would the the last section painted (starting with the black fenders, main body colour then white roof).  
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Rear fenders and bumper get painted first (darkest colour). 
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I spent ages getting the edge of the roof masked neatly. The kit comes with white decals to help get a neat edge around the roof but I decided not to use them. The first coat of PS-32 goes on!
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While I let the first couple of PS coats dry I got onto the silver body accessories. The LHS didn't have TS-17 (Gloss Aluminium) so I went with X-16 Flat Aluminium for the bumper, grill and indicators. 
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Back to the body...the main colour is complete. Time to finish the roof with white. I picked up a few tips for painting. Keep the tin sitting in warm water to improve the paint flow.
 
I don't think I was holding the can close enough to the painting surface as I needed a second can to get the coverage I wanted. (I still remember the mess I made of my first Madcap - I was way too close and had paint dripping out of the shell :( )
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The cabin of the FJ is quite deep so it's tricky to get into the sides but I am happy with the final result. PS paints are done! Peeling that protective film is so satisfying :D
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Decals and wiring next! I underestimated the size of the decal job. Every window is lined with black trim so there is a lot of cutting and fiddling to get them straight and meeting up neatly. Stay tuned for the finished product! 
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Looks great!

Since you are addressing the tyre issue, presumably with the ubiquitous Kongs, are you also considering fitting the steelies that they are often supplied with, or are you wanting to stick with the stock wheels?

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I agree @jeekelemental :)

Thanks @TurnipJF - yes, definitely steelies. I'm not too fussed on the stock plastic wheels and some extra weight would be welcome! 

All done. I love how it has come together. The window decals took a while but they came up pretty well. I didn't use the white ones for the edges of the roof, I think the masking job was good enough. I really love the LED set that comes with the kit. I can't wait add some scale accessories!

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(The interior needs to be dealt with - the wires detract from the scale appearance. That can be dealt with later ^_^ )

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Thanks @Man1c M0nk3y! I'm enjoying your DT03 build a lot. I've been thinking about what Tamiya buggy would fill the "Madcap sized void" in my r/c garage ;) The DT03 looks cool.

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Tyres

@TurnipJF, I didn't know about the Kongs until after I had sourced some Mud Thrashers. To be honest, I got a bit lost/confused with all the cheaper options on eBay and I didn't really trust what I would get in the mail - I wanted to keep the scale look if possible. 

I found the size chart on RC4WD's site helpful as it had the tyre dimensions in millimetres and I was able to compare it to the stock tyres. I almost went with some Gmade wheels (SR04 or SR05) but couldn't find any in stock (at the time). RC4WD have a great tyre range but they were very expensive to order direct. I fell in love with their Goodyear tyres and steel Landies but they would cost around AUS$170 to ship to Australia - that's more than half the cost of the kit! 

After a bit more reading I found out that the Trailfinder2 kit comes with Mud Thrashers on steel beadlocks as standard and people often sell them 'as new' and get their preferred wheel/tyre combo. As I wanted to keep them under 100mm in diameter, I thought these would work.  This video convinced me I had the right sized tyre: 

 

I found a set of Mud Thrashers mounted on 1.55" steel beadlocks on eBay (from an r/c shop in the US). They were around AUS$80 delivered. They are awesome. 

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Stock on the left, Mud Thrashers on the right.

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6 hours ago, rc_ox said:

Thanks @Man1c M0nk3y! I'm enjoying your DT03 build a lot. I've been thinking about what Tamiya buggy would fill the "Madcap sized void" in my r/c garage ;) The DT03 looks cool.

Thanks. I haven’t any experience beyond the DT03 but for a entry level/novice model I’m finding it great fun with plenty of options to tweak. 

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(I guess I should have called this article an "Upgrade" thread - as I don't really have detailed build steps like some other posts on TC. )

These Mud Thrasher tyres are fantastic, they have made such an improvement in traction. 

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Anyway, on with the upgrades! 

I heard good things about the Junfac 4-link upgrade kit - http://junfac.com/product/cc01-4-link-suspension-conversion-with-skid-plate/389/ 

The stock plastic links in the rear are pretty soft so the rear shocks don't get to engage properly with all that flex. I also wanted to get a little more articulation and body roll so I decided to get Tamiya's barrel springs #54666. I think I put MEDIUM on the front and SOFT on the back (the HARD set have gone on the front of my Wild Willy 2 ). 

The instructions for the Junfac kit are pretty much non-existent. However RC Mojo has done a great job of creating some in their absence, here: http://www.rcmojo.com/691/articles/junfac-cc01-suspension/#comment-24375 

The build quality of the kit was very impressive but I hit a snag when I realised that it was designed for the shorter wheelbase Pajero CC01 as pictured on their site. The FJ40 has a slightly longer wheelbase so the lower links don't reach up under the skid plate like in the instructions. 

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The link should reach the screw at the end of the arrow in the above picture. As you can see the link still has a mount point so it all works ok. I managed to neaten it up with some leftovers from the parts tree. There were two unused black plastic tube sections that were the perfect length to sit between the skid plate and the chassis. I slipped them over the screw to hide the exposed thread and provide some support for the skid plate when you tighten it down (sorry, no pic at the moment, I'll post it later). 

Barrel springs and 4-link/skid plate installed...

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The springs performed exactly as I had hoped. They are quite soft to begin with and ramp up in stiffness as the impact increases. You get some nice articulation without bottoming out. 

The Junfac 4-link setup looks slick. It's a little stiff but I assume this will loosen up with use. 

The skid plate adds some weight down low. Unfortunately it also decreases the (already low) ground clearance as the edge sits proud and snags some obstacles. I'll leave it on for now. 

 

IMG_2515

 

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18 hours ago, jeekelemental said:

Mate... it's the time for you to start to think to remove the front brick B)

Nooooooo!!!!  I don't think I could bring myself to hack it off!  :D 

You have a point though - the brick is very prominent and catches easily. I think I have been compensating with an angled approach to hit the tyre first.

I'll think about it....

;) 

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It's amazing how much CC01 my dremel has eaten :D

Love the build though, bit of a ****** about the skid plate. I bought some used mud thrashers and 1.55s for my Pajero build - much more squishy. Sadly the rub, so I think that hungry dremel will need to have a go at the body.

The colour of this is spot-on. 

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Thanks @ChrisRx718

I don't own a Dremel (yet). If I ever get one, the brick might be on the menu  ;)

Yeah, the skid plate is fine on trail running but once you hit the rough it's leading edge seems to catch too easily - a friend of mine ended up removing his not long after installing it.

I heard the Pajero (love that body) can be tight with tyre clearance. I have a tiny bit of rub in the front arches when hitting steeper inclines at an angle - nothing too bothersome though.

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9 hours ago, rc_ox said:

Nooooooo!!!!  I don't think I could bring myself to hack it off!  :D 

You have a point though - the brick is very prominent and catches easily. I think I have been compensating with an angled approach to hit the tyre first.

I'll think about it....

;) 

Well, it only partially concerns the approach angle: dimensions are a part of the problem, the rest is about its shape. A different shape allow the front end to slide and the stock one drag and stop on obstacles.
Be brave, grab the saw :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

 

B)

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@jeekelemental You are right. The dimensions are pretty horrific - it really sticks out and looks as impractical as it is. I guess the original intention for this chassis was a Cross Country trail runner but it's fun to push the limits. 

Since upgrading the tyres I felt that it need some weight to help them grip even more. I have wrapped a few fishing sinkers in gaffer tape and stowed three in the front (brick) and three over the back axle. It seems to help improve traction.

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6 hours ago, rc_ox said:

@jeekelemental You are right. The dimensions are pretty horrific - it really sticks out and looks as impractical as it is. I guess the original intention for this chassis was a Cross Country trail runner but it's fun to push the limits. 

Since upgrading the tyres I felt that it need some weight to help them grip even more. I have wrapped a few fishing sinkers in gaffer tape and stowed three in the front (brick) and three over the back axle. It seems to help improve traction.

I agree, the front end is much light... if I'm not wrong, in the good old days, people were used to mix fishing sinkers with epoxy in the attempt to mold weights for rc planes/gliders. I've planned to do the same wiht my CC.

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Great fun to modify these rigs, here is my old girl. Wasn't much left stock, extensive chassis cutting, custom shocks, suspension links, gear reduction, servo winch, steering mods, bigger tires ect. Was always a favorite in a sea of axial crawlers on the trails.

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13 hours ago, rc_ox said:

Since upgrading the tyres I felt that it need some weight to help them grip even more. I have wrapped a few fishing sinkers in gaffer tape and stowed three in the front (brick) and three over the back axle. It seems to help improve traction.

Don't put them on the chassis, just stuff the lead weight into the tyre! Whether you bother taping them to the wheel or just let them roll free inside the rubber, up to you.

 

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@Chicken Man she's a beauty! I read about all the modifications people under take - very impressive. It must be a shadow of it's former self under that body. I'd love to see how it performs. 

 

@WillyChang - thanks for the tip. I have heard of people putting weight in the wheels. To be honest - I haven't taken these beadlocks apart at all. I don't have a socket small enough to fit the tiny bolts on the outside. They are running foams too. I guess I could tape some flat weights to the rims if I ever disassemble them. 

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5 hours ago, rc_ox said:

@Chicken Man she's a beauty! I read about all the modifications people under take - very impressive. It must be a shadow of it's former self under that body. I'd love to see how it performs. 

I have a couple videos on youtube of it in action from back in the day. Just wish I had painted those yellow springs and front bash plate black, was always going to do it but never got around to it.

Here is one

 

 

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@Chicken Man great clip! Looks like you have some great terrain in your backyard (...is that a hills hoist I spy? Looks a bit Aussie:)

That drag brake comes in handy by the look of it. I was thinking of a Quicrun from HK to replace the TBLE-02s. A friend has one in his CC01 and it seems to work well.

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Good spot on the hills hoist. Yep you definitely need a drag brake esc makes it heaps easier to drive. I had 2 different setups one was the stock silvercan with stock esc and a hpi gear reduction. It was geared so far that it didn't need the drag brake it would just hold itself from the gearing. But I found I didn't have quite enough wheel speed so I changed to a braked esc 70 turn motor and no gear reduction and that was my preferred setup. Still crawled awesome but just a touch more wheel speed when needed. Also run weights in the wheels, just hot glued some sinkers inside the rims. 

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Great info @Chicken Man, thanks! I'll definitely swap the ESC for one with a drag brake. I found the stock silver can was a bit too fast. I swapped it out for a HPI crawler 55T motor. Much better "scale speed" and plenty of torque. I also changed the stock aluminium pinion to a steel one.

 

 

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