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gordb

58028 Hilux Build

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So, it's my birthday today, and I decided this was the year to start enjoying a few of the vintage kits I'd stashed away to build "when I was older" (not that I'm admitting to myself or you, dear reader, that I am in fact old, but just that there's no time like the present, right?)

And what better way to start than with a kit I've wanted to build for quite a while: the 58028 Hilux! 

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Step 1: test the gearbox and motor. There were a few harrowing moments where I tried D-cell after D-cell trying to get a sign of life out of the old girl after her long rest. After taking the motor off and giving it a few spins, it finally sparked to life. Perhaps someone knows what's behind this wierdness?

Step 2: test the Tamiya Silicone Seal on a test part to see if it's still good after 37 years sitting in the box (the jury is still out on that one, going to give it a while to cure). I did wrestle a bit on whether I should do a dry build, or build it the way 12 year old me would have built it back in the day - and re-sale / shelf-queens be damned! I'm going to build this the way I would have as a kid, messy silicone and all - and then drive it around ;)

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Step 3: start assembling the chassis rails! I carefully laid out all the parts, screws, nuts, spacers (and I'm sure the fact I'm using Japanese instructions isn't helping me, but my goodness Tamiya has come a long way in terms of bagging the parts to match the assembly) ...

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And finally, it was time to bolt the first parts together. I pulled out the oldest tube of thread lock I've ever seen. I reached for the box wrench ... then I reached a bit more. Then I went through the other blister to see if it was hiding on that. Then I went through all the boxes under the blisters. And finally, I checked the instructions ... and sure enough, it shows a picture of a decidedly non-Tamiya flat stamped wrench.

Am I missing something? Is it hiding somewhere in the box and I just haven't found it? Or was the box wrench added later on? If so, which was the first kit that had it?

 

 

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I remember building one of these - might have been over Christmas 1981 - don't recall a box wrench being included, just a horrible flat spanner. 

Where would we be without the iconic Tamiya box wrench ?

I must have about 50 of them now !

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This is brilliant. Please keep going with the build photos. It's the closest I'll ever get to one of these wonderful kits.

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46 minutes ago, markbt73 said:

It's the closest I'll ever get to one of these wonderful kits.

Sadly the case here also. 

That threadlock...the smell! Love that smell :)

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8 hours ago, NWarty said:

Sadly the case here also. 

That threadlock...the smell! Love that smell :)

So the first casualty of 37 year hibernation is, unfortunately, the threadlock. I'm not sure how easy it is to tell from the picture below, but despite being perfectly sealed, the threadlock has dried out inside the tube. It's mostly air with some solid threadlock in it (the picture shows how flat it is once I squeezed the air out). So this is the first non-original part of the build - I've switched to some brand new Tamiya threadlock - but sticking with old-school blue rather than the new sticky red stuff.

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The second casualty is perhaps less surprisingly the silicone sealant. Despite still be a nice soft white goo, after a full day on a test part, it's still liquid, so guessing the hardening agent/rubber is gone in that. This one might be harder to fix as I don't believe Tamiya make that any more (or if they do, you can't buy it as a spare part). Now I should know this as I built one a year or two back - does the Bruiser re-re come with silicone? If it did, I didn't put it on.

Guessing I can just use some standard DIY silicone sealant from the hardware shop?

 

 

 

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With my threadlock issue solved, I tracked down the offending flat wrench in the "here's a random collection of tools, grease and rubber things" bag. Those marks are not actually dust/dirty - they're dents/scratches on the bag from whatever was jiggling around with it.

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I then proceeded to finish step 2 (my first real building step - step 1 was to apply the silicone to the gearbox and speed controller ... presumably so it can dry a bit before you have to attach those parts ... but I've had to skip that for a bit while I work out what I'm doing for silicone)! Yes - all of this is one step, and it involves a whole bunch of spacers are screws that are only a mm different in length and super tricky to differentiate - no kid-gloves for model builders back in '81. Also note the front leaf mounts are just "lined up with the holes". For some reason you're meant to sit these on the frame and have them slide off whenever you look at the frame until you add the screws in the next step.

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I'm pretty sure there's an error in the instructions here. If you look closely at the picture below, you can see that the flange nut at the back (holding on the bumper stay) has a super short screw in it (10mm - that doesn't make it past the end of the nut), where the screw on the leaf spring arm has a longer 15mm screw.

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I triple checked this in the manual because it doesn't match the screw used in that same spot on the front leaf spring arm - plus it seemed odd to use a short screw on a semi-structural part of the frame, where you had a much bigger screw just holding a rotation limiter in place. And indeed  - and if you look at the picture in the left margin that shows a detail view of the front/rear leaf arms, it shows the two 3mm diameter screws being the same length. Perhaps a 3-speed guru can confirm - but in keeping with my "build it like 12 year old me would have done" philosophy, I will follow the manual!

UPDATE: I just realised looking at this again that the left and right frames actually have DIFFERENT screw lengths there (right is 10mm, left is 15mm). I'm going to give big T the benefit of the doubt here and assume they need the shorter screw on the right frame to avoid hitting some part of the radio tray or catching on one of the steering/gear shift arms.

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Ok - next casualty! The very cute green tube of grease has leaked inside this bag somehow. You can see it on the bag, and all the parts are super greasy.  Even the top of the bag (where it was folded over and stapled) was pretty greasy, which makes me guess is vapour not just paste. Not super clear where the leak is (as the top is still sealed) ... maybe that's a crack right near the label? 

I'm wondering if (read: desperately hoping) this might be a blessing in disguise as the very greasy rubber parts seem to be pretty black and supple, so perhaps this helped keep them lubricated? Packaging genius?

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Anyway, here's the next step ready to go ... get your threadlock ready!!!

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Great pics! You can probably auction that vintage thread lock tube with the box on eBay! :) 

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17 hours ago, tamiya_1971 said:

Great pics! You can probably auction that vintage thread lock tube with the box on eBay! :) 

If anyone wants a dead tube of threadlock and wants to pay postage and packaging from Canada - let me know ;)

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As you have probably guessed - I'm taking my time and enjoying every step, part, screw, and usually-annoying-threadlocking in this amazing kit, as chances are I won't build another one of these for a while!

Here's a closeup of the rather gorgeous rear bumper. Really nice shiny rounded finish I don't remember seeing on any kit I've built before. Hard to capture the beautiful chromatic effect on the inside from the fabrication process unfortunately. 

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And here are the frame rails, together at last ...

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And that ends page 1 of the instructions! (noting that I've already cheated and put off sealing the gearbox until I can nip down to the hardware shop)

 

 

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Now onto step 4 ... just look at that frenzy of grease and threadlock! Not only is this kit full of tiny flat brass nuts, but I just realised I don't think any of the nuts here are nyloc'ed!

Interesting to note that while they purely number all the parts in the English instructions (e.g. E5), the Japanese instructions give you the part spec (3mm diameter x 7.5mm long).

 

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First thing I noticed when I flipped the chassis over is that it wasn't level. Not a huge surprise because even bolting the rails together, I had to pull the rails/cross-braces to get the screws to line up. I couple of twists and I got it squared up. Not sure if this is common in this model, or just some bending of the rails in this kit (as it hasn't belonged to me the whole time - so it might have been through some heating/cooling over time). It is pretty easy to twist - perhaps the mount for the gearbox + the radio tray add some rigidity.

Here are all the parts for step 4 ready to go ...

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9 hours ago, Vturbo said:

Charlie’s from toronto,That what you told me.You gonna build it someday

Hi Charlie! Welcome to the forums!

I'm not sure if I really believed myself when I told you I was going to build it (or if I was just trying to talk myself into it). As a NIB collector, opening those first blisters and bags up, and putting the first parts together was pretty daunting. But zero regrets! Really enjoying this kit and feeling a connection to it I've never had with the model sitting in the box on a shelf ... and I do have a spare in the box "just in case" ;)

You should post up some pics of your projects!

 

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Hats off to you for opening and building a nib . I've restored one of these and it was a lengthy but rewarding experience :)

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Attaching the leaf springs and front bumper mount.

Only real surprise in this step was how uncomfortably tight this fit is for the leaf spring eye spacers. Really had to squeeze these into the mounts here. I did consider loosening the screws holding the mount onto the frame here (because as you tighten these onto the frame, it definitely does pull the part closed a bit) - but once I pressed it in, the spacer (inside the leaf eye) wedges into the mount, and the leaf rotates just fine. 

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The other interesting thing here is how complex the front bumped mount is. Some of the holes are just there to give the screws underneath somewhere to go. And both the mounting screws have a thin nut mid-way through the assembly, and then a bigger one at the end. But it does look nice and shiny. Note that right now, it's only that back bolt which actually holds this on, and even when the assembly is complete, the other screw there obviously has some play around that mid-nut poking through - which I think is part of the reason you see a lot of slightly rotated front bumpers on these kits.

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Here's the end of the step with everything on. These leaf springs are H-A-R-D. Really hard. As in, they might have well just bolted the axles straight to the frame. I've heard that some of this might be to do with the weight of the original 6 volt battery packs you're meant to use (and perhaps with that much weight, the leaf springs actually work a bit). But with modern batteries, these really don't do much at all. A lot of runners I've seen swap these out with other softer leaf springs (e.g. off the Juggernaut or Hi-lift) - but some of these require drilling new holes and I haven't seen any which preserve the nice low ride height of the Hilux which is a big part of its look (and raising the ride height makes the wheels look even smaller). My current runner is already kitted out with a bruiser axle swap (softer ride, more ground clearance, bigger wheels - looks pretty awesome) - but this one will be stock as I want the full 1981 experience.

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Here's another example of the crazy engineering that disappeared in the 2nd generation of 3-speeds - these rubber + metal spacers are the "floating" rear mount for the transmission if I remember correctly. Perhaps this helps offset the insanity of the hard leaf spring "suspension" ;)

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Close up on the front. Note the shock mounts here aren't used in the stock kit! You need to buy the optional and separate shock upgrade kit to use these (or the semi-lay-down rear shock mounts under the cross members). The optional shocks are the same parts used for Sand Scorcher, et at (small front, larger rear) - but the Hilux sticker sheet does include a cool sticker to make them special to this kit. My other runner has these - but I haven't tracked down a vintage NIB set for this build yet (tamiya part 50118), so if you have one you could part with, please shoot me a PM as I'd love to have some period shocks on this at some point!

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Next is the front axle:

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Before I can start, I need to open my first blister card! "First?" you say, "But Gordon, you've already put half the chassis together". So, I had two NIB Hilux kits, and this one was kindly opened and inspected by Canadian customs when it was shipped to me. So the other blister card was already separated when I got it (not sure if it was customs, or it just came loose in transit). In any event, this is the first blister I actually get to open myself! I will say, given how "delicate" these often seem, and how a lot of them just come off on their own - this one was SUPER well glued to the card, just like the day it was made. It was really hard to pry it off even enough to pull the parts out the side.

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Next dilemma ... those brass bushings you see up there. I went back and forth on whether to build this totally stock (meaning I put those awful brass "bearings" - they actually call them bearings) everywhere, of if I put some real bearings in. In the end, I decided to go with bearings from day 1: the extra wear on the screws and parts running for a bit and then pulling it back apart and prying those bearings out of the gear case (notice the outside is serated so it really sticks into the gear cases hard). And respecting my "build it like 12 year old me would have build it" philosophy, I did usually build with the bearings whenever I could. I don't have a full bearing set (e.g. to tear down the tranny and ballrace it) - so I'll save that fun for another day. But I did happen to have a Frog bearing set I was going to put into that build which will give me most of the bearings I need to keep going for now. A lot of these bearings sit on the outside of the gearbox where the Universal joints connect in - so going with rubber shielded to keep more of the dirty out. Note also the wierd flanged bushings there - I know you can replace these with a small bearing and a shim - but that will be a job for an update down the road.

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Note also that some of the more important bushings are pre-assembled on to the front axis. I have seen some instructions somewhere for changing these to bearings - but I don't fancy attacking that brand new front axle - so those will stay bushings for now.

 

Here's the front axle ready to be assembled:

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Given the original grease leaked in the box - I'm going with anti-wear grease to protect the parts as much as possible (as this stuff is a lot of metal-on-metal), and I don't plan to open these up very often, so hopefully this stays put.

 

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Front axles coming together - now moving onto the uprights and those amazing one-way hubs:

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Here are the hubs with pre-installed bearings. Note these are not symmertric (hence the L/R labelling) ... we'll see why in a second ...

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This is how "metal" this build is ... we now finally reach the first plastic part of the build! (the little hub cap things on the left - the larger parts on the sprue are the tyre inserts). Everything up to this point (other than the rubber eye grommets) has been metal, threadlock or grease:

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The front hub/upright assembly:

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Now, here's a close up of the super cool lockable one-ways on the front hubs. This first picture shows the 4 silver roller pins that sit around the axle. When driving forward, the rotation of the axle (anti-clockwise on the assembled part on the right) presses the rollers against the hub causing the hub to lock. When you reverse the direction, the pins sit in the wider part of the hub and let it freewheel. The AW grease here makes these work really well. Now we see why the left/right hubs are different - if you look at the ramped shape the pins sit on, they zig-zag in opposite directions so the one-way is forward for both wheels.

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And here's the spring-loaded cap that lets you swap between direct-drive and one-way hubs. If you look at the hub on the left, you'll see there are 4 quadrants around the axle/e-clip: two that are raised, and two that are not. Now, if you look at the hub cap on the right, you'll see it has a tab which drops into those quadrants. The spring that holds the cap on let's you pull it out and turn it. When you twist the cap so the tabs land on the raised quadrants, the slotted end cap is held outside the axle, allowing the one-way hub (shown above) to control the wheel. If you turn the cap 90 degrees so the cap tabs slot into the deeper quadrants, the slot cut into the end cap slides down onto the top of the axle and it's fully locked by the cap.

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Now, just for fun, here's a little game I decided to play in the middle of this build: find the screw. We just moved into this house, and the carpet in this room is remarkably good at camouflaging screws! See how long it takes you to find the 2x6mm screw cheekily hiding in this picture ...

(and just to give you a fighting chance, it's a silver round-head screw, and you'll want to click on the picture a few times to get the full size image)

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Use a really bright flashlight to find them :)   I used to build a lot of scale ship models with photoetch tiny items(like 1/350 windshield wipers).  Even the tiniest tamiya nut is a very large part compared to that stuff.  Respect the carpet monster!

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While I await your contest entries finding that screw, I'll keep going with the build!

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To complete the front axle, we just need the tie and steering rods. As one of the earlier kits, the Hilux includes metal rod ends (both parts are metal, including the black part - makes me happy). Not sure how they decided which parts get metal vs plastic (as the kit has both) - but I do like these. Despite being metal-on-metal on the rod, these don't get threadlocked, instead a single nut is added to one end, and I guess as long as both ends can't rotate, this is enough to stop them loosening off:

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Which gives us all the parts to finish the front axle! I know from experience that most runners have a terrifying amount of play in the front uprights (a combination of the king pin plates deforming, and wear on the king pin/socket itself. But given these are exposed to dirt, I guess there's not much I can do (as adding AW grease here would just turn it into liquid sand paper).

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2 hours ago, kevinb120 said:

Use a really bright flashlight to find them :)   I used to build a lot of scale ship models with photoetch tiny items(like 1/350 windshield wipers).  Even the tiniest tamiya nut is a very large part compared to that stuff.  Respect the carpet monster!

After losing that screw 3 times, and then dropping a few of those tiny e-clips in there - I have the utmost respect for this carpet monster! ;)

I was mostly just in awe of how quickly things disappeared. I could watch the screw fall, and the second it hit the carpet, it was GONE. 

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Rear axle is a lot simpler:

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... or would be if the axle gear wasn't a grotesque franken-gear! That mold excess on the side of the gear was fouling the bevel shaft or the inside of the case. Nothing a quick run in with my file couldn't fix.

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Here are all the parts ready to go. Unlike the front axle (which had 3 bushings held captive by the dogbones), we can ballrace most of this one. The only bushings remain on the flanged bearings on the ends of the silver axle collars. I don't think the inside of the axle is narrow enough to capture an unflanged bearing here, so for now, these have to stay.

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And here's the rear hub assembly:

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We're now ready to put the axles on the chassis:

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And here's everything together so far. This only re-affirms how crazy stiff these leaf springs are. I'm determined to build this stock - but it's hard to believe that's not going to be the very first change

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On 6/2/2018 at 9:35 AM, KEV THE REV said:

Hats off to you for opening and building a nib . I've restored one of these and it was a lengthy but rewarding experience :)

Thanks Kev! It certainly took me a while to build up to it - but in the end, I decided a) we only live once, b) while I still LOVE NIBs, I didn't really get to enjoy them as they're generally packed away, c) eventually, the parts are going to degrade in the box (though so far, I'll admit everything has held up amazingly well - other than the tubes of sealant/threadlock and some yellowing on the radio box - everything looks and feels great). And perhaps most importantly, d) the blister had come off anyway, so it was basically half-built already and clearly a sign from the universe this one was meant to be built!

(I also fully recognise that without a second NIB to keep, there is no way I would have been able to part with such an amazing kit ... though I will admit building this has me looking at some of my other NIBs in a brand new light ... )

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On 6/5/2018 at 8:55 PM, gordb said:

We just moved into this house, and the carpet in this room is remarkably good at camouflaging screws! See how long it takes you to find the 2x6mm screw cheekily hiding in this picture ...

Get laminate / wood flooring  = easy to find dropped bolts etc ;)

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