gordb

58028 Hilux Build

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My hobby room is carpeted as well. I have a magnet standing by for such occasions. :)

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5 hours ago, markbt73 said:

My hobby room is carpeted as well. I have a magnet standing by for such occasions. :)

I know someone who has one of those mini metal detectors like deterctorists use to hone in on something once they've found the rough location. A bit overkill but I must admit it would come in handy at work sometimes lol.

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As a die-hard NIB and originality nut... I approve this thread ^_^

(Though I’d have stuck with the brass bearings - you’re not going to drive it that hard, are you? ;))

Agree also on the love of NIB, vs YOLO, dilemma. 

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So...I'm a buggy nerd.  That's all I have ever built.  Looking at this Tamiya kit...I never knew they made them this detailed.  The leaf springs and u-bolts look like the real thing.

 

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious...but I just never knew.  Awesome.

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7 hours ago, Hibernaculum said:

(Though I’d have stuck with the brass bearings - you’re not going to drive it that hard, are you? ;))

Certainly no abuse / bashing ... but I'm hoping this car sees it's fair share of trails! (and as I write this - I am reminded of all those build threads that say things like this and end in a "now for sale" post ;)

If it puts your mind at ease, I do have all those lovely period brass "bearings" carefully tucked away in case I need them. And I am planning on running with the transistor speed controller (if it still works).

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38 minutes ago, CJ Topspin said:

So...I'm a buggy nerd.  That's all I have ever built.  Looking at this Tamiya kit...I never knew they made them this detailed.  The leaf springs and u-bolts look like the real thing.

Sorry if I'm stating the obvious...but I just never knew.  Awesome.

Nothing wrong with buggies! They're definitely where I started, and the Hotshot will always be my one true love! But perhaps getting older makes me appreciate slowing down a bit too. And agree the scale detail is mind blowing. Urban legend (perhaps confirmed) is that when Tamiya went to make this model, they first bought in a real 1:1 Hilux and disassembled it to guide development of the RC!

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Ok - it's bumper time!

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First thing that tripped me up here is I had it in my head those black bumper bars were metal. So I pulled the whole kit a part, bag by bag, box by box trying to find them. I'd basically reached the point that I was sure some previous owner had taken those parts out ... and it dawned on me they might be ...

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Here's the bumper frame ready to go together:

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Here's the bumper stays and remaining parts (notice those little black parts are trimmed from a long rubber pipe you get in the kit, and stop the metal rails from banging around on the threaded rod in the middle:

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And here's the frame with a bumper! I was entirely confused by the instructions where they said "don't tighten the nuts up too much" ... what it really means is "barely put them on because I'm about to get you to bend those plastic arms apart to put them around those long screws on the front of the frame".

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Looking good right? ... but such doth pride come before the fall ...

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1 hour ago, gordb said:

Urban legend (perhaps confirmed) is that when Tamiya went to make this model, they first bought in a real 1:1 Hilux and disassembled it to guide development of the RC!

Curious about this. If I remember properly, they did it for the Porsche static model. From what I remember of the story a Porsche mechanic had to be brought in to reassemble the car. He was none too pleased to see it blown apart into millions of pieces. I could totally see Tamiya doing it for the Hilux. Who knows, maybe its the fullsize one being pulled by the group of RC Hiluxes in he early promo out front of the Tamiya building. Wonderful build by the way. I'm loving every detail!

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4 hours ago, Saito2 said:

Curious about this. If I remember properly, they did it for the Porsche static model. From what I remember of the story a Porsche mechanic had to be brought in to reassemble the car. He was none too pleased to see it blown apart into millions of pieces. I could totally see Tamiya doing it for the Hilux. Who knows, maybe its the fullsize one being pulled by the group of RC Hiluxes in he early promo out front of the Tamiya building. Wonderful build by the way. I'm loving every detail!

Saito, now that you say this, I wonder if I'm getting the two confused! Well, it's a good story either way right!

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So the next step in the instructions is to mount the gearbox. That unfortunately is not what I did next. Instead, I ended up here ...

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(note that the wiggly-ness in some of the parts is from the panorama mode camera warping, not the parts!)

So waaaay back at the start of this build, I mentioned that I tested the gearbox/motor. Well apparently not enough. I did get the motor running again, and I did check the gears were smooth, and that I could pull the gear shift out and hit 4wd. What I didn't check thoroughly enough was the high gear. Everything was so smooth and new, I just assumed the two 2wd modes were really close together or something. But on closer inspection of the manual, the gear shift needs to be able to go IN (for high gear) as well as OUT (for 4wd). Out was fine. But there was no pushing the shift rod in - and even a few probing taps with a hammer weren't going to change that (don't worry - these were very exploratory as I didn't want to bend a shift fork!).

I went for a walk to pick one of my sons up from school to ponder my next step. I'd very consciously decided early on to run this stock, and part of that decision was to use the transmission in it's factory assembled state (at least initially). I had no plan to open this bad boy up. So should I just not use high gear for a while until I did a bigger tear-down (probably not a big loss for the driving I was going to do)? Did I ramp up the external force and hope try and shake something loose? In the end I decided two things: 1) I needed to understand what was going on rather than risk more damage, and 2) this would be my only chance to see a 3-speed gearbox in truly factory-fresh state. So open it up I did!

Luckily, this was not my first rodeo - and while there are some minor differences between this and the later gearboxes, it actually went really smoothly. (NOTE this is in stark contrast to my first experience opening up a 3-speed gear box, where gears and springs accordion-ed out of the transmission to the deepest recesses of my room and showed zero interest in ever going back together despite my frantic attempts to jam the top back on)

So sit back, grab a drink, and enjoy a first hand look at a brand new, un-lubricated Hilux gearbox straight out of the box:

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Couple of things I noticed taking this apart. Firstly, there was ZERO lubrication on the nylon spur gear. Nothing at all. Not sure if there was some and it's just entirely dried out, or if they came dry originally. But I can't see how any amount of spray oil is ever going to find it's way up that remote and walled-off part of the gear box, so I am sorely tempted to do something up there before I run it. Secondly, the internal screws were really not very tight at all. I have seen an old runner with at least one of the gearbox screws stripped - so it's taught me to be pretty gentle tightening these up.

Anyway - back to the my missing high-gear ... I actually found the problem pretty quickly. After taking off the motor, spur gear, and the first gearbox section (closest to the motor), I could see that the second shift ring was firmly stuck on the silver gear behind it. I have no idea if this particular kit was always like this, or if this is some artifact of the 37 years it's been waiting to be built (e.g. is this some dried out lubricant turned glue? Is it some chemical/metal interaction? Some minor pressure welding?)  but what I did know is it was really stuck on there HARD, and no amount of pressure from the shift forks, tapping with a hammer or pulling with pliers was moving it anywhere. 

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This whole shift/gear assembly is awkwardly recessed in the gear case, so before I tried to get it off, I figured I'd disassemble the back of the transmission to see if this revealed a way of getting better access to the problem. Unfortunately, this gear just happens to be on the only non-removable shaft in the entire gearbox. So even taking the whole thing apart still left me operating through a pin-hole. And if you're wondering why it looks like there are still 2 gear case sections in the pictures here - these two parts (often called gear case "C") don't screw together like the other parts of the case, they come fused into one piece.

In the end, I decided that to minimise damage to (what I'm sure are) pretty soft metals, my best bet was to slowly lever it off the gear using a screwdriver and turning the gear as I went.

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After 5 minutes of nothing, I was about to give up, when I noticed a small gap below the ring, and after a few more minutes of gentle pressure ... 

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I put a tiny amount of grease on it, and worked it on and off a few times. It still sticks a bit if you force it down with pressure, but should be ok with the spring pressure in the gearbox and some regular exercise. 

Transmission went back together like a dream: super easy to move the gear shift through all 3 gears, and they're all buttery smooth. And I got a chance to check out a factory new gearbox before I run it. Win win!

 

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On 6/9/2018 at 9:42 AM, gordb said:

I do have all those lovely period brass "bearings" carefully tucked away in case I need them. And I am planning on running with the transistor speed controller (if it still works)And I am planning on running with the transistor speed controller (if it still works).

^_^ Upvoted for this.

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So the next step in the instructions is still to mount the gearbox ... but before I did, I needed to make a final decision on how I was going to lubricate and (if necessary) seal it. 

My original plan (of going all-in with the kit's white silicone sealant for full the full 3-speed experience) was dashed when I discovered the provided sealant had perished. Plan B was to source some alternate silicone sealant (as Tamiya doesn't sell it anymore from what I can determine). I did rummage around the garage and found some clear bathroom silicone, but was a bit haunted by all the horror stories of how hard the stuff is to remove (which was going to be particularly painful when it wasn't even the stuff that came in the kit). Plan C was to go with a modern dry lubricant. The instructions are pretty clear they don't think you should put any kind of grease in there - so I grabbed some white lithium grease (which some people swear by for these trucks) and some newer boron/silicon based stuff. Both of these are meant to be good on both metal and plastic gears, and are made to stick to things like bike chains (so they don't fly off at high speed), so you likely wouldn't need to seal the gearbox at all.

But in the end, I decided the original 3-speed experience just wouldn't be complete without going the wet lubricant route (at least to start with), as it's something I've never messed around with, and pretty clearly what Tamiya intended for the truck.

Given the Tamiya silicone option was off the table, I figured I might as well take a crack at making my own gaskets. I first tried some rubber gasket material (which turned out to be too thick) and some fibre/paper (which seems to work ok ... not sure how oil-tight it will be). I traced each gearbox section for the outside and used my lexan body scissors to cut out the shapes.

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The screw holes had me perplexed for a while, as the paper is super thin around these holes which makes it pretty impossible to cut or score out, and any half-hearted holes seemed to gum up the screws (see shonky toothpick-made holes in the first picture). But then I found an awesome 3mm hole punch at the stationary store that was perfect for the job. In the end, I had to trim the insides of a few of these a little more to clear one of the gears, and the shift rod - but not too bad given you need to eye-ball the interior shape (and please let me know if anyone has a template pattern for these - I did search to no avail). Note here's where you really see the differences in the gearcase shapes - as Tamiya continued to tweak these for the Bruiser and Mountaineer, and while the basic layouts are the same, the flanges/solid shapes are different.

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Here's the gearbox together with the gaskets and full o' 3-in-1. I manually applied the oil as I was re-assembling it to make sure it got into all the parts and odd corners of the gearbox. It did leak a little oil when I let it sit for a few minutes - but this might have been because all the gaskets got pretty thoroughly soaked in oil when I had to pull it apart again after lubricating it to find a missing shift ring spring (plus I am trying not to over tighten the screws here, so they're probably not as tight as they need to be to create a perfect seal). It's up on the chassis right now, and no drips or obvious leaks which is encouraging. You can also see I've thrown some Tamiya bullet connectors on the motor (although technically they didn't exist yet, and the instructions actually suggest you twist the wires together with some heat-shrink .... ahhh memories).

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And while I had the gearbox apart again, I also snapped a shot of another unique part of this kit: the pinion is factory installed and hard to remove/replace as there's no grub screw. So if you're looking for original parts, be sure to check for this! The rubber motor cover is also unique to this (and pretty sure the Blazer) and is often split around the terminal connections at the back. This cover is actually part of the gearbox mounting (as you'll see in the next step), so bummer it's so hard to get one in good condition.

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Ok - next step is really installing the gearbox I promise.

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With the gearbox finally sorted, next steps are the gear shift assembly and then mounting it on the chassis:

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Here are the parts for the gear shift assembly:

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And here it is on the gearbox. The instructions are very specific about the measurements here (see the little diagram on the right in the instructions above), but given the shift rod itself has a bit of play in it at rest, it's hard to know exactly where they wanted these to land - but here is it assembled (and from this angle, I need to trim that gasket a bit more!). That spring is also way too thick for the rod it sits on and it tends to flop around at rakish angles - but like a child in a school photo, I've arranged it nicely for this pic ;)

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Here are the parts to mount the gearbox in the chassis and hook up the drive shafts. Note that at both ends, the mount is "soft": the screws holding the back of the gearbox go through those rubber grommets on the centre plate, and the front of the gearbox just rests on the rubber motor cover on that C-shaped plate that screws onto the (otherwise unused in the stock build) front suspension mounts.

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Here's the lot put together. I think the rubber motor cover is meant to go on a tiny bit further, but given the number of these I've seen split at the motor terminals, I'm reluctant to be too forceful with it.

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Here's a quick test run (and before you say it, yes, I know you're not meant to shift these while they're running, but I figured I'd chance it with one hand on the camera and an almighty 1.5V of C-cell power coursing through it's veins).

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Before we press on, I decided I'd open up the beautiful transistor-based speed controller to see what sat inside the star-emblazoned case, as I've always wonder what's in there, and much like the gearbox, I figured this would be my one-and-only chance to see one of these new and used. A lot of older cars seem not to have these fitted - not sure if they break, or if they were just replaced with more modern mechanical or electronic speed controllers over time. I did hook it up to 7.2 volts to see if it still works (as unlike the old mechanical speed controllers of the day, I couldn't get any response with a C-cell), and it seems to be fine - but I have no idea how long it will last. I personally love the look of this box on the chassis - so even if it packs it in, I'll be keeping the case on there.

This part alone sold for a list price of 5800 yen back in the day! I'm sure some of you are much more knowledgeable about the history of speed controllers - but it's interesting to see Tamiya's R&D experimenting with early "electronic" speed controller options here, where kits for years after came with seemingly less sophisticated 3-plate or reostat-based variable speed controllers.

Here's how it comes bundled up in the kit:

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Here it is unwrapped:

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Here's the bottom. That metal arm is rotated by the speed control servo. The neutral position is "spring loaded" (you'll see how in a second), and it seems to have some proportional control. (though without any drive train hooked up, I was pretty gentle with my test).

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And here's what's inside:

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Remember I said neutral was spring loaded - this is achieved through a little "divot" in the plate the arm rotates along. That plate itself is under torsion against the arm, so it "snaps" into neutral (as can be seen in all the pictures above). Now what I haven't done is try to work out how this speed controller actually works (and a quick google didn't turn much up) - so that might be an exercise for another day!

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The instructions tell you to seal this with the same silicone sealant you use on the gearbox. Given I don't plan on full submersion on my first few drives, I'm installing this dry for now. If I do decide more protection is required, I'll probably try making a rubber seal from the rubber gasket material I didn't end up using for the gearbox.

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Great thread, pics are awesome! I love the homemade gaskets. That speed controller is really cool. 

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On 6/11/2018 at 7:59 PM, tamiya_1971 said:

Great thread, pics are awesome! I love the homemade gaskets. That speed controller is really cool. 

Thanks!

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Next step is to install the speed controller, front body post and the steering rod:

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Here's everything ready to go:

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As mentioned earlier, I did go for bullet connectors here to make it easier to work on the car (though I was tempted to pull out a hairdryer and shrink some heatshrink onto some wire just to reminisce about my first Hornet build, which I seem to remember doing a lot of this in). I initially did run the motor wires through that hole in the bulkhead, but like a bad hair day, nothing I tried would get those wires to sit nicely as per the picture (and I didn't want to shorten the wires), so instead I decided to run them along the chassis rail with some zip ties (which I did take from some 80's tamiya spare parts ;) )

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You'll notice I left the motor wires looping up out of the speed controller. I've noticed that a lot of older cars that do still have the speed controller have lost the rubber seal here. It might just be people have swapped out the internals and hence had to re-wire - but I'm guessing if this is a weak point in the car, then pulling half the wires one way (to the motor) and half the other (to the radio box) can't help things, so I've tried to keep them all coming "up" off the deck of the speed controller box as much as possible.

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Into the home stretch now! Just the wheels, radio box and electronics to go (I can't even think about the body at this point).

I'll happily admit putting the wheels on is my favourite part of the build - where all the little parts you've been putting together become a car for the first time, and you start to get a feel for this model's personality and performance. I've been tempted a few times in this build to just leap ahead and throw them on - but my resolve was strong: I was going to build this the way Tamiya told me to, down to the point of using side cutters to remove every part from its plastic prison! Unlike many kits that seem to save the wheels until essentially the last step, Tamiya obviously hadn't learnt that pleasure-deference trick yet, and we get to put them on before the radio box. Note carefully the block of text in the centre of the wheel assembly ... this will come back to haunt me.

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Here are all the parts for this step.

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Now importantly - those tires. I'll admit these (along with the radio box) were the two things I was most curious re: aging/deterioration. Were these going to be dried out and crack as I tried to squeeze the inserts in? Was the whitening on the tires part of the rubber, or was it just mould release that was going to come right off? Here's a close of up them as they came out of the box. My other Hilux kit has (or at least had last time I checked) lovely black tires, which was one of the contributing factors to building up this one). But despite the whitening, they're lovely soft and rubbery - hurrah!

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First stop was a warm soapy bath:

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Took a couple of passes, but eventually got into diminishing returns - so not perfect, but pretty good (I did some spot cleans on those first two as I went):

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Here's the inner tube put together:

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No problems squishing them into the tires:

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... and then I tried to force the rims in. This is as close as I could get (note the gap between the two hubs - these are meant to touch).

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I tried lots of different ways to seat the hubs properly, but eventually, I opened up my English manual (which I should take a picture of at some point - I found this at the bottom of the box, so not sure if this is something a previous owner/importer added, or if this was what Tamiya did for the early kits). That important bit of text says ...

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Game changer!

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And get them on the chassis!

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Now, just look at this flex! This is genuinely as far as it goes before the back tyre lifts off the ground. Obviously adding some weight with the radio box and body will help a bit, but those springs are hard. Perhaps these will soften up a bit with some running ...

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Really good thread had me searching for another 3sp but NO.... well not today :-)

Those springs will never soften, they are the big failure on this model, you simply can’t get articulation. When big T re-re’d the Toyota aka 58397 they addressed it with configurable spring sets, these do work well and you can tune the articulation. The other thing that gets over looked with these as runners is the battery, that big old 6v did not just add run time but weight - much needed weight over the back axels. If you use a modern Lipo then add lead to make up the missing weight.

The only other “I want to run it” comment I would add is that the top 2wd speed is too fast for the trucks handling capability. Low 2wd and high 2wd along with locked hubs are both really good enough for running - I certainly had a lot of fun with my blazer.

You should be proud of this thread, it’s a great read with top picks - keep it I am sure your kids or kids kids would like to read it one day.

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9 hours ago, hedge said:

Those springs will never soften, they are the big failure on this model, you simply can’t get articulation. When big T re-re’d the Toyota aka 58397 they addressed it with configurable spring sets, these do work well and you can tune the articulation. The other thing that gets over looked with these as runners is the battery, that big old 6v did not just add run time but weight - much needed weight over the back axels. If you use a modern Lipo then add lead to make up the missing weight.

That was unfortunately my guess. I do plan to leave this one bone stock (as I have another modified one) ... but this is going to be a tough one to live with.

9 hours ago, hedge said:

The only other “I want to run it” comment I would add is that the top 2wd speed is too fast for the trucks handling capability. Low 2wd and high 2wd along with locked hubs are both really good enough for running - I certainly had a lot of fun with my blazer.

I was thinking that just based on some youtube videos I'd seen, and just seeing how fast and shaky it was looking on mere 1.5V!

9 hours ago, hedge said:

You should be proud of this thread, it’s a great read with top picks - keep it I am sure your kids or kids kids would like to read it one day.

Just so long as we're all being clear that my wife doesn't need to read this, I think we're good!

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On 6/12/2018 at 1:54 AM, gordb said:

I figured this would be my one-and-only chance to see one of these new

I was also lucky to get hold of a new / unused transistor speed controller when I restored my Hilux . Great build thread

Hilux here

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So a little aside: I didn't realise the hub design on this model was actually part of the real truck (but seemingly only on the front what what I've been able to find):

27600953625_4dd0ccc198_b.jpg

Does anyone know if this has a function on the 1:1 truck (e.g. 2wd to 4wd)? Or they just decided to add this huge sticky-outy bits to the centre of the front wheel?

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This is so awesome. I'm very surprised that Tamiya hasn't re-released this one. They did the Bruiser/Mounty. It seems theyve made most of the parts. I wish someone would re-re those hubs! They are awesome. I'd add them to my Mounty Re-Re in a flash!

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