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Random Big Brute musings

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I've working my way through a Big Brute I got on the cheap of late. Like some Tamiya vehicles, there appear to have been some development changes from the early Kyosho Car Crushers to the later variants like the Big Boss. Kyoshos, in general, unfortunately don't enjoy the type of detail orientated scrutiny that vintage Tamiya products do. Info on the "lower end", mostly plastic Kyoshos is somewhat scarce and the Car Crusher series certainly falls into that category. On thing I was curious about was the front knuckles. Internet research found owners' complaints against the Big Brute centered around knuckle issues. In periodicals of the time, it wasn't mentioned until the release of the 4wd Double Dare. At this point Kyosho either altered the design or plastic composition (as mentioned in the magazines then). I've never read about knuckle issues in the later trucks. I wonder if later Brutes got these knuckles too.

The Big Brute, in particular, was also criticized for an overly soft suspension. The situation made worse in its brother, the Nitro Brute:

20210101_121539

 

The issue and a fix involving zip ties was even brought up in the RC video, The RC Car Companion, by Chris Chianelli, which is available for viewing on Youtube. The following is a picture from RC Car Action featuring the Big Brute:

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It looks like the same spring found in the RC Car Companion video. The example of the one I'm working on looks like this however:

20210101_121713

Its a different spring. Articles on following trucks like the High Rider Vette, Double Dare and Big Boss make note of the new, stiffer internal coil spring shocks Kyosho began using, which helped with the bottoming-out issues. The external springs on the Brutes went away, but did return on the USA-1. The A-1 did feature twin coil dampers per wheels which likely helped issues however. So, I'm left wondering if the spring criticized in the magazines pictured was replaced at some point in the Big Brute's production run with the stiffer variant found on my truck. The ones on my Brute feel equally as stiff as the touted internal sprung shocks from the later trucks. 

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I had a Big Brute many years ago  , long before eBay and such so spares were impossible to find . I never had it running and sold it on . Wish I had kept it . Looks like your is turning out well . Look foreward to seeing it finished .

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I always loved the Big Brute, enough that I purchased a Nitro Brute for my first nitro rc. Unfortunately, I was only able to start that thing maybe a half dozen times and finally couldn't take it any longer and sold it. I was able to build a USA-1 and a Double Dare (another favorite of mine) during my few years working in a hobby shop.  Would love to have a shelf queen of one of them and a regular Big Brute runner.  I wish I could help out with some suspension knowledge, but all I can remember is sweating in awful midwest humidity trying to start that thing up. :D

 

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Are you using original tires or have you found an alternative? I loved my Brute, but without tires it just sits in pieces.

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Tires are tricky @isomer1. Brutes have the toughest ones to source. I saw someone stretch 2.2 Proline Destroyers over the stock rims with mixed results. The rims are almost 2.6" Clod size in diameter but far shorter and narrower. The best bet is to get hexes for the axles and run a common 2.2 monster truck wheel and tire combo.

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I did some digging through my old periodicals and found a couple ads leading me to believe Kyosho updated the springs (guessing probably due to complaints/criticism).

This first ad is an early one from when the Brute was first introduced. None of the other Kyosho Car Crushers had been introduced yet, just the Big Brute:

20210102_163513

Besides the ominous, threatening-looking man in sunglasses (or so I thought back then, now my looks scare my mother apparently, lol), we can see the early springs.

The second ad is from later when some of the other Crushers were sharing the spotlight too:

20210102_163742

It features the stiffer springs like my example I'm working through. I like how both ads mention the Big Brute was built from the ground up to be a truck (well, it did use some "car" driveline components) and not a "car" chassis with a truck body. I always felt this was a pretty clear dig at one of the top-selling 2wd monster trucks here in the US, the Blackfoot, for using a ORV/Frog as the base. Ironically, the ORV space frame chassis itself is probably more durable than the Brute's truck-specific tub.

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I had a Big Brute too. I wore it out. The plastic half shafts turned into four pointed stars. I cracked a bulkhead and the weird wheel mounting thingies also cracked. I think I changed out the stock shocks, but I don't remember what I used instead. The steering got sloppy once the steering slider started wearing out. I think I still have the body somewhere. That's all I have left.

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I don't really know anything about these things, but I have always liked the Double Dare... and the Hi-Rider Vette for some reason.

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10 hours ago, RichieRich said:

I had a Big Brute too. I wore it out. The plastic half shafts turned into four pointed starts. I cracked a bulkhead and the weird wheel mounting thingies also cracked. I think I changed out the stock shocks, but I don't remember what I used instead. The steering got sloppy once the steering slider started wearing out. I think I still have the body somewhere. That's all I have left.

I've been lucky with half shafts thus far. I wish Thorp was still around...One of my Big Bosses had a cracked (now repaired) front bulkhead and the wheel disc often show cracks. On that Brute I have, someone managed to actually bend the axle pins somehow through over-tightening. The steering is pretty imprecise. This gets troublesome with the 4WS variants. There's a lot of steering corrections and counter steering in driving my USA-1. Still got the body? Wanna sell it? lol.

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That iconic front bumper always made me smile. I spent so much time just running in to things. And when you were done it made the perfect handle.

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Kyosho's first attempt at cashing in the monster truck craze.

Absolutely Iconic AND a must to anybody into vintage Monster trucks! :)

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I made a couple of videos of my Big Brute today if anyone is interested.  I put details of my Brute's setup in the description.

 

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Great to see this running . I wish I still had my one . Parts were hard to get back then , no internet to search with either , parts are even rarer now

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