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Well, I am chugging along and gotten ANOTHER build done this year. WOW, how can that be??? Well, this little chassis and body have been with me nearly 9 years I think, so it was about time I got off the throne.
This started more as an idea than purpose build. The idea was more and more influenced by a MATCHBOX Car, I know hard to believe, but it is true. I got the color scheme from a recent offering from Matchbox, even though they have been making a FJ40 for some years now. I cut some custom decals for the body to mimic the Matchbox version and I plan on spraying this with PS55 MATTE Finish when I feel I have enough decals on it to suit my eye.
I had over the years come up with an unpainted, trimmed, window masks installed FJ40 body with a few extra body mount holes put in it. That was cheap enough to buy it even though I didn't know what it was going to sit on at that time. I could not tell you if the body was a CC01 or CR01 body as the decals I used were from a CR01 kit, but I never bought a kit, just the 'used' body. The TL01 chassis came to me cheap enough and I am not even remembering if it had touring wheels or Stadium Raider wheels on it, but regardless, let's just get on with it.
This project was prompted by my M chassis fascination and finding out that M03 parts were shared(and a gear or two) was interesting, so taking a break from the M's I did get this out and proceed to tear it all down for cleaning and reassembly. That was great in theory, but shortly after getting it apart, I found out why it had been for sale cheaply and fell into my lap, front gearbox had a big crack that I even considered gluing back up with 2 part epoxy, BUT, it was so badly cracked and chassis parts are still available in relatively small costs, that I went ahead and bought a new set, that was further followed with a new gear set which was the other fatality. It would seem someone before me had elected to run a steel pinion, but forgot to cover it with that little peekaboo gear mesh cover, sooo, DAMAGED gears with dirt and even small stones meshed into the gear teeth. NOT GOOD
After waiting an eternity, read 10 days ;) I was back at it with all metal parts cleaned and such, I even pre-assembled the standard gear diffs in prep for just dropping them in. Someone before me bought fiber shielded bearings for this, so a simple clean of them. I LOVE that from Tamiya ONE BEARING SIZE ONLY, THANK YOU. The gear diffs got a glop of Dielectric Grease simply because I like it, it works and I had some here. The teeth of the gears were given some slight Ceramic grease coating courtesy Tamiya(sorry Grastens, will get you some soon). I proceeded to build this just as the kit manual instructed. I was able to view them on TamiyaUSA's site, but they were a tad fuzzy at times. The best part of that experience was that the pages were in order unlike the manual scan here on TC as well as I could simply SCROLL through each page with the mouse wheel and that made it easier. I don't usually build with only computer reference, I LOVE the manuals right here in front of me, but since I needed no more excuses to put this build further behind, I went out of my norm and worked it this way. All in all, this kit goes together quick and easy, a near perfect beginner build. Only finicky steps for me was to get the steering in there nice and centered the first time would have been best. All the non chassis parts are of a good flexible plastic, so I can't see how they could ever have a massive failure with normal use, only the hard plastic chassis is suspect to damage of catastrophic proportion, but that is how I got this project in the first place isn't it.
Extra steps involved came when I added a couple of Hop Ups, the rear sway bar. You could graft a sway bar on both ends, but the Hop Up kit only supplies enough 'extras' to get ONE bar installed, a shame really, but the special hardware can be gotten from the M03 sway bar kit, but then extra pieces will be around. If only we could get those little alu spacers for filling the arms, I bet someone has a way of doing this, I might have something to experiment with later. Now I also turned my attention to the 'Adjustable Upper Arm Set' which is a bit of a laugh since they have no easily adjustments to them, you make them up to the spec per installation and then snap them onto some ball ends that you have to thread into areas previously seeing a self tapper screw, so BE CAREFUL on not cross threading anything, I think these were a bit novel more than useful. I forewent putting the Stainless Steel Suspension Shaft Set on as I didn't have an extra set if I am honest and well, I want this to be a simple runner for friends to drive around here and so finicky was not the nature of this car.
Nothing else special about this, found an HPI 35T motor that has been around here ages as well as an LRP Runner ESC that had the right connection for my ONE good testing battery and it went in and set up, so it must be working and it was smallish enough to go into the space provided. Standard and OLDISH Futaba radio gear installed and a test drive proved it all works and I really did give it some full throttled turning and such and wasn't able to flip it over or roll it, so where I might have thought the 35T motor was going to be 'slower' than it is, I have to admit it works well in both speed and handling department. I have these same tires on Hummers and know from that experience that they are not that great, but it seemed to handle better than a Hummer with the same tires. I am beginning to wonder if it is only the 540 standard motor from Tamiya in the Hummer was to blame for the lack of grip and such with the last time I drove it or if it was the TA series chassis that could be the culprit. I am thinking of getting a couple more 35T motors, even if they are HPI and putting one in a Hummer to see if it helps it handle better on the same tires.
Well, aside from a build thread, this seems to be following my standard length description of a car I build, so enjoy and COMMENTS WELCOME