Status: How To Guide
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In a deliberate attempt to only use Tamiya parts and reduce the amount of cutting to the body a small number of adjustments were made to the donor GF-01 chassis.
Firstly, the two rear body mounts were cut from each of the main chassis halves because the WR-02 WW2 side rails and body posts remain the preferred method of mounting the body (as justified later). Secondly, a low profile steering servo is used as per the Super Astute. Mine turned out to be about 2 mm wider than standard servos so some of the chassis moulding (between the servo and chassis) needed to be cut back. This is an acceptable price to pay so that much of the body can remain intact. The WR-02 side rails can accommodate a slightly wider than standard servo and did not need to be modified.
The right hand pin to restrain the battery lid is also removed - a simple snip with side cutters. The remaining one pin is more than adequate to restrain the battery. Accordingly, the battery cover was trimmed diagonally - very easy with a little saw and a sanding block.
The only non Tamiya items were 5 mm hex adapters for the front axle and 11 mm hex adapters (with the long cup shafts) on the rear axle to extend the rear track a bit as per the originals; albeit by not the same amount. The vintage models had a rear track 22 mm wider than the front but I could only get a 12 mm difference with this conversion (2 x (11-5)) which is just enough to be visible to the naked eye.
There are only two minor changes to get the body to fit. Firstly, the L shaped wall on the underside of the body needs to be removed which only takes a few minutes with some side cutters and a sanding block. Secondly, the bottom heal on Willy's right boot is cut back by about 5 mm - in fact the one remaining battery cover pin slots nearly inside the boot. These two simple modifications allow the body to be fitted at the same height as a WW2 using the body mounts included in the GF-01 chassis - 7th hole up from the bottom at the front and 9th at the rear. In fact the body can be one-hole lower at the rear but I stuck with the original WW2 stance.
Having measured the relationship between the rear wheel arches and the rear axles on the original M38 SWB and LWB models I was satisfied to use the WW2 mounts and use the included chassis rails. As shown in the pictures, the relationship between the rear wheel arch and the rear axle on this GF-01 conversion is the exact midpoint between the two SWB and LWB vintage models (as per WW2). I did try aftermarket spacers but in the end wanted to maintain a stance similar to the original and keep the bottom of the front grill flush with the front of the chassis as per WW2. This also allows the WW2 chassis rails to be used intact without being cut short - this adds a little extra interest to the chassis; especially if the dark chrome parts are used - which I quite like.
In summary, only side cutters, a hand saw and a sanding block are required to complete this conversion. No Dremel and certainly no cutting of the body to open up more gaps in the floor.
The parts required to replicate this conversion are a GF-01 chassis, low profile servo, a pair of long cup shafts (50808) for the rear axle, a pair of 5 mm and a pair of 11 mm aftermarket M4 hex wheel adapters; obviously all the Wild Willy body parts are required (note the windscreen is in metal parts bag D).
Am happy with the overall effect and the all wheel traction. Popping wheelies is just as easy as with the WR-02 chassis.
Hope this provides some inspiration to those looking for an easy conversion whilst mainly using Tamiya parts.
If you liked those pictures, you should see these...
Detailing the Wild Willy 2 grill