If you want to go racing with your new Tamiya truck this guide will help you to get the best out of it and also to comply with the rules associated with going racing. If you just want to build your truck and bash it at your local park or car park then go ahead and build it as the instructions tell you and just have fun.
So you have your new truck kit in its shiny new box and you cant wait to get at it. There are a few things to think about though if you want to race it at SHMCC or any other local club. You need to be aware of what regulations there are that apply to all truck racers and what you are allowed to do and what you cannot. Its fairly simple really as the truck class is made to be easy to get into as well as being highly competitive. A limited number of “Hop Ups” are allowed, some of which are pretty much essential, others are maybe not so but will add to the longevity and reliability of your truck. We will go through each one so you know what its all about.
Firstly and most importantly is a bearing kit. The truck comes with plastic bushes instead of real metal bearings and they wear out very quickly as well as creating lots of friction and slowing you down. This is the most important upgrade so make sure if nothing else, you do this.
Secondly is oil filled shock absorbers. The kit comes with friction dampers that are basically just springs and your truck will not handle well enough with these fitted. A cheap set of oil dampers is good enough and can be purchased from many places on E Bay or similar. Look for Touring Car Dampers 55mm, Yeah Racing ones are most popular.
Alloy Prop Shaft. This just adds to the reliability and you can run the kit plastic one but it does flex and in extreme cases can fail. Its not a most important upgrade but will make your truck last longer and be more efficient.
Turnbuckle kit. This allows you to adjust the steering angle on your truck. The kit turnbuckle is a fixed length and is perfectly suitable to go racing with but at some point you may want to be able to adjust the steering to make your truck handle better. Its not the most important upgrade so maybe something for the future.
That’s really about it, I would suggest you change the steering servo saver from the Tamiya one to a heavy duty one if you can as for me that makes a huge difference to the way the truck works but again try it without to start with. For me I would change the motor pinion from the alloy one in the kit to a steel one. The alloy ones wear out very quickly and can damage the other gears causing premature destruction of the gearbox.
The only other rules are that you have to use the motor that came with the kit and the tyres that are supplied or Ride Cut Slick Tyres. This makes it a fairly level playing field for everyone.
So, anything else you need to know? Well years of experience show that buying a decent steering servo will help a lot with the handling of the truck and buying a kit without the Tamiya speed control will allow you to purchase a better and simpler one. Everyone I know runs the Hobbywing 1060 speed control as it is simple and reliable and does not cost very much.
With regards to building your kit there are a few things to watch out for. Make sure if the instructions say “add grease here” usually shown as a tube of grease in the picture, that you do it. Most importantly be very very careful with screw lengths as this is highly important. There is very little difference between and M3x88 screw and an M3x10 but if you put them in the wrong place it can be catastrophic. Pay particular attention to the rear top deck screws. If you put M3x10 screws in instead of M3x8 screws you will destroy the gears, the clearance is very small.
All this might sound a little daunting but in truth its not. The kit is very simple to build and great fun to race. So much so that even hardened racers have bought trucks to race just because it is so equal and so much fun. So build your truck and come and have some fun with us. There will always be someone to help you get started, just ask, we all want to make your racing fun.