Six-wheel-drive trucks project a legit air of toughness when they power over and through rough off-road terrain. It can be argued that Tamiya decided to produce the G6-01 6WD chassis established on this very characteristic. Today Tamiya offers four vehicles based on the G6-01 chassis: the Konghead, King Yellow, Dynahead and the Volvo A60A Hauler. Each has its very own unique appearance that combine with the off-road prowess of a 6WD platform to create some very cool looking and performing trucks. This made these trucks the perfect subject for this article where we share 6 cool hop-ups for the 6×6 Tamiya trucks.
TAMIYA G6-01 CHASSIS
The star of the G6-01 chassis is clearly the fully gear driven six-wheel-drive drivetrain. Tamiya did not go with a shaft- or belt- or chain-drive mechanism and rather developed a very clever setup that uses nothing but gears to drive all six of the tires. Just check out the image below which beautifully illustrates how Tamiya made the G6-01 chassis function. As you can see the chassis doubles as the gearbox to enclose and protect all of the gears the drive these 6×6 trucks.
In order to help these rigs corner more smoothly, Tamiya employed three robust gear differentials fitted with metal outdrives. Mounted on the right side of the chassis behind the front wheel is a Tamiya 540 brushed motor that drives all six wheels. An independent double-wishbone suspension setup is utilized for each of the six wheels and tires using a lower H-arm and a fixed upper link. Providing the damping are six friction shocks attached to each H-arm. Mounted on the upper left side of the chassis is the steering servo with 2-piece adjustable steering link setup. The overall design of the Tamiya G6-01 chassis makes for a very tough vehicle that will be right at home on all types of terrain.
THE G6-01TR CHASSIS VARIATION
Three of the four 6×6 trucks are built on the standard G6-01 chassis. The Dynahead is the only one that comes with the G6-01TR chassis variation. The key difference is that it comes with hub reduction axles, also known as portal axles. These axles raise the ground clearance by 15mm, but the key benefit is that they also generate some major crawling traction with a 37.35:1 gear ratio. With this low gear ratio, the G6-01TR chassis has gobs of torque for some serious climbing action. Another tweak that Tamiya made is actually a simple one and something you can do to nearly any vehicle with a gear diff. The G6-01TR kit comes with some putty to lock the diffs. All you do is take a small section of the putty, roll it into a ball and then place it inside the differential. The putty will essentially ‘lock’ the diff so that the truck has full-time traction when traversing steep or tough climbs. Lastly, the TR version is equipped with nice looking 5-spoke wheels that are wrapped with V-tread block tires. This tire package makes the Dynahead a more capable off-road vehicle because of the added bite that the tires create.
TAMIYA G6-01 HOP-UP OPTION PARTS
G6-01 Clear Gray D Chassis Parts, #54807
As mentioned earlier, the integrated chassis and gearbox of the G6-01 6×6 chassis is very impressive in that it drives all six wheels entirely with gears. Honestly it is a bit of a waste to have this cool drivetrain hidden behind the dark black plastic chassis/gearbox halves. Well, Tamiya has a solution for this little issue and it is with their hop up option G6-01 clear gray D chassis parts. These parts are molded in a clear gray polycarbonate replace the stock chassis and once in place you will be able to see the inner workings of the drivetrain.
Obviously, installation is a time consuming task since the G6-01 chassis will need to be almost entirely taken apart. Since these parts are exactly the same in size and shape, you can follow the original instruction manual to get it all back together without the need for any hand fitting. If you want to take it a step further, you can add a splash of color with Tamiya’s optional gears with idler gear sets molded in orange (#54808) and gear sets molded in yellow (#54809).
Aluminum Motor Guard, #54817
If you already own one of the Tamiya 6×6 trucks or if you simply look at the photos of the chassis, you will see that the location of the stock brushed motor is not in an ideal spot to keep it protected. It is positioned behind the first set of tires on the right side of the chassis and is completely exposed and vulnerable to being hit by objects while driving around. Since the chassis is a monocoque design with numerous gears inside to make the G6-01 six-wheel-drive, the motor had to be mounted externally. The Aluminum Motor Guard shown here is what Tamiya created so that it can help protect the motor from impacts as well as act as a heatsink to dissipate heat.
Getting the guard in place is pretty straightforward and only requires the motor to be removed. Tamiya includes the two cap screws to get it attached and they even include a hex wrench to complete the job. Once installed the beautifully machined aluminum part with blue anodizing will also enhance the look of the chassis.
GF-01 Aluminum Steering Arm, #54588
Steering systems have a very important job and are faced with a lot of stresses when the vehicle is out tearing around, especially off-road vehicles. The steering arm that comes with Tamiya G6-01 chassis is molded from plastic which can be a weak link in the steering system and can be a source of steering slop. This is the component where the link from the steering servo attaches as well as the two steering links that connect out to the steering knuckles which makes it a critical part in the steering setup. A better option over the stock part is the Tamiya GF-01 Aluminum Steering Arm shown here. It is masterfully machined out of aluminum and anodized blue thus making this stout steering arm upgrade able to offer more precise steering input and better durability. A hollow shaft is included with the steering arm and you use the stock 850 metal bushings. Once installed, you will find your G6-01 6×6 truck to have sharper steering response and smoother steering action.
GF-01 Aluminum Oil Damper, #54670
Tamiya spec’d their easy-to-build, easy-to-maintain and cost saving friction shocks for the G6-01 chassis which are used on many of their kits. The downside of these units is they tend to make a vehicle bounce around a lot when traversing off-road terrain. The ideal cure for this trait is to swap out the friction shocks with these high-quality aluminum, threaded body, oil-filled shocks. Just remember that you will need two packages to completely outfit the G6-01 chassis since there are only four dampers included.
Tamiya includes everything you need to assemble the shocks and then install them onto the G6-01 chassis…even the damper oil. The quality level of these shocks is first rate and will provide silky smooth performance. Each aluminum cylinder has a silver finish which contrasts nicely with the blue anodized caps and ends. Once installed, you will find that the ride will be much smoother as the oil-filled shocks offer superior cushioning on rough surfaces thus eliminating the unrealistic look of the 6×6 trucks bouncing as they drive around. As an added bonus, your Tamiya 6×6 will look much cooler because you will be able to see these sweet shocks since the bodies sit quite high on the chassis.
Aluminum Front Skid Guard, #54796
We are not a big fan of the looks of the stock front bumpers on the Konghead, King Yellow and Dynahead trucks with the black plastic bumper that is spring supported. (The Volvo A60A Hauler also has a spring supported bumper but it perfectly matches up to the rest of the cab and would make the truck look odd without it.) You can replace the stock bumper with the optional Tamiya Aluminum Front Skid Guard. Just as the name implies, it is completely machined out of aluminum and then anodized silver. This three piece skid guard securely mounts onto the chassis with the included hardware.
Mounting the skid guard is uncomplicated and can be done quickly. Once in place it enhances the bling factor on the chassis and increases protection on the front end. But that is not all. The skid has a 40-degree angle which allows these vehicles to tackle large obstacles easier.
WR-02 Assembly Universal Shaft, #54394
The last of the 6 cool hop-ups for the 6×6 Tamiya trucks are the WR-02 Assembly Universal Shaft. Don’t be concerned with the reference to the WR-02 chassis, these universals will work on the G6-01 platform. Definitely consider installing these onto your truck if you want to pull out some more performance. The Assembly Universal Shaft will reduce friction loss in the drivetrain and ensure smooth power transfer to the wheels comparted to the stock dogbones.
These Tamiya 6×6 trucks will require three pair of the universal shafts to replace all the dogbones. They come unassembled yet go together effortlessly thanks to the clear instruction sheet. Along with scrapping the stock dogbones, the wheel axles are also replaced. If you still have the stock plastic bushings in the uprights and steering knuckles, consider also upgrading to some quality ball bearings while you have these parts unassembled.
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