Tamiya has this unique and very cool line of 6×6 off-road vehicles which are incredibly fun to build, not to mention drive. The current offerings are the Dynahead, King Yellow, Konghead and the Volvo A60A Hauler. Out of the box these all-wheel-drive trucks are pretty quick with decent handling characteristics. If you are thinking about getting one of these trucks or you already own one, you should know that they can be upgraded to be even better. We dug into these trucks and selected five Tamiya hop-up option parts that will provide guaranteed performance gain for these Tamiya 6×6 trucks.
We will kick things off with the five hop-ups we recommend to boost the performance on these 6×6 trucks. You can add these parts one at a time if you are not able to purchase them together or all at once. It really does not matter because you will see enhanced performance with each and every addition you install. Since these are Tamiya vehicles, there are numerous other hop-up option parts to check out. We just wanted to focus on the ones you would see the biggest change in how your truck performs.
Current Tamiya 6×6 line-up.
Standard G6-01 chassis next to the G6-01TR variation.
GF-01 Aluminum Oil Damper—#54670
Tamiya spec’d their easy-to-build, easy-to-maintain and cost saving friction shocks for all of the G6-01 trucks, which are commonly used on many of their other kits. The downside of these shocks is that they tend to make a vehicle bounce around a lot when traversing off-road terrain or even hitting small bumps on pavement. 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 of these aluminum dampers to completely outfit one of the 6×6 trucks since there are only four dampers included in the package.
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. And less bouncing translates into more speed. 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.
UGT-Tuned 24T Motor—#54391
Some may feel that a motor upgrade can be too costly and it can be if you are jumping from a brushed motor up to a brushless motor system. If you stay with a brushed motor, you can benefit from a motor swap and it can cost around $35. For example the Tamiya UGT-Tuned 24T motor shown here. It is a lower turn than the silver can brushed motor that comes stock in the G6-01 chassis and will make these 6×6 trucks much quicker. Instead of a closed endbell, this motor can be easily maintained since there is unhindered access to the brushes as well as the commutator for cleaning. The endbell has a heatsink design and is equipped with heatsink brush holders along with a detachable inboard capacitor.
Swapping out the stock silver can motor for a new more powerful motor is pretty easy. Unplug the wire leads for the motor and then unscrew the two screws that hold the motor onto the chassis. Once the motor is removed, take of the pinion gear, motor plate and install it on the new UGT-Tuned motor. Make sure the pinion is the correct distance from the can of the motor so that it aligns properly once it is installed into the G6-01 chassis. Tighten down the two screws to secure the motor, plug in the wire leads and you are done.
Sealed Ball Bearings
Compared to the Tamiya UGT-Tuned 24T Motor mentioned above, upgrading to a complete set of sealed ball bearings will not give you the visually obvious performance increase, yet the benefits are definitely worth your time and money. Tamiya specs plastic and metal bushings for their 6×6 trucks which work well and help to keep the overall price of these kits lower. When the time comes where you want more from your Tamiya 6×6 truck, swap out all of the stock bushing for quality sealed ball bearings. Tamiya offers a vast selection of sealed ball bearings and you will find that they are of high-quality and spin incredibly smooth. The key benefit is reducing friction in the drivetrain while also keeping components from wearing as quickly thus allowing these big 6×6 trucks to achieve improved performance. It is a time consuming process to switch out the plastic and metal bushings for these sealed ball bearings, nevertheless it is worth the effort.
All of the Tamiya 6×6 trucks use the same quantity and sizes of ball bearings except for the Dynahead because it comes with portal axles thus requiring more bearings and two additional sizes. Following are two lists of the bearings that are needed to completely upgrade the Tamiya 6×6 trucks. Each list provides the quantity, followed by the Tamiya reference number and then the dimensions of the bearings.
King Yellow, Konghead and Volvo A60A Hauler ball bearing list:
- Qty. 4 — 850 — 5x8x2.5
- Qty. 36 — 1150 — 5x11x4
Dynahead ball bearing list:
- Qty. 24 — 630 — 3x6x2.5
- Qty. 4 — 850 — 5x8x2.5
- Qty. 18 — 950 — 5x9x3
- Qty. 30 — 1150 — 5x11x4
WR-02 Assembly Universal Shaft—#54394
Following the ball bearing upgrade for guaranteed performance gain for Tamiya 6×6 trucks are the WR-02 Assembly Universal Shaft. Don’t be concerned with the reference to the Tamiya 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 compared 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 and the fact that Tamiya includes a hex wrench for the tiny grub screws and the grease to complete each unit. The stock dogbones and wheel axles are scrapped for these new parts. Since these axles spin on the stock plastic bushings, consider making this upgrade at the same time as adding the ball bearings mentioned above. This way you will only have to disassemble these parts once. Please note that this upgrade will not work with the Dynahead since it is equipped with portal axles.
GF-01 Aluminum Servo Lowering Guard—#54644
The Tamiya GF-01 Aluminum Servo Lowering Guard can be one of those hop-up option parts that you may just skip over, but that would be a mistake. There is a clear improvement to the 6×6 trucks when you add it, although it is not as a drastic change as something like adding a hotter motor.
The GF-01 Aluminum Servo Lowering Guard accomplishes two functions for your Tamiya 6×6 truck. First of it will protect your critical steering servo from impacts. In stock form the servo sits on the side of the chassis without any type of impact defense. The second function is the one which will help the 6×6 in the handling department. With the servo lowering guard installed, it will give you an optional lower attachment position for a more direct steering response. This change is key for a 6×6 vehicle that can be a bit difficult to make it easily and smoothly change direction.
Tamiya expertly constructed the lowering guard from durable and lightweight aluminum. It come anodized in Tamiya’s beautiful bright blue. In the package is all the mounting hardware to help make install a breeze. There is no hand fitting involved and you can have the guard in place and servo repositioned in minutes.
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