Tamiya is well-known for recreating highly scale RC versions of full size vehicles. Whether they are off-road trucks or on-road racecars like the sweet-looking old school Mercedes-Benz shown here that is equipped with the proven TT-01 Type-E chassis. When you purchase a Tamiya kit, the scale detail is pretty much done for you. What can be improved is the car’s performance thanks to the numerous hop-up option parts that Tamiya offers. Here we will show you the key hop-up options for the Tamiya Mercedes-Benz 190E “Debis” TT-01 Type-E.
ABOUT THE MERCEDES-BENZ 190E “DEBIS”
In the 90’s the Mercedes 190E was a proven platform for touring car racing, especially in the DTM racing series. The Mercedes depicted here is modeled after the iconic 190E 2.5-16 Evo.II that dominated the early part of the 1990’s. It comes complete with the Team Zakspeed “Debis” livery that faithfully replicates the colors and appearance of the Mercedes that ran in the 1991 DTM. The main sponsor, Debis, refers to the non-automotive part of the Daimler-Benz group that handled financial, insurance and real estate management. It stands for Daimler-Benz InterServices AG or Debis AG for short. A very interesting fact about the #20 Debis Mercedes is that 7-time Formula One champion, Michael Schumacher, had time behind the wheel.
In typical Tamiya fashion, the polycarbonate Mercedes 190E body is molded with exacting scale detail that mimics the real racecar. The sharp body lines, protruding fenders around each wheel and iconic Mercedes grill with hood emblem are well represented. Instead of a sticker to replicate the front grill, Tamiya provides a chrome plated molded piece of ABS plastic that is a dead-on match. Along with the grill are ABS plastic side view mirrors and a large racing wing for the rear end. The last piece to complete the Debis Mercedes is a giant detail sticker sheet that has the green pinstripping, sponsor stickers and detail markings for things like the head and taillights, door handles and louvers.
What brings the Mercedes-Benz 190E “Debis” to life is the proven Tamiya TT-01 Type-E chassis that sits under the body. The “E” in its name stands for evolved as it features many improvements over its predecessor the TT-01. Tamiya placed the motor and battery close to the ground to give the TT-01 Type-E a lower center of gravity and optimum balance which translates into enhanced on-road handling. The main portion of the chassis is the bathtub frame that is further supported by a fiberglass reinforced nylon top deck and gear covers that makes for a more rigid setup. A propeller shaft relays power up to the front gearbox for full-time all-wheel-drive action. Reliable 5-gear differentials are used in the front and rear and spin on metal bushings. Four wheel double wishbone independent suspension supported by friction shocks gives good handling characteristics.
Tamiya did an excellent job of creating a car that has a nice balance of a low price point with enough features to make this car fun and very capable in stock form. You will also find the TT-01 Type-E easy to build thanks to a low parts count and an exceptional instruction manual. Then when you want to boost the performance and durability of the TT-01 Type-E, Tamiya ensured that this car had plenty of customizability. Next we will show you some of the numerous hop-up option parts that Tamiya has available for the Mercedes-Benz 190E “Debis”.
Length: 17.52in. (445mm)
Width: 7.24in. (184mm)
Height: 5.19in. (132mm)
Wheelbase: 10.12in. (257mm)
Chassis: Molded ABS plastic tub
Drivetrain: Shaft-driven 4WD
Differential: 5 gear, bevel gear diffs
Bearings: Metal and plastic bushings
Suspension (F/R): A-arms / H-arms
Shocks: Molded plastic, friction type
Motor: 540-brushed type
Speed control: TBLE-02S
Wheels: 6-spoke, molded in green
Tires: Rubber slick tires
TAMIYA HOP-UP OPTION PARTS FOR THE TT-01 TYPE-E CHASSIS
Metal Ball Bearing Kit—#54025
Tamiya spec’d metal and plastic bushings for the Mercedes-Benz 190E “Debis” that do a decent job in keeping the drivetrain spinning and the overall cost of the kit down. Do yourself a favor and replace all the bushings with metal ball bearings. This bearing kit not only replaces all the bushings in the drivetrain but also the tiny plastic bushings found in the steering bellcranks. Metal ball bearings will help further reduce unwanted friction in the drivetrain and steering and will last longer than the bushings. If you don’t want to replace all the bearings, below is a list of what bearings are required for the TT-01 Type-E chassis along with the quantity.
- 850 Ball Bearings (qty.4)—#94392
- 1150 Ball Bearings (qty.12)—#53008
- 1280 Ball Bearings (qty.4)—#53066
TT-01 Ball Diff Set—#53663
Another spot where you can make the drivetrain spin more smoothly is with the differentials. Gear diffs are durable, require less maintenance, but are not as smooth as a ball differential and there is some play. Ball diffs use steel balls that roll on flat metal rings so there is no backlash or play and they are super smooth compared.
Aluminum Propeller Shaft—#54026
Upgrading to aluminum from a plastic component can be a big benefit especially when it comes to a propeller shaft. The TT-01 Type-E spins a plastic shaft that flexes a good amount and can twist. This aluminum shaft will fix both of those issues and comes in Tamiya’s bright blue anodized color. Included with the shaft are propeller joint cups that are also constructed of aluminum and anodized blue.
Universal Shaft Assembly—#53792
Continuing the friction fighting theme, install this Universal Shaft Assembly to replace the stock dogbones. You will find that the front wheels will spin smoothly even when steering input is given. Ad added benefit is that there is no loss of power. If you plan to add this hop-up to your TT-01 Type-E, you should also pick up the TT-01 Ball Diff Cup Joint (#53806). These cup joints are made of metal and are a smart upgrade over the plastic units.
GT-Tuned Motor (25T)—#53779
If you are new to RC, get used to the stock 540 motor before you go and upgrade it to something that will make your car faster. Once you are comfortable with how your car handles, then drop in a hotter motor. The GT-Tuned Motor does not have the closed endbell design like the stock motor so you can replace the brushes when needed. It also has cooling vents and incorporates a detachable inboard capacitor. And the best part…it will make your Mercedes 190E Debis faster.
TT-01 Metal Motor Mount—#53666
There are some hop-up option parts that you can simply add on without worrying about needing to change other parts of the car. The TT-01 Metal Motor Mount shown here is one of those items that you should certainly consider if you are adding more power to the chassis. The stock motor mount is made of plastic and does not offer the same type of rigidity that this aluminum mount can. The connection between the pinion and spur will stay constant and therefore cause less wear. There is also the benefit of keeping the motor cooler as it acts like a heat sink.
AV Pinion Gear Set 20/21T—#50356
You can get even more speed out of your TT-01 Type-E if you get pinion gears with a higher tooth count. Keep in mind that you can’t go with too high of a tooth count because it can cause the motor to run too hot. It takes some trial and error to get the setup that works for your specific hopped-up car. The pinion gear set here includes two pinions and come with the grub screw to secure the pinion onto the motor shaft.
TT-01 Aluminum Motor Heat Sink—#53664
Keeping your car running cool is ideal for getting the optimum performance out of it. Get this TT-01 Aluminum Motor Heat Sink and it will draw heat away from the motor and will dissipate on the numerous fins. You will need to remove the plastic motor guard that comes with the TT-01 Type-E.
TRF Fluorine Coated Damper—#53571
If you had to choose just one hop-up option part, we would suggest replacing the kits friction shocks with a nice set of oil-filled shocks. A great option from Tamiya are these TRF Fluorine Coated Dampers. In stock from, the TT-01 Type-E will tend to bounce over rough terrain and be difficult to control. These oil-filled units will eliminate those traits and make the Mercedes-Benz 190E Debis a much better handling car.
TT-01E Carbon Damper Stay—#54059(front)/#54060(rear)
Tamiya offers front and rear Carbon Damper Stay for the TT-01 Type-E that replaces the stock plastic shock towers. In stock form, you are limited with suspension adjustments and this set gives more tuning options. The Damper Stay is cut from 3mm carbon fiber and includes all the necessary mounting hardware.
Adjustable Upper Arm Set—#53674
The TT-01 Type-E does not offer a lot of adjustability and that is by design. This makes it a great car to start off with and it handles quite well out of the box. Some times when there are too many adjustments, people will tend to over tune the car and make it nearly undrivable. Once you gain experience, then it is worthwhile to add parts that give you more tuning options. One of those are these Adjustable Upper Arms Sets that allow you to tweak front camber.
Aluminum Toe-In Aluminum Uprights—#53800
These machined aluminum uprights replace the stock components and increase the toe-in from 1-degree to 2-degrees of toe-in on the rear tires. This translates into improved rear traction and straight-line tracking not to mention being a more stout part over the stock uprights.
TT-01E Aluminum Steering Set—#54058
The TT-01E Aluminum Steering Set features precision machined aluminum steering arms that are supported by metal ball bearings. This is a great way to eliminate slop in the steering and you will find better steering response with the TT-01 Type-E.
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