If you haven’t ever seen it you definitely need to check out the exciting race series named the European Truck Racing Championship or ETRC. When you do, you will see massive semi trucks that are powered by staggering 1,000+hp turbocharged diesel engines while racing door-to-door. Several years ago, Tamiya released a 1/14-scale version of these awesome race trucks which quickly generated a following and launched RC races featuring these trucks. Today there are a total of four Tamiya on-road race trucks to choose from along with a load of hop-up option parts to make the trucks faster, handle better and even look cooler. Here are our picks of the Tamiya hop-up option parts to start off with for these fun to drive on-road race trucks.
As we mentioned, Tamiya offers four on-road race trucks and are shown here. The Buggyra Fat Fox which competed in the 2018 ETRC and driven by champion driver Adam Lacko. The Mercedes-Benz Race Truck Actros MP4 MB Motorsport kit which mimics the truck raced by the Tankpool24 team in 2019 and carried them to a 4th place in the team standings. Then there is the Team Hahn Racing MAN TGS which has been a long time competitor in the ETRC series. Lastly is the Team Reinert Racing MAN TGS that successfully raced in the 2016 season and was driven by Rene Reinert. Each of these great-looking trucks are available as an easy-to-build kit that includes the multi-piece polycarbonate bodies and a plethora of detail sticker so that you can accurately recreate the full-size big rig race trucks that they are modeled after.
TAMIYA ON-ROAD RACE TRUCK SPECS
Chassis: TT-01 Type E
Body: Multi-piece clear polycarbonate semi truck
Wheels: One-piece, scale truck design
Wheel adapter type: 12mm hex
Tires: Treaded radial rubber tires
Suspension type: 4-wheel independent
Shocks: Friction type
Shock positions: (F) 1-tower, 1-arm, (R) 1-tower, 1-arm
Steering type: Dual bellcrank
Toe: Fixed links
Chassis type: Tub-style, plastic composite
Drivetrain: Shaft driven 4WD
Differential: Bevel gear diff
Bearings: Plastic and metal bushings
Motor: Brushed 540 type
- 2-channel radio system
- Steering servo
- 6-cell 7.2V NiMH battery pack with Tamiya connector
- Battery charger
- Spray paint for ABS plastic and polycarbonate
Buggyra Fat Fox details
Mercedes-Benz Race Truck Actros MP4 MB Motorsport details
Team Hahn Racing MAN TGS details
Team Reinert Racing MAN TGS details
OUR HOP-UP PICKS
We picked eight Tamiya Hop-UP Option parts to start off and stopped there. We felt that this list gives you a nice range between pure performance and boosting appearance of these trucks. Having a high performance is great, but we like to also tweak our vehicles to make them look even better and stand out from others. And keep in mind that this is only a fraction of the hop-up option parts that Tamiya offers for these trucks.
TT-01 Type E Ball Bearing Set—#54025
Although adding metal ball bearings to one of these on-road race trucks is not super exciting, this is a definite upgrade where performance will be gained and is lasting. Tamiya specs metal and plastic bushings that function adequately and keep the overall cost of the kits down. These metal ball bearings spin much more smoothly and allow the drivetrain to spin faster and with less effort thanks to the reduction of power-robbing friction in the drivetrain system. This bearing kit not only replaces all the bushings in the drivetrain, but also the tiny plastic bushings found in the steering bellcranks. If you don’t want to replace all the bearings, below is a list of what bearings are required just for the drivetrain of the TT-01 Type E chassis along with the quantity minus the ones needed for the steering bellcranks. And if you decide to add the Racing Steering Set hop-up option (mentioned later in this article), it already comes with metal ball bearings.
- 1150 Ball Bearings (qty.12)—#53008
- 1280 Ball Bearings (qty.4)—#53066
TT-01 Aluminum Propeller Joint & Shaft Set—#54026
In their stock setup, these on-road race trucks come with a plastic center driveshaft that can twist and flex thus hinder power delivery. You can improve how effectively the power is transferred from the rear of the car up to the front end with the Tamiya TT-01 Aluminum Propeller Joint & Shaft Set (#54026). The shaft is precision machined out of aluminum and will spin true as well as be able to handle more powerful motors. Included with the shaft are aluminum propeller joint cups to compete the center driveshaft assembly and all the parts are anodized a bright blue which add some nice bling to the chassis. When you drop in the propeller joints and shaft, do it at the same time you are installing the ball bearings.
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.
TRF Fluorine Coated Damper Set—#53571
Plastic friction shocks are utilized at each corner of the chassis and just like the metal and plastic bushings, they help keep the cost down of the kits not to mention they are super simple to assemble. The downside is that they severely lack damping when compared to fluid filled shocks. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to these Tamiya TRF Fluorine Coated Dampers to drastically improve the handling. They are constructed of CNC machined aluminum and are fluorine coated for silky smooth consistent damping. In stock from these trucks will tend to bounce around when traveling over rough terrain and therefore are more difficult to control. These oil-filled units will eliminate those traits and make any of these race trucks handle much better, especially when racing.
TT-01 Type E Racing Steering Set—#54058
The optional TT-01 Type E Racing Steering Set features precision machined aluminum steering arms that are supported by quality metal shielded ball bearings. This is a great way to eliminate slop in the stock steering system which uses plastic bellcranks and bushings. Steering input in a race vehicle is critical and you will find that your truck will exhibit better steering response by adding this hop-up.
LED Light Unit TLU-01—#53909
Obviously this Tamiya LED Light Unit TLU-01 will not help in the performance department, however it will definitely boost the scale realism of these trucks. This unit comes with four LEDs and can operate as many as 16 individual LED lights. Tamiya makes installation a breeze because each of the on-road race trucks come with the mounts that are required.
On-Road Racing Truck Chrome Plated H Parts—#54828
The On-Road Racing Truck Chrome Plated H Parts is purely for the “wow” factor. These are the same exact parts that come stock on the Race Trucks, however they are chrome plated. So things like the fifth wheel and rear bumper can look like shiny chrome instead of black plastic.
On-Road Racing Truck Wheels (Matte Plated—#51588, Black—#54741, White—#54964)
The Mercedes-Benz, the Team Hahn and the Team Reinert trucks all come with matte plated truck wheels while the Buggyra Fat Fox has black wheels. Tamiya offers each of those wheels as spare parts as well as a set of white truck wheels. This is a good option to know about if you decide to move away from the box are and create your own fantasy ETRC race team. Each of the wheels are sold in complete sets that include the two front and the two rear wheels.
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