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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

Tamiya XB

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Are you getting ready to build your first RC kit? It is definitely not as daunting as you may think and it is actually a fun process. To assist you along the way here are some tips to build your first RC car kit. These useful tips will help ensure you have a trouble-free experience and end up with a well-built vehicle that you can be proud of.

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

In this article, we are featuring the Tamiya Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 Series U900 (item #58692) build up kit. This solid axle 4WD trail truck is based on Tamiya’s newest Cross Country chassis, the CC-02. Thanks to Tamiya, the build is not complicated and you end up with a capable truck for off road adventures.

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

Read the manual

Before getting started, take the time and read through the manual. You will find so much useful information that will aid in the build process. It is also a great way to get familiar with the kit.

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

Collect the electronics and accessories that are required

Most kits do not include all the electronics needed to get the vehicle up and running. Check the manual and see what is needed. For this Unimog CC-02, Tamiya includes a speed control and brushed 540 motor and you need to supply a steering servo and a 2-channel radio system.

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

Have the right tools for the job

In the manual you will find a list of the recommended tools that are needed to assemble the car or truck you are building. Having the right tools for the job is key to ensure a smooth building experience. The Tamiya CC-02 requires synthetic rubber cement, which is not typical and would have completely stalled the building process if you did not check what items are required to complete this truck.

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

Setup a proper work area

Give yourself a large and clean workplace that is also well lit for the kit build. This allows you to spread out the parts in a logical way so they are easy to find while building. We also like to use a towel to build on top of to keep tools from rolling around and hardware from bouncing off the table if it is dropped.

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

Utilize trays to organize the small parts

There are numerous small parts along with tiny bearings, gears and hardware that can get easily misplaced. Remedy this with the use of a parts tray that is divided into multiple sections. The tray shown here is intended as a tool chest drawer organizer, yet makes a perfect tray for RC kit building. Now all the parts are easy to locate and will stay organized.

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

Open one bag at a time

There is a very good reason why the small parts bags are lettered or numbered. This is done so that you open one bag at a time and in alphabetic or numeric order. This makes locating the hardware for the steps you are working on much easier. Imagine how much harder it would be if all of the screws were kept together in one bag.

Pay close attention to symbols throughout manual

Many instruction manuals are light on text since the kits are distributed internationally where there are countless different languages. Instead, manufacturers use detailed drawings and symbols to convey what needs to be done for each step in the building process. This means you need to pay close attention to the symbols being used throughout the manual. Here is a great example where this one step requires the use of rubber cement, circled in red, and grease, circled in green.

Lubricate the drivetrain

All of the spinning parts in the drivetrain should be lubricated. Tamiya includes a small tube of grease for this purpose as does many other manufacturers. The instructions will clue you in on what specifically should be greased. Take the time and do a good job of getting grease on all of the teeth on the gears; just don’t overdo it. A thin coating is all that is needed.

Use thread lock for screws that go into metal

For any fasteners that screw into metal, use thread lock. When the vehicle runs, vibration can cause screws to loosen and back out. That is where the thread lock comes in to keep this from happening. It acts like a glue, but will release when you need to unscrew a fastener.

Locating the correct parts

In a kit build, there can be some parts that look near identical and therefor can be mistakenly used in the wrong step. You can avoid this by using the section of the manual that shows illustrations of all the parts that are used in the build and are clearly labeled.

Get all the parts together for the step you are working on

Before you begin each step, gather all the parts and hardware needed to complete that step. Take your time and verify that you have the correct parts. This tip can also help you understand how a specific assembly goes together and it will end up being built correctly.

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

Confirm you are using the correct hardware for each step

There can be many different types and lengths of screws used in a kit which makes it easy to grab the wrong one. Once you determine that the screw is the correct type, measure it to be sure it is the correct length. Tamiya helps you out with this step by including schematics of the hardware right next to the step you are working on. These schematics are made full size so that you can hold the screw next to it and confirm you grabbed the right one.

Center steering servo before installing

Before installing the servo onto the chassis or attaching the servo horn, power it up and make sure it is centered. Finding out later that the servo was not centered can be a hassle, especially if you don’t have enough servo throw adjustability on the transmitter. And you could also end up with your vehicle not being able to turn equally in both directions.

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

 

Tips To Build Your First RC Car Kit

For more information about Tamiya products, visit: TAMIYA

Tamiya XB

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