Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Top 10 Hop-Ups for Tamiya M-Chassis Cars

Tamiya XB


The popular Tamiya M-chassis line of RC on-road vehicles have been around for more than two decades and have earned a huge following. During this time, Tamiya created several versions starting with the M-01 chassis and going all the way up to the M-08 chassis. The attraction to these cars are their smaller compact size compared to 1/10-scale touring cars which makes them ultra-fun to drive, race and especially to upgrade. The current crop of build-up M-chassis kits being sold by Tamiya are composed of either the M-05 FWD chassis or the M-06 RWD chassis and those are the two versions being focused on here. Tamiya offers numerous hop-up upgrade parts that will make these M-chassis cars perform better, increase durability and look absolutely incredible when the body is not on the chassis. With so many option parts available we put together the top 10 hop-ups for Tamiya M-chassis cars that we like the most. All ten of the hop-ups we picked can work with either the M-05 or M-06 except for the Stabilizer Set which are vehicle specific.

Top 10 Hop-Ups for Tamiya M-Chassis Cars

Tamiya M-chassis Aluminum Damper Set — #54000

A chassis like the Tamiya MF-01X is great for people just starting out in RC because it is very easy to build and maintain not to mention not cost a small fortune. One of the features on the M-05 and M-06 chassis that has been created to be super easy to maintain while also keeping the overall price in check are the friction shocks. They can be built in a matter of minutes and do not use any oil which virtually does away with maintenance. The downside is that these cars tend to be pretty bouncy when running on not the smoothest of surfaces and become difficult to control. To avoid this bouncy trait, pick up a full set of oil filled shocks like these Tamiya M-chassis aluminum damper set.

Top 10 Hop-Ups for Tamiya M-Chassis Cars

These shocks are not your ordinary aluminum dampers, but rather high-performance units designed just of the M-chassis models. They have features like slick black coating on their mirror-surface interior of the aluminum shock cylinders, fluorine resin 2- and 3-hole pistons, soft silicone O-rings and fluorine resin spacers to minimize oil leakage. The shock bodies are threaded to adjust spring lengths and comes with three spring rates to choose from.

Tamiya M-05 Ball Bearing Set — #54179

Top 10 Hop-Ups for Tamiya M-Chassis CarsAll of the Tamiya M-05 and M-06 cars include plastic and metal bushings. These units work fine to start off with and they help to keep the cost of the kits low. When you want more from your M-chassis ride, pick up this complete set of metal ball bearings. This set will replace all the stock bushings with these super smooth, high-quality bearings. They work great in reducing friction in the drivetrain, help keep components from wearing sooner than they need to and allow the car to achieve improved performance. It is a time consuming process to switch out the plastic bearings for the ball bearings, but it is worth the effort.

Top 10 Hop-Ups for Tamiya M-Chassis Cars
Tamiya M-05 front wheel drive chassis.

Tamiya M03 Assembly Universal Shaft Set — #53597

Top 10 Hop-Ups for Tamiya M-Chassis CarsBoth the M-05 and M-06 are setup with dogbones to relay the power from the differentials to the axles. Compared to the optional Tamiya Universal Shaft Assembly, the dogbones are not as efficient and can pop out during a crash. This hop-up will benefit the M-05 chassis over the M-06 since it is front wheel drive and the Universal Shafts will reduce power loss caused by friction during steering. Installing this hop-up will take a little time because the universal shafts need to be assembled and then installed which requires some disassembly of the suspension.

Tamiya GT Tuned 25T Brushed Motor— #53779

Upgrading to the Tamiya GT-Tuned Motor from the stock 540 Mabuchi motor will give you improved overall performance right out of the gate. It has an open endbell which gives you access to the brushes for easy maintenance or replacement. The endbell is also vented for maximum cooling and incorporates a detachable inboard capacitor. Swapping it out is easy and you can use the stock mounting hardware from the motor that comes with the M-chassis cars.

Tamiya 18T, 19T AV Pinion Gear Set — #50355

Top 10 Hop-Ups for Tamiya M-Chassis CarsYou can pull out more speed from your M-chassis cars if you get pinion gears with a higher tooth count than what comes stock with the kit. 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. We recommend this 18T, 19T pinion gear set to start off with which includes two pinions and come with the grub screw to secure the pinion onto the motor shaft.

Tamiya M-05 Aluminum Front Upright — #54177

Upgrading to the Tamiya M-05 Aluminum Front Uprights is mostly about improving precision. They are expertly machined from aluminum and will securely hold the front axles firmly to give enhanced driving stability on either the M-05 or M-06 chassis. Also referred to as steering knuckles, these aluminum uprights are lighter than the stock plastic units and the bright blue anodizing will up the cool factor on the chassis. Installation is a breeze and Tamiya includes all the hardware needed.

Tamiya Aluminum Rear Upright for M-05 & M-06 — #54327

Top 10 Hop-Ups for Tamiya M-Chassis CarsLike the aluminum front uprights shown above, the Tamiya Aluminum Rear Upright can be added to either the M-05 or M-06 chassis and thus benefit from added precision these parts bring. You will find that the aluminum uprights will give your M-chassis smoother motion in the suspension and will make it more rigid compared to the stock plastic resin parts. Once these parts are installed with the including hardware, they will give 1 degree of rear toe-in.

Top 10 Hop-Ups for Tamiya M-Chassis Cars
Tamiya M-06 rear wheel drive chassis.

Tamiya Clamp Type Aluminum Wheel Hub — #53569

The M-chassis comes with plastic wheel hubs which is quite standard for most RC cars. You can step up from the plastic units and add the optional Tamiya Clamp Type Aluminum Wheel Hubs. These wheels hubs are precisely machined out of aluminum and allow for the wheel to spin more true and provides added strength. We also like that these aluminum wheel hubs are securely attached to the axle vie a hex screw. This design will keep the wheel hub from easily sliding off during wheel changes while also keeping the drive pin in place.

Tamiya M-05 Ball Differential Set — #54194

In stock form, the Tamiya M-05 and M-06 are spec’d with a bevel gear differential. You can improve traction and stability when racing by replacing the stock gear diff with the optional Tamiya Ball Differential Set. It has no backlash compared to the gear diff and in tight turns the power is delivered very smoothly thus giving consistent traction on slick conditions. There is a fair amount of teardown required and if you are upgrading to ball bearings, make this change at the same time.

Tamiya Stabilizer Sets

If your goal is to dial in the performance of either the M-05 or M-06 chassis, we would go for the Tamiya Stabilizer Set that corresponds to the chassis you have. They come with two front and two rear (soft and hard) stabilizer bars along with the necessary mounting hardware. When cornering, the stabilizers (also known as sway bars or anti-roll bars) will reduce chassis roll because the right suspension arms of the car is connected to the left suspension arms. On high traction surfaces, these sway bars help keep the chassis flat in the turns and will provide even traction for all four tires which translates into a more responsive car.

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Tamiya XB