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Tamiya 1/10 Clodbuster


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Ok folks, this kit is how and where Tamiya make most of their money. Sadly, it's not on our beloved models. Well, not quite. 


People say their 1/32 F-14 kit is old and due for an full on update. The Clodbuster has been around since 1987 and they've basically made three changes to the moulds, the colour of the plastic notwithstanding in that time:

1- changed the supercharger scoop

2- removed the Chevy Bow Tie from the front grille

3- added four reinforcement plates to the chassis.

This is the truck that truly got the RC monster truck craze going, especially in the US. I remember the countless number of AM custom chassis and suspension kits that were on the market in the late '80s. While companies started up just to make parts for it.  It got to the point where Tamiya was selling a spares kit that only contained the parts for the two axles as that's all folks needed from the kit. I had a couple of them at the time. I still have parts from my last Clodbuster which was red instead of blue. I'm still trying to figure out if this is Clod number 4 for me or number 5. 



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Here's the obligatory box contents shot. 


Some reference pics for size comparison. Handiest thing I had was my Miniart Grant.



Here's the tub chassis. 


It even still has the Power mode switch opening moulded into it. This was a switch that allowed you to switch the dual motors from running in parallel for max power to series for max battery duration.


Run time was around 5 min in Power mode on a state of the art 1300 mAH 7.2v battery pack which cost about $120.  

Eventually a friend found some 4000mAH batteries that were over $300 but we could run for 45 minutes on one of those. Bad thing was they were physically more than double the size of the stick battery and took a full day to fast charge. 

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The stock chassis was soon found to have an annoying weakness. The suspension arms attached to it with several  ball joints. Unfortunately the plastic tub wasn't strong enough and would break after the first jump. It took years for Tamiya to finally make a change and strengthen the chassis. In the meantime, this was one of the first AM upgrade parts to come out.  

Here's the weak point in question. 


The kit now includes a trio of steel brackets that reinforce the chassis from the inside. 

The pivot balls are screwed into the brackets instead of just the chassis. PXL_20200919_222621264.thumb.jpg.f5ddcf01886820e1b57687feaec97abe.jpg



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  • 3 weeks later...

I've been waiting for a couple drivetrain parts to arrive and they finally did today. 

I ordered some upgrades driveshafts from a company called RC4WD. The upgraded ones are on the top of the pic. 


Not only are they stronger than the stock ones but they're universal joints versus dog bones so should have less binding. 

The dog bones were then installed into the axle halves. They're supported on either end by small cartridge bearings. 


Here's the assembled axle halves. 


They in turn are bolted to the gear case assembly. 


Time to get messy with the grease and installing the gears. 



The Clod uses a simple planetary diff. Pretty bombproof.  And that leads to one assembled gearcase/axle. 


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Entirely not my cup of tea anymore, but entertaining to watch. Since my Wild Willy Jeep got lost as a teen, I'm out of RC stuff, but had lot of fun, mostly with boats and self constructed ice gliders at the time.

Cheers Rob

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The Wild Willy was my first RC car. I haven't replaced it yet but I do have the Willy's Wheeler which is a Honda City Turbo. 

Tamiya redesigned the Willy chassis back in 2000 and have used it as the basis for a number of other vehicles since. 

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