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Aftermarket tech, right from the box

Tamiya TXT-1: Aftermarket tech, right from the box

Vieira, Peter

Tamiya’s Juggernaut 2 was a great achievement in monster truckdom, but for RC monster truck performance purists, the truck was not the mod-Clod beater they hoped for. That was then; now Tamiya has unleashed what is, without question, the ultimate straight-axle production monster truck: the TXT-1. The “Tamiya eXtreme Truck” will certainly enjoy aftermarket support, but the big truck won’t require optional chassis parts to perform like a fully modified machine-or took like one, for that matter. The TXT-1 looks hot-here’s what it’s got and what it can do.

FEATURES

CNC-machined ladder-style chassis. This is the biggie. The TXT-1 is built around a pair of matching chassis sides that are hewn from solid duralumin for total rigidity with a tube-frame took. Machined anything is always cool, but this is machining Tamiyastyle; all the edges are radiused, there aren’t any machine marks, and everything has a flawless satin finish.

Juggernaut 2 drive axles. Tamiya’s engineers went to great lengths to bulletproof the Jugg’s axle internals, and they succeeded. The gear train and allmetal diffs are tough customers.

Cantilever-actuated shocks. The TXT-I extracts an amazing amount of travel from 4-inch shocks by using molded cantilevers to actuate them. Thick steel rods tie the system together, and the shocks are oil-filled for smooth, adjustable damping.

Four-bar trailing-arm suspension with swaybars. Tamiya took a page from the mod Clod design book and speed massive 4mm linkages for the TXPI. Large-diameter steel pivots anchor the links, and heavy wire swaybars integrated into the lower links combat chassis roll. Chassis-mounted dual-motor gearbox. The

Jugg 2 donated its gearbox as well as its axles to the TXT-1 project. The ‘box now includes ball bearings as standard equipment, but Tamiya retained the external heat sinks to guarantee that the hardworking internal parts keep their cool.

Prefinished Lexan body. Super-detailed “hard” bodies will always have a place in our hearts (and on our shelves), but thery’re heavy, fragile and hardly ideal for monster truck thrashing. Tamiya wisely went to a tough Lexan shell but saves you the trouble of painting by printing the body with the good-looking graphics you see in the photos.

The TXT-1 will be sold with a mechanical speed control and a pair of 540 motors, and that’s how Tamiya set up the test truck. Standard Tamiya servos were also supplied-not the best setup for steering a big-wheel monster, but none of us could wait to drive it, so off we went.

With silver-can 540 power, the TXT-1 will not set any speed records; it tops out at about 5mph. But it does climb well, and it takes only one run for you to realize that the TXT-1 has suspension that’s as good as or better than any aftermarket cantilevered system. There’s miles of articulation, and the TXT kept all four tires hooked up over anything smaller than a bowling ball. Such flexibility often makes for a lot of chassis roll when cornering, but the big truck’s swaybars did a good job of keeping its chassis parallel with the ground.

After a little wrenching to replace the silver 540s with a pair of 16-turn mods and swapping the standard steering servo for a high-torque unit, we went out to test the TXT setup in the way most hardcore truck fans will equip it.

To make sure all the mod power reached the ground, we also glued the tires to the wheels; even with 540 power, we noticed the tires were slipping. This spares the transmission some strain, but it doesn’t help performance. With glued tires and more powerful motors, the TXT-1 showed what it could really do. The torque of the mod motors tweaked the chassis on takeoff, but the swaybars kept the tires hooked up. High-speed cornering also benefited from the swaybars, and the TXT-1 was able to rail turns at speed without rolling over. It also proved to be a very capable jumper, launching level on every run we made off our molded-plastic skateboard jump. The truck rebounded slightly when dropping in from the 3 feet of altitude it reached, but it never got out of shape. With a little shock tuning, it should be able to soak up landings with no bounce at all, but the TXT-1 suspension in stock form is still light years beyond any stock Clod Buster’s or Juggernaut’s and comparable with aftermarket kits.

THE VERDICT-SO FAR

Wow! Best Tamiya truck ever, and definitely the state of the art in the high-performance, straight-axle, “pure monster truck” category. The TXT-1 hits the bull’s-eye with its high-performance features (full bearings, machined duralumin chassis, cantilevered suspension), high style (factory-finished body, chrome wheels-and that chassis), and the ever present Tamiya quality and attention to detail. The only thing that’s left to do is to build and test our own TXT-1, as this one belongs to Tamiya, and they want it back. Of course, it could get lost in the mail ….

Below: the TXT-1’s axle housings are actually compact gearboxes. Tamiya’s improved Jugg 2 parts are in full effect; the biggie is the large-diameter shaft that pierces the input bevel gear and is supported by three bearings. These gears will not break.

Below: the TXT-1 looks very “aftermarket” with its aluminum four-bar setup, but these are all stock parts. The axles are Juggernaut 2 pieces, but the front and rear bash guards are new.

Cantilevered suspension brings the TXT-1 up to date with the state of the art in RC monstar truck suspension. The thick plastic “cantis” are bushed for precise action and swing on largediameter pivots.

Juggernaut 2 owners already know what’s inside the TXT-1s axle housings; here’s a glimpse for the rest of you. The all-metal diff is built for abuse, and ball bearings are standard. Note the reduction gears built into the axle’s “lid.”

The center gearbox is straight from the Jugg 2, complete with heat sinks and dual 540 power. The black collars allow the drive shafts to telescope about a centimeter, which is all the suspension requires, despite its massive travel.

The Kevin Connection

Does this teaser shot from the January issue look familiar? It’s a “Super Jugg” project that kevin Hetmanski, resident monster truck guru and “4×4” columnist, began to work on over a year ago. Kev was building it for fun and a future appearance in but when the Tamiya folks got wind of it. they decided to build the TXT-1 around Kevin’s chassis design and brought our Hinge-Boy in as a consultant (the “HB Racing” decal on the windshield stands for “Hinge-Boy”). Kevin is too modest to say much more than, “It was a team effort. and I think Tamiya did a great job on the truck,” but don’t worry Kev; we know you’re The King.

TAMIYA AMERICA INC.

2 Orion, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4200;

(800) TAMIYA-A; www.wtamiya.com.

Copyright Air Age Publishing Nov 2001

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved