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Thread: “ToyAto Crawler” HG-P407 (the black kit)

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Old 02-10-2019, 03:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Cullman
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Default “ToyAto Crawler” HG-P407 (the black kit)

I've approached this particular acquisition with a fair bit of ambivalence – does it truly represent IP theft or not, so far Tamiya has been silent on this matter -- eventually coming to the realization that Tamiya hasn’t actually lost a customer since I’d never pay what they are asking for their Bruiser.
I received this kit from an ebay member in Cincinnati and although it’s unbuilt, it is not new. It arrived in only 3 days and I couldn’t wait to open all the boxes to see what I have. If you’ve seen any of the other posts related to this model on this and other forums, much of what is presented here won’t be new (there’s not much remaining that hasn’t already been said) but maybe you’ll find some of this interesting. If you’re considering purchasing this model, maybe you’ll find some of this information helpful to boost your hopes or confirm your fears.
First impressions (the really boring stuff):
After a quick check of the contents, the kit appears to be complete, everything is well packed and very clean and, as near as I can tell, the frame, trans and axles have been assembled correctly. All cast aluminum parts have a really nice satin bead-blasted bare aluminum finish. The hardware is boxed separately and screw bags are clearly labeled. The included Hilux body is nearly identical to the one from RC4WD except I believe it’s a higher quality molding than the TF2 version (less flash, smaller parting lines, overall less sag, twist, distortion, etc. – maybe my TF2 body is just an abnormally poor example, I dunno). The manual is nicely illustrated and includes full size fastener drawings along the left margin adjacent to each step for easy reference. Overall, for the price, I’m quite impressed with the quality of this kit.




Shocks:
The shocks arrive pre-assembled and, unfortunately, with most of the oil on the outside – the bag is entirely coated with oil and the bottom cap for each shock had not been tightened and nearly fell off as I pulled them from the bag. Everyone seems to have issues with the shocks so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. The P407's shocks have shaft seals that are held in place with a threaded cap while the Bruiser's shocks had seals that were more or less permanently fixed to the shock body with a roll-burnish. So at least it appears that the P407's shocks can be serviced. Both the P407 and Bruiser shocks have spring-loaded floating pistons to prevent aeration of the shock oil -- assuming they don't leak, that is.



Transmission:
While removing the rear cover from the trans to confirm which parts will be needed to convert it to full-time 4wd, I managed to strip the head of one of the 3mm button head cover screws and needed to Dremel a screwdriver slot to extract the screw. The screw wasn’t that tight and I found no evidence of thread lock so I can only assume that the failure is related to the screw material. Inside, the unit seemed to be clean and well lubricated – no other issues here. Curiously, some of the bearings have metal shields while others have rubber seals. Although it’s not how HG assembled it, I will place the rubber sealed bearings at the output shaft locations – hopefully that will help to prevent dirt entering the case.
Tamiya makes a neat little multi-plate slipper clutch assembly to fit the re-re Bruiser. Since it's for their re-release I'd wondered if it would also fit the P407. Well, I've done some research and Tamiya uses a convoluted drive shape throughout their trans (including the sliders) while HG uses hex drive. As such I don't think the Tamiya clutch will fit the HG tranny without changing the entire main shaft gear set and I think the Tamiya gears are plastic.
I squirreled away a few of those rubber anti-vibration gromets that Futaba used to supply with their servos (maybe they still do?) and they just happen to fit the P407’s trans mounting tabs perfectly. This might make the truck run a little quieter and facilitate additional chassis flex as well. We’ll see.


Axles:
Both axles are supplied pre-assembled and they look great. I haven’t yet opened the axles but, since there’s resistance while turning the shafts and working the diffs, they feel like they’ve been greased. I’ve heard of at least one instance where the axle’s screws had been thread-locked with the red permanent stuff so I’ll be prepared to use the soldering gun technique to free them if necessary. The front axle’s steering parts are really nice and tight – I’ve heard some complaints related to loose king pins and loose wheel shaft/hub/bearing fit but it appears that I got lucky this time. If anything, the right side seems a little extra tight but I’m hoping it’ll wear-in over time. There are plugged holes provided in the top of both axle cases to allow for pinning the diffs (the pins are provided in the accessory bag). I will lock the rear axle and leave the front axle open to help the truck to steer more easily.


That' about it for today. More updates to follow after the truck has been assembled…
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