Mad Wheelie Machine – Tamiya MudMad Boasts Surprising Versatility In A Compact Size

Mad Wheelie Machine – Tamiya MudMad Boasts Surprising Versatility In A Compact Size

The Tamiya MudMad is a type of automobiles that give us matches attempting to explain to you guys. On the one hand, it’s deceptively easy in idea. Simply wanting on the whimsically styled tiny 4x4with its tremendous quick wheelbase and outsized tires offers you a fairly good expectation of what it’s made to do. However what will not be obvious within the seems is the way it executes that idea—all of the little touches within the design that maximize the enjoyable issue and make it vastly entertaining to drive in a wide range of environments.

We first noticed the SW-01 chassis some time again on the Lunch Field Mini, and like that miniaturized model of Tamiya’s basic van, this MudMad is made for wheelies—the quick wheelbase, the excessive heart of gravity, and the torquey drive system make wheelstands a pull of the throttle set off away at any time. However that’s to not say the MudMad is a one-trick pony.

If Tamiya had simply needed to make a easy wheelie-popping mini they might have made it rear-drive and been performed with it, however they didn’t try this. As a substitute, they engineered a enjoyable little 4×4 that may bump, leap, and scramble its approach by way of a wide range of stunt maneuvers. Let’s check out how they managed it.

4 Wheelie Drive

Energy comes from a 370-size motor mounted transversely and low within the chassis, midway between the entrance and rear axles. The drivetrain is solely gear-driven, which is made doable by a wheelbase that’s simply 92mm. The gear drive results in planetary gear differentials entrance and rear, spinning axle shafts geared up with common joints. The inventory gear ratio is quoted at a brief 21.88:1, serving to to yank these entrance tires off the bottom on demand, however there’s an non-compulsory pinion gear obtainable that trades slightly of that low-end grunt for the next high velocity.

There’s additionally an non-compulsory ball bearing equipment to switch the inventory equipment’s bushings—a worthwhile improve whether or not you might be working the inventory or non-compulsory gearing, and one thing you most likely wish to set up while you’re constructing the equipment for the primary time, because the drivetrain is buried within the heart of the monocoque chassis and would possibly require practically a full teardown to get to later. You will want to produce your personal 7.2-7.4V battery and a velocity management suitable along with your chosen pack. Tamiya additionally presents an non-compulsory battery case permitting you to energy the MudMad with 4 AA batteries if desired.


One of many challenges with a small automobile with a excessive CG just like the MudMad is conserving it from tumbling over in turns. Tamiya has provide you with an revolutionary resolution for the SW-01 chassis that includes mingling the steering motion with the journey angle. Because the steering bell crank system turns, it leans the entrance suspension into the flip, utilizing the suspension geometry to counteract the tendency for the physique to lean or roll to the surface.

Tamiya calls the suspension system a modified MacPherson strut system, and whereas that could be a slight stretch, it does share rather a lot in frequent with a compact strut setup such as you discover in your avenue automotive. There’s a fairly normal decrease management arm and an outsized steering knuckle with an built-in friction damper constructed into the highest of it, (the “strut”). An higher management arm connects the highest of the damper again to the chassis and the intense yellow steering arms connect with the bell crank system that pivots your entire suspension of the within tire upward, nevertheless it does so with out compressing the spring so you keep suspension journey mid-turn. Very intelligent!

One other ingenious little bit of engineering is non-compulsory supplemental fore/aft higher steering arm connectors that give the MudMad 4-wheel steering motion. That is notably helpful when popping wheelies as a result of it offers you steering management even while you’re up on two wheels! And the steering system makes use of a standard-size servo, which helps each sturdiness and comfort.

The battery is accessed by way of the rear of the MudMan so physique elimination just isn’t vital when altering it out.

Smile-Worthy Styling

The MudMad is all about lighthearted enjoyable and the styling actually communicates that, though the design does have some function behind it, beginning with the attachment technique. The pre-painted physique is held quick with magnetic retainers after which bolstered with physique clips alongside the rocker panels and the open-backed physique permits swapping of the rear-mounted battery with out eradicating the physique, (relying on the size of your battery connector leads.)

In contrast to the squarish Lunchbox that was first to obtain the SW-01 chassis, the three-box MudMad is extra rounded, truly permitting it to carry out somersaults and roll again onto its wheels in lots of instances. The 70mm tires dominate the MudMad’s profile, and whereas they’ve a reasonably aggressive off-road tread sample I feel the “Mud” within the MudMad’s identify is a bit optimistic. It could possibly actually bumble fortunately over dust and small obstacles although, and the built-in skid plate/entrance bumper protects the steering system from collisions.

Regardless that it has decidedly off-road seems, it’s price noting that MudMad delivers a a lot better driving expertise when its rolling on flatter, obstruction free surfaces resembling dust, shallow mud puddles, concrete, wooden, even on the carpet of your lounge flooring. Resulting from its small measurement and excessive heart of gravity, we discovered that it’s not nicely fitted to traversing by way of tall grass and over giant rocks.

Ultimate Ideas

In case you glanced rapidly on the MudMad and didn’t take time to have a look at the intelligent engineering that went into it, it could be straightforward to dismiss it as a single-purpose novelty RC automobile. However that sells quick the stumpy little soft-roader. Sure, it seems relatively comical. Sure, it’s designed to pop wheelies at will. But it surely’s additionally a zippy little runabout that may do different issues and might present smiles to newbies and skilled RCers alike. And it’s a equipment, so there’s the added enjoyment of assembling one in every of Tamiya’s superbly engineered kits alongside the best way. It could be a terrific first construct for an aspiring younger hobbyist.

Textual content by RCCA Workers
Photographs by Leigh Guarnieri

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