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1/10 Tamiya M06 Mini RC Car - Build, Tune and Racing Tips

Last year my daughter finished 2nd overall in the Tamiya Cup M-chassis class driving a fwd Tamiya M05 mini rc car. This year we have decided to use a Tamiya M06 in the 2012 Tamiya Asia Cup qualifiers. It is rear wheel drive and a new challenge.

Tamiya M06 Mini RC Car

Photo: Getting ready to tune the Tamiya M06. Tires, springs, shocks, differential, motors and bodies.

On the first race of the season, I quickly put together the kit and asked my daughter to race it. During the two qualifiers she looked like a drunk driver, the car was veering all over the place. She was last place in qualifying.

I was scratching my head. Not sure what to do. Eventually I tightened the servo saver with a zip tie cable and reduced the front camber by 1 full turn on the ballcups. And to my relief, it was a step in the right direction.

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The finals was a triple A-main format, best two runs count. Tiebreaker is via the best 5 minute run. After the dust settled, from last on the grid, my daughter finished 2nd overall. Losing in the tiebreaker by just 2/10 of a second. A heartbreaking loss, but still a good result given the awefull qualifying performance of the car. As consolation, she managed to win the Jr. Stock touring class (15 years old and below).

With this I am full of energy to tune the Tamiya M06 to perfection. I believe, on our indoor asphalt track, the M06 will be faster than the M05s. So let's get started, here are my tuning methodology and tips.

Tamiya Mini RC Car Bodies and Wheelbase

Tamiya Mini RC Car Bodies

First is to decide what wheelbase to build the car. Short (210mm), medium (225mm) or long (239mm). And to keep in mind the rc car body choices that come with those wheelbase. For me a short track might favor a short wheelbase. A large flowing track will favor a long wheelbase.

I've done a lot of testing. I always find the medium wheelbase to be the best. For the M05 it is the Swift or Fiat 500 body. For the M04 it is the Mazda Miata. For the M06, so far I've tested the long wheelbase (with Mercedes SLK body) and medium wheelbase (Mazda Miata). The long wheelbase seems more stable. But I find the medium wheelbase should have the most potential for speed.

For now I am starting with the M06 medium wheelbase and Mazda Miata body. Sorry the body looks battered, it has gone through many wars since 2004 and have won many times. It is my favorite. Notice it is also the lowest roofdeck height, with should help with faster cornering speed. The smooth aerodynamic shape for high speed.

Tamiya Mini RC Tires

Tamiya Mini Tires

80% of the performance and handling is tires. Above are just some of the tires I have accumulated over the years. I will bring all these to the track and start testing, noting the best pairs for the front and back. It is a long process, but that is tuning.

Tamiya M-Chassi Mini RC Tires Type S, M, B, A

In the Tamiya Asia Cup, we are only allowed to use Tamiya tires. For asphalt, I believe in order of most grip to least grip is Type A, S, M, Kit and B. For carpet, my experience is Type M, S, Kit, A, B. That is ballpark. But best to test on your particular track.

Shocks, Spring and Suspension

Tamiya RC Car Shocks Springs

Next I tune the suspension. Being rear wheel drive, bumps will make the M06 easily unsettled. For now I am testing the softest Tamiya springs. The black plastic shocks installed are the Tamiya Super Mini CVA. The blue with red springs are Tamiya TRF Mini rc shocks designed for the M-chassis. The white and black springs are mounted on regular Tamiya TRF touring car shocks.

The goal is to ensure stability over bumps as well as get the front and rear to roll in a balanced fashion. That is controlled with the spring hardness and oil thickness. This is trial and error and requires a lot of time. I would probably start with Tamiya TRF mini shocks and 3 hole pistons. 30wt front, 40wt oil in the rear.

Tamiya Ball and Gear Diff

Tamiya Ball and Gear Diff

The differential is another tuning tool that will affect the behaviour of your M06. Choices are 1)Tamiya TA03 ball diff, 2) Tamiya M05 ball diff and 3) standard kit gear diff.

The M05 ball diff is currently installed on my daughter's M06 and not in the photo. The TA03 ball diff is popular on the M03 and M05 fwd models. But for the M06, it's probably either the M05 ball diff or the gear diff.

Then there is the matter of setting the differential tension, from loose to tight. I have no tips for now as I have only tried a loose gear diff. It works fine. No slip, minimal maintenance. Will be trying the M05 ball diff soon.

Tamiya M06 M-chassis RC Car

Tamiya M06 M-Chassis RC Car

Here is my current setup. We are using Tamiya 28T Lightly Tuned brushed motors and Nicad, LiFe or LiPo battery. With the relatively weak motor, power is a big factor in winning races. To get power:

1) Use the strongest battery you can buy.

2) Use the best electronic speed controller (I use Keyence Rapida Pro).

3) Install power capacitors (installed are TOP .15F and Keyence Turbo Chevalier capacitors).

4) Install your best motor. Due to manufacturing tolerance, some are faster than others.

5) Ensure your drivetrain is free, no drag. Use good ball bearings. Run gears dry, no grease.

Other basic setup:

Front ride height: 5mm

Rear ride height: 5mm

Front camber: 0 degrees

Rear camber: 1.5 degrees

Important to also build the kit properly and set it up without tweak.

That's it for now. Will keep this page updated with more information, photos and videos as my daughter tests and races this car for the 2012 season.

Hope this helps.


Where can I buy Tamiya M06 and other m-chassis rc cars?

Here are the steps:

  1. Find a Tamiya distributor nearest your area.
  2. If you want to shop online, try the online rc store. Listed are some shops to get you started.

You will definitely have fun with Tamiya minis!

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