Tamiya Hilux (1981)

By | Apr 6, 2016

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In 1981, Tamiya releases the first if its legendary three speeds. The rest is history.

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Taking complexity in an R/C vehicle to a new level, the Hilux was equipped with Tamiya’s first three-speed, radio-shiftable transmission. In keeping with the manufacturing traditions of the day, most of this trucks chassis and running gear are metal.

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This view shows what’s going on underneath. The clear mechanism box housed the radio and servos and provided a high degree of water resistance. The black box with the silver top in the middle left of the chassis is a transistorized speed controller (an early electronic speed control). Its cousin, the Blazing Blazer, had a mechanical speed control. Up front is the RS-540 motor coupled to the three speed transmission. All these parts were supported by a metal ladder frame very similar to the real thing.

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Close up of electronic speed controller. A transistorized unit that did away with the resistor coil in most mechanical speed controllers of the day, this was state of the art back in 1981! The other photo is a comparison with a Blazing Blazer. The Blazer’s mechanical speed controller is in the mechanism box.

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The underside reveals the realism afforded by the Hilux. The transmission and transfer case can be seen with drive shafts extending to front and rear differentials. These are not limited slip differentials. The axles are one-piece solid units so turning can be a bit hairy on pavement. The front hubs can be “unlocked” to allow free wheeling on dry pavement, just like the real thing.

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Unlike the Blazing Blazer, the Hilux came equipped with oil-filled shocks like those found on the Rough Rider or Sand Scorcher. The extreme angle of the rear shocks cast doubts on their effectiveness, but they sure look cool! The front shocks are set at a more useable angle.

hilux_bblazer.jpg Classic Tamiya Videos of the Hilux and Blazing Blazer here

 

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Originally posted 2014-10-26 02:02:07.

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5 Comments so far
  1. james August 19, 2008 1:41 pm

    i need parts for my 1981 vintage hilux.i was given this truck missin one wheel and rear driveshaft.can you help me to find these parts???

    thanx james

  2. Rich Winward August 23, 2009 5:00 pm

    I remember when my brother bought this truck and since recently past on. I finally found it in the basement in mint condition. It needs a metal part from front axle to tie rod. Any help?

  3. Jerry G. Poe November 15, 2009 4:21 pm

    I need some help finding parts for my 1st gen Hilux. The small 2mm ss bearings that are in the front locking hubs are missing. Also the rear outer hubs are badly worn. Do you know of anyone that might be able to help find these patrs? Thanks Jerry

  4. rcgrabbag November 16, 2009 12:39 pm

    That’s a tough one. Your best bet is to scour ebay and maybe reach out to some of the sellers there to see if they have any in their stock.

  5. raychell August 31, 2010 1:03 pm

    Oil shocks were an aftermarket (hop-up) option. the kit did no come with them. really enjoy your site!

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