Bad Taigen gearbox or just a bad track?

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Postby seb4 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:22 am

So I bought the Taigen 3.1 PRO steel gearbox with 380er engines for my Heng Long Leopard 2a6.

When it arrived there was already some play on the drive shafts.
Also one of the gearboxes, the left one, did not run smooth and makes too much noise.

I can feel it when I turn the sprocket with my hands. The gearbox seems to be jamming at first, then it moves. It has become better now after using it for one month, but there is still that weird sound. Maybe this is not important, after all the tank rides fine.

The other gearbox is running good, it moves smooth without friction and makes no weird noise.
For one month there were no problems, the drive shafts clearly wobbled, but the tank was driving ok. Then one of the tracks broke. These tracks were also just one month in use.

In contrast, the standard plastic Heng Long gearbox was just fine. I used it for two months and there was no wobbling at all, and the tracks delivered are still good. It suffered as bad as the Taigen one from driving through the same terrain: mud and wet clay.

So I am wondering if this copy of the Taigen gearbox is a dud or is it a combination of factors. I really do not know if the track breaking has something to do with it. Maybe that track was also a dud. Maybe I over-stressed the track with this wet mud terrain.

As for now, I have a few options:
Put the Taigen motors on the Heng Long plastic gearboxes and see what that does.

Replace the Taigen drive shafts with new ones. (will not solve the somewhat stiff left gearbox).

Buy axle supports.

As you see I am a bit at a loss what do to. I apologize for such a long question. English is not my native language, making it hard for me to describe the problems.

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Postby desmo16 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:31 am

Hello, I had a problem like that with my tiger1 Taigen with the 4: 1 ratio. In the end I replaced an engine that does not work well, basically a copper filament had been broken inside the engine, until it broke completely on the transmission shaft. If I were you I would try to reverse the engines and see if the problem is actually the engine.

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Postby 43rdRecceReg » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:16 pm

In Britain, we have had news reports in the past of Trains not being able to run properly, or at all, when we had the 'wrong kind of snow' on the tracks. :crazy: The network can also grind to a halt, with leaves on the tracks in the Fall.
On this basis, maybe you had the 'wrong kind of mud'. :). The really abrasive kind. ;)
As an incidental, do you oil or grease your gearbox bearings/gears regularly? Dry PTFE works well, and even the Tamiya grease that comes with kits. seems to keep wear down.
In general, however, 'Pro' is added to many product descriptions these days- even face creams :/ , to give a reassurance of quality.
Taigen steel gears seem to garner good responses, in the main. They should, as they are not 'gut und billig'- cheap. As with all things made in China these days, quality control is variable. So, it may have been a case of bad luck. The basic plastic gears often give good and trustworthy service, at a fraction of the price.
In the last two years, or so, I've dipped my toes into the Tamiya 'full-option' pool of tanking options. To me, the gearboxes feel, and look, better made. That is, with tighter tolerances, and the feel of precision.
That said, I think the King Tiger units had a known problem at one time. In all, though, they do tend inspire one with a little confidence that they will get through 'thick and thin', (mud, snow, and so on) season after season.
Your English is fine, by the way. :thumbup:
Last edited by 43rdRecceReg on Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby seb4 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:53 pm

desmo16 wrote:Hello, I had a problem like that with my tiger1 Taigen with the 4: 1 ratio. In the end I replaced an engine that does not work well, basically a copper filament had been broken inside the engine, until it broke completely on the transmission shaft. If I were you I would try to reverse the engines and see if the problem is actually the engine.


thank you. I will take a look at that.

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Postby seb4 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 4:58 pm

43rdRecceReg wrote:In Britain, we have had news reports in the past of Trains not being able to run properly, or at all, when we had the 'wrong kind of snow' on the tracks. :crazy: The network can also grind to a halt, with leaves on the tracks in the Fall.
On this basis, maybe you had the 'wrong kind of mud'. :). The really abrasive kind. ;)
As an incidental, do you oil or grease your gearbox bearings/gears regularly? Dry PTFE works well, and even the Tamiya grease that comes with kits. seems to keep wear down.
In general, however, 'Pro' is added to many product descriptions these days- even face creams :/ , to give a reassurance of quality.
Taigen steel gears seem to garner good responses, in the main. They should, as they are not 'gut und billig'- cheap. As with all things made in China these days, quality control is variable. So, it may have been a case of bad luck. The basic plastic gears often give good and trustworthy service, at a fraction of the price.
In the last two years, or so, I've dipped my toes into the Tamiya 'full-option' pool of tanking options. To me, the gearboxes feel, and look, better made. That is, with tighter tolerances, and the feel of precision.
That said, I think the King Tiger units had a known problem at one time. In all, though, they do tend inspire one with a little confidence that they will get through 'thick and thin', (mud, snow, and so on) season after season.
You're English is fine, by the way. :thumbup:


Thanks for your answer, it is helpful and reassuring. I will probably run this gearbox for a while on more forgiving terrain. If needed then I change it for the plastic gearbox or a cheap metal one from Heng Long.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:45 pm

I have found that the left boxes of a few of my Heng Long tanks are tighter for some reason.
I know you have Taigen boxes, but looking at their construction, I wouldn't be surprised if they were made in the same factory.

I haven't looked into it yet, but my gut tells me that some makes of left gearboxes are made a little tighter with the different tooling needed to make the side plates. In other words, when the plates have their shaft holes stamped in them before they get bent, some holes are a little closer on the left box. Also the motor is in a different position, therefore the location holes for that could be closer/tighter.

As for your new track breaking, it could have had a weak link, but, it's more likely that as steel geared boxes don't have the clutch that the plastic boxes do, when you used to drive over the same area, your plastic boxes "slipped" and saved your tracks from breaking, but now with your new boxes, you don't have that "safety" backup.
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Postby seb4 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:25 pm

Thank you. I will check that. The right box was worse as the left from the beginning. Disappointing for such a price. I will buy a Heng Long metal one for when this one is worn out.

Like you said the tracks were probably over stressed too: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=26504 That swamp clay was too bad for a rc tank I guess.

The Heng Long metal ones are not as good as the steel ones- but I can buy two sets of them and they still cost less as this Taigen one I bought: https://www.rctank.de/Leopard-2A6-31-PR ... -axles-low
Last edited by seb4 on Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:35 pm

Oh, this wasn't one of the cheaper Taigen boxes?

Like I said, I haven't looked into the reasons why. But if your tank still drives in a straight line like it did before you changed boxes, I wouldn't worry too much about it, the boxes should smooth out over time and use.

Sadly straight cut gear teeth are inherently noisy, made worse because they don't run in oil.

Car gearboxes gears are usually helical for two reasons, one, more tooth contact area for gear width, and two, less noise. But then again, the teeth on those gears are also smooth faced.
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Postby General Jumbo01 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:56 pm

Personally, l wouldn't use the HengLong metal gearboxes as they are rather low on material quality. The Taigen boxes use better metals, reflected in their prices, but l guess you can always be unlucky and get a defective one. Why not send it back?

The HengLong nylon geared boxes run quite well and, unless you can't live with their gear ratios, I'd suggest you use them until they break. The Taigen model names, although they sound like gear ratios, are not (yes, l was fooled too).

Generally, all of the HL/Taigen/Torro motor and gearbox units are of basic quality. It may be possible to simply replace the motors with a quality 'can' with lower turns that would provide lower speeds and more torque but l'm not yet familiar with smaller sized units yet.

Always add a tiny spot of oil on both ends of the armature shaft bearings and then feel free to grease liberally the gearbox gears. Try to use a light weight grease that doesn't attack plastics - if you can find a Teflon grease this will be perfect but otherwise some model train greased do a good job.

Unfortunately, cheap brushed motors without ball races will always be noisey but l don't know the smaller brushless cans yet so cant recommend one, but with two brushless escs you'd have to get an 'open' spec MFU. Hope this helps.

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Postby seb4 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:11 am

Son of a gun-ner wrote:Oh, this wasn't one of the cheaper Taigen boxes?

Like I said, I haven't looked into the reasons why. But if your tank still drives in a straight line like it did before you changed boxes, I wouldn't worry too much about it, the boxes should smooth out over time and use.

Sadly straight cut gear teeth are inherently noisy, made worse because they don't run in oil.

Car gearboxes gears are usually helical for two reasons, one, more tooth contact area for gear width, and two, less noise. But then again, the teeth on those gears are also smooth faced.


No this is the 3.1 PRO steel gearbox: https://www.rctank.de/Leopard-2A6-31-PR ... -axles-low

The tank drives in a straight line, but there is more wobbling as with the Heng Long plastic one.

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Postby seb4 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:47 am

General Jumbo01 wrote:Personally, l wouldn't use the HengLong metal gearboxes as they are rather low on material quality. The Taigen boxes use better metals, reflected in their prices, but l guess you can always be unlucky and get a defective one. Why not send it back?

The HengLong nylon geared boxes run quite well and, unless you can't live with their gear ratios, I'd suggest you use them until they break. The Taigen model names, although they sound like gear ratios, are not (yes, l was fooled too).

Generally, all of the HL/Taigen/Torro motor and gearbox units are of basic quality. It may be possible to simply replace the motors with a quality 'can' with lower turns that would provide lower speeds and more torque but l'm not yet familiar with smaller sized units yet.

Always add a tiny spot of oil on both ends of the armature shaft bearings and then feel free to grease liberally the gearbox gears. Try to use a light weight grease that doesn't attack plastics - if you can find a Teflon grease this will be perfect but otherwise some model train greased do a good job.



Unfortunately, cheap brushed motors without ball races will always be noisey but l don't know the smaller brushless cans yet so cant recommend one, but with two brushless escs you'd have to get an 'open' spec MFU. Hope this helps.

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I cannot send it back anymore- too late now. I do not now what a 'çan' is. But a gearbox with lower turns was not advised since it makes this big and heavy Leo too slow.

My Taigen gearbox comes with ball bearings: https://www.rctank.de/Leopard-2A6-31-PR ... -axles-low

I have put a liberal amount of Teflon grease on the gears. I will also do that to the armature shaft bearings. Thanks for your advice.

I agree the nylon geared boxes that came with the tank did a better job- no wobbling at all. And that for a much cheaper price. So I will swap later the Taigen 380 motors to my plastic Heng Long gearbox and see if that goes well. The problem with that gearbox is that one of the electricity cables is loose and has to be soldered - I am not handy in soldering but a nephew of me probably can do it.

For the moment I will continue to use this Taigen box until it breaks. It is too expensive to to throw it away after one month of use

Probably after all, it is this what caused the excessive wear and later the track breaking: viewtopic.php?f=33&t=26504

And it was probably augmented by the fact that this Taigen box had already defects when it arrived to my home brand new.

I am fairly new into RC tanks and this adventure into the swamp was not my best move. But then again the plastic gearbox was abused too and hold its own. So I have become weary to buy expensive gearboxes which have loose drive shafts even before they are used. And I will never ride again in this abysmal sort of clay :(


To be honest I have learnt the hard way that this wet swamp clay is just not suited for my tank.

All of you , thank you very much for the time and effort you made to help me!

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Postby capt midnight » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:46 am

I have used a couple of different after market gearboxes. I think that the Watersons were the best. Came with 3 different pinion gears and a removal/ installation tool. High quality machined gears.

I have a set of these in my PzIV and they work great. It has a bunch of metal parts as well as metal hull and turret schurzen. They drive it really well through anything I've tried it on or in.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tank-Gearbox-F ... :rk:8:pf:0

Or maybe something like these...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Steel-ML49mm-G ... rk:89:pf:0

I haven't used any of these, but they do look pretty impressive.

I'm not sure of the correct length you need, but most of the manufactures make the different gear boxes in all the different length for the HL's.

Hope some of this helps!

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Postby seb4 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 7:31 am

Thanks Bill.

Bastiaan

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Postby General Jumbo01 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:37 pm

"Can", sorry, a term used for can style motors, not open frame type. Cheap, low quality versions of these motors are sealed, the brushes cannot be replaced and the commutator cannot be cleaned. If you replace them with more high spec "cans" you should also be able to select the number of turns /wind of the motor. When you consider that in other forms of RC hobbies it is common to spend over £200 on just one motor and ESC to get two motors and two gearboxes for £12 - 100 is very cheap.

If that gearbox has ball races on each end of every turning shaft and the frame is precision drilled then you should be fine there. Use a light oil on the ball races. Do not grease the motor shaft ends - just the smallest amount of light oil! Teflon grease is for the gear teeth. I'll take a look around 380 sized cans (for my own benefit too) and get back on that one.

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Postby jarndice » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:05 pm

Hi,WD40 make a Dry PTFE spray which is ideal for lubricating Gearboxes
(WD-40 Specialist. Anti Friction DRY PTFE Lubricant) .
You mentioned Axle Support bearings, I am a firm believer in them and it is one of the first modifications on every Tank I purchase,
They prevent excess stress on the gearbox mountings and stabilise the gearbox output shafts which reduces the chance of Tracks being "Thrown".
I was surprised that the Taigen Gearboxes were so disappointing,
If you did buy them from DOM at www.rctank.de He would certainly want to hear about the problems you are having with them,
I would advise against buying Heng Long Metal Gearboxes, Yes they are much cheaper BUT they really are RUBBISH,
Whereas the Nylon Heng Long Gearboxes are very good value.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:07 pm

General Jumbo01 wrote:When you consider that in other forms of RC hobbies it is common to spend over £200 on just one motor and ESC to get two motors and two gearboxes for £12 - 100 is very cheap.

Yep, a pair of high end tank boxes with motors aren't expensive, they only appear expensive because of how cheap some are.
When I finally threw the towel in with the HIGH end slot cars, single motors were in excess of £250 (think they're over £300 now), with the pinion and crown gear another £40 or more on top. Oh, and these setups weren't built to last.
A well engineered pair of boxes may feel expensive, but they're not.
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Postby General Jumbo01 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:23 pm

We really need to chat about slots - my '60s youth was misspent spending my parents salaries on 1/24th scale slot car racing at the big commercial raceways around the south using the very first clear plastic blobs (they weren't lexan then) and hand built brass chassis. I used Dyna Enduro 26d cans then, and you could specify the wind. All gone now are those huge 8 lane tracks.

Anyway, 380 cans. A quick couple of phone calls to distributors has revealed......no good ones are made! No demand. If you go to 540 size (1/10th race standard) then hundreds of types but mostly now brushless anyway - fine if you can fit them in and bin the stock MFU!

So... I'm going to do what some of us did in the '60s, break down a sealed stock 380 can and rewind it to give lower revs and more torque. Now, where do l find the wire?
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Postby seb4 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:10 pm

jarndice wrote:Hi,WD40 make a Dry PTFE spray which is ideal for lubricating Gearboxes
(WD-40 Specialist. Anti Friction DRY PTFE Lubricant) .
You mentioned Axle Support bearings, I am a firm believer in them and it is one of the first modifications on every Tank I purchase,
They prevent excess stress on the gearbox mountings and stabilise the gearbox output shafts which reduces the chance of Tracks being "Thrown".
I was surprised that the Taigen Gearboxes were so disappointing,
If you did buy them from DOM at http://www.rctank.de He would certainly want to hear about the problems you are having with them,
I would advise against buying Heng Long Metal Gearboxes, Yes they are much cheaper BUT they really are RUBBISH,
Whereas the Nylon Heng Long Gearboxes are very good value.


Thanks. I have re assembled the tank and will drive with the Taigen until it breaks. Then will put the nylon gears in it. The axle support bearings are for later.

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Postby seb4 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:11 pm

General Jumbo01 wrote:"Can", sorry, a term used for can style motors, not open frame type. Cheap, low quality versions of these motors are sealed, the brushes cannot be replaced and the commutator cannot be cleaned. If you replace them with more high spec "cans" you should also be able to select the number of turns /wind of the motor. When you consider that in other forms of RC hobbies it is common to spend over £200 on just one motor and ESC to get two motors and two gearboxes for £12 - 100 is very cheap.

If that gearbox has ball races on each end of every turning shaft and the frame is precision drilled then you should be fine there. Use a light oil on the ball races. Do not grease the motor shaft ends - just the smallest amount of light oil! Teflon grease is for the gear teeth. I'll take a look around 380 sized cans (for my own benefit too) and get back on that one.

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Ok, thank you.

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Postby seb4 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:58 pm

seb4 wrote:
jarndice wrote:Hi,WD40 make a Dry PTFE spray which is ideal for lubricating Gearboxes
(WD-40 Specialist. Anti Friction DRY PTFE Lubricant) .
You mentioned Axle Support bearings, I am a firm believer in them and it is one of the first modifications on every Tank I purchase,
They prevent excess stress on the gearbox mountings and stabilise the gearbox output shafts which reduces the chance of Tracks being "Thrown".
I was surprised that the Taigen Gearboxes were so disappointing,
If you did buy them from DOM at http://www.rctank.de He would certainly want to hear about the problems you are having with them,
I would advise against buying Heng Long Metal Gearboxes, Yes they are much cheaper BUT they really are RUBBISH,
Whereas the Nylon Heng Long Gearboxes are very good value.


Why are the metal ones worse as the nylon gear?

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