HL Tiger 1 - buy cheap buy twice?!

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Postby whitecitadel » Sat May 07, 2022 10:53 pm

Hi,

So new member here (yes I did an introduction) and just bought first RC Tank but not new to RC. Always wanted a tank, decided to get the HL Tiger 1 “pro” with the metal tracks, road wheels, drive sprockets and metal gear boxes as I knew I would want metal tracks and wheels eventually.

Out of the box, it looked a bit toy like but I expected that as it’s the bottom end of the market, but I wanted something to enjoy in the garden and upgrade and paint/model over time - basically knew what I was ordering.

Charged the battery and took a test drive around the patio today, no lawn, off-road or assault courses, just flat stuff and it’s not running smoothly, the right side has a lot of vibration and I worked out it’s one of the road wheels is “bent” and catching the adjacent wheel causing it to jump all over the place.

Better explained with a video:
phpBB [video]


Some investigation and inspection identified, “it ain’t straight”, see straight edge on the wheel:
50829445-DD4B-4166-AD6E-64A457AFC590.jpeg
Wobbly wheel

(The edge of the rule is on the face of the problem wheel. Other wheels are mostly square and true)

I checked it’s tight and can see no obvious problem as it appears to spin true, the metal suspension arm it’s mounted on must be the issue? :S ???

Even after no more than 10 minutes running it was clear the thing is over geared, under motored, or both. I decided to check inside how the arms are attached so opened it up carefully, also wanted to check motor size and that I had the expected metal gearboxes.

The gearboxes are indeed metal, with a plastic cover looked pretty decent, but removing covers there is a lot of play on all the gears on their axles, the axles appear to be in bushings not bearings - again not complaining at this price point just observing!

I noticed though that the right gearbox has a really loose gear set, it looks like the bushing in the gearbox wall is not parallel, and this shaft has a lot of movement, generally eccentric movement is not expected in a gearbox is my experience, the shaft to right of motor before final drive to track sprocket:
26B0CB85-4861-4440-BF9E-169D498D6CBF.jpeg
Gearbox

Hard to photograph but the bushing is in focus if you click the image full size you might see how it’s “on the wonk” I believe is the engineering term. Not sure if this is factory issue or caused by the bad road wheel yanking on the whole drivetrain that side.

So. This brings me to the subject line of the post!

I already decided I had to have the Taigen metal chassis, looks excellent and the plastic HL is rather flimsy. Now I have the tank I can see gearing is really for plastic wheel/track weights and it’s going to struggle with the metal tracks it has before I add more weight with metal chassis - so at some point I need a new gearbox with lower drive and bigger motors. Having looked at the gearbox clearly it already has a problem either from the wonky wheel or factory and is not going to last anyway.

Plus - is the wheel bad and will do the same on the new chassis - or is the HL chassis the problem with the wobbly wheel. If I buy new chassis I might still have issues transferring running gear?

If I am in for chassis and gearbox… I am left wondering if I don’t just send this one back with its wonky wheel and go for a Torro kit or Taigen instead?

I suspect this is probably the wrong audience for that question :D

Any suggestions on the cause of the problem wheel?

Any suggestions what to consider as alternative if I send this one back?

Thanks for comments.

Oh, and just to add to the complaints, the controller sticks keep falling out - with the very poor slow speed control as well it seems I likely will be wanting to upgrade controller sooner than later…
FB858B98-B052-4577-8752-8BA15502FB32.jpeg
Self exploding controller


Probably answered my own question writing this, but what should I consider that is better built out of the box? :thumbup:

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Postby jarndice » Sat May 07, 2022 11:28 pm

My first Tiger 1 was a Heng Long but the law of diminishing returns as I added metal tracks and wheels and sprockets quickly revealed its weaknesses,
I now buy Heng Long Bodies and Turret's and Taigen Metal hulls with all metal wheels and sprockets and idlers and recently Heng Long Gearboxes (From http://www.forgebeartanks.com),
The biggest single advantage is the built in quick release but the rigidity of the metal hull and the torsion bar suspension coupled with the no bovver fit of Heng Long to Taigen body to hull won me over,
The entry to RC Armour is a very steep and expensive learning curve :lolno:
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sat May 07, 2022 11:56 pm

It is very possible that the suspension arm has a wonkey hole for the axle, or a bent axle. If it is the later, you'll have to remove it from the arm to straighten, the arm wouldn't take the stress and would likely snap. It is also possible to purchase spares. Although, if you're staying with the Heng Long chassis, it will need stiffening.
The Taigen/Torro metal suspension arms won't be the same as the Heng Long ones you have.
As for the gear boxes, the gears haven't been blackened, and they look a bit light for steel, are the actual gears magnetic? To me, they look like the soft pot metal variety, it may just be due to the lighting etc of the photograph, but a magnet will tell, because pot metal isn't magnetic.
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Postby Jimster » Sun May 08, 2022 2:19 am

I will pretty much echo what jarndice said. The only Heng Long part left on my Tiger1 is the upper hull. Check out my build thread if you have any spare time. viewtopic.php?f=22&t=26614
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Postby whitecitadel » Sun May 08, 2022 10:39 am

Thanks for replies.

Chassis/Wheels
The road wheels “axles” are screwed into the suspension arm, the screw/axle itself appears straight so my money is on the arm - more likely factory cross threaded than bent? (Unless by axle you mean the part through the HL Hull, which is also possible I didn’t check that closely but it’s not fouling the chassis as far as I can see).

The Taigen arms are different you said Jandice, but the Taigen chassis comes with arms fitted as far as I can see? I already had it in my cart at forgebear but Dave’s website does not show a picture of the side, welshdragonmodels website does and it has the Taigen arms fitted so you just move over the Heng along wheels and “axles” (screws) it seems - so I probably eliminate my problem part which I assume is the HL sprung arm. Looking at the Taigen wheels on forgebear they have two different types of axles supplied but as far as I can see all my HL wheels screw on with the same type of fitting.

In terms up upper, I see the Taigen/Torro come with metal turrets and barrels, but I am not convinced if they are really more detailed (?) and the extra weight is more load on the motors etc. The HL I have is BB and IR, and recoil and seems OK (no real interest in BB personally, only just read about the muzzle flash options that sounds fun also)

GearBox

Is there a FAQ somewhere of what fits what? HL and Taigen appear interchangeable (short/long acknowledged) for gearboxes, but not the tracks and wheels is that correct?

son of a gun-ner I didn't think to try a magnet, they are not black they are silver, they seem "OK" for a PRC product, but I would not say they are made from steel more "Chineseiuem". You can see that the motor pinion does not sit in good mesh with the drive gear, and even though this was 10 minutes on hard surface its already showing wear. The box and advertising only claims "metal gears". I am not overly worried about the gears stripping through material, more because that shaft is moving all over as the bushing is bad.

What's a good gearbox, without going "the full Jimster" on the exotic options like dual current, is the "ultimate edition" worth considering?
https://www.forgebeartanks.com/store/p928/Heng_Long_Ultimate_Edition_II_Short_Shaft_Steel_Gears_1%3A16_Scale_RC_Tank_%28Tiger%29.html
I don't see the drive ratio, so not sure how they compare to say the 4:1 Taigen gearboxes etc.

Looking at a few youtube vids just now, I am wondering if I should take the gearbox out and see if I can fix it, or just leave alone and see if it fails later and then upgrade (aka the sensible option).

Are the metal driveshaft supports worth adding, assume they go outside the hull to support the shaft?
https://www.forgebeartanks.com/store/p255/Tiger_I_Metal_Driveshaft_Supports_Brass_Bushes_8.06mm_Fit_Taigen__and_Heng_Long.html

Jimster - I read your entire thread already, worried I will end up with a TX16S and a Elmod in the end as well :haha:

The controller is OK (I have other models with cheap plastic controllers) but my crawler has a higher quality radiolink and its not just the build and feel but the control on the potentiometers/encoders etc is much more fine and precise. If you try to do a reverse turn, it works OK one way, the other way it likes to suddenly spin turn the opposite way - which is annoying and going to get you killed if Oddball is coming the other way :/

Sadly the HL is all integrated, and I am not quite ready for Elmod level upgrade costs just yet - this is where maybe I should have considered the Torro (Taigen) kit in a box, as it just wants a standard receiver and I could have used existing RC.

So in summary, 3 days in I am buying a hull, considering a gearbox upgrade and talking about high end electronics - situation normal then?

Should I go obsess over tow cables, air cleaners and tow pintle's for a few months and come back later ;) Made this reply too long again... that'll teach me for sitting at the PC not trying to type a reply on my phone...

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Postby General Jumbo01 » Sun May 08, 2022 10:57 am

Do you know the version number of the electronics in your model? Henglong made a very effective upgrade when they released ver.6 and are now on ver 7. They also started supplying steel gearboxes as standard, replacing the weaker nylon geared boxes and cheap pot metal types. Anything before are budget toy grade and best avoided but, that said, is what many of us started on.

Either way, don't be afraid to strip and rebuild your model as you'll not only become more familiar with it but will probably sort out a few factory build issues on the way. RTR can be a double sided sword!
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Postby whitecitadel » Sun May 08, 2022 12:15 pm

It’s the “latest” (as every Chinese product always is :/ ) pro version, so metal gearbox, wheels and tracks included and 7.0 electronics:
D3BDE037-2B01-4450-8529-67043A46F9FB.jpeg
Tiger


It does seem to have a lot of functions in the booklet, the 70% speed was a welcome option, sound volume adjustment is useful as well. 7.0 electrics:
AAE5CB5A-67CE-4FC8-8C76-5DB4D596C54F.jpeg
TK7.0


I am wondering now what current the 7.0 supports and if I can upgrade the motors as the ESC is built in.

Gearbox is metal I will test later if the gears are steel or something else
0BCFF65A-EFE7-4866-B387-021A0CF31A79.jpeg
Gearbox

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Postby whitecitadel » Sun May 08, 2022 6:16 pm

Ok found the problem, the suspension arm hole is not straight and true, maybe cross threaded with a power tool at the factory.

Hard to Photograph, but it’s about 15 degrees at least of level hence the wheel rubs and crabs.
BC694C9D-1580-43A1-9956-99EEB09553FE.jpeg
BC694C9D-1580-43A1-9956-99EEB09553FE.jpeg (99.22 KiB) Viewed 250 times


In any case could try to tap it straight (re-thread that is) but I want the taigen lower hull anyway for more strength and easy access and it comes with new arms it seems so that should solve the problem.

Will have to see if I can find HL arms as spare so this chassis is useable in future if needed.

Will stick with it, will start a build thread maybe… that I can update over a few years :haha:

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Postby PainlessWolf » Sun May 08, 2022 7:43 pm

Zounds! It is like the Man knows Us already! ;0)
regards,
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Postby jarndice » Sun May 08, 2022 8:00 pm

Hi, The Drive shaft support bearings go on the INSIDE of the hull and in my opinion are an absolutely vital fit.
Do bear in mind that to secure them they have a pair of nuts :{ on the inside and if you do not place the two holes in the bearings that secure the bearing in the right place on the hull you will never get the nuts on making a dry run essential,
And now to the knowing heads of almost everyone on the Forum here is my Homily on the Tiger 1,
I advised you that the Heng Long Tiger 1 came with a few faults built in,
3 of the more obvious ones are easy to fix and FREE.
Cupola,
The cupola on the Tiger 1 early (Yours) is facing the wrong way, :thumbdown:
The cupola hatch should have the Hinge at the 20 to 8 position which would also place a vision slit front and centre,
The cupola is held in place by a very weak glue and by using a pen knife blade in the vision slits and gently I SAID GENTLY lifting the blade it will overcome the glue allowing you to relocate the cupola,
Spare Aerial Tubes,

Alongside the engine bay on each side is a plastic tube which represents the spare aerial tube,
Your tank has 2 the real thing with the exception of the command tank had one,
You now have a decision to make,
How accurate do you want your Tiger 1?
Some of us cut both of them off and substitute the one on the Radio operators side with a brass tube on a couple of 2 mm high holders or you could just leave the plastic representation in place on that side and remove the one on the drivers side.
Fenders,

When the Tiger 1 travelled by rail its tracks overhung the railway flatcars sides so transport tracks were fitted (That is what the cables on the side of the tank body are for) of course the front, rear and side fenders presented a problem, Krupps fitted hinges on the front and rear fenders you can too with a kit from ABER although not many of us do (Chicken)
The side fenders were/are in four sections and were unbolted and stacked on the back of the Tank while it was in transit,
Aber sell brass PE replacements BUT a simple swipe down the Preformed lines in the plastic body with an Exacto saw blade will do the job and once painted no one will know the difference :thumbup:
I hope that helps.
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Postby Kaczor » Mon May 09, 2022 7:53 am

By experience of my frinds owning HL Tiger - better to buy one Taigen than four HL ;)
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Postby jarndice » Mon May 09, 2022 9:31 am

Kaczor wrote:By experience of my friends owning HL Tiger - better to buy one Taigen than four HL ;)

I agree with you BUT we are dealing with a Forum member who has a Heng Long Tiger 1 so it is what it is.
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Postby Kaczor » Mon May 09, 2022 9:48 am

Sure, almost everyone starts with HL Tiger. Mine ended as burned prop on the battlefield ;)
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon May 09, 2022 9:55 am

Kaczor wrote:Sure, almost everyone starts with HL Tiger. Mine ended as burned prop on the battlefield ;)

:haha: :haha: :haha:
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon May 09, 2022 10:04 am

Taigen produced and sold metal reinforcing bars for the Heng Long Tiger 1 chassis. They had/Have metal studs/bushings as a more secure fixing for the suspension arms.
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Postby Herr Dr. Professor » Mon May 09, 2022 5:59 pm

Hi whitecitadel: the title you gave this thread and what you have shown us already suggests that you won't readily be discouraged, that you are accustomed to making repairs and upgrades. And I sure would not want you to be discouraged because I can already tell that your experience has already made you an RCTW member from whom I can learn. I do agree with the others about the advantage of an OOB Taigen or Torro AFV, but your level of skill could mean you will leap to even better yet.
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Postby whitecitadel » Mon May 09, 2022 8:55 pm

jarndice wrote:Hi, The Drive shaft support bearings go on the INSIDE of the hull and in my opinion are an absolutely vital fit.
Do bear in mind that to secure them they have a pair of nuts :{ on the inside and if you do not place the two holes in the bearings that secure the bearing in the right place on the hull you will never get the nuts on making a dry run essential,

That was not immediately obvious (and some online info has them outside!), but I looked and the ones around seem to be a brass bush not a bearing? At least the ones I saw. The drive shaft is 8mm, so I had a rummage and:
IMG_2370_2 (Large).JPG
Gearbox with bearing


A skateboard bearing is a perfect fit (I don't skateboard but I bought a pack for something I 3d printed!), but too thick to fit in the chassis at 7mm - it seems that with a suitable bearing like 8x14x4mm would be perfect if you fabricated a mount? I am partial to a bit of mechanical tinkering I might look at that further.

jarndice wrote:And now to the knowing heads of almost everyone on the Forum here is my Homily on the Tiger 1,
I advised you that the Heng Long Tiger 1 came with a few faults built in,
3 of the more obvious ones are easy to fix and FREE.
Cupola,
...
Spare Aerial Tubes,
...
Fenders

(I chopped the quote a bit so its not mega-long)

Thanks for this, I already spent quite some time looking through the "how to fix your tank" guides, although the latest moulding seems to have been updated since some of the guide was written.

The cupola just pulls off... at least on the "latest" version that I have?!
IMG_2374_2 (Large).JPG
Cupola Removed

Your right though there is no vision slit at 12 and 6 o'clock they are all "late" at 10 past or 10 to... will have to investigate further if the pull of part can be split to correct.

Aerial tubes - definitely cut off the extra one, contemplating the other one and doing a tube, but I don't think I have any suitable tube so it would mean more raw materials.

The side fenders/mud guards I will probably score the join to make them appear more separate parts, but I am not going to the extremes of replacing them or cutting them off or removing one etc - it might be more realistic but its a step to far... for now ;)

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Postby whitecitadel » Mon May 09, 2022 9:31 pm

jarndice wrote:
Kaczor wrote:By experience of my friends owning HL Tiger - better to buy one Taigen than four HL ;)

I agree with you BUT we are dealing with a Forum member who has a Heng Long Tiger 1 so it is what it is.


Thanks for being polite on my mistake! As you can see form the title of the thread - I am self aware at least... ;)

In defence of the Heng Long, it did come with metal tracks, metal sprockets and idlers, metal road wheels (amazingly with bearings it turned out!), a proper metal gearbox - I checked tonight and gears are very magnetic and when removed the gearbox is heavy I am pretty confident they are steel.

The turret also has recoil as well as BB and IR included, and the v7.0 electrics has a lot of functions built in like the 70% throttle option, remote volume and other features that seem to be missing from earlier iterations. Oh it also has a Li-Ion battery with XT60 not NiCad and Tamiya connectors (for which I have no charger... unless a 1980's vintage Tamiya counts).

To be critical on the HL - it didn't even run properly out of the box :haha:

I am not sure if the gearbox has bushes or bearing still, its not quite clear, they are flanged and they run smooth but I am still not sure - assuming bushes. The weak side plates let it down a bit, the gearbox I pictured earlier in the thread seems the side is a bit bent is the cause of my not perfect axle. The gearbox looks just like the Taigen ones pictured online apart from the gears and side plates are not black.

The unpainted Taigen Tiger 1 is about £450 here? although I saw a few kits with no RC for less (Torro branded) Europe is out as an easy option (avoiding politics, but its not like it used to be where you could order anywhere if you could take the postage fees).

Am I shopping in the wrong places?
(Forgebear and other's that seem well respected here)

As a newcomer, its a bit bewildering, as no two shops seem to have the same version. I now think there may be a Taigen version with metal hull, tracks/wheels and gearbox but plastic turret that is a little cheaper.

If I can get a Taigen for about £400 - point me at it!

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Postby whitecitadel » Mon May 09, 2022 9:46 pm

Son of a gun-ner wrote:Taigen produced and sold metal reinforcing bars for the Heng Long Tiger 1 chassis. They had/Have metal studs/bushings as a more secure fixing for the suspension arms.


OR... you could just swap the whole chassis to Taigen ;D

Diving in further today to details, I realised that the Taigen wheels come with two sets of Axles, HL with threads to screw into the arms on the HL, and smooth axles for Taigen chassis that are secured by a grub screw in the suspension arm that is part of the Taigen chassis. The axles are NOT supplied with the chassis.

So to upgrade your HL with existing metal wheels and sprockets/idlers to Taigen you need to buy Taigen wheel axles as spares.

They come in a pack of 16 for the roadwheels, but not including the short axles for the idlers. The short axles only seem to come with the Taigen sprockets - I had assume AliExpress and a 3 week to 3 month weight would supply cheap spares - but what I could find was more expensive than local sources! These are the ones: https://www.rctank.de/Tiger-I-Metal-axles-in-1-16-for-the-metal-lower-hull-with-aluminium-wheels

At this point you then need to start a spreadsheet to calculate if your budget metal upgraded HL with a Taigen chassis would cost more than a Taigen in the first place...

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Postby whitecitadel » Mon May 09, 2022 9:50 pm

whitecitadel wrote:That was not immediately obvious (and some online info has them outside!), but I looked and the ones around seem to be a brass bush not a bearing?


Just to add more on this... looking at parts again tonight, I realised where I saw the external mount was:
https://www.rctank.de/Tiger-I-axle-supports-with-ball-bearings

And these ones are bearings, the ones I saw on Welsh Dragons and ForgeBear were more brass bushings as I remember, and it seemed like bearings were a better idea to me at least.

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