Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Fixes and mods for the HL M1A2 Abrams
Aurelius
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by Aurelius »

Even though I am writing these sections up, I do not consider myself a high-level modder and I am a complete newbie to RC tanks. I welcome any and all suggestions for improving or modding the Heng Long Abrams. Please feel free to help educate me and I will include it in the appropriate section!
One of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of the Universe is learn the language that Mother Nature truly speaks in, ... mathematics.
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Herr Dr. Professor
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by Herr Dr. Professor »

I think you are doing a great job of explaining various modifications. Even if some here on RCTW know some of them already, it's great to have somewhere to point those with (even) less experience.
Then, too, since I have not done any modifications to a modern MBT (only weathering, and a few details) I am soaking all this up for future reference. In fact, I am getting the idea that because of the size, the lower hulls of MBTs are much more flexible than the smaller WWII and even some Cold War tanks.
I say, keep going! :clap: And, yes, if others want to chime in here with more ideas, well, we will. :haha:
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by Aurelius »

When my son and I got interested in RC tanks and an Abram, I had no idea all this stuff existed. Didn't know anything about all the various mods that could be done to make the Abrams better, and we have spent over a month slowly gathering this data. I figured why not put it down for the next guy in a nice tight format that will make their tanking experience better. And sure, with your experience Professor, I am happy to take in recommendations to add to the entries above. I'm hoping I will be able to get several more tips filled in over the next few weeks.
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by Meter rat »

Aurelius wrote: Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:42 am

Lower hull reinforcement mod from a pre-made kit - This mod is a series of precut aluminum pieces that can be purchased as a kit from places like RC Tank Legion (Malaysia). It does exactly what it says, ... it reinforces the lower hull of the Abrams so that it is not so flexible. Whether you wish to run metal wheels and track or not, I hIghly recommend this mod but it is at the upper end of the intermediate level for modders. You may need to do a bit of filing, cutting (with a dremel), or drilling to get everything set up tight. The mod costs about $50 to $65.


Hull reinforcements seems to be needed for all modern, rear drive tanks.

Herr Dr. Professor wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 4:04 pm I think you are doing a great job of explaining various modifications. Even if some here on RCTW know some of them already, it's great to have somewhere to point those with (even) less experience.
Then, too, since I have not done any modifications to a modern MBT (only weathering, and a few details) I am soaking all this up for future reference. In fact, I am getting the idea that because of the size, the lower hulls of MBTs are much more flexible than the smaller WWII and even some Cold War tanks.
I say, keep going! :clap: And, yes, if others want to chime in here with more ideas, well, we will. :haha:


Herr Prof. I think you are correct about modern tanks. A combination of long wheel base, and flexible plastic, does not for good running make.
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by tankme »

I started building my Abrams in 2014 and so many changes were made to it. The US has upgraded the tank significantly since the original XM-1 prototype. There were so many aftermarket accessories that were released that I've never gotten to the point of being ready to paint it. After the T34/76 is finished, I think the Abrams will be my next backlogged project to complete since it is my oldest RC tank in my collection.
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Panzer Fenris
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by Panzer Fenris »

Aurelius wrote: Sun Feb 11, 2024 5:43 am Even though I am writing these sections up, I do not consider myself a high-level modder and I am a complete newbie to RC tanks. I welcome any and all suggestions for improving or modding the Heng Long Abrams. Please feel free to help educate me and I will include it in the appropriate section!
You've got the gist of it, but one area I would like to correct you on are the gearboxes.

The "3:1", "4:1" and so on designations do not in any way reflect their actual gear ratios.
If memory serves, the 3:1 is actually 39:1, and the 4:1 is 90:1.
Then you have the 5:1, which has a lower ratio than the 4:1 again... It gets very convoluted very quickly.
Moreover, the last gearbox you posted, the one based on a larger drive motor and a smaller steering motor rather than two equal motors, isn't necessarily the "best one".
It is certainly the most expensive, and though I haven't ran one myself I've heard they are the smoothest and offers the most realistic modern tank driving experience, but in pure performance you'll get more mileage out of a Torro/Taigen 4:1 with genuine "red" 390 motors fitted.

Here's a good thread with a lot of information on types of motors and gearbox combinations.
https://www.hobbysquawk.com/forum/rc-ca ... lue-motors

There's much contradictory information out there in this hobby, and it can sometimes be a challenge to figure out who to listen to for good advice.
This is almost never from malice or stupidity. Just simply the result of low baseline where any upgrade will give you improvements, those upgrades then getting parroted as gospel, and an ever evolving and expanding selection of mods opening new avenues to take your build in.

If you have the time, always search and shop around for second opinions. Follow the scientific method. Extensive, recent experience born from experimentation and comparisons between options should be weighed heavier than hearsay.
Current vehicles:
- Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. B (1/16 Torro Pro)
- Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E (1/16 HL 7.0)
- Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E (1/16 HL Vintage parts donor)
- WPL B14

Past vehicles:
- NM217 Bergepanser (1/1 KMW)
Aurelius
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by Aurelius »

Great, thanks for the corrections on the gearboxes! Let me dig into this a bit, and I will amend my posts.
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by Rad_Schuhart »

Besides what Herr Panzer Fenris said, I found the silver metal gearboxes not to be an upgrade, because the pot metal broke or disintigrate itself inside my tanks. The black steal gears were unbreakeable, but they make the hell of a noise. The nylon gears were fine on my toys, with the only need of epoxing the clutch gear. But everything depends of the use you give your toys.

And regarding batteries, well, Herr Aurelius, not sure what happens with your Abrams, but my tanks, with a 5000 mah battery run non stop for 5 hours easily, and that considering my tanks are power hungry, some have more lights than a christmas tree and more music, smoke and sounds than Woodstock, and now add the videocameras system I also use. I am not using the old nimh batteries, but Li-Iion batteries. Wrote an entry on my websit that you might find interesting: https://radindustries.wordpress.com/201 ... batteries/
My RC tanks website, loads of free info for everybody:
https://radindustries.wordpress.com/
Aurelius
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by Aurelius »

Yep, I plan to put Li-ion and LiPos under the intermediate section but that post wont accept any more pics at the moment. I will work with Son of a gun-ner to resolve this. The reason I put NIMH batteries in the beginner section is because you don't have the safety concerns you have with Li-ion and LiPos, especially with regard to children. I had the opposite result from you with regards to the gearboxes. The nylon gears broke pretty fast but the zinc gears were still fine until I upgraded them to full steel with bearings. Still, I will add in your considerations here shortly though, ... thanks! (Just be patient please.)
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Re: Items that new Abrams owners will want to upgrade or fix first

Post by tankme »

Most of us just post pics through Imgur or some other picture hosting site rather than deal with the small picture allowance. Pictures take up space so I understand the need to keep the site storage presence small.
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