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Heng Long M41 “3:1” or “4:1” gearbox upgrade?

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Old 05-19-2018, 09:11 AM
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Default Heng Long M41 “3:1” or “4:1” gearbox upgrade?


Ok so my “modernization” build thread is coming to a close soon on the exterior aspect of my Heng Long M41 project. During the off road test phase where I have been running an Abrams sprocket and track set up using the plastic gears, stock motors and 8.4v battery I have found that the M41 is a rather decent off roader. I am planning on running the red HL motors, metal Abrams sprocket and a set of DKLM Abrams track.

I like my tanks to be able to reach scale top speeds in this cast the M41 has a top road speed of 45mph similar to today’s modern MBTs. This would be easy to achieve with a “3:1” gearbox but I am thinking the “4:1” might be better as the wheel base on the M41 is short and at the higher speeds of the “3:1” would make for rather bouncy overland ride. I am leaning the M41s performance more toward rough terrain but still want some decent sprint speed.

I have had good luck running with “3:1” gearboxes in my modern MBTs and all performance outstanding, but they have long wheel bases and are much heavier. So what are your thoughts for the M41 to achieve the best combination of rough terrain performance but still have the ability to sprint as needed? “3:1” or “4:1”?
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:41 PM
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Think you've already answered your own question. Go with the 3:1 and add some weight in the lower of the Bulldog if needed. Or could go the 4:1 and drop your pinion size.
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Old 05-21-2018, 03:24 AM
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Heng Long 3:1 gearbox is actually a 39:1 final drive ratio, while the 4:1 gearbox is a 90:1 final drive ratio.
If you are unsure which to choose, you could look at the Taigen (Euro spec) 5:1 gearbox. It has a 46:1 ratio and the final output can be adjusted. Check with Eric from Imex if your in the USA or rc tanks.de if your in the UK or Europe.
Hope this helps.
Cheers
Steve
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:19 AM
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RichJohnson
 
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You just posted the specs i was going tobut i think 4.1 is actually 89:1 but i may have miscounted.
i was not aware of a 5.1 gear box, that sounds like a great medium as tamiyas are i recall 59:1 ratio.
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Old 05-21-2018, 10:52 AM
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Thanks guys, I am aware of the actual rations. Just using the “commonly” know numerical reference numbers. I had not thought of the “5:1” gearbox and this might be what I am looking for. This middle ground would save me from having to “overweight” the M41 with “3:1” to improve its crawling ability, and the “4:1” I don’t think will provide the “sprint speed” I want.

Going to look into the “5:1” more closely.
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Old 05-21-2018, 12:59 PM
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This tank


Has had both "3:1" and "4:1" gearboxes in it, but to achieve scale speed I now run the "3:1" gearboxes. With a decent board, like a TK22 or an IBU, slow speed is no problem and scale top speed is pretty much right on.

The only "5:1" boxes you can get right now have steel gears and won't be very good in a bulldog. They're good in a P3, but that's about it.
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Afrikakorps View Post
Heng Long 3:1 gearbox is actually a 39:1 final drive ratio, while the 4:1 gearbox is a 90:1 final drive ratio.
If you are unsure which to choose, you could look at the Taigen (Euro spec) 5:1 gearbox. It has a 46:1 ratio and the final output can be adjusted. Check with Eric from Imex if your in the USA or rc tanks.de if your in the UK or Europe.
Hope this helps.
Cheers
Steve
The standard HL gear ratio is ~40:1. Adding the extra 3:1 gear in them turned em into 120:1 gearboxes. That is why we started calling them 3:1 gearboxes back when they were first being made.

Here is a link from the way back machine. God it seems so long ago.

New Heng Long Gearbox

Last edited by Perry S.; 05-23-2018 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 01:01 PM
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I had the same desire you have in my M41. I used steel 4:1s for low speed control and crawling. The motors are 480s. I used a 14-tooth pinion to bring the speed back up. Now it does well in off-roading at speed or when crawling.

The larger pinion required some adjustment on how the motors mounted. I had to make new holes in the gearbox frames to move the motors further from the gears to accommodate the larger pinion.

M41A3 Bulldog - Mythical USMC Build - Page 2 - RCU Forums
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:22 PM
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After a bit of playing around with some 390 motors and DKLM Abrams metal/rubber padded track I think the “3:1” is my best bet. The heavier and “grippier” tracks on this small tank make for better low speed handling characteristics than expected yet still produce the sprint speed I want.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:25 PM
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It was great to meet you yesterday. That is a lovely tank, really something we haven't seen yet I enjoyed seeing it. Hope to see you at San Deigo battle some time. That would be great in our modern battle once you get IR in it.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
It was great to meet you yesterday. That is a lovely tank, really something we haven't seen yet I enjoyed seeing it. Hope to see you at San Deigo battle some time. That would be great in our modern battle once you get IR in it.
It was good meeting you too. I am hoping to make the July 22nd battle if I can get all the parts in and installed in time. I have the IR system I kept from my Leopard 2 but have to mate it to a TK 20 or 60 series system. Still don’t know which I want the 20 or 60? I am leaning toward the 60 as I need a higher voltage rating for my batteries and some accessories I want to run later.
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Old 06-11-2018, 05:15 PM
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I see that this is an older thread, but I am new to RC tanks, just bought a Heng Long, and am disappointed at the (lack of) low speed control.......

I have looked much for a lower ratio gear box, but cannot find any that state actual ratio....

Of the popular ones, which is the 89:1...??

I currently have the optional "all metal" gearbox that the tank came with.....what ratio is it?

It is a HL Stug III.

Also, perhaps a better control system is in order......any recommendations?
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by airplanedriver View Post
I see that this is an older thread, but I am new to RC tanks, just bought a Heng Long, and am disappointed at the (lack of) low speed control.......

I have looked much for a lower ratio gear box, but cannot find any that state actual ratio....

Of the popular ones, which is the 89:1...??

I currently have the optional "all metal" gearbox that the tank came with.....what ratio is it?

It is a HL Stug III.

Also, perhaps a better control system is in order......any recommendations?
What you want is either the "4:1" or even slower "5:1". From what I have seen most folks seem to favor the the "4:1" gearboxes in WWII tanks (Note these are the commonly used numerical names not the actual gear ratios). Also you can add some internal weight, metal tracks & road wheels, these will help slow it down a bit too.

My .02

M41 from "Modernization" thread running "3:1" Taigen gearbox making short work of obstacle at a slow crawl. "3:1" can crawl but the tank needs the correct balance of weight and track type.

Last edited by Fsttanks; 06-11-2018 at 09:42 PM.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:15 PM
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Taigen 3.1 is 39:1 ratio
Taigen 4.1 I think is 89:1 ratio
Most Tamiya are 59:1 ratio
Mato are 69:1 ratio
Henglong I think are 29:1 which is why they have no control

All the motors vary. Henglong come with 280 crappy motors. Taigens come with either 380 or 390 motors or you have to order separate.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RichJohnson View Post
Taigen 3.1 is 39:1 ratio
Taigen 4.1 I think is 89:1 ratio
Most Tamiya are 59:1 ratio
Mato are 69:1 ratio
Henglong I think are 29:1 which is why they have no control

All the motors vary. Henglong come with 280 crappy motors. Taigens come with either 380 or 390 motors or you have to order separate.

I cannot find a Taigen 4:1 that will fit my HL Stug III

Will the Mato 69:1 work in this application?
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:04 AM
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Default electronics...

Is the Taigen motherboard any better than the HL for speed modulation?

The HL will not slow down a track for a gentle curve....just stop and then spin.....

Will the Taigen allow slow curving turns, or is it the same as HL...?if no better, which electronics do I want ?

Please be specific
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by airplanedriver View Post
I cannot find a Taigen 4:1 that will fit my HL Stug III

Will the Mato 69:1 work in this application?
That is correct, the 4:1 is just too tall for the upper hull. The 3:1 is the only match for that tank. The size also limits the motors to 380 size as well. If you are worried about speed you can always change out the motor with another to get the desired speed and/or torque.
Originally Posted by airplanedriver View Post
Is the Taigen motherboard any better than the HL for speed modulation?

The HL will not slow down a track for a gentle curve....just stop and then spin.....

Will the Taigen allow slow curving turns, or is it the same as HL...?if no better, which electronics do I want ?

Please be specific
Yes the Taigen board does have better throttle resolution. How smooth exactly are you trying to get? Ours will be a bit jerky as well, to get ultra smooth you will need an aftermarket solution like the IBU, Open Panzer, or Clark board.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:09 PM
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Default gearbox, board,motors

Originally Posted by Imex-Erik View Post
That is correct, the 4:1 is just too tall for the upper hull. The 3:1 is the only match for that tank. The size also limits the motors to 380 size as well. If you are worried about speed you can always change out the motor with another to get the desired speed and/or torque.

Yes the Taigen board does have better throttle resolution. How smooth exactly are you trying to get? Ours will be a bit jerky as well, to get ultra smooth you will need an aftermarket solution like the IBU, Open Panzer, or Clark board.
Info is very much appreciated......

I want buttery smooth at scale speed.

These boards you mention.......they have esc, etc., and are a matter of switching plug-in wires to the new one?

What about transmitter....which kind?....I know that Spektrum does not bind with, say, Tamiya....so I am guessing each of these boards will have a specific transmitter I would need.

Recommend a package, please......Including board, transmitter, and gearbox and motors

Apologies for rambling, but I want to be sure to include anything I may need......................while expenditure is not without some concern, I want it to work well first.

I can get the Imex 3:1 gearbox, and it will be slower than the existing HL metal gearbox I have now, correct?

Motors......Do you now of a high turn (low rpm) 380 you can recommend??......my local hobby shop knows Zero about anything except for 540's and 550"s

Any and all advice/recommendations are much appreciated......
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Imex-Erik View Post
That is correct, the 4:1 is just too tall for the upper hull. The 3:1 is the only match for that tank. The size also limits the motors to 380 size as well. If you are worried about speed you can always change out the motor with another to get the desired speed and/or torque.

Yes the Taigen board does have better throttle resolution. How smooth exactly are you trying to get? Ours will be a bit jerky as well, to get ultra smooth you will need an aftermarket solution like the IBU, Open Panzer, or Clark board.

I have found a Taigen and Torro control Board.....Is one any different (better) than the other?

The Taigen has a transmitter for it specifically, but I can't tell if the Torro does from the info I have found.....

Have not found a Taigen gearbox that is stated to be for the Stug 3......found ones called "low", but there are different shaft lengths....48mm, 58mm....don't know which would fit, but neither stated application for the Stug......
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:34 AM
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Originally Posted by airplanedriver View Post
Info is very much appreciated......
I want buttery smooth at scale speed.
These boards you mention.......they have esc, etc., and are a matter of switching plug-in wires to the new one?
What about transmitter....which kind?....I know that Spektrum does not bind with, say, Tamiya....so I am guessing each of these boards will have a specific transmitter I would need.
Recommend a package, please......Including board, transmitter, and gearbox and motors
Apologies for rambling, but I want to be sure to include anything I may need......................while expenditure is not without some concern, I want it to work well first.
I can get the Imex 3:1 gearbox, and it will be slower than the existing HL metal gearbox I have now, correct?
Motors......Do you now of a high turn (low rpm) 380 you can recommend??......my local hobby shop knows Zero about anything except for 540's and 550"s
Any and all advice/recommendations are much appreciated......
For that you will want an aftermarket system as I mentioned above. The IBU is plug and play while the Open Panzer provides the most features available by far but requires more knowledge and components. You should do some Google'ing on the boards and see which one suits you best. There are also other boards as well but I think the OP will have the smoothest driving due to the tons of settings and open source nature of the project. If you don't like it you can always change it yourself
For a transmitter if you go with an aftermarket system you will need a hobby grade transmitter. I personally suggest staying away from anything Spektrum as they always have compatibility issues and are expensive for what you get. FlySky actually makes a bunch of cheap and good transmitters and it has a better RF system to boot. I personally use a customized FRSky Taranis X9D+ but that is a complicated transmitter, way more than what is really needed for the tanks.
If you want to slow down the Stug 3 then I would suggest some different 380 motors. I personally like Banebots myself, I've been shopping there for many years. On the 3:1 gearboxes there is typically a 14-18k RPM motor used, hopefully it helps.
Originally Posted by airplanedriver View Post
I have found a Taigen and Torro control Board.....Is one any different (better) than the other?
The Taigen has a transmitter for it specifically, but I can't tell if the Torro does from the info I have found.....
Have not found a Taigen gearbox that is stated to be for the Stug 3......found ones called "low", but there are different shaft lengths....48mm, 58mm....don't know which would fit, but neither stated application for the Stug......
Same thing, Torro is the sister company in EU. The older "5:1" gearboxes are not suggested unless you have an all plastic Stug 3 with no plans on metal upgrades. They are seriously under powered. The Stug can only install the 3:1 and the older 5:1 style gearboxes. The shaft length for the Taigen Stug 3 is 48mm.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:25 AM
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I had the so-called five to one gear boxes in my StuG, but they were the brass version, and I put 380 Motors in there and it did everything I wanted it to do. Perfect scale speed, excellent control, great low speed performance. Now I kind of wish I hadn't sold it.

The new steel 5:1 gearboxes are nowhere near as good. I had a set in a metal edition P3, and they were pretty good in there with 380 Motors, but you could never get away with them in a heavier tank like a tiger or King Tiger. I really, really wish they would bring back the brass gears, but you know what they say, wish in one hand ...
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Imex-Erik View Post
For that you will want an aftermarket system as I mentioned above. The IBU is plug and play while the Open Panzer provides the most features available by far but requires more knowledge and components. You should do some Google'ing on the boards and see which one suits you best. There are also other boards as well but I think the OP will have the smoothest driving due to the tons of settings and open source nature of the project. If you don't like it you can always change it yourself
For a transmitter if you go with an aftermarket system you will need a hobby grade transmitter. I personally suggest staying away from anything Spektrum as they always have compatibility issues and are expensive for what you get. FlySky actually makes a bunch of cheap and good transmitters and it has a better RF system to boot. I personally use a customized FRSky Taranis X9D+ but that is a complicated transmitter, way more than what is really needed for the tanks.
If you want to slow down the Stug 3 then I would suggest some different 380 motors. I personally like Banebots myself, I've been shopping there for many years. On the 3:1 gearboxes there is typically a 14-18k RPM motor used, hopefully it helps.

Same thing, Torro is the sister company in EU. The older "5:1" gearboxes are not suggested unless you have an all plastic Stug 3 with no plans on metal upgrades. They are seriously under powered. The Stug can only install the 3:1 and the older 5:1 style gearboxes. The shaft length for the Taigen Stug 3 is 48mm.
So these aftermarket boards require a transmitter....and a receiver?

How many channels...?

Air transmitter/receiver or ground??

These sites always proceed in explanation with the premise that you already have knowledge about these kinds of things.

I had previously ordered 2-3,500 rpm 380's......they arrived today.

Going to install tonight and see what happens....

I found on Taigen's website only a zinc alloy transmission that fits my HL Stug......is there a better one?

If so, do you have a part # ??

I have also seen what looked like a higher quality gearbox called the Ultimate II....red aluminum framing with (stated) steel gears......looks like it is made by HL, but not 100% sure....also, no advertised ratio was stated.

Know anything about this one?

Please advise.....
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Old 06-13-2018, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by airplanedriver View Post
So these aftermarket boards require a transmitter....and a receiver?

How many channels...?

Air transmitter/receiver or ground??

These sites always proceed in explanation with the premise that you already have knowledge about these kinds of things.

I had previously ordered 2-3,500 rpm 380's......they arrived today.

Going to install tonight and see what happens....

I found on Taigen's website only a zinc alloy transmission that fits my HL Stug......is there a better one?

If so, do you have a part # ??

I have also seen what looked like a higher quality gearbox called the Ultimate II....red aluminum framing with (stated) steel gears......looks like it is made by HL, but not 100% sure....also, no advertised ratio was stated.

Know anything about this one?

Please advise.....
First might best to move your questions to their own thread, you will get more replies that way.

To answer your questions, #1 Yes, #2 four or more, #3 ground.

Yes folks assume you will know a little about radio systems, engineering, scratch building, airbrushing and know every aspect of tank history... LOL. It can be frustrating this hobby does have a steep learning curve if you do not have an R/C background coming in.

The zinc gearbox you found is most likely a rebranded HL. You could simple use the shell and replace the zinc gears as needed which should not be too often given the low speed and light weight tank you have.

The red gearboxes are HL. Gears and gear ratios are the same as they use in their thinner walled standard steel (not zinc) gearboxes.
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:35 PM
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So I removed the motors from my HL Stug........heated the pinion until glowing........not coming off.......is a 10 tooth pinion on a 380....but I cannot find any info regarding the pinion to now what pitch I need....anyone?????

....Apparently, no options on pinion, since mounting is fixed.....who the hell thought of that.....???........adjustable mount would mean change gear ratio simply changing pinions......like on every rock crawler, instead of looking for gearboxes....

Rant finished.....

Any ides on how to remove this stubborn pinion?
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Fsttanks View Post
First might best to move your questions to their own thread, you will get more replies that way.

To answer your questions, #1 Yes, #2 four or more, #3 ground.

Yes folks assume you will know a little about radio systems, engineering, scratch building, airbrushing and know every aspect of tank history... LOL. It can be frustrating this hobby does have a steep learning curve if you do not have an R/C background coming in.

The zinc gearbox you found is most likely a rebranded HL. You could simple use the shell and replace the zinc gears as needed which should not be too often given the low speed and light weight tank you have.

The red gearboxes are HL. Gears and gear ratios are the same as they use in their thinner walled standard steel (not zinc) gearboxes.
Who's own thread ??

What ratio is in the HL steel GB?
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