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Heng Long M26 Pershing 4:1 my thoughts

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Old 08-08-2018, 02:05 PM
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Fsttanks
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Default Heng Long M26 Pershing 4:1 my thoughts

**NOTE: Before reading further please understand this thread is in no way to imply anything negative about the quality of Taigen 4:1 gearbox. In fact it is a well built item doing what it was designed to do. This thread is about my impression of the performance I have and what I had hoped for.

Been running my Heng Long M26 now for a few months after it was rescued and rebuilt from a garage sale. A little catching up on this M26 if you have not read my prior thread on its rebuild. It started life with me as a used, poorly painted (desert camo) stock HL M26. It was stripped down and rebuilt with a number of improvements to include metal road wheels, metal shocks, "used bin" HL steel gear 3:1 gearbox with stock motors until the Taigen 4:1 with 390 motors arrived. To proved better initial handling performance/control additional weight was added to the tank (~13-16oz) and the track had silicon pads added. Battery used during this time was both 7.2 and 8.4 volts with the 8.4 being used the majority of the run time.

Fast forward to the arrival of the Taigen 4:1 gearbox with 390 motors. Why 390s because I wanted the ability to achieve scale top speeds (~30 mph) as well as ease of low speed handling. The 380 motors I felt might not achieve both. Once installed it was off to my test course. My initial impression was the tank is far to slow with the 7.2 and 8.4 volt batteries. Even with the 8.4 volt (and added weight removed) the M26 could not match the stock speed of the tank with the HL plastic gears and 7.2 volt battery combination. I tried then to run the M26 with a 9.6v battery and this could just match the stock plastic gearbox/7.2volt speed. To say the least this is a disappointment as I had hoped for just a little faster sprint speed from the 4:1 + 390 + 9.6 volt combination. Oh well it is an old tank design and does not look overly slow when running a fully charged 9.6 wide open.

Slow speed handling/crawling is slightly better than the HL 3:1 (steel) gearbox and stock motor (with all plastic track) but it lacks the ability to "bump" the throttle and this leads to reduced ability to climb "step type" obstacles with all three battery voltages tested 7.2, 8.4and 9.6. With the hybrid track (plastic with silicon pads) the 4:1, 390 motors and 9.6 volt battery the crawling ability is equal to that of the HL 3:1(steel) gearbox, stock motors, running 7.2volts, hybrid track and added weight. It is really only in the low speed turning and creeping that the 4:1 outshines the 3:1 and it is this area that make for a slightly more fun drive in tight terrain.

Noise between the two gearboxes is sadly a huge thing. The Taigen 4:1 gearbox with their 390 motors are SUPER noisy at all "power revs" compared to the HL steel 3:1 gearboxes and Taigen 3:1 gearboxes (all with 390 motors) I have in other tanks. This noisiness makes for a rather annoying mix between the gearbox and speaker output. Too bad because I really like the particular engine sound option this M26 has.

Overall I am a bit disappointed in the performance. I knew going in it would be slower than my current modern tanks. I was expecting more from the 390 motors matched to a 9.6 volt battery. A smidgen faster than basic stock or maybe scale top end speeds. I have neither and the crawl performance I do have can be reasonably matched for far less of an investment. I will keep the Taigen 4:1 in the tank for a little while longer and see if it grows on me a bit, but I don't have high hopes.

My advice to anyone is if you absolutely DO NOT want scale speeds close 25 mph then the 4:1 gearbox is for you.

Here are a few photos from testing the Taigen 4:1 gearbox in my Heng Long M26. Yes the track is "backwards", I discovered it has noticeably better traction on "rock and step" obstacles running it this way. As always your constructive input is welcome.














Last edited by Fsttanks; 08-09-2018 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 08-09-2018, 04:51 AM
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Nice looking tank!

Steve
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:10 AM
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Jay-Em
 
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Maybe a bit redundant, but did You try the 390/480 (25000rpm) Taigen motors in the steel 1:3 gearboxes in the M26?

I tested that combi in my Leo before I fit the big 550 gearboxes, and it was seriously fast. At that point the Leo had metal sprockets and idlers, and a Tamiya Leopard track. Already pretty weighty, so to speak.

No excessive heating of the motors, controller also didn’t care.

Personally I believe the 4:1 gearboxes are only interesting to slow, lumbering WW2 tanks up to, say, 1944. They’re just too slow for more modern tanks.
they only come to life when one sticks 2800 kv 400-sized Brushless motors in them.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay-Em View Post
Maybe a bit redundant, but did You try the 390/480 (25000rpm) Taigen motors in the steel 1:3 gearboxes in the M26?

I tested that combi in my Leo before I fit the big 550 gearboxes, and it was seriously fast. At that point the Leo had metal sprockets and idlers, and a Tamiya Leopard track. Already pretty weighty, so to speak.

No excessive heating of the motors, controller also didn’t care.

Personally I believe the 4:1 gearboxes are only interesting to slow, lumbering WW2 tanks up to, say, 1944. They’re just too slow for more modern tanks.
they only come to life when one sticks 2800 kv 400-sized Brushless motors in them.
I run my modern tanks with Heng Long and Taigen 3:1 gearboxes, 390 motors and powered by 9.6 volts. This is similar performance to 550 motors at 7.2 volts, so I am familiar with the potential performance. In this tank I wanted to lean towards lower speed tight terrain handling, but still be able to hit top scale speeds ~30 mph when crossing open flat ground. I knew going in the 4:1 were slow, but hoped with the 390s at 9.6 volts they might achieve my end goals since they were being run at almost twice the RPMs of the standard 380 motors they come with stock (the 390s on my gearboxes were a factory installed upgrade option by Taigen).

This M26 is just to slow in crossing large areas of open country ( which is most of my local terrain ) and the motors have to be run at max power longer to cover the same given distances. This drains power FAST and with the limited space inside the tank for a larger capacity 9.6 volt battery, the 2400 pack I am running does not last long at peak output so top end performance drops off faster than I want and I have to limit my "sprint" range to a few short runs of ~ 50 ft. I can still obtain a solid 30 min of run time, as long as keep the long open runs under check and don't fall asleep waiting for the tank to drive over to the next obstacle.
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay-Em View Post
Maybe a bit redundant, but did You try the 390/480 (25000rpm) Taigen motors in the steel 1:3 gearboxes in the M26?

I tested that combi in my Leo before I fit the big 550 gearboxes, and it was seriously fast. At that point the Leo had metal sprockets and idlers, and a Tamiya Leopard track. Already pretty weighty, so to speak.

No excessive heating of the motors, controller also didn’t care.

Personally I believe the 4:1 gearboxes are only interesting to slow, lumbering WW2 tanks up to, say, 1944. They’re just too slow for more modern tanks.
they only come to life when one sticks 2800 kv 400-sized Brushless motors in them.
i disagree, but you need after market electrics that will
support 3s. For WWII I generally run a 2s lipo, for more modern equipment, or if your going for IR battle efficiency 3s gives great top speed but with plenty of low end power.

@the OP I'm not sure you're expectation that the new motors would overcome a 2:1 ratio difference between the 4 shaft and 3 shaft gearboxes was realistic, you need brushless to get that.
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Old 08-10-2018, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Fsttanks View Post
I run my modern tanks with Heng Long and Taigen 3:1 gearboxes, 390 motors and powered by 9.6 volts. This is similar performance to 550 motors at 7.2 volts, so I am familiar with the potential performance. In this tank I wanted to lean towards lower speed tight terrain handling, but still be able to hit top scale speeds ~30 mph when crossing open flat ground. I knew going in the 4:1 were slow, but hoped with the 390s at 9.6 volts they might achieve my end goals since they were being run at almost twice the RPMs of the standard 380 motors they come with stock (the 390s on my gearboxes were a factory installed upgrade option by Taigen).

This M26 is just to slow in crossing large areas of open country ( which is most of my local terrain ) and the motors have to be run at max power longer to cover the same given distances. This drains power FAST and with the limited space inside the tank for a larger capacity 9.6 volt battery, the 2400 pack I am running does not last long at peak output so top end performance drops off faster than I want and I have to limit my "sprint" range to a few short runs of ~ 50 ft. I can still obtain a solid 30 min of run time, as long as keep the long open runs under check and don't fall asleep waiting for the tank to drive over to the next obstacle.

the stock 390 motors taigen fits are 18000rpm long-cans. I actually meant these motors:Taigen 25000 rpm 390
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Old 08-10-2018, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay-Em View Post



the stock 390 motors taigen fits are 18000rpm long-cans. I actually meant these motors:Taigen 25000 rpm 390
Those are the ones I have on these gearboxes.

On another note to this thread: I think I know what the issue is. I tested the idea of the a 4:1, 390, 8.4-9.6 battery combination a few months back on my M41 project and an older 4:1 gearbox, but decided at that time it did not meet the needs of that project. Though it might work for something of similar weight, size and era like this M26 to provide better top end speed. The issue is that the prior test was done with the M41 running Abrams sprockets and track. The Abrams sprocket is slightly larger than the M26 sprocket and thus changes the overall finale drive ratios toward being slightly faster.

For fun I am going to swap out the M26 sprockets and track and try running it with Abrams sprockets and track (yes they fit) to investigate my suspicions. Did something similar with my T90 sprocket and track and it proved to be a noticeable improvement in top end speed. Also going to swap out the motors with those used in my prior testing as they might be better performers.
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Old 08-10-2018, 11:18 AM
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Ah, yes. Changing the sprocket is also an option. Something that I noticed with -indeed- the T-90. It was So. Slow. Bigger sprocket, more teeth, bigger circumference = higher speed. ‘Instant gearing-up. That would most certainly work.

By the by. Did You model the tank after some existing incarnation, or just went for a ‘sortof Vietnam’ look? Because it looks great, by lack of an affordable M60, about as close as one can get. Shame that the Vietnam 1/18 Forces of Valour( ?) action figures are no longer produced, and crazy expensive when offered.

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Old 08-10-2018, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Jay-Em View Post
Ah, yes. Changing the sprocket is also an option. Something that I noticed with -indeed- the T-90. It was So. Slow. Bigger sprocket, more teeth, bigger circumference = higher speed. ‘Instant gearing-up. That would most certainly work.

By the by. Did You model the tank after some existing incarnation, or just went for a ‘sortof Vietnam’ look? Because it looks great, by lack of an affordable M60, about as close as one can get. Shame that the Vietnam 1/18 Forces of Valour( ?) action figures are no longer produced, and crazy expensive when offered.

This M26 was a "early/mid 60s life extension program" theoretical build. My understanding is a number of original "military assistance" M26 tanks were still in front line service at the time in some Italian army units and used in training units in other NATO countries. There were spot lights added to many of the upgraded M46 versions and both the M26 and M46 had cargo baskets welded on by the crews/units in the field. Everything added to this M26 was in service with both U.S. and other Europe militaries in the early/mid 60s so none of the items added are out of the realm of possibility. More important to all that, it was just fun to do something different.

It does take on more of a Cold War era look with the add-ons. With the Abrams sprocket and track it takes on even more of an early M47/48/60 look.
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:49 AM
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You are correct about the radius of the sprocket having an affect on the final speed of our R/C Tanks. The Tamiya King Tiger or Tiger II has the largest radius on it's drive sprocket of all the Tamiya Tanks and guess what it is fast, which is not scale for that beast. Nice upgrade to the Patton and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the 4:1's.
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