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Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

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Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Old 09-14-2010, 10:30 AM
  #1  
smokinbarracuda
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Default Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Well here we go again, its been a while since I've done any work on the abrams but since I purchased these new metal tracks and sprocket off ebay I'm ready to get to work! First I must say whilst being very expensive these tracks and sprocket are excellent quality and I think you'll agree no 1/16 Abrams is complete without them. I was also very surprised that when installed I've noticed almost no loss of speed but i will have to upgrade to 2 x 5000 mah batteries in series as the run time is quite a bit shorter now due to the added weight and beleive me these things weigh a tonne! Another positive is that the suspension sits at the correct height now and the ride is really soft just like the real thing. Anyway, the to do list is as follows and i'll hopefully be doing this over the next few weeks.

1. Finish milling out holes in sprockets, then paint
2. Correct rear light position
3. Correct front of chassis (Already did this but not happy with the angle. However will have to cut into original hull and may lose a little strength. Will use lots of epoxy!)
4. Install washer bushings in suspension arms to make arm movement more vertical and eliminate any play.
5. Check how metal axels have held up. Started to notice a small amount of play in wheels. May try to install bearings.
6. Install an inner rim on wheels in order to add strength and appear smaller. Paint original rims black to appear like rubber.
7. Somehow make the road wheel gap narrower as the track guides are narrower than previous. There's now about 3mm of play.
8. Install servo for barrel recoil
9. Install ARM module with flash to eliminate track recoil.

Please let me know if I'm missing anything important.

Cheers

Gareth
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:53 AM
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karel47
 
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

nice done, my daughter have one to, its time i convert it from toy to tank like yours if all my projects are done
Old 09-14-2010, 12:05 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

They look like the Kenny Kong metal Abrams Track and sprockets. Is this correct? I made mine by using the Tamiya LEO sprocket turned around backward with a hole for the axle to fit through. Then i took the Tamiya LEO tracks and nipped all the little corners of the rubber blocks. It came out great.
Old 09-14-2010, 12:25 PM
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smokinbarracuda
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Yes I think they are the kenny kong tracks although I don't think they were advertised as such. Nice work with the leopard tracks and that sprocket turned backwards looks very convincing. Bet your way was a lot cheaper than mine! Although I wouldn't have been able to fit that sprocket to my axels. Also shows how good this tank looks with a matt paint job. I'm half tempted to do mine that colour since yours looks so good.
Old 09-14-2010, 12:31 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Yes you could. The Leo sprocket backwards works on regular style gear boxes. The only time you need the adapter I make for the LEO sprocket is when you are using it on a LEO. I just drilled a hole the size of the axel straight through the sprocket , pushed it on. Drilled and tapped the sprocket and added a set screw. Done.
Old 09-14-2010, 04:29 PM
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smokinbarracuda
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Hmm, I didn't realise that. Im very happy anyway to have some heavy metal on my tank. I'm looking forward to seeing how they perform outside. I'm guessing it will now go through most obstacles instead of over them!

G, have you done any mods to the suspension yet? If you do anything I would recommend removing the upper stop tabs which will give you much more travel.
Old 09-14-2010, 07:23 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

The weight factor has really not poped up yet. At least they went with a lever style suspension, Thank God, so yeah a little experimentation with different spring rates may make a big differenc. Mine is gonna sail over burms like in the videos, so i think it is going to get some 400 speed BB motors, those are 480's that didnt know. that is whats in my Tamiya Panther. This thing should fly with those motors on stock Tamiya Panther gearboxes. I may need to drop down a tooth or 2 on th pinion gear, style needs some torque.
Old 09-15-2010, 04:21 AM
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smokinbarracuda
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Yeah I thought about putting in some 3:1's to increase the low down torque but I would lose too much speed. However this tank may eventually get elmod in which case I could increase the voltage giving more speed and power as well as some bigger motors (400's in at the moment). The lower ratio box could be fast enough then. Right now though I wouldn't want to change the pinion as I wouldn't want to sacrifice speed for power and vice versa.

Will the rx18 handle those 480 size motors? If so I'd love to give them a whirl in my current setup. By the way number 10 on the to do list is to add a fan to the rx18.
Old 09-15-2010, 11:21 AM
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smokinbarracuda
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Good news, I removed the wheels and the brass tube sleeve I made for the axels hasn't worn down at all on any of the road wheels. Theres a small amount of play but is acceptable. I think once I've put bushings in the suspension arms it will hardly be noticable. I therefore won't be installing bearings so can scrap that from the to do list. I would recommend doing this to all HL tanks as well because the plastic axels are the first thing that wears out causing the wheels to wobble leading to alignment issues. Much cheaper and easier than BBearings too!
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:24 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Nice mods smokinbarracuda. Keeping thread updated.
To increase suspension dynamic I changed all springs except the first one and the last one wich give support to others.

Now It looks more soft but have to make some try with heavy equipment up.

Old 09-15-2010, 02:00 PM
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smokinbarracuda
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Yeah, once you've added metal boxes, sprockets and 2 battery packs like mine you'll find it rides perfectly. I actually just stretched the springs gently instead of changing them but it'll have the same effect. I did as you have done but the first wheel is slightly softer than the last but harder than the rest. This I find is the 'sweet spot' for the suspension as the back will sag under throttle. I can't wait to see what you guys do with yours. It seems a fair few members have got their hands on these hobby engine tanks now. I might even get a leopard one day.
Old 09-15-2010, 04:24 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

You have to set every suspension dependings on tank weight and how weight is distributed on it.
In the end you should reacj best performance of support and reactivity.

Many got HE Leo yet, one of them is Panther G.
You can find some threads on forum.
Old 09-25-2010, 04:11 PM
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smokinbarracuda
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

I've managed to do some of the tasks on my list. Pictures attached. I finished the sprockets and installed some bracing for the chassis useing metal tubing. I also corrected the front hull angle as well as raising the height of the front idlers. I narrowed the gap in the idlers but I'm not sure whether to do the road wheels. Don't think its really needed. I'm still wondering whether to correct the rear lights because they will be a pain to do but I guess I won't be satisfied till they are right! Fitting washer bushings in the suspension arms is posing a problem. I need very particular size washers as thin as possible and I don't know where to find them, anyone have any suggestions? Cheers
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Old 09-25-2010, 06:39 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

These really do make great tanks with the right combination of modifications and upgrade parts. Mine too will someday get the full el-mod electronics but not in this stage of the economy. i dont know if i have work from one day too the next. Was supposed to be starting 6 day weeks here and now no work for 2 days, so it's really hard to budget anything at the moment. I think this will be this years Tax refund allocation. i usually buy the next tank i want with my allowance but There really isn't anything new i want so i'll get my Beloved Abrams up to Hobby grade level.
Old 09-25-2010, 06:50 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Nice Mods on the HE Abrams. I had to lose the washers I had added to my Leo. It offset the wheels too much and also caused more wobble then stock.

Tamiya Leo rubber fit perfectly to my modded Leo wheels, IT might work for the abrams as well. You can get the rubber from the AAF Museum.
Old 09-25-2010, 10:41 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

That tank looks great! What  work you have done to that HE!
Old 09-26-2010, 09:23 AM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Cheers, the list is massive for everything I've done on this tank. I've still to get the flash/recoil sorted out and improve the rx18 functions (elmod for me too one day far in the future!) but most of the mods I've done have been to the chassis, suspension and wheels because they take the most abuse and I wanted the chassis dimensions to be a little more accurate. Eventually I'd like to fit 2 540 size motors at higher voltages with 3:1's to give it some serious speed and power but 7.2v + rx18 + 400 size motors + standard gearboxes is the deal for the time being.

YHR, I did consider the leo tyres but one imprtant point is that I think real abrams wheels are smaller than leo's( I think HE wheels are correct for leo) and they would appear too big. Thats why I'm going to add an inner ring to the wheels to make them appear smaller. Also, I think the HE Leo's wheels are spaced further apart meaning on the abrams the wheels would touch with those tyres. The innertube rubber I'm using is actually working surprisingly well.

Panther G, things are bad over here economy wise too, I've just been laid off for the 3rd time in 2 years.! Only good thing is that it gives me some time to work on this baby and my 78 Camaro. Things have got to pick up soon, I hope!

Old 09-26-2010, 09:40 AM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

No wonder we cant find an 80's Camaro's over you, you Brits swiped them all up/ LOL Cheers.
Old 09-26-2010, 11:47 AM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Ha, yeah they're all hidden away in barns over here. I wish, then I might be able to find parts for mine!

YHR, the washers I'm going to use are actually to go where the arm pivots on the chassis, so that means 4 for each arm. 112 altogether! You're right about the offset though, I need to keep an eye on that
Old 09-29-2010, 10:06 AM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Just some new pics after taking it outside for a test run. The new tracks worked really well although with the extra weight I only about 20 mins runtime out of 2 x 2200 packs. At least if I get 2 x 5000 mah packs I may get up to 45 mins which is acceptable. I had the track come off the sprocket once but luckily due to the rear skirt being removed I was able to remove the outer sprocket to replace the track. Just like on the real thing eh!
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:11 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

If any one needs Stock parts for these tanks, i have a box full. tracks, gearboxes, boards. just send me a Pm as they are of no use to me but some one who needs to keep theirs in stock trim for now are more than welcome to the parts.
Old 09-29-2010, 07:12 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Boy i love the Abrams. Wish i could get hooked up with the El-mod system like YHR is doing. His is turning out absolutely amazing.
Old 09-30-2010, 02:05 PM
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vano12
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

The Abrams looks mean! Forgive my ignorance but who makes that tank? I haven't seen any modern armor 1/16 by HL, is this from Tamiya or another manufacturer? I'd like to get a T-72 but have only seen VS 1/24...
Old 09-30-2010, 02:20 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

No 1:16 T-72's not much modern armor any where. These tanks are made by Hobby Engine.
Old 09-30-2010, 02:34 PM
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Default RE: Hobby Engine M1A1 - Modifications

Cannon shoots bomb shape plastic bullet up to 3m - target & 4 bullets provided

3m ~ 10ft, how crap is the gun? What is a good vendor for HE tanks in the US?

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