The Tamiya Blackfoot used to be a 1/10-scale buggy with electric radio control. After having issues with things like the drivetrain, Tamiya had remodeled.
How is the new version? Is it fast enough? Yes, it is. But you can do more with it. Because the new version lacks a few significant parts.
Want to find out what they are? How you can upgrade them and how much does it cost? Simply read this article because that is what I will be discussing here!
How Much Does Its Cost to Upgrade?
The entire upgrade will cost you about $400-700.
You can upgrade the Ball Bearings at $15-30, $100-250 on motor & ESC, $180-200 on body parts, $20-40 on driveshafts, $10-25 on the servo, and steering rods, and $40-50 on chassis.
you can upgrade other accessories within $20-100 dollars.
6 Tamiya Blackfoot Upgrades:
Tamiya Blackfoot definitely does need an upgrade. Because of the weakness of parts the truck is not race-ready out of the box.
To make it so, you need to consider having these upgrades in your tuck.
Following upgrades are suggested and implemented by pro-racers
1. Ball Bearings
One of the inconveniences of the re-released Tamiya Blackfoot is that the ball-bearing is absent. You can buy the one compatible with the old version. The old version came with the ESC with the usual gear diff.
The Blackfoot uses 1150 bearings in all places. Except for inside the Transmission. However, the ball bearings are prone to breaking. So it is better to get a durable ball bearing that will last a long time.
You will need 1150 ball bearings for other places and two 850 ball bearings for the transmission.
Combo Option: Blackfoot Original & 2016 Bearing Kit
850 Option: ACER Racing 850 bearing 10 pieces
1 Piece Option: 1150 Type Sealed Metal Ball Bearing
2. Motor & ESC
You can run the Blackfoot motor with an MSC too. But MSC resistors usually heat up much faster at low speeds. An ESC is a better choice for Tamiya’s Blackfoot.
The motor and ESC options are many for a Blackfoot. This includes cheap and reliable ones and a bit high-end ones. However, I would suggest against the stock motor. If you have upgrade options and chances, do it.
With a Tamiya America RS540 Sport Tuned Brushed Motor, you can get a Tamiya TEU-101BK ESC. These ESCs are cheap, reliable, and go perfectly with the Sport-Tuned motors. This is a pretty cheap option.
A bit more pricy option is the Futaba ESCs. They are pretty reliable too. The pink ones or the MC230CR model, in particular, is noteworthy. It has a 20 turn motor limit. So it will also be compatible if you upgrade your motor.
The Blackfoot runs fine until you speed up. The most important upgrade that will really make a difference is getting a lower center of gravity. Upgrading any RC increases the weight significantly.
Ans one way to do that is upgrading the body of the truck. You can change it, paint it and detail it. But the important thing is the material of the body and the weight it adds to the truck. It needs to be withstanding the high speeds.
If we’re talking about changing the body, upgrading decals and grills come to mind. Decals are up to you. But you need strong grills. One option is the Super Blackfoot Grill Bumper.
The best hard body I’ll suggest is a Lexan Blackfoot body like this one. It is weighted and reduces the truck flipping over, increasing the driving stability.
High-End Option: Ford Ranger F-150 F150 Hard Body
Cost-Effective Option: Tamiya Blackfoot Body / 1/10 Scale RC Hard Body
4. Drive Shafts
The driveshafts were problematic in the old version. If you are buying second-hand trucks, it is better to change the driveshafts. Just to be safe.
Besides, the driveshafts are old hex style. To keep it compatible, it is better to change it.
Now one of my favorite shafts (that customers love) is the TAMIYA RC Frog 2005 Assem Univ. Shaft. It is not crazy expensive and has a very smooth performance.
Keep in mind that the old Blackfoot’s have a bolt head type dog shaft. You may need replacement cups if replacing or switching from the old model.
The new ones come with a T-style end. A few more suggestions would be Frog drive shafts, Subaru shafts, and the Monster Beetle ones.
5. Servo Saver and Steering Rods
With an ESC at hand, you will need just one servo. Remove the old servo. You can replace it with these ones. These are durable and affordable. The stock servo usually breaks after a few uses.
Steering rod upgrades will be necessary too while you’re at the servo replacement. Here’s one you can try out
Servo and steering rods will increase the compactness and durability of the truck.
Usually replacing the chassis is ideal for any RC you get. CRP has a wide variety of chassis upgrades for the truck.
Here are CRP parts you’ll need:
But there are more options available on eBay. A Monster Beetle chassis is also a reliable and budget-friendly option.
Tamiya Blackfoot Accessories Upgrades
The first accessory part you can replace is the gearbox side plates. They are weak aluminum alloy. The Frog Brat Blackfoot Monster Beetle Gearbox Case is a good one.
Speaking of Frog Brat, you may as well get some shocks from them. You can get the front as well as rear plate shocks. Stock shocks wear out easily on a Blackfoot.
For a 15T motor, you might as well upgrade the tranny along with the driveshaft or drivetrain.
A final upgrade I would like to address is that the rear universal CVA drive comes out of the drive cup often. The solution for this is the 2005 Frog Dogbone drive system.
Also, inside the rear damper, add a 3mm spacer. This will prevent the drive cup from ejecting the drive. Because it will reduce the rotating drive moving away enough to come out of the cup.
So many people will tell you to go against a Tamiya Blackfoot. But these classic buggies are enjoyed by many, including yours truly. Moreover, a buggy that has been customized is way better than a buggy out of the box. So if you invest a bit of your time, money, and sweat, I promise you that Blackfoot’s will not let you down.