How To Make A Tamiya Mini 4WD Faster In 5 Steps

Tamiya Mini 4 WD has been one of the favourite toys of most kids since it was first manufactured in 1982. It is a race car made in a 1:32 scale and you have to build it yourself.

A Tamiya mini 4WD can be made faster by replacing the motor and choosing tires that are smaller in diameter. For a smoother run, you must take special care in maintaining your Mini 4WD bearings, gears and shafts.

The build-it-yourself kit has a 4-wheel vehicle that is powered by an electric engine that uses AA batteries. There are a few types of races you can choose to participate in and those are Circuit Racing, Endurance Racing, and Street Racing.

By baku13 – photo taken by baku13, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The most popular type of race is Circuit Racing. In this race, cars are put on a 3 or 5-lane race track that is made out of wood or plastic.

This type of racing is divided into several classes. Each of these classes has restrictions concerning the types of cars and what you can do to modify your car. 

A race that is similar to Circuit Racing is Endurance Racing. The difference between the two is that the winner isn’t whoever crosses the finish line first, but the person who has done the most laps over a set amount of time. 

The last category is Street Racing. This race is inspired by the race that has been featured in Dash! Yonkuro manga. During this race, the cars run on the off-road track and there is no fence. 

Regardless of what race you participate in, you want your Tamiya Mini 4WD to be faster than others so that you can win them. Here are 5 steps you can do to make your Tamiya Mini 4 WD faster. 

Steps To Take To Make a Tamiya Mini 4WD Faster

1. Replace The Engine

You can make your Tamiya Mini 4WD faster by replacing the engine. I highly recommend you to check out this article where I talk about the maximum speed of Tamiya RC cars. It will give you a good idea on what to expect from your Tamiya RC car.

You can find many different types of engines. Some of them focus on speed, some focus on acceleration, and some are average engines.

When you change the engine the characteristics of your vehicle will change. It doesn’t matter which engine you choose, if you take out your average engine, your vehicle will be faster. 

When you’ve chosen which engine you want to use, take out the batteries from your vehicle so you can replace your old engine with a new one.

Unscrew your old one and just screw on the new engine. Put the batteries back in and you’re done.

You should lubricate your engine before you use it and keep lubricating it every once in a while to keep it running properly.

You will need a small screwdriver, sandpaper, a modelling knife, a cup of engine oil or kerosene, and grease that came with the vehicle that you bought.

This grease is supposed to be thick and it is supposed to work great with engines. 

You will have to open up the engine. To do so, get a screwdriver and search for two tiny metal pieces coming from the body of the engine.

They are located on either side of the engine near the electric brushes, those small metal plates at the top of the engine.

Use the screwdriver to pull the two pieces up and pull the engine apart. 

Next, you will dip the separate pieces of the engine into the engine oil. Let it sit submerged in the oil for about 10 minutes.

When the time is up, remove the pieces from the oil and place them on tissues to dry. When the engine pieces are dry, put a bit of grease at the tip of the electric brushes.

Related post: Can A Career Be Made From Racing RC Cars?

You will notice thin lines on the commutator, an object that looks like a tube that is touched by electric brushes.

You can find it at the top of the armature or the rotor. Use a modelling knife to gently scrape off and get any dirt out of the lines of space. 

The copper plates on the commutator will get worn out with use, because of the chemical reaction that happens when the copper plates are exposed to the oxygen in the air.

This results in a lot of electric resistance, which slows down your engine. Get some sandpaper and scrub the commutator to remove the oxidation which should restore your engine.

Add some thick grease to the commutator and on the other end of the armature. 

All that’s left to do now is to put the engine back together. You will do this the same way you took it apart. Sometimes it can happen that you put the motor in the wrong way and it starts running backwards.

If this happens to you, just open your motor back up and rotate the top of the motor 180 degrees. 

Watch this cool video to replace the engine. What a big difference from a stock engine!

Check out the Atomic Tuned 2 motor on Amazon by clicking here

2. Change The Tires

If you don’t want to change the engine, you can just change the wheels on your Tamiya Mini 4WD and it will be faster. Choose tires that are smaller in diameter than the ones you already have.

You should also get tires that are thicker to make your vehicle faster. If your tires are thinner, it will shift the focus on acceleration instead of maximum speed. 

The width of the tire is also important when it comes to speed. The thinner the width of the tire, the smaller the frictional resistance. Some people choose tires with a rounded ground surface because it’s only in very slight contact with the surface.

The grip also depends on the distance between the left and right tires. The bigger that distance is, the more the frictional resistance increases.

You can use an offset tread tire that will help you adjust the tread width.

When you use it with a barrel tire you can set three different thread widths which are inside, middle, and outside. 

Cleaning your tires can also make your car faster. Dirty tires don’t look good and they also slow down your vehicle.

There are two types of tires you can get and those are tires made out of sponge and tires made out of rubber.

If you have sponge tires, you can clean them using scotch tape. If you have a rubber tire, you can take an eraser and scrape the rubber.

Make sure you don’t scrape off too much because you can ruin your tires this way. 

3. Maintain the rotation parts 

When you maintain the rotation parts, such as bearings and gears of rollers and shafts you make your vehicle run more smoothly. This means that there is less friction and less resistance, which will improve the speed of your vehicle.

You can maintain these parts by greasing them up every once in a while. It is also important to clean your vehicles because it will pick up debris as it goes, which will make it slower.

Oiling your Tamiya Mini 4WD is the easiest way to keep it working properly and make it faster. If you don’t oil your vehicle, its parts will get worn out more quickly, and the speed will get cut in half.

Keep in mind that you should put the oil in any place where friction can happen. You can use almost any type of oil to oil your Tamiya Mini 4WD. Some of the most used oils are engine oil, machine oil, and baby oil. 

You can start the oiling process by oiling the ball bearings.

You have to oil them regardless of whether they are in a gear set or inside your engine. Ball bearings won’t work properly if you don’t add oil. 

Then you will add oil to any other gear. Make sure you don’t add too much oil because then your vehicle will pick up dirt more easily. You should always oil the areas where the propeller shaft can possibly touch the chassis. 

Remember to also oil insides of the rollers, regardless of whether it’s a ball bearing roller or a regular roller. 

If you are a big fan of mini RC vehicles, please take a look at my article: Is The Kyosho Mini-Z Range Any Good?

4. Make it lighter

The lighter your vehicle is the faster it will be. Even if you manage to reduce the weight of your Tamiya Mini 4WD by 0.035 ounces, it will be faster than the rest of the vehicles.

Make sure that the centre of gravity stays the same when you reduce the weight of your vehicle because the lower the centre of gravity means that your vehicle is more stable. 

5. Replace the rollers

Rollers are a very important part of your Tamiya Mini 4WD. If you replace your current rollers with new ones, it will make your car faster. There are some things you should consider when picking out new rollers and those are the size, angle, and location of the roller.

If you plan on entering a tournament, you will first have to check the regulations of the use of rollers. Some tournaments will have restrictions on how many rollers you can have.

To learn more about Tamiya, please check out this post: Is Tamiya A Good RC Brand?

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

Recent Posts