M1 Abrams RC tank on gasoline

M1 Abrams Tank 2-stroke powered, Big Scale RC Tank

Stuart tank gas powered radio controlled tank
RC Transmission logo


Gasoline engine powered 1/9th scale




This model was manufactured by 21st Century Toys a few years back as a toy to fit 1/6th scale GI-Joe action figures. The model came fitted with an electric RC system. The electric system has been replaced by a gasoline engine with custom transmission, and a custom aluminum chassis.

The 21st Century M1A2 1/9th scale Abrams MBT model was introduced in December 2005 following success of the 1/6th scale RC M5 Stuart tanks introduced in previous years. The Abrams leverages the same basic drive system and electronics from the Stuart. Since I had much fun doing the Stuart conversion, I figured I would do it again, this time with the Abrams. I had to order it the US, due to its size the shipping costs to Europe are about as much as the model itself.




A 3D model download of the Abrams was scaled down to 1/9th.  Inside a Kawasaki KT17 engine and the CT1&CT3 were fitted. A 2mm aluminum sheet folded chassis is bolted to the plastic hull. The engine and transmission is mounted to it. On steel 8mm shafts the sprocket- and bull-wheels will run.


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CAD model.



The upper and lower hull come apart by removing 8 Philips screws. The RC gear and drive trains are easily removed by removing their Philips mounting screws, and so is the turret. It measures in at a whopping 88cm,so there won’t be any problem fitting in an engine and a gearbox. After removing all the screwed unneeded parts, the cutting can begin. The opening to the turret in the upper hull has to be removed to fit in the engine. The battery holder is to be removed and so are all the bosses and reinforcements. A blade saw is used for cutting thicker sheets, a hobby knife and pliers are used to remove the bosses and other small plastic obstacles. The final picture shows the smooth lower hull, fitted with an aluminum sheet chassis.


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Upper-&lower-hull taken apart.                          Cutting the opening for the engine.                     Aluminum chassis fitted in.


The out-of-the-box running gear of the Abrams is excellent (childproof), only minor modifications will be necessary. The bogeys and running wheels can be used as is, the mounting holes of the wheel assemblies are transferred from the plastic outer hull into the aluminum sheet. The holes are drilled through, and the self tapping screws of the model are replaced by M3 bolts going through the aluminum and are fixed from the inside by M3 nuts. The shafts of the top runners are replaced by M5 bolts, screwed into thread In the aluminum and secured with M5 nuts from the inside. The front wheels and shaft take the biggest load from the strain of the tracks. They are reinforced by drilling round 8 holes through the plastic and aluminum and inserting a solid shaft. The hubs of the wheels are drilled out and brass bearing-bushings are inserted. The front wheels run on the stationary shaft and are held in place by retaining rings.




Scale:              1/9th

Weight: 24 kg

Engine:             25cc, 2-stroke, 1 hp (Kawasaki KT17)

Transmission:    3 speed gearbox, and dual reversible clutch system (CT1 & CT3)

Top speed:        15 km/h

Armament:        none




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Interior layout

See the demonstration video



More Videos

Indoors in the sand


On the tarmac

Racing in the sand


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