Tamiya nitro tank by Iliya Cerjak

Tamiya Tank 1/16th scale Gepard



‘My little tank’

Vintage model (Tamiya 1979) nitro methanol conversion


For as long as I can remember, this Tamiya model always stared at me in the toy store. It had almost something magical about it sitting mysteriously in the top shelf in a box larger than life itself. I remember as a kid looking at the pictures in my dad’s Tamiya catalogue, with the beautiful cutout photograph showing the interior. I build motorized tanks out of Fischer Technik and Lego and fantasized it was a real Tamiya. Around 1990 I finally got hold of this Holy Grail, and I bought a Kyosho 2,5cc glow plug engine with it to power it. I had to make some adjustments in the gearbox and chassis to fit in the engine. And modified the driving sprockets to keep the tracks on. As always as soon as it was finished, I lost interest and put it away in a box. I moved that box to the attics of 4 different houses, and never even bothered to look inside. Recently I discovered it again in the attic and did a small renovation. The plastic was dissolved over the years by the fuel, so I had to rebuild the back part out of aluminum, and the engine was a bit rusty. This Tamiya model is discontinued, all their tank models now are dull dual motor powered. This vintage model has a beautiful double clutch gearbox, which enables steering, that’s why I wanted it in the first place.


 (Click on picture to see larger image)

tamiya_tank_open                              tamiya_tank_fuel

The top is quite damaged over the years.                Refueling the thirsty engine.


tamiya_tank_cool          tamiya_tank_fornt               tamiya_tank_cam

Note the bellow of the Forced air cooler                                Mowing the lawn.                                   Onboard camera (see movie at  bottom).               


I fitted a new set of gears with a smaller gear ratio in the Tamiya gearbox. Cooling the screaming little 2,5 cc nitro methanol engine takes some effort. I bolted an aluminum electronics heat sink to the cylinder head. And I put a small 12 V airbed pump inside the turret. The air-intake is through the hatch, fitted with a grid filter, the air exits through the bellow at the back of the turret onto the cylinder head. I let the fan run at 6 volts from a small battery pack; it cools the engine down sufficiently.


(Click on picture to see larger image)


tamiya_tank_gearbox_top               tamiya_tank_gearbox               tamiya_tank_intercooler

The gearbox and clutches                                                                                                                 The 12V airbedpump in the turret.                         





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