TAG Navajo (Pro)

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1300GT
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TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by 1300GT »

I first saw one of these on Tamiyaclub back in 2006. First impressions were, "what were they on?" :lol:
After much investigation and research, I decided that I would buy one and modify it for running. There's no way I could shelve something this weird.
Navajos are hobby grade yet verge on toy grade at least in one area. The two cluster gears in the gearbox run directly on 3mm shafts. No bearings. The diff is another matter. It's straight out of the TAG Pro 10 and runs on bearings, which is fortunate. The car also shares suspension arms, dogbones, wheels, tyres and stub axles with the Coyote.

The overall plan is to add bearings, shocks, bumper and front kickup. Also improve steering, beef up the lower arms and allow for gear ratio changes. There are other small things that will be addressed as I tackle them.

This is how I bought the car. The paint is terrible. The chassis is in really good condition.
2.jpg
In pieces. The body is being stripped.
3.jpg
Normally I would start work on the chassis first, but the body needed attention. This is how it stands now. 99.9% of the old paint has been removed and the cut lines cleaned up. The lexan was very cloudy plus there's numerous cracks and dings that need fixing. It's been coated in Tamiya PS silver as a basecoat on the outside. Once the repairs are finished another colour will be added, the windows painted and the whole body will be coated in gloss clear. The red nylon parts have also been dyed black.
1.jpg
Chris.

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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by Dadio »

I've looked at these when they come up and had much the same response as you , curious , too rare for an organ donor for a Coyote , very fragile looking .
It's kind of got Mcferson strut suspension all round without shocks , odd choice .
If a jobs not worth doing then its certainly not worth doing well.
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by 1300GT »

Absolutely. The suspension is a strange choice for a buggy. In stock form it sits high off the ground with the arms at full droop. The springs seem a little stiff. If you've seen the two YouTube videos on the Navajo it bounces around a lot on rough terrain. I may have to wind softer springs for it. Surprisingly, it has a fair amount of suspension travel.
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by 1300GT »

The body is finished apart from the MCI stickers that are on the way. Not too shabby considering what it looked like.
1.jpg
On to the first modification. The front track is only about 215mm, which is too narrow for my liking. There's also no front kickup plus hardly any castor. To cure this, I made this bracket out of 1/8' G10. When attached to the chassis it widens the front track to just over 240mm, increases the wheelbase by 7.5mm which consequently increases castor and also adds almost ten degrees of kickup.
2.jpg
Here it is fitted to the chassis using the two rear original suspension arm mounts plus a third hole 20mm forwards of the others. You can see how close together the original arm mounts are. Luckily there are two bumper mounts at the front which worked out perfectly for mounting the front arm pivot balls into.
3.jpg
Here's a side shot showing the kickup.
4.jpg
There's not as much kickup as I'd like, but I'm not prepared to hack the chassis up to accomplish that. It'll have to do. Should be pretty good though.
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by Coelacanth »

That body looks really good for being painted on the outside. Did you clearcoat it? I'm not familiar with this car but the body looks pretty cool, aside from the front shock mount...
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by Dadio »

You should be pleased with the suspension mod , very tidy 8)
If a jobs not worth doing then its certainly not worth doing well.
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by 1300GT »

Coelacanth wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 4:15 pm That body looks really good for being painted on the outside. Did you clearcoat it? I'm not familiar with this car but the body looks pretty cool, aside from the front shock mount...
Thanks. Yep. Three light coats of Tamiya TS-13 followed by a fourth heavier final coat. It bonds really well with the PS paint and becomes flexible.
It would have been much better looking if the body ran to the front of the chassis. Still, I like the black better than the original red.
Dadio wrote: Mon Jun 03, 2024 6:21 pm You should be pleased with the suspension mod , very tidy 8)
Thanks Gav.
Very pleased with such a simple change.
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by 1300GT »

Machined up some 6061 aluminium stub axles to replace the 5mm diameter steel bolts that are used. In stock form the front wheels spin on the bolts without bearings. The front Coyote wheels will be replaced with something suitable.
1.jpg
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by RC10th »

Very nice, but I wouldn't expect anything else :D
I was old school - when old school wasn't cool !

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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by 1300GT »

RC10th wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 8:21 am Very nice, but I wouldn't expect anything else :D
Thanks RJ. 8)

Made strut tower extensions to compensate for the extra width. Also machined the top spring seats from white Acetal which help stop the springs from binding at full suspension compression. It has about one degree of negative camber now although it doesn't look like it in the picture. I can make extra extensions with the top hole moved in a bit more to add more negative camber if required.
1.jpg
The G10 and Acetal parts will get dyed black when the chassis is finished.
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by 1300GT »

Made front carbon fibre arm reinforcing plates. Also polished the pivot balls which helps a lot. The arms have been re-hydrating in a jar of water for the past four weeks to stop them cracking when reinserting the balls. It seems to have worked. The strut extensions have also been remade in 2mm G10 as I buggered one up. :lol:
1.jpg
Everything fitted.
2.jpg
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by 1300GT »

Front bumper and underguard made from Kydex. It's based on a Pro 10 bumper. It'll do a good job of protecting the pivot ball screws.
1.jpg
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by TRX-1-3 »

1300GT wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 6:22 am Front bumper and underguard made from Kydex. It's based on a Pro 10 bumper. It'll do a good job of protecting the pivot ball screws.
1.jpg
Looking good. Awaiting the stickered up "reveal"!
Hope you're doin' something fun.

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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by Frankentruck »

1300GT wrote: Sun May 05, 2024 5:15 am I first saw one of these on Tamiyaclub back in 2006. First impressions were, "what were they on?" :lol:
After much investigation and research, I decided that I would buy one and modify it for running. There's no way I could shelve something this weird.

The overall plan is to add bearings, shocks, bumper and front kickup. Also improve steering, beef up the lower arms and allow for gear ratio changes.
Wow, that is a bizarre buggy! 😂 It looks to me like it was designed after a cricket, grasshopper, and preying mantis. It definitely has a lightweight design philosophy.

Very nicely executed restoration and mods. Are you adding bearings to these gears that are directly on shafts? Or just using a lot of axle grease?

Doing some running would be interesting. That suspension and steering setup looks very vulnerable to damage.
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Re: TAG Navajo (Pro)

Post by 1300GT »

TRX-1-3 wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 9:59 am Looking good. Awaiting the stickered up "reveal"!
Thanks very much. The reveal will be in the next update.
Frankentruck wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 11:52 am Wow, that is a bizarre buggy! 😂 It looks to me like it was designed after a cricket, grasshopper, and preying mantis. It definitely has a lightweight design philosophy.

Very nicely executed restoration and mods. Are you adding bearings to these gears that are directly on shafts? Or just using a lot of axle grease?

Doing some running would be interesting. That suspension and steering setup looks very vulnerable to damage.
It is just a tad odd. :lol: I can't think of another buggy that uses a McPherson style suspension.
Thank you. Yep. Bearings will be added. I don't like the thought of gears spinning at high speeds without them.
They do seem a bit fragile. The stock steering is much like early Tamiya. Directly connected servo saver and two uneven steering rods with more bumpsteer than a Blitzer Beetle.
Chris.

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