Hobby- tech HT1 Review part 1

The other day I was browsing the bay and noticed this car for sale. The Hobby-tech HT1 with 2 unpainted bodyshells, new in box with the star...

The other day I was browsing the bay and noticed this car for sale. The Hobby-tech HT1 with 2 unpainted bodyshells, new in box with the starting price set at £15.

No one had bid on the car so I popped a bid on, partly because I figured the new TC shell would cost me more, I didn’t think I would win it, but the next morning when I woke up I found that it was mine… So I had managed to buy myself another RC car… ULP! What was I to tell the wife?

A little bit of background

The Hobby-Tech HT1 was an entry level touring car that was distributed by CML around 1999-2002. It was sold with 2 shells, one for the shelf and a protoform TC shell for Racing. There were 2 variations, one with a Mustang shell and a Protoform BMW, the other with a Nascar shell and a Protoform Merc shell. The package I got was the latter.

The car’s drive train is belt-driven 4WD, with independent suspension. The car is supplied pre-assembled.

So whilst waiting for it to arrive in the post I tried to check for any more info on the car. I couldn't find any, so I was quite interested in seeing what was inside the box when the postman arrived.

So here it is in its glory. The car seems to be made of strong plastics, the drive train seems to be quite interesting with a wide pitch belt at 10mm not the usual 3mm. One obvious problem is the car doesn’t have bearings so I quickly went through the manual and made a list of bearings needed to fit in the car… ok.. I know why was I bothering? Well its cheap and odd, that makes me like it, so I thought lets race it at the local club J

Anyway the car needed the following bearings

2 - 3x6x2.5mm
8 - 5x10x4mm
4 - 5x8x2.5mm
6 - 8x14x4mm

I gave my list to Alan at RCbearings and the next day the parcel was their waiting for me as I got home. Top service as usual.

So now, lets take a closer look as I pop in the bearings.

The car was soon disassembled, first up was to take the diff apart and take a look. The car has a planetary bevel diff, ideal for beginners due to low maintenance. They were nicely greased, and they are sealed with 4 screws. I slapped a load of thick grease into the front diff as it's always better to have the front diff stiffer than the rear to make a 4WD touring car handle well.

The diffs had the external bushing replaced with the suitable bearings, and then I looked at the layshaft, nice and solid. Although I will have to be to manage the rotational mass of this drive train.

Fitted the bearings and then started to re-assemble the rear gearbox. The rear gearbox has a small belt fitted,it's quite loose which isn't ideal as you want the power to transfer quickly to the rear. There is no way of tightening the belt as STD on the kit.

The teeth on all of the gears are nice and chunky, I hope they are made of strong delrin as I don’t want the plastic to melt when I race it!

The large main belt is also added to the layshaft. The belt is really wide at 10mm much wider than modern TC’s which are 3mm this will have a fair bit of drag, but it should be pretty strong. The gearboxes clip together nicely, and then are screwed together to help keep the drivetrain sealed from dirt and fluff. (doubtful)

The chassis, itself is really stiff, which is good as the gearboxes stretch the belt as you attach them to it.

Then its on to the steering, the aluminium bridge and plastic posts are slop free and very light without the bearings.. But whilst I was there I swapped out the bushings.

The suspension was next, the arms are mounted with suspension blocks at the front and rear. There isn’t any way you can get other blocks, although you can adjust the ride height at the rear of the car by choosing different holes in the block. It’s a bit strange as you cant change the front so unless you want a dragster style pose you will never bother.

The arms also have droop screws fitted, this surprised me as the kit is entry level and this is a tuning feature of high end racing chassis.

Unfortunately the design goes of track with the shock towers, with no adjustable geometry for both the front and rear! This is a letdown as shock positions make huge tuning differences for the cars handling.

The shocks included are friction shocks.. again fine for an entry level car, but they are also rather long, more like rally shocks. There are no collars to adjust the spring load, however the kit spring / shock combo is so sprung and un-exact I think it would be pretty futile.

Due to the rally shocks the car is 14mm high of the ground. My TC is 4-5mm of the ground, so I will have to look at changing these when I race it.

The large belt cover goes on next, strengthening the chassis more, and protecting the belt. The chassis is back together, the drive train feels much better now, although I still don’t think I will get better times than my TRF with this car.. Yet ;)

So here is the chassis, the batteries go across the back of the car like the top end TC’s of the time (Trf414, XrayT1 etc), there are side bumpers and a rather scary front bumper.. made of solid plastic. Can someone tell me how an entry level TC has a solid plastic front bumper? That’s going to lead to some nice shell shredding antics, with very little actual displacement of energy in an impact.

The Nascar body is pre-cut so I have fitted it on here for the pics. The bodyposts also seem quite weak, but they are nicely adjustable as you only have to loosen a screw to slide them up or down to your desired height.

One thing that must be noted are the kit wheels. They are officially licensed from American racing and they look ace! The tyres even have the Goodyear logos on them. The tyres also have insert included.

Ok stay tuned for the next part Where i will test the car out with some electrics...
tamiya 3258579617268188810

Post a Comment

  1. I have an old hobbytech and looking to update the bearings so thanks :) Did you ever do a part 2?

  2. Hi

    I have part 2 nearly ready, I just need to type it up. The car has a 13t brushless in it at the moment.


  3. i collect all things hoby tech! nice by my friend good eye. So cool when ya wake up and see ya won. It's like Christmas ,well kinda. If you'd be interested in selling this i only have wheels I didn't even know they built a tourer. We'd make sure you profit greatly any ballpark?or not interested? any fair price would be paid. holloween1963@gmail.com

    1. I have an HT1 in the box, would you be interested in pictures. What might a vehicle like this be worth to you ?



Home item

Support this site

Featured post

Tamiya Suspension Mount Ultimate setting Guide and charts

The Tamiya suspension mounts are a powerful tuning option to help you refine the way in which your car will handle on the track. Th...

Search This Blog

Like us on Facebook!

Popular Posts


Random Posts

Article Archive

Other things