Tamiya 58593 M05 v2 Pro Build and Review

The M-Chassis cars have been a very popular series for Tamiya ever since their release in 1994. Their scale looks, near indestructible drive train and distinctive front or rear wheel drive handling characteristics have created a large following and many clubs offer a M-chassis class as an alternative to the more serious TC classes.

Over the years there have been 3 main FWD versions the M01 with mono-shocks at the front and rear of the car, the M03 with its raised electrics and front heavy design and the 2009 M05 which took a more race orientated take on the class. Tamiya has once again decided to make a significant update to the chassis my evolving the M05 to make the little cars even more race worthy.

The M05 v2 has a range of tweaks and enhancements that incorporate some TC style set-up possibilities, the ability to fit modern lipo batteries and a range of other changes to refine the balance of the car and to lower the centre of gravity .

It has been a long time since I raced these cars. I had a M01 Mini Cooper when it was released and a few of us used to race them in the summer at work, I had an M03 and I loved messing about with it, but with no regular club class local to me I soon lost interest. It all changed this year when a local club introduced this class, and almost the same day Tamiya announced the M05v2 Pro. Once I looked closer at the initial specifications I knew it would only be a matter of time until I had one ready to race.

Getting started

The Manual is Typical Tamiya quality, but it is always a good idea to give it a quick read and check you have all of the needed tools to start the build. For the M05 you will need
  • Phillips drivers (Std and a smaller one for the Diff screws)
  • Cutters (For the sprues)
  • Tamiya Wrench (included)
  • 1.5 mm Hex head driver (There is an alan key included)
  • Sharp knife (to cut off any excess plastic)


I am building the Pro-spec kit, this includes bearings, however if you have a std kit then you will need the following:
  • 6 x 850
  • 12 x 1150

RC Bearings sell a set if you need them here also remember you can get 15% off the price if you like our facebook page and ask for the code.

Choose your Wheelbase.

The M05 has 3 available wheelbases that you can assemble. These allow you to fit a wide range of bodies and it can also change the handling quite dramatically.  The 3 wheelbases are (Short 210mm) (Medium 225mm) and (Long 239mm).
Ensure you study this at the start to ensure you build the car correctly.
For this build I will be building the car to the short wheelbase specification as the club I am racing at prefers cars to all have Mini shells. If I was building a car for all round handling and performance I have been assured that the Medium wheelbase (225mm) is the best for general club level M-Chassis racing.

Lets start building :)

Step 1 - Chassis right.

The M05v2 chassis is coated in a smokey chrome plate. It looks very nice, but its time to cut it of the sprue and to assemble the right hand part of the chassis.
Here you can see the big benefit of the V2 chassis, square battery compatibility
This part of the build is really easy, I used the Tamiya Hop-up 54224 lightweight batter Holder for this build
The idea is that I can fit a shorty pack and move it left and right to help the balance.
The benefit is that I can use tape to hold in the batteries, it also allows you to fit a shorty style pack which you can position to get better left-right chassis balance.

Step 2 - Chassis left

On the left part of the chassis we fit the new alloy motor plate. This has been updated for the V2 to move the motor 4.5mm closer to the center of the chassis to help the balance of the car.
All V2 chassis will have an alloy plate, the pro version have the blingy blue one, it also has the DF03 Heat sink bar set included. This will help dissipate the heat of the motor, which will be more enclosed in the M05 v2
Now the left part of the chassis is assembled.

Stage 3 - Rear Section

Another part of the M05 that has been changed for the M05 V2 is the rear section of the chassis. You now have the option to fit either a standard servo or a low-profile servo in the car.  If fitting the low-profile servo you have to do it at this stage, it mounts under the spacer (See the blue part in the picture below), if fitting a standard servo you can fit it later.

For this car I used a Sanwa SX-131, I wanted to get the weight of the car as low as possible.

TIP! If fitting the low profile servo, I advise you also threading your ESC wires through the chassis, as once you get to that stage later you will have to disassemble the rear to neatly fit the wires underneath the servo.. Trust me its a pain!

Stage 4 - Attaching gears

With the chassis halves unattached its time to build the internal gearbox.
I used the option hollow shaft set (Tamiya part 54319) saving 6g of weight
The gears are made out of strong delrin, as as anyone can contest they will hold up to a lot of use. The manual indicates that you should grease the gears, but I never do this in my kits, I find it just slows down the drive train, and I never get any excessive wear by not doing this.

The gears all fit in easily. You need to ensure that you mount the 1.6mm spacer over the end of the Spur gear shaft. This is a new spacer on the M05 v2 and compensates for the changes with the new motor mount.

Stage 5 - The differential

The M05 v2 has a standard open gear diff. This design is bullet-proof but it is limited for tuning possibilities.

I built my gear diff as per the manual but I did slap in some Tamiya AW grease into the diff to stiffen it up. You can also add extra diff washers to make the diff even stiffer if you want to tune it further.

I like a car to have a stiff diff at the front to ensure it can pull itself out of the corner, although I do not want it to be heavy like a spool.

Stage 6 - Chassis

Here you attach the two chassis halves together.
This is pretty easy to do, although you want to check all of the gears are mounted correctly on the shafts and the two halves will click together, allowing you to easily screw it together.

Stage 7 - Front Arms

The front arms are new for the V2. Whilst still retaining the same overall dimensions of the M05, they are now much lighter as they are made in 1 piece. The other noticeable change is the addition of a droop screw on the arms.
The introduction of droop screws is a big thing for me. In this day and age having to open your shocks to change the spacers is a pain, especially when making such an important tuning modification.
Here you can see how the droop screw helps adjust the downstop of the suspension arms
It's great to see them appearing on this car, and it will just allow more fine tuning to the car trackside. Although in crazy Tamiya style the bottom of the chassis is not flat, so you have to find alternative ways to measure the droop setting for the car.

Stage 8 - Attaching front arms

Here you just attack the arms to the chassis, the screw pins are an easy fit.
Shims that are blue are even better than silver ones!
I did find there to be a little too much slop so I added a shim or two to stop the horizontal movement (Too many years of racing TC's means I have a little bit of a fetish for shims!).

Stage 9 - Front Axles

The front hubs are the same as the M05, you can buy alloy ones as a hop-up
A simple construction, I ensured they moved smoothly and didn't over-tighten the kingpin screws.

Stage 10 - Attaching the front axles

Again I just assembled it according to the instructions, I ensured the arms dropped under their own weight whilst tightening the screws enough to ensure there was very little play or slop.

Stage 11 - Attaching steering linkages

The M05 has a dual crank steering set-up, this is a big change from the M03 with its direct links.

The steering on the M05 does need care when assembling, and the M05v2 Pro comes with the Alloy steering posts and Steering post stay. These are generally regarded as a must have upgrade from the basic kit originals. You want to ensure there is not slop but that the arms move freely.

When building the steering arms I use 2 x 1mm shims to ensure the measurements are exactly the same for both arms.

You can then remove shims and replace them with 0.5mm ones etc when changing the toe-in and out for the car.
Once you finish this stage the front end is solid and moves freely

Note - The manual now tells you to fit the motor, I will do that late in the build when I fit the rest of the electrics.

Stages 13-16 assembling the dampers.

The dampers that come with the M05v2 pro are oil filled Mini CVA shocks in clear plastic. The standard M05 kits come with friction shocks, so I would suggest buying a set of these Tamiya 50746 C.V.A. Super Mini Shock Units / Tamiya 54000 TRF Mini shocks, or the Tamiya 42273 TRF short type dampers
The shocks come with an internal spacer, although the droop screws could eliminate the need for these.
The shocks are easy to build. Just place a little damper oil on the o-rings as you place them in they damper cylinder, this will let you feed the shock shaft through without potentially damaging them and causing leaks.

The pro kit comes with the short mini springs, so these were then fitted on the shocks, I fitted the hard springs on the front (Blue spot) and the medium on the rear (Yellow spot).

The final shocks move smoothly and feel good, although the plastic that is used for the clear shocks is stiff so I am a little concerned they could crack on a hard impact (The std CVA plastic is very durable).

Stage 17 - Attaching the rear upper arms

The rear upper arm mount is able to be attached in several places to determine the wheelbase. As I was building the short wheelbase version of the M05, I had to place it on the inner mounting holes. 

Stage 18 - rear Arms

The rear arms are also new, they are not 1 piece however, you have to screw the droop screw attachment onto the arm.. This is because when you are going between different wheelbases you will need to move the droop attachment to the other side of the arm.

Stage 19 - Attaching Rear Arms

Now its time to get the rear arms attached. Again you just need to ensure the screw pins are firmly screwed in but not too tight to cause slop. 

The arms felt nice and snug and easily moved under their own weight, ensuring they would not bind with the dampers once attached.

Stage 20 Steering arm and Servo saver.

The M05 has a long turnbuckle from the rear mounted servo to the steering assembly. This attaches to a Tamiya high torque servo saver and once assembled the steering is surprisingly slop free.

Final stages

The pro kit does not come with any tyres so I have a selection to try when I get down the track. I fitted a sensored esc and a 13.5 motor, and attached the 20t pinion (Included in the kit).

Next up its time to sort out the shell. There are a lot of great shells available for this class, the scale looks is one of the attractions as seeing a field of realistic looking cars battling away to take the chequered flag is great fun for all racing enthusiasts.

I opted for the Montech Turbo Spidi shell. Based on the classic Mini, but with wide arches and a huge scoop on the bonnet :)

Track Test

I took the car down my local track and it was a handful! I had been used to the M03 when I last raced a M-Chassis and it had very forgiving handling.  The M0v2 on the other hand was really direct, and the cornering was really quick and precise, although almost too much! I couldn't get it to go straight on acceleration, the car had a tendency to over-steer on acceleration and under-steered when off the throttle. It was just utterly bewildering to me. 

I changed the tyres and instantly the car was much better, it was still a little keen to kick out the rear when cornering on power but most of the other issues had gone. I didn't get to race it that night but I tinkered with it a little more to tweak the handling, and when I managed to get it on the carpet at the end of the night the little Mini started to feel much more responsive and precise.

Sunday Arrived and I took the car to the Cheshire Cats car club. It's a great friendly track and they have a dedicated Mini class so I was keen to take the car and try it out. 

This time it felt much better from the bat, the car was much easier to drive and importantly I was really enjoying myself.  This racing class is really close and the scale looks and close calls just help to make it a really enjoyable experience. 

I still had not got the car exactly to my liking, and against the guys who are more seasoned at racing this class I was not in for a chance of winning but with every tweak of the chassis I was improving the speed of the car. 

The droop screws proved really valuable as I wanted more front steering when off power and I could easily add more rear droop to transfer the weight forward. I also changed the front toe to 0.5 degrees to make it a little more calm when on the straight (I originally had 1 degree).

The other change that I made was to loosen the front diff, I had made it too stiff and this made it a very twitchy car, especially when coupled with the 210mm wheelbase. 


The M05v2 is a great little car. Its a quick build and the changes for the V2 have really helped make it feel more like a true race car. Being able to use your hard case lipo's is also a bonus, as this makes it almost a no brainer when wanting to run an alternative class to TC as all of your electrics can easily be swapped over.  

This car has a lot to give, and I am enjoying the experience of discovering how to push the car to perform well against the other Mini drivers at the club. I will do an update article later when I have managed to get more out of the car and (Hopefully) made it a pole position contender.

If you are after something fun, beautiful to look at and easy to build I would seriously consider getting a Tamiya M05 and trying to get your local club to run a heat.. or just take it out on the street and do J-turns and donuts :)

Check out our M05 tips set-ups and guide here (Click this link)

Buy Tamiya Kits (With a 10% discount if you like our facebook page) from Fusion Hobbies 
tamiya 6403115150604763219

Post a Comment

  1. great review, really helpful for the first time M05 ver2 builder. My kit is the R and I am super impressed with it. Lots of useful info in here.



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