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How to shorten a 1/16 Tamiya Leopard 2A6 original track for TD M60

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  • How to shorten a 1/16 Tamiya Leopard 2A6 original track for TD M60

    I want to replace the TD plastic tracks on the Tongde M60A1 with a pair of Tamiya Leopard 2A6 original tracks. Test fitting shows that it should work very well. The Tamiya Leopard 2A6 original tracks are 6 links too long for the M60. I tried a few tricks but the Tamiya track pin refused to come out. I have done similar operation on Heng Long, Mato and Torro tracks, and did not have any problem. Any suggestion will be much appreciated. Both on special tools I may need and how to use them on the track.
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  • #2
    Actually it 4 links to long not six links. Six links is far to right.

    Even though the "timing" of the leopard tracks matches the TD sprockets, the track it too narrow for the sprockets and slips off the sprocket easily.

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    TD M60 track on a TD sprocket. Noting the tighter track to sprocket fit. Click image for larger version  Name:	B0E9E2D4-C89B-464E-AB31-9252429911ED.jpg Views:	0 Size:	115.1 KB ID:	399178

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Rubicon99 View Post
      Actually it 4 links to long not six links. Six links is far to right.

      Even though the "timing" of the leopard tracks matches the TD sprockets, the track it too narrow for the sprockets and slips off the sprocket easily.

      Tamiya Leopard 2 track on TD M60 sprocket. Click image for larger version Name:	3326CD90-15EE-4608-8285-77D8AAB0AF8A.jpg Views:	0 Size:	101.0 KB ID:	399177

      TD M60 track on a TD sprocket. Noting the tighter track to sprocket fit. Click image for larger version Name:	B0E9E2D4-C89B-464E-AB31-9252429911ED.jpg Views:	0 Size:	115.1 KB ID:	399178
      Thank you for sharing your experience. It saves me the trouble of disassemble the Tamiya track a second time to add back 2 links.
      Originally posted by Rubicon99 View Post
      The shaft lengths needed to use the HL Abrams sprockets and tracks is the "65mm" one which is actually more like 63ish mm when I measured it. Any shorter and all the alignments will be off.

      Below is the HL sprocket and Tamiya Leopard "test" track (Abrams now on the tank) and you can see they are "perfectly" flush with the outside edge of the fender. If you haven't taken a look yet I have a short video made up of several clips from the drive testing. It can be viewed on my Instagram @ Fsttanks.
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      ​I am seeking the same effect that you achieved. The narrower tracks are much more realistic on the Patton M60.

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      • #4
        Neat mod, Merkava sprocket and leo2 track, pretty cool.
        RC tank parts and accessories I make
        www.RichardSJohnson.net/id28.html

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RichJohnson View Post
          Neat mod, Merkava sprocket and leo2 track, pretty cool.
          I made a huge mistake. The HL Merkava metal sprocket has the wrong tooth pitch and wrong width for the Patton M60. I fixed the sprocket with an extra long M3 screw and thought that it runs. The 2 half of the Merkava sprocket were not mated together and it fell apart. So embarrassing and disappointing.

          I should have take the time to examine the mod more carefully before I declared victory.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by keilau View Post
            It is by accident, not by intent. The HL Merkava metal sprocket is a leftover when I upgraded the Merkava to Hooben nylon track and sprocket. That's the only HL metal sprocket at my workbench. No harm done if it does not work. As it turn out, it runs perfectly. I will let the tank expert to comment on the appearance of a Merkava sprocket on a Patton.
            I am being lazy and don't want to pull my Merkava tracks and sprockets off as I am in the middle of another project right now. Would love to see some photos of the combination you worked up.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rubicon99 View Post

              I am being lazy and don't want to pull my Merkava tracks and sprockets off as I am in the middle of another project right now. Would love to see some photos of the combination you worked up.
              I have to update my noon time post because my mod fell apart. Back to the drawing board again to figure out how to use the Tamiya track on the Patton M60

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              • #8
                Try Abrams henglong sprocket
                RC tank parts and accessories I make
                www.RichardSJohnson.net/id28.html

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RichJohnson View Post
                  Try Abrams henglong sprocket
                  I have test fit the Hong Long Leopard 2A6 sprocket. I will have to make the gearbox motor shaft 22mm longer for it to work. TD extend the motor shaft socket 7mm beyond the sprocket's inner surface. The HL Leopard socket is 15mm inside the sprocket inner surface. The difference in sprocket width is much smaller, 3mm.
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                  Rubicon99 estimated a 62mm motor drive axle is needed. He did it with the DKLM dual current gearbox. There are 49mm and 58mm motor axle made for the HL ball bearing gearbox. It is doubtful that the HL axle are compatible with the TD gearbox. I do not want to invest more on M60 gearbox after the $80 on the TD metal gearbox.

                  I am considering cutting off 3mm thickness from the outer half of the sprocket. Glueing the 2 halfs back together with proper alignment may be easier said than done. Do you have an extra pair of TD plastic sprockets that you can provide for this experiment?

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                  • #10
                    I have come to the conclusion that I must use a Heng Long sprocket (Abrams, Leo2, Challenger2) for the Tamiya Leo track. I successfully narrew the width of a plastic TD sprocket. When I test fit the Tamiya track onto the narrowed TD sprocket, I found out that the TD sprocket is smaller in diameter than the HL Leo2 sprocket. The shorter pitch of the TD sprocket is a poor fit for the Tamiya track.

                    I also have a secondary problem. The TD sprocket is molded in a single piece. After the cutting, there is only a lap joint between the inner and outer sprocket pieces. The bond of CA glue alone may not make a strong piece. End of story. The way that Rubicon99 did it may be the only way.
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                    • #11
                      Most of us are familiar with the stretching problem of Heng Long plastic track over time. The simple solution is to upgrade to aftermarket metal track. Rubicon99 had say that the Tongde plastic track is more durable than HL plastic track and runs better than TD metal track. When I weight the TD plastic track vs. the Tamiya nylon track, the difference is obvious to Tamiya's favor.

                      My Tamiya track for TD M60 project had failed big time twice. My wish is a 3D printed sprocket with HL Leo2 width and diameter, and TD motor shaft socket. It will allow a drop in upgrade using the TD metal gearbox. Am I allowed to dream?

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                      • #12
                        I would suggest you just stick to the TD plastic track. I have several m60s now and the TD plastic track runs great and performs well. Very few people drive their tanks as hard and rough as Rubicon and I do. The performance of the plastic TD tack is excellent and while you could get better track with real double pin acting track, you really are not going to increase performance to any degree to compensate for the effort you have to invest to get that track on the tank.
                        I have Tamiya Abrams track on my DKLM OKMO 3d printed m60a3 that I built about 6 years ago. Realistically, side by side, the TD track performs better across the board Han the Abrams break because of the rubber pads on the Tamiya track. The only place it performs better is on rocks and very concrete inclines where the rubber grip is necessary, however it is much more stressful for the tank to turn due to the grip, while the TD plastic track has excellent traction in dirt, better than the rubber pad track.

                        I get heat you want, I had JVM print for me chevron and leopard 1 pads to convert Tamiya Pershing and Sherman track over, as well as 3d end connectors and center guides and I bought steel wire stock and cut and dressed my own track pins and made entire sets of leopard 1 track on my own from scratch. It’s completely neurotic and an insane amount of work, but it’s what makes my Tamiya leoaprd 1 tanks run so good. But the tdm60 runs that good already so there is no point.
                        RC tank parts and accessories I make
                        www.RichardSJohnson.net/id28.html

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RichJohnson View Post
                          I would suggest you just stick to the TD plastic track. I have several m60s now and the TD plastic track runs great and performs well. Very few people drive their tanks as hard and rough as Rubicon and I do. The performance of the plastic TD tack is excellent and while you could get better track with real double pin acting track, you really are not going to increase performance to any degree to compensate for the effort you have to invest to get that track on the tank.
                          I have Tamiya Abrams track on my DKLM OKMO 3d printed m60a3 that I built about 6 years ago. Realistically, side by side, the TD track performs better across the board Han the Abrams break because of the rubber pads on the Tamiya track. The only place it performs better is on rocks and very concrete inclines where the rubber grip is necessary, however it is much more stressful for the tank to turn due to the grip, while the TD plastic track has excellent traction in dirt, better than the rubber pad track.

                          I get heat you want, I had JVM print for me chevron and leopard 1 pads to convert Tamiya Pershing and Sherman track over, as well as 3d end connectors and center guides and I bought steel wire stock and cut and dressed my own track pins and made entire sets of leopard 1 track on my own from scratch. It’s completely neurotic and an insane amount of work, but it’s what makes my Tamiya leoaprd 1 tanks run so good. But the tdm60 runs that good already so there is no point.
                          I don't drive the tanks as hard and rough as Rubicon99 and you do. I was charmed when Rubicon99 posted his M60 with the DKLM dual current gearbox and Tamiya track. It is a curse! My upgrade project is 90% for look. 10% for the M60 to run ok on outdoor setting.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RichJohnson View Post
                            FYI all tracks stretch. Tamiya track stretches, all metal track stretches just like plastic. I’ve had taigen Sherman all metal track stretch over time to where I had to remove a link.
                            Your statement may be literally true, but is very misleading. The plastic track usually has crispier molding than most metal track casting, thus the better look. Why invest in an expensive metal track?

                            Not all tracks are created equal. A plastic track with an open pin connection will develop stretching the earliest. A metal track with an enclosed pin connection will last much, much longer before problem develops. The metallic material matters too. Soft nickel alloy with a small Young's modulus as used in early aftermarket metal tracks can stretch easier. Recent tracks from Mato and Torro use much harder alloy. Coupled with their close pin design, I don't expect them to develop measurable stretching even in rough usage.

                            When Rubicon99 introduced me to the Tamiya original track for the HL Leo2, I like the hybrid nylon and metal design a lot. Cheaper than most metal tracks, but feels heavy and strong in my hand. Tamiya markets all metal track too, but the track alone is priced higher than most low end Heng Long RTR tank's professional version.

                            Tracks casted with nylon resin is much less likely to stretching than ABS plastic tracks over time.​ Nylon track looks good and runs well.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by keilau View Post
                              My upgrade project is 90% for look. 10% for the M60 to run ok on outdoor setting.
                              I think we have a similar approach to the hobby. I never get a chance to battle so I'm more focused on detail and cool features than battlefield performance. A well detailed scale model that moves under its own power. Photographing well is very important, and realistic slow speed operation for videos are a main priority.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by keilau View Post
                                I was charmed when Rubicon99 posted his M60 with the DKLM dual current gearbox and Tamiya track. It is a curse! My latest TD M60A1 Patton upgrade project is 90% for look. 10% for the M60 to run ok on outdoor setting.

                                Originally posted by Max-U52 View Post
                                I think we have a similar approach to the hobby. I never get a chance to battle so I'm more focused on detail and cool features than battlefield performance. A well detailed scale model that moves under its own power. Photographing well is very important, and realistic slow speed operation for videos are a main priority.
                                I come from 60 years of plastic modeling background. I am more interested in historically accurate model than the "what if" type model. For 1:16 scale RC tanks, some delicate detail were simplied to make them more ragged for the RC action. For most tanks, the appearance and RC function are equally important. Most of my upgrades were for making the low cost HL tank runs smoother and more durable.

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                                • #17
                                  I get a 23mm long D motor axle from a 48mm HL plastic gearbox. I need an extension of only 15mm. It means that I have to shorten the TD gearbox motor axle. I am unwilling to do that. The 23mm extension is ideal with enough length for the mating copper tube to grap onto and cannot be shorten too much. So the motor axle extension project ends. Back to the TD plastic track.
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                                  The Tongde plastic track is too wide for the Patton M60. Its construction is better than similar HL plastic track in 3 areas. It is a double pin and enclosed pin design. The back side of the track has no hollows to attract dirt. It is more resistant to stretching than the HL plastic tracks.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by keilau View Post
                                    I get a 23mm long D motor axle from a 48mm HL plastic gearbox. I need an extension of only 15mm. It means that I have to shorten the TD gearbox motor axle. I am unwilling to do that. The 23mm extension is ideal with enough length for the mating copper tube to grap onto and cannot be shorten too much. So the motor axle extension project ends. Back to the TD plastic track.
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                                    The Tongde plastic track is too wide for the Patton M60. Its construction is better than similar HL plastic track in 3 areas. It is a double pin and enclosed pin design. The back side of the track has no hollows to attract dirt. It is more resistant to stretching than the HL plastic tracks.
                                    I have reassembled the TD M60A1 with the TD plastic tracks. I pause but am not giving up the Tamiya track for M60 project. In the picture below, the left side is my TD tracked M60, the right is Rubicon99 M60 with Tamiya track.
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                                    • #19
                                      The Tongde gearbox uses a short, 39 mm motor drive shaft. Since TD makes only one gearbox configuration,, there is no other shaft length. The Heng Long motor drive shaft is the same as TD and has 2 standard length of 49 and 59 mm. But the gear and its mounting on the shaft are different.
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                                      There are aftermarket HL motor drive shaft. Interestingly, the 49 mm are completely sold out.
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