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Home RC Car and Truck Build Projects Project FJ40: Tamiya CR-01 Land Cruiser Build – Part 1

Project FJ40: Tamiya CR-01 Land Cruiser Build – Part 1

Finally got our hands on one! Ever since Tamiya announced the CR-01 Land Cruiser 40 I, as well as thousands of other enthusiasts, have been clamoring to get ahold of one. We thought about it and decided that there would be no better way to celebrate this site’s one year anniversary (today!) than to buy one, build it, beat the heck out of it, and let you know what we think along the way. So follow along as we document the build of Tamiya’s first rock crawler, the Land Cruiser 40.

To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect. Having only seen pictures of the CR-01 I was skeptical at best. Lets face it the suspension is a very odd design compared to 99% of the rock crawlers out there today. The Land Cruiser features a suspension system that separates the springs and shocks much like you’d see on a full size truck. Unlike what you’d see on a full size street truck is the unique cantilevered damping system. The Land Cruiser has it’s shocks mounted on the chassis with cantilevers and rods attaching them to the axle. Even more unique is that when the suspension is compressed the shocks actually extend. I guess only time will tell how well this system works. Let’s get to it!

Part 1: Whats in the Box?
As usual Tamiya supplied the Land Cruiser in an awesome looking box. It features an illustrated Land Cruiser doing what it was meant to do, climbing rocks. Not only does the outside of the box look great, but Tamiya even went so far as to put little illustrations of the CR01 throughout the interior of the box.

Side of the box

The other side…

Some of the interior box art

The freshly opened box. Got Rock?

Here are the majority of the plastic parts that make up the Land Cruiser. Compared to the average rock crawling kit the CR01 is definitely complicated, but as with all Tamiya kits, it is fairly easy to build.

The Land Cruiser is supplied with a brand new Tamiya tire, the 2.2″ Vice Crawler. The Vice Crawlers include fairly soft foam inserts. We don’t want to let the cat out of the bag just yet, but we’d strongly suggest star cutting the foams before the build. No sense having to go back later and remove the two zillion screws that hold the beadlocks together. Speaking of wheels…

The Land Cruiser is supplied with black plastic wheels with silver beadlock rings. After getting used the aluminum rings that came on our Scorpion we were disappointed to find that the Tamiya’s beadlock rings were made of plastic. Tamiya plans on producing optional black aluminum beadlock rings in the near future.

Tamiya included a “silver can” style Mabuchi 540 motor. Though this motor is a decent choice for the beginner we think many will opt for a lathe motor for more torque and more low speed control. For our test we’re using the kit motor because that’s what most buyers will initially use.

Something we couldn’t wait to get our hands on was the Land Cruiser’s transmission. Rather than using a standard 3 gear design like most crawlers of today, Tamiya went with a very unique planetary design. Before receiving our truck we heard that the biggest benefit of this type of transmission was it’s compact size. However after seeing it in person we believe it is actually larger than the one in the Axial AX10. Regardless this unique transmission will likely find its way into many scale projects over the next few years.

What can I say. Tamiya supplied us with four driveshafts. Is that a sign of things to come?

Two different rate springs are included with the kit. Be sure to install the blue marked ones in the front and yellow in the rear. Tamiya also offers an optional spring kit which includes three pairs of different rate springs, and also an optional barrel spring set which, like its name, is a set of barrel shaped springs which according to Tamiya create a “progressive damping affect”.

The beautifully polished suspension links. We really wish Tamiya would have supplied similar links for the steering system. Instead we’re stuck with steel tierods.

Just like the Tamiya F-350 High Lift, the Land Cruiser’s differentials feature a locking pin design which allows the owner to decide whether or not they want either the front or rear differentials locked. To lock or unlock them you simply remove a plug from the axle case, and then uninstall the pin in the differential. I can’t imagine many ever removing those pins though.

The 40 ball bearings included with the kit. Incase you’re wondering the two largest ones are installed in the center of the planetary transmission.

As usual, the Tamiya sculpted some nicely detailed and decently scale appearing axles cases.

Here are the mirrors for the body. Tamiya also included separate pieces for the front turn signals, and front grill. Although Tamiya does supply decals for the mirrors they were silver in appearance. Maybe we’re nitpicking too much, but we’d much rather have seen actual mirrored decals included instead.

Although we have already supplied you with a pdf version of the Land Cruiser owners manual we just wanted to point out how great Tamiya makes these things. Each step throughout the manual has detailed illustrations and even scale diagrams of the hardware for accurate size comparison.

The decal sheet includes everything from headlights and turn signals, to windshield wipers and black molding for around the windows.

Well that’s it for our look into the inner workings of the Tamiya Land Cruiser. Next step to get started on the fun part, the build. Now go check out the rest of the pictures!

Land Cruiser CR-01 Pictures:

Project FJ40:
Part 1 – What’s in the Box?
Part 2 – The Build
Part 3 – Testing
Part 4 – Video

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7 Comments  comments 

7 Responses

  1. hirjland90

    i’d like to buy one too but i don’t know that toys and me Cambodia had it or not i’d love to have one tamiya land cruiser fj40 blue

  2. Terry Joseph

    I am to repaint my land cruiser body and would like to replace old decals with new ones, wonder you have these on sale saperately? If you do, please advise how much it would cost me and to have it sppedely mailed to my me in Bali , Indonesia.

  3. Terry Joseph

    I have damaged my Land Cruiser’s Decals and wondering where I can purchase these seperately without having to purchase the whole body kit. Your help and info will be much appreciated.

    Regards from B ali.

  4. Erwin

    Hi, by any chance can u help me to choose a good Li-po battery pack for my Tamiya TLC fj40?


    • Erwin, any standard size 5500mah to 6500mah 7.4v 2S pack will fit fine in the fj40. The brand you buy really depends on how much you want to spend. Just make sure you have a speed control that has auto lipo cutoff to protect your new battery.

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