Toyota 4x4 Bruiser

Model
Tamiya Toyota 4 x 4 Pick Up Bruiser, model number 58048, offered for sale in 1985 and available on the market until 1992
Styrene body
3-speed Bruiser chassis
This is probably one of the most realistic models made by Tamiya.

Analysis of the model to be restored
The starting point for this restoration at first glance could not be better. It is certainly a model that has been used, but from the photos in the online advertisement it does not appear to be in such bad shape. Starting from the front going towards the rear, the analysis reveals that:

– front bumper in very poor condition; indeed, it is one of the parts most prone to breakage in cases of frontal impact,
– the lower shell of the black plastic box that houses the servos, receiver and service battery pack is missing; it also serves as the primary battery holder,
– the rear drive axle is not original, but belongs to a more recent model,
– the colour of the windscreen and windows is too dark; there are several alternatives, but the most probable are that it has been painted black from the inside or that it has undergone a treatment with some film to darken the colour from clear to transparent black,
– there is abundant use of stickers that are not original.
The model is equipped with most of the parts that are hard to find such as the gearbox, the 4 leaf springs and the spar chassis with all its cross-members, the stickers are the original ones and the body colour is in line with the original instructions even if the colour is darker than it should be.

Frame restoration
The first operation is to disassemble the chassis to check each of its parts; at this stage look for broken parts, missing parts, modified parts, screws that do not unscrew…
– remove the four wheels with their hubs,
– disassemble the front axle with its leaf spring suspension including the steering system,
– disassemble the rear axle with its leaf spring suspension and
– disassemble the black plastic electronics box.
The second operation is to wash all metal and plastic parts with hot soapy water:
– wash all small parts and metal parts with the ultrasonic washing machine for a time of 25 minutes at 70°C. Separate different metals.
– wash all plastic and Teflon parts with the ultrasonic washing machine for a time of 25 minutes at 40°C.
– rinse freshly treated parts with warm water and dry with a paper kitchen cloth and
– polish the parts with polish or toothpaste.

Parts recovered from other restorations are available to complete this restoration

– bumper set is available (in 2023) in the Hop-Up Options series as set number 54416 “4×4 Vehicle Driver Figure Bruiser”; bumper set for models equipped with 3- Speed or Bruiser chassis
– bumper set is available (in 2023) as spare part number 19000360. Although in many cases the front and rear bumpers can be repaired using ABS and Acetone, in any case the set in question is made of white plastic and is a perfect replica of the original 1980s version.
– front light and rear view mirror set ‘F Parts’ included in the original box identified by the number 0005154,
– front cross member where to screw in the “Front Chassis Member Metal” electric motor carrier plate identified as set number X-9111,
– two “Rear Wheel Hub Pair” rear hubs identified as set number 5402511,
– black lower shell for the electronics box is available (in 2023) as spare part number 19335645 (upper and lower shell)
– various linkages for the gearbox and steering system “Steering Linkage Rod”, “Steering Linkage Rod H.D. Approx 120 mm” part number 2500014, “Steering Linkage Rod H.D. Approx 79 mm” part number 2500013, “Steering Linkage Rod Regular W/ Bend Approx 90 mm”, “Steering Linkage Rod Regular W/ Bend Approx 65 mm” and “Steering Linkage Rod Small Regular Approx 53 mm” part number 5305005
– complete metal parts ‘Rod Bag’ identified as set number 9405188.

Place everything on the same plane to choose the best pieces from those available, in which case there are enough pieces to fill the gaps in the starting model.

Having all the parts intact the construction phase of the model is relatively simple, even though the chassis is a reproduction of a real off-roader assembling the parts is quick and straightforward. Picture sequence showing the stages in which the chassis is assembled. The parts available are in most cases surplus, select the best parts with the least wear and scratches:

– construction of the chassis with cross members; for this section of the construction I have four rear cross members available (two are needed to complete the chassis), two centre cross members are available (one is needed to complete the chassis) and one front cross member is available (one is needed to complete the chassis),
– installation of the four shock absorber turrets; for this section of the construction I have six turrets available code 4305132 (four are needed to complete the chassis) and two steering towers are available code 4305131 (one is needed to complete the chassis).

– Install leaf spring mounts; for this section of the build, two rear bumper mounts part number 4015016 are available (two are needed to complete the chassis), eight large 8 leaf spring mounts part number 430513 are available (six are needed to complete the chassis), four small leaf spring mounts part number 4305130 are available (two are needed to complete the chassis) and eight leaf spring u-brackets part number 4305129 are available (four are needed to complete the chassis),
– front and rear axle assembly; two complete rear axle sets are available for this section of the construction (one is needed to complete the chassis), one complete front axle set is available (one is needed to complete the chassis),

– install the leaf spring suspension system; eight leaf springs are available for this section of the build (you will need four to complete the chassis), six square plates part number 4305136 are available (you will need four to complete the chassis), twelve threaded u-bolts part number 2595015 are available (you will need eight to complete the chassis), and eight plastic plates are available (you will need four to complete the chassis),
– assemble the axles and shock absorbers to the chassis; eight shock absorbers are available for this section of the construction (you will need four to complete the chassis), a front lower impact plate is available (you will need one to complete the chassis).

In the photo on the left the chassis is ready to receive the black plastic electronics box in marriage and in the photo on the right the parts that were left over after assembling the chassis; from left to right
– front crossmember set number 14305126 in black metal for Bruiser re-reliase model number 58519,
– two rear bumper support U-plates set number 19804583 in black metal for Bruiser re-ereliase model number 58519
– four shock absorber towers set number 19804590 in black metal for Bruiser re-reliase model number 58519
– complete set of rubber parts code number SP1498 “4 X 4 Off-Road Car Rubber Parts Set A”,
– set of rubber parts for dust protection code number 51499,
– gearbox plug set part number 19804616 “Rubber Cap”.
– rubber bushing set part number 6275003,
– right side member for Bruiser model number 58048,
– left side member for Bruiser model number 58048,
– four leaf springs code number 5205002,
– rear axle for Bruiser model number 58048,
– rear suspension arm code number 4305149
– front body support code number 4035015,
– three rear cross-members code number 4305128
– a central cross member code number 4305127,
– front front axle shell for Bruiser model number 58048,
– front and centre rear axle shell for Bruiser model number 58048,
– some linkages for the steering system,
– right and left holder for the 6V and 4000 mA battery respectively part no. 4305135 and 4305134,
– five complete shock absorbers for Bruiser model number 58048,
– three + two white plastic plates for shock absorber towers,
– plastic rear body support,
– two rear axle collars code number 3455142,
– four threaded U-pins model number 2595015,
– four U-shaped plates for leaf spring link part number 4305129,
– two small brackets for leaf springs part no. 4305130
– two towers for shock absorbers part no. 4305132,
– one steering tower part number 4305131,
– two square plates part number 4305136,
– a constant velocity joint part number 3455038
– four large brackets for leaf springs part number 4305138 and
– miscellaneous
There are no plans for new constructions. If anyone needs these parts, please contact us at the e-mail address on the website.

The chassis is ready to receive the electronic box in marriage, which has three defects: the upper shell is cracked, the tower to fix the right front screw is missing, and the window frame for the dust seal highlighted in the picture is missing.

Picture sequence showing the restoration of the window for the dust seal and the upper shell:

– construct the window by joining 4 rectangles cut from a 2 mm thick sheet of ABS, Use the lower shell as a template to cut the four sides of the frame from the sheet of ABS, the resulting figures are welded together using acetone which dissolves ABS joining the piece in an indissoluble manner.
– Using a brush, spread the less dense solution of acetone and ABS over the upper shell along the crack. This solution enters the crack in the upper shell and also forms a surface layer that holds the two pieces together separated by the crack. This repair has poor mechanical strength and is not suitable for moving parts such as suspension arms. This repair is perfect for parts that are not moving and that once installed on the model have no play between them.
– From a tube with an external diameter of 5 mm and an internal diameter of 2.5 mm, cut the pin where the screw that fastens the electronics box to the chassis is screwed. Use the tower on the left side as a reference. Weld this cylinder to the shell by applying a dense solution of ABS and Acetone
– Once the repairs are complete, paint the machined surfaces with rubber black TS29

At this point all the plastics required to complete the electronics box to be installed on the chassis are rea

The motor and gearbox are not locked and turn correctly, install them on the chassis, which is now ready to receive the body in marriage.

Body restoration
The cockpit windows are covered with a transparent black film; remove the film and clean the plastic windows to restore them to their original appearance.
The function of the black film was to hold the side windows and windscreen together because the windows have cracks that correspond to the roof pillars of the passenger compartment. You can’t see the damage at all from the photos in the ad. It must be the result of some rollover or the same frontal accident that broke the bumper. Apply a strip of transparent film joining the parts, the strip must be large enough to be covered by the pillars of the passenger compartment.
The body has a surprise, the two attachments for the screws of the front grille complete with lights to the body are broken: the pins for the screws are broken probably due to a frontal collision, probably the same collision that broke the windows and the front bumper. The photos in the ad did not show the damage at all: the grille is glued to the body.
Picture sequence summarising the repair work on the front grille:

– the front grille is in good condition complete with the two headlights, the right arrow and the number plate. The front crash has deformed and bent the lower lip, which has changed its shape slightly,
– From an ABS tube with an external diameter of 5 mm and an internal diameter of 2.5 mm, cut two cylinders to be welded to the grille using a very dense solution of ABS and Acetone. Install the L-section metal bracket and screws so as not to mistake where to weld the two cylinders,
– the left mudguard is slightly chipped so that the nut and bolt do not fit, with the dense solution of Acetone and ABS add the missing part and colour it with Blue Royal X3. The classic Bruiser colour is X4 or TS15 blue, but the previous owner used X3 colour. The only solution to preserve the original stickers is not to paint the model in the correct colour to change from colour X3 Blue Royal to colour X4,

– clean the frame from the mastic with a hobbyist’s drill and a small cutter,
– after 8 hours the ABS and Acetone solution has set on the front grille and wing,
– reinstall the grille on the body.

Now the body is ready for marriage with the chassis.

Restored model
Images showing the finished model.

In this model, the cockpit was completed by adding the driver and passenger. Step-by-step guide to illustrate the construction of the figure of driver, figure of passenger and cockpit.

Evolution of the restored model
It was possible to find an electronics box complete with servos without any damage, this box replaced the previously repaired one.

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