BRUISER

This family is named after the first model that was released for sale; there are two models that are equipped with the BRUISER chassis:

Toyota 4×4 Pick Up Bruiser, model number 58048, released to sale in 1985 and available on the market until 1992 and
Toyota 4×4 Pick Up Mountaineer, model number 58111, released to sale in 1992 and available on the market until 1995.

There have been several re-releases of these two models over the years since 2012. Just as the Blazing Blazer model number 58029 is the economy version of the Toyota 4×4 Pick Up model number 58028, the Mountaineer was designed to be the economy version of the Brusier. There were so few differences that the cost-cutting project eventually failed, but the changes introduced with the Mountaineer were retained in the reissues.

There are several advertisements that Tamiya or the various importers around the world have published in trade magazines, in the image below is an example for both the Bruiser and the Mountaineer.

Parts list for Bruiser model number 58048:

This chassis is an evolution of the 3 Speed family that had been released for sale in 1981 Toyota Pick Up 4 x 4 model number 58028 and in 1982 Blazing Blazer model number 58029. The changes introduced with the Brusier family are all designed to improve off-road behaviour, there are many modifications and therefore few interchangeable parts between the two families. The chassis was developed to echo the configuration of real off-roaders with a spar frame. These are the specifications for this family:

– To reduce weight and maintain rigidity, the main frame changes from being two full aluminium beams joined by 4 cross members to two U-section side members joined by 4 cross members,
– To improve access to the battery and to improve weight distribution, the servo and receiver box does not contain the battery, which is no longer cantilevered at the rear, but is housed centrally,
– The wheels and rims change in size, in the Bruiser family they are larger and with an improved tread to increase grip on the ground,
– The front and rear bumpers are made of plastic compared to the aluminium version of the 3 Speed family, this is perhaps the only change that has led to a reduction in cost and not an improvement in performance,

– To improve traction on the 4-wheel drive, the front wheel hub lock is automatic when the vehicle moves forward. This provides better traction than the manual lock provided in the 3 Speed family and

– To provide more power, the gearbox is modified to accommodate the 750 motor as opposed to the 540 of the original version. The gearbox retains three speeds of which the lowest (first gear) acts on the four drive wheels, while the other two speeds (second and third gears) act on the rear wheels.

The pictures compare the gearboxes of the 3 Speed family (in the upper part of the two photos) and the Bruiser family (in the lower part of the two photos); the electric motor is evidently smaller in the 3 Speed version than in the Brusier version. The dimensions and shape of the gearbox in the 3 Speed family are the same as in the Brusier family: both have 6 sections, 3 inspection holes, rear axle transmission output in the part opposite the motor, front axle transmission output in the top right and gear selector rod in the part opposite the electric motor.

There are two main differences: at the rear, the Bruiser family gearbox has two pins (highlighted in blue in the picture on the left) that replace the two screws (highlighted in red in the picture on the left) found in the 3 Speed family gearbox, and the size of the section where the electric motor is screwed in is evidently larger for the Bruiser version than for the 3 Speed version. The two gearboxes are not interchangeable even though they retain 90% of their parts in common.

– Many parts of the two families resemble each other, but analyzing them closely shows that they are different. For example, the rear axle looks the same, but it is only the same in external shape; the interior changes significantly.
In the following photos, top axle is that of the 3Speed family and the bottom one is that of the Bruiser family. There is a different shape of the aluminum collar (right photo) that acts as a bearing and is thicker in the 3 Speed model, see the points highlighted by the red arrow for the 3Speed family and blue for the Bruiser family.
The different shape of the collar results in different machining of the inside of the axle, which is absolutely identical on the outside.

As aesthetically as the two rear axles in the photo at left look similar they are different, there is the difference of the hub attachment to the axle; a difference that is repeated of the front axle. The 3Speed family has a C-clip hitch, while Bruiser axle ends with the thread for the nut. See the points highlighted by the red arrow for the 3Speed family and blue arrow for the Bruiser family. In addition, the rectangular section axle section to lock the hub is longer in the Bruiser family than in the 3Speed family.

A 3-channel remote control is always required to control the forward-reverse, the 3-speed gearbox and the speed. Despite all the care taken to build a robust chassis suitable for off-road use, the result was not the best. The centre of gravity is high and the two models tip over easily. In addition, the two bodies and some parts of the chassis are very delicate and prone to breakage:

– in the event of a tip-over, the weight of the chassis leads to the body or windscreen breaking. The body is made of styrene and is easily repaired using acetone and ABS. The windscreen must be replaced when it splinters,
– the plastic front and rear bumpers break on first impact because they are not suitable for absorbing the mass of the car and
– in the event of an accident, the front front axle is subject to the steering pins breaking, highlighted in green.

Pictured from left to right are the Bruiser and Mountaineer parts. Starting from the front and moving towards the rear of the chassis, these are the differences:

Battery holder
The Bruiser has a metal and plastic battery holder suitable for holding a 6-volt battery or one to two 7.2-volt batteries, highlighted in blue.
The Mountaineer has a plastic battery holder suitable for a 7.2V battery, highlighted in red.

Rims
The Bruiser is equipped with a 2 plus 2-part rim.
The Mountaineer is equipped with a one-piece rim.

Body
The Bruiser has a bed cab that occupies part of the rear body.
The Mountaineer is equipped with a roll bar + 5 x lights that occupies the rear body, there is no bed cab as on the Bruiser.

Servos and receiver box
The Bruiser’s servo and receiver box has a small, linear-shaped cable hole going to the motor, highlighted in blue.
The Mountaineer’s servo and receiver box has a more generously sized, square-shaped cable hole going to the motor, highlighted in red; this box has also been retained in the reissues.

Accessories
The driver is available to be added to the interior of the cockpit. The driver is composed of several parts that must be joined together to assemble the body of the chosen character. Step-by-step guide to illustrate the construction of the figure of driver, figure of passenger and cockpit.

Re-releases

To date (2023) Tamiya has released both the Bruiser and the Mountaineer several times. The re-releases are based on the Monutaineer version so they retain:

– one-piece rims,

– battery holder for single 7.2 volt battery made of plastic and

– free rear body that is completed with additional bed cab for the Bruiser and roll bar with lights for the Mountaineer.

There are differences between the reissues and the original version in the chassis. Pictured from left to right are the parts of the original and reissue versions. Starting from the front and moving towards the rear of the chassis, these are the differences:

Metal parts
In the original version the metal parts have no surface treatment.
In the re-release the metal parts are black anodised.

Frame cross members
In the re-release there is an extra cross-member (highlighted in orange) at the height of the gearbox which joins the two side members and allows the gearbox to be fixed. The system for anchoring the rear derailleur to the frame is completely different. The rear derailleur of the re-release clamps onto two screws on the new cross-member and no longer uses the circular plate (highlighted in green) at the front of the original version.

Motor and gearbox
The motor of the original version is the 750.
The motor of the re-release is the 540; the gearbox has been modified to accommodate the new type of motor. It has a completely different appearance, abandoning the three gear inspection holes that characterise the gearbox of the 3 Speed and Bruiser family.

Differential
The original version had no differential.
The re-release has a front and rear differential. This resulted in a different design of the gears and the front and rear axle.

Wheel hubs
The original version has three different hubs: one front right, one front left and the two rear ones.
The re-release has only one hub for all four wheels.

Cab window colour
The original version has a clear transparent windscreen and side windows.
The re-release has a black transparent windscreen and side windows.

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