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For the second part of the mini frog review, I wanted to see what the Frog could really do.  The kit motor is simply never going to push this car and take advantage of the relatively high spec.

I assembled a small array of parts to complete a transformation of the Frog:

Tekin Mini Rage brushless system

GPM Oil Shocks
(Labled for the Mini-T)

GPM 13/14/15t pinions
(Labled for the RC18T)

Intellect 1400mah NiMh battery 
(Labled as fitting the RC18T- same as the Frog)

The main transformation would be the use of the Tekin Mini Rage brushless system. Everything else merely goes toward supporting the Mini Rage and making the most of it.

The Mini Rage comprises a Brushless speed controller and motor with all the wiring needed  and ready to go in the Frog and other mini sized vehicles.  My Mini Rage came with 5.4kv motor, this indicated that for every Volt there is 5.4 thousand revolutions of the motor, or 5400 revs per volt.  This equates to a theoretical 7.2 (volts) X 5.4k = 38880 rpm.  Not bad at all.  I was also given a 8kv motor to try out which theoretically comes out at 57600 rpm !!!!!!  This is quite rightly labled “eXtreme” by Tekin.

The Tekin Mini Rage motor has various holes for mounting in place of different sized brushed motors.  The widest spaced holes on the motor are used in the Tamtech Frog.  The kit motor holes are 17mm apart (hole centers) but the Mini Rage motor is 16mm apart.  This might at first seem a big difference but the Tekin motor uses smaller diameter screws (provided) so although it’s a tight fit the motor does mount up flat and true on the motor plate. 

Meshing pinion and spur with the motor like this isn’t as easy as it could be because when tightening up the screws – because the motor screw is rubbing on the motor plate this causes the motor to move away at the critical moment of tightening up. You can overcome this by holding the motor in place with a thumb until its fully clamped down but just make sure it’s still meshed perfectly (a little play between the pinion and spur is best).

You can of course use a file or drill to widen the motor hole and give the motor screws a little more play- but its ok as it is.

I tested the Tekin Mini Rage brushless with the stock receiver which was spot on though the throttle needed reversing on the transmitter (or the Tekin set up).  However I wanted to use my own transmitter for the now brushless frog, so I’d have maximum control.  I installed a 40mhz KO-301 receiver which is slightly smaller than the Tamiya offering.

The motor connects to the ESC via tiny gold corally style connectors (bullet connectors), these end up being fairly bulky in the small space but not too bad. The length of these wires is on the limit for mounting the speed controller in the stock position,its certainly possible but requires some thought.  I Zip tied the motor wires to the shock tower like the original motor wires had been.

Tekin Brushless with the Stock receiver
Switch mounting
Close up of the ESC
The on/off switch on the Kit ESC is very large indeed and mounts up to the rear shock tower via 2 screws.  The Mini Rage however has a much smaller switch which needs to be secured in a different way.  I secured the switch to the back of the shock tower with double sided tape and a zip-tie, this meant is was switchable without removing the shell, just like the original.

The Frog comes with a range of push-fit plastic pinions to tune the kit motor for speed / power.  I tried these on the brushless and they were a good tight fit.  However to make sure the frog was getting all the massive power of the Mini Rage I invested in some more value GPM products, this time in the form of some alloy pinions with grub screws designed for the Associated RC18 line of vehicles.

Just like the shocks, these were really cheap and I wasn’t even sure they would fit and mesh properly but thankfully they are a perfect fit. Excellent value for money.

GPM Mini-T shocks are slightly shorter
Front mounting, needed spacing out

I knew as soon as I got the Frog that it would never truly handle the power of the Tekin Mini Rage with the kit shock absorbers (or lack thereof), it just wouldn’t be able to put the power of the Tekin system on the ground.  The Tamiya hop up shock absorber items were not available and no doubt would be expensive, so I sourced some very cheap GPM oil shocks from Ebay.  These shocks were labled as fitting the Mini-T from Losi but they were so cheap it was worth a try. 
There will probably be other more suitable shocks out there including those from Tamiya by the time this review is complete, but I needed something just to put the power of the Tekin system down.
The GPM shocks are nothing special in terms of quality, I would have been shocked (!) if they were, and don't look as nice as the official Tamiya hop up shocks.  They did however do the job of damping.  Fitment was a concern at first, and they are a few mm shorter front and rear than the kit shocks.  The shock bottoms already contained pivot balls but when removed the shock fits perfectly over the tamiya ball studs on the wishbones.  On the shock towers I used the provided screws and alloy bushings, the front shocks however fouled the tower (as do the rears in the inner-most position)  so I spaced these out using plastic washers.

With the shocks fitted, the car was certainly slightly lower than stock, but not too bad with the shocks moved to different locations on the arms (inner holes).  The shocks include optional harder purple springs which were needed at the front, the rear however was hard enough, the rear damping felt a bit too stiff but it’ll suffice for now.

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