Ford F-350 High Lift
- Model #: 58372
- Gallery: View
- Released: 2006
- Prebuilt: No
- Category: Trucks
- Chassis: High Lift
- Scale: 1/10
- Use: Offroad
- Style: Scale truck
- Config: MA
- Driveline: Shaft drive
- Body: ABS
- Finished body: No
- Susp. front: Leaf, solid axle
- Susp. rear: Leaf, solid axle
Photo gallery samples
Visit the full Tamiya Ford F-350 gallery for more photos.
When the High Lift was first unveiled, the reaction from the Tamiya RC fan community was decidedly mixed. Some folks were utterly ecstatic, nearly falling into tears of joy out of the long-overdue revival of the hardshell 3-speed truck. Others were terribly disappointed & felt betrayed that Tamiya would release such a thing that was not a part-for-part duplicate of one of the classic icons like the Bruiser, Hilux, and Mountaineer. Still others managed to experience both extremes of emotion simultaneously. I, as always, just appreciated the fact that Tamiya was still thinking of us.
The High Lift build is a pretty long process, but if you're patient with it, it goes delightfully smoothly and without any unexpected hitches. What's most surprising is the weight. The frame rails are stamped steel, there's quite a mass of metal in the driveline, and even the friction shock shafts are extraordinarily beefy. The finished truck, though a modest 19 1/2" long, weighs 7 1/2 pounds! It comes as a surprise that a single generic 540-sized silver can motor can motivate such a mass, but the significant gear reduction in the drivetrain lets it get up to speed pretty quickly. Speaking of gear reduction, one of the key features of the High Lift platform is the 3-speed transmission. This is a large, beefy, servo-shifted unit based around the internals used on the heavy duty 1/14th scale semi trucks that can pull 20 lbs. on a trailer. The High Lift version places the motor directly over the transmission and adds an output gearbox with further gear reduction and dual transfer case outdrives. The differentials are all-metal, unsealed, open gear units, but you can easily lock them with the installation of one screw pin apiece (included). This can be done even after full assembly, as they're accessible by removing the end caps.
The truck's suspension bows deeply to realism with real leaf springs used all around. An assortment of different leaves are included in the kit so that you can add more stiffness, but honestly, even the default setup the manual specifies is much too rigid, limiting total articulation to about an inch, and it doesn't get much better than that without custom modifications or aftermarket parts. The shocks are friction-style but feature a very effective double o-ring design, and internal return springs can be removed to soften the overall spring rate just a bit more.
Next up on the mechanical front is the steering setup. The servo is mounted vertically next to the transmission, and thanks to a system of fods, links, and bellcranks, four-wheel steering is possible with that single servo. All it takes to switch between 2WS and 4WS is moving one single ball link in the rear from a locking point on the axle and a live, connected ball end nearby. By unscrewing said ball end and mounting it to a second hole on the bellcrank, you can reduce the rear steering rate while leaving the front untouched.
Another easy to love feature of the truck is the body. A "hardshell" ABS assembly, this body is lifted straight off the old Juggernaut monster truck. It's well-detailed when complete, though getting to that point requires a fair amount of hand painting and assembly. It's worth it, though, as the finished truck is a toy to be proud of, equally at home on a shelf or a dirt trail. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can mount up to 19 LEDs in stock locations alone and use Tamiya's TLU-01 and TLU-02 light control units together for full-function brakelights, backup lights, and turn/hazard signals.
When it comes to driving the truck, you must accept that it's no Wild Dagger. You don't drive it like a typical bashing RC, you drive it like you would a full-scale lifted truck. On asphalt or any other moderately high-traction surface, if you crank the steering to full lock at top speed, you're sure to flip over and do some serious damage to that beautiful body. Remember, it's painted on the outside, and unlike polycarbonate bodies, these can break. Top speed in 3rd gear is plenty generous, but the real fun comes when you back it down to 1st and take it off the beaten path, as that's where the scale driving experience really kicks in. You start to plan your course, bump by bump, stone by stone, and in stead of thrashing over terrain, you truly drive over it. It's an experience that particularly rewards patience and imagination.
See the annotated build process in the Tamiya Ford F-350 High Lift build thread on the forums.
- You'll notice that unlike in some simpler Tamiya kits, you don't build using everything from one hardware bag, and then move on. You'll frequently need to skip ahead a bag or two to get the parts you need. Just don't let this worry you, and make sure you have a wide, open container to empty the bags into so the pieces will be easier to find. I actually used four caddies during this build -- one large flat tupperware piece, one quart-sized tupperware piece, and two small dishes (old mint tins).
- Since I built the kit 100% stock, I used the included oilite bushings, with the key word segment being "oil." For all metal-on-bushing surfaces, I used actual petroleum-based bushing oil instead of the included "ceramic grease." Oil soaks into oilite bushings a bit better in my experience. I used the kit grease on all metal-on-plastic and plastic-on-plastic moving surfaces, as well as in the diffs.
- Two different muffler styles are included, with single & dual tips. Instead of chosing one and permanently cementing it to the pipe, use a bit of removable adhesive like Shoe Goo so you can change styles at a later date if you want.