1. Mini 4WD Racing

    1/32 Scale Snap Together 4WD Racing Machines that race on 2 and 3 lane tracks!

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  1. About Mini 4WD

    Tamiya Mini 4WD cars were first released in 1982. Designed as a cement-free snap together kit, Tamiya Mini 4WD's are essentially "plastic model kits". Tamiya's latest line of Mini 4WD's is the Pro series, which is built on the MS chassis. This vehicle features a revolutionary double shaft motor for a dramatically lower center of gravity and optimum balance. This PRO series features a twin motor shaft that transmits power directly to both front and rear wheels, which removes the need for a propeller shaft and balancing the motor chassis layout. The MS chassis is designed with a 3-part detachable chassis that can be tuned-up with a wide range of separately available Hop Up parts.
    All of the Mini 4WD kits have upgrade parts. For example, using optional ball bearing helps to minimize friction loss and utilize motor power more efficiently. By selecting the right Hop Up parts, you can enhance the performance of your car or the stability in curves during acceleration. Besides enhancing performance, you can customize your Mini 4WD to make it special and unique. Try cutting material out of your car to make it lighter or painting it with vivid colors.

    Mini 4WD's are reasonably priced and can be considered a learning experience for many kids. They are easy-to-assemble and a great first time hobby for kids and adults. It is something a parent and child can do together. The true appeal of Mini 4WD's can be found in racing them. Many 4WD fans compete in events put on by local retailers. The excitement of Mini 4WD racing is not just making them go fast, but in analyzing and improving your car. This is what sets Mini 4WD racing apart from other activities for kids and has made it one of the fastest growing hobbies in the world. You can enhance the performance of your Mini 4WD by using many of Tamiya's upgrade parts, which can provide increased power or faster speeds. In order to do this, you will need to understand the basic elements of Mini 4WD vehicles.


    The installation of a tune-up motor is the best way to increase the speed of your car. There are seven kinds of motors available as upgrades. All of them achieve higher performance than the standard motor included in the kit. It is essential to select the right motor since some are designed for top speed, while others are geared more for cornering.

    Gear Ratio

    At a given motor's output, top speed and acceleration are determined by the gear ratio. In comparison, between a 4:1 gear ratio and a 5:1 gear ratio, the smaller 4:1 ratio is more suitable for speed oriented circuits, while the bigger 5:1 produces more acceleration.
    Performance Differences Among The Various Gear Ratios. Different gear ratios are available for all chassis. Use a small ratio for high speed courses and a bigger one for technical courses with many curves and downs. Set up the gears according to the track you are racing on.


    Tires play an important part when it comes to your car's performance. Take into consideration tire weight, diameter, and width, to determine what type of tire will work best for the course you will be running

    Difference in diameters

    Small Diameter: Good for a quick start, but not for top speed. Small diameter tires lower the center of gravity and help your car corner better.
    Large Diameter: Good top speed and suitable for long straights. Better shock absorption for bumpy course joints.

    Difference in width

    Wide Tires: Provide stability during cornering. Good for technical courses with banking curves and ups and downs.
    Narrow Tires: Good for long straights. Less drag on the motor, which may give the advantage of longer run times.

    Difference in material

    Rubber: Weighs more than the sponge type, but grips better. Useful for jumps and lower center of gravity. Sponge: Weighs less than rubber type, but has a lower grip characteristic. Reston: Lighter than the regular sponge type and has better gripping. Can be used on all kinds of wheels.

    Tire Maintenance

    Use transparent tape to clean your sponge tires. Clean rubber tires with an eraser and remove the eraser pieces with tape.


    Wheels, as well as tires, play an important role in tuning up your car. There are various types with different diameters and structures. Select the right one for your application. Most types can be used on any Mini 4WD; however, if you have a Fully Cowled Mini 4WD, body modification will be required if you use anything other than the standard, small-diameter type wheels.

    Type of wheels

    Small Diameter Type: Narrow Wheels (which are standard for the Fully Cowled Mini 4WD), Wide Super Low-Height Wheels and Wheels for semi-pneumatic tires. Large Diameter Types: Included in a Super Mini 4WD snap kit. A lot of designs are available. Pick one that appeals to you.
    One Way Type: Light One Way Wheels, Wide One Way Wheels, Low Height One Way Wheels, Narrow One Way Wheel

    Normal wheel vs. one way wheel

    • Normal: The speed of the wheels on both sides of a car is the same. This is good for the straights; however, the outer wheel tends to be dragged during cornering and this may slow your car down.

    • Normal: The speed of the wheels on both sides of a car is the same. This is good for the straights; however, the outer wheel tends to be dragged during cornering and this may slow your car down.


    Rollers are a must when racing on walled circuits. Altering the rollers will enable you to set up your car for the demands of any track. Key points in using rollers are their size, location and angle. Make sure you have clearance between the rollers and the body tires. Any contact will slow your car down or even damage parts. Most races have regulations concerning the number and size of rollers. Also the position and size of the rollers can affect your overall length and width of your Mini 4WD. Check the local regulations to make certain that your car is in compliance

Dealers and Clubs can check out our Dearler Guide for an in-depth look into the world of Mini 4WD Mini 4WD Dealer Guide