The Bruiser and Mountaineer are successors of the Hilux and Blazer 3 -Speeds. Tamiya developed a completely new chassis and changed all components. There are very few parts that can be installed on both families of the chassis.
The Bruiser use three channels for steering, throttle, and gear selection. The chassis is designed like the real off-road vehicles: 2 chassis beams running the entire length of the chassis connected by crossbars, 4WD (1st gear) and 2WD (2nd and 3rd gears) gear box, and front and rear cast metal axles.
All modifications are designed to improve off-road behaviour:
- Ladder frame changed from massive aluminium alloy to U-shaped steel rails.
- 3-speed Gear box transmission is modified to fit the larger 750 motor instead of the 540.
- Servo box changed to fit inside the frame.
- Battery holder moves from inside the servo box to outside and is installed in the middle of the chassis close to the centre of gravity.
- Tires and rims changed dimension and shape.
- Front and rear bumpers moved from sheet metal + aluminium tube to plastic.
- Manual locking front wheel system moves to free wheeling in forward direction.
The chassis appears very robust and suitable for off-road use, but in reality it is easy to break a few parts. The front bumper breaks easily and if the impact is significant it can break the steering pivots.
It is easy to cause rollovers especially if used on the road in third gear, in which case the front window screen may be scratched and/or the body damaged at the front windscreen pillars. In any case the high impact styrol body is easily repairable.
The Bruiser’s handling was certainly better than the first 3-speeds, especially the larger wheels and softer leaf springs improves off-road use.
Two models use the Bruiser chassis:
- Toyota 4x4 Pick Up Bruiser, item number 58048 released for sale in 1985 and available on the market until 1992.
- Toyota 4x4 Pick Up Mountaineer, item number 58111 released for sale in 1992 and available on the market until 1995.
There have been several re-release of these models over the years.
The Mountaineer is designed to be the economic development of the Bruiser as the Blazer was the economic development of the Hilux.
Tamiya failed to reduce the cost of the Mountaineer because the differences were very few and not such as to significantly reduce the cost. Mountaineer remained in production for only a few years.
The biggest differences are concentrated at the rear of the body and the modifications introduced have therefore not changed the performance of the Bruiser, they have simply introduced a new model.
Detailed differences between the three originals, moving from front to rear of the chassis:
(See picture below each section)
- 1. Battery Holder
Bruiser has metal + plastic battery holder suitable for 6 Volts and 7,2 Volts.
Mountaineer has 7,2 V plastic battery holder.
- Front suspension
Bruiser has split rims
Mountaineer has one-piecerims.
Bruiser has sleeper cab moulded to the bed.
Mountaineer has roll bar + 5 x lights and open bed.
Tamiya has re-released multiple versions of the two originals with Bruiser chassis.
Differences between the original and the re-release are noticeable at a visual inspection.
The re-releases always have the same basic body with the completely open bed like model #58111. The versions differ in the presence of the sleeper cab or the roll bar with 5 lights.
The bodywork of the re-release version is prepared for the installation of front lights, rear lights and indicators and the windows are made of tinted glass instead of fully transparent and there are also two windscreen washers.
The main chassis beams are painted black and all re-releases have a single battery holder and one-piece wheels like model #58111.
Original and re-release has different crossbars to connect the 2 chassis beams.
Original hasn’t the front and rear differential while re-releases do.
So the two versions have different rear and front axles to accommodate the different gears.
Original has front right, front left and two rear identical hubs while the re-release has 4 x identical hubs.
- 3 speed Gearbox
Tamiya design a new gearbox for there-releases.
Written by Gabriele Andreoni