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Thread: Bruiser 101- Updated 11/08

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Old 04-20-2007, 03:05 PM   #1
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Arrow Bruiser 101- Updated 11/08

Bruisers/Mountaineers tech 101 If you have something to contribute, as I am sure there is stuff I dont even know, please let me know so I can add it. Ill start with the basics and go into details abouts mods.


Bruiser and Mountaineer share very similar bodies, main difference from Bruiser to Mountaineer is that a Bruiser has the sleeper shell on the bed, and the mountaineer uses a chrome double roll bar.

Mountaineers (and new high lift Hilux) use a rear window You'll find that if you obtain a Mountaineer that this part is often missing. This part, as well as the windshield is available from the new Hilux high lift kit sold by Corey @ http://www.shop.rpphobby.com/product...&productId=669 a OG Hilux windshield differs from a Bruiser/Mountaineer windshield in that the rear window incorporated into it.

Replacement Grills are also available through Corey at http://www.shop.rpphobby.com/product...&productId=667
*TIP* If you need the mount for the grill, the one from a clod buster grill is the same thing.
Replacement headlight buckets can also be found there as well http://www.shop.rpphobby.com/product...&productId=674

If you want the rare mirror that is hard to find and often missing, you can get replacement aluminum ones from Mike on Tamiya club, he also makes cool aluminum KC lights http://tamiyaclub.com/trades_model.a...=42029&id=2707

On the Bruiser and mountaineer are the same, however, a Hilux interior IS NOT and will not work in a Bruiser/mountaineer cab. The Bruiser interior has mounts on each side of the interior, where a Hilux one does not and has the mounts on the back side of the interior. The Hilux interior also does not have that hump in the middle of the seat. A Hilux cab, doesnt have holes drilled in the each side for Bruiser/Mountaineer interior. Re-production OG Hilux interiors are available through RC4WD : http://rc4wdstore.com/product_info.p...roducts_id=420

Lenses are commonly missing or cracked on these trucks, if you need replacement lenses they are available here: http://www.shop.rpphobby.com/product...&productId=668 or from here http://rcgrabbag.com/store/index.htm

Replacement turn signals buckets are available through RPP : http://www.shop.rpphobby.com/product...&productId=674

If you need a rear louver for your Bruiser it can be bought from RC4WD here: http://rc4wdstore.com/product_info.p...roducts_id=118

If your Bruiser/Mountaineer is missing the license plates, I would recommend some of these from Rouge Elements http://www.rogueelementcomponents.co...e%20Plates.htm
These are ultra scale and look 10x better


The Bruiser/Mountaineer share the same chassis, its 99% the same except the front cross member and motor mount is ever so slightly different...that is something most people dont even know, so now you do. (pics to come)

A hilux chassis, is not channeled like a Bruiser or Mountaineer chassis is. Its also made of aluminum rather then stamped steal.


The stock trans mission is a 3 speed transmission. It uses a slipper style counter gear. The Bruiser/Mountaineer uses a 750 can sized motor, where the Hilux uses a 540 sized. a 540 conversion is offered for the Bruiser trans from RC4WD, however a mount to hold the motor up then, is still in the works.

Stock transmission plugs are available here: http://parts.bruiserbuilder.com/prod...on%20plugs.htm

A member of RCMT.net (KPN) computed the stock gear ratios of the trans, they are the folliowing:
1st gear (low speed, 4x4) - 22.7:1
2nd gear (med speed) - 10.87:1
3rd gear (high speed) - 5.2:1
Dave engle was kind enough to pass along this info for shifting:
All of these setting are true if the transmission is stock.

Shifting rod pushed in to the transmission is third gear or "Top Gear." Two wheel drive.
Shifting rod in the middle position is "Second Gear." Two wheel drive.
Shifting rod pulled to the outter position is first gear or "Low gear." 4 wheel drive.

(^^info aboved sourced from RCMT)

The 3 speed trans is often missing or has dried up trans plugs, these are now available through BruiserBuilder.com

Lubricating the stock 3 speed has always raised a question. I myself have tried many different things. In my mountaineer, that I run occasionally, I give it spay of WD-40 or something similar. I think the best lube for it that I have tried was ATF, However, sealing the transmission isn't the easiest of tasks and it usually ends up pissing out all over the place. I will say things I have tired that did not work good is spray on white lithium grease, it will gunk up the soft weak springs and lead to shifting problems.

Speaking of springs, the stock springs in the transmission are very weak. I replaced mine in my one Bruiser years ago with some from a click type pen. It took a while to find ones that were the correct size and length, but the end result was well worth it, the shifting was more crisp, sort of speak.

Slipper Gear
- The stock trans uses a funky slipper gear, which under hard use will slip and then typically doesnt stop slipping. Many people pin the slipper so it wont slip at all, OR you can try to source a COUNTER GEAR from a KYOSHO USA -1

If your stock cross members grommets are dried up, that hold the trans from slopping around, you can replace them with some basic fuel tubbing.

A real good service manual for the stock trans, and an all time 4wd conversion is available from Kope:


Bruiser/Mountaineers share the same axles. The Hilux axle however, IS different. The hilux axle uses different knuckles. The arms that come off the knuckles are much smaller then a Bruiser/Mountaineer knuckles. Often times you will see these broken on Hiluxs'. The Hilux also uses a different hub, the front hubs of a Hilux allow you to lock and unlock the hub. The rear axle of a Hilux, is also different, not many know this, but it uses different internal axle tubes then that of a Bruiser/Mountaineer.

Can you convert Hilux axles for use with Bruiser hubs?

Yes, you can, youll need to get 4 Bruisers hubs, Since you will most likely be rock crawling, I recommend 4 rears, however you can JB weld the Bruiser front one way hubs. Youll also need to change the front half shafts and rear inner axle shaft, I would also recommend Bruiser knuckles as well.

How do I install bearings on my front axle?

Yea you have to press is out carefully. Use two 3mm tamiya flange nuts placed, flanged to flanged, around the front axle pin. Then Press it out in a vice. This wont be enough to press it all the way out but you should be able to get it almost out and knock the rest of it out with a small pick or a thin nail of some sort. The course backing on the nuts will grab into the vice and it wont slide around. You can use the nuts again to press it back in then. Just take your time doing it. Think of it as doing u joints on a drive shaft.


I highly recommend installing bearings, if you are going to run your Bruiser. I would also shim the pinion gear as well for a tighter mesh.
Front axle requires: (7) 5x10
Rear axle requires: (3) 5x10 (2) 5x8

Diffs and Hubs

The Bruiser mountaineer does not have a differential, its just a pinion gear and ring gear. The front of the truck, in stock form, uses a one way front bearings. This means, you only have 4wd when going forward, so if you get stuck and need to reverse out, you have no 4wd. The front way hubs can be replaced with hubs from the rear, however, you must be careful now because this will put added stress on the front inner axle shaft. This is a weak point for these trucks and are found commonly broken.stock front hubs can be JB welded as well for full time 4wd. ***NOTE- the stock hubs are left and right specific! if you put them on the wrong side they wont work correctly***

Replacement inner axles and parts

Dave Engle, makes a replacement front axle shaft and rear axle, but they are not currently available. RC4WD is also making axles which will be available shortly. RC4WD also makes repalcement front half half shafts too and hubs.

Front axle "play" or slop"

Front axle play or slop often comes from worn front king pins. This can be fixed one of 2 ways. Dave Engle came up with the idea of cutting aluminum soda cans into very thin strips and using it has a shim. This works well as I have done it myself. I typically find, that the easiest way, is to take the king pin plates, bring them over to the vice and smooth the little hump in them flat. The when re-installing, install them so the hump is inward towards the ale pin.


Bruiser/Mountaineers do not use your typical 12mm hex wheel like many other RCs. The wheels on these trucks are specific the hubs on the axles.

Bruiser wheels
, are a 3pc bead lock design. They use 2 rim halves, and have two inner lock rings. These are not so easily narrowed, I recommend David at Xtreme RC hobbies http://www.xtreme-rc-hobbies.net/

Mountaineer wheels, are a 1pc design, have a cool center cap and are highly desired for these trucks. Be prepared to drop serious coin if you are going buy a set, they will run you close to the cost of an aluminum wheel. The are easily narrowed by cutting the front and rear beads off of them.

Fitting 12mm wheels on Bruiser axles
Is now possible though NickRummy, he offers a rear axle machining service:
as well as front C which utilizes TLT half shafts and hardware
Nicks parts and service will also give you Equal track width He also sells adapters to convert front axles into rear axles

Rc4wd also sells 12mm adapters http://rc4wdstore.com/product_info.php?products_id=82 , however these make for a very stance

Last edited by 1BadJeepBruiser; 12-27-2008 at 09:42 PM.
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