Faun SLT-56
Tank Transporter

Kit Construction

Step 6 to 10 Chassis and Suspension
by Terry Ashley

Tractor Assembly:
Step 6: Chassis assembly:
This is the main chassis assembly for the prime mover and unfortunately the fit of some parts is not the best. There is a mould seam line on each corner of the main chassis part requiring cleanup, this is due to the good detail definition on each side of the chassis requiring multi-part moulds so this is a small price to pay for the good definition on the details. The large upper decking (part B32) has four support extensions on each side which fit into indentations on the chassis, these extensions required some trimming to get a good fit, with a bit of trial and error and test fitting a good fit was achieved. The leaf spring assemblies also required the locating tabs for the upper and lower brackets (parts C43 and I20) reduced in size slightly for a better fit but the bolt head detail on these brackets is excellent due to them being multi-part assemblies. The leaf spring assemblies are designed to pivot on the central locating pin and it is best to leave these unglued at this stage as it will aid you when attaching the axles later.
Some of the other large mounting brackets for the axles have largish seam lines requiring cleanup before assembly, but this is easily done due to the softish plastic used in the kit.
The central transfer casing also required the locating holes for the end plates (parts B2 and B3) to be opened up slightly for a better fit. Allow the axle mountings to dry thoroughly before proceeding to attach the axles in the next steps.

Step 7 and 9: Rear axle assemblies:
The assembly of the rear most axle in Step 7 had me scratching my head initially as the instruction diagrams show the parts with the correct orientation but the actual parts are a mirror of what they should be in relation to the position of the differential housing. The actual diff housing is offset to the left (when looking from the rear and as shown in the instructions) but the kit part housing is offset to the right, this means the forward diff cover (part D17) has to be glued the opposite way around than shown in the instructions, the locating notch on part D17 will make you fit it this way.

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The inner rear axle (Step 9) has the parts and instructions with the correct orientation so you end up with the two diff housings offset on opposite sides when assembled, at the end of the day this will probably not be that noticeable on the finished kit as it will be on the undersides and does not affect the look of the finished kik but did exercise the grey matter to work out what was happening.
If you want to fix this you will have to relocate the shock absorber mounts (parts C59) on the opposite side of the lower axle (part D22) and fill the original locating holes, and then glue the two diff housing covers (parts D17 and D18) on the opposite sides of the diff housing. The rear diff cover also has the FAUN logo embossed on it so this will also need to be reversed so the lettering is the right way up after swapping sides.
Apart from this the assembly of the two axles was straight forward with no problems other than the usual cleanup of the join seams between the two axle halves. The metal shafts added through the axles fitted precisely but I did need to open up the hole in the centre of the brake drums (parts C54) on each wheel to fit over the shaft better, also watch the direction of the brake cylinders (parts C60, C61) added to each drum as they are reversed on each side so that part C60 faces the front on each. Parts C61 had small sink marks in the ends and I used thin discs of plastic card (made with a punch and die) to cover these, although you could fill and sand if preferred?


The instructions show there should be five drive shaft universal joints (parts C62) but only four parts 62 are supplied in the kit. Although I did find part D3 lurking unannounced, which is another U/J but slightly larger than parts C62, this fifth U/J can be used on the rear of the main central transfer case leaving the other parts C62 for the diffs.

Step 8 and 10: Front axle assemblies:
Assembly is straight forward with again only the join seams between the two axle halves requiring cleanup. The design of the parts allows the wheels to be positioned at any angle but the wheels aren’t connected and move independently so you could have some strange looking wheel angles although the instructions indicating to glue them in place at the desired angle.

It is also possible with a little modification to make the wheels steerable so they can be positioned at any angle without gluing.

The modifications are to the steering arms (part B23 for the front axle and part B36 for the second axle) and entail separating the steering arm from the two end connectors, then re-attaching with a pin to allow movement.

1. Drill a small hole through the bolt head on the end of each arm, this will ensure the correct position when re-attaching. Trumpeter
2. Using a sharp blade carefully separate the arm from the end connectors taking care not to damage the parts. Trumpeter
3. Insert a small pin from stretched sprue into the end connector hole and allow the glue to dry. Trumpeter
4. Insert the pin through the hole in the steering arm. Trumpeter
5. Heat a small flat screwdriver head in a candle flame (taking the usual care with a naked flame) and melt the pin end down to secure the join. Trumpeter
6. Repeat on the four steering arm ends for the two front axles. Trumpeter

That is the only physical changes needed, the remainder is altering the way the parts are assembled. After temporally fitting the wheel brake drums (parts I45) (aligning correctly) to the axles glue the now flexible steering connector to the top of the brake drum, hold in place by using an appropriate sized drill bit in place of the retaining pin (part C1) so as not to glue this pin (it must remain movable). After the glue has dried on one end, use the drill bit to temporally hold the other end together and glue the connector in place.
Repeat this procedure for the second axle.
Once the glue has dried completely remove the drill bit and assemble the axles using the pins (parts C1) without any glue; also attach the lower steering pistons (parts B38, B40 on front axle and C33 on second axle) by only gluing where they attach to the axles but not where they fit onto the brake drums/pins and steering rods. Finally use the heated screwdriver head to melt down the end of the retaining pin (parts C1) to securely hold the assembly together.
You now have fully working steering assemblies with the wheels turning in unison, although the wheels on the front and second axles aren’t connected.
The large size of the parts help making the alterations described above easier to handle and also result in stronger assemblies.


The eight axle assemblies can now be fitted in place on the main leaf springs (from step 6) but take care when fitting these as it is possible for the axles not to be aligned parallel due to the leaf springs pivoting action. To ensure the four axles are aligned correctly “sit” a ruler on top of the four axles and make adjustments till all four axles are parallel and then glue the leaf springs in place at their central locating point.


Also remember to fit the drive shafts (parts D2, D4 and E39) between the diffs and central transfer case as you fit the axles in place as it’s difficult to add these later. The drive shafts simply clip into the universal joints without the need for glue which makes assembly easier.

When the axles have been aligned correctly and the glue dry add the shock absorbers (parts C2, C3 front axles and C34, C35 rear axles) and the stabiliser bars (parts C58) on each wheel.

Tractor Assembly: Steps 1 to 24.
Step 1 to 5: Cab Assembly.
Step 6 to 10: Chassis and Suspension.
Step 11 to 13: Fuel Tank, Spare Tire and Chassis details.
Step 14 to 19: Rear Tractor Assembly (1).
Step 20 to 22: Rear Tractor Assembly (2).
Step 23 to 24: Adding hoses and piping.

Trailer Assembly: Steps 1 to 14.
Step 1 to 5: Deck underside and Suspension.
Step 6 to 7: Gooseneck Assembly.
Step 8 to 10: Final Deck Assembly.
Step 11 to 13: Ramp Assembly.
Step 14: Attaching Trailer to Tractor.

Return to the first look review of the kit.

Page Update 14 September 2003

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