Monthly Archives: December 2012

TRF417V5 Setups Japan

TRF417V5 Setting Sheet (Indoor / high grip)

Here a couple of setups for the TRF417V5 from the Sanwa Cup race in Japan.
One set up with the kit aeration dampers by Takayuki Kono and one setup by Akio Sobue with normal TRF diaphragm dampers.

ยท Takayuki Kono (TRF417V5 / aeration damper)

ยท Akio Sobue (TRF417V5 / diaphragm damper)


TRF417 V5 – Electronics Installed

Huge FF12 Features

Huge FF12 Features :

– New design with 2.5mm graphite main chassis
– 2.0mm upper deck
– 3.5mm front & rear damper mount.
– Improved the chassis flex, more corner speed, more traction, more stability.
– Re-position from FF11 motor mount, battery, servo equipment.
– Low CG chassis design.
– Belt driven with gear differential transmission.
– Internal gear ratio = 2.4375. 16T 7075-T6 hard coated belt pulley.
– Tamiya FF03 gear tranmission is changeable.
– 3.5mm low friction universal joint connectors.
– Floating style servo mount system. More balance on chassis.
– New double arm aluminum steering system. More mild on cornering.
– Hard composite suspension arm, c-hub, steering knuckle and rear upright.
– High quality aluminum damper set.
– High quality aluminum front and rear suspension arm mounts.
– Front and rear anti-roll bar set include.
– Aluminum front bumper support and air flow design plastic front bumper for more motor cooling.
– 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle set.
– Full rubber sealed ball bearing set.

Huge FF12

Huge FF12 coming soon.

TRF511 Chassis Upgrade Set

The 84315 TRF511 Chassis Upgrade Set is now released. Here a couple of pictures.

Sources and Tamiya.

A Look at the T-SHOX

Following on from my previous post, here as promised is a look at the T-Shox dampers designed and sold by AME – Andreas Myrberg.

My first look at these actually came during a discussion with Andreas at a race a long time ago, probably almost 2 years now, when he showed me the drawings for them. Then later on I had a chance to see the prototypes and now that the production dampers are available a chance to look at the final product. As always when designing and launching a completely new product as well as starting up a company, things get delayed from the original plan but all the same it’s always as exiting to see the final product.

There are some very sound ideas behind the T-Shox, all explained well by Andreas on his own site, so please visit for the background on these.

The first reaction upon receiving the dampers is how small the packaging is, but don’t worry, it’s all in there inside the rather good looking box.

What you get is:

– damper cylinders & top caps
– aluminium spring adjusters, spring cups, damper bottom caps
– ti coated shafts, machined pistons (1 set) + lower and upper bushings
– o-rings for damper shaft, upper top cap seal and spring adjusters
– various rebound springs
– clips and mounting hardware
– short instruction

The standard piston is mounted in the usual way with two clips. What’s different is that the shaft is much longer and the piston mounted halfways. The piston fits well with no need for any shims, and because it is a bit thicker it is also more stable on the shaft.

The black anodised aluminium parts; spring adjusters, spring cups, damper bottom caps.

Damper cylinder and top cap, anodised and with a good finish to the parts.

Because of how the damper works with the shaft protruding the top caps this called for a different kind of mounting the upper point of the damper to the tower. Any normal solution would prevent the shaft from moving up. To solve this Andreas came up with a neat solution with the shape of the top cap and the use of a flanged metal busing together with a replacable delrin bushing.

This is what the damper looks like mounted on a TRF417. Because the mounting to the arm is different on all cars, no lower ball joint is included and it is recommended you use those intended for the car. So in the picture I have used normal Tamiya lower damper ball joints (#53334) together here with a Yokomo spring and TRF large diameter spring retainer (#42192).

I built the dampers using a recommended carpet starting pint setup of 450 oil (MR33), std pistons and short-hard rebound springs.

I have not yet had a chance to test the dampers on track, however all reports I have heard so far have been quite positive so I look forward to testing them. What can be said about the assembly and what I have seen so far is that they went together very well. Compared to a “normal” damper they are perhaps a bit more complex to assemble simply because there are more parts involved and there is a shaft and rebound spring there together with oil. However, at the same time this means that there is no trickery involved in getting the same rebound for your dampers.

Once assembled and oil-filled the dampers really feel good, very smooth, and there is none of the slight wiggling of the shaft present on all “normal” dampers. And as already mentioned the rebound is the same on all dampers, and adjustable via the different rebount springs included.

If there is anything that can be improved it would be in the detail and finish of each part, something which can of course always be improved and is especially important in these small dampers we use on our TC’s. Thats not to say that there is any sort of problem with the finish of the T-Shox though. The fit and finish is excellent alreay and better then what can be found on dampers by many car manufacturers.

TRF417 V5 Updated – 1/2 millon – And Next

Updated the end of the TRF417 V5 presentation with a couple of more pictures and edited some obvious mistakes.

Also have to mention and thank you who read, because I just noticed we passed half a million views. Who would have thought.

Next up – a closer look at the AME T-Shox – coming within the next couple of days.

The TRF417 V5 Premium Package Build

The TRF417 V5 Premium Package Kit started its life named the TRF417WX, but was renamed the V5 about 2 months before its release to commemorate Tamiya’s TRF teams fifth ISTC win at the 2012 IFMAR Worlds. This release – the TRF417 V5, is very much the car used at this race to win the World Championship with Tamiya factory driver Jilles Groskamp.

Again to celebrate this fact the kit comes wrapped in a beautifully printed package featuring Jilles Worlds winning car and some nicely written facts about Tamiya Racing Factory and their reasons for racing at this level (see second picture).

Perhaps some of the main changes made to the V5 version of this successful racing chassis is the new lower and upper deck. Made out of similar 2.25mm and 2.0mm carbon the shapes are new. The new lower deck is now only 86mm wide, made possible by the adoption of a new one-piece servo mount detailed later, but with much less cutouts the new lower deck is noticeably stiffer than the previous TRF417X version. The new upper deck gets a whole new shape towards the front part moving the flex point forward.

For the lower deck I rounded off the edges, especially around the “corners”, i.e. in front and behind the battery and motor and servo respectively, to minimise these parts dragging on the ground. I the glued and polished the edges. I did however not make as much of an effort as usual to get the perfect look, this due to the aforementioned lack of time. The upper deck I left as it is, besides removing a bit of material from the front and rear part according to the manual so that there is a gap to the bulkheads. No sanding and gluing of the upper deck to remove chance of glue where it should not be, i.e. on the top and bottom surfaces. This can cause tweak and therefore it’s best to leave the upper deck as it is.

The first component to assemble is the rear gear diff, a part which has been updated with new aluminium (not steel as mentioned in some pre-production info) joints and new thicker shims. I don’t know if there are any other small detail changes but it felt that the diff went together better than before with better precision. If this was all due to the new joint and shims, due to more experience building the TRF Gear Diff, or indeeed some small corrections to other parts remains a mystery for me.

In addition steel gears are now available for the TRF gear diff if you feel the need.

I built the diff with Kyosho 1300 diff oil. Kyosho because it’s avilable in 1100, 1200, 1300…

Next up the front/rear bulkheads and left and right motor bulkheads, parts which have all been updated although they might look similar. First the front and rear bulkheads, where you can see that they are indeed different by the 2-part opening under the center of the part. I don’t have a 417/417X to compare to but information says the bulkheads are slightly higer which would go along with how Jilles car was set-up at the Worlds.

The left and right motor bulkheads are now pinned to the lower deck to ensure a secure and tweak free mounting despite being fastened to the upper deck by only one screw each side. Again, as I understand, the center shaft and motor was slightly raised according to the Worlds setup.

When mounting the aluminium bulkheads to the chassis it is of course important that they are perfectly straight. To help this I made a quick jig out of two old TRF415 servo mounts (#53723) that I later use as battery stoppers. By adding a 2 mm spacer and a grub screw between the 10mm servo mounts the jig was 22mm – the same which should be between the bulkheads front and rear.

As you can see I built the car with split suspension mounts at the rear instead of the included 1-piece mount. The car was assembled using what I would consider my starting point setup for carpet and therefore these changes.

The center shaft and pulleys, as well as belts are the same as on the previous 417’s. However the kit setting for the front belt is one step tighter than before, so it’s now in the position I usually have run to make sure the front belt is not too loose compared to the rear, as this can make a car tricky coming out of corners transmitting power to the rear wheels earlier.

The spur gear used is a Panaracer 48P gear, also available in 64P. Remember that you need the special Panaracer 417 spur gear spacer for this though (#PRS-SPC).

For the front you can see I’ve installed a gear diff, filled with Ride Gear Diff Putty, as I always find a gear diff more consistent and better to drive. Also changed from the kit setup, a 1-piece suspension bloch instead of the included 2-piece setup, and a carbon steering brace from the original 417, all to make the car easier and more consistent on high-grip carpet. These were all lessons from last winter, if I do choose to run the car this winter I will need to re-check those findings of course.

Included with the kit is the normal TRF417 direct coupling or spool, but updated with new steel joints. Previously plastic joints have been prefered to minimize driveshaft chatter but with the new double-joint driveshafts it is now possible to use steel joints for greatly improved durability. Do note when building though that the two sets of pin holes in the joints are at different offset! Follow the instructions closely here.

As you can see in the pictures I use blue aluminium screws in many places. These are available from Tamiya for the same colour code as the rest of the car.

For the rear the same 44mm aluminium driveshafts are included as on previous 417 versions with the exellent wheel axles with ring secured pins introduced on the 417X still there.

Also seen here are the new 3.5mm (previous 3.0mm) blades or pin protectors, a part that has been a weak point on the 417 since the introduction of gear diffs but which has now been updated both in size and material and which now feels very good.

Tamiya is also one of the first and few manufacturers to include double-joint driveshafts in a kit, with the excellent TRF driveshafts released last spring now making their way into the TRF417 V5 Premium Package Kit. A very welcome bonus!

Additional option parts I have used visible here are the Ball Nuts for TRF Dampers (#42231) and Hollow Titanium Screws (#42238) to hold these, and the TRF titanium turnbuckles which improve durability and consistency of settings compared to the original aluminium turnbuckles. I do have to mention though that the anodizing on the 42mm steering alu turnbuckles included was the best TRF anodizing I have ever seen with an absolutely amazing finish. ๐Ÿ™‚

Another major new part for the TRF417 V5 is the new one-piece servo mount that was introduced just ahead of the Worlds in the Netherlands the past summer. Although its influence will be small it allows, as mentioned, for a narrower lower deck. In addition it is a beautiful componenet after the TRF logo was added. Compared to some aftermarket copies that were introduced this one is keyed to the lower deck as well as mounted with two screws making for a secure attachment that will not move.

In a bit of a surprise the V5 does not include the legendary TRF dampers but instead the aeration units used at the Worlds. I was a bit critical of these in my report from the Worlds, after seeing how you had to maintain them before each run to get the most out of them, but Tamiya true to their tradition of releasing World Championship winning replicas include the dampers with the V5 kits.

Now, it must be said that when built they went together very well and I was impressed by the feel of them. The dampers feature new cylinders (because the plastic damper tops require different threads) and the top part from the TRF buggy dampers. They are assembled using the same pistons and other parts, but using two o-rings instead of one. This is the kit setup.

No doubt the “old” or standard dampers will still be used in some conditions, mainly on carpet at least, and that’s why I have now one set of each ready. The standard dampers and now on the car as I expect to run on carpet first. How well the new aeration dampers work and how much I like them remains to be seen when I get to run on asphalt during summer.

For the new aeration dampers new damper mounts or ball connector nuts are used. These are actually the same as the (#54205) parts available for the buggy dampers but with a different coating for the use on the V5.

Front and rear damper stays are also updated.

I built the aeration dampers with MR33/Ride springs, although my normal asphalt setup would be HPI Silver springs.

Here’s the car completed with the carpet setup I expect to start with (including normal TRF dampers).

417 V5 – Lack of Time

Not quite “the coming week” as promised but build report on the TRF417 V5 will be posted tonight.

Reasons are the I have been super busy with work and the first TC national of 2012-2013 season (means also work for me). So my plan was to post everything last week but as last week was filled with work it got pushed forward, followed by the race weekend which meant I spent 52 hours “at work” Friday-Monday.

So that means I’m tired, bare with me if there are some mistakes… ๐Ÿ™‚

New TRF Shirts

New TRF shirts to be released by Tamiya soon.