Author Archives: kentech
A first picture of prototype Zero Tribe FF Conversion parts for the Xray T4.
Last weekend i concluded my testing with the 419XR for this winter, as I only have access to a carpet track until the end of February, and I want to do a bit of testing with the MTC1 to end the carpet season.
I have run the TRF419XR extensively since December until now, on two different track layouts on our permanent track. The track uses grey carpet and the grip will get to a medium level at most depending on use and conditions. The grip is never super high. Pictures of the track layouts you can find in prevous posts.
My overall impression of the TRF419XR has been the same from day one and throughout testing. I really, really like the car, and it has always been consistent and easy to drive. Obviously I have not tested everything, but I have systematically gone through a lot of stuff.
The setup I post below I feel is a very good base setup. A super consistent starting point where the car should always work well. With this setup I ended testing finally managing a sub 10 second laptime and a 30 lap 5 minute result. Something which had been my aim since changing to this track layout.
- Using a 1.3mm rear rollbar will make it even more easy to drive, but I was slightly slower with it.
- Harder rear springs works well and produces faster laptimes, but I feel the 2.6 rear spring is usually the best compromise.
- A harder rear diff is also faster, but with the diff setup I now run (will post about this later) 5K produced the best result on this track.
- Softening up the center flex (center stiffener/motor mount) will give more grip, but this stiff setup was most consistent running the standard carbon chassis. I have not used an alu chassis at all as I don’t have one specifically for the XR.
- I also mount the front and rear bulkheads differently, as this always gave the best feeling for me.
- The Bittydesign M410ULT has been my favourite body of all in these conditions.
Click on the setup for a PDF.
Looks like TRF Japan will again go to the TITC for support and to race.
Good to see, but we would still like to see TRF support at other international events as well….!
TRF TO ATTEND THE 2018 TITC!
From March 1st – 4th the Infinity Addict Circuit in beautiful Bangkok, Thailand plays host to the Thailand International Touring Car Championships (TITC), among the largest events of its kind in Asia. TRF (Tamiya Racing Factory) team members will be in attendance, not just to drive, but also to offer advice and answer questions from Tamiya fans and drivers. Enquiries will be happily received! See the below link for the official event homepage (Tamiya is not responsible for the contents of external sites):
The manual for the VBC FF18 is now online.
Product info also online on VBC’s site:
After the rumours comes news that the new FF18 from VBC will be available very soon.
VBC FF18 Belt Drive Dynamics 1:10 Touring Car Kit
- New 7075-T6 motor mount light-weighted and to accommodate lager pinion gears
- New belt drive mechanism for lowered internal gear ratio
- New 38T gear differential
- New front bulkhead design for easier maintenance
- TBBS-P Progressive shocks with internal shock bodies diamond trued for extra smooth operation
- New steering system to incorporate adjustable steering angle stopper
- New Floating servo design
- Full carbon fibre chassis, 5mm vertical deck, front and rear shock tower mounts
- New Suspension mounts throughout the car with adjustable angle inserts
- New Rear bulkhead for better chassis roll and reducing weights
- New Rear Camber linkage mount design
- Carbon composite Silver dots suspension arms, c-hubs, steering knuckles and rear upright
- Adjustable inline or transverse battery positions
The new FF18 will begins to ship by next week. Pre-orders are available.
I really wanted to do this already when I built up the TRF419XR from my 419X and the XR conversion kit, but did not really come up with a solution I was happy with then. I decided to give it some time, although I’ve been tired of using tape for some time already.
Last night I gave it another try and came up with this solution, which I’m so far quite happy with.
The parts that I’m using are in short; Some cut down TRF415 alu posts, VBC D10 carbon braces slightly modified, two Square servo arms and various screws. Mounted on top of the original battery/tape holders.
Obviously it is very important with this sort of mount to be very precise in making sure the battery is held securely in place, but still allows the chassis to flex and move naturally. I will test it on track soon to find out if I did a good enough job.
Throughout the last weeks I have continued testing the TRF419XR regularly, and my overwhelming feeling is that this is the best TRF TC for years, and one of my favourite cars ever.
I have tested lots of things already, but still have many things I want to try, so I will publish a setup once I feel I have gone through everything I want to try. But the car works great with a very standard setup, no strange tricks needed.
Below you can see the current track layout at our local track. Even though the track area is quite small (27x14m by memory), this layout is good for testing as it is fast enough and has corners similar to a larger race track. As it is permanent, I would classify the grip as medium on good days.
In the last picture is my best run for today.
Well it’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote down my thoughts on the FF / FWD class now. During this time I have read lots of reactions to what I wrote. Instead of replying on every forum, FB group, comments etc. where this has been discussed, I decided to do this follow-up post.
My first reaction is that it is great to see that there is actually a reaction to a text like that, as it once and for all proves that there are many enthusiasts that enjoy this class, and that their number is growing.
The second reaction is a small disappointment in feeling a bit misunderstood. After writing and publishing stuff for already over 15 years, it comes as no surprise and is part of reality when you write down what you think and make a statement, as people usually react with instinct, but it is still a bit frustrating at times.
Most of this has been about my point of prescribing the front motor position, which a lot of people showed no understanding of, even though I carefully tried to argue why I thought it to be a good idea in the original post.
So let me try one more time, saying basically the same.
With ISTC racing today, and during the last 10 years already, we can all agree that we hear a lot of complaints every time a control tyre is not working perfectly, or every time track conditions (grip) are “worse” than usual. See complaints at for example every big international race when the carpet has less grip or the asphalt is dusty or not sugared. This is because the cars have become very tricky and are developed for good grip “perfect” conditions, as that’s what conditions most important races are held in.
At the start of the TC class in the 90’s (yes, I was around already then), a big part of its attraction compared to what had been before (Pro 10 & 1/12), was that the cars were more realistic and not at all as demanding of perfect track conditions. As you can gather from that, the cycle has now been completed with the ISTC cars not realistic at all anymore and very demanding on track conditions.
Enter the FWD class, where the cars are more realistic, speeds are a bit lower and where you can enjoy driving and racing even when the track is low-grip, covered in pollen, or other tricky conditions. This makes a class enjoyable, where you don’t have to spend the first hour at the track preparing the track. And my whole point is that this needs to be protected to protect the uniqueness and accessibleness of the FWD class today.
The question then is obviously why are the cars more forgiving for such conditions?
All my experience tells me that the FF front motor position has a lot to do with it, and putting that in the rules would therefore be a very good way to ensure the FWD cars retain these characteristics over time. And that’s basically my reason why I think it is a good future direction going forward. This is not only based on personal experience, but something discussed and thought about with other enthusiasts for years.
On a sidenote, the stability and forgiveness that the front motor position gives, is also the reason Tamiya chose this motor position when they made their 4wd rally chassis a few years ago, the XV-01.
If you are against limiting these cars to a motor position in front of the front axle, does that mean you don’t believe that it results in these characteristics, or that you don’t care about them?
I will end like I ended the first post, as the points I made there again seems to have been missed or ignored by many.
These thoughts are about the future of the FF / FWD class, and these are ideas for the long-term. They are not for today or this winter. At the present stage, every FWD car should be welcomed. Every home-built FWD is great. Please continue to build your own FWD cars, and please share pictures and ideas with everyone.
But we have seen so many classes in RC racing develop into something too specialised, and I really hope this will not be the fate of the FWD class. That’s why I try to think ahead and make my points now.
Maybe the future will show I was right, maybe the future will show I was wrong.
Probably the last FWD thoughts post for now. I think I have made my points clear. 😀
With the Xray T4 being a popular car I know many people have wished for an FF conversion kit for this chassis.
Well, it looks like you might have that opportunity soon. Coming from the same designer that made the Spice Yokomo BD7 FF conversion, a first CAD drawing of the T4 FF conversion was published today. The conversion is still some way from being released though, so be patient.
This will be under the new Zero Tribe brand. Please check out their Facebook and website to follow progress on this project.
Tamiya TRF103 official product information:
42318 TRF103 Chassis Kit
Tamiya is delighted to announce a new top-end option for R/C formula racing fans – the TRF103 is the first new TRF formula chassis release since mid-2015, and takes the genre to a new level. This hi-spec 2WD formula chassis is built around carbon fiber lower and upper decks, with front lower and upper arms also crafted from carbon fiber plate.
Front camber and caster angles can be altered via the upper arm attachment method. At the rear, there is a choice of 2 suspension types: a link setup for high-grip surfaces; and a T-bar setup for lower grip conditions. Chassis roll is regulated by individual left and right friction dampers, while changing the carbon fiber rear shaft position allows 2 different wheelbases.
About the Model
• This is a 1/10 scale R/C chassis assembly kit.
• The kit comes with a choice of rear suspension setups: a link setup suited to high-grip circuits, and a T-bar setup for use on more slippery tracks.
• Features carbon fiber front upper and lower arms. The former allow alteration of caster (9 or 12 degrees) and camber (1, 1.5 or 2 degrees) angles.
• Dual rear friction dampers are employed (one on the left, one on the right) to govern chassis roll.
• Rear axle position can be altered, with a corresponding change in wheelbase – standard and short settings are available.
• Compatible with F104 bodies.
• A sticker sheet with chassis and Tamiya Racing Factory logos is also included.
• 2.5mm thick Carbon Fiber Lower Deck
• 2.0mm thick Carbon Fiber Upper Deck
• 2.5mm thick Carbon Fiber Front Lower Arms
• 2.5mm thick Carbon Fiber Front Upper Arms
• 2.5mm thick Carbon Fiber Middle Brace
• 2.5mm thick Carbon Fiber Upper Arm Mount
• 2.5mm thick Carbon Fiber Lower Brace
• 2.5mm thick Carbon Fiber Upper Brace
• 2.0mm thick Carbon Fiber Rear Bulkhead Plate
• FRP T-Bar
• Carbon Fiber Rear Shaft & Integrated Diff Housing
• Left & Right Roll Dampers
• TRF Damper (HL Cylinder & Titanium Coated Shaft)
• Aluminum Servo Mounts
• Aluminum Motor Mount
• Aluminum Diff Housing
• Aluminum Clamp Type Wheel Hubs
• Aluminum Motor Spacer
• Aluminum Turnbuckle Shafts
• Hi-Torque Servo Saver
• 04 Module Spur Gear (96T)
• 04 Module Pinion Gear (24T)