Poverty Drifter - Budget USA TT02 Build

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After lurking here for awhile, I decided to finally register here so I could start a thread on this TT02.
Let me start out by saying, that yes, I know the TT02, let alone the standard, non "S" model, is not the greatest platform for drift build. I know it has very little adjustability, and I didn't realize just how more "toylike" vs hobby-grade it was until I started building it.
With that said, here was my rationale:
- Cheap: $140, the whole project is about being able to have fun while being as cheap as possible
- Brand: I wanted a kit and Tamiya is known for them
- Parts Support (Or so I thought): Tamiya has comparatively better parts support in the Midwest USA than any other asian brand (Yokomo, Kyosho, 3Racing would all require overseas ordering)
- Parts interchangeability: Tamiya has a long history of sharing components between models and I love to tinker...

I ended up getting the Carrera RS for $140 from Tower.
Total Cost So Far: $140

I did a box stock build to start out, before I tried any drifting, as it was also my first touring car.
Unfortunately I did not take many pics during the build.

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I used a junky old Traxxas Link receiver and Solar D771 servo just to get it running before purchasing a proper servo.

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Here is a picture after a put all the decals on:

[Image: zlm-u9PE9568n_MEjHgvUP34RwILXQVnij3VsPXG...61-h883-no]

After testing it on it's maiden voyage, I came away with two conclusions:
- The stock servo saver is absolute garbage - the wheels could not re-center due to the servo saver
- Driving a stock touring car on a Tamiya silver can (ok it was torque-tuned) is painfully slow and boring. 
- There are no RC on road tracks in my area, so I figured it was time to transform it into a drifter Smile

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The first thing I did was remove the stock servo saver. I replaced it with a generic rigid plastic horn. Now it was actually drivable.
Cost: Free

I then placed a large Amazon order to start the transmogrification. It was at this point I realized how limited the parts selection of hop-ups for Tamiya kits is in the USA, especially in the Midwest.

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- I ordered a new body: A Hpi 190mm Trueno Coupe (I would have preferred the more scale Yokomo Sunrise Levin, but I didn't think it was worth double the cost and wait time)
Cost: $26

- Paint for the body: Tamiya PS-23 Gunmetal, I decide I wanted to do a reverse-"panda" scheme with gunmetal body and silver accents since I had a half-empty can of PS-41 Bright Silver lying around. 
Cost: $8

- An "aggressive" Sport Tuned Tamiya 540
Cost: $21

- 2 Pairs of genuine T-Drifts, I wanted to start out right, even if the knock offs are comparable.
Cost: 2 x $9 = $18
 
- 1 pair HPI 6mm offset C90s in white, I chose them because I liked the mmore than other Hpi wheels and I wanted it to ship from within the USA, because shipping on any cooler JDM wheels was cost prohibitive.
Cost: $10

Being the cheapskate I am, I decided to use a pair of cool looking vintage Ofna wheels I found in the bargain bin of my LHS, which I had lying around for a year.

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The LHS owner told me he was ready throw them out!
Cost: $3

Total Cost So Far: $226

I quickly installed the motor. I had quite a team trying to mount the T-Drifts, I had throw the rims in the freezer, and the tires in mug full of boiling Keurig water  :lol:

Mounting the body required some work. I had to flip the rear arms to get the wheelbase to line up and reverse the body mounting posts.
Here's a picture after I mounted everything up and trimmed the body:

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I ended up switching the Ofna 5 spokes to the rear, as it was already a handful for me to drive as a drifting a noob, and I read that a wider rear track increased oversteer, so I reversed that.

At this point (August 2015), I started masking the body, got half way done, then the project was thrown on a shelf for about 6 months because the school year began, only allowing me to work on it during breaks.

I have 2 about years worth of build updates to catch up on, so stay tuned for more updates  :=):.
(This post was last modified: 06-02-2017, 03:38 PM by Surge.)
In order to get some more steering angle, I dremeled down the steering limiters on the front suspension arms and knuckles

I also started shaving unnecessary weight where I could. I removed the rear bumper stub, and I replaced the front bumper cover with washers.
[Image: yeahracing-tt02-006-7.jpg]

You can also see in these pics that the 6mm offset Hpi wheels are the right width for the shell. The Ofna's are too narrow. I think the MST 5mm offset wheels would be ideal and maybe 6 or 7mm will work with
some negative camber.

Here is a picture from when I finished masking the body. I used Tamiya 6mm masking tape for all the edges.
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This was the final result after painting it:
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I was pretty satisfied with the end result, as there were no runs or bleeding, the only issue is some parts of the rear bumper were still a little translucent, but I don't care because it will get all smashed up anyways.
(This post was last modified: 06-02-2017, 03:36 PM by Surge.)
This is a fine job, it's what I'd call a "drift" for your buck.


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After getting it all painted up, I spent  a couple months trying to learn how to drift. Unfortunately the stock Tamiya TBLE-02S esc crapped out on me so I used a Castle SV3 because the bullet connectors were the right size. However, I ended up needing a the SV3 for another vehicle so I swapped out the RS-540 and put in an old 2-Pole Traxxas Velineon combo. This added a lot more low end torque which helped with initiating drifts at lower speeds. I'm still running the stock TT02 gearing, and I honestly do not now if I should change it.

The next summer, in order to make the car more drift worthy, I decided to order a new servo. The Hobbyking Turnigy Trackstar TS-9xx series of servos boasted pretty good specs an d reviews online indicated they were pretty good, so I settled on a low profile brushless coreless one with an under .10 second transit time. Unfortunately it was out of stock so I tracked down the OEM, Alturn which started selling on Amazon. I ordered the Alturn ABDS 690HTG+HV. The servo performs as expected but the 25T spline is on the small side and has some longitudinal play. Alturn USA was kind of dodgy as a seller.

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cost: $30

Total Cost So Far: $256

Since I just ordered a new servo, I wanted to protect my investment and not keep running without any form of servo saver. While browsing RC rtr chop shops I came across pieces from the new HPI RS4 Sport 3 on Dollar Hobbyz. Online reviews indicated that it wasn't a great car, but they did say the servo saver was decent. BAM! I ordered it right away since the whole steering assembly was priced a $1.24! Shipping brought the total up to $4 but I was still getting quite a bargain on links and bearings and other junk.

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cost: $4

Total Cost So Far: $260

The RS4 Sport 3 servo saver was indeed quite nice for $4. As you can see below it is aluminum and adjustable.

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Unfortunately it also is on the larger size and did not fit in the TT02 tub. I could have researched different servo posts to move the servo back, but I was determined to make it fit, and dremeled the chassis.

Since I received all the other parts for my $4, I was curious if they too would fit, and since the RS4 steering featured ball bearings and metal posts, I tried swapping it in. I had to flip the bellcranks upside down to make it fit, and I tried drilling new holes in the knuckles, to increase the steering, and because I had not other choice since I did not have turnbuckles. I also flipepd the upper arms around to give the car more caster.

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As you can probably predict, when I tested it, the car performed a lot worse. The RS4 steering decreased the angle of the inner wheel and there was now so much caster that the front would "jack" it self up when steering like a go-kart, which led to lots of spin outs. The car was barely driveable.
RS4 Steering swap: Failure

I quickly switched back to the stock TT02 steering arm setup.
(This post was last modified: 06-06-2017, 09:43 PM by Surge.)



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