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Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03 Complete Kit - # 57036 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Rally Car - TT-01 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya circa 2003, the 4WD Ford Focus RS WRC 03 Complete Kit (#57036) is the Ford Focus RS WRC 03 (#58308) with a 540 motor, speed controller, battery, charger and radio system included. The model is of the re-designed Ford Focus RS that raced in the 2003 WRC season, driven by Markko Martin, from round four onwards.

Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03 Complete Kit - TT-01 # 57036
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  The TT-01 is shaft driven, on a molded plastic chassis, with gear type differentials, coil spring over friction dampers, dogbone drive-shafts and bushings.

  Like the majority of Tamiya models, the kit comes with plastic bush type bearings, that after a short while, when dust and grit get into them, actually wear into the metal drive shafts - our recommendation is that these should be replaced by steel shielded ball bearings ASAP.

  To get the best from the Tamiya TT-01 Chassis, it needs to be fine tuned, for smooth acceleration under control and handle corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our simple to understand, step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your driving style.


      Rating: 44 Stars out of 5 Reviewed by: RCScrapyard     Manual.

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Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03 Complete Kit - TT-01 Chassis
Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03 Complete Kit Chassis

Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03 Complete Kit - TT-01 Chassis
Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03 Complete Kit Chassis


Buying a Used Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03
Rally Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03 Electric Rally Car, or any used RC Model, has a number of advantages. It is generally cheaper than new, ready built and may come with a variety of expensive hop-ups already installed. Cheap, pre-loved bargains are always becoming available. However, depending on the age of your purchase, it may need a little tender loving care before you can take it out on the back yard.

   The one thing you will always need is an instruction manual. If not supplied with your purchase, they can often be downloaded from the Tamiya website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Rally Car you may discover, can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Rally Car, make a general visual inspection of the chassis, front and rear wishbones, suspension shock towers etc, for any broken parts that may need to be replaced. Then, take a screwdriver and box spanner and check each self tapping screw and nut for security, taking care not to over tighten.

   Next, for those Tamiya models with oil filled shock absorbers, remove them from the chassis and dismantle the coil springs. The damper shafts should push in and pull out with a smooth action. If you feel a jolt as you change direction, this means the oil has leaked out and must be topped up. At the same time, change the O-Ring seals to prevent more leakage. Also check the damper shafts for damage. If they are scratched, change them as soon as possible.

   If the body shell of your Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03 is broken, ripped or damaged in any way, this can be easily repaired with rubber solution glue. Also, for added protection and if available for your Ford Focus RS WRC 03 model, fit an under guard to stop dirt and gravel entering the chassis.

Titanium Turnbuckles
   Examine the drive shafts for wear and replace as required. If possible, change them for titanium. The steel shafts wear and bend too easily.

   If you intend to race your Ford Focus RS WRC 03 Rally Car model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   On Belt driven models, the Drive Belts need checking at regular intervals for wear, tension and damage. If deemed necessary, adjust the tensioning pulley until the belt can be depressed in the centre by no more than around 5mm. If the belt was slack, also examine the drive pulleys for wear. The teeth should provide a well seated fit for the belt teeth and not be rounded on the corners. If the belt teeth do not fit snugly, change the pulleys as soon as possible. For top level racing it may be prudent to replace all belts and pulleys after each race meeting.

   For Gear driven models, the gearbox of your used Rally Car should be opened up to check for gear wear and lubrication. A thin coat of grease is often used on internal gears and although this is fine for basic running around on the back yard, if you intend to race your Rally Car at a higher level, this should be removed and replaced with racing oil (ZX1 or Teflon Oil). Of course, this should be reapplied after each race meeting.

Spur Gears
   Gears are a weakness on all Rally Car RC models. Head on collisions can easily damage the gear teeth on nylon and plastic spur gears. Heavy impacts can also loosen the nuts or self tapping screws that hold the Electric motor in Position, allowing the pinion gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops off the teeth on your spur gear. To minimise this possibility, fit bolts with locking nuts to the Electric motor mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Electric Rally Car racing, the plastic ball connectors should be checked and if deemed necessary, changed after every meeting. A simple thing like a loose fitting connector popping off, could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

Servo Gears
   The Ford Focus RS WRC 03 steering servo is also prone to damage. In high speed crash situations, the fragile gear teeth of the servo can be broken off, rendering your expensive servo useless, so be sure to obtain a good quality "Servo Saver". Check out my Servo Information article.

   If body roll on your Tamiya Ford Focus RS WRC 03 is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of stabilizers, anti roll or sway bars, stiffer tuning springs and, or, thicker silicone oil in the dampers.

Ball Bearings
   If your used Tamiya Rally Car comes with plastic and sintered brass bushings (ring type bearings), check the shafts that run in them for wear. Dust and grit can get into these bearings and abrade the shafts. Therefore, you should replace them all with shielded ball bearings. If the model has been run with ring type bearings, you may have to change all the axles and driveshafts. For more information, take a look at my article, How to get the best from your Bearings.

   Finally, good luck with your Ford Focus RS WRC 03 model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips

Choosing a Transmitter

   When you first started in RC, you may have purchased a package that came with the car kit, motor, battery, charger, ESC and radio system complete. The transmitter was probably just a basic steer wheel, or stick type, with nothing more than forward, reverse, left, right and simple trim settings to centralise the servo and ESC.

   After a while, as your enthusiasm grows and your experience increases, you will want to move on to a better radio system, with more setting options, but where do you begin?

   Choosing the right transmitter is a personal thing. It has to feel right, have the balance you like, not be too bulky for your hand size and have all the features you might need to set up your car to your driving style.

   Transmitters these days are highly sophisticated pieces of engineering and once you choose your transmitter you will probably stick with it for the rest of your competitive career.

   Don't just go for the one you see in a review that looks and sounds like the best thing there could ever be and comes at a bargain price. Then when it arrives through the post and you get it in your hands it just doesn't have the feel you thought it would have. Sits awkwardly in your hands and is so complicated to set up you need a university degree to understand it.

   Talk to the experienced racers at your local track, ask them their opinion, see what their transmitter is like and if they will allow you to, hold it in your hands and see how it feels. All the best buys in life are made by recommendation. Then, once you have some idea what you are looking for, look on the internet for that model to get the best price, or go to a dealer and check out the latest models.

   Frequency choice depends on where in the world you live and what form of RC you are into. Fortunately, most of the top end transmitters can change to different frequency ranges by simply fitting a different module, so if you ever move up to an international level, you don't have to buy a new transmitter, just a module and receiver.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.







Hints and Tips

Driving On Road

   The basic driving style most commonly used for all forms of on road, tarmac and carpet racing, involves using the full width of the road available and cutting each apex as tight as possible, whilst keeping complete control of the car on the track. The style, often referred to as "Rounding" looks quite simple to those watching, but to get it right needs good hand eye coordination and lots of practice.

   Consider a 180 degree turn. As you enter the corner, start with the car positioned close to the outside of the track, then as you approach the corner brake hard, but not too hard, just enough to slow the car so you maintain control and smoothly guide the car across the point of the apex, gently sweeping round until you are approximately 75% around the corner. At this point, gradually increase the throttle out of the corner, under full control and guiding the car to the opposite outside line. By the time the car is pointing straight on the track, you should be at almost full throttle, before you brake hard again for the next corner.

   Developing this driving style comes in stages. Don't try to run before you can walk, install a low powered motor and practice, practice, practice Ö until it becomes second nature. Then, as your skills improve, try something with a little more power.

   Initially set your transmitter to aggressive breaking and gradually reduce this as you get the feel of the car around the corner. Remember, the faster you enter a corner, the faster you exit it.

   When you first try out this style in a race, be patient, keep the car smooth and controlled. Remember the story about the hare and the tortoise? Well, believe me, when you first start in RC, it works.

   To make this driving style work, the car needs to have the right tires, inserts and a low centre of gravity. Adjust the suspension to provide only a small amount of body-roll and set-up guide linked below to help you set your car to suit your driving style.

   Avoid over-steer, always aim for a little under-steer. Grip is the keyword for the rounding style of driving, but not too much grip. Slicks for outdoor racing and a worn set of Hawgs I found to be best for carpet racing. If your car rolls sideways off the track as you enter the corner, try a harder tire compound, or change the damper springs or oil weights as suggested in our set-up guide. Good luck and good racing.

   If the style you are looking for is to drift slide your car around the corners, I would recommend you perfect the rounding style first, then check out my other hints and tips to learn how.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.








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