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Tamiya Mazda RX-7 FD3S - #58648 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Drift Car - TT-02D Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on July 1, 2017, the Mazda RX-7 FD3S is based on the TT-02D, Drift Spec version of the TT-02 Chassis, developed as an easy to construct and maintain entry level model, able to utilise modern day brushless motors and batteries.

Tamiya Mazda RX-7 FD3S - #58648 - TT-02D
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  The shaft drive Chassis design employs gear differentials, fully independent double wishbone suspension with coil spring over oil filled shock absorbers.

  For the TT-02D, Drift tires, a sport tuned motor and a full set of steel shielded ball bearings are included in the kit.

  To get the best from the TT-02D Chassis, it needs to be fine tuned so it has enough grip to hug the corners at high speed, without slipping off the track and accelerate smoothly under control. 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 Mazda RX-7 FD3S #58648 - Chassis
Tamiya TT-02 Chassis
Tamiya TT-02
Tamiya TT-02 Chassis

Buying a Used Tamiya Mazda RX-7 FD3S
Drift Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Mazda RX-7 FD3S Electric Drift 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 Drift Car you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Tamiya Drift 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 Mazda RX-7 FD3S 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 Mazda RX-7 FD3S 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 Mazda RX-7 FD3S Drift 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 Drift 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 Drift 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 Drift 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 Drift 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 Mazda RX-7 FD3S 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 Mazda RX-7 FD3S 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 Drift 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 Mazda RX-7 FD3S model and good racing.


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Hints and Tips

Radio Frequencies

   After buying your first car, it won't be long before you need more than simply bashing around the back yard, or out on the street. So you will be looking around to find a club that is not too far away where you can do some serious racing.

   Before you can start racing, you will need at least three different sets of crystal frequencies. The race organisers will note down all your available frequencies when you register at the track and allocate one of those frequencies to you for your heat. To avoid change over problems from one heat to the next, they generally try to give you a frequency that no one in the heat before or after is using, but always check to make sure before you put your car down on the track and switch on.

   There is nothing more annoying than to be in the middle of your best qualifying race and some idiot switching on their transmitter in the pits, on your frequency. Not only could it spoil your race, but it could cost you a lot of money if at the time you are travelling at top speed along the straight, loose control and crash head on into the wall. Just imagine how you would feel.

   Now, imagine this scenario. You are at your RC meeting and you need to run your car to check out some changes you have made, either after a crash repair, to adjust the steering servo, or just fine tune your car before the next race. What do you do?

   Before you switch on anything, the first thing to do is check with race control, to make sure that none of the racers presently on the track or in the next heat are on the same frequency you want to use. The people in charge are always willing to help in these situations and if none of your three available frequencies are safe for you to use, they will often lend you some crystals, sometimes for a small fee.

   Some of the bigger meetings use a board displaying all the possible frequencies, indicating which of those frequencies are in use at that time and which are available for others to use. To claim a particular frequency you simply take a peg or marker off the board so that others wanting to check their car out can not use the same frequency as you. Before the next heat, this board is updated and any missing pegs must be accounted for. So obviously the best time to claim your frequency, is at the start of a heat and you must return it before the start of the next heat.

   So, be cautious, use the protocols at your track as they should be used and you won't make any enemies you know it makes sense.

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



Hints and Tips

On Road Drifting

   Drifting is the greatest fun you can have on four wheels, but it isn't as easy as it might look. There are lots of different methods and ideas on how it should be done and it takes lots of practice to get it right.

   On the street or in the parking lot, drifting is fine, but until you have had hours and hours of practice to master the technique, don't try it on your local race track. If you don't have the total control of your car, you will not make many friends amongst your immediate competitors.

   Controlled Drifting is a beautiful thing when done correctly and in this article I will endeavour to give you a few pointers on where to start. After that, your own personal style will soon blossom.

   As I mentioned before, there are a number of different ideas about drifting, but basically this is what you do.

   Consider a 180 degree turn. Enter the corner at speed, start to turn a little sooner than you might, then just before the apex, touch the breaks for a split second, enough to break the rear of the car free as you enter to turn. When the car begins to slide sideways, steer into the slide, increase the throttle, just enough to balance the car as it drifts around the turn. Coming out of the corner, steer the car straight and apply full throttle.

   Often referred to as a power slide, drifting is much more fun than the basic "Rounding" style, described in a previous article, but also takes more skill, not just in its execution, but in car set-up.

   A little "body-roll" is the thing to aim for when setting up a drifting car, but be careful. With too much body-roll, the car will be difficult to control and tumble sideways off the track. Too little and the weight transfer to the leading wheels will not be enough to induce the slide. A lot of trial and error, with tuning springs, damper oil, damper pistons, stabilisers, tires and inserts is required to get your car as you want it, but believe me, if you can get it right, it will be well worth all your effort.

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









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