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Tamiya Subaru WRX STI - #58645 (Radio Controlled Model Review)

1/10 Scale Electric Rally Car - TT-02 Chassis:

  Released by Tamiya on August 5, 2017, based on the TT-02 chassis, this self assembly RC Model, is of the Subaru WRX STI that won the SP3T class of the Nürburgring 24 Hours race in May 2016.

Tamiya Subaru WRX STI - #58645 - TT-02 1:10 Electric Model WRC Car
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  The TT-02 Chassis was produced by Tamiya as an entry level model, to replace the aging TT-01 Chassis, that has been around since 2003. The TT-02 design is capable of utilising modern day rechargeable batteries, is also durable and easy to build and maintain.

  The shaft driven Chassis configuration, employs front and rear orbital bevel gear differentials, fully independent double wishbone suspension with coil spring over friction dampers.

  A 540 brushed silver can electric motor and an Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) are included in the kit. Radio Equipment, Battery, Charger and paint for the body shell must be purchased separately.

  Like the majority of Tamiya budget kits, this one comes with Plastic and sintered brass Bush type bearings, that when dust and grit get into them, abrade the drive shafts that spin in them, making them sloppy and causing dog-bone problems. I recommend these should be replaced, by a full set of Shielded Ball Bearings, on initial assembly or as soon as possible.

  To get the best from the TT-02 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 Subaru WRX STI #58645 - TT-02 Chassis
Tamiya TT-02 Chassis
Tamiya Subaru WRX STI #58645 - TT-02 Chassis
Tamiya TT-02

Buying a Used Tamiya Subaru WRX STI
Rally Car (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Tamiya Subaru WRX STI 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 Subaru WRX STI 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 Subaru WRX STI 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 Subaru WRX STI 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 Subaru WRX STI 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 Subaru WRX STI 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 Subaru WRX STI 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


Rechargeable Batteries
for RC Models


   At the time this article was written, there are four types of Rechargeable Batteries that are commonly in use of Radio Controlled Models.
Ni-Cad (Nickel Cadmium) Batteries have been around the longest. My first stick battery, purchased way back in 1987 was rated at 1200Mah (Mili Amp Hours) and with a silver can 27 Turn motor my Tamiya Boomerang would run around in the back yard for a good seven minutes before slowly coming to a stop. Ni-Cad development continued until around 1998 to a maximum rating of around 2000Mah and matchers pack builders and battery technicians were able to put together six cell packs with voltages approaching 7.4 Volts, to give those that could afford them, an edge over the rest.

   Ni-Mh (Nickel Metal Hydride) Batteries came along in the late 1990s and by the year 2000 were available at ratings up to 3000Mah. Again, matchers and pack builders worked hard to provide the ardent racer with packs to provide that little bit of extra power and ESC manufacturers also chipped in with improved controllers to take full advantage of this new technology.
   Now the problem wasn't gearing the car to get to the end of the race using the available battery power, but to find the brushed motor that could handle gear setting that provided the speed and acceleration without the motor overheating and wearing the commutator too much so it needed a skim after every 2 runs. My favourite at that time was the 9 Double.

   More recently, Li-Po (Lithium-Polymer) Batteries have appeared on the scene, providing are a huge step forward in performance when compared with Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh batteries. However, Li-Po Batteries are much more expensive than previous battery types, have a shorter effective life of between 200 and 400 charge cycles, compared to well over 1000 charge cycles for Ni-Cad and Ni-Mh and a high degree of care has to be taken when charging Li-Po batteries. They have been known to burst into flames or even explode, for this reason I do not recommend Li-Po batteries for RC beginners.
   Another problem with Li-Po packs is they are physically bigger in size, so for those with older "Vintage" models, they may not fit into the provided space for the battery on the chassis.

   The latest development in battery technology for RC are Li-Ion. Originally produced for Laptops, Ipods, Tablets and the like, they are now available for RC models. Much like Li-Po for price and charge cycle life, the power and capacity is a moderate improvement, but for me, at the moment, not worth the expense.

   One final word of warning. NEVER leave your charging Li-Po or Li-Ion battery unattended when being charged and NEVER above the recommended charge rate. After use, store each battery with about 60% charge remaining and always in a fireproof bag.


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







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