That's exactly how I feel about it's looks! If there ever comes a final version I want it to be as slim as a DEX410 and the body somewhat lower.
Function over form, but what function! I was very impressed by the videos, and continue to marvel at all the work you put into making a custom FF buggy work like this!
I admit I am still a bit confused about the explanation of the change in uptravel in post # 45, though... Is it for consistency on landings if the chassis bottoms out?
It's not so much for consistency of landings, if it's not possible to have the chassis bottom out completely, the load will be put on the shock mounts, shocks and shock towers, instead of briefly scraping the chassis over the ground. I hope this is the point that was unclear to you?
Did you consider machining the arms out of delrin?
In fact, the suspension arms are now from Delrin Laser cut (then drilled), not machined - to save on time and costs. It's the reason why the car held out the jumping this time around.
This project has been silent for quite a while... But I have a good amount of news to share with you (for those that haven't seen it on oOple)
First of all, the car got an important update on the front suspension after the late September test I posted here:
If you look closely, you will see that there are new rocker arms installed. These rocker arms have a longer end on the side of the pushrod. This results in a rocker arm that needs less extreme angles to transfer forces from pushrod to damper. You might wonder why this is necessary... Well, the more extreme the angles of the rocker arm, the more the pushrod pushes into the axle around which the rocker arm rotates, instead of pushes the forces into rotating the rocker arm. In other words, the frame that holds the rocker arms had excessive stresses on it with the old rocker arms, plus the damping/suspension action felt very firm with the damper either not or almost completely compressed, so the suspension only worked well in the middle bit.
Whilst doing this I also used the opportunity to give the car more droop (=negative suspension travel) - it originally had nearly no droop (less than 5mm) - with so little droop the suspension can soak of bumps, but the wheels can't keep contact with dips in the surface, losing a lot of grip. After the update the car has comparable droop to my TRF201 - nice!
I've been testing the car in a few races on loose dirt (indoor in a horse riding school). The car went pretty well and I think I ended up 5-8 positions lower than usual (in a field of 30-35 drivers). Especially in the slightly quicker corners or a series of corners into the same direction it went extremely well, where I was clearly gaining ground compared to other drivers.
However, there were also several issues. Besides the fact that ploughing through loose dirt doesn't work as well for the FWD as it does for an RWD (though 20 grams of ballast weight on the front end did help a lot). Also, the track becomes very bumpy over the day and the car tends to dig into the ground with the front bumper because it's so bumpy (and I couldn't make the front end any firmer). Furthermore, it became apparent that the car didn't work well in the very tight, twisty bits. This is down to several things - amongst which are a lack of overall steering angle on the car and that unlike an RWD, you can't sweep the back out with more throttle.
In the last month I've been focusing on my regular car again because the RWD skills were clearly getting rusty However, I did take the car out onto some tarmac to show to a friend of mine:
The car went extremely well on the high bite of the abrasive tarmac (plus worn down spiked tires) - despite near-freezing temperatures and a moist, dirty driving surface. Ok, the (already worn) tires were bald in 2 batteries, but I blame that us trying to make stoppies all the time The car had very impressive acceleration, nice steering response and with only three wheels touching the ground into each corner the rear grip was just at the right level: Minimal rear grip without causing spin-outs!
The development of this buggy has ended though. I've gathered so much information from this proto already, and to make this car go quicker I need to make mods so big that it makes more sense starting from scratch. And that's what I have done:
Apart from the universal shafts, rear suspension blocks and wheels, this car is no longer a Tamiya. Therefor, I have a new thread about this car in the 'Other Makes' section:
Thanks I have not had the privilege to try the FF03 but I do know what FF tourers are like: FUN, nimble, quick!
The real alienating part of an FF Buggy I'd say would be jumping something with such a weight balance. Your feeling says it might just nose-dive straight into the next jump... but it doesn't! Also, if you're used to RWD, you are baffled by the speed with which you can go into and through corners - I haven't tried it yet, but I think it's cornering speed is a close match with a 4WD.