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About Grastens

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 09/13/1993

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    Radio-controlled vehicles, ice hockey, cycling, and mechanical engineering.

    The Lancia 037, too. You can message me if you happen to like Lancia-related nonsense, spam, and/or tangents...

    You can also message me if you want to share your RC concepts or projects. Most of the time, the only thing I can contribute is a listener, but I still enjoy hearing about new ideas!

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  1. But worth it, because you really shouldn't be stepping on those
  2. An advisory along the lines of "If you can read this, you're too close." Useful for ground and maintenance personnel, though! I think of the "No Step" decals you see on the same fighter jets...
  3. I recall being surprised by how narrow the TA-02S was, so increasing the track width seems like a good bet! Flipping the caster uprights is also ingenious. Our high-speed gear sets may be arriving next month, so here's hoping the car can hang in there!
  4. Possibly a very attractive Dyna Storm build, and then WHAM! a TR-15T shell on top
  5. I knew I liked them for some reason! The labels are also useful for when my cars get passed onto rookie drivers who may not be otherwise informed of the risks...
  6. ... Wow, no love for my Striker, eh?

  7. Excitement awaited its next session: As did slightly-better photos: This was actually the first time I have driven the modified Striker on a damp day. On the stickier wet dirt, the Striker was sharp! The mini-pin tires must have helped, as well as possibly the open-gear differential (that sealed-differential upgrade is looking a bit redundant now...), but there is no dispute from me now: "It's ready to strike out into the fast lane!" [- Tamiya promotional video] I was very pleased with its performance. With the newfound penchant for power oversteer, I may even have a buggy that is beyond my current driving skill... I did not expect to be learning intermediate/advanced 2WD driving techniques with a Striker, yet here we are! The motor seems to be performing well, too, and I can even run multiple battery packs in succession without overheating issues. We have a winner! "Shakey" had it a bit rough, though: But even after multiple passes at top speed over speed bumps and other jumps, this Striker stands tall: It was a fantastic time. Since I usually run my RC cars on break at work, it was the end of the work day when I went to service it: Some lubrication for the bearings, a dusting, and a quick motor clean/lubrication were all that it needed. I sure do love having a workshop I was also able to substitute shorter screws and lower-profile nuts for the top wing, so the installation appears a bit cleaner: You know, for aero gains Interestingly, I began noticing a nose-up attitude on jumps that I did not get with the stock or Astute rear wing fitted - could the dual-element rear wing actually be producing more downforce? Or just more weight? More weight might be likely. Nonetheless, the car is still superb over jumps, and remains completely parallel to the ground on jumps at lower speeds. It is a far cry from the stock Striker! For a buggy that is older than me (according to TamiyaClub, the last Strikers were produced around 1992, from a 1987 introduction - or maybe they did not sell?) and was designed with the beginner in mind, it has been immensely gratifying to be able to push this one to the limits of both design and sanity. And in the bargain, I got a very special buggy that drives way better than it should Now, only the drive shafts and differential remain...
  8. I got out for a drive on an overcast day: The steering turnbuckles made a slight difference to the Striker's performance: it tracked straight more easily, and steering response was improved. The upgrade was not as revelatory as it was on my F103, but for an off-road chassis that still has plenty of play in the front end, it made a difference. Speaking of different: Courtesy of Tony's Tamiya Parts I was a bit disappointed that the wing got scratched in transit, but it will be plenty scuffed by the time it gets fitted for a few sessions! Decals will also help, and I intend to use at least one. Happily, the dimensions were what I required: However, the mounting system was not. Screw holes are fine, but the Rising Fighter rear wing has thick moulded-in stays that are quite sturdy and therefore difficult to remove. The mounting of the Astute wing, as well as the unique rear wing mounting of the Striker (two screws through the top and two through the sides!), gave me an unorthodox idea: It began with drilling holes about 40 mm apart in a spare Striker wing I had. Perhaps not the best use of vintage parts, though not completely consequential. 40 mm represents the distance between the screw holes in the Rising Fighter wing. With a combination of machine screws, rubber tubing, and bushings-turned-washers running through the built-in stays: We get: I was unusually pleased with how this turned out. A two-tier rear wing was not what I had originally planned, but this layout is not terribly unaesthetic while evoking the Formula 1 cars that inspired the Striker! It has clearance over the rear shock/wing stays, and is a good deal more substantial than the original Striker wing - while using said original It also keeps access clear for all screw holes, so I can still remove the rear dampers and/or the wing without needing to remove other parts. The original rear wing did need to go on first, though, since the top screw holes for those are covered by the Rising Fighter wing. Disassembly is simpler. Had I left said top screws off, I could even have a wing with variable incidence! I elected to affix it for now. My vision was to use an original (read: reproduction in the original style) decal for the rear wing, and adding a "Super" or other adjective sticker above it on the wing to acknowledge the modified nature of this particular Striker. All I had for "Super" text was the first half of a "Super Gripper" decal that was reproduced from a Tamiya Hotshot sheet. It nearly became the "Magna Striker" or "Magna-Power Striker" since I had Magna-Power decals in the size I wanted, before I decided that one compromise was enough: And so, the Super Striker emerges (as does a change of thread title)! I may source a larger "Super" sticker later; hence, the extra space above and below the added text. It is quite a big rear wing! For sideplates, I felt that adding the numbers to them was a bit redundant, given the racing number is already fairly prominent on the chassis' sides. I dug up some spare decals and went for simplicity: I think that will do nicely! The car's new profile: ... Does it look too much like a Rising Fighter? I thought so - the result had me thinking the spare Egress rear wing I ordered on impulse might be useful after all, although what I have now is a big rear wing that requires no painting and can take a few hits. For a car that gets driven hard, this works! I believe I ended up using 3 x 32 mm screws, with plenty of thread out the bottom, to affix the larger wing: This new addition may still be a bit rough, but at least the Striker now complies with rollover protection legislation: And with that, another modification is complete: It looks a bit more convincing now!
  9. Ah, but then it wouldn't have a roof I think... Having seen how poorly-received the Super Avante was, I am surprised this TD2 is getting this much positive attention, especially as appearances suggest a 4WD chassis with the propshaft and front gearbox removed. I fully expected more complaints about a perceived lack of effort on Tamiya's part, but am nonetheless pleased to see some excitement around this new buggy. ... Because count me in
  10. I actually painted a polycarbonate driver figure by starting with a coat of PS-55 Flat Clear, and then painting on the acrylics. The PS-55 keys the surface of the material, which allows the other paint to adhere to it better. More recently, on a Terra Scorcher, I used PS-5 Black on the figure (which was part of a chassis cover, painted on the outside) and then painted regular acrylics on top. Granted, the driver figure is not really a load-bearing member, but the result is still free of flaking or chips!
  11. A highly experimental session ensued with the arrival of the turnbuckles: I bought four different lengths: 52 mm, 55 mm, 68 mm, and 72 mm. I speculated that for replacing steering linkages at 75 mm and 60 mm length, I would require tie rods that were about 7 mm shorter to allow room for another ball end adjuster at the opposite end. As the Striker uses an offset steering servo position, the linkages are of course different dimensions. However, seeing that I got two of each length now explains why they were so expensive I ended up using one 68 mm rod and one 52 mm rod to match the stock steering linkage lengths: And soon discovered why few people (if any) fit proper steering turnbuckle tie rods to their Striker or Sonic Fighter: Somehow, I did not consider that the ball end adjusters would not fit through this slot, where the servo saver and steering system resides. I had to renege on my initial promise to keep the Striker intact, although at least I still do not need to modify the upper shell: Disappointing, but nothing to be sad about. It does make running the car with its stock plastic bumper (and therefore no metal chassis brace) even less feasible, but I had no intention of doing that regardless. I ended up shaving even more material to make the new parts work... With the enlarged opening, the new ball end adjusters now fit: However, the steering links foul the suspension arm pivots, of all things! So I did what any sensible person would do and shaved down the pivots I ended up taking even more material out of both suspension arms to finally get the steering rods to clear them. The irony is that I did this with the car suspended on a stand, i.e. with no sag. I could have saved much of this time, effort, and plastic had I just set up the suspension with more droop, and under most running conditions the front suspension will not be at full decompression, anyway. But what was it that Colin Chapman said? "It is easy to make a bridge stand; hard to make it just stand." I see the suspension arm pivots failing under two specific conditions: - the ends of the pivot rotate to differing degrees, likely due to dirt ingress, causing the pivot to fail due to torsion at the reduced cross section - the car sustains a heavy impact to the front end, causing the pivot to fail due to buckling at the reduced cross section when the chassis flexes Careful maintenance may address the former, but I believe that with the metal chassis brace I am using, chassis flexion will be greatly reduced to the point where the suspension arms bear little to no axial loading. This would be under normal running conditions; in the event of an impact, I still believe this will be the case, or else an impact that would cause the suspension arms to fail in that manner would create more significant damage elsewhere (meaning the broken arms will be the least of my concerns!). I am therefore taking a calculated risk, trading structural integrity for less obstructed steering. This was never going to be a problem with the stock wire linkages... (While the Colin Chapman quote may not be completely related, his work and philosophies came to mind!) Initially, I suspected that I only needed to shave the right pivot to clear the longer right steering rod, but found later that the left one fouled its suspension arm, too. Both got bites taken out of them, and the opening for the steering system was enlarged further to ensure clearance at full steering lock. No going back now... The still-recalcitrant steering was later addressed with a change in the damper mounting (photo from the underside of the buggy): Where there had once been a 3 mm nyloc nut securing the lower damper eyelet screw, there is now a flange nut inboard of the suspension arm, hopefully allowing me to run a shorter screw. The nyloc nut was actually obstructing the steering upright, and dispensing with them on each arm finally allowed the system to reach full lock in both directions! This was only a problem because I replaced the original 4 mm ball connectors on each steering upright with 5 mm equivalents, using the type which secure from the bottom using a 2 mm screw. The screw heads on the underside of each upright were making contact with the nyloc nuts at the damper eyelet mount, so removing the nuts (and excess threads they were securing) meant the uprights could rotate freely. Nevertheless, I definitely observe more steering travel now than I did in any of the Striker's previous iterations, so it is a bit exciting (for such an understeering chassis). It is also suspenseful, considering that I am not certain how my modifications will affect its durability... Everything seems a bit happier now: Two of the front-end weights were relocated during the widening of the steering hole opening; these now sit on top of the servo. A closer look at some of the modifications: The tie rods could actually each be 2 mm shorter - I had to screw in the ball end adjusters past their recommended limits just to prevent excessive toe-in. They work for now as more durable and less sloppy replacements for the stock wire links, but if I am to be able to tune this buggy in any meaningful way, I should locate shorter rods to allow for greater freedom of adjustment. The sturdier rods do help to reduce scrub radius, but may prove even more spectacular in action: I recall the time I upgraded my F103 from wire linkages and a stock servo saver, to turnbuckle tie rods and a Hi-Torque Servo Saver. That chassis improved dramatically with that particular addition; could the Striker see a similar benefit? There are more moving parts in this buggy than the F103, but I am hopeful that this steering modification will produce noticeable positive effects on handling. Despite this, at this moment this may be the instance where I am the most aware of "diminishing returns," as I was evidently already enthusiastic about the Striker's handling without the steering modifications. It felt as though there was a lot of trimming and compromising just to fit these parts... The front end is now complete. What remains? I am starting to believe that the Rising Fighter rear wing will not be significantly wider than the Striker's, but will test the fit when it arrives in the mail. It will be an Egress/Super Astute rear wing if I do not like the result. Otherwise, it is only a matter of fitting proper drive shafts (also still in transit by mail) to get the Rising Fighter differential into the gearbox. Then, my original vision for this buggy may be complete!* * (the evolutionary nature of this particular Striker has me convinced that I will find ways to continue pushing its proverbial envelope, though I will still be much farther ahead than I could have imagined if I stop here)
  12. You may find this interesting, as the Falcon and Striker share gearbox internals (and indeed, gearboxes): Having been tripped up by the subtle differences between the bevel gears in the Striker/Falcon and the Grasshopper et al., the decision was made to proceed with what was initially a thought experiment. As I found out, the differential from a Rising Fighter does indeed fit, but the new part is 49T vs. the Striker's/Falcon's 50T differential gear. Gear mesh is not noticeably affected, although I have yet to test the system in anger as I am waiting on correct-length drive shafts to be able to run it. As the Rising Fighter differential uses splined outdrives (compared to the flat shafts found on those from the original), and sits off-centre in the gearbox, I used one outdrive from a Tamiya VQS and another from a Comical Avante (models I had on hand) to make it work. From another thread I referenced over on RC10Talk, I learned that drive shafts measuring 52.5 mm in length, pin-to-pin, should work with this setup. This was discovered by a member there fitting CVDs to his Tamiya Falcon. From all this information, then, an alternative to the stock differential should be feasible. I will be reporting on this particular setup over in the thread mentioned earlier in this post, pending the arrival of proper drive shafts!
  13. I have had success with them. I usually re-sticker mine, too I have annihilated a 13T version of this motor, but I think I ran it with improper gearing and a relatively high-friction 4WD drivetrain. I do appreciate that they are completely rebuildable and relatively inexpensive, and thus have used several in the past. That "Twin Star Racing 23T Inter" you see here will be going into a Striker at some point...
  14. A test session proved curious: the front left steering knuckle kept coming loose, taking out the kingpin with it. It spoiled the excitement of the handling improvements brought on by the new 3D-printed shock tower: the slight increase in suspension travel and smoother articulation really kept the front end planted, and turning was subsequently improved. This Striker is definitely approaching the performance of a higher-calibre buggy... Initially, I changed the layout of the screws and spacers at each front hub carrier, believing the kingpin was exiting out the top. By using a cutoff from the modified servo posts I installed earlier, I was able to obstruct the kingpin hole, and switched the sleeved spacer around to move the suspension link back towards the front arm. This was done to reduce the distance between the hub carrier and the link, thereby reducing the room for flexibility in that particular mounting point: Instead, I found that the shaved hub carrier was actually now weak enough to flex open, allowing the kingpin to actually pop out of the carrier. The forces sustained under hard cornering would spread the top and bottom out, pivoting right at the section where I had removed plastic from the carrier to allow the lower damper collars to seat: It was then clear that I needed to secure the hub to the carrier using a screw and a nut on the opposite side. I elected to use a long M3 screw with a nyloc nut on each hub carrier to prevent the flexion I had observed earlier. A 3 x 27 mm screw would have been perfect for this, but all I had were 3 x 32 mm hex-head types among my spares (machine-threaded, of course). To accomplish this, the hub carriers needed some light reaming to allow the screw head to clear the carrier's mounts for the upper suspension link. This prevented me from using a tapping step screw as featured in the stock Striker, as the heads for those were too large to allow enough material to remain on the pieces. Thus fastened, it looks like this: And a slightly different angle to appreciate the depth of the screw: There is a bit too much excess thread for my liking, but the likelihood of the end striking the ground is low, as it is sheltered by the front wheel. It may increase the likelihood of large rocks jamming the front wheels, though... While I was at it, I replaced the shafts running through the front arms with a 3 x 32 mm screw, secured by a flange nut and a bushing-turned-washer to take up the space: This is, of course, where the lower damper eyelet would link to in the stock Team CRP FX-10 suspension kit. I did this in the interest of increasing some sort of stiffness in the front suspension arm, even though more flexibility may allow it to sustain more impacts. I then took the liberty of screwing together two spring preload spacers using a long grub screw from my CVA Super Mini dampers. I had the materials and wanted a single spacer of this exact width on the back end: With peeling decals, I also did some Striker-grade touchups: (I have since cleaned up the excess paint) The XF-1 Flat Black substituting for the air intake stickers was fine; the X-3 Royal Blue attempting to fill in for the dark blue decals was a bit less inspired. They were both done by ancient Tamiya Paint Markers which surprisingly still worked! The front suspension today looks like this: Once I replace the stock steering links with turnbuckles and 5 mm ball ends and adjusters, I will call the front end complete. All that remains beyond that is to fit a new rear wing and drive shafts. Your turn, Canada Post...
  15. Alternatively, a good number of TamiyaClub members drop in a Hobbywing Quicrun 1060 ESC and call it a day; those are rated down to at least 12T motors. They are definitely not expensive, either, and as a bonus are compatible with Li-Po batteries. The Reedy Fury will definitely see shorter run times and more gearbox wear, but proper gearing and heat management (i.e. ESC fans, motor heat sinks, and other measures) will keep it happy Best of luck!
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