• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by speedy_w_beans

  1. More of a psychological victory than a physical victory today, I replaced a foundation vent that a squirrel had chewed nearly five years ago.  We had this crazy squirrel that was chewing through the vent, eating the BBQ grill cover, eating gutter guards, etc. until I trapped him and relocated him 10 miles away.  He was quite the bully and would chase the other squirrels away; once he was gone the others started coming into the yard and they've not created any problems.  The BBQ grill cover and gutter guards had been addressed some time ago, but I wasn't very motivated to work on the foundation vent because it involved chipping out some mortar and dealing with some features that are sandwiched between the foundation bricks and house framing.

    Anyhow, here's what a crazy squirrel can do to a foundation vent as he tries to store acorns in the autumn.  Fortunately the metal screen stopped him; then I had a full-size aluminum plate covering the whole vent for the past five years.


    The job was straightforward enough and only took a few hours.  I have an air compressor and air chisel from 20 years ago that I used to install foundation vents in another house; it's hard to believe so much time has passed since then!  The chisel made quick work of the mortar, and much to my delight one of the top mounting ears was actually loose, so it was easy to pivot the vent back and forth and work the other ear out of the brick and wood framing.  Installing the new vent required minimally enlarging the tight slot for that one ear and then tapping the vent into position with a hammer.  Once it was in place it was just a matter of mixing some mortar and using some trowels to apply it and smooth it.  The top ears are captured in the bricks and framing; the lower lip of the vent is sandwiched between exterior and interior mortar, just like the others.

    New vent; some of that residue on the vent is from spraying water on the mortar periodically while it cures.  I'm sure it'll wash off in the rain over time.


    It was definitely nice to get this off the honey-do list and off my mind.  There are some brick steps on our front porch that have some mortar missing from winter weather damage; re-pointing those bricks may be the next project so I can use up the mortar mix purchased for the foundation vent.

  2. I figured out how to make an adjustable rear toe setup for the TT02.  As most of you know, the base-level TT02 comes with zero rear toe and it takes hopup parts (whether Tamiya or third party) to introduce some level of fixed rear toe-in for extra stability.  For not much more than the usual blue aluminum parts, I bought extra A, B, and P parts and used some M3x16 set screws, ball nuts, and 50875 adjusters to make it adjustable instead.  One improvement beyond this would be to source some M3x16 turnbuckles and trim 1-2 mm off each adjuster so the rear toe is infinitely adjustable.

    With using extra front suspension parts in the rear and dialing in a degree or two of toe-in, the wheelbase didn't change -- it's still 257 mm.  To deal with suspension slop I used the tape method outlined in my "you can fix anything with tape and shims" thread.  One improvement that made slipping the suspension ball over the kingpin tape easier was to use a body reamer to create a small initial taper inside one side of the suspension ball.

    I'm pretty pleased with the result and can definitely demonstrate it's feasible.  This, along with some shims/spacers, opens the door to playing with reactive toe like some of the more expensive chassis offer (e.g., Awesomatix).

    Rear toe-in close-up:


    Overall chassis with a little front toe-out and a little rear toe-in:


    • Like 6

  3. 2 hours ago, Jonathon Gillham said:

    Funnily enough I was looking at exotek parts (the only way to get a 68T spur to get the FDR I need is with an exotek diff cap which also takes different spurs) and they do a centre spool for stock racing, to replace the centre diff. That seems weird as there is nothing to lessen the drivetrain shock then

    Different application than racing, I think.  I was doing some speed runs with my TRF801XT a year or two ago, and the center diff was problematic as it kept sending a lot of power to the lightly loaded front tires under hard acceleration.  They were spinning and wearing the tread out on asphalt more quickly than the rear tires were.  When I locked the center diff that completely changed everything.  Hard launches now sent power to the rear with grip.  The downside is I forgot about locking the diff, and when driving the truck recently it had terrible understeer.  With the center diff active, it was way more maneuverable.  It's about time 1/10 4WD adoped the center diff!

    • Like 1

  4. Yes, that's right.  I just used household 3M Scotch brand clear tape like what you use for gift wrapping or sealing an envelope.

    Check the thickness of your tape before using it; as mentioned above mine is 0.05 mm and that is thin enough for quite a few applications.  Also, if one full layer around a screw is too much and you feel some binding, try one layer going only half way around the screw.  The fitting/testing process took time, but the results are there.

    I don't know what the longevity/durability of the tape will be, but it is pretty smooth and so are the holes in the ABS plastics.  There's a lot of surface area to spread wear.  If necessary the tape could always be replaced.  Maybe I'll track drive time on this chassis and take some wear measurements in the future.

    • Thanks 1

  5. Parma's location, North Royalton, Ohio, is about 10 miles away from where I grew up.  I don't mind if their products seem oddly shaped or lack detail; in fact, there are times when a Parma, RJ Speed (BoLink), or Protoform body is just what I want for a project -- $20, a blank canvas, have at it.  The lack of detail and lack of decals made these projects more involved.  Some of my past (and now gone) projects:

    RJ Speed / BoLink NASCAR shell on a RJ Speed Sport 3.2:


    Parma Impala on a TT01:


    Pro-Line Beetle on a DT02:


    Parma Nomad on a RJ Speed Sport 3.2:


    After awhile I get tired of the same old Japanese and European cars Tamiya brings to market.  That's why I liked HPI, Parma, Pro-Line/Protoform, JConcepts, and RJ Speed/BoLink so much -- they brought additional variety to market.

  6. It's been amazing to me how useful cellophane tape and shims have been to improve the suspension and steering of a basic TT02.  This week I've been doing some shakedown runs of this chassis for some upcoming speed run attempts, and small, inexpensive changes are making meaningful improvements to the stability of the chassis.


    • The front and rear upper suspension arms had a fair bit of fore-aft play.  By adding 0.4 mm (2 x 0.2 mm) of shims to each upper suspension arm, the fore-aft play is gone and most of the associated rotation/slop is also gone.
    • The rear uprights were a little loose on the screw pins, so the rear toe of the car could change some.  By adding one layer of cellophane tape (0.05 mm thick) all around the center 1/3 of the screw pins, the vast majority of the toe change associated with loose uprights is gone.
    • The front uprights seemed really loose in the upper suspension arms; the balls on the upper kingpins were floating quite a bit in the suspension arms' holes.  By wrapping cellophane tape around the upper kingpins three times, I was able to spread the balls 0.30 mm and they fit much better in the upper suspension arms.  There's virtually no camber or caster slop now.
    • The amount of axial play in each axle stub was driving me nuts.  Even with ball bearings you could see how each wheel could change toe and camber a few degrees.  I added 0.7 mm of shims between the outer bearings and the cross pin for the wheel hex, and all that toe and camber slop has been cut down dramatically.
    • The servo saver had some slop in it; adding a layer of tape halfway around the feature the horn mates with took up most of the slop.
    • The two steering bell cranks were floating a little relative to the shoulder screws attached to the main tub.  Adding a layer of tape around the shoulder screws eliminated almost all of the bell crank slop.  I didn't have to do anything to the bridge between the two bell cranks.

    With the suspension and steering so much better, I replaced the plastic steering links with ball connectors and threaded rod to dial in a little toe-out.  I'm planning to introduce a little rear toe-in next.

    Taking the slop out of the suspension and steering, introducing some toe, and replacing the friction dampers with oil dampers has really transformed this chassis.  It's pretty dramatic.  But the main point I want to make is that a $4 packet of shims and some (nearly) free cellophane tape has done more for this chassis than I ever would have expected.  I had started to take ball bearings, oil dampers, turnbuckles, shims/spacers, etc. for granted.  Pressing the reset button and starting with a base-level TT has been rewarding as its forced me to rationalize each improvement and observe its effect.  Give it a try if you have a base TT02 lying around.

    • Like 7

  7. Do you ever run into issues with screws getting hot and melting the plastic, making the holes loose?  Even hand-tightening some screws with a ratcheting screwdriver I've felt the plastic go soft before, so I've slowed down my fastener removals and installations.  This seems to be an issue with certain plastics more than others.

  8. Finished my TT02 and took it for a test drive.  For a base-level TT02 with just springs and no dampers, I was impressed with how well it turned in the street.  There was just a hint of oversteer.  I'm eager to try a few speed runs, but unfortunately there are a few issues to work on still.  First, the steering seemed slightly sticky and won't return to center perfectly.  The car wanders right or left depending on the last turn taken.  Not good at higher speeds.  Second, the motor seems down on power.  I calibrated the ESC against the radio and confirmed all settings, but I expected to be at half throttle for the speed I captured, not nearly full throttle.  There doesn't seem to be more power on tap like I expected, even though the power analyzer did show a peak of 190A.  I have a motor analyzer and a program box for the ESC, so there's some work to do here.  Finally, and most alarming, there was a moment when the car seemed to take off full throttle on its own for about 50 feet and I was steering it just to avoid any hard obstacles.  Then it stopped!  There shouldn't be any technical reason for this to happen, and I'm second guessing whether I might have bumped the throttle; my memory is a little hazy around the incident.  I'll do some more test runs to gain some confidence it won't take off into a curb.

    The power analyzer, GPS, and thermometers all worked well.  It was handy to have max current, max power, and min voltage captured.  The GPS seemed to capture max speed fine.  The thermometers were handy because I could look down on the car and make a decision whether to do another run down the street or not.  After a half dozen runs the motor and ESC hit 50C, so I called it quits for the day.



    • Like 8

  9. More progress on the TT02 today.  I printed a long/wide battery strap to make a mounting surface for the power analyzer; it replaces the kit battery strap.  I also printed a mount for three digital thermometers; it slides over the body posts and provides holes so the thermometers snap into place like standard panel mounts.  The thermometers were only about $2/each and will keep eyes on the battery, ESC, and motor.

    Just one more mount for a motor cooling fan and to tidy some servo wiring, a little soldering, and it'll be time for a test run.


    • Like 3

  10. I bought several clear plastic storage tubs from our local home improvement store (Home Depot), and started organizing parts along a few lines of thought:

    • There are a few tubs with tools in them; these include all the hand tools, soldering tools, measurement/setup tools, inspection tools, specialty tools, etc.
    • There are some tubs with groups of related generic parts.  For example, all the buggy tires and wheels are in a few tubs.  All the on-road rubber tires and wheels are in other tubs.  On-road foams are in another tub.  1/8 scale buggy and truggy wheels and tires are in other tubs.  I have a tub or two of dampers, oils, springs, and bumpers.  There's a tub of generic parts, like fasteners, O-rings, bearings, pinions, etc.
    • I have tubs specifically for brushed speed controls and motors, brushless speed controls and motors, wiring and connectors, and receivers/servos.
    • There are some tubs reserved for specific chassis, such as TRF201, DB01, TA05, TB03, non-Tamiya, and 1/8 scale.  These tubs include chassis, spares, and hopups.

    I guess in general most of the chaos falls into three categories -- tools/supplies/paints, generic parts for any model, and model-specific parts.  The clear tubs make it easy to see what's inside and it kind of jogs my memory when I'm looking for things.  I do have a tool box for my most commonly used tools, and a tool bag for taking things to a field or parking lot.



    • Like 4

  11. Designed and printed a GPS tray for my TT02 today; it takes the place of the kit upper bumper cover.  I have an XL urethane bumper to install in lieu of the drift bumper.  The GPS is held in place with some Velcro plus the body lightly pushes down on it too.  This also provides the added benefit of keeping the body's nose from folding under at speed.  So I'm pretty pleased with this as the GPS is protected inside the body yet is still visible for filming/photos.  I have some other designs in the works for a battery strap and a fan/wiring mount; hopefully I can get to those tomorrow.


    • Like 8

  12. I see some old chatter on RCTech announcing the Mazdaspeed 6 body around November 2006; AMain Hobbies seemed to start carrying it in January 2007.  So, I guess it's possible Mr. MR may have had access to it for his use.

    Color-wise, I have no idea.  The body pictures I see make it look like the body was airbrushed, which likely means non-Tamiya colors by whoever the artist was.  You'll have to do your best to grab images and experiment with different paint to get the same tones.

  13. How's your motor pinion?  Is it the original aluminum one?  If so, how do the teeth look?  The typical kit aluminum pinions can wear, and the teeth take on a sawtooth shape leading to some extra noise from the gearbox.  Steel pinions are available and wear a lot better over time.  Also double-check your pinion tooth count vs. motor mounting holes.

    If the axle stubs seem to be running true then your wheels might be slightly warped; that's not all that unusual especially on a used model.  I wouldn't worry about it much.

  14. 13 minutes ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

    Ordered a TA06 with Toyota GT86 shell on closeout from hobbyking. If i do my 2wd touring car idea i need touring car suspension, wheels and a ta06 diff so this is prefect to rob for parts. If the 2wd doesn't work then i have a ta06! There's a local on road club that races on asphalt every week so i might give that a go. 

    Wouldn't the TA06 be the perfect 2WD touring car as it is currently set up?  The placement and direction of the battery makes it pretty good from a mass centralization / minimum roll inertia perspective.  The rear transmission is sealed and all gears, too.  You could almost build this chassis as-is and just leave the center belt, front belt, front diff, and front dog bones out of it.  The TA06 didn't get much love when it came out, but it could carry some corner speed and did well if someone worked with it.  This YouTube video made an impression on me; the TA06 starts out in pole position and just keeps growing its lead the whole time.  In particular, the way it handles that really tight turn in the middle of the track is impressive.

    I think people gave up on the TA06 and turned them all into drift cars a little too quickly.  Much like the DF03 buggy chassis, the battery and motor are along the center of the chassis which makes weight transitions due to steering happen a little more quickly.  You don't need to move weight quite as quickly for braking and accelerating; weight transfer due to steering should dictate component placement in a chassis in my opinion.

    I was thinking the other day that things are starting to get cyclical with touring car designs:

    • The TA07 is much like a Losi XXX-S with the single center belt.  Granted the chassis structure is different, but the drivetrain concept is very similar.
    • The TB EVO7 kind of looks like a throwback to the TB03VDS with the front motor mount option and central stiffening spine.  Again, a different chassis structure, but a similar drivetrain concept.
    • I randomly ran into a posting about someone making a central motor option for Xray T4 touring chassis; this is basically a throwback to the TA05 design (link).

    Are we constrained by component "standards," e.g., 540 motor size, full and shorty hard case LiPo sizes, standard and low profile servo sizes, etc.?  What can you do if you start robbing components from airplanes, helicopters, and boats?

    Sorry, just a bit of rambling / random musings...  I'm intrigued by the thought process each designer went through when he designed his own touring car.

    • Like 3

  15. 14 hours ago, Novastar said:

    Today I signed in to tamiyaclub for the first time in 6 months lol. 

    Now Summer is finally gone and I’m getting my head around a huge career change from Geology and its wide open natural spaces to Mental Health Peer Support and hospital offices and home visits..I feel its time to get back into one of my hobbies :RC..

    I had an epiphany a few weeks ago while camping down on the Darling River to de-stress on why I had been so exhausted every day doing a seemingly “easier” job: the sheer amount of social interaction was the new factor plus 100% mental effort instead of the balance of 50/50 with physical work I had before..I work in a team of 20 people so even if I don’t have a lot of client appointments I’m still interacting with 4 times more people than I was used to full time whereas in my casual Geology job even that number was sporadic and only happened when a drilling program was running. And I’m not exactly a social butterfly most of the time. 

    Anyway, great to be back ^_^ .. looking forward to bashing my favourite creek bed with my old Blitzer first I think, until my thumbs build up their driving skill again lol, I’ve also bought a little 1” square Cop Cam video camera to play with doing some basic filming and Go Pro -ing so that should be fun. 

    I can relate to how draining face-to-face interactions can be.  I love engineering and I love being "in the zone" working on a design, but as I was promoted up the ranks to project leader, department manager, and technology strategist the quantity of meetings and emails shot up exponentially.  All of this overhead time spent guiding people, answering questions, thinking about the future, putting out fires, making tradeoff decisions, etc. just wore me down.  Especially chasing after people who weren't performing.  It really did feel like a daily drag; I couldn't wait for the weekends and I groaned every Monday morning.  Fortunately, my employer did me a favor and made me redundant a year ago after 15 years of service, and I've been taking a career break for this past year.  I'm just starting to feel like coming back to the workforce again; I was mentally exhausted and needed to work on house projects, car projects, hobby projects, etc. to enjoy some quiet time and let some feelings go.

    I wish you the best of luck in your new position; I don't have any words of advice.  All I know is when the number of human interactions goes up substantially it can definitely be draining.  I had to set some hard limits to survive and needed some off time eventually.

    • Like 1

  16. A few days late and a few dollars short...

    Two weekends ago I posted about cleaning out my daughter's bedroom and erecting shelving for my wife's fabric and my RC stuff.  It was easy enough to get the long-term NIBs up on the shelves and out of the way.  This past weekend I spent the better part of a day cleaning up my work area and the room immediately next to it; some short-term NIBs, some projects in process, and several bins of parts, wheels/tires, electronics, and tools found their way onto the shelves as well.  It was really nice to de-clutter these two rooms and enjoy the feeling of more open space again.  Things had gotten out of hand and there were so many loose items in my work area and the adjacent room that I didn't even feel like working on RC cars anymore; now there's some room to spread out and make some progress again.  Maybe some of you can relate to the clutter/motivation conundrum?


    • Like 5