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  1. Hi, as suggested by Jesse James I open here a Astute guide tread for all Astute fans. I also made a "how to" entry in my showroom. It's a work in progress so please be patient. The Astute is a beautiful 2WD car, very fast on the track but very fragile and it's frustrating how it can break easy if you don't make some work on it to improve strength. I drove it a lot and made many mods so I can share with you my tips. 1) Front end. One of the most fragile part of the car. You absolutely must have a G4 Super Astute front brace if you wanna drive your car for more than some minutes. This part is not an optional, is a must have. Super Astute front brace: You can see the part in the picture. You can also use Madcap front end that is a little bit more strong but non enough without any brace. Madcap has a front brace but needs plastic bathtub chassis to be mounted. You can avoid this problem with a couple of aluminum columns. Madcap front bulkhead: Madcap front brace (G3 part). As you can see it need a Madcap plastic bathtub chassis or... The columns to adapt the Madcap front brace to a FRP or Carbon plate chassis. I made them by myself and must be 25 mm longer. You must drill two more holes in the chassis to accommodate these two columns. Madcap and Astute front bulkheads fit very well but they are not identical. Madcap one is longer on front to accommodate the larger bumper but this is not a problem. Astute mini bumper will fit without problems. The major difference is the front arms offset that is some millimeter back on the Madcap. This is not a big problem again. If you have dampers on ball connectors the problem doesn't exist, your dampers will be a little bit more inclined. If you have dampers on bushing you will need longer bushing on top mount. The length of the car will be shorter obviously if you will use Astute uprights. With Madcap bulkhead you need also Madcap uprights to keep the same wheelbase. The Madcap bulkhead is lighter and doesn't need the 730 bushings or 730 ball bearings. Differences between bulkheads: 2) Front arms: another modification for the Astute is the front arm swap with Madcap ones. Astute and Madcap front arms are almost identical in width and length. The only good reason to swap them is the lack of Astute spares. There are only few differences between the two arms. Damper position is different. Both arms have 3 damper holes but on Madcap they are more inner so Madcap middle hole is Astute inner hole. Another difference is the offset. On the Madcap arms the damper mount is more ahead in front of Astute one to compensate the different arm offset on the bulkhead. The result is that if you mount a Madcap front arm on the Astute bulkhead the dampers will be more inclined ahead in the lower mount and the wheelbase will remain identical. If you mount a Madcap arm on the Madcap bulkhead the dampers will be not inclined but you must use the Madcap Upright also or the wheelbase will be shorter. In fact Astute Uprights have the wheel axle some millimeter back to compensate the different C-Hub offset in the Astute and keep the same wheelbase. Super Astute arms is another thing. Astute upright have the wheel axle back like the shopping carts. This allows to keep the straight direction of the car. After the release of the Astute Tamiya made the Madcap with different bulkhead, front arms and uprights. In the Madcap the traditional Hornet uprights have the wheel axle in the same position of the steering axle. The wheelbase is equal to Astute but the geometries of front upright are different. With the Super Astute Tamiya decided to keep the Astute bulkhead and the Madcap wheel base together. A new design is for Super Astute arms, with the correct offset for the dampers and more inner holes to increase wheel travel and car height. But the SA arm curves back to obtain the same wheelbase than the Madcap. This allows to use normal uprights without wheel axle back. In my opinion the best choice for the Astute is the Super Astute arms that are stronger and keep the normal uprights. Madcap arms are lighter than Astute ones but are softer and flex a lot so there's no vantage to mount them. Differences between arms shape and damper position: Correct position of the arms on their own bulkheads: UPDATE: This is what happen if you use the Astute or the Madcap without any sort of front brace. These parts snap in seconds of use on the track. Also the rear hubs are too fragile.
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