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This is my short wheelbase XV-01 or what I call the XV-01S. This conversion shortens the standard 257mm wheelbase to 237mm wheelbase allowing you to use the original TA03fs bodies such as the Peugeot 206 and Corolla WRC, or any of the short TA03rs bodies as well. I always enjoyed playing with the TA03FS but as we know parts are not cheap and hard to come by, and are known to crack easily. I then bought the XV-01 Long Damper Spec and enjoyed the durability and performance compared to the TA-03fs. I wanted a strong platform in which I could use the old short bodies, so the XV-01 made the most sense as it is front engine 4wd. Thus the XV-01S was born. Parts List: Upgraded parts include: Ball diff for front and rear (TA06), metal 18t pulley front and rear. Running a tamiya 10.5t sensored motor with the TBLE-02s esc with the tamiya fan. Stock gearing on 2s. metal gear Spectrum servo with gyro. The pictures below show the XV01S next to the original TA03fs for comparison.
OK, yet another super-quick Mad Ax parts-bin special. This one's been in the pipeline for a while in a totally different format, but has suddenly morphed into something else. So it began towards the end of last year, when a random search on Ebay turned up a rolling TA03F chassis in reasonable condition. I'd never owned an TA03 of any sort, in fact my experience of Tamiya on-road chassis is fairly limited, so for a bargain price I figured this one was worth an own. I had a bunch of 1:10 on-road shells looking for homes, so I figured it would be a good donor, and since the TA03F was famous for its good-natured drift handling, I thought it would be ideal for getting back into drifting after a very long layoff. It was only when I opened the packaging that I realised something was amiss. It seemed small, too small for a touring car. It wasn't an 03F after all - it was an 03FS. Cool, I thought! An alternative 1:10 wheelbase! Now I can fit something a bit shorter to put some variety into my street car collection. Straight away I went online and started searching for suitable shells. And found absolutely nothing, bar the HPI 106 body. That size is pretty much obsolete, and there's very little out there in terms of drift shells that fits. After a good deal of soul searching, and some razzing around in the house, I eventually discovered a battered old Monster Beetle shell made a perfect fit, apart form the gearbox hanging out the front, and a crazy plan for a Mad Max style drift rig came to mind. I actually got as far as stripping and rebuilding the chassis with full bearings, mounting the shell, fitting electrics, and competing in a local friendly drift night before I decided that, actually, the beetle shell wasn't for me. Not that it wasn't cool, but it just doesn't fit with anything else I have. For a while I considered biting the bullet and going for the 106 shell. It could be made to work, with suitable sponsor decals, if I made it up as a "106 RWD conversion". I get slightly upset putting FWD shells on 4WD or RWD chassis. Then I tried a Blackfoot and a King Blackfoot shell. The wheelbase is actually about right, but the chassis is too wide, and the gearbox doesn't fit under the front bumpers. It could have been made to work, but would have been yet another long-winded custom body job and I've got enough of those on as it is. So I clambered up onto the mezzanine storage level in my garage and pulled out the uncut body from my NIB Landfreeder. I was pretty sure this had to be the same wheelbase as the Blackfeet, but with a more forgiving front end that might just be enough to hide the F's bulbous gearbox. A quick check with the uncut shell and it looked near enough perfect. Twenty minutes with a sharp blade and Amazon Prime Video in the background, and I had myself a cut Bush Devil body. Which fitted nicely over the gearbox, but suddenly seemed too long... No bother - the 03 rear arms are reversible, to slightly extend the wheelbase. The dogbones end up on a sharper angle but still get full suspension travel without binding, so should be good for running. Propped over an inverted chassis, the wheelbase looks good: And with the holes for the rear body posts cut, it all fits rather nicely: So, where does this go next? Well, I didn't drill the front body post holes because the posts aren't really long enough, plus I want to decide exactly how low the shell should sit. Right now the car is wearing some very soft springs on the original shocks, but I've got a set of NIB low-friction dampers for the TA03 which should stiffen it up a lot. I'll probably set the chassis fairly low to the ground, as this will only be used for drifting on smooth floors, and will go for a stiff setup. The wide-offset rears actually poke outside of the arches just a little, so I'll either need to mount the shell high or make sure the suspension doesn't have much travel. Probably the latter, as this truck should look pretty low and mean. And what about that ugly gearbox sticking out the front? Well, the Landfreeder / Bush Devil shell comes with a nice spotlamp / bullbar assembly up front, which should do a good job of making the gearbox. And there's always scope for adding a custom bullbar assembly mounted directly onto the gearbox. Still to do: build and fit new shocks determine ride height source longer body posts cut front post mount holes in shell decide on paintscheme clean, mask and paint shell fit shell hardware go play watch this space...
In a departure from all recent Mad Ax build threads, and in the words of Blue Peter, here's one I made earlier. All my other projects got put on hold recently when the local club announced a drift night. Usually I just grab a battered old shell for drifting, but this time I thought I'd go all-out - especially as the club also does a friendly "best drift shell" competition, and I always see it as my personal mission to take the challenge to one of my good race buddies, who has a collection of impressive drift shells that he's painted himself or bought in from others. So the project began with a TT02D Skyline that I bought at last year's Iconic Revival. I built it almost as soon as I got home so I could run it at the August Bank Holiday Iconic meet at WLRC. It poured with rain, but I was foolish and ran the car anyway. This might explain why the brushless ESC stopped working: Anyway, since then it's sat on the shelf, various attempts at repairing the ESC failed, so - apart from finishing the boxart silver Skyline shell and putting it up on the shelf to look nice - I had pretty much forgotten it existed until the club's Call To Action came along. The first thing I figured I needed was a 200mm shell. I was going to post a thread about this a few weeks ago, but basically, I'm bored of 190mm touring cars. Tamiya's super-scale looks are great for a factory-stock replica, but add a set of deep dish wheels and suddenly they look stupid. I wanted a proper wide stance on this drift car, so there was no alternative - I had to have a 200mm shell. A visit to Hobbybase in Westbury produced a HPI Weld JZX100 shell. It came with full light buckets, a hefty decal set and an enormous spoiler. Perhaps not the best-looking drifter ever made, or the most scale-realistic shell from HPI, but it would serve my purposes. Besides, large flat surfaces are ideal for a custom decal job. It took me a long time to settle on a colour scheme, but eventually I realised I was already a third of the way to a very impressive put table if I matched the car to an existing support / team vehicle. So, silver and blue is my official new team colours for 2016. And as Easter Friday approached, the weather improved enough to get some solid time in the paint booth that my lovely wife made for me: A couple of hours later and I had a fully-painted shell, and some light buckets, all shiny and chrome. I refrained from spraying chrome paint over my teeth and laughing maniacally. But only just. And so the project was well on the way to knocking my pit-buddy off the top spot of the "best shell" rostrum. to be continued...