Grastens

Grastens Builds (and Runs) the Lancia 037 Rally (TA-02S)

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A New Build!

It has been a long time coming, but it is now time for a build thread as I tackle the:

3090it4.jpg

I have waited a long time for this model, cutting back in other areas of my finances to keep the pre-order I applied for a long time ago. Naturally, then, I am beyond excited to have an example in my hands.

Such is my excitement that I can write an incredibly boring piece about my ruminations of both the Lancia 037 and Tamiya's equivalents :P

On the Lancia 037, 58040, 58278, and 58654

The Lancia 037 is a vehicle that holds a special place in my heart.

On the face of it, the 037 is a mid-engine rally machine, a sportscar that can tackle rough roads. It does so with a unique style and flair, with its Italian styling and heritage rooted in the country that produces some of the most soul-stirring automobiles ever made.

Perhaps Tamiya did not think of this when they first produced a version of the 037, marketed as the Lancia Rally. As we know, this was an odd contraption, capturing the body’s lines perfectly while parking it on top of quite an awkward-looking chassis. Handling depended on who you ask and what motor you left in there, but the superb shell was difficult to preserve under less-than-careful driving.

Today, we remember Lancia’s 037 as the last rear-wheel drive car to win the World Rally Championship for Makes, defeating the nascent Audi Quattro and its four-wheel drive, with supercharging, to paraphrase 037 pilot Markku Alen. We remember it as a beautiful little racer stuck somewhere between the radical Stratos and the terrifying Delta S4, not as accomplished as its angular predecessor and not as memorably intimidating as its successor. It never even had a name outside of its project number.

We remember Tamiya’s Lancia Rally quite differently, it seems, and its legacy is a little more divisive. Many bemoan its mediocre handling, fragile shell, and unusual proportions, while others praise its wonderfully detailed body, genuine off-road capability, and unusual proportions.

In 2001, Tamiya addressed the non-scale appearance of the original Lancia Rally in a re-release. Now known as the Lancia 037 Rally as on the box, this offering kept the superb shell, added some more detail parts, and placed it on a much more proportionally-correct touring car chassis. While this version lost much of the off-road ability of the original, especially as the special TA-03R-S chassis was a belt-driven one, it definitely looked more serious – even if an oversized bumper was issued with the re-release, like the original’s massive bush guard…

17 years later, and Tamiya has re-released the re-release. The proportionally-correct Lancia 037 Rally has made a reappearance, this time on a shaft-driven TA-02S chassis. The excellent shell and detail parts return, and so does a large snow plow bumper! The last-named still works well to avoid crash damage like that which the great Henri Toivonen encountered with his Lancia…

f3s8kl.jpg

Grastens and Tamiya's Lancias

It was through the original-style Lancia Rally that the 037 made its way into my collection. I fell in love with it for its genuine off-road capability – like the Subaru Brat and Tamiya Frog that shared its chassis design – and its lovely detailed body shell. With the swoopy Martini stripes and the big rally spotlights sitting atop an aggressively jacked-up chassis, it looked like it was from outer space. The re-release of the Frog and Subaru Brat also meant that parts were readily available, as were upgrades that improved the original’s driving characteristics.

A fast car that can run on rough roads, with easy maintenance and good parts support… It was the rally car I had dreamed of!

This was in 2014, which was well after the first re-release 037 was discontinued - to say nothing of the original! At the time, I figured I would never be able to acquire a re-release, and for some time did not want to. The original had that useful ground clearance and actual rear-wheel drive, two traits that endeared it to me over the four-wheel drive touring car-based iteration.

Yet by 2017, my Lancia was no longer in running condition, and my enthusiasm for the hobby as a whole had diminished. I had to sell off much of my equipment to fund life, among them my Lancia's bodywork. By reigniting my passion for radio-controlled cars, the latest 037 saved my hobby career.

Much of my enthusiasm came from seeing the venerable Lancia being given the re-release treatment, from the new box to the updated photos. Some of it came from the fact that the new chassis for the car was a sealed shaft-driven type, which I figured would be much better for the off-road running I wanted to tackle with such a car. Even limited experience with a belt-driven TA-04 was enough for me to harbour doubts about a belt-driven machine in those conditions.

Most importantly, it was a car I had come to adore, emerging at a price well below my expectations for such a fantastic little machine. It simply got me excited again.

I placed my pre-order, held course, and finally saw it delivered to my country, where it was dispatched quickly.

First Impressions

Many people have reservations about the smaller boxes and the unattractive packaging of the re-releases compared to the blister packs of the original models, but I for one love the subsequent savings on shipping. The box was small and sleek:

n2lt9j.jpg

The offsets look off in this box schematic, but consistent with the box art. Many 037s did have their wheels well tucked into the arches. What intrigues me more is the listed wheelbase of 236 mm; I had committed the figure of 237 mm long enough for me to find this particular detail odd, however inconsequential:

xpa7bt.jpg

Was this a detail on the first re-release's box? FCA was not around back then, but Lancia and Martini sure were:

149cutx.jpg

The packing is efficient and compact. I had difficulty replicating it following my examination of the contents:

53tuv5.jpg

And here is the first layer of parts from the box:

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The second layer I extracted had many of the plastic chassis parts and some body detail pieces:

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Instructions, decals, and metal hardware can be found near or at the bottom:

inqpfb.jpg

The decal sheet looks identical to the earlier re-release's, but I had never seen that before and was intrigued by the dashboard decals for the cockpit set at first:

axhd2d.jpg

The story of me selling my original Lancia Rally shell has an important catch: I sold the one I finished, but had a spare body set. Initially keeping it for spares - I anticipated the worst for what was my most frequent runner - I dug it out to reaffirm everything I knew about the differences between the original and re-release bodies:

1zzjd3b.jpg

I assume it is normal for the original shell to have a slightly more yellow plastic :P

The enthusiasm generated by this new Lancia has inspired me to finish my original one; such is the power of this special model.

Planning the Build

I will likely be building this car up out of sequence, as I have an international order of ball bearings on the way and not enough spares to outfit the entire car. I will be sure to outline steps I follow for specific parts and their places in the manual.

The same delay applies to light sets; however I also anticipate that acquiring paint and having good painting conditions will be difficult. Hence, the bodywork may only occur much later.

I will be provisioning supplies to finish two bodies while I sort out my original Lancia Rally. It might receive some coverage in this build, but the focus will be on the re-release. Accordingly, I intend to finish the original in box-art Martini Racing livery. This leaves the re-release open to some customization.

As for that customization: lots of lovely paint schemes exist for this car, but without custom printing I will either be repeating the box-art Martini livery, piecing together decals for a 1986 Bastos-Texaco racer, finishing up Markku Alen's 1985 Portugal test car, or finally getting Adobe Illustrator and commissioning a printer for a nice set of Jolly Club/Totip decals, courtesy of TamiyaClub's own firefoxussr :)

If I have the time and resources, I have several other liveries from the 1983 season in mind, which I may detail later if they come up as an option. I selected 1983 as I do not feel like parting with the rear bumper :P (Evo.2 Lancia 037s appeared from 1984 onward, which omitted the rear bumper for practicality).

Resources permitting, I also hope to construct an engine bay and roll cage for the model, the first real scratch-building project I will undertake! I hope I can exercise enough restraint to get those finished before abandoning it all to thrash the finished car...

The Last Word - For Now

If you have read this far: congratulations, and thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts :)

If not: I can hardly blame you. All you need to know is that I am really excited for this model!

In any case, I look forward to commencing the build!

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Excellent intro Grastens!

If you're considering alternative colour-schemes for the re-re body, I think Red (with or without the Martini stripes) would look good - like that 4WD one in the other thread...

Of course if it were me, I'd cut the wing off the back, leave the spotlights off, and paint it champagne beige with a load of rust - just like a real Monte Carlo ;o)

 

Jx

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1 hour ago, JennyMo said:

If you're considering alternative colour-schemes for the re-re body, I think Red (with or without the Martini stripes) would look good - like that 4WD one in the other thread...

Of course if it were me, I'd cut the wing off the back, leave the spotlights off, and paint it champagne beige with a load of rust - just like a real Monte Carlo ;o)

 

Jx

Thanks for reminding me! It is a delightful car, and partially electric and four-wheel drive, much like the TA-02S :D

LHR6ab2b0_dsc_1472.jpg

I seem to remember TC member njmlondon thinking about it, so I will leave that to him for now ;) However, I think I could justify some generic Martini stripes and red paint to make a tribute; I do like the idea of capturing this particular car more and more... There is lots of time for me to think about bodywork!

You know, JennyMo, there will probably be lots of body sets around now. I look forward to seeing a rusted-out Montecarlo - maybe a stumpy one, too?

Meanwhile, I went around literally one ball bearing short of a dozen... It makes me sound crazy, which is essentially how I was after realizing I nearly had enough to start building the whole thing right away!

A search brought about the following supplies:

2m68g0k.jpg

Amazingly, between my GT-One, Loctite Zexel GT-R, Lancia Rally, Striker, and (probably) Opel Ascona builds, I ended up with 11/12 1150 bearings, 5/6 850 bearings, 2/2 1510 bearings, and 2/2 1260 bearings. I pilfered some 850s from my GT-One spares, and picked up two last 1150 bearings from my Lancia Rally. I figure that I will be running neither car for some time, so I can borrow the bearings until my international delivery arrives:

k00er.jpg

The biggest surprise was having 1510 and 1260 ball bearings, as they are not sizes I would normally encounter in my builds. They were from my GT-R (TA-04) and GT-One (F103RS), respectively. The sealed 1260s were actually stock in the F103 kit, replaced by shielded types in my own chassis.

I have electrics from some of the cars I have sold off; these are from my WR-02 chassis that was dealt some time ago:

2lv1umc.jpg

The combination should be good for down to 12T brushed motors, which was not useful on my WR-02, but might be fun on this TA-02S ;)

Amazingly, I still have paint, and enough to finish one shell:

154uct0.jpg

I also have six 3 mm LEDs. That is a good size for the Lancia's light buckets. It was a miracle I fit 5 mm types on my first Lancia shell, and appreciated that when my second attempt to install those went wrong during my Wheelie Rally build. Hence, having 3 mm LEDs is a nice surprise.

Two cans of primer were also part of my haul:

2cid2xu.jpg

I could use another can of black paint for the cockpit set and engine bay, with the quantities doubled for the second shell.

The LEDs had my spare Lancia lights. The front pair were broken and poorly drilled, but the four spotlights were assembled intact:

qyx2x5.jpg

They will not appear on the build, but I guess it might be nice to have spares?

Between all of these, I guess I have a complete kit to build a car! It looks like I will be building it to sequence after all. Time to get started:

hu0yfb.jpg

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Grastens, it's great to see you building a kit again!  Between school, looking for work, and your charity work you've been a busy guy.  Looking forward to seeing your thread unfold!

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You made me want to look up some videos.  I don't speak a word of Italian, but it was fun looking at pictures.  

 

I didn't remember 1510 or 1260 when I was building a Hummer.  So I looked up the manuals. Indeed, Hummer doesn't use anything but 1150 and 850. 

But Lancia 037 does use odd bearings.  I wonder if the cup is flared wider for greater movements?  Tamiya doesn't like using non-standard stuff.  If they borrow 6mm shaft borrowed from on-road cars, that also means having to use wheels, nuts and hexes with 6mm holes too.  [Edit: No, they might not have to be 6mms, the way it's stepped down from1260 bearing seats]  Even so, for all that extra trouble of machining the drive cup, there must be a benefit?  I can't think of anything other than allowing greater movements for wobble-free rotation.  Anybody could shed some light on this?  

pXohp0d.jpg

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12 hours ago, Grastens said:

The offsets look off in this box schematic, but consistent with the box art. Many 037s did have their wheels well tucked into the arches. What intrigues me more is the listed wheelbase of 236 mm; I had committed the figure of 237 mm long enough for me to find this particular detail odd, however inconsequential:

xpa7bt.jpg

Well this is all very exciting!

Very interesting re the wheelbase and tread.

I am 99.9% sure the TA03RS re-re had a 237mm wheelbase and also that the TA02SW for the 911 GT2 had a 237mm wheelbase... I wonder where that 1mm has gone!?

The rear tread will be interesting too. The original definitely had the wheels tucked in, so I will be really happy if this on does end up like the diagram. 

Looking forward to this one Grastens! 

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15 hours ago, JennyMo said:

Excellent intro Grastens!

If you're considering alternative colour-schemes for the re-re body, I think Red (with or without the Martini stripes) would look good - like that 4WD one in the other thread...

Of course if it were me, I'd cut the wing off the back, leave the spotlights off, and paint it champagne beige with a load of rust - just like a real Monte Carlo ;o)

 

Jx

There is a red Martini which was apparently the "shakedown" car. Studio 27 do some decals but I have only found 1 photo of the prototype.4f87bb39aa388ebcfdee413eed4f0a48.jpg

 s-l500.jpg

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Looking forward to this, I'm a big Lancia Rally fan as you know (but not as much as you !).

I went to a one-off local car meet at an airfield about 15 years ago, there was all sorts of stuff going on.  There was a bloke thrashing his genuine Martini 037 round the sprint course, and at one point I saw it with the rear shell up and him working on it on his own.  No-one seemed to care where you wandered, so I went over for a closer look.  After a minute, he noticed me and asked me to pass him a spanner.  I ended up helping him change the plugs before he went off for another lap.  I've since added "Lancia Works Group-B Mechanic" to my CV... :lol:

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13 hours ago, speedy_w_beans said:

Grastens, it's great to see you building a kit again!  Between school, looking for work, and your charity work you've been a busy guy.  Looking forward to seeing your thread unfold!

Thank you very much! Your support means a lot to me :)

12 hours ago, Juggular said:

You made me want to look up some videos.  I don't speak a word of Italian, but it was fun looking at pictures.

But Lancia 037 does use odd bearings.  I wonder if the cup is flared wider for greater movements?  Tamiya doesn't like using non-standard stuff.  If they borrow 6mm shaft borrowed from on-road cars, that also means having to use wheels, nuts and hexes with 6mm holes too.  [Edit: No, they might not have to be 6mms, the way it's stepped down from1260 bearing seats]  Even so, for all that extra trouble of machining the drive cup, there must be a benefit?  I can't think of anything other than allowing greater movements for wobble-free rotation.  Anybody could shed some light on this?  

It always is; that comprises my "research" for this project ;)

The design certainly seems to open up that front drive cup. The kit uses 5 mm nyloc nuts for all four wheels, so the design definitely steps down to standard. I would have thought something about steering range/lock, but I will have to wait and see when it is built up!

8 hours ago, njmlondon said:

The rear tread will be interesting too. The original definitely had the wheels tucked in, so I will be really happy if this on does end up like the diagram. 

Having looked at it again, it almost seems the rear track is narrower, too... It was more pronounced on the original Tamiya, though!

6 hours ago, StrokerBoy said:

Looking forward to this, I'm a big Lancia Rally fan as you know (but not as much as you !).

I went to a one-off local car meet at an airfield about 15 years ago, there was all sorts of stuff going on.  There was a bloke thrashing his genuine Martini 037 round the sprint course, and at one point I saw it with the rear shell up and him working on it on his own.  No-one seemed to care where you wandered, so I went over for a closer look.  After a minute, he noticed me and asked me to pass him a spanner.  I ended up helping him change the plugs before he went off for another lap.  I've since added "Lancia Works Group-B Mechanic" to my CV... :lol:

Still looking forward to seeing how yours turns out ;) I do envy your CV!

With the talk of red Lancias going on, I found a can of Tamiya TS-8 Italian Red lying around. I had purchased it for a Honda City Turbo project I never started, so the can is definitely full. Maybe a sign?

It was time to get started. The first step is assembling the ball differential that goes into the rear gearbox:

282oz04.jpg

The first parts bag to be broken was the large one with the metal hardware, and inside that Parts Bag A:

2hol06r.jpg

I took the time to swap out all the metal and plastic bearings in here for the ball bearings I intend to use. I spent too much time hunting them down for them to be an afterthought!

2af0fv9.jpg

I had a nice photo of the assembly, but it did not turn out. In essence, I know my screwdriver has a magnetic tip, so assembling the differential was a delightful (if careful) exercise of picking up each piece on the screwdriver, dipping it into the opening of the tube of ball diff grease supplied in the kit, and dropping it in. On a smaller scale, assembling the thrust bearing worked in this manner, too.

I was disappointed to learn that I would be unable to acquire a one-piece thrust bearing for this step; however, besides being less than absolutely certain it was the correct part, it was also an expensive trade-off for less assembly time.

The whole thing went together nicely. I do not recall working on a ball differential quite like this one, so I appreciated the components as I handled them:

nzlppj.jpg

I set this assembly rather tight, in anticipation of some off-roading; however, I will likely loosen it once I find where I will be driving it.

This would be a little more time-consuming once this next step was completed:

qx5led.jpg

I somehow forgot those all-important ball bearings the first time around! They were re-equipped without further incident. My current stock of 1150 bearings is at eight rubber-sealed types and four metal-shielded types, so I decided a sealed bearing might be better here, where dust and dirt might build up, than deeper inside the gearbox. It went together nicely:

537lzq.jpg

The next step calls for the motor:

2hi7zi8.jpg

Everything is easy here: the pinion has a spacer tool to get the correct position on the motor shaft, and it screws into a holder that matches up to the pinion being used, for a good fit. I enjoyed that a lot:

16ksx37.jpg

Amazingly, I have a series of steel pinion gears from other projects that I probably do not have lying around anymore. I probably bought a 21T steel pinion for an Astute or Avante; with neither one of those cars in my collection now, the stronger pinion went into my Lancia. I only realized this after photographing the stock aluminum pinion, though, so that is the one pictured.

... I was so unprepared to be this prepared! :P

The steel pinion is on by the time this picture was taken, of the assembled motor mount:

2bqgkg.jpg

After that, it was right onto the rear gearbox:

5jziu8.jpg

fmto45.jpg

Tolerances look great from here!

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The separately-moulded gears were next:

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It took me a minute or two to register that the flat on the propeller joint was not for a grub screw to bite down on, but for the gear G1 to stay fixed on the shaft. The order goes: 850 - G1 - C-clip - 1150 - D7 when viewed as in the manual. It has been a while...

The gears therefore look like this:

2eg8yok.jpg

Of course, by the next step, the order became quite apparent.

These steps are all familiar to a TA-02SW owner, a fact which struck me as I took my time building this "brand-new" chassis. That helped me to keep perspective on my excitement for the build, but could not dampen my enthusiasm.

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It was sticking the gears into the gearbox that allowed me to make sense of the order of propeller joint components:

sma7ag.jpg

The temptation to pack it full of ceramic grease arose, but I did my best to exercise restraint:

72rucp.jpg

Ceramic grease is not included in this kit; I used a tube from my Tamtech BMW GTP. Tamiya advises using their stock generic grease. It probably works, but I felt like going with whatever experience I had, even if I was still lubricating machined shafts that plugged into ball bearings :ph34r:

That might be the last I see of the gears for a little while, or at least until I need to readjust that rear differential:

fdbw2o.jpg

I have also been greasing each screw as I go. It is a step I could not avoid for a plastic-fantastic kit like this one!

From there, the rear end gets built up:

14ukqqo.jpg

Inserting the O-rings into the drive cups was difficult at first, but once the method was mastered it was a quick task.

4hyvzd.jpg

The lower arms get assembled here:

vwwbx5.jpg

This is definitely a place for rubber-sealed ball bearings. I used four of my eight here, with two of them already in the rear gearbox at the differential:

4fyg54.jpg

Experience tells me this is a step where I need to pay attention, as holding the suspension arms and drive shafts in place while screwing in the upper suspension link to put it all together is a bit of a feat:

2diilon.jpg

Is this normal?

30ldpo1.jpg

Thankfully, everything worked, and nobody got hurt!

2rpdxky.jpg

I used extra washers for the step screws, which were Lancia Rally spares. The assembled rear end had enough slop for me to be concerned about it, despite accepting that a kit using step screws and plastic-moulded upper links will start with and develop more slop.

Due to the geometry of the rear suspension arms, the rear drive shafts actually sweep forward. Certainly, TA-02SW owners (and possibly others with short-wheelbase touring cars) will be familiar with that, but I have never seen it before until here.

I had enough washers to tighten the tolerances on the rear suspension:

nmmey1.jpg

Desired or not, this also allows me to fine-tune the suspension's movement by loosening or tightening screws. It could also mean the suspension binding up more easily, but for now, I am leaving it as is. Besides, thinking about it too much will lead me to TA-02-related hop-ups, and I am not equipped to go sliding down that slippery slope...

I did not need hop-ups to enjoy my time, either. The components all fit, with a minimum of unique hardware, and at this stage was already taking shape. I had rediscovered the simple joy of assembling a radio-controlled kit :)

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48 minutes ago, Grastens said:

Thank you very much! Your support means a lot to me :)

It always is; that comprises my "research" for this project ;)

The design certainly seems to open up that front drive cup. The kit uses 5 mm nyloc nuts for all four wheels, so the design definitely steps down to standard. I would have thought something about steering range/lock, but I will have to wait and see when it is built up!

Having looked at it again, it almost seems the rear track is narrower, too... It was more pronounced on the original Tamiya, though!

Still looking forward to seeing how yours turns out ;) I do envy your CV!

With the talk of red Lancias going on, I found a can of Tamiya TS-8 Italian Red lying around. I had purchased it for a Honda City Turbo project I never started, so the can is definitely full. Maybe a sign?

It was time to get started. The first step is assembling the ball differential that goes into the rear gearbox:

282oz04.jpg

The first parts bag to be broken was the large one with the metal hardware, and inside that Parts Bag A:

2hol06r.jpg

I took the time to swap out all the metal and plastic bearings in here for the ball bearings I intend to use. I spent too much time hunting them down for them to be an afterthought!

2af0fv9.jpg

I had a nice photo of the assembly, but it did not turn out. In essence, I know my screwdriver has a magnetic tip, so assembling the differential was a delightful (if careful) exercise of picking up each piece on the screwdriver, dipping it into the opening of the tube of ball diff grease supplied in the kit, and dropping it in. On a smaller scale, assembling the thrust bearing worked in this manner, too.

I was disappointed to learn that I would be unable to acquire a one-piece thrust bearing for this step; however, besides being less than absolutely certain it was the correct part, it was also an expensive trade-off for less assembly time.

 

Not sure why you couldn't use the one-piece bearing 🤔

I used one in my TA02.

Great build/write up so far 👍

Sven

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I was flying through this model. I knew I might regret not saving some steps for later, but I also did not want to stop...

Continuing on meant building the front gearbox, starting with the differential:

1oojz9.jpg

My appreciation for radio-controlled model building and Tamiya-quality parts went further with this assembly. I put in some Anti-Wear Grease from my supply into the gears:

2jeena9.jpg

I still have no idea what I want out of a touring car chassis, and as such do not know where my preferences are. I thought I wanted a tighter rear differential and a looser front setting, which might still be the case here, but until the grease gets worked in the two differentials feel similar. It will be interesting to see how the car responds when it is driven, especially on loose surfaces.

It was a satisfying step to seal it up: 

21bsw8o.jpg

Even more so than dropping it into the front gearbox:

30m7dci.jpg

More greasy screws required:

423k4.jpg

Building the front gearbox is much like the rear one, with my added plus of knowing how the propeller joint works!

mwwtic.jpg

Metal-shielded ball bearings are the only way to go here:

r8xp3a.jpg

With the grease applied, it was time to close it up:

2vmfxc3.jpg

So thus far, I have two completed gearboxes:

w2ocg6.jpg

I really like the silver colour of these gearboxes. There is no denying the splash of colour that the red-moulded components of the TA-02SW offers, but here it looks purposeful, and adds to the sense that one is working on a machine.

The gearboxes are wonderful pieces of engineering, going together so smoothly with a minimum of special hardware, and tight tolerances for the rotating parts. I have doubts about the suspension, though it works well at this price point.

I am happy I savoured the build like I did, because dampers are up next:

29mq8h1.jpg

27ypp3b.jpg

I was not even good at this when I was regularly building kits; how would I fare here?

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9 minutes ago, svenb said:

Not sure why you couldn't use the one-piece bearing 🤔

I used one in my TA02.

The one-piece bearing was a supply issue and a miscommunication with the vendor, unfortunately. Otherwise, the only thing that kept me from being absolutely certain that it would work was the fact that I never had a TA-02-type chassis until now. In the end, the multi-piece bearing looks like it will suffice.

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12 minutes ago, Grastens said:

The one-piece bearing was a supply issue and a miscommunication with the vendor, unfortunately. Otherwise, the only thing that kept me from being absolutely certain that it would work was the fact that I never had a TA-02-type chassis until now. In the end, the multi-piece bearing looks like it will suffice.

O I see😉

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46 minutes ago, Grastens said:

I am happy I savoured the build like I did, because dampers are up next:

29mq8h1.jpg

27ypp3b.jpg

I was not even good at this when I was regularly building kits; how would I fare here?

Patience is key here, as I learned. I took a break from the building, and dampers seemed to be a good time to take it, especially where all the oil and cleaning it up was concerned. I had some trouble displacing all the air out of the cylinders as per the manual before remembering that a lot of people just set them aside and wait for the bubbles to settle out.

So that is what I did:

bgqx42.jpg

I suspended the damper parts from a short height, and used them to hold up the dampers while the air separated from the oil. It was nice - I washed up, had a snack, flipped through the manual...

... and then felt ready to resume. Taking this approach, building straight to the instructions made it easy to build four fairly-identical dampers:

k324k4.jpg

The manual calls for short damper parts, but I am experimenting with the long pieces. I read somewhere on the re-release announcement thread about somebody wondering about ground clearance for this chassis. The poster specifically mentioned using the long damper parts and setting the shell down a notch from its stock setting to get more room under the car.

Well, we will see if it works!

After cleaning off the oily damper bodies, the springs and middle-setting pre-load spacers were installed:

21lqrkj.jpg

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I found it interesting how the dampers preceded the front suspension in this manual:

8yc7it.jpg

This brings us to Parts Bag C, involving pairs of 1260 and 1510 bearings:

wlvfh5.jpg

The 1260 bearings look quite different from the 1150s, including in material.

I had no more washers to shim out the front suspension, so I decided to build it as outlined in the manual:

2upsdc8.jpg

What was striking to me was the bright blue mouldings of the front knuckles. They were grey on the first re-release, and were apparently well-concealed in the photos of this model at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, etc.. I thought it was unusual until I noticed these parts in the photos again.

On top of that, the mould dates from 1992:

2mr8yz5.jpg

This makes sense for the TA-02's lineage, but was curious to me.

From there, the front uprights, knuckles, and the rest get attached to the front gearbox:

30hly7t.jpg

Tolerances are tight, for set screws. MC3s usually do well in plastic, though.

259wz6s.jpg

These screw pins also work well on the front arms:

mk81au.jpg

A U-shaped shaft takes care of the front suspension arms, with more step screws and plastic-moulded upper links to complete it:

15qb34o.jpg

There was a comment earlier about the use of stepped axle cups in the front knuckles. The steering range certainly seems generous, though that could also be due to the lack of a servo attachment at this point in the build. I wonder if the design of these knuckles has to do with either the wheelbase and track requirements for the chassis, or for a mechanical purpose related to advantages of larger bearing sizes.

6zubsg.jpg

Dampers attach to the front and rear ends by screws and flanged tubes. I personally prefer this to ball-ends for serviceability, but it does make grease on the screw threads (and thread lock for the rear shock tower, which uses fine-thread screws and press nuts) vital:

1z1co.jpg

The setup is quite aggressive-looking with the long damper parts:

2v2dqab.jpg

Ground clearance looks favourable, though how much over the stock setup is not apparent yet:

i3cpvl.jpg

The next phase will be to attach these to the chassis - a big step in a build, when it really starts to look like a car!

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21 hours ago, Juggular said:

You made me want to look up some videos.  I don't speak a word of Italian, but it was fun looking at pictures.  

No need to speak with the Pure Sound videos. More inspiration for this build. Lot's of colors to choose from.

 

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The Pure Sound videos are an inspired idea. Long may they live!

Meanwhile, the manual suggests sorting out electrics:

210m45v.jpg

v3377n.jpg

My servo of choice is the HPI SF-10W, which corresponds to a Futaba/Tamiya servo horn. Everything was bench-tested:

34gw07q.jpg

The servo horn was assembled. The plastic here is brittle, so care must be taken when screwing in the ball ends:

jipbgo.jpg

And then there is fixing to the chassis:

2lm3uko.jpg

After seeing this step in the manual, I decided to go back and install the warning decals. I had left them with the body set sheet, but opened it up to access the few labels. Here is one for the top deck:

2pz0jd4.jpg

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The chassis does not call for flathead screws. At least the holes are countersunk anyway:

2557389.jpg

It is the only sensible step for an off-road chassis. That smooth surface should be beneficial when the terrain gets really rough...

I love attaching big on/off switches by screws, but my particular ESC does not have such a switch. Therefore, it seemed logical to tape off the unused holes, from the inside:

126fol2.jpg

And out:

69qg07.jpg

Electrics were installed using two strips of kit-supplied double-sided foam tape:

2v867tl.jpg

This wiring configuration will serve until I install a lighting kit, which will use the servo and throttle cables. I was surprised to see generic zip ties issued in the kit, just like the ones I could find at the hardware store. I am used to Tamiya kits having slightly-rounded zip tie heads, but these were quite squared-off. But then again, the last new-in-box kit I built was either a Wild Willy 2 or a Loctite Zexel GT-R, and both of those kits date to around 2000...

vwq107.jpg

Steering links are next. I never really enjoy these when they are not turnbuckles, but grease and use of a side cutter to grip the threads made the task easier.

35cig3k.jpg

Did I get it right? The gradations on the mat and the manual suggest I got the 5 mm and 9 mm increments correct!

2ajyu55.jpg

It all comes together in a steering assembly that attaches to the chassis. I am skeptical about the thin wire linking the two plastic arms:

5xtts1.jpg

15cez5z.jpg

... I did say "attaches to the chassis," right?

s1nvys.jpg

Any semblance of tolerances was lost as soon as the wire was installed, but at least it will not buckle as easily as I thought.

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And now, back to the centre!

25rjcbb.jpg

We have roughly two-thirds of a car now:

2h55rat.jpg

Finding the last third is a matter of holding the front end steady while putting screws in, so as to keep the propeller shaft inserted in both prop joints:

2u6mlj9.jpg

Speaking of flimsy wire, I have never seen a propeller shaft like this in person. It, too, is sturdier than expected, though still prone to bending with some effort. Now I have one transferring power in this car:

14xpbg8.jpg

Alignment will wait, while the front bumper gets installed and more screws underneath the chassis reinforce the front end's attachment:

24xqlo7.jpg

I finally went out of sequence, leaving the wheels and tires for another day. The bumper will suffice:

1jxlqw.jpg

And now I have a chassis. Body posts are next, and then a return to the wheels.

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The body posts were installed ahead of the wheels in these next few steps. First, the front pair:

2aag943.jpg

I wonder if the O-rings are there to suppress vibration under off-road driving, or just there to protect the shell. They were unexpectedly tricky to place, but once applied they were sufficiently stretched out to make removal and reapplication simple:

2428q36.jpg

The rear followed. The mounting method was a bit unorthodox, as you can see below:

24xjpg7.jpg

The previous Lancia 037 Rally used special kinked posts to affix the rear of the body, ostensibly because the stock TA-03's mounting posts were too far forward or backward for the Lancia shell. The 5 mm cuts of rubber tubing to take up space on the posts are also strange.

At least it was a straightforward cut with a sharp knife:

wqskcx.jpg

One post, assembled:

j0b48g.jpg

The posts, now on the chassis:

29x6c5j.jpg

The tiny rear bumper, while small, will feature in future proceedings:

xfolqo.jpg

And so, we now have a chassis without wheels:

23wpbvp.jpg

I found the TA-02S to be a most enjoyable build, with thoughtful engineering and not too many glaring flaws on paper. We will see how it drives, but in the meantime it certainly comes together quite well!

I normally discard sprues, but here I will make an exception:

uqa2c.jpg

How many of them can be cut up and sanded down to make a roll cage? ;)

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For some reason, I take touring car wheels rather seriously. To me, they are the finest parts of the model, since they need to fit axles, bearings, and the like while also being round and true enough to spin without destroying the car they are mounted upon. In the case of touring car wheels, they do so while mimicking larger versions of 1:1 scale wheels.

I do get tense over bodywork, but nothing gets me quite as nervous as preparing wheels and tires. I suppose bodywork flaws can be sanded down and smoothed over, but spilling CA glue on sidewalls and messing up glued tire beads to ruin the wheel's true rolling are some big fears of mine.

It is for all these reasons that I left the wheels and tires until after the chassis was completed. I will still appreciate them while they are assembled, however!

The wheels, tires, and foam inserts are all packaged in standard fashion:

25evf9j.jpg

Out of the packaging, they are quite appealing - though the jury is out on the foams!

2qsnqdd.jpg

Tamiya America describes the Lancia 037 Rally as being equipped with "semi-slick tires to get you psyched up for intense rally car action." I love it. Seeing them in person for the first time after such a rousing description certainly does it :P

Those lovely wheels, which evoke the Speedlines that the factory Lancia 037s ran on, are conveniently marked "F" and "R" for the builder. I never noticed until then that two different wheels appear on each sprue, sporting subtle differences in rim design.

2yy60p0.jpg

Foams were glued without much incident. I wiped my hands clean of residue after each one, just in case:

2uyg9z8.jpg

For fun, I put one complete wheel and tire beside an original Lancia Rally wheel and tire, for comparison:

4v47y8.jpg

An original Lancia Rally sure looks silly with touring car wheels...

In the end, I made the decision to hold off on gluing the tire beads. At the moment, they are sitting properly in the bead seats of the wheels and grip well. With tire foams and no holes drilled in the rims for glue, I also run a high risk of spilling glue on the sidewalls of the tires and resetting the beads improperly. I might change my mind before the first run, but for now this is where they stand.

With that, all four went together with some patience:

or59bb.jpg

The chassis was finally mechanically complete!

6yilva.jpg

Bench-testing the chassis revealed a larger wobble on the right rear corner than the others. Switching over the wheels did nothing, so the issue must be in the axle parts. The car did not threaten to vibrate apart at speed, so this is acceptable!

The fun of test-fitting the shell awaits - would the experiment of fitting long damper parts and lowering the shell work as planned? Or would I need to revert it to stock settings? The body posts did come together in an unusual manner...

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A very important stage of the build came at the test-fitting of the shell.

rv8pzp.jpg

The above photo was taken at the stock body post settings.

I took the time to examine the chassis in greater detail. I measured front and rear track anywhere between 175 - 180 mm. All four corners could use some shims... It was strange to see such low figures work for this chassis when the average 1:10 electric touring car is 190 mm wide or more.

Ground clearance was measured at approximately 21 mm at the lowest point of the chassis tub. This is good news for the off-road prospects of the car; the smooth underside should help matters as well. It did have me thinking that I should remove some of the internal spacers from the dampers, as the suspension reaches full compression well before the chassis bottoms out.

Removing the external damper spacers caused the suspension to sag noticeably under the car's weight. I decided this was too soft, and returned the spacers. Even if only the front ones were removed for an aggressive stance, Lancia 037s of the period typically ran near level body heights, with little to no visible "rake." Such an attitude would probably be impractical on an off-road rally car, so I elected to keep this car as level as I could, too.

However, does the space under the wheel arches look odd to you?

6pb6zl.jpg

An ice hockey puck can actually fit under this Lancia and still have the tires touch whatever surface it is on. I had to look from another angle to confirm the appearance of the wheel arches:

2s92bmc.jpg

Photos of the period reveal that the Lancia was never so aggressively set up, so an attempt to lower the body from its stock mounting post settings will be useful. I mused that for all my earlier objections about a Lancia 037 Rally on a touring car chassis, this one was turning out more like a truck than my original one! 

One of the obstacles to this was the chassis' rear bumper, which actually interferes with the body's:

5vnluq.jpg

More incentive to remove the bodywork for an Evo.2 car, but I felt it would look unsightly anyway. My lack of overzealous driving in reverse and my tendency to drive alone were other reasons to dispense with the part.

... This means I fully expect my car to short out in reverse and back into a concrete wall at full tilt :wacko:

I mocked up a lowered body by removing the 5 mm of rubber tubing from the rear body posts and moving the body clips underneath the shell on the front body posts down a hole, as well as removing the O-rings sitting there. The aesthetics were improved, from my standpoint:

2zrmjaf.jpg

It could work, too; witness this picture of the car under full suspension compression:

2h7f29f.jpg

That makes the case for leaving the internal damper spacers in place.

However, another problem surfaced:

9bislg.jpg

Much has been made of this issue with the Honda City Turbo when it came out, with poor engineering and inconsiderate planning being blamed for the front wheels rubbing on the shell. I did notice that the wheels did not sit centre in the arches when viewed from the side, but then it must have been present on the first re-release. Would it be easier to slash material off a Honda City Turbo, or a Lancia 037 Rally?

The answer is: neither - the material shaves and chips off equally on either shell. Reference photos seem to support a little less material at the front of the wheel arches around the bumper, anyway. I was able to make modifications without too much of a visual disturbance.

As previously, the recommendations I came up with were to lower the front body by at least one body post hole, and lower the rear body by 5 mm, mostly by removing the 5 mm spacers cut from rubber tubing. However, the rear body posts did not have a hole to accommodate such a low setting, so to execute it as standard, the tubing would have to sit between the shell and the body clips. It was doable, but even less classy than the post holes themselves!

Without any suitable replacements, I elected to drill the rear body post holes with a tiny drill bit to create an even lower setting under the standard set of holes, where the pin injection marks appear. I attempted drilling on the top of the front body post (which will be cut off later) with reasonable success, so I went through with it, even though my hands were shaking quite visibly as nerves crept up on me. I had no idea where else to find these body posts if I failed, after all...

Happily, my great care paid off. I ended up cutting O-ring-thick rubber tubing to use at the back after this photo was taken:

30hypmq.jpg

The rear body can now sit lower, reducing the space underneath the rear wheel arches:

ncfmrq.jpg

The spectacular result, in an unspectacular photo:

2a8s56c.jpg

The experiment had worked. I now have a touring car-based Lancia 037 Rally that still has the ground clearance to drive on rougher terrain than the average touring car. The suspension geometry is a bit suspect, though, evidenced by the positive camber of the front wheels:

6s6wwh.jpg

But hey, the underside is smooth! I still cannot get enough of that, for some reason:

dov21j.jpg

And now, it seems the chassis work is done for the moment:

16ibqbk.jpg

Bodywork will ensue, but likely not for some time. The weather needs to get warmer and more consistent, the light kit has yet to arrive, and I still need to decide on a paint scheme...

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45 minutes ago, Grastens said:

The spectacular result, in an unspectacular photo:

2a8s56c.jpg

I disagree. You have the lamp shining on it with starbursts like rays of sunlight. Besides, there is no such thing as an unspectacular photo of an 037. Nice work!

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I’ve resisted an 037 in my collection until now. I plan to pick up one of these but build it on an anniversary TA-02 chassis. 

Does the body have a wide enough rear quarter so that wider offset wheels can be used in the rear?  

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2 hours ago, Shodog said:

I’ve resisted an 037 in my collection until now. I plan to pick up one of these but build it on an anniversary TA-02 chassis. 

Does the body have a wide enough rear quarter so that wider offset wheels can be used in the rear?  

I am pretty sure that the body is a bit on the narrow side. The original had skinny tires in comparison to our standard 1/10 rc touring car tires and the Lancia wheels that come with this (and the TA03RS) are made to sit as far under the body as possible. Not sure you can get anything fatter under there.

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15 hours ago, Kingfisher said:

I disagree. You have the lamp shining on it with starbursts like rays of sunlight. Besides, there is no such thing as an unspectacular photo of an 037. Nice work!

Now that you mention it, it does look cool... Thanks!

14 hours ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

How about trying going back to short damper ends and removing the internal shock spacers? Should result in similar ride height but more suspension travel?

This is quite possible. Given that bodywork is some ways away, I could try this out. It would address the camber at the front end, anyway. The experiment I alluded to was proposed without the knowledge of the exact damper configuration, so I should have considered removing the spacers first.

10 hours ago, Shodog said:

I’ve resisted an 037 in my collection until now. I plan to pick up one of these but build it on an anniversary TA-02 chassis.

By all means, build one!

7 hours ago, njmlondon said:

I am pretty sure that the body is a bit on the narrow side. The original had skinny tires in comparison to our standard 1/10 rc touring car tires and the Lancia wheels that come with this (and the TA03RS) are made to sit as far under the body as possible. Not sure you can get anything fatter under there.

It is rather surprising how narrow this car is, though we never saw it that way on the original! Tread measurements are touching 180 mm at the most, both front and rear.

That being said, I do see up to +2 offset being added to the rear, since the shell is slightly wider there. A 2 mm increase in wheel width would get interesting because this car is already issued with 26 mm wheels and tires, as opposed to the more common 24 mm width. The axles so far do not extend much past the wheel nuts when they are tightened, if that is useful.

Meanwhile, I looked at the Manta Ray 2018 manual for the first time, and suddenly realized that the DF-01 and TA-02S share gearboxes. Suddenly, releasing the two of them makes perfect sense... I am new to shaft-driven touring cars, so I am learning all this for the first time!

It is nice because the Manta Ray manual published gear ratios for each pinion size available for the DF-01, which is by association identical for the TA-02S. Rollout figures will definitely differ, but this is a good source. I will also remember this when finding spares.

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