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

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It's really great to see your vision come to fruition!  The decals, interior, and engine details really add up to create a very unique model.  Nice!

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It’s looking really good and well worth the time and effort.

Thank you for sharing the process!

Now you’ve learned so much from creating those decals, what’s next...? 😀

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Congratulatons on creating a really special and unique Lancia. I have really enjoyed following this and am looking forward to some action shots!

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Thank you, everybody! This has been a more rewarding build than most :)

On 03/04/2018 at 4:15 PM, Badcrumble said:

Now you’ve learned so much from creating those decals, what’s next...? 😀

More 037s are next, I think ;) Even at my limited skill level, it should be possible to make supplemental decal sets. They could be used alongside the box-stock decals to depict 037s in other events.

[Edit: I should also add that we are a few decals away from depicting the JGTC Lancia 037!]


[Well, a few decals and some two-piece wheels on slicks away from depicting this car...]

Eventually, I want to pursue a custom scheme:



But in the meantime, it seems I have much to learn.

As for plans for the car: I might not be able to drive it for a while, or at least until the end of the week. Hopefully, I can install mudflaps and assemble the lights by then, and have the whole thing properly prepared for a first run!

I still have that original Lancia Rally to work on, too - lucky me :D All the decals I used off the re-release sheet are not used on the original, so perhaps I can save my original decal sheet and use the leftover re-release ones for that shell.

Later on, I might place yet another order for decals, probably to replace those which I find are undersized on this model. There will be room on that sheet if anybody else wants some 037 decals ;)

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37 minutes ago, Badcrumble said:

Is ‘Twin Star Racing’ a Grastenisation? I like it! 

I wish it was! I first saw it on the Tamiya Striker:


I liked it so much that I based the livery around it, as well as the "Tamiya Motorsport" decal that can be found on the Road Wizard:


I seem to be in the minority of people who like the re-release sponsor decals, so I used Twin Star Racing and Tamiya Motorsport as the basis for a fictitious racing team, wondering what the Lancia 037 might look like if it received a Tamiya-centric original scheme.

Initially, as here, I was interested in painting it up similarly to my Wheelie Rally:


However, it would bear a resemblance to Franco Cunico's Lancia 037:


Though not a bad thing, I think ;)

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Time to spare? Why not finish up the:


As you know, I have only lighting and mudflaps planned for this car beyond its current state. It looks like I will not be installing LEDs in this car for a while, as my shipment might not arrive for another month after placing a February order. However, noting this, I intend to drill out the light buckets and fit them to the Lancia anyway. Besides, I have yet to see the 037 4WD-H demonstrated at night...

I can work on mudflaps, though. After considering ideas like HD foam, laminated paper, and painted Gorilla Tape, I found some rubber stripping left over from a door threshold. It was grey in colour, around 34 mm wide, and about 1 mm thick - in other words, it was perfect! It was relatively stiff but still had the flexibility of a full-size mudflap, so I sought to employ it as a scale type.

There are two reinforcing ribs on the edges. I cut them off with a knife, leaving the final width around 28 mm. The actual 037 4WD-H's mudflaps are wider than the rear tires, as is the case on a good number of 037s, so this is actually a benefit.


I will be actively considering using some of my leftover music wire to recreate the wire struts between the shell and the mudflaps, but for now will focus on getting the main parts together.

The cut flaps below, with the original weather stripping in the background:


After test-fitting the mudflap mounts, I modified them further to better accommodate the interior piece. In the event that I do have to remove the interior, this new shape will give the piece more clearance:


The parts are also shortened at the top by 5 mm to allow them to stand more upright relative to the horizontal plane; this is necessary due to the thickness of the mudflap material, but is also more accurate to the full-size car.

The tail light lenses were already attached to the shell; completing them only required preparing and gluing the rear buckets onto them. It was a tighter fit with the interior in place, but sufficiently simple.

The front lights were also done up, including the rally spotlights which will probably not feature on the car:


I drilled them out using a 3/16" bit, being bereft of metric bits. I was surprised and annoyed by one of my 3/16" bits BREAKING while drilling the first bucket - these parts are not made out of metal! I suspect it was due to the length and material of the bit, but none of that occurred to me while I tended to the finger I nearly drilled off in the process...

Fortunately, I found I did indeed have a similarly-sized bit hiding with my Dremel set, of a superior material and a shorter length. The buckets were then drilled without a single problem, after which lenses were installed and the fronts attached to the model, in place of the broken spares I was using as stand-in pieces.

The headlight covers on the pseudo-inner lights are taped in on my model, which pushes them further outward than using glue. This gives a more authentic look (037 headlights were staggered, with the inner units further out than the outer ones), though it also places importance on proper tightening of the headlight screws on the model. Using glue, the covers actually hold the lights in place, but with tape, the extra space can allow the headlights to pop free of the shell. I appreciated the fact that the screws were up to the task of retaining the headlights.

I set aside everything to dry in an open area, hoping to reduce any fogging that might occur with the Tamiya cement being used in proximity to the rear glass. It was not a problem with the supercharger which was directly under the glass, but I want to make sure:


The current arrangement I am using does not lend much strength to the mudflap mounts. They are not load-bearing structures, but they can be prone to breaking loose if the rear wheels start flinging up large stones or lots of sand. I photographed them from inside the arch, below:


One can at least see the added clearance to the cockpit piece given by the new shape of the part. Less visible are the two sprues I cut and glued to the intersection of mount and shell to brace it more firmly.

As before, everything is being left to dry right now:


Lining up the mudflaps on the rear end, I believe I have found the perfect ones:


Unfortunately, the mount on the left is not straight; it would not sit so inside the shell. That might have to do with an irregular cut, though once everything is dried and the mudflaps are attached, it should not be noticeable. I can always trim it back if need be.

At present, I am considering options to attach the mudflaps to the mounts. I felt like they deserved proper screws and nuts, but could not find a pairing that would stay clear of the tires once in place. Glue might be an option, or clear packing tape to expedite the process and reduce problems with poor bonds. I elected to attach the mounts to the shell before the mudflaps to the mounts as I believe the mounts will set into position more easily on the shell without the added weight of the mudflaps.

Once the glue has cured, I will test its strength. Everything will be reattached if unsatisfactory; otherwise, I look forward to attaching the mudflaps soon! A first run cannot be that far away if that happens...

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Mudflaps on:


In the end, I went for the packing tape, since glue would have required clamps that could have damaged the tenuous bond between the mounts and the shell. The glue on those has cured sufficiently, but it would be difficult to expect them to take a hard beating. But then, I have no experience with mudflaps on models; the full-size ones have them bolted on...

In any case, these ones stayed on:


The right one curves a little more to the wheel than the left, but I still need to blow-dry the shell to tack on the sponsor decals, so perhaps this can be addressed later. In the meantime, I might call this one done:


It looks even better, I think.

I will leave off the struts attaching the mudflap mounts to the shell, because I do not see details like that being able to last under hard running. It could always come later, though, if I find a satisfactory solution for it!

... So I guess this means I will be looking for time and places to run it now ;)

Edit: Even more pictures!






I particularly like how the 'Volta' script on the front turned out:





More information on the 1:1 Lancia 037 4WD-H here!

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Great work n the flaps. They really set it off nicely and make a huge difference.

Now get out there and get running!

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Sure thing! I just need a time and place...

In the meantime, did you know that on the:


... the bumper that is not used in the kit fits under the nose of the shell?


Something tells me this is a thing on the TA-03RS release, but this is all news to me. Like the stock bumper, it retains the U-shaped shaft holding the lower suspension arms to the front gearbox. Unlike the stock bumper, it leaves the front end clean:





Once I become more familiar with the car, I might drive it like this... and even then, I would endeavour to situate a piece of foam or like material to take up the space between the nose of the shell and the new bumper.

At the very least, it makes for a more attractive car for display, though the snowplow-style bumper has proven its worth on my old Lancia Rally:


As I write, the tires have finally been glued (it only leaked slightly on one inner sidewall! :D), the mudflaps reinforced, and the openings in the headlight buckets taped closed. My next objective will be to start it up on its first run - and take the photos to prove it ;)

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Over at the General Discussions forum, a video came up where somebody took a drink bottle and a piece of metal to create a credible exhaust note for a radio-controlled drift car.

I took a look at my example and realized that with the interior in place, I would be working with a limited space in which to configure a similar setup. Nonetheless, I attempted one, using an old energy drink bottle since it was the only one I could find that fit.

The bottle is this size, and fits as seen here:



The bottle's location largely has to do with its proximity to the propeller shaft, where I intended to attach some thin plastic strips to produce the sound. Of course, said strips would strike the bottle as the propeller shaft spins while running.

It was here that I was appreciative of my decision to keep a good portion of otherwise-discarded scraps. That decision was borne from my intention to build the roll cage out of parts sprues. I used excess plastic cuts from the cockpit set; at the time, I was saving them with the thought that someday, they could be useful... They were too narrow to use as mudflaps, but find use here:


They are attached to the shaft via double-sided tape. In this rough stage, it was quite usable, and also allowed the plastic strips more flexibility when coming in contact with the bottle.

The more challenging aspect was figuring out how to attach the bottle to the chassis. Perhaps it was a mistake to cut out a hole for a protuberance on the chassis to sit in, but that is what I did to locate it on the chassis, following up with more double-sided tape to secure it. A better solution would have been zip-ties, though I could not see a satisfactory arrangement that did not entail modifying the chassis tub accordingly.


In action:


As I should have foreseen, the resulting sound was not very desirable; I have no need for my electric car to sound like a cheap two-stroke engine :P Some issues with my setup include the attachment methods for both the bottle and the plastic strips, but the most obvious one was the bottle choice. The plastic on the energy drink bottle was too thick, and the body was not large enough to produce the desired resonance in the configuration I was pursuing.

In the end, I decided that the result did not justify the issues that would come up with mounting everything and the effects of a large vibrating component on the other chassis and shell parts (including the interior and engine bay pieces), so I dismantled it. I am not ruling out revisiting the concept; I would just need to use a larger bottle (probably a rectangular one instead of a cylindrical type) and find a better way to attach it to the chassis.

On the subject of a first run: I am now tentatively putting a first run at either Saturday or Sunday, and more likely the latter as I will not be working that day. The weather is quite wet, which at first put me off, but now has me realizing I could have more space(s) to run as a result...

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[Edit: this post was originally used to highlight issues with post editing, which have since been resolved - the issue likely has to do with the presence of video content in the original post]

On the subject of 037 things, I got an e-mail from Carteroni, a New Zealand-based company that produces 037 replicas:


It seems a few customers have requested using a Toyota AW11 MR2 as a base car, but it was explained to me that the roofline does not match up sufficiently to make up a car using their body panel sets. The company would be more inclined to produce their own central body section from GRP and use that instead of the MR2 section.

However, I was also invited to submit relevant chassis dimensions for said MR2 in case it could work. Hmmm... In any case, I am far away from owning a car, let alone an MR2, let alone an 037 tribute built around one. Keep dreaming, then! 

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I wonder if better sound could have resulted from something 4 sided.  No... I thought of my neighbor's kid's bicycle.  

What if you attach something like a gear, and place a Lexan scrap on the teeth.  And cover that Lexan scrap with the plastic bottle to make the sound deeper? 

A gear won't fit, maybe a 12mm hexagonal wheel adaptor?  You can saw one flat-side of a plastic hex to slide the shaft in, and glue it on.   

Just a thought...  

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15 hours ago, Juggular said:

What if you attach something like a gear, and place a Lexan scrap on the teeth.  And cover that Lexan scrap with the plastic bottle to make the sound deeper? 

A gear won't fit, maybe a 12mm hexagonal wheel adaptor?  You can saw one flat-side of a plastic hex to slide the shaft in, and glue it on.   

Just a thought...  

And am I glad you shared it here ;)

Because that is exactly what I tried out last night:


If you look past the tangle of zip-ties (my unsatisfactory attempt at fixing the bottle/resonator to the chassis), you will see a plastic 12 mm hex. Per Juggular's suggestion, I cut one on a flat side and stuck it onto the propeller shaft, using double-sided tape for fixing at this prototype stage. I accumulated eight of these hexes from a previous WR-02 and WR-02C, where four of them are on sprues per kit. They go unused in both kits; they were meant as TL-01 parts.

Switching from a piece of thin plastic to a solid hex made a large difference in sound quality. It is not an authentic 037 growl/buzz yet, but as I listened closer, I could hear the sound I wanted... I might be looking for a small juice box/bottle soon! I believe that will help create the tone I am looking for, though already with my choice of resonator I am approaching an ideal result.

Previously, I tried out the gear-on-Lexan method, and found it unsatisfactory. However, it does produce a sound much like a nitro-powered car, which might be useful later! I tested that on my F103RS, as it was already assembled and uses an open gear direct-drive system.

At the moment, I am still looking for how to attach it to the chassis, preferably without modifications:


In the end, I dismantled the setup again, because this configuration does not fit under the shell and cockpit! It fouls the co-driver side of the cockpit piece. Interestingly, it would have lots of clearance if I was using the original Lancia Rally driver figure - it might be relevant because the re-release shell still has the plastic moulding on the interior that allows the driver figure to attach to the shell.

I would consider it if I did not already put so much work into the interior :P

Sometime this weekend - especially if the weather is too foul to go for a first run (freezing rain alert here) - I will address the attachment issues and either modify the current resonator or find a slightly-flatter one to fit under the shell.

What a leap this model has been compared to my other ones - I get a cockpit, engine bay, roll cage, mudflaps, and (providing I solve the pertinent issues) sound! I am actually quite excited :D

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I wonder if you would get a better sound if you lightly stuffed cotton balls in the container, or tried some low-density foam?  Some of the higher frequencies might be dampened and you might get a deeper sound...  I have no idea, it's just a thought that crossed my mind looking at what you're working with.

Another thought -- instead of the bottle maybe a Tic-Tac candy container would package more neatly under the cockpit.

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On 4/13/2018 at 8:30 PM, speedy_w_beans said:

I wonder if you would get a better sound if you lightly stuffed cotton balls in the container, or tried some low-density foam?  Some of the higher frequencies might be dampened and you might get a deeper sound...  I have no idea, it's just a thought that crossed my mind looking at what you're working with.

Another thought -- instead of the bottle maybe a Tic-Tac candy container would package more neatly under the cockpit.

Good suggestions, especially the Tic-Tac container - I found one today, and put it to the test in the:


The Tic-Tac container was tested, with nice results, though after a test the container wall was definitely wearing thin where the hexes on the propeller shaft were striking it. I write "hexes" because I wanted to see if using two of them made a difference (no, not really). I learned I could stick such a narrow box in the area where an ESC switch would typically reside, which proved useful...

There is something interesting about the method behind producing an exhaust-type sound using vibrating pieces: a hollow tube might be useful for projecting the sound, but the tube shape is not necessary to affect its tone in some cases.

With the new approach to mounting the vibrating part and the freedom from the need to use a closed container (almost literally thinking outside the box!), I elected to attempt something unusual:


What you see here is a quarter of the energy drink bottle I was previously using, with another plastic tube nestled inside. Part of the flat base is still intact, giving a good surface for double-sided tape to attach it to the chassis where an ESC switch would be affixed (this car's ESC does not have the correct switch to use the space, so it remains on the ESC). This solved my problems with attachment points.

The sound it produced was almost identical. It was a bit deeper, though I can attempt to tune it later. More importantly, it was at around the same volume as my tube and box setups. Most importantly, the cut-down profile also gives ample clearance between the assembly and the shell.

The system is more visible below:


As before: as the propeller shaft rotates, the hexes on the shaft rotate with it, and their corners strike the white/black plastic assembly, causing it to vibrate and produce sound. Since it is dependent on the rotation of the propeller shaft, it provides authentic pitch changes while the car is running. The downside is that it also produces mechanical drag on the system; the gearing on this car is box-stock, so hopefully the drag from this sound device will not overload the motor. The potential for overheating will be monitored on the first run.

A short video of the system in operation is below:


At the moment, the sound is more JDM than 037, but I can refine the system to develop it to its potential. I am still convinced that a plastic or cardboard Tetra-Pak-style carton or bottle can provide an authentic buzz, but in the meantime I can work with this.

Since the car was at this point so close to completion, I decided to tackle the final decal for the rear. I had the idea of splitting it into individual letters, applying them onto a plain white decal, and cutting out the letter shapes. The result would be a thick decal, but one with the correct colour and texture to complete the car.

I had a spare Hotshot re-release decal set I had chopped up for other projects, so I used the white panels on what was left of the sheet:


The resulting finish is quite rough, but for some reason it reminds me of the original car:



With this, I believe the car is ready to run! However, the weather is not - freezing rain is expected to continue this weekend...

Well, unless the result is a rink outside the house that can see some ice driving, it looks like I will have the time to tune the current sound setup, as well as continue to prepare the car for either that eventual run or its current shelf life.

Edit: The video makes the car sound quiet... I tested it and fortunately, it is audible and distinguishable from the regular drivetrain sound without being too obnoxious!

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The weather is atrocious - I was even told not to report to work today, it was that bad... No mention of being fired, either :P

With no prospects of running the car, I experimented further with the sound system:


There are idiots out there who grunt "buy a nitro lol" whenever somebody wants to replicate a gas engine sound in their electric RC car. Aside from being quite rude, it is also unhelpful because nitro cars' RPM ranges are typically much higher than the gas engines on full-size cars, leading to a distinctly-different sound. Unfortunately, this means that genuine insights are few and far between, so I am mostly relying on the precious few facts that stuck with me from school science classes on audio tuning and the behaviour of sound... And there are not many!

The big addition today was the Tic-Tac box that was unsuccessfully trialled earlier in the project. A closed tube is not necessary to produce sound, but it certainly helps to amplify it. The Tic-Tac box's construction had the pleasant side effect of changing the tone of the sound produced, to one that is a bit closer to the real thing.

However, it did not fit particularly well, and slotting it on its larger face into the chassis did not produce as desirable a sound as in the other orientation. The objective is to put the box in contact with the vibrating pieces to carry the sound. Thankfully, cutting the box down and taping it back up did not affect its audio qualities adversely:


This not only made fitting the part much easier, but also maintained that all-important clearance between the chassis parts and shell.

We therefore have a setup like this:


In operation, it looks like this:


The testing I have done for the sound system has loosened up the vibrating parts to the extent that they move more when the car is running, adding a more authentic buzz. The new box definitely amplifies the sound compared to the original setup, and has the added benefit of preserving the chassis tub; previously, the vibrating parts would strike the side of the chassis tub alone, whereas here it mostly hits the box.

Some light damping of the inner vibrating part proved useful, so I taped the box to that. This provided a third attachment point to the chassis, greatly increasing the strength of the bond. A small piece of double-sided tape made its way in there, too:


For some reason, I am using electrical tape to attach the box to the chassis. This at least provided a neater installation than expected.

Testing it, I soon realized that now I will need hearing protection. Either I am testing more aggressively, or the box does its job as an amplifier!

I am spending a lot of time recording videos of the car's tests and watching videos of Lancia 037s in action, as well as this video from elsewhere on TamiyaClub:

And to think that without this video, I would have never tried making up a sound unit in the first place!

Further tuning of the note produced will probably rely on either parts in alternative dimensions, or damping of specific areas; within the cacophony of gears, driveshafts, bearings, and the sound system itself, I can make out the base of the exhaust tone that featured on the original 037s. For now, it has a usable sound, but if the weather keeps up like this, I might find more time to tinker with the setup...

At the moment, though, I am pleased by the fact that the sound system I have developed is somewhat compact, and should be waterproof - the sound quality might change slightly if it gets wet and/or covered in dirt, but it does not rely on electricity! That is, unless you count the car's drive system as a component, though those electronics are waterproof, too :D

This whole digression into building crude mechanical sound systems might make for boring reading. It is part of the car now, however!

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34 minutes ago, martinjpayne said:

So how about a video, so we can hear it in action? 🤔

Posting videos will just invite more trouble than it is worth, but here you go: http://tinypic.com/m/k2l383/1

Some more pictures of the installation - a preview of the bench test in the link above:


This one is of the electrical tape affixing the box to the chassis:


Everything still fits neatly under the body and its cockpit piece:


The weather might clear up for a first run by next weekend; it has been all rain, all day, for the last few days.

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I started thinking: the tone I am looking for is buried there somewhere, especially at lower RPMs. However, the effect gets a bit less convincing as the rotations increase. Now, if I wanted lower frequencies...

Using a hex as the 'striker' should mean that if it is set up properly, for every rotation the 'resonator' (what I am calling the plastic vibrating unit) should get hit six times - once for each corner. Spinning it slowly yielded one prominent click:



Related or not, on the hexes I am using, there is one small flat section between two others. Instead of a corner, then, there are two, on one point of the hex. Either way, I examined the drift car video somewhere in this thread and concluded that the car in question uses a square-section striker on the propeller shaft. For the same rotations, there would be 4 corners hitting the resonator instead of 6 per turn.

The idea made sense to me, so I found some scrap 2 mm styrene sheet and cut some squares. At first, since the hexes they were replacing were 12 mm types, I cut 12 mm squares. They were drilled to accept the propeller shaft, cut on a flat face to enable them to slip onto the shaft. This left no room for double-sided tape, so I used electrical tape to hold everything in place. The result is below:


Electrical tape is insufficient for the repeated impacts the piece takes, but it was good enough to test the concept: http://tinypic.com/m/k2lcwh/1

What a difference! The sound is much more authentic now. I almost wonder if it is too deep...

Reducing the number of corners on the striker seemed like a good direction, so I also tested a pentagon shape. The result did not justify the added complexity of cutting a five-sided shape in thick styrene (really wishing I had a micro-saw attachment for my X-Acto knife), meaning I could stick with the square. Eventually, I cut the squares to about 10 mm, which reduced the severity of each strike on the resonator. That should help preserve the components, but does take an edge off the sound.

The squares were also drilled in the centre to 5/32" to enable attachment to the shaft via double-sided tape, which was now feasible due to the reduced impact of each rotation. The setup thus resembles the one with the hexes:


For insurance, the electrical tape went on anyway:


If I have developed the system to its potential, I will use glue for a more permanent bond; for now, the tape will stay. I feel I am heading in the right direction for this aspect of the build!

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At last, the opportunity presented itself to run the:


I set out shortly after 6am to the local school. The conditions were clear, with a slight chill to the air - in other words, I expected the place to fill up if I did not take the initiative. Working on evenings has made me elusive during the mornings, and this particular one was beautiful:


It was much like the day I first ran my original Lancia Rally...

As this was a touring-car-based chassis, I felt comfortable taking it out on the pavement first:


I was a bit worried that the sound system I put in the car might make it too loud to drive at this hour. I need not have worried; the result was still quite tame, but sticking the finger on the throttle trigger could make it howl. Echoing off the walls of the school, it was actually quite a pleasant sensory experience. It even sounded sufficiently authentic, out in the open! In short, it was the perfect mix of volume and tone :)

My photography and one-handed-driving skills were both rusty to start:


A new artificial turf field was installed since the last time I drove here:


Much to my surprise, with the dew, the surface behaved much like a loose one. With a large expanse covered by it, I happily slid the little 037 around for a good part of the session. It is a bit ironic that it makes for a more 'action-packed' surface than the loose gravel and dirt that once covered this field.

I then took it further into the grounds for more tarmac:


Driving a touring car from a larger WR-02C-based or ORV-based model (my Opel Ascona tribute and Lancia Rally, respectively) was a lot like how rally drivers of the period described switching to the 037 from other cars like the Opel Ascona. Walter Rohrl and Miki Biasion are both quoted as saying that the Lancia was a much more precise car...


I snapped the car around painted (you can see the markings) and imaginary apexes and chicanes, marvelling at how well the TA-02S took everything. The advantage of the off-road-oriented setup is not so prevalent on actual off-road trails so much as it is on broken pavement; ruts and cracks that would have sent a proper on-road touring car flying were soaked up by this car.


I took several photos, but made sure to spend several minutes in between shots to enjoy the driving!


The sub-par paint finish still shone in the sunlight:





I am glad the semi-slick tires do not have much of a traction compound on them (if any), since it would have been wasted on the loose dirt and sand that made its way into patches of the pavement. The asphalt surrounding a sand pit provided some drama:


And the sun came out, of course:



Why, in the moment, I could not stop thinking of Giuseppe Volta, is a little beyond me...

The car, for all the precision it was providing me, still understeered in tight quarters. This is either due to poor setup on my part, or the fact that I drove on untreated pavement outdoors, and was taking some serious slaloms during my driving.

Some of the painted markings I was alluding to are visible here:


I give full credit to the TA-02S for giving such a hassle-free and entertaining drive:


At last, the battery ran low, so I swapped it out for the spare I was carrying:


I learned that the battery holder can be reversed to accommodate slightly-longer batteries; this proved useful when I found out the one I was carrying in reserve was somehow not the same size as the first one, despite identical capacities. Some of it must be the dirt that accumulated in the chassis tub. Said battery holder becomes quite difficult to reattach if it gets dirty (and it will!), which was one of the few flaws I noticed.

A (more or less) quick change, and I was back in (very fast) business:


The battery was tepid, as was the motor, following the first leg of the session. Clearly, this was a rally car having an easy day!

Stock gearing at 21T pinion/74T spur is quoted as 8.59:1, a ratio at which a Sport-Tuned motor would be comfortable.

Overall, I was immensely satisfied with the performance of the TA-02S and the fact that my car was now a runner. All that work has given me a unique Tamiya that is a nice blend of class, speed, and fun :)

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I was not done there, though, since that spare battery needed to be run down!

It's not quite the Nurburgring, but it will do:


The front bumper got tested here after the rust in my one-handed driving resurfaced! Much to my relief, it worked perfectly :D


There were some places that tested the limits of the touring-car-based chassis; this was one of them:


It would have been a fun chicane to toss the car down into, but I wanted it to make it through its first session in one piece! Hence, it ended up being taken carefully. The flat underside of the chassis tub worked marvellously to help it slide down to the dirt.

It was back to the turf from there for more freewheeling:



Taking a breather on the pitch:


And a last little bit of tail-sliding around the sand pit before the second battery wore down:


I was good and ready to go home at this point, having put this car through its paces. The TA-02S has proven itself to be a pleasant chassis :)

On my way home, I could not resist:


That's going to be quite a small tow truck to haul it away - I am counting on it!

This session reminded me why I fell in love with RC cars in the first place; seeing this Lancia in action was something special to me. Tamiya has given it a capable chassis, and the resulting car is a wonderful companion out on the road.

I do encourage you to try one out ;)

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Thank you! I intend to ;) First, I must perform maintenance.

Most of it was cleaning off all the dust and dirt off the chassis and underside of the body. I now realize that building wheel wells might not have been such a bad idea, especially with the way the dirt accumulated under the shell.

I was also tinkering with one of the light sets that arrived yesterday. I wired it up to a spare ESC, receiver, and servo that came from a car I had sold. The "Tamiya branding" is not authentic, as if that needed to be verified!

Disappointingly, it can only run four forward lights at a time, as opposed to the six that would be needed to fit the four rally spotlights in the front. This is only disappointing for the original Lancia Rally that was projected to take the other one I ordered; this Lancia 037 4WD-H tribute can use only two operational front lights. It seems that of the 12 slots available for lights, two of them are always on, two of them are brake lights, four of them are for indicators (who uses turn signals on a rally - hazard lights, maybe...), and of the four left, only two stay on at a time.

The more relevant letdown was the realization that none of my 3 mm white LEDs are operational. I think this is because each one connects two lights to a single plug, and that might be too much for this particular LED unit to take. I also do not have any 3 mm red LEDs. I could paint one white set in X-27 Clear Red - if it worked...

Oh well - lights can wait on this car, anyway. I do not intend to do too much night running, and neither does the full-size 037 4WD-H.

Once everything was cleaned, I noticed two things that needed attention on the body: the front spoiler was coming off again, and the supercharger inlet in the engine bay had worked loose and was rattling around. I amended the former with more CA glue, and the latter with double-sided tape. The air intake did start to interfere with the rear glass, so some repositioning was required to get it to work; however, it is much more solidly mounted.

I took the time to address one issue I have with the shell: the roll cage I built is clearly too low in the interior. I know it can be made to fit much better, so I cut the cage free from the rear bulkhead and taped it onto the roof of the shell.

The cockpit piece looks a little less purposeful on its own, and is less rigid; however, all those drawbacks are marginal considering how the interior is mounted to the shell. The cage is too weak to serve any serious structural purpose, anyway. The resulting modification looks much better.

Thus satisfied with the repairs and modifications made to the bodywork, I turned to the chassis for additional cleaning and maintenance.

The rear differential felt a bit loose, so I removed it for adjustment.

As before, when I removed the rear differential ahead of the car's first run, accessibility was great. Only four screws at the rear needed to be removed to access the part. It was tightened, re-greased, and placed back into the chassis, which required a bit of finesse to stick the drive shafts back into the axle cups. Once lined up, the differential slid right in.

The rear dampers also got some attention.

Since the springs are so short, removing the pre-load spacers on the damper body allowed the spring to be slid sufficiently far away for the lower collar to be removed. From there, removing the screw holding the bottom of the damper to the lower suspension arm was all that was needed to slip these parts off to clean the damper body, as well as get good access to the rear suspension.

Already, rebound is suffering. Surely, having the built car sit around for a few days before running it could not have helped. Still, the suspension continues to work as it is for operation, so I left them alone for now. In the future, they will be rebuilt, which looks like a simple task since only two screws hold each one to the chassis, and there are no other assemblies to manoeuvre them around.

What was striking to me was how easy it is to maintain the rear of the chassis. I thought about tackling the front gearbox, until I remembered that I needed to remove the bumper and slide out the U-shaped shaft that held the front suspension to the gearbox door. Recalling that the front uses a geared differential cemented my decision to leave it alone, save for some more ceramic grease through the top hatch.

A gentle bench run spread the grease around, and the car was ready for another run. Something else was intriguing me, though...

[Edit: The text-heavy format is due to TamiyaClub preventing me from editing this post to include photos, for some reason]

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Some images corresponding to the above post:

The light set in question:


The supercharger inlet, reattached:


The cockpit, shorn of front roll cage:


The cut roll cage that was reattached to the shell itself:


The cage itself was fine, but was attached to something that did not allow it to sit properly on the roof. I had considered building the cage this way, and now have taken the chance to do so.

The result, from the outside:


No more obstructions here for J. Cullen/E. Lee:


Compare to previously:


Removing the rear differential:


Cleaning up the rear end, including dampers:


Back on the tangent that the last post embarked upon:

A few days ago, I was compiling a list of hop-ups I could fit to a TA-02S - slippery slope, here we come!

Among the items was a "High-Speed Gear Set," giving two different spur gears for the TA-02 chassis to allow for larger pinions and therefore a more top-speed-oriented setup. TamiyaClub actually led me to a useful tuning chart:


Searching my spares, I obviously did not expect to find the gear set in question, but I did find these:


Yes, I have 16T, 17T, 18T, 19T, and 20T pinions - all in steel, too! The 18T one shows signs of wear, and I suspect it was in my F103 for a while. The others are all in never-used condition. This really opens up some options for me with respect to motors.

And so, it brings me here:


I pulled this motor out of my F103, which I reason will not be run for some time. It was bench-tested once, after the wires were soldered, and then left in the inert car.

I read on the Zaonce site that a Dynatech 02H 7010W is a 10T double brushed motor, and the 6513W version is a 13T double brushed motor, so this one should be fine with the stock ratio, let alone a step down to a 20T pinion. The 21T pinion/74T spur combination is the kit standard, so it is no surprise that the silver-can 540 was barely warm after the first run.

Having said that, I am surprised that the kit-stock setup should hold up to a motor as hot as 13T. If I do put it in, I may do so with a 20T pinion; right now, it has the 17T steel pinion installed. The ESC I am using is rated for motors down to 12T, so I have no issues for electronics.

The bigger obstacle for me in such an installation is that I believed the silver-can motor to be sufficiently quick. Do I really need more speed out of a car that I did not find excessively slow? The advantage of low operating temperatures is also quite favourable.

I will ruminate about this for a little while. Perhaps once I start running the car more regularly, I will find the silver can too slow and upgrade the motor. The realization that I do not need to use the 16T pinion to prevent self-detonation of a low-turn brushed motor does make the proposition a bit more attractive...


The motor is ready, in any case!

The upgrades I might seriously consider are the propeller shaft and aluminum motor mount set, an upgraded steering bell-crank system, and some ball end connectors and turnbuckle tie-rods. They would be used to replace the plastic upper suspension links.

... The money I don't spend on upgrades, though, I could spend on... more Lancias? :o

I hope to be able to run the car again this weekend, probably in another early-morning session.

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