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Blista's TT02R Subaru WRX STI NBR Challenge

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I knew this would happen.  I tried telling myself that I wouldn't.

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I decided to go ahead and get one.  This will be combined with the TT02R kit to create something I guess will be called a TT02RS.  The TT02S kit comes with several bits that would cost too much to buy separately and doing this gets me basically enough to have a second chassis.  One for drift and one for on-road.  There's also the TT02RR release coming up so I don't think my TT02 purchasing is necessarily done with.

I've already ordered an aluminium prop shaft and joints since this kit doesn't come with them.  I may get the Yeah Racing motor mount since I already have the Tamiya version.  Other than that I have no plans right now.

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I've started on the TT02RS conversion.  The photos are a bit dark tonight as I had to reset my camera.

I removed the suspension arms front and rear and also the steering setup.

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Quite a few parts were removed, but I think this is easier than trying to build up the TT02S and then swap components over into it from the TT02R.

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I'll be reusing the TT02R dampers but there's a lot of blue aluminium bits coming out.  I'm trying to keep track of what bits belong to which kit.

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The suspension arms and hubs are in.  They're fiddly to build compared to the TT02R but they feel smoother and should work better.  At least I hope so.  I'm willing to bet that I notice no difference at all but they do look more purposeful.  I'll be using it as a drifter for now (I guess that makes it a TT02DRS).  Later on I'll try it with an on-road set-up to see which I prefer to permanently use it for.

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One hitch: The front dog bones are seemingly too long to fit properly.  I wonder if the small pink urethane bushing inside the gearbox joint should be cut in half like the rear is.  It all has to be really squeezed tight when everything goes together and it's enough to prevent free movement.  I can't tell what I've done wrong so I'll leave it until tomorrow night.

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It shouldn't take long to get it all together tomorrow.  Not sure when I'll get to try it out as there's rain this week and probably next.

I'll wait for the new prop shaft and joints to arrive before I start building the second chassis.  I don't know what to call that one.  TT02SR?  I'm looking forward to seeing the WRX body outside driving around instead of sitting on a shelf.

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I still don't know what I did wrong after looking everything over.  I ended up swapping the half-size urethane bushings out of the back gearbox joints into the front to see if that changed anything and now things are moving as they should.  I put the full-sized bushing in the rear and they still work fine.  I'll double check everything at some point, but for now it works.  I've been considering adding a double-cardan set-up to the front of my XV01 and the universals I have in there at the moment fit the TT02S, so I'd like to nail the problem down before adding to it.

I haven't installed the Tamiya HT servo saver yet but otherwise everything is basically TT02S spec with my TT02R driveline and dampers.  I've also got the TT02S metal hexes fitted but I want some proper clamping 6mm offset ones.

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Here's the chassis underside.  You can see the arms are much longer than stock and now use a lot of metal parts rather than plastic.

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Up front there's a bit of play that'll need shims but otherwise it works nicely.  I've got a bit of camber now and many other options for fine tuning.

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The rear is similar.  Lots more metal and tuning options but also in need of a couple of shims to get rid of some movement.  I'll have to rethink my dampers and springs with the new arms.  I may fit a foam bumper to the rear since drift cars have a habit of running into things backwards (or at least mine does).

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The new prop shaft and joints should arrive tomorrow so I'll have the second chassis underway soon.

I'm surprised at how much I like the TT02 chassis.  It was meant to be a cheap chassis I wouldn't care about but it is taking up a lot of my time and interest.  It might just be the ability to easily spend money on hop-ups.  At any rate, I've got the bulk of available parts other than an aluminium steering set so there's not much more to be done.  I did see a nice TT02D kit going cheap though.  Perhaps one more chassis won't hurt.

I almost forgot to mention that my purchase was inspired by the RCRacer review of the TT02 Type S.  He goes into much better detail about it than you'll ever get from me.

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Prop shaft and joints arrived today.  I also got a racing wing because it was on sale for $1.  Not sure what I'll use it for but I couldn't pass up a good deal.  I still need an ESC, servo and receiver but I'll put together the second TT02 chassis first.

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Second TT02 is now done.  Still needs electronics of course.  For some reason the front suspension on this one seems too tight as well, but for a different reason.  There's a bit too much friction from the plastic arms in their mounts.  I don't recall having this issue when I put together the TT02R.  I took it all apart and rebuilt it with minimal improvement but I'm guessing it'll all loosen up once it gets some use.

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There's some first photos of the new TT02RR on TamiyaBlog today.

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Looks a bit different to what I was expecting.

  • There's a new front bumper, which is just a large bumper with an indentation.  I suppose that has some kind of benefit necessitating a new bumper option.
  • Dampers aren't silver-grey and the springs aren't black like the TT02R.  They look like stock black CVA dampers with stock silver springs.  Makes sense if most people racing the TT02 upgrade these although it does detract from the uniqueness (a unique TT02 being an oxymoron).
  • Something is new around the upper suspension arms though.  The photos are too small to tell exactly what is going on, but it looks like they are going to be adjustable and maybe mounted differently.
  • I think the turnbuckles have been changed from blue aluminium on TT02R to steel like the TT02S.  There's still aluminium bits elsewhere, like the damper mounts, though.
  • Steering looks to be stock TT02 again.  Hardened plastic would've been a nice addition but most people racing will upgrade anyway.
  • Propeller shaft and joints are still aluminium, and I'd guess that the motor mount and gear set are the same hop-up options as in the TT02R.
  • The chassis is a hard blue version, which is a welcome sight.  I haven't been able to get my hands on one for months now and thought maybe they'd been discontinued for some reason.  I would've liked to have seen a different colour though.
  • They have it with a brushless setup installed in the photo instead of brushed, although it doesn't come with anything of the kind.  No motor or ESC like the TT02R.
  • The rear looks like it has the same setup as the TT02R, but with those new upper arms.
  • And lastly, the box art looks balls.  The TT02R box looks good with the contrasting colours even if it is a bit plain, but the TT02RR seems cheaper.  Lightning because it's extreme!  Boooo.  It looks like a photo of the box end so maybe the box top will be better.

I would've done an RR a touch differently.  Ditch the wheels and tyres entirely and add aluminium hexes.  The aluminium or carbon bumper brace.  A hardened pinion.  A lightweight battery holder.  The suspension is interesting and something new but I'd have liked something extra.  A unique colour hard chassis would've been perfect.

I'll wait and see the final specs and pricing before deciding to buy one, but anything I need I can probably just get separately.  I don't want to be the only guy in the world dumb enough to collect TT02 special editions.

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