toyolien

DT-03. Can it compete at the track??

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I've got the bug, again, for 10th off road racing. I've been looking at the crop of modern buggies, which seem prevalent and the track these days, but i would quite like to stick with Tamiya. I know they've kind of turned their back on racing, and only really offer the DT-03 now, but i like a challenge... i think.

 

So, my question is this.

Given that modern 2wd buggies are so fast and have a massive range of set up options, do you think that i could get a DT-03 to be reasonably competitive at club level racing? I'll mostly be racing at Kidderminster, Telford and Coventry which are all astro turf track. I have read that it's not great on this surface, but i'm sure some adjustments can be made to make it better?

 

I'm not looking at national champs here, just close competitive club racing. So, do i just admit defeat and get a Cougar KC etc, or do i have a go with a DT-03 for a year?

 

Thanks for your comments.

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In my opinion, the DT03 will be seriously outgunned by any modern mid-motor racing buggy on high traction surfaces.  Racing in a DT-only class would be one thing, but in a mixed environment expect an Associated, Schumacher, XRAY, etc. to be substantially more capable.

One of the first cars I took to a track was a DT02 Sand Viper.  Later I built and tried an Associated B4.  It was night and day difference between the two.

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If you are going to club race don't even bother with the DT03, it has no slipper clutch option and the limited slip ball diff option can only handle low power motors. You would have to spend the earth to even get it remotely competitive and unless your driving skills are very high you are wasting yout time with a DT03.

To club race you need a half decent car which the DT03 is not.

If you don't want to spend mega bucks look else where that Schumacher - try team C

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I tried (at Midlands Raceway, come along if you fancy indoor off-road) with both a DT02 and a DT03, after a few evenings of struggling and breakages I ended up buying a used KF2 and never looked back....well, kinda not looked back, still have the Tamiya bug and have another DT03 (with needed hop-ups) waiting to be built and will of course give it another go :)

We've recently started racing m-chassis on the on-road nights so currently my Tamiya addiction is satisfied :)

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If you want stuck on Tamiya (I hope) consider the TRF 211XM, DT-03 is for fun. 

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Depends all on what races you plan to compete in. As mentioned above there are better cars.

The DT02 and DT03 are run in the tamiya fightercup but thats around age 12-14.

Go to your local track/club and have a look at what they run, maybe they do vintage racing or have a (tamiya) beginner class competition.

 

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I had the same plan when I went touring car racing a decade ago.  Despite everyone else running Schumacher or X-Ray, I insisted on going Tamiya, so I got a new TA05IFS.  I spent two seasons desperately trying to make it perform like the other cars.  In the end I bought a used Team Magic touring car from a guy who was getting FTDs with it and immediately my times improved.  To be fair, the TM was as leftfield a choice as Tamiya, but I knew it had winning potential in the hands of its former keeper so it wasn't a bad shout.

My advice to anyone starting out is to race what everyone else races - being leftfield is all when and good when you're a skilled and experienced racer and you want to challenge yourself, but nobody can help you with setup advice if you have a completely different car, nobody can lend you spares or join in a group spares order and you might even find people don't take you seriously on track.  A few of us found this when we tried to set up our own vintage Tamiya class at a local club.

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That said - the DT02 Challenge is an absolute riot, it's huge fun when everyone is using the same car.  Make the journey down to Swindon for it this year if you want to compete with a DT02 or 03 :D

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The DT-03 with it's motor hanging way out back, the super light front end, and long wheel base hinder it's performance greatly.  That being said, it's a fun car to mess around with, just not on the track.

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There was a guy selling TRF211XM race buggies on the TRF Off Road Facebook group a couple of weeks ago. That is the only buggy to he looking at to stay even vaguely competitive at club level.

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As you have seen, to be competitive you are going to need a mid-motor designed buggy.  You could do a Zahhak/TRF201 and eventually and down the road change it over to a XR or XMW platform if you wanted over time (if you want to stay in the Tamiya family).  If you want to look at 4WD, the Durga could be something to start with...

 

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5 hours ago, vodka said:

If you want stuck on Tamiya (I hope) consider the TRF 211XM, DT-03 is for fun. 

 

1 hour ago, Mahjik said:

As you have seen, to be competitive you are going to need a mid-motor designed buggy.  You could do a Zahhak/TRF201 and eventually and down the road change it over to a XR or XMW platform if you wanted over time (if you want to stay in the Tamiya family).  If you want to look at 4WD, the Durga could be something to start with...

 

As vodka and Mahjik said, there are better 2WDs.  Until a few months ago, Zahhak used to be about 110 USD.  That was about the same price as DT03.  Unfortunately, it's been sold out.  

[1. Sensible Choice] If you want to be competitive, mid-ship motored Schumacher would be a good choice.  Pay once and be done.  

[2. Tamiya Fix]  If you must have a Tamiya, you could go with cheaper Zahhak.  For about 230 USD, you get a semi-serious 2WD that's way better than DT03.  It's very tail-heavy, but it's easier to manage.  You get the basic "flavor" of TRF201 or TRF211 for half the price.  

[3. Taking a Risk]  You could be bold, and get TRF211XM, and see how best of Tamiya measures up to other brands.  It looks to be still a bit tail-heavy, and you might have to use "squares."  Not many people seem to have it, so it would definitely say, "yeah, I'm a Tamiya fan."   I found this video helpful, if you want TRF211XM.  

 

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It really depends how deep your pockets are and what your tolerance for frustration is.  The TRF211XM is really expensive, the only ones I've seen for sale have cost as much or more than most 4wd buggies.  I doubt they will be that competitive either, if only because you'll be on your own trying to set it up which is difficult at the best of times, and being a new racer isn't the best of times...

A few guys ran them a few years back (before my time) at my club and most changed within a season, they just couldn't get them setup properly.

I have seen 2 rear motor cars running at my club in 18months, one a Losi XXX from the 90s and the other a Durango where the guy hadn't been for ages and next time he's back it will be in mid-motor configuration.  We run on clay so its low - med (at best) grip which is where rear motor could be good.

See what else people are running but if I were in the market for a new 2wd I would be looking at the Associated B6 or B6.1 or Losi 22 4.0.  There will be some cheap B6's around at the moment since the 6.1 has just been released, either new ones on sale or secondhand ones as someone upgrades to the latest and greatest.  Associated and Losi are pretty reasonably priced new anyway compared to others.

Where are you based?  If you happen to be in New Zealand I know of a well looked after B6D with Orion R10.1 and 8.5T and Savox servo for a good price, just add your rx and go.

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In a DT-03 series cup it will be fine. In everything else then nope. Even if you spend a fortune on tuning and hop ups, race orientated cars will outperform by a big margin and ultimately on a better value basis.

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4 hours ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

There was a guy selling TRF211XM race buggies on the TRF Off Road Facebook group a couple of weeks ago. That is the only buggy to he looking at to stay even vaguely competitive at club level.

On ebay there is a TRF201 at $180 from US.

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9 hours ago, speedy_w_beans said:

In my opinion, the DT03 will be seriously outgunned by any modern mid-motor racing buggy on high traction surfaces.  Racing in a DT-only class would be one thing, but in a mixed environment expect an Associated, Schumacher, XRAY, etc. to be substantially more capable.

One of the first cars I took to a track was a DT02 Sand Viper.  Later I built and tried an Associated B4.  It was night and day difference between the two.

Thanks. I guess that's what I suspected. Just hoped I could get it to compete at club level.

9 hours ago, super gripper said:

If you are going to club race don't even bother with the DT03, it has no slipper clutch option and the limited slip ball diff option can only handle low power motors. You would have to spend the earth to even get it remotely competitive and unless your driving skills are very high you are wasting yout time with a DT03.

To club race you need a half decent car which the DT03 is not.

If you don't want to spend mega bucks look else where that Schumacher - try team C

Thanks for the info. My original thought was a Cougar KC, so that's where i'll probably end up.

9 hours ago, colda said:

I tried (at Midlands Raceway, come along if you fancy indoor off-road) with both a DT02 and a DT03, after a few evenings of struggling and breakages I ended up buying a used KF2 and never looked back....well, kinda not looked back, still have the Tamiya bug and have another DT03 (with needed hop-ups) waiting to be built and will of course give it another go :)

We've recently started racing m-chassis on the on-road nights so currently my Tamiya addiction is satisfied :)

Thanks. I've raced M05's for a few years on and off. But 10th off road is where I have most fun. 

8 hours ago, vodka said:

If you want stuck on Tamiya (I hope) consider the TRF 211XM, DT-03 is for fun. 

Thanks. Not too fussed about the TRF so i'll probably go with a Cougar KC

8 hours ago, waterbok said:

Depends all on what races you plan to compete in. As mentioned above there are better cars.

The DT02 and DT03 are run in the tamiya fightercup but thats around age 12-14.

Go to your local track/club and have a look at what they run, maybe they do vintage racing or have a (tamiya) beginner class competition.

 

I've already built up a Frog for my vintage racing fix, so the DT03 was going to be for the club 2wd class. But i'm beginning to see that won't be a good idea...

8 hours ago, Mad Ax said:

I had the same plan when I went touring car racing a decade ago.  Despite everyone else running Schumacher or X-Ray, I insisted on going Tamiya, so I got a new TA05IFS.  I spent two seasons desperately trying to make it perform like the other cars.  In the end I bought a used Team Magic touring car from a guy who was getting FTDs with it and immediately my times improved.  To be fair, the TM was as leftfield a choice as Tamiya, but I knew it had winning potential in the hands of its former keeper so it wasn't a bad shout.

My advice to anyone starting out is to race what everyone else races - being leftfield is all when and good when you're a skilled and experienced racer and you want to challenge yourself, but nobody can help you with setup advice if you have a completely different car, nobody can lend you spares or join in a group spares order and you might even find people don't take you seriously on track.  A few of us found this when we tried to set up our own vintage Tamiya class at a local club.

Thanks for that. I've raced 10th off road on and off for 20 years but just coming back to it after a couple of years off. I just fancied a different challenge but suspected it may be a lost cause...

8 hours ago, Mad Ax said:

That said - the DT02 Challenge is an absolute riot, it's huge fun when everyone is using the same car.  Make the journey down to Swindon for it this year if you want to compete with a DT02 or 03 :D

Thanks. I may just do that.

5 hours ago, 78Triumph said:

The DT-03 with it's motor hanging way out back, the super light front end, and long wheel base hinder it's performance greatly.  That being said, it's a fun car to mess around with, just not on the track.

Hmm. I'm beginning to see that's the case.

5 hours ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

There was a guy selling TRF211XM race buggies on the TRF Off Road Facebook group a couple of weeks ago. That is the only buggy to he looking at to stay even vaguely competitive at club level.

Thanks. I'd just buy a Cougar KC to be competitive.

5 hours ago, Mahjik said:

As you have seen, to be competitive you are going to need a mid-motor designed buggy.  You could do a Zahhak/TRF201 and eventually and down the road change it over to a XR or XMW platform if you wanted over time (if you want to stay in the Tamiya family).  If you want to look at 4WD, the Durga could be something to start with...

 

Thanks. I can see that. Cougar KC it is then.

2 hours ago, Jonathon Gillham said:

It really depends how deep your pockets are and what your tolerance for frustration is.  The TRF211XM is really expensive, the only ones I've seen for sale have cost as much or more than most 4wd buggies.  I doubt they will be that competitive either, if only because you'll be on your own trying to set it up which is difficult at the best of times, and being a new racer isn't the best of times...

A few guys ran them a few years back (before my time) at my club and most changed within a season, they just couldn't get them setup properly.

I have seen 2 rear motor cars running at my club in 18months, one a Losi XXX from the 90s and the other a Durango where the guy hadn't been for ages and next time he's back it will be in mid-motor configuration.  We run on clay so its low - med (at best) grip which is where rear motor could be good.

See what else people are running but if I were in the market for a new 2wd I would be looking at the Associated B6 or B6.1 or Losi 22 4.0.  There will be some cheap B6's around at the moment since the 6.1 has just been released, either new ones on sale or secondhand ones as someone upgrades to the latest and greatest.  Associated and Losi are pretty reasonably priced new anyway compared to others.

Where are you based?  If you happen to be in New Zealand I know of a well looked after B6D with Orion R10.1 and 8.5T and Savox servo for a good price, just add your rx and go.


Thanks. I'm in the UK.

 

2 hours ago, Prescient said:

In a DT-03 series cup it will be fine. In everything else then nope. Even if you spend a fortune on tuning and hop ups, race orientated cars will outperform by a big margin and ultimately on a better value basis.

Thanks, I suspected as much,

1 hour ago, vodka said:

On ebay there is a TRF201 at $180 from US.

Thanks. I'll probably just go for a modern buggy.

7 minutes ago, Biz73 said:

Thanks but i'm in the UK

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If it must be tamiya and on a budget theDN-01 zahak is night and day better than a DT-03.  

I’d just add a slipper clutch and the trf dampers. As you break parts replace with the  reinforced trf201 plastics. 

You can swap out the body for any dt02 shell.

Juls

 

 

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If you've got a dt03 kicking about and fancy a shot at racing, then take it along to a local club and have fun, you ain't going to win, but if you're a beginner ,then even a world spec car ain't going to get you a victory anyway. It'll get you involved and get to know everyone in the club, who will help you along,  cars + equipment for sale, advice etc.

Our club has a b6 'club car' so even anyone just turning up can have a shot.

11 hours ago, toyolien said:

My original thought was a Cougar KC, so that's where i'll probably end up.

Great choice, but not cheap.

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BTW, unless you just want to build, you can pick up used Team Associated and Schumacher's right now for good deals.  Since both manufacturers released new models this year, the older models are up for sale (minus electronics) as most of the racers always want the newest models:

 

https://www.rctech.net/forum/r-c-items-sale-trade-16/

 

 

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