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Juls1

The Buggy Damper Thread.

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While building some recent models I realized that I had amassed a fair collection of Tamiya damper sets new in packets. Since damper sets are such popular upgrades I thought I would do a thread to showcase each model, it’s dimensions and features. 

Over the coming week I will be posting up quick build threads within this thread to show each damper model in detail. 

Included in this thread will be 

54567 DT03 oil damper set (pulled from dt03 kit)

50519 & 50520 CVA v2 damper sets

53926 DF03 Damper Set

54028 Buggy aeration damper set 

54504 & 54505 Big Bore buggy aeration damper sets (pulled from DB01RR)

53036 & 53037 Hi cap dampers Original (my used originals)

84300 & 84301 Hi cap damper Avante 2011 (pulled from egress 2013 kit) 

53125 Sleeved Damper short (pulled from Dyna Storm re release.) 

i have a lot of work ahead of me. 

D6A4B093-0595-4C41-BF13-CB834E91AF52.jpg

 

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I have put everything roughly in order of assembly. Showing all parts the damper needs.

Shocks left to right. 

1. DT03 basic CVA v2

2. CVA v2 aftermarket

3. DF03 Alloy Damper

4. Buggy Aeration Damper

5. Big Bore Buggy aeration damper

6. Vintage Hi Cap Damper V1.

7. Re release Hi Cap Damper V2.

8. Sleeved Damper Short from Dyna Storm.

053C4CB9-2299-4AED-9B0B-598CA6CD9B1A.jpg
A48C0D76-C16F-437B-89A2-76B4CE817B75.jpg

Tomorrow I will assemble the shocks and provide many dimensions. As well as a small thread on each type of shock. Finally comparisons. 

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Front shocks, I’ve only included those applicable, there is no shorter sleaved shock that I’m aware of, and if there is, I don’t have one so it’s not included. 

From left to right

54567 DT03 damper front same case as CVA v2 mini

50519 CVA v2 Mini 

53926 DF03 damper front

54028 Aeration damper front

54504 Big Bore Aeration Damper front

84300 Hi Capacity Damper front.

I’ve just included the different parts from the rears only in the picture. Note the huge length difference between the plastic CVA variants and the alloy options. There is no plastic CVA offered in the same length and stroke as the alloy units. (Although you can get the cva’s nearly the same length with longer shaft ends, the travel is still shorter.)

35470D16-089D-47CD-917E-A985E65E8C16.jpg

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Shock body specs

6FFB29A1-9A11-4432-AC8B-D40E8B70619C.jpg

Rears

CVA V2 ID:11mm OD:13.25

DF03 ID:10mm OD:11.75

Aeration ID:10mm OD:11.75 

BB Aeration ID:12mm OD:13.75

Hi Cap ID:12mm OD:13.75mm

Sleeved (with sleeve fitted) 

ID:10mm OD:12.75mm 


171D807B-6A82-4D64-AFF0-5B1DDD606239.jpg

Fronts

CVA V2 ID:10mm 12.25mm

DF03 ID:10mm OD:11.75mm

Aeration ID:10mm OD:11.75mm

BB Aeration ID:12mm OD13.75mm

Hi Cap ID:11mm OD:12.75mm

(there is no mini size for sleeved damper)

ID = internal diameter, or size of piston required. 

OD = outside diameter, or minimum spring ID. 

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Shaft specs. All are 3mm. 

C4F8CE6B-016F-484F-8245-717AB692A3AA.jpg

Rear shaft lengths. 

CVA DT = 45mm

CVA V2 = 47mm

DF03 = 53mm

Aeration = 49.5mm

BB Aeration = 49.5mm

Hi Cap = 49mm

Hi Cap v2 = 49mm

Sleeved = 49mm


1A4F4938-6981-42B7-BD2D-CCE23EF822D5.jpg

Front shaft lengths

CVA DT = 31mm

CVA V2 = 33.5mm

DF03 = 41.35mm

Aeration = 40.5mm

BB Aeration = 40.5mm

Hi Cap V2 = 38mm

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CVA DT03 and Aftermarket CVA V2 assembly

2C7E489A-244B-49ED-8745-B9C1EE4C1D62.jpg

For most purposes these shocks are pretty similar, the rear shocks use a red bladder to suit an 11mm bore as the seal/shaft compensation method, these red bladders are also used on the HiCap V2. 
B310BC7B-F041-4CBB-A6DE-47F652B68D19.jpg

The main difference between the cheaper DT03 set and regular CVA v2 is the DT03 has a flat steel piston on the shaft. The proper CVA dampers offer separate pistons for more adjustability, and the shafts are a little smoother.
B9D664DD-A7F8-43B9-970D-A34A3A618051.jpg

The shafts on these units are guided by the holes drilled in the plastic cap and body.
31DC01DF-77F7-4CF1-A981-F47FD90A4622.jpg

The DT03 shocks use cheaper black firm O rings that we normally see as wing mirror supports or dogbone spacers. The CVA V2 goes with the Tamiya standard red silicon O Rings which are much softer and give smoother travel.
BBF22956-BF93-4375-9DE2-82C9E6D67EB4.jpg

The CVA v2 comes with 3 different piston options. 
B9E13E57-D5A4-4125-99F1-9E63BEF37A88.jpg

The front CVA units use a Green Bladder for 10mm ID bodys. These are the most common bladder across most Tamiya touring shocks. These CVA Mini front buggy shocks are also commonly found on TA01/02, DF03ra, cc01, xv01 Long damper and others.
707C660A-17D9-4E65-A47F-5F9920B3B07E.jpg

Tamiya includes with these units some extension ends to make the shocks longer, on the left is a +5mm unit supplied on the CVA Mini front shock 10mm piston sprue. On the right is the +6mm unit supplied on the CVA Short rear shock 11mm  sprue. Both can be used front or rear.
3EB5E6D0-FCEE-48ED-A9BE-0CE38ADC8A86.jpg

With the units complete they look fairly similar, the CVA V2 is a noticeable step up from the DT03 basic CVA, mostly because of the smoother running seals and shafts along with the swappable plastic pistons.

Specs:

ETE measure centre to centre, no internal spacers, with standard and extended lower  eyelet

Travel measured no internal spacers, bottom out when shaft touches but does not compress the bladder. 

CVA DT Rear

Eye to Eye 89-95mm - Travel 26mm

CVA v2 Rear

Eye to Eye 87-93mm - Travel 25mm

CVA DT front

Eye to Eye 64-69mm - Travel 16mm

CVA V2 front

Eye to Eye 64-69mm - Travel 15mm

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This is all really good stuff @Juls1. Thanks. Interested in whether an aeration could be made cva as the DF03 bodies seem very similar to the buggy aeration dampers. Could be good for a couple of my aeration sets which would become lower maintenance. 

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DF03 damper set.

the DF03 damper set is a upgrade set originally intended for the DF03 chassis. However it is suitable for most Tamiya buggy chassis, including but not limited to:

DF01,DF02,DF03,TT02B, DT01,DT02,DT03,DB01,DB02,DN01 etc

they could also be used on the madcap/astute family, and the various stadium trucks (stadium blitzer etc.) 

F33291AF-B081-4521-9DA1-C7506A60EA16.jpg

The DF03 damper set is fairly straight forward to assemble, no shims or fiddly bits like its trf brothers. The filling process is the same as CVA so they present no real challenge in assembly for most users.
5B39974E-1D51-4CCF-A5B2-3EAFD9D33AA3.jpg

Included with the kit is TRF nylon pistons, Tamiya call these high lubrication as they are much more slippery than black plastic pistons found in CVA v2 and have no flex. The stronger design means better lateral load coping and significantly reduce bypass. No only does this result in smoother more consistent damping it also means superior jump landing control. Any of the 10mm nylon pistons by Tamiya can also be used. Tamiya could have shaved $5usd off the asking price by not including these pistons.

8674D3D3-FF3A-4157-BD8B-2F5298CE4C5D.jpg

The trickery doesn’t stop at the nylon pistons, Tamiya decided to coat the damper body with fluorine. This is a ultra slippery  coating used instead of traditional anodizing. Providing superior damper sensitivity by reducing friction. This coating is one reason why the DF03 alloy damper set is expensive. By omitting this coating Tamiya could have shaved another $5usd off the retail price.
22441101-EAC3-47ED-89B0-2F8E653C885B.jpg

The threaded body collar has a oring fitted inside it to prevent the spring preload settings from altering during use. 
007CCEDF-60A1-4477-BB27-D867AA4D93C3.jpg

In the seal area we see more of these nylon high lubrication parts in the form of the piston rod guides, not only do these improve sensitivity by allowing the piston rod to slide more smoothly, they are also replaceable should you ever wear them out. As expected we see a pair of Tamiya’s soft and slick orange O rings. 
61BDEB42-B7E7-4961-A6BA-C2155E42AF9D.jpg

As the front and rear shocks share the same body diameter, they both use the green 10mm diaphragm cap seal. The alloy cap assembly is fairly standard across most of tamiyas modern alloy dampers. 
242E8C22-4C96-447A-BBE9-F9390BD179F5.jpg

Once assembled these are magical feeling shocks, buttery, or maybe silky is the best way to explain the overall feel and quality.
287258DD-464D-4B7B-8E25-642D09F2D57D.jpg

Given the seemingly high price ($55-60usd set of 4) of the Tamiya DF03 damper set, it’s not surprising the aftermarket crowd has jumped in and built cheap sets to lure people away. At less than half the price of the Tamiya set, 3racings near copy’s actually are far more removed than the usual web store picture might have you believe. Not only are they shorter but simply don’t work as well, at best they are on par with the kit standard CVA. The cheaper sets can be upgraded using Tamiya nylon pistons and a Tamiya diaphragm seal but unless these are on hand the money and effort spent, its still a better deal to just buy the real thing in the first place. 
F6817F3E-9A52-42C5-BBC5-D2B3BBA47C00.jpg

When compared side by side to the CVA v2 dampers included in most of tamiyas buggy kits, it is much easier to see what improvements your going to get. At nearly 10mm longer than the kit shocks they not only provide more travel but also greater ground clearance. On buggy’s like Tamiyas TT02b or the DT03, this is a most welcome upgrade. This is all before we consider the drastic improvement in jump landing control and consistency of damping/thus handling. The DF03 damper set really is an actual performance improvement over CVA’s, for the seemingly high price I honestly believe the 53926 DF03 Aluminium Damper Set is money well spent.

DF03 rear

Eye to Eye 100-106mm - Travel 31mm

DF03 front

Eye to Eye 75-80mm - Travel 20mm

*note the extra ETE is with regard to using the included extended bottom eyelet, without/with. 

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This is fantastic! Thank you!! I was wondering about this for years. So the Hicaps are the same diameter as the big boxes and the DF03 shocks have the same diameter as the Aeration Dampers. Good info!

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Thanks for this detailed information. So so useful. I think most buggies you would swap these onto would have the cva with long eyelet so I don't think the increase in length is quite as drastic as it seems there. Still at least 5mm per end though which is a lot. 

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54028 Buggy Aeration Damper set

the Buggy Aeration Damper set where standard on the DB01R, TRF501/502/511/201x and possibly a few others. They are a suitable alternative to the DF03 dampers where they would otherwise be used. 

E76A3C6B-22AC-4A4C-B70D-C1A86519DD26.jpg

The Aeration dampers are considerably more complicated and fiddly than the lower priced options. Not everyone is able to make these work how they want as they require a different approach to assembly.
EDB93164-5F6A-40D1-B481-7BBBAC038872.jpg

The damper shafts have a slippery gold coating on them to help improve sensitivity. As standard a 3x0.2mm shim is placed between the e ring and 10mm nylon piston. This eliminates the slop normally found here and as such, it removes the deadband in the damping as the shaft switches directions. 

5DFDEDDF-EBD3-4BE5-B7BC-46A2DF22D97C.jpg

The damper body on the Aeration Damper is hard anodized. This is not a special slippery fluorine coating like the df03 dampers have, neither is it the high lubrication coating the big bores get. The high lubrication coated body’s are available as a hopup to these but the cost is quite high at about $35usd extra for a set of 4. 
B2CF094F-B7DF-4F70-A4A6-431D1B157050.jpg

The shaft seals are screwed inside from the bottom, these are the only Tamiya shocks I’m aware of built like this.

1E7940E6-7565-445F-B435-6DC3B7B23D4C.jpg

A complex array of shims and spacers are fitted to ensure a tight seal fit while offering some tuning options with regards to seal tension. The stack uses high lubrication nylon shaft guides similar to the DF03 set. 

9EE4A964-C718-4AE3-8BA2-7B6C62D91F25.jpg

The seal cap screws in to hold the seal stack on line and has it’s own Oring seal. 
41551D28-8CF6-4A9C-BB24-18011101075B.jpg

The 10mm Cap is made from tamiyas carbon reinforced plastic. My shaft was a little too snug fit in the cap so I needed to gently polish the hole to get a smooth feel.
53062E1F-5CDC-4D66-B469-3EFE680AA926.jpg

The top cap and other fixings are made from carbon reinforced plastic. If you’ve been using losi or associated shocks in your past these parts look very familiar. To the average Tamiya enthusiast who’s run mainly cheaper kits the bits look and feel quite alien as they are not compatible with the standard Tamiya balls and rod ends we normally use. 
66F41F90-70E8-46BE-8695-58479F5442A6.jpg

For whatever reason Tamiya included a drilled hole and screw up top, but did not drill out inside the cap. The instructions show to assemble the shocks with a air gap and nothing about the bleed hole since from factory it’s sealed over. A small drill bit slips through the pre marked spot to give you access to using the bleed screw, this gives more options in terms of how the airspace is managed internally. 

3BFE7E4B-9AEE-4E2D-AFC2-33C0AB020857.jpg

With the bleed port opened up with a drill you can fit the included screws to the caps. There is no seal for the cap screw so care must be taken not to strip the hole or it’ll leak. As these dampers are intended to mix the air into the oil, no bladder for compensation is used making the build a little more complicated as you attempt to find the right amount of air to handle the displacement of the shock shaft as it enters the shock body. 
EA155B93-3021-48FE-851D-FDB4FA3A3041.jpg

With the shocks assembled they almost don’t look Tamiya. The action is smooth but not quite silky, without those high lubrication body’s they not quite as silky as the DF03 set. There is very little movement in the shaft and the whole shock feels a little more precise than the cheaper options.
EB80B2F3-3158-44AC-A6CB-C3FEE85A18A5.jpg

With the price of the Aeration Damper set typically only $5-10 more than the DF03 set it’s easy to see why there might be temption to jump up the next level. This is certainly a fair thought, however if they are not being fitting to racing level chassis I think the DF03 units are still a better option. Without the high lubrication body’s the Aeration dampers are not quite all they can be, but the price of buying these and the body’s brings them out past the cost of the big bores that include the high lubrication body’s. That extra cost certainly reduces the temptation for those considering the jump up from the DF03 units, which already include high lubrication fluorine coated damper body’s as standard.

Aeration rear

Eye to Eye 93mm - Travel 27mm

Aeration front 

Eye to Eye 75mm - Travel 18mm

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Really great info here, never took a look into the aeration dampers so far. Maybe someone has some time and puts all the dimensions given in a little table overview?:wub: That would really be great when searching for compatible parts while building dampers.

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54504 & 54505 Big Bore Aeration Damper

Tamiyas Big Bore Aeration Buggy dampers are Tamiyas top of the line. They come standard on DB01RR/RRR, TRF503x, TRF201XMW, TRF211XM. 

9C98E580-1C6E-4713-8F32-1A5408248265.jpg

Tamiya pulled out all the cost cutting this time round, while the standard aeration dampers use a number of plastic parts from a sprue, the big bores are virtually all metal. 
F48D74CA-F201-4031-8106-5980B23E37E3.jpg

Again we see the slick gold shafts, they are very similar but my samples varied slightly from the standard aeration Damper. The 12mm nylon piston also uses a 3x0.2mm spacer to eliminate the deadband in the piston. I found the fit to be even tighter on these than the normal aeration damper. Maybe tamiya slimmed the space down by 0.1mm.
B71B611E-972B-4CB2-81B5-1C560C0ACD58.jpg

The 12mm bore body’s have been coated in what Tamiya call “High Lubrication” and it feels pretty slippery. Ultimately it’s just another version of Tamiyas Fluorine coating if not the same thing in a different color. Unlike the standard aeration damper, seal cap is external. Interestingly this cap interchanges with the DF03 seal end cap in terms of size and thread pitch. 

5143AB85-5CEF-4606-BA1D-AE970B12492E.jpg

The seal stack is very similar to the standard aeration damper, the nylon shaft guards are slightly different to suit the different cap style. 
A1BA5B62-7E6F-4F6F-8C9A-89B158F097E0.jpg

Even though the seal end cap is very similar to the DF03 Cap, on the BB an additional seal is used on the body. I think this is more to stop the cap coming loose mid race. 


D947E149-E473-4A1B-9E32-9D80700D9C86.jpg

As with the regular Aeration the upper cap is sealed by a oring on the damper body. The spring preload cap felt like the thread was finer than the other dampers and had a much finer Oring on it. 
FF99C8B2-6C83-4F78-9AAB-C4FFD0F12C82.jpg

The upper cap is solid aluminium, it is pre drilled and threaded with a bleed point. 
58E59CBC-9F7A-453D-A2DE-34E9CC756058.jpg

The bleed screw comes with a oring since the metal to metal thread won’t seal on its own. The seal is tiny and very easy to lose! No spares included either. 
A8956934-CCF2-4163-ADA9-608A5C7810FD.jpg

This is the only plastic part used off the included parts sprue, even the pillow ball is supplied in fluorine coated aluminium. Almost no expense spared. 
E2BB6393-4314-4E1F-8109-C6562C96ED28.jpg

With the dampers finished they feel very solid and precise as well as being exceptionally smooth.
2A9B75B0-1A2A-4014-8E25-AC043DCA5BB3.jpg

Sitting aside the standard Aeration dampers the differences are both minor but significant. Had my time over, I wouldn’t have bought the standard units. However when we consider price. The standard aeration dampers sit around the $60-65usd mark including springs. The Big Bore Aeration dampers are closer to $85-90usd area, and they don’t include springs. A set of suitable springs for the big bores is another $15usd or so.

It’s a tricky scenario to place yourself in but I think if your racing and you have the money the Big Bores are probably worth it. They are 30-35% more expensive, do they offer 35% more performance? That’s a tricky question and ultimately a debate of opinions. With first hand experience, I probably will buy another set next time I’m in the market. 

BB Aeration rear

Eye to Eye 93mm - Travel 28mm

BB Aeration front

Eye to Eye 75mm - Travel 19mm

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53036 Hi Cap Damper Mini & 53037 Hi Cap Damper Short. 

Originally released in 1988, these where the flagship dampers at the time.The short variant was a optional part for most of the off road vehicles at the time including Avanti, DF01,DT01 and the various other off road cars using friction dampers or CVA v1. The mini version was built for the front of many buggy’s, but was also an optional damper for F102 and a variety of other on/off road cars. In 1989 the Egress was released with the hi Cap dampers fitted as standard.

Come 2011 and the Avante was Re released, shortly there after came the re release of the Hi Cap Damper. This time in limited release numbering 84300 Mini and 84301 Short. These new Hi Caps are substantially different to the original.

I have on hand a set of 53036 and 53037 which I bought when I was about 13. The other set I have is some egress 2013 re release shocks which are the same as the 84300/84301, so let’s have a look at the differences. 

0E8BAC7C-D118-49CF-BB05-4E84843E2AF4.jpg

First look at the shock body’s we see some considerable differences. Firstly the body is shorter and the upper thread is longer on the V2. This is because of the altered seal assembly.
3442E26F-7AD6-4861-B45C-60FE8236C8B0.jpg

The original Hi Caps used 2 orange Orings and a nylon shaft guide fitted in with a C clip. Yes those C clips really love to disappear when you try to remove them! 

The new hicaps have adopted a relatively unusual design for Tamiya, a single O ring is clamped between a fairly standard nylon shaft guide and a black nylon cap. The screw in cap is actually quite long and operates as a longer than normal shaft guide. 

I never experienced any leaking with my original hi caps, so I don’t think this is the reason for the change. I believe stabilizing the piston within the body by increasing the shaft guide area is the reason for the change. I’m not sure if using one seal was intentional, but one thing that does do is reduce seal friction, possibly at the expense of how much pressure the lower seal can hold.


9E59C178-DBE9-42C0-A0C4-1A5B60389022.jpg

Looking underneath the differences are obvious. The new variation has a deep threaded recess holding the new shaft guides and seal.


E02B9907-9AD4-4735-966E-8CD2437F7BBA.jpg

When we come to the top caps there is a fairly significant difference. The original hi caps had vented caps. In V2 this vent is completely omitted. 


4F399082-D67D-4518-8137-70BA5BBBAF23.jpg

If we look at the top of the caps, you can see that the original cap literally had a hole straight through. This let the pressure out of the shock from under the diaphram reducing the end stroke resistance you would normally experience if the back of the bladder is sealed. This is a trick that some people still use today in certain circumstances. The downside of this is that if the diaphram gets a hole in it or slips off to the side when you tighten the cap down. The the shock literally self lubricated the ball joint in the cap and everything else in the general area.

17B2F489-FDB7-4945-A509-679D7F62873E.jpg

One of the issues with that original diaphram was it went hard fairly quickly and often needed replacing. For the V2 Tamiya supplied the red bladders directly from CVA v2 Short which has an 11mm bore, this is used in both the 11mm mini and 12mm short hi caps. It’s interesting that Tamiya decided not to make a new bladder to fit the 12mm top section of the hi cap dampers.

While these red bladders make a viable replacement for hicap v1 and are Tamiya’s choice for hicap v2. Neither of the versions body’s are really designed to use the red diaphram, it’s a bit of it sorta fits so go with it. What’s wrong is that the slim edge of the body gives very little purchase for the diaphram, this means the whole diaphram falls inside the body if you over tighten the cap, which isn’t hard to do. They did make some alterations in the cap to try make it work a bit better but it’s not quite as perfect as i would like.

94766A06-5298-464B-A627-5C29FE9FE7AD.jpg

The biggest problem with the v1 variants of the hi cap damper was the body had a very soft coating, additionally the damper shaft got very little support from its seal/guide setup. This allowed the piston to eat its way up and down the shock body. Every time you open up your shocks your greeted with sparkling silicon oil full of aluminium shavings. (This in part I believe spawned the sleeved damper) 

in V2 we have hard anodized body’s which is a well proven coating. Additionally the shaft guide is dramatically improved, reducing the load on the piston head against the shock body. 

0ACE06B5-1A05-4256-AF7C-76E7B3D4A93B.jpg

Disassembled the new hi caps are quite straight forward to assemble. 

47B9CC76-5550-4D18-93A4-2165AA744D80.jpg

The parts sprues containing all the pistons and various fittings appear to be unchanged. The pistons are quite square, which is somewhat unusual compared to modern day options. 


FAE5B766-06B0-42A5-A5AD-9233050D7BFA.jpg

The new seal/shaft guide is very simple and quite effective. 
AF076B7A-380C-4ACD-9CCD-124D741C20CD.jpg

The original tapered spring retainers are maintained. I never cared much for them, but on certain chassis they are a requirement.
DE3D7E5A-84D7-4C3A-BE12-78166D6A2A70.jpg

For whatever reason my set from a 2013 egress have different color anodizing. Once built these shocks are very smooth and look fantastic. The only problem is the lack of springs available. The springs these are delivered with along with the Top Force hi Cap Damper set are significantly heavier than the springs delivered with 53036/7. Most other Tamiya springs don’t fit. However the springs from the modern GMade XD series seem to work well. 

Hi Cap Rear

Eye to Eye 90mm - Travel 24mm

Hi Cap Front

Eye to Eye 71mm - Travel 14mm

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6 hours ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

@Juls1 Would the Core RC progressive wound springs fit? They are regular diameter at the bottom and taper to big bore size.

If the ID is 15-16mm they should work. 

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9 hours ago, Juls1 said:

If the ID is 15-16mm they should work. 

Yes, sounds like they will fit then. Plenty of options there, and they look true to the originals too. 

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On ‎2‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 3:01 PM, Juls1 said:

53036 Hi Cap Damper Mini & 53037 Hi Cap Damper Short. 

Originally released in 1988, these where the flagship dampers at the time.The short variant was a optional part for most of the off road vehicles at the time including Avanti, DF01,DT01 and the various other off road cars using friction dampers or CVA v1. The mini version was built for the front of many buggy’s, but was also an optional damper for F102 and a variety of other on/off road cars. In 1989 the Egress was released with the hi Cap dampers fitted as standard.

Come 2011 and the Avante was Re released, shortly there after came the re release of the Hi Cap Damper. This time in limited release numbering 84300 Mini and 84301 Short. These new Hi Caps are substantially different to the original.

I have on hand a set of 53036 and 53037 which I bought when I was about 13. The other set I have is some egress 2013 re release shocks which are the same as the 84300/84301, so let’s have a look at the differences. 

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First look at the shock body’s we see some considerable differences. Firstly the body is shorter and the upper thread is longer on the V2. This is because of the altered seal assembly.
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The original Hi Caps used 2 orange Orings and a nylon shaft guide fitted in with a C clip. Yes those C clips really love to disappear when you try to remove them! 

The new hicaps have adopted a relatively unusual design for Tamiya, a single O ring is clamped between a fairly standard nylon shaft guide and a black nylon cap. The screw in cap is actually quite long and operates as a longer than normal shaft guide. 

I never experienced any leaking with my original hi caps, so I don’t think this is the reason for the change. I believe stabilizing the piston within the body by increasing the shaft guide area is the reason for the change. I’m not sure if using one seal was intentional, but one thing that does do is reduce seal friction, possibly at the expense of how much pressure the lower seal can hold.


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Looking underneath the differences are obvious. The new variation has a deep threaded recess holding the new shaft guides and seal.


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When we come to the top caps there is a fairly significant difference. The original hi caps had vented caps. In V2 this vent is completely omitted. 


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If we look at the top of the caps, you can see that the original cap literally had a hole straight through. This let the pressure out of the shock from under the diaphram reducing the end stroke resistance you would normally experience if the back of the bladder is sealed. This is a trick that some people still use today in certain circumstances. The downside of this is that if the diaphram gets a hole in it or slips off to the side when you tighten the cap down. The the shock literally self lubricated the ball joint in the cap and everything else in the general area.

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One of the issues with that original diaphram was it went hard fairly quickly and often needed replacing. For the V2 Tamiya supplied the red bladders directly from CVA v2 Short which has an 11mm bore, this is used in both the 11mm mini and 12mm short hi caps. It’s interesting that Tamiya decided not to make a new bladder to fit the 12mm top section of the hi cap dampers.

While these red bladders make a viable replacement for hicap v1 and are Tamiya’s choice for hicap v2. Neither of the versions body’s are really designed to use the red diaphram, it’s a bit of it sorta fits so go with it. What’s wrong is that the slim edge of the body gives very little purchase for the diaphram, this means the whole diaphram falls inside the body if you over tighten the cap, which isn’t hard to do. They did make some alterations in the cap to try make it work a bit better but it’s not quite as perfect as i would like.

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The biggest problem with the v1 variants of the hi cap damper was the body had a very soft coating, additionally the damper shaft got very little support from its seal/guide setup. This allowed the piston to eat its way up and down the shock body. Every time you open up your shocks your greeted with sparkling silicon oil full of aluminium shavings. (This in part I believe spawned the sleeved damper) 

in V2 we have hard anodized body’s which is a well proven coating. Additionally the shaft guide is dramatically improved, reducing the load on the piston head against the shock body. 

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Disassembled the new hi caps are quite straight forward to assemble. 

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The parts sprues containing all the pistons and various fittings appear to be unchanged. The pistons are quite square, which is somewhat unusual compared to modern day options. 


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The new seal/shaft guide is very simple and quite effective. 
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The original tapered spring retainers are maintained. I never cared much for them, but on certain chassis they are a requirement.
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For whatever reason my set from a 2013 egress have different color anodizing. Once built these shocks are very smooth and look fantastic. The only problem is the lack of springs available. The springs these are delivered with along with the Top Force hi Cap Damper set are significantly heavier than the springs delivered with 53036/7. Most other Tamiya springs don’t fit. However the springs from the modern GMade XD series seem to work well. 

Hi Cap Rear

Eye to Eye 90mm - Travel 24mm

Hi Cap Front

Eye to Eye 71mm - Travel 14mm

I was on the same boat as you, had some old sets of Hicaps from my youth, which I wanted to restore this year. Additionally, I got a cheap set of Avante 2011 front Highcaps from Seidel, and built me 2 rears from spare parts, as the complete sets are quite difficult to get now. I also wanted to compare the changes Tamiya made to this legendary dampers. I found the rod/seal guide is really cool and easy to assemble, and quite modern with reduced friction by use of one O-ring only. And one suspect I had was confirmed: It´s in fact a 100% copy of the Buggy champ2009 damper rod guide! So I had the feeling, that all the guys complaining about leaking Sand Scorcher or champ Shocks maybe just overfilled them with oil. (I never found mine to be leaking, nor the new Highcaps). Makes spare parts availability better, too. Quite surprising for me was the missing ventilated topcap. At least it gives the opportunity, to build the Highcaps as Aeration dampers, too. (e.g. by using a seal plate istead of the bladder). Not so sure I am about the coating inside. It may be better than back in the days, but doesn´t seem to have the Standard of the newer onroad shocks with polished / coated inside and teflon pistons. I wish these would be available in Highcap diametre, to reduce wear and make them even smoother. Now the drawbacks for me: The red CVA bladder is just an emergency solution. When I build my new Hicaps, I had the problem you described, when screwing them too much, the bladder moves inside and is collapsing. The old dampers have a mechanical stop to prevent overtightening, the new ones not. Could be a problem in rough offroad use. If you want to build them physically correct with full piston rod volume compensation by the bladder (Piston rod fully extended when closing), you end up with a big push out force (RC term "Rebound"), which is the "gas force" named on a real shock. That reduces the sensitivity of the shocks a lot, the gas force elasticity is adding to the spring stiffness. That´s probably the reason, why Tamiya states in the Egress manual and the spare parts manual to build them with the piston rod pushed in (almost the whole stroke), which is physically somehow nonsense, when having a shock with piston rod volume compensation. Drilling a vent like on the original Hicaps would for sure help, but the design of the red bladders with it´s extreme "ball shape" would still add push out force by too much elasticity during movement.  I tried to build mine as per Tamiya recommendation, but it took quite some attempts, until I was satisfied with the performance on my Avante 89. Then I took apart my old Hicaps, found 2 bladders to be bricks, sadly. The other 2 were still fine, after all thes years. My suspect is, we used some mineralic oil back in the days when we couldn´t get real silicone oil, and that killed the rubber over time. I replaced the piston rods with rere ones (Tamiya also made big progresses regarding piston rod chroming over the years) and added some new sealings. Pistons were reused. Filling was easy as badword, just as you learned it from the manual as kid. Pull the piston rod down, oil in, remove the bubbles, bladder on top, closing, finished. No rebound at all, perfect Offroad shock, smooth as in my memories! What a difference to the Re-Re Hicaps. So my conclusion is clear: Grab your old blue Hicap bladders, and store the savely. These are the most precious parts on Vintage Hicap sets…

Sorry for the long Story in your thread, but I thought it´s the right place to give my findings, Maybe it gives some helpful info for some of you.

Excellent thread, and thank you for the detailed analyze with real good Pictures and description of all the details. Never seen on the web before, as far as I can remember!  

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You’ve pretty much confirmed everything I found. I’m glad that some people are finding the thread helpful as it’s been a lot more effort than I initially thought it would be. 

Hopefully I will get the sleeved dampers up later today/tonight. And the thread will be done until I find another damper to add. 

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