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DaveB

Manta Ray Essential Upgrades

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Hi

I've just purchased a re re Manta Ray and I'm planning on using it as a runner. I don't want to go stupid fast so am toying with the idea of a hot (ish) brushed setup, possibly a Super Stock BZ. 

I've also purchased a ball diff set for the rear, hard prop shaft and motor mount set and of course full bearings. 

Just wondering what the consensus is with other essential upgrades, I don't want to spend loads here, but am keen to get it reliable. 

Any input much appreciated. 

Thanks

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Full.plastic gear set and a steel motor pinion. Otherwise it looks like you already got everything that makes sense.

Use the search option there are several threads on improving the Manta Ray/Top Force.

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keep it simple by using gear diff (stock manta ray item)   ball diff is more maintence.  

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Yup, the 50529 gearset and a Robinson 0.6mod steel pinion. Everything else sounds spot on. Once you are running it just see how you get on with the tyres and wheels. I find the wide fronts can over grip the front of the chassis a bit, so once you know what surface you are running on some appropriate tyres for the stock 2" wheels and/or move to 2.2" wheels for more choice and narrower fronts. 

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Thanks everyone. I was reading another thread on here that was saying the best combination is ball diff in rear gear diff in front. The commenter said, if built correctly the ball diff needs virtually no maintenance but also allows for a bit of give with hot motors? 

Also, should I go with a smaller pinion if I'm using a hotter motor, and where do you get the steel pinions from in the UK, can only see them available from the US (on ebay). 

Thanks

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my original manta ray (witch i still have) was built stock and is still stock to this day i used to run a lrp black e 11turn motor in mine when it was used with no problem what so ever and i never had any issues with anything execpt when i crashed it 

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What every Manta Ray desperately needs is a different body. Any different body. :D

I run a Manta Ray (with Manta Ray body) on serious brushless power, plastic gear set, steel pinion, steel prop shaft, motor mount upgrade, never any problems there.

It has a rear ball diff, and that's pretty much trouble free too, but I am not too sure if the benefits of this upgrade are really worth the time, money and additional maintenance required, at least outside of racing applications... I get to say "It has a ball diff", but that's pretty much all it does for me. The original gear diff worked pretty much just as well.

Other than that, rear shock tower keeps working itself loose, rear gear box top cover keeps coming off, too. 

  • Haha 3

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It’s only when you fit up a high power brushless that the gearbox skips, which is why you use a ball diff as it’ll slip a bit and reduce the load. 

Most brushed motors are unlikely to load up the gearbox enough to make it skip. 

Replace the whole gearbox parts with the parts from a TA02 chassis. (Touring car gearset) it is all plastic. The factory manta Ray gearbox has aluminium gears that wear out really quickly and ruin the whole gearbox. The plastic variations last almost forever. 

Replace the stock pinion with a steel 0.6 module gear, this will eliminate gearbox wear and tear caused by the soft stock alloy pinion distributing aluminium dust throughout the gearbox. 

You might like to look at a 13.5t brushless motor instead of the super stock bz. It’ll give you a decent improvement over stock without stressing the gearbox and be maintainence free. 

A hobbywing quicrun 3650 13.5T is about $50 usd. As long as it’s “geared properly” it’s a great choice for the stock esc.(hobbywing recommend 7.0:1 ratio for 4wd Buggy) You’ll probably need to use a 19/20t pinion with that motor to get the most out of it. If the motor is still only slightly warm after 5 minutes running you can go up a pinion size, if it gets very hot drop a pinion gear size. If you gear it too lightly, it’ll feel gutless and slow. Other 13.5t brushless motors will need different gearing, especially those with adjustable timing (which will need much easier/slower gearing). So whatever you get consult the manufacturer.

GroteFoto-NGGODOVU.jpg

this is for a TA02, so it’s not strictly correct with bigger buggy tires. Probably be 1.5-2 points harder gearing on buggy tires. 

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That gearing chart I think has finally explained why I always was a little underwhelmed by my Terra Conqueror EVO buggy. I ran a tamiya ESC and 13.5 brushless (3300kv) but I was fairly new to the sport and went down on the pinion for the hotter motor, 18t IIRC. FDR of 10 for a 13.5 is going to be slooooooooooooooooooooooow. My Thunder Dragon pulls 6.7 on the same 13.5 motor with a punchier ESC and it flies. Looks like any DF01 needs the Speed Tuned gearset to run anything like the right gearing from a modern motor unless you're putting something serious in it like an 8.5 or something like that for racing.

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11 minutes ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

That gearing chart I think has finally explained why I always was a little underwhelmed by my Terra Conqueror EVO buggy. I ran a tamiya ESC and 13.5 brushless (3300kv) but I was fairly new to the sport and went down on the pinion for the hotter motor, 18t IIRC. FDR of 10 for a 13.5 is going to be slooooooooooooooooooooooow. My Thunder Dragon pulls 6.7 on the same 13.5 motor with a punchier ESC and it flies. Looks like any DF01 needs the Speed Tuned gearset to run anything like the right gearing from a modern motor unless you're putting something serious in it like an 8.5 or something like that for racing.

Yeah brushless motors are terribly slow and gutless if they are not geared hard enough. Brushless motors make torque based on load, no load = no torque, so too easier gearing and they feel gutless. A brushed motor is  quite a bit different in that sense.

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7 minutes ago, Juls1 said:

Yeah brushless motors are terribly slow and gutless if they are not geared hard enough. Brushless motors make torque based on load, no load = no torque, so too easier gearing and they feel gutless. A brushed motor is  quite a bit different in that sense.

Almost makes me want to get a DF01 again 🤣 Especially as the ta02 speed tuned gearset is easy to buy now. When I had mine the only option was the calsonic vintage gearset which cost a fortune. 

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1 hour ago, Juls1 said:

use a ball diff as it’ll slip a bit and reduce the load

from my own experiences, this will create flat spots on the balls lead to an early differential failure. These early diffs were never meant to be adjustable, and certainly will not tolerate any "slip" without damage.

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3 minutes ago, OCD said:

from my own experiences, this will create flat spots on the balls lead to an early differential failure. These early diffs were never meant to be adjustable, and certainly will not tolerate any "slip" without damage.

I’ve blown the teeth off of a stock gearbox idler with a gear diff and a 4000kv sensor less brushless system on 7.4v using paddles in the sand. The manta Ray ball diff doesn’t seem to mind as much as I thought it would and the gearbox doesn’t clack clack clack clack clack under acceleration anymore. If the diff wears out then it’s a small price to pay.

The real solution is don’t put so much power and heavy grippy tires in a 28 year old chassis design. Lol 

Gearbox handles perfectly ok on a sensored 13.5t with normal tires. 

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3 minutes ago, Juls1 said:

If the diff wears out then it’s a small price to pay.

Just don't leave the diff loose and you won't have to pay for a new one.

Most of the DF01s come with a ball diff in the rear, but the idler gear issue is ubiquitous.

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Thanks for all the replies so far peeps, great information :)

I've looked everywhere for a steel 20t 0.6 pinion here in the UK, can't find one anywhere so ended up just going for a tamiya AV aluminium one. Not ideal but no other options. 

I don't have the budget for a brushless right now and I already own a nib BZ so I think that's the route I'll take for now. 

Bearings, full plastic gears and hard shaft/motor mount are all ordered :)

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Posted (edited)

Fusionhobbies.com in the UK will have that pinion, I've been buying steel pinions from them for ten years! Rwracing Pinions they sell!😊

(Tamiyaclub sponsor)

They may not have them in stock but normally i have found they arrive within a week

Edited by taffer
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17 hours ago, taffer said:

Fusionhobbies.com in the UK will have that pinion, I've been buying steel pinions from them for ten years! Rwracing Pinions they sell!😊

(Tamiyaclub sponsor)

They may not have them in stock but normally i have found they arrive within a week

Thanks taffer, I've used Fusion in the past and they've always been great, I'm just not a fan of the fact that they don't have live stock on their website. I've fired them an email to ask if they have a 20t RW pinion in stock. BTW, what happened to their phone number, it no longer works and they don't list a contact number on their site? :(

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Your saying the phone number 01536 725416 listed on their home page doesn't work? 

i never phone them, always email

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I like to use universal drive shafts where I can on my cars. Not for performance, but for when I drive too hard and loose  dog bones. More than 1 afternoon driving session has been halted due to a lost dog bone. I tried using the 3mm o-rings in the axle and diff cups to remove excess movement (still need some movement for suspension travel). This is OK for a while, but when you go a bit hardcore the o-rings can get worn out/cut up and next thing you have thrown a dog done.

The universals are a bit overkill $$ wise, but from my experiences help make the car more reliable.  Now that my kids drive cars with me I would prefer to maximise driving time over wrenching time.

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My list on the blazing star, which is the same chassis but I liked the body better than the manta ray I had many years back, is as follows:

Ball bearings
Plasic gear set, kept the diffs standard.
Metal prop shaft and motor mount set
Metal steering rack, as I think the standard one has too much free play
Steel pinion 20T
17x2 540 brushed motor
WP1060 ESC
Metal servo saver
Metal gear steering servo MG996R
2.4Ghz Receiver

Still thinking of getting something better for the front shock tower, but that will be somewhere in time.. Possibly when I contact anoother curb again. :lol:

Its only an occasional driver on street surface, so reliability wise its OK. I do remember my mantaray got its gears chewed up when I took it to a beach, because sand entered the rear gearbox. I don't know if there is an aftermarket mod for the top cover on this gearbox, as I myself believe that will warp under high load causing the ingress of debris.

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