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Balgaroth

TL01 - Back from the dead, it lost its front legs !

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Hi Everyone,

Today I am start this topic as 1. it is better suited in "the builds" and 2. It's more clear than having 2 cars in 1 topic. So I'm here to talk about my old TL01 given by a friend long time ago. Long story short car has been stock all it's original life, lost its shell, its body posts, it's back bumper, its ESC and Receiver were FM and shot and after a closer inspection I noticed crack all over the tub and especially on 3/4 of the shock mounts. Suspension is sloppy too, transmission was on plastic bushing and it probably never saw any sort of servicing. So what to do with this ? This started in the same time than I restarted my Stadium Thunder and in some way I am glad I have this beater as both keep breaking on me but I almost always have one running. Here is the final product, and I am glad I spent time and very little money on it as I learned a lot and now have a very fun car. More below.

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So starting from the above findings what should I do ? After some research it seemed that making it somewhat competitive in 2019 would have complicated and expensive due to rarity of parts and a bad chassis base to start with. I toyed with the idea of making it a Rally car but for now I thought the easiest way to make it as efficient as possible would be to simply get rid of the heavy and draggy transmission. With this gone and the few bushings remaining replaced by bearing it was a good theoretical step forward.

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A good clean of the transmission, installation of the Etronix Sport Tuned 15T on stock 19t pinion, running on my vintage Robbe Rookie Sport, original T2M plastic servo, a cheap GoolRC transmitter/receiver and a 2S Lipo "stick" pack. I went to the track and it was basically undriveable. The car would spin on itself at the first touch of the throttle and  wouldn't go straight when I managed to be gentle enough for the rear to to go in front. 

First thing I did was ordering new rims and tires as the originals were 15 years old but as with anything Aliexpress (I won't put expensive parts on a shot chassis) I takes forever to come. As my Stadium Thunder diead meanwhile I decided to experiment with what I have. I found some soft open cell foam sheets at home which I stuffed in the old tires. Resultat was similar but slightly better so I decided to ditch the foam at the rear and see. That was a big improvement. Reducing grip up-front allowed for a more balanced chassis and it was now much easier to control but the car still wouldn't go straight. I noticed that when I was turning on one side and release the steering control, the wheels wouldn't go back to the initial "straight" position. I put that on the old/cheap servo and swaped to the old/cheap servo of my Stadium Thunder which wasn't giving me the same issues. Guess what ? It didn't make a difference and I was baffled. My knowledge of RC is limited as I was only bashing when I was a kid so I am learning a lot these days. Seeing this I decided to order some JX metal servo (which still haven't arrived lol) and continue experimenting. The 19t alloy pinion gave-up quite quickly which I replaced with the 21t alloy pinion provided with the TA05, this didn't last too long either. The bad news if that when I went to clean the gearbox, grease the diff and fit my brand new 23t reinforced steel pinion I found out that those rubbish alloy pinion took their toll on my spur gear ! Luckily the steel pinion seems to have enough purchase on what remains of the spur gear, lets see how long it lasts, remember, this chassis is cracked all over so I am not sure I want to spend 15€ on a new gear kit. I don't mind spending a bit on parts that could be re-used in the Stadium Thunder or the TA05 (if I run it, I may sale it as it is unused and may make a Tamiya lover happy, instead of dremeling it all over to fit Lipo and such)

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Since this I got a TA05 unused which I am unsure about what to do with it, so I robbed the oil shocks, springs and put my fresh new chinese rubber which is decent enough. Tires are a vast improvement but I had to figure out the insert setup and for the first time I had to glue them as otherwise they would pop of the rim. This worked out pretty well and I ended -up with a RWD TL01 slight pushing out of corners, even more so on power, and as always very hard to control when going straight as the steering wouldn't self center properly. Last piece of the puzzle arrived 2 days ago and was a revelation. I score a cheap and battered Audi A4 touring shell, I finally invested in body posts as the car was now driveable and I decided to by some 3Racing servo saver for my Stadium Thunder and TL01 in prevision of the (yet to come) better servo. I installed those parts to the TL01 which (I think) now looks good, as least from a distance lol. And once on the track what a change. The car steering now self center properly even with the cheap goolrc receiver/transmitter and 15years old Futuba plastic servo !!! I can now go full throttle on the long straights of my local track and the car just flies. Best spent 3€ of this "build", all along it was the ****ty original servo saver that caused the troubles. 

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Better yet the car has now just enough steering, in and out of the corners, with a slight of oversteering when going off the throttle mid corner or full throttle outside. I drove the car without the shell for confirmation and it was back to pushing out of the corners so my battered  A4 Touring shell is giving the car just enough push on the front end to give the car the perfect balance. I also have a NSX shell which I will try to see if it makes the car feel any different. I didn't suspect aero to have much if any impact on such car.

 

Some side notes:

- The 3 Racing servo saver slightly modified the geo of the car giving it even more Toe-In, I don't have steering turnbuckles to adjust but I suspect the Toe-in is what allows the TL01 to remain stable in the straights.

- The 23t Pinion with the 15T Etronix is a bit slow for acceleration which is making the throttle easier to manage since it is RWD. My local outdoor track being suitable for 1/5th the gearing seems adequate, the motor was max 45°C yesterday (10° outside temp) after a whole pack with no stops, So I think it's not too bad, maybe the Speed tuned gears may make sense if the Spur give-up and I decide to keep investing in this dead horse lol.

- Top speed with 23t is not that much more than witht he 21t, I suspect the increased Toe-in to be responsible for robbing some top speed.

- My old Robbe Rookie Sport seems to handle the 2s nicely, I run a Lipo alarm to monitor battery level as  half Cut-off is at 3.3V and final cut-off at 3.0V.

- I run the soft open cell foam provided with the wheelset at the back with glue on both flancs of the tires, in the front I run Tamiya # 53582 Inserts that I trimmed to 22m to fit my chinese tires. Glued on the outside flanc as they pop off the rm otherwise.

- I chopped the "shelf" and put 2 bolts through to install my ESC lower in the tub.

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Next I will probably open the shocks to reduce travel, it currently sits quite high (10-15mm) and I think getting it lower may help with general grip (mechanical and aero). I will maybe go with soft oil in the rear and start to tinker with springs as currently it is using the TA05 stock springs all around which are super hard and pretty much don't SAG front or back. Since the shell provided extra front grip, getting just a touch more rear grip could be good. Either way since the last mods I had a good blast and love this little beater, if someone has a TL01 taking the dust, this is fun !

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Nice, I have done exactly the same and overhauled an old TL01. I ended up in having a superb chassis which is super easy to drive and rock solid. I probably went a bit over the normal budget but the outcome is phenomenal for such an old and very basic car. The steering was also one of my concerns but have solved it with aluminium swings and uprights and proper adjustable turnbuckles and the #51000 high torque servo saver. You can install ball differential from TA03 and a speed gear set . . . .I love that chassis :-D

 

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@lowspot Thanks for the tips, in fairness I am not sure I want to reduce the action of my rear diff as this can introduce oversteer which for the moment is not what I am looking for. I think the biggest let down is the original servo saver, the 3Racing saver completely solved my issue with everything else stock and worn-out. When comparing to the TA05 I have at home you can feel the difference in terms of chassis stiffness and torsional rigidity, surprisingly the TL01 does better ! This probably also explains why my chassis has several cracks lol.

Today I received some TB evo arms, carbon reinforced in order to emulate a long-arm kit. I may need to switch to racing 0mm offset wheels to fit in my shell. I also took the hubs tho I am not sure I can use them for the moment as I don't have turnbuckles. Those were cheap 8€ delivered for front and rear, arms+hubs. So if it doesn't work I still can keep them as spare for something else (if I keep that TA05 for exemple).

 

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So these arms are not compatible with either my TL01 or my TA05 as it was stating in the ad so I asked for refund. While I was at it I also checked if TA05 arms are compatible with TL01 fitment and it isn't so I am back at square one. Considering that my main handling issues were due to the servo saver I may just pass on this mod. Instead maybe going with toe-in rear hubs and turnbuckle set all around to play with geo.

While I was on the car I took the time to reduce the shocks' travel to lower the car. From a 12mm ground clearance (not sure about the right term) I am now at 5mm which hopefully will be enough for my outdoor track. I put some softer springs in the rear too and thinned a bit the front oil. We will see how this goes.

And while doing all this I noticed that my shell was now hitting the front tires at full travel. I didn't notice before as the full travel was really hard to reach, now the car feels softer as the travel range is reduced. I put my shell on the next pin up at the 4 corners. This combined with the chassis lowering still allows the shell to be closer to the ground and technically yield more aero grip. This might also allow me to run the NSX shell.

Many ´new things to test at the track later this week :D

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So yesterday evening I went quickly at the track to test my latest modifications (lowering, different rear spring). With all the rain we got recently and yesterday the track had 70% of its surface dry, the rest was humid. Cold weather is good for rubber grip but wet isn't and rwd on top of it made it for some challenging conditions which was fun.

First few laps were a bit complicated, the turn in became very sharp since the last time which has to be the different modifications I made to the car. It lead me to reduce the steering rate on my transmitter  which helped to keep the car in control. Aside from the turn-in that was quite sharp the rest of the turn was good. I noticed that the car now also dribbled on some high-speed turns which never happened before.
Once I started to get consistent with this setup I brought the car to the pits and put the TA05 springs back at the rear and back on track. This helped to reduce a little bit the sharpness of the turn-in and the dribbling on the high-speed turns. I am not sure how or why tho.

On the motor side all was fine, I replaced the tamiya plug from my ESC for a Deans which saves me from the stupid adaptor, no increase in performance it is just neater. At the end of my 4000mAh 2s pack the motor was hot but you could still hold it for 2/3sec before it became uncomfortable. ESC was warm at touch too but to be fair it doesn't get much air where it is at the moment. Nothing dramatic anyway. Which leads me to wonder it I should go with lower ratio, especially considering I reach motor speed limit half way down the straights (outdoor 1/5th track). At the moment I run the 23t pinion with standard gear. 19t pinon with speed tuned gear might be good for my track but I don't want to burn my motor/esc. Another option might be to play with timing. Not having any motor specs provided by Etronix doesn't help in choice. 
 

And just for the craic I stuck a hardcase 2s 5200mAh on top of my TL01 as I only have the 4000mAh lipo stick that fit it right. This was basically undrivable with more weight and placed higher which resultat in traction roll everywhere. That was fun to watch. I also crashed into a pipe mid session which resulted in a massive crack in the shell bonnet and a dent that I managed to push out. I am glad I haven't invested in a nice new shell for this chassis lol. I will repair this one with fabric and Silnet so it doesn't get worse.

 

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Next step is probably going to be the addition of Toe-in rear hubs to help with on power traction and maybe all around turnbuckles to fine tine camber and front Toe to reduce turn in and maybe increase general corner traction (the wear patern in the rear is a bit toward the outside edge so it may benefit from a bit more camber).

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So I was bored today which got me thinking about ways to improve my undead TL01. Having my (heavy) ESC sitting at the bottom of the tub was good for CoG but not great for ventilation. Another thing that was bothering me since the start was that all the weight on the TL01 is either centered or on the left. So I pulled my 2 screws all the way out, put a counted nut to secure them, and put my esc outside the tub. I don't have a scale to proper check weight balance but sure it can't be more biased than it was. With the lipo alarm and cables it should be fairly balanced hopefully I can confirm that soon. That is easier than going short lipo which was my initial thought. 

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I like your ESC idea. I'm running my TL01 with 26T pinion and the speed gear kit from Tamiya. Have reached 82kph but my main problem is an overheated motor.

BTW: I'm using the same lipo, Gen2?

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673E69A0-EA0B-455F-9803-A0CF1380449A.thumb.jpeg.f17c6683608acebf1528aa26b0f4c9a1.jpeg@lowspot that's a really nice looking TL01 you have there ! As for lipo I am using the only stick shape I have and first lipo I bought since getting back into RC few months ago after 15years hiatus. Which is ... a Bashing 4000 from Gens ACE. It is only a 50c but I doubt it is a limitation for my 15T brushed motor. Gives a good run time and it is cheap enough. I don't think you can find stick shaped lipos above 4000 from what I researched so far. What lipo are you running ? I still had to enlarge a little bit the stick cavity I guess you jad to do the same as it must be the same hardshell for both sticks. Once I will have a decent scale to see where my weight is spread on the chassis I will either get another stick lipo or get some shorty lipos to reduce the weight and keep it more centered.

Otherwise I had 2 more sessions with the TL01, one stock, one with the ESC outside. The car still has a very responsive turn-in which I'd like to tame down a bit. Overall I have some good fun and it seems that with tire setup alone you can easily make a TL01 drivable in a rwd configuration. Keep in mind I run exclusively on an Outdoor 1/5th track. My cheap Aliexpress tires start to show signs of wear (probably 6/7 packs) so I swapped the outsides to the inside to finish it off evenly with the next packs. Yesterday I installed a low profile servo (bought 2 from Ali to try a modification with my Stadium Thunder) despite being smaller it is heavier as it is metal but CoG should be slightly better I guess and it is 9kg instead of 3kg so it should be more precise somehow. I am toying with the idea of getting some proper racewheels/tires or keep running Ali tires especially if I go with Speed gears which should make it even easier to put power down. If anyone has some input about this I am all ears.

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So I finally got my hands on a scale to see where my chassis balance is at. And it is a rather good surprise.

No battery, with shell:

Front: 43%             Back: 57%
Left: 49%               Right: 51%
 

Battery and shell:

Front: 45%             Back: 55%
Left: 50%               Right: 50%
 

These results are with the low profile servo, the ESC outside the tub and the lipo alarm and battery cable on the left. For the sake of experimenting I tried to put the lipo alarm and battery cable on the other side and it gave me a 47/53.

Conclusion:

- I was thinking of playing with the dremel to tuck in the ESC better but I won't touch it since I have a good left/right balance as is.

- I was considering buying some shorty in the hope to help reduce the weight up front (TL01 battery placement is somewhat at the front) but at best I will modify the balance by maybe 1% which is not worth it considering I would have to dremel quite a bit my chassis. So I will most likely buy another Bashing 4000 stick to get a bit more play time unless I find a better option but 5000mAh sticks don't seem to exist.

- I think I have done all that was possible in terms of none specific upgrades to my RWD TL01, I will swap front and rear shocks as they have very slightly different settings to experiment and see if it helps with bit and corner behaviour. After that I will finish off these tires and reflect on what should happen next other than new tires. GF01 LA kit ? Speed Tuned gears ? Rear Diff ? Turnbuckle set ? Any suggestions ?

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I’ve always fancied trying to make a decent-handling rwd TL01 - i take it you’ve built it up without the front gearbox and without the prop shaft as that’s more of a take-off point rather than integral like a TT01? 

That’s an impressive side-to-side balance, the outboard ESC has made all the difference i reckon. 

What scales are you using?

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@Kevin_Mc Yes I removed the propshaft, emptied the front GB and removed the driveshafts. Nothing irreversible as I wasn't sure what would happen. The last thing I'd like to do it so cut the driveshaft cups on the front hubs to save some rotational weight on the front wheels but that would make those axles completely useless if I wanted to reverse the process, tho that's probably not gonna happen. 
 

For the scale I am using the old trick of kitchen scale and a book of equivalent height. It is not perfectly accurate but considering I am playing with a 15 years old cracked TL01 chassis I consider it good enough 😂 

I have a very limited experience on a track and limited skills so I learn as I modify the car too. It is probably not fast by any standards but I have fun with it and I can manage several laps without crashing and some flow so it's not that bad I guess. First try I had with the car in rwd mode was with cooked original tires, friction shocks on a Sport Tuned can and you couldn't drive it without spinning it, tires makes for a good 6/70% of the viability of the project. Even simply putting the Aliexpress tires at the back and keeping the front with the old ones made night and day, I read many threads with people saying you can't make a rwd 1/10th and I think it is only because they get the tire setup wrong. In biking it is the same, if your rubber is rubbish and/or you run bad pressure you will never go fast even with the best setup and gear in the world.

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@Balgaroth I tried making my TA06 RWD and found it an impossible handful. Even now in 4wd its very on the nose, but you are right, tyres are key. The problem with touring cars is that it's hard or impossible to get good quality wide rear tyres to even up the grip. My 2wd buggies handle great, but the tyre is probably twice the width on the rear! Your solution of a grippier compound rear is probably the best bet, but i haven't wanted to buy a whole other set of harder compound racing slicks for my TA06.

Rgarding front axles, look out for the M03 rear axles. They have flat faces and there is a lightweight aluminium version as well i think.

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@ThunderDragonCy thanks for the tips for tue M03 axles I will look it up !

As for tires I am using cheap Aliexpress tires, the rubber is soft enough but not slow rebound/resin style of rubber. To get a good balance I am using a Tamiya medium closed cell insert in the front while I run the very soft open cell foam that was provided with the tires. I can touch the rim while pressing on my back tires, it would be an effort to do the same at the front. I am actually somewhat worried by getting race tires as they are already glued on and I am not sure that compound alone would be enough to keep the balance.

I read your topic with the TA06 which I found interesting, maybe the fact that I am running an fully open diff helps too ? Keep in mind that I am running a 15t brushed too which is not massively powerful I guess. I also read a lot of pages around that topic on another forum where most of the guys were saying it is impossible to make a 1/10th rwd and arguing about putting front brake of reverse one way. One thing is true in all this, braking need to be very gentle but my track is very open so I don't really need to brake hard or accelerate hard it is more about throttle modulation.

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@Balgaroth, thanks for the reply. That’s what i thought would be best as it’s completely reversible. Since you got such good results with the outboard ESC i think i’ll steal the wife’s kitchen scales and go through all my TL01s to balance them out, and might just convert on or two to rwd. 

I made a rwd TC a few years ago from an M04 using TL01 arms and two M04L spacers with good results although i was using a gyro from a helicopter. I can’t remember off the top of my head which front axles i used but they definitely had a flat disc at the rear with no drive cup. 

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@Kevin_Mc I first chopped the ledge on which the esc was sitting to lower CoG and this was next step. I think the ultimate version would be doing a ledge out of aluminium corner this way you could lower your esc another 5/6mm I will have a look into it. Like Cy recommended M03 seem good I will probably order a set. What lipos are you using in your TL01s ?

This afternoon I was at the track, aside from breaking my Stadium Thunder once again, the TL01 was hard to drive. After many days of rain the track was still wet and the overcast 10deg we had all day didn't help to dry up. Once you got a bit a heat into the tires it was better but if you get into the grass it became donuts' city until they got back up to temp and dried. It was fun nonetheless.

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Its sounds like good fun and will require a bit of learning to drive well. I’m all for that. 

It’s Jamara batteries i’ve used, @GregM was so kind to point them out to me on eBay a while back so i bought a few at the time. I’ll see if i still have the link and if it’s a live item...

... the link is dead but you might find them on eBay if you search for Jamara 5000mah 2S lipo. The seller was “Modellbau Berlinski"

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I'm using ABS function of my Futaba and since then the TL01 handles quite good. Before that, my rear has overturned me on almost each corner.

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