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Losi XXT-CR

Would it be mad to carpet race a TT-02B/DF-03?

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I'd love to have a go at RC racing again. I used to race back in the mid 1990's, although mostly off road trucks, buggies and some touring cars. The scene has changed however, as well as the tech and pace.

A localish club runs a winter indoor off road series for 2wd and 4wd buggies. The only buggies I have are a Grasshopper and a now 'vintage' Losi XX-CR, that has no parts supply at all.

I know to be competitive I'd need a modern race car. But these are all expensive, a new Schumacher Cat is £450 as a kit. Even a 2wd Schumacher Cougar is £290 and all the race cars use shorty LiPo's of which I have none. This all means that getting a new "race" buggy is too expensive for my tastes. At least until I know if I'd still enjoy it and want to stick with it.

So I'm looking at budget minded offerings into getting on track. I'm assuming there will be a variety of driver abilities, so I'm hoping less capable car might not be such a hindrance if I'm not trying to win the A finals. Used race cars might be an option, but availability varies so much, that it can be hard to find anything at any given time. Plus if it is an older model, spares can potentially be an issue and often used race cars are still £200-300+

This leads me to wonder if there are some new models that might be able to cut a bit of racing. Such as the FTX Vantage (I have a Carnage). Or maybe a Tamiya of some kind.

The Dark Impact (DF-03) has been on my radar for quite some time. I know it is a million miles away from the latest CAT L1, but at £150 is also many magnitudes cheaper, plus I could use my existing batteries. I see you can also get a Neo Scorcher for only £109 which comes with CVA's.

The Top Force (DF-02) looks pretty cool too, although older and more expensive than the Dark Impact.

 

Anyone have any experience competing with any of these for carpet racing? Is it a hopeless idea to pursue this?

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Is the club in Watford?

Buy a second hand "last years" model. For example the 2wd AE RC10 B6.1 is the latest and greatest and I think the kit is £300. I bought a B6 for £100 of a club member.

The difference between a proper race car and a DF-03 is huge. I raced my DT02 at the first meet, and my B6 at the second. Its 15-20% faster in terms of lap times.

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Thanks, yes Watford.

I hear what you are saying. But I haven't found anything on ebay or Ooople for sale. I know they crop up now and again. A £100 used racer sounds fine, do you know of any for sale?

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That's the club I have just start with, and will be going to the next Saturday meet. If you're gonna race get your BRCA membership and a Transponder and just bring what you have, then nothing wasted as you'll need those items anyway.

I spent a load of time putting all my best electronics in my DT02, and a load of money on another set of wheels with carpet tyres, only to use it once.

 

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Have you been to the club in person, and what is everybody else racing?  Some clubs are very welcoming to new drivers on a tight budget, others expect you to have the latest kit and their advice will only be "buy the latest kit, or at least, last year's used car".

If they welcome budget members then check out what the other budget drivers are using.  It's been years since I raced buggies regularly but the D/C heats my local club were often full of older or cheaper Tamiyas, partly because some people didn't want to take it too seriously and partly because people couldn't afford the latest and greatest hardware.  I raced a DF03 for a while and I was never going to get FTD with it but it was fun to play along with other racers in the D heat.

If there are other drivers with a similar tech level then you can have fun racing together.  Getting as good as them will be something to aim for.  If literally everybody else in the club is on £400+ chassis and £300+ electrics packages and you're skidding around at the back with a DT-02 then it could get dull quite quickly.

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Everyone runs race level cars, but I did a meet with a DT02. 
http://www.dmsresults.co.uk/winterseries/mtg2/finals.htm

I use a £30 savox servo and hobbyking cheap electronics. 

there are 2 b6.1’s on eBay at the moment and a yokomo yz2

 

On Dec 11th they a doing a vintage meet and can see hotshots and boomerangs in the entry list.
 

 

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The secondhand route is the best option, especially since you are looking at a new car anyway. If you had something suitable then definitely worth taking that along. You can always turn up and watch and talk to people about they recommend, they may even let you run their car. You will also get an idea on what tyres to buy, classes etc.

I have bought a few secondhand racers and people tend to sell them at the end of the season, when a new model is released or after a big event (yes, people will buy a new kit just to run a big event then sell it).

As for electtonics, you can run what you have initially, you don't need the latest and greatest. If you don't have anything then hobbyking is a good place to start - by the time you need faster it will be near the end of its life anyway. Racing is hard on gear, I've had 2 ESC die after about 2 1/2 years racing, but neevr had one fail bashing.

You will need a decent servo as crashes will break a plastic geared servo really fast. If its high grip you really want more than 10kg to torque too, somehting likethe Savox 1258TG. Good thing is they are often for sale secondhand.

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I know my view may differ from many others on here, but personally I think going in with a cheap basic model is an excellent start.

I have always found that having a model perceived as less capable by my competitors gives me a bit of an edge. They don't expect me to be fast, so they leave gaps that I can take advantage of.

Also, if you don't do well, nobody is going to hold it against you if your kit is perceived as slower than everyone else's, however if you do manage to succeed, it will be seen as an even greater achievement.

I also tend to find that I am willing to push harder with a cheaper model, as opposed to taking it very easy and carefully with my more expensive ones. I know my fancy all-carbon hopped-up-to-TRF-level F104 V2 Pro is capable of amazing performance, but I don't want to break it to so my fastest laps are recorded with my venerable box stock F103 for example.

I wouldn't let the lack of other budget racers put you off. All it takes is one to start a trend. Mine used to be the only F103 in a field of X-Rays and TRFs, but now there are at least 4 others that regularly appear, their drivers having seen how much fun can be had with affordable kit.

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 Depends a bit on the track, but if it's high grip carpet you might well find tje df03 being ball diff front and rear and 0.5 mod gear teeth a bit limiting. Generally high grip needs oil filled gear diffs and tamiya gearing is usually limited and won't go low enough for brushless racing. I really like your idea but i think if you are buying you will be seriously limiting yourself with a DF03. That said, i had a quick look on youtube and there are no massive jumps or anything like that so a neo scorcher might be quite good. They are low to the ground and have diff options, and a high speed gearing motor mount will give you options. I still think a secomd hand race car would be best though. Even something a few years old. I picked up a DB01R on ebay last year for £100 and had to spend another £100 on a couple of missing parts, electronics and race tyres, and it FLEW around Robin Hood Raceway. Not as fast as modern gear, but it was super easy to drive and jumped well. Head and shoulders above any of my other tamiyas. 

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Go get a Sand Viper, put the control tyre on it and have a ball. Use it, abuse it and soon enough you'll know what you really need. Just get out there and have fun.

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52 minutes ago, Bromley said:

Go get a Sand Viper, put the control tyre on it and have a ball. Use it, abuse it and soon enough you'll know what you really need. Just get out there and have fun.

Well I that's exactly what I did (except I already had one)

Its a good idea, except don't bother with the spending out on the tyres. The 2 issues I had with that car was landing from jumps and unwanted wheelies. Grip wasn't the issue.

Just spend money on transponder and BRCA as you'll need that regardless, and maybe a good steering servo, anything else you may never use again if you decide to upgrade the car.

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Whichever way you go, I would not recommend the DF-03 for racing.

Along with the other caveats mentioned above, you may end up with some significant gearbox wear issues/costs depending on how much power you're running. The DF-03 is notorious for eating the soft alloy in the top shaft (both the stock part and the slipper), which is discussed in several threads on TC (for example: https://www.tamiyaclub.com/forum/index.php?/topic/49262-df-03-gearbox-failure/).

Tamiya never issued a fix for this, and while there are some do-it-yourself solutions available, you'd still be setting yourself up with challenges out of the box.

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Thanks for all the great info. The DF-03 is definitely off the list for this then. Shame I rather fancied one, but can see it isn't going to be worthwhile for this.

I do agree on buying a used racing setup, although it is quite a minefield in finding or even knowing what to look for. And while I appreciate being in the right place at the right time can snag a bargain, it does require luck and is hard to plan for! So, while I'll be keeping an eye out, I will also be looking at other options that I can price up.

 

I think I'd really like to race 2wd buggies, but options for these do seem to be slim. I have compiled a list of all the new offerings, but realistically a 2wd kit is going to be circa £300 . If I get into racing again I will want to do this, but it is rather too much of a commitment to spend this, to just go and try it out.

My concern with some of the used offerings are spares availability. I don't really want to buy into something that is then a pain to keep running.

 

As I see it I have these options:

1. New    
  New Schumacher/Team Associated 2wd buggy £290.00
  Race batteries x 2 £80.00
  Motor (already have something to get going) £0.00
  ESC (already have something to get going) £0.00
  Tyres (stock tyres look like they will work) £0.00
  Servo (already have something to get going) £0.00
     
    £370.00
     
2. Used    
  Used buggy £150.00
  Race batteries x 2 £80.00
  Motor (already have something to get going) £0.00
  ESC (already have something to get going) £0.00
  Tyres (stock tyres look like they will work) £15.00
  Servo (already have something to get going) £0.00
     
    £245.00
     
3. Budget    
  New Neo Scorcher £109.00
  Batteires (already have something) £0.00
  Motor (already have something to get going) £0.00
  ESC (already have something to get going) £0.00
  Tyres (stock tyres look like they will work) £15.00
  Servo (already have something to get going) £0.00
  Bearing set £9.60
     
    £133.60

 

I know the Neo Scorcher is 4wd, but it has good spares availability. And looks to be cheapest to get on track with. I might even be able to find a used one for a fair price (although prices always seem crazy on used Tamiya's). And if I do end up liking it, I can always sell the Neo Scorcher. A big factor for the cost is batteries. I have 4 or 5 hardcase stick pack LiPos that I could use and none of the competition spec cars accept these. Meaning I will have to spend min of £80 on some new batteries, but maybe over £100.

 

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Jonathon Gillham said:

If you had something suitable then definitely worth taking that along.

That's the exact problem. I have nothing I can even take to give it a go with. :(

I have a Grasshopper, Losi XX-CR and a 1/8th Arrma Raider XL. None would be suitable. The Losi was a fine dirt/grass race buggy in it's day. But there are no spares at all these days, so I wouldn't want to risk breaking it. I have a Losi XXT-CR stadium truck which is the same, although no class for those (I did race it indoors about 20 years ago though). Got a 1/8th Carisma Porsche 959, 1/18th Atom XT, M-Rage, Lunchbox, Konghead, Madbull, Asterion (VX-01T) and a 1/8th Turnigy SCT-2.

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22 hours ago, Butler said:

If you're gonna race get your BRCA membership and a Transponder

 

What and were do you get transponders from? I know things have changed since I last raced, as you would just borrow one from race control and return it at the end of the race. Thanks.

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Bring the losi next Wednesday, they are running a vintage eve with a simpler track a lower jumps.

I bought this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MRT-mPTX-RC-Timing-Personal-Transponder-AMB-MyLaps-RC4-Compatible-MRTmPTX/333415381844?hash=item4da11afb54:g:c6EAAOSwal5YIzN0

If you run a Neo Scorcher, run a second hand one that you can maybe sell on for similar money. If you enjoy it, which I am confident you will, you will likely move on quickly to a competitive chassis, even if, like me, you're not a competitive driver.

My DT02 wasn't slow, it was frustrating. I struggled to land it cleanly and it tipped over a lot.

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Thanks for the link.

I did see about the vintage race on Weds. Sadly while I claimed this was localish, it is still a fair drive. Not so bad at a weekend, but I'm the wrong side of Bedford for Watford (workwise) and would be unlikely to get there in time :( might see if I can wangle it though. Still my biggest worry with the Losi is breaking it, I occasionally run it in large flat areas as it drives well still. But if I break a suspension arm or tower it is pretty much game over.

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Go check out a race at the local club and talk to other racers, you can probably find a used "race" buggy that way and you will be able to get advice/help with setting it up.

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It is always worth keeping an eye on oople,  something will come up. Without a reasonably up to date race chassis, I fear you may struggle speed wise and for reliability there. Since you have raced before,  I would say a 10.5 motor will do to start,  too much power will not help on a fairly small track like DMS. All of my modern race cars are used,  picking the right one can save a lot of money. 

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13 hours ago, StueyS said:

It is always worth keeping an eye on oople,  something will come up. Without a reasonably up to date race chassis, I fear you may struggle speed wise and for reliability there. Since you have raced before,  I would say a 10.5 motor will do to start,  too much power will not help on a fairly small track like DMS. All of my modern race cars are used,  picking the right one can save a lot of money. 

Thanks for the advice and I do concur. Although having watched some vids on Youtube of TT-02 touring cars carpet racing, it does make me wonder how capable a TT-02b could be. If it was only 80% as good as the touring cars I watched, I think it would be more than capable of competing at the lower level.

I fully understand the dedicated competition vehicles will be quicker, but I highly doubt I would be a front runner with any vehicle. Thus I would be unlikely to be chasing tenths or hundreds of a second differences in setup. Likewise, while I fully appreciate something like the Cougar XC has loads of adjustability in terms of diff height, hub height, chassis flex and loads of other things. The reality is, I probably would leave it alone and just drive as is. So part of me is quite liking the idea of taking a vehicle that is maybe perceived as well out of it's class and giving it go purely because of this. If I get back into it, then a 2wd Cougar Laydown or Associated RC10 B6.1 would are my current front runners.

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On 12/5/2019 at 10:59 PM, Losi XXT-CR said:

Thanks for the advice and I do concur. Although having watched some vids on Youtube of TT-02 touring cars carpet racing, it does make me wonder how capable a TT-02b could be. If it was only 80% as good as the touring cars I watched, I think it would be more than capable of competing at the lower level.

I fully understand the dedicated competition vehicles will be quicker, but I highly doubt I would be a front runner with any vehicle. Thus I would be unlikely to be chasing tenths or hundreds of a second differences in setup. Likewise, while I fully appreciate something like the Cougar XC has loads of adjustability in terms of diff height, hub height, chassis flex and loads of other things. The reality is, I probably would leave it alone and just drive as is. So part of me is quite liking the idea of taking a vehicle that is maybe perceived as well out of it's class and giving it go purely because of this. If I get back into it, then a 2wd Cougar Laydown or Associated RC10 B6.1 would are my current front runners.

You'd be surprised how slow the TT02B will be compared to the other cars.  I swapped from a Kyosho Lazer ZX6 to a HB Racing D418 and picked up 2 seconds a lap (on around 38sec laps).  Went from sitting around 8th - 12th (so either A or B main) to comfortably sitting around 5th and making the A main.  The Lazer isn't a bad car, but it wasn't as well suited to the dirt track as the HB.

The TT02B doesn't jump well and is really heavy.  Its not just the tuning options on the race cars, they are lighter, no slop or play, stiffer/flexier where they should be etc etc.  I've run one on a track and they were awful.  The Boomerang however was good.

You also mentioned the Top Force, if you want one of those anyway then that is probably the best option of the Tamiya buggies.  Unfortunately it'll cost a bit as you'll end up wanting hi caps and maybe the carbon chassis set.  But if its something that you've wanted for a while and don't mind spending money on for the shelf later then it would work.

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I agree that the TT-02B is far from an ideal race buggy in stock form, and even with extensive hop-ups it is unlikely to ever be quite as good as one designed for racing from the outset. Nonetheless, I still think it would be a fun project to see how close you could get it. There is no shortage of option parts for it.

Sure, the stock chassis could be stiffer, but there is a hard chassis option, as well as carbon brace and stiffener available from Fybrelite. The flexible stock shock towers are nothing to write home about, but there are sturdy carbon options. There are lighter and stronger aftermarket drivetrain parts, steering linkages, etc. A good set of shims can get rid of the slop... The list goes on.

Come to think of it, by utilising parts from the TT-02 Type S touring chassis, you may even be able to bolt a full set of TRF suspension to it.

It would probably cost a fair bit in the long run, but it is something that can be done over time, so your wallet need not feel any sudden shocks. 

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