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ChrisRx718

FF03 Bits-A-Build!

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What do we need? 

More project threads!

When do we want them?

Potato!

Anyways...

I recently bought a 'bag of bits' from @ThunderDragonCy having never previously considered an FF03 chassis before. 

I've lost the image now but it was mostly the main tub, lots of chassis plastics, arms, uprights etc. and the motor plate.

After a swift transaction I was soon staring at the pages of an FF03-Pro manual and my new pile of bits. A lot of online shopping followed, and after that a lot of waiting (Thanks, Covid). But a couple of weeks back I was looking at the below:

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Of course, it likely would have been far cheaper and easier to buy a new FF03 kit, but where's the fun in that?! :lol:

Also as you'll see above I built it from the get-go with all the bling bits I wanted, without going full-mental R-spec. After all, I want to run this chassis.

First stage is to build the ball diff. Never built one quite like this (most advanced car prior to this was my TA05R) and was surprised to have to glue the pressure plates onto plastic diff outdrives. I'm sure it will be fine.

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It all goes together with relative easy and I deliberately left it on the rather 'tight' side.

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Next up is the counter and idler gear arrangements. This is strange new territory for me too; never seen a metal counter gear on a Tamiya before.

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What's really odd is that little 2x8mm shaft cross-pin. Most 2mm shafts for Tamiya are found in the wheel axles and are 2x10mm, so I was glad I had Metal Parts Bag A from Tamico for this step.

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All done. What's not obvious from these images is the scale; for some reason this all just felt very miniature. I don't know why, but I was expecting the gearbox to be bigger. Case in point; the next step is to put it into the gearbox casing:

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Tamiya Wrench for scale!

First bit of budget bling - gearbox cross-brace from 3Racing. Also the first conundrum, the brace instructions suggest to use 3x8mm screws whereas the manual wants 3x12's. The head of the screws sit in the same spot as the stock parts; so I went with what Mr T recommends.

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Note that I'm replacing all the hardware with hex-head screws on this. In my experience they torque easier (easier to feel when to stop) and with frequent assembly/disassembly they seem to wear less than the JIS hardware.

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Now we have some serious blue gold B)

Note the use of countersunk hex-head screws combined with a countersunk flat washer. I couldn't find 3x48mm in hex-head, so these are 3x50 but the washer is 2mm thick, so it all works out.

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See! 

I like this stage of the build because as of right now, the 'car' comprises of more blue gold than it does OEM parts :lol:

Next up is to fix the Spur Gear. I've gone with the kit-stock offering for now:

50184095152_2ae9796b24_b.jpg

So shiny!

And that's enough for now; next up is the rocker-arm suspension arrangement, which is very similar to the TA05 IFS setup.

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Gearbox looks small, but in the end the car becomes quite bulky in front...

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4 hours ago, ChrisRx718 said:

 

50183837251_67753de667_b.jpg

It all goes together with relative easy and I deliberately left it on the rather 'tight' side.

50184095242_d14dfefcd3_b.jpg

Next up is the counter and idler gear arrangements. This is strange new territory for me too; never seen a metal counter gear on a Tamiya before.

 

 

Those plastic outdrives won't last. I have three FF-03 kits and two have the same gearboxes and diffs and none of those plastic outdrives lasted. I strongly suggest replacing the plastic outdrives to aluminum. Tamiya and Yeah Racing has that set. I used YR and it's been great. Also, use anti-wear grease instead of ball diff grease. More effective and your ball diff and plate will last longer too and will not require frequent ball diff rebuilding. Lastly, tighten the diff and it should be equivalent to a gear diff with 30k oil in it. It will perform great.

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Are those outdrives the same as a DF03 rear diff? Many similar letters in the chassis code, so maybe? They look very similar 

If so, they’re a known weak point in the DF03 with powerful motors, the plastic bits get melty. The ‘easy’ fix is to buy the DF03 front outdrives (which are all metal) and use them in the rear. Presumably you could do the same here?

https://www.modelsport.co.uk/tamiya-front-diff-joint-l-r-mj1-mj2-/rc-car-products/37906&CID=USD

Apologies if that’s wrong, or granny egg sucking! 

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26 minutes ago, Nicadraus said:

Those plastic outdrives won't last. I have three FF-03 kits and two the same gearboxes and diffs and none of those plastic outdrives lasted. I strongly suggest replacing the plastic outdrives to aluminum. Tamiya and Yeah Racing has that set. I used YR and it's been great. Also, use anti-wear grease instead of ball diff grease. More effective and your ball diff and plate will last longer too and will not require frequent ball diff rebuilding. Lastly, tighten the diff and it should be equivalent to a gear diff with 30k oil in it. It will perform great.

Cheers. Even handling them I'm thinking "are you sure?!" Seem a bit flimsy even after the 'rings' are attached.

25 minutes ago, Juhunio said:

Are those outdrives the same as a DF03 rear diff? Many similar letters in the chassis code, so maybe? They look very similar 

If so, they’re a known weak point in the DF03 with powerful motors, the plastic bits get melty. The ‘easy’ fix is to buy the DF03 front outdrives (which are all metal) and use them in the rear. Presumably you could do the same here?

https://www.modelsport.co.uk/tamiya-front-diff-joint-l-r-mj1-mj2-/rc-car-products/37906&CID=USD

Apologies if that’s wrong, or granny egg sucking! 

Look very similar but on this the two outdrives were a very similar length, those look to be 'offset' and longer on one side.

I'm running a 10.5T brushless setup so they need to be robust. I also don't have CVD's in the front, budget couldn't stretch at the time. 

I'll see how it goes. I have the gearbox casings as part of the original sale which allow the oil-filled gear diff option too, perhaps that's a better idea? Or does that still have just plastic outdrives? 

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2 hours ago, ChrisRx718 said:

I'll see how it goes.

The outdrives melt if the diff acts like a slipper clutch and slips. This causes friction and friction causes heat and... you get the idea. 

Make sure the diff doesn't slip. Liberal with the diff grease, break it in properly on a drill, keep it nice and tight. Like much tighter than you'd run a car with a slipper clutch. Do Tamiya's diff test by holding the outdrives static and trying to force the diff gear round. If you can move it at all, too loose. 

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"Of course, it likely would have been far cheaper and easier to buy a new FF03 kit, but where's the fun in that?:lol:

THAT'S the way I need to look at my M05 PIECEMEAL build.... 😁  Well put! 

Now that several of you are doing FF Chassis builds of some sort, I'm really getting the BUG!! 😜  YOURS is starting out with some prime bits!

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Next step 6 in the manual; building the rocker arm suspension setup:

50184095142_4405c8918d_b.jpg

Clearly brass bushings would not cut it, so I've put 4x rubber sealed 850 bearings on these. I actually swapped the parts out for the Carbon Reinforced versions designed for the TA05 IFS setup. After comparing them side-by-side, they're identical, despite being from separate mouldings. Reinforced plastic beats regular plastic when you can't afford the blue gold version, right?!

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All a bit dark now, but mounted up to the front bulkhead thingy.

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Step 7-9: Steering arrangement. Again I couldn't afford the blue gold version 'racing steering' but these are all carbon reinforced plastic parts. Particularly like the black steel ball connectors, which I wish you could buy separately.

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First appearance of the chassis tub! 

You can see the slight rust marks from the droop screw points on this used chassis from @ThunderDragonCy (sorry to keep tagging you) 

I did consider cleaning it but
1. It's stubborn to get off
2. You can't see it once assembled anyway

Since it's only cosmetic, it's not going to affect the running of the car. So it stays!

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All installed; a disappointing lack of blue stuff so far!

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Step 10: This is where it started getting tricky. I couldn't buy the 'J' parts (Spacers) as everywhere was out of stock at the time. Instead, I bought Tamiya 53539 5.5mm Aluminium Spacer Set. This comes with an arrangement of 3mm ID spacers ideal for spacing suspension arms and well, spacing things (clue is in the name I guess). I highly recommend this, ended up using all-but-2 of the entire kit, so have since ordered more for future builds :rolleyes:

Unfortunately there are no dimensions for the J-parts (that I could find) so it was a lot of trial and error and measuring with my trusty measuring calipers. 

Step 12: Next up was mounting the gearbox onto the chassis tub:

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Nothing much to say about that, chassis is looking rather front-heavy!

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Step 13: Front suspension upright setup. Un-packaged are the parts from my original @ThunderDragonCy purchase, the bagged bits are from Plaza Japan. Went with the hop-up suspension pins and low-friction king pin setup - purely because the king pin setup included all the little 'top hat' spacers and hardware to mount the steering knuckles. 

We are now into Metal Parts Bag B which I didn't buy separately...

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Bit dark! But all assembled. This is a real Cats-Cradle one to build, where you need a third hand to hold everything in place whilst you carefully install the small 1mm spacer underneath the upper top-hat spacer without it falling on the floor over and over again :angry: I was glad when this step was over.

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Step 14: Attaching the front uprights. I'm using some TA05 dogbones for the time being. I was (still am) seriously tempted by some front Universal Joints but the budget has taken a hammering due to a recent XV-01 purchase. Small amount of AW grease on the outer end of the dogbones, though I'm not convinced this won't just attract dirt and accelerate wear? Good excuse to replace with UJ's when that happens!

50184095022_fa94350407_b.jpg

All assembled, that concludes Step 14. Rear arms and bulkhead to follow...

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These DO look very nose heavy!! Yet somehow they work - WELL. I've got a LIST of Tamiya Vehicles that I'm buying in a year to 15 months (HUGE Inheritance coming!!!!😁), including the Clodbuster, Avante, Madcap, King Cab, King Blackfoot and Wild One - amongst others!! 

I'm DEFINITELY adding the FF-03 to the list! I love things that look improbable, yet work brilliantly. Yours is really taking shape nicely!! 👍👍👌

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Good info on diff out drive! (Just started learning about ff03 since i just ordered one..)

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Can't believe I forgot to complete this build. The FF03 has since been ripping it up and down my street and is awaiting a nice new Honda Integra bodyshell.

This was around the time I took my sabbatical from RC so I didn't conclude the thread, I'll check to see if I have the pictures somewhere...

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Long overdue update to the thread. 

Rear arm assembly from bits:

50183291383_a870c75602_b.jpg

Rear bulkhead thingy - bit of carbon fibre bling here:

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Nice chunk of rear toe-in and a rusty droop screw. Not a beauty contest so it stays!

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Carbon rear shock tower:

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Shiny blue stuff and some M-chassis bits:

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Does it look like I know what I'm doing yet?

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Bolted to the chassis:

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I don't think these are proper TRF dampers - I think they're Yeah Racing Shock Gear? Those with a keen eye might be able to tell what they are. Certainly the spring retainers aren't Tamiya.

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Onto Screw Bag C (which I managed to obtain separately)

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Lots going on in here but I love it:

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Running stock gearing for the initial build; though I have since bought and fitted a 64dp setup

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Nobody warned me about this!

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Nightmare! Chassis would benefit from the Hobbywing / Tamiya BL motors where the cables and sensor wire exit out of the end of the can. This Speed Passion 10.5T was problematic as the wires were so close to the diff outdrive and steering bridge.

Gear cover on:

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You can see where the motor wires are supposed to be directed; across that little metal cut-out / slot in the gearbox bracing.

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Servo in; nothing fancy here but low-profile and plenty quick for this chassis.

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Foam bumper courtesy of Tamico delivery.

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Looking good, right?

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Would the motor wiring hold up in that position? Who knows :lol: To add further complexity I bought the stabiliser setup too.

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Looks like a car now!

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Painted up the Scirocco body (but not with the correct paint, this is a lighter metallic blue instead of PS-16).

I then got criminally distracted from this build (which is why I forgot to write it up) because I got a deal on an XV-01:

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Woops.

I'll get some updated stuff of the FF-03 and how it currently sits, you'll have to believe me that it is well and truly a "runner" and it works very well. The 64p gearing made it super silent too, capable of some incredible top speed (at least, it felt it, considering it's 2WD)

Sorry I let you down guys, I followed-up 3 years later :lol:

Not bad for a bag of your old cast-offs is it @ThunderDragonCy?

 

 

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Nice summarizing over what happened the last year. The car turned out really well. I have no problem to inderstand you got distracted by an XV-01.

 

Which color did you paint the Scirocco shell? That color would be perfect for making a 1/10 replica of the legendary Hafsengen Escort WRC, which I would like to do with my XV-01 some time. 

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17 hours ago, Andreas W said:

Which color did you paint the Scirocco shell? That color would be perfect for making a 1/10 replica of the legendary Hafsengen Escort WRC, which I would like to do with my XV-01 some time. 

I wish I could remember. I think it might have been Core RC Metallic Blue? Which I wouldn't recommend (the brand, that is).

Just to prove that it did get finished and used;

FF032.thumb.jpg.3a2830ef8d6e6ee397c8a82e05d46e2d.jpg

The steering servo was hopeless and the Speed Passion motor burned out. I ended up with this basic sensorless setup, which to be hones is really smooth (and it was cheap). I custom-printed a battery strap in carbon (foam block is because I run a shorty LiPo) 

I found and fitted the carbon radio tray and servo tray, the bling factor is almost complete (I think I could add a carbon front bumper support). Wheels and Tyres are from MST, the tyre profile is a bit low for my liking but these were only ever meant as runner wheels, so they're already looking a bit rough.

Car is honestly great fun, but being FWD it really needs a layout / track to get the most out of it - a RWD or AWD allows powerslides / drifts etc, whereas this is set up to just grip and go. 

I fitted 64dP gearing and it's buttery-smooth - highly recommended. Oh and the rocker arms got switched for some alloy ones. I'm amazed I avoided putting alloy steering on here, but the reinforced plastics are honestly just fine. Even the bodyshell has survived a number of bumps and is in surprisingly good condition. 

FF031.thumb.jpg.36c577d6e99aa3c35513b50643811418.jpg

Although the Kyosho line tape really doesn't hang around. It's all loose!

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On 11/12/2023 at 2:25 PM, ChrisRx718 said:

Although the Kyosho line tape really doesn't hang around. It's all loose!

Well the body (and the chassis) look phenomenal 👍

I was going to try the Kyosho tape, but perhaps on the inside of the shell, such that the paint seals it?

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Really like this, a lot, everything about it, including the fact it gets used and enjoyed.

One of my few Tamiya regrets is selling my Scirocco FF03.  

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