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A quick bit of history about my FF01, which came to me way back in the late 00s as a pre-built runner Calsonic Primera.  I'd already built a Calsonic Primera from the box but I had to have something to run, so when this one came up on TC I jumped at it.

It had seen some use but the body was in near-perfect condition (just some bare spots on the rear arches where the tyres had rubbed the paint off) so it would make a perfect light runner for the local bashes that were popular back then.

I can't find any original unboxing pictures or showroom photos, but here's some I got during one of its rare outings at a Cider Bashers meet in Bristol

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Around the end of the 00s, start of the 10s, the local bashing scene died out and I no longer had the chance to run my on-road cars.  I don't have much good tarmac nearby so all my touring cars languished at the back of the shelf for ages, until 2017 when I decided to enter this new thing known as the Iconic Cup, a national series for vintage touring cars.  The had an FF class, so I dug out the old runner and entered the local Cotswold round along with my M03 Civic.

I painted up a new Integra Type R body (although despite loving Type Rs I never liked Tamiya's version - it felt fat, like it was bulging in the middle and too high on the roofline) and go on track, and loved how it drove.  Although I only had ancient Sorex rubber glued onto old Tamiya tyres, I only had carpet additive and I didn't have any tuning parts like springs or shock oil, I still found it a joy to drive and had a great day on the track.  I didn't place with that car (although I got 3rd in the B final with the M03 Civic).  Sadly I don't have any pics of that day as I was (once again) too busy doing whatever it is I do at race meets when I should be taking pics.

For 2018 I switched to the Touring class with a TL-01LA and in 2019 had to go into the GT class because the LA was outlawed from Touring for being too good (the truth is that the LA isn't really that good, it's just that Andy Travis won every round in 2018 because a) he knows how to drive and 2) he knows how to set a car up properly).

In 2020 I planned to return the FF01 to the track with an all-new body design tribute to a vintage Tamiya buggy, but then some stuff happened and for some reason all the races got cancelled.  I got the chance to run it at West London in the summer for a special one-day Iconic Challenge meet run to 2019 Cup rules, where it performed adequately (although a bit grip-roley) with its new L&L Models Accord body and my own special isol-8 livery.  This time I went prepared, with a full set of touring car springs, turnbuckles and various tyres.

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Those who have been following my road trip thread will know that this car made it all the way from West Wilts to Carlisle (although admittedly not under its own battery power) to campaign round 1 of the Iconic Cup 2021.  It handled well, although I didn't put as much time into tuning as I should and failed to improve on some good initial times, qualifying way down the grid and failing to finish the final thanks to a broken rear shock mount.

As these cars are now getting on and hard to find parts for, I opted to fix the shock mount with superglue and ziptie, and switch from ball-stud to screw-and-ball-nut fittings.

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Towards the end of the day, both the M03 and FF01 had suffered from the motor cutting out, and although it was a very warm day by Lake District standards, it wasn't exactly hot by rest-of-world standards where they are able to race RC cars all day long (admittedly with different additive).

Back home, I decided to see if I could replicate the problem by running the car with the motor under load.  I figured the best way was to give it full throttle with an old set of tyres spinning up on the workbench, then increase the pressure until the motor was labouring.  That way, the motor, speedo and all connections would be put under some strain and if there was a heat-related problem, it might show itself.

The first things that got hot were the tyres, heating up enough to leave melted black bits all over the workbench, but within less than a minute the motor cut out.  Success. The motor was stone cold, as was the speedo heatsink.

Hmm...

What about the cold-plated motor plugs that I fitted a week ago?  Yes, give them a wiggle, it works again.  Drive some more, within a few seconds it cut out.  Wiggle, comes back again.  Ah-hah!  Those new motor plugs from China are dodgy!

This is the sort of plug I mean.  Generic 3.5mm (I think I never know where to measure them from and I never seem to buy the same ones twice) gold plated pluge:

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The problem seems to be this swizzley bit on the end.  It acts as a spring to keep tension on the female side and keep it in place, but it spins around on the shaft and possibly isn't in full contact all the time.  If it only has a small contact area it will quickly heat up and burn and lose conductivity.

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My solution (yet to be tested in the field) was to solder the swizzley bit to the shaft.  That should give plenty of contact.  The trick here is to get enough heat through the pluge that the solder is drawn down under the swizzley bit, and not just sitting on top of it.

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A quick test on the workbench and it seemed to work well enough - I couldn't encourage the motor to stop running even after almost destroying an old set of tyres.  I think for now we can call that a Result and put it away, pending the next race.

In other news, a helpful @ThunderDragonCy loaned me his FF01 setup for Broxtowe, although I'll have to miss the Broxtowe round of the Iconic Cup due to it falling on the same weekend as a family camping trip - but possibly I'll run it at the Broxtowe round of TORC the following weekend (especially if I can get a pass and do the Tamiya Junkies meet on the same weekend).  Still, I'm hopeful the setup will be mostly right for Stafford a few weeks later and hopefully suit me well through the rest of the season :) 

Fingers crossed for some better runs this year!

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@Quincy and I posted a lot of unboxing/build/shelfqueen Primera pictures in the builds section. Your pictures of running the Primera are very welcome :) We will soon have a Primera schoolyard session with two Primeras running ^_^

Great to have another FF-01 thread with interesting content „thumbs up“

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10 hours ago, ThunderDragonCy said:

@Mad Ax Interesting you had trouble with plugs. I tend to favour them to allow quick motor swaps but i shall be keeping an eye on mine from now on. 

Yes, I've been slowly converting most of my runners to use these plugs.  First of all I had loads of trouble with measurements - didn't matter where I measured them from, the ones I ordered were always too small.  Finally managed to get the right size and ordered two bags from some random China seller and now the only two cars I've in anger have this problem.  I guess "gold plated" doesn't always equal "better".  I've had Tamiya motor plugs melt the wire and burn the rubber sheath before but never had them stop working entirely.

Generally I think these types of plug should be very reliable, but I think I have a problem with a bad manufacturer.  Maybe I should stick to genuine RC brands, but then like with R clips you pay 5 times as much for a bag a tenth of the size :rolleyes: 

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16 hours ago, Mad Ax said:

 

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This happened to mine too. I also used cable tie and worked but eventually, it also gave up due to the brittle plastic. 

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So here's what I did to reinforce it.

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2mm carbon fiber

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Cut the other mount

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Fabricated shock tower reinforcement from the CF.

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Very neat solution there @Nicadraus, I hope my stainless-screw-from-the-back solution will get me through but if I have more trouble I'll build a reinforcing plate :)

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On 6/9/2021 at 8:00 PM, Mad Ax said:

A quick bit of history about my FF01, which came to me way back in the late 00s as a pre-built runner Calsonic Primera.  I'd already built a Calsonic Primera from the box but I had to have something to run, so when this one came up on TC I jumped at it.

It had seen some use but the body was in near-perfect condition (just some bare spots on the rear arches where the tyres had rubbed the paint off) so it would make a perfect light runner for the local bashes that were popular back then.

I can't find any original unboxing pictures or showroom photos, but here's some I got during one of its rare outings at a Cider Bashers meet in Bristol

DSC_0050.jpg

DSC_0039.jpg

DSC_0033.jpg

DSC_0027.jpg

DSC_0026.jpg

DSC_0003.jpg

DSC_0023.jpg

Cineworld car park?

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Yes indeed.  Where you there for that one?  It was back at the end of 2008, IIRC.  I'm pretty sure the main culprits were Lemming, Bag of Badgers and Tomcat, and I'm not sure if that might have been the same event where I got towed along behind RabiedMushroom's 14.4v Clod in a child's trike.

That section of the car park is now a KFC.

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Nice, I just pulled my ff01 Volvo out for this first time and many many years and started researching to make a shelf queen ff01 Volvo to sit next to it.

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On 6/10/2021 at 4:08 AM, Mad Ax said:

Yes, I've been slowly converting most of my runners to use these plugs.  First of all I had loads of trouble with measurements - didn't matter where I measured them from, the ones I ordered were always too small.  Finally managed to get the right size and ordered two bags from some random China seller and now the only two cars I've in anger have this problem.  I guess "gold plated" doesn't always equal "better".  I've had Tamiya motor plugs melt the wire and burn the rubber sheath before but never had them stop working entirely.

Generally I think these types of plug should be very reliable, but I think I have a problem with a bad manufacturer.  Maybe I should stick to genuine RC brands, but then like with R clips you pay 5 times as much for a bag a tenth of the size :rolleyes: 

Loving this thread!

A note on these connectors. As an Electronics Engineer, these plugs are a terrible choice for motor connections. The surface area is inadequate to pass any real current. When the connection heats up, the "spring" part of the connector will deform, leading to your motor cutting out issue. The solder fix only prevents the "spring" from collapsing away from the barrel. As the "spring" heats, the ends push further away from the center, allowing the "Spring" to lose contact. This style also allows for more carbon tracking, which will also cut the connection. Most likely why wiggling the connector allows the motor to work again.

Typically this style of connector, Also know commonly as a banana plug, is used on power supplies and multi meters mostly, and is not rated for high current.

I use this design plug - https://www.ebay.com/itm/175213356275?hash=item28cb87a4f3:g:BrwAAOSwMJdiPJpf - Which is more than adequate for high amperage applications. They use virtually the entire post as the "spring", allowing far more amperage to pass through without deforming and losing connection.

On other pastures, I really want to pick up a FF style chassis, But must get the PIAA Accord body to reproduce a 96 Accord I used to own. Really miss that car....

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18 hours ago, RC Perspective said:

A note on these connectors. As an Electronics Engineer, these plugs are a terrible choice for motor connections.

You're right, this is exactly the problem I had - I've had other motors come with similar style plugs and have worked fine, but these ones always gave me no end of problems.  I guess that's why they were cheap.  I need to find someone who can supply the style you linked in bulk so I can do all my motors cost-effectively.

The handout motors supplied by Racecraft RC for the CWICS use the connectors you linked, which was awkward as I had to blag a set of connectors to solder onto my car before the first heat :o 

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1 hour ago, Mad Ax said:

You're right, this is exactly the problem I had - I've had other motors come with similar style plugs and have worked fine, but these ones always gave me no end of problems.  I guess that's why they were cheap.  I need to find someone who can supply the style you linked in bulk so I can do all my motors cost-effectively.

The handout motors supplied by Racecraft RC for the CWICS use the connectors you linked, which was awkward as I had to blag a set of connectors to solder onto my car before the first heat :o 

A quick ebay search for "3.5mm bullet connectors" brings up a bunch, but you just have to take a close look at the pics to make sure they aren't the Spring Cage type.

I usually just order them as I need them from the LHS, as I don't have a bunch of models yet. Just 2 TT02's, a TT02R, a Roche P10W and a RC4WD TF2. The TF2 motor is soldered directly to the 1060. the silver can in my one TT02 I use the factory Tamiya bullet connectors, as even these are better than most spring cage type. I use the bullets linked previously for my cheapy BL setup in another TT02, and the R has a HW brushless setup. 

I do use the 3.5mm long spring cage type Lipo connectors, as those are actually rated for high amperage, and the barrel fit is tight enough that the cage has no room to deform; It is a rather solid design if the tolerance is tight enough.

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1313&_nkw=3.5+mm+bullet+connectors&_sacat=0

-RC Perspective

Edit - I notice more of the correct type on the US ebay site but not many on the UK site. For motor connections the 3.5mm short type should be sufficient. 

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On 6/7/2022 at 9:38 PM, RC Perspective said:

On other pastures, I really want to pick up a FF style chassis, But must get the PIAA Accord body to reproduce a 96 Accord I used to own. Really miss that car....

You really should! I love my FF cars. FF01s come up in UK and Europe fairly frequently on ebay, but parts are still hard to get hold of in good condition. I get the impression the FF01 wasn't as popular in the USA though. The FF03 is still in prodution and its a great kit with pretty good parts support and much wider gearing options. There is a company in the UK called L and L models that does a couple of different Accord shells from European touring car racing. 

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