So, as promised from earlier.... Actually, before I get to that, I was a little irrate before I even started. I'd purchased the kit through RC Champ in japan... price is always the cheapest. This time however, I got burned. Firstly, the EMS delivery was not express (5day flight from japan to the uk, wtf?), and then more time was added on due to customs charges (had these before with champ admitidly)... thank fully I'd been tracking the package online, so knew it was at the depot waiting for me, despite having now letter waiting for me when I got back home this afternoon (UK postal system is sh1t). As you can imagine, not too impressed at this point... and then lo and behold, no Blue al/Ti screw kit, as I'd ordered
Thankfully, I have quite a few spares in my boxes... and I actually quite like the dark chrome look of the kit screws, so have used them on the underside of the car (also convinced myself by saying that with LiPo, any extra weight that can be added low down is good
So, back to the build... I'll run through in terms of the manual.
First off, Chassis prep... the usual really, spent a fair bit of time getting the nice rounded edges, and sorting all of that out.
Have to admit, didn't really see any difference in the bulkheads of my kit in terms of finish, still look blue and shiny to me. I also compared them to my MRE, and the anodising looks pretty darn similar.
Nice and easy to build (as you'd expect). Swapped out the standard balls for some JAAD ceramic ones, and also went to the JAAD racing ceramic thrust race. Used my usual technique of 600 grit wet and dry on both sides of the diff rings, and then assembled as the instructions. Added on some JAAD covers from the 415 as well, had a slight issue with one side getting stuck to the outdrive and binding the diff, easily solved by putting some diff lube onto the outdrive in the correct region. (Anyone think I like the JAAD stuff... it's good
I like the seperate rear bulkhead/motor mount. Also prefering the diff setting method. To help keep an easier eye on the belt tension setting, I used a paint marker on the bearing holder to mark the position.
Now, this is one part of the car I had an issue with, but purely of my own making... quick hint, make sure you check your using the right sized E-ring when attaching the pulleys (the 3mm one won't fit in the 5mm space). I n terms of spacing, I also added some extras 0.2mm shims on, so in total I have 3 on the left hand side, and 2 on the right (manual only states for 1 either side).
Pretty standard fair, all slotted together well, similar to the rear.
Thought I'd compare this with my MRE... Tamiya have changed it slightly, as the bell cranks are shorter, although the posts are in the same position (relative to the front suspension blocks). This, I guess, is part of the reason for the increased number of shims used on the ball joints, over the MRE/MSXX. Also like the fact it's now raised slightly, which makes avoiding the belt easier.
Now, this is the one part of the car that I did have issues with fit. As someone on here has already mentioned, the top deck didn't fit too well, effectively being too long, and causing the car to "bow" when fitted together. I removed ~1mm of material from the back edge of the deck, and all is now nice and snug, with no fit issues. This certainly something to pay attention to when building the car, as you'll just put tweak into it if not dealt with.
Slightly unconvinced with the adjustable belt stabiliser, personally would have preferd to make adjustment to it's height simply by adding more spacers underneath (like I did with my MRE), I think the lock nut just looks a bit ugly
I do like the antena mount, nice and low, works well with short spectrum antena I use
So, I checked my kit for the arms, and yep, mine have the same fit issue too. Thankfully, as all my running is indoors, I've mounted the car up straight away with the short LWT arms, so no issues there. As previously mentioned on here, this did create a slight issue later on with the driveshaft blade just catching the diff nut (even with X/D on the rear for 2deg toe in, that slightly widens the track of the car) but was solved by filing off a little material from the blade. Other option is too use 42mm driveshafts. The new driveshafts do seem to have a slightly larger diameter bone section than old too... not sure how the aluminium driveshafts will holdup in the front, but I have spare steel ones I can use if required (I'll get hold of some cyclone bones as well to try).
Certainly like the bigger hub bearings. Don't think there is much difference in bearings spacings, so old axles should fit. The axles in the kit are different, look much more like the cyclone ones now.
I had no issue with the fit of the rear hubs in the arms, the spacing was fine. I did try adding an extra 0.1mm to tighten it up, but it bound the hub up, so I left it as kit.
For the front hubs, the revised c-hub arrangement is soo much better, no more losing the top-hat spacers if the lower screw falls out!
. It's a little more fiddly to put together, but I'll take that over improved reliability and operation. Just don't tighten the screws up too tight, as it can still bind the steering.
They are TRF's... no more need be said
As for the towers... the use of countersunk screws is a deffinate improvement, as the towers now a locked into one place as you tighten it down.
Next big tip... don't forget to put the upper motor mount screw in place before
you put the top deck on, otherwise it's got to come off again.... guess which way I did it
I've made sure the speedo is mounted on the cooling duct, so makes it very easy to swap between brushed and brushless mode. With a low profile servo, and a spectrum reciver, there is plenty of room to make a tidy install
With the servo mount, and the motor mount centre brace, there is a nice in built brace to stop LiPo's sliding into the front belt.
415 bodyshells do fit
The front bumper is much smaller though, not sure about that, may have to invest in a p-dub version.
Overall very impressed. There are plenty of good detailed refinements over the 415... which is a good thing in my eyes... revolution was not required
Now to get it on track, have to wait till next weekend