So I've ran my new TB-03, bone stock with factory setting, and I've been really happy with the car. Of course, it still needs tuning and upgrades. At this point, my only complaints are steering slop and understeer at higher speeds. As for durability, I'm not dealing with that now. I'm in a "wait and see what breaks" mode.
The only real problem with the car is of course the steering. I was expecting this based on reviews, but I still wanted to see just how bad it was. It's pretty bad. In a straight line, a bump, pebble or tidal forces can apparently yank the car to one side or the other. Correct over a slick part and you can become unsettled on a straight! The slop I've found is in two places - the steering assembly and the stock servo saver. I'm getting rid of all of it.
Otherwise, I think the car is awesome. I love how I can sling it around hair pins and it just pops out rock solid. At worst (and it's not bad) there's understeer on faster turns, which is surely something I can improve on with suspension tuning. Basically, in a medium to high speed turn, it just takes a wider turn, grips like crazy, and says "is that all you got?" (with the stock motor, the answer is "uh yeah, sorry"). So the front isn't blantantly breaking free, it's just a very controlled scrub. I'm pretty sure that the servo is holding position and when the slack is taken out of the servo saver, I'm pretty sure its strong enough to hold position too.
So, I'm looking for advice on a ranked list of the top 5 handling upgrades for the TB-03 kit. The idea is that it replace a part that came in the kit (like a servo saver) or it be a part that should have came with the kit (like a sway bar). I'm not looking for electronics advice and that includes the motor. Advice should be geared towards a car running on an asphalt parking lot (rougher than a track). Please include a link or part number.
Here are my top 5 upgrades at the moment. My rationale is fix the steering, kit tires are usually terrible (maybe Tamiya includes good rubber, though???), and being able to play with spring rates is probably the most important tuning tool I don't have with the stock kit.
1. Aluminum Steering Set - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=54095
2. Steering Linkage - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=54097
3. Hi Torque Servo Saver - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=51000
(or possibly a Kimbrough http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXS362&P=ML
4. New Tires - http://www.amainhobbies.com/product_...ed-Firm-Blue-4
(or possibly the medium-soft compound depending on how long it lasts)
5. Spring Set - http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin...&I=LXWB01&P=SM
* Sway bar set - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=53842
* Front U-Joints - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=54076
* Spool for front or front one way - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=54125
* TRF Shocks - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=53571
I'm new to on-road racing so my list should be taken with a big grain of salt. It's meant mainly to help generate discussion.