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Old 02-01-2013, 10:42 AM   #11161
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Some of you guys are so intellectually dishonest. We are talking about a (used ) TC3 here. The owner (Andy Redz) was wondering if it was worth racing it or if he'd be better off buying a new TC. I'm giving him objective info and advice. He asked questions in the TC4 thread so that's where I reply-period.

I never owner nor planned to own a spec-r. It just appears to be a great mid-level TC with an entry-level price. All the owners seem pretty much delighted with them. Just stating the facts: for a newcomer, it's a much better deal than to maintain and try to update a 15 year-old chassis. Don't make it as if I was trying to sell the guy something or make him conform to my preferences. I stopped counting the number of TC3s I own. And If I had to keep only one car it would probably be this one. But am I going to tell a beginner to get started with a TC3*? Hell no.

Now about the TC3

The car is way too stiff by today's standards, even with the cut side braces- FACT
You have to dremel things here and there ( C-hubs to get symmetrical steering throw, webbing under the pinion for low FDRs, motor cam) -FACT
The car needs vertical ball studs adjustment -FACT
The car has hinge pins very prone to bending- FACT
The steering knuckles, composite or graphite, strip often where the ball studs screw. FACT

Now, the parts needed to make a TC3 reasonably fast and tough for club level rcaing ( that is, sometimes hitting boards etc. I just took approximate prices I could find on ebay)*:

2 x hinge pins*: 9$
4 steel universals*: 40$ ( 4 of them to make a fair comparison with the spec-r car.)
TC4 chassis braces*: 6$
ball studs with hex in the ball*; 1 pack of 6*: 9$
one pack of RPM ball cups: 5$
one pair of steel outdrives*: 14$
one spool:19$ or 18$ if you choose the slipper spool option
one pair of aluminum seering knuckles*: 12$ for the cheapest ones

Total 113$ dollars. I doubt you'll find all these parts at these prices at your local hobby shop.

You'll notice I didn't even include ceramic diff balls but IMO they are highly recommended and maintenance-wise it would be more fair, to compare with the gear diffs of the S1. Same goes for a second or third pack of ball studs to make the whole car, I took just the absolute minimum for the camber links. I didn't add the cost of a pair of 4 degree C hubs either, again not fair to the spec-r. I also assumed the car he got used had ZERO part to replace- highly unlikely.

So I stayed on the safe side and I'm easily reaching the range of price of a brand new in box S1.

Anyway I doubt Andy Redz is still around to read this so maybe I wasted 15 minutes but at least I made my point.

(BTW Serpenteer I had forgotten about the T3R but you are right, it would have been my first choice before the spec-r came out. Still quite a bit more expensive than a S1 though, closer to the R1 price range-because it's an xray and because it has alloy bulkheads. Other minuses are the slotted chassis and the plastic ball diff but the car is incredibly fast and easy out of the box, can't argue with that. I can't wait for xray to release a T4R.)
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:33 PM   #11162
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The tc3 only really needs Rpm ballcups, parma bumper, and a spool/LCD combo : $60 or so that's it !!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:51 PM   #11163
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I'll concede one point to Heretic - it can be more cost effective to buy a new car than to maintain ANY r/c car. Perfect example is Tamiya Mini Coopers. It can actually be cheaper to buy a new kit for replacement parts than maintaining an existing one (and depending on the kit you get a brushed speed control).

I'll concede another point to Heretic, an older chassis may lack certain refinements for some classes, but virtually any race level car from the TC3 forward can be competitve. I've watched a good racer use a tub chassis TC3 in 17.5 last season and he had no problem keeping up with other "better" cars and national a-main level racers. (This was at the former R/Car facility in Indianapolis). He took on the challenge to see how far he could go with a TC3 and I believe that he had fun doing it.

- Webbing under the pinion. You only have to remove material if you are running a large spur. If you run an 80 spur (64 pitch) or smaller, you may not have to remove any material depending on the FDR you are running. PRS sells spurs as small at 71 (64 pitch).

- The only reason steering knuckles strip is because the bushings in the caster blocks are a bit short. When you tighten down the screws they tend to rub on the caster block. All you have to do is remove a small amount of material to allow the bushing to clear the caster block (top and bottom) and you will never have any more issue with stripped steering knuckles. At least no more issues than any TC car experiences. I also removed my aluminum steering knuckles because I was breaking too many caster blocks, so no need to upgrade there. (Also you can use TC4 steering knuckles on the TC3)

- There is an easy/cheap way to convert the car to vertical ball studs. Replace the chassis braces with TC4 braces ($6.39 on Tower) and LOSA2226 Losi rear uprights ($5.49 on Amain hobbies). FYI Losi XXX-S caster blocks, rear uprights, and steering knuckles will fit directly on a TC3. Reuse the existing long ball studs that come with the car (free). The ball stud on the caster blocks is already vertical.

- Hinge pins can bend (on every car). Simple way to protect the car if you are bashing is to replace the front bumper with an RPM plastic front bumper ($10 on A-amain). This is a good upgrade - no different than people putting a bigger foam bumper on their latest generation NIB cars. BRP also sells nerf bars for the rear, but they aren't as critical as the front bumper.

- Plastic diffs work fine if you properly set them up ($5 for a set of 2 plastic outdrives).

- Spool. Search this thread/RCTECH on how to make your own slipper spool using the thin cardboard that comes with every Team Associated parts bag. (Free). I've made a spiller spool using the plastic diffs and is was surpisingly durable. You can even run composite dog bones in the front without worrying about excessive wear (can be relaced with aluminum bones or NTC3 steel universals)



So far my parts bill for improving box stock TC3 is $20 not including a spur gear and spare plastic diff halves/outdrive (consumable parts).

----------

In the end will the TC3 be as good as the lastest/greatest chassis - no. But with a little effort and some basic common sense it can be more than competitive at a club level and even make some noise at bigger races (assuming good driver ability).

If the challenge of using an existing car that you own that may be a bit outdated doesn't sound fun, find something else. Thankfully there are plenty of budget priced cars available.

I also would never advise someone without a car to buy any used r/c car (including the TC3). You never can know what is wrong with a car until you tear it down. But if you already own a TC, why not give it a try? After all, last I checked you can always move the electronics over to a new kit if it doesn't work out.

I'm not being intellectually dishonest when I say that a TC3 or TC4 is worth racing - which is why I still race them.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:33 PM   #11164
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Well, I got this thread a bit off topic so to answer a question I saw recently about front body posts.

If you just need to raise your front body post up a few mm, you can also just use some shims and a longer screw. In a pinch, you can use an extra shock piston under the stock front body posts where they mount to the bumper.

The stock front body posts are a bit short if you are running a USGT or VTA body. I like to use HPI body posts - HPI #6507. The are a bit thicker in diameter and are very durable. They are less than $5 dollars online (for 2). You can also use these posts on the rear of the car if you use 2 screws to mount it to the shock tower.

Here is a picture of HPI #6507
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:44 PM   #11165
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Do this, go to your track and find out what everyone is running.

If they are all running HPI Pro 2, sell your TC3 and get that.

Also, what your local hobby shop carries is very important. The only reason I went with a TC4 in my low budget class is that 1) Everyone is running it, and 2) LHS carries parts so I don't have to maintain two set of stock parts.

If not, trust me I would've bought a TA-05 or TA-06 which are allowed in the class.

Dropping $100+ on upgrading your TC3 when you could've sold it for $80-$100 bucks and gotten a up-to-date car is just insane. In the end, you are investing in something that will not hold the same value when you are going to sell it.

Don't give me crap about how X or Y guy can hang with Xrays, Yokomos and double deck cars. You are not X or Y guy.

bertrandsv87, you REALLY have an underdog complex. You want to have an excuse for not winning. "Oh you didn't win?", "No, but I hanged in there with you with a X year old chassis". I bet if someone wanting to drive IFMAR level modified came here, you would still advise them to get a TC4. You are the least objective person here.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:28 PM   #11166
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If you want to race in IFMAR, you can bring whatever you want , including a tc4 ! If you want an upgraded shaftdrive, you can get an Awesomatix A700ex .... These are the only cars I own, so they're the only ones I will recommend !!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:39 PM   #11167
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I have not built the A700ex to compare but I doubt the tc4 will be very far behind for me....
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:38 AM   #11168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heretic View Post
Some of you guys are so intellectually dishonest. We are talking about a (used ) TC3 here. The owner (Andy Redz) was wondering if it was worth racing it or if he'd be better off buying a new TC.

Anyway I doubt Andy Redz is still around to read this so maybe I wasted 15 minutes but at least I made my point.

(BTW Serpenteer I had forgotten about the T3R but you are right, it would have been my first choice before the spec-r came out. Still quite a bit more expensive than a S1 though, closer to the R1 price range-because it's an xray and because it has alloy bulkheads. Other minuses are the slotted chassis and the plastic ball diff but the car is incredibly fast and easy out of the box, can't argue with that. I can't wait for xray to release a T4R.)
Wow thanks for the responses guys,

I am still here Heretic taking in all the advice,

I bought the Tc3 when it 1st come out and I almost forgot how old I am and the car

By the way its a fully hotted up version steel drive shafts and threaded shocks I spent a few penny's on it back in the day.

I went to my local club yesterday and as I suspected saw the usual mix of Xrays T4's and Hot Boddies TCxx's, also saw a Awesomatix car that had so much punch out on of the bends and down the straight compared to the rest of the field, but I am not willing to spend that kind of money on a car yet.. looked great though.

Given what Hectic and others have said I think a new car is the way to go
as modifying the Tc3 will not guarantee me being as competitive and a new car will give me more residuals.

This might be wishful thinking but if the TC4 went anything like the Awersomatix car I would be happy.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:03 AM   #11169
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added some more videos from the birds driving my TC4 in USVTA

http://rcactionpics.com/2013/video.html
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:43 AM   #11170
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I've got a TC4 that's pulls to the left under power. Coasts straight as an arrow, decent servo (Savox 1251), but under power it wants to pull to the left. Any ideas?
I have a second TC4 with the same servo that doesn't do this.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:57 AM   #11171
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Off the top I would say you have a diff issue. see if they are both smooth.. or maybe rebuild them regardless.. if one is stiff or has damage it will not pull equally. This could happen if they slip as well.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rctoyguy View Post
I've got a TC4 that's pulls to the left under power. Coasts straight as an arrow, decent servo (Savox 1251), but under power it wants to pull to the left. Any ideas?
I have a second TC4 with the same servo that doesn't do this.
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:23 PM   #11172
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Also make sure your Bearings spin freely, and are shimmed right.... Good video Rojna !!!
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Old 02-02-2013, 04:26 PM   #11173
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Andy, if the tc4 weighs the same as the Awesomatix, it should pull the same with a front spool and good rear diff....
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:57 PM   #11174
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Many things can cause a tub chassis car to pull to one side (assuming it has a good setup)

- damaged/broken parts
- binding suspension (such as bent hinge pin or bend shock shaft)
- damaged or defective bearings
- moving part rubbing on fixed part (such as a tire rubbing the body or a loose cvd pin hitting the caster block/steering knuckle)
- uneven steering geometry on not mechanically centered (you can use a simple ruler to make sure all steering links are the same length)

If you have ruled out all major components, it might be a good time to do a partial or complete tear down of the car.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:53 AM   #11175
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I also prefer a spool up front over a diff in order to go straight...
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