Last summer my local club could already see the writing on the wall; touring cars were getting incredibly expensive and to run at the front you needed to spend money. Tires have a short life, gearing the cars to the moon and an unstable battery technology were pricing this class right out of existence. We as a club had started looking around to see what could be done and focused our attention on the Pro10 class. MOst guys still had an old 10L or an EV10 in the back of their hobby rooms so the cost of getting ramped up would be minimal. Personally, I had no such animal collecting dust but I was able to acquire a very good shape 10L. The car was good, but not great so I started to look around to see what was currently on the market. (Remember, this was a year before the resurgence. There were few to choose from as the class was still a novelty and mostly old stock was floating around on eBay and here on RCTech. Then I happened upon Darkside Motorsports and their iForce. The car looked to be well built and more versatile than any other car available. I ordered one up
As I had anticipated, the car was incredibly well thought out and built to stand the rigors of club racing. High quality components throughout made it easy to have a front runner right out of the box. The car can be run as a 190mm and adjusted both front and rear up to about 210mm. Body’s were hard to find in the 190mm range in the classic GTP style but the guys at T-Bang.ca had managed to get their hands on some wide bodies whch the club gobbed up in quick form. I need to get this car to full spec dimensions so I started modding the iForce.
I started with the rear end of the car and purchased an IRS220 left side hub which is 1 1/4” long, quite a bit longer than the stock one. Then, simply playing with spacers and washers, I was able to bring the rear out to about 232 mm. I still run stock length pinion gears but I do need to extend them out a fair bit, not dangerously far, but still out there.
The front was a bit more challenging. Even though the iForce has the ability to adjust the front track width any number of ways, I was not able to get the car out to the 232mm range. (I was looking to match the front with the rear) I acquired a beautiful piece of carbon fiber 3” x 6” from a good friend and was able to make new front end spacers identical to the ones on the car, only 1/4” wider. Thus by installing the them I was able to get the car a full 1/2” wider than the car was capable of with the kit spacers. I will make my template available to Eric at Darkside if he’s interested in replicating the part.
With another leftover piece of carbon fiber I fashioned a stiffener brace to go across from caster block to castor block which really helped stabilize the front end. I also ran into a sweet product from Wind Tunnel Racing Products; their Ultra Front End Kit with Long Kingpins is an awesome addition to any Pro10 car. You have so many options for tuning the cars it’s almost overwhelming
After test a few different weights I opted for the purple springs which really keep the car stable and yet with the right tire combo allows the car to have as much steering as you could ever want.
One more mod that needed attending to, the switch to LiPo batteries. We as a club were planning to implement a 1200 gm minimum weight and due to the fact that the LiPos were so much lighter, I needed to add some weight. I also wanted to add it in such a way as it would not change the overall weight balance that the good people at Darkside had already achieved.
I purchased some tungsten plates from T-Bang Hobby Technology which are quite a bit heavier than lead in comparable form factors. I had to file down the edge on the tungsten plates as I wanted to fit them into the battery slots that were cut into the chassis, thus putting the weight nice and low in the car and yet not changing the location of the weight from where it was designed to be. I secured them in place with good old ShoeGoo. To hold the plates in place as they dried, I had installed a deck skin of my own creation on the underside of the chassis which protects the chassis from road scratches and also can be created to look awesome in any design and colors you can come up with.
Also I needed to come up with a way to secure the LiPo once it was in the car without having to continually place spacers around the pack. I found a very thin aluminum pen case that was almost the correct size and made a few cuts here, and bends there until I had a snug fitting tray that my LiPo fits in snugly yet it’s super easy to put it in and out. I “shoegooed” the tray in place which sandwiched the tungsten plates nicely out of view. Of course I’m the owner of Dekelz.com so I had to design and install a cool skin for the tray
Securing the upper tray is now done with a pair of Associated battery hold-down nuts that make swapping the battery in and out extremely simple.
The only other non-stock piece on the car is the center shock. I opted for an XRAY TC shock because it has those cool adjustable valves inside that allow me to adjust the damping in a matter of seconds without changing oils.
Our local club had the honor of holding the 1st Annual Pro10 Canadian Nats this past weekend where we had over 107 entries in 5 classes, Pro10 being the second largest class which was simply amazing considering this class has only just gotten started!
Our track is in a parking lot of our local Rec. Center where we set up and tear down every Sunday which may sound like a pain but when we have over 30 drivers every week who all pitch in and help it doesn’t take more than half an hour to get up and running or torn down and put away. We are truly lucky to have such a well run club.
The weather has been nothing short of spectacular for the past 5 weeks which means all the rubber we’ve laid down has been building up and building up to the point where by mid-day the track is almost as sticky as carpet. This has it’s advantages as well as disadvantages as we all know.
My car setup was as follows:
- Side Shocks - 30 wt, Associated soft black springs
- Center Shock - XRay TC shock, two valves open, silver spring
- Spur Gear - Corrally 96T 48 Pitch - very tough, I’m still using the same spur I started the season with.
- Wind Tunnel Purple Springs
- JACO White rears
- Corrally Medium Goldstar Fronts
- Motor - T-Bang Komodo Hemi
- Battery - SMC Lightning Volts 4000mAh LiPo
- Servo - Futaba S9550
- Radio/Receiver - Nomadio Sensor
- Speed Control - Tekin FX Pro
- Body - Protoform Peugeot Medium Downforce
We ran three rounds of qualifying on Saturday, a final round of qualifying and main events on Sunday. The iForce was working very well right from the beginning of the weekend but I had a bit of a push that wanted to get rid of so I swapped the JACO Blacks and put on the Corrally Medium Goldstars and thats all I changed for the entire weekend. I led every lap of every qualifier I ran ( I uhh...put an uncharged battery in for the third qualifier, duh..) and every lap of the A Main. It seems the R/C gods were smiling down on me this year
The car has been amazing and I love how easy it is to make changes to the handling. You can fine tune things more than any other car on the market in my opinion and thats including the current new batch of Pro10 chassis on available.
I should note I do not have an affiliation with Darkside except as a customer.
If any one has any questions I’d be happy to answer.