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-   -   Tamiya DF-03 type (https://www.rctech.net/forum/electric-off-road/232314-tamiya-df-03-type.html)

tom_chang79 07-15-2008 11:36 PM

Tamiya DF-03 type
I really love the chassis/layout of this car... I wish there was a like-car that came race-worthy right out of the box. The layout and distribution looks like a 2WD buggy almost!

Any top companies out there taking note of this layout/weight distribution? The DF-03's layout and weight distribution is waaaaaaaay better thought out then the more expensive DB01 IMO... The DF-03 can accept a stick pack and still keep the weight centered and towards the rear (like a 2WD buggy)...

Check out this link I found:


This place sells aluminum and graphite components (including a graphite chassis) for the DF-03! I'm very curious on getting a Dark Impact/Keen Hawk/Avante MkII and some hop-ups to turn it into a racer!

And a question for you Tamiya experts, what the heck is this?


It's supposedly a DF-03MS but what is the MS part of it? And why would the "MS" justify the car being TWICE the cost of the three (Avante, Keen, Dark) DF-03 cars?


oOple, how is your Ultimate Hawk coming along? Can't wait to read that article...

bender 07-16-2008 02:18 AM

The DF03 MS is a new limited edition hopped-up Df03.

It comes with many optional parts as standard, which is why it costs more.

However it is much cheaper to buy the MS than to buy a standard Df03 and add all the hop-ups.

The graphite chassis you linked to is from 3-Racing. Xenon and KMC also make graphite chassis conversions. The Xenon one is similar to the 3-racing one, except for better quality. The KMC conversion uses saddle-pack cells mounted right in front of the motor - for more rear weight bias.

I raced the car for a little while - as a club car it's pretty good but it lacks some adjustments (anti-squat, rear toe-in) plus I felt the weight was a little too forward biased.

tom_chang79 07-16-2008 01:15 PM

I wonder if it is worth it to get the Dark Impact and trick it out with carbon fiber chassis and shock towers, and aluminum bulkheads and hinge pin braces...

I think the chassis layout itself is worth the try... Probably price the kit and the upgrades and see if it comes close to the price of a 501x... Of course, my preference is shaft driven so price comparison alone can't really justify it as "worth it" or not...

The parts I would keep plastic would be the suspension arms and hub carriers...

The only other concern about the car, after reading the review on oOple.com, was the gear train. Is a slipper-clutch doable for the car (say as a modification and/or upgrade), and also, how well does the transmission hold up?

Shocks I'm not too concerned, an AE or a Losi should fix that right up.

What about the last and one of the most major concern... Wheels/Tires? Are they close to the standard 2.2" tires that the other "big boys" are using?

tom_chang79 07-16-2008 09:16 PM

Seems like the Xenon chassis is a good quality too. 3mm thickness with upper plate being 2.4mm.

The KMRC chassis is quite different from the other two, the battery layout is changed to a saddle pack... I would've thought a stick pack down the middle would be the best, keeping the weight towards the "spine" of the chassis...

Either one of the three chassis makes it almost ready to be race-worthy... I think a few more critical parts after the graphite chassis upgrade makes this into quite a contender...

sim600 07-16-2008 10:53 PM

The concept is good but the final product could have been a lot better. Like Bender, I found the weight too far forward, plus as mentioned in the oople review, the wheelbase is about 1cm shorter than other competitive buggies. Also, the plastics used are horrible (neither stiff nor durable, so the worse of both worlds) and the diff cups for some reason get eaten up by the dogbone pins.

It ran okay with my very lightweight Orion Carbon 3200 Lipo battery (198 grams) but when I had to run a 4600mah IB stick pack (446 grams) in the local TAC qualifiers, it turned into a really nose-heavy buggy. It was twitchy and difficult to jump.

Unless you have a lot of time and money to try out lots of different things to turn the car into something decent, I would say avoid it and go for a different buggy (DB-01, Academy SB V2, Kyosho ZX-5, etc).

sim600 07-16-2008 10:58 PM

Seems to be some rumour floating about on the oople forums about a new high level Tamiya 4wd buggy and likely it will be shaft driven.
I'm hoping it will have a DF-03-inspired layout.

tom_chang79 07-17-2008 08:07 AM

Thanks for the insights guys. One thing that is unclear to me is, how is the weight forward for this car? I would think the weight would be more biased towards the rear with half the weight of the battery and the full weight of the motor in the rear...

Have you guys tried the KM carbon conversion? This conversion turns it into a saddle configuration for the battery, which should bias the weight more towards the rear...

Goodie 07-17-2008 11:29 AM

the DF03 is alright, Have you checked out The Durga is a better car, I have a DF02 that is almost race worthy, I'm just a tamiya fan....

tom_chang79 07-17-2008 12:49 PM

Yeah, I checked out the DB-01... I'm not really into belt-drives... Plus I'm not really a fan of 4WD with the battery on one side. I like the better distribution of weight, it just makes it easier to control in the air...

Chimer 07-17-2008 01:05 PM

I am confused. I thought the DB01 was a better buggy than the DF03. I have been thinking about getting one of these, but haven't yet. I had a Sand Viper and it was horrible on the track and instead of putting money into it I bought a used Associated B4 for $30. Since most of the 4wd buggies are over $300 I thought about the Tamiya 4wd's. I heard the Durga is competitive and durable if you install the optional slipper. I heard the DF03 was not as durable or as competitive-this is all according to R/C magazines.

Goodie 07-17-2008 01:28 PM

Yeah the DB01 has that battery on one side... but its still good...

30 bucks for a B4 is a good price...

tom_chang79 07-17-2008 01:35 PM

The DB01 cars are a better performer IMO right out of the box, but I'm really intrigued by the layout o f the DF-03 chassis.

The fact that the chassis laid out like a mid-motor 2WD buggy is what really got me curious about this car. I think with a few hopups, this car can be made to be a contender. Ofcourse, there's a myriad of 4WD that are competition-ready right out of the box these days: BJ4WE, B44, ZX-5 SP, XX/XXX-4, 501x, and the list goes on...

But what's unique about this car is the fact that it uses a stick configuration for batteries, but the layout isn't something that was borrowed or carried over from the touring car layout (which is where most modern 4WD 1/10 buggies are derived from)...

The "DF" series of cars from Tamiya is an economy, entry-level cars by nature... But the ability to hop it up with some nice upgrades out there is a nice touch. The only upgrade that is missing out in the market IMO is an aluminum gearbox, or perhaps a gearbox made with flexible and tougher plastic.

Check out the review of the hop-ups I found on tamiyaclub.com:


The author reviews many of the available hop-ups in great detail. It is very well written, deserves kudos :smile:

Goodie 07-17-2008 06:47 PM

right on.. good stuff.... yeah the DF are the economy right up my alley right now... but DB will be the next step when I get back from the desert..

tom_chang79 07-17-2008 11:55 PM

Well, for me, its about the curiosity of the layout. For $319.99, you can get a B44, which is dirt cheap! It's hard to justify spending money on all those upgrades when the B44 is so cheap... unless you're curious about the layout...



But the DF-03 can be a good contender. I think after I drive my BJ4WE to the ground, I might entertain the DF-03s with these upgrades.

Metla 07-18-2008 01:37 AM

I loved my DF03, And I spent a lot of money on her, But it never came close to handling like my Losi or SBV2 Pro. Couldn't cut it in the stock class either, Just got left behind by the better cars. Granted I'm no world champion driver but I can put in plenty of clean fast laps.

I tried a DB-01 after that, Felt a little better, But again, Not like my competition spec kits, After weighing up the cost of better parts and figuring it still would be a lesser kit I sold it for next to nothing, and bought a second SBV2 Pro.

I found the DB01 almost undrivable on a rough track.

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