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Old 01-25-2008, 01:55 AM   #1
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Default "Tamiya Class" racing...Help me choose - TA05 vs TA05R

Hello everyone! I am going to start racing in the “Tamiya class” races here in Okinawa Japan, and was going to ask your thoughts on the TA05 vs the TA05R.

For these races, you have to use a Tamiya chassis, body, wheels, tires, and Tamiya 25T motor. Any hop ups have to be from Tamiya as well. Batteries are limited to 3700mah.

I didn't want to go real crazy like I did in my nitro touring car days (used to race rubber touring cars competitively when I was stationed here the first time back in the mid 90’s, ala HPI Nitro RS4). I was looking at something like a mid grade car that has plenty of parts support, and hope my skill from all those years of competitive nitro racing will make up for any deficiencies in the chassis.

I decided on the TA05 simply because it seems to be pretty strong, has outstanding parts support (especially from my LHS), and seems reasonably competitive. Also, the TA05 is the most popular car in the class I'd be running in, with a TL01, a few TT01R's, a couple of TA05R's, and I believe two TA05-IFS models - all with various stages of upgrades, from bone stock, to many option parts. It's a pretty good mix.

My dilemma is centered on which version of the TA05 to get - the normal one, or the “R” version. I know from past experience that some of the factory optioned cars are a much better value than if you bought the same parts separately, but I don't think all the option parts it comes with are needed for my application. It's $199 USD where I am (chassis only kit) so I still need a Tamiya body, so it's really like $240 USD total.

I can get the regular TA05 kit w/ARTA NSX or RAYBERG NSX body for $111 USD.

I thought of getting that and with the $129 savings, I could get the hop ups that I want, not what Tamiya puts in the R version. To start, I'm thinking with the savings I could get the following:

- front one way
- bearings in the bellcrank assemble, OR
- the aluminum bellcrank assembly that already has them included
- carbon steering plate
- carbon reinforced shock towers (from the "R" version)
- optional spring set (for tuning)
- and maybe some other parts that will either be stiffer, or lighten up the chassis.

Remember, with the “R” version, I'd still have to buy the front 1-way, which is like $35 USD, plus a body, so the R version adds up quickly. Sometimes the factory hopped up versions come with a little bling that does little for performance. I'm hoping I can build a competent regular version with the right mix of option parts to dominate a stock R version.

If I get the regular TA05 kit, what would *you* suggest be worthy option parts for durability/stiffness/lightweight with the savings in price difference, and do you think it could be more competitive than the R version for the same cost?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one…



- Paulie
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Old 01-25-2008, 05:53 AM   #2
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I drove a TA05 last year and only upgraded the diffs (Tamiya precision diffs).

I started out this year with the same car, and was still doing well with it at my local club (competing against Xrays, TC5s, JRXSs etc), and then installed the lightweight chasis and parts. The car was still good, but not really any better.

Then I bought and installed the lightweight suspension kit and TRF shocks and my car and it actually handled worse. I tried various changes for 3-5 weeks but nothing was working. I'm no expert so I'm sure there was something I wasnt doing right because the car should have been faster.

Anyhow, I put the oirignal old suspension back on and my car handled much better with the TRF shocks.

Knowing what I know now I would recommend the base TA05 + lightweight chasis, towers, bulkheads, TRF shocks, and precision diffs.

The TA05R would be a much better value if it used the lightweight chasis but it doesnt which is another $50. I like the lightweight chasis mostly because its stiffer and I'm racing on carpet.

I'm just installed a one-way because our track has a new open high speed layout and its definately an improvement and worth the $50.

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Old 01-25-2008, 06:05 AM   #3
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Get the TA05R. For $200 I dont think there is a better deal out there.

You really dont need the Light weight chassis, as I think the car handles great without it. And yes, I'm keeping up with the top guys running Mi3's, xrays, etc at my local carpet track running the rubber tire 13.5 brushless class. I've been asked several times by those drivers to take the car for a spin since it looks so balanced on the track. I also have a 415 MRE, and I can click off faster laps with it (0.1 - 0.2 seconds), but at twice the price.

For Hopups, I would get the CF shock towers since they offer greater adjust ability, a front one-way if your running on carpet, and a hex screw kit (I hate phillips screws). I also have the aluminum bell cranks and CF steering plate on my car. So when you add it up, yes its like $300, but you have a race ready package that can be very competitive.

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Old 01-25-2008, 06:34 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I should have mentioned that I'll be running outdoors with rubber tires on a medium sized track with a very tight infield.

From all my research I've read thus far (on this forum and others) it seems like the TA05 is the perfect mid-grade car for me, and it seems that in the hands of the right driver, it can be very competitive right out of the box.

I know a lot of people get carried away with hop ups that don't really add to the performance of the car...and there's nothing wrong with that. People want to personalize their car and call it their own. I get that. I do it myself to some degree. But there is one thing a lot of folks just never get...

Instead of upgrading the car, I always say "upgrade the driver". Practice, practice and more practice. It's not always what you have, it's what you do with whatcha got. I feel like if you practice a lot with the box set up, you will really know what the car is doing when you change something, and you are more able to recognize those changes and either adjust for them, or set the car back up to something that works for your driving style. Throwing parts at a car is not my style.

With that said, I usually do get hop ups for my cars, and usually change out the same parts on every chassis I've ever had to include:

- Aluminum motor mount - to dissapate heat
- stiffer shock towers - to allow the dampers to do their job better
- aluminum turnbuckles - for lighter weight
- bearings for the steering bell crank assembly - to smooth things out
- dogbones to CVD's - for smoother operation
- aluminum front knuckles - because usually the kingpings are machine screws going into plastic and can get ripped out during hard crashes, where if you use aluminum, you can put a very small dab of loctite to keep that from happening

I feel like that's where the most "bang for your buck" can be had, in geneal terms of course. The "R" version with a body and one way is already like $275, and I think I may be able to get where I want starting with the regular version and some strategic option parts here and there for way less, and be just as competitive.

The guy who consistantly wins the class I'm going to enter uses a box stock TA05-IFS, and from what Iv'e been reading, is pretty even with the TA05 in terms of performance.

It's nice to hear that the box stock TA05 is a well rounded car. Should be a lot of fun to get racing with one of those.

Keep the feedback coming guys. I am very open to your thoughts...



- Paulie
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Old 01-25-2008, 06:45 AM   #5
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You're choice seems better... box stock + one way... then rest on good speedo and fresh batteries...

for me... I bought a 2nd hand hopped up ta05 for about $100USD...

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Old 01-25-2008, 06:49 AM   #6
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Get the TRF shocks. The CVAs work OK but the TRFs are a whole class above.

Turnbuckles? Only if you're a dedicated weight weinie. The stock kit's turnbuckles are totally functional and weigh only a couple grams more.

The kit comes with a plain aluminum motor mount but if you want extra bling go for it.

Al knuckles? Don't hit the wall as much , seriously you can buy five sets of plastic for one Al and just because you can lock-tite the screw in doesn't mean it won't strip. (The lock-tite is required to keep the screw in place when you have a metal to metal connection, whereas the plastic holds the screw without any help.)

The TA05-IFS is basically the same as the regular kit except for the inboard shocks. That allows you to use a low profile body. Handling is about the same.

You never mentioned the most important hop-up, tires and inserts. Those make the difference more than all the other hop-ups you mentioned.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AreCee View Post
Get the TRF shocks. The CVAs work OK but the TRFs are a whole class above.

Turnbuckles? Only if you're a dedicated weight weinie. The stock kit's turnbuckles are totally functional and weigh only a couple grams more.

The kit comes with a plain aluminum motor mount but if you want extra bling go for it.

Al knuckles? Don't hit the wall as much , seriously you can buy five sets of plastic for one Al and just because you can lock-tite the screw in doesn't mean it won't strip. (The lock-tite is required to keep the screw in place when you have a metal to metal connection, whereas the plastic holds the screw without any help.)

The TA05-IFS is basically the same as the regular kit except for the inboard shocks. That allows you to use a low profile body. Handling is about the same.

You never mentioned the most important hop-up, tires and inserts. Those make the difference more than all the other hop-ups you mentioned.
True, true, but the tires and inserts are pretty much a given..everybody runs the same type. I think they may have a certain "control tire" for that class so everyone is on a level playing field, but I know whatcha mean.

As for the other hop ups, those where just general terms of what I would normally upgrade, if the kit didn't already have them. Most of my experience is from nitro touring, and those aluminum knuckles were a must have. Not so much for me crashing, but from others crashing into each other, he he he.

As for the turnbuckles, there were two other benifits other than the minimal weight savings I should have mentioned. First, it gives the ability to try 2 different settings quickly (since you set one set up for one thing, and the originals for another setting) without having to remeasure while they are on the car, plus, it gives a nice amount of "bling" for your buck since there are so many on the car

I like a little bling too ya know, he he he

LOL!



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Old 01-25-2008, 07:07 AM   #8
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If you want a "pre-set" turnbuckle set-up then it makes more sense. I just take out the set-up station and adjust the turnbuckles on the car accordingly.

I wish we had a "standard" tire/insert. However, each track is different enough to have to change. Overall the CS27s are a good compromise. The exception is the TCS race where you have to use Tamiya tires (Type A/soft insert works great).

Secondly, the TCS requires all hop-ups be Tamiya and not 3 racing.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:15 AM   #9
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Yeah, it may be an actual TCS race because he did tell me whatever hop ups I got had to be by Tamiya to be eligible to race...

As far as tires, I asked him if the kit tires were ok, and he basically laughed at me. He went to the rack and pulled out a treaded Tamiya tire (not a slick, which I thought would be better), and said, "everyone use".

Even though we sometimes have communication problems due the launguage barrier, I pretty much took that as everyone either uses that tire because it's the best, or because it's required for those races. Good or bad, that's what I have to run. The package comes with foam inserts...



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Old 01-25-2008, 07:33 AM   #10
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Paulie - g12314 is telling you the truth. He is wickedly fast with a TA05R, just a few tenths off his times with the TRF415. That says a lot about the car.

I you were to ask me, I would say buy the TA05R with a body and front one-way and you are done. It sounds like you will save more with the stock kit but in the end you do not save.

I too, bought the TA05-IFS kit and have easily put in about $100 to "improve" it. The nice thing is that the IFS comes with the LW suspension so that's done, it also has all the parts you need to install the upright front shocks if you desire to do so. Main things I added are: TRF shocks, springs, sway-bars, suspension arm mounts f/r, ball bearings for the lever arms, AL steering, universals f/r and locking hubs.

Last edited by AreCee; 01-25-2008 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:33 AM   #11
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If you race with a spool (locked front gearbox) swap out the front dogbones for universal shafts straight away. In fact, I would buy the universal driveshaft set for the front straight away, it just smooths out the drivetrain.

As said, the trf shocks are well worth having and they make adjusting the suspension more precise.

If you want to get the car lighter, consider either the lightweight chassis, or/and a titanium screw set.

The lightweight suspension set will change how the car handles and will probably not take as much abuse as the stock items, its not something that suits everyone is all im saying.
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:58 AM   #12
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Correct the stiffer (more graphite) the suspension the easier it will break.

Warning on weight, if you race TCS there are minimum weight rules; GT-3 = 1500g and GT-2 = 1550g. That means that you will need to replace any weight savings with a chunk of lead weight.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:30 AM   #13
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Paulie, What I'm saying is that you will actually save money by buying the more expensive kit up front. If I had to do it all over again then I would buy the TA05R and spend the $20 for the IFS parts (N-parts, pivots, bearings and turnbuckles), add a body ($40) and you are done.

So now I have a more expensive car TA05-IFS that still isn't up to TA05R specs even with all I added on.

Over the past three months of racing I broke only one front C carrier and one knuckle. This has to be the most durable racer available. (My old TC3FT would break just glancing off a board at speed.)
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Old 01-25-2008, 10:43 AM   #14
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You've made the right general choice in the TA05. I've been running a TA05 at the club level this year, have upgraded just about everything, and have actually backed out of some of those same upgrades to make weight (we get to use lipo's here, so I'm actually adding weight.)

At $111 (great price!) I'd go with the stock kit and the following:

Steel CVD's all around
Front one-way (as you said, the R kit doesn't come with this, so don't count it in the comparison)
Locking wheel hexes (I'd go with the 5mm)

Spring kit
Spacer kit
Shim kit
Hex screws

XXX-Main Chassis Tuning Guide (indispensable)

This keeps you way below the R price and might make room for a better radio or charger in your budget to start. Can you run DSM in your area?

The main advantage to the stock kit is a virtually indestructible suspension. The Lightweight Reversible (standard with the R) isn't exactly fragile, but the stock literally cannot be broken. Not to mention awesome, bomber 1150 bearings vs. the 950 bearings in the Lightweight suspension. Don't bother with sway bars. The stock steering rack is actually fine, though if you must, just get the carbon center plate, 90% of the slop in the stock setup is in that part, and it comes with bearings.

It's true, you'll eventually want to go with the TRF shocks, treat yourself to them three or four months in after you get your wheels on. Keep the stock tub and shock towers. From what you've described, you're going to be fighting for grip. Flex is your friend, and the benefits of extra holes in the stiffer CF towers on an already very tunable stock setup is minimal. You'll also probably experiment with toe and track width settings, so factor in suspension blocks at some point.

And one upgrade that is seldom mentioned but that actually helps from a tuning standpoint: the EVO 3 aluminum rear uprights. They are a different design and they let you hit the #3 "happy hole" on the inside upper link.

Good luck!
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:42 AM   #15
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The TA05-R is being reissued shortly. RC-Champ will be selling them for about $160us + shipping & fees. That's about 20 great hop-ups including TRF shocks and full precision drivetrain for the eBay price of the TRF shocks alone. TA05 truly cannot be beat at this price.

You will still need to buy pinions (04 module), tires (24mm), foam inserts and a body to complete the car...

PS: You only need the IFS stuff if you want to run IFS bodies. It's purely cosmetic...
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