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Old 07-12-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default TB-03 Parking Lot Racer - Top 5 Handling Upgrades

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

Other possibilities:

* Sway bar set - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=53842
* Front U-Joints - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=54076 , http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=53724 or http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=51092
* Spool for front or front one way - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=54125 , http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=54057
* TRF Shocks - http://www.tamiyausa.com/product/ite...oduct-id=53571

Other ideas?

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.
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Old 07-12-2009, 12:56 PM   #2
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Top of the list would be set-up sheets. Even better, they are free! Try different settings and drive the car. See how different set-up's affect handling etc. You may get rid of a lot of inconsistency without ecen buying a single hop-up!
I would put the TRF shocks near the top of that list if you can afford them, the plastic ones are not really for racing. My car was transformed with the TRF's.
Additonal springs and shock oil are a must too. Tracks can vary in handling depending on the weather, time of year, layout etc, and aside from that, you can try different things and may find a style that suits your driving.
The servo saver is a good idea. In the meantime, super glue your old one together (when off the servo of course). It may damge the servo eventually, but only if you have a very hard crash on the front wheels.
Tyres. Tyres is racing son. Get a new set of racing tyres and rims to suit your track temps. I like the Muchmore Sweeps. They aren't expensive and offer good performance for us "casual" racers.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:58 PM   #3
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I have the aluminum steering set and the graphite linkage set. They seem to improve the slop in the steering. I also need to get a new servo saver.
I bought two sets of the exact tamiya springs you have listed. Still in the package as I am trying to learn to drive this thing before I start tinkering with the set up.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice. I'll probably get the upgrades in within a couple of weeks and I'll let you know how the servo saver goes.

On the subject of tires, who are the best names in touring car rubber? I see Muchmore mentioned. How's Jaco and Team Sorex? Anyone else?
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:34 PM   #5
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Get some Sorex 36s. You can either use Speedmind premounted Sorex 36 or the SJR 36's. Those would be your best bet.
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Old 07-14-2009, 12:46 PM   #6
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In terms of wheel specs (diameter, width, offset?), what exactly does the TB03 take? Are most on-road wheels pretty interchangeable or do I need to be careful which wheels I buy?
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:41 PM   #7
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Touring wheels and tires are pretty much interchangeable as long as you stay with name brand, like Take Off, RP, Sorex, Tamiya, MuchMore, etc. Most touring wheels are 0 (zero) offset. But some wheels are +2 offset. Some of these are certain Tamiya wheels. They fit no problem. They just make the car slightly wider.
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