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Old 01-18-2012, 12:08 PM   #1
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Default opinions for new car for VTA and 17.5

Looking for input on getting some new cars, with a tight budget.

I am a still a newbie and this was the first year we had a place to run indoor carpet.

I didnt have much cash so I got 2 TC4 rollers one rtr and one carbon fiber FT

The rtr for 21.5 vintage and the FT carbon fiber for 17.5

The 17.5 handles pretty well just needs a better driver . But the vintage I am really struggling with.

I have decided I like running onroad so now I am trying to decide whether to stick with the TC4's or try a new platform.

The Xray and TC6 are out of my price range...even used they are a little steep.

I see alot of good reviews on the Sakura Zero S.... would that be a good "next step" for a beginner?
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:13 PM   #2
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I have 2 TC4's and they aren't that bad but if you move into something like an X-ray its a night and day difference. For VTA I'd just play with setup alot and stick to one chassis. Make parts easier to have on hand for trouble areas and you can rob parts as needed.

Are you using traction compound at all? When I started running carpet that was something I didn't know enough about but some of the local guys really helped me find a system that worked.

Paragon Ground Effects, sauce and gently wipe tire, repeat until clean (usually go around 2x), wipe gently but leave tire pretty wet until you get ready to race, then wipe off remaining. Also I do the whole front tire (some only do 1/2 the tire or so)
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:21 PM   #3
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I looked and an Xray T3R a few guys have them....but I cant swing the $260 each and the spare parts are a little to pricey for me

I have been looking for a used TC5 or TC6 since the parts are more reasonable and easier to find....but I am still $200-$250 each used and the last couple used cars didnt work out too well... after alot of frustration and parts I think I figured out why they were selling them

I see a couple guys at the track with the Sakura Zero S.... they are just over $100 each with about $30 in upgrades they say are a must, it looks really tempting.

I just dont think my skill level will really justify an Xray or TC6....I looked at getting a second Carbon Fiber TC4 but they seem to be going for a little over $100 used. Thats about the cost of a new Sakura Zero S
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:31 PM   #4
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I am using a sauce tried a couple out and finally settled on Corally Jack the Gripper.

Paragon ground effects seems to be the track favorite for foam...but a very experienced racer said for some reason the D coumpond vintage tires really like the Jack the Gripper.... so I borrowed some and it worked much better than wahat I was using before on the vintage....but my 17.5 tires I just didnt see a different between the sauces... all sauces worked the same on them
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utah300rum View Post
Looking for input on getting some new cars, with a tight budget.
For your budget the Sakura Zero S is a great car that you would be happy with IMO. A fellow racer has one who is very happy with it. I have driven it and it is smooth and very fast on the track.

I would skip the TC5 all together as they seem to be hit or miss on the track. I think the reason some work and some don't depends on how many hard hits the car has seen. The aluminum seems to tweak easily in moderate crashes from our experience and with new drivers they eat wheel hub bearings as they are small. The TC5's seem to come and go as fast as guys buy them because of the loose rear grip and inconsistencies of the car. Yet a few are quite fast (usually with the Exotek chassis) but no longer being run by the fastest guys in VTA or 17.5 sedan around here. Food for thought......

The TC6 isn't much better and the plastics wear out quickly. The TC6.1 is proving to be much better with the new plastics but it will be out of your price range.

Not really fond of the TC4 cars (like the tubbys better than the FT car) but love racing my TC3 in VTA currently and finishing 1st or 2nd consistently. It easily is keeping up with more the modern chassis like the XRAY T3 2011, T3 2010, Tamiya 417 and the Sakura Sero in the VTA class. I would not be able to get the weight down enough to be competitive in a 17.5 class though w/o an aftermarket graphite chassis. Then I would just get another chassis which is what I did for 17.5.

So with that thought, your budget and class criteria, the Sakura would run great in both VTA and could move up to the 17.5 class without any problems. If it was for VTA only I would say get a TC3 as they are cheap, tough and parts are still easy to get for them (better than the TC4)

For tire traction compound we use SXT 3.0 and have enough grip to make some cars traction roll if it is allowed to soak into the tires for extra long periods of time.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:24 PM   #6
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Hey stranger, I replied to your inquiry on our local site. So, take that for what you will. As for tires and sauce, I am also using the Jack. However, between each heat I am soaking the tires down with a liberal spray of Simple Green, letting it sit for a bit, and then wipe it off diligently with an old cotton t-shirt. I full sauce the rear and inner half on the front. After soaking in a little, I wipe this off too before my race. It seems to work well with the HPI vintage and x-pattern tires (17.5) I am using.

Bring your vintage TC4 over this Saturday. We can do a comparison with mine to see what is different in the set up. I will try to get there earlier so you can try a few laps with my vintage TC4.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:28 PM   #7
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The zero s would be a great bet. I race one and 6 or 7 run at our track. It is capable out of the box and you can add the options as the budget allows. I was in the exact same boat. I didn't want to spend a ton to try out a chassis so I got the sakura and never looked back. Its a great car.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:38 PM   #8
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Have you considered keeping the tc4 that's working in 17.5 for VTA, and spending your whole budget on one car? That would allow used T3's, TC6's.. Etc.

Just convert the ft over and try it before you commit to anything, that way if it doesn't work you can go back to the zero s plan. The zero s is a great car, I know someone running one in 540, and it's doing pretty well. The only real need for the upgrade is the 19t centre pullies for a freer drive train. Otherwise the vertical motor mount makes life easier, but isn't a must have.

One consideration to make with the zero s is space for gears. For non boosted 21.5 the cars are geared around 3.0 at our track. The vertical motor mounts limit how big your pinion can be, usually needs a very small spur. You can fit a 60t if you custom drill holes, but a 65 is the smallest bolt on spur you can run. With 65 fitted, the biggest pinion we could fit was 39. That's all 48p though, which has to be run at our track because 64 wouldn't last 5 mins.
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wollow86 View Post

...Just convert the ft over and try it before you commit to anything, that way if it doesn't work you can go back to the zero s plan. The zero s is a great car, I know someone running one in 540, and it's doing pretty well. The only real need for the upgrade is the 19t centre pullies for a freer drive train. Otherwise the vertical motor mount makes life easier, but isn't a must have.

One consideration to make with the zero s is space for gears. For non boosted 21.5 the cars are geared around 3.0 at our track. The vertical motor mounts limit how big your pinion can be, usually needs a very small spur. You can fit a 60t if you custom drill holes, but a 65 is the smallest bolt on spur you can run. With 65 fitted, the biggest pinion we could fit was 39. That's all 48p though, which has to be run at our track because 64 wouldn't last 5 mins.
I run at the same track as utah300rum. If he were to buy a Sakura Zero S and run the 19T pulley and necessary parts for a transmission ratio of 2.0, a 72T spur and 34T pinion in 48P would get him to an FDR of 4.24. Our track FDR limit is 4.2. I am running a 4.29 in my vintage TC4.
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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For me, Vintage is all about set-up. I don't think any particular chassis is better than any other for the class. I'd work on getting the chassis you have to where it drives like you want it to drive... IIRC J.E. runs a sprint 2 and is consistently T.Q, I can barely catch him with my 6 year old corally.

With the rules the way they are, we're all so close in performance it comes down to set-up and consistency. For example, two weeks ago I had a bearing get carpet in it without me noticing and it knocked me from top-half to last place (or my driving )
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:58 PM   #11
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Like others have said the chassis isn't a big deal for vta. I run a very old yokomo and do pretty well with it. I run the softest springs I can and run the camber links as long as they will go.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
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With the rules the way they are, we're all so close in performance it comes down to set-up and consistency...
...and not crashing!
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:41 PM   #13
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What is weird for me is I so far cannot get the RTR to handle near as well.... so out of curiosity I swapped the vintage tires and body to my FT TC4 and it handled much better than my RTR TC4.... The set-up is pretty close between the two cars...only difference is the springs...so I swapped the springs and the Ft TC4 still out handled the RTR.

I realize even though they are both TC4's..... they are not the same car and set-ups may need to be different.....I am not saying someone else couldnt get then RTR to run well....It just seems to be giving me much more stress than the 17.5 FT
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:56 PM   #14
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Most tc4 rtr racers forget to change the outside suspension arm mounts to lower the roll center, and raise the camber link inner ballstud until it can't go up no more ... Give it a try in your RTR , you will be surprised to see how it handles...
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:27 AM   #15
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72/34 could be tight. I'm running 75/29 on my XI and it's close. I could probably squeeze 30 in, but not 31. The pinion gets very close to the motor mount root.

The kit turnbuckles are a pain as well on a zero s. They are just difficult to adjust. The shock spacers can be annoying too. But it's all cheap to do. A full set of threaded shocks is $26. You should be ok to use your AE springs on the 3Racing shocks if you get the -1mm spring retainers.
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