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Old 12-17-2005, 06:44 PM   #1
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Default Tamiya M-03 vs. M-04

I am strongly considering purchasing a Tamiya mini car for the local club class and I was wondering what people think of the M-04 agienst the M-03. The M-03 seems to be the most popular, but I'm not sure if that's because it's a better car, or because it's the most available car. I also like the Alfa body on the M-04 more than the Rover Cooper body on the M-03.

I'll be racing on a small carpet track, following TCS rules. Thanks for the help.

-Frank
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Old 12-18-2005, 03:54 AM   #2
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m03 = fwd

m04= rwd

check at your club what they race there. over here they just race M03 in mini class.
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Old 12-18-2005, 09:51 PM   #3
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If you are strickly following TCS rules the M03 has an advantage because the M04 gearing is limited beacuse of the larger tires.

BTW I have a basic M03 I'll sell for pretty cheap if you are interested.
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Old 12-18-2005, 10:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newracer
If you are strickly following TCS rules the M03 has an advantage because the M04 gearing is limited beacuse of the larger tires.

BTW I have a basic M03 I'll sell for pretty cheap if you are interested.
M-04 actually could run faster than M-03 if gearing is not sanctioned under TCS rules.

If TCS allowed M-01, you'll be better off. Those are hard to flip and have more top speed.
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:03 AM   #5
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Really? I had an m01 before and the handling was pretty horrible. It was hard to flip alright but lost to m03's because if its poor handling.

The M03 is more forgivable since its fwd and understeers. The m04 is rwd and has oversteer most of the time and will catch you out when you accelerate out of a corner too early.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:46 AM   #6
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The M03L is a good car out of the box. on the other hand the Mo4M is a handful and you will want to purchase a set of Tamiya short shocks and short spring sets. Also if you are puting the kit together do the bearings in the chassis and get a tao3 ball dif. set the ball diff as tight as possible on a M03 chassis. And alittle loser on the M04 to keep that rear wheel drive from steping out.

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Old 12-19-2005, 11:54 AM   #7
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Good advice, thanks guys. I'll be racing on a small carpet track with high traction. Will the looseness of the RWD help me on that type of surface? I'm also race 12th scale, so I'm used to RWD cars.

I noticed my friend's M-03L traction rolling. I'm not sure of the ride hieght he put his at, but I do know he put travel limiting spacers in his shocks. Will the M-04 have similar problems?

I'm not sure how strict they're following TCS rules, so I'm not sure if I'll be limited on gearing. I'll have to check.

For the M-03 and/or M-04; besides bearings and the ball diff, what are other worthwhile hop-ups for these cars?

-Frank
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Old 12-19-2005, 12:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mailboxck
Really? I had an m01 before and the handling was pretty horrible. It was hard to flip alright but lost to m03's because if its poor handling.

The M03 is more forgivable since its fwd and understeers. The m04 is rwd and has oversteer most of the time and will catch you out when you accelerate out of a corner too early.
You get poor handling because you need tamiya's universals cvd and alluminium steering post. Sorry, I forget the part number since it was long time ago ( 1995 ).

For M03 traction rolling problem :

1. lower the car very low, like 4mm front, 6mm rear.
2. buy smaller tires ( tamiya super slick with hard insert ) if still flips.

For asphalt track, bumpy, and poor grip
3 (f) & 3 (r) holes piston, short blue (f) & short yellow (r) springs, 30W oils

For high grip asphalt
2 (f) & 2 (r) holes piston, short blue (f) & short yellow (r) springs, 40W oils
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Old 12-19-2005, 02:59 PM   #9
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I looked at the rules again and the new 2006 rules up to a 21 tooth pinion for the 04 chassis and 20 tooth pinion for the 03 chassis. I'm thinking I'll go with an 04.

-Frank
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Old 12-19-2005, 04:34 PM   #10
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The M04 will be a lot faster than since you can use the bigger pinion, it also has bigger tires.
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:16 PM   #11
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They discontinued the M-04s with the big tires. The only ones available now are the Eunos and the Alfa Romeo that use the same small tires. However it would be cool to find a BMW Z3 with the larger tires.

-Frank
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Old 12-20-2005, 05:30 AM   #12
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It will be interesting to see how they interpret the rules for the big tired M04's, since using a 21 tooth pinion with that combo would give it an insane advantage over the Alfa and Miata. Expect to have to run a smaller pinion if you show up at a TCS race with a Z3 or S2000. Yes, I know what the rules say.

Since the M03 and M04 are separate classes and will not be racing against each other, the question of which is faster becomes kinda moot. On most tracks, a well-tuned M04 will turn faster lap times simply because of the larger pinion- with those motors, one tooth is a heckuva advantage. Tracks that are slippery will be a different story. And I would definitely NOT recommend an M04 for a novice or noobie driver, as they can be very difficult to set up.

Bottom line: if you;re looking for a car you can pretty much just throw down and race, then the M03/M03L is what you want. If you're willing to mess around with the car, have the time (and the skills) to set it up, and are willing to accept weird handling until you get it where you want it, then the M04 is a nice alternative.

Just my $.02...and worth what you paid for it!
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asw7576
You get poor handling because you need tamiya's universals cvd

how exactly do universal joints help steering?
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