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Domestic or Import?

Domestic or Import?

Old 07-01-2002, 06:59 AM
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Default Domestic or Import?

In a few months, I'm gonna call it quits in SE Asia and head back to No. California. I started racing here on a Tamiya TA-04R and I love it. My question, however, is if I should switch to a domestic model when I get back to the States. Tamiya cars and parts are as cheap or cheaper than American cars in Singapore, but I know they are quite a bit more expensive in the States.

My question is, should I switch to an American brand or stick to my beloved TA-04R? And if I switch (I realize this is a "can of worms" question, but here goes), what should I switch to? My top three considerations for a car are: parts availability, parts/kit prices, and raceability in that order. So far I am leaning toward Losi XXX-S with graphite conversion or Associated Factory Team TC3. But I'd probably be happiest if I knew it was affordable for me to stick with my Tamiya. Anyone have some advice for me?
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Old 07-01-2002, 10:43 AM
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Stick with tamiya.
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Old 07-01-2002, 03:05 PM
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It depends, how do you feel about your TA04. Are you pretty comfortable with it? If you feel good driving it, then stick with it. Remember, you'll likely have to take some time to get used to a different car, & figure out how to get the same comfort level you already have now(assuming you ARE comfortable with your current car). There's certainly nothing wrong with the newer Tamiyas, so I'd think you'll be just as competitive as you would be with another car. As long as you can get replacement parts locally, then there's no reason not to stick with it from a competitive standpoint.....
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Old 07-01-2002, 04:53 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys. I guess my concern at this point is how expensive is it going to be to get parts for it.

I'm just a novice racer, having started only a few months ago, so it's not a problem for me to change cars for the right reasons. I'll be living in the SF Bay Area, so I think availability of parts may not be a big issue, it's more about cost. Are Japanese parts considerably more expensive in the States than domestic parts?
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Old 07-01-2002, 06:43 PM
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He sounds pretty comfortable with his Tamiya.

"should I switch to an American brand or stick to my beloved TA-04R? " quote by DNQ.

Tamiya parts should not be too overpriced(not sure about sisco though), another factor you should think about is parts breaking on US cars, the losi car is more likely to break in a crash then your TAO4-R, the tc3 isn't known for it's durablility either. I'm not saying US cars are all weak, but I've heard tamiya's are very durable and that would make up the cash that you'd spend on broken parts. Ring around when you get to the US and ask some lhs's what they sell, then decide from there.

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Old 07-01-2002, 10:39 PM
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DNQ (soon to be B main finalist),

I suggest you stick to Tamiya and get me to send you parts (if required) from Singapore!

Yours truly.
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Old 07-02-2002, 03:07 AM
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Fatdoggy, thanks, and you're right, Tamiya makes a pretty tough car in the TA-04R. I've driven it pretty hard and had some pretty gnarly wrecks and mainly just bent some of the softer plastic parts but have yet to break anything. I've just started reading this forum and I've already heard the two cars I'm interested in are not the most durable ones.

KiwiKid, thanks too. You're a real pal. By the way, I think I may have a way to "finance" those spare parts and shipping costs. Talk to you about it later!
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Old 07-02-2002, 03:24 AM
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DNQ,

The TA-04 is built like a tank. The fact that our third team member's car is still working notwithstanding the incredible abuse dished out to it on Saturday at the track is testimony to its durability. (We will not comment about the body, which is ready to go into the trash.)

If you like, I can help you identify the essential "spares" that you should get for your car before you depart for the US. On my list, I would get these:

(a) spare belts;
(b) aluminium ball diff pulleys (then you will never need to replace them);
(c) spare front and rear arms (preferably the hardened ones);
(d) front hub carriers and king pins;
(e) foam bumpers; and
(f) the suspension mounts (these can break).

The rest, you can use generic aftermarket parts.

Yours truly.
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Old 07-02-2002, 03:27 AM
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Hey Fatdoggy,

What is an aussie doing in Maryland? Are you going to catch the tri-series? I reckon the ABs may have a chance against the Wallabies this year.

Just curious.
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Old 07-02-2002, 05:11 PM
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Thanks man. I'll put them on my shopping list for my Tokyo trip in the fall.

Oh yeah, I just want to say to you forum readers that buying Tamiya parts in Japan is the way to go. The prices are 20% below retail (the price in yen that is printed on the packaging) for parts, usually a bit more for kits.

If you are ever in Tokyo, you may be intimidated about going r/c part shopping because:

a) you don't know where the shops are;
b) you don't speak Japanese.

As far as shops are concerned, most are concentrated in a small area of Tokyo which can be walked around in about an hour. That doesn't mean the shops are easy to find (especially if you don't read Japanese) but at least you won't have to wander all over the city.

I know the location of one shop in particular that is right above a subway station. If one of you is going to Tokyo and you're interested in going to this shop, you may want to write to me and put me to work in writing down the details in English for you. This shop is pretty large, even by American standards and the prices are good.

As for the speaking Japanese part, you may be out of luck there. I suggest you write down exactly what you want (the adage "Please print clearly" might be used here) as most modern Japanese can read English even if they don't speak it. My Japanese is pretty limited, but I got everything on my list that they had in stock last time I was there, and none of the staff speaks very good English.

It may sound like a lot of work, but if you can walk out of that shop with a 414M II for US$250, you'll realize it was worth it!
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Old 07-02-2002, 08:58 PM
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About to pm you kiwi.
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