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Old 02-04-2021, 07:11 AM   #1
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Default Winter.... what a DRAG

Crawler burnout is setting in.. Been wrenching and running them a lot lately due to current "conditions" and I'm a bit burned out. I just built up a UMG kit I traded for with a bunch of goodies and it came out pretty nice:


...but didn't bother with a build thread since it's nothing anyone hasn't seen before, everyone else is building III's, and I'm still building II's.. And as nice as it is, it'll sit on the shelf until spring.

What to do??

It came to my attention that a former roller skating rink in the area has abandoned skating and the owner is planning an RC megaplex... the inside of the rink will be a mudboss oval and they started doing drag racing on the weekends. Hmmm... interesting. Indoors, warm, 10 minutes away, and cheap no prep racing. And a nice concession stand with cheese fries.


Not having a drag car, and having since sold my Slash and all the parts I would have needed, I decided to build a touring car. My buddy runs a Traxxas 4Tec and it's pretty fast - maybe not as quick as the drag cars, but it's quick. I've got plenty of tourer's laying around, so I decide to convert one over on the cheap and give him a run for the money.

I flailed around a but trying to decide what to run. At first, I thought a mini would be cool...tiny, big motor, and some larger 1.9 wheels...should haul ass. So I dug out my MF01 bug and did some mods...


But I thought a 4600kv motor would be a handful in such a tiny car, so I abandoned that one. Next was a TL01... I had some huge F1 slicks here, and again - AWD, lots of tire, and lots of power should be a winning ticket. I had to adapt an M05 suspension to the car to get the tires somewhat tucked... all was going well...


Until I got to the front and the upper control arms would have to be so short, I couldn't squeeze anything on there. Plus, both cars were kind of iffy...they were never meant for tons of power and I had some serious concerns about the drivetrain holding up. Back to the drawing board.

I had most of an old HPI Nitro3 laying around I bought years ago for SCX10 IFS conversion parts... after scrounging around, I managed to dig out most of the parts. Found an Associated buggy trans in my stash and did some mockup... this could work! Steel gears, all metal driveline... should handle the power much better than a 20 year old Tamiya.


and heaven knows I've got a ton of spares and assorted HPI junk.... Smells like a plan!


Found all kinds of stuff in my stash... HD outdrives, HD gears, and limited slip diffs... interesting. Plus I can always rob some stuff off my Super RS4's should I ever be so inclined.


First thing to do was strip, clean and assemble the diffs. No idea on the best drag setup for an AWD car, so I took a stab at it. Front diff is locked with an Axial locker, rear is limited slip for now. Front has the HD gearset and the rear has an Axial HD underdrive set. I'm thinking a bit of front OD will help keep the car in a straight line. Hopefully. Found some universals too - bonus!


Drilled some holes in the nitro chassis and got the Associated trans mounted... it does have a center diff which sucks. I put the thickest oil in I have, but a locked setup would be nice. I think Associated makes a slipper set-up for this transmission, if so I'll be looking into it. Found some random dogbones in my stash, a full set of turnbuckles, and an aluminum steering set and it's coming together nicely!


(upside-down! Sorry!) I cut up and re-glued a TRX4 battery tray for my super shorty Capra pack...it's a 90C pack so it should do OK with instant throttle (I hope so anyway....) and it's nice and compact...


I knew the chassis was a bit tweaked, and I tried to bend it back straight and thought it was ok...while building it up, I noticed it rocked all over my workbench. I was tweaked diagonally too, not to mention swiss cheesed from all the extra holes. I like swiss cheese, but not on my cars. So I broke out some 3MM aluminum, clamped them together and started making a new chassis...


Couple of hours later, and I have this along with aluminum shavings in my hair.


Much better! Not only looks better, but straight as an arrow and much stronger. It's a bit on the heavy side, I may shave it down here and there where I can. Designed it so I can flip the trans so the motor can sit front or rear., and nice and narrow since it's going 30 feet in a straight line and anything hanging off won't matter so much. Going to start with the motor up front for now...Hoping for a 50/50 balance front to rear.


and that's 3 weeks of tinkering distilled into a tiny thread. Hoping to have this done by the weekend so I can go play on Sunday!

On a side note, while I'm trying to do this on the cheap, I broke down and flamed the credit card and ordered a DR10 kit which should be here tomorrow...guess I'll be running 2 classes... More build to come.
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:31 AM   #2
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Default Winter.... what a DRAG

Excellent!
I have the opposite dilemma, due to the weather.
This IS finally the time we can go outside for crawling without dripping in sweat or monsoon afternoon storms. And because itís dry, the drag folks are in full boogie mode now.

Iím having to much fun finishing the Sherpa build, and it should be out in the next week.

Meanwhile, back to Winter
Hang up and Drive
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Old 02-04-2021, 08:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

That's a really cool idea for an RC Megaplex! Looks like a great place for indoor helicopters also.
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Old 02-04-2021, 03:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Man that bug is cool!

Last edited by high plains drifter; 02-13-2021 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 02-04-2021, 06:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

We got 20+ inches of snow over the past 3 days, definitely not doing any outdoor driving for a while.. :( S'ok, with the kids at home, not getting out much anyway. Plenty of build time. Nice to be wrenching on something different.

DR10 arrived today, a day early....I expected it to be postponed due to the weather. FedEx is amazing.
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Old 02-06-2021, 08:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Went into overdrive the past few days to get this ready for the weekend, only to be punched in the nuts later. Typical 2020...I think were in month 14 now. Anyway...

Chassis is complete! Took a bit more fabrication to get it where I wanted it, but it's all ready to go.


Had to make a brace for the steering, not sure why the stock piece didn't fit... didn't fit on the stock chassis either. I started with measurements from the "drift" chassis, maybe it's different from the RS43 slightly, IDK but nothing a bit of fabwork can't fix.


Since I'll be swapping electronics around, I just zip tied everything to the upper braces for now. I made standoffs for the front and rear diffs and the transmission and used 2 turnbuckle links to brace the top of the chassis. It was pretty stiff with the 3mm lower plate, but now it's solid as a rock.


Battery tray tucks in out back - it just squeezes in there. As close to the centerline as I could get it... sliced some openings in the sides so I could use Velcro straps to hold in the battery.


Electronics mount on the opposite side of the battery. I've had this ESC in a box for a long time...finally had a chance to use it. 120a sensored, should do the trick.. (or will it??)


View from underneath. I'd like to mill out a bit more, it's a bit of a porker!


Wheels and tires...stickiest 1.9's I had laying around mounted on old, old, old 0mm offset HPI wheels. Keeping it all in the family I guess! Slicks would be better, but I don't have any handy.



Body painted up and dropped on... I've had this 200mm Skyline NIB for almost 20 years! Can't believe it's been that long. Bought it for my old belt drive HPI car back in the day, but wrecked the car on a bad crash and never used it. Simple paint, I love the lines on these bodies, they do all the talking. No need to gum it up with flashy paint. I lost the wing somehow, so found another one in my stash and honestly, I think it looks better than stock! All sitting low and lean...





And now for the nut punch... all that work, and after tearing my basement apart looking for it, I realized I tossed my programming card in with a sale last fall being a nice guy....and now have no way to program this ESC (or 3 others in my touring cars) - whoops!!! And they are out of stock everywhere. I need to reverse the motor rotation and have no way to do it! So it flies... in reverse.

I don't have another ESC available, so not sure what I'm going to do. Either wait and track down another card somehow, or bite the bullet and get a new setup.
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Old 02-06-2021, 09:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

So while I was nursing my wounds on the undriveable HPI for the moment, I decided to build up the DR10. Picked up the kit along with the Jconcepts Foxbody and some wheels and tires.


This box is tiny.... amazes me how they cram an entire car's worth of stuff into such a tiny box. But anyway.. Simple build, should go quick.


Or so I thought. Needed to do lots of filing and sanding to get everything to swing freely. Lower arms needed quite a bit of filing at the bulkhead to drop under there own weight, and the knuckles needed a massage too. Feeling like I'm building a 90's race kit.... however, after all the filing and sanding, there NO slop at all. Well worth it.


Going well until I bolted on the front hingepin brace... when screwing in the tiny 1.5mm screws that retain the hingepins (one was not threaded well and gave me a hell of a time) the suspension arms didn't move. WTF? Apparently, the screws are a bit long and come out the back o the brace and gouged the heck out of the arms. Thankfully, the second screw was giving me fits and didn't seat down all the way so no damage on that side.


So I re-sanded the front arm, retapped the holes in the brace and used some longer screws/washers to hold in the hingepins. I flipped the brace over and used to dremel to cut off any remaining threads and filed it all smooth. Now it's all nice and smooth - way more work than it needed to be though.


The rear of the chassis was a mother as well. The lower trans mount is a separate piece and was slightly wider than the chassis...So I had to spread the rear of the chassis a bit to get the trans mount seated... and that chassis is stiff as heck! Then I got to the top mount, and that was slightly narrower! I had to break out the plumbing pliers to squeeze the back of the chassis to get it to drop on. Actually worked up a sweat.... does that count as my daily excercise? (I counted it anyway)


Trans went together beautifully... Gears are slightly crunchy in one spot, I'm sure they'll wear in after a few runs.


Rest of the build went like clockwork. Turnbuckles are cake to assemble and the shocks are utter butter as expected. Going with all factory settings for now, don't know enough about drag racing setups to make any changes.


Had to set it on the wheels just to see how it looks...


On to electronics and body work!
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Old 02-09-2021, 06:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Had a marathon session to get ready to go play on Sunday... Quite a bit to get done in 24 hours!

Wrapped up the chassis on the DR10...pretty easy build, overall it went pretty quick. Bumpers and wheely bar on, and mocked up the tires... I like it!


Installed another Turnigy system I can't program at the moment, but at least it's calibrated and running in the right direction. A little down on power compared to some of the other cars there - only running a 3000kv motor. But to get it up and running and get a feel for it, should be plenty.


And finally, the fastest body I've ever installed and painted. Not overly happy with the colors (body is massive and I didn't have enough silver, so went with pewter) but I LOVE how it came out overall. The body doesn't quite line up with the wheels, but it's not so far off that I can't live with it. It's very thin so it's surprisingly light. Not sure how it's going to hold up - time will tell I guess.




....and had to make some changes on the HPI since I couldn't program the ESC, so I did some raiding from another car and dropped in a 3800kv 4-pole Castle SC system. I don't think the tires will be able to handle it, so I dropped the punch down to 50% and we'll work from there. I suspect this car is going to be wicked fast if I can put down the power.


Ready to go!


And of course, after all that work....6" of snow cancelled the drag racing event. Of course...!! At least I'm ready for next week.
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Old 02-12-2021, 10:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Thar Rs4 is looking mighty fine! The drift rs4 was a bit different, with motor up front, etc. I wanted to convert mine to the drift, but never did. What does this programming card look like?
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Old 02-13-2021, 06:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Thanks, I'm stoked with how it came out. If drag racing isn't my thing, it's just a few easy changes away from parking lot duty. The chassis worked so well, I might do another for my super nitro e-conversion which is just jobbed onto the stock nitro chassis.

This is the card in question, I tracked one down over on RCTech. Should be here sometime this week.
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Old 02-13-2021, 12:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Faithfully by Journey starts playing
M.C.-“Please Clear the floor for couples RC”
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Old 02-22-2021, 06:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Finally, drag day! I spent a marathon Saturday finishing up loose ends, only to have it cancelled Sunday sue to weather. The next weekend was Valentines day and the track was closed - something about spending times with loved ones or something, I wasn't really paying attention. So I had a 2 week downtime window...

In the meantime, I painted up a body for a friend of mine, and dropped it on the DR10 just to see how it looks. I love it! Might be one of these in my future.



Anyway, off to the track. I didn't get any pics per se, so here's a gratuitous shot of my pit area.


Turns out going fast and staying in a 12' wide lane is a lot harder than it looks.

First off, the HPI is a freaking monster. Stable, runs pretty straight and wicked fast once it hooks up. The 4 pole motor is just too much though - the torque just wants to spin the tires which kicks it off line. I think a 2 pole will calm it down quite a bit. All I did was add a bit of front toe and fine tuned the punch level and I got quite a few great passes with it. Well worth the build, now I need to find some grippier tires, swap in a different motor, and fine tune.

The DR was a totally different story, I spent much of the day dialing it in. I started off with a 3000kv motor/2S (since class rules are 2S only) and it was certainly not burning down the track, but for sure good enough to get a feel for it. Getting rear traction was a bitch, the floor is super smooth and right off the line it wanted to hook left. I played around with the preload for a while and got it mostly tracking straight. Played with the slipper and punch levels on the ESC also. At the end of the day, it was feeling pretty stable, certainly drivable, and for sure ready for a power upgrade!

Pic before I packed it in for the day... chassis and rear of the body are sprinkled with rubber bits, and it's in one piece! Success!


Came home and ordered a second set of tires - I'll be using beadlocks for these, plan to do some foam tuning. I think some softer foams will help it hook up a bit better on the polished wood. Also ordred some threaded shocks bodies for the rear - the preload clips were driving me nuts. Will also be swapping motors, debating between a 3800 4-pole or a 4200 2 pole sensored ... hmmm...
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Old 02-24-2021, 09:40 PM   #13
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Looking good as always man! I would love to build up a drag truck with the Jconcepts 66 C10 someday.
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:26 AM   #14
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

It's fun! wasn't sure how much I'd like it, I haven't driven anything fast in a while but it's a good time. Lots of tinkering required which I like, lots of very scale rides around, and a bunch of cool guys so far. You'd think going straight would be simple - not so much! Especially on a polished wood floor.
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Old 02-25-2021, 06:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Ordered a few new parts that are on-route. I can't leave anything alone! Nothing fancy, biggest shange will be a rear shock relocation kit to stand up the rear shocks and some other odds and ends I tossed in for free shipping. In the meantime, I made a few changes...

Swapped in a sensored system so there's no more off the line cog...I moved all the electronics along the centerline. Not sure why I didn't do this in the first place, seems like a no brainer.


Now running a 9.5 motor (4200kv)... some of the guys are running 4.5ish motors, but with the surface we are running on, it's really hard to put down the power. Will see how this does before considering anything stronger.


Noticed the front was a bit sloppy towards the last few runs.. the front C-hubs had developed a ton of play. I'm sure it had nothing to do with ramping off the end timing setup and barrel rolling a few times. Weird. In any case, nothing some shimming won't take care of.


Experimenting a bit here... some guys run spacers to keep the front shocks from compressing too far. I tried pen springs on the shock shafts. So far, it seems to be working well - still prevents the front from compressing all the way, but has a nice soft feel when the front wheels load back up.
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Old 03-04-2021, 06:51 AM   #16
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Bored and looking for a project. Since my 1/10 HPI turned out great - very happy with how it runs - I thought I'd make a big brother for the open class at the weekend drags. Pretty much using the same formula I used to convert the RS4 to electric - new chassis and center transmission.

Converted HPI on the bottom, and new project on top. It's a Super Nitro Rally I converted to electric years ago. It was a half-assed conversion though, just rigged on a Tekno motor mount with a fixed pinion and fudged a battery tray - I think I can do better! Stripped it down, and removed the rock hard OG rally tires. So glad I didn't glue them... these old 2.2 wheels are super rare nowadays.


Very tempted to raid my full option SNRS4R for some of the rare parts... I can't bring myself to do it! Hopefully I have enough parts in my stash to convert it over.


Subaru body is still in good shape though the wing needs to be attached - the tape gave out a long time ago! Never ran it, it's pristine except for the dust.


Well, looky here! SNR optional aluminum arms! Circa 2002/03. Had these floating around forever.


Started mocking up some parts. Not sure if I am going to use these arms or not. I may swap in the stock plastic ones to save some weight. I did find a pair of RS4 Evo towers to bolt on, replacing the Rally towers which are quite tall. Great for rally, not so much for onroad.


Trying to do this on the cheap using parts onhand. I will have to source a transmission though, or come up with something. I've been keeping an eye out for a parted out Associated or Losi 4wd buggy trans, but haven't seen anything pop up in a while. I do have a plan B, I took a chance and dropped $30 on hunch... we'll see if it's workable.
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Old 03-04-2021, 01:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Rc monster sells a motor mount for these! $48 shipped. Frystormer has a converted rs4 something, and after some investigation i contacted Mike and voila! Be careful with the body, they run $150+ these days. Glad I hogged a few, lol
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Old 03-04-2021, 02:21 PM   #18
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Really? I thought he did - first place I checked, but then I couldn't find it on his site. I semi-recall Frystormer contacted him directly and had one custom made for his MT, wasn't sure if it was a one off or what. That would certainly make life easy! Think I got a good plan going, if it fails I'll contact RCM.

I know, the bodies are rarer than hen's teeth....and way, way expensive! I'm going to mod the chassis for some different wheelbases. 280, 300, (stock) and 287, and 307... at 307ish, some crawler bodies will drop on. Maybe not the best to go fast, but something different and something I won't work up a nervous sweat when I drive it.
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Old 03-04-2021, 05:50 PM   #19
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

Yeah, just tell Mike that its for a RS4 and he'll know. Wheels/tires are easy to buy on ebay $20 for 4, from the wr8. I think the j concepts 9 shots should also work, as well as the Brahma wheels.

I have 2 ultra rare bodies from the Tamiya TG8 or whatever they were. Corolla hatchback and a non bug eyed impreza.

Hey, what length shocks are you using F/R on the SNR with the 1/10 shock towers? Funny your building this, I have started on mine almost 5 or more years ago.

The smaller Hpi 79 Ford body fits ok. (Daughters)In that pic i posted its set to 280 WBYou have any new other bodies? I missed out on a few skylines. Enough thread jacking
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Old 03-04-2021, 07:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: Winter.... what a DRAG

No worries on the thread jack, nobody reads my crap anyway.

The Tamiya bodies are amazing, I wish I had picked some up back in the day. Always wanted a TG-R but never ponied up for one. I had a Kyosho FW03 (Porsche 911GT1) and the FW04 (McLaren) and they both were stunning kits - especially the McLaren. I wish I had kept them.... I sold them both for ridiculous prices even 10 years ago. The way they handled puts the SNR to shame.

In any case, I have the subie body and the HPI F150 for my Nitro. F150 looks great - low and sleek, I would have gladly put that on my electric conversion, but I already cut out a big hole for the motor. That one is cut out, but unmounted and unpainted (someday I'll get to it... )

What HPI body is that? Savage? Looks like a good fit!

Just for a goof, I put my Axial Cherokee and Traxxas Aport bodies on the SN4 - aside from the large wheel openings, they look pretty decent. I'm debating a JeepSpeed body.... not sure I want to beat up the Subaru or drill some other mounting holes.

I'm looking at 55mm shocks. Haven't mocked them up yet, but measurements tell me they'll be in the ballpark.

Wait till you see my MT2... It's also electric converted, sitting low and mean and just got a body for it. Test fitting tomorrow.
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