After the release of the Tamiya TA08 PRO I've been enjoying putting in a lot of laps with this chassis as I try to discover its characteristics and try to refine my set-ups.
One thing that is very apparent with the TA08 PRO is that the chassis has a huge amount of flex. I've still not been able to run it in anger on tarmac / asphalt where I think this chassis will excel. At the moment I have been running it on very high grip carpet.
With that in mind, I have been looking at ways to play with the flex. I have some things in the pipeline ???? that I will show soon. First up though, I had a look at the chassis and noticed that you can make a pretty simple mod with some basic Tamiya parts.
Behold the centre stiffener rod mod!
What do you need?
For this you just need the following
- 1x Tamiya 54249 3x32mm Turnbuckle
- 1x Tamiya 53969 5x8mm Hard hex ball connectors you can use 54208/53907
- 2x Tamiya 50875 / 53601 5mm ball connectors (You cannot use the new open face 54869 parts as too wide)
- 1x Tamiya ball nut (19804206/19805389/53640)
- 1x 3x6mm countersunk screw.
First up you need to make the turnbuckle. You want the gap between the adjusters to be 19mm. You need to ensure that you have adjusters in the correct position to fit on the motor mount and to the base of the chassis.
Note: Here you can also drill/ream the ball adjusters so you are able to use a hex tool to remove the turnbuckle.
Next simply unscrew the motor mount screw and replace it with the 5mm hard hex ball connector. Importantly you still need to install the both the spring and standard washer along with the ball connector.
The 5mm ball nut with the 3x6mm Counter sunk screw.
Simply click on the turnbuckle and you will notice it narrowly misses the belt. If you use the new open adjusters they would clash with the belt.
Once attached you can feel a change to the flex characteristics of the chassis. There is still quite a bit of flex, but it mainly changes some of the longitudinal flex characteristics.
At the Track
I am still trying to find the sweet spot with the Tamiya TA08 and the resulting set-up. For this test I just kept the same set-up that I had settled on before as I wanted to compare the lap-times with this new mod.
I decided to run the car with the 13.5 motor. As I mentioned in my review. (CLICK TO READ), It makes sense that the flex will have a more noticeable impact on the handling when running more powerful motors.
Previously when running the high torque 13.5 motor I felt that the inner rear wheel lifts when powering out of corners. So I started to pump in the laps. Once I had started to get into rhythm of the track I started to push the TA08 harder and harder. It seemed to me that the wheel lift was less noticeable with this rod installed. It could have been a placebo effect but I did feel more confident on power when coming out from the apex.
This was proven by the lap times, I managed to improve my best time by two tenths of a second. More importantly the average lap time was also much closer than before only just over three tenths difference, which was quite a jump from the 5 tenths which I had achieved before with the 13.5 and the TA08. (As a reference, I was achieving just over one tenth with the TRF420 I was also testing that day).
Unfortunately I didn't have a 17.5 motor with me to test, as I was interested to see how much it would effect that. (I imagine less time would be gained as the flex is less dramatic).
So in conclusion I'm pretty happy with how this small tweak helped the performance of the Tamiya TA08PRO. I am sure that some part of the performance gain is me getting more familiar with the characteristics of the chassis, although the consistency really did seem to be much better. If you try it please let me know how you got on.