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Tamiya TRF418 Mid season review

Since the review of the TRF418  the chassis has been raced indoors on carpet on a large amount of varied tracks. Over this time I have r...


Since the review of the TRF418 the chassis has been raced indoors on carpet on a large amount of varied tracks. Over this time I have really got to know the car so I thought I would do a quick update on how the car has fared as my club car, some of my findings where it could be improved.

Durability

I am a club racer, so most weeks the car is being pushed to my limits as I try to claim the chequered flag. Inevitably that can lead to collisions with the hard wood boards at my local small track or sometimes other cars (Although it's always their fault.. Ahem!).

The 418 has proved it's very robust in this respect. Tamiya along with Xray have always been brands that I have favoured due to their build quality and strength, and whilst the Xray has taken a step back in some areas (mainly drive shafts) the Tamiya has just been bullet proof. 

In 6 months racing I have only broken 1 C-hub and have not had to replace any other parts. The revised suspension arms are very strong and I think the extra thickness helps to protect the other suspension parts. I since replaced the C hubs with the revised C-hubs (Tamiya 54580) and these have been fine, they are thicker so I think they are even stronger.
Tamiya 54580 is 4 degrees, you can also use Tamiya 54586 (6 degrees)

I have also used the 6 degree hubs (Part no 54586) , and sometimes I find they make the car much easier to drive if the car feels too pointy, if I do this I also play with the inner camber links (Raise them slightly) and sometimes change the rear suspension block to a C.

Wear and tear is also good, the car is also still very tight, and I have not had to replace any parts due to excessive slop. The only thing I have done is fit an extra 0.1mm shim onto the suspension pin of both of the rear arms. (Bringing the spacer up to 0.5mm in total.

The car is also amazing at avoiding tweak. The 417 could tweak after a large collision with a board, but the 418 has never needed any major tweak adjustments. I have become so confident that the car is so resilient to being tweaked that I only now check for tweak every few weeks.

So from a durability point of view, I cant really fault the car. 

What would I like to see in the next version? It would be good to have the latest C-Hubs (Part no 54580) Included in the next kit, maybe the 6 degree ones also included as a tuning aid.

Handling

The car is faster and easier to drive than the 417 straight out of the box, but as a racer you still want to find more speed. I tried a lot of new set-ups including some early set-ups that had really low roll centres. In the end I found that the chassis responded well to fine tuning the car around the base set-up. 

The car is very precise, and after a bit of trial and error I found that using shims less than 0.5mm would really help fine tune the car when playing with the roll centres on the inner mounting points on the bulkheads. moving between 1.5 and 2 mm on an inner link would now lead to me adding 2x0.1mm shims to try 1.7mm to usually get me the result I would expect. 

I found this fine tuning the best little trick to help the car work for me. At the track I would add just a few thin shims front and rear to just tweak the handling to match the track (we have different layouts most weeks, and the carpet is high grip). 

Note: The new C-hubs also allow you to easily change the outer front height as well if you want more dramatic changes.

Other things I played around with was the track width (with the new 0.75mm wheel spacers) Again smaller adjustments around the base settings seemed to be the best for me.

The steering of the car is good, but I changed the throw and the ackermann. I removed the servo saver and added a 18mm servo saver. The kit saver does not give you full lock on most servos and that is not ideal for me as I like to have the potential of full throw if I need it.

Rear grip is something that most racers on carpet will always chase. The 418 is good in its options for tuning this by removing the top screw out of the top deck, or removing the screw out of the bottom deck and fitting a 3mm set screw. I would be interested to see how this can be bettered, and its natural to think that the latest Yokomo BD7 floating style mount is the way to go. I personally think the extra stiffness at the lower rear of that car did not really help on carpet when I briefly raced one, preferring the 13 style mount although the results show that it can work for Volker on Tarmac.

The transition speed is also good on the car although I do notice that when the Mi5 decides to work, it is incredibly quick on tight infield sections, maybe just piping the 418. So I would be really interested to see how the car would be improved with low profile shocks. I do intend to try the TB Evo6 shocks on the car with some special low profile towers in the future to see how this feels and will do a little write up.


What would I like to see in next version?  I would either want a car that is more neutral to tune, or at least have a car that comes with smaller shims to condition the driver to looking at tuning the car in this manor.

I would also be interested to see how a revised inner bulkhead / motor mount could work, although I think it would be interesting to actually just have the motor mount and spur gear carrier separated and not do a floating mount. It will be inevitable that the chassis will be softer on the new car as the Team drivers prefer a softer chassis, thats fine but some concessions to us Rug racers would be good, maybe having a thicker chassis option for us carpet racers, or maybe an aluminium one.

Oh, and I would like some stiffer Tamiya springs. The current set is quite soft, and although the hardest does actually feel quite similar to a HPI Silver, its still a little soft. 


Set-up

This is my current base set-up


Conclusions

The car's strength and precision has given me a car that I can confidently pop on the track every week and straight away chase for the lead. The TRF418 has given me my longest winning streak ever at my local club and that is against a range of other top tier chassis and great drivers. So much so that non Tamiya guys are after the car or are considering one for their next purchase.

I honestly feel that it is the best racing chassis I have owned since my T1 Evo and TRF415. Once I clicked on how to tune it I have really enjoyed a strong string of results. More importantly I feel the car has pushed me to become a better driver as I am able to get more and more out of the car and it just takes it and is consistent and fast.

Needless to say these are just my opinions as a 17.5 carpet racer, lets hear what you would like to see revised or added to the next version of the TRF418?




TRF418 5041816807700251059

Post a Comment

  1. Excellent review mate, I am new to the RC world and have been reading blogs like yours to educate myself. Will be following.

    Kaan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the compliments, feel free to ask if you have any questions

      Delete

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