Tamiya TT02 guide, Mods, tuning and tips for club racing

Updated 2023

Since our review of the TT02, The Tamiya TT02 has really established itself as the entry level kit of choice. Its strength and versatility means its a great starting car for any RC enthusiast who wants to experience the thrills and excitement that the RC hobby provides.

Whilst the car doesn't pretend to be a top-end race chassis, over time many owners will want to venture to their local club to sample RC racing, so the following article will cover a range of upgrades and tips to make your TT02 become a better race car. Although other than bearings, none of the others are essential for you to go to your local club and take it for a spin.  If you get the bug for racing then this guide will help you look at a range of options to improve various aspects of your car, as you improve your driving skills.

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Which TT02 is best for racing?

There is an ever expanding range of TT02's available to purchase. Most are all basically the same other than the bodyshell, and the wheelbase settings (Which are fully adjustable for all models).

There are also The following special versions:

Tamiya 58584 TT02D

This kit is sold as a drift spec, and whilst the car does not come with an ESC or bodyshell, it does come with oil shocks. It also comes with specially hardened A-Parts. These are great as they give you strengthened versions of many of the key parts for the TT02 including Towers, Steering arms, Suspension blocks and uprights. You do not need to buy the TT02D to get these, you can order the part separately (Tamiya 19000614).
Tamiya TT02 re-enforced A parts, part no 19000614 (This includes 2 in the set) 

Tamiya 84409 TT-02R
The best TT02 to buy if you want the flexibility of the platform intact.
This is a limited edition TT-02 and it has a much higher spec than the TT02D for a race car and it is available at a similar price. This car has the std TT-02 suspension system so you can easily change the ride height and wheelbase. It also has rear aluminium 3 degree hubs which will make the car handle much better than a stock TT02. There are a range of other goodies stuffed in there such as the aluminium motor mount, high speed gear set, Alloy prop shaft and drive cups, ball races and CVA oil shocks. The only thing this doesn't have is adjustable upper arms to allow you to get Camber adjustments. So this is the TT02 to buy if you want a versatile TT-02 that you can rally, drift and race and use some of the classic shorter shells such as the Zackspeed Capri.

Tamiya 47382 TT-02RR

This is version builds on the TT-02 R and adds even more features. The three key additions are the upper adjustable arms. These allow you to change the camber settings (0-2 degrees) to ensure better cornering performance. It also comes with oil filled gear differentials. These provide more tuning possibilities and are found in all of the top end racing chassis. The final new part is the hardened blue chassis, this increases the stiffness of the chassis and will make the TT02 feel more responsive.

This is a great option for anyone that wants a reliable, fun chassis to drive. They handle great out of the box and even though it is adjustable, it is still quite contained.

Tamiya 58600 TT-02 Type S
The TT-02 Type-S is the best base car if you want a race based TT02
The TT02 Type-S chassis is made for those who want a TT02 for the track. It comes with TRF416 style reversible long suspension arms, FRP shock towers with a range of settings and a full set of ball bearings. If you want to buy a TT02 focused on racing then this is the one to buy to start out with, with many guys saying it performs well in VTA classes and USGT. I will do a separate guide on the TT02-S at some point in the future, as it has some unique traits.

What you gain in racing prowess you will lose in versatility. The TT-02S will not allow you to change the ride height to be a rally car, it also does not have an option to have a short wheelbase to fit some of the cool shells such as the Capri or Suzuki SZ rally.

Tamiya 47439 TT-02 Type SR

The ultimate TT-02. The limited edition TT02 Type SR adds even more great hop-ups to the TT02 Type S. It features Double cardan front drive shafts, rear lightweight universals, Rear sealed oil differential, front spool.

The big innovation is the special rear mount that allows you to adjust the rear toe angle. If you want to buy the most race ready TT02, then this is the solution.

This is the latest high spec TT-02. The main changes over the excellent TT02-Type SR are the inclusion of the new rear gear differential with Aluminium outdrives in the rear. The front also has the new XV-02 spool included. The other changes are the prop cups, they are wider and allow you fit cushions on the main prop.  The other big addition is the inclusion of the TRF420 suspension arms. Unfortuantly you will not be able to mount the additional droop screw plates for these arms as the droop screw is at the other side of the arm.  

So there you have it, there are a few types of TT02 to choose from now. For this guide I am going to show you how to make a base level TT-02 run as well as possible. Most of these tips are applicable to all of the cars but some obviously some will have a selection of the hop-ups mentioned (TT02R). The TT02-S is quite different as it uses the TRF suspension parts to have longer arms so some parts relating to that will be different. If you have any questions please ask.

Making 'The RC Racer' Race spec TT02 

This article is about converting a basic Tamiya TT-02. When looking at the stock TT-02 I found several areas that could improve the car when taking it to the track. These are:
  • Drive Train (Make the car spin freely to get the most direct power from the motor)
  • Steering (Steering smoothness, handling tweaks and response)
  • Gearing options (Gear your car competitively with others in your class)
  • Suspension (Ensure the car can react to changing surfaces and grip levels around a circuit)
  • Weight (Chassis balance tuning)
I was sure that once I had covered these areas I would have a chassis that would provide me with enough tuning aids to allow me to have a car that I can run well at the track.

Drive Train

The drive train needs to run free and smoothly to ensure that the power of the motor is able to drive the four wheels efficiently and to ensure that the throttle response is crisp and precise.

Drive Train : Bearings

The most essential thing you need to fit to the TT02 is bearings. Quite simply the car will be faster, smoother and the battery will last longer due to the gears running smoothly.

I got my bearings from the excellent RC bearings, and as this is a race spec kit, I used their RCB bearings. These are an excellent price option for racers, they are Abec 5 rated, so faster and smoother than std bearing sets whilst not as costly as the ceramic bearings that are also available. Just Search for RCB on the RC Bearings site here
High Performance at a great price! RC Bearings High spec RCB Abec 5 bearings
A quick chat to Colin at RC bearings ensured that a set of these excellent bearings arrived for the TT02 to fit into the car. (Check their site here) As an aside I fitted these into my car and I got a quicker lap time without any other modifications, that is testament to how good they are at reducing the drive train friction.

Drive Train : Differentials

The base TT02 comes as standard with 2 differentials for both the front and rear of the car. They are bullet proof and will last for ages. However when racing we want to be able to tune the diffs as they can change the handling characteristics of the car drastically.

As a rule, when you run at the racetrack you want your front differential to be stiffer than the rear to ensure that the chassis handles well around the corner.
The Tamiya 54875 Oil filled gear differential.

The kit ones are not easily to fine tune. So the easy option is to purchase the Tamiya 54875 Oil Gear differential. (Click link for our detailed review). In essence the sealed oil differential will allow you to easily tune the differential by adding different thickness oils. As it is sealed it will stay consistent once you find a setting you like. A good base oil setting for the rear is:
  • 3K oil in the rear for low /medium grip.
  • 5k oil in the rear for medium / high grip
  • 7k -10k for very high grip carpet. 
In the front I prefer a very stiff differential for more corner exit speed. So I would run 500K or higher. Although on small low grip tracks 50K is good. 
Tamiya has now released a new differential. 22049 RC-oil gear differential. This is the one to purchase, it is lighter and shares a lot of the fundamental design as the modern TRF differentials. 

If you are racing on the track, you want to couple it with 22065 TT-02 Aluminium Gearbox joints. This saves a lot of weight over the steel parts that come with the differential. 

If you want another older tuning option there is the Tamiya 53663 Ball Diff but I would go for the new Oil filled gear differential.

Tune the standard Kit differential

Another option is to add thick oils or grease to the plastic internals to change the spinning resistance.

For the front diff you always want it to be stiffer than the rear diff to ensure your car pulls itself out of the corner. For my front diff I used 500,000 wt oil. You can go heavier, but this oil feels good, and it is not thin enough to leak out of the diff cylinder. (I found that 300,000 is the thinnest oil I would fit on the front diff without fear of leaking)
The diff was filled to the top with the 500,000wt oil

Another good option for the front differential is the 42247 Tamiya gear differential putty.
Tamiya 42247 Gear differential putty is my preferred option for a TT02 front diff
The putty is simple to use, just cut a two  2cm lengths and stick them on each of the two large bevel gears and squeeze them into the differential. This gives you an almost locked differential, but with just a slight amount of give which is great for the drive train. This is now my preferred tuning method for the front differential in any TT02.

For the rear you want it much more free, you can try the car with the diff still dry, but if you want to stiffen it up a little, then use some Tamiya AW grease. I would just to a splodge the size of a pea in the diff cylinder at first, and try it out. It's much easier to add more than to remove this sticky grease, so just incrementally add it.

Drive Train : Locked Diff

At the track some prefer a locked diff. Historically there were no spools available for the TT-02, but you can achieve the same result by using the Tamiya 54649 Diff locking block.
This fits in your differential case and makes it a spool

These fit in a Diff case and give you a locked diff. You will use a lot more load on the front drive train with these, so steel universal drive shafts are essential.

Tamiya 22047 - Front Direct coupling 

With the introduction of the XV-02 chassis Tamiya has released a range of drivetrain options that also fit the TT-02. One of which is the Front Direct coupling set. 

This new part is very good, however there is a weakness on the original units outdrives. They can snap under load. You can work around this by running mounting it only in the smaller slots.

You can see how to mount it here, as you can see you will need to run 33mm drive shafts (Tamiya originally recommended 37mm, but they were a bit tight).  Also note which slot to use on the TT-02.  Tamiya have released chunkier parts to fix this. 22064 TT-02 Direct Cup Joints.

Tip : Use Diff putty unless you are running one of the Type-S variants.
Personally for the stock TT02 with its arms, I prefer to use a std kit differential with Tamiya diff lock putty. It cheap, light and it has just a little amount of 'give' that protects the drive shafts.

Tip : Shimming The diff 
The TT02 is a shaft driven car and that means the car has bevel gears which rotate against each other and you will get backlash occurring if there is too much space between the teeth of separate connecting gears. The TT02 gearboxes are well build and they rotate well, however you can look at adding a shim to take out a little bit of the play to reduce the backlash and make the gear mesh a little more quiet. 
For my car I fitted a single 8 x 0.3mm shim to reduce the backlash

Here is the final diff, ready to fit in the car

Final Diff, built up.

Drive Train : Tamiya 54501 & 54502 Aluminium Prop shaft and Joints

These are lighter than the stock plastic versions (Saves 7 grams). This simply alone makes it a worthwhile upgrade as the rotating mass will be reduced, allowing the motor to be more efficient and help the car reach top speed quicker. We have more info in our article here

Drive Train :Wheel Hex's

Ensure that they are the clamp type hubs, not just metal versions of the plastic hex's

When racing I like to fit aluminium drive hex's. These make it easy to change the tyres and they are also do not get crushed against the inner knuckle like the plastic hex's. I would use 6mm thick 12mm wheel hex's if you are racing as that will give you extra track width. I also used the Tamiya wheel axle spacers to move the width out a little more if I needed it.

Drive Train: Universal drive shafts

Once you start running a thicker front diff, and especially a spool you will need to upgrade to front universals. For the front is is important that they are steel ones, aluminium ones are OK for the rear of the car, but the ones in the front will take a lot of wear and impact on collisions.

Also running just the std kit dog bones will result in them falling out on collisions ending your race, this will not happen with universal drive shafts.
Universal Drive shafts are essential at the front of the car if you want to race

Some are fine to use with the std plastic chunky out drives like these excellent ones from GPM If you use the official Tamiya ones (53792) you will need Tamiya 54477 cup joint for universal joint if you still have the kit standard large plastic cups from the stock TT02.
As with my top end kits, I shim the driveshafts (5mm shims) to remove any slop

Drive Train Conclusion

So now we have a smooth drive train running on high spec bearings, with a tighter front diff allowing the car to pull out of the corners at a much better rate of acceleration. The car is much smoother with the upgrades and its also quieter as those shims in the gearbox have stopped the diffs rattling around in the car. 


The stock TT02 does not have a lot of ways to adjust the toe in or out of the front and rear of the car. These settings are useful to allow you to change how a car moves into a corner and along the straight. The base settings are very neutral, but once you get the TT02 on the track you will want to have more control to ensure the car feels planted all the way around the course.

Before looking at individual parts, Tamiya make a great set that includes pretty much everything you need to improve the steering on the TT-02.
The contents of 54752 Steering upgrade set.

54752 Tamiya TT-02 Steering Upgrade Parts
Set provides a great money saving way to improve the steering response of the TT02. These parts take out any slop and improve the response and strength of the steering assembly. The parts it includes are.
  • Tamiya TT02 Steering Upgrade Parts Set (1Set)
  • Aluminium Steering Arms(#54574) (2pcs)
  • Aluminium Steering Posts (2pcs)
  • Steering Bridge(#54575) (1pc)
  • Hi-Torque Servo Saver Black(#51000) (1pc)
  • TT-02 Hi-Torque Servo Saver Horn (1pc)
Now onto some of the individual parts.

STEERING- Tamiya 54550 TT02 Low friction Step screws

The basic steering set-up is ok to start off with, although when assembling it you will want to ensure that you do not over tighten any part to ensure that it runs smooth and freely.

One cheap part that I would suggest though are these low friction step screws. (Review here). They do make a difference on the steering and reduce some of the slop that you have with the basic kit set-up. These are great and cost very little, however if you want to splash out then you can always have the following...

Tip - If you have the TT02-D A parts the combination of the Low friction screw and these re-enforced Steering arms will be a significant upgrade, although if you want to go even further try the following.

Steering: Adjustable front turnbuckles

The box stock TT02 has fixed length steering rods that are set to provide the the car with a mild understeer when on power.  This is fine, but we ideally want to be able to adjust the front toe so that we can adjust the amount of bite into corners and straight line stability that front toe in or out can provide. I like to set the car to have around 1 degree of toe out to help get the initial steering better.

STEERING - Servo Saver

Lets just get to the point, If you want to race, pop the kit servo saver in the bin, it is made to soak large hits and protect a weak servo, so good if you are just bashing around. The problem is that you will have a very poor steering response as the saver spring is very weak.
Contents of the 54799 TT02 Hi-torque servo saver
I would use the 54799 Tamiya TT02 Hi-Torque Servo Saver - with Aluminium Horn it this gives you a firm servo saver that is still very effective against big hits. The alloy horn is the ideal height to get a good amount of throw on the TT02, it also has a nice bling factor.

When using this servo saver you will need to replace the plastic fixed arm with an adjustable turnbuckle. The TT02 steering kit above includes all of this, otherwise buy the suitable connectors.

STEERING - Tamiya 54575 TT02 Aluminium Steering Bridge & 54574 Aluminium Racing Steering set

This is the ultimate steering set, It will replace the plastic arms and will give you a ball raced steering setup that is very smooth and slop free.  These are what I run in my current race TT02. There are also cheaper alternatives by GPM etc that are good value.

These two hop ups when combined provide a set-up that is much more akin to a proper touring car. I did find that I needed a few more 3mm shims to ensure there was no extra moment between the arms and the centre bridge. I used a couple of 0.3mm thick 3mm shims on each arm that connected to the steering bridge to take out the movement.
Once these are installed you really do have a very smooth and slop free steering set-up.

Steering Tip
The TT02 has steering knuckles that have limiters fitted to restrict the amount of steering throw you can use. You can trim these off the knuckle and have much more throw. 
Here you can see a front knuckle with no limiters, you can dremel these of the plastic kit hubs easily

NOTE- Obviously a good racer will try to avoid using maximum lock as you will be scrubbing speed, but having the range available is useful for some circuits. Many hop up aluminium front knuckles will not have these limiters on. You will also need to ensure that you use universal drive shafts in the front, as the kit std dogbones can fall out if you have too much steering throw.

Steering: Rear Toe in

The std TT02 has a 1 degree of rear toe in, this is acceptable with a mild motor, (Silvercan) but adding more rear toe in will allow you to have a car that is much more stable, especially when you start racing.

There are a range of options from some of the manufacturers out there, although Tamiya only really has one at the moment. The Tamiya 54549 Aluminium Rear upright's give you 2.5 degrees of rear toe in. The difference in handling once these are fitted is massive. The TT02R  and TT02RR kits already comes with hop up rear hubs. These are 3.0 degrees and give you a lot of stability. The TT02-Type S has rear toe in build in because of the lower suspension blocks.

The parts are great quality, and you can flip them over to change the ride height for the rally or onroad set-up.

I used a small shim (0.3mm) on the lower shaft to take out the slop so the car had a tight fixed 2.5 degrees of slop.
I used a small shim on the lower shaft to remove slop
Once shimmed we had a tight fixed 2.5 degrees of slop.

I run this amount of rear toe in on my TRF418 in 17.5 blinky and it works well for me, and again on the TT02 the car just felt much more stable at all parts of the track. The only shame is that they are quite expensive, I hope Tamiya will bring a range of plastic ones out in the future, plastic is fine on my TRF so I am sure it will be perfect on the TT02.

TheRcRacer TT-02 ARS Toe control Rear suspension 

Many top end touring cars offer rear adaptive toe controls.. So why not add it to the TT-02. It works surprisingly well. 

Steering - Hard Lower Deck

One of the more recent parts that has been released is the TT02 hard lower deck.  It is available in three colours Black (Tamiya 54926), Blue (Tamiya 47339) or White (Tamiya 47340).

This stiffer lower deck gives your chassis less flex. This makes the TT02 more responsive when it corners as the suspension works more effectively. Take a look at our more indepth review (Click Here) however it is a good upgrade for the price if you are trying to get more out of the steering response from your car.

Steering - Carbon Upper deck

The carbon upper deck makes the chassis much stiffer. This improves steering response even further. It also has a handout transponder mount and an option for additional mounts that can stiffen the front of the chassis for even more response on super high grip carpet. There is a lot more detail about it here (Click link), and it can be ordered via fibre-lyte (click here)

Steering Conclusion

With the above steering modifications the car is now much more planted on the track. I have a full range of steering lock, and there is no slop along the steering assembly, ensuring the car can run straight and true. (Its as good as my Yokomo BD7 / 418 regarding slop)I can also now adjust the front arms to tune the car to have more bite (More toe out, or less bite into a corner). 

Gearing Options

In stock form, the TT02 does have a large gearing range, however there will be times when the range available will not be suitable for some classes or tracks. Especially if you are going to run the popular blinky classes with 13.5 or 17.5 brushless motors. The following items will allow you to modify your chassis to get a suitable range from the low 3's to the high 5's

The Items you will need are :

Gearing Options: Tamiya high speed gear set

I did not use the included Spur, I used a selection of RW racing 64dp gears

The high speed gear set comes with a spur gear holder, This is something that you could never do with the TT01 and this is an important part for making the car more adjustable. This is great news and you can now use just about any std 4 hole spur gear.

Note, the High speed gear set comes with a 68t spur gear in the kit standard 0.6 Mod.  If you want to keep the std motor mount then you need to keep running the 0.6 mod spurs and pinions. You can buy a smaller Tamiya 64t spur separately (Tamiya 51396), which when coupled with a 29t pinion will give you a F.D.R of 5.74 which is not bad for 13.5 blinky.

For the race car I do not want to use the kit motor mount as I want more flexible gearing options, I use 64dp with all my onroad cars so I swapped them out for one of my RW Racing superlite v2 spurs. You can use any pitch gears you want.
All fitted ready to be installed

Gearing options: Adjustable mount

The Yeah Racing TT02 adjustable mount is very cool, and when coupled up with the facility to mount any spur it gives you the same freedom to adjust your gearing as any high end chassis.
It not only allows the freedom to gear your car how you want, but also acts as a heat sink
The motor mount is well built and not only allows you to easily and precisely set a wide range of gear meshes it also acts as a heat sink. This cannot be under estimated, as when running some of the low FDR ranges that are needed for 17.5 blinky your motor will get very hot, this could warp the plastic motor mount in the kit, creating a badly meshing spur gear.
Here you can see a 53t pinion and a 70t Spur gear
In the pictures above you can see I fitted the smallest spur I could find (70t) and the largest pinion I had (53t) these give a FDR of 70/53 = 1.32 (Drive Ratio) * TT02 Internal Ratio (2.6) =  3.43 FDR

The above fits with no modifications to the chassis, although you will need to file a little bit off the upper gear cover if you fit a pinion 50t or over as it may rub against it.
I just cut the area out, and then covered it with electrical tape.

I actually cut this area out (to take a look at how much space my 53t pinion needed. If you file away you can fit in the 53t pinion without making a hole. Although it is also just as easy to make the hole and cover it with electrical  tape to allow you to fit bigger pinions :)
Covered, and ready for even bigger pinions if ever needed.
TIP - Gearing with the std motor mount
Some classes involve you having to use the std Tamiya Motor mount, there are still ways that you can gear the car lower for stock motors, this guide helps (Click here)

Gearing Conclusion

The above modifications really push the TT02 into being a very versatile club racer. Gearing is essential to get the best out of your motor and the track layout. Being able to run a large range of spur gear / pinion combinations you have complete parity with other drivers at your club when ensuring your car can compete on speed with similar specification motors.


There are some limitations on the suspension for the TT02. Although the following will help you make the most of the car and will ensure you notice a difference in how the car handles the track surface and is able to respond to it.

Suspension - Shocks

Most TT02's come with friction shocks, you need to replace these straight away if you want to race. There are a lot on the market, you can go the expensive route with the Tamiya TRF shocks. These are the best shocks out there. The std TRF ones (Part no 42102)  are recommended as they will give you a lot of range to tune the car.
I use Tamiya TRF shocks, (Part no 42102) the Tamiya 42273 short shocks are 4mm shorter than the std TRF shocks, and ensure your TT02 is low.
Others use the Tamiya mini CVA shocks. These are much cheaper and they are also very good quality, you can also find other options available from 3Racing etc

For ride height I run 5mm at the front and 5.2 mm at the rear. I use the spring collars to get the height I need, and sometimes even unscrew the shock bottoms a little.

Suspension - Shock springs

I use the Tamiya Touring car springs as I just have loads of them. As a starting set-up I use Tamiya Blue at the front and Yellow at the rear, although if racing on carpet I use Tamiya white at the front and Tamiya blue on the rear.

Suspension - Droop

Droop is a useful tuning aid, and one of the most powerful ones. Your race car is always moving weight forwards and backwards depending on the acceleration and braking. Adjusting droop can influence how the car will behave and how much movement it will take when shifting the weight around.

Unfortunately the TT02 does not easily allow you to set droop as there are no downstop screws on the arms. However you can easily still measure droop by lifting each end of your car up from a rested position and seeing how far it moves before the wheels lift of the ground.

To adjust the amount of droop, you will need to add / remove some shims to the shock internals if you want to adjust the amount of movement of the suspension. Its a pain, but once you get a setting you like for your track you will be ok to leave it alone. You can then also move the bottom shock end or spring collar to tweak the movement.

Suspension - Free movement 

The TT02 uses trapped balls in the front suspension arms, these are ok but the plastic ones can start to bind once dirt gets into them. I use the Tamiya 54559 Low friction Suspension Balls. They are smooth and really help the arms move freely.
The coated balls ensure that the suspension moves smoothly at the front of the car.
Also the other thing that I did was to shim the suspension arms to remove all of the slop. This makes a very big impact when trying to make a car that will be a good race car. The basic car is very neutral with quite a lot of slop, but when you want to ensure that your 1 degree of toe out at the front will help you get more initial steering you do not want the slop in the arms to amplify that as they move around. Shimming takes this out of the equation.

Shim the upper and lower arms to give your TT02 a set of suspension arms that feel like a top end TC

So once I used shims to take out all of the slop on the arms (remember they have to move freely, so if they stop moving remove a shim, its better to move freely and have some slop than no slop at all)

Once this is done,  I have a car that has suspension arms that have the same movement as much higher specification kits.

Suspension - Shock tower

I used the re-enforced shock towers that come with the TT02-D A-parts. These are just a little stiffer and will be less likely to flex under load. Although the TT02 kit parts actually seem quite strong.

Also for a std set-up I have the front shocks mounted to the outer hole and the rear shocks on the inner hole.

Suspension - Camber adjustment.

54874 is a great hop up to get more corner performance.
Camber adjustment is essential to get a better corner response. More camber ensures that the car is able to grip more around the corner. Tamiya now has the 54874 adjustable upper arm set. This is a great set that allows you to add up to 2 degrees of camber to the front or rear of the car. Settings I find work well on the TT02 are:
  • 1.5 degrees front
  • 2.0 degrees rear
  • 2.0 degrees front
  • 2.0 degrees rear
I cover the adjustable arms in much more detail here (Click link).

Suspension - Rear camber (Now use Use 54874 adjustable upper arm set)

This modification will really ensure that your rear end is planted when going around a corner. The full information for the mod is here (Tamiya TT02 rear camber modification)

I set my camber to 2 degrees at my local carpet track, and the car handles really well.

Suspension - Front Camber / Caster and roll center mod. (Now use Use 54874 adjustable upper arm set)

This modification will ensure you can control how the front of your car can grip around the corner.

Full information on the mod is here (Tamiya TT02 front Camber Modification).

Suspension - Conclusion

With these changes the car is able to respond to track conditions much better, it also is more responsive to other chassis changes I make when tuning the car for the track and conditions.

Weight Saving

The TT02 is quite light, but saving weight allows you to be able to balance the chassis better as you can decide where to place the weight in the car. The BRCA requires the car to be a minimum weight of 1350g You want to be as close to that as possible to ensure that you are able to compete in stock classes such as 17.5 blinky.

Weight Saving : Screws

Simple, but also costly. You can replace the kit screws with Titanium and Aluminium screws to loose approximately 18g of weight. This will also give you hex head screws. The best kits are the ones by Hiro Seiko or Square. This is a luxury upgrade but one that can help reduce weight

Weight Saving : Rear bumper holder lower and upper

You do not need these, its 13g for the lower part and 12 g for the upper part. These you can remove instantly. As you can see I just assembled the rear of the car as below (I used the hardened TT01D part as I had it at hand.
The rear should be assembled like this.

Weight Saving : Front Bumper mount upper

Again this is 12g, and you can remove this. Not only is it heavy, it also gets in the way when moving the shocks etc.

I replaced it with the Tamiya 53682 Aluminium Bumper stopper which is only 7g so saves me 5grams of weight.

Tamiya has also release the 54814 Carbon Bumper support

This is even lighter, weighing in at 3.7g 

Whilst doing this I also added some front body posts (I used a pair from Tamiya 51242 TA05 B-Parts) as I prefer to have my shells mounted like this to stop the front folding under when at speed.
I just used a long 12mm screw to secure the posts to ensure it would withstand a large collision with barriers.

Here is the final result, much lighter and easier for me to get to the shock tops to change the postions if I want to.

Weight saving : Battery strap replacement

I also replaced my battery strap with a carbon one from the TA05 that I had in my spares box. Although you can go further and remove this all together and dremel a small slot either side of your TT02 battery compartment and use battery tape (info courtesy of Addicted 2 Blue):
Addicted2blues Battery tape solution, you can also remove the plastic battery posts.

Weight Saving : Electric placement

If you are able to use a shorty pack then there are some really interesting options.

As you can see above Addicted2Blue has used Tamiya RM01 aluminium servo mounts, these move the servo 3mm forward and this gives even more space for the electrics, along with moving the steering arm more forward to help get a straighter steering link.

Weight Saving : Overall
The car with electrics runs at 1360g more than fine for club races. The car is responsive and the left / right balance is great on the track.


As can be seen there are a lot of things that can be done to your TT02 to tweak its performance. Although the most important thing is to just get down to a club and have fun.

I have been racing my Race tuned TT02 in an outdoor series and the results have been good, I have it geared well for 17.5 on a large, low grip temporary outdoor track, and I have managed to fight at a better level than I thought, taking the win from a range of high spec carbon chassis cars.

I missed the BRCA clubmans in Stafford, but I will do a race report from another large event to see how it fairs.
Ready To race!

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TT02 7444581119491667264

Post a Comment

  1. hi mate

    awesome review on the tt02,ive just bought a zakspeed capri tt02 and most the hop ups you recommend.

    i fancy some of the STT233 GPM drive shafts but on the website via your link it says they are for the tt01 will they still fit the tt02

    1. Hi Mike

      Yep, the STT233 in the link will fit with the standard TT02 Zakspeed Capri diff outdrives. Enjoy your build and let us know how it goes :)

  2. Excellent guide!!

    I use YR the 2 degree rear knuckles and I used shims to reduce the slop, but still has slop, I if I add another shim the knuckle turns very hard to move...

    1. Thanks for the feedback :) It is better to have a little slop and free movement. Some slop is inevitable on our RC cars, just try to reduce it as much as possible without anything binding.

      3Racing do a 3mm shim set that has finer measurements, this can help if you want to try to get rid of another 0.05mm of slop :) Look for -

      3Racing Stainless Steel 3mm Shim Spacer Set0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3mm #3RAC-SW03/V2

    2. thanks for the tips!

  3. Hi great guide help me to decide on my 1st road rc to buy, would you be able to suggest a good gear setup for the TT-02 Capri Zakspeed.

  4. Sorry meant to say a good gear setup as a rally car for the capri

    1. For the rally set-up you just need to follow the kit instructions for the higher ground clearance. (The rear knuckles go upside down and you change the spacers on the front the other way up). For the gearing I would just run a slightly smaller pinion if on grass etc, otherwise if just on loose dirt and gravel the kit gears will be good enough to get started... I will do a Rally TT02 article soon :)

    2. Thanks for the reply and I will keep an eye out for the rally article. ;)

  5. excellent guide! the tt02 will be my firsr RC. If you don't mind me asking how much did you end up spending with all the upgrades?

    1. You can spend a lot on the separate hop-ups. To begin with bearings are the only essential part, then shocks etc. Just have fun with the car and you can upgrade bits over time when you want to and use this guide as a pointer. Also feel free to ask questions.

    2. So would you recommend the tt02r for a beginner?

    3. The TT02R is a great kit, and it has a lot of very useful hop-ups.The rear hubs will make the car much more stable and easy to drive and the car also has bearings and oil shocks (along with some other nice parts).

      It does not have an esc or a body so you will have to factor the price of those into the equation.

      From an assembly point of view the kit is still good for a beginner. The only part that is more involved is building the oil shocks. These are still not too hard to build and the Tamiya Instructions are excellent. Other than that the kit is just as straightforward to build as the std TT02.

      The TT02S is more complex to build and is really just aimed for those who want to do club racing. It does not let you use the shorter wheelbase shells and you cannot set it up for rally in the same way that you can do this with a the std TT02 and TT02R kits.

      Let me know if you have any more questions.

    4. can you list what motor, ecs, servo, radio and battery you are using in this build

  6. Hi, I use a lot of high spec electronics in the car that are very expensive. I also use stick controllers (It's a UK thing) so you might prefer a wheel controller. What do you intend to use the car for? Let me know and I will recommend some electrics.

    1. Bashing around and racing friends in our warehouse

    2. I would just look at the combo deals that the hobby shop / retailer can supply to go with your car. You will not need an expensive set-up for this. You can always upgrade later if you want to.

  7. Can the tt02 be turned into the tt02r?

    1. Yes. The TT02-R is basically a TT02 kit with lots of the hop-ups already included. The rear aluminium hubs are unique, but 2.5 degree ones are available separately.

  8. Thanks for this article. The 300k oil in the front diff worked like magic for me.

  9. Hi

    Do you maybe have the part number for

    Rear bumper holder lower and upper - TT01D part you used for replacing the bumper?

    1. The part number for the upper bumper mount is 53682. The lower part is just of the hardened A-Parts (Part No - 19000614) . If you cannot get those then you can use the part you have with the kit A parts (A9) that you already have fitted. Just remove the other plastic bumper part at the rear.

      Hope that helps :)

    2. Thanks Man!

      Works 100%

  10. RCRacerMan don't you want to do a Mod/Upgrade/Tuning series on the Tamiya M05 Mini?

    1. That's a great idea. I will look into doing one of those :)

  11. What size shims would I need to remove slop.

    0.3mm thick 3mm x 6
    0.3mm thick 8mm x 4
    0.3mm thick 5mm x 4

    Does 0.3mm work on Tamiya?

  12. Really good work here, good Infos. I am calculating a TT02R with Bearings and get about the same price as a Sakura XI Sport. How would you compare these two for stock/club racing with 15.5/17.5t motors?

    1. Thanks for that. If you want to do pure club racing I would suggest the Sakura XI sport as it has more tuning options as a kit standard. (The BSR BT-4 is also a good car which I reviewed recently)

      The TT02-S has more tuning options as standard (it is ball raced, it has oil shocks and you can change the front and rear camber)

      The gearing options are easier with the Sakura / BT4 as you will need a low FDR in 17.5 class racing. You can do this with a few hop-ups for the TT02 but again that is extra cost.

      The tt02's strength is it's versatilely and the great parts support. But if you want a car just to race I would look at the Sakura XI or similar.

    2. Yep just became aware of the BT-4 at HobbyKing. Do you have first hand expierience on the Sakura XI Sport and can compare the two? That would be interesting.
      What FDR do you run in 17.5T? 4.5-ish?

  13. Im not so familiar with Yeah Racing parts. Is it a good brand? Since iam a tamiya driver, iam only use parts from Tamiya.

    1. I like the motor mount as it is adjustable unlike the Tamiya one. I have had no issues using it and it seems to be good quality.

  14. Hi! Wondering if you can advise on my Lancia TT-02 build issue. I've really poor mesh (there's like, none!) between the pinion and spur gear, which I've read can be an issue. Fitting the gear cover and bottom motor screws seems to make it worse. Argh! Any tips on getting it to mesh? First build by the way - you can probably tell! Any help much appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Hi Ed

      I would just check how the motor is mounted into the plastic motor mount (the thing with lots of holes).

      Check page 7 of the manuals. There is box which shows you which way around it should be, and what holes to put the screws into.

      Let me know if that is fine and get back.

    2. Afternoon,

      Thanks for your quick reply! I was so despondent I went and did some grocery shopping! So I checked what you recommended I check and everything was as it should be. So I loosened the screws on the motor mount, re-tightened, refitted, recovered and it has excellent meshing! Weird, but perhaps somehing was just slightly out? It now has great meshing with all holding screws and the gear cover attached. So, thanks for your help. I'd previously done all the above, except checking the mount, and even though the screws were in the right position, it was worth taking it off and refiting.

      Really appreciate your help and your quick response!

      Many thanks indeed!


    3. Cool, have fun and enjoy your car!

    4. Hi, can you give me the exact Size of the shims you used on the diffs? And where you got them from?


  15. The greatest article about TTO2 I have ever never seen after few days research with google.I stated watched this article before I bought my first TT02R chassis kit (it is my first RC car kit too). Really great article! Helps me understand so much things.
    Although the 64pitch smaller version spur is really hard to find, especially in france. But I did found one thanks to the internet.

    Finally, big thanks!!!


  16. first of all excellent job , finish purchasing the TT02 is my first rc , the TT02 TT02 can evolve type S and if so what would be necessary for this piece ? a big hello from Colombia .

    1. Thanks for that :) I've always wanted to travel to Columbia.

      Here are the main TT-02 to type-S conversion parts

      Tamiya 54634 - Suspension metal parts set
      Tamiya 54632 Front carbon Type S shock tower
      Tamiya 54633 Rear Carbon Type S shock tower

      and also to get droop settings sorted you can get

      Tamiya 54638 - Steel rebound stopper (You will need two of these as they only come as a pair). You can only fit the rebound stopper on this steel suspension set.

      You will also need the suspension arms, hubs and turnbuckles. As you can see the parts are available but it might be as cheap to buy a TT02-S

      I am doing a conversion soon, I just need more time for the article.

  17. Hi I have been searching everywhere for a supplier of shims in the UK that holds stock covering a good range of sizes specifically all the above and I can't find any in the UK does anybody have any suggestions?



  18. Hi

    I've finally paint the car body and got the TT-02 (Type R) entirely fonctional. But I have few questions, could you please give me a look?

    1- I would like to add more track width, because the stock track width with a 190mm width (this is must the most narrow common 1/10 scale car body?) make the car look ugly. If I turn to Tamiya Hup up options, I need to buy 4 parts of TT02-D C parts just to get the long wheel axe (only one wheel axe are long in one single C part).
    The trouble is, I have installed (upgraded) a universal front drive shaft, and there seems not longer wheel axe for that.

    2- Is there any larger (I mean bigger diameter) tyres for this 1/10 scale car? I have been search a lot and looked through many articles on Amazon and the most common diameter is 64 mm, is there anything like 68 mm (just like the real true scale race car do? 688mm) if you know?

    Many Thanks in advance.

  19. Cheers RCRacerMan, I dunno if you're still reading this, but your setup hints helped me a lot for my 1st steps into the amazing world of RC racing.

    Thanx & greets to the UK ;)

    1. Great news! Have fun racing this article is very popular. The TT02 is a really popular car and even though I have a TRF I still race this car from time to time and update this guide do it is always up-to-date.

  20. Hi RCRacerMan, I would like to ask some questions.

    1. If I buy TT02R, how can I use this for drifting? Or it depends on the person whos controlling the radio?

    2. Can I use TT02D for circuit racing?

    Hope you answer my question.:) Thanks

    1. The TT02D and the TT02R are very similar in drive train. The D comes with drift tyres and the R has standard onroad tyres.

      The R has many more hop-ups and it would probably be the best one to buy. If you want to drift it you could buy a set of drift tyres and it would drift the same as the D kit.

      You can go further and buy the Tamiya 54649 Diff lock block and fit it in your rear diff. That will make it more prone to drift.

      For circuit you could run the diff locker in the front and that will help you get out of corners faster, although it will take a little bit of your steering away from the corner entry.

  21. Hey RCRacerMan!
    Thanks for the great review! I have built mine up to snuff as well, just need to get the slop out. Any suggestion on a shim kit? Is there even a kit for it? Or did you just buy shims separately? Any help would be much appreciated! Gotta get a leg up on my buddies!

    1. Glad you like the review and guide. Takes a big chunk out of my spare time doing this site. For shims, there is not any set that I am aware off that does a range of sizes. I usually just has a few of the Tamiya shim sets. Each set has 3 bags containing different thicknesses of the shim (0.3mm, 0.2mm and 0.1mm).

      For the TT02, you want 5mm shim for the arms. That is the main one. The rest are less important, but 3mm, 4mm and 6mm are useful sets to get. Although if I was to buy just one set to start off with then get the 5mm Tamiya shims (part no 53587)

  22. Does the tt-02r come with the hardened a-parts like the tt-02d? Also what are your thoughts on a tamiya gt pro spec setup, the rules are a bit more strict, which parts of this guide would not be able to be done to keep within the class rules?

    1. Hi Andrew. The R doesn't come with the hardened parts. Although they are easy to get separately. In the UK we are quite easy with our Tamiya classes. I will take a look at the GT pro spec rules and get back to you.

    2. Thanks for the reply and all this great information. Some of these details are very hard to find any information on at all. I'm going to see if I can find the part numbers for those hardened parts. Also, like the blue and white hardened chassis, I've recently seen there are other blue and white parts coming out, are those just color changes to match the chassis or are they a different material as well? I'm not sure if they are released or if I had just seen a picture from a convention.

    3. Glad you like the site. It takes up a lot of my spare time. The Blue an white uprights are just std plastic. The hardened chassis is very good, I would recommend it.

  23. Got one quick question.....for turnbuckles you show two packages....50797 which is a 5mm rod end and 54248 which is a 3x23mm turnbuckle. Wouldn't you want a 3mm rod end on a 3mm turnbuckle?

    1. The names might be confusing but the rod ends are for a 3mm turnbuckle. The 5mm part is for the ball end (Tamiya ball ends are 5mm). I hope that clears it up.

    2. Ah....makes perfect sense....thanks mate!

  24. Hi I just finished building my tt02-d (first build in 15 years) and I am having a problem with the steering which seem to be constantly steering slightly right. Its the same on the ground or up in the air and you can see it quite easily, I noticed some of the photos in this guide show a similar situation where you can see the steering arms when connected to the servo are off to one side. is this normal? I have tried the normal stuff like making sure its set straight and adjusting the trim but its not helping at all and I am at a loss. thanks in advance.

  25. Hi

    I would like to replace the TT02 screws with some nice Tit Allen screws is there any kit you guys recommend?


    1. I recently got a set of titanium screws for my TT02 from moodyfools. They are top quality and I use those screws on my race cars.

    2. Thanks Man.

      I think my question should have been. What sizes do I need. Reason for asking is can I replace the selftapping screws with normal screws or should it be selftapping as well. I wanna replace all the phillips with allen screws that's more quality.

    3. I had no issues using std screws instead of the self tappers:)

    4. Ok

      So all I need to do is match the size and lengths of each screw type then I'll be ok.


  26. Hey RCRacerMan!
    Fantastic Build Review! Quick question, what oil density do you use for filling up the dampers?

    1. It really depends on your track. However I find a good starting oil to be 450 on carpet and 400 on tarmac. For springs carpet, run Blue front (Shocks on outer hole on tower) yellow rear (shocks on inner hole on rear tower), for tarmac run yellow front on outer shock tower hole. Tune it from there.

  27. Hi

    Fantastic review. All I am doing to my TT02 is reference from this review.

    I see you have a Speed Passion 17.5T. I am running a SP 10.5T but the STD Tamiya ESC don't like it. Any thoughts on a more suitable ESC for this motor as I don't feel I'm getting the best from it. (By the way I'm tight and don't like spending much) Maybe around the £50 mark.

    Also where did you get the 70T 64dp spur from RWRacing site only says they go down to 80T.



  28. Hi,

    I see in your guide you have used a shimm of 8 x 0.3mm on the diff. From the posted picture it looks like it is wider on one end and narrower on the other end towards the ball bearing.

    What kind of shimm is this, or is it an optical illusion? :)



    1. Thanks :) They are normal shims it might just be because of the close up photo skewing the perspective.

      Hope it helps :)

    2. You answered my question, going to order some shim sets today, so i can take out some slop.

      Love the guide, love to drive the TT-02.



  29. Does anyone know where to get the tamiya tt02 Subaru Monte Carlo body shell from

    1. It seems very hard to find. Although there are some listed on Ebay at the moment.

  30. Hi, i have the TT02R and dremeled the front hubs steering end blocks off, but now i have lost my 2 front outdrives(gearbox side) bend 2 dogbones and smashed 2 universal joints because if my wheel catches the trackborder ,the steering over limits....i am doing anything wrong or is there anything wrong with my servo/servosaver?(i am using the stronger servosaver)

    Best regards,

  31. Hi, I am racing a tt02 type s indoors on carpet with sorex 28's, what would be a good starting point for front camber & front toe?

  32. Thanks rcracer, great info on these models. Plan to buy one and this is the best page for the info. Looks like it’s been going for a while too, great stuff!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, we put a lot of our spare time into this site to help others enjoy the hobby :)

  33. Thanks for your kind words, we put a lot of our spare time into this site to help others enjoy the hobby :)

  34. Don’t suppose you’ve written the guide to the TT02 type S? I come here for all my race builds. Best website for builds on the net.

  35. I'm still new to RC, what are the parts that i should change so that my TT-02 will be the same as TT-02D because i want to drift with my RC

  36. May I know what shim diameter size do you use for the upper arms?

  37. How to make the tire surface that smooth? Or it already is from the manufacturer? What brand is it?

  38. They are slick tyres. Many racing tyres are slicks.

  39. Thanks for the great guide. Can you suggest a brand of 500,000 wt oil that you can get in the UK as I want to try your front diff suggestion. I'm going to follow your guide and try some of your upgrade suggestions over the next few months. Many thanks.

  40. Does anyone know where I can get the 4 longer wheel axles marked C6 on TT-02 instructions [tree c page 18] to increase the wheel width front and back

  41. Hey. What upgrade option is available to replace the long wheel axle for the rear? It’s about 45mm long and i want to use the steel diff shafts but i need the wide stance. i have to use the stock diff cups, dog bone until i can find a Tamiya axle upgrade that is around 45mm.


  42. Beautiful and very interesting articles as always.
    When is an article about TT02 Rally?

  43. Great article, very helpful! I just bought my first TT02 and want to set it up as a rally car for use exclusively on dirt tracks. I use 70mm dampers on my XV01 but have been told the TT02 can fit a max shock length of 60mm only. Any tips on how to fit longer dampers into a TT02? Any aftermarket parts that will help me fit longer shocks? Thanks in advance!

  44. Hi, could you possibly list the part numbers for the touring springs you use? Thanks! I recently saw your buggies on popalongs newest video!



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