Tamiya 47301 TT-02D Type-S Build and Review

The RC drift scene has exploded over the last couple of years and more clubs appearing where you can check out other drivers rides and ...

The RC drift scene has exploded over the last couple of years and more clubs appearing where you can check out other drivers rides and have thrilling drift battles.

As this craze of RC came from Japan it is no surprise that Tamiya have been catering for that market for some time. Their current line-up of drifters is based on the TT-02 chassis line, and they are proving popular amongst many new adopters to this exciting area of the RC scene.

To compliment this Tamiya has now released a higher specification drift chassis that is more adjustable than the base TT-02. The TT-02D Type-S comes with an impressive list of hop-ups that will allow you to slide your car around the track even more easily.

So let's get this sucker built.

Upon opening the box we see all of the parts neatly packed. There is the occasional glimmer of a Tamiya blue anodised part catching the light, reassuring you that this is going to contain lots of hop-ups.
Lets take a look inside.
We start the build constructing the drive train. The TT-02 is shaft driven car and in this kit we get the lightweight shiny blue propeller joints.

The spur gear section is the first thing to assemble and we just have to slide on one of the kit included bearings, a spacer and then thread a locating pin through on the spacer.
The pin needs to slide along the plastic spacer.
This pin holds the 70t spur gear and stops it moving. Once you have this attached you can slide the bevel pinion gear over the end of the prop joint.
The pinion and gears are all moulded with hard glass re-enforced plastic. 
With the spur assembly done its time for fitting the rest of the main shaft drive system. The second propeller joint has the bearings attached and the shiny main propeller shaft is mounted in the middle of the two joints.
The drive train is lightweight and strong, allowing the best mix of performance and reliability.
With these assembled we just have to mount them into the chassis. The TT02 chassis is stiff and it is a much better design than it's predecessor the TT-01. The new TT-02 chassis has the lower gearbox mounts moulded into it as opposed to being separate. This will ensure that the chassis is straighter under load and will also ensure that the car is lighter.

The prop shaft fits snugly into the chassis and it moves freely thanks to the bearings.
The differentials are lightweight and easy to construct 
The TT02 shaft powers differentials in both the front and rear. They are made from glass re-enforced plastic which with take a lot of power in an on-road car. The construction is really easy, you just need to cut the gears out, remove any burrs and then mount the four small bevel gears onto the plastic star-shaft before sandwiching it between the larger bevel gears.

You then need to screw on the ring gear, which also acts as the top of the differential and you have a solid reliable differential.
2 pots of AW grease is included, keep it light at first and add more as you get to tune the car. 
These differentials are not sealed but you get lots of the excellent Tamiya AW grease that you can put into the diffs to change how stiff they are. As I am just starting out I didn't want to overdo anything so I put a small amount in the front diff and only doubled it in the rear. I can always add more later.

NOTE: There is a lot of tuning that can be done with the diffs, in drifting the common rule is opposite to racing. You want to have the rear diff stiffer than the front.
The differential just falls into place, a pair of 1280 bearings fit either side to ensure it spins freely.
With the differential's built you need to fit them into the chassis along with the large 1280 bearings. Take care to ensure that you have both differentials facing the correct way so that they will spin together in the right direction as the shaft moves
The differentials need to be fitted as above otherwise you will have issues running the car.
Check it now and then add the gearbox tops to hold them down.
Four 10x3m screws hold down each differential cover.


Tamiya includes the 25t torque tuned motor and a 22t pinion in the kit. I mounted this on the included motor mount.
The motor mount makes it easy to space the motor correctly to match the pinion 
As you can see there are a lot of gearing choices that you can make with this mount. The car itself uses Tamiya 0.6mod pinions. You need to change the mounting position of the motor to match the pinion and you will then be assured that your car will have the perfect gear mesh.
Once the cover is attached you can also fit the very cool looking kit included heat-sink. 
The motor mount is fixed securely into the chassis with two screws that attach from underneath the chassis, it is then held down via a larger plastic cover, which also covers some of the internal gears.


One of the really big changes to the Type-S variant of the chassis is that it has different suspension arms and geometry. It uses the Reversible Tamiya suspension set-up that was used on the TRF415 and TBEVO4.
These new arms will make a huge impact on the TT-02 chassis handling
The front suspension arms just need to have the suspension shafts slid into them, and then you mount the enclosed metal spacers on the shafts.

TIP - Never ream the arms to make the suspension shafts move through the arms easily. It is fine if they are a little stiff as the shafts themselves rotate in the metal suspension blocks. Reaming the arms will just make the car sloppy and less responsive.
Here you can see the mounted front suspension arms
Now you just need to fit arms onto the chassis by sliding the larger metal spacer into the main chassis, and fitting a solid steel suspension mount on the front of the flange shafts to hold everything in place.
Looking good :)
This is then all held in place by a bumper mount and 3 screws.
The blue 3mm spacer can be changed to lengthen the wheelbase.
The rear is similar to the front, but this time the internal metal spacer has a ball end. This allows the rear arms to be mounted at 3 Degrees of rear Toe in. Providing a very stable base handling set-up.
The rear suspension block is wider than the front one, giving you 3 degrees of toe in!
With the arms attached we need to attach to the shock towers.
There are many more adjustments available than a STD TT-02 with the TYPE-S kits
The suspension towers are made from 3mm FRP. They offer more tuning possibilities than a standard TT-02 and this will be essential as you work on the best balance for your car.

TIP: The lower mount holes are also a tuning aid as it allows you to change the upper arm length and the amount of camber gain you will have as the car leans into a corner. Shorter gives you more rotation into the corner as the camber builds up and more grip coming out of the turn. The longer upper arms will give you a more stable car overall but less reactive when turning. You can also run longer links if you find you are grip rolling.
The tower is mounted, note how it fits in the bulkhead to avoid tweak on a large collision. 
Once the front tower is added you can focus on building the rest of the front suspension.
These are familiar to anyone that raced any of Tamiya's TRF kits in the past 
The front knuckles take 1050 bearings and these help spin the robust steel wheel axles. The knuckles are mounted into 4 degree C-hubs. At this stage is is good to double check that you use the correct size flanged tubes in the upper and lower parts of the C-Hub before you attach the 0.7mm spacer, ball connector and screw. The final result should move freely, if not just loosen the screw a little bit before it feels free.

Now we fit the 2.6x22mm shaft through the outer front arm and through the C-Hub.
The steel 42mm drive shafts are made to last and the spacer will ensure they stay mounted even at full lock. 
The 42mm steel drive shafts are held in place with foam bushings to ensure they stay in the hubs at full lock.
Tamiya manuals make building a kit easy, many key parts are actual size so you can use them for reference
You finish it up with a pair of steel turn-buckles. These allow you to change the camber of the front wheels again making it very clear that this kit has been made for those who want more options to tune their car.

It's time for us to to concentrate on the rear of the car now.
The rear shock tower needs to be assembled and mounted
The rear shock tower is easy assembled and mounted onto the bulkhead.
Tune rear roll centres by adding and removing shims
The rear hubs are next, you mount the spacer under the upper ball connector via a long grub screw. You can add a larger spacer to tune the rear roll centre as a tuning option.
The small grub screw holds the shaft in place. 
The rear hubs are then mounted into the arms via a 2.6X25mm shaft. At this stage you also need to add a 1mm spacer by the hub. You can move it to the other side if you want to make the wheelbase slightly shorter and have more rotation for the car.
The rear suspension just missing the shocks.
You then need to fit the drive shafts and the upper turn-buckles and things are really starting to take shape now on the build.

The shocks

As this kit is a high specification TT-02 it includes oil filled CVA dampers. These will give your chassis smoother response to bumps making the car feel more stable.
All of the components needed to build the legendary Tamiya Shocks
The package comes with 400 weight oil which is a good starting point, but if you start racing or drifting seriously you can easily change the oil to suit the track conditions.

TIP - You can tune the piston by choosing different amounts of holes that are on the piston. The kit instructions show you to use 1 hole, I opted to go for 3 holes as that will give less 'pack' on the shocks and will let the oil do most of the work.

The shocks are easy to build, just ensure you follow the instructions
A drop of oil is essential on the O-Rings to ensure they do not tear when fitted. 
Always fit the lower clip on the shock shaft, then the piston, then the upper clip.
Let the air bubbles disappear, have a cup of tea or build the front steering turn-buckles. 
With the air out of the shocks (I like to leave them for 15 mins or use a shock pump). After this I added the caps and mounted them onto the car.


The car is nearing completion now with the steering assembly being the last major part to assemble.
The steering system is a dual crank design
The steering on the Type-S is the same as the std TT-02 with the only change being the steering arm turn-buckles. These allow you to change the front toe out (More initial steering) and toe out (less steering but more stable. The components are attached with step screws.

TIP I find it best to screw these in until they bind and then gently unscrew until the joining parts are able to move freely. This ensures you get the best possible trade-off with movement and precision.
You can change the ackerman by mounting the arms to the inner hole of the steering knuckle. 
The steering arms are mounted to the chassis with a 3x18mm step screw. I found the fit to be good, but you can use some small shims if you want to eliminate all vertical movement.

Final fittings

The bearings are now added to the outer part of the hubs and we can fit the steel wheel hex's to the axles.
High specifications all the way through on this kit. 
These are a step up from plastic kit versions, as they will not bend or warp under extreme load.
Drift tyres are included, and they handle well on carpet and tarmac
Now we just need to fit the tyres. The kit comes with Tamiya's super driftech drift tyres and a very cool set of black 5 spoked alloys. They slide on quite easily, although I am pretty certain they will not be easy to get off as they click into place.

Chassis pictures

With the firm front bumper fitted and the battery strap attached, it's time for the chassis photos.
The kit wheelbase is 257mm
Chassis width is 187mm 
Shiny drift tyres ready for some sideways action 
This chassis really looks like a substantial step-up from the base TT-02 
Lots of the electrifying Tamiya Blue included in the kit
Lots of adjustments are available to help you get the most from your car when at the track.
Here you can see the 3 degrees of rear toe-in.

Track test

With the chassis built I then started to work on the bodyshell. This kit does not come with a body so you can choose from the wide selection of 190mm shells available on the market. With this car set to be a drift battler, I had only one option but to go for a Tamiya Nissan Skyline shell.

The detail on the shell is fantastic, and Tamiya also supplies light buckets so you can fit LED's for that authentic look.

With the shell painted, LED kit fitted I had to find a venue to try out the car.

Luckily for me I live near RC Modelshop Direct, the home to one of the largest permanent UK drift tracks. I took the car down ready for some sideways action
The Tamiya R32 shell looked stunning in Tamiya PS-13 metallic gold 
As I entered the venue there was a large Tamiya banner on show and I was really impressed with the look of the track. There has been a lot of work on it and it looked fantastic seeing the other cars drifting around, I couldn't wait to get the car out on track.

The car was charged with a large capacity square pack 7.4v lipo (Which fits easily in the TT-02), and I took it out on the smaller test track to get a feel for the car and to actually get used to drifting.

The first thing I noticed was how quick the car was with the kit included motor. I did not expect the car to accelerate as quickly as it did and I slid straight into the barrier (doh!)
Time to slide at RC Modelshop directs excellent indoor drift track!
Being a grip racer it all felt a little strange to me at first, especially as brakes didn't really make much of an impact on the car when it all started to go pear-shaped. However it was only a few minutes before I started to get the hang of it.

The basics are pretty easy to comprehend, you just have to enter a corner, dab the brake to move the weight forward and then kick out the rear and use your throttle to control the slide. I started to get more and more confident and was managing to chain a few corners together until I would end up facing the wrong way.
Luckily the barriers do not cause much damage.
After running the first pack down (Probably 35-40 mins of running). I had got to grips with the principles and was striving to get around the track even quicker. The car felt really easy to drive, but I noticed that some of the quicker guys had quicker steering into the corners.

I adjusted the front upper arms to give me more front camber, and I also adjusted the front steering arms to have just a little more toe-out.

When I put the car on the track I instantly noticed that the car had responded to the set-up changes. The car was much quicker to transition after it came out of the tunnel section of the track, this gave me even more confidence to keep on the throttle.
The TT-02D Type-S is a great drifter.
My son also took the controller and had his first taste of drift action. He picked it up really quickly and before the battery had worn down he was out performing me sliding the car around and hitting the flag markers.
Heading for the flag and avoiding the car wash!
Whilst fitting the next set of batteries, I reduced the rear camber a little, just to make the rear looser on corner entry to help the car swing around even quicker as it would have less side grip.
These are my streets!
The car responded as you would expect and it was even more nimble. This car had no problem keeping up with some of the the others on the track, despite some of them being much more expensive kits, and the 25t motor was really impressing me with the speed and responsiveness it delivered when driving it. 

It also impressed a lot of other people over the day, and many came over to take a look and were very interested to see the chassis.

We ran many more packs of batteries down drifting the car and had around 4 hours of track time and the car never missed a beat. It was a fantastic experience, and both my son and myself are hooked on drifting and cannot wait to do it again. It was a great father and son day at a very friendly club.


Here is a video of the car in action.


The Tamiya TT-02D Type-S is a fantastic chassis for those who want to enter the exciting world of RC drifting and do not want to spend a huge amount of money.
How cool does that look?
The chassis is easy to build, and the quality of the materials is superb. Everything fits perfectly and after a lot of running the car had not developed any loose parts or failures.
Under the neon glow of  Leeds, not Tokyo
The car handles really well, as complete beginners to drifting my son and myself were able to soon be sliding around the track alongside more experienced drivers. This is testament to the refined suspension of the Type-S, and the way in which the car responds to drivers input.
Scale looks really add to the fun
The car is adjustable, giving you a lot of control on how to tune it. There is also a wide array of options that you can add to the car from a front one-way to spools as you develop more drift skills.
Tamiya has done it again! This kit is aimed at those who want to get the most out of the drift experience but do not want to spend hundreds of pounds to do it. They deliver a great value kit, well built with a large array of options but most importantly it is a chassis that also handles fantastically.
Now I'm off for some more drift action!

Available from your local Tamiya Stockist.  Contact http://www.hobbyco.net/ for more info.
TT02 6562326073671161549

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  1. Man I just enjoyed this review. Another excellent job!



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