Tamiya M-07 Race report, tips and Carpet Set-up 58647

Real life things have been taking a lot of my headspace (Hence the lack of updates), but club racing is important for me to actually relax and clear my head.

So recently I decided to delve back into M-Chassis racing at my local club. 

My original M-07 was sold off a few years ago, however I had a partially built M07-R ready to dust down and get out onto the track and rekindle my love for this evergreen racing class.

Before I start, the M07 is a very capable car in it's base form. However as you would expect from me I had a host of nice option parts to add to the chassis, I was keen to see if they offer much over the base parts..
First up I decided to use a set of MoodyFools Titanium screws for the build.. one of my favourite ways to lighten a chassis. 

I always like to add any gearbox parts when I initially do a build, as I don't really like to get my hands dirty at a later date. The 54766 M-07 Concept Aluminium Counter shaft is cheap and saves 3g of weight. 

54767 M-07 Concept Aluminium Centre shaft is also cheap, only saves 1.5g but I always think the hardened fluorine coating is smoother than the standard parts. 

When working with the gearbox it's time to sort out the differentials. 

The M07-R has the  Tamiya 54532 Differential Aluminium cups. I also added the 54311 Cross shaft gears... Running the steel gears is also popular, (Tamiya 54428 TA06 Steel Bevel Gears), however I never run oil more that 100k so I have never had any issue running the plastic gears. So I run the plastic gears as it provides better throttle response. 

54602 Aluminium Diff cover is the next thing that is fitted. It makes the diff basically leak free and less prone to warping after a lot of heavy running. 

The gearbox is now smooth and hopefully will need very little maintenance. 

The Tamiya 54781 M-07 Concept Aluminium Rear Uprights are a bit of a luxury item. They do offer you the ability to change roll centres and turnbuckle length at the rear of the car with more ease. Something that I find is one of the better things to tune with the M07. 

54764 M-07 Concept Aluminium Steering Bridge & 54765 M07 Aluminium Steering arms were slapped on.. I really don't think they offer anything over the kit plastic arms. If anything they needed more shimming. They are nice and blue though.

Carbon Towers front and rear were installed front and rear , simply because they have a few more upper shock settings and are stiffer. 54761 (Front) and 54762 (Rear). Whilst on a carbon vibe I added the lightweight 54791 Carbon Bumper support.

Roll bars / Stabilizers were next on the list. I seem to have a need to install these on every car that I consider a race car..  The M-07R comes with the rear one in the kit, but I purchased the full kit so I could have more tuning options. 

As I now had a front roll bar I selected the softest and installed it in the chassis.

Shocks next, nothing special other than I drilled the caps with a 1.5m hole and built them with zero rebound. 

Gratuitous photo with blue aluminium.. that's why you are here isn't it?

Now to a part that I had not tried before. Tamiya 54787 M-07 Rear Suspension Mount (Skid angle Adjust). These will give me control to set the rear arms at 3 different settings (1.3, 0 and -1.3 degrees). Basically this allows you to run Anti-Squat to give you a little more steering when coming out of a corner.

After a week of running, I decided to install Tamiya 54868 Open Face 5mm Reinforced adjusters, Tamiya Aluminium Turnbuckles and Tamiya 55208 5x8mm Aluminium Hex Head Ball (Fluorine coated). This combo allows me to easily adjust cambers / roll centres etc. You must be aware that the Hex balls are 1mm lower than the ball nuts, so you need to add a 1mm shim under them if you want to retain the same geometry.

With the chassis ready it was time to install the electrics. For my local club we allow a Core 21t or a Speed Passion 17.5 brushless blinky set-up. 

Everyone had opted for the 17.5 as its obviously cheaper and fairer as there is very little motor magic involved with brushless motors compared to brushed. I did consider running shortie lipos but I only had a couple of old ones so I opted to just run std lipo 2s lipos. 

Next up it's time to fit a body.. I can hear the whole internet groaning when I say that I mounted the Tamiya MX5 shell on the car.. I know it's not FWD, but it was already painted and I do have a CRX that will be appear at some point. 

Hitting the track..
As it was a good while since I had raced a M-Chassis in anger I was open minded about how I would get on with the M07. The first thing I noticed was just how much steering I had, the car was much too lively to begin with.. I started to play with the droop and steering throw.  This resulted in a car that was much easier to drive, but still had adequate steering when I wanted it. 

The car was quick from the get go, but once the racing line started to get placed down on the carpet grip roll came with a vengeance. Initially I was reticent to glue the side walls.. I always consider that to be a last ditch fix to resolve handling issues. So to make life a bit more difficult for me I attempted to play with set-up to dial out as much of the grip roll as possible. 

The main thing I tweaked were the roll-centres, I lowered the rear roll centre as it helps reduce the chance of traction roll when entering a corner (As opposed to the apex or exit of a corner). The change was instantly noticeable and the car was much better. It didn't eliminate it completely but it was quite easy to catch once the wheels started to lift.  I was able to finish without rolling the M-07 but I was also aware that I could be faster.

The default camber gain on the M-07 can really bite when on high grip tracks.. On the front of the car I basically reduced the camber to 0.5deg. I added a 0.5mm shim under the inner ball studs to lower the roll centre and just lengthen the turnbuckle to reduce the amount of camber gain. On full compression it still pushes up to around 1.5 deg (ish), enough to provide a good steering feel around the corner.

On the rear, I played with various settings and found that a base 1.75 or 2.0 Deg was fine, but I lengthened the upper links to reduce the amount of camber gain as the car leaned into the corner. This was done with a combination of a tweaked inner roll centre setting (Adding 2mm under the ball nuts), along with me changing the upper hub spacer on the aluminium rear hubs to 1mm from the default 2mm. 

The car was really good now.. I would say that I almost eliminated all instances of traction roll. I was able to drive faster and harder.. yet sometimes I would still have to ease off as the car would still want to roll occasionally. 

Under further investigation it seemed that if I mounted new front tyres the car would be fine. It was only once the tyres were a little more worn in that the occasional grip roll would happen. On closer inspection it seems that once the tyre insert starts to collapse it makes the sidewall flex a little too much so.. it was inevitable.. I had to glue the outer edge of the front tyres. This numbed down the feel of the car a little, so I loosened the back up further to enable me to have a good amount of rotation.

Here is my set-up

I've really enjoyed racing my M-07 and it handles superbly, it is the perfect size for the average small club track. This is coupled with us all running scale shells in the class so it also looks great watching the cars drive around. The cars have also proved tough, with several months of racing and no breakages from anyone at the track, perfect for a cheap club racing class.

There are a couple of things that are annoying, changing the front shock tower positions is much harder than it should be with the optional carbon tower, and the rear body post cage is absolutely huge. I can see how to make a new refined solution to this, if I have the time I will investigate it further. 

Overall though it's been an absolute blast racing these cars.. I have been so busy with my other commitments, being able to just charge some batteries and slap down a car on the track has been a godsend. 
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