The Tamiya TT-02 chassis has become incredibly popular in the on-road RC scene. People are racing the very capable TT-02 and having a blast bombing around parking lots and driveways. Tamiya developed the TT-02 chassis to be affordable, incredibly easy to build and provide plenty of performance for the newcomer or even a more seasoned hobbyist. And if you want to modify the TT-02 to make it even more durable and/or perform better, Tamiya offers a multitude of hop-up option parts.
On top of all that, Tamiya sells the TT-02 with numerous different ultra-scale looking bodies to choose from. From highly desirable production vehicles like the beautiful Tamiya Ferrari F12tdf (#58644) to full on racecars complete with all the stickers you need to make it into a 1/10-scale replica of the real car like the awesome Tamiya Motul Autech NISMO GT-R (#58625) . We at RC Driver figured that with so many Tamiya TT-02’s out there, we would show you how to convert the Tamiya TT-02 into a cool yet great performing drift car. This gives you the option to transform your TT-02 into a totally different performing car.
Working with a stock Tamiya TT-02 chassis, there are six items that you need to complete the conversion to a TT-02D drift car: a hotter motor, a motor heat sink, ball bearings, oil-filled shocks, drift tires and anti-wear grease.
Tamiya RS 540 Sport Tuned Motor (#53068)
Each of the TT-02 cars come with Tamiya’s stock silver can 540 size, 27-turn brushed motor. You will need to swap out the stock motor and install something hotter like the Tamiya RS 540 Sport Tuned Motor (#53068). The Sport Tuned motor is a 23-turn motor which will give you faster acceleration and higher top speeds. Exactly what you need for a drift car in order to get all four wheels spinning.
To install the Sport Tuned motor, you will need to remove the gear cover that encloses the spur gear and pinion gear. Then unscrew the motor mount to release the stock motor from the chassis. Next is to remove the pinion gear followed by the motor mount so that you can install those items on the Sport Tuned motor. Tamiya sells the Sport Tuned motor with wire leads equipped with bullet connectors already soldered onto the motor which makes install a breeze. Slide the motor with motor mount back onto the chassis and screw it into place followed by the gear cover. The last step is to plug the motor leads into the leads coming from the speed control.
Tamiya Motor Heat Sink (#54571)
When driving a drift car, the motor is working pretty hard and it does not get as much cool air blowing over it to keep it from getting too hot. Adding a motor heat sink is the perfect solution to help keep the motor running cooler. Its aluminum construction and multiple cooling fins allow the heat to dissipate more efficiently from the motor thus allowing it to work under less stress and extend the amount of time it can be used. The deep blue anodized color is a welcome bonus which will dress up the TT-02 chassis.
The Tamiya Motor Heat Sink simply slides onto the can of the motor. Install the heat sink while the motor is out of the chassis. It is important to make sure the heat sink is properly positioned on the motor so that the fins don’t come into contact with the center propeller shaft.
Tamiya Anti-Wear Grease (#53439)
Gear differentials are used in the front and rear of the TT-02 and for drifting, you want to reduce the amount of diff action the car has. This way your drift car will be easier to get into a slide. A simple and cheap way to make this happen is to fill the diffs with the Tamiya Anti-War Grease which will virtually lock them up.
This step requires some disassembly yet it is worth the effort. To access the rear diff, you will need to unscrew the upper arms from the rear uprights, unscrew the shocks from the top mounting position, remove the spur gear cover and then unscrew the gear diff cover. This will allow you to pull out the diff from the gearbox. Before you take apart the diff, slide the gearbox joints out of either side. Once the diff is opened up, fill the housing with the Anti-Wear Grease and then reassemble. Take your time with putting the grease into the diff and make sure you work it in around all the gears to fill any voids.
The front diff comes out a bit easier. Remove the shock from the top mounting position so that you can gain access to the screws on the gearbox cover. Disconnect the upper arms from the uprights and then unscrew the gear diff cover. Now you can slide out the gearbox joints and take out the gear diff. Just like you did with the rear diff, take it apart and fill it with the Anti-Wear Grease. Now follow the steps in reverse.
Tamiya TT02 CVA Super-Mini Shock set (#54753)
A nice set of oil-filled shocks like the Tamiya TT02 CVA Super-Mini Shock set will drastically improve the TT-02’s handling and this translates into a more controllable drift car as well. The stock shocks on a TT-02 are the friction type dampers that do not use oil and do not compare to the performance that oil-filled shocks provide. This specific shock set includes all four shocks so that you can upgrade the entire TT-02 chassis. (Some sets only include two shocks.)
Swapping out the stock shocks for the new oil-filled shocks is pretty quick and easy. Once you have the new shocks completely assembled, you can unscrew the stock friction shocks from the chassis and replace them with the new shocks. Be sure that you have the correct amount of preload spacers on the shock so that the car sits correctly.
Tamiya Drift Tires (#54021 —or— #54022)
One of the most important upgrades when converting a stock touring car to a drift car are the tires. Typically on-road cars are spec’d with soft pliable rubber treaded or slick tires to deliver traction. On a drift car, it is the exact opposite. You want a hard, non-pliable material like the low-friction resin tires that Tamiya makes just for drifting. These low-friction tires enable effortless drifting with very little tire wear.
Adding a set of drift tires to your car is super simple, particularly if you use tires that are already mounted onto wheels. Here are two, great-looking and great-performing mounted drift tire options from Tamiya: the DriftSpec metal plated mesh wheel with Super Driftech tire (#54021) and the DriftSpec 10-spoke metal plated wheel with Super Driftech tire (#54022). Both of these drift tire options will bolt right onto the axle and hex of the TT-02.
Tamiya TT-02 ball bearing set (#54476)
A freer spinning drive train is always a good thing and the ideal way to achieve this is by replacing the stock bushings with a complete set of ball bearings. The bearing set shown here is meant for the TT-02 chassis. It enables faster speeds and higher durability in the drive train. If there was one item that you could get away without doing, it would be this one because it is not 100-percent necessary. However, taking the time to add this bearing set will pay you dividends in an overall better performing drift car because the drivetrain will spin so much easier and be more true.
Out of all of the items to convert the Tamiya TT-02, the ball bearing set requires the most dismantling of the chassis. The ideal method is to perform all of these modifications at one time so you won’t have to take apart the TT-02 more than once.
Tamiya TT-02D Drift Spec chassis (#58584)
For those of you that do not want to modify their TT-02 for drifting, Tamiya offers a drift variant of the TT-02 named the TT-02D Drift Spec. Similar to the TT-02, the TT-02D Drift Spec is available with approximately ten different body choices to choose from. There is even a chassis only version of the TT-02D Drift Spec (item #58584).
For more information about Tamiya products, visit: TAMIYA