High Flash…for a Bit of Cash!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s August 2015 issue.
By Mark Ronge Photos by Walter Sidas
The HPI E10 is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to get into 1/10-scale touring cars, and I myself learned how to drift on an E10. Even though it didn’t have all the high end parts and features other models had, the basics were solid and it always took a beating, allowing me to let my friends learn on the chassis as well. The best part of intro level RC cars is that aftermarket parts availability is nearly endless and the prices remain competitive as well. I know some people prefer starting with an intro level chassis and upgrading to how they like it, giving it a custom feel. It can be daunting to choose every single upgrade piece by piece (not to mention pretty expensive). Yeah Racing has us covered with an all-inclusive aluminum upgrade kit that contains tons of aluminum parts for a price that is easily half of what you would expect to pay buying all the parts individually from other companies. This kit literally contains every alloy part Yeah Racing makes for the E10, which will enhance the durability of the chassis in critical areas, reduce slop, and make the kit look amazing. With all of the new awesome variants that HPI has released lately we had an E10 to test out this new kit on and installed a few extra go-fast parts to really make this kit compete against more expensive kits.
• E10 Drift (multiple part #, $199 – $219)
• Toyota Trueno AE86 Body (17209, $25.99)
• Performance Upgrade Kit For HPI E10, CK-E10V3-PP, $149.90
• Spec D FS Wheel Offset +3 Gunmetal w/Tire (WL-0076, $14.99)
PARTS USED RC GEAR SHOP WINKING
• Standard BB Metal-Gear Servo (M0900, $8.79) Speed: .14 sec/60° .13 sec/60° – Torque: 133.3 oz.-in. 145.8 oz.-in. LRP
• Spin Pro Brushless ESC (80250, $99.99)
• X20 13.5T Stock Brushless Motor (50844, $92.99)
• Hyper Pack 4600 – 7.2V – NiMH (71140, $42.99)
THE GOODS—DRIFT CITY
When building a drift car, steering setups are absolutely crucial to the performance of the vehicle. With so many quick movements and needing a fine touch, a smooth and slop-free system is the name of the game. The Yeah Racing aluminum steering set has been upgraded to accept bearings on the aluminum bellcranks over their previous design. It also employs turnbuckles all around, so toe angles are a breeze to set and something the stock E10 was lacking. Playing with the toe angle to find a balance between stability and steering aggressiveness is ultimately up to the driver’s preference so this adjustable set is a welcome addition. Since the bellcranks have bearings and are aluminum, they definitely are super smooth when rotated on the steering posts. Between the bellcranks and turnbuckles nearly all of the steering slop was eliminated from the system, resulting in much more accurate control. With all of this added functionality, we had to swap out the stock steering servo for something with more torque and faster transit time. Since this build has remained pretty reasonable pricewise, why not fit the theme with a Win-King standard metal geared servo? This servo can provide 145 oz.-in. of torque with a 0.13 second transit time, all while costing under 10 bucks ― making this a crazy good bang for your buck upgrade on most RTRs.
NOT JUST BLING
Admittedly I am not the biggest fan of aluminum A-arms, but for this project I wouldn’t have it any different. The upper A-arms provide a method of modifying the camber angle (the stock E10 is non-adjustable), something a serious drifter needs. Also, the negative camber I added helped give the E10 a tuner car look with the Toyota body shell. The lower A-arms do not add a whole lot of function but the added weight seems to only have helped our drift car remain stable during driving. The car is overpowered as is, so any extra weight will not hamper the performance. After the A-arms, the front steering knuckles and rear hubs are made of alloy as well which helps reduce slop and increases durability on these components that take a lot of abuse. The front knuckles definitely rotate smoother and easier to help with the steering on our E10, as well as allowing the suspension to move up and down with ease (which goes for the rear hubs as well).
The Yeah Racing kit is not all about looks; in fact most of the kit has durability in mind. The center driveshaft in the E10 is plastic which has got to go (it handles stock power OK, but that’s about it) in favor of the Yeah racing aluminum unit. Even the second very short driveshaft that connects the spur gear to the differential gears is included in the kit. The stock differential gears are reused as they should have no problem holding up to drifting even with the added power for this project. Aluminum dogbones are a must in any serious vehicle, so it makes perfect sense that Yeah Racing makes their own pair for this kit. The only problem is that if Yeah racing only added the aluminum dogbones, the stock plastic drive cups would wear thin. Obviously the plastic drivecups are replaced as well. As you can see most of the stock driveline has been beefed up and will not fail when more power and 38 RC DRIVER PROJECT YEAH RACING ALIMINUM UPGRADE KIT FOR THE HPI E10 The Toyota AE86 is one of the most recognizable drift cars on the planet and HPI has faithfully recreated this beauty of a body which fits on most any 190mm touring car. All of the upper arms have been replaced with an anodized aluminum set which allows for camber angle adjustments the stock E10 did not offer. Project Yeah Racing – HPI E10 DRIFT.indd 38 Project Yeah Racing – HPI E10 DRIFT.indd 38 5/28/2015 4:16:22 PM 5/28/2015 4:16:22 PM abuse is introduced to the E10. Extra sealed bearings are included as well; some replace stock bearings as well as replacing some plastic bushings normally found on the E10 on the differentials. Also, a beefy aluminum motor mount will help hold our brushless motor in place.
Since we now have an aluminum driveshaft and dogbones (with respective aluminum cups), it seemed fitting that we add a hot brushless system to test the utility of the Yeah Racing parts. LRP make some of the best affordable sensored systems on the market and with a drift car project, the extra control that a sensored system offers is extremely important. You don’t need much speed in a drift car so we went with a 13.5T X20 motor which has tons of low-end torque and more top end power than we would ever need. The X20 motors have a great housing to promote cooling and the fact that these motors are dynamically balanced from the factory is a huge plus when you are running high RPMS and shredding some tires. To provide power to the motor we used the Spin Pro brushless ESC, a super easy to set up sensored ESC capable of handling down to 5.5T motors. This combo was absolutely perfect, during testing the E10 had gobs of low end control and you would swear this is a brushed system with how it handles. Because this is a sensored system you do not need anything special battery-wise to get the most out of it, a higher mAh pack will do the job. The LRP Hyper Pack 7.2V 4600 NiMH pack actually added some stability to the model with the higher weight over the stock pack that comes with the E10, while providing the brushless system with as much power as it requires.
LOOKS DO MATTER
Even though I wish I could claim some type of performance increase, there are a couple of parts in the Yeah Racing kit that are 100-percent cosmetic. The E10 always had a slick setup with non-functional brake calipers and rotors that spin with the wheels. The only problem is that the calipers looked a little cheesy and I have always considered painting them metallic myself. Well, why settle for paint when you can have real aluminum units? These parts look fantastic and when I was bored I tried taking some pictures from clever angles to see if I could fool my friends into thinking it was a full scale car and it could totally pass for that. Because the rotor is part of the wheel hex, there is no chance of that stripping out. For wheels, Yeah Racing has drifters covered with all sorts of styles and colors that look just like the real thing. Gunmetal rims tend to look great with any paint job so we went with those, and unlike other cheaper sets you really get a nice shine to these, almost like black chrome. To finish off the car, what better body to choose than one of the most iconic drifters ever: the Toyota AE86 Trueno. A simple paint scheme and some decals are all you need to replicate a drift car, and the Yeah Racing wheels look killer especially when the body shell is slammed almost to the ground.
Installing the Yeah Racing kit was for the most part painless; there are some illustrations and light instructions provided to help with some of the more complex parts like the steering setup. Generally the build consisted of removing the driveline components and replacing them piece-by-piece and working your way toward the steering and suspension components. Everything fit well; I did have to add a couple more shims on the hinge pin of the front upper arms to take out some slop. Also, when I first assembled the steering system, I had a hard time moving it and noticed that the ball links on the turnbuckles had too tight of a fit. I took some pliers and applied decent pressure to free them up, and then the steering was smooth as butter with much less slop then stock. Make sure to use threadlock where applicable, especially with the motor mount. All in all it was a quick build without any major issues.
Aside from all the purple aluminum looking absolutely stunning, the performance of the vehicle has dramatically increased. And no, it was not just from the new power system. The Yeah Racing kit has allowed for many new suspension adjustments so I could set it up in the way that I like my drift cars. Even though the aluminum components are heavier than stock, the extra weight seemed to make drifting much more stable and less twitchy than before. The new steering system and servo made my steering inputs much more accurate and I felt much more in control of the car. The LRP power combo had tons of torque and top end speed, and since it was a sensored system I had great control over low RPM drifting. At the end of my session I inspected the E10 and saw no issues, no new areas of slop either.
It’s easy to get carried away upgrading your RC cars to where the value simply is lost just for some shiny bits of aluminum. The Yeah Racing upgrade kit for the E10 dodges this bullet by providing a package of every machined aluminum piece they make for a great price. If you price out each individual part (go ahead, do it), you can really see where the value in this system is. And since it came all in one package, installation was a breeze after upgrading some of the electronics in the E10. After all these improvements on the E10, it was like this was a completely new vehicle with a much lower than expected price tag.