Last month we showed you how to convert a Tamiya TT-02 touring car into a great performing drift car. (Link to previous TT-02 drift conversion article.) The items we suggested for the conversion were not only picked to make the TT-02 into a highly capable drift car, but also to keep the total price tag low. For this article we decided to show you another Tamiya TT-02 drift conversion, but this time it is not budget-minded and we give you some setup tips to make this modified TT-02 drifter stand out from the rest.
We are treating this conversion like we did in the previous article where we are starting with a stock Tamiya TT-02 chassis. Following is a list of items that you can add to the TT-02 to make it into one killer drift car. One of the benefits of this extreme conversion is that 99-percent of the items mentioned are from Tamiya’s extensive line of hop-up option parts…so super convenient one-stop shopping.
This Tamiya TT-02 drift conversion requires a tear down of the stock TT-02 chassis since we will be replacing many of its components. If you are starting with a kit you are ahead of the game, but you will need to disassemble the chassis if your TT-02 is already built. We have listed the items in an order that corresponds with how you would build the chassis if you were following the instruction manual.
Tamiya TT-02 Ball Bearing Set (#54476)
Like most of the cars we build here at RC Driver, we like to install ball bearings if the vehicle does not come with them. Running a car fully outfitted with ball bearings will improve the longevity of the parts in the drivetrain as well as allow it to spin with much less power-robbing friction that plastic bushings cause. This bearing set is purposely assembled for the TT-02 and you will find it allows for faster speeds and less wear in the drivetrain.
Tamiya TT-02 Aluminum Propeller Joint (#54502)
Eliminating any slop in the drivetrain and making it as efficient as possible is a worthwhile goal for any vehicle and this hopped-up drift car is clearly a candidate for this. These aluminum propeller joints replace the stock plastic resin parts and will reduce power loss in the transmission as well as spin much more true.
Tamiya TT-02 High Speed Gear Set (#54500)
The Tamiya TT-02 High Speed Gear Set adds more versatility to the TT-02 chassis thanks to its newly-designed aluminum spur gear mount and spacer. With this setup, you can run gear ratio settings from 9.82:1 to 6.55:1. It comes with a 68-tooth spur gear instead of the stock 70-tooth spur and there is also the alternative of using an optional 64-tooth spur gear.
Tamiya TT-02 Aluminum Propeller Shaft (#54501)
We are sure you will see the trend of using aluminum hop-up option parts on this ultra-modified drift conversion since we are replacing many of the stock plastic parts with aluminum ones. The plan is to go extreme with this drift car so it is getting more power thanks to a powerful brushless motor. With that said, the molded plastic propeller shaft has to go so that the Tamiya TT-02 Aluminum Propeller Shaft can be dropped in. This propeller shaft is blue anodized with a laser engraved “Tamiya” on it. Its aluminum construction is much more rigid than the stock shaft, gives more stable rotation at higher speeds and reduces power loss from the drivetrain.
Tamiya TT-01 Front One Way Unit (#53671)
We have found that the hot differential setup that works the best on a drift car is to use a front one way unit in place of the stock gear differential and lock the rear diff. The front one way makes it easier for the driver to put the car into a slide and therefore also produces more steering. When using the Tamiya TT-01 Front One Way Unit, you will also have to use the TB-01 cup joint (#53590) which is listed below.
Tamiya TT-02 Differential Locking Block (#54649)
There are a few homespun tricks to lock the rear differential, but we really prefer the clean surefire method of using a purpose-built part. Particularly, the Tamiya TT-02 Differential Locking Block. This machined aluminum, blue anodized block simply gets inserted into the differential case instead of using the kits, standard diff gears. Now the rear diff is not a differential anymore and power will be equally sent out to the rear wheels consistently.
Tamiya TT-02 Aluminum Motor Mount (#54558)
Scrap the stock plastic motor mount for the Tamiya TT-02 Aluminum Motor Mount. The aluminum construction provides a more secure mounting structure for the motor, improves the power transfer efficiency and lessens the likelihood of the motor overheating. It acts like a heat sink to draw heat away from the motor. Additionally, there are a total of 10 pinion gear attachment positions, 5 on each side, for numerous gear ratio options. Each hole in the motor mount has the pinion tooth count conveniently laser engraved next to it.
Tamiya TBLM-01 18T & TBLE-01 Brushless Motor Set (#45044)
Making the jump up to the added power and efficiency of a brushless motor system is a fantastic upgrade for a drift car. The Tamiya TBLM-01 18T & TBLE-01 Brushless Motor highlighted here, comes with the reliable and programmable TBLE-01 speed controller along with the potent TBLM-01 18T 2270kV brushless motor. Its quick response and power will easily get all the tires spinning to get and keep the drift action going. The TBLE-01 speed control features battery cut-off function to protect battery packs from over discharging, can be set to forward only or forward/reverse, has 10 levels of brake settings, has 10 levels of neutral brake that are possible and there are 5 preset profiles that can be accessed.
Tamiya TT-02 Aluminum Motor Heat Sink (#54571)
Before you install the brushless motor into the chassis, slide on the Tamiya TT-02 Aluminum Motor Heat Sink. It is worth adding the heat sink to help dissipate the heat generated by the brushless motor. Cooler running electronics are happy electronics. Allowing the motor to work under less stress will also extend the amount of time it can be used and its overall lifespan. The extra cooling is very helpful on a drift car since it is not typically moving quickly so that the motor can benefit from the air passing over the chassis. We also like the nonessential advantage of dressing up the chassis with the heat sink’s great looking blue anodized finish.
Tamiya Universal Shaft Assembly (#53792)
As you can imagine, a drift car does a tremendous amount of steering so allowing the drivetrain to work as effortlessly as possible it a big help. The stock TT-02 uses a standard axle/dog bone drive shaft setup that has a tendency to bind a bit during steering thus causing power loss. You can eliminate this issue by installing the Tamiya Universal Shaft Assembly. Universal shaft drives operate much more smoothly than the dog bone setup thanks to the universal joint.
Tamiya Cup Joint for TB-01 Reinforced Front One-Way Unit (#53590)
When using the TT-01 Front One Way Unit along with the Universal Shaft Assembly, you must also get this set of Cup Joints.
Tamiya TRF Damper Set (#53571)
One of the big benefits of the TT-02 chassis is its low price point and one of the cost saving methods used on this chassis is to spec friction type dampers instead of oil-filled units. By upgrading to a high-quality oil-filled shock like the Tamiya TRF Damper Set, you will find that the suspension operates much more smoothly. Each of the shock cylinders are fluorine coated for even less internal friction compared to other oil-filled shocks. The smoother shock travel matched to more consistent handling traits are great benefits for a drift car.
Tamiya TT-02 Steering Upgrade Parts Set (#54572)
The Tamiya TT-02 Steering Upgrade Parts Set is a super convenient hop-up option for the TT-02 chassis. It includes a bunch of option parts to replace all the stock plastic steering parts found on the chassis. The aluminum construction of these parts will give greater precision and toughness in the steering system that will therefor generate more precise handling. Precise steering response is just what you want in a drift car. Here are the items included in this upgrade set:
- Aluminum Steering Arms x2 (item 54574)
- Aluminum Steering Posts x2
- Aluminum Steering Bridge x2 (item 54575)
- Hi-Torque Servo Saver (black) x1 (item 51000)
- TT-02 Hit-Torque Servo Saver Horn x1
- Plus many other metal parts for attachment and setup adjustment
Tamiya TB-03 Aluminum Servo Stay (#54090) x2
These TB-03 Aluminum Servo Stays are very strong and provide a very robust mounted point for the steering servo. The stock servo stays are molded from plastic which offer less superior performance over these aluminum units. Just remember to get two packages because they are sold individually.
Hitec DB777WP Low Profile Waterproof Servo (#36788)
We have seen drift cars setup with standard steering servos and it seems that people don’t give the servo much thought in an on-road car. In actuality, this is a place where you should not overlook on your Tamiya TT-02 drift conversion or any other drift car. A fast servo is ideal because the faster the servo the faster you can catch the car once it begins to slide. Select a servo that is rated with a speed down in the 0.09/second transit time and creating around 90oz./in. of torque. Shown here is the brand new servo from Hitec. The Hitec DB777WP Low Profile Waterproof Servo which boasts a speed of 0.08 second transit time with 111oz./in. of torque running off of 6.0-volts. Besides these great specs, the Hitec DB777WP is also low profile which saves real estate on the chassis and it is waterproof.
Tamiya Clamp Type Aluminum Wheel Hub (#53569)
The TT-02 chassis comes with plastic wheel hubs which is quite standard for most RC cars. You can step up from the plastic units and add the optional Tamiya Clamp Type Aluminum Wheel Hubs. These wheels hubs are precisely machined out of aluminum and allow for the wheel to spin more true and provides added strength. We also like that these aluminum wheel hubs are securely attached to the axle vie a hex screw. This design will keep the wheel hub from easily sliding off during wheel changes while also keeping the drive pin in place.
Tamiya Super Driftech Tires (#54020) x2
Arguably one of the most important components on a drift car are the tires. If you run ordinary rubber touring car tires, you will have difficulty getting the car to properly drift and you will blow through them very quickly. The best course of action is to get drift specific tires like these Tamiya Super Driftech tires. The Super Driftech tires are made from resin material which is super hard with a smooth surface and offers less friction than rubber tires. Additionally these hard compound resin tires means a much longer tire life. You will need to get two packages of the Super Driftech tires because they are sold in pairs and pick up a full set of 24mm wheels to mount them on.
For more information about Tamiya products, visit: TAMIYA