I have a soft spot for Tamiya, being the manufacturer of the first RC car kit I ever built (and many more after that). Still to this day they provide many high quality kits in an RTR world with insane scale bodies. There is no better way to learn the inner workings of any RC vehicle than a kit, and Tamiya’s Tamiya TT02 series has always been the perfect entry point into this side of the hobby. It is a fairly simple shaft driven 4WD on-road chassis at a great price once you factor in whatever body shell design you end up with. With the kit being very affordable, there are a few components that would best be upgraded even before you put the kit together. All of these parts will improve the kit and even make the build process more pleasant.
KIT SHOWN: Mercedes SLS AMG GT3
Link To Buy: http://amzn.to/2z7UdzG
1. FastEddy Sealed Bearing Kit
The standard TT02 kit will have plastic bushings in many key areas instead of bearings. These will have an unpleasant effect on the performance of the vehicle, especially if you upgrade the power system down the line. FastEddy Bearings has put together a kit that has all of the bearings needed to replace all of the plastic bearings. These high quality bearings are sealed to help keep any dirt and grime away from affecting the internal bearing components. Replacing the bushings with bearings will have multiple of positive affects on the vehicle performance. You should experience better run times, better speed and acceleration, cooler motors temps, and less driveline parts wear. I would say that’s reason enough to upgrade to bearings, and the kit is ultra affordable.
Manufacturer: FastEddy Bearings
Part: Tamiya Mercedes-Benz SLS GT3 AMG (TT-02) Sealed Bearing Kit (works with any TT02)
Part Number: TFE2387
Link To Buy: http://amzn.to/2h6zgR9
2. RCScrewz Stainless Steel Screw Kit
Tamiya has a habit of providing Philips head hardware in it’s entry-level kits. These generally are okay for assembling the kit, but they have the tendency to strip out once you use them a few times, leading to a frustrating experience. I am a big proponent of hex hardware when it can be used, and thankfully RC Screwz has you covered with an all inclusive kit. This kit will replace every screw in the TT02 kit with a proper hex head piece, all in stainless steel. These screws will not rust when small amounts of moisture are present, but more importantly be more resilient against stripping upon repeated use. This will definitely make your initial build process easier as well, a stronger grip on the hardware will be easier to tighten that hardware down.
Part: RCScrewZ Tamiya TT-02 RTR 4wd Stainless Steel Screw Kit
Part Number: tam169
Link To Buy: http://amzn.to/2z9BeVu
3. Tamiya CVA Super-Mini Shock TT-02
The TT02 comes with friction shocks, not ideal for almost all running conditions. They make the vehicle feel bouncy without oil dampening, and this can make your on-road harder to control in both turning and uneven terrain. I generally recommend that most people toss these out and replace them with Tamiya oil filled shocks. They won’t break the bank, and they will make the vehicle handle TONS better than the stock units. They are fairly easy to build and come with detailed instructions and oil, which will get you up and running in no time. All of the hopped-up versions of the TT02 are eqipped with oil filled shocks, and there is no reason yours shouldn’t either.
Part: Tamiya CVA Super-Mini Shock TT-02 (4)
Part Number: 54753
Link To Buy: http://amzn.to/2yo6GlF
I would consider all of these components worthy upgrades for your TT02 kit. Each will provide many benefits, especially if you plan on getting some serious run time with your machine. The new hardware will make for a more pleasant build process and the bearings and oil shocks will provide a much better experience during use. If you have to spring for only one upgrade, I would definitely recommend the bearing kit, they have so many benefits it is hard to list them all!