Taking an RC car to the next level in performance is a collective goal for us hobbyist. It seems that we are always looking at ways to make our rides better. The steps of modifying a car or truck by wrenching on it to make adjustments or add new parts is a big part of the fun in this hobby. And it gets even better when you put those mods to the test and see if you succeeded in improving your vehicle. Sometimes taking that first step can be difficult because you don’t know where to begin and there are numerous option parts out there to choose from. Here we are taking the Tamiya TT-02B 4WD off-road buggy and show you the 5 Tamiya TT-02B hop-ups to enhance performance that we would add first. Let’s get started.
ABOUT THE TAMIYA TT-02B
The Tamiya TT-02B 1/10-scale 4WD buggy is based on Tamiya’s proven TT-02 on-road platform and has become among the most beginner friendly chassis in their line-up and therefor quite popular. It is also the type of buggy that lends itself perfectly for being modified. The chassis is easy to work on and since it has a beginner focused design, there are areas that you can address to boost performance.
Tamiya gave the TT-02B chassis four-wheel double wishbone suspension with long arms plus CVA oil-filled shocks so this buggy can tackle off-road terrain. Additionally, this chassis is incredibly easy to build thanks to features like identical left and right suspension arms and uprights. Down the center of the semi-tub chassis spins a plastic propeller shaft to connect the bevel gear differential which are sealed to keep dirt out. An electronic speed control powers the 540 brushed motor which in turn gets the propeller shaft spinning.
Currently there are five versions of the Tamiya TT-02B that you can choose from: First Try R/C Kit (#57988), Neo Scorcher (#58568), Plasma Edge II (#58630), Dual Ridge (#57876) and the TT-02BR chassis kit (#58717).
The First Try R/C Kit is ideal for the beginner in RC or maybe a hobbyist who has never built a RC car. Tamiya took the TT-02B chassis and pre-assembled some of the trickier sections so that the hobbyist can still have the benefits of building their own kit and end up with it properly assembled. Included with this kit is a completely painted Plasma Edge II body which is a step that many people are hesitant to attempt. With the First Try R/C Kit, you don’t have to worry about painting and you can focus on an enjoyable and fulfilling build. The Neo Scorcher and Plasma Edge II kits are virtually identical except for things like the color of the dampers and wheels and of course the bodies. Both of these kits need to be completely built and the bodies come clear.
Out of the five available vehicles, the Dual Ridge is the only one that comes as a RTR (Ready-To-Run). A famous Japanese designer who is currently spearheading many of Honda’s future vehicles was the one behind the futuristic and aerodynamic styling of the Dual Ridge. Keeping it in control is a Tamiya FineSpec 2.4GHz 2-channel, pistol grip radio system.
TAMIYA TT-02BR CHASSIS KIT—#58717
This here is the Tamiya TT-02BR chassis kit which is a quick and easy way to get a TT-02B chassis already decked out with a bunch of upgrades. It is packed with a wealth of Tamiya hop-up option parts that makes this version much more track ready than your standard TT-02B chassis.
- NEW-Aluminum propeller joints
- NEW-Carbon fiber damper stays
- Item 22049: XV-02/TT-02 Oil Gear Differential Unit
- Item 54501: TT-02 Aluminum Propeller Shaft
- Item 54768: 06 Module Hard Coated Aluminum Pinion Gear (17T)
- Item 54993: TT-02B/DF-03 Aluminum Damper Set
- Item 53793: DF-02 Two-Way Aluminum Rear Uprights
- Item 54539: TT-02B Full Turnbuckle Set
- Item 53791: DF-02 Assembly Universal Shaft
- Item 53880: Large Dish Wheels (4WD/Front, 62/25)
- Item 53881: Large Dish Wheels (Rear, 62/35)
- Item 54211: TRF201 Rear Wing Set
- Item 54815: TT-02B Reinforced Gear Covers & Lower Suspension Arms (2pcs.)
- Item 54926: TT-02 Lower Deck (Hard/Black)
5 HOP-UPS TO ENHANCE PERFORMANCE
Tamiya TRF Buggy Aeration Oil Filled Damper Set—#54028
Although the TT-02B chassis comes with oil filled CVA shocks, upgrading to these high-quality, high-performance TRF Buggy Dampers will make a positive difference to the off-road handling of this buggy. These aeration-type dampers feature a hard black coating on the shock bodies to increase durability and reduce friction. Additionally, titanium-coated piston rods, together with the shock body coating, contribute to the shocks more efficient and silky smooth performance. The smoother shock travel matched to more consistent handling traits are great benefits for buggy that you are trying to enhance its performance. Striking blue anodizing is used on the spring retainer for some added pop of color on the chassis and will perfectly match the other blue anodized parts mentioned in this article.
TT-02 Steering Upgrade Kit—#54752
The Tamiya TT-02 Steering Upgrade Parts Set is a super useful and super convenient hop-up option for the TT-02B chassis. It includes a bunch of option parts to replace 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 for a buggy destined for some competition at the track. 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
TT-01 Ball Diff Set—#53663
Super smooth diff action and more efficiency in the drivetrain are the benefits of replacing the stock bevel gear differentials that comes stock in the Tamiya TT-02B buggy. When upgrading to a ball diff like this, it will produce a limited slip effect thus keeping drive engaged even if one of the driven wheels loses contact with the surface. This kit includes everything you need including metal outdrive cups. You will need two of these ball diffs to outfit the TT-02B buggy. Accessing the stock gear diffs is not too difficult but it will require some disassembly to get it buttoned up with the ball diff units.
Aluminum Motor Mount—#54558
The majority of the TT-02B chassis is made up of molded plastic composite parts including the motor mount. We suggest scrapping 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 and it includes screws to install the mount onto the tube of the chassis.
Aluminum Propeller Shaft—#54501
The same reasoning we used for the motor mount is also being used for the propeller shaft which is made of plastic resin which can twist and flex thus hindering the full transfer of power to the wheels. Install this Tamiya Aluminum Propeller Shaft as a replacement. Its aluminum construction will allow it to have more stable rotation at higher speeds and reduces power loss from the transmission. Like most of Tamiya’s aluminum hop-up option parts, the propeller shaft comes anodized a bright blue which nicely dresses up the looks of the chassis. While you are at it, we suggest also installing the Tamiya Aluminum Propeller Joints (#54502) at the same time to replace the plastic units.
For more information about Tamiya products, visit: TAMIYA