The versatile Tamiya TT-02 is a remarkable chassis that has gained a large following in the RC community. When Tamiya set out to create a successor for its TT-01 chassis, their goal was to make the new offering so that it was easy for the RC newcomer to build and learn from while also being easy to maintain, provide improved performance and was able to grow with them as their skills improved. Similar to the TT-01, the TT-02 chassis is a 4WD shaft driven platform that has clearly proven its versatility and has become one of Tamiya’s go-to platforms. Tamiya has spec’d this chassis for numerous of its vehicles including its on-road race car replicas, production cars, drift cars, rally cars and even off-road buggies and trucks like the Dual Ridge (#58596) and Neo Scorcher (#58568) buggies and Sandshaker (#58608) off-road truck. If you are looking to buy your first RC vehicle or you want to add to what you already have, this article will give you some helpful info on the TT-02 chassis and its capabilities.
The Tamiya TT-02 shaft-driven 4WD chassis is equipped with many features to make it easy for first time RC kit builders to assemble and to have it come out built correctly. This build process becomes a wonderful learning tool to teach a newcomer the inner workings of an RC car thus building confidence so they can continue to grow in this hobby. Tamiya designed the chassis with cornering and overall speed improved over the TT-01 chassis and so that it can take full advantage of the new electronics available. Once you are ready, the TT-02 chassis can have its capabilities expanded by adding the numerous hop-up option parts available from Tamiya and aftermarket manufacturers.
Here is a sampling of just some of the vehicles that Tamiya has available with the TT-02 chassis platform.
In order to signify the different variants that are made with the TT-02 chassis to work with the different vehicle types and body styles, Tamiya gives the chassis name a different designation. For instance, the TT-02D is for drifting, TT-02B is for the off-road buggy versions, TT-02T is the truck variant and the TT-02 Type S, TT-02R and TT-02RR all signify that they come with a varying degree of option parts that improve the cars performance and durability…basically that make them ready to race.
Once you are ready, there are numerous upgrades you can make on the TT-02 chassis. Including a new body, tires, wheels, motors as well as suspension, drivetrain, and chassis upgrades. There are enough hop-up options out there where you can drastically change the performance and looks of your Tamiya TT-02 vehicle. Here are some suggestions of what you can start off with.
If a visual transformation is what you want, look into a new body and wheels which will make it seem like you have a brand new car. Tamiya offers loads of different clear bodies to choose from and even some that are pre-painted. Keep in mind that you may need new body posts in case you cut the stock ones to perfectly fit the original body or if the new body you are getting has a different shape. As for the wheels, there are numerous different styles to select. When you pick, it is a good idea to also get tires that will fit the new wheels and then you will have two complete sets. The wheels also come in different widths and offsets so that you can match it up with the new body.
A common first step that most people want for their RC ride is to make it faster. The TT-02 can definitely handle more power by putting in a hotter motor and adding these four Tamiya hop-up option parts: Aluminum Motor Mount (#54558), Aluminum Propeller Shaft (#54501), Aluminum Propeller Joint (#54502), and High Speed Gear Set (#54500). These upgrades are especially key for running brushless motors and the high speed gear set allows for spur gear changes for more gear ratio options.
An example of a motor upgrade option which will improve speed is the Tamiya Super Stock Motor RZ (#53697). It is a nice jump in speed and performance over the stock silver can 540 motor without costing a lot of money. It is a 23-turn motor, is intended for high-speed tracks, can be disassembled for maintenance, features lay-down brushes with terminal heat sink and detachable chip capacitor. Besides this motor, there are many other options of not only brushed motors but also brushless motors.
A step that we like to do on our cars is to upgrade all the plastic bearings/bushings with metal ball bearings. Installing the Tamiya TT-02 Ball Bearing Set (#54476) makes the drivetrain more efficient thus improving overall performance enabling faster speeds and higher durability within the drivetrain.
The next common change for the TT-02 chassis is to replace the stock friction shocks with oil-filled units. The Tamiya CVA Super-mini shock set (#54753) includes four plastic body oil-filled shocks with medium black springs. This upgrade will improve stability and help the car hold its course on uneven surfaces. It is ideal for beginners and/or first time upgraders.
If you want to increase the rigidity of the TT-02, consider swapping out the stock plastic shock towers with carbon fiber units when you do the shock upgrade. Tamiya offers the Carbon Damper Stay set for the front and rear (#54639 front & #54640 rear). Besides offering rigidity, it gives you a number of attachment positions to allow for shock angle tweaks.
In keeping with making the TT-02 more rigid, which is ideal for racing, the chassis itself can be upgraded with the Tamiya TT-02 Lower Deck (#47339). The stock TT-02 chassis is made of ABS plastic which is works great because it provides some give so that component don’t break in a collision as well as keep the cost own on the kit. The Tamiya TT-02 Lower Deck is molded in glass fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) that is very rigid and offers increased durability. (If you don’t already own a TT-02 and your plan is to head up and race right off the bat, then check out either the TT-02 Type S, TT-02R or TT-02RR. These variants are suited for racing.)
When you start to look into all the Hop-Up Option parts that are offered by Tamiya for the TT-02 chassis, you will find that we are just touching on some of what is available. It comes down to what your budget is as well as what your goal is with the upgrades. Before we go, here are a couple other Hop-Up that we wanted to share with you.