Author Topic: Drift newb - 3Racing Sakura D4 AWD build and review (Updated Nov 27, 2015)  (Read 3933 times)

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August 28, 2015, 03:11:38 PM

Offline Rob

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So I've been watching some of the drift action taking place on Saturday afternoons at FredZ Dynamic Hobbies for a few months now and the guys seem to be having too much fun for me to keep ignoring it.
I decided to take the plunge and see what this is all about. Fred recently brought in the new 3 Racing Sakura D4 chassis kit, so I picked one up last Saturday and spent the nights this week building it. I took a bunch of photos throughout the build and decided to post my experience with building the kit and tomorrow morning I'll take it for a test drive around FredZ carpet drift track and give you my results behind the wheel. If Ritchie shows up, we may even have some video for you.

So to start off, 3 Racing is offering the new D4 chassis in an all wheel drive (AWD) version as well as a rear wheel drive (RWD) version. Being a complete newbie, I opted for the AWD version on the advice of experienced drifters. Once I get some wheel time on that, I'll go for the RWD version as well and let you know how that goes.
The kit is billed as the AWD Advanced Chassis Sakura CS Sport, a 1/10 scale radio control drift car.

On with the build. Here's the kit



The manual is well laid out and just like most of the top manufacturers the build progresses in stages with the parts necessary for each stage bagged separately.



A quick visual check of the bag count and a peek at the contents reveal some pink anodized aluminum goodies scattered throughout the bags.
The first bag contained a few handy tools to help with the build.




The main chassis, upper deck as well as front and rear shock towers are constructed of Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) and look like they should have no problem standing up to any abuse I can throw at them on the drift track.



Construction begins with the lower suspension arms, front and rear. The front arms are the "Y" shaped arms that most of the up-scale drift kits are coming with. Being an entry level kit, the D4 comes with composite versions of these arms vice aluminum. My pre-build read of the manual (you do this too, don't you?) brought me to the last page that lists all the part numbers for spares and option parts. Low and behold, just about every part of this car has an aluminum upgrade. I'll have to talk to Fred about this…… I see some more pink aluminum in the future for this car.

The composite front arms are a two piece design with ball cup ends to capture a king pin ball on the steering blocks.
Rear arms are traditional sedan units. All the arms are held in place by the usual suspension pin and single/dual suspension mounts. The mounts are composite, as is what looks like most of the plastic parts in the kit, providing strength with a bit of flex.



The build was very straight forward, so I won't bore you with the details. Here are a bunch of pics I took along the way.





A gear diff is supplied for the front and a composite spool for the rear.






The upper front arms are also 2 piece. They ride on two ball cups inboard and one kingpin ball cup on the top of the steering block. The top arm has a small turnbuckle that adjusts its length and thus the camber angle of your front wheels. Not the funnest things to put together, but they provide a nice hardened steel turnbuckle wrench that makes the job much easier than a pair of needle nose pliers would have been. Nice touch.


The steering system rides on bearings, as does just about every other moving or pivoting part in this kit that doesn't have a ball/cup joint. There is a ton of steering on this car. Not sure how smooth this is going to be with the supplied cvd's. I would have expected double joint shafts with this amount of steering, but we'll see tomorrow how well they work.



This brings me to a few of the things I noticed in the build that didn't go so smoothly.

The first was the kingpin balls installed in the composite steering blocks. in each steering block, one of the balls did not "grab" while threading them. I barely tightened them because I could feel they were going to strip the threads in the block if I applied any force equal to what I am used to while threading metal into plastic. In case your wondering, it was the lower ball on the left front and the upper ball on the right front. This concerns me, because I expect either one or both to fail tomorrow on the track. This is definitely the first upgraded aluminum part I will install.



The second issue I had was while installing the cvd's. I added a small shim to axle between the outer steering block bearing before installing the pin and hex adapter. Without a shim, the axle pin rubbed against the inner and outer races of the bearing causing a very gritty feel that would no doubt lead to problems very quickly. This was done front and rear with some Tamiya shims I had in my parts drawer.



Electronics installation was again very straight forward with plenty of room for installing regular sized servos, receivers and esc's. With the front belt routed totally above the top chassis brace there is room to place everything exactly where you want it.

The battery tray mounts on this kit are very nice. Giving numerous options for different battery sizes. I happen to have a bunch of shorty packs that I run in my F1 and one of my sedans, so I decided to set up the battery mounts to use these packs. With a few pieces of foam installed, the battery fits perfectly.





The battery can be installed on either side with the removal of one body clip and pivoting retaining plate. Very quick simple and secure system.

The kit comes with a nice set of wheels and drift tires already mount on the rims. I did have an issue during the build with the hex adapters falling off a few times before the wheels were mounted. Sucked having to look for the axle pins and that small shim on the floor, so I will also be getting some clamping hexes for all four corners so I don't have to get on my hands and knees to look for those again.

The shocks went together very well. They are oil filled, threaded shocks constructed of composite plastic for the main shock body and aluminum bottom and top caps as well as aluminum adjusting nut.

The kit also came with a nice rear diffuser.

A few more pics of the finished build





The final issue I had with the kit, was during my first power up of the car for electronics testing. I placed it on the basement floor to run it in for a few seconds and the front belt decided it didn't want to follow the preferred path. It jumped off the front guide bearing. I placed it back onto the bearing and noticed that the bearing was not centred directly on the belt. Another trip to the Tamiya shim bin and I believe I have that fixed. The addition of a .5mm shim (correction. I thought in my original post I had used a 1mm shim, but it turned out to be a .5mm shim) seems to have the belt riding centred on the bearing. I'll watch this tomorrow and make adjustments if needed. It looks like I have enough room to go to a 2mm shim if need be.
Here is a pic with me pulling the belt to the right a bit so you can see the bearing and shim below the belt. This is where the front belt comes off the front gear diff comes up and rides on this bearing before going to the main gear shaft and pulleys. Its the way they chose to get the belt up above the electronics and battery that sit on the main chassis.


Last but not least, I topped it all off with a quick paint job on an HPI Mazda RX-8 body for my test run tomorrow.




The kit was built as per the instructions and I used all the supplied oils, lubes etc that came with the kit for the preliminary run. I'll see how it goes and get some feedback from some of the regular drifter crowd tomorrow and make any adjustments they recommend.

So overall, this kit was a blast to build. I have to say it went together super well. 3 Racing really did put a lot of the features I would not normally expect to see on an entry level kit into this car. I look forward to having a ton of fun drifting this around FredZ track.

Hope you enjoyed this build and if your anywhere near FredZ on Saturday, stop in and I'll hand you the radio to try out this car.




« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 09:04:58 PM by Rob »
Rob  McRae

August 28, 2015, 03:27:08 PMReply #1

Offline Richie Rich

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Re: Drift newbie Chassis build and Review - 3 Racing Sakura D4 AWD
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 03:27:08 PM »
Sick review, well done!  8)
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August 28, 2015, 07:52:45 PMReply #2

Offline TKG26

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Re: Drift newbie Chassis build and Review - 3 Racing Sakura D4 AWD
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 07:52:45 PM »
front page. great job rob
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August 28, 2015, 08:21:28 PMReply #3

Offline Rob

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Re: Drift newbie Chassis build and Review - 3 Racing Sakura D4 AWD
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 08:21:28 PM »
tks Joel
Rob  McRae

August 29, 2015, 09:43:01 PMReply #4

Offline Rob

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Re: Drift newbie Chassis build and Review - 3 Racing Sakura D4 AWD
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2015, 09:43:01 PM »
UPDATE ;D ;D ;D

I managed to run a battery pack through the car this morning before opening FredZ. I had a blast with the car learning that sliding around is wicked fun.
I ran for about 10 minutes before the front belt once again decided to jump off the guide bearing, so I installed another shim. Turns out I incorrectly posted that I had installed a 1mm shim. It turns out it was a .5mm shim, so I added another .5mm shim. This seemed to fix the problem…. or so I thought. Another 4 or 5 batteries were run through the car throughout the day by Isaac mostly, but I did see a few others take the wheel for a few laps here and there. After my initial run in the morning, I might have got it for maybe 5 laps throughout the day.
Everyone seems to have loved playing with it. Isaac came to me at the end of the day, telling me that the belt had come off the bearing again but he put it back on. Not sure when that happened or how he got it back on without removing the bracket that holds the bearing, but the belt looks good, so that's that.

I just finished giving it the once over here at home. I have replaced the two .5mm shims with a 1.5mm shim. I'll give it a good workout next Saturday and post my findings. (Isaac is going back to school, so it's all mine for the day! Yahoo!)

My concerns about the kingpin balls not giving me the warm fuzzy feeling when I threaded them in, turned out to be a none issue, which was a pleasant surprise to tell you the truth. The belt/bearing thing I can live with. I already have a few ideas to fix it if the current fix doesn't work out, but not having any spare steering knuckles on hand could really turn out to be a downer.

One thing I did notice during my run, was some CVD chatter when I was on the throttle at full steering lock. No real shocker, considering the amount of steering the car has and the single joint CVD's. I wanted to play around with the issue during the day, but never got a chance. I was thinking, I would play with my steering rate and drop it in 1% increments until the chatter went away and see where that left me. I'm hoping it goes away before I lose too much steering. I didn't find an optional dual cardan type CVD listed in the manual, so I'm not sure if they are even available for this chassis or not. I don't want to abuse the CVD's too much. (not having any spares yet...)

Anyway, I didn't get a chance to shoot any video, let alone drive it very much, but I'll work on that next Saturday. Oh yeah, found out that I really need to have an esc with reverse. Go figure! I'll fix that issue up this week.

Cheers!

P.S. The RWD version kit kept calling to me from the shelf all day!  ;D
Rob  McRae

August 29, 2015, 09:47:24 PMReply #5

Offline TKG26

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Isnt the RWD version the same car minus belt diff and cvd up front>?
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August 29, 2015, 10:17:55 PMReply #6

Offline Rob

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That's obviously the main difference, but it supposedly has even more extreme steering as well as the option to mount the battery up front, centre or in the rear, with a bunch of stuff to accomplish all the choices.
I'll work on learning the AWD version before jumping into RWD, but if I break a bunch of parts in the near future, all bets are off with that box of parts for sale on the shelf in the store.  :o
Rob  McRae

August 29, 2015, 10:20:28 PMReply #7

Offline Richie Rich

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I had a few moments to test drive the car myself, and I found the same warm feeling and amount of fun as the D3 version. They both are one level more challenging to drift than a purely 50-50, they really want to break out and drive sideways. The tires however were ordinary but the rims were sweet. The chassis was a real beauty and neat, much like the other stuff coming out from 3Racing, for a fraction of the price of expensive chassis.

We have a handful of guys with a D3 and the cars are ideal for beginners to advanced, with the possibility to start easier and move the CS up a notch as you get more used to it.
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August 31, 2015, 10:23:56 PMReply #8

Offline BH

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Rob, awesome job documenting the build!

Looking forward to seeing your new drifter.

September 07, 2015, 09:07:38 PMReply #9

Offline Rob

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Re: Drift newb - 3Racing Sakura D4 AWD build and review (Updated Sep 7, 2015)
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2015, 09:07:38 PM »
So another Saturday of running means another update on the car.

The addition of the 1.5mm shim to the front belt bearing guide seems to have solved my problem of the front belt coming off. The car was run a lot this past Saturday. I got to run it for  about 1/2 hour first thing in the morning, then it was run by a few of the drifter guys throughout the day pretty regularly. Everyone that drove it had nothing but good things to say about it.

By the end of the day, I had to tighten the bottom kingpin ball on the left side twice because it was backing out of the knuckle. This is one of the two kingpin balls that I mentioned in my build that didn't grab well during installation. It is going to fail, I have no doubt about that and I expect it will be next Saturday. In the meantime, I have asked Fred to get me a few stock knuckles in his next order as well as trying to get me the aluminum hop up. I don't expect it to be available yet judging by the backorder status at some of the more popular Hong Kong mail order sites, so I'll have to make due with stock plastic ones in the meantime.

Overall, the car is turning out to be a great introduction to drifting for me. I've got a lot of laps to run before I can even come close to calling myself a drifter though, but I am having a blast learning.

Cheers!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I swapped out the esc for a reversing one. Made life a lot easier not having to run out on the track every second lap to pull the car out of a mess I got it into. By the end of my run, I wasn't running out onto the track as often, so there is always hope for me…..

Another point I forgot to mention. I played around with dialing out steering to try eliminating some of the CVD chatter I was seeing at full steering lock. It seems to have quieted down at around 90% steering according to my TX display and the car still has a ton of steering. I still think double Cardan joints should be installed, but if these work, I guess keeping it simple is the way to go.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 11:22:06 AM by Rob »
Rob  McRae

September 13, 2015, 01:24:08 PMReply #10

Offline Richie Rich

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Re: Drift newb - 3Racing Sakura D4 AWD build and review (Updated Sep 7, 2015)
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2015, 01:24:08 PM »
Joe Ferguson got a build video. http://youtu.be/HujAMBQ5o4E

Hey, if Joe can do it, so can you. Jokes, jokes.
Don't be intimidated in building RC. A nice new kit like this won't take that long to build.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2015, 10:54:07 PM by Richie Rich »
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November 27, 2015, 08:55:44 PMReply #11

Offline Rob

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Re: Drift newb - 3Racing Sakura D4 AWD build and review (Updated Sep 7, 2015)
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2015, 08:55:44 PM »
Time for an update on my Sakura D4.

I have been running it a bit on Saturday mornings at FredZ, but I mostly ended up letting other people run it while I watched the store. A few weeks ago it came back to me with a bit of damage and after getting it home I discovered that one of the front lower arm ball link ends that hold the steering knuckle was cracked, the steering knuckle lower ball had stripped  out the threads again and one of the upper arm ball links that mounts into the bulkhead cover had snapped off a portion of the bulkhead. Must have been a few really hard sideways hits on the walls I guess.
We had all the parts in stock except the bulkhead cover, so Fred ordered up some for me and a few extras for the wall.

The part arrived last week and along with it, some newly released 3 racing Aluminum knuckles.
While I was at it, I also installed some integy 7mm aluminum hex hubs to get those wheels out there…..
The car is all better now and ready to go for more play time.

I'm also happy to report that the front belt issue has continued to be a non-issue.



Rob  McRae

November 29, 2015, 02:59:05 PMReply #12

Offline BH

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Re: Drift newb - 3Racing Sakura D4 AWD build and review (Updated Nov 27, 2015)
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2015, 02:59:05 PM »
The front knuckles look great, It's cool they have sliding KPI adjustment.