Tuesday, March 7, 2017


You know it's gonna be a good evening when you come home from work and see that mysterious little cardboard box with EMS carbon copy paperwork on the front of it sitting at your door.  Even though I knew what was in it, this delivery was just like the rest and I couldn't wait to get it inside and rip into the recent goodies I had ordered for my Yokomo Doripake (Drift Package).  As I laid everything out, I set down the new Yokomo Pit Mat that was just one of the presents inside my package as a fresh slate to lay the new parts onto and take some photos.  I couldn't pass up this photo of the strangely curious shadow that the evening sunset was casting on some 1/10th Kazama springs.

After months of uncertainty and wavering, I had finally decided that I was going to convert my Yokomo MR4TC-SD to a RWD chassis and install a gyro for realistic drifting. With a plan in mind, I set out and researched all the parts I would be needing to make my dream build happen.  As the Banzai Hobby shopping cart grew and grew, I checked-in periodically to make sure that all my essential parts were still in stock, and to see if any of the unnecessary bling goods I wanted had become available.  I finally felt comfortable with placing my order, had just gotten a nice tax refund bonus and pulled the trigger.  When everything finally (just 6 working days later) arrived from Japan, I was too overwhelmed to know where to start.

I was really excited to start my first real 1:10 shock build.  The original plan was to go with Overdose shock caps, spring perches and all the other goodies - but like most of their products for the drift package, the fact that they were out of stock forced me more in the direction of the 'Ver.2 Gradeup Conversion for Drift Package' which is just Yokomo's fancy shock kit.  I had already purchased the Kazama springs to go along with my eventual shock build, and lucky for me the white springs happened to be the soft setting ones!

Additionally, I wanted to use the Kazama WPC treated shock piston shafts, because you know they'll totally and absolutely make a difference.  Being the oblivious dweeb that I am, I accidentally put the shafts for Tamiya TRF in my shopping cart instead of the ones I needed and I didn't realize until I went ahead and attempted step one of the shock build.  I placed my first C-Clip on the shaft, slid the plastic piston over top and then realized I was going to have problems.  There was no way I was going to comfortably get the top C-Clip to sit into its rightful place - it's amazing how much of a difference just about 1mm can really make.  Back to the internet, and another order to be placed for my flub-up.

Since everything for the build was already laid out and the sun was shining through the window, I figured what a perfect time to just go ahead and snap some nice shots of the parts themselves!  I've never built RC shocks with these pretty, anodized metal parts - it's always been the janky plastic mold components that come in the kits, with nubs still sticking off everything because I was too lazy to trim and file them down properly.

With the shocks put on hold, I moved onto what would be such a minor part replacement but play such a big role in the transformation of my chassis to RWD.  I previously had the Yokomo FCD metal gears with solid axle set-up in my rear diff.  With the ratio of those overdrive gears, I can't even imagine what the car would probably be trying to do after all power was being transferred to the rear drivetrain.  I researched the Type-C RWD conversion kit, and it appears to use the stock rear diff gearing, so I snatched up a new solid rear axle set with the stock plastic gears.  I spent a good few minutes cleaning out the housing, as I always seemed to have issues with the previously installed metal gears and I wanted to be sure all the new parts had a fresh home to seat into.

Input axle penetrating through the front side of the diff housing, and the aluminum spur gear adapter grub screwed into place.  I'm really digging how my new Yokomo pit mat makes such an amazing background for these gleaming blue parts.

Back to the RWD conversion research - I pulled up one of Yokomo's team driver's suggested chassis set-up sheets and noted that an 80-Tooth spur gear was suggested for appropriate final gearing.  My last purchase included this fresh black gear made by Axon for Yokomo.  I opted to dismiss my off-colored blue Overdose spur gear holder this time, and I like the clean look of the black gear against the blue input shaft and adapter.

With the pinion side of things squared away, I moved back to the drive gear and dropping it into position.  I made sure to purchase different sizes of gear shims this time in case I ran into issues similar to what I faced in the past.  One shim on each side, and slid the bearings on both ends had the whole axle sitting perfectly in place.

The rear cover got bolted back on, and a quick turn of all the axles and the input shaft proved that everything was spinning smoothly and properly.

The entire rear section slid perfectly back into place through the motor mount and down onto the chassis.  It's absolutely lovely how simple and pain free it is to work on the drift package chassis. 

Correct final drive ratio called for a 28-Tooth pinion gear, per Yoshiba-san.  Since this is my first delve into RWD drifting, I'm really trying to start myself off strong with a good baseline to make changes and improvements.  I'm taking the word of factory driver, Hayato Yoshiba, with his setting sheet specs.  I also love the little 'It's PERFECT' card that comes in each Kawada pinion gear package.

Pinion gear all screwed into place and positioned just right.  I love how the Kawada gears almost have a black chrome finish to them, which really contributes to this whole silver-carbon, anodized blue, silver and black theme of the car.

My version 1 Overdose motor mount is one of their earlier parts they made which was actually for more than just show.  The adjustability and capability of this piece is great, and makes combinations for fitting the motor and sliding into just the right spot flawless.  At this point I was getting really excited again for how the chassis was shaping back up, and although I was losing steam, I wasn't ready to stop tinkering with the fresh new goodies that came in.

So I moved onto something a little more mindless and simple - I straight ripped this idea off of GenkiRF from MadHouse.  But I absolutely love how this is both a functional, yet simple aesthetic addition.  I mated some Square body pin wire with a normal silver body pin on one side, and screwed it down into place on the chassis with a blue Square aluminum lock nut. 

Of course, the Overdose battery post and mount set was out of stock too so I had to dish out the big bucks (sarcasm) for a stock Yokomo set.  At least now I have a stock battery holder for the original plastic tub chassis which I'm hoping to revive and have available for friends to drive.  After this, I tinkered a little further but I could feel my mind losing focus and figured it was time to call it quits for the evening.  I'm really happy with how everything is coming together, and my goal is to have the car running before Formula Drift Long Beach so I can drive with the Vertex guys at their booth this year.  The correct Kazama shock shafts should hopefully be on their way, so the next step in the build will (hopefully) be the suspension - Stay tuned!
武士道 - B U S H I D O!

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