Wednesday, July 1, 2009

F104 With TR Decals

This is the new F104 from Tamiya with our new "TR" decals.
The F104 is 2008 season based and is a generic body shape. Our new "TR" decals are 2009 season based so a few of the decals require triming. The Bull is very large and requires the most trimming.
With a little work we think the body came out looking good.
This is the kit body but a rear Chevron wing is used as it has more of a 2009 shape than the stock Tamiya wing allowing the use of the Red Bull decal on the rear wing.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tamiya F104!!!!!!

So the big question is " Will my F103R go limp on the grid next to the F104?"

Well yesterday at the Shizouka Hobby show here in Japan we had a chance to see the car and meet the designer.

Looking at the pictures of the car in magazines the chassis didn't look like much. Seeing it in person and get the talk with the designer shined a light on a few things.

"How do you get the battery in and out?" Most of the cars with center batteries require some wrenching to get the battery out. The F104 has a very slick system to remove and replace the battery. Take a quick look at the picture on the left.
The battery acts as a lever of sorts for the receiver and speed control mounts pivot. To put the battery in you slide it in at an angle,as the battery is moved to the rear and centered the receiver and speed control move with the battery to line them back up.When the battery is completely moved back into its cradle a lock held in with two body clips is installed. That's it. It take about two seconds.

"What about the front suspension?" The front suspension also has a few tricks up its sleeve.Of course its is a link type suspension. That is easy to see in the picture,but what inst is that the camber is adjustable. Again looking at the picture to the left,notice the two nuts,one for the front wing and the other for the suspension arm. This is actually a plate that is reversible. You have the choice of zero or negative camber. Also you can adjust the ride height in the front suspension. Tamiya has went to larger wheels,this allows the use of standard F103 uprights and two spacers. The spacers can be moved from the top and bottom to adjust to your ride height choice.

"Look at that diff whats going on?" Its a classic Tamiya diff with a few new ideas. First there is no thrust bearing just some roller bearings and the pressure discs. Adjusting the diff requires removing the wheel and removing the pin that hold the threaded cap on to get at the adjusting nut. So you can remove the wheel without having to reset your diff.

"Will the gear box explode if i hit the left side hub?" Well yes! The left side of the plastic gearbox is even thinner than the F103. So Tamiya will sell you a set of alloy side plates for the F104. Its the first time Tamiya has ever made the left side in alloy,finally!!

" Those tires sure look big" They are big. 44mm tall. The front are 30mm wide and the rear are 35mm wide. Tall and skinny just like the current F1 cars. The wheels are sort of an illusion. To make them look like real F1 tires they have molded a foam pattern in the wheel lip. Its a little hard to see in the picture but the effect is a nice touch.

"That body looks great!" It sure does! Tamiya went with the Chevron approach and made the body out of different pieces. The only thing bad is they are still using the F1 helmet from 20 years ago. The HPI F10 has a nice new style helmet that would look great on the Tamiya F104 body. One nice detail about the body is that the rear hugs the gear box to direct air to the motor.

"Whats not to like?" Well the tie rods at at a very strange angle,bump steer might be an issue. Also link type suspension isn't loved by all. Most feel it cause to much over steer. It might be hard getting the front to act correctly. The center battery is not a proven way of doing business.
Most enjoy the battery weight in the rear.

"What about my first question? Will my F103 go limp?" No!! Its still an F1 chassis. There isn't any reason why the F104 and F103R cant be classed the same. The F104 is a nice bit of kit but the F103 is a legend. It will be hard for the F104 to over shadow the F103 on the circuit.

Monday, May 11, 2009

D-Drive Sports Alloy Gearbox

D-Drive Sports is proud to announce our in alloy gearbox for the Tamiya F103. Our gearbox is the product of over 10 years of F103 research and tuning.

Many elements of the gearbox are to improve the performance and reliability of the rear pod. Here we will go into the details of our gearbox and explain the features.
First the gearbox is of course alloy. With the Alloy gearbox you do not have to worry about the Height adjusters blowing out. Also you will not have to worry about the friction damper screws stripping out of busting off.

The gearbox does use Tamiya height adjusters so you don’t have to worry about not being able to find height adjusters.

Gearing selection is also improved on this gearbox, as it is possible to use a 32t pinion gear. If you are updating to Life batteries the larger pinion gears allow you to make up for the fact that the Life is only 6.6V. Also the extra space helps with F103GT gear choice.

The rear of our gearbox has 5 adjustable heights. Now this might sound like overkill but with the current wings from Tech Racing the extra height adjust gets the wing more up in the air.

The front has the center mount along the two standard mount holes. The center hole allows the use of three screws to mount your friction plate such as the friction plate from Square.

The gearbox does come with the hex head screws required to assemble the gearbox but you will need the 4 machine screws required to mount the gearbox to your “T” bar. Also you will be required to have Tamiya height adjusters.

The gearbox does come in Silver and Flat Black. Available in our online shop now.
Thank you

D-Drive Sports

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monocoque Makes Round 1

Three Monocoque chassis cars competed in Round one here at D-Drive Sports. The lower deck is complete,but the upper half of the chassis is still going through changes. You will see in these pictures that some of these chassis have been trimmed to fit different bodies. All of these cars are being used as test mules with a number of different bodies to find a the best design for the upper portion to allow a huge selection of bodies.
You will also notice that the batteries have been held in in different ways to the drivers liking.

I would like to say that the Monocoque swept the Super A main but they did not. There were no problems with the chassis but the drivers that are testing/abusing the chassis are not A main drivers,but they were faster than the previous lap times prior to using the Monocoque.
Here you can see the different cuts on the cockpit for different bodies.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Monocoque Chassis Pictures

This is our monocoque chassis that we have been working on. This is a two piece chassis that replaces the top and bottom chassis plates on the Tamiya F103. The chassis is made from Carbon reinforced plastic just like our front suspension arms. The chassis when assembled is very stiff. The servo is mount with the standard Tamiya servo mount,but what make this special is the screw are anchored to the top of the chassis. Also the rear suspension arm bolt is also anchored to the top of the chassis.

You can see here in this picture that you can use the standard Tamiya battery mounts. They simply fit between the two piece of the chassis.

Chassis Pictures

Here are a few pictures of the chassis that the Brabham BT44 body will be built for. The battery is mounted down the middle allowing the narrow bodies to fit.
Here you can see the links and the ball part of the rear suspension.
This chassis will use the standard Tamiya parts for both the front suspension and the rear gear box.