There is a small bit of extra work to do to the gearbox before it gets fitted to the chassis, and that is assembling the slipper clutch. Tamiya include a 79T 48dp spur gear which is placed between two dark grey slipper pads and two aluminium slipper plates, then clamped down with a chunky slipper spring. This spring is much larger than the spring that was fitted to my old Durga, and comes with two aluminium spacers to keep it clear of the slipper shaft. Tamiya’s suggested setting is 1.5mm, we’ll see how close that is after a few runs.
The rear shock tower is a really chunky piece, 4mm thick, and after a few bits of hardware are fitted, it is ready to go on to the aluminium gearbox, helped by a couple of substantial pegs which should stop it moving around. The camber link holes overlap one another, which hopefully won’t prove to be a weakness. The camber links use steel turnbuckles for durability, and the ball studs are steel as well. The wing mounts are from the TRF201 and are apparently weaker than the ones from the 4wd buggies. The tower is drilled for either. There a quite a few screws of subtly different lengths needed here and I must confess to getting in a right mess the first time I put it together, so take your time!
The chassis is very nicely finished (as you would expect) with a champagne-gold finish, careful machining to reduce weight, and a few intricate bends to make sure everything is in the right place. Not only is there a kick-up at the front, but there is also a step at the rear under the gearbox. At 3mm thick, it is very stiff, and shows no sign of flexing in the hand.
At this point, you start to get that “prototype” feel that makes TRF’s so special. Although the side guards on the chassis are plastic, they are machined rather than moulded, as are a few of the other parts. It makes the car feel like an authentic limited edition. The detail on the aluminium posts is also fantastic, with small notches to make sure the parts locate positively into the chassis and the uniform glow of the blue anodising.
The rear of the chassis is one area where it starts to get a bit fiddly though, with a lot of extra spacers needed to make everything line up. It would have been nice to have a couple of custom parts in this area instead. Nonetheless, it works, although I don’t look forward to taking it apart at the track. For the metal-to-metal connections through the chassis I’ve been using a dab of the Tamiya AG threadlock to stop parts shaking loose.
The rear suspension arms are from the DB01, with hubs from the XV-01, and a small amount of material needs to be ground away to stop them fouling the diff outdrives at full compression (After the photo was taken, I used my Dremel with a small sanding drum to create a millimetre of so of extra clearance). I used a little of the Mugen Super Grease to lubricate the suspension balls. The suspension mounts give plenty of scope for adjustment (with optional shims and parts), but are a bit fiddly to line up. The buggy also comes fitted with a comical plastic “bumper” which won’t do much in the event of a crash!
Final step in Bag B is to build the driveshafts (which use clips instead of grub screws to hold the pin in place – a vast improvement), put them in the hubs and fit the camber links. Interestingly, Tamiya suggest a specific orientation for the clips, which might have something to do with stopping them from loosening up under power. Again, I use the Mugen Super Grease as a lubricant instead of Tamiya’s light ceramic grease.
And that is the end of Bag B – and the end of this instalment of my build blog.