The field of RC has lots of different facets; there’s really something for everybody. One of several areas I’ve set my sights on mastering is the drift segment. It basically is the opposite of everything I’ve learned when it comes to driving sliding is better than grip, more power does not necessarily mean a quicker vehicle and tire compounds, well, plastic is preferable to rubber. When 3Racing sent over their Axial Wraith, I needed to scoop one up to see what each of the hoopla was with this particular drifter.
AT A GLANCE
WHO Can Make It: 3Racing
WHO IT’S FOR: Any level of drift enthusiast
PART NUMBER: KIT-D4AWD
Exactly How Much: $115.00
BUILD TYPE: Kit
• AWD for quick learning ?
• Narrow 3mm FRP chassis ?
• Wide, high-angle dual bellcrank steering ?
• Highly adjustable front, Y-arm suspension ?
• Battery positioning ahead of the motor or about the rear diffuser ?
• Aluminum motor mount ?
• Threaded shocks ?Plenty of tuning adjustment ?
• Extremely affordable pric
• Front drive belt slips off of the roller bearing
This drifter has a great deal opting for it; well manufactured, a lot of pretty aluminum and rolls in at a very affordable price. Handling is nice as well once you become accustomed to the kit setup, and it accepts a very great deal of body styles. There’s also a ton of tunability for people who like to tinker, and this car should grow along when your skills do.
The D4’s chassis is really a 3mm sheet of FRP, or Fiber-Reinforced Plastic. They have cutouts on the bottom for the front and back diffs to peek through together with a bazillion countersunk holes. Most of these can be used for mounting things such as the bulkheads, servo and battery box, but there are several left empty. They are often employed to control chassis flex, yet not with the stock top deck; an optional one must be obtained. The layout is comparable to a regular touring car; front bulkhead/ suspension, steering system, electronics, battery box, motor mount system and lastly the back bulkhead/ suspension. Things are all readily accessible and replaceable with just a few turns of some screws.
? Other than a few interesting pieces, a drifter’s suspension is very similar to a touring car’s. An individual A and D mount and separate B and C mounts are being used, both having dual support screws and stamped, metal shims to raise them up. The suspension arms have droop screws, anti-roll bar mounts and adjustable wheelbase shims. The rear suspension uses vertical ball studs to manage camber and roll as the front uses a fascinating, dual pickup front Y-arm setup. This method allows the adjustment of camber, caster and roll and swings smoothly on upper and lower pivot balls. It’s actually quite unique and enables some extreme camber settings.
? One thing that’s pretty amazing with drift cars may be the serious level of steering throw they have got. Beginning from the bellcranks, they’re positioned as far apart and as near the edges of your chassis as possible. This produces a massive 65° angle, enough to control the D4 in the deepest of slides. Since drifters spend the majority of their time sideways, I needed a great servo to keep up with the constant countersteering enter Futaba’s S9551 Low-Pro? le Digital Servo.
Whilst not needing anything near its 122 oz. of torque, the .11 speed is de? nitely enough to keep up with any steering angle changes I want it a moment’s notice.
? The D4 relies on a dual belt design, spinning a front, fluid-filled gear differential and rear spool. A huge, 92T 48P spur is attached to the central gear shaft, the location where the front and rear belts meet. Pulleys retain the front belt high over the chassis, and 3mm CVDs transfer the energy for the wheels. Standardized 12mm hexes are included to enable the use of a assortment of different wheel and tire combos.
? To offer the D4 a certain amount of beauty, I prefered 3racing Sakura D4 body from ABC Hobby. This is a beautiful replica on this car and included a slick set of decals, looking fantastic once mounted. I wasn’t sure how to paint it, nevertheless i do remember a method I used a little while back that got a bit of attention. So, I gave the RX-3 a shot of pearl white on the underside, but painted the fenders black on the outside. After everything was dry, I shot the exterior having a coat of Tamiya Flat Clear. I adore the very last result … and it also was easy. That’s good because I’m a really impatient painter!
ON THE TRACK
Just for this test, I had the privilege of putting this four-wheel drifter upon the iconic Tamiya track in Aliso Viejo, CA. I found myself heading there to perform a photograph shoot for the next vehicle and thought, heck, why not bring it along and acquire some sideways action?
The steering around the D4 is fairly amazing. When I mentioned earlier, the throw can be a whopping 65 degrees with zero interference through the parts. Even the CVD’s can turn that far, allowing smooth input of power at full lock. While it does look a little bit funny together with the tires turned that far (remember, I’m a touring car guy), the D4 does an incredible job of keeping the slide controlled and transferring the appropriate direction. This really is, partly, because of the awesome handling of your D4, but also the speedy Futaba servo.
Drifting is not about overall speed but wheel speed controlled. I understand that sounds odd, but when you’ve mastered the wheel speed of the drifter, you are able to control the angle of attack along with the sideways motion through any corner. I stumbled upon Novak’s Drift Spec system allowed me to accomplish exactly that make controlled, smooth throttle adjustments to affect the angle in the D4 where and when I needed. Sliding in a little shallow? Increase the throttle to get the tail end to whip out. Starting to over cook the corner? Ease up a little and the D4 would get right back in line. It’s all a point of ? nesse, and the Novak system is designed for simply that. I did so really need to be a bit creative using the install of the system due to only a little space around the chassis, but overall it resolved great.
After driving hooked up touring cars for quite a while, it can do have a little becoming accustomed to understanding that a vehicle losing grip and sliding is correctly around the track. It’s also good practice for managing throttle control when you obtain it, it’s beautiful. Taking a car and pitching it sideways via a sweeper, while keeping the nose pointed in at under a couple of inches through the curb … it’s actually very rewarding. It’s a controlled unmanageable thing, as well as the D4 would it wonderfully. The kit setup is nice, but if you feel as if you need more of something anything there’s lots of things to adjust. I just enjoyed the automobile together with the kit setup and yes it was only a point of battery power pack or two before I was swinging the back around the hairpins, round the carousel and back and forth throughout the chicane. I never had an opportunity to strap battery around the diffuser, but that’s something I’m looking towards.
There’s not much you can do to damage a drift car they’re not really going all that fast. I did so, however, provide an issue with the top belt’s bearing pulley mounted to the top deck. Throughout the initial run, it suddenly felt like the D4 acquired just a little drag brake. I kept from it, trying to overcome the issue with driving, but soon needed to RPM Team losi parts it in to actually check it out. Through the build, the belt slips right into a plastic ‘tunnel’ that is certainly maintained by a bearing, keeping it above any chassis mounted such things as the ESC or servo. The belt, though, doesn’t sit square in the bearing; it’s half on and half off. So, when the drivetrain is spooling up, the belt will sometimes slide off the bearing, ?opping around and catching on anything it will come in touch with. To ?x this, I simply 3raccingSakura a lengthier screw with a couple of 1mm shims to space the bearing out a little more. Problem solved.