The industry of RC has several different facets; there’s really something for everyone. One of several areas I’ve set my sights on mastering is definitely the drift segment. It basically goes against everything I’ve learned when it comes to driving sliding is superior to grip, more power does not necessarily mean a quicker vehicle and tire compounds, well, plastic surpasses rubber. When 3Racing sent over their Axial Wraith, I had to scoop one up to see what every one of the hoopla was using this type of drifter.
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: 3Racing
WHO IT’S FOR: Any level of drift enthusiast
PART NUMBER: KIT-D4AWD
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 in front of the motor or around the rear diffuser ?
• Aluminum motor mount ?
• Threaded shocks ?A great deal of tuning adjustment ?
• Extremely affordable pric
• Front drive belt slips from the roller bearing
This drifter has considerably opting for it; well manufactured, a lot of pretty aluminum and rolls in with a very reasonable price. Handling is useful as well when you get used to the kit setup, and it accepts an extremely wide variety of body styles. There’s also a lot of tunability for those that love to tinker, so this car should grow with you when your skills do.
The D4’s chassis is really a 3mm sheet of FRP, or Fiber-Reinforced Plastic. It has cutouts on the bottom for your front and back diffs to peek through and also a bazillion countersunk holes. Many of these can be used as mounting stuff like the bulkheads, servo and battery box, but you can find quite a few left empty. They are often utilized to control chassis flex, although not with the stock top deck; an optional you need to be purchased. The design is just like an ordinary touring car; front bulkhead/ suspension, steering system, electronics, battery box, motor mount system and finally the rear bulkhead/ suspension. All things are readily accessible and replaceable with just a couple turns of some screws.
? Other than a number of interesting pieces, a drifter’s suspension is much like a touring car’s. A single A and D mount and separate B and C mounts are used, both having dual support screws and stamped, metal shims to improve them up. The suspension arms have droop screws, anti-roll bar mounts and adjustable wheelbase shims. The back suspension uses vertical ball studs to handle camber and roll as the front uses an intriguing, dual pickup front Y-arm setup. This product 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 important thing that’s pretty amazing with drift cars is the serious amount of steering throw they already have. Beginning from the bellcranks, they’re positioned as far apart so that as near to the edges of the chassis as possible. This results in a massive 65° angle, enough to manipulate the D4 in even the deepest of slides. Since drifters spend most of their time sideways, I needed a good servo to take care of the continual countersteering enter Futaba’s S9551 Low-Pro? le Digital Servo.
Without needing anything near its 122 oz. of torque, the .11 speed is de? nitely enough to take care of 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 tremendous, 92T 48P spur is connected to the central gear shaft, the location where the front and back belts meet. Pulleys maintain the front belt high over the chassis, and 3mm CVDs transfer the energy towards the wheels. Standardized 12mm hexes are included to permit the use of a variety of different wheel and tire combos.
? To provide the D4 a bit of beauty, I prefered 3Racing Wraith parts body from ABC Hobby. This is a beautiful replica of the car and included a slick group of decals, looking fantastic once mounted. I wasn’t sure how to paint it, having said that i do remember a technique I used a while back that got a bit of attention. So, I gave the RX-3 a shot of pearl white about the underside, but painted the fenders black on the exterior. After everything was dry, I shot the outer having a coat of Tamiya Flat Clear. I love the very last result … and yes it was easy. That’s good because I’m a very impatient painter!
In The TRACK
For this test, I had the privilege of putting this four-wheel drifter down on the iconic Tamiya track in Aliso Viejo, CA. I found myself heading there to accomplish an image shoot for an additional vehicle and thought, heck, why not take it along and have some sideways action?
The steering around the D4 is pretty amazing. While I mentioned earlier, the throw is really a whopping 65 degrees with zero interference from any parts. Even CVD’s can change that far, allowing smooth input of power at full lock. Although it does look a little bit funny with all the tires turned that far (remember, I’m a touring car guy), the D4 does an incredible job of keeping the slide controlled and moving in the appropriate direction. This is, in part, on account of the awesome handling in the D4, but also the speedy Futaba servo.
Drifting is not really about overall speed but wheel speed controlled. I understand that sounds odd, but once you’ve mastered the wheel speed of the drifter, it is possible to control the angle of attack as well as the sideways motion through any corner. I came across Novak’s Drift Spec system allowed me to accomplish that make controlled, smooth throttle changes in affect the angle from the D4 where and when I needed. Sliding in a little shallow? Increase the throttle to have the tail end to whip out. Starting to over cook the corner? Ease up somewhat along with the D4 would get right back in line. It’s all an issue of ? nesse, and also the Novak system is for exactly that. I did must be just a little creative with the install in the system due to small space on the chassis, but overall it resolved great.
After driving connected touring cars for quite a while, it does take a little getting used to knowing that an auto losing grip and sliding is correctly around the track. It’s also good practice for managing throttle control once you have it, it’s beautiful. Having a car and pitching it sideways via a sweeper, all the while keeping the nose pointed in at below two or three inches in the curb … it’s actually very rewarding. It’s a controlled out of control thing, and the D4 can it wonderfully. The kit setup is useful, but if you think as if you require more of something anything there’s plenty of what you should adjust. I actually enjoyed the vehicle with the kit setup plus it was just an issue of a battery pack or two before I found myself swinging the rear round the hairpins, round the carousel and back and forth with the chicane. I never had the opportunity to strap the battery about the diffuser, but that’s something I’m eager for.
There’s little you could do to damage a drift car they’re not really going everything fast. I have done, however, offer an trouble with the front belt’s bearing pulley mounted to the top level deck. Throughout the initial run, it suddenly felt much like the D4 acquired a bit drag brake. I kept by using it, seeking to overcome the problem with driving, but soon were required to RPM Team losi parts it straight into actually look it over. Throughout the build, the belt slips in a plastic ‘tunnel’ that may be supported by a bearing, keeping it above any chassis mounted such things as the ESC or servo. The belt, though, doesn’t sit square on the bearing; it’s half on and half off. So, if the drivetrain is spooling up, the belt will sometimes slide away from the bearing, ?opping around and catching on anything it will come in contact with. To ?x this, I simply 3raccingSakura a longer screw with a few 1mm shims to space the bearing out a little more. Problem solved.