The field of RC has numerous different facets; there’s really something for all. Among the areas I’ve set my sights on mastering is definitely the drift segment. It basically goes against everything I’ve learned with regards to driving sliding is better than grip, more power does not mean a quicker vehicle and tire compounds, well, plastic is preferable to rubber. So when 3Racing sent over their Axial Wraith, I had to scoop one as much as see what every one of the hoopla was using this drifter.
WHO MAKES 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 while watching motor or in the rear diffuser ?
• Aluminum motor mount ?
• Threaded shocks ?A great deal of tuning adjustment ?
• Extremely affordable pric
• Front drive belt slips away from the roller bearing
This drifter has a great deal going for it; well manufactured, lots of pretty aluminum and rolls in at a very economical price. Handling is useful as well after you become accustomed to the kit setup, plus it accepts a very wide range of body styles. There’s also a huge amount of tunability for those that want to tinker, and this car should grow along as the skills do.
The D4’s chassis is a 3mm sheet of FRP, or Fiber-Reinforced Plastic. It has cutouts on the bottom for your front and back diffs to peek through in addition to a bazillion countersunk holes. The majority of these can be used for mounting stuff like the bulkheads, servo and battery box, but there are quite a few left empty. They are often helpful to control chassis flex, however, not together with the stock top deck; an optional one must be found. The layout is similar to a regular touring car; front bulkhead/ suspension, steering system, electronics, battery box, motor mount system and finally the back bulkhead/ suspension. Everything is easily accessible and replaceable with just a couple of turns of some screws.
? Other than a couple of 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 used, both having dual support screws and stamped, metal shims to boost them up. The suspension arms have droop screws, anti-roll bar mounts and adjustable wheelbase shims. The back suspension uses vertical ball studs to deal with camber and roll while the front uses an interesting, dual pickup front Y-arm setup. This system allows the adjustment of camber, caster and roll and swings smoothly on lower and upper pivot balls. It’s actually quite unique and provides for some extreme camber settings.
? One important thing that’s pretty amazing with drift cars is definitely the serious volume of steering throw they already have. Starting with the bellcranks, they’re positioned as far apart and also as close to the edges of the chassis as you possibly can. This generates a massive 65° angle, enough to manage the D4 in the deepest of slides. Since drifters spend almost all of their time sideways, I needed an excellent servo to take care of the ceaseless 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 keep up with any steering angle changes I need it a moment’s notice.
? The D4 works with 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, in which the front and back belts meet. Pulleys maintain the front belt high over the chassis, and 3mm CVDs transfer the strength on the wheels. Standardized 12mm hexes are included allowing using a selection of different wheel and tire combos.
? To provide the D4 a little bit of beauty, I opted for 3Racing Wraith parts body from ABC Hobby. It is a beautiful replica of this car and included a slick list of decals, looking fantastic once mounted. I wasn’t sure the way to paint it, but I do remember a method I used a little while back that got some attention. So, I gave the RX-3 a shot of pearl white about the underside, but painted the fenders black externally. After everything was dry, I shot the outside using a coat of Tamiya Flat Clear. I love the final result … and yes it was easy. That’s good because I’m an incredibly impatient painter!
About The TRACK
With this test, I had the privilege of putting this four-wheel drifter on the iconic Tamiya track in Aliso Viejo, CA. I was heading there to complete a picture shoot for one more vehicle and thought, heck, why not take it along and get some sideways action?
The steering around the D4 is quite amazing. Because I mentioned earlier, the throw can be a whopping 65 degrees with zero interference through the parts. The CVD’s can turn that far, allowing smooth input of power at full lock. Though 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 amazing job of keeping the slide controlled and transferring the appropriate direction. This is, to some extent, thanks to the awesome handling of your D4, but the speedy Futaba servo.
Drifting is not about overall speed but wheel speed controlled. I realize that sounds odd, but when you’ve mastered the wheel speed of your drifter, you can control the angle of attack and the sideways motion through any corner. I stumbled upon Novak’s Drift Spec system allowed me to accomplish just that make controlled, smooth throttle alterations in alter the angle of your D4 where and when I needed. Sliding within a little shallow? Add more throttle to get the tail end to whip out. Starting to over cook the corner? Ease up a lttle bit and the D4 would get back in line. It’s all an issue of ? nesse, and the Novak system is ideal for just that. I did must be a bit creative with all the install in the system because of small space in the chassis, but overall it worked out great.
After driving hooked up touring cars for a time, it will require a little becoming accustomed to knowing that a vehicle losing grip and sliding is the right way throughout the track. It’s also good practice for managing throttle control when you obtain it, it’s beautiful. Getting a car and pitching it sideways by way of a sweeper, in the mean time keeping the nose pointed in at less than 2 or 3 inches in the curb … it’s actually very rewarding. It’s a controlled out of hand thing, as well as the D4 would it wonderfully. The kit setup is great, but if you think such as you require more of something anything there’s a lot of items to adjust. I just enjoyed the auto with the kit setup and it was only a point of a battery pack or two before I had been swinging the back throughout the hairpins, around the carousel and forward and backward throughout the chicane. I never had the chance to strap battery around the diffuser, but that’s something I’m looking towards.
There’s very little that you can do to damage a drift car they’re not really going everything fast. I did, however, provide an issue with the front belt’s bearing pulley mounted to the top deck. Throughout the initial run, it suddenly felt much like the D4 acquired a little bit drag brake. I kept with it, seeking to overcome the problem with driving, but soon had to RPM Team losi parts it directly into actually give it a look. During the build, the belt slips into a plastic ‘tunnel’ that may be maintained by a bearing, keeping it above any chassis mounted items like the ESC or servo. The belt, though, doesn’t sit square in the bearing; it’s half on and half off. So, if the drivetrain is spooling up, the belt will sometimes slide from the bearing, ?opping around and catching on anything it appears in touch with. To ?x this, I simply 3raccingSakura an extended screw with a number of 1mm shims to space the bearing out a bit more. Problem solved.