TT01E Project Drift



I recently purchased a TT01E to build my first purpose built drift car. As the car is now 97% complete, and I just have some finishing touches left, I thought I would start the thread, so here you go!

The Kit:

Tamiya TT01E Toyota 86

I Chose this particular kit for a couple of reasons over the drift ready kit. The drift kit is nice, but contains many things I personally did not need. I'm not using the stock motor, I don't need the L.E.D. kit, I didn't want the engine heat sink, and I didn't need the cheap oil filled dampers. The difference in price between the two kits could go towards more effective parts for this build. I purchased the TT01E kit for $129.99 CDN at a LHS.I love FT86/FRS/BRZ body style, but the best suited of the three for me would be the '86, due to the rich drift heritage of it's predecessor, the Trueno Haichi Roku, or AE'86, made "famous" in North America by Takumi in the epic anime series Initial D

Unboxing vid

The Parts:

Tamiya One Way Front Diff
Tamiya Aluminum Drive Shaft w/ cups
Tamiya Adjustable Upper A Arms
Tamiya Adjustable Toe Links
Traxxas 2075 Water Proof Servo
Traxxas Sealed Ball Bearings (full)
Traxxas 5000mah 7 cell hump pack
Traxxas Battery Connectors For Engine and Battery
3Racing Electronic Engine Heat Sink
Integy Aluminum Hex's
HPI factory Nitro RS4 3 Shocks with Tamiya TT01E Springs
G.T. Power RC L.E.D. Kit
Speed Gems Sapphire Motor

Still to buy:

Front CVD's
Countersteer Gears
Aluminum Steering Rack (the Tamiya one in stock was $80)
Rear Spool
Various Unnecessary But Pretty Aluminum Dress Up Items



I bought this kit mainly because I wanted a cheap capable front engine drift car, I know, I know, the TT01 is a rear engine car... but after doing a little "research" (YouTube) it was pretty clear to me that a midship conversion was not out of my skill set. The nice thing about the TT01 kits are that they are very symmetrical, heck, if you wanted to, you could build a 4WS (four wheel steering) version of this chassis... That would make a cool scale Skyline GTR or Prelude build, but that would for a different build on a different car in a different thread.

The Build:

I don't want to bore anyone with a bunch of pics of how to put together this entry level kit so I'll spare you the page flipping. A quick note on installing the aluminum drive shaft, after installing it I noticed quite a bit of play in the shaft and was concerned that it would cause premature wear so i stuck a couple of little rubber "O" ring inside the cups to stop the rattling.


As for the rear differential, the LHS didn't have the rear spool in stock when I was in, so rather than searching and waiting I took matters into my own hands and broke out the glue gun to permanently lock this sucker up, I still have a second one because of the front one way

The engine I chose to install first is an old Speed Gems Sapphire. The Speed Gems series was recently re-released and I always remember this engine having plenty of grunt when I had it in my Stadium Blitzer 15-20 years ago. I've never run it on 8.4 yet so I hope its good enough. Its been sitting around waiting for a purpose for a long time, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I also have an old Trinity Brian Kinwald I may try depending on the performance of this one

The biggest thing to tackle in the midship conversion is moving the steering rack to the rear of the car. The chassis layout from stock has a low steering rack and cutouts on the chassis for the links, but because there are no mounts or room for the steering rack in the rear. The steering rack has to share real estate where the motor is, so a new steering rack mount has to be fabricated. It was obvious to me while designing the midship conversion that the factory plastic upper brace wouldn't work, but it held the key to fabing up the midship. It gives accurate points to trace and lay out the dimensions for the placement of the steering rack posts. Note the post supports at the very right of the upper brace

I made a rough template of the new upper support out of the plastic brace to transfer over to the custom upper brace

Then I transferred the the template over to some aluminum pate and fabed up an aluminum upper support


Smoothed and sanded

Finished off with some "speed" holes

From this pic you can see how I set up the new steering mount. I removed the bottom plastic washer from the bottom of the steering arms, and screwed in some Traxxas Revo steering mounts to some machine screws. The fit is almost perfect. I'll explain why i didn't use the factory steering posts in a little bit.

To control the steering from a servo, a custom horn had to be fabricated. This was done simply by making an"L" shaped bracket that pivoted on the steering rack arms. I didn't modify the factory arms at all. On the one end of the custom horn there is a large hole that slips over the rear end of the rack arms and a small hole that mounts the horn to the pivot point of the rack. The remaining end will connect to the servo.

Next was to connect the rack to the tie ends of the front hubs. This is where I used the Tamiya steering posts. Since they're threaded all of the way through, they allowed me to extend the ackerman points of the hubs up to the new height
of the modified steering rack. I threaded through a machine screw through the front hubs, used two more Traxxas steering bushings to set the screw tight and threaded on the Tamiya threaded steering posts. I then took the ball pins out of the Tamiya adjustable toe links and screwed them in to the steering posts with a couple of nuts for spacers. After fitment I Locktited the entire assembly to keep it from backing out.

Next up was the servo mounting. Having RC's for years and knowing to never throw out old parts after they had been upgraded I utilized an old set of servo mounts and the set that was provided in the kit and cut another small piece of aluminum

other side with more "speed" holes - lol

Then after some careful and precise eyeballing, I drilled and countersunk two new holes in the chassis

Now some of you may be asking "why did he mount the servo so far back in the chassis?" I had an ulterior motive for this... I have a single aluminum toe link from my Revo that doesn't have a partner, and its so pretty, I had to use it. It also gives me room to mount the ESC close to the motor so I can keep the length of the wires to a minimum, the less resistance the better! I had to grind off a bit off the Tamiya servo horn, and the end link of the Traxxas toe link. I intend to pick up a new servo horn sans servo saver and replace the end link as well


I still have to build and install the custom battery strap for the 7cell hump pack, but am toying with the idea of cutting the battery apart and setting three cells on top of four to really move the weight up front. Only time will tell!