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Tamiya TT-02 Brushless Upgrade

After running the Tamiya Audi quattro Rallye A2 (TT-02) for some time with the original ESC and motor, we have reached the stage where we want to upgrade to a brushless power system at the same time as we want more power.

In this article we will take a look at the process of changing the standard Tamiya ESC and motor to a Hobbywing brushless system, and what to take into account while doing this upgrade.

Here's our starting point:

The first step is obviously to choose your upgrade electronics. Here you need to ask yourself what you want, how much money you want to spend, what are the limits of the car etc. etc.

For the ever popular Tamiya TT-02 chassis, it can take a bit more power in its standard form, but when you increase the speed it is a good idea to do some basic upgrades to the drivetrain, like an aluminium propeller shaft, alu propeller joints, a ball bearing set, as well as an aluminium motor mount.

You also need to consider the gearing choices, with optional pinions and spur gears possibly needed depending on your choice of power.

For this upgrade we chose to use the Hobbywing XR10 Justock Black 60A ESC and Xerun Justock 3650SD G2.1 13.5T motor.

This will give already quite a fast car, even with a standard 7.2V NiMh battery. The motor is also available in different power levels like 10.5T (more) and 17.5T (less). The Hobbywing electronics work reliably and give a great throttle feel, and is super easy to set-up, which is why we made this choice.

Once you have your new electronics, it's time to remove the existing ESC and motor from the car.

We also chose to remove the receiver box and mount the receiver directly on the servo at the same time as we make this upgrade.

Start the reassembly with mounting the motor. 

When replacing a motor to one with a different power output, you always need to consider what's a suitable gearing for the new power level.

Tamiya's manual has this helpul gearing table. If you are unsure what gearing you need, you can always ask us, but with a universally popular chassis like the TT-02, you will also quickly find advice online.

The rule of thumb is always, more power - shorter gearing (gear ratio number is higher/smaller pinion), less power - longer gearing (gear ratio number is lower/bigger pinion).

For this upgrade we chose to keep the standard gearing, because even with the 13.5T motor, we could use a longer gear. We could for example choose a 25T pinion for a longer gear and higher top speed. Tamiya makes it easy to change pinions with pre-drilled holes in the motor mount, for perfect gear mesh with different size pinions.

The Hobbywing XR10 Justock ESC is a sensored ESC, to go with the sensored Xerun Justock 3650SD motor. Remember to fit the included (with the motor) sensor wire. Attaching the sensore wire to the ESC, before fitting the ESC to the car, is easier with the TT-02 bathtub style chassis.

To join this particular ESC and motor combination, you need to solder the motor wires to the motor, as well as a battery connector to the battery wires. There are also some ESC/motor options with connectors readily installed, although soldering this is a simple job.

You can read more details about this is this previous article.

Because the Hobbywing ESC is small and there's plenty of space for it in the TT-02 chassis, the install is easy. Remember to take your time during installation. Double check every connection, and try to make a neat installation of the wires.

Once you have attached the ESC and on/off swith with double sided tape, soldered the connections, and attached the sensor wire, it's time to connect the ESC receiver wire to the receiver. The steering servo is always channel 1, and the ESC is channel 2. Make sure the polarity is right.

With the installation done, it's time for a calibration of the ESC.

Calibration essentially means matching your transmitter and ESC, by setting the 0 or neutral point, full throttle, as well as full brake settings.

On the Hobbywing ESC this is super easy as shown in the manual.

With that done, your newly upgraded TT-02 is ready to run again, and you can enjoy the power and feel of a quality brushless power system.

During the first runs, remember to check that the motor does not get overly hot. If that's the case, you need to consider your gearing ratio.

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