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My love for drifting began with a poorly modified Tamiya TA03 some 5 years ago. With limited success, I have more recently decided to go for a kit that was actually designed for drifting. The3Racing Sakura D3 CS Sport is just that, offering great adjustability for a surprisingly low entry price. It’s worth noting that RCGeeks sell a pre-built version (rolling chassis kit) for not a lot more, but I opted to learn a little about the car as I built it up. I’ll be taking photos as I go along to document the progress, click them for a bigger version. 005-PEX_8903 First a few details about the chassis. The CS in the name refers to the counter steering abilities of the chassis. Large steering lock angles should be possible thanks to specially designed front arms and driveshaft. Live axles will help the chassis break traction on a range of surfaces, although I may change the front one out in the future. Finally the front motor mount should give it the FR (front engine, rear wheel drive) feel of many real drift cars and it’s triple belt drive setup promises a smooth power delivery. 002-PEX_8898 As a kit the Sakura comes with no electronics or body. You will need a motor, speed controller, steering servo, battery, transmitter and receiver to get it running. This is intended as a fairly budget build so I’ll be repurposing my HPI Plazma 2S 3000mAh batteryand my programmable 35A/9T Hobbywing EZRun brushless motor/ESC combo. Having only used stick controllers in the past, I’ll be moving to the more popular wheel-type. I’ve opted for the Hobbyking GT-2 2 channel transmitter/receiver to control it. 003-PEX_8899 It’s an inexpensive entry-level system but should be fine for my uses. Further to this I’ll be employing a simple blue bird servo for steering duty. 045-PEX_8984 My previous cars were mostly held together with cross head screws. This kit predominantly features hex bolts, so to make my life easier (and because they look nice) I opted for the 3Racing tool kit. 046-PEX_8986 With 1.5, 2.0, 2.5mm hex wrenches and a 7.0mm socket for the wheel nuts it covers a good 80% of the kits’ fixings and comes in a soft (carbon effect) holster case for a reasonable price. 006-PEX_8906 Unboxing the kit you are presented with the plastic chassis plate, 11 well-labelled bags of components, a sticker sheet and a clear instruction manual. Helpfully it comes with two viscosities of oil for the shock absorbers and a turnbuckle tool too. 007-PEX_8910 We begin by building the suspension arms for the chassis. 008-PEX_8912 Helpfully the block mount parts are labelled clearly to assist building, eg. FRL as Front set, rear section, left. 009-PEX_8913 Before mounting them to the chassis plate. 010-PEX_8920 Along with building and mounting the belt tensioner post. 011-PEX_8915 Onto the second bag and I built the steering arm and link system before mounting it to the plate. 013-PEX_8918 Part 3 and it’s time to build the bulkheads. The kit comes with a pink anodized aluminium motor mount and spacers. I’ll admit the colouring isn’t for everyone. These are the first of several of the anodized parts that really brighten up the kit. 013-PEX_8918 (1) Then it’s on to building the solid axles. 014-PEX_8919 Ensure you use the right belts and take note of the bearing holders as they are marked according to side (B being the nearside) 015-PEX_8923 Ensure you use the correct belts front to back. The rear is slightly longer. 016-PEX_8924 I followed the instructions and set the tension to the default setting front and rear. 017-PEX_8925 With the bulkheads completed, axles and drive belts fitted it seems a logical time to pause. Tune in tomorrow for the next part of our build series.

Written by

Tom Begley

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