My Xsara WRC TT-01 when it arrived
I discovered this chassis during a live transaction with Teamneogordini from the Vintage-RC. We made a run and I discovered his Subaru Impreza WRC which is based upon the same chassis and I had a lot of fun with it. So now, after running alone for some time, we'll now try to run together.
So, I only had to find the kit and the options I wanted...
On the left, my Citroen Xsara WRC "Rallye de Monte Carlo 2004", and on the right, the chassis and the hop ups I will install. The hop ups are: aluminum propeller shaft (53620), metal motor mount (53666), turnbuckle tie rod set (53662), hydraulic dampers (53619), ball bearing set (53497), Rally Block tires (50476 to replace the provided slick tires), rims (51021) and I decided to install a rear bumper to better protect to rear of the bodyshell (51007). I will keep the Mabuchi 540 stock silver can.
Complete chassis overview with almost all hop ups installed (OK it's hard to see . As for the tires, I am waiting for the rims to install them. So I will have two sets of wheels, one for the ground the other for asphalt. Well, this is mainly due to the fact that I didn't managed to unglue the slick tires from the rims, even by boiling them into water for over half an hour. Some also try acetone but I don't want to risk melting the rims or destroying the tires).
Modifications on the TT-01 chassis
Apart from the above hop ups, I will install a chassis protection, still upon Teamneogordini's advice. The TT-01, as well as the Baja King TL-01B, gathers all the ground and pebbles that wheels project. On the chassis, there is no room left and a single pebble can block either the steering servo mechanism or the propeller shaft and this can cause severe damages. There is a Tamiya model that has a chassis cover that come over the bathtub chassis to protect it. Meant for another chassis (the TB-01), it should be easy to adapt it to the TT-01. There are several holes under the battery pack that can easily be protected: a simple plastic sheet will do the job (since the battery pack will maintain it). Other holes are located under the motor (probably to evacuate motor heat): same method, I used a plastic sheet that I placed under the motor to fill the holes.
Here is a photo of the chassis with the plastic cover on. Of course, it needs new scotch taping every time I change or charge the battery pack:
After the first run, these protections reveal to be quite efficient, but not perfect. Pebbles can still enter by the front of the chassis and black the steering servo mechanism. The only solution is to think about a way to protect the steering tie rods, which is not very easy as these parts move.
We ran on a pebble playground. The Xsara is pure fun to drive, racing lines are easy to find and to keep. The Rally Block tires grip is excellent and helps a lot, as well as the soft suspension setup I made.
The plastic cover avoids most of the pebbles to enter the chassis, but some still reach the inside to block the steering mechanism. So we had numerous "pit stops" to check the cars and remove the pebbles. The ground clearance is very low so you'd better not go off the racing lines: all pebbles are there and the car just parks on them.
Apart from these pit stop problems, driving this car is great. The overall handling is excellent, racing lines are easy to keep as long as the driver is not too optimistic . Thanks to the 2 wheel sets, I can easily and quickly change the overall configuration to run either on ground and asphalt.
Here is a photo of my Xsara and Teamnegordini's Subaru Impreza WRC: it was not possible to say whether Tommi Mäkinen or Sébastien Loeb won this race. too many "pit stops" and accidents for an accurate result (also because we run for pleasure, not to really compete). My Xsara uses plain rims while I am waiting for its "true" rally rims.
Last update: february 2013
After about 5 years, I have sold my TT-01 (but I kept the Xsara WRC bodyshell). In the meantime, I ran this model very often. It was rapidly reverted to pure on-road use after my rally-dedicated Ford Focus WRC arrived in my collection.
Then, after my TA-04 TRF and TL-01 arrived in my collection, I didn't have any serious use of the TT-01 chassis anymore and I do not consider it vintage "enough" to keep it. However, I never was disappointed by the TT-01: I never broke anything and almost never had to spend time to take care of it.
Based upon my personal experience, you don't need much to make it handle better and turn it into a very reliable machine:
- ball bearings [must have]
- aluminum propeller shaft (53620) [must have]
- metal motor mount (53666) [must have]
- hydraulic dampers (53619) [must have]
- adjustable turnbuckle set for steering (53662)
- pin type wheel adapter set (53056)
- possibly, the spur gear set - 55T/58T (53665) aka "speed gear set" to get more top speed
On motor side, a Sport Tuned or even a SuperStock will make the TT-01 perform close to its best (requires you replace the stock electronic speed controller and most important, the tires).
To conclude, the TT-01 is a perfect budget chassis for a beginner and only a few options are required to make it reliable in order to avoid problems for years. It is the chassis that made me learn how to drive my on-road models, enduring all my driving mistakes without ever complaining. Even the bodyshell resisted to the treatment (thus why I kept it).
Undoubtedly, this is the opinion shared by everyone owning this chassis, and they are many around the world. Of course, the TT-01 is no perfect and all this plastic may not meet some of the more experienced people expectations who may prefer more "advanced" chassis and materials. This is a respectable point of view, but no-one can deny the TT-01 is perfectly suited for beginners, to endure driving mistakes and to provide pleasure to drive. In my opinion, that's the point. This is exactly what it granted me for almost 5 years.