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The FWD touring car class has been gaining traction for a few years now, especially in Europe and Asia, even though FWD TC cars has been around for a long time.
With Xray now releasing the new T4F, and the ETS (Euro Touruing Series) simultaneously announcing that an FWD class will be added to the ETS race series from next season (2019/20), the class is surely going to continue growing.
Let's take a look at Xray's new T4F chassis!
The great news about the T4F is that it shares about 90% of its parts with the class-leading Xray T4'19 touring car. This also means that the T4F comes with a very high spec right out of the box, as we are used to from Xray.
The T4F is full graphite and aluminium, and comes with a narrow 2.2mm thick chassis, and a 2.0mm top deck. Also the shock towers, bumper support and servo holder are all graphite parts. Everything except the servo mount are unique parts for the T4F.
The front bulkheads are also T4F specific, as they move the bearing holders for the sway bar to behind the diff. A simple lightweight aluminium motor mount is fastened to the right front bulkhead with one screw, and two screws to the chassis.
The T4F uses the exact same excellent 38T gear diff as used on the T4'19. No special tricks needed, as it builds perfectly every time!
300K cSt silicone oil is included with the kit. But don't be afraid to try 500K or 1million. A front wheel drive touring car needs this kind of hardness of differential oil.
Lightweight alu outdrives are included. Hudy Spring Steel outdrives are available optionally (#304971).
The T4F drivetrain is simple and lightweight, with a specific alu solid layshaft, a 16T pulley, and a short 144mm (48T) belt used. Front diff access is also super easy.
When assembling this step we found it easiest to first build the right upper clamp complete with bearing, layshaft and pulley, and then screw down the right upper clamp. Then finally add the left clamp to complete the assembly.
The differential is adjustable in height, just like on normal 4WD Xray TC's, and belt tension is also adjustable in the same way with the eccentrics.
The rear lower and upper bulkheads are exactly the same as on the T4'19 World Champion touring car.
The rear shock tower is rather unique looking, with it using the same body posts as a normal TC, instead of longer posts like used on most other FWD cars. You can instead mount the posts higher or lower on the tower.
The rear tower has 5 optional shock mount holes.
The front tower has 4 shock mounting holes, while the front body posts are mounted to the tower as well.
The steering system is also shared with the T4'19.
Optional alu servo arms are available (#302525), as well as alu shims between the bearings on the steering posts (#302544-O) to minimise play.
Aluminium turnbuckles are included with the kit, black anodised. Orange anodised (#302612-O) and Hudy Spring Steel (#302610) versions are available as options.
Top deck and suspension arms on the car.
The suspension arms included are of the hard compound, with graphite (#302169 front, #303169 rear) and alu (#302170 front, #303172 rear) suspension arms available for tuning the car.
The suspension holders and eccentric bushings are the same as you get on the T4'19, again with optional brass holders an interesting option. The included bushings already give you lots of options to try though.
51mm ECS drive shafts are already included with the T4F kit, so no need for any upgrades. 50mm (#305333) and 52mm (#305332) versions are available to fine tune for different conditions.
The steering blocks are again hard compound, while the c-hubs included are of the medium variant with 4 degrees of built-in caster. Many different options of these parts are available from Xray.
The rear uprights are hard compound and with 0 degrees (no) built-in toe. The rear wheel axles are new for the T4F and super light.
Both the front and rear sway bars run on ball bearings for perfectly smooth operation, and 1.3mm bars are included front and rear. So far, also a 1.4mm front bar is available, while since the rear bars are the same as on the T4'19, optional bars are available from 1.2mm all the way to 1.6mm.
The T4F includes the great ultra low ULP dampers we are already accustomed to by now. Just build them according to the instructions and you have a great set of dampers!
Different springs are included for front (2.6) and rear (2.5). Obviously Xray have a huge selection of springs which will let you tune the T4F to any condition.
Even though it is a front wheel drive car, the T4F use the same front bumper as the ISTC cars from Xray have done for a long time.
The foam bumper is FWD specific though, and should do a good job of protecting the front of the car.
As already mentioned, the servo mount is another part shared with the T4'19, and as such it also gives the option of mounting the steering system "floating" to the servo mount plate instead of the chassis directly. Another useful tuning option.
Xray designed in many ways of mounting the battery, and kindly includes in the box different holders for different configurations. Below you see the suggested initial setup, which is for a cross mounted shorty. You can also chose to mount a shorty on the right side, or inline towards the rear. Optionally you can also use a full-size 2S lipo mounted to the right side of the chassis.
That's it, the new Xray T4F is built and ready for installation of electronics, wheels and a body.
A very straightforward build from start to finish, and no doubt the car will work very well on track with it sharing so many parts with the current ISTC World Champion chassis.
If you already own a T4 chassis, it really is a no-brainer to get the T4F for the FWD class, as the cars shares almost all spare and option parts.
Enjoy your T4F! We surely will!
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