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In this article we'll go through the assembly of an entry-level kit (in this case a Tamiya TT-02 kit), and how you go from assembly kit to a fully ready to run RC car.
The Audi quattro Rallye A2 is a proper rally legend from the 1980's, and this new kit on the ever popular TT-02 chassis has been awaited by many.
When you buy a kit RC car, you obviously need to get some other bits as well in order to make it ready to run, unless you already have everything needed. In the case of the TT-02 Audi, it can look like this.
This chassis kit includes a motor and speed controller (ESC), but you need a steering servo, a battery, a charger, and obviously a transmitter with receiver. In addition you need paint to paint the body with.
I already had a transmitter and receiver, as well as charger, so the starting point looks as follow.
Here you can see the contents of the TT-02 kit, everything packed neatly into bags by Tamiya, with good instructions for both the assembly of the kit as well as for painting and detailing the body - the realistic bodies being a large part of any Tamiya assembly kit.
The first pages of the instruction manual gives you some basic information that you should always read first. Highlighted here where it shows the tools needed to complete the assembly. On the following page highlighted the info on wheelbase, ground clearance and tread
The TT-02 can be built with different wheelbase, ground clearance and tread, so you should check from the body instructions which setting you should build your TT-02 according to.
The Audi requires a normal wheelbase (257mm), normal tread, while a high ground clearance is recommended as it is a rally car.
Tamiya's entry level kits use simple + head screws. The right screwdriver for these are not normal Philips drivers, but JIS (Japan Industry Standard), which can be a bit difficult to find. If you can't get your hands on a JIS driver, you can take a screw with you and go and buy the best fitting + driver you can find, and that will work really well.
Here I tried to make it clear what to focus on and how to read Tamiya instructions.
In the upper left corner you can always see which bag the hardware needed is located. In this example you can see that in "bag A" you will find the hardware for building steps 1-16 in the manual.
You can use the parts drawn on the left side to know what parts you need. Note that each part is marked with a code, like BB2. To help to get a better overview of all parts, and where you find them, you can always refer to the last pages of the manual (page 22-23 of the TT-02 manual) where all parts are pictured.
When you assemble a Tamiya kit like this, remember to always check where you should use grease - here for this building step I highlighted with blue.
A tube with grease is included with the kit, which you should use where advised, as shown in the last picture.
Parts trees are always marked with a letter (C in this case), while each part is marked with a number. In the manual these parts are then marked as for example C1 for the dogbones in this picture. Again you can use the parts drawings at the back of the manual to help you.
The first steps of the actual chassis kit assembly is the shaft drive drivetrain of the TT-02, consisting of front and rear gear differentials, a central propeller shaft, as well as front and rear input shafts with associated gears. All fairly easy to assemble, just follow the instructions carefully.
Here the front and rear diff covers have been added, as well as the front and rear upper suspension arms.
The TT-02 Audi comes with a Tamiya Torque Tuned motor included, which you here see fastened to the motor mount. As you can see, which holes to use for which pinion gear is clearly marked on the motor mount, making it all super easy to assemble right.
Here front and rear lower suspension arms, front and rear uprights, driveshafts, gear cover and bumpers have been added. All very straightforward.
The TT-02 uses friction dampers standard, which are easily assembled without tools in just a few seconds. Again, a very beginner friendly way to get started, and better dampers can be added later. All four dampers are exactly the same.
Silver colour 5-spoke wheels are included with tread-patterned radial tyres. To glue the tyres to the wheels you should use tyre glue. Tyre glue is very thin CA glue made for plastic and rubber, and just a few drops will secure the tyre to the wheel much better than "any CA glue". Always be careful and wear appropriate protection when handling CA glue.
Before gluing, it is always a good idea to clean the gluing surfaces of the wheels and tyres with a cleaner, for example a brake cleaner or similar.
Here the steering servo, ESC and receiver have all been installed, as well as the motor cover.
The Audi kit sold by us includes a Tamiya TBLE-02S ESC in the kit, which is capable of controlling the included Torque Tuned brushed motor, as well as some brushless motors.
The ESC and receiver can be installed in a few different ways, all described in the instruction manual. I chose to mount the ESC on top of the servo, and use the included receiver case to protect the receiver.
Voltz 4600 battery now in the car, while the body posts front and rear and the front foam bumper have been added to complete the chassis.
As the chassis has been completed, it is time to tackle the body. As always with any beautiful Tamiya body, it is worth taking time to do the body properly, as the end result will look great.
Tamiya kindly cut the wheel openings perfectly at the factory, so all you need to do is cut out the body along the lower trim lines with proper lexan body scissors. All holes that need to be made are clearly marked, and for this you should use a body reamer as it will make your life so much easier.
Pre-marked window masks are included to help mask the windows before painting. If you paint according to the instructions, three coulours are used; White, black for the grille, and smoke to tint the windows. Of course you could also only use white and get a decent result.
Again, take your time doing the body and you will be rewarded. As there are over 60 stickers to duplicate the real Audi A2 quattro, it will take some time to sticker up. But we all love stickers, don't we!?
Done according to the instructions, the end result will look like this!
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