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Old 09-Jul-2011, 16:56   #1
eclipse
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Default TEH-R31 review

Since the release of the copy OTA-R31 chassis by R2 Hobbies, my inbox has been flooded by advertising material, upgrade options and questions of ''is it any good''.

I had an email announcing the new ''TEH-R31'' chassis... with 50 degrees of steerin angle, and the only thought I had was ''WOW thats cheap''. I bought the Street Jam OTA-R suspension set for my VDF months back for over twice the cost of one of these clones so I thought they needed to be looked at... even if they had small issues then it could still be a cheap option for people looking to try out RC drift.
So I ordered 2 in... 1 as a full chassis, which I would thoroughly test, the other to serve as spare parts...

1. Initial thoughts
Just 4 days after ordering, my parcel turned up, and after opening I was left with a bittersweet feeling.
Firstly the form of the parts is fine... well most of the parts look how they are meant to, although I have heard of one bottom deck coming with a hole in the middle of the pan! The biggest issue I have with the parts is it is evident that the quality is a long shot from Street Jam parts which I have always found to be great quality.
I have never seen a genuine OTA-R31 in person... only 2 of the suspension sets, and countless shells, so I have used that as my basis for Street Jams quality...
The most important part in the kit as far as I was concerned is the CVDs... its where EVERY clone chassis has failed by using sub standard metal and poor manafacturing... I have to say, that if you ignore the dull finish then the form is perfect, and after assembling, they are just as smooth and precise as the genuine parts.

2. Building
Firstly the build manual was saved on a CD included in the kit, but saved as .jpg files, which is fine unless like me you have a netbook with no CD-ROM... but that was only a mild inconvenience.
I was up to step 13 before I realised that the wheel bearings were missing from my kit... so into the spare parts box I went... not expensive to replace so it didn't bother me too much... but if, like most people buying one, they would not have a pile of spare parts big enough to literally build the entire car over, then it would be a big problem... and one that could take 2 weeks to fix!
The plastic used for the entire chassis feels nice and firm, but is prone to stripping if you overtighten, and the grease inlcuded in the kit was only fit for the bin. Also 1 of the shock fluid bottles included had leaked half its contents into the bag, enough to soak the grease tubs and make them hard to open.
The other massive problem here is the plastic shock design... copied by Street Jam from the TRF design... so I wasn't going to waste my time building what is essentially a copy of a copy. All I needed to know was the bushes that are meant to slide freely along the shock shaft grab, grip and restrict its movements so it was a waste of time building any further! So on went a set of Flouride coated TRF shocks!
Besides these problems, and the unique design of the OTA-R31 in the first place, the build was straighforward enough, and went without a hitch... that is until I fitted the electronics.

3. Power up time
I fitted mine with a 9T EZ-Run brushless combo, as I figured that most people buying this chassis would probably go the cheaper motor option. The motor and ESC are fine... but the chassis is another story.
If you plan on getting this chassis, you may as well buy some ear-muffs for you and your friends... the best description I've heard of the noise coming from the chassis is ''a chainsaw cutting through ice''! Not what you expect from a belt driven chassis powered by a brushless combo.
The only explination I have for this noise is the plastic used in the tub amplifies the noise... What started off as a night long test session turned into a fast U-turn and shut off for the night... and back to the VDF until the following week.

I took the car home and after pulling it apart to work out the source of the noise, came to the comclusion that it has to be the sound reverbrating through the motor ''tunnel'' and vibrating through the whole chassis!

Up to this point I would have stopped and given this chassis a score of 0.5 out of 10... great for a shelf piece, but not worth using, in fact I'd rather use an E10! Luckily earlier that day I'd had another parcel turn up!

4. Upgrade time.
When the carbon fibre upgrade sets were announced I decided to order the Fijon Models flame design chassis. I don't see the point in trying to make this chassis look like the genuine Street Jam chassis work 10 times the amount of this, so I didn't bother!
I ordered the spool diff for the rear, the CF upgrade set, and a front one-way diff, and in the first stage of testing have fitted the rear spool diff and the CF upgrade.

The quality of the CF is great, the alloy used on the ends of the better channel is very poor... shoddy annodizing, drilled and tapped after the colour was applied... and just a poor rough finish, but its hidden under a mountain of plastic and electronics, so is hidden nicely!

5. Testing again
Last night was testing again, and the death rattle is gone, replaced with the whir of belts and the sound of ABS on concrete. For now the setup is 50:50.. .with standard gearing... but I was stunned... It handled like it was a mild CS setup. even compared to my VDF on 50:50 gearing it was great! No problems, very smooth, and great balance!

The next step is to CS this chassis, as thats where I'm sure the real benefit of this will be... and to fit the front one way and make the most of the 50 degree steering angle.

6. Verdict
Firstly this is just my opinion so feel free to make up your own mind.
Like I said earlier, as the standard kit its only worthy of a 0.5 out of 10... and thats still being generous!
But after upgrading to the CF chassis, and fitting the TRF shocks to it it easily deserves a score of 8 out of 10... the only criticism I have is that massive rear diffuser hanging off the back, making it hard to find a shell that will suit!!
The handling great, its responsive, quiet, and well balanced.
Over the next couple of months I will be continuing testing, and will report any dodgy components or possible issues.
If you have any things you would like to see tested on this ask away... I bought the spare chassis so I can fix it after testing how far I can push it until it breaks so if you want to know what power it will handle, or whether it will handle a big CS ratio then let me know and I'll do my best to find out.

I will also post up some pictures when I'm able
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Old 16-Jul-2011, 16:09   #2
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Default Re: TEH-R31 review

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YuvZ5ngS90
Here is a vid of it in action...
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Old 28-Jul-2011, 19:42   #3
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Default Re: TEH-R31 review

There are a few new upgrades available...
there are 2 bumper plates... long (40g) and short (35g) (red and blue)
Alloy pivot blocks
spare drive shafts
pre-built plastic shocks
AND......
they have ripped off the CS pulley set!!!
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Old 28-Jul-2011, 20:18   #4
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Default Re: TEH-R31 review

yeh... just wish they'd stockup enough to remain instock until i can complete checkout
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Old 28-Jul-2011, 20:29   #5
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Default Re: TEH-R31 review

well its easier than the way I CS'd mine... modded a TA05 pulley holder so it would hold one pulley and the spur, then got a 13T square pulley for the other end
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Old 28-Jul-2011, 22:49   #6
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Default Re: TEH-R31 review

yeah have 23 pulley here... then realised the spur had to go somewhere too
no more TA05 spur holder lying about spare here, last one went on the MDF.

Would be neatest way methink... can't go too far 'out' as it'll foul servo linkage.



Runs pretty damned good @ 50:50, definitely beats any TT01

In stock form the turn-in isn't all that great compared to VDF stock;
holds the slide 'ok' but VDF still nimbler to change direction i feel.
Plenty of steering angle to pull out of slide, that's sweet.
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