Archive for the ‘Setups’ Category

My Final 417 Setup

December 11, 2013 3 comments

With my 418 on it’s way it will bring the end to a fairly successful campaign with the different iterations of the 417. The car has proved to be a solid performer at both event and club level, and I will be sad to see my 417 raceberry go onto greener pastures. That said, the 417 has never endeared itself to me in the same way that the 416 did, so “as they say” – out with the old and in with the new!

With the 418 about to drop and already doing well in the hands of the team drivers, I decided to try and set my car up like the 418 – and the result was pretty damn good! The setup is based on both Marc’s BIRC winning setup and also my AOC Yatabe setup, which itself  was based on his 418 setup from the Czech Republic ETS.

So here it is, the main changes from the normal 417 setup are listed below

  • Longer front wheelbase – this increases front bite and makes the car more stable on power
  • Narrow rear end – this improves direction change and provides more on power steering at the expense of stability
  • Short rear link (outside hole on bulkhead) – probably the biggest change, this improves rear side-bite on corner entry then provides more steering on power
  • Higher front roll centre – increases corner speed and initial steering
  • Camber links raised – smoothes car out and increases corner speed

At the BIRC race Marc also ran the 1.3mm front roll bar, which is something I tried prior to changing many of the other settings and found it made the car very easy to drive but took away corner speed – now that I have made more changes I would like to try it again because the car had huge corner speed but was now maybe a little too aggressive.


Note: this is a raceberry setup, I doubt it will work well on regular 417s as is

Categories: Setups

TRF417 Base Setup – Asphalt

November 7, 2013 2 comments

I often get asked for set up tips, so I’m posting a basic setup that will work in most situations along with some tips to help tune the setup for different tracks. This stuff is my opinion only and based on my experience with Tamiya cars. I’m sure there is lots of other stuff that works but these are my “go to” tips for most track conditions

First the setup…


Now a few caveats… firstly this setup sheet is based on the 417V5 with HL dampers. I use HL dampers all the time because they are easy to build and I don’t find the aeration any faster. I chose the V5 because I use the V5 shock towers and bulkhead heights – I actually use 417X bulkheads shimmed 0.5mm to V5 height.

If you have a 417x and want to run this setup you can either shim all the bulkheads up 0.5mm or add an extra 0.5mm shims to the camber link heights on the bulkheads, so that would make them 4mm and 3.5mm respectively. Shocks positions will be 3 front 5 rear on the X towers. To put this setup on a 417, in addition to bulkhead heights you also need to add an extra 0.5mm on the front camber link due to the older style front kingpins which are 1mm higher than X/V5. The shock positions are different on the 417 towers too, 2 front 3 rear (if I remember correctly)


The first rule is that your car has to be flat (de-tweaked), balanced, and have equal shock lengths and sway bars. Look back at my 417X build to see how to build a perfect car. I use a hudy ultimate setup station for setting camber, toe and tweak, and tamiya droop blocks. You don’t need fancy stuff, toe can be set with verniers (and pythagorus), and camber can be done with a quick camber gauge and setup wheels – I do this when I don’t have time for the setup station. Droop gauge/blocks are a must!

I set droop with everything attached – sway bars, shocks etc – because that’s how the car will run on the track. Refer back to the first rule! This doesn’t work unless you’ve done the hard work in getting your car perfect!

Another important consideration is the size of different rubber touring car tyres. For example, Ride RE32 tyres are about 2mm larger in diameter than the REX34, and Sorex and Team Powers are in-between. You can’t swap between these tyres and keep the same settings. When you put on big tyres and reduce preload to get the same ride height, your camber and droop will increase and your roll centre will lower. When you put small tyres on the opposite will happen. The same goes for when you raise ride height for a bumpy or high speed track, for every 1mm of ride height you need to increase droop by the same amount to get similar handling.

Settings Explained

These are the most common adjustments I make to my car when tuning setup for a different tracks

Arm sweep: changing the FR split block to B will provide more overall steering and make the car steer more “round”. This is best for tracks with sweeping on power corners or corners.

Anti-dive: adding 0.5mm under the FR split block will increase high speed steering, improve braking, and make the car more stable on power at the expense of low speed/exit steering. This is best for high speed tracks with open corners, or tracks with heavy braking

Droop: for bumpy tracks run an extra 0.5mm droop over ride height – e.g. if you raise your ride height 0.5mm to stop scrubbing you should increase droop by 1mm so the car will not be as upset as easily by the bumps. Increasing front droop can improve on power traction but I prefer to increase the rear shock angle or to decrease the diff oil. Increasing rear droop to 4.5mm can improve mid corner steering off power

Diff: I play with the diff a lot. I always start with 3k (kyosho) at a new track. If I have enough on power grip and entry steering then I will go up which will give more on power steering and corner speed. If the car wants to spin when you apply power or is lazy turning in then you can go down. I’ve never had much luck with less than 2k because it feels like it diffs out, but I’m sure on some tracks or in slower classes lighter oil will work

Shock angles: for big tracks I lay the shocks down but for most tracks holes 4/5/6 are where you want to be (2,3,4 on X front tower). Laying the front shocks down will give more mid-exit steering at the expense of entry steering, laying the rears down will give more rotation and high speed steering at the expense of on power grip. If you can’t get on power without the car stepping out then stand up the rear shocks. If you really want to get funky you can flip the front arms and run hole 2 which will soften the spring and give more mid corner bite.

Springs: to be honest, on asphalt, if you aren’t fast with HPI silver you’re doing something wrong. If you can’t get HPIs then Ride Red are basically the same.

Shock oil: like springs 450 works in most situations. For higher grip or higher temps then go up in shock oil, or as grip increases at an event if your car gets worse then normally going up in oil will get it back to where it was. I almost never split the oil front to rear on asphalt, the exception is for tracks with high speed chicanes then sometimes a slightly harder front oil can work well.

Camber links: these are tricky things. First of all I never change the length on the bulkheads. As far as the height goes, normally I don’t touch the rear but I do change the front quite a lot. The rear camber link with 3mm inside and out is near enough to zero camber change, so your camber will stay static at 2deg through the entire roll of the car. The front at 0.5mm/3.5mm is a little camber change, so the front will increase slightly in grip as the car rolls – perfect for that bit of mid corner rotation For more steering you can add more camber gain, so dropping the inside to 3mm. If the car is biting mid corner or has mega steering you can add shims to 4mm. If the car feels stuck or over gripped, on SOME tracks raising the links to 4mm front and rear can make the car faster – I normally find this is a little strange, it feels like double the corner speed but the car is slower to change direction and it wants to “keep turning” on power, and even when you put a lap together it’s rarely faster. Again this is just my experience.

Body: for asphalt I normally use LTC-R mounted 6mm forward (6mm of bumper foam). On layouts with many hairpins or direction changes the Mazdaspeed 6 can be better. I haven’t tried bodies from other brands

Suspension blocks: I’ve put this right down here because it’s the first thing that people change but it should be one of the last. C/C XA/E should work in most situations. For spec classes, less toe can provide more top end, in which case I would go to XA/D. For large tracks a wider car can be faster, so D/D X/E is an option. I almost never run narrow like the last worlds set up, I think that only worked on that track with those tyres and no additive. The one time I used something similar was on tyres that were only good for one run. A narrower rear end can increase rotation in some cases, so C/C XB/D, that can be a bit scary to drive though! Also for a bumpy track less toe is better.

Roll centre: another setting I rarely change, I find 0/0, 0.5/0.5 should work in most situations, or anti-dive as mentioned above. If the grip is high then raising all the blocks 0.5mm can be good, and if you have plenty of steering or the front end feels lazy then just raising the front blocks 0.5mm can also help. For super high grip 0.75 or 1mm of anti-dive is an option

Ackerman: again something I rarely change. You can get more aggressive entry steering by using less shims, or more smooth entry steering and more exit shimming by using more shims. On the RB conversion I use 4mm shims.

Wheelbase: I find this wheelbase setting is pretty good for most tracks. If the car has plenty of steering and is loose on power than a longer front wheelbase will help. If the car lacks corner speed or is “snap rotating” then a longer rear wheelbase can help I normally only go an extra 0.5mm either direction

Sway bars: I’ve never had any luck with changing the front bar! The rear is a more frequent adjustment, I use the 1.3mm to increase stability and the 1.1mm if I need the car to rotate. 1.2mm is still the best for most tracks

That’s enough for tonight, let me know if there are any other settings you would like explained.

Categories: Setups, Tips & Tricks

TRF417X Setup – SMA Stock Shootout

December 10, 2012 Leave a comment

This weekend saw the annual SMA stock shootout take place at my home track. The race sees racers from the different TC classes all run 17.5 boosted to see who is the fastest. It’s a great chance to have fun with guys that you wouldn’t normally race against. For this event I decided to run my “old” 417X, but with the bulkheads raised 0.5mm and two screws removed from the top deck like the 417V5. I also started with a setup very similar to kit setup on the V5.

In qualifying my car was very good and I was able to TQ by 2 seconds. Unfortunately in the single amain I made a few mistakes, and also felt that my tyre choice was not right for the track temperature which had fallen considerably, so I ended up 2nd after a close battle with my friend and fellow modified regular Cristian Silva. Regardless it was a great event, with lots of fun and very close racing. Here is the setup I ended up with, remember it was 17.5 which is why I ran less rear toe than normal.



Categories: Racing News, Setups

TRF417 V5 Kit Setup

November 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Arn0 from Petit RC ( was kind enough to make an editable setup sheet for the V5. You can find it in the 417 setups page

As promised here is the full kit setup


Categories: Product News, Setups

417X Test Setups

May 9, 2012 Leave a comment

A couple more setups, just testing a few different ideas. At the moment I’m liking Viktor’s setups, check them out at

This is as narrow as you can get on the 417x, so has a lot of grip.
TRF417X Setup – Craig McPhee – SMA – 20120506

Yet to try this but think it will address some of the issues with running the team setups in low grip. Should roll less at the front and have more on power grip, but still good steering.
TRF417X Test Setup 1 – Craig McPhee – SMA – 20120509

Also yet to try this, it is a basic setup with the addition of anti-squat which Jilles recommended for better on-power grip in his thread.
TRF417X Test Setup 2 – Craig McPhee – SMA – 20120509

Categories: Setups

417X – Sydney Model Autosports

April 18, 2012 Leave a comment

This is my setup for med grip asphalt. Still a work in progress but it gets around pretty well.

TRF417X Setup – Craig McPhee – SMA – 20120418

Categories: Setups

Worlds Germany 2010

September 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Another worlds another Tamiya victory, the biggest shame was that we didn’t get to see the same fantastic wheel to wheel racing that we did at the 2008 worlds in Bangkok. Here is Jilles’ setup…

One thing I’ve noticed with the setups since the team has moved to the lipo chassis was that they seemed to stop running anti-dive. After trying the chassis I believe it turns in more aggressively, so the team no longer needs to run anti-dive (which reduces castor and increases initial steering). This also has a neat side effect of providing more mid corner steering, so the car should steer better all around with the lipo deck.

Jilles also mentioned the lower inner camber links were used because the track was tight and technical, and the team wanted very aggressive steering. So if you race on a technical track you might want to give it a go.

Categories: Setups