Monday, August 17, 2015

Project Sakura D4: Intro and Unboxing

After a longish wait (choose the free shipping option...) my 3 Racing Sakura D4 combo arrived from RCMart.  The combo included a nice RC OMG servo, Yeah Racing gyro, and NOS bottle balance weight.  Not bad for $159 shipped.

I really like the overall design of the D4, and from the pre-production pics that 3 Racing released, I think that it will have a lot of potential.  I plan to do a series of posts that detail my build and show some key areas of detail.  Initially I want to stick with stock components, and demonstrate that you can build a nice car out of the box using some craftsmanship and attention to detail.  Just because it is a "cheap" kit, doesn't mean that is will drift like one, or that it is necessary to spend a bunch of money on upgrades.

Let's see what's in the box!

Nothing too exciting upon opening the box; just the typical 3 Racing packaging and clearly labeled bags.

A nice extra that 3 Racing put into the kit was a set of tools that are all very useful and purposely designed.  Included is a handy sheet describing how each tool is used.

Let's move on to the individual kit bags.  Bag 1 includes the main chassis, which is made from nice, thick, FRP, and the lower suspension components.  The chassis is nice and rigid like aftermarket carbon fiber would be.

Bag 2 contains the rear belt drive/motor mount unit along with the front and rear lower bearing mounts.  3 Racing has included a nice Bando belt for this kit as well.

Bag 3 Contains the spur gear + adapter, along with the upper FRP deck, shock towers, and upper bearing mounts.  A nice improvement over the D3 is that the spur gear mount is now made out of aluminum.  Also, some folks have been commenting on how the shock towers came drilled incorrectly.  Once you assemble the kit it will be clear that they are fine only having the lower row of holes drilled larger.

Bag 4 contains the steering wipers and associated hardware, rod ends, rear uprights, and CVDs.

Bag 5 has all the front upright parts, stub axles, and the new upper a-arms for the front.  Also included is a nice, steel, turnbuckle tool.

In bag 6, you will find the battery hold down hardware, along with the servo mounts and servo saver.  I'm not sure if this is common with all the kits shipped, but mine did not include the 8 required 3mm x 6mm flat head screws needed to secure the battery hold downs to the chassis.  Fortunately I had spares from previous builds.

You will find everything to build the shocks in bag 7.  They appear to be exactly the same as the D3 shocks (which I like a lot).  The springs are also included, and new to the D4 are some shorter front springs that are not like their standard sized springs.

Bag 8 contains the front bumper hardware and the body mounting posts.  The body posts are basically the same as the D3, however they have narrowed up the front body post mounting locations to make them more standard like the other kits on the market.  

Last, but not least is bag 9.  It contains the rear diffuser, rear battery mount plate, hardware that allows battery mounting inline with the chassis, and the wheels/tires.  The tires seem to be of better quality than what came with the D3, and I like the design of the new wheels.

A new sticker sheet and instruction manual is included as well.

So, that is what you get in the kit.  I'm impressed with the quality of the parts at first glance.  Some of them seem to be better and more rigid than the D3, and they have made some thoughtful changes where it counts.  Next up, I will briefly highlight my build as well as show a few helpful tips to make the process go smoother.  Stay tuned...

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