The world of RC has several different facets; there’s really something for everyone. Among the areas I’ve set my sights on mastering may be the drift segment. It basically goes against everything I’ve learned with regards to driving sliding is superior to grip, more power does not necessarily mean a quicker vehicle and tire compounds, well, plastic surpasses rubber. Then when 3Racing sent over their Axial Wraith, I needed to scoop one up to see what all of the hoopla was using this drifter.

AT A GLANCE

WHO Will Make It: 3Racing

WHO IT’S FOR: Any degree of drift enthusiast

PART NUMBER: KIT-D4AWD

Just How Much: $115.00

BUILD TYPE: Kit

PROS

• AWD for easy learning ?

• Narrow 3mm FRP chassis ?

• Wide, high-angle dual bellcrank steering ?

• Highly adjustable front, Y-arm suspension ?

• Battery positioning before the motor or around the rear diffuser ?

• Aluminum motor mount ?

• Threaded shocks ?A great deal of tuning adjustment ?

• Extremely affordable pric

CONS

• Front drive belt slips away from the roller bearing

REVIEWER’S OPINION

This drifter has a lot opting for it; well manufactured, plenty of pretty aluminum and rolls in with a very inexpensive price. Handling is great also when you become accustomed to the kit setup, and yes it accepts a really wide variety of body styles. There’s also a ton of tunability for individuals who love to tinker, which means that this car should grow along as the skills do.

FEATURE BREAKDOWN

The D4’s chassis is actually a 3mm sheet of FRP, or Fiber-Reinforced Plastic. It has cutouts at the base for the front and rear diffs to peek through in addition to a bazillion countersunk holes. The majority of these can be used for mounting things such as the bulkheads, servo and battery box, but there are actually a good number of left empty. They may be helpful to control chassis flex, although not with all the stock top deck; an optional one must be purchased. The design is a lot like a regular touring car; front bulkhead/ suspension, steering system, electronics, battery box, motor mount system and finally the rear bulkhead/ suspension. All things are readily available and replaceable with only a few turns of some screws.

? Aside from a few interesting pieces, a drifter’s suspension is much like a touring car’s. An individual A and D mount and separate B and C mounts are being used, both having dual support screws and stamped, metal shims to improve them up. The suspension arms have droop screws, anti-roll bar mounts and adjustable wheelbase shims. The rear suspension uses vertical ball studs to handle camber and roll whilst the front uses an appealing, dual pickup front Y-arm setup. This technique allows the adjustment of camber, caster and roll and swings smoothly on lower and upper pivot balls. It’s actually quite unique and allows for some extreme camber settings.

? A very important factor that’s pretty amazing with drift cars is definitely the serious volume of steering throw they already have. Beginning from the bellcranks, they’re positioned as far apart so when near the edges from the chassis as you possibly can. This generates a massive 65° angle, enough to control the D4 in even deepest of slides. Since drifters spend almost all of their time sideways, I wanted an effective servo to keep up with the continual countersteering enter Futaba’s S9551 Low-Pro? le Digital Servo.

Without needing anything near its 122 oz. of torque, the .11 speed is de? nitely enough to keep up with any steering angle changes I want it a moment’s notice.

? The D4 uses a dual belt design, spinning a front, fluid-filled gear differential and rear spool. A huge, 92T 48P spur is connected to the central gear shaft, where the front and back belts meet. Pulleys keep your front belt high higher than the chassis, and 3mm CVDs transfer the power on the wheels. Standardized 12mm hexes are included to enable the use of a selection of different wheel and tire combos.

? To present the D4 a bit of beauty, I prefered 3Racing Wraith parts body from ABC Hobby. It is a beautiful replica on this car and included a slick set of decals, looking fantastic once mounted. I wasn’t sure how to paint it, nevertheless i do remember an approach I used a while back that got some attention. So, I gave the RX-3 a go of pearl white on the underside, but painted the fenders black on the outside. After everything was dry, I shot the outside using a coat of Tamiya Flat Clear. I adore the final result … and it was easy. That’s good because I’m an incredibly impatient painter!

Around The TRACK

For this particular test, I needed the privilege of putting this four-wheel drifter on the iconic Tamiya track in Aliso Viejo, CA. I was heading there to accomplish an image shoot for one more vehicle and thought, heck, why not take it along and get some sideways action?

STEERING

The steering in the D4 is pretty amazing. When I mentioned earlier, the throw is a whopping 65 degrees with zero interference from your parts. Even CVD’s can turn that far, allowing smooth input of power at full lock. Even though it does look a little funny using the tires turned that far (remember, I’m a touring car guy), the D4 does a wonderful job of keeping the slide controlled and moving in the appropriate direction. This is, to some extent, on account of the awesome handling in the D4, but also the speedy Futaba servo.

ACCELERATION/BRAKING

Drifting is not about overall speed but wheel speed controlled. I am aware that sounds odd, but when you’ve mastered the wheel speed of the drifter, you can control the angle of attack and also the sideways motion through any corner. I discovered Novak’s Drift Spec system allowed me to do just that make controlled, smooth throttle adjustments to alter the angle of the D4 when and where I needed. Sliding within a little shallow? Increase throttle to have the tail end to whip out. Beginning to over cook the corner? Ease up a little along with the D4 would get back in line. It’s all a matter of ? nesse, and the Novak system is designed for simply that. I have done have to be a little bit creative with the install of the system as a result of limited space around the chassis, but overall it worked out great.

HANDLING

After driving hooked up touring cars for a time, it will go on a little getting used to with the knowledge that an auto losing grip and sliding is the right way across the track. It’s also good practice for managing throttle control once you obtain it, it’s beautiful. Having a car and pitching it sideways using a sweeper, all the while keeping the nose pointed in at below 2 or 3 inches from the curb … it’s actually very rewarding. It’s a controlled out of hand thing, as well as the D4 will it wonderfully. The kit setup is good, but if you think such as you need more of something anything there’s lots of things to adjust. I actually enjoyed the auto using the kit setup and it also was only dependent on a battery pack or two before I used to be swinging the rear across the hairpins, around the carousel and backwards and forwards from the chicane. I never had the chance to strap the battery around the diffuser, but that’s something I’m looking forward to.

DURABILITY

There’s very little that can be done to damage a drift car they’re really not going everything that fast. I did so, however, have an issue with the front belt’s bearing pulley mounted to the top deck. Through the initial run, it suddenly felt like the D4 acquired a bit drag brake. I kept from it, trying to overcome the situation with driving, but soon were required to RPM Traxxas slash parts it directly into actually give it a look. In the build, the belt slips into a plastic ‘tunnel’ that is backed up by a bearing, keeping it above any chassis mounted stuff like the ESC or servo. The belt, though, doesn’t sit square in the bearing; it’s half on and half off. So, once the drivetrain is spooling up, the belt will sometimes slide away from the bearing, ?opping around and catching on anything it appears in contact with. To ?x this, I simply 3raccingSakura an extended screw with several 1mm shims to space the bearing out a little bit more. Problem solved.