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Jan 09

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Product Review: 3Racing Sakura Zero S

 

The Sakura Zero S is made by 3Racing and this kit is considered their entry level 4wd sedan. This company has been in the after market business for many years supplying upgrades for numerous kits. They make a Pro level Sakura sedan with an all graphite chassis and pink alloy parts and also produce a FWD sedan and a Formula 1 car. My kit was purchased online. Parts support is also available online through RCMart, 3Racing, eBay and a few other sources. There are US distributors as well and I am sure your LHS can order parts. Please see your local hobby shop. KIT price varies between 95-140$

The kit comes in a very compact box (pic available) and all the parts are nicely separated in clearly labelled sealed clear plastic bags. The kit includes treaded tires and white spoke rims, but no body. The 40 page glossy colour manual is easy to read with full size pictures and diagrams of the items used in each step, very similar to Tamiya. There are a few pink alloy parts included in the kit including the motor mount, wheel nuts, body post, spacers and shock upper and lower caps. The battery strap shown in ads for this car is pink but mine was black. The bolts in the kit are all 2mm hex and worked fine. The FRP chassis, upper deck and shock towers are precisely cut, but the edges are a bit sharp and you may want to round them off with some emery paper. A parts list with pictures is included in the back of the manual along with a long list of upgrades with part numbers and pictures. I found the manual to be excellent and easy to read.

The kit comes complete with steel turnbuckles and full ball bearings and the hardware uses a 2mm hex wrench. No cheap philips head bolts! The alloy motor mount is a nice touch and helps secure the motor. The plastic used throughout the kit is very stiff and threading the bolts into pieces took more effort than with a comparable Tamiya kit. Perhaps a 3mm tap might be a wise investment as my hands were pretty sore after the build.

The car uses gear diffs front and rear and they build very easily. The manual shows basic assembly and includes diff fluid. There is an online tutorial showing how to build the diffs with anti wear grease to ensure long life. The kit does not include any anti wear grease. The diff pulleys are 38T and they offer optional 37T and 39T gear pulleys should you need to change ratios. The stock one piece spur pulleys are 20T. 3Racing sell an optional pink alloy spur adapter along with option spur pulley gears of 19T, 20T and 21T to further fine tune the gearing. This is a neat option and not usually offered.

The belt tension is adjustable as the diffs use cam style bearing carriers. There is a reference dot on each carrier, but as all the plastic is black it was hard for me to see. I added a drop of white paint to make the dots stand out better. The belts seems stiff and hopefully will loosen after a few days of racing. A belt tensioner is not included in the kit although one is available as an option.

Shocks are basic plastic body with bladders and include pink alloy upper and lower caps. They build quickly and easily and are reasonably smooth. The kit includes shock oil but I’m not sure of the weight. I used Associated 40wt oil on all four corners.

The chassis parts such as suspension mounts, motor mount, etc.. all use small pins that key into the chassis to help keep everything aligned. I found this to be a nice touch. The kit builds with 3 degrees of rear toe but includes an optional mount to give 2 degrees if desired. Another nice feature. The front bumper is solid and the included foam is firm. The foam bumper has cut outs that can be left in or removed depending on how your taste.

The front suspension is fairly typical with 4 degree C-hubs and steering knuckles. I have heard that Xray parts are a direct fit here. The front uses included 44mm CVDs and the rear uses basic dogbones. Both are adequate for their intended purpose.

One area that I feel could be better is the motor mount. The kit supplied 48P/80T spur gear is specially made with large holes around the perimeter. These are necessary as the only way to access the rear motor mount bolt is through one of these holes. If you change spur gears (as I did) then you cannot adjust the rear motor bolt. I have ordered the optional vertical motor mount to hopefully recitify this glitch.

http://os.3racing.hk/products.php?products_key=5049

SteveM

For more info and a race report CLICK HERE

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