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View Full Version : MA-010/MA-015 to MA-020 upgrade


TheSteve
2014.01.16, 02:27 PM
Just wanted to let everyone know upgrading to the MA-020 front end isn't tough at all. To do it you will need the following parts:

MD201 Main Chassis Set
MD202 Front Suspension Arm Set
MD203 Front Upper Cover Bulk Set
MD204 Front Suspension Shaft Set
MD205 long axles (only required for wide front end)

You will also need 4 flat head screws and a set of mr03 front springs.

The MA-020 supports narrow and wide front ends just like the mr03. The chassis parts for both are included in the parts above. However to build a wide setup you will need longer axles (MD205). The standard MA-010/MA-015 front end is narrow and is made wide with huge offset wheels, with a proper wide front end huge offset wheels will no longer be needed.

EDIT:
I have now found a part # for the official front spring kit for the MA-020, it is MDW201
The MR03 springs do seem to work fine but might be a little bit long.(I am using the shorter/softer series already anyway)

http://thesteve.ca/ma020.jpg

lfisminiz
2014.01.16, 08:29 PM
Thanks for info. I think i have those parts comming. So the chassis is different than old one? Did you run it yet?

TheSteve
2014.01.16, 09:58 PM
Yes, the main chassis must be replaced, it is quite different in the front area. I did some test laps last night, will probably do more this evening. So far I like the feel of it but it really needs some damping. I was pondering the Kyosho inner tube shocks but they technically need custom arms, not sure if I could mod the ma-020 ones to work. The increased camber with suspension compression should be a wonderful thing in corners.

TheSteve
2014.01.16, 11:02 PM
Just did 200 laps of my test track. The front end is very smooth so far, I am liking it. My all time best with this car is a 6.10 seconds, a lap which was as close to perfect as I thought I could get with this car. Without any real tuning and just tossing it on track I got down to a 6.14 with the new front end. At this point I'd say that is a success as I know a little tuning will bring the lap times down further, maybe even below the magic 6 second mark.

For reference this car is 90mm narrow running an xspeed motor with the DS3 body. The fastest lap with a 90mm narrow HM mr03 with stock motor is 6.54. The fastest 98mm wide awd car lap is 5.62, fastest mr03VE lap is 5.56.

lfisminiz
2014.01.17, 07:29 PM
Thanks for update....just need the parts.

TheSteve
2014.01.18, 01:42 AM
Did a little tuning to the front and back of the car, went from a best lap of 6.10 to 5.93. This front end is much smoother and more consistent in the turns. Lowering it as much as I want is the biggest problem, I need shorter springs so they don't have as much preload on them.

cowboysir
2014.01.18, 05:41 PM
would you say someone who isnt really an AWD person (ie:me:D) would enjoy driving this more than previous iterations? I'm on the fence right now and thinking of keeping all my AWD stuff to try one last time...

TheSteve
2014.01.18, 07:14 PM
Hard to say really. The AWD can be such a miserable car to drive. If you find a good setup though they are quite amazing. My primary awd converted to brushless is still my favorite MiniZ. I don't think this front end is a game changer for the awd, if you didn't like it before you probably still won't. The servo will never be as precise as an mr03 and if not tuned right the front end pulls something fierce over any and all bumps which can make it nearly impossible to drive(and enjoy). The real key is to use a gear diff in the front, no lube at all, it needs to be very free. A ball diff or 1way ruins the awd experience. Second is the rear suspension must be DWS or Atomic SAS, the stock original awd suspension was terrible. Third is the entire drive train must be very free, the car should easily coast.

cowboysir
2014.01.18, 07:19 PM
I'm going to make the attempt...it can't hurt since it's a minimal investment to try something different. It could be the game changer for me.:D

TheSteve
2014.01.18, 08:09 PM
Once you get the parts you should head down here for a day(it is a long drive I know) and we'll do some tuning of your fleet. I'm nice and close to the Langley Costco and lots of other shopping so your wife can stay busy :)

cowboysir
2014.01.18, 09:20 PM
Ill likely pick your brain once it gets assembled...I finally convinced the wife to let me set up track in the living room and I can now build either 30 or 50cm so I can get practice for both gtg here or Surrey.

No doubt I'd love to lap at your house though...it'd be more likely once the winter is over.

lfisminiz
2014.01.18, 09:54 PM
Hard to say really. The AWD can be such a miserable car to drive. If you find a good setup though they are quite amazing. My primary awd converted to brushless is still my favorite MiniZ. I don't think this front end is a game changer for the awd, if you didn't like it before you probably still won't. The servo will never be as precise as an mr03 and if not tuned right the front end pulls something fierce over any and all bumps which can make it nearly impossible to drive(and enjoy). The real key is to use a gear diff in the front, no lube at all, it needs to be very free. A ball diff or 1way ruins the awd experience. Second is the rear suspension must be DWS or Atomic SAS, the stock original awd suspension was terrible. Third is the entire drive train must be very free, the car should easily coast.

So gear diff in front. Im assuming, ball diff in rear?

TheSteve
2014.01.18, 10:38 PM
So gear diff in front. Im assuming, ball diff in rear?

Yes Sir.

You want to use the hardened buggy gear diff in the front, part # MBW002.
In the rear I use the buggy ball diff, part # MBW028.
I have added a proper thrust bearing to the ball diff and it has lasted countless hours of running with a brushless motor. You can even use the original gear diff in the front or rear of the AWD but they break very easily, especially with a good motor or impacts. I have yet to kill the hardened diff in the front as it has metal spider gears, the ball diff in the back can slip a little during heavy impacts.

lfisminiz
2014.01.18, 11:18 PM
Thanks for info. Want to rebuild mine over the winter.

gctkaz
2014.01.29, 02:18 PM
The real key is to use a gear diff in the front, no lube at all, it needs to be very free. A ball diff or 1way ruins the awd experience. Second is the rear suspension must be DWS or Atomic SAS, the stock original awd suspension was terrible. Third is the entire drive train must be very free, the car should easily coast.
That's very interesting... is this just critical for high-power setups?

My MA-010 is set up with stock sliding suspension front and rear with stock springs, very loose ball diffs at both ends (both will slip if motor is gunned while holding the wheels), it is 90mm wheelbase with 0-offset narrows all around, but with a slow PN 70T. Kyosho 30* slicks in the back with Atomic 40* slicks in the front and it was very well-behaved at the last meet (for the first time with this body). I have a Buggy hard diff lying around, but the ball diff feels well enough for me and maybe it's just that sub-optimal setup is less catastrophic at low power levels? Maybe you could have a look at it on the bench, take it for a spin and let me know what you think.

I always felt the S15 body was terrible for racing, but I think I finally got a non-roll-happy setup for this 70T AWD and my 60T MR-02, and the ultra-narrow body is advantageous in tight twisties.

TheSteve
2014.01.29, 03:24 PM
Hah, Grant mentioned that traction was up and down at the meet, I bet it followed your running of the Atomic 40 tires. They are banned at my track, well any silicone tire is as they tend to make rubber tires feel pretty slick.

Anyway, I have had both of my AWD cars work with ball diffs in the front, however both were much better with gear diffs. If there are more bumps in the track the difference becomes more obvious. If you like the setup I wouldn't bother changing it. I'll try it out at the next meet, I can compare it to my 90mm/narrow awd.(which I love btw, it is stupid fast)

gctkaz
2014.01.29, 05:12 PM
Yes that's right... over the last year I had in fact switched the tires on all of my cars to Kyosho rubber - my MA-010 was running Kyosho 30* narrow slicks all around and it was a bit too much front grip and traction rolling so just out of curiosity I dug into my box of retired stuff and put the Atomic 40* back on and they worked well. With a slightly wider body I was able to use Kyosho 30* narrow with Kyosho 20* wide, but I wasn't so enamored with that body and would rather use my S15 for casual driving.

For the club's sake though, if you can point me to where I can buy a harder 8.5mm Kyosho slick, I would be happy to do so ;)

Sorry for the derail!

cowboysir
2014.01.29, 05:33 PM
I've got a bunch of Kyosho 40s you could have, geoff.

Turns out I forgot an item on my order list for the 020 conversion so I can start build but it won't run for another week or so.

TheSteve
2014.01.29, 05:49 PM
I noticed that Kyosho has a specific part number - MDW201 for the MA-020 front springs, different then the MR03 part number. I think they may be a little bit shorter but without seeing them it is hard to say. For now I am fine using my MR03 springs.

cowboysir
2014.01.29, 08:32 PM
I believe i may have some springs of a similar diameter to MR03 stock springs yet shorter than them. I can't test yet since I goofed on ordering the arms....

Build has started with all the electronics swap and building the rear end...I hope to get plenty of home practice before making a fool of myself at the newton GTG's.

gctkaz
2014.01.29, 09:21 PM
Thank you for the offer, cowboysir! I think I will indeed take you up on that, and I would be happy to buy you some pizza in exchange. No, that's not code since you always ask...

cowboysir
2014.02.09, 02:10 PM
So after a bit of ordering mishap i was able to finally get a test day for my "new" MA020:

1. Install went reasonably well but a word of warning is that the bottom plate can be tweaked somewhat easily...I installed the bottom metal pivot ball upside down on one side and in the process of removing/re-installing I bent one arm a bit and it wouldn't return to original shape. Instead of trying to tweak it back to shape I decided to swap to the "narrow spec" and buy a new bottom plate pack to get a new "wide" plate. I'd say in Kyosho's defense i manhandled the part a bit too much so I'd lay the blame mostly on myself instead of manufacturer:o

2. I'm overall pleased with the functionality of the front end of the 020. From a bit of an AWD hater i've been waiting for a type of independent front end like this that wasn't $150 worth of floppy alloy or came up with a shock idea that limited the fitment of quite a few body styles onto the AWD.

I was able with a bit of tuning to get my AWD to the same pace as my stock MR03 on a similar sized track. After figuring out where the driving differences are between 03 and 020 (yes I'm that newish to AWD) I could drive it more 'round' sections instead of point and shooting like I used to do with AWD's of previous iterations.

I rate the concept Kyosho has come up with a solid 8.5 out of 10. Besides the bottom plate flex I think a mod to allow a variety of spring fitment on the front will make this platform an excellent first ride or seasoned AWD racer.:D

I think I will finally be keeping my AWD.

I have quite a few steps to improve my overall spec of the chassis (time to flip back through some RR tutorials on AWD) and I have another round of parts on order due to some friendly suggestions from TheSteve on how to improve the drivetrain.

TheSteve
2014.02.09, 02:58 PM
The plastic is soft - I am hoping that means it won't break easily, it may tweak though. Anyway it is important to notice the balls only want to snap in from one side and the balls are slightly different one end to the other. I am not sure which way they are supposed to go but I made sure to put mine in both the same way.

btw, when you snap them in put the bottom on a nice flat surface and push them in, there should be no need to deform the plastic at all.

cowboysir
2014.02.10, 11:01 AM
The plastic is soft - I am hoping that means it won't break easily, it may tweak though. Anyway it is important to notice the balls only want to snap in from one side and the balls are slightly different one end to the other. I am not sure which way they are supposed to go but I made sure to put mine in both the same way.

btw, when you snap them in put the bottom on a nice flat surface and push them in, there should be no need to deform the plastic at all.

I came to the conclusion that the pivot ball should go in with the rimmed edge down. It seemed that the edge would catch while attempting to pivot if it was positioned on the top edge.

I followed that procedure for the second install. I'll be ordering a couple batches of lower arm sets to have as spares.

What are your thoughts on the hinge pin clips? I'm definitely worried about losing them....

TheSteve
2014.02.22, 04:03 PM
I converted my primary AWD (supercar) to the MA020 chassis the other day. I decided to go with the wide config. I don't have any proper Kyosho wide axles so I took 4 regular ones and did some chopping. They are now extended 3mm each using carbon tubes. I am hoping 3racing will make longer steel or alloy ones shortly.
I believe I have the pivot balls with the edge facing up on both of my cars - my theory was that they seemed to have more of an edge for the front knuckles to rest on, and wouldn't hang below the car quite as far.
Going from the MA015 to MA020 front end does mean I can't use my front sway bar anymore, hopefully it won't hurt performance too much. I'd also like to know how long the official Kyosho MA020 front springs are. I am using various MR03 front springs for now and they seem a little long but I generally like my cars to run very low. I'm also pondering how we might add just a little damping to the front end, it is very smooth but also very bouncy.

and yes, those front clips would be easy to lose, guess we shall see if they easily pop off while driving. I'll do some test laps in the coming week to get a baseline for performance.

lfisminiz
2014.02.22, 07:03 PM
Steve, I have the pivot ball edges down. But ill check that out your way. I had the PN 03 springs in before i got the official Kyosho springs. The size is very close. Damping... i usually just put some Kyosho grease on the toe rods at hub. Helps damping and easy to apply and not as messy.

cowboysir
2014.02.22, 07:26 PM
I believe I have the pivot balls with the edge facing up on both of my cars - my theory was that they seemed to have more of an edge for the front knuckles to rest on, and wouldn't hang below the car quite as far.
Going from the MA015 to MA020 front end does mean I can't use my front sway bar anymore, hopefully it won't hurt performance too much. I'd also like to know how long the official Kyosho MA020 front springs are. I am using various MR03 front springs for now and they seem a little long but I generally like my cars to run very low. I'm also pondering how we might add just a little damping to the front end, it is very smooth but also very bouncy.

and yes, those front clips would be easy to lose, guess we shall see if they easily pop off while driving. I'll do some test laps in the coming week to get a baseline for performance.

1. I've got a set of the low ride height PN springs for MR03 coming...might give me a bit lower front end without having to preload the spring too much.

2. The only way I can think of damping the front end at this point is a dab of grease/oil on the lower slider. They'll get dirty fast so I'm not keen....the front is bouncy but drivable for me so I think Ill leave it for now.

TheSteve
2014.02.23, 02:21 AM
I'm definitely sticking with the pivot balls facing up the way I installed them. I am also using the shorter/softer Kyosho branded MR03 springs. Picked up some new front rims today as running the wide front end ruins using all of my Audi R8 rims(shame, they are so pretty, and I have so many). Got some nice black rims though to maintain my tradition of all black wheels.

They also now have a wide rear end config for the DWS, basically you run a longer lower a-arm and longer axles. I am not sure if I see enough potential advantage of the wider rear end though. If anything a super small advantage in stability simply because it moves the hub further out. The wide front I am totally sold on of course, the boost in steering efficiency is what I am after.

I have to say the MA020 in 98mm config one sweet looking chassis, the front and back ends are very low profile now. The middle of the chassis appears a little chunky only because they have the electronics package sitting so far above the motor(for heat related reasons of course)

On a super bumpy track I'd probably always choose the MR03, but for pretty much anything else I just love the AWD car. It really minds me of my 10th scale touring car racing days. It simply attacks any track it is on.

TheSteve
2014.03.02, 01:00 AM
Did my first test laps with the MA015 converted to a MA020 today. The track I am driving I have done 50000 laps + on with various cars. The MA015 I converted is my favorite Mini-Z by far. The first thing I noticed was that the front end was screaming out for some kind of damping, any kind of damping. I could see the bounce over the bumps, something I didn't have before. I added some grease to the upper ball, the lower pin and the hinge pin itself. It helped a small amount but not much over all. Might help a little more as the grease gets dirty :)
The new front end has more steering so far, I had to go to a harder tire. I selected a spring rate and ride height similar to my MA015 setup. I will have to try a stiffer spring next test. My old front end did have a sway bar, something no longer compatible with the new front end.
There is no way to limit up travel with the new front end, so with an extreme bump it is possible to have the tire make contact with a low profile body, that is just all kinds of bad. If you rub the sides of the rcp and the body digs in at all the nose really dives and the car tends to go flying.
The "home brew" carbon tube extended front axles held up which was nice.
At the end of the test I was 0.06 seconds slower with the MA020 then my MA015 best time. It was not as controllable or as forgiving either.
It will take quite a bit of effort to get it where my original car was, and if I can't get it where I want it my car will transform back into an MA015 :)

More to come...

cowboysir
2014.03.02, 07:42 AM
I had some thoughts about a limiter. I thought about drilling a couple holes in the middle of the spring cup area (dependent on whether you use narrow or wide) and recessing the underside so you could thread a couple screws from underneath and cut them to length to make a travel stop.

Damping will be tricky. I'm not a big fan of having to pull apart the arm/knuckle assembly to clean every three or four runs to clean/redo the grease (which would be needed at Ryan's track).

Keep us updated on your progress.

TheSteve
2014.03.03, 10:11 PM
Just did another test session, went to stiffer front springs. The front end is now insanely precise and smooth, with tons of grip. The tradeoff being I can kick the back end out now or even have it dig in on high speed corners. If it digs in the cars goes flying. This is something that never happened with the original front end. I think my from sway bar was really taming down the front end which helped in some ways. In a real car I think I'd prefer a little oversteer, in an RC car I generally prefer just a hint of understeer. So now I either try to get more grip out of the back end or try to take some away from the front.

The best lap I did matched the lap time to did with the old chassis to one hundredth of a second. However the original car was still more forgiving. It will get better I am sure, I expect a track record with it eventually.

lfisminiz
2014.03.03, 11:13 PM
Thanks for update. I slowly have started testing mine.

TheSteve
2014.03.16, 10:38 PM
Ran the MA020 at the club for the first time today. It worked scary well. The club track has slightly less grip them my home track and it worked out great. The back end never dug in, just did some very small hops at times. All in all it was the best handling car I have driven in a very long time. The lap times confirmed its performance. It can always be improved but it will be very small changes as I don't want to risk making it worse.

TheSteve
2014.04.05, 03:58 PM
Finally received the MA020 specific front spring kit, part # MDW201. They are about 0.5mm longer then a standard MR03 spring and the range goes from stiff to very soft - much softer then the standard MR03 spring kit. Probably something closer to the mr03 short/soft kit.

Can't say I'm too impressed with the length, I was already using the mr03 short/soft spring kit in my ma020 and thought they were still a little long for how low I like to run the car, the official ma020 springs would add a full 1mm, too much for this kid!

AFMiniz
2014.05.24, 08:31 PM
I am using the wide lower plate for my newly converted MA020. I shared the same finding that the lower plate is a bit "soft", it is easily tweaked. My problem is when i put some spacers at the bottom of knuckle to reduce the ride height of the car, the lower leg of knuckle will easily come out from the lower plate's pivot ball under strong crush. The reasons are:

1. The lower plate tweaked, thus knuckle leg easily comes out from pivot ball.

2. There is no down stop can be adjusted, knuckle move up too much.

ianc
2014.09.25, 04:39 PM
Hi gents,

I have an MA 010, and like cowboysir was never all that happy with it, although I did give it the old college try. I went ahead and ordered all the parts listed in the first post here to go to the new chassis and front end.

Does anyone know what Kyosho parts are necessary to go from the standard MA010 rear suspension to the DWS as used on the 015\020 to make the upgrade complete?

Perusing the Kenon site gives:

MDW100-02 - Kyosho Mini-Z AWD DWS Rear Chassis Set
MDW100-05 - Kyosho Mini-Z AWD DWS Upper Rod & Suspension Shaft Set

It doesn't look like that's everything though. Is there any all in one upgrade set for the DWS?

Thanks for the any help,

ianc

TheSteve
2014.09.25, 09:27 PM
The full DWS kit is part # MDW100

However it was produced before Kyosho created the wide rear end option. If you also want that you'd need MD205 - long CVDs and MDW100-07 - long a-arms.

ianc
2014.09.26, 12:44 PM
Thanks for the info TheSteve!

I had the SAS and never had much success with it. It was kind of sloppy and just didn't seem to work that well. I hope Kyosho's produced something a little tighter, we shall see.

I looked here for info on it, but apart from this thread (http://mini-zracer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34741&highlight=dws+upgrade&page=4) about the DWS, (which didn't contain any real conclusions about it), there wasn't much to be found.

Well, we shall see, and it will be fun to tinker with at least...

Thanks again,

ianc