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bling's the thing,
= Durability: = Fun: = Educational:
This review is from: 758 Sprint 2 Drift Toyota Trueno (Toy)The HPI Sprint 2 drift ARR is a great platform (affordable, too) for creating the drifter of your choice. Sure, there are better (and more expensive) kits and RTR's out there, but this ARR (almost ready to run) gives a little latitude (caveat below) to electronics you prefer, and has all the adjustments a drifter could want.
After installing a Castle Creations Mamba Max Pro ESC with a 5700KV motor, Hitec HS 7940TH servo (it comes with a factory one, but is a little slow) for steering, and a Spektrum radio system, The sprint 2 was ready to drift! After a "shakedown" session, a few adjustments were in order, but those were few, and the little Sprint is a fantastic RC drift car! It moves and slides just like the real thing! I had procured an HPI "D-box" to aid in getting the car to slide more controllably, and it works! Fine little accessory, that! It's essentially a mini gyro in a very small casing you attach to the chassis and plug into the receiver to "countersteer" the front wheels in a faster manner than you would be able to otherwise, to keep absolute control of the car. Switching from left to right and back again is effortless. The only thing you need to keep track of is how much throttle input you give.
The durability of the chassis should be good, being made of a very durable plastic. In fact, the whole car is made that way. there are aluminum plates to attach the motor, and they serve as stressed frame members. the car is solid, and when adjusted properly, VERY silent. All you hear is a muted whine when it's running! The sliding tires make more noise!
HPI also makes hop-ups for the Sprint 2, but I felt it didn't really need any. The car is a great runner, right out of the box!
A few caveats are in order, here:
DO NOT exceed a 5700 KV motor (10 turn brushed) in this chassis. The extra stress a larger motor would exert on the chassis will start breaking parts. Besides, the car doesn't need excessive amounts of power to drift. Also, you may want to install a smaller pinion gear, to keep motor temperatures down. Speed is not necessarily the object in drifting, looking good going sideways is. The motor does spin faster than the car's actual speed would indicate however, so there isn't much airflow to cool the motor as it would be for any other type of driving. 160 degrees is the maximum temperature you should run (my little Sprint 2 is around 140-150 degrees with a 28T pinion).
If your transmitter has adjustability beyond just trims, and has a throttle EPA (end point adjustment) setting, you can flatten the power output (beneficial in drifting) by lowering the end-point a bit. Also, do not touch the exponential setting! Leave expo at zero. If your ESC has adjustability (Castle Creations ESC's are TOTALLY adjustable with the Castle Link), you can flatten the power curve that way, but bear in mind that if you adjust expo on the transmitter, the setting will fight the one on the ESC and possibly ruin the ESC.
The drive belts are exposed, and if you do a lot of parking lot sliding, debris can (and will) get wedged into the rear drive belt and pulley and damage or destroy them. This is the one weak area of this drifter that is hard to address. Still, the Sprint 2 chassis is one of the better chassis hardcore RC drifters use, because of not only price, but availability of parts.
*TIP* (just found): There is a "diff mod" you can do to solve the debris problem. It's a bit of a pain, but it will save a lot of trouble and money later on. The rear bulkhead has a two-piece design with a cover for the rear differential molded in. You need to cut the cover off the bulkhead halves with a Dremel tool or other cutting tool. If you have a dremel, you can cut it without taking the chassis apart. If not, remove only those parts you need to, to get to the cover to cut them off. What this does is allow rocks and other debris to pass through this area instead of rattling and bouncing around, possibly getting stuck between drive belt and pulley, damaging or destroying both. I have a Traxxas electric 4Tec, and the chassis design is similar to the Sprint 2, but Traxxas has molded this part without the cover, and it has no issues with debris. You are doing the same thing with this mod to the Sprint 2.
The tires supplied with the car are a very hard rubber. They are good for high-speed sliding, but not really very good for beginners. Still, with the D-box, it doesn't really matter much, as the D-box does the hard work, all you need worry about is the odd wall or telephone pole that always seems to jump into the car's path. HPI makes hard plastic ones (HPI T-Drift tire, 26mm) they install in the E-10 (bargain basement) chassis that will work better for those new to sliding sideways (check out HPI's drifting tutorial on Youtube).
The body comes unpainted. If you aren't a good rc body painter (like me), you may want to get a ready-painted body from any rc manufacturer who supplies them. HPI makes a few, and they are very good. I picked up an HPI 200mm red Mustang GTR body, and it looks great! I applied the decals that came with the Sprint 2, and it mimics the graphics you see on real drift cars! Be aware that there is a difference between 190mm and 200mm bodies. The Sprint 2 chassis is 190mm. If you want to mount a 200mm body (as I did), you'll have to get offset wheels to make up the difference in widths. 6mm offsets in the front and 9mm offsets in the rear will do fine. A 200mm body on a 190mm chassis without offset wheels just looks... well, dumb. HPI supplies a wide variety of wheel styles (even the aftermarket drift houses offer them!) in 0mm, 3mm, 6mm and 9mm offsets to suit whatever body you decide to go with, as well. With drifting, looks are everything.
So, in closing, for a little less than $200.00 (if you already have your own electronics) you can "whip tail" with the best of them! With a little practice (without the D-box), a boring parking lot will be a draw with this car sliding around! For more info and videos to see RC drifting in action, go to Youtube, or contact Genki Dori Dori or any other drift house for more details to see if drifting is for you. There are a plethora of websites dedicated to RC drifter setups for a number of popular chassis designs, and the HPI Sprint 2 is one of them. Be aware that this segment of RC is all about adjustments. Though the factory settings the Sprint 2 is boxed with suit most drivers for "grip" driving, drifting has it's own adjustments. It makes sense, because the more you follow these adjustments, the easier the car is to drift. Also, the HPI D-box is pricey- $95 from HPI! Nitro [...] has a gyro that is MUCH more affordable, at around $40, and does the same thing. Either will do the job, and makes drifting much more enjoyable because the "mechanics" of this type of driving are done for you. All you need do is know where you want to go!
These sites will be of invaluable help if you decide to try drifting:
Youtube (RC Drift[ing])/ Rc drifter setup/ HPI Sprint 2 drift setup/ HPI drifting tutorial
Genki Dori Dori
Give drifting a try! It's not nearly as expensive as other types of RC (you aren't replacing broken parts on a regular basis), and this type of driving is so far removed from what you may be used to, that it's like starting in RC all over again!