Ahh yes, the TRF102. Pretty dang good on asphalt. On carpet, hit or miss. The thing is, the chassis is thin compared to the rest of the Tamya line up, at 2.5mm. If the traction is up on carpet, it can get hard to drive.
I had brought the 102 with me to the TCS race at Access Hobbies in Springfield, Ohio in addition to the ever reliable F104WGP. I bounced back and forth between the cars during practice the day before the race. Towards the middle of the afternoon, temperature and humidity increased in the building and traction began to rise quickly. This brought out the wild nature of the TRF102, which can be a handful in these sorts of conditions. The car became very sensitive on the straight, and it did not put the power down very well out of the corners. The temptation of this car is, of course, the easy steering feel it has. If it can be tamed, the car should be faster than just about any of the other cars in the Tamiya line up as it steers far better throughout the corner. The problem is that much of this steering comes from the flex in the front of the chassis, which is a headache in high traction.
This is where the carbon front end comes in. Without the camber gain from the moving upper arm on the standard front end, and being made of much stiffer materials, the bite should be reduced overall.
I ran one pack with the standard front end. Traction was good on the track, and the car was a bit ill mannered. I switched out front ends, and started with silver springs not knowing what kind of bite I would get. I also went to the higher of the 2 camber settings, which I think is 2*.
The car was pretty good, but would lift the inside rear going into high speed turns. The front springs were too soft, so I went to the black spring, the heaviest. This made a big difference, and I also added a shim under the front knuckle to take a little droop out.
Both changes helped to flatten the car out. The car was much better, but it required a lot of steering throw to get around. I had an Xray servo saver on the car, so I added an Exotek ackermann extension to it. This part usually adds more bite to the front end, especially mid corner. I tried both settings available, and the most forward was a bit too much. The rear setting seemed a little better, not as hard to drive. Both the rear setting and the stock Xray servo saver produced similar lap times, and the plain Xray part may have actually been a little more consistent. It's the sort of thing that may take a little more testing to sort out, but I think ackermann changes will probably be an important part of the tuning arsenal for this front end.
On a carpet track, the front end made the car a lot better to drive, and got the lap times to a competitive level. On asphalt, I'm not sure if it would better subjectively, or just as a matter of taste in driving feel. I'm definitely going to find out, as I have seen the combination be on point outdoors. In any case, it's probably the front end to run for carpet if you want to use the TRF102.