Driftmission.com presents the MST MS-01D Pro Chassis Kit
Max Speed Technology (MST) is new to the radio control drift market. This car is designed and produced exclusively by MST in Taiwan. The MST MS-01D Pro chassis has been designed with only performance in mind. MST has taken the conventional RC Drift chassis layout and made significant improvements to it. The chassis is a 2 belt driven mid-ship positioned motor design for weight optimization; as seen on many Drift Spec chassis such as the Tamiya VDF, Hot Bodies TC-FD, D-Like RE-R and many more. The most unique aspect of the MS-01D is the suspension arm design. MST has done away with the traditional toe-blocks and incorporated the upper and lower suspension arms into the front and rear bulkheads. The slim design of the lower suspension arm allows for more steering angle, which is desired by many CS or counter-steer modified drifters. The upper suspension arms are also designed for better steering clearance as well as castor adjustments. This is truly one of the strongest points of this chassis design and makes it unique to any others you have seen in the market today.
This build will be to stock specifications, which means all the settings will be based on the measurements given in the instructions manual. This will also be a 50/50 setup drift RC car. If you are using this build as a guide to building your own chassis, read the entire build before you start.
The Unboxing of the MST MS-01D Pro Kit
The MS-01D Pro kit includes a generous amount of aluminum parts. The blue anodized aluminum parts includes the center motor bulkhead, heatsink motor mount plate, high quality threaded suspension, front one-way tube, turnbuckles, spur gear holders, alloy tensioner holder with low friction pulley and servo mounts. The kit includes ball bearings, front 60° universal drive shafts, rear universal drive shafts, countersteer kit (1.54, 1.67, 1.82 CS), chrome coated plastic brake discs, plastic brake calipers and carbon fiber upper decks. The parts listed above are upgraded from the original MST MS-01D or Spice SRD-01 Kit.
The kit also includes a a set of 3mm offset 7 spoke wheels and a set of MST medium compound (red dot) 3° cambered drift tires with a 60° outer edge for that stretched tire look. Hex screws are also included in the kit, which is an added bonus. There are still several Phillips screws in the build, but there is a reason for it, we will explain further when the time comes. Enough talk about the kit, now onto the build…
Building of the MS-01D Pro Chassis Kit
The main chassis is a flexible plastic material, it is a flat reinforced plastic so the flex characteristics is unlike any tub chassis on the market. The main chassis is stiff up in the front portion of the chassis where stiffness is needed. The rear portion of the chassis has greater flex, which we suspect will aid with the traction capabilities. The upper decks are carbon fiber so it will also provide additional stiffness to the entire chassis.
My personal preference when building a chassis is to start with the damper building. The high quality aluminum threaded dampers are very similar to the Tamiya TRF Dampers, the only difference is the internal components of the lower collar. Everything is disassembled then reassembled and filled with damper oil (#300 or 30wt) included with the kit. This process is done first to allow the damper oil to settle and the air bubbles out, which will increase the consistency and performance of the dampers. I also use some AE green slime to seal the bottom half of the damper enclosure to decrease damper oil leakage.
The front and rear bulkheads are made of a very hard and thick plastic. The bulkheads seat directly into a slot in the chassis, which adds stability and strength to the structure of the main chassis. The center alloy bulkhead also adds a large amount of stability to the chassis and further minimizes the chassis flex. The alloy tensioner with low friction pulley adds function and style to the middle section of the chassis. This tensioner also helps keep the belt off the battery. We believe that alloy bulkheads would bring additional stability and rigidity to the performance of the chassis. This will be another option part that we would like to upgrade to for greater performance.
The Center Shaft
The center shaft assembly is next in the build process. The center shaft diameter is 5mm, which is larger than many of the other kits on the market. This means that you need to do your research before you invest in alloy CS gears for this chassis. The spur gear included is a 88T 48 Pitch spur gear, pinion gear is NOT included. The spur gear is held in place by an alloy spur gear holder with a stylish outer alloy cover plate, this ensures the stability of the rotating spur gear.
Belts and Pulleys
The stock belts included are 3mm wide 75T front and 162T rear. The stock pulleys are 36T front and rear with 18T center. Once again the center shaft is 5mm bore, so do your research when searching for aluminum center pulleys. The center shaft has slots for pin style pulleys, and it also had a flat side on each side for grub screw style pulleys. This is an added feature that is not seen on any other kits. It really shows MST attention to detail when designing this chassis.
The front differential is an alloy front one-way tube and the 36T pulley is secured by 3 screws. The front one-way is anodize blue for aesthetic style. The rear differential is a plastic solid axle/spool, it comes directly off the parts tree. The plastic material appears to be very durable. The pulley is secured to a pulley holder with a pin and 3 screws to secure the 36T pulley in place. Joint rings are also included for the ends of the spool to ensure that the universal drive shaft does not deform the drive slots. I suspect that the rear spool may need to be upgraded to an alloy one if a low turn motor is use; the plastic spool may not be able to stand up to the abuse.
Once the front and rear differentials are assembled, the bearings are placed in with the belt tensioner adjusters. It is a slotted ring with more offset to one side than the other, the slots on the tensioner ring corresponds to a positioner on the bulkhead. Careful when adjusting this tensioner ring, and make sure both sides correspond to each other; if set incorrectly, it could cause some uneven wear and tear to the differentials. Do not over-tension the belts, due to the flex available in the main chassis, this could cause severe chassis tweak. Make sure belt are not too tight, there should be a few millimeters of slack available in the belts. Once correct tension is achieved, the upper bulkheads are assembled to secure the differentials in place.
Steering Link and Front Upper Deck
The steering links are attached directly to the bottom side of the carbon front upper deck. It was designed this way to keep the steering wipers clear of the front bulkhead. The hard plastic steering wipers work well and provide approximately 30° of steering throw at the pivot point. Stock steering seems to be approximately 30° of parallel steering angle. We suspect that the optional alloy steering wipers will be an important upgrade for more steering angle, it is one of the few option parts that we would recommend for this MS-01D Pro chassis kit. The carbon front upper deck is one of the upgrade components for the Pro kit, it adds necessary rigidity to the front portion of the chassis and aids in greater performance.
Rear Upper Deck
The rear carbon upper deck is also an upgrade for the MS-01D Pro chassis kit. The 2.5mm thick carbon upper deck significantly reduces the flex in the main chassis. The combination of carbon upper deck and plastic main chassis adds a very good balance of flex and rigidity characteristics to the chassis.
The upper bulkhead is designed in a very unique way. The droop screws are actually located right in the upper bulkhead, which is significantly different from traditional RC chassis designs. Traditionally the droop is adjusted right at the bottom suspension arm and the screw depresses right into the main chassis. The MS-01D droop screws will adjusts the upper suspension linkage, pushing up on it for more droop. This is another unique design from MST.
Front Suspension Arms
Another one unique design by MST is the suspension arms. The suspension arms are designed in the shape of an A, which allows for more steering angle when desired. The suspension arms are secured right to the bottom of the bulkheads to better facilitate suspension intake without any toe blocks to deal with. This enables the suspension arms to move freely and enables the main chassis to have a narrower design. Phillips screws are used to secure the suspension arms because the screw heads have a smaller diameter and thinner top, such that it does not interfere with the suspension movement. Personally we are not a fan of Phillips screw top, but in this case, it is warranted. Overall the suspension arms are designed very well and really meet the needs of the countersteer CS modified drifters that are seeking more steering angle. The front suspension arms include a stopper for the steering knuckles so that it does not exceed its maximum angle.
The next step in the process requires the dampers to be installed, so it is time to complete the damper assembling process. If you remember the dampers were started earlier and enough time has passed to allow for all the air to escape from the damper fluid so time to continue with the build.
Front Damper Stay
The plastic damper stay is similar material to that of the main chassis. The damper stays do flex slightly under load so it will have a slight effect the performance of the dampers. A small amount of flex in the damper stays is not detrimental to the performance of the dampers; if anything it will make the driving experience more forgiving for a beginner in the Drift RC hobby. Carbon damper stay are an option part available separately to the kit, so an upgrade is available for those experienced drifters out there that understand how to tune their suspension setup. The top of the dampers are positioned behind the damper stay, so it effectively positions the dampers as close to the chassis as possible. This means possibility of more steering angle for the chassis.
Rear Suspension Arms and Damper Stay
The rear suspension arms are the same design as the front arms, the only difference is the longer grub screw that holds the adjuster ring that houses the pillow ball. This also allows you to set the width or track of your chassis.
Turnbuckles and Upper Suspension Links
The turnbuckles included with the MS-01D Pro kit are a nice anodized blue alloy to match the rest of the blue anodized parts on the chassis. It is a nice visual impact as well as function. These turnbuckles are an upgrade from the stock MS-01D kit, where they did not have the adjustable collar in the center.
The universal drive shafts are setup differently than the conventional Tamiya or Yokomo driveshafts where the bearings sit outside of the drive cups. The capture type design seats a larger bearing on the drive cup itself, similar to the Street Jam OTA-R31 Suspension arm design. The capture type design gives the driveshaft more strength and longer life. Their design also allows the drive cups to be larger and allow for more drive shaft movement. This allows their drive shafts to achieve a 60° steering angle without binding or chatter. Another point to make note of is that the bearings hold in the pin that connects the drive cup to the drive shaft, there is no grub screw to tighten. The front and rear drive shafts are not created equal; the rear driveshafts only has a pin joining the cup to the shaft, the front driveshafts have an extra collar to fit into the cup and shaft, which gives it more steering angle without binding. Ensure that you grease this when building, it is very important to keep it lubricated.
Steering Knuckles and Brake Discs with Calipers
The steering knuckles are designed quite well. There is several mounting positions so that the Ackerman angle can be adjusted, there is also an extra hole that aligns itself behind the upper suspension mount for parallel steering angle. The steering knuckles are also designed with an extra section to hold the brake calipers in place. It is a very good design to hold the calipers in place and adds another scale dimension to the RC drift car. After installing, we noticed that the brake discs; made of plastic with a chrome finish, are slightly deformed and do not spin true so it will rub the plastic calipers. We decided not to mount them until we were able to obtain the aluminum brake discs which would be more accurate.
Front Bumper and Battery Holder
The front foam bumper is a standard one, nothing special about it. The post spacing is similar to that of a Tamiya, any body drilled for a standard Tamiya TA-05 and TB-03 will fit on this chassis. The battery is secured with two large O-rings that hook onto the sides of the battery brace. It is a very simple solution and easy to use without trouble of pins or strapping materials.
Wheels and Tires
Included with the kit are a set of black seven spoke 3.0mm offset wheels and a set of medium compound (red dot) Drift RC tires. These tires come with 3° camber and a 60° outer edge for that stretched tire look. Unlike HPI or Yokomo drift wheels that have an outer edge, these wheels are smooth all the way through. The tire compound is very similar to an ABS type tire which is a bit harder compared to the HPI T-drifts that we normally use. The tires were mounted onto the wheels with a small amount of tire glue on the inner and outer edges.
**Thanks to Murdock for use of his picture of the wheel
The electronics we chose to use for this build the Yeah Racing 35A esc with a 3300kV (12T) brushless motor. This combo is a very affordable one; most of you have seen these combos around especially online shopping. We chose to use this combo because it is simply easy to get and very affordable, also 12T is enough to get anyone sliding with some speed. The servo we chose is a Blue Bird BMS-621 high speed analog servo. It is nothing special, basically just very affordable and performs quite well. The battery used to power all of this is a Yeah Racing 3200mAh 20C 2s Li-Po battery, once again, nothing special, just enough to get the job done at an affordable price.
The chassis build took approximately 8 hours over a 2 day period. Overall this was a very enjoyable build. The instructions manual is easy to follow with the exception of a few minor grammatical errors. The illustrations of the manual were very detailed and the parts list was to scale of the side panel. Building this kit would not be difficult for anyone regardless of experience. I do recommend that a beginner take their time building and not to rush the process, always double check everything before assembling and follow the instructions!
The most enjoyable part of the build for me was the overall design of the chassis. It is noticeable that MST has done their research when designing this chassis. Their innovative ways to mount the suspension arms and the brake calipers alone are unique to this MS-01D chassis. Overall MST did a great job with the design and quality of this chassis. The MS-01D Pro kit is significantly higher quality with many option part upgrades already included in the kit.
The MS-01D kit includes an 88T 48P spur gear without any pinion gear. We chose to use a Tamiya 20T 0.6 module pinion gear. There is a slight difference in the meshing of these gears due to the difference between metric and imperial measurement of the pinion, so a lot of care and attention was taken to ensure that the gear meshing was smooth without any cogging issues.
While mounting the motor we encountered a small problem. Due to the low profile of the center bulkhead design, the motor does not fit very well. The problem is that the main chassis has raised edges and it does interfere with the motor entering the center bulkhead enclosure. The solution was to loosen some screws just to raise the bulkhead slightly so that the motor could slide in. It is not a big problem, but it may be beneficial to secure the motor in the early stages where the center bulkhead and motor mount is installed.
Be sure to oil and grease all movable components, we did not document or show all of the points that were necessary, but a good rule of thumb is to put a small amount of lubricant on any movable parts.
Check out a quick time-lapse of the build