Hot Bodies TC-FD Review Hot Bodies TC-FD Review
Background The new Hot Bodies TC-FD is the successor to the very popular HB TC-D chassis. During its first release the TC-D, it was... Hot Bodies TC-FD Review

Background

The new Hot Bodies TC-FD is the successor to the very popular HB TC-D chassis. During its first release the TC-D, it was regarded as one of the top chassis in the market. Even Weld Overdose started creating after-market parts for it. The HB TC-D is still widely used in the RC Drift community today, especially in Japan. Now we take a look at the new Hot Bodies TC-FD to see if he lives up to its pedigree.

Chassis Changes

I took the courtesy to make some improvements to this chassis.
1. Front suspension arms, c-hub, steering knuckle and universal driveshafts have been replaced with R31 style suspension.
2. Countersteer mod to 2.00CS ratio Front: (40/14) Rear: (23/32)
3. Modified steering bridge…. more room for improvement
Drift Mission Hot Bodies TCFD 2 (4)Drift Mission Hot Bodies TCFD 2 (3)

The Review

Overall Chassis Build Process

I purchased this chassis on the used market, so it came built with 1.7CS ratio. There were some minor problems with it so they were addressed after disassembly. Small sections of the CF chassis were damaged during shipping process, so the care was taken to repair, treat and seal the carbon fiber. The chassis was very easy to build, especially if you have chassis building experience. The instructions from Hot Bodies/HPI are very easy to follow so assembly was not a problem. For first time builders, take your time, pay attention to detailed diagrams in the instructions. Make sure everything follows the instructions; it will mean a smoother and longer lasting chassis. If you would like a detailed build, please check out our Chassis Build section.
Drift Mission Hot Bodies TCFD 2 (9)

Overall Quality of the

The HB TC-FD is only offered in kit form, so assembly is required. The instructions from Hot Bodies are very straight forward and easy to follow. You can check out a full build of the HB TC-FD from our build gallery.

The street price for this chassis is right around the $450USD mark. The kit itself includes a large number of carbon fiber and aluminum alloy parts. All the important components that need rigidity are already in alloy. The TC-FD is very well equipped for the cost. Out of the box it is in a 50/50 configuration, currently Hot Bodies does not have counter-steer (CS) kits for this chassis, but the previous TC-D CS kit will fit.
Drift Mission Hot Bodies TCFD 2 (7)Drift Mission Hot Bodies TCFD 2 (6)

Alloy Parts:
Front and Rear Aluminum bulkheads
Aluminum Motor bulkhead
Aluminum Toe blocks
Aluminum Threaded Suspension
Aluminum Tensioners/idlers
Front and Rear Universal Driveshafts

Carbon Parts:
Main Chassis
Front and rear upper deck
Front and rear damper stay
Steering bridge
Top bumper brace

The Good

  • Many aluminum alloy parts
  • Mid-ship motor design
  • More chassis flex than TC-D
  • Improved front tensioner compared to TC-D
  • Better motor bulkhead design than TC-D
  • Shares parts with Hot Bodies TCX
  • 3 piece motor bulkhead design
  • Rear Spool Axle

The Bad

  • Lacks steering angle
  • Inferior steering design
  • No parts compatibility with HB Cyclone TC or TC-D
  • Lack of parts support from Hot Bodies or HPI
  • No third party aftermarket support

Overall Value

The street price of the Hot Bodies TC-FD kit can be found for approximately $400-$500USD. At this price range, one of its direct competitors is the Tamiya VDF. The TC-FD includes more out of the box than the VDF, especially with the front and rear alloy bulkheads. The only problem is the TC-FD shares parts with the popular HB TCX touring car chassis, so hop-up parts are expensive; such as the front one-way and center one-way differential. The Hot Bodies TC-FD package is a very good kit for intermediate to advanced RC drifters.
Drift Mission Hot Bodies TCFD 2 (8)

Conclusion

The Hot Bodies TC-FD is a well-equipped high-end RC drift kit. It includes all of the alloy and carbon fiber you need for a high performance drifter. The cost of the TC-FD kit is also very reasonable and is competitive with other kits in the same price range. The two major problems with this chassis is the design of the steering mechanism and lack of parts support from Hot Bodies/HPI. This chassis was highly anticipated prior to its official release in 2011. After its release, HB/HPI seems to have abandoned all support for RC Drifting and have gone back to the competitive racing. It would be great if HB/HPI would come back and resume some support like they did for the TC-D. If you already have the original TC-D, then you are not missing anything with this new TC-FD.
Drift Mission Hot Bodies TCFD 2 (1)

 

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Drift Mission

RC Drift Specialist for Driftmission.com