THURSDAY TESTIMONIALS: Factory RC carbon fiber options for Yokomo YZ-2 [UPDATED]
Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 04:03pm
By Aaron Waldron
The big bang for accessory manufacturer Factory RC came in December of 2013, preceding its launch of “Mo-Grip” - a tire sauce developed in conjunction with NorCal native fast guy Jason Moberly. They’ve steadily added to their product line ever since, amassing an array of carbon fiber goodies for various racing buggies and a few other options. They’ve treated Yokomo’s buggies especially well, offering more parts to fit the B-Max 2WD and 4WD platforms than for any other brand. They also offer YZ-2 parts carved from sheets of their high-quality material, and they sent me the lot in order to find someone to give them a try.
Will Stuart isn’t just one of the fastest stock buggy racers at SDRC, he’s also the only one who drives a YZ-2 - and he has two, both fitted with ball differentials and titanium hardware, one for stock and another for the 13.5 class.
I gave him each of the parts to bolt to his two buggies and he ran them for a several race nights before telling me what he thought of each:
Factory RC O-Slip
Factory RC fills this plastic syringe with the brand’s special shock o-ring lube, which is said to prevent stiction for increased damping consistency. O-Slip is formulated to work equally well on rubber and silicone o-rings, reducing swelling and wear.
Will loved it. “This stuff is awesome!” he said, “My shocks stay smoother for longer between rebuilds, this stuff doesn't gunk up the shock oil when building, and it doesn't leave a caked residue on the cartridge internals.” Though he did warn that applying too much pressure on the syringe made it impossible to control the flow, he couldn’t stop raving about how he felt the O-Slip lube was behind his improved shock rebuild intervals. He said, ”My shocks are also sucking considerably less air and are not leaking at all. I'm never going back to the old stuff after using this.”
Syringe can be tricky to use
It works great on shock o-rings - just be careful not to waste too much of it.
Factory RC YZ-2 short battery brace
Factory RC cut their YZ-2 battery brace longer than Yokomo did for the stock part in hopes that it would prevent the piece popping free from the waterfall capturing the back edge. Rather than relying on foam blocks for battery placement, the brace includes adjustable battery stops that can tightened in place to fit packs of different sizes or alter the buggy’s weight distribution. Though the brace is cut narrower to encourage chassis flex its also 3mm thick, versus the stock unit’s 2.5mm thick material, which adds a bit of weight - it’s 4 grams heavier than the stock brace without the battery stops installed. With the additional pieces bolted in place, the brace adds 7 grams.
The first thing that Will noticed was that it didn’t drop right in place. “The slot in the back of the strap was too narrow to fit around the waterfall,” he said, “so I used a Dremel with a grinding disc to cut it a little bit wider.” Stuart also noted that the brace’s alignment could cause problems for some users. “This mount takes up more real estate in the center of the car, so depending on how you have your ESC mounted, you may have to change your wiring.”
On the track, however, Stuart had nothing but rave reviews for the brace. He said, “As advertised, the narrow shape of this battery strap allows for more chassis flex. The result at SDRC was considerably more grip - and a car that was much easier to drive. The gain in performance really surprised me, because I was skeptical that a thicker and heavier strap would allow for more flex. Immediately after my first battery pack with this strap I purchased another for my second YZ-2. If you are looking for more grip with the YZ-2 this is a must have upgrade!“
Stuart also said that, after trimming the piece to fit, the extra length did stop the brace from getting dislodged during a crash. He said, “This strap also remedied the issue of my stock strap popping out from under the waterfall. You'll notice that I run the strap without the battery holding hardware on my 17.5 buggy - I tape my battery down in that car to save weight and because the hardware would interfere with my ESC wiring. Neither weight nor wiring were an issue on my 13.5-class YZ-2 so I ran mounted the battery restraint using my own titanium screws."
No foam blocks
Doesn’t pop out
Needs massaging to fit
May require massaging your electronics installation
Once you’ve made the necessary adjustments to get it to fit, this brace provides a surprisingly effective tuning option.
Factory RC YZ-2 front shock towers
Straight: #FTC015, $10
Gullwing: #FTC016, $10
Factory RC cut both versions of the YZ-2 front shock towers, to provide correct geometry when using either the flat or gullwing front arms - they event mimicked Yokomo’s shape, which makes it easier to distinguish which is which when the parts are both stuck in a parts box (if you ever get confused, just look at the top of the tower - is it straight or curved?). They used black-weave carbon fiber, which matches the color scheme of the stock parts used on the buggy, and the plates are 3mm thick - a half-millimeter thinner, and thus 2 grams lighter, than the stock towers.
Right away, Will noticed something when installing the towers on his cars. “You will need to switch out the stock flat-head fasteners for button-heads when attaching these towers to the bulkhead because the mounting holes are not counter sunk.”
Will said, “I like that the Factory RC YZ-2 shock towers are just as durable as the stock units, despite being thinner and lighter. I found that the gullwing setup added way too much steering on the indoor, high-bite clay at SDRC. If you're a stock racer trying to shed every conceivable gram, or if you just want your car to look different you should consider these. If you're neither of those, you might pass on these and invest in another pair of tires because I didn't really notice an increase in performance.”
Mounting holes are not countersunk
An interesting personalization piece, but you’ll need different screws - and they won’t do much other than reduce a little bit of nose weight, which you might add back anyway.
[UPDATE: 7/20, 1:45 pm] Factory RC Products stated that the shock tower mounting holes not being countersunk was a production mistake and that the error has been corrected for future units - they also offered to replace Will's shock towers.
Factory RC YZ-2 steering block plate
Factory RC also offers the small plates that bolt to the YZ-2’s steering blocks, once again cut from 3mm-thick black-weave carbon fiber. The big change with this pair of pieces is an additional mounting hole for the steering link, which changes the car’s Ackerman rate.
Will was intrigued by the adjustment option. “I found changing the Ackerman this way to be much easier than adding or taking away shims form the bellcranks,” Will said, “but I ended up just running the stock position because the modified forward option made the steering too twitchy. For that reason, I don't think I would consider this a must-have unless you want super responsive steering."
Offers adjustment option
Adjustment option might not be totally necessary
If you think you may want potentially tinker with Ackerman changes someday and want more adjustability than just spacing the inner ball stud, then these might be worth it.