VBC History.. I believe VBC was formed in Hong Kong in 2010 or 2011. Initially Supplying parts and chassis kits for other brands. It wasn't long before they released their own 1/10 touring car chassis, the D05. The D06 and D07 were released in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The latest in the evolution of the chassis platform is this D08. For newcomers that haven't heard of the brand, they also have F1, pan cars and buggies. All proven performers.
The box art is a bit more basic than the D06 and D07 kits. It's still appealing and has simple D08 decals. It works for me, I'm not a fan of glitzy marketing and the simplified box art saves resources best used elsewhere.
The box is bar coded and has a factory seal on the flap. It's the usual VBC deal inside. Numbered and easy to identify labels on the bags. They directly relate to each step in the easy to read printed English manual. It uses simple CAD drawings and this particular one has some tuning advice. There are also decal sheets, parts list and setup sheets. All of which are also available online from the VBCracing web page.
I was fortunate enough to see Ryan's prototype D08 at the Australian Championship in early November. ( He won the modified title) So I had a good understanding of what to expect in this production version.
The level of features and precision machining on the previous models was exceptional and has improved with each model. The D08 is no exception and they've really stepped it up. The value for money when compared to the other major brands is quite staggering.
I quickly opened all the bags with carbon parts inside and got to work sanding the edges with 240 grit paper.
Ensure to do this outdoors with a decent dust mask on. I used tyre CA as I wanted it to dry quickly. It can get messy this way so a thicker CA is often easier. The 2.25mm chassis plate is redesigned and is more solid with neat clearance reliefs machined into it. A big change from the D07.
The additional parts I've fitted or will fit are below.
Race Opt 64p spur gear
Race Opt battery foam
Hiro Seiko red Al. Ti D07 screw kit
3racing 3mm red al. countersunk washers
Radtec red Al. battery stopper
Roche red alloy adjustable body post mount
Plastics . All new harder composite used throughout. Earlier models used a darkening grey. The D08 plastic is black. Suspension components are "silver" Hard compound -
"Gold" Ultra Hard are options.
Diff.. Very straightforward. Break the parts off the tree and lightly sand the "flashing" off the rear and "tree" join. I used 240grit dry on a smooth flat surface with the grit facing up and simply rub the rear of the gears on the grit with my finger in a figure eight for about 10-20 seconds. I then drag and roll the sides of the gears along the grit to remove the excess left by the parts tree. Check and clean all the components if necessary.
Rear of gears lightly sanded. You can see the parts tree flashing still on the sides of the gears
Rear and sides now sanded. I also lightly sanded the gear cross piece. Its not essential though.
I use a light coat of green slime on all o-rings and seal surfaces. It's not essential though. The kit comes with 1k diff and 350cst shock oils. It's fine to pre lube the o-rings with oil. I gently and evenly press the gasket onto the non gear half dowels. The diff assembled perfectly with no initial or current leaks. The halves actually felt like an improved fit over the previous models.
The only VBC D0(x) diffs that I've had trouble assembling were due to me allowing the diff o-ring to come in contact with oil. It causes them to expand slightly and wont allow them to close up properly. Having said that, I've only had one weep slightly but that was after about 10 months of racing at least once a week. I actually still have the internals from that diff as spares. They are still in good condition.
As mentioned the D08 diff has been the best assembling diff I've ever had. The halves mated so effortlessly.....and yes, I once had an Xray T4 13. The D08 diff is on par if not better than that Xray unit. The alloy rear outdrives are an included upgrade from the previous units and they feature machined recesses to trim some weight.
Note: Apparently there were a batch of some older D07 diffs that used a composite that would swell and seize under hot racing conditions. That was rectified long ago and there's no chance of it occurring again.
The level of machining and attention to detail is quite staggering on the all new alloy components and plastics. The highly effective pillow ball suspension pivots now only requires the single mount system with new plastic inserts. This allows for .25 degree increments which is an improvement not only in function but also cost. No need to buy potentially over a hundred dollars worth of mounts to tune the track/toe. The new insert system does it all with some very well priced composite inserts. The kit includes two trees of inserts so you can pretty much dial in zero to four degrees of toe/sweep in varied track widths.
There has never been a need to ream the inner suspension pin holes in the rear or front arms as the pillow balls do all the hinge point work exceptionally well. The bulkheads have reliefs and the diff screw system is machined into them. The new bulkheads are thinner and mounted narrower to allow more chassis flex. Lots of fine machine work here.
The motor mount is a work of art. It's a similar layout as the D07. It uses the single spur post but only has an option for an adjustable or solid top deck post ( available soon apparently.) The adjustable post appears to be telescopic that uses a TBB shock o-ring to fine tune flex. I'm sure there's alternative hardness o rings available in this size to assist tuning. There is also provision for the existing front steering mount centre post and maybe a new central post. A central chassis hole appears to be inline with the belt tensioner screw.
Back to the motor mount, lots of weight reduction machining here. There is even a cool channel machined into the bottom for fan wire routing.
It's the same 6 screw mounting pattern as the d07. Very effective and adjustable for flex tuning. The D06/D07 and now D08 have one of the largest motor/spur platforms on the market. Many chassis on the market only allow their motor/spur gears to move a small amount. The D08 can accomodate a large range of pinion sizes before requiring the spur to be swapped out. Gear Ratio
This effectively saves you lots of valuable time at big race meetings when chasing that sweet spot gear. Or by moving the motor it may help you with that perfect weight balance you've been thinking about late at night, without adding any extra weight.
This new mount goes even further than the D07 and only uses the centre front and rear screws. The outer screw faces on the mount have 1mm reliefs for added chassis flex. If you want to tune less flex in this area then 1mm shims are easily installed between the chassis and the outer screw holes of the mount. Brilliant.
The manual suggests aligning the front and rear bulkheads. I just held a square alloy tube up against the front and rear bulkhead as I tightened them. That was easy.
I used 1 dot 0deg. Inner split block inserts and 2dot .25 degree on the front mount. I then used 3 dot inserts on the rear rear mount. This gives .25 degree front arm sweep and 2.5 degree rear toe. There are no roll centre shins included as the setup is based on what Ryan won the Australian title with. I'll test this kit setup for a while. .5 and 1mm suspension shims are available. I had great success with the .5mm "split" shims ( 2hole- more flex.) I haven't measured it on a setup station yet. This is just what I've interpreted from the insert tables in the manual.
The front floating all alloy steering assembly was an industry first when it was included in the D07 and its carried over to this model. It's a precision CNC machined setup and very effective. I used .1mm shims under the post to reduce some almost non existent end play. I swapped out the inner steering link balls and rod ends for 5mm VBC units. I just lightly sand the end of the cup to stop them binding. I only swapped them out as I prefer to use the same 5mm ball size throughout the car. The cup plastic is the new hard black version so pressing them on the balls by hand is almost impossible. I used some pliers with hard rubber taped to them to press them on. The steering system operated effortlessly with no pinching or binding whatsoever. Very nice.
***Note a check of the Yokomo site shows that the BD7 2016 still has a composite steering arm system that is post mounted to the deck along with a non floating servo mount that requires the servo to be taped to the chassis.
The Xray T4 features a two piece alloy floating servo mount with carbon top plate. ( D08-one piece alloy floating mount)
The T4 also only has composite steering bellcranks and composite plastic spool and outdrives that mate to CVD's as opposed to the quality Yaiba Racing DCJ and included items that are expensive options on the Yoko and Xray. Even centre battery stoppers are an optional extra on the T4.... Way to go VBC for including so many features other more expensive brands still have as options.
The kit includes a Kawada 116t 64p black spur gear which I'll keep as a spare as I've fitted a Race Opt 116 unit. The spur mount assembly is the same as D07. I had some old alloy screws that I trimmed down to 4mm. It's not necessary to do this as its already a very light chassis. It's just an old off road diet habit. I use a very light film of loctite on the axle and bearing surfaces. You can also use a shim washer between the axle mounting end and first bearing if there is excessive end play.
The diff installed hassle free. Its dimensions are the same but the bulkhead spacing is substantially narrower for increased flex. This is really neat machining where the diff cams mount to the bulkhead. Shorter diff cam locking screws are now used.
The front spool assembled hassle free and comes with the lightweight red alloy spool and machined hardened steel outdrives. The outdrives are great value and quality.
I've just sold my D07 that had the same outdrives from my first D06 which have been heavily raced since August 2013! They had very minimal wear. Well done VBC.
I used the Hiro Seiko 3x12mm countersunk alloy screws to fit the outdrives. My previous cars never had an issue with them. The diff and spool have a single kit shim fitted behind the sealed bearings.
The rear suspension assembled fine. I did have one suspension pin that was binding from being too long. I simply gently filed it for about 20 seconds and it was fine. It may of been the way I fitted the inserts but the other hinge pin lengths weren't an issue. I've fitted 1 .1mm shims to each pin to remove slop.
The upright hinge pin holes need reaming. I generally give them 3-4 strokes then test fit until the pins and uprights are free without any binding. I make sure the arms don't bind and fall freely under their own weight. If they do bind it's an issue with a bent pin or seized pillow ball. There's no need to ream the arm suspension pin holes. Make sure to install the outer pin grub screw. I fitted 1 .2mm shim on the outer rear suspension pin between the upright and rear side of the arm.
The front and rear arms have ID dots moulded into them . They face rearwards at the rear and forwards at the front.
The front suspension also assembled effortlessly. I used the optional Ti coated suspension pins throughout. They're not at all necessary. They don't provide any additional weight saving or extra strength in my opinion. I just like the goldie goldie. As you can see I've used the 1 dot"zero" front split inserts and the 2 dot .25 degree front front mount inserts for a bit of sweep for now.
Red shim and gold pin bling bling.
The only item on the front suspension that needs reaming is the outer suspension holes on the front arms. The C-hubs don't need reaming as the pins are locked in them tight with grub screws.
Just pass an arm reamer through about 2-3 strokes and check how freely the outer suspension pin passes and spins through it. Assemble it with the corresponding left and right C-hub and check that arm and c-hub fall effortlessly. If the C-hub binds then check and ream the hole again. If the arm binds then it's an indication that either the inner suspension pin is damaged or too long. There also could be an issue with the pillow ball or insert. Clean, inspect and re-check. As previously mentioned, mine assembled perfectly. The quality of the new harder composite is great. You can really feel the screws biting firmly.
Ensure to make sure the upper king pin grub screw has thread biting the lower lip. You'll have to hold the chassis on an odd angle with decent lighting to check this. Make sure you use the 12mm grub screw as specified in the manual.
The lower king pin screw is a special 3x9mm round head, There are 2 of them included in the front suspension bag. You wont find them in the "screw bag." Check inside the knuckle to make sure the screw has maximum bite or isn't too long and running a risk of binding on the DCJ.
DCJ are directional and the outer c-clip must have the clip shoulder rolling forward. The new included Yaiba Racing 4130 ( cromoly steel?) units are no exception. The image above is of the Right DCJ. The image below is of the left DCJ. This is necessary because if installed with the outer c-clip open edge rolling forward it can grab on the plastics under a collision causing DCJ failure. You can make both C-clips if you wish but i've only seen the outer ones fail. The Yaiba DCJ also feature a cool single lube/clean port in the centre axle.
D06 knuckle bearing spacing was totally compatible with aftermarket T4 DCJ such as Roche etc. The D07 had slightly wider knuckle bearing spacing and only the kit and Radtec DCJ would operate freely. Now the new D08 bearing spacing appears to be the same as D07 so dont expect to retrofit T4 DCJ without sanding the rear of the wheel hex or machine a small amount of the knuckle bearing face. The Yaiba units look to be very high quality and should provide endless performance if maintained. They also feature removable dogbone pins so outdrive shoes can be fitted without stretching them if using a front gear diff.
I use lithium grease on my front and rear driveshafts and outdrives. I spray the joints and wipe off the excess and simply dab the DCJ dogbone pins in some of the grease. It dries waxy and attracts very little dirt. I've had vey little wear since I began using it.
I've fitted 1.5mm bump steer washers and Radtec battery stopper. The kit comes with the proven composite hooks. VBC also have optional alloy adjustable stoppers which are great too.
The Futaba BLS servo has a "shorty" wiring conversion and exits through the mount perfectly. I use the kit 2mm servo shims and Hiro Seiko alloy screws. They don't fail.
I usually run an alloy Yokomo servo horn but will be trying A Team C/Mr33 unit soon. I use the kit steel countersunk screws to fit the floating mount it to the chassis. If you find your servo moves slightly under hard impacts then crash less or use a sharp file edge to lightly score the mounting face of the servo mount, This will lock into the chassis tighter and won't budge.
I've also got an older P00 front mount which I'll try out. It worked well in my D07 mod car.
Race Opt 116t 64p spur gear.
The front and rear sway bar assemblies now utilise ball bearings in alloy bolt on retainers. Assembly was a breeze. I personally don't believe the bearing system is necessary. It's my belief they've been fitted to match the other chassis on the market with this system. It does look great though and I'm not complaining, it looks really cool. The bar end plastics are now apparently the harder composite. Some of my D07 bar ends were so soft that they would sometimes twist or strip causing bar tweak. No such dramas with the D08. Perfect balance and operation straight away.
Bumper and body post mounts were straightforward.
The remainder of the electronics installation was very simple as they were removed from my D07. I have this Team Powers Radon Pro V2 ESC wired up for summer racing. Bearing in mind it may be swapped into my 13.5 chassis if needed.
You can see that I've wired it up tight to allow up to a 40mm front fan to be fitted if required. I may hide some of the wiring and use the cool motor mount wiring channel. For now I'm happy to leave it as is in case I need to quickly swap out a fan in between heats. I do a fair bit of racing and haven't damaged any of my TP Actinium motors since running them for over a year. Their power hasn't dropped off either.
Several tuning options which I probably wont find the need for. My best mod D07 setup was a high flex variation of the Maker default setup. If I find a need for a long shock conversion I've got the option of the Ghost setup or the TBB shorty/long conversion using yokomo alloy spring retainers and custom Bezerk RC "mid" hybrid shock towers.