Project: Kyosho Ultima


Ok- This one is a little special. My Kyosho Ultima. I never had the Ultima back in time, but my inspiration to make something stupid, like this came from the guys, who made the wildest stuff back in the days, where drivers tried everything to go faster.

Maybe some guys remember the crazy modified Tamiya buggies from Jamie Booth, who has a contract with the japanese company. His Egress, or his Astute has not much left over from the original cars - and he was fast with them!

And there was a couple of german drivers, who did similar stiff with their Kyosho cars. When the team Associated RC10 stealth transmission came out, it set a new standard for gear transmissions - especially the very first really good working slipper clutch. This one was much better, than all the other transmission. Not only the slipper unit - also the nearly perfect ball diff made it outstanding.

The Ultima became World Champion 1987. The car from Joel Johnson was pretty modified with a carbon fibre chassis and different shock towers, but the rest looked pretty stock. Anyway, some guys tried many different things to make their Ultimas faster - in a time, where virtually every driver had to make modifications. No big deal. Some on them tried to install the new AE stealth transmission in their cars - and this with success! It was light years better, than any other transmission! And so I tried this on my special Ultima project as well.

Before we go to the details, enjoy the pictures. Yes, it is a Kyosho Pro Optima body!

Front view - neat and low body installation.

What do we have here? I took a RC10 graphite chassis plate as base and installed (with some serious cuts and new holes) the Ultima front suspension unit, the Team Associated stealth transmission and rear suspension from a mix of Optima arms and Team Associated RC10T rear hubs. I kept the Ultima steering rack and made the steering plate ball raced.

I made new optimized shock towers and a 3D printed rear bulkhead. The battery holders are the same, what I use on my Optima Mid. They are 3D printed as well. To use Optima rear arms I made the suspension mount from 2mm aluminium plates.

Rear view of the Ultima. RC10 stealth transmission. I used the original Ultima wing mounts.

Front view. Easy to spot - the RC10 c-hubs and steering knuckles with re-release Worlds Car axles for wider track. And yes, I use the Worlds Car front and rear rims.

Reedy Titanium 2x13 on the rear. Power!

I like the long wheelbase.

Without the wheel you can see the Team Associated front and rear hubs in white colour. With those parts we finally have a proper suspension geometry - many times better than the original Ultima stuff.

RC10 Worlds Cars rear wing as usual. I can´t remember how often I cutted this wing in my life. Hundreds of time at least. LRP Phaser FM reciever and Highest low profile servo.

LRP Quantum Bullet speedo. Nice and clean look.

The shocks came from the Hong Kong company with the beautiful name "Mayonnaise RC". I ordered a lot of them for all my Kyosho vintage projects. They are 100% replicas with pretty good quality. I only changed the o-rings against silicone ones and they work super smooth!

The wild mix of a RC10 transmission, Optima rear arms and RC10T rear hubs with RC10 re-release CVD´s. It works!

RC10 c-hubs, knuckles and axles there. As I wrote in my other posts, for Kyosho projects I always use Xray ball ends and ball studs. They will never pop-off when racing! It´s a bit tight a the front arms, if you also use a front sway bar, but it works! I added some brass weights behind the front shock tower. But I feel, 20g is not enough.

A closer look on the chassis and it´s battery holder. I use a low lipo shorty battery with some stainless steel plates beneath.

The stainless steel plates from 2mm material under the battery. The race ready Ultima weights 1290g, what is too light! The plates helps a little, but to drive this car on stupid Astro tracks, we need at least 1500g for a better handling. It is crazy! Back in the 80´s we did everything to get the cars lighter. We drilled and cutted everything and drove a swiss cheese around the tracks. I remember, I drilled M3 screws hollow to save weight. Today it is the complete opposite: we have to put a stupid amount of weight into the cars to handle them around the high grip carpet and Astro tracks.

And now the question, how did it drive? As most of my vintage models I did the first ride on the VOREM2017 vintage meeting in Langenfeld/Germany. At this time I used long shocks on the front - as show on this picture. When saturday practise the Ultima performed pretty well! The track was a little wet from the rain the night before. So not much grip on the Astro turf. The suspension worked very good trough the bumps and everything felt really good. But when the sun came out on sunday morning, the grip came back. With much more grip the Ultima was harder to drive with every run. It started to roll over on virtually every corner. This was the result of the light weigt and the long front shocks, what did not have enough progression with the long springs. As I posted I my previous reports, I took the challenge to drive 5 classes in one event. This was a absolutely stupid task. I had simply no time to make any changes on my cars. I jumped from one heat to another with not a single break to take care about my cars and their set-ups. So I decided to run only 3 classes for the rest of the day and my Ultima has spend the rest of the day under my pit table.

The Kyosho fleet on the back seat of my car.


For the next vintage meeting I am prepared. Shorter front shocks and some more weight will help to calm down the Ultima a lot! And I can´t wait to drive it again.

The last question is: Is it a Kyosho Ultima, or a Team Associated car? Maybe both. Compared to some cars back in the days, it is the typical crazy stuff we did usually. And it was no big deal with things, like this. No sensation. No wow. Just normal work, what we did on our cars to go faster.


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