If there is one thing I learned from owning a Sakura D3, it’s that it’s a real pain in the bu** to change belts and pulleys! but thankfully, Active Hobby thought about us, D3 owners, and made the job a bit easier with their new custom shafts… or did they?
Well for the most part. The reason why I say that is because I had some tolerance issue while installing the pulleys, but my guess is that I have been victim of a “bad batch” and that’s what I’d like to believe; but let’s move on.
The package comes with the two pulley shafts, two stoppers and set screws. I was kind of bummed when I opened the package as I was expecting the stoppers to have the laser etched Active Hobby logo on it, just like they had on their 3D renderings, but it wasn’t there 🙁
After removing the original shafts and pulleys from my D3, I went on and slid the Active one through the bearing; This is where things started to become irritating. The rear shaft did not go through the bearing! My first reaction was “ok, maybe there is a sharp edge from the machining of shaft” so I started sanding lightly the edge of the flat spot with some 400 grit paper.
Second try, still no progress! I pulled the shaft off and decided to try the alloys pulley I just had gotten for the swap, and to my surprise, the pulleys didn’t even fit! So again my logic was “ok, this is some made in China stuff it might be slightly off”. But just to make sure, I fitted the pulleys onto the original D3 shaft and it fitted like a glove!? WTH! The pulleys were not the issue.
Third try, I decided to sand the shaft lightly with some 600 grit and sand the inside of the pulley to fix that tolerance issue. I finally got it to go in without binding, but still enjoyed a great 30 minutes of frustration. Thankfully, it all worked out for the best.
The reason why I started thinking I got a “bad batch” was because the front shaft had no issue whatsoever. Everything went like a breeze up front and I was really happy with the result. I bumped my CS to 284 and I might mess with it more often now that the pulleys are just a few set screws away.
Bottom line, I still think this upgrade is on the top 10 of the “must have” D3 upgrade. It just simplifies the maintenance and change of pulleys, meaning less downtime and more time drifting which is always a great thing. The only let down was the minor tolerance issue I ran into, which I really hope was an isolated case. Dont forget to put thread lock on these set screws though 😉 Pricewise, it’s a really affordable upgrade at just $13 found on Banzai Hobby.
Final Grade: C-
Since my teammate Eamonn runs the same chassis, I will most likely place an order for another set to upgrade his chassis. Hopefully, I won’t face the same issue and this might change the final grade of the product. In the meantime, you can visit Active Hobby’s website by clicking here (in japanese), and you can find the shafts on Banzai hobby right here.
Keep on drifting my friends!