During my early days of modding my D3, I decided to buy the performance shocks from 3Racing but got unlucky and ended up having a set with a bent shaft.
Now I wasn’t just going to build any TRF dampers, so I did some research and found out I could build myself some Special Works spec dampers.
So first thing first, I went to RCMart to get the goods. I already had a set of Spice Wondershaft in hand but no use for them, so this opportunity couldn’t have been better.
Here is the list and price of the parts at the time of purchase on their site:
1) Tamiya (#53577) TRF Damper Urethane Bushing (10 pcs) : $2.05
2) Tamiya (#53576) Damper Oil Seal (4pcs) For TRF415 : $2.10
3) Tamiya (#53574) Damper Rod Guide & O-Ring : $3.90
4) Tamiya (#42274) TRF Damper Tapered Piston 1mmx3 4pcs : $4.10
5) x2 Tamiya (#42131) TRF Special Damper HL Cylinder : $27.80
6)Tamiya (#50588) 2mm E-Ring : $1.50
Total so far : $41.45
As for the Sakura Original parts, they all fit TRF damper bodies so you’re just fine.
I ended up keeping the following:
Shock Top Plastic Cap (x4)
Bottom Cap (x4)
Adjustment Ring (x4)
Upper Cover (x4)
Ball Caps (x4)
Now keep in mind, I am using a set of Spice Wondershaft I previously bought, but this is not necessary and you can keep the stock shaft from the original shocks.
If you choose to go that route, disregard the item #6 in the list of parts to buy, as you will re-use the original E-rings.
(Spice shafts uses smaller diameter rings like TRFs. 3Racing are bigger)
Start by installing your guide and o-rings (#53574) and if possible, use some green slime, or some equivalent to ensure proper sealing/lubing of the shafts.
Once done, just install your bottom cap and your body is ready for the shaft.
As mentioned earlier, I used Spice Wondershafts. These little gems come drilled at the bottom of the shaft to insert a body pin and make it easier on you to install your ball caps.
It also prevent scratches from using pliers to hold the shafts in place while tightening the ball cap as well.
When installing the tapered pistons, make sure the taper side is up. This will produce a shock that will have fast compression and slow rebound. This type of setting helps to keep a good consistent line while sideways.
If you put the piston with the tapered side down, you will have slow compression and fast rebound. This will increase your traction in the rear, and in the case of the sakura it could help reduce understeer, but I would not advise this setting to start with.
Test what works for you and adjust accordingly.
Do not forget to use the urethane bushing over the diaphragm. These TRF diaphragm do not tend to flip backward under compression, but you’re never too safe. They will also help with your rebound.
And voila! You just built yourself some sweet TRF Special Works dampers for $20 less than.
One thing that can be added to this to make smoother, would be the X-ring (blue o-ring) replacement of the guide o-rings. They can be found in 70 and 50 durometer (70 harder/50 softer).
I have not tried these O-rings but I will most likely switch to these as I am trying to reduce the most friction possible out of the dampers.
Hope this small picture narration will help you guys.