Rhino Racing has made a name for themselves with the unique RhinoMax and RhinoMax II Chassis. Not only did they create a chassis which is scale friendly, but a scale friendly chassis that works. Then earlier this year, Rhino Racing introduced the C-LSD which arguably is a game changer for the R/C Drift world. Now, Rhino Racing has released their chassis conversion solution, the Shark!
The Shark started as a YD2 Conversion Kit, but has now expanded to be a RMX Conversion as well, which converts the gearbox to an inline (YD2) style configuration. The Shark is all about options and adjustability.
First, the gearbox let’s you run a 3 or 4 gear configuration which is pro-torque or anti-torque, which ever is your preference, The Shark has you covered. It has a quick change diff design, as well as allowing you to flip which side your motor sits on, in case you can’t reverse the rotation of your motor. In addition, it has 11 selectable motor positions. It is nicely machined and comes with a proprietary top shaft. You just need to supply the Idler Gears, bearings, and diff.
Since the theme seems to be adjustability, the chassis didn’t get left out. The chassis is fully adjustable when it comes to wheel base. It has more adjustment than I can imagine using, but if you are about the Real Grade life, this is thee one to go with. In addition, depending on how you configure the chassis and top plate, you can add more or less flex. It is really a unique design, which is not surprising since it was designed by the same person who designed the RhinoMax.
To complete the Shark Conversion, it uses the DDSS (Direct Drive Steering System). Rhino Racing also implemented the ability to angle the servo, which works amazingly well to reduce bump steer. With the servo angled, the direct steering not only moves left and right, but also sweeps up and down throughout its stroke. In addition, the servo itself has infinite front to back adjustment, similar to what the PDS has offered in the past. When talking about adjustability, Rhino Racing has made it happen.
As of recent, there have been many chassis being released. Yokomo has released the MD1.0 (all new design for Drift) and the SD1.0 (Another YD2 variant). ReveD is releasing the RDX, but at the time of this, it has not been released. So that leaves the Shark and the MD1.0 to be tested. I built both within days of each other, and although the looks of the MD1.0 appealed to me a bit more, the out of the box performance of the Shark was unlike anything I have experienced in the past. This was enough to draw my focus to Rhino Racing.
Building the Gearbox
My standard setup would be my starting point, so I immediately grabbed a Rhino Racing C-LSD Diff. In my opinion, none of my builds would be complete without it. I finally have settled on a 4-gear, hard spring setup, with 3 in One PTFE lube. This gives me the most open, free spinning diff, with really good exit speed. For polished concrete, this works well for me. Not just in the Shark, but all of my builds. I also opted for the 4 gear setup for the gearbox itself, with the motor in the farthest back position. Finally I went with a 18/88 gear setup.
Setting up the DDSS
As stated earlier, this steering system really agrees with me. I have been a huge fan of direct steering for years now. The ability to position the servo forward or back is a huge one for me. I opted to go with 6mm of spacing at the rear of the servo to tilt it forward. The Futaba CT700 is my weapon of choice when it comes to my steering. I topped it off with ScaleReflex Titanium Turnbuckles.
One thing that struck me as strange was the fact the servo horn comes with only 1 spline configuration, NONE. Rhino Racing has decided to go with a tight, zero spline servo horn to tie the steering to the servo. it has your standard center screw to hold it onto the output shaft, and also a side pinch bolt to clamp it onto the splines. The theory is, it will hold very tightly, but will give if you happen to hit something hard, so effectively being a servo saver. Welllllllllllll, that’s a nice theory and all, but I for one do not care for it. I let a lot of people drive my cars, and they take some pretty good hits, but I can’t seem to remember breaking a servo in the past, uh, 6 years or more. This design works well for the first few hits, and after that, it starts to move a little too easily. Not a fan. I have heard a splined version is on it’s way, but until it’s in my hands, I can’t say the steering is all that.
The Front End Setup
For this build I settled on the ReveD front end for the YD2 for both the upper and lower control arms. The DDSS comes with both styles of rear upper control arm mounts (Standard for the pin type, and Threaded for ReveD style). I found 8mm between the lower control arm and the ball cup was a good starting point for the width. i ended up running 10 deg. negative camber, 8 deg. caster, and middle top for the upper control arm mount. Servo placement, everyone will have their preferences since I find people like different ackerman settings. I first started with 4mm of spacers on the backside of the servo and the bump steer was minimal, if non-existent. I then tried 6mm and found there was some added bump steer, so I added a 2mm spacer on the knuckle side and eliminated it. This was the setting I settled on.
I chose Tamiya TRFs with NERDs. After finding my settings, I would estimate the fronts being fully free, and the rears about 50-100wt. I haven’t experimented with springs yet, as the Yokomo springs in the upgrade kit have been working well for me. Spring tuning is next on my list.
I have gone with my standard setup for the Rhino Racing Shark. Futaba CT700 Servo, Futaba GYD550 Gyro, Acuvance XarvisXX ESC, Acuvance Blaze Capacitor, Acuvance S.Bus Adapter, Acuvance 10.5T Fledge w/ Fan Motor with Torque Rotor, and all controlled by a Futaba 10PX.
For the past couple years now, I have been running Acuvance 10.5T Fledge and Agiles with Torque Rotors installed. It gives me the perfect balance of RPM and Torque. The Agile has a more aggressive feel, where as the Fledge feels “softer” but also very smooth. I am perfectly content with either.
How Does It Drive
Surprisingly well is the best way I can put it. Another way would be the best driving chassis I have had to date. I am saving my final judgement on the overall until I can get my hands on the RDX, but I can say at this point, it is very favorable and is definitely the chassis of choice for me right now. I’ve been in the game long enough to know this can change overnight, but as it stands right now, this is what I have chosen for my personal car. Everything seems to just work well together. The steering is on point and the gearbox feels right. With the added adjustability, Rhino Racing has really accomplished what they set out to do. To produce a competition chassis, with a ton of adjustability, that drives well. That’s not to say everyone will agree with me, as everyone has their preferences, but I’m seeing most who test drive one are now purchasing one for themselves. This speaks volumes.