Axon Wheel hub Axles Review TRF420 , BD10, Xray T4
I have been finding the TRF420 a real buzz to run on a prepped circuit after taking it out from its enforced pandemic retirement.
One of the option parts I have been very keen to try are the Axon axles that were released towards the end of 2020. Axon is a company that only produces the highest quality parts so I was really interested to see if these new hub axles would make a noticeable difference to my Tamiya.
These axles are available for a range of cars including the Xray T4'20 and the Yokomo BD10 and obviously the Tamiya TRF420. The theory is that by integrating the wheel hub with the shaft, you will get a direct connection between the driveshaft and the tyres.
I purchased four of the MH-AS-Y002 Axon wheel hub axles from , as well as eight 1060 ceramic bearings from ready for the conversion.
The contents of each packet contains one Axle Hub, two bearing spacers, one axle pin and a rubber o-ring that acts as a retainer for the pin.
The conversion is pretty easy as shown in the instructions above. You need to replace the 1050 bearings with the 1060 bearings. Importantly you need to add the aluminium shims as 1060 bearings are more narrow than 1050 bearings. The instructions also mention additional shims, these are not included so you will just need to use any (If needed), from your spares.
The hub themselves are made from a lightweight durable plastic, they save approximately 3g of weight over the standard set-up on each corner of the chassis. As you can see they slide over and become like a second skin on the axle with the hex hanging off the end.
They install easily, you slide the pin in the axle and retain it with the large o-ring.
I found the installation as you would expect, its an easy install. The rears were perfect and there was no issue. However for the front axles I noticed that if I tugged hard (cough!), there was a problem.
The bearing would slide over the end of the axle and the hub would move. I then mounted the hubs on a new set of TRF420 axles and they were fine. So I would assume the margins here are very fine.
To solve this I just added a 0.1mm shim on the axle behind the hub and acquired AXON MH-AP-Y001. This set comes with a slightly more narrow pin (From the Yokomo BD10). You can just gently file the Tamiya pin if you wish you only need to take a fraction off, and if you are using new TRF420 axles you probably do not need them.
With these installed it was time to head to the track.
At the track.
The grip at Force Raceway is really high for a UK carpet track. Its great fun and it's quite easy to get into a rhythm and feel the effect that small tuning changes make to the car as the grip is so consistent.
The TRF420 was running well straight away, thanks to the tuning I had done in the last test session. I noticed that the car was really locked in on the corners. The corner speed was immense on this car. I started to push harder and harder with the Tamiya and the car just seemed to take everything in its stride.
The only issue I did experience was more traction roll, so I tweaked the set-up by removing 0.5mm on the inner roll centres. The TRF would still have loads of grip but I could be even more aggressive when entering the corner.
The car was quick, very quick. I had beaten my previous time with the std axles by over 2 tenths. Again this could well be down to me learning the track more, but the confidence I found with the extra grip that the car would exhibit on the corners was really noticeable. In the end I was only 0.5 seconds off the 13.5 lap record with my 17.5 and I still felt like there was more to come.
These hubs only work on Tamiya's that are equipped with the TRF420 style suspension. This would include the 47445 TA07RR, 47456 TB-05R and it should also fit on the TA08Pro if you use the TRF420axles on the front
The Axon wheel hub axles have surprised me at how much they seemed to improve the overall feel of the car on this high grip track. Yokomo now provide these as standard on their latest chassis offering so it is fantastic that we can run these on the TRF420.
The upgrade is not cheap once you factor in the new bearings, and the extra set of pins for the front axles. Although as a TRF racer I think they are worth the spend to help increase the possible speed of my TRF420. The fact that they replace a nice blue shiny part, and I am keeping them on my chassis speaks volumes on the potential I think they give me :)