You know indoor carpet season is here when we start bringing some new products out. After a solid season on our Eclipse5 we want to add another. The Eclipse5i, the ‘i’ standing for Inline, is something we have been working on for some time.
The Eclispe5 is incredible in stock kit form. There is no denying that with all the victories that #Schumacher has put on this platform. This isnt an attempt at redesigning the wheel or saying its better. This is our entry into offering drivers another option to try. Will it work? Will it win? Could it be better for you?
The first two we know the answer is Yes. That last one though really is only determined by the driver, You. What we do know is what we changed, added and how we feel it benefits.
Lets start with whats needed. First is the donor kit, an #Eclipse5. From this kit you will use almost everything minus the chassis, front plate and lower rear pod pieces.
But dont look away #Eclipse4 drivers, there is still a way to use this kit with your car too. This will only require 2 extra parts from the Eclipse5 car. You will need the #U8459 Rear Spring Hanger and the #U8461 C/F Damper Mount. The rest of the E4 stuff will be the same as the E5.
You will also need some more of the threaded brass, or alloy, inserts that come with the kits. Yes, you can reuse the old ones if you know the tricks to getting them out. They never seem to fit good after being pressed in once though. We recommend just getting new ones for this build. If you prefer Brass kit ones – #U7689 and if you like the blacked out Alloy ones – #U8065. You will need 18 of them if you have an E5 donor. If its an E4 and you get the extra E5 pieces then you will need 4 additional ones, 22 total.
Little disclaimer into the threaded inserts. We Do Not recommend trying to press these into the carbon with pliers. Generally you will risk splitting the carbon layers. For those not aware of how Schumacher recommends installation here is a picture showing the best technique. Also – Pay attention to orientation when doing this to multiple pieces. The side link wings and side braces will need this done opposite of each other.
So lets start front to back …… Bumper, Ya not much exciting about this. Attaches separately to the chassis just as the E5 did. We made sure to keep the stock body mount locations the same on all of them. This can help make body mounting easier and keep all those practice bodies. You can also use the kit or other brand printed bumpers and know they fit the mounting holes.
The new front axle plate will use the stock pivot ball mounting hardware. This is the first big sign of difference. With the limited real estate on an Inline Chassis we had to flip the servo. Nothing not normal about this anymore.
We kept the stock track width with our plate and axle alignment. You will still use the kit 1/1.5* or our .5* camber straps. All the kit kingpin and steering knuckle hardware is re-used. Mounting the servo we leave 3 options with one being the front plate brace. We modeled our cars using the Sanwa SXR and MKS HV50P flat mount style servos. Drivers will be able to mount those servos directly to the chassis. For servos with out those flat mounts you will still be able to use the kit hardware and flat headed screws. You will have to shim the servo for your Ackerman alignment but its useable.
**Builders Note: The kit servo saver is absolutely useable. Personally we recommend going with the Xray servo saver and the #Sagami RC Fab xr-007 Alloy part. This can help make link changes easier.
The 3rd option is mounting the servo directly to the front axle stiffener brace. This brace serves two functions. The first intended one is using it as a tuning tool for front flex. Yes we know, using a camber strap can also be a stiffener. But a camber strap isn’t meant for that since its used to bend the carbon for camber. Our stiffener helps brace the entire front plate and ranges from no flex to max stiff.
Theres 4 screws attaching this brace to the front plate using four 10mm posts. Using No plate would give you the most flex and match the kit feel. Relying on the camber strap to stiffen it some. If you used the 2 screws furthest forward on the brace you would stiffen the middle portion of the front plate. This would reduce some flex but still leave some at the king pin areas. If you were to use the 2 screws inline with the king pins this would give almost the stiffest feeling we felt. All your corner load is focused around those king pin areas. This wouldn’t increase your steering but give you more of a direct feel of it.
** Builders Note: If you choose to mount your servo to this brace we highly recommend using the 2 screws inline with the king pins. Mounting the servo there will make front end work a bit simpler remain inline with caster changes. The servo will be angled. Be aware of this when making ride height changes, this may dip your servo saver below the chassis or interfere with electronics after mounting. You can use stock kit mounts if wanted or grab a set of AMX A12 short posts.
**Builders Tip: Included with our kit are the four 10mm aluminum posts for the front brace. You dont have to use them and depending on your servo mounting you may be able to use the kit posts for the side braces. The stock kit posts from the E5 are 8mm tall. You could also try the Roche 7mm standoffs, again if you have the clearance. Just helpful FYI for options.
Speaking of side braces, lets see what we did. Following our other inline kit we chose to do the same with them. Every little bit of CG we can get lower can only help in some way shape or form. The side braces will take 2 of the threaded inserts each. Pay attention to sides as they will need to be opposite of each other. The forward most hole can be used as a flex tuning option. Screw In – Stiffer …. Screw Out – Add Flex. Think of them as using or not using the two screws in the front of your kit braces. The rear insert we recommend using all the time. This really has no effect on flex but helps with keep a tweak free setup.
Now on those side braces is where the link mounts will get attached. These will be 2 similar looking pieces and take 3 threaded inserts each. Again, they will need to be opposite of each other so careful what side you put them in. We will include Six 4mm spacers for this part. Place the spacers on top of the brace and tighten the wings down to them securely. When installing your side links you will need a .5mm shim between the link ball and the wing. This will give you rear steer similar to stock. 1mm shim will remove some and no shim will equal .5mm of rear steer.
**Builders Note: In our kit we will include link wings matching the stock chassis 2* of link sweep. We also have an optional 4* of link sweep that will angle the links inward slightly more. Doing this can give more in corner steering. Driver preference depending on track layouts.
The center damper tube is always the interesting part of this car for some reason. Figuring out mounting wasnt that difficult. Taking an idea off our other kit we went with the same bridge idea. Included you will get 2 alloy posts and a carbon fiber bridge. This will need a single threaded insert but can take two for options. Using the hole that is most inline with the mounting holes you will be in the factory kit location. If you wanted to run the damper longer, more forward, then you could use the optional hole mounted forward.
**Builders Note: Running the damper longer we recommend using the #U4849 pieces from the Atom/Icon kit. This will extend the tube by 8mm and retain full dampening. The other option this bridge can do is running a shorter damper. Spinning the bridge around so the optional hole is rearward will move the tube back 6mm. Note to that though is you will need shorter ball ends to be used. If not then your damper will be fully collapsed and no dampening.
Lets look at the cross brace now. So many important things are happening with this one single piece. This will take 6 of the threaded inserts. All of them will mount on the same side and be on the underside of it when mounted. This will mount to the chassis using the stock kit alloy posts.
Your side dampers will mount to it, the tweak springs are next and finally the Lipo cradle. The lipo cradle can be adjusted by a small amount but we recommend starting back. The threaded inserts used for this need to be mounted on the underside so the shoulder can be used as a spacer. We want the cradle to sit a bit lower to be sure it secures various lipo cases out there. Then screw the cradle up into the inserts. Just snug, its really only used for holding the lipo inline.
**Builders Tip: This would be a good time to play with electronics. With this much of the kit together we recommend setting up your servo. After your steering links are on and drivers happy, put the cross brace on and lipo in. This will begin to show you how much space you have. On ours we used an Orca OE1s esc and typical Sanwa RX. With the Lipo back it is a tight fit but still able to remove our battery. Tekins and 1S HW speedos will have a bit more room where you could shift the battery forward a bit if you wanted. This is really the best time to look at electronic mounting in our opinion. Also we recommend a 200mm sensor wire. Depending on exc used, a 175mm could work but 200mm gives you some wiggle room.
The last thing about the cross brace is your body mounts. These, like the front bumper, are in the stock location and at the stock height. Drop those old bodies right on.
So with our kit we include a new E5 rear lower pod. This is where the E4 cars will work when you use the two E5 parts mentioned in the beginning. So we did a geometry change to our car that we found worked very well on our E410 and E510 chassis kits. We moved the pivot mount assembly back 1mm on the lower pod and the chassis. This helped generate some more natural steering in our cars and increase corner speeds. You still adjust your roll centers by adding and removing shims.
And onto our chassis. Machined from 7075-T6 Alloy and hand cleaned giving them that brushed aluminum look. As mentioned on the lower pod piece we moved the chassis pivot mount back. We also opened up the two holes to access the lower pod pivot screws. We felt this makes changing roll center shims easier. Remove and replace the screws easier with out removing the entire pod.
Under the lipo area we milled the pocket down .5mm to help lower some CG. The largest piece of weight now a little lower. Or if drivers want they can run the popular .5mm thin weight plates with out raising the CG higher the a kit would be. We also made sure to include the balance holes like all other chassis, front – middle – rear locations.
Under the servo we milled it open to clear the popular servo savers and the kit one. There are also 2 notched inline with center in this spot to help with alignment of servos. On center front and rear helping to give a defined line.
From flipping the servo around this actually lengthens chassis. To help reduce corner scrub when running at minimum ride heights we worked the corners inward. This angle actually begins at the rear front plate mounting location and steps inward twice. This helps assure the chassis is contact free when running front tires in the 39mm diameters.
We are super excited with this kit coming out. A lot of notes from our own E4 and E5’s went into this. As well we took a lot of what we learned in our original X12 kit and from our new version. Trying to keep things simplistic we also pushed to retain as much tuning as we could.
As always we Thank All of the support on our projects and parts. New ideas bring innovations and we know this is another idea that can bring positive options to drivers. For now its just pictures for the teasing. Kits are being packed and will be available on November 3rd.
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