Behind The Build SeriesDriftR.C.P. News

RC Patrol – Behind The Build – Drift Project – Sakura D3 – Part – 1


rcpatrol-behind-the-build-template-post-header-drift-project-sakura-d3-2016The Sakura D3 marks the beginning of RC Patrol Drifting.

All of the scale bodies, parts, wheels, and accessories make the  drift scene so interesting to me. Then there is the sliding  around corners that makes things oh so sweet as well. I have witnessed real drifting in the full scale world, but now the scale world has caught my eye for sure. So to scratch this itch, a new rig has been purchased and ready for building. Chris from Hemistorm RC had built a few Sakura chassis and recommended the kit as a good start. I also had a word or two with my buddy @stupidshethead who told me, “Learn the fundamentals on this platform, and if you like drifting, move forward to better things.”

For the money, the Sakura kits are not a bad deal at all. I was able to get a Sakura CS Sport Drift chassis for $120 with 1-2 day shipping. Let’s look at what was inside the package.


Oh Yes! Now it’s time to get inside and see how the packaging looks. I was a bit skeptical at first (such a low price), but after seeing the guts of the box, I calmed down and got busy. Everything was in separated packages and the instructions looked do-able indeed. An ear to ear grin came from excitement like always on a new build that looks promising.

Here is a quick unboxing video.



The kit does not include a body or electronics. Although It does include the parts to make a rolling chassis. Bags were numbered and there was an included decal sheet or two inside the box as well.


If you would like to read through the details then the rest of this post is ideal. I will include a time-lapse-video of the build for those who prefer that format. You will find the link at the end of the post. 🙂


As I read over the instructions and prepared to separate the parts for installation, I remembered; this was my first drift build and first time building a belt driven rig before. Not that this matters much, when you have instructions, but it does mean it was time to pay more attention to details. A bit out of my comfort zone, I removed the chassis and sat it on the mat to analyze the quality.


My knowledge in the drift world is limited (at this time.), but I can say that the chassis seems rigid enough and durable. We will see in the end as this rig will see some damage while learning the fundamentals. 🙂


First step was installing the suspension arms and steering arms to the chassis. I will note that the D3 does have ball bearings in all the right places. I aimed to build this kit by the book, so I followed the instructions carefully and set everything to default numbers. There are indeed a lot of pieces to this kit, and nothing was missing at all.




Front suspension arms installed.



Rear suspension arms

The next chore was installing the front and rear bulkhead and motor mount. I can’t say that I wanted pink colored aluminum parts, but it is nice to get some aluminum in the kit. Almost like having some included upgrades out the box. It was wise to pay attention to the direction of the bulkhead pieces so that they are installed correctly. There is a left and right to almost everything in the D3 kit.


The Sakura D3 kit comes with a solid axle (locked) and belt drive system in front and rear. The install was not difficult but something new for me.









The front shock tower, spur gear, and front bulkhead cover was easy to assemble.


The rear was almost identical to the front shock tower installation.


I installed the front and rear turnbuckles, uprights, and front knuckles/hubs. The shafts also went in at this time. There is a wide angle shaft for the front that may be useful around upgrade time.


All the link lengths are listed in the manual with photos to help you out. The shafts are metal and so are the turnbuckles.


Shock building time is always fun…:) Nothing new here, but they did include aluminum caps, ends,and adjusters. The actual bodies are plastic, but they feel durable enough.




I filled the shocks using the box as a make-shift stand. Although primitive…it worked like a charm.


The kit comes with two different shock oils for the front and rear shocks. The front uses #300 and the rear uses #1200.





Since I planned to install the electronics at a later time, I went ahead and skipped those steps. For me the next step was throwing on the bumpers and rear diffuser. After that, the pre-mounted tires and wheels would complete this roller for now. Check it out.




I used some aluminum hexes from my Yeti to replace the stock plastics that are included. Why not?


Ready for electronics and a custom painted body this Sakura D3 CS is. The yellow wheels are a bit bright, but they may be of use in the future. I will be replacing them with some staggered off-set wheels very soon.


Body posts and pins mounted and ready for action. I will probably go with a custom magnet setup sooner or later, but for now, I will be pinning things down.


I must say that I love the look of the rear diffuser. No clue if it is actually functional or not, but it looks cool as hell! 🙂 I can imagine that on certain bodies it might make for a nice addition to the body’s styling.

This post is done and so is the Sakura D3 CS chassis.

I can’t wait to see what counter steering and sliding around corners feels like. This particular model is a CS, which stands for counter-steering. This means that the front axle is geared to be slower than the rear. This will cause the rear to spin easily and in some cases is not the ideal setup. I hear that there is a learning curve to CS and if mastered it can come into good use on tighter more curvy tracks, where there are plenty of direction changes and fast turns. But all of that technical talk will be explored further after this baby is finished and on the road.


Another feature I would like to mention.

A chassis slot for air to flow through and help cool the motor. This feature is very well thought out and I can’t wait to see if it works out. By this being a front motor system, the motor will get first dibs at airflow due to this little vent and some custom grill work I am planning for the body. 🙂

A short closing video summary!

Thank you for viewing this article…This Sakura D3 kit has been fun to build and for the money, worth every penny “so far”. Next, I will be installing a motor/esc combo as well as a servo and receiver. Stay tuned for the next part in the Behind The Build – Drift – Series, there I will be installing electronics for this rig. If you would like to purchase a Sakura CS Sport d3 kit, then visit ASIA TEES and get into the drift of things!

Here is the time-lapse video I spoke of earlier in the post. Enjoy!

SAKURA CS SPORT D3 RC Drift CAR time-lapse build video!

DaveM of

Radio Control Patrol

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