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How to: Tamiya TT-01 Diff Lock for Drifting

Posted by Chris on 19th April 2012 How-tos 11 Comments
Tamiya TT-01 Diff Lock Thumbnail

Tamiya’s TT-01 is one of the most popular touring cars for sale today, and with a few simple modifications it can be transformed into a decent drifting machine.  The most important mod required to get your sideways drift on, is to lock your TT-01’s rear differential.  Carry on reading for our detailed step by step how to.

There’s a number of ways to lock a gear driven differential like the TT-01’s. In the past we’ve tried blu-tac, rubber bands and paper clips. It seems anything that restricts the movement of the inner spider gears seems to work. The problem with these methods is that they are likely to become looser over time.

Hot Glue – The Best Method

Using hot glue from a glue gun is the best method we’ve tried and is why we suggest you use hot glue. Hot glue restricts the movement of the spider gears, and best of all it can be removed when you’ve had enough of going sideways.

How to lock TT-01 diff using hot glue

Follow our step by step guide below and you’ll be drifting better than ever before in no time.

Step 1

Remove your rear wheels first, using a hex wrench. Make sure to take off the wheel hex and drive pin as well.

Tamiya TT-01 Diff Lock Guide

Remove your rear wheels first with a hex wrench

Step 2

Flip your TT-01s chassis over and remove the 5 screws holding the skid plate on.

Tamiya TT-01 Diff Lock Guide

Remove the 5 screws holding the skid plate on

Step 3

Turn the chassis back over, and find the 2 screws that located between the shock tower.

Tamiya TT-01 Diff Lock Guide

Undo the 2 screws between the shock tower

Step 4

When you have removed the 7 screws from the previous steps, gently pull apart from the rear suspension assembly from the rest of the chassis. You should be looking at something near identical to the picture below.

Tamiya TT-01 Rear Diff

Pull apart the rear assembly, to reveal your rear diff

Step 5

Remove the differential from the gearbox housing by taking the dogbone driveshafts out.  The diff will fall right out.  Then once the diff is in your hands, pull the drive cups and bearings from either side of the differential.

Tamiya TT-01 Rear Diff

Remove the diff from the rear gearbox housing

Step 6

Using a small philips screwdriver, remove the 3 M2 screws that hold the diff together. Be careful not to strip the threads when you reassembly this part.

Tamiya TT-01 Rear Diff

Undo the 3 screws holding the diff together

Step 7

When all 3 screws are undone, gently pry the diff apart to reveal the inner spider and ring gears.

Tamiya TT-01 Rear Diff Open

Pull the diff apart to reveal the inner gears

Step 8

Warm up you’re glue gun up until the glue runs smoothly when the trigger is pulled. Your aiming to glue in between the spider gears down onto the lower ring gear. Do not get glue on the top surfaces of the spider gears or the central piece, as this will prevent the other ring gear from sitting properly when you reassemble.

Tamiya TT-01 Hot Glue Diff Lock

Apply hot glue between the spider gears

 Step 9

If all has gone to plan, you will be left with a diff that looks similar to the one below. All that’s left to do is reassemble everything in reverse order. You will be drifting far more consistently and most of the dreaded TT-01 understeer will be gone.

Tamiya TT-01 Diff Locked with Hot Glue

The hot glue should be between the spiders gear and not on the top surfaces

Now the next time you decide to drift, you should see a massive increase in general consistency when you’re sliding sideways.

Happy Drifting!


  1. Ken lapan says:

    Hi guys first timer, I bought a 2nd hand tto1..only problem is thespeed controller. When I get anewspeed controller would I be able to drift with these silver stock motor? I’m a newbee and need you explicit knowledge to guide me. Thx Ken

    • Chris says:

      Hi Ken,

      The stock silver can will be fine for drifting. As it’s a stock motor, I would suggest running hard drift tyres and locking your rear diff.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Ian says:

    Superb… perfect detailed how to guide. I can see what ill be doing at the weekend.

  3. Jerry says:

    Just locked my tt-01e rear diff and going to try to drift.

  4. indra says:

    Hi…how about the front diff? sorry for asking stupid question

    • Chris says:

      Hi Indra,

      You can lock the front diff as well. You’ll notice a much larger turning circle if you do, but the car should maintain a drift a little more predictably.

  5. Darcy says:

    Hi, can the hot glue be removed once you have finished drifting.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Darcy,

      Yeah it can be, quite easily as well. If the inside of the diff has ever been greased, then the hot glue never really stickers to the spider gears, it merely creates a lump which restricts the movement. When I’ve removed it before it can simply be picked off.

  6. Darcy says:

    Hi, can you make a one-way diff using a similar method?

  7. BigBee says:

    Hot glue isn’t the best method. Hot wax is. Use a wax warmer to melt a tablespoon or so of wax, open Diff, pour into diff housing with spider gears still inside. Before wax cools, close diff back.up, screw closed, and let cool for a while.
    To remove, just heat it up and pour wax out.

    The hot glue came loose after only a couple runs. The wax is way better. My tt01 pulls wheelies now. Setup for rally though with the blocky rally tires and as much suspension travel as possible.

  8. VspecII says:

    Or you can buy a proper lock diff piece for the tt-01 for $13.50 au for a proper lock instead or wax or glue 🙂