Why Zoku

I started this project because I wanted something different from the norm. I wanted something that would take the already awesome Phoenix and turn it into a comp worthy hardline killer. 


I looked at what was available for the Phoenix platform and to be honest there wasn’t much. There are frame setups that will work with the phoenix but not much designed around it, certainly nothing that utilized the Phoenix body. 


My quest started with the angled skid. I wanted an angled skid for break over but this is hard to accomplish with the VFD Twin because it is sticks out in front and low. You really need some protection for the motor and so you don’t get hung up on the leading edge of the skid. I couldn’t find anything on the market that would fit this bill. The skid that I have created has gone through 21 revisions in order to get one that I was happy with. It uses a long nose like the OE skid and is 72 mm wide so that you don’t need to flex a flat rail chassis like crazy to make it fit.  It is also scalloped carefully so that the transmission sits as low as possible. The frame skid angle is 7degrees but the transmission angle is 4.5 degrees.  This makes it so that the motor nestles right in-between the front lower links at full droop.  Maximizing the already low center of gravity of the transmission. 


Along with the angled transmission I wanted mounts at the front of the transmission so that it was supported in the frame just like in the VP Phoenix. These are not available in other frames that are not tailor made for the phoenix. With a full size motor, like a fusion pro, there is a lot of weight hanging out on the front end of that transmission and it needs support.  


From the transmission I was able to build out the rest of the car. I wanted it to be super easy for anybody to use this kit so I made sure that the stock shift linkages would work. Using Micro servos I was able to tuck the OD servo just above the front drive shaft almost inside the transmission. The dig servo is mounted in pretty much the stock position and again using a micro servo. 


The suspension is completely adjustable too. All of the lower links have fixed positions but the upper links all have multiple hole options that can change adjust the suspension quickly and easily. With the Zoku kit you have full control over anti squat and anti dive as well as two positions for castor in the front and rear. How the car drives and turns is now adjustable by you.  


In the theme of LCG we use a lay down servo mount.  It can be a little trickier to set up but it has been designed around the VP 20mm horn and sets up quickly and easily with the VP drag link and panhard set up provided by Vanquish.  Because we are using all of the stock linkages there is little to no bump steer and you can easily reach both physical steering stops. 


One of my favorite parts of the Zoku kit is that it retains the ability to use the stock Phoenix body. You could use our optional body mount kits to get another body on there however, the rails and chassis bits are designed to perfectly fit the Phoenix body as intended by VP with the front mount hinge and no visible body clips. You’ve already got that body and it looks damn good anyways.  


In all the Zoku chassis kit takes out about a pound from a running and driving Phoenix kit while still using all of the features that make the Phoenix and VFD Twin such an awesome package.  The other awesome thing is that it is an entire kit that is designed to work together with an existing product. Everything you need is in the box. There is no additional hardware required.  There is no fabrication.  You can sit down at your work bench with your working Phoenix and two micro servos and have an LCG phoenix in a couple of hours.  The entire kit is designed to work together with OE parts from VP so that there is a seamless transition from VP Phoenix to Zoku Phoenix. 


Phoenix body.  Dig and Overdrive. Significantly lighter.  All in one box.  Zoku.