Team C EP 1/10 long term review

Over the past three seasons I have been running a fleet of Team C cars in both on and off road. The only reason these vehicles were chosen was due to their cheap price and at the time, local track side support.

These vehicles are priced at the lower end of the market and do not have the pedigree of the established brands, but that does not mean that they are not durable or capable vehicles.

My experiences have been with the TS2TE 2wd short course truck, the TC02 2wd buggy in both rear and mid mount and the TR10 all-wheel drive touring car. All of these vehicles have been around for some time now and are generally similar to vehicles once produced by the established brands. I won’t go into the specifics of each car as an online search will get you any specifications you may need, but I will elaborate on the shortcomings and issues that I have overcome.

I’ll start with the on road car first, the TR10. This car was a ready built and only needed electrics, it was cheap and I mean real cheap. I only purchased it to race indoors during the winter when we couldn’t race off road due to the weather. The car is very basic and comes with absolutely useless pre mounted tyres, that offer no grip and are not suitable for racing at all. It has plastic hexes which always fall off the hub or get jammed in the wheel hex when changing tyres. The plastics are of a low quality and strip easily so care is needed. I found the servo mount to be particularly annoying as the plastic is so poor is flexes easily and the servo twists in the mount. The only real positive I found is that despite its short comings it can handle a beating, I regularly hit the boards around the local track and never broke anything except for popping a rear axle pin out once. Overall I wouldn’t recommend this car to anyone interested in racing, but it may make a good drift car by locking the rear diff and fitting some drift tyres. In hindsight I would have been better off finding a used X-ray or Yokomo as a cheap platform to get into on road.

Now onto the off road cars and the TS2TE has been a solid performer and I have enjoyed owning it but if you want to make it a reliable truck then the first thing you will need to upgrade is the rear chassis brace. The kit comes with a plastic brace which is just not up to the task and it is common for the ball studs to tear out of the plastic brace. Replacing it with an alloy brace will solve this issue completely and give you a little more weight in front of the rear axle which can only help with some rear traction.

The other areas which need beefing up are the ball cups and hubs. If you have the alloy hubs which is part of the TS2TE kit you will be fine, but you will want to get these if you have the plastic hubs as they tend to fail at the ball stud. The ball cups are fine initially but they seem to lose their strength pretty quickly, I have found replacing them with the cup used on the TLR22 has worked well.

The only other area that requires some attention is getting out some of the slop in the arms, this is common with all Team C cars as they do not have the tolerances of the established brands. A little time spent shimming out the slop is all that is required.

The TC02 buggy is a similar story to the TS2TE and a lot of the parts have commonality which is pretty handy if you’re running multiple cars. The TC02C mid mount buggy is actually a pretty good car, it doesn’t have all the adjustability of a TLR or AE car, but you can achieve a reliable and predictable setup.

There are no real weak points with this buggy and the only modifications are performance orientated. The kit springs are of average quality and there are not a lot of factory tunning options available, but fortunately they use the now industry standard 12mm big bore shocks. This allows you to use a variety of other manufacturer’s springs, such as the TLR low frequency springs on the rear and standard TLR springs on the front. With the springs and shocks sorted the car is well balanced and provides predictable handling.

Overall Team C cars are a cheap and reliable platform however their biggest downside can be parts availability, local suppliers seem to have little stock and are regularly sold out for long periods. Unlike the big brands you do not have much choice when it comes to hop ups and option parts and the prices of some of the hop ups are way more expensive than an equivalent hop up for a TLR or AE car.

The TC02 and TC02C represent exceptional value on the second hand market and well sorted mid mount buggies regularly change hands at my local club for around $100 or less. This makes them a very cheap entry level car for someone just getting into racing and a great car to learn on.

Purchasing these Team C cars new is a different proposition and the value equation is not as compelling. At a local Adelaide hobby shop the TC02 is being sold for $399 which is only just cheaper than a Team Associated B6 or $100 more than the TLR 22 3.0 which is currently in run out. At this price you would expect the TC02 to be comparable to the other vehicles in this price bracket, but in reality it is not even in the same league. Add to this the lack of local support, lower quality componentry and lack of parts availability and you should be looking elsewhere for your first or next 1/10 car.

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What is going on at Team Durango?

At this stage the answer to the question many people seem to be asking is nobody knows!

Ok, let’s go back a step, there has been a few things that have been annoying me about Team Durango over the last year.  Trying to get a DEX210 V2 or V3 body for example.  for the last 12 months few if anybody seems to have managed it! But I never put anything together with something happening until I read this Inside Line RC article this morning http://www.insidelinerc.com/off-road/durango-dnx8-discontinued-is-there-more-to-the-story/ .

 

The gist of it is that the new DNX8 buggy from Team Durango is showing on Tower Hobbies/Hobbico as Discontinued. Now this car was only announced early in 2015, a 1.5 year lifetime is extremely short for any platform. Ok, so the IFMAR 1/8 World Championships are coming up, but it seems a little off to me.  Other models are also listed as temporarily unavailable as well.  Of note these items are not listed as unavailable or discontinued on the Team Durango website.

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Next came the confirmation this afternoon (again hinted at in the Inside Line RC article) that Travis Amezcua, who is to many the public face of Team Durango, has parted ways with the company. Again this could be a case of greener pastures, or just time to move on, however the only thing hinted at in recent online postings from Travis was only hinting at new products that couldn’t be revealed.  Exciting maybe, but then to leave in the next breath seems … odd.  Maybe it’s the conspiracy theorist in me LOL.

I would suggest that something big is in the works for Team Durango.  A swath of new vehicles seems unlikely, however big news at a company level seems to be a likely outcome.  What that news is for better, or for worse, is yet to be seen. Certainly it would be a pity to see such an innovative player in the market disappear, especially one that discards the norms that have been set by other manufacturers and stands up to clearly say, “i’m doing things my way.”

Still, it adds a certain amount of drama to the lead up to the IFMAR Worlds doesn’t it!

 

RC Supercar VS Real Sportscar

Ok, so the Traxxas XO-1 is fast, real fast in a straight line.  How would it fair against a tuned 1000hp Nissan GTR, well surprisingly well considering the rough (for an rc car) surface of the runway they are racing on.  Yes, over a longer distance the XO-1 would be destroyed, but over this distance it’s a surprising race!  Enjoy!

What Racing Stadium Truck – 2016 Edition

What Racing Stadium Truck – 2016 Edition

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My old HPI E Firestorm

It is strange the things that motivate you sometimes, after racing at a major race meet on the weekend, and being perfectly happy with my RC Fleet, I find myself desiring a Stadium Truck once again after having a HPI E-Firestorm many years ago which had a number of modifications for racing, only to have nobody to race against!!  Unfortunately Team Durango are no longer making their DEST210R truck, so maybe I need to convert my Short Course DESC210R with a few parts….

However this, combined with teasers of the new Xray XT2 Stadium Truck got me thinking about what is available out there, so let’s have a look! I’ll look at racing kits at this stage, I will cover RTR Stadium Trucks another day as there is a lot of them out there.

Now don’t be fooled into thinking that all stadium trucks are electric, this is far from the case with many nitro powered trucks appearing over the years and a few that are still available. Kyosho and HPI both still sell Nitro powered Stadium Trucks, they have just fallen from favor when 1:8 Truggies started taking center stage.

Now a little history for those who may not be aware, Stadium Trucks, often just referred to as trucks are based on 2wd buggies with truck bodies, wider arms, larger tyres and often longer chassis.  And while that remains true of many of the original Stadium Trucks like the Tamiya Stadium Blitzer, the same remains true today.

Team Losi / TLR

So the current ST from TLR is the 22T 2.0 which is an upgrade from the original 22T released not so long ago as a part of the re invigoration of the Losi racing range under the TLR banner. Rear or mid motor mount is your choice in this kit in a very sleek design with a narrow (and not so spacious, chassis.

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Xray

The newest Stadium Truck on the block, and the one about which we know the least! We presume it will be based on the XB2, and that is about all we know.  When we know, you will know!

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Team Associated

RC10T5M or the shorter name it is most commonly known by, T5M is the latest from Team Associated, however with the release of the B6 and B6D there may well be a new version out some time in the near future.  This kit can trace it’s roots back to one of the original Team Associated Classics, the RC10T, and what a classic that is.  Honestly with the original RC10 being re released, I am amased the RC10T has not followed suit.

The T4.2 however is also still available in it’s rear motor mount only setup, but as an RTR, so that is for another day.  The T5M conversely is mid mount only so you really need to choose a kit to suit the surface that you are driving on, loose dirt or high traction clay or carpet/astroturf.

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Kyosho

The Ultima RT6 is the latest truck from Kyosho released not too long after the new RB6 buggy.  Kyosho design and quality is hard to go by if you can afford it.  All in all a beautiful truck that has all the adjustment and tuning you could ever need. It almost goes without saying that Mid and Rear engine mount configurations can be built from this truck kit.

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Team C

Team C isn’t a name you hear that often about the traps, but they do still sell a Stadium Truck in the form of the TC02T truck based once again from their buggy.  Whilst it is a slightly older design than some of the other trucks available, it will still put a smile on your dial.

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X Factory

This one is slightly from left field, but X Factory have been making conversion kits for Team Associated cars for many years.  Their X-60CF kit takes a T4 / 4.1 / 4.2 and turns converts it to the X Factory ST with a carbon fiber chassis and Mid motor configuration, something Associated only has done with the T5M recently.

Team Durango

Last but not least I do have to mention one sadly departed kit, the Team Durango DEST210R.  Yes, I know that it is no longer in production, but I mention it because A) I hope a new version will appear, and B) because it was the first ST (correct me if I am wrong here) to come where you could choose a Mid or Rear mounted motor position right out of the box, and switch them as needed.  Team Durango’s kits have been doing this since they released the DEX210 in 2011 and this feature has carried through to the Stadium Truck and Short Course Truck based on the same platform. As i’ve gotten back into ST’s I am thinking that I will buy the needed parts to convert my Short Course Durango into a Stadium Truck (Chassis, body and wheels), so i’ll let you know how that goes!

The ENORMOUS TLR 5IVE-B

Go big or go home, have a look at this buggy from TLR in 5th scale.  HPI eat your heart out, looks like this baby eats tracks for breakfast and for a big car seems to handle well.  Based not on the existing Losi 5th scale platform, but developed from the 8IGHT platform it looks designed (and ready) to RACE!

What we have seen about it so far;

* Cab forward race body
* 5mm thick, hard anodized 6061-T6 aluminum chassis
* Heavy duty brakes
* Racing style wing
* Dual steering servos
* Receiver battery steel heat shield
* 24mm, hard anodized aluminum shocks w/ bleeder caps
* Aluminum clutch carrier and center-diff case
* Engine mounted spark plug protector
* Adjustable toe & anti-squat plates
* Lightweight one piece wheels
* Ball-bearing ackerman plate w/ nutted screws
* Axle boots
* Lightweight dog bones
* Special race style air filter
* Hard-anodized aluminum shock towers

TLR05001 is the part number and an August release stateside, so I guess we will wait to see when O’Riely Model Products gets them into Australia!

PS, Bigsquid have some great photos of the car as well, check them out over at http://www.bigsquidrc.com/tlr-goes-huge-with-new-5ive-b-race-kit/

Team Associated unleash the B6 and B6D

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Firstly I thought it was an interesting side note to this release that the alternate version is the D (Dirt) rather than the namesake, the reverse of the B5 series where the B5 was a dirt car, and the B5M the mid mounted alternate if you like.

That said, the car certainly looks like a big step forward from the B5 which seemed more of an evolution of the B5 design. Either way, it’s always exciting to see new designs hitting the market, and it will be interesting to see them hit the tracks soon.

To see all the information and the new cars in action, check out the video from AE below

New Toys, DEX210V2 and Hobbywing Quicrun 17.5t combo

New Toys, DEX210V2 and Hobbywing Quicrun 17.5t combo

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Hobbywing Quicrun and program card

Yes, i have finally spent some money on some more gear for racing. Yes, I wanted to buy the slick new Team Durango carpet Buggy, the DEX210F, but the budget demon just couldn’t justify the price compared with a 2nd hand V2. Also my son is racing more and more and needed a racing design Buggy.

So I am upgrading to the V2 Team Durango Buggy, and my son gets my old V1. I will keep my electronics and he gets the new Quicrun combo which cost me $133 from eBay with program card from Hong Kong, an excellent budget speedy and motor combination from a tried and tested company.

Reviews in both will appear as time permits, so keep your eyes peeled.