Review – Team Associated RC10B4.1 Brushless RTR – UPDATED

Review Team Associated RC10B4.1 RTR Brushless
Words and Photos: Sylvain Lafrance

 

 

Read our review update at the end of the review

Introduction:

Team Associated recently updated their RC10B4 RTR buggy. The new B4.1 buggy is now offered in two flavors, one with a brushed motor and the other with a brushless motor. Of course, we decided to review the brushless version which will be, by far, the most popular version. Team Associated also released at the same time, a new version of their RC10T4 RTR electric truck. The new B4.1 and T4.1 (also offered with a brushed or brushless motor) are extremely similar and share the same electronics. Even if we have focused this review on the B4.1 brushless, all our comments are valid for the brushed version as well as for the T4.1 truck.

 

Electronics:

The most important and noticeable changes are in the electronics department. It starts with the new brushless Reedy 3300Kv motor. The new sensorless motor produces good torque and top speed. Accelerations are hard and the B4.1 reaches its top speed very quickly. The motor and the ESC use gold platted bullet connector for easier maintenance and removal. The new XP SC450-BL Brushless electronic speed controller works flawlessly and its heat sink keeps temperature low and prevents overheating. The ESC accepts NiMh, NiCd, LiPo packs and it features a LiPo cut off function to protect your LiPo packs. A reverse-forward  lock-out protects the drive train. The brakes are smooth, predictable and are easy to gauge. The brakes work nicely and can stop the B4.1 quickly without engaging the reverse. Good news, the ESC uses a Deans plug for the battery. I have tested the B4.1 with a 2S 5000mAh 30C LiPo pack and the ESC and motor never came hot. Performances are comparable to a good quality 17T brushed motor. The rear tires easily break traction with the motor/ESC combo. An extra tooth on the pinion will increase top speed and smooth out accelerations a bit.

A new 2.4Ghz transmitter and receiver are now included with the B4.1 RTR. The XP3-SS 2.4 GHz 3-channel radio system is comfortable, light and has throttle ATV, steering and throttle trims and dual rate adjustments. A foam is wrapped around the steering wheel for a better grip. The XP TRS401SS receiver is a four channel receiver and has a really small foot print. The on/off switch is well located and easily reachable on the left side of the battery tray.

To steer the front wheels, a SHV1504 MG servo with metal gears is used. The servo is not a super fast but it does its job well. This is a correct servo for a 2wd RTR buggy.

 

Suspension:

The suspension is similar to the previous version of the RC10B4 RTR. Four blue anodized aluminum shocks with preload clips are used at the four corners. Brown springs are used in front and black springs in rear. The suspension is smooth and absorbs small imperfection with ease. This will be difficult to get the B4.1 out of shape, the suspension is well calibrated with just enough body roll and weight transfer to feel the buggy well planted to the ground. The shock towers and a-arms have multiple shock mounting positions to fine tune the suspension.

Right out of the box, the suspension is right where I like it. I don’t know what shock fluid viscosity is used for the shocks but according to my experience and feeling, I assume it is 35wt front and 30wt rear. Adjustable camber and toe links are used making the steering and suspension completely adjustable. There is not a lot to say about the B4.1’s suspension. This is the same suspension used for many years by Team Associated since the B4 was introduced. This suspension won many worlds championships, you can figure out how well it works!

 

 

Body/Tires/Chassis:

The B4.1 looks awesome, Team Associated topped the buggy (and the truck version) with a nice looking Interceptor 2.0 body available in different paint schemes. The paint scheme makes the B4.1 one of the most beautiful RTR vehicle of the industry. The tires are mounted on white dish wheels. On my test runs, the rear tires show good forward traction on different surfaces and they are good tires for a RTR vehicle. The front tires are perfect for bashing and racing, they have good side traction. Team Associated replaced the black plastic/nylon front wheel nuts with new aluminum lock nuts with nylon inserts. This is a minor change but the previous plastic nuts were wearing quickly and didn’t offer durability compared to the new aluminum nuts.

A new designed chassis is introduced with a new battery strap that used twist-lock thumb knobs to secure the battery pack. The chassis also featured an angled bellcrank “co-planar” steering with built in servo saver and a set-screw antenna tube lock to securely hold the antenna tube in place.

 

 

Drive train:

What’s new for the drive train is the new sealed gear differential that replaces the ball diff. The new gear diff can be adjusted with regular diff fluid exactly like any 1/8 buggy differential. The diff is extremely smooth and I put the emphasis on the word “extremely”. I was skeptic about gear diff but my fears ran away when I tried the new diff. Compared to the previous ball diff, the new gear diff will require less maintenance for equal performances. A slipper clutch with dual pads protects the complete drive train. Once again, the slipper clutch is the same slipper that we can found on the previous version of the B4 and T4. Dog bones are used to transfer the power from the transmission to the wheels. The complete drive train is smooth and rides on rubber sealed ball bearings.

 

What I like: 

  • Brushless motor and ESC
  • 2.4Ghz transmitter
  • Based on the race winning B4
  • Great price

 

What can be improved:

  • Nothing major comes in mind.

 

Conclusion:

By adding a brushless motor/ESC combo and a 2.4Ghz radio system, Team Associated improved a buggy that was already packed with race winning features. The good news is that the B4.1 RTR still based on the many times world champion RC10B4 and continues to share its suspension, drive train and steering with it. A ready-to-run vehicle has never been so close to a full race vehicle. All this, at an affordable street price of 230$us

Stay tuned for a complete track test in a near future.

For more information, visit www.teamassociated.com

Updates:

Here is an update about the Team Associated RC10B4.1

 I wanted to update you, my readers and subscribers on the progress of my Team Associated B4.1 now that I have completed my 20th LiPo battery run.   And I am glad to report that I have only broken the front bulkhead after a 5 foot high landing went bad when I landed directly on the right front wheel.

 The buggy is still in great shape with no signs of wear in the drivetrain, suspension; steering and the electronics are working great!   The runtime has been impressive, know I didn’t log the time for each of the runs during these 20 packs but I frequently got more than 40-45 minutes of hard running with my REEDY 5000mAh 2S 35C LiPo packs that I used during this test. The motor and ESC has never overheated,  in fact, the motor only came off slightly warm to the touch a few times  and the ESC has never become warm or hot at all!

The rest of the stock electronics i.e.: the SHV1504mg servo is still in tip top condition. As mentioned in the review, the stock steering servo is not the fastest one but it uses metal gears and it still working flawlessly.  The 2.4GHz radio also shines by its ease of operation and quality, with no glitching, easy adjustability and good range; I can’t ask anything more to a RTR radio.

 The stock brushless motor has good torque and RPM for most of the small/medium tracks. With its stock gearing, the B4.1 pops wheelies on asphalt. I’ll change the motor pinion and go up an extra tooth to calm down the ponies and to slightly increase the top speed.

On the track, the B4.1 is impressive. It has good steering and great acceleration.  I kept the “out-of-the-box” suspension setup and the B4.1 performed really well.   I had to get familiar with the steering servo’s speed, but once I got familiarized with it I had no problem getting around the track and was able to approach tighter corners with more confidence.

I always loved 1/10th scale 2wd electric vehicles!   There is no doubt that the Team Associated RC10B4.1 is my favourite electric vehicle to drive.  Soon I will publish a new article on my project for my B4.1. I plan to convert it into a full blown racer.   I have a LRP 8.5T brushless motor and an LRP ESC in my SC10 that will fit perfectly into my B4.1… And as I am writing this text, Team Associated has announced the new V2 shocks for the B4.1, that I hope to install as part of the racer package.   Sign up our free newsletter to be informed of our next projects.




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72 Responses

  1. billy says:

    Nice review!

  2. Magic Rat says:

    Very nice review.The most comprehensive one I’ve read yet.The plethora of pictures at the end was a thoughtful touch as well.I just got through ordering mine from tower so I’m even more anxious than before I read the review.I’m an old nitro RC10GT dog so this is going to be interesting.I’ve been in this mess for over 20 years (60+) and fully expect to die on the drivers stand.No better way to go.Again,thanks for the great review.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the good words. The B4.1 and T4.1 Brushless are great vehicles. The brushless motor/ESC combo and the 2.4Ghz system are performing extremely well so far.

      I’m sure you’ll love your B4.1… Great buggy for the money!

      Let me know once you receive yours.

  3. JJ says:

    Yes, very nice review. I just got mine and wore out the back stock tires after two runs on the street. I ordered some street tires for the rear that I hope will last longer. I was inpressed with the long run times I am getting. I had an old gold tub RC10 about 20 years ago and have not run one since. I don’t know why I didn’t get a new one sooner. Great buggy and the fact that it comes put together is even nicer!

  4. Stephen says:

    I am looking at buys one of these asap. Can anyone give me any suggestions on what motor I should hop this up with? I know that Reedy has comparable motors on Tower Hobbies that go up to 6100kV. Thanks!

    • admin says:

      The stock motor is rated at 3300kv. It is a good motor for small track. On larger tracks, more power is always welcome. The Reedy 6600kv motor will work fine with the stock ESC and will drmaticaly increases the power but will also reduce runtime.

      Hope this helps

  5. prince says:

    Hi,
    Just wanted to know which brand of Lipo pack did you use for your B4.1?

    Thanks!

  6. Prince says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for that info, I just bought this RTR from a shop here in Australia, now I need to buy some LiPo batteries and a bit worried that what I buy might not fit in the battery tray of the B4.1, can you tell me the dimension of the battery tray of the RC10B4.1? Thanks a lot!

    Cheers,
    Prince

    • admin says:

      The packs I currently use are
      Length(mm) 135
      Height(mm) 22
      Width(mm) 45

      and they fit perfectly into the B4.1. Don’t go larger than 45mm.

  7. Prince says:

    Thanks a lot mate!

  8. admin says:

    You’re welcome ;)

  9. Prince says:

    Hi, it’s me again. I already had a go of my B4.1 and it was amazing. Now I’m planning to upgrade some of the parts. Have you done your upgrade of your B4.1 to a full racer specs? If you already have can you post some pictures. Cheers!

  10. Prince says:

    Hi, got a question regarding the stock ESC of B4.1 (XP SC450-BL) according to the manual the LiPo LVC is set at 3.0v. Read in some forums that it’s safer to have the LVC set to 3.1v or 3.2v. Is this true? Can we change the LVC of the stock ESC from 3.0v to 3.1v? How to do this change?

    Thanks!

    • admin says:

      When your LiPo will drop to 3.2v you will fell the low voltage because your truck will be slower than normal. The 3.0v cut-off is just a safety to make your you don’t go below the 3.0v. I run my B4.1 until the cut-off stops my buggy and I have no problem with my LiPo packs so far.

      The best practice with LiPo is to stop when the car slows down.

  11. 9ppel says:

    Great and useful review! I’m looking into buying this car, but there is one piece of information I just can’t seem to find anywhere: can you use 3S LiPO (11.1V) in this car? Seems like both the ESC and the motor can handle it, according to the data sheets I’ve found, but I’ve never found anyone writing that they’ve actually used it.

    My son has a brushed Team Associated T3 (or rather: a Thunder Tiger Phoenix ST….same thing), out of the box with the 17T motor, running with a 8.4V pack (and I’ve installed ball bearings). Will this B4.1 out of the box be faster than his T3, with a 2S LiPo?

    • admin says:

      According to Tower Hobbies… The ESC will handle a 3S LiPo pack if the motor is under 3900kv.

      I’ll contact Team Associated and be back with the right answer.

      Thanks

    • admin says:

      Here is the answer from AE

      Yes the ESC can handle the 3s LiPo with the 3300 and the 3900kV motors but with the 4900 and 6100kV it can only handle 2s

      • 9ppel says:

        Thank you very much for your help!

        Got this car in the mail today, and raced it for a while with the 7.4V battery. Wow! Compared to what I’ve been driving earlier, this car really was fast. I then tried it with the 3S battery, and it just took off. In that process it also broke the front bulkhead, I’m afraid, so now it’s already parked, waiting for parts :-)

        A couple of things I don’t understand:

        1)
        After I’ve turned on the receiver, I can immmediately use the steering wheel to turn the front wheels, this works as normal, but when I “pull the trigger” nothing happens. There’s a green light flashing on the ESC, and after 20-30 seconds it turns red. THEN the motor starts spinning.

        2)
        I have to set the throttle trim to the almost minimum (leftmost) position to keep the throttle in neutral. If I put the throttle trim to neutral, the wheels are spinning. Because of this, I guess, I don’t get very much speed in reverse.

        Do you know any solution to this?

        Already love this car, btw

        • 9ppel says:

          OK, got this sorted out. Just had to setup the ESC. Couldn’t find any instructions for this in the box, but found it on the Internet. Works fine now. Just waiting for that new front bulkhead :-)

        • admin says:

          You are right, the secret in the situation is to reset and setup the ESC.

          Get some front suspension spare parts. They like to break on 1/10th and they are cheap. You can buy a almost complete front end for less than 25$

  12. Prince says:

    Hi,

    I just tried out my RC10B4.1 in my local track and somebody noticed that my gear is running tight just by the sound of it. I immediately get my car and he mentioned that the motor will be very hot because of that “gear is too tight” problem. When i touched the motor it’s really hot-can’t hold it for more than a second. I’m new to this hobby and I’m not sure what the guy is really talking about – I mean how to adjust the gear. I also noticed that the sound of my car is not the same sound of the other cars I watched racing (high pitch sound),mine is a bit lower. can you send me some link as to how to adjust my “gear”? or how to fix my problem.

    Thanks a lot!

    • admin says:

      You are talking about the gear mesh. This is the gap between the pinion and the spur gear. When both gear are too tight, it causes friction that makes motor overheat, slows your car. To adjust gear mesh, remove the right rear wheel and remove the gear cover (only two screws to remove). Then you will have access to the gears and motor.

      Loosen motor screws and adjust the distance between both gears. A cool trick is to insert a small piece of paper between the gears and use this paper to “gap” the gears. Then tight the motor’s screws.

      Have a look at this video for more explanations -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmm5hQBfAyQ

      Hope this helps

  13. Tenkuro says:

    Nice review! I found another review with a video included. I think your review is much better. Here’s the other review: Team Associated RC1084.1 Review

  14. billy says:

    I got mine few months ago….

    i like it ! :)

  15. Prince says:

    Hi, is it possible to pair a Spektrum DX2S with the standard receiver of the B4.1? If yes, how to do it, what things I need to buy aside from the DX2S?

    Thanks!

  16. awesome number 17 says:

    how fast does it go

  17. awesome number 17 says:

    how does it race and is it pretty durable

    • admin says:

      That’s one of the best 2wd buggy on the market. The B4 series have won many championships, you can go wrong. The RTR version is quite fast and durable. Out of the box, change the rear tires and you are ready to race. Of course, if you are a goof racer, you’ll want more power but the stock motor is more than enough for anyone.

      The front a-arms are prone to break easily because they are not protected. That’s common to all buggies. Besides that, it is a durable vehicle!

  18. matt says:

    do you think this is a good beginner buggy

  19. brian says:

    Hi everyone,

    Looking for pure speed out of the box. Which buggy is faster? The Rc10B4.1 brushless or the Traxxas Bandit with the 12t brushed Titan motor?

    What is everyone’s opinion on this?

    Thank you for any advice in advance. Not look to take to race track. Just looking for fun.
    Brian

    • admin says:

      The Traxxas Bandit is advertised for 35MPH with a 7-cell battery and the optional 31-tooth pinion gear.

      The B4.1 Brushless top speed is certainly near 28MPH with a 2S LiPo pack but you can run the B4.1 Brushless RTR with a 3S LiPo pack and certainly get 35MPH.

      Remember that brushless motors require no maintenance compared to brushed motors.

      We never tested the Bandit but the Bandit seems to be more durable to crashes since the B4.1 is more race oriented than the Bandit. One good point for the Bandit, all its electronics is waterproof.

      My pick will be the B4.1 because it is brushless, has 2.4Ghz radio, handles 3S LiPo packs and it is more race oriented.

      Hope this helps.

  20. brian says:

    Ok that definitely helped!

    Here is my next question. What is the speed difference between the RC10B4.1 brushless more and the RC10B4 brushed motor?

    What are the advantages of brushless?

    Does a higher KV number mean a faster engine?

    Thank you so much for your help.

    Brian

    • admin says:

      I can’t tell you exactly the speed difference between a RC10B4.1 brushless and the brushed version. Maybe 4-5 MPH.

      Brushed motors require maintenance like changing brushes, cleaning frequently and having a comm lathe to refresh the rotor once and a while.

      On the brushless motors, no need to worry about brushes and comms. They also required minimal to zero maintenance.

      Brushed motors are from the past, today, everybody runs brushless motors.

      The KV refers to the number of RPM the motor does at 1V. A 3300KV motor will have a RPM of 24420RPM with a 2S (7.4v) LiPo pack and 36630RPM with a 3S (11.1v) pack.

      The top speed of an electric car depends on the motor RPM and torque, gearing and voltage.

      Brushless is definitively the way to go now.

  21. Prince says:

    Hi, I have a spare Spektrum Servo (S6040) is it possible to pair this with the B4.1 standard receiver? I tried it and the servo is turning the other way – when i turn the controller to the right the servo turns to the left. How can I make the servo to turn the right way?
    Thanks!

  22. Prince says:

    Will try that later. Thanks a lot!

  23. newracer5309 says:

    what would be the best 17.5 brushless motor be to put in the b4.1

  24. Nick Overgaard says:

    What is an ideal battery for the B4.1? I would like to get a lipo. I already had a Venom 2s 5000 Mah Lipo, But it stopped running after the 5th run. I would like to get a quality battery thats not too cheap but within reason. Thanks, Nick

    • admin says:

      Hi Nick,

      Reedy Wolf packs, Protek, Dynamite are good budget 2S LiPo packs.

      • Nick says:

        Thank you. I was wondering what your thoughts are on SMC lipos? At my local hobby shop, they recommended them, saying the were a great battery for stock class racing. So what do you think? Thanks again, Nick

        • admin says:

          Hi Nick,

          I used SMC packs back in the days when NiMh were the top choice. Unfortunately, I never owned SMC LiPo packs but I’ve only heard good things about them. This might be a good choice, specially if your LHS support them.

          • Nick Overgaard says:

            Hey thanks so much for the info! Sorry about bothering you again, but youre such a great source. So, I bought the SMC C-max 4800 mah…. And it recommends to charge at 2C. I read that 1C= 5A… So what should I charge mine at? Thanks for your time once again,
            Nick

          • admin says:

            Hi Nick,

            1C = the capacity of the battery, 4800mah in your case. So 2C is 9600 mah (9.6A). I never charge any of my packs at a higher rate than 1C. It takes a little longer but I think it is safer.

            If you have any others questions, please let me know :)

  25. TOM says:

    is it water proof

  26. jf+ says:

    I just bought a Turnigy 6000maH 65-130C 2S battery, at Hobby King for the smokin price of $49 shipped.. Was so happy to find this deal I didn’t really notice the DIMENSIONS until after!! (Duh.)

    It’s 138x46x25… I’m hoping I’ll be able to “finesse” in a 46? I know you said earlier 45 was the number… Thoughts? Should I cancel or wait til I get it and try to jam it in there unsuccessfuly?? :)

  27. ducadibarolo says:

    hi guys !

    where i can find the EXACT battery tray dimension ?

    many thx !

    from Italy

  28. jf+ says:

    ducadibarolo -

    While I haven’t actually measured the tray, my new battery is a Turnigy 6000mAh 2s that JUST fits. I actually had to back out the battery strap wingnuts a little since it’s so thick.

    The dimensions are (when installed) 138mm long, 25mm high, 46mm wide.

    Guessing a little here, (and being slightly conservative) you could go up to 140mm long, 48mm wide without awful problems. As far as the height, another mm or two might be possible, (and certainly if you remove the foam backing on the stock battery strap), but to me, 25mm is about as thick as you’ll want to go.

  29. jf+ says:

    Sylvain, definitely a great review!

    So it’s been a while – Have you done any meaningful improvements? Any suggested upgrades that ACTUALLY matter? I messed with pistons and springs til I was blue in the face, and then wound up going back to stock–because it’s just better!

    How do you like your CVDs now? Any other upgrades to the mechanicals?

    Thanks again for a great review and excellent follow-up info!

  30. dstew says:

    can anyone find me links to the exact LiPO pack (5000 mAh+)and motor to make mine go faster? I’m really confused with everything and brand new to the hobby. I want it to go around 70 mph. My local hobby stores suck as they have only RC planes and just Traxxis brand rc trucks and none which are TA. Frustrating. Any help is appreciated.

  31. dstew says:

    nevermind. Great review and I tried to use the information above to help in my decision but realize that there is too many complicated “things” that go along with this hobby. Hats off to you guys who know what all this stuff stands for but it would be nice if the RTR’s came with charger, batteries and everything else rather than selling them separately. Browsing the internet and trying to know exactly what I need to get started is stressing me out. Very confusing stuff and it will be very pricey $400+ for something that I’ll probably only do 3 or 4 times and get bored of anyways. Thanks again & great review outside of my own frustrations!

    • admin says:

      Don’t give up !

      70MPH is a lot of speed for such a little vehicle. My electrics and nitros go 35MPH max and that’s quite fast.

      Check amainhobbies.com or towerhobbies.com, I’m sure you’ll find a REAL ready to run vehicile

  32. Baz345 says:

    Hey Mate, Got a fair few questions as I can’t handle another broken down rc ( My heart can’t stand it ;) ) and I’m on a very limited budget as I’m only 14, So here goes

    Ordered off tower hobbies and waiting, what is a good fast setup that will not hurt drivetrain and transmission/strip any gears?

    I’m buying some Rear proline holeshots M3 for $11.99

    So my final budget is $30.51

    What i already have:
    Ripper brushless 3900kv ( Exact same dimensions are reedy 3300kv)
    Tacon 4300kv Brushles ( abit smaller ^ )
    Ace rc 40a bl esc
    turnigy 60a esc
    2s lipo
    Ace rc s1903 servo

    What else do i need to buy within my budget to have a reliable fast setup? I was thinking the 3900kv motor and 3s lipo or 2s lipo?

    And finally what are the DEFINETE upgrades and spares parts I should buy with my budget?

    Thank you so much if you answer :)

  33. admin says:

    Hi,

    It is hard to tell what upgrades you should buy because I don’t know you plan to do with your B4.1. However, a good upgrade is the CVDs kit.

    Spare parts you’ll need front a-arms, front shock tower, bulkhead, hinge pins brace.

    As for the battery. I don’t recommend running a B4.1 on 3S. The battery box is small and only works good with 2S.

    You can register http://www.rcten.com, this is the forum for all Team Associated products. A lot of good guys there that know well the B4.1

    Thanks

  34. Baz345 says:

    thanks mate,found some helpful info on the forum. and what was that CVD kit you were saying? a link would be great or something :)

  35. randy says:

    I just bought my kit the other day and already my on/off switch is broken. it has a short.
    no warranty so buyers beware of cheap parts in the rtr.

  1. August 31, 2010

    [...] Review – Team Associated RC10B4.1 Brushless RTR – UPDATED [...]

  2. December 1, 2010

    [...] Review – Team Associated RC10B4.1 Brushless RTR – UPDATED [...]

  3. December 30, 2010

    [...] Review – Team Associated RC10B4.1 Brushless RTR – UPDATED [...]

  4. July 24, 2011

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  5. September 13, 2012

    [...] night I was looking at the stats of MyRCBox. and I found out that our most popular page was our Team Associated B4.1 RTR review. A little more than 35000 views since published in May 2010. That surprised me because 2wd buggies [...]

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