Team Associated SC8 Snow/Mud Project
The Team Associated SC8 is a popular short course truck. Based on the RC8T platform, the SC8 has all it takes to perform well on a track. In the past, we have reviewed the SC8 but we never had the chance to drive it. This time, we drove the SC8 and we even converted it into a snow SC truck! This is too bad for the truck, two weeks before the first run in the snow, the truck was waiting somewhere in a warehouse in California where temperature was surely warmer than here.
As far as I can remember, Team Associated has always included engines developed in collaboration with Thunder Tiger in their RTRs . I have tested these engines in various vehicles such as the RC10GT/GT2, the Monster GT and the RC8T RTR. IN all those cases, the engines have always been extremely easy to break in and once the break in done, all engines produced good power and runtime while keeping their settings all day long.
So my expectations for the AE Pro 28 engine were high. Starting the SC8 for the first time was really easy. After I had fully charged a 7.2v stick pack for the Pro Starter and oiled the inner and outer air filters I headed outside for the initial start. Once the fuel tank was filled with my favorite 30% nitro fuel, I inspected for a second time the travel of the steering and throttle servos and no adjustment were necessary. I then squeezed the primer bulb few times until I saw the fuel enter the carburetor. STOP! Don’t prime the carburetor too much otherwise you risk to flood the engine.
I entered the long starting shaft into the engine’s back plate and connected the glow starter to the glow plug connector located at the rear of the truck. The SC8 uses an extension wire for the glow plug because of the huge body.
It took 2-3 seconds to the Spin starter to fire up the .28 engine. I have let the engine run few seconds before disconnecting the glow starter. The engine was idling well but I noticed that it was running a little too much on the lean side. This is normal because the outside temperature was around 40F. Don’t forget, this was a winter project! Under normal conditions, the carburetor would have been correctly set for break in.
The rest of the break in was easy and nothing wrong happened. I slowly leaned the carburetor settings by 1/8 of a turn at every fuel tank and I have let the engine completely cool down between each tank. After 5-6 tanks, the engine was ready for more action.
Basically, R/C vehicles are not designed to be driven in snow, water, mud or sand. To “Snow”proof my SC8, I used duct tape to prevent the elements from entering the chassis. The SC8 comes with a nice inner roll cage with plastic guards to protect the chassis. This is an excellent protection when running on a race track but insufficient for my winter project and may ruin the engine and the electronics. This is why I’ve decided to increase protection by using duct tape. I first started with pieces of lexan but lexan was not enough flexible to offer a good protection mainly between the a-arms and the wheels’ wells.
I simply used 36 inches long strips of duct tape that I overlapped until it reached 14 inches. I then folded in two the whole thing to create a 36 inches long by 7 inches high piece of super resistant and flexible material. I used zipties to attach the sheet of duct tape to the roll cage and to the bumpers and I cut holes for the a-arms and for the tuned pipe’s stinger. Since I’ll start the SC8 with the included Spin Starter, I applied a strip of duct tape to hide the flywheel opening under the chassis.
The stock tires are good for hard packed surface but for snow, mud or sand you need tires that will give the best traction. I picked two pair of Pro-Line Sling Shot SC (PN:1158-00). Those tires are designed for 1/10th short course trucks but they perfectly fit on the stock SC8’s wheels. They are the key of the project, without their traction, my SC8 will have never been able to move in snow. Talking about snow, the tires worked very well, in fact they worked better than I initially thought. On loose surface like snow, the Pro-Line Sling Shot SC worked well and provided good forward traction. On a harder surface like sand, they were simply amazing. In both cases, they “shoveled” the surface creating long rooster tails behind the SC8. This adds even more realism to the truck. I always thought this kind of tires were wearing out fast but after four fuel tanks, the tires were in a “like new” shape. Now that my Sling Shot tires are mounted on 17mm hex wheels, I can use them on my 1/8th buggy.
This project was oriented for snow driving but you can use the same technique for mud or sand driving. They key is to prevent the elements from entering the inside of the chassis. The duct tape shield worked better than I expected, no snow has entered the chassis and all components inside the chassis were dry even after I ran the truck in snow and mud for three tanks.
Watch the video