Team Associated RC10B4.1 Review
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.