Team Associated RC18R Long Term Test
I got my RC18T RTR few months ago. I mainly raced it on carpet during last winter. I didn’t go crazy with modifications or aftermarket parts. Almost all the truck is still stock. I just added few things here and there to adapt the 18T to my race likings. Let see what happened during 40 packs of fun…
I removed the stock receiver to install my Airtronics FM receiver, otherwise all electronics still stock out of the box. The stock 370 motor did well on my track and still strong even after 40 packs of abuse. On a short track, the 370 had no difficulty to compete against other brushless minis. The motor has good amount of torque to get the 18T out of the corner quickly. After the runs, the motor was hot but nothing to worry about.
The steering servo did well all the times, and shows no sign of wear, it’s still strong and precise. Like all other electronics components, no complaint for the ESC, it did his job perfectly. The only problem I met was the ON/OFF switch, it seems that dust entered the switch and prevent the switch from working or suddenly stops the RC18T. I sprayed the switch with “contact cleaner” to fix the problem.
I raced with the stock 1100 NiMH batteries, I used 3 packs and they all performed well. They give to the RC18T great runtime. For stock battery packs, they are good quality.
The 18T’s drive train worked flawlessly during all the test period. I had to shim the rear diff once it got broken in. I installed the MIP CVDs on all 4 corners to ensure there was no backslashes. In fact, CVD’s are always my first upgrade on all RTR vehicles, I can’t live without them ! The rest of the drive train still in top shape, no loose and everything still spinning freely even if I did zero maintenance on the drive train. I adjusted my rear diff to be a little bit looser than the front diff to make my 18T feel like my truggy. I mean looser diff is the same as a truggy’s diff with lighter diff oil and vice versa. With this setup, my 18T was cornering as I like. Don’t loose your diff too much, you may blow your diff if it’s too loose. If your not familiar with ball diffs, you better go with the stock diff setup, it’s an excellent setup.
All I had to worry about the drive train was to make sure the outdrive’s sleeves were still in place. With the MIP CVD’s installed I didn’t really need the sleeves but I preferred keep them installed, they give to the plastic outdrives more strength. I didn’t replace any spur basically because I was racing on carpet and no dirt or debris entered between the spur gear and the pinion.
Suspension and steering
The RC18’s suspension is smooth and works well on all track sections. For carpet racing I went with Tony Phalen’s setup. To make a long story short, It’s basically 70wt with gold springs for the front and 40wt with blue springs for the rear. I used this setup for all the season and it works well. The front shocks have tendencies to leak but I installed new o-rings and added Team Associated’s green slime and they never leaked again. I lost few shock spring retainer during racing, I installed DrivenPro spring retainers (See review here) on all shocks and I never had the problem again. The track layout changed every friday night, even with big jumps (for a mini), the 18T was predictable in the air and landed on his four wheels. It bottomed out when I pushed it to hard in the jumps but my driving attitude wasn’t appropriate for the setup I used and for the track.
In the steering department, I did few mods. The first one was to install the DrivenPro drag link (see review here) to increase steering precision and to eliminate steering loose. The second mod was to remove plastic on the caster blocks and on the steering blocks (See the More steering section). This gave to my truck the extra steering I needed because I was racing on a tight track. I also installed a coil from a shock spring around the servo saver to tight the servo saver (See Tighter servo saver section).
I installed 1/10 touring car’s wheels with YeahRacing hex adapters and with Phalen’s setup, this gave to my 18T excellent cornering. The suspension and steering were perfect for my driving style and skills.
I knew the RC18 truck series were tough trucks but now I have the conviction that they are almost unbreakable !!! I pushed the truck beyond his limits many times resulting in spectacular crashes and the truck stayed in one piece and still wanted for more. During all those races, I never broke a part and the truck still on top shape. The spare parts I bought still untouched collecting dust in my toolbox. This truck is all about fun, and it doesn’t really need any special maintenance, just charge your packs and hit the track nothing else to worry.