Few months ago, Team Associated introduced their first ever 1:8 scale nitro buggy, the RC8. The 1:8 buggy class exploded in the last few years and racers from all over the world have been waiting for this buggy. This is also the first ever Factory Team kit to be pre-built. Great for lazy racers like me.
Here’s the RC8 Factory Team, right out of the box.
Since this is the first Team Associated Factory built vehicle, I was curious about the building quality. In fact, all Factory Team kits so far was not assembled. Many racers prefer to build them self a vehicle because this let them know exactly every parts of the vehicle, this is also a good way to learn how the vehicle works and it’s faster to diagnostic trouble when problems happen.
I took the time to inspect the RC8. All four shocks and the three diffs are properly filled. The RC8 is built according to the Factory Team base setup. 50wt shock oil in front and 40wt in rear. The diff are filled with 5-7-3 (F-C-R). This is the setup the factory drivers from Team Associated identified as the best base setup for the RC8.
All other components are also well assembled, I didn’t notice anything wrong. Everything spins freely and is bind free. All the buggy is perfectly assembled. Because you’ll provide your own radio gear, you’ll have to install the radio box and the radio tray to complete the RC8.
For those who prefer to build their vehicle, you don’t have to worry, the RC8 is perfectly built. Maybe better than you can do yourself.
Chassis, body and wheels
All the components are attached to a milled 3mm black hard-coated 7075 aluminum chassis. Chassis braces are used to prevent chassis flex. Woven carbon fiber is used for the radio tray and for the center diff plate.
The body comes pre-cut and ready to be painted. You’ll have to cut holes for the tuned pipe, engine head, fuel tank and high speed needle.
Don’t forget to paint this small part of the body !
A nice looking wing comes with the RC8 Factory Team, the wing is held in place by four screws, no more lost body clips. The wing can be adjusted any angle you want and will not move even under hard crashes. Nice job !
Team Associated developed new dish wheels for the RC8. They are supposed to be less prone to deformation. Wheels nuts are also new. A nylon insert prevents the nuts from coming loose.
The fuel is easy to remove, only two body clips hold it in place. Note that the lid can be installed to open in the opposite direction. A large spill guard prevents the fuel to go on the front brake and on the steering servo.
Suspension and steering
I’m sure Team Associated’s R&D have spent a lot of time to design the RC8’s suspension. The RC8 have a lot of suspension travel to make the RC8 float on ruts and bumps. Sway bars are used in front and rear to limit body roll and make the RC8 more stable when tight cornering. Both front and rear shock tower are made of 4mm woven carbon fiber to ensure maximum rigidity, strength and light weight. As far as I know, this is the only buggy on the market with those kind of shock tower. There a low profile and I don’t think they will break. The suspension is fully adjustable with blue titanium turnbuckles and many shock mount positions.
Shocks are low profile too. Team Associated developed an unique suspension geometry and this is why shocks are layed down. Like all Factory Team vehicles, the shocks are threaded. They are threaded and hard-coated with a 4mm shock shaft. A rubber boot protects the shock shaft from debris and keeps everything clean. All a-arms are 10mm thick for extra durability. All suspention components use captured pins, no more e-clips.
Two bell cranks, a woven graphite drag link (with multiple ackerman positions) and integrated servo saver are the major components of the RC8’s steering. When installing the steering servo, you’ll have two options, install the servo layed down or vertically.
The Team Associated RC8 uses the same front and rear diff as those found on the Thunder Tiger ST-1 and S3. So you can be sure that they are bullet proof and really efficient. The diff’s internal ratio is low, 4.3:1, great for quick acceleration. Like all others vehicles from Team Associated, all the drive train spins really freely. CVD’s are used everywhere for a non back slashing drive train. Rear CVD’s are protected by a rubber boots. One important feature of the RC8 is the outer CVD’s are captured into the internal wheel bearing. This is a very nice feature. Great job !
Only for screws to remove and you’ll access to the center diff. The spur gear is 43T and the included clutch bell it 16T. This provides super fast acceleration. Many racers use a 17T clutch bell to smooth the acceleration. To stop the RC8, two thick disks brake are sandwiched between to metal calipers. Metal inserts help to keep the disks cool to prevent fading during long mains. A new Free Float Caliper (FFC) brake-system eliminates the possibility of unwanted brake drag while on throttle. Three aluminum clutch shoes are also included with the kit.
What I liked
- Already built
- Well built
- A lot of innovative features
- Bullet proof drive train
- Metric screws
- Excellent instructions
What could be improved
- A clearer fuel tank
- Even if Team Associated prefers to let racers to choose their tires, I’d like to see four Crime Fighters or Bow Ties included in the kit.
- .21 Engine
- Tuned pipe and header
- Steering servo
- Throttle/brake servo
- Transmitter and receiver
- Weighing in at 7.4 lbs.* makes the RC8 one of the lightest buggies in the class (*weight may vary depending on muffler, motor and electronics)
- More suspension travel than any other buggy
- The 4.30:1 ratio gear boxes produce maximum punch allowing the RC8 to accelerate harder out of the corners and up the biggest jumps
- 4mm woven carbon fiber shock towers for maximum rigidity, strength and light weight
- Unique low-profile elliptical high-flow, two-stage air filter
- FFC Free Float Caliper brake-system eliminates the possibility of unwanted brake drag while on throttle
- Factory Team threaded, hard-coated shocks feature extra large bladders for full volume compensation and 4mm gold shock shafts for durability
- Two-piece split-center diff mount allows quick and easy access to the center diff
- Blue aluminum hexes and wheel nuts featuring nyloc providing the ultimate in security
- Wing angle and position is fully adjustable and secure
- Newly designed high-torque capacity three-shoe aluminum clutch
- Lightened 43-tooth diff rings make for the absolute minimum rotating-mass
- Captured outer CVD pins
- Metric hardware throughout
- Milled 3mm black hard-coated 7075 aluminum chassis
- Factory Team blue titanium turnbuckles
- Length: 20.3″ (517mm)
- Width: 12″ (305mm)
- Height: 7.25″ (184mm)
- Weight: 7.4 lbs (3.3kg) approx.
- Wheelbase: 11.7″ (298mm) wheels on-center front-to-rear
- Track: 12″ (305mm)
Team Associated didn’t reinvent the wheel, they focused to improve what a 1:8 buggy should be and they did a great job. They simply give what racers were asking for, captured CVD’s pins, a lot of steering, a low ratio, a light buggy and the quality of all Team Associated’s products.
I’m also impressed by the building quality. The RC8 is well built and the base setup have been tested by the Factory drivers. In fact, this is almost like if Richard Saxton have built the RC8 for me.
Now that Team Associated jumped into the 1:8 buggy field, we just have to wait for the truggy version….. May 2008 !
For my review, the RC8 scored almost perfectly everywhere, it’s promising. What’s next for my RC8 ? A track test…