The Team Associated RC8T Championship Edition is a kit so it comes unassembled and not painted. To make it working, you must provide all the electronics, an engine and a tuned pipe. However, Team Associated included high performance tires, body and wing all from JConcepts. Basically, the RC8TCE is exactly the same as the one driven by the Factory driver Ryan Maifield who has TQed every round and won the 2009 ROAR Nationals. Team Associated packed the RC8T Championship Edition with nice features such as a new 5mm thick blue anodized aluminum shock towers, new A-B-C-D suspension plates, an updated steering bell crank and a new battery box located forward the chassis.
Assembling a kit such the Team Associated RC8T Championship Edition is always exciting and is the best way to get familiar with your vehicle. I took me around twelve hours between the moment I have first opened the box and the moment I have finished the painting. Instructions are clear but some steps need to be a little more detailed. Team Associated assembled for you the turnbuckles, the three diffs and the shocks. You just need to fill the diffs and shocks with the included fluids. A bottle of 7000wt diff fluid and a bottle of 35wt shock fluid are included. This represents the “base” setup used by the factory drivers. The build starts with the front end, followed by the rear end and the center diff section. The radio tray and fuel tank are assembled in the last portion of the building process. The whole assembly went extremely well and all the parts fit together well. I’ve added thread lock to all metal on metal screws to make sure they will not rattle loose. Instructions have clear pictograms showing where you should apply thread lock along the building. All parts are packaged in well identified plastic bags to make assembling less confusing and easier. Each step has its own plastic bags so you are sure to only open the necessary bag and parts. At the end of the instructions manual, an “actual size” chart will help you identify the screws. This is especially useful if you are not familiar with kit building or with metric hardware.
The steering drag link has been shortened and the steering turnbuckles are now attached to the bell crank. This eliminates bump steer effect. An adjustable servo saver protects the servo in case of a crash. All steering components ride on rubber sealed bearings for an increased precision and smoothness. Pay close attention when you assemble the steering blocks. The upper and lower screws are not the same length and you have to take care when inserting the keyed sleeves into the blocks. All steering components really fit well together and the steering is slop-free and ultra precise.
The new RC8T CE comes with pre-assembled big bore shocks, simply fill them with the included 35wt shock fluid and they are ready to be installed. The hard anodized aluminum shock bodies are threaded and the 4mm shock shafts are titanium/nitride coated for super smooth operation and durability. A rubber boot protects the shock shaft from dirt and debris. Sway bars are also included in the kit, they minimize body roll while cornering. New 5mm hard anodized blue shock towers are now part of the kit. They offer more shock mounting and camber link positions. New heavy duty suspension plates are also included in the kit. They allow easy rear toe, rear anti-squat, front kick up and caster adjustment. They are a welcome addition and are more durable than the ones found on the previous version of the RC8T. Once assembled, the suspension feels extremely smooth and the default suspension settings seem to be a good setup to start with.
The drive train is unchanged and this is good news. The RC8T drive train is bullet proof and resists to any abuses. Team Associated included two sets of clutch springs (1.0mm and 1.1mm) so you can adjust how the three aluminum clutch shoes will grab the clutch bell. The final 4.3:1 gear ratio is still the same and a 14T clutch bell and a 54T spur gear are used to transfer the power to the drive train. 3.5mm light CVAs are used to transfer the power to the differentials and to the wheels. No setscrew is used, the CVAs pins are held in place with capture rings. Rubber boots protect the rear CVAs from debris and dirt to lower maintenance and increase durability. The drive train is really smooth and operates freely. The differentials are pre-mounted and you only need to add the included 7000w diff fluid. Team Associated recommends the use of 7000wt fluid in the three differentials as a base setup. All three differentials can be easily removed for maintenance and to change diff’s oil. Ultra precise spiral cut diff gears and diff pinion gears are used for the front and the rear diffs. Don’t forget to apply grease on diff gears and pinions when assembling the differentials into the cases.
Molded chassis braces are now used in the kit, they offer a little more chassis flex to increase chassis response. The chassis is made of 3mm 7075 hard-anodized aluminum with many milled sections for extra lightweight. A new blue hard-anodized 7075 top plate is also included in the kit. The aluminum radio tray has been modified. A new battery box is now located further in the front of the chassis near the steering servo. This helps to balance weight and increases steering. The “old” battery box is still there, so you have plenty of room for your receiver and battery pack. The Team Associated RC8T Championship Edition is packed of JConcepts products. In fact, JConcepts tires, inserts, body and wing are included in the kit. The JConcepts Punisher “forward cab” body design lowers the C.G. and improves air flow. The JConcets Illuzion high downforce wing comes pre-drilled for easy mounting, it may sounds banal but I really like the fact that the wing is pre-drilled. It makes me save precious time! One of my negative points in my review of the previous version of the RC8T was the lack of tires. I don’t know if Team Associated listened to me but JConcepts Cross Hairs tires are now included. All the JConcepts products included in the kit are high performance products, they add a race ready touch to the kit.
Testing a kit like the Team Associated RC8T Championship Edition is always fun and exciting. I didn’t take me long to feel the race attitude of the RC8T CE. It just took me few laps to feel comfortable with the truck. The base setup is adequate for most tracks and driving styles. The RC8T is easy to tune and responded well to every tuning changes I made. The truck felt planted to the ground in every corner, thanks to the suspension and to the included JConcepts tires. The steering is also impressive, the truck turned on a dime. On and off power cornering is predictable and easy to gauge. The RC8T jumps level most of the time and it is easy to correct the truck attitude in the air with little brake or throttle inputs. Accelerations are quick and the truck still straight on the track.
The RC8T Championship Edition is a long term project, more track tests and performances will be posted during the next weeks. So stay tuned to MyRCBox.com!
- Pre-assembled shocks, diffs and turnbuckles with Factory Team shock and diff fluids included.
- Factory Team 16mm “Big Bore” threaded, hard-anodized shocks feature heavy-duty 4mm TiN coated stainless steel shock shafts for durability and reduced stiction.
- Updated 5mm 7075 blue aluminum shock towers with additional rear camber link options.
- Revised front upper camber link assembly allows for easier adjustments and maintenance.
- 7075 blue aluminum suspension mounts key into chassis for maximum durability.
- Molded bushings allow for easy adjustment of caster, rear toe-in, rear anti-squat, and front kick-up.
- Updated steering geometry for more consistency and reduced bump-steer.
- Molded composite radio tray includes optional forward placement battery box for increased corner speed.
- Molded composite front and rear chassis braces for increased chassis response.
- Blue aluminum Narrow hex adapters with pin retainer clips and nylon locking wheel nuts.
- JConcepts Punisher body features a low profile design for a lower C.G., improved air flow and quicker fueling.
- JConcepts Illuzion wing pre-drilled for RC8T.
- JConcepts tires and foam inserts.
- Three aluminum clutch shoes with full sets of 1.0mm and 1.1mm clutch springs.
- Factory Team 7075 blue aluminum one-piece top plate.
- Lightweight 3mm 7075 hard-anodized chassis.
- 4.30:1 ratio gearboxes with a 14T clutch bell and 54T spur gear.
- Heatsink brake discs with “FFC” Free Float Caliper brake system eliminates unwanted brake drag.
- Two-piece split-center diff mount allows easy access to the center diff.
- 3.5mm light CVA drivetrain with full ball bearings.
- Rear molded CVA boots to keep dirt and mud out of rear joints.
- Lightweight engine mounts.
What I like:
- Easy to build for beginners and experts
- No compromise here, it is a race truck!
- Finally, the tires are included
- Great value
What can be improved:
- Few instructions steps need to be more detailed
The Team Associated RC8T Championship Edition is a pure race truggy. This is the kind of truck that will make anybody faster. No matter your level of experience in RC, assembling is easy and all the parts fit well together. The new RC8T offers more for the money than the previous version. The new shock towers and suspension plates add durability to the truck. The included JConcepts body, wing and tires complete perfectly the package making the RC8T Championship Edition a high performance racing truck right out of the box.
For more information, visit www.teamassociated.com