Team Associated SC18 RTR Review
Team Associated offers a wide variety of short course trucks. We all know the SC8, SC8e and the SC10 but now the A-Team added a new 1/18th scale SC truck to their lineup, the SC18. The Team Associated SC18 is not just a RC18T topped with different body, tires and bumpers. Team Associated gives us more with a new chassis design, a new drive train and new electronics. Keep on reading to know more about the Team Associated’s latest 1/18 truck!
The new XP3-SS 2.4 GHz 3-Channel radio system comes installed in the SC18 RTR. This radio system uses the very small TRS401SS 2.4GHz receiver which fits perfectly in a truck of the size of the SC18. The motor, ESC and steering servo are still the same. The 370-size motor pushes to SC18 somewhere between 17 and 19 MPH with fast accelerations.
After few runs, I have noticed the motor was particularly hot. This was right after 15 minutes of nonstop high speed passes in a parking lot, however the ESC was still cool. If you want to be “race legal”, the ESC can be programmed to disable the reverse. The ESC has good brake and the SC18 can be stopped quickly. The delay between the brake and the reverse is long enough so you can focus on the brakes without worrying about shifting into reverse too quickly. The steering servo has enough torque to steer the front wheels where you want under any conditions and circumstances. The speed of the steering servo is OK for a RTR truck. A 6-cell battery pack and an overnight wall charger are included making this kit really Ready-To-Run.
The SC18 is topped with a realistic short course truck body. To give even more realism, AMT™ Forged style wheels are used on all four corners. The all-terrain tires look like real SC tires and their tread provides good traction on most surfaces, prepared or not. Like for others SC trucks from Team Associated, huge bumpers protect the truck and nice looking mud flaps with AE logo add a nice touch of realism. A new hinged strap design to hold the battery pack in place is now used for the SC18. Just twist a thumb screw and the pack can be removed from the truck. No more body clips to remove the battery pack… YES!!! Thank you AE!
To accommodate for the new drive train and motor mounting position, Team Associated has designed a new molded composite chassis. The new chassis gives a real advantage to the new SC18 compared to the previous versions.
The entire drive train is completely new. First, the SC18 uses two wide belts to transfer the power from the slipper clutch to the front and rear gear differentials. Yes you read it right, Team Associated has added an adjustable slipper clutch to protect the drive train but also to fine tune accelerations. The slipper clutch works fine and reacts well to the small adjustments I made during the tests. Since the SC18 uses belts, the motor has been relocated on the chassis. The new design eliminates the chassis torque effect caused by hotter motor under hard accelerations. The new drive train is responsible of the smoother and more predictable accelerations. The differentials are extremely smooth and spin freely.
All the drive train spins on steel shielded ball bearings. This increases performance and reduces maintenance. On my test truck, initially when I was pushing the truck on the ground, the belts felt tight. After 3-4 packs, the belts were completely broken in and the belts were much smoother. The drive train is strong enough to handle more power like high performance brushless motors and LiPo batteries. If you plan to run the truck in the dirt or on the race track, don’t let the belt drive system scare you. The drive train is completely sealed.
The suspension is almost identical to the one found in the previous versions. Four oil-filled composite shocks (however they have installed and new o-ring that appears to be a bit softer and provides a much better seal and less sticktion then the previous version. They will fit in your other Team Associated 18 scale shock bodies and the part number is 21332, so if you want to improve the seal and sticktion of your other shocks, its defiantly a good change) are used and the ride height can be adjusted with different shocks spacers. The front shocks use blue springs while the rear shocks use silver springs. The suspension is smooth and seems to be calibrated for all around conditions. On my tests and even if the SC18 is a light truck, the suspension was soft enough to transfer weight just as I like. I don’t know who set up the suspension but it was right for me and for my driving technique.
The SC18 comes with a new steering servo saver to protect the steering servo and provide better straight line control. The steering uses a dual bell crank design and works correctly but there was a little slop in the steering. It doesn’t really cause any problem but I have to tell you. The toe and camber cannot be adjusted on the RTR version with the standard fixed length turnbuckles, but the base setup is neutral and the steering is predictable. As mentioned above, the steering servo is strong enough to keep the front wheels pointed to the right direction. The SC18 is nimble and turns on a dime. This is exactly what I want from this truck. I have nothing more to say regarding the steering. It does its job as it should be done.
Specifications and features:
- Realistic short-course racing truck 0.8mm (0.03”) polycarbonate body
- AMT™ Forged style wheels with aggressive tread multi-terrain scale tires
- Realistic bumpers and rubber AE logo mud flaps
- Molded composite chassis with sealed drive train
- XP3-SS 2.4 GHz 3-Channel radio system
- Durable gear differentials with a 2.31:1 ratio gearbox
- 2-belt drive system for ultimate durability, capable of handling most brushless/LiPo combos
- Dual bellcrank steering for improved cornering performance
- Newly designed servo saver for optimal straight-line tracking
- Hinged battery strap for quick battery changes
- Complete set of 15 steel shielded ball bearings
- Vertical ball end adjustments with durable fixed length composite turnbuckles
- Composite fluid-filled shock bodies with adjustable pre-load
- Scale 1:18
- Power Electric
- Length 265mm
- Width 143mm
- Weight 580g
- Wheelbase 166mm
- Internal Gear Ratio 2.31:1
- Drive 4WD
What I liked:
- Fast and nimble
- 2.4GHz transmitter/receiver
- Nice looking short course truck
What can be improved:
- The belts need a little break in to get smooth and to spin freely.
Street price: 170$us
Need to complete: 8 AAs batteries for the transmitter
The new Team Associated SC18 is a solid performer. The new platform and drive train can easily handle the power of high performance brushless motors and LiPo batteries. The truck is nimble and really fun to drive on smooth surface such as parking lots, hard packed tracks or carpet. The A-Team also released a new RC18T2 truck and RC18B2 buggy both based on the same chassis. I’m sure this new chassis will have a lot of success in the next years. The SC18 is so cool to drive around and built to handle much more power that I’m seriously thinking to install a hot brushless motor just to see people’s jaws dropping when they will see how fast this little truck can go!
For more information, please visit www.teamassociated.com