The long awaited Team Associated RC8.2 has hit the hobby shops’ shelves few weeks ago. Since the last IFMAR World Championship in 2010, Factory Team’s drivers Ryan Maifield and Ryan Cavalieri have been running many prototype parts on their buggies. Factory racers and all the folks at Team Associated have worked hard to offer their new buggy. Recently, Ryan Maifield and Ryan Cavalieri have finished 1 and 2 at the 2011 1/8 Off Road R.O.A.R. National Championships.
In our build reports, we have discovered some very nice improvements. There are big differences between the RC8B and the RC8.2. In fact, there are more improvements between the RC8B and RC8.2 that there was between the original RC8 and the RC8B.
Among the improvements, the new RC8.2 has a complete redesigned suspension geometry with new shock towers, new shocks and new a-arms. Also new, a light weighted drivetrain, new wing mount design and a 3mm longer chassis.
Since the Team Associated RC8.2 is a kit, you must provide the engine, tuned pipe, tires (wheels are included), all the electronics and lexan paint.
The RC8.2’s suspension is completely redesigned. It first starts with totally new front and rear suspension arms. The arms are thicker and the shock raisers have been replaced with centerline shocks mounts. The sway bars have also been modified and are now optimised for a smoother action and they also attached to the arms with new links. The new 5mm 7075 aluminum black anodised shock towers have a new design to lower the CG and to optimize the suspension travel vs the new geometry. During the assembly, I’ve immediately noticed the extra suspension travel compared to the previous version. The suspension is also super plush. This will make the new RC8.2 more predictable in the rough terrains.
Of course, the RC8.2 still uses threaded big bore and hard anodized shocks. The shocks come unassembled and they still use a 4mm titanium nitride coated shaft, however the boots have been revised and are now softer to smooth out the suspension movement. The kit also includes new shock pistons (5x 1.1mm + 5×1.2mm) and new shock springs. The recommended weight for the shock oil is 30wt and Team Associated has included one bottle in the kit.
In the kit I have received, I had to remove a little bit of material to the front a-arms to achieve full droop. The front upper arms are pre-assembled at the factory. They were a little bit too long and my buggy had positive front camber. I had to adjust the upper arm to reach one degree of camber in front. The rear turnbuckles were perfectly adjusted.
Subtly the new Team Associated RC8.2’s drive train has been reworked. The differentials’ outdrives have been lightweighted, the gear box’s input cups and the stub axles are now made out of aluminum. All the differentials’ ring gears have also been lightweighted. The result is a better acceleration. When I’ve first tried the new RC8.2, the first thing I’ve noticed was how quicker the RC8.2 accelerates and reaches its top speed.
Others changes include rubber boots to protect the center and the rear drive joints. A huge rubber o-ring retains the CVA’s pin instead of the metal clip found on previous versions. The final ratio has still 4.3:1. The RC8s, RC8Ts and SC8s are known for their bullet proof drivetrains and the new RC8.2 shares all the same components as its predecessors. So no worry to have about the drivetrain, it can take all the punishments you can imagine and it will last very long before you need to rebuild it and it requires very low maintenance. All CVAs are 3.5mm thick and the inner bearings used in all hubs are 15mm x 24mm bearings.
The RC8.2 comes with three aluminum clutch shoes and three 1mm clutch springs. Team Associated has included a 5000wt differentials fluid bottle with the kit. This is what the stock setup recommends. 5000wt diff fluid in all three diffs is a very popular setup among racers of all levels.
To stop the RC8.2, dual heat-sink brake discs keep the brake cool with no fading during longer races. They have been used since the RC8’s original release and coupled to the free floating brake system, you are sure the brakes will never be dragging while you are on the throttle.
The RC8.2 now comes with Factory Team 7075 aluminum steering blocks and aluminum steering posts. They reduce weight and increase durability. The caster blocks have been slightly modified for the extra suspension travel. An adjustable servo saver protects the steering servo in case of crash. The servo saver rides on full ball bearings for a super smooth and slop free operation. Since most of the parts are still the same, there are not a lot of things to say about the steering. The steering turnbuckles are pre-assembled at the factory. They were a little bit too long and once assembled; my buggy has too much front toe in. I had to adjust them to get one degree of toe out.
Chassis/body and wheels:
The 7075 hard anodized chassis has been stretched by 3mm to offer better weight distribution and to increase handling. Just like for the previous RC8B, the receiver pack is located forward the chassis for better weight distribution. The molded composite radio tray didn’t change from the previous version. The molded composite front and rear chassis braces stiffen the chassis and allow just enough chassis flex for better traction. The side muds guard have been cut to about two third of their length. The new rear mud guards protect the rear a-arms and shafts of debris and mud. That’s a nice addition to the kit.
The RC8.2 is topped by a JConcepts Illuzion Punisher body that needs to be painted and trimmed. On the rear, a completely new wing mount has been designed. The new wing mount is much simpler and make the wing closer to the body, it reduces CG and increases air flow. Team Associated included a JConcepts Illuzion black wing. The wing and body add a little bit more of “Factory Team” to the kit because they are exactly what Ryan Maifield uses on its RC8.2.
White wheels are included with the kit but you’ll need to provide your own tires.
What I like:
- Super plush suspension
- Easier to drive
- More forgiving
What can be improved:
- Rubber o-rings replace the metal clips.
- Factory Team 3mm lengthened 7075 hard-anodized chassis
- Newly designed suspension arms feature centerline shock mounts and optimized anti-roll bar position
- Factory Team 16mm “Big Bore” hard-anodized threaded shocks with 4mm titanium nitride coated shafts
- Factory Team 5mm 7075 aluminum low-CG shock towers with optimized geometry
- Factory Team 7075 blue aluminum lower suspension mounts for optimized geometry, light weight
- Factory Team 7075 blue aluminum steering knuckles
- Factory Team 7075 aluminum axles and center drives
- Factory Team 7075 blue aluminum one-piece top plate
- Factory Team lightweight spur and ring gears
- Factory Team lightweight diff outdrives
- Factory Team aluminum steering posts
- CVA boots on center and rear drive joints
- Heatsink brake rotors front and rear
- New low-CG wing mount
- JConcepts Punisher Body and Illuzion wing included
- Molded composite radio tray includes optional forward-placement
- Molded composite front and rear chassis braces
- Tough steel-alloy shock standoffs
- Factory Team 83mm “big” wheels included
- Aluminum clutch shoes
- 4.30:1 ratio gearboxes for maximum punch
- Caster blocks adjust 14, 16, or 18 degrees with molded inserts
- 3.5mm light CVA drivetrain with full ball bearings
- Factory Team shock and differential fluids included
- Mud guards
Team Associated didn’t release a new buggy to just release a new buggy. The new Team Associated RC8.2 is a major step up compared to the previous RC8B. The new RC8.2 is packed of very nice features. The R&D and factory drivers did their homework and bring us a World Title contender. The buggy forgives more in the rough terrain, is more stable, more predictable and accelerates quicker. If you have ever tried a nitro buggy and you have found they were really touchy to drive then you should give a try to the new RC8.2. It might make you forget your truggy and make you jump into the buggy class definitively.
We invite you to read our RC8.2 build reports
For more information, please visit www.teamassociated.com