- Team Associated B6 - Review -
2WD Turf Domination
Greg Vogel - Photos: Edwin Rodriguez
There was a time when manufacturers developed new cars just to create a better handling, more durable machine for racers to bene? t from, but we’re now in a time period where track styles are evolving and manufacturers have more than just a new design to worry about. Now they have to design for multiple track surfaces and styles from off-road loose dirt, to indoor hard packed clay and now carpet and turf off-road tracks. Team Associated saw this trend coming and released the B5 and B5M a few years back which certainly got the RC world talking with two vehicle offerings in one class. But it was justi?ed, the need for two different machines is necessary and perhaps more so now than ever. With many tracks changing over to turf and many more talking about it, Team Associated developed their new B6 and B6D to handle today’s modern track surfaces and they’ve given us cars that are impressively tuneable. Let’s talk details on the RC10B6 Team Kit.
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Team Associated
WHO IT’S FOR: Intermediate to advanced drivers
PART NUMBER: 90011
HOW MUCH: $309.99
BUILD TYPE: Kit
• Designed specifically for high traction tracks like turf and carpet
• Laydown transmission keeps CG low
• Highly tuneable platform, including weight bias and rear shock location
• Well designed parts can handle the abuse of turf tracks
• Quality materials used throughout, love the thick carbon front tower!
• Lightweight design allows you to add weight where you want for tuning
• Instructions had some inconsistencies
We’re in a different time in racing now where high traction tracks are evolving and low traction dirt tracks are still plenty. Team Associated is spot on to offer the B6 for those high traction surfaces. The B6 buggy is built to not only handle well itself on these surfaces, but can hold up to the abuse the track can impose on the platform. The quality of the kit is excellent and the car is fast on the track. The tuning options seem endless and flat out, this kit everything you would expect from the 28 time national champions.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• Manual with basic set up sheet, multi wrench, Allen wrenches and oils
• Radio System with receiver; Steering Servo; Electronic Speed Control; Motor; Battery; Charger; Paint; Pinion Gear; Wheels; Tires
• Reedy Blackbox 1000z brushless electronic speed control, 27003, This latest edition to the Reedy ESC line is a great competition ESC, the unit runs cool, smooth and consis- tant over runs and is programmable, too.
• Reedy Sonic 540-M3 6.5T motor, 262, Reedy motor pack plenty of punch and the new M3 Sonics feature lightweight cans, excellent cooling and adjustable timing.
• Reedy RS0806 LP Servo, 27108, Reedy’s new line of low profile servos pack in some impressive features like a powerful coreless motor, aluminum mid case and high voltage compatibility. It’s a great choice for the buggy platoform.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
• Futaba 4PX-R Radio System Reedy 3800mAh LiPo Battery ProLine Racing Velocity Rims ProLine Racing Edge and Pinpoint tires Robinson Racing Absolute 20T pinion Kustom RC Graphics Custom Paint
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Factory Team Aluminum Servo Horn, 1364, 1366, The stock servo horn is under a lot of stress and can crack or strip spline teeth, go with aluminum so you don’t drop out of a race with a broken horn.
• Factory Team Aluminum Steering Cranks, 91668, There is a bit of wobble in the stock steering cranks while bench testing so going aluminum should give the steering a more solid feel.
• Factory Team Weights, part numbers vary, AE offers a variety of weights to place throughout the car. The buggy seemed light in testing so having the optional weights on hand wouldn’t hurt.
The Team Associated B6 gets a 2mm aluminum chassis plate with milled pockets to reduce its weight. This also allows you to add weight with items like AE’s screw-in brass plate which you can set under the electronics for more forward weight. Side rails screw in to increase rigidity and also incorporate the adjustable position battery plate that also allows weight bias adjustment. A “waterfall” extends from the transmission and down over to the chassis to brace the rear of the buggy, but also incorporates a pivot ball to allow some chassis flex. The front of the chassis has been kicked up to allow the A-plate to sit under the plate and gives more room to position the steering cranks forward in the buggy.
The suspension is truly a tuner’s dream with seemingly infinite adjustments. Starting up front, a thick carbon tower has a bit wider shock position stance than the B6D and supports AE’s V2 12mm Big Bore shocks with Ti-Ni coated shafts and X-rings seals. Quality Lucas Oils shock oils are even included with the kit. The shocks mate up with gullwing arms and are positioned to give the car better on-power steering. At the end of the arms, thick caster blocks support the adjustable height steering spindle with inset bearings to support the lightweight aluminum wheel axles.
Steel turnbuckles with heavy duty rod ends allow camber adjustments and there are several holes to alter roll adjustments. In the rear, again, thick arms take the abuse of high traction racing and are supported by an aluminum B-block with adjustable inserts. Outside of the arms, the hubs are huge, with large bearings to support the inset universal axle. The hubs can be moved in the arm to adjust wheelbase and the upper camber link holes are inserts that can be flipped for even more roll adjustments. The rear camber link block is machined in aluminum, which is nice to see because it appears to be a high stress point on today’s 1/10 machines. The rear tower, too, is carbon fiber and can be mounted on the front or back of the transmission to move the shock inboard or out to tune with their weight placement.
For steering, the twin composite bell cranks are mounted post forward. The cranks and the drag link plate both swing on ball bearings. The servo is a direct link which means no servo saver, which is fine with today’s high strength servos. Aluminum mounts come standard to support the servo.
Now let’s talk transmission. The B6 comes with the laydown transmission, which has proven to be a better choice for high traction surfaces. The B6D comes with a stand-up three gear transmission, which placed the motor farther back for more weight over the rear wheels to gain traction. Inside the B6’s laydown case is a gear differential, which is becoming a standard item on high bite surfaces like turf. The gear diff can be tuned with optional oils to give more consistent power when accelerating and powering through corners. The topshaft is lightweight aluminum for less rotating mass and mates up with a dual pad slipper clutch. The tranny rides on AE’s half metal shield, half rubber shield bearings that offer protection with less drag than a full rubber sealed bearing.
A Jconcepts body covers the platform of the B6 and B6D with sleek Aero wing for rear downforce. Tires and rims are not included with the kit because it wouldn’t make sense to include these items since they are so racer and track specific.
The build on this kit was a little tricky in some spots due to some inconsistencies in the manual. There are spots where, for example, spacers are shown under the pivot balls in one picture and not the other or the setup shown in the build does not match the setup shown in the back of the book. In the pits at our local track, the manual seemed to be the only complaint about the kit.
ON THE TRACK
Testing the B6 took place at The Hobby Hangout in New Milford, Connecticut, which is an indoor off-road turf track with smooth ? owing lines and plenty of jumps to test the buggy’s abilities. There are jumps with landers, ?at landings and a wash board section so I was excited to see what the buggy could do in comparison to the B5M I was previously running. Over the washboard after the straightaway in a large sweeping corner, I was able to power into the turn, hit the ?rst bump and clear the rest of the washboard landing turned into the next corner and set up perfectly to take the next large jumps. With plenty of speed to the run up, I was able to launch over the jump and ? at land with just a little bounce and carry enough speed to roll a steep face jump and lunch off the backside under power. Again the buggy had great control and a locked in feel. Over the larger jumps that required landing a downface, I found the buggy likes to land nose ? rst to help settle the car as it completes the landing. Jumping was not an issue, but I did feel the buggy is light in the handling department, perhaps too light. The B6 needs those optional weights and since I didn’t have any, I just stuck some lead weights toward the front. This gave the buggy a more nimble feel.
There is plenty of steering with the B6 on the high traction turf track; I could rip through corners, channeling the driving skill of a touring car. The set-up for the corners is different, you can power harder through the corner and get back on power quicker instead of dropping off the throttle and even braking in order for the front end to bite like on dirt. There is so much steering on the B6 that I did even dial my EPA back just a bit. Although it didn’t happen on my test car, I did witness two other B6’s crack steering horns on hard impacts, so upgrading to the aluminum horn I mentioned in the Suggested Hop-ups sections is a must.
High bite and a 6.5T Reedy motor equals insane wheelies if you are not careful off the line. The B6 has no problem putting down the power and with the gear diff it has incredible power coming out of the corners. On the braking side, the car slows up easily even under hard braking without the rear checking up even at the end of the straight. The issue that does arise with such great acceleration is the buggy feels a bit too light and really requires the optional weights to help settle the buggy down.
Before I hit the track, I encountered a durability issue. As I was screwing a shock end onto the shaft, the body of the end split and was not useable. Luckily, four short and four long ends are included and only two of each are used on the car so I used an extra from the kit. On the track, however, I didn’t encounter any issues, even with some hard hits. I have seen a few drivers break servo horns at the track, so I recommend going aluminum as soon as you can.
A blue aluminum motor mount plate with jeweled edge bolts to the laydown transmission. AE includes two spur gears for stock or modified applications.
Battery position is highly tuneable in order to get the weight bias just how you want it.
Use the holes in the battery plate to position the pack. The blue aluminum nuts are 7mm and do the job of securing the pack.
Just below the transmission you can see the included aluminum pivot block that allows you to adjust toe and anti-squat with inserts.
In the rear, the tower can be mounted in front of the transmission mount or in the back and the shocks can be moved to either side of the arm to reposition shock weight.
The spindles have aluminum arms that bolt on and are super rigid. I bet we’ll see optional arms in the future.
AE supplies an aluminum rear camber link block with the kit with multiple positions to chance roll.
The rear swaybar mount is easy to access if you pick up the optional swaybars
A thick carbon tower supports the front shocks. The B6 tower has a wider mounting span than the B6D.
More and more adjsutments wherever you look. The rear hubs feature camber link mount inserts that can also be flipped over to provide even more adjustments.
The steering rack is mounted up front which allows the servo and other electronics to sit farther forward for more weight over the front of the buggy.
SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
Length: 16.11 in (409.17mm)
Width: 11.17 in (283.8mm)
Wheelbase: 12.7 in (322.5mm)
Weight: 3.2 lbs
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
Body: JConcepts cab forward clear body
Wheel adapter type: 12mm
Type: H-arm with upper link rear
Shock positions: F- 3 tower/ 3 arm, R- 3 tower/ 2 arm
Camber: Adjustable turnbuckle
Roll: Adjustable front and rear
Wheelbase: Adjustable at rear hub and arm
Ride height: Shock Pre-load collars
Misc: Track, rear toe and anti-squat
Toe: Adjustable turnbuckle
Type: Machined plate
Material: 7075 T-6 Aluminum
Differential: Oil filled gear differential
Clutch Type: Slipper
Gear Pitch: 48-P
Bearings: Half metal/ half rubber shield
Feature Breakdown: 9
Overall Value: 9
It seems that the moment the new B6 and B6D were announced, drivers had their B5’s up for sale in anticipation of the new buggy and from the sounds of it Team Associated was inundated with calls asking when it would be available. Now? How about now? Yes, I was impatient too, but now that I have it and have had time to experience the build and spent plenty of time behind the wheel, I can say for sure, everyone’s intuition about the buggy was correct. It is a true high-end competition racing buggy for today’s modern track surfaces. The tuning features on the buggy is incredible, the handling is on point and I’ve seen it first hand at the track making good drivers even better over night. At the time this article went to press, the kits were sold out everywhere so if you are able to find one in a shop near you, I highly suggest you grab one as soon as possible.
Team Associated, teamassociated.com, (949) 544-7500
Reedy, a division of Team Associated, teamassociated.com , (714) 850-9342
Pro-Line Racing, prolineracing.com, (909) 849- 9781
Kustom RC Graphics, kustomrcgraphics.net
Futaba, distributed exclusively by Hobbico, futabarc.com, (800) 682-8948