TEAM ASSOCIATED RC8
Front and rear heatsink brakes
The RC8 uses two fiber disc brakes to slow the big
buggy down, and they feature an aluminum skeleton
inside that dissipates heat while using them to prevent
the discs from warping from excessive heat. Knurled collars on the servo end of the linkages allow you to easily
twist the linkage to adjust front and rear brake bias. Both
linkages are found on top of the center diff plate for easy
access, and small “fingers” on the brake linkage bushings
keep the linkages from over-extending while on the throttle and binding the brakes. The center diff mount is split
down the middle, so you can remove the center diff without messing up your brake settings.
These brakes are dialed! The discs are fiber units with
an aluminum struture inside to help dissipate heat.
For many, installing a clutch is the last thing they want to
do because the spring has to be installed onto the pin
with the clutch shoe, and somehow you have to get the
spring to clear the clutch nut. That’s not the case here.
The RC8 has three aluminum clutch shoes, and they are
cut similar to the ones used in the gas truck. The springs
are installed over the clutch shoes and are very easy to
clip onto the clutch nut. This makes adjustment and
clutch maintenance easy.
All it takes is a glance to see the RC8’s clutch is much
easier to assemble than traditional designs.
BEHIND THE DESIGN
WITH KURT WENGER
conversation. Was that part of the
Kurt: You have the guys who design
the cars, and you go out and build the
cars and design them and use them;
being enthusiasts, we use the product
and then say, “I don’t like this … I like
that … this is a pain in the butt to
work on … yadda, yadda, yadda.” So
just for me, it becomes second nature.
Using the product, we just start to
pick stuff apart. We are really critical.
and running them and pushing them
to the max, you’ll soon discover if
there is any durability problem, and so
we did that. A lot of it was finding the
right springs, shock oil and pistons.
There came a time when we hit the
stop button and said, “this is going to
be our setup.” We’ve tried a bunch of
things since then, and the setups are
on the website. There are just so many
adjustments and things to try. The
mold is already made, so you’re like,
this is what we’ve got to work with.
RCCA: What’s your favorite fea-
ture? I’m all about those locking
Kurt: Golly jeepers; my number-one
peev was it’s so hard to keep a buggy
running without having the CVD pin fly
RCCA: There are so many adjustments on a race car that it’s easy to
be bewildered by the staggering
array of changes you can make. It
must be 10 times harder for you
guys during the design process: you
can put 100 holes anywhere you
BEFORE WE MADE A MOLD OF ANYTHING, WE MADE A
PROTOTYPE ... AND THEN WE SAID, THIS IS WHAT WE
WANT: LET’S RUN IT AND TEST IT INTO THE GROUND
out. For me, that was my personal
nemesis. And so we have captured pins
on all of the universal joints. It was one
of my biggest headaches, and my other
headache was trying to work on the
other buggy clutches. It’s OK to put it
together, but when the time comes to
take it apart, it’s a pain. The spring is
buried down halfway across the shoe
and is hard to get to. We came up with
a much simpler design and used it on
the TC3 and GT2. Thunder Tiger saw
that and made an S3 clutch that used
the springs in the same way. Then it
sort of evolved; we did a little more
testing and found the correct shoe
weight and the right size and got everything right for the aluminum clutch to
work properly. Part of that was inserting
the Teflon shim under the shoe so it
won’t hang up on the flywheel. So the
work we did on the clutch makes it a lot
less of a nightmare. Anyway, those are
my fave two. My favorite aesthetic
design on the car is the wing and its
mount. I think that system is really cool.
want. How hard is it just to zero in
on those initial settings before you
start shooting the parts in plastic?
Kurt: We took what we had learned,
and before we made a mold of anything, we made a whole complete car.
Prototype, I mean. We kind of hodgepodged some parts and basically built
a whole car. And then we said, this is
what we want: let’s run it and test it
into the ground, and test as many
setups as we can, and compare them
with whichever car out there that we
think is the best. We then went from
there. So that kind of thing was done
way before we started the tooling.
RCCA: Is there anything else you’d
like to add?
Kurt: Yes, I’d also like to give credit
to senior engineer Torrance
DeGuzman and Richard Saxton for
their input into the design of the RC8.
RCCA: You got it Kurt, it’s in there.
RCCA: How much refinement comes
from team-driver testing? Is a new
car typically 85% there, and The
Team’s input and setup brings it to
100%? Or is it a smaller margin?
Kurt: The only thing we did when the
RC8 went to the race team was to tell
them, “here are the adjustments we
can use.” Our plan was just to use
that time to develop our basic setup,
and to do the best with the car as
designed. Getting more cars out there