This article was originally published in RC Driver’s June 2016 issue.
KIT: B5M CE Supplement Kit
AVAILABLE AT: rc10.com
When Team Associated released the RC10B5 and B5M, the RC community was in shock that AE released two cars for specific types of tracks rather than just one buggy for all purpose use. There were mixed emotions from some who did not want to buy two kits and two sets of electronics to run the AE cars. But before long it was certain that many drivers preferred the B5M over the B5 rear motor car and the B5M has stuck around while the B5 has moved to the discontinued list. With today’s high bite prepped tracks the B5M is the right buggy for the job, but those who jumped aboard the B5M train early on may be not be using the platform to its full potential. Since the B5M’s release, AE has released the Super Lite and after its latest World Championship a CE buggy has also been released, so standard B5M owners don’t have the benefit of the latest parts on their machine. Rather than make you purchase one of the new buggies, AE gathered up the necessities for B5M owners to get up to date all in one convenient upgrade kit.
So here’s the breakdown of what’s in the package: the three gear gearbox, flat front arms, front shock tower, gear cover, machined motor plate, slipper hub and slipper pad, blue shielded bearings, machined aluminum rear ball stud mount, aluminum front axles, six blue titanium turnbuckles, 7mm offset clamping aluminum wheel hex with screws, hex pins and heavy duty CVA axles. Plus a JConcepts front wing, a bottle of 30W silicone shock fluid, two 12x23mm and two 12x31mm FOX shock bodies with Genuine Kashima Coat. And last but not least, a short manual to help with the upgrade conversion.
The kit is perfect for B5M’s that need an update as the suspension parts give the buggy the latest geometry for excellent handling, not to mention the ability to utilize most of the setups posted on Team Associated’s website by pro drivers. The ball bearings are another worthy upgrade as the original black sealed bearings use a dual rubber shield and can add a slight bit of drag to the driveline. The new blue seal style bearing has a rubber shield on one side and a metal shield on the other. Place the bearings in the buggy with the rubber shield facing outside where it will defend against dirt. The metal shield on the other side won’t add drag to the bearing. A three-gear tranny case, motor plate and cover update the transmission for less drag and better acceleration while keeping its weight low. New axle stubs are more robust and the 7mm offset hexes and push the rear wheels out for more stability. The real motivation for drivers to pick up this kit is for the Kashima coated shocks. These units make the suspension ultra smooth and consistent.
There is a lot to this kit so it will take some bench time for B5M owners to update their machines. In fact, plan on doing a total rebuild including readjusting the entire setup according to the setup sheet included with the kit to get you started.
Once the kit was in our test buggy, the B5M felt much more stable than in its original state. Going into the corners, it felt like there was less front end dive and the buggy could take the corner fast and consistently. Off the jumps, the buggy was smooth and stable and landings were controllable as you would expect. The acceleration felt quicker and more consistent. It was easy to make some of the jumps on our test track that have small run ups to gather speed. Honestly I liked the handling of the B5M, but the update parts make the drive much more fun.
There is a lot packaged in this ninety dollar kit and it is a real steal for B5M owners, such a steal in fact, that it is a worth it for Super Lite owners to pick one up in order to get the Kashima coated shocks and JC front wing. It costs about sixty bucks just for those five parts. Then you get spare arms, bearing tierods and more for just thirty bucks. The real deal here, however, is that your B5M is now a modern machine ready to complete with the other latest and greatest B5M new kit offerings littering the tracks. Just be aware that if you are ready to bring your kit to the next level you do have to purchase this direct through Team Associated on their easy to use website.