Reworked road warrior!
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s May 2015 issue.
Photos Walter Sidas
The TEN platform from Losi has been a home run since day one. It has worked successfully as a nitro buggy, nitro short course truck, electric short course truck and has even been converted to an electric buggy. My favorite variation of the TEN platform is the Rally-X because it is well suited for on-road and off-road use and has a great look about it. After over a year of rough and tough use my TEN Rally-X was in need of more than a little TLC and while I could have just repaired the damage with stock replacement parts I decided to reinvent this fantastic vehicle.
• Aluminum Rear Hubs (LOSB2130, $47.99)
• 4mm Serrated Lock Nuts (LOSB3992, $10.99)
• Aluminum Shock Collars (2 sets) (LOSB2908, ($9.99)
• Lightened Outdrives (2 sets) (LOSB3575, $15.99)
• Aluminum Clamping Wheel Hex (2 sets) (LOSB3493, $15.99) • Hard Anodized Rear Shock Body Set (LOSB2838, $22.79)
• Hard Anodized Front Shock Body Set (LOSB2833, $19.94)
• Aluminum Bleeder Shock Caps (2 sets) (TLR5062, $19.99) • Front TiNitride Coated Shock Shafts (TLR5063, $9.99)
• Rear TiNitride Coated Shock Shafts (TLR5064, $9.99)
• TiNitride Hinge Pin Set (TLR6080, $19.99)
• Pucks Center Drive System (13120, $75.00)
• Pro4mance Super Diff Rebuild Kit (3) (13246, $17.50 each)
• 6000mAh, 60C 2S LiPo Batery Pack (New60002s60c, $74.99)
• 4100mAh, 60C 3S LiPo Battery Pack (New41003s60C, $59.99) PARMA
• Rally Xtreme Body (1239, $39.99) SPEKTRUM
• S6040 Digital Servo (SPMSS6040, $69.99)
• Pro4 HD 3500Kv Brushless Motor (TT2519, $149.97) • RX8 Gen2 Brushless ESC (TT2301, $204.99)
• Carbon Fiber Rear Mud Wheel Guards (10853, $19.99)
• Aluminum Chassis Wear Guard (10854, $11.99)
• Hybrid Aluminum/Carbon Fiber Chassis (10861, $169.99) • 4mm Carbon Fiber Front Shock Tower (10866, $29.99)
• 4mm Carbon Fiber Rear Shock Tower (10867, $30.99)
• Street Fighter SC Tires (1167-01, $22.99)
My Losi TEN Raly-X was… how can I say this? It was very, VERY well used. Leaking shocks, bent shocks shafts, bent shock tower, bald tires, you get the idea. Because of all of this I started from scratch and did a complete overhaul from bumper to bumper. On disassembly the first thing I noticed was that even the chassis was tweaked. I could have replaced it with a new stock piece, or a 2.0 chassis but I went with something more radical, an Xtreme Racing hybrid chassis. This unit features a 3mm thick carbon fiber main section with aluminum front kick-up combined with a long 2mm thick top plate to help eliminate flex. Additionally, the battery and ESC tray is done away with as both are mounted directly to the chassis, thus lowering weight and the center of gravity. The battery position can be adjusted to the front or rear of the chassis and it held in place with a carbon fiber battery strap.
With the backbone of the Rally-X dealt with I turned my attention to the drivetrain. The front, rear and center diffs all needed to be rebuilt. In doing so I used MIP Pro4mance Super Diff Rebuild Kits, Losi lightweight outdrives on the front and rear and MIP Pucks Center Drive System. The reduction in weight should help the acceleration of the Rally-X and the MIP Pucks come with spare orange pucks to keep the driveline tight. On reassembly I went with 5000wt fluid in the front and rear diffs and 300wt fluid in the rear.
The suspension was perhaps in need of the most attention. Not only were there leaking shocks, bent shock shafts and shock towers, the suspension arms on all four corners did not move freely whatsoever even when the shocks were removed! Upon inspection I found several bent hinge pins, a bad rear hub and plenty of dirt and grime. After cleaning everything I put the suspension arms back on using new TiNitride pins and aluminum rear hubs. This allowed everything to move nearly friction- free. The shocks, on the other hand, needed more than just new shafts. I went with new bleeder valve style caps, hard anodized shock bodies, TiNitride shafts, and new seals all around. Additionally, the rear tower had been significantly bent. I used pliers to straighten it out but it was far from perfect so I went with tough 4mm thick carbon fiber towers from Xtreme Racing. With new hinge pins, shock towers and shocks all around the suspension felt as smooth as butter once back together.
Time for an electronics upgrade. I love the stock Spektrum radio system because it incorporated AVC so that had to stay put. As for the motor, ESC and steering servo, they were set aside for some new and improved parts. To snap the front wheels from side to side I wanted both speed and torque; to accomplish this I went with an S6040 Spektrum servo which excels in both of these areas. To spin the tires I went a bit overkill and started with a Team Tekin RX8 Gen2 ESC. This speed control is capable of handling the power of 4S LiPo battery packs, can be easily fine-tuned with the Tekin Hotwire PC link, is unbelievably reliable and is very smooth. I coupled the ESC with a 3500KvPro4 HD motor because it works well on 2S and 3S LiPo battery packs. 2S for when I am looking to drive on a track with some semblance of control and 3S for parking lot, over-the-top style bashing! As for batteries, I looked to New Wave and grabbed a 4100mAh 3S,60C pack and 6000mAh, 2S 60C pack for testing.
For the final touches I installed an Xtreme Racing wear guard to pro- tect the back end of the graphite chassis and Xtreme Racing mud guards to keep the rear driveshafts free of foreign objects. As for a body, I have been a fan of the Xtreme Rally body from Parma since day one so I had one sent off to KG Graphics to get a sweet looking paint scheme.
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HITTING THE TRACK
My first stop was the indoor off-road carpet track at R/C Madness in Enfield, Connecticut. This was an ideal location to throw down some laps with the AVC turned off while running the 6000mAh 2S New Wave LiPo battery pack. The first thing I noticed was how quick off the line the TEN Rally-X was. From a dead stop it took off like a bullet. This is directly attributable to a few things. First, the new Tekin power plant was a great upgrade, second, the entire truck was now lighter because of the graphite chassis and other graphite components and finally, the drivetrain was also lighter, thus reducing rotating mass and aiding the quick acceleration. Cornering was also much improved as I could drive deeper into corners and get back on the throttle faster because the Rally-X, even though lighter, was still well planted to the ground. Both from a dead stop and accelerating out of corners the Rally-X took off and lunged forward. Additionally, with the lower center of gravity, it transitioned from corner to corner effortlessly. Over jumps the revitalized Rally-X needed a lot of work as the full fendered Xtreme Rally body caused the Rally-X to parachute a bit as air got under the body. This was one instance where the car being lighter was not a help. Back in the pits I made just one change, putting some well placed vent holes in the body to help air flow through when jumping. Back on the track the Rally-X was dialed in every way. It was quick, cornered well and jumped like a champ! The next stop was a large open stone dust parking lot. Here I turned the AVC back on and went with the 4100mAh, 3S New Wave LiPo battery pack. The TEN Rally-X was now bru- tally fast as it spit dirt, dust and debris on take-off. On the loose surface the AVC made driving effortless and I was able to rip the Rally-X around with- out much thought of hitting the brakes! Fun? That is just a bit of an understatement.
My TEN Rally-X was in rough shape before this transformation and the process of turning it back into a race-worthy machine was long but the end result is a vehicle capable of performing well on a track or bashing up and down the street. Lighter, faster and more nimble, this may very well be the TEN Rally-X 2.0 vehicle you’ve been looking for.
KG Graphics, kustomrcgraphics.net
New Wave, rcmadness.com
Team Tekin, teamtekin.com
Xtreme Racing, xtremercracing.com