Subtle revisions to a capable Short Course truck
Photos: Walter Sidas
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s April 2015 issue.
Let’s face it; our industry has been overrun with Short Course trucks. Why is that, you might ask? I chalk it up to a few different rea- sons; they’re modeled after an exciting full size racing class where contact and flying parts are common on every lap. They’re pretty durable as well and have large bodies that help protect the suspension and chassis mounted parts. Then there’s the fact that they’re not only excellent for racing, but a ton of fun blasting through dunes, jumping in a local construction site or romping around in the backyard. Finally, and most importantly, they’ve become an extremely affordable segment that can have you running a 2WD or 4WD truck splattered with your favorite full scale livery. That brings us to Team Associated’s newest release in their Qualifier Series, the ProSC 4×4. It easily fits into all of those categories and can have you going from box to “Bonsai!” in no time at all. I did just that and here’s the story to prove it!
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Team Associated
WHO IT’S FOR: Beginners to advanced
PART NUMBER: 7062
HOW MUCH: $349.99
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Sharp-looking body and wheel combo
• Tires are up to the task for most surfaces
• Exciting acceleration
• Lots of tuning adjustments
• Organized chassis with water-resistant receiver box
• Center slipper clutch
• 16mm big bore shocks
• XP 2.4GHz radio system with digital, metal-geared servo
• Reedy SC800-BL ESC (3S LiPo capable) and 3500Kv 550-SL 4-pole brushless motor
• Includes a 7-cell NiMh, but is LiPo compatible
• Would like to see a 2S (or 3S) LiPo as standard equipment
• Very little aftermarket support at the moment
Yes, the ProSC 4×4 is based almost entirely on the ProLite 4×4, so what gives? Honestly, I was never a fan of the ProLite 4×4 body … there was just something that didn’t look right with it. The new Short Course shell looks great, especially with the new 15-spoke wheels rolling under it. The addition of the new treads, Reedy ESC and big bore shocks have not only added value to the truck, they’ve boosted the performance level as well. This is a great truck for beginners with some definite long-term track potential.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• Turnbuckle wrench
• L wrenches
• Bag of preload spacers and body mounts
• Reedy 447-S AC/DC NiMh Charger
The chassis is a great platform and remains unchanged from the ProLite 4×4. It is quite wide and lacks the angled sides for extra ground clearance, but is extremely organized. The servo, water- resistant receiver box, ESC and motor are all mounted on the left side of the chassis, squeezed in tight to the centerline of the chassis. The battery box takes up the entire right side, with plenty of room to move the battery fore or aft for weight balance. The chassis is also modular, allowing you to access the front or rear clips with the removal of just a few screws. Running down the spine is a plastic top deck that helps keep debris out of the shaft drive system as well as removing all front-to-back flex. Large side bumpers help absorb impacts and keep the body from folding under should you mix it up with a fellow track mate.
The suspension carries over from the ProLite 4×4 as well. However, the ProSC gets a boost to the next level with the addition of 16mm big bore shocks. These heavy-duty dampers add a plush feel through the rough stuff and landing off of jumps. The suspension arms have just a bit of flex to help absorb impacts and there are multiple tuning holes in them (as well as the towers) to get the truck dialed in to track conditions. For those of you that really want to get crazy with tuning, the arm mounts feature inserts that allow you to adjust pickup and antisquat. One thing the ProSC lacks is front and rear anti-roll bars, but the suspension arms have the link mounts molded into them if you choose to go this route.
The ProSC 4×4 uses a XP 1903MG servo for steering duties. It’s a good servo for RTR purposes, and has plenty of torque to swing the dual bellcrank steering rack back and forth. It’s also bearing supported, something you don’t find in all RTR SC trucks. A servo- mounted servo saver is included as are adjustable steel turnbuckles for tuning.
The 4WD system is pretty basic, but nonetheless extremely effective. The rear-mounted, Reedy motor mates up to a slipper clutch that is adjustable once the top deck is removed. For extreme durability, 32P gears are used for the pinion and spur as is the aluminum center drive shaft. Up front, the ProSC has been outfitted with CVA’s while the rear retains dogbones. The entire drivetrain rolls on a set of precision bearings. Like I said, simple but effective.
There are a few additional items I think I should mention, the first being the sharp looking new body. It appears to be the A-Team’s SC10 ’09 Championship body which I’ve always liked, now available with the ProSC in either a white- or blue- based paint scheme. Also welcome are the new, high-grip tires with actual urethane
inserts. As for the power system, Reedy’s new SC800-BL brushless ESC has a really good throttle feel and can handle either a 2S or 3S LiPo battery (as well as a NiMh battery, but you know that since the ProSC comes with one). Spinning the wheels is Reedy’s 550-SL 3500Kv 4-pole brushless motor, unchanged from the ProLite.
ON THE Track
Every vehicle I review will at some point in its life see some sort of competition! That said, I have to remember that not all trucks, includ- ing this one, will see the track. So for this test, I took the ProSC 4×4 to Wolcott Hobbies for some controlled track testing and to a field across the street from my house for a good ol’ bash session. Wolcott Hobbies first, because who knows what kind of carnage might ensue when there aren’t any track limitations to subdue your thirst for fun?
When I showed up at Wolcott, I literally pulled the ProSC from the box and got it ready to hit the track. The only other time this truck actu- ally left the box was for studio photography, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in the performance department. I installed the fully-charged 7-cell Wolfpack, turned the truck on and set it on the racing surface. On the first tug of the trigger the ProSC lurched forward, tires spinning wildly as it headed for the first turn. Unfortunately, that’s about as far as it got. The ProSC came to a stop; no steering, no throttle. I picked it up, gave it a look and everything seemed OK. I turned the truck off and back on again and wah-lah, we have power. As I started my second attempt, I got about half way around the track before the ProSC shut off again. This time I decided to give everything a closer look and noticed that there was a red blinking light on the ESC. This could mean a few things, but my guess is that it wasn’t sensing the NiMh battery and shutting off prematurely. To test this theory, I threw in a 5500mAh Wolfpack LiPo I brought along as a spare. Not only did that keep the truck running for the entire duration of the test, it also added some major pop to the truck’s acceleration!
Now that I had the battery issue sorted, it was time to put some laps on the ProSC. First off, this truck has no lack of power on the LiPo pack. It’s possible to spin the tires with just a tad too much throttle input. This made it a little difficult to drive on the track, especially since the included tires really weren’t meant for a high-bite, super smooth surface. To give the ProSC a fighting chance on the track, I bolted on a set of Pro-Line Electrons, installed a fresh 5500mAh Wolfpack and headed back out. The added grip was just what the doctor ordered and I was able to find a rhythm and put in some pretty good laps. Acceleration was great and the truck jumped well. The steering is exceptional for a 4WD truck, but I still found it a bit nose happy when switching directions or around the faster turns. Thankfully there are quite a few tuning options (including the included slipper clutch) available to help calm this truck down.
The second half of the test happened out on the range; a large field across from my house that has some grass, dirt, a few bumps and jumps and a sprinkling of snow. After re-installing the stock tires on the ProSC, I set it on the ground and did what any good ol’ RC’er loves to do; mash the throttle! There is no hesitation between spinning tires and rooster tails with this truck, and I found myself aiming for every pothole, bump and even snow. Out in the wild, this truck is pretty fast, handles the terrain really well and has a lot more grip out here with the kit tires. I even tested the water-resistant equipment with a few bombing runs through the snow patches. One of the areas I wanted to really test was the drivetrain. AE has included 32P gears and an aluminum center shaft in this truck for durability, something that is a welcome addition when you never lift your throttle finger. Other than a bit more noise from the gears, the truck is as strong as an ox. Don’t be afraid to drive it like you stole it, as long as you don’t get ridiculously crazy with it.
SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
LENGTH: 21.06 in. (535mm)
WIDTH: 11.42 in. (290mm)
WHEELBASE: 12.76 in. (324mm)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
BODY: Painted and trimmed Short Course
WHEELS: Plastic 15-spoke
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 12mm hex
TIRES: High-grip racing tires
TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 3-tower, 4-arm, (R) 3-tower, 4-arm
CAMBER: Adjustable turnbuckles
ROLL: Shims under ballstuds
WHEELBASE: Adjustable with shims
RIDE HEIGHT: Pre-load spacers on shocks
TYPE: Dual bellcrank
TYPE: Molded modular
MATERIAL: Composite plastic
DIFFERENTIAL: Gear differentials
CLUTCH TYPE: Center slipper clutch
GEAR RATIO: Optional pinion gears
BEARINGS: Full shielded
Performance – Acceleration: 8
Performance – Steering: 8
Performance – Handling: 7
Performance – Durability: 9
Feature Breakdown: 7
Overall Value: 8
On the track, the ProSC 4×4 will need a little massaging to get it to contention level with other 4×4 SCs. Tires, a LiPo pack and some tuning is really all you need. The radio system works well, the feel of the ESC is on par with some higher-end units and the suspension feels great thanks to the big bore shocks. I’m not sure what happened with my ESC and 7-cell NiMh combo, but AE has assured me they are looking into it and that this shouldn’t be a problem. Off the track is where an out-of-the-box ProSC gives the biggest smile; dirt fields and backyard tracks. Let’s face it, that’s where you and your buddies are going to be anyway, right?