Home » Reviews » T8X 1/8 Brushless Buggy Review

T8X 1/8 Brushless Buggy Review

Brute Force In Black & Green!
Photos: Edwin Rodriguez
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s November 2015 issue.

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Team Energy is quickly gaining traction among the Exceed RC line of vehicles available at Nitro RCX.The new T8X electric 1/8 buggy is no exception to that rule and offers up a hefty dose of beauty and brute force in a single, economically priced package. Building off of the wildly popular G8X nitro buggy, this LiPo powered beast is feature packed and also boasts the tuning options usually only found on competition level machines. The torque and speeds produced by the 2400Kv 36x74mm big block motor are enough to make any first timer blush and seasoned pros grin from ear to ear.Sharing the same 3-diff design as the G8X, this electric machine can be tuned to anyone’s taste by changing the oils in each differential. The power is transferred through an all steel drivetrain, from the gears to the drive shafts and into the stub axles. The big bore shocks and sway bars help to keep both the front and rear of the T8X planted through any sort of terrain. This RTR package comes with pretty much everything you need aside from the “AA” batteries for the GT3X transmitter and a LiPo charger capable of charging the included 4S pack.

AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Team Energy by Nitro RCX
WHO IT’S FOR: Bashers and Club Racers
PART NUMBER: 97C772
HOW MUCH: $359.95
BUILD TYPE: RTR

PROS
• Fully waterproof electronics
4S LiPo battery included
Loads of gold anodized alloy
Tuning options galore

CONS
• Non-captured hinge pins
Instructions are lacking in info

REVIEWER’S OPINION
If you’ve ever wanted a 1/8 buggy, but don’t quite have the wallet weight for it, this is your next ride. Perhaps you’re just a basher who wants to have a little 1/8 scale fun without hitting the track. Either way, the new T8X packs a ton of features and comes 100% assembled and programmed right out of the box. Peak the included 4000mAh 4S pack of with the charger of your choice and you’re ready to rock. A fully waterproof electronics package means the fun doesn’t have to stop due to inclement weather and industry standard 17mm wheel hexes allow for any tire combination.

TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• Bind plug for the radio, decal sheet, extra shock pistons and some motor mount spacers.

ITEMS NEEDED
• 4) “AA” batteries for the transmitter
 Compatible LiPo charger

ITEMS USED
• Thunder AC6 Smart Charger/Discharger (Thunder-AC6-Charger-Power) $48.95 The Thunder AC6 is an awesome charger for just under 50 bucks. It’ll take care of all of your nickel and lithium charging needs and in a hurry. The AC capabilities are nice too as you won’t need a power supply to run it. With a five amp max charge rate, even larger packs won’t need all day to peak. You might need to buy an extra charging lead or two, based on whatever type of connectors you run.

ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
• Pro-Line Blockade M3 Mounted 1/8 Buggy Tire (9039-32) $30.99 per pair The stock tires hook up great on looser surfaces, but for track duties, we enlisted our go-to favorites for outdoor racing, Pro-Line’s Blockades. This package offers up these awesome tires premounted on white dish rims. We went with the M3 compound as it’ll give us a great balance between traction and longevity.

Nitro RCX Shock Oils (17P) $3.30 each The stock oil in the 16mm shocks felt pretty good for all around bash purposes, but we also took the T8X to our local 1/8 scale track, Wolcott Hobbies and Raceway in Wolcott, CT. For their hard packed surface, we went with heavier oil all the way around and it paid big dividends.

HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• 1/8 SportSpike/Black Spoke Tires for 1/8 Buggy (MAD-WB1028) $9.00 per pair The large lugs of the Sport Spike tires make them perfect for backyard or open field bashing. They’d probably also do well in loose, loamy conditions as they will not load up. Nitro RCX carries a ton of different wheel and tire combos as well as some pretty trick chromed rims for those looking for little bling.
•  GENS ACE 5000mah 4S1P 14.8V 40C hard case LiPo (98P-40C-5000-4S1P) $82.95The 4000mAh 45C LiPo that is included with the T8X has plenty of oomph to get the buggy up and moving with haste, but if you’re looking for a little more run time, this pack from Gens Ace is the ticket. The 5000mAh pack will give you 25% more run time for those bash sessions or a few minutes of reserve “fuel” for when you manage to make the A-main at the club on the weekends.

8-BRUSHLESS-BUGGY-14FEATURE BREAKDOWN
The T8X is as adjustable as nearly any 1/8 buggy out there today. Tuning options such as droop, roll, shock pre-load, camber caster and toe-in can all be tweaked to meet the end user’s needs. There are also a few extra parts included which include shock pistons, so you can experiment with different weights and flows in your shocks. The now standard 16mm big bore shocks feature dust boots and threaded preload spacers for on the fly tuning. They also do a great job at keeping the T8X planted no matter what it’s doing. The 3-position adjustable wing can also be tweaked for optimal down force during those high speed passes.

From the center diff gear (spur) and pinion on out, the entire drive line is all steel. The center, front and rear gear differentials are all sealed and fluid tunable. The power up front is delivered through CVD style shafts while the rear relies on dogbones and outdrives. What does this all mean? Well, you can tune your diffs for front/rear bias as well as loose or stiff in the front and/ or rear while it all stays in one piece pack after pack thanks to the all metal construction.

Shiny gold everywhere! There are a great many sharp looking gold anodized parts on the T8X. The chassis itself, front and rear chassis braces, shock towers, motor mount, cooling case for the motor, front and rear hinge pin braces, shock bodies and tops as well as the drag link are given the gold treatment. Not only do they look sweet, but this T6 alloy should prove to offer a rigid platform and stand up to copious amounts of abuse. Additionally, the servo saver tensioner, wheel hexes and nuts are all anodized a dark blue, which complements the gold hues nicely.

The overall looks and performance of the T8X are all business. The cab forward pre-painted body has aggressive looks and produces a streamlined profile at speed. The tri-pattern spiked tires are perfectly suited to looser conditions or backyard jaunts across the lawn. The black dish wheels further enhance the menacing appearance of this 1/8 scale beast and the 2400Kv motor has the grunt to back it up. The WP-S8A ESC delivers smooth power from the 45C LiPo through to the motor for predictable power delivery from a sensorless system.

ON THE TRACK

STEERING

The ND1013 steering servo that’s factory installed isn’t exactly the fastest on the market, but what it lacks in speed it makes up for in brute force. With more than 450 ounces of torque, when you point the wheels in a certain direction, they’re going to stay there no matter what, until you move them. The box stock setup also works well to give the T8X predictable performance in the steering department, though the end user could easily tweak the camber, roll center and toe-in to suit their driving style. The buggy exhibits stellar steering in pretty much all bash environments, but we could have used a bit more speed on the track.

ACCELERATION/BRAKING

The combination of the WP-S8A ESC and the 2400Kv long can motor make for great power and control authority. For a sensorless system, it was remarkably smooth, though a dedicated sensored ESC and motor would be needed if some serious racing were to be undertaken. Like all the other Team Energy electric vehicles released to this point, the WP-S8A has a number of programming options that can be tuned to suit your driving style. Drag Brake, Start Mode (Punch) and Brake Force can all be altered without the use of a PC. Because they are both waterproof, it is important to keep up with the cleaning on the motor and ESC as they’re sure to see a good bit of mud and grime.

HANDLING/JUMPING

On grass and loose bash-type conditions, the T8X was a pleasure to drive and seemed as sure footed as any vehicle out there. The lighter oil in the shocks from the factory served us well when rocketing over the mole holes and ant hills in the back yard. The big 16mm gold anodized shocks soaked up everything we could toss at them without so much as a shrug. On the track, the T8X was slightly less planted. The stock tri-spike tires were not the hot ticket for the hard packed surface and we continually had the rear end washing out under power. Some smaller treads with work well as alluded to in the “Hop-Ups Recommended” section. We could also do a little work with the rear diff oil, droop and camber to get the back locked down. Jumping the T8X was superb and even if we got a little mule kick off the lip, the throttle and brakes are more than enough for mid-air attitude adjustment.

DURABILITY

Through a couple rough packs through bash and race conditions, we saw no breakage on our T8X. To be honest, there weren’t really many crashes at all as the big black and green buggy keeps itself planted through even the hairiest of conditions. One of our front camber links does seem to be a little less than straight as a result of a few traction rolls on pavement. We sent the buggy skyward for some big air expeditions and always saw it landing on all four tires, often with a slap of the chassis. We also managed to shed a few e-clips on the hinge pins so be sure to keep a few extras on hand or sink a grub screw into each arm mount to ditch the clips.

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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS

DIMENSIONS

LENGTH: 19.5 in. (495mm)
WIDTH: 11.8 in. (300mm)
WHEELBASE: 12.8 in. (325mm)
WEIGHT: 7.75 pounds RTR

BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES

BODY: Pre-painted Cab-forward Buggy Body
WHEELS: Black dish
WHEEL ADAPTER TYPE: 17mm front and rear
TIRES: Pre-mounted triangle pin

SUSPENSION

TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 3-tower, 2-arm,(R) 3-tower, 2-arm
CAMBER: Fully adjustable links
ROLL: Adjustable shock tower mounts
WHEELBASE: Fixed
RIDE HEIGHT: Droop screws front and rear
MISC: Sway bars front and rear

STEERING

TYPE: Bell crank with drag link
TOE: Fully adjustable links

CHASSIS

TYPE: Flat with kick-up
MATERIAL: 6061 Aluminum
THICKNESS: 3mm

DRIVETRAIN

TYPE: 4WD
TRANSMISSION: Center diff
DIFFERENTIAL: Bevel gears
GEAR RATIO: N/A
BEARINGS: Full set of shielded
CLUTCH TYPE: N/A

RATING TALLY
Opinion: 8
Performance – Acceleration: 8
Performance – Steering: 7
Performance – Handling: 7
Performance – Durability: 8
Feature Breakdown: 8
Overall Value: 8

WRAP UP

I used to do a lot of 1/8-scale racing up until a few years ago. What happened? I got married and couldn’t afford the money or time needed to keep up a competition rig! I was also often tempted to blast my buggies around my yard and through puddles, but never would because of the cost. Well, for the price of a decent 1/8 motor/ESC combo, you can get the T8X fully RTR with a LiPo! Will you see many of them at the track? I doubt it, but this is the perfect rig for noobs to 1/8 to get their feet wet and it boasts a ton of tuning options that can help those novices progress into a full blown race platform and know how to tweak it. For just over 350 bucks, you can’t get much more buggy for the money and the T8X is a blast to drive!

LINKS
NITRO RCX  nitrorcx.com
PRO-LINE prolineracing.com

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