1/10-Scale Size with 1/8-Scale Power
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s October 2016 issue.
Photos: Edwin Rodriguez
There is a common misconception that fast, really fast radio control cars and trucks all come from major manufacturers and will cost you an arm and a leg before you add batteries. Well, that is simply not true. Online super store NitroRCX has a new line up that includes six vehicles so far, under the moniker Team Energy, that are very fast, look good, and are both tough and reasonably priced. One of these offerings, the D10SC, as I am sure you might have guessed, is a 1/10 short course truck and it is advertised to be fast. Eager to see what this new vehicle was all about I charged up the included Team Energy 4S, 4000mAh LiPo battery pack and headed out for some bashing.
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Team Energy from NitroRCX
WHO IT’S FOR: Intermediate to advanced users and bashers
PART NUMBER: 97C889-D10sc- EP-SCT-RTR-24G-Blue
HOW MUCH: : $349.95
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Aggressive tread pattern on the tires
• Very tunable
• Nice big bore threaded aluminum shocks
• Included heat sink helps keep the motor running cool
• It comes with a 4000mAh, 4S LiPo battery pack
• It’s fast on the 4S LiPo pack
• GT3X radio has ample features
• Just add “AA” batteries to the transmitter and go!
• Not a fan of the battery connector
• Some front end binding (I was able to work this out)
This short course truck is plenty of fun and then some. The Team Energy D10SC is designed to throw massive rooster tails, jump far and high, and take tough tumbles And that is exactly what it is capable of doing. Experienced users will love running it on the included 4S LiPo battery and new users and kids can still have fun and learn on 2S or 3S pack. Even better, you won’t need a single upgrade to have hours of enjoyment. Buy it, charge it, and go!
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• Shock pistons Bind plug Sticker sheet Blue anodized motor mount supports
• 4 AA batteries
• Compatible LiPo charge
A sweet looking, gold anodized, 3mm thick 6061 aluminum chassis is the foundation for the D10SC. To help minimize front to rear chassis flex Team Energy went with three aluminum chassis braces, one at the front of the truck, one attached to the front of the center diff mount and one at the rear. All of the screws on the bottom of the chassis are nicely countersunk and the front end of the chassis has a mild kick-up to help with jumping and performance. The front and rear of the chassis sport rather large, short course style bumpers that have plenty of flex to help protect the suspension components in an accident. In fact, the rear bumper is nearly identical to the front except for screw-on additions for the Team Energy logo mud flaps. Angular nerf bars are located on either side of the chassis to minimize damage in a side collision and to help the body keep its form.
When I first took the D10SC out of the box and gave it a bench test, so to speak, I was really impressed with how smooth the rear suspension was with the gold anodized aluminum bodies threaded 16mm big bore shocks. The front, on the other hand, seemed a bit stiff. After taking off the tires and checking things out I noticed a few of the ball ends were binding. After taking 15 minutes to loosen these up it felt just as smooth as the rear. The gold anodized aluminum front and rear shock towers are identical to one another and feature six shock mounting positions and other adjustment options. To help with cornering and eliminate body roll, sway bars are fitted on both the front and back end of the D10SC.
The steering system on the D10SS starts with the metal geared ND1015 servo. It is plenty quick and has 15kg of torque to push the tires from side to side. An aluminum servo horn (no plastic here) connects to an adjustable turnbuckle and to the dual bellcrank. The bellcrank has an integrated servo saver than can be easily adjusted with the blue anodized collar. Beginners might want to loosen this so it is more forgiving while more experienced users might want to tighten it down for a more precise feel. The bellcrank then attaches to the steering knuckles by way of long, adjustable turnbuckles.
The drivetrain on the D10SC features fluid filled front, center and rear gear differentials. Viscosity of the internal fluid can be changed to aid in tuning and they feature all metal gears for long life and durability. The center diff, for example, uses a heat treated metal spur (many vehicles use a plastic gear) and while this may be a bit loud, it is not likely to fail under high voltage or due to small debris. The center diff is also secured in an all- aluminum mount and mounted near the back end of the chassis. A short dogbone sends power to the rear diff while a longer dogbone sends power to the front diff. CVD style drifeshafts send power from the front diff to the tires while the back end utilizes typical dogbones.
The electronics package in the D10SC is top notch too. The waterproof 100A brushless ESC was sourced from Hobby Wing and if fully programmable. It comes standard with a cooling fan to keep it running efficiently and connects to the battery using a high current connector. The 2400Kv 540L motor is encompassed by a cold anodized heatsink that has mounting holes to add an optional cooling fan. Other manufacturers should take a lesson from Team Energy and include a radio as good as the GT3X in all RTR vehicles. The included Gold Edition (only available with RTR vehicles) of the GT3X has a backlit LCD screen, 10-model memory, and has many options like basic throttle and steering trim, dual rate, EPA, EXP, sub trim and more. The power switch is found in an interesting spot, too… the center of the drop-down steering wheel!
ON THE TRACK
The included steering servo is fast and had enough torque to snap the tires from side to side even when the suspension was under load on the D10SC. Coupled with the three-differential, shaft driven, 4WD drive train, I was able to navigate the D10SC almost exactly how I wanted it. Navigating slowly through tight turns the truck was nearly perfect and a little extra throttle when needed broke the back end free for a controlled slide. While there was a small push while on power, I can attribute this to the tread pattern of the tires.
Grab the throttle and hold on! No, seriously, this truck is really fast when run on the included Team Energy 4S, 4000mAh battery pack. Simply pulling the throttle all the way back may not be a good idea, especially for beginners. I found that rolling the throttle worked best and I could get the truck up to speed very control- lably this way. On loose surfaces the truck created awesome rooster tails as it launched forward and thanks to the 4WD drivetrain it tracked rather straight. With a vehicle this heavy, weighing in at just over eight pounds, I was expecting the D10SC to have issues slowing down quickly. That said, I was pleasantly surprised as the braking was precise and linear thanks to the Hobbywing ESC. A small blip would slow the truck down just a bit and grabbing it hard would lock the tires. This was great because even at full speed I could reach for it as needed to either stop the truck in an instant or slide it around a corner.
With the kind of speed the D10SC has to offer it takes to the air with ease! No jump was too big for this truck to clear and clear with room to spare. I really liked that it jumped with a very level attitude, thanks in part to excellent weight distribution. Landing could be a bit of an issue as the truck did bottom out hard a few times and took a moment to settle. However, a few changes from the box stock set-up, like thicker shock oil, or backing off the droop screws to increase suspension travel should help alleviate this. Bumps, ruts and the like were usually no bother for the D10SC but it did bounce a little more than I would have liked. Again, some simple suspension tuning would most likely alleviate this.
At the end of a very long day of fun the D10SC was still in one piece and ready for action. There was a little accumulation of dirt around the shock caps due to a small amount of oil leaking out but tightening the caps a bit should alleviate this. The block was also scuffed and scratched but that was to be expected. That said, the extra thick polycarbonate body has some deep scratches and gouges that would have destroyed a thinner body!
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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
Length: 21.65 in. (550 mm)
Width: 12 in. (305 mm)
Wheelbase: 13.15 in. (334 mm)
Weight: 8.16 lb (3.7 kg)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
Body: Pre-painted thick polycarbonate
Wheels: White 5-spoke
Wheel adapter type: 12mm hex
Tires: Racing spike
Type: F/R independent a-arm
Shock positions: 6 positions F/R on the tower. 2 on the F/R a-arm,
Camber: Adjustable turnbuckles
Roll: Adjustable ball positions
Wheelbase: Shims at the rear hubs
Ride height: Threaded shock collars and droop screws
Type: Dual bellcrank
Toe: Adjustable turnbuckles
Type: Flat pan
Material: 6061 Aluminum
Transmission: Differential: Front, center and rear gear diffs
Clutch Type: N/A
Gear ratio: Optional pinion gears
Feature Breakdown: 9
Overall Value: 10
While you’re not likely to see the D10SC tak- ing a victory lap at any big races, I highly doubt that was even a consideration when this truck was designed. Team Energy released this truck so the masses could go out and have one heck of a good time anywhere they wanted and they sure did deliver. From bumper to bumper the D10SC is built to take a beating so your day won’t be cut short due to mechanical failure. Coupled with the insane speeds and price point you just can’t go wrong. Costing $349.95 from NitroRCX the Team Energy D10SC is one of the best values (if not the very best) in the industry.