Mid-Motor Competition Performer
Words Scott Donaldson Photos Walter Sidas
This article was originally published in RC Driver’s November 2015 issue.
There are few RC racing classes as unique as Stadium Truck racing. Stadium trucks feature more ground clearance and wider stances than their Buggy brethren, yet they also feature a shorter wheelbase than and open wheel configuration when compared to short course trucks. Team Losi Racing introduced the concept of a purpose-built, racing-orientated stadium truck, actually called a Monster Truck, back in the early ‘90s. They’re back and rearmed with an update of their 22T platform with the 22T 2.0. TLR has incorporated a ton of new features into this truck to make what they think is the ultimate stadium truck racer. Did they succeed? We’re about to find out!
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Team Losi Racing
WHO IT’S FOR: Intermediate to advanced racers
PART NUMBER: TLR03004
HOW MUCH: $299.99
BUILD TYPE: Kit
• Mid- and Rear motor parts included in the box including 2 bodies
• Great fit and finish Strong parts that can take a ton of abuse
• The new diff parts really smooth out diff action and durability
• Included Bellcranks make a huge difference in how the truck enters and exits turns
• New suspension geometry maintains the excellent jumping characteristics while improving traction
• The kit setup is very good!
• Some parts that are aluminum on the 22 2.0 are molded composite on the 22T 2.0
• X-ring seals need to soak in shock oil for some time to properly seal up the shock shaft
• Some screw heads can strip more easily than they should
I won my first ever track championships in the stadium truck class so this class has a special place in my heart. The 22T 2.0 goes together well and doesn’t require any hand fitting. Like none. Having built and raced a 22 2.0 and 22SCT 2.0, the 22T 2.0 goes together better than either of those two vehicles and the box-stock setup is easier to drive fast than its two cousins. The 22T 2.0 maintains all of the positive attributes of its predecessor, specifically it is a great jumping truck that is amazingly durable, more sure footed and has better steering, too. My only concern is that with 2WD and 4WD buggies and 2WD and 4WD SCTs there may not be enough room left in race programs and in racers’ pits for one more class.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• 4-way wrench
• L wrenches
• Turnbuckle tool
• ESC and Motor
• Pinion gear
• Transmitter and 2-channel receiver
• Spektrum DX4R DSM 4-Channel Transmitter, SPM4100W, If you’re a racer there’s a good chance you have more than one model you’ll be running at the track. The multiple model memory on the DX4R makes it easy get each of your vehicles dialed in and all of the features in this high-end radio will keep you busy if you like tuning.
• Team Orion Vortex R10.1 ESC, ORI65128, The multi-championship winning Team Orion Vortex offers excellent throttle control with effi- cient performance and his highly tuneable. This ESC is a popular choice among top racers so it was obviously a great choice for our test machine.
• Team Orion Saddle Block LiPo Battery, ORI14065, Orion’s 100C rated LiPo packs offer great run time and lots of punch. The hard case pack comes with dual plug outputs for high current draw applications.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
• AKA Typo Stadium Truck Tires- 13401VR Team Orion VST 2 PRO 540 2P Lightweight Modified Motor 7.5T- ORI28309 Spektrum S6040 Digital Servo- SPMSS6040
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Thumb Screw Battery Hold Down (TLR331010; $11.99) – This setup holds the bat- tery brace down much more securely than the stock body clip setup, plus it looks trick, too!
• Mid-Motor Brace Hinge Pin Weight (TLR334018; $19.99) – Get more rear grip and lower your CG with the same brace the TLR drivers use themselves.
• Titanium Shock Mounts (TLR4166; $23.99) – I’ve used these upper shock mounts since the original 22 due to their light weight and super strength under the worse of crashes.
While not the first company to use an aluminum chassis the 22-series of vehicles re-introduced the concept to 1/10-scale cars and trucks. The chassis plate of the 22T 2.0 has seen many refinements over the original 22T’s, from refined flex characteristics for more traction and stability to additional pocketing to reduce weight. The pocketing also allows the transmission and servo to sit lower on the chassis, bringing the center of gravity down even lower than before. On the underside of the chassis you will find an extra screw hole in the middle of the front-rear suspension mount. This .050-inch screw holds the suspension mount in-place whenever you need to remove the transmission from the chassis.
Gone is the slider steering rack from the 22T, replaced by the bell crank setup that was first included with the 22SCT 2.0. The bell cranks operate with much less friction and slop than the old slider rack. This means that you will be able to enter and exit corners more predictably while holding a more consistent line throughout. The steering geometry has also been refined to change the amount of Ackermann throughout the range of motion so you can tone down the initial turn-in while making it more predictable and adding steering on mid-corner exit.
While not as sweeping of a change as the chassis or bell cranks the suspension of the 22T 2.0 has gotten some nice updates, too. The shocks feature the newer X-ring seals which have been available for some time. I’ve been using them on my 22T so it was nice to see them as stock components with the 22T 2.0. The TiCarboNitride coating on the shock shafts is also super trick. I have to admit I was never a huge fan of the Ti-Nitride gold look of the past, I just thought it looked gaudy. The new coating, however, looks functional and doesn’t wear off over time. The rear A-arms are now wider than before, helping the rear end work better under acceleration. The front end features a new front spindle mated to the caster blocks from the 22 2.0 buggy to help the truck work better mid-corner.
Speaking of the shocks and shock shafts, the shocks feature longer bodies and shock shafts for more overall travel and range of motion. The shocks also come with machined pistons for smoother shock performance throughout the entire stroke. The caps feature bleeder caps for easier bleeding and superior shock performance. It also makes things easily repeatable if you need to rebuild your shocks.
The 22T 2.0 includes two bodies, one for mid-motor and one for rear motor configuration. The lines are very blunt; gone are the older rounded aerodynamics of years past and instead the front end is squared off for maximum down-force and steering. The front wheel wells also feature cut outs to accommodate the turnbuckles as the arms move up in their range of motion. We had our mid- motor body painted up by the one and only Larry G at Kustom RC Graphics; amazing work!
The 22T 2.0 includes larger diameter turnbuckles and ball cups. These should resist bending and breakage better than thinner turnbuckles. One thing to make sure you do is use some black grease on the threads when installing the ball cups as this will make it easier to adjust camber and toe when they are on the truck.
ON THE TRACK
Getting a car or truck to turn is easy. Getting it to do so while keeping the rear end planted is another story. With the original 22T I felt like the truck steered more by rotating the rear of the truck than by having the front of the truck do the work. The 22T 2.0 doesn’t feel that way at all. It turns into a corner smoothly and predictably, takes a set and finishes the corner just like you’d expect. It’s fluid, smooth, almost organic. The bell crank steering made a huge difference on the 22SCT 2.0 and the difference was just as noticeable here on the 22T 2.0. Where I could tell the largest difference was mid-corner where previously I felt like I would have to catch my 22T. The 22T 2.0 stayed in-line through the entire corner. The steering and cornering is where I felt the largest improvement with the 22T 2.0.
The transmission of the 22T 2.0 has seen some refinements to improve the slipper and diff performance. The larger slipper pads and grooved slipper plates allow for a looser slipper setting to protect the gears inside the transmission. The diff features carbide balls and outdrives that have been machined a second time to remove any possible high spots left over and, when combined, the new slipper setup and diff help the 22T 2.0 launch out of the corners with authority. Even with the four-gear transmission setup which typically reduces acceleration slightly due to increased rotating mass, the 22T 2.0 is a rocket ship when you grab a handful of throttle. Braking is just as responsive as the truck transfers weight to the nose predictably without compromising rear traction.
Out-of-the-box the 22T 2.0 stock setup is good, really good. As in I didn’t make any changes beyond ride height and battery position. The 22T 2.0 has an abundance of grip, but not so much that one end of the truck overpowers the other side. The balance is really remarkable. When it changes direction it is not due to a lack of traction at one end of the truck or the other as much as that the rear end provides stability and the front end provides steering. You know, like how a car or truck should be? The original 22T was an amazing truck to jump and the 22T 2.0 is even better. Where occasionally the 22T would bottom out if you over- jumped a section the 22T 2.0 was more forgiving when driven less precisely. This is where I noticed and appreciated the longer shock bodies, shafts and travel the most, the added stabili- ty that the truck now has. It allows you to push harder and drive faster without bottoming out.
Greg and Tony like to say if a car or truck can survive my driving it can survive just about anything. The first upgrade to my original 22T was the Titanium Turnbuckles on the third battery after I sent the truck cartwheeling down a straightaway. I’ve popped more than a few ball cups in my time too. The 22T 2.0 delivers on TLR’s promise of a stronger and more robust truck, not only compared to the original 22T but compared to every other truck on the market. I definitely pushed the 22T 2.0 hard, hard- er than I should have more than once. You might say that I ran out of talent before I ran out of racecar. The body definitely took more than a few hard hits but other than some scuffs and bumps the 22T 2.0 came out of my test none the worse for wear.
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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
Length: 15.75 in. (400mm)
Width: 12.72 in. (323.2mm)
Wheelbase: 11.3–11.41 in. (286–290mm)
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
Body: Unpainted mid and rear motor lexan Bodies and Spoilers included
Wheels: 2 sets of yellow wheels Included
Wheel adapter type: Hex
Tires: Not included
Type: 4-wheel independent
Shock positions: (F) 3-tower, 2-arm, (R) 4-tower, 3-arm
Camber: Adjustable turnbuckles
Roll: Adjustable ball heights
Wheelbase: Adjustable shims
Ride height: Threaded shock bodies
Misc: Adjustable wheelbase, anti-squat
Type: Dual bellcrank
Toe: Adjustable turnbuckles
Material: Machined Aluminum
Transmission: Rear motor – 3-gear; Mid-motor – 4 gear
Differential: Ball diff
Clutch Type: Adjustable slipper
Gear ratio: Optional pinion gears
Bearings: Full set of shielded
Performance – Acceleration: 9
Performance – Steering: 9
Performance – Handling: 9
Performance – Durability: 10
Feature Breakdown: 8
Overall Value: 8.5
I still remember a time and place where the stadium truck class was the quintessential American racing class. Stadium truck never took off around the world like it did here in North America. With the 22T 2.0, Team Losi Racing is trying to do for the stadium truck class what the 22 and 22 2.0 has done for the 2WD buggy class. The 22T 2.0 faces an uphill battle with the competition; however, the competition is not other manufacturers but racers deciding whether stadium truck is a more fun class to race than 2WD buggy, 4WD buggy or short course. If so then stadium truck will have a future and the 22T 2.0 is an amazing entry into the class. If you like truck racing but don’t enjoy the hack and crash fest that can be the short course class and are looking for a truck that drives well, check out the 22T 2.0 and the stadium truck class and help revitalize one of the most fun classes you can ever try.
AKA Products, Inc.raceaka.com , (951) 677-2500
Kustom RC Graphics kustomrcgraphics.net
Team Losi Racing distributed by Inc., losi.com
Team Orion Inc.team-orion.com , (714) 694-281
Horizon Hobby horizonhobby.com , (800) 338-4639