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Team Losi Racing 8IGHT-T Review

Photos: Edwin Rodriguez

This article was originally published in RC Driver’s August 2016 issue.

Outdoor racing is in full swing and it’s interesting to see where the classes have progressed to this year. It seems as if the truggy class has expanded from nitro only to both nitro and electric. It appears the club racer may lean toward the electric side, while the devoted competitor still leans toward nitro. I could just be rambling on, but this racer tends to gravitate to nitro and when I saw the 8IGHT-T 4.0, that little glow plug over my head lit up and I couldn’t wait to see what the pros at TLR did to revive this competitive yet fun platform. New suspension geometry, new chassis layout, the refinements are subtle, but I’m betting the results will be big.

WHO MAKES IT: Team Losi Racing
WHO IT’S FOR: Intermediate to Advanced Drivers
HOW MUCH: $619.99

•  New engine position helps reduce power drag to the front
  Since I hate maintenance, I love the new driveshaft boots
•  The reaction of the truck is greatly improved with the narrow track
•  New bleeder caps give you more tuning options between bladder and emulsion build types
•  Overall handling of the truck is excellent, drive this truggy hard!
•  Loaded with parts that used to be in the options list

• Need to use extreme care when installing CV boots

When you’re a racer looking for the all-important competitive edge, you typically need the latest and greatest race equipment to put you up front. Luckily Team Losi Racing continually develops their products to offer you cutting edge racing machines. The 8IGHT-T 4.0 is simply a true competitor from its quality, to precision handling and has excellent factory driver support to offer. This truggy is what you need to be competitive on the 2016 race circuit.

• 4-way wrench
L wrenches
Turnbuckle tool
Shock Oil
Shock Tools

• 2-Channel Radio System
.21 Nitro engine and tuned pipe
Receiver battery
2 Servos
Wheels and Tires
Starter Box
Nitro Fuel
Glow Igniter

• Pro-Line Racing Velocity VTR wheels
 Dynamite 2000mAh LiPo receiver pack
Sidewinder World Champ 30% Fuel
TLR Starter Box
Kustom RC Graphics Custom Paint

• Spektrum DX4R Pro, SPM4100W, This comfortable grip radio makes driving easy over long nitro mains. Inside, its programmability has more functions than you will probably ever use, but knowing they’re there is a racer’s dream. This radio controls over ten TLR cars in my stable.
• Team Orion CRF .21 5-Port Engine, ORI80692, Team Orion is well known for their championship winning power systems and their nitro engines are of course included. The five-port mill produces usable power and can have great fuel mileage.
• Spektrum S6290 Ultra Speed HV Digital Servo, SPMSS6290, Spektrum’s new servos perform as good as they look. Their aluminum cases are strong while dissipating heat. The reaction time and torque of this servo are right on par with what a truggy needs.

• TLR Servo Horn, The stock composite plastic servo horn works well, but just about every racer out there upgrades the servo horn to an aluminum unit to prevent possible breakage. Part number varies with servo type.
TLR Quick Change Engine Mounts, LOSA9155, Tuning and maintaining a clutch is a common occurrence in a nitro vehicle. Make removing the engine easy with TLR’s optional engine mount.
TLR Front Top Brace, LOSA4440, Just to keep things safe and sound while driving your truggy hard, installing this optional aluminum brace should keep things sturdy.

At first glance, it appears TLR carried the chassis over from the 3.0 to the 4.0, but don’t let that cool anodizing fool you. The new 8IGHT-T has a refined chassis plate that moves the engine over in order to realign the center driveline. Altering the position of the engine and drive shaft reduces the harsh angle of the front dogbone that would cause premature wear and add drag to the front. More power to the ground sounds better to me. Additional refinements to the 4mm 7075-T6 aluminum chassis include a larger engine mount footpad to reduce chassis flex in this critical area.

Lots of changes have taken place to the suspension although, once again, it’s not blatantly obvious at a casual glance. A big note to point out is the truck is narrower than its predecessor. TLR states that it’s a total of 11mm narrower in order to handle more aggressively on tighter courses. Another big change is the spindle height can now be adjusted with spacers to alter the effects of dogbone plunge and in the rear TLR now includes the HRC inner aluminum hinge pin pivot blocks. The thick aluminum towers have been refined with more shock mounting locations and new camber link locations that will allow a wider range of tuning adjustments. On each corner, the shocks received a makeover with new bleeder style shock caps that will allow you to build the shock as an emulsion shock or bladder type. TLR includes a rubber seal ring for the top of the shock when building it emulsion style. The X-ring seals along with the TiCn coated shock shafts give the shock a smooth feel and the shock boots do a great job of protecting the shocks without tearing or binding.

• In the drivetrain, there are not an abundance of changes, but there are worthy ones to help you in your mission of getting to the top of the podium. Starting with the new, shorter CV driveshafts to accommodate the shorter arms, the CV joint is now covered by a rubber boot with aluminum retaining ring to reduce wear from dirt collecting in the joint. The center dogbone driveshafts get a rubber boot on each gearbox side. Just a note, when sliding the boots over the bone end, it’s a good idea to grease the end so the boot slips over easier; I learned this the hard way so you may only see a boot on the rear of the truggy in these pictures. TLR has also bumped up the size of the outer bearings in the hubs and spindles for better durability. Another nice touch in the driveline is that there is now a spacer between the bevel pinion support bearings. Now you can pinch the drive-cup while tightening it down without worry of binding.

There’s still more to talk about that makes the 4.0 what it is. Along with the new chassis, TLR revised the side guards that bolt to the chassis for a better fit. On the right side of the truck, the Gen III radio
tray features the servo forward set-up, but now the throttle linkage arm has an upper brace to prevent the post from flexing under hard braking. The arm is ball bearing supported for smooth operation and
precision feel.

The 4.0 uses the same cab forward body as the 3.0 and luckily I had a new 3.0 shell with paint from Larry at Kustom RC Graphics waiting for use. I did notice that the precut body will need to be trimmed to accommodate the engine offset; well at least with the Team Orion engine bolted in. The wickerbilled wing comes with the kit and the extension spacers are included to push the wing mounts back. No wheels are included with the kit, but I’m ok with that. The only other item I noted with the 4.0 on the bench was in the instructions. I found the rear wing and shock mount hardware steps a bit confusing, but worked my way through it. Finally, my kit was missing one swaybar retaining plate, probably a one-off fluke and luckily I had a spare. All in all, the build was good and parts fit was excellent.

TLR’s 1/8 off-road racing machines always fared well in the steering department in my opinion and the new 8IGHT-T 4.0 is no different. The truggy has excellent physical steering throw and the wheel cants to an angle that helps the tire get the traction required to drive it through the corners. In the tight sections of the test track the 4.0 easily rotated and ripped around corners within inches of the pipes. Accelerating through larger corners was impressive as the truggy maintains excellent grip and didn’t exhibit excessive push. When negotiating the infield, I could see how the narrower stance helped the 4.0 react quicker in a tighter S-section, the feel was quick and consistent.

Ripping on the throttle of a truggy is aways a blast and the 4.0 is truly a lot of fun since is just hooks right up. The 4-shoe clutch set-up offers a lot of snap and the Team Orion engine has no problem pumping out the power. Coming out of turns, there is plenty of rip, hitting that short blip on a jump to clear something is easy, tearing down the straight, the truck gets on pipe and keeps pulling until the end. The 4.0 has plenty of bite and it lets the truck use the power it has on tap. On the braking side, the 4.0 slows up easily even with its narrower stance. It checks up for a turn without losing control and with more rear brake bias dialed in can easily brake the rear free if necessary to get the rear rotating around a corner in order to tear on the throttle coming out of the turn.

On-point sums up the handling of the 8IGHT-T 4.0, but honestly, I always gravitate toward this truck when I want to drive something that flat out handles well with minimal tuning work. Over the bumps and ruts, the chassis remains flat through the small stuff and the suspension just soaks up the bumps. When the track gets blown out, the truck still maintains an easy handling attitude. The new set-up of the suspension works well and makes it easier to concentrate on picking the fast line rather than worrying about a rut that may kick up the truggy. Then there’s the jumps, not only does the 4.0 clear the big ones with ease, the landings are smooth and plush. The rhythm section on the track was so much fun, popping the truck over double after double. And then of course there’s the whip, this machine reacts well to inputs in the air and makes rotating the truggy mid-flight easy and fun.

By just simply looking at the photos, you can tell the 4.0 is built to be tough and hold up to the harsh conditions of truggy racing. Just bench testing, I could not find something that stood out as a potential flaw. And after a thorough thrashing on the track, the new truggy came out unscathed, not even a spring perch knocked out of place. The one upgrade I did make right after the photos was to swap out the steering horns for aluminum units, but most racers do this anyway. It’s also nothing I can fault TLR for since supplying aluminum horns for every type of servo isn’t cost effective. Just keep up on gear mesh as the truggy breaks in, watch your clutch wear and you’re good for a worry free drive time behind the
wheel of the 4.0.

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LENGTH: 18.75 in (476mm)
WIDTH: 15.90 in (405mm)
WHEELBASE: 15.05in (382.3)
WEIGHT: 9.2lbs


BODY: 3.0 Cab forward with rear fin on deck
WHEELS: Not included
TIRES: Not included


TYPE: 4-wheel independent
SHOCK POSITIONS: (F) 5-tower, 2-arm, (R) 5-tower, 3-arm
CAMBER: Adjustable turnbuckles


WHEELBASE: Adjustable shims at rear hub
RIDE HEIGHT: Pre-load collars on the shocks
MISC: Anti-squat, kickup, spindle height


TYPE: Dual-bellcrank
TOE: Adjustable turnbuckles


TYPE: Plate with kick-up
MATERIAL: 7075-T6 Aluminum


DIFFERENTIAL: Sealed gear diff
GEAR RATIO: Final-16.35:1
BEARINGS: Full set of shielded

Opinion: 9
Performance – Acceleration: 9
Performance – Steering: 9
Performance – Handling: 9
Performance – Durability: 9
Feature Breakdown: 10
Overall Value: 9

If you are a veteran to RC you know and if you are new to RC you’ll soon find out that TLR builds high-end competition racing machines and carrying that expectation is the new 8IGHT-T 4.0. The new truggy is refined for excellence in handling, expanded tunability and better durability. Truggy racing is just as fiercly competitive as buggy racing so to stay on top, TLR fans should update to the 4.0 and drivers seeking the perfect platform for them should highly consider this race machine.

Spektrum, distributed by Horizon Hobby, spektrumrc.com, (217) 352-1913
Team Orion, distributed by Horizon Hobby Distributors, teamorion.com , (877) 504-0233
Team Losi Racing, distributed by Horizon Hobby Inc., losi.com, horizonhobby.com , (800) 338-4639
Sidewinder Fuels, distributed by Morgan Fuel, morganfuel.com , (800) 633-7556, (334) 347-3525
Pro-Line Racing, prolineracing.com, (909) 849-9781

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