TLR TEN-SCTE 2.0

Jul 29, 2013 No Comments by

PHOTOS JOEL NAVARRO

1/10-SCALE ELECTRIC 4WD SHORT COURSE TRUCK KIT

The national champion, remixed


When Team Losi Racing released the TEN-SCTE 2.0, it marked a substantial milestone for the budding 4×4 short course division. Since the new batch of full-fendered 4WD trucks was defined just four years ago, the fact that a major manufacturer and national champion marquee released its second dedicated kit proves that the racing class has matured to the point where kits in the upper echelon of this segment are being refined through small improvements rather than total redesigns. The original TLR TEN-SCTE brought home the ROAR National Championship in 2011 with young phenom Dakotah Phend behind the wheel, but by the end of the 2012 season, the TLR R&D squad felt that there was room for improvement within the current design — and so the story of the TEN-SCTE 2.0 began.


VEHICLE SPECS

  • Item no.: TLR03000

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price*: $470

  • Width: 11.65 in. (296mm)

  • Height: 7.3 in (185mm)

  • Ground clearance: 1 in. (26mm)

  • Length: 21.34 in. (524mm)

  • Wheelbase: 13.15 in. (334mm)

  • Weight, as tested: 6.5 lb. (2948g)

  • Chassis: 3mm aluminum plate

  • SUSPENSION

  • Type: Lower H-arm with upper camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 4/4

  • Outboard camber-link positions (F/R): 1/2

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 4/3

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 3/3

  • Shocks: Threaded aluminum coilover shocks

  • DRIVETRAIN

  • Type/ratio: Shaft-driven 4WD, 3.91:1

  • Spur gear/pinion: 40/14, Mod 1-pitch

  • Slipper clutch: None

  • Differential: Oil-filled bevel gear differential

  • Driveshafts: Steel CV-style driveshafts

  • Bearings: Rubber sealed

  • WHEELS & TIRES

  • Wheels: Black w/yellow beadlock rings

  • Tires: None

  • Body: TLR Hi-Performance SCT body (painted by Fatty Grafx)

TEST EQUIPMENT (NOT INCLUDED)

  • Transmitter: Spektrum DX3R Pro

  • Receiver: Spektrum SR3100 DSM2 3-channel

  • Speed control: Tekin RX8

  • Motor: Tekin Pro4 4600Kv

  • Steering servo: Spektrum S6040 Digital High-Speed

  • Battery: Team Orion 2S “Carbon Pro” 90C LiPo

  • Tires: Losi Ultra Digits, Red with closed-cell inserts

RACE-REFINED SUSPENSION

Left: TLR's hard-anodized finish is more durable than the blue tint of the original SCTE that it replaces.

Though much of the TEN-SCTE's suspension was left untouched for version 2.0, key updates were made to help improve the truck's on-track potential. Redesigned shock towers, which are now made of carbon fiber, feature additional shock mounting options to allow more fine-tuning for different track conditions. The 12mm threaded aluminum shocks that bolt to these new towers are now hard-anodized, replacing the blue units of the original SCTE, and are fitted with low-friction Ti-Nitride shock shafts that match the hinge pins used throughout.

IMPROVED SHAFT-DRIVEN DRIVETRAIN

Below: The suspension cues, like the low spindle height, are based on TLR's 8IGHT series of 1/8-scale buggies.

The center diff mount sits a full inch farther toward the rear of the truck versus the original SCTE.

Just like TLR's national championship-winning 8IGHT platform, the TEN-SCTE 2.0 uses three shaft-driven differentials to ration the power to its four CV-style driveshafts and 12mm hex-driven wheels. The stresses of today's high-power brushless systems and the speeds at which the 4×4 SCT class competes takes a toll on the drivetrain of these trucks, and TLR addressed an issue that arose with the 2.0's predecessor by changing out one key component. Whereas the original SCTE had diff cases that required gluing a separate drive insert to the inside, the cases on the 2.0 are redesigned to integrate the insert as a single piece that eliminates a building step, is more durable, and teams up with a new seal design to dramatically lower the chances of a leaky diff.

OPTIMIZED ALUMINUM CHASSIS

With the SCTE 2.0's hard-anodized aluminum accents sprinkled through out the chassis, this truck looks just like the rest of TLR's race-inspired lineup.

Of the changes made to the 2.0 over the original, the chassis and the components it holds in place are the most significant. The motor and center differential are moved farther rearward by 36mm when compared to the original truck, shifting the truck's overall weight bias toward the rear tires for faster mid-corner rotation, more rear traction, and improved consistency from corner to corner and lap to lap. The original SCTE's battery tray and Velcro straps were scrapped in favor of foam pads secured to the chassis that, together with the new thumbscrew-secured battery brace and adjustable battery posts that can be moved forward and backward to alter the truck's weight bias, shaves a chunk of weight.


EVEN FLOW

TLR includes their Hi-Flow SCT body with the SCTE 2.0, which not only has a sleeker profile than the shell that topped the original 4×4 but has several tuning options as well; by cutting out different combinations of the suggested vent locations you can change how the truck acts in high-speed sections and large jumps.

Team Losi Racing team driver and ROAR National Champion Dustin Evans explained his strategy for tuning the body based on different track conditions. Regardless of what the track is like, he recommends cutting out the section near the rear taillights to allow the fenders to vent, which makes the truck more stable at high speeds. On slower indoor tracks with smaller jumps he doesn't often cut out much else, but when the jumps get bigger and the speeds are higher he starts by trimming out the backside of the body's hood scoop and sections at the top of the cab's sloping rear panel until the truck jumps with a level attitude. In windy conditions, or when there are big jumps, Dustin recommends cutting out all of the Hi-Flow's vent options for greater stability.

SHORT COURSE ACCOUTREMENTS

No short course truck is complete without scale-appropriate ornaments that mimic the life-size modified pickup trucks on which they're based. TLR kept the front and rear bumpers from the original SCTE, with the former molded to the top of the skidplate and the latter sporting mud flaps that have long been omitted on other trucks in this class. The SCTE 2.0 does not include tires, instead leaving that choice to the discerning racer, but includes two sets of TLR's black SCT wheels with yellow beadlock rings so you can mount spares of whichever treads you select. But take note, the wheels' offset is unique to the SCTE 2.0, so be sure to get the correct-spec wheels when you glue up your arsenal of race tires. Once mounted, those tires will tuck inside the fenders of TLR's Hi-Performance SCT body that can be vented to reduce any parachuting effect experienced when landing large jumps.

Short course truck racing involves plenty of fender rubbing, so big bumpers are a must. Kudos to TLR for keeping the mudflaps!

BEHIND THE WHEEL


AFTER THOUSANDS OF TESTING LAPS, HUNDREDS OF COFFEE-FUELED HOURS AT THE COMPUTER, AND DOZENS OF TROPHIES, TEAM LOSI RACING MADE THE TRUCK MORE DURABLE, FASTER, AND EASIER TO DRIVE IN THE HANDS OF MERE MORTALS

If some is good, more is better … right? Tekin's 4600Kv Pro4 motor gets the SCTE 2.0 screaming in a hurry, and the new rearward weight bias is apparent from the first time you yank the trigger. Straight-line acceleration is improved over the already-stable SCTE, with a sure-footed stance that translates all of the motor's torque into forward movement. Even when exiting corners hard on the power the rear end obediently stays tucked behind the front and pushes the truck out of the turn, with just a slight rearward squat and a lean to the outside, as the SCTE 2.0 screams onto the straightaway with all four tires clawing at the track surface. Once you get to the end, that compacted rearward weight bias again pays dividends by making the truck rotate harder without overloading and pushing the front tires. Though the truck does push when the front tires actually lock up under braking the chassis is much more apt to change directions when decelerating smoothly than its predecessor, which means you can pick up the throttle sooner without the truck getting out of shape.

I was curious to see if the new weight distribution would cause the truck to fly with nose-high attitude, but the extra weight on the rear shocks actually seemed to help settle the truck when hitting the face of the jump and kept it level while also helping it stay lower over the gap and get back on the power sooner. As with any 4WD vehicle, the SCTE 2.0 is very reactive to throttle inputs when airborne, and the new chassis settles faster when landing even when the driver doesn't get all four tires to touch down at the same time. When you're actually trying to get the 2.0 to twist over jumps in order to set up for the next corner, however, it does that better as well; thanks to the truck's heaviest components being held tightly together, the chassis' willingness to change directions on the ground is also apparent in the air. Some of the 2.0's newfound jumping prowess can be attributed to the Hi-Flow body, especially when trimmed out, but the Lexan shell also proved to be the only weak spot on the truck during my testing. The material on my test body was a bit thin to support the weight of the heavier 4WD truck during hard crashes (TLR also uses this shell on the lighter 22SCT), but TLR team members said that a running change to the body should fix these durability issues.

+

  • Rotates through corners with aggressive steering

  • Locked in and planted under hard acceleration

  • Jumps level with forgiving landings

  • 2.0 kit addresses key concerns over original SCTE

  • Requires specific offset wheels

  • Body is thin and weak for a heavy truck

Final word

The TLR TEN-SCTE 2.0 shows just how important on-track competition is to helping manufacturers develop and refine their products. Using input from customers and team drivers across the country, Team Losi Racing engineers were able to improve upon what was already a national championship-winning platform with several key components that radically change the truck's on-track behavior and lessen the time spent in the pits. After thousands of testing laps, hundreds of co…ee-fueled hours at the computer, and dozens of trophies, Team Losi Racing made the truck more durable, faster, and easier to drive in the hands of mere mortals and factory pros alike. When the TLR team marches into this year's ROAR Nationals armed with this rig, they'll have their best chance yet at going after national championship 2.0.

SOURCES

Performance Tests

About the author

Associate Editor Since receiving my first hobby-grade RC car as a holiday present from my father nearly 20 years ago, I've been fortunate enough to meet more people and experience more opportunities through the adventures I've had in the RC industry than I would've ever imagined. I've done it all - from working at a hobby shop, to being a factory sponsored racer, to working for some of the biggest brands in the industry. I've enjoyed each and every one of the dozens of kits I've built, hundreds of events I've attended, and thousands of laps that I've logged at race tracks around the world, and my passion is to share those experiences with other hobbyists so that they may find fulfillment in their own RC careers.
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