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TESTED: TLR 22T 4.0

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When it comes to racing, the top class to run is 2WD electric buggy; it is the F1 of the electric world and, therefore, the class that everyone gravitates to. Since race days are so long, there’s always room for a second premier class, and since the late ’80s, that has been stadium truck. The popularity of the class grew fast in its early days, then hit a stage where it died down somewhat. Today, we are seeing a resurgence in the class, and manufacturers are stepping up to the plate to give us stadium trucks that are better than ever. One company that has been there since the beginning is Team Losi Racing (TLR, known then simply as “Losi”), and right out of the gate, the company delivered an innovative product; the same holds true today. The 22T has been running tracks for years, but the gang at TLR has been updating the platform to keep up with the times; the latest version is the 4.0. This truck comes to the party with VLA front suspension, aluminum-plated rear hubs, a lightweight aluminum chassis, adjustable diff height, and a lot more. Let’s take a closer look at TLR’s new 22T 4.0 and see what it can do for you.

UPDATED BODY
A new body comes in the kit, and the main update is in the rear end to facilitate the various ways that the rear shocks can be mounted. There’s now more room in the rear-shock-tower area, and it provides a great aero balance. It’s molded out of 1.2mm-thick polycarbonate and comes trimmed; all you have to do is ream the body-mount holes and give it a paint job. I went with an old-school Losi JRXT style paint job.

HDS SLIPPER
Gear protection and launch control is taken care of by TLR’s HDS slipper clutch. The assembly features aluminum plates that are tapered and that have slots machined out of them, which reduces rotating mass and helps keep things cool. The large diameter of the new spring does a better job of spreading the load across the pads, and the larger spacing between coils allows for finer adjustment of the slipper. According to TLR, this results in a longer-lasting slipper clutch, which is more consistent and self-cleaning.

VLA FRONT SUSPENSION
VLA stands for “variable-length arm,” and what that means is that you’re able to alter the “length” of the front-suspension arms to alter how the truck soaks up bumps and jumps as well as how it steers. The length of the arm doesn’t actually change; instead, you put the pivot in one of two holes in the front arm and carrier. Having the pivot in the outer hole lengthens the distance between it and the inner pivot, and that ends up making the front suspension feel softer, which is good for bumpy tracks and improved steering response. Having the pivot in the inner hole shortens the distance between the pivots and, therefore, makes the front suspension feel stiffer, making it better for smooth tracks, and it reduces steering.

DUAL REAR-SHOCK MOUNTING
The rear shocks are attached to the lower arms and shock tower as always, but with the 22T 4.0 you get the choice of putting the shocks in front of the rear arms or behind the rear arms. According to TLR, having the shocks mounted in front of the arms allows the truck to rotate through the turns and square up quicker, while rear-mounted shocks makes the truck more stable off power and feels a little more fluid through the turns. The arms have mounting holes on both sides, but the shock-tower mounting is changed by simply rotating the tower on the mount. No need to worry about body-mount alignment because they are positioned right in the middle.

LIGHTWEIGHT ALUMINUM CHASSIS
The base of the 22T 4.0 is a 2.5mm-thick 7075-T6 aluminum-plate chassis that has been machined in low-stress areas to reduce weight. The grade of aluminum used offers double the tensile, yield, and fatigue strength of 6061-T6—which would have been a good material for this truck, but the guys at TLR decided to step it up and give the truck even more strength. Optional brass weights can be used on the chassis for fine-tuning. The only thing I’d like to see is more battery room. Fitting my Team Orion “shorty” 2S LiPo took a good amount of pushing, and removing it was difficult.

GEN II SHOCKS
It’s no surprise that TLR’s Gen II shocks made their way onto the 22T 4.0; they’re the latest and greatest units to come out of the TLR garage and offer a little more adjustment than before. X-ring seals are used to keep the oil in and the dirt out, and inside are machined pistons that make damping more consistent. The shock shafts feature a TiCN coating, which makes them slide in and out of the body easier and improves durability. Out of the box, the shocks are built emulsion style and the bleeder caps allow for fine-tuning of the fluid inside, but you can also build them with a bladder if that’s the feel that you’re going for.

ADJUSTABLE-HEIGHT DIFFERENTIAL
The ball differential and idler gear height is adjustable thanks to some bearing carrier inserts inside the transmission housing. The standard height is ideal for dirt or clay, while the 3.5mm raised differential height is said to improve performance on carpet and Astroturf. The transmission housing on the 22T 4.0 is the lowest and longest transmission yet in the stadium truck lineup. It’s so low that a gear cover couldn’t be put in place, so they left it out. Steel CV-style driveshafts are used to connect the lightweight outdrives of the truck’s differential to the hexes on the aluminum capped rear hubs.

TEST GEAR TEAM ORION HMX 10 COMPETITION SPEED CONTROL
This is the latest brushless speed control to be released by Team Orion, and all its functions are tweaked through an app from on your Android-based device. Don’t have one? You can also download the app on your computer and take care of it there. Features include a 32-bit microprocessor, improved braking, real-time signal translation, a three-piece machined-aluminum case, and high-grade components. The list of adjustments that you can make through the app is long; some examples include the BEC voltage, top speed, brake strength, drag brake…and the list goes on. Calibration is done through the app—which was something new to me since I’m used to doing that through a button on the speed control, but in the end, it was easy to do. The speed control worked flawlessly during testing and felt very smooth.

VEHICLE SPECS
Item no.: TLR03015
Scale: 1/10
Price: $330
Weight, as tested: 4 lb. 6.4 oz. (1996g)

CHASSIS
Type: 2.5mm lightweight aluminum plate
Material: Anodized aluminum plate

SUSPENSIOSN
Type: Lower H-arm with adjustable upper link
Shock positions, towers (F/R): 3/3
Shock positions, arms (F/R): 3/3
Camber-link positions, towers (F/R): 2/3
Camber-link positions, arms (F/R): 2/5

SHOCKS
Bodies: Threaded anodized aluminum, 12mm-bore
Shafts: 3.5mm steel w/ TiCN coating
Volume compensation: Emulsion

DRIVETRAIN
Type: Gearbox, mid-motor 3-gear
Differential: Ball
Driveshafts: Steel CV-style
Bearings: Rubber-sealed

BODY, WHEELS & TIRES
Body: Generic truck
Wheels: Dish
Tires & inserts: Not included

TEST GEAR (not included)
Speed control: Team Orion HMX 10 Competition
Motor: Team Orion Ultimate Stock
Battery: Team Orion Carbon Pro 4500mAh Ultra
7.4V Shorty
Servo: Spektrum S6240RX
Charger: Team Orion Advantage Touch V2
Tires: Pro-Line Hole Shot

Behind the Wheel
I took the TLR 22T 4.0 over to my backyard test track to get some laps in. I was fully expecting a truck that would turn on a dime but would struggle a bit with rear traction because my track is outdoors, is hard-packed, and has a loose top surface. I was on the money with the steering and way off when it came to rear traction. After completing one lap, I found the truck to be easy to drive, and I knew that it wouldn’t take much to get it dialed in. The 22T has a lot more rear traction than I expected; almost enough to make me happy right out of the box. A soft finger was needed to keep the rear end from stepping out when exiting the turns, and I found that, if I entered a turn a little too hot, the rear end would swing out from time to time. I brought the truck over to my bench and moved the rear hubs fully forward, which puts more of the truck’s weight over the rear axle. After this adjustment, the truck was almost perfect in the rear traction department, and the stepping out in the turns pretty much went away, helped perhaps by a slight driving-style adjustment.
The truck turns extremely well. My track has some tight corners, and the 22T made it around them with ease. The truck feels smooth when going through those turns, not jerky like some vehicles can be, and this made it easy to get it lined up for jumps or the next turn. The low-speed turning ability was something that I fully expected, but I was surprised at how much corner speed that the 22T is able to carry. Just a slight amount of brake was needed to get the truck in and through the high-speed corners. With some tuning, it wouldn’t surprise me if I didn’t have to use any brake at all. The size of the truck and its smooth shocks made for a stable platform on the bumpy sections of my track, and as expected, jumps were equally manageable. Having an exposed spur gear means that any debris that enters the chassis is going to possibly get stuck in that gear, and of course, after about a half pack of run time, I heard that card-in-the-spokes sound. A rock ended up in the gear, but I kept running (mainly because I was too lazy to stop the truck and get the rock out) and eventually the rock worked its way out of the gear. If you’re running on carpet, Astroturf, or a hard-packed and swept track, this won’t be an issue.

PLUS
+ Lots of adjustments
+ Adjustable diff height
+ VLA front suspension

MINUS
– No gear cover
– Tight fit for battery

FINAL WORD
The gang at TLR works really hard to find ways to give you a vehicle with enough adjustment to allow it to be run anywhere. With all the adjustments that are available on the 22T 4.0, there’s no surface you can’t win on, if you’ve got the skills. For me, the truck feels great right out of the box, and with some minor tweaks, I’ll have a truck that I couldn’t ask any more of. The only issues I see with the 22T 4.0 are that it doesn’t have a gear cover and the battery compartment is tight. I might not be able to make a gear cover, but a little grinding on the plastics that make up the battery compartment will make it easier to get the battery in and out.

Updated: October 4, 2018 — 2:48 PM
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