Low Flying Fighter Jet Coming in Hot!
The EB48.4 is Tekno RC’s next gen 1:8 buggy that sports many refinements over its predecessor. They’ve touched on many different areas to improve speed and performance, looking at everything from the chassis design to the killer-looking fighter jet-inspired body. Even though the .3 was a pretty fantastic buggy, efficiency played a major role in the move to the .4 and what they’ve released here promises to be a step up to manufacturing ‘the best handling, most consistent, most durable and highest value kit on the market’.
I like what Tekno has going on and was lucky enough to procure an EB48.4 early on. The build was fantastic (you can see it here: Tekno RC EB48.4 Build) so I was pretty confident the speed, handling and consistency on the track would certainly match up. Before we get to the drive, though, let’s take a quick look at some of the features the EB48.4 has going on.
Product: Tekno RC EB48.4 1:8 Scale E-Buggy
Part #: TKR8000
Recommended For: Anyone, but serious 1:8 E-buggy fans should take a look
Like most 1:8 scale buggies, the EB48.4 uses an aluminum chassis as the initial building point. It’s 4mm thick and CNC’ed from 7075 aluminum, then hard-coated for a durable finish. Multiple channels are milled into the top to lighten it up and allow the electronics to sit a tiny bit lower. It’s also quite narrow, being only 125mm at its widest point … including the plastic mudguards! This lets the EB48.4 lean deep into corners without touching down and scrubbing off valuable speed.
Even though the chassis is narrow, Tekno has managed to organize all the electronics under the hood in a nice, tidy fashion. A large battery tray mounts on the left side of the chassis and can accommodate a 4S LiPo or a pair of 2S packs. Three thick, Velcro straps grip the battery(ies) in such a way that there is no physical way in hell it’s going to ever come dislodged; it’s a serious setup.
On the right side, the steering servo mounts sideways with your ESC of choice stacked up right behind it. The motor is next with a sealed receiver box near the back. This layout seems to balance the buggy left-to-right but, because the receiver is so far back, you’re going to need an extension for the servo lead to reach.
In the center, three plastic braces are used to stiffen the chassis and each can be removed independently to adjust flex.
The EB48.4 features all the required suspension components most of the competition 1:8 buggies out there have; thick a-arms, oversized-steering components, captured hinge-pins, aluminum arm mounts with adjustable inserts, etc. But Tekno has added a few zingers in there to set their buggy apart, things we’ll most likely start seeing in other buggies as well.
The first option is the adjustable front arm sweep; in stock form, the buggy has the front arms swept forward, giving a more aggressive feel. You can flip the front arms over, or swept back, making the buggy easier to drive.
Another cool feature are the hinge pins. This buggy uses 3.5mm outer pins and 4mm inner pins; the larger inner pins are a heck of a lot more durable and will resist bending. The outer pins are now captured, meaning they are threaded at both ends with a nyloc nut to keep them in place. No little screws, no e-clips; just a solid mounting solution!
The rear hubs also deserve a mention. They are taller now and feature a high-roll center mount point. There are also three tuning holes are available for the camber link.
Finally, we need to talk about the Big Bore shocks. These 16mm dampers are easy to build and extremely smooth. They use flat pistons (4×1.9mm), 4mm hardened shafts and a CNC delrin ‘internal triple guide design’ to keep them perfectly aligned during use. Vented caps, rubber boots, tall clamping spring perches and reverse-thread lower screws are all standard. Oh, and they mount to 6mm front/5mm rear CNC 7075 aluminum shock towers. These. Shocks. Rock!
Although the EB48.4 uses a standard 4WD drivetrain, the layout is anything but normal. The 2-piece CNC aluminum motor mount is located just shy of mid-chassis with the center fluid-filled diff about 10mm away from the rear outdrive. When the motor spools up, it spins a very long, tapered front and a very short rear driveshaft, connecting to a pair of lightweight, fluid-filled gear differentials. Heavy duty universals extend out to the axles where 17mm aluminum hexes key to the wheel/tire combo of your choice.
The entire drivetrain is bearing supported with new 12/40 tooth ring and pinion gears – even the center driveline is perfectly straight to maximize efficiency.
The kit suggests a 10/10/7 diff oil setup out of the box. Before you start building, do a little research to find what works best at you track. I started with the 10/10/7 and found that this wasn’t quite right, playing around a bit before I ended with 7/7/5. It’s not that big a deal to change it but if you can find out what the right fluids are up front it will save your some rebuild time.
The steering system on the EB48.4 is pretty stout, starting with the robust servo mounting system; it’s about as substantial as the triple-strap setup for the battery. The servo gets wrapped with an aluminum brace, drops down into a tall pocket in the radio tray and is secured with four 3x14mm screws. I’ll say it now, this servo isn’t going to budge! A plastic servo horn links to the dual bellcrank steering via a threaded drag link; an integrated servo saver is in the right bellcrank. An aluminum Ackermann plate is standard and the whole system rides on a set of quality bearings.
The steering system also features adjustable steering stops on both sides and the bellcranks can be built without a servo saver for those that want increased steering response.
While I built my EB48.4 per the instructions, I would highly suggest a metal servo horn; I broke the plastic kit horn on the second battery with just a slight clip of the outside retaining wall. This is also highly suggested if you plan on running the buggy with the optional solid right bellcrank (no servo saver). Thankfully the ProTek servo came with a metal servo horn, something I knew I should have used from the get-go.
Since the EB48.4 is a high-end racing buggy, a set of high-end racing electronics were the only way to go. Here’s a little info on what I used in this review.
ProTek RC 130T Standard Digital High Torque Metal Gear Servo
I’ve used a couple of the ProTek servos before in smaller projects and absolutely love them, so when it came time to build the EB48.4, I decided to see how well they could withstand a much larger, pro-level buggy. The 130T is a high-torque servo that features a full metal geartrain, an aluminum mid-case and a high-efficiency coreless motor. It has a zippy speed of .08 (@7.4v) and an energetic 355oz-in of torque (also @7.4v). This is plenty of speed and power for EB48.4.
Tekin RX8 GEN2 Brushless ESC/Tekin T8i Brushless Motor
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had Tekin power in my 1:8 scale rides – buggies, truggies and SC trucks. So, once again, I opted for Tekin’s RX8 GEN2 ESC and T8i Indoor Brushless combo for the EB48.4. The RX8 GEN2 is a workhorse and has a bazillion features that can be adjusted both from the ESC or through Tekin’s Hotwire. It has incredibly smooth power delivery and, while I’ll only be using a 4S LiPo, can handle up to a 6S pack!
I choose a 1950kV T8i motor simply because I’ll be doing a lot of indoor racing with this buggy. It has a CNC-machined 6061 heatsink can, 4-pole neodymium sintered magnets and has a lighter weight construction for indoor use. On top of that, the T8i is specifically designed to be paired with the RX8 GEN2.
ProTek RC 4S Silicon Graphene HV LiPo Battery
Searching for the most current 4S LiPo pack, I came across ProTek RC’s 100C Silicon Graphene HV 4S 6500mAh LiPo Battery. This battery packs quite the punch thanks to its high voltage delivery and comes with 5mm charge plugs and a 2mm balance port plug. According to ProTek, this pack is also lighter than a standard 4S pack. I weighed it against 5 of my other 4S packs and the Silicon Graphene pack was actually lighter than 4 of them, the most being almost 50grams!
Futaba 4PX Radio System
I bet you can’t guess what radio I’m using. Yes, the same one I use for almost all of my reviews, Futaba’s 4PX. This radio is simply amazing; it looks bad ass, it feels awesome in my hands and the menu system is fantastic. It’s a 4-channel system, is compatible with T-FHSS/FHSS/FASST receivers, has telemetry and rocks a 40 model memory (of which I have about 32 filled up). There’s mixing, a micro memory card slot and programmable buttons galore. Oh, and that screen – a beautiful 3.5″ QVGA TFT color LCD screen. It’s safe to say I love this radio.
Grip is everything, so I chose to mount a set of AKA’s TYPO tires pre-mounted on their EVO wheels. To shine on OCRC’s high-bite track, I received the tires in the clay compound. At this point it’s just a matter of pulling them from the package and bolting them on – performance right from the first pull of the trigger. For those of you that don’t like white, this pre-mount combo also comes mounted on yellow wheels.
In my opinion, the body is friggin’ dialed looking! I love the solid-edge look, the cockpit style canopy and the raised ribbing in the rear – it all comes together for a really great looking body. The sides seem a bit tall, but that just gives more area for killer paint or manufacturer stickers. I have to give a big thanks to Walter Thomas for his amazing paint skills. This scheme came out fantastic!
While mounting, I actually needed to trim the body a bit more than the trim lines suggested to make it easier to take on and off, but I guess I trimmed a little too much off the rear and after a few, ummm, test crashes, the rear body hole ripped through. So, moral – trim to the lines and if you have to trim more, do so VERY sparingly, especially on the rear of the body.
I also noticed that the body sits very tight to the chassis and it was getting quite warm under there after a full battery pack; there was a hint (more like a huge wiff) of overheating electronics. No worries; there are 2 panels on the front of the body and a pair of large openings on the back that can be cut out to allow some much needed airflow.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of running lately at my home track OCRC Raceway, especially on Saturdays. That day seems to bring out all the weekday workers, letting them burn some packs and let off some steam. My goal on these days is to not only drive as fast as I can, but also use this extra traffic to practice looking ahead and behind me; basically collision avoidance. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it certainly builds defensive driving skills.
Speed and Braking
There’s no denying the EB48.4 is built for competition. It’s got a great, 4WD drivetrain under it and, coupled with the Tekin system and a 4S ProTek pack, it really is ballistic. Out of the corners, I was really surprised how smooth the acceleration was, allowing me to manage the throttle to effortlessly roll up to jumps and fly right over them. Yet, if I needed that burst of oomph to make a quick pass, the only hindrance was the AKA tires slight moment of spin before they hooked up and launched the buggy forward. While I haven’t tried it yet, I have to believe that the EB48.4 would rock even harder when it was let loose on a larger track. Guess I’ll be ordering up some outdoor rubber…
The brakes on this buggy are also phenomenal; it’s like Brembo’s stopping a full size high performance car. They’re actually way to strong for me out of the box (at 100%), so I had to back them down to about 75% for a smoother feel.
Steering and Handling
Steering was a bit on the numb side, requiring me to slow down more than I felt was necessary to rotate through the turns. While everything in the steering seemed spot on, I have to think that the 10/10/7 diff fluid setup was more geared to a looser outdoor track than a high-grip indoor one. I managed through it, making some additional setup changes that brought the buggy closer and closer to feeling right on. After the first couple runs I changed the fluid out (to 7/7/5) and the buggy felt much better; the right fluids for your track surface makes a huge difference.
While I felt the buggy worked great on most parts of the track, the one area I was really impressed with was jumping. It’s fun on smaller doubles, but work your way to the face of any large jump (in this case a large triple jump), squirt the throttle and it just leaps, landing like a well-balanced cat and rear to tear off. That was certainly my favorite part of the track.
Durability and Maintenance
It’s been a long time since I’ve had a good amount of time at the track and, while I’ve been honing my skills and putting in some respectable lap times, I’ve unfortunately stuffed the EB48.4 into a wall or two (or 3 or 4, but no more than 5). I’ve beat it up, but have only come across two things that failed, both being my fault. The first was the servo horn, which I broke early on in testing. The ProTek 130T comes with an aluminum horn but, did I put it on? Of course not. I opted for the plastic one in the kit. Why? Because I’m dumb; so, if you have an aluminum horn, install it immediately. If you don’t have an aluminum horn, beg, borrow or steal one. Ok, don’t really steal one. Beg alot first.
The second failure was the body. As I mentioned above, I trimmed it a bit more than I should have and promptly ripped the mounting hole to the rear of the body. After a few laps it starts flapping around and I have to pull over and set it back in place. I’ve tried a few fixes (even a body washer) but the gap from the flat spot on the rear mount to the body pin hole is so shallow that most conventional fixes just won’t work. Time to Shoo Goo in some thin Lexan and call it a day.
Maintenance-wise, the EB48.4 is very easy to work on. It only requires a few screws to remove the front and rear clips or the center diff. The one thing I’m a bit confused on, however, is the front bumper. It slides in place and uses a single cap-head screw to secure it. This screw mounts directly from the front; not such a great place when you dig the front bumper into the ground. This hole fills up quick, making it quite time consuming to pick all the dirt out to remove the bumper. I’ve actually filled the hole with a small piece of foam and that seems to help a bit.
Anything and everything that can be adjusted on a competition-level 1:8 scale car can be tweaked on the EB48.4 – easily, I might add. Ackermann, bumpsteer, roll centers, arm sweep – it’s all there. Optional arm mount inserts are also included! There’s even an interesting wing downforce setting that I want to play with; adjusting the wing forward or back or changing the rake (to 4°, 7° or 10°). I’m confident this buggy can be set to find a working setup at almost any track.
• Brushless ESC
• Brushless Motor
• Shorty LiPo Battery
• Radio System
• Wheels and Tires
• ProTek 130T Digital HV Servo
• Tekin RX8 GEN2 ESC
• Tekin T8i Indoor Brushless Motor
• ProTek RC 4S Silicon Graphene HV LiPo Battery
• Futaba 4PX Radio System
• AKA Pre-Mounted 1:8 Buggy TYPOs
Power Source: Electric
Length: 17.1″ (435mm)
Width: 12.0-12.2″ (306-310mm)
Wheelbase: 12.7-13.2″ (323-335mm)
Weight: 7.0lbs (3200g)
Material: 7075 aluminum
Type: 4-wheel independent
Camber: Adjustable turnbuckles
Roll: Optional holes in tower
Wheelbase: Adjustable with shims
Shocks: 16mm Big Bore, 7075 aluminum
Steering: Dual bellcrank
Turnbuckles: Adjustable turnbuckles
Differentials: Steel composite planetary
Bearings: Precision sealed
Gearing: MOD 1, optional pinion gears
Body: Clear, fighter-jet design
Wing: Molded, dual-plane
Wheels: Not included
Wheel hex: 17mm hex
Tires: Not included
• Ground up electric buggy – not a nitro conversion
• Excellent build quality
• Narrow chassis design
• Lots of room for electronics
• Sealed receiver box
• Big Bore shocks are extremely smooth
• 2-piece motor mount allows easy motor adjustment
• Monster battery straps
• Sealed diffs that don’t leak
• Fighter jet body looks super cool
• Easy maintenance
• Stock diff fluids weren’t quite right for my track
• Screw hole in the front bumper fills up with dirt easily; makes it difficult to take the bumper off
• Servo lead requires an extension to reach the receiver box