Beginner’s Guide to RC – Reducing Weight on your Team Associated B6D for Stock or Spec Class Racing
A few months ago we took our Team Associated B5M and put it on a diet, pulling the bulky parts off and installing lightweight replacements. The goal was to get the weight down a bit so that the electronics didn’t have such a heavy car to push around; the lighter the car is, the faster it would be. This actually turned out to be a very popular article, so we thought we’d do the same thing with our B6D.
The problem we found is that the B6D is already pretty light and, while we were able to find some weight-shedding parts, the final outcome was not as impressive as it was with our B5M. The biggest difference, however, was the weight we saved on the drivetrain; this alone was almost half the savings. This means that even though we didn’t save a lot overall, we did reduce the rolling resistance, thus adding a bit more spunk to our 6-series buggy.
So, let’s get to the fat burning and I’ll share the track results at the end of the article.
Titanium Screw Set
Titanium screws are an easy way to reduce the weight on our B6D – it’s as easy as removing one steelie and replacing with a pretty Titanium one. Singly, you’re not going to save a whole lot but, as an entire set, you can actually save quite a bit; we pulled .66oz off our buggy. That’s a good chunk to start with!
Team Associated Titanium Screw Set
Original Part: 1.69oz (47.91g)
Upgrade Part: 1.03oz (29.20g)
Weight Savings: .66oz (18.71g)
Schelle Racing Carbon Battery Strap
The original battery strap was surprisingly light compared to an aftermarket one like Schelle‘s carbon fiber replacement. However, it does save a little bit of weight and, well, the carbon fiber looks so much better. I might be able to reduce the weight a tad more by replacing the 3D printed battery stops with short aluminum posts, but for now it will work just fine.
Carbon Fiber Battery Strap
Original Part: .39oz (11.05g)
Upgrade Part: .34oz (9.63g)
Weight Savings: .05oz (1.41g)
SCH1257 Schelle Racing Carbon Battery Strap
Available on AMain Hobbies
Titanium Screws to Hold Down the Battery
This modification is actually something I saw at the track the other day; a stock racer had removed the thumbscrews and steel battery tray shoulder screws and replaced them with long Titanium screws. So I thought I’d give this a look and see how much weight this saved. As you can see, replacing these parts saved .14oz, pretty good for just a few small parts. The screws are long enough to thread into the chassis quite a bit so they shouldn’t come loose. One thing to note, though, is that I swapped out the original B6D thumbscrews for the ones used on the B5M. The originals were just to small for my sausage fingers; the B5M ones were much easier to deal with. Your savings here might differ.
Schelle Racing Carbon Fiber Battery Strap
Original Part: .18oz (5.10g)
Upgrade Part: .04oz (1.13g)
Weight Savings: .14oz (3.96g)
The B6D comes with a sharp looking set of chrome turnbuckles, much better looking than the black ones all the other Team kits come with. Swapping these out for Titanium equivalents is an easy way to save weight. I actually had another package of Lunsford Racing‘s Ti turnbuckles here from my B5M build and after matching them up to the B6D links, found they would work just fine. Simply remove the old links and screw in the new ones. Excellent upgrade for a total weight savings of 7g.
Lunsford Super Duty Titanium Turnbuckles
Original Part: .55oz (15.59g)
Upgrade Part: .30oz (8.50g)
Weight Savings: .25oz (7.08g)
Carbon Fiber Steering Arms
Ok, I know what you’re thinking; .04oz? Yes, it’s a teeny tiny bit, but savings is savings. Remember what I said about the small things add up – this is one of those small things that adds up. Plus they look cool, so you get extra pit points.
Schelle Carbon Fiber Steering Arms
Original Part: .08oz (2.26g)
Upgrade Part: .04oz (1.13g)
Weight Savings: .04oz (1.13g)
SCH1258 Schelle Carbon Fiber Steering Arms
Available on AMain Hobbies
The Team Associated B6D comes with AE’s new 3-gear transmission – the best of the best – or so everyone thought. Then a few adventurous people dropped in the B6 Laydown Transmission, thought to be optimized only for high bite carpet situations. This optional transmission completely changes the handling of the B6D, potentially leaving you off the pace without it. The conversion uses most of the parts from the original transmission, however I did include a few other goodies to lighten the internal rotating parts.
I started by adding RC Speed Secrets cut B6 transmission gears. Original gears are machined down to remove some of the gear surface. This reduces the amount of friction, thus allowing more speed. The overall savings by adding these two parts is only .6oz, but the real savings will be when you pull the throttle.
We also added Schelle’s Nova Lockout Set, essentially removing the heavy slipper clutch system. This setup gives the buggy better acceleration and a much more aggressive feel, however it is really recommended for the advanced driver that has proficient throttle control. Try at your own risk.
Team Associated B6 Laydown Transmission Conversion
Original Part: 3.92oz (111.13g)
Upgrade Part: 3.31oz (93.83g)
Weight Savings: .61oz (17.29g)
RC Speed Secrets Cut Gears
Original Part: .21oz (5.95g)
Upgrade Part: .15oz (4.25g)
Weight Savings: .06oz (1.70g)
91705 Team Associated B6 Laydown Transmission Conversion
Available on AMain Hobbies
SCH1303 Schelle Racing Nova Buggy Lockout Set
Available on AMain Hobbies: Schelle Lockout Plate
Available on AMain Hobbies: Schelle Lockout Back Plate & Tube
Available on AMain Hobbies: Schelle 72T Nova 48P Spur Gear
Probably one of the best weight loss options is to replace the stock body with a lightweight version. This removes some poundage that sits high up on the chassis, reducing body roll in the corners. As you can see, the new body has a full paint job as well as stickers and it’s still almost 13g lighter than the stock body. JConcepts has quite a few lightweight versions in their inventory; this one painted up by the one and only Larry Genova of Kustom RC Graphics. This guy is the guru of pro painting.
JConcepts S2 B6 Lightweight Body
Original Part: 1.28oz (36.28g)
Upgrade Part: .83oz (23.53g)
Weight Savings: .45oz (12.75g)
Total Weight Savings: 2.26oz (64.06g)
Like I said before, the B6D is pretty light to start out with but without any major work (milling the chassis, etc), we still saved a tick over 64g. I have to note, however, that since front wings are all the rage right now, I did add one to my B6D. This added a bit of weight back on but I’m still doing some A/B testing to see if this is something I’m going to stick with.
To test the performance, I skipped on over to my local testing grounds, OCRC Raceway in Huntington Beach. I ran on the same track layout for both the before-and-after tests, using the same tires and sauce regimen. Let’s see if my B6D can put in some better lap times in it’s lightened state.
The first full day of testing, the B6D put in some respectable lap times, running low 20-second laps consistently with a fast lap of 19.7. The later on in the day it got, the faster the track got – that’s when I could pull off the high 19-second laps.
Day 2 testing involved all the changes made to the B6D, all at one time. This was a bit overwhelming; I’ve heard just installing the B6 Laydown Transmission can radically change the handling of this buggy. That being said, the first battery was more of a reconnaissance run; feeling out the changes and gathering data on how this lightweight buggy works. I’ve got a lot to share…
In this new form, the B6D has an amazing amount of steering. Installing the laydown transmission not only moves the motor forward on the chassis, it also moves the battery forward as well. This shifts the static weight WAY forward, so the B6D feels like it’s now rotating heavily on the nose. Add the extra downforce of the front wing and it’s a bit overkill on the steering. The first couple laps were in the high 21’s as I struggled to get a grip on the car, but once I found the groove and understood how it handled, I was able to click off quite a few high 19-second laps.
I also noticed that the acceleration was quite a bit snappier. There’s a jump in the middle of the track that’s right after a tight hairpin; take it tight, you’re not going to make it; take it a little wider and you can make it almost every time. With the new, lightweight transmission parts, I could make this jump almost every lap with a mid-tight turn, something I couldn’t do before. I also have to give props to the Schelle Nova Lockout; this part completely removes any slip in the drivetrain and provides instant acceleration. If you run on a high-bite track, this upgrade is a definite improvement.
But here’s the rub – once a bunch of other people got on the track and started kicking some dust around, the B6D got harder and harder to drive. This had me working extra hard to keep the car from spinning out, so the lap times started to rise. This required me to do some suspension massaging to fine tune the setup and get the lap times back down, but I think for my particular driving style it may take a few more sessions to figure the car out.
So, was all this worth it? Since I’m really only saving around 2oz, I’m not sure every one of these upgrades is a necessity. I can vouch for a few things, though; the screws, turnbuckles and lightweight body are all good upgrades. The internal gears are good too, as this reduces some rotating weight. I would also highly suggest the laydown transmission conversion if you’re looking for something that adds shear performance. Finally, if you think you’ve got the chops (and a groomed track), the Schelle Nova Lockout Set is a fantastic upgrade.
Good luck with your build and I’ll see you on the podium!