The new toy and some upgrades

Recently I picked up a Losi Mini 8ight with some gift money left over from the holidays. I had promised myself I wouldn’t expand beyond the RC helicopter hobby but that’s not how things worked out. Now in hindsight I see that ignoring the RC car genre would have been a mistake, this little thing is a blast!

Losi Mini 8ight
Losi Mini 8ight

As these things go, this car was relatively inexpensive while still having bells and whistles that weren’t available when I was a kid. Stuff like electronic speed controllers, brushless motors, and 2.4ghz radios are pretty much standard today on just about every RC car on the market. If you don’t know what I just said, it adds up to a little car that’s too fast for an old man like me to handle.

When you throw a lot of speed at a bad driver, crashes are the norm. When you crash, you break things so I took some steps to preempt larger costs by upgrading a couple problem areas. I don’t know how it was 15 years ago but these days almost every part can be upgraded if you can stomach the cost. As with anything, the parts range from appearance to protection and I need all the protection I can buy.

Mini 8ight front end
Mini 8ight with RPM front bumper and Driven Productions delrin shock tower.

What you see here is an RPM front bumper and a Driven Productions delrin shock tower. Both of these address problems I saw in my first few driving sessions.

The Mini 8ight ships with almost no bumper to speak of so any upgrade is a good one and that’s where the RPM bumper comes in. It’s big enough to protect from running into things while still looking like it belongs. When you consider the cost of the parts behind the bumper, the ~$9 price tag makes it well worth it.

After you’ve piloted this buggy for a few minutes, you quickly see a glaring problem with the design. When you flip upside down, the car rests on the front shock caps which are made of plastic. Land upside down enough and the caps will break which, at the rate I was going, wouldn’t take long. The Driven Productions shock tower covers the caps so when I’m upside down, they’re not taking the damage. There’s no data on how long this tower will last but I’m confident it will save me from having to rebuild my shocks over and over.

That’s the end of the upgrades so far. I’ve challenged myself to only upgrade things I identify as weak areas, this means I’m going to try to keep the car as stock as possible. Based on the amount of crashes I’m experiencing, it won’t take long to drain a few more bucks from my wallet.