It’s been 10 years since the B44 debuted from Team Associated and now in 2017, we have the B64/B64d platform. After 4 versions of the B44 platform (B44, B44.1, B44.2 and B44.3) and it’s latest IFMAR world title by Steven Hartson in 2013 with a modified B44.2, the B64 is well received by the 1/10th scale 4wd audience. Here’s some interesting info about Team Associated’s 1/10th scale 4wd buggy heritage.
If you haven’t already seen the heritage video from Cory Drachenberg and Team Associated, I highly suggest you check it out. It goes way back to the early days of racing to the origin of the 4wd 1/10th scale buggy and exactly how we have would up with the brand new ground up B64 platform.
After a long time gentleman’s agreement with Yokomo to not make a 1/10th scale 4wd buggy, Team Associated drivers Jason Ruona (JConcepts owner) and good friend, Brad Reelfs set out to design a competitive platform. Born was the BJ4 (Brad/Jason 4wd) and it worked! A couple of years later, it led to an IFMAR world championship with Ryan Cavalieri in Italy in 2005. In 2007, the full production B44 was debuted and was based on the worlds edition chassis layout of the BJ4.
I was fortunate enough to pick up my B64d directly from Team Associated’s headquarters in Lake Forest, CA. I had word the previous Friday that Monday was the day to pick it up and the weekend dragged on forever!
My B64d already had its place in The RCNetwork Studio….right up on the bench to get all the social media photos out of the way. You see, everything I do is arranged around shooting video to share it with you. I typically never open anything unless it’s on camera or at least, photographed very well. So about an hour of prep to get photos, pan shots and get everything ready for the unboxing video. Now about that….the unboxing videos. When I first started RC, I always had issues with what “really” comes in the box. My first example: The Tekin RX8 (gen1) Does motor/battery wires come with it? I searched high and low and nothing. I ordered additional wire, to find that motor wire (and battery wire if you’re conservative) come with the RX8. Pre-release unboxing’s shed light on specific parts or maybe running changes that happened between prototype and product release. By the way….I haven’t eaten yet today. Getting a new kit does this to people.
I started shooting the unboxing video all the while thinking……what was Jason Snyder doing? Always wanting to have the first content on YouTube, I know that quick-draw McSnyder was eagerly waiting on his pre-order kit as well. Unboxing videos are pretty quick to shoot, so, this was an easy video. Having a “ready to assemble” kit sitting on my bench, I wanted to start wrenching right away. I’ll save editing that video for a bit later. I got through bag 5 and had the front clip of the B64d assembled. Not too bad.
Mac and Cheese with the kids……RC guys need to eat too! Back into the shop after some much needed nutrition (Mac and Cheese does have milk…) and started on the rear clip. The assembly has gone great – although driving screws into the bulk head plastics have been tough. The fit is tight and even the manual states to put black grease on the screws on the under side of the chassis. I got up to bag 7 and assembling the rear shock tower to the rear bulkhead.
I started editing the unboxing video. I have really gotten my edits down to about an hour per 10 minute video, which isn’t too bad….but my main focus is not the videography, but the content. I incorporated a bit of heritage in the video along with photos of my old B44.2 and B44.3 (Had to go digging for those….)
The edit is complete and now time to start rendering the video. I have found there’s no scientific logic on how long it takes to render. It’s how ever long iMovie wants to take! It was a ground breaking 20 minute render time and now off to uploading to YouTube – Which took up another 20ish minutes. These 1080p 60fps videos really take time to deal with! Back out to the shop to finish up the rear clip before dinnertime. I had to make the decision to go ahead and install the servo. I typically like to show the vehicle as it comes from the manufacturer in the build update video. But I am on a timeline here….Snyder got his B64d at 4:30…..
Spaghetti dinner night with the family and then it’s off to the monthly Cub Scout meeting with my son. My B64d is alone in the studio and awaits to be finished.
Cub Scout meeting is over, kids are in bed. Now it’s time to get back to work. Having been up till 3am the night prior editing a new 53 minute “Wrenching w/Rich” episode, I was nearing exhaustion. Starting on Bag 9 brings me to one of the things I hate doing in RC…..building turnbuckles. The “ballcup-gate” of the B5M is still lingering above the Team Associated kits even now….but these seem to be perfect. I went rogue and grabbed an extra set of JConcepts Fin titanium turnbuckles and started my install with chapstick….instead of black grease like the manual says. Also, there’s a supplement leaflet that goes over the actual turnbuckle lengths…
I got up to bag 11 and found myself too tired to focus on shocks, so I skipped this step and rounded the rest of the chassis building the chassis brace, motor mount, battery hold down and mounting the center differential.
Published the final photos on Instagram and Facebook of how the B64d is coming and called it a night.
So that’s my first day with the Team Associated B64d. There’s nothing like getting a new kit, especially one that has a huge anticipation and heritage of winning. In my opinion, the best part of RC is building. It really gives you a sense of accomplishment to have an engineering marvel sitting in front of you after several hours of work and watching it drive away!
Are you planning on getting a B64/B64d? What’s the best 4wd buggy these days? What do you drive? Comment below!