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By Mike Garrison
Whether it's wheel nuts, wings, tools, tracks, trinkets and/or anything in between, the LiveRC staff gives their testimonial and review of each every Thursday morning!
VRP EB410 Aluminum Shock Towers, Front Camber Link Mount, and Battery Strap
As with any new car release, the aftermarket companies have been hot on releasing new option parts lately for the Tekno RC EB410 1/10-scale 4wd buggy kit. One of those companies is Vision Racing Products, better known as VRP. The Texas based company is most often associated with their patent pending “GameChanger” shock pistons, however, over the past year has extended their lineup of accessories and option parts. For the EB410, VRP recently released their aluminum front and rear shock towers, front camber link plate, and battery strap which are direct replacements for the stock counterparts.
The front and rear shock towers are CNC cut from American grade 7075 aluminum, beveled on both sides for a carpet friendly design, and finished off with a black anodized finish. The front camber link plate is also machined from 7075 aluminum, and features a Tekno “T” incorporated in the design for added appearance. Last, but not least, the VRP battery strap machined from the same 7075 aluminum, includes a Tekno “T” design, a balancing port hole is designed into the strap, and it too is finished with a black anodized finish for added “bling”.
The VRP towers and front camber link mount are direct replacements for the stock parts, and use the stock geometry and mounting holes. The major benefit I found to these is durability and appearance. While the stock plastic towers of the EB410 are extremely beefy, the aluminum design adds a bit of rigidity and in theory will always be more durable than plastic.
The beveled design of the towers is much appreciated by carpet/turf track owners, and when asking about them, some tracks have even eliminated the need for a shock tower “cover” when using the stock or VRP towers because there is less sharp edge than a carbon fiber or some aluminum towers to catch and damage the carpet.
I have yet to encounter an issue with the stock front camber link mount, however, if you aren’t a fan of the stock Tekno bluish purplish greyish color scheme (depends on who you ask as to what color it actually appears), the VRP replacement offers a very stealthy clean look with the black anodized finish and “T” design.
The stock plastic battery brace replacement from VRP is max bling. At first glance, this of all the VRP EB410 options is the most eye-catching. Being aluminum, it is far more rigid than stock. Like many of the carbon fiber option braces available, this brace also incorporates a balancing port hole for easier in-car balance charging. Using my Venom 4500mAh Shorty LiPo pack, the port hole did not quite line up, however, this is not to say that the strap is necessarily wrong or won’t line up the balancing port more accurately with others (every battery can be a little different, so nailing a design to match them ALL is difficult).
Each of these parts, aside from the front camber link mount, replaces a stock plastic part. The rigidity of the aluminum does eliminate the flex found in the plastic counterparts, which for some could be used as a fine-tuning aid when looking to adjust the flex characteristics of the car. The aluminum is more rigid than the carbon fiber options available on the market, and therefore between the stock plastic and aftermarket carbon fiber and VRP aluminum, there is a wide range of flex tuning parts available.
The final word on VRP EB410 aluminum option parts is that on a medium traction dirt track I felt no performance differences or handling changes in the car using these parts, however, I also felt no pain or worry when slamming the wall shock tower first or barrel rolling to land upside-down over the big triple. It’s no secret the EB410 is considered by many to be a “tank” in terms of durability, and with the VRP aluminum add-ons the tank’s armor gets even tougher. I am not one to charge a battery in my car for fear if something goes wrong it will burn my buggy to ground, so the balancing port was not a major concern of mine. The rigidity of the battery brace, however, was indeed a concern as the stock plastic brace for me is a bit too flexible and can be a chore to install. All the parts are direct replacements, they keep the stock geometry, are easy to install, and fit very well. Did I mention they are bling-alicious too?
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