Ultimate Test: Team Losi LST

11/17/2004 by John Howell

Provider Name:  RC Car Action

Issue:  November 2004

Copyright:©2004 Air Age Media

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In this article...

Page 1: Intro
(continued from previous page)


If there's an RTR on the market today that comes with a better radio, we haven't come across it. The fully synthesized XS3 allows you to dial in 30 channels, and its impressive list of features includes: adjustable multipoint throttle curves, dual-rate steering, 6-model memory, adjustable exponential and a very accessible third-channel button for shifting the LST into reverse. Other features include a lap timer that can record up to 50 laps and a "Throttle Deadband Adjustment" that eliminates the backlash found in mechanical throttle linkages. JR's RS300 receiver is included with the radio.

The Z590M metal-gear servo has 85 oz.-in. of torque with a transit speed of 0.15 second. That's a pretty impressive spec, and it's even more notable that the truck comes with two of them to handle steering duties.

The JR Z270 servo is above average for an RTR vehicle. It has 49 oz.-in. of torque and a transit speed of 0.19 second. According to JR, this nylon-gear servo has new, widely spaced bearings for increased precision. It's the perfect fit for throttle/brake and reverse selection.

Team Losi's handheld Spin Start allows you to easily fire up the bigblock .26 with just one push of a button. An internal holder that secures the hex-drive shaft during transportation is a nice touch.

CHASSIS. The LST has a unique dual-deck chassis. The main chassis is a 2.5mm aluminum plate between the front and rear shock towers, and underneath it, front, rear and center skids (each also made of 2.5mm aluminum plate) provide additional support. Molded braces tie all the pieces together, and once assembled, the chassis is completely flex-free. Attention to detail is found everywhere on the chassis; for example, there are cutouts (complete with protective rings) for routing servo wires, and a clip holds the wiring to the chassis for the receiver battery lead. The electronics are easily accessible: the throttle/brake and reverse servos are mounted topside, as is the receiver (in a clear radio box). When you pick up the truck and look underneath, you'll see the twin steering servos and receiver-pack cradle. The LST comes from the factory with a 4-cell, AA receiver-pack holder. We recommend that you ditch that setup in favor of a true, 5-cell NiMH receiver pack. The onboard electronics soak up juice faster than you can say, "Hey, my truck is headed for that brick wall." In all seriousness, it took only one decent run using dry cells before we noticed a significant reduction in performance.

SUSPENSION AND STEERING. The LST is equipped with a double-wishbone suspension and 4 massive shocks. The front and rear lower arms feature a "swept" design, and the fixed-length upper wishbones means no camber adjustments. Holes in both sets of the upper arms accept Losi's optional swaybars, and at each end of the suspension-arm pairing is a large, nonadjustable C-hub. Although there aren't a lot of suspension settings for tuning the truck, it works very well in stock trim; Team Losi must have spent a lot of time getting the geometry right before committing to the angles. Given the LST's heft and its massive tires, the suspension arms look suspiciously narrow, but we'll reserve judgment until we've finished pounding on the truck.

The steering system is unique on the LST because it uses two steering servos instead of just one, and they are strong ones at that. Twin JR-Z590 metal-gear servos work in unison to turn the huge tires and wheels. The spec on the Z590 isn't too shabby: 85 oz.-in. of torque with a transit speed of 0.15 second. Not bad for stock gear, huh? The two servos are connected by a dual-bellcrank steering system. Each servo is outfitted with a servo-saver to protect the gears, and heavy-duty steel turnbuckles connect the bellcranks to the outer hub.

One interesting feature that a lot of people overlook is the option to set up the LST with true 4-wheel steering. According to Team Losi's Richard Trujillo (who, like us, also happens to be a rock-crawling fiend), the conversion can be done using stock parts. Team Losi designed the truck with this option in case all of the rock crawlers out there needed more steering. Trujillo also told us that after driving the truck at top speed, he just couldn't imagine anyone wanting to run it with rear steering because at higher speeds, it would be too twitchy.

ENGINE AND ACCESSORIES. A revamped Dynamite Mach .26 engine powers the LST. This 7-port engine has true ABC construction, and its dualneedle slide carb uses two O-rings to seal it against the block. A throttlereturn spring will close the carb in the event you lose radio signal or power to the servos, or if the linkage is disconnected. Other features include a 10-fin heat-sink head to help cool the engine and a dual foam-element air filter to trap dirt before it enters the carb.

The LST uses a shaft-starter. The Spin Start unit is powered by a 6-cell pack and uses a gear-reduction system and a large electric motor to crank the big powerplant over. In a pinch, you can also chuck the hex drive into a drill and fire the engine up that way.

Satisfying the big engine's need for fuel is a large, 171cc fuel tank that sits directly behind the engine. It's very accessible through a large opening on the bed of the truck body, and its features include an O-ring sealed cap (with a small handle that makes it easy to open), a sealed primer, a "dam" that directs spilled fuel away from the chassis and an external filter to keep the fuel debris-free. The LST also comes with a nice aluminum tuned pipe and header.

BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES. The LST is topped off with a painted, Fordesque body that's available in blue or red. The side of the body is flexible enough to move out of the way when you slide your hand "under the hood" to switch between high and low gears. Losi tooled up some new monster meats, and the large Claw tires feature an aggressive tread design. Firm foam inserts support the huge, 7-inch tires.

The LST comes with a doublewishbone suspension, mated to a single, oversize aluminum shock. The shocks look massive when alongside standard 1.10-scale shocks.
Left: to steer this big beast, Losi uses 2, JR Racing metalgear Z590M servos linked by means of a bellcrank.
Left: the receiver pack is mounted underneath the truck inside this cradle. In stock trim, the LST comes with a 4-cell holder, but we highly recommend that you upgrade immediately to a longer lasting, more powerful, 5-cell NiMH receiver pack.


DISTRIBUTED BY Horizon Hobby Distributors
PRICE $600 Varies with dealer

Wheelbase 14.2 in. (361mm)
Width 18.5 in. (470mm)

Total, as tested 208 oz. (5,897g)

Type Dual-deck stamped plate (with plastic cross-braces)
Material 6061 aluminum

Type Full-time, shaft-driven 4WD (with high/low tranny)
Primary Steel clutch bell/plastic spur gears
Center driveshafts Steel CV-style shafts
Drive axles Hardened-steel
CV-style shafts
Differentials Sealed bevel-gear
Bearing type Rubber-sealed, shielded ball bearing

Type Lower A-arm with upper wishbone
Shocks Blue-anodized aluminum body

Type One-piece, chrome-plated plastic
Tires Team Losi Claw MT tread with firm foam inserts

Engine Dynamite Mach .26
Carburetor 2-needle slide
Exhaust Team Losi aluminum
tuned pipe and header
Fuel tank 171cc, primer equipped

Transmitter/receiver JR Racing
XS3 Synthesized Transmitter; JR’sRS300 receiver is included with the radio

Servos JR Z590M steering servos, JR Z270 throttle and shifting servos Receiver pack Not included

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