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DB48 Nomad and Tekno DB48

Steve B in Vegas

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Was out filming the Nomad DB-8 yesterday for the review project, and I brought along the Tekno DB48. After filming was complete, I brought out the Tekno DB48 to run along the same course we had setup for the Nomad. The chase vehicle was a Traxxis UDR, and while it is faster and has more brute power than the Nomad, it was easy to shake off in the corners on our figure-eight track. Solid axles suck in turns.

This surface is terrible to race on, but it really tests the vehicle's ability in many aspects.

Nomad and Tekno.jpg
Well that said, I powered up the Tekno and ran a few laps. I already had a feel for the corners and speed, so it didn't take too long for me to have the Tekno DB48 pushing some real speed. If you timed the laps, the Nomad and Tekno ran very close times for me, but they felt very different. The Tekno will accept direction changes at high speed slightly better, and the performance between a sensored Tekin setup and the factory Reedy RTR setup is night and day. I think after the review I will do a Tekin setup in the Nomad.

The Tekno's suspenion felt plush and responsive, not mushy and muddy. I think as a 4s 1/8 scale motor, this Tekno DB48 would be a monster, but I wonder if I would give up some of the nimble driving I felt.

I don't have the under skirts installed, so the chassis did fill up with rocks, but I think the new truggy body on the way might help with this. There is something unique and special with this machine, and I want to spend some time to figure it out. It is different enough from the Nomad to more than likely keep in the stable. It oozes quality, and there is something to be said for that.

Here is an image from yesterday, but I don't think I can post URL links yet.
 

MAVERICK

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So In your opinion if I were to add a u4rc styled rig to my collection. Just a fun truck not for racing

Build a tekno DB48 or just get a nomad

I am not familiar with the nomads weak points but it’s a RTR so im shur it’s got some off the start needed upgrades and that ups the price point
 

Steve B in Vegas

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So In your opinion if I were to add a u4rc styled rig to my collection. Just a fun truck not for racing

Build a tekno DB48 or just get a nomad

I am not familiar with the nomads weak points but it’s a RTR so im shur it’s got some off the start needed upgrades and that ups the price point


Well, up until Losi dropped the Lasernut U4, we could have had a good conversation about comparing the Nomad against the Tekno. Losi makes that discussion now irrelevant. Get the Losi.

The Nomad is by far the best RTR on the market in this arena; hands down, period. It's an AE product; it's an amazing machine.

I'm almost complete with my 15,000 word review on the Nomad for my website. We have over 40 sessions with the Nomad and about 110 battery packs through a single Nomad ( I now own three Nomads ). I've upgraded nothing other than changing out the receiver so I can use my DX-5 Pro. The Nomad is an excellent platform.

Problem is support; it's based on discontinued models, and I get into that into great detail in the review. On my website, I also have a section of parts from other manufacturers which will work, such as driveshafts. Getting parts for the Nomad will become very tricky in the not too distant future. This is the single and only reason why I built the Tekno DB48. If the Nomad was based on the new RC8B3.2, I would not have even looked the Tekno. But it's not, thus I have a Tekno.

Last week I ordered the new Losi Lasernut for my U4. One look at that machine and I knew right away they got it right. The Rock Rey was always a compromise with the solid rear axle, and that machine for sure needs upgrades right away. Not the Nomad, and I hope not the new Lasernut from Losi.

Give me a week or so to finish up a few more photo shoots, and I will have the Nomad review posted. There are some key elements in there that you should consider before you spend you money.

My third Nomad was a "refurbished" model from Team Associated for $299. When I got the unit, I found that it's actually new in box. I think a dealer return or something. My guess is that dealers are sending them back because of slow sales. $299 is a steal, but only if you are willing to play the spare parts search game.

I have over $1000 into my Tekno DB48, and the body still fits like crap, I need to add side guards, and really it needs the M2C chassis to move the ESC in the rear; as much as I like Tekno, I hate the chassis layout. For desert buggy and desert racing, AE has the best layout with Losi a close second. Losi needs a box around that receiver; blows my mind they don't have it in a box. Even Tekno has that box. I have no idea how that receiver survived during Losi's testing, but there is an easy fit for the Losi DB Pro, so I'm hoping the Lasernut will take the same part.

So, do I suggest getting the Nomad; not really. Now that Losi Lasernut U4 exists, I can't say it's a good purchase. I love my Nomad very much. It is by far my favorite buggy to drive. I have two complete units as backups and about $1000 in spare parts for it, and a new $300 set of aluminum Motoworx beadlocks for it. I absolutely love it.

The Nomad is refined and subdue; it's not a basher powerhouse, it's not a trick machine. It's graceful, detailed, beautifully engineered, and struck with the terrible fate of being phased out.

Where does that leave the Tekno DB-48.? For me, it's a excellent machine with a few serious flaws that require more and more money to be thrown at to solve; I'm not gonna do that. Mine will be converted into a ET grass racer of some kind. We run a lot of soccer fields in my area, and that might be a neat setup. Loose grass filling up the inside won't be as problematic as rock and gravel.

The Losi will be my U4 and the Nomad will get all Tekin internals and some fun upgrades ( FT shocks, ect) and those will be my two go-to buggies.

I'm not here to give Tekno a bad time; but as I have been told more than once, they are a company of four people and they are not going to build a different chassis design. Cool, no problem. What they are doing seems to be working very well, and obviously their engineering is very good. Even as a rock racer on a groomed track, like the ones in So Cal, it's probably a great machine. But I'm done asking / suggesting a different chassis layout, and I don't feel like another $200 for an aftermarket chassis. I was close though, really close to getting that chassis. Then the Lasernut arrived. Everything's changed just that fast.

Here is the Nomad with the new beadlocks. I'm trying to talk Motoworx into making 2.2/ 3.0 beadlocks. Kiss tire glue goodbye that day.

I hope this helps. It's hard to lay it all out here, but I will post a link when my article goes live.

s
Beadlocks.jpg
 

Steve B in Vegas

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Lemme throw one more piece out there for considerations; Nomad parts on E bay. Right now there is a small flow of new parts popping up on E bay. These are almost all coming from people buying the "refurbished" models for $299, and then parting them out for easy money.

There has been a shortage of Nomad parts from AE, and now this new flow is on ebay. These parts are not parts from AE. Don't get sucked into thinking there is a new batch of spare parts at AE; not the case.

I check AE and Ebay every day on parts just to keep an eye out for a few critical hard to find items. The new parts surfacing on E bay have never been on AE's parts website recently, and they are not old dealer inventory; the parts are not in original packaging. Also you will see that the sellers are not all dealers, but individuals.

I'm not necessarily knocking this practice, but it can give a false impression that Nomad parts are readily available. Some parts are, but there are a few that are not possible to find. Things like body mounts are very hard to find, and there are some "new" body mounts on ebay. AE does not have these and I'm not sure they will ever have these back in stock.

Just food for thought.

s
 
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MAVERICK

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WOW 🤩

That is a lot of info and good info so thanks

Yes I did see the new Losi is coming out I just have not herd anything about performance/durability on it but I get that since it’s not released yet

The u4 stuff is not popular here in the mid west by me so just wanting some info

Thanks Steve
 

Billl DeLong

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Well, up until Losi dropped the Lasernut U4, we could have had a good conversation about comparing the Nomad against the Tekno. Losi makes that discussion now irrelevant. Get the Losi.

I recently looked over the manual for the U4 and it's running dated tech, which for a basher is probably no big deal, but it won't hold a candle to the performance that TEKNO will offer. Losi is also notorious for their plastic getting extremely sloppy after just a handful of runs where TEKNO tends to stay night and tight for considerably longer.

I realize that TEKNO will be more expensive to convert to a DB, but nobody else can offer the same level of quality right now of the race grade SCT kits on the market, IMO the next closest would be an In-Tech ER-SC10.
 

Nicochau

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@Steve B in Vegas ,

Not sure that is going to be of any help , but Tekno is upgrading its ET48 in the coming months. The chassis layout is one of the main improvements. You can have a look at the new EB48 2.0 in order to get a glimpse of what to expect with the awaited ET48 2.0.
 

Steve B in Vegas

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I recently looked over the manual for the U4 and it's running dated tech, which for a basher is probably no big deal, but it won't hold a candle to the performance that TEKNO will offer. Losi is also notorious for their plastic getting extremely sloppy after just a handful of runs where TEKNO tends to stay night and tight for considerably longer.

I realize that TEKNO will be more expensive to convert to a DB, but nobody else can offer the same level of quality right now of the race grade SCT kits on the market, IMO the next closest would be an In-Tech ER-SC10.


I see what you are saying Bill, and I don't think there is any question on Tekno quality. I'm only speaking from a personal perspective, but the Tekno could be made from reconstituted Faberge egg trimmings and still not work for my desert racing needs. It was a fantastic kit to build. Great engineering.

I don't want this to sound like an argument or "my team is better than your team" nonsense. It's just my personal take on the DB48 when comparing directly to the Nomad DB-8. I'm not talking racing, SCT, or any other situation. I threw the Losi U4 into the mix for this talk because I feel it to be relevant.

Tekno is using one approach for chassis layout and Losi / AE are using an another. I'm not talking low grade RTR's, but the new Losi 8xe and RC8B3.2; both very nice 1/8 race buggies and both have a much more user friendly chassis layout. Tekno doesn't have some magical secret sauce, just a different approach.

As far as outta the box RTR, there is no such thing from Tekno. So until Tekno makes one, you can't compare any RTR shortcomings to a Tekno. It's only an opinion; the market will ultimately decide.

Last time I checked there are a total of two sanctioned U4 events with one single division in So Cal. So in terms of actual groomed tracks, pretty limited options. I have read that Rich was very successful with his DB-48 on those tracks, and they are very nice tracks. I have also communicated with Rich a number of times, and he has been very helpful. With the finish DB-48 in my hands, I can see why he did what he did; it's a very nice U4 Racing machine.

Unless you're racing on a track for U4, and I don't know any locations closer than a 3 hour drive for me, that leaves desert / outlaw races ( my favorite ). Mud, sand, rocks, dry river beds, construction sites, gravel, wet grass, and a few puddles if we can find them.

My issues with the Tekno:

1. Chassis layout - From my last talk with them the previous week; not gonna be changed. I'm just a random nobody, so I'll probably be the last to know if there is something in the works. I'm not spending another $200 for an aftermarket chassis. It's not the cost, it's the principal.

2. Body - The DB48 relies on the AE Nomad DB8 body and custom mounts. The Nomad already has one foot in the dust bin of history for AE and I don't see new bodies and cages being made much longer. That leaves you fitting other bodies and cages. Of course it can be done. There are plenty of skilled fabricators who can knock that out, for more money. Without rock guards around the sides and behind the front tires, it's a big green rock collecting machine. I should call mine The Geologist" with all rocks it collected. So, aftermarket body, mounts, hardware, rock guards adds another $100 to your DB48.

My thoughts are to try the ET body and rework some mounts and add a wing, then re-evaluate. If that makes the body mounting cleaner and not so "custom", then I will add in some dirt and rock guards around the ESC. The ET body should fit tighter around the chassis. From there, another evaluation. I'm not ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. But I will absolutely find a different path than the Nomad body / cage / mounts.

With the Losi, I fully expect to need to make changes and upgrades; it's a sub $500 RTR. I think most people expect this to some degree or another. If I could spend $500 and get Tekno quality throughout the entire rolling chassis, with electronics and a body (!), I think Tekno would have a really, really big problem.

That said, all the key elements are there right from the start with the Losi; you're not custom fitting or fabricating anything. Chassis layout is good, body is nice, 3s / 4s outta the box is also pretty nice. Plug in the battery and go. Upgrade as needed; you're still less half the price of a DB48.

The diamond in the rough is the Nomad. That machine needs just standard maintenance and nothing else. Even the OEM tires are surprisingly good. Problem is that the future is in the very title of the buggy; "Limited Edition."

Just my thoughts.
 

Steve B in Vegas

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@Steve B in Vegas ,

Not sure that is going to be of any help , but Tekno is upgrading its ET48 in the coming months. The chassis layout is one of the main improvements. You can have a look at the new EB48 2.0 in order to get a glimpse of what to expect with the awaited ET48 2.0.

That's a good looking machine for sure, and I do like the chassis update. I did the same with my power switch; I just glued it to the side of the ESC; too funny. Looks like there is a little room to move the battery for more space between it and the drive shaft. Wonder if the ESC could be moved with a custom mounting plate. Would have to see how much room there would be under the ET body.

s
 

Steve B in Vegas

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My hope is that the ET evolution of this machine results in something I'm happy with. Again, the engineering details are all there and Tekno's customer service is superb. I just want something a little different than what is currently offered. I just got the Leadfinger ET body in, and I really like it. Waiting on the mounting hardware and rear wing.

If I am fortunately enough to land on the right path, I will add my take on the build with a list of parts. It might help others thinking on this same build.

s
 

Steve B in Vegas

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Take a look at this thread, and skip to the end: https://www.rctech.net/forum/electric-off-road/1070473-losi-lasernut-u4-2.html

A few have pointed out that the U4 shocks take the hit and not the chassis. Bill mentioned a few ways to get around this. Interestingly, same thing happens on the Tekno DB48 build. As you see my Tekno db48 in this photos on this thread, I have 1/4" of chassis clearance off the ground with the shocks bottomed out.

So, I will work on this with Tekno and see what we can figure out.

s
 
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Steve B in Vegas

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Update,

So after pulling the test mounts and Nomad body, I fit a Leadfinger Et body to the truck, and right away it makes more sense to me. With rock guards on the back to protect the rear shocks and a-arms, I will add bit of velcro to the sides to keep the body tight to the chassis.

I will make a pair of rock guards to go behind the front tires, on the inside of the body.

If I can keep the debris down from getting inside the truck, and protect the ESC, I think this might be the path that works for me. I want to get it on our desert track this weekend to see how it feels. Something about the long chassis appeals to me.

ET Fit 1.jpg
ET Fit 2.jpg
 

Steve B in Vegas

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WOW 🤩

That is a lot of info and good info so thanks

Yes I did see the new Losi is coming out I just have not herd anything about performance/durability on it but I get that since it’s not released yet

The u4 stuff is not popular here in the mid west by me so just wanting some info

Thanks Steve

Mav,

Here is my Nomad review: http://www.mojavevalleyrcadventures.com/nomad-db---8.html

I'm still working with the Tekno and figuring out the final layout. Hopefully my new test parts arrive soon and I can get it back on the track.
 

Steve B in Vegas

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Well I'm vexed.

Have the new Losi Lasernut U4 and I'm in an interesting position and wanted to give an update here.

On our new desert track, the Lasernut handles superbly. Gobbles up rock and nasty chunk amazingly well.

That said, the build quality is a very long ways away from the Nomad, and not even in the same discussion as with the Tekno. The gap in quality is so considerable that I felt compelled to come back to this thread.

I had commented to Bill that with the price of the Lasernut ( to my door at $520 ) and with another $500 in upgrades, it would hang with the Tekno. At this point, I'm not so sure and I think Bill's point is going to prove out to be true; the Tekno is just that much better. A $1000 Lasernut is not a $1000 Tekno.

I think it comes down to maintenance and part quality. The Lasernut feels absolutely Chinese all the way. I'm busy pouring money into it to change out as many parts as I can, and a handful with be Tekno items, but the diffs are absolute junk. Bulkheads are also blah, and the steel quality is one step above pot metal or slag.

It's a beast on the track, but I don't see it surviving what my Nomad did for very long.


s
Lasernut Dirt Track 48.jpg
 

MAVERICK

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Sad to hear that the build quality is not up to par. I know a lot of people ( self included ) were excited for the Lasernut come to life.

But on the good side glad to see Tekno is still at the top of the pile when it comes to build quality and toughness
 

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