A couple of people asked me recently, or I’ve seen posts asking how to build a 1/8th Late Model car. With parts for the L8ight and OFNA cars becoming impossible to find, The biggest challenges to building a Late Model are really the front bumper (which you definitely need unless you want to trash your expensive body, quickly) and a rear Bumper / Body Mount.
Back in 2010 I built a late model with help from friends. I was new to the hobby and this would be my first Nitro car.
Basically you can start with any 1/8th Buggy and add bumpers. GT Cars are a great place to find bumpers, with Serpent and Mugen having GT Cars. Kyosho GT1/GT2 and soon to be GT3.
At the time I ran Team Associated cars in my first year or two of racing (I got started in this hobby again in 2009).
I took a used RC8 RTR chassis from Ebay. It started off looking like this initially, with bumpers mounted:
Back in 2010, Horizon still distributed parts for the L8ight chassis. So it was easy for me to build this car…
For the Rear body mounts, I initially just drilled two holes into the rear tower, to mount the stock L8ight Rear Mounts as shown above.
The Front bumper and Body mounts and mounted right on the front tower at the top (I don’t think I had to drill any holes). The bottom, with a little dremeling would insert where the old RC8 front bumper went.
Turns out the front bumper would lower mount would only last 1 race before tearing out. I had to come up with a more solid solution, which worked well (So well in fact, that a buddy at the time had the same issues with his Xray conversion – did the same thing).
I took a piece of Aluminum (from Home Depot/Ace Hardware) and just drilled it out where the front 4 diff mount holes went. then 4 into the bumper. Rock Solid!!!
From the picture above you can see there was a different rear bumper installed. The rear bumper really helps you from being rear ended and having another LM inserted into your car 😉
This bumper came from OnStat. Pretty solid item that bolted into the Rear Tower (I had to drill holes for it). You can see below I then mounted the Rear Body mounts directly into the Onstat bumper (Had to drill holes for that also).
1/8th NITRO Late Models are pretty tricky to race – which puts most people off. BUT THE REWARDS are endless – Noise, Smoke, Going Slide-ways !!!!
I was very lucky to have good friends Dan Moss and Bob Foley help me find my Nitro Wings !
The biggest challenge is keeping the motor running and not running out of fuel. (Your Track Rules may vary on how you can achieve this).
I ran a Truggy tank from an RC8T that bolt right on. The other challenge is keeping the motor from overheating after 5mins of basically full throttle. In general you’ll run it very fat, and by 5mins it’ll be good and lean…and toasty hot, but should be still making power.
You can see from the above picture I also made a middle 5th body mount that helps stop your expensive 1/8th LM body from crumpling in the middle – Also makes the car easy to carry.
I ran the C&M Atomic body which I think looks really authentic. Custom wraps came from a buddy at RC Vinyl Express.
Here is a pic of the car completed, before its first race in 2010.
The Scheme is based off Earl Pearson Jr’s 2010 1:1 Late Model:
Rolling forward to 2016-2017. I’m running LM again, this time an L8ight from Ebay. But by the end of 2017 , I plan to build an Kyosho MP9 based car using the Front Bumper and Rear mounts from the soon to be released Kyosho GT3. Here is my current car as of June 2017.
I had Adam at RC Vinyl inverse the colors and keep with the similar design. Again Earl Pearson, I think from 2011:
My 2017 Car: