Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Xray XB808 to 808E brushless conversion.

Over the last couple of seasons it has slowly dawned on me that I am not likely to become a 1/10 off road world champion any time soon.
Whilst I fully intend to pursue this thus far unattainable ambition I have decided to see if my talents might be suited to another class.

Regular readers will know that I am the proud owner of an immaculate Xray 808 nitro buggy which has been gathering dust in the man cave. 
I love this car but the need for a pit man means any form of gas racing really is a two man class. Being a bit of a grumpy old bugger I don't really like to trawl around the pits begging favours from fellow racers so the only solution if I want to go 1/8 racing is electric power.
Turn it on, put it down and race!

So dear readers I am off 1/8 electric buggy racing.

First job, strip down the old girl and decide on the way forward.
Out with the (just run in) motor, fuel tank, electrics and throttle/brake assembly.
I will wrap these up and store them carefully, I refuse to butcher any of them as I may well convert back at some point.

(Click on any image for gallery)

The next job was to decide how to go about the conversion, this will be largely dictated by price as this is going to be done on a budget, cos I'm a bit tight and I might not like it.

There are many dedicated conversions around but the Integy kit caught my eye for two reasons, price and colour. At around $50 dollars shipped from the States it fitted my budget and as a Schumacher boy purple suited me just fine.
HMRC even allowed it through without charging me import duty. . . Result! 

It's a fairly basic kit comprising what you see in the picture.
A one piece motor mount. A plastic battery box which, I was pleased to discover, will accommodate 2x 7.4v stick packs wired in series to give 14.8v 4s.
This mounts to a supplied plate which in turn mounts to the original motor mounting holes. 

There are no instructions supplied but it's fairly idiot proof . . . which is a relief!

The rest of the kit is kinda useless as the velcro straps are too short, the 15t pinion too small (for my chosen motor) and some of the fasteners incorrect.
Nevertheless I would still consider this decent value at the price paid.

The first thing I did was make up 3 plates out of some carbon fibre sheet I had. The first was to replace the front part of the electrics plate from the nitro configuration, it was needed to brace the top of the original servo mounts and would double as receiver mounting plate.
It would be possible just to cut the original but, as previously mentioned, I wanted to keep the original parts so I can swap back and forth.

The second was a plate to replace the centre diff top plate, not necessary but kinda cool
The third was a plate to which I could mount the esc so that I could remove it without having to re-tape it every time.

The speedo I decided on was a sensored Hobbywing Xerun. I have used HW speedos for some years now in all types of car and love them so saw no reason to choose anything else. 
The 80a was chosen as it is rated for motors up to 2400kv, all the research I have done suggests this is perfectly adequate for 1/8 buggy racing.

I adapted the power leads to suit my cell configuration and in it went.
It looks pretty cool too.

The esc can be programmed from the switch or via the HW LCD program box.

It also comes with pre-soldered 4mm corally connectors, useful for post race tear downs and cleaning.

I did as much research as I could regarding my choice of motor.
It seems 1900kv is a popular choice for racing which, it is said, gives decent controllable power with good run time. 
I guess I will find out soon enough.

Now, I have seen 1/8 motors retailing for anything up to £140 . . Crivens! I think not 
Parsimony, or as I prefer to call it good sense, prompted my choice of a 1900kv Turnigy Trackstar sensored motor from Hobbyking, at only $52.99 they look to be a bargain. (Link)
On arrival the quality seemed good and, although I have only run it up and down the street thus far (without a sensor lead) I stand by that opinion.

Bit of a colour clash with the motor mount.
The conversion kit came with a 15t pinion which was not right for my chosen motor so I ordered up a 20t to get me started, it shouldn't be too far away..
NB. These are Module 1 pinions.

Whilst I was spending I treated myself to a nice clamping alloy servo horn, in Hobbywing blue.

It was a pleasure installing all my new goodies.
Everything went together nicely and I've managed to end up with a fairly clean install.
I am still waiting on the sensor lead as, due to the layout, I needed to order one 300mm long.

The Spektrum receiver fits perfectly on my carbon plate as does the little purple aerial mount supplied in the kit.

I was concerned that my buggy was going to end up a bit of a leviathon but when I dropped it on the scales I was pleased to discover it weighed just 3368 grammes, or about 7lbs 8oz for those of you across the pond.
This was with wheels and tyres and 2 x 5800mah packs but without body shell.

The last thing to decide was which body shell to opt for.
More research suggested that my best choice would be a shell designed for the Losi 8ight 2.0E.
I found the FTW Exabyte shell distributed in the UK by Schumacher (Link) and decided to take a gamble.

I'm glad I did as on arrival it turned out to be a perfect fit, comfortably clearing all the electrics and looking pretty cool doing it.

I busted out the trusty Iwata and set about applying the PipskiRacing colours.

And I'm loving the result.

It's been an enjoyable project, I hope it's as much fun to drive.

If you have any questions or tips to help me with my foray into the world of the 1/8 ebuggy please go ahead and get in touch HERE.

So watch out Ryan Lutz, Jared Tebo et al, I'm electrified now and you never know, this might just be the class I've been looking for!

No need to worry just yet though I'll be starting small, probably at my local club Adur, I'll let you know how it goes.

Oh and by the way I'm not that grumpy so if you see me come and say hello.


  1. Nice, you'll have to let me know how it goes mate. Looks sweet. Good luck, but hope you'll keep coming to TORCH :)

    Jon M