Intech Racing ER-12M 2.0 Lite build review
There is no doubt that the ER-12M 2.0 lightweight is a good looking 2wd buggy with its milled alloy chassis, carbon towers and beautifully presented shocks. I have also found that it is very similar to the Team Durango DEX210, which is probably a good thing considering these are a popular and well regarded buggy. Over a week I set out to build the ER-12 and review it as I went about building it.
Chassis and Towers
The chassis of this car is possibly the most striking I have ever seen and it went together very well, there were no issues at all and the car feels rock solid. The chassis has braces running the full length to add strength and the shock towers are made of 5mm thick carbon fibre. The chassis and towers are for me the most impressive part of the car and if you’re seeking a solid and tough platform that can handle the big impacts then this car is most definitely for you.
The arms on this car are made of a nice strong plastic and they have very little free play. Arms feature a grub screw so that you can adjust suspension droop in the same manner you would on an on-road car. Both front and rear arms are gullwing style, however there is currently no straight arm option available for the front of these cars, which would be more suited to Australian track conditions.
The space for the electronics can be tight, depending on what electronics you are fitting into your vehicle. I found that you must use a low profile servo with this vehicle or you will really struggle to fit anything in the front other than the smallest of electronics. I have used the electronics from my stadium truck in the test vehicle and I had to lightly grind a small section of the chassis brace in order to neatly fit it all in.
Another great feature of the chassis are the Intech monogrammed brass weights which can be placed in the front to improve weight distribution. I also liked the swing away carbon fibre battery straps and alloy thumb screws which not only look great but will make battery changes quick and easy.
Steering and Suspension
Steering on the ER-12 is an all alloy and carbon fibre affair with the drag link being carbon fibre and all other components being alloy. The steering is super smooth with the servo sitting inside a frame rather than on individual mounts.
Suspension is also impressive with an all alloy body, alloy cap and red anodised collar. Shocks went together pretty much the same as any other shocker I’ve built, are smooth and do not leak a drop. The pistons are slightly oversize at 12.4mm which means that you won’t be using your big bore TLR or AE pistons in this car. I found this a little frustrating as I have a plethora of 12mm pistons which would not fit the ER-12. The stock pistons are all 6 hole of varying sizes, I have chosen to use the 1.2mm up front with 30wt oil and the 1.3mm in the back with 25wt oil.
The ER-12 comes standard with a traditional style 4 gear transmission, however a 3 gear is also available. You also have a choice of ball or gear differential and I have chosen to build our ER-12 with the 4 gear transmission and with the ball differential. The ball differential went together easily and is very smooth, but make sure you fully compress the spring before assembly. I especially liked the caged thrust bearing which is carried on the inside of the outdrives, rather than outside, where they would be more susceptible to dirt ingression. The differential rings are also keyed and sit securely on the inside of the outdrives. The differential also has an all alloy T-nut which retains the main spring on the differential, rather than a plastic one. The top shaft of the transmission on the ER-12 is an interesting setup, as it is reversed with the slipper being adjusted from the rear. Overall the driveline has no slop, moves freely and is precise.
Body and wing
The body and wing is made of a quite thick and strong polycarbonate plastic, however the cut lines were not clear around the transmission and you will need to mark your own lines. This is necessary to get the body to fit around the transmission. Once you have cut a hole for the transmission the body fits well and comes with Velcro to secure it as well as a pin arrangement. I removed the pin arrangement and will just use the Velcro around the edges of the chassis to secure it.
The kit as a whole is very good but if I was to make any changes I would like to see the instructions printed a little bigger to make them clearer and also the screws placed in bags with labels telling you their size. This would speed up the build particularly if it was your first time building an Intech vehicle. I would also like Intech to provide in their instructions the spring rate of the kit springs, the number of teeth on the kit spur and the final drive ratio to make setting the car up easier.
The whole kit went together very well and has taken about 10 hours to build. Tolerances throughout the car are precise and overall the car has little to no slop in key areas such as the arms, steering and shock mounts. Components on this car are all top notch and you certainly get a lot of standard parts that others would call hop-ups and charge you extra for.
I originally intended to build and race this car in the stock buggy class but as I built it I have come to the conclusion that it would be better suited to the modified class. The solid build and lack of smaller spur options has meant that getting the ER-12 setup for modified will be far easier than stock.
In the new year I’ll be bringing you a full race and track review of the ER-12, so bring on the 2018 season!
Rcstore.com.au are currently offering 15% off the entire Intech Racing range and throwing in free Australian postage!
If you’d like check out the full range of Intech Racing cars and products check out www.intechracing.com or to get your hands on any of the cars in the Intech Racing range, contact the Australian distributor, Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (TEL) 0408 906 326. We also need to give a huge Thankyou to the team at Intech Racing and Rcstore.com.au