The shock absorbers on the M18T Pro are the same shocks as used on the older car - as far as I can tell. All plastic in construction and with pre-installed and non-rebuildable shock seals. They aren't the highest spec units around, especially given their 'pro' status of the car. Having said that, the size of these little cars mean that even plastic shocks can do a great job as long as the damping and spring rates are spot on - so I reserved judgement until I'd raced the car.
As already mentioned - the shock bodies come with seals pre-installed from the inside, and there doesn't appear to be any way to remove them for maintenance. On a 10th scale buggy this would be pretty much unforgivable - but micro cars aren't generally subject to such extreme conditions I guess.
The plastic parts all come on large plastic 'parts trees' but snap off easily leaving no real scalpel work to be done, even on the pistons. And speaking of pistons - two are provided, a soft - which is suggested in the manual, and a harder one with less holes - I kept things exactly as kit here, despite knowing the car would be likely too soft for the tracks I would be running on.
Two pistons are supplied - the one on the left is recommended in the build manual, but the harder one on the right is far more useful.
The shocks are simple to build since the user has no real involvement with the seals.
There are only enough e-clips for the shocks - no extras. So if you lose one during the build, which is quite easy to do, then you're in trouble! I lost one twice during the shock build, one remained in the bag after emptying the contents (and caused a 5 minute desperate search) and the other got lost in the fibres of my pit towel for a while!
The shocks build up quickly - due partly to the pre-assembled seals in the bodies. With the supplied 1000cst oil inside, the rubber diaphrams are installed, followed by the top caps. The top caps have a hole for excess oil to exit, making it quite easy to get a nice smooth action in the dampers.
Xray supply some black springs which feel OK with the supplied oil and pistons - a little too soft for indoor carpet racing maybe.
Anti roll bars are supplied in the kit for both ends of the car - not something I'd normally use on a 10th scale buggy but very welcome here as most of the tracks I'd be racing on will be indoor carpet tracks.
The M18T Pro doesn't come with any electrics of any sort - being a 'pro' race car. I'm not vastly experienced with this scale of racing and wasn't sure what I'd have to get until I discovered the 'power pack PRO' that Xray conveniently also sell.
The 'power pack PRO' comes with 370 sized motor, 1400mah battery pack, 300R reversable ESC and a fast metal geared micro servo. Leaving you to supply your own transmitter / reciever and charger etc - which was exactly what I was looking for.
The M18T Pro comes with a range of four plastic pinions for the motor, ranging from 9 to 12 teeth - and these push onto the motor shaft quite snugly, securing with a grub screw. The motor shaft on the supplied motor is smooth, with no 'flat spot' for the pinion grub screw to lock onto. This didn't seem quite right to me, so I made a small flat area to give an extra sturdy mount and stop things slipping under the rigors of racing!
The motor mounts to a nice chunky alloy motor mount. This slides in an alloy channel that's bolted to the main chassis, and allows the pinion/spur mesh to be finely tuned before a couple more screws lock the motor in place.
The servo supplied in the 'Power Pack PRO' is labled XMS 01-MG - not much to be gained from that, but its metal geared which is exactly what's needed for racing. Still - to protect things further, Xray supply a great servo saver which uses two metal rings for a nice stiff action.
The instructions supplied with the servo indicate it needs the top of the inner tab filing down slightly to clear the centre prop shaft. I test fitted the servo and it will just fit under the shaft - so only a very small ammount of material needs removing to prevent any friction between the two.
With the servo mounted in the chassis - the M18T Pro really feels 'all business'. There's virtually no slop in any of the parts but no binding either. The only complaint about the servo is the length of the wire - which is far-far too long for this little car.
The servo just barely squeezes under the shaft
a small amount of material needs removing for the servo to fit under the centre shaft