The Associated clutch doesn't have springs, it seems to work fine, but I changed mine over to a MIP clutch w/spring.
And my 2 cents worth on the whole AE vs. Losi thing, in my
opinion anyway, the Losi is easier to drive smoothly and is probably a better handling truck for a finesse type driver and the GT is better for the driver that has a more aggressive driving style. Yes the GT is tougher, but since we don't hit pipes or land wrong ever
durability shouldn't be a problem.
Keep in mind also, and I feel this is a big issue, is what about parts availability. If your local hobby shop carries Associated parts and not Losi parts, then I would lean toward AE.