Is there a future for solid axle monster trucks?

Jan 20, 2011 6 Comments by

I am a big time fan of solid axle monster trucks and can remember seeing a lot of them in the pages of RC Car Action back in the day. Most of them were based on the Tamiya Clodbuster and they showed up in many different configurations. The race trucks were always my favorite and I’ve built a lot of them through the years. Unlike other types of racing vehicles, it seems like solid axle monster trucks haven’t gone very far design wise. Racing Clods were and still seem to be the most popular trucks to build. It just seems like everyone is just making minor tweaks here and there when a new chassis kit is released. The last time we saw a bit of a change up in solid axle design was when Kyosho released their Mad Force line of trucks and that was years ago. The Mad Force trucks do have good performance when you compare them to other solid axle trucks but I still think there’s major room for improvement. I would love to see some of the big companies take a stab at making a solid axle truck with modern plastics and design. Softer tires would do a lot to improve the handling of these trucks, especially the mod Clods. There are still a lot of clubs out there that run side by side monster truck races with Clods and they have a strict rule on the tires that you can use on these trucks. Why? I’ve been told that they want the trucks to look like real monster trucks. Have you ever looked at modified Clodbuster? Does it look like a real monster truck? The tires that you are able to use on those trucks don’t offer up much grip and the rubber compound is wicked hard. When running with these tires, you’re struggling to keep the truck in the lanes (which are very narrow) and the hard compound rubber causes the truck to bounce around a lot more than they would if a softer compound was used. RC4WD released a realistic looking racing tire that meets the specifications listed in the rule books and is a step in the right direction. Electric power is growing and so are electric powered vehicles; we’re seeing new designs popping up all the time. Will we ever see someone come out with a new solid axle truck design? I sure hope so. If you design it, they will come.

 

Featured News, Kevin Hetmanski

About the author

Simply put, I’m all about nitro. Well, almost. I’m down with electric for crawlers and some indoor racing, but if you really want to get my attention, it better make some smoke and noise. I’m a regular racer and I usually go with 1/8-scale buggy and truggy. When I’m not racing, I am usually fabricating custom parts and even entire vehicles.

6 Responses to “Is there a future for solid axle monster trucks?”

  1. TamiyaTim says:

    Heck yes!! I wish HPI would have done a 1/10 scale wheely king… I do like the new Traxxas Monster Jam tires, but they’re still not the right shape or scale… need to be wider and more round… I’d really like to see some plastic, realistic beadlock planetary style rims, in a strong compound like RPM nylon…
    Independent suspension is cool, but not what I want to see on a Monster Truck… I wanna see links and pumpkins!

  2. Kevin Hetmanski says:

    You can pick up wheels just like you are asking for. RC4WD makes them.

  3. scoobyvoodoo says:

    With the growing popularity in “scale” R/C I would think so. Someone should come out with a new solid axle monster though. The Clod is definately an all time great as is the TXT-1. It’s gonna be hard to beat the TXT though for scale solid axle appeal. Independent suspension monsters just dont do it for me. It has to have solid axles or to me it just isn’t a true monster truck.
    It seems that it would be a less complicated task designing a new solid axle rig compared to an independent suspension setup too. If “scale” is the direction most are after (which were trending towards) then it should have a center tranny setup similar to the TXT or Axial SCX10 line ups. Solid axles all the way!!!!

  4. Ben says:

    I’d love to see improvements to the 10th scale solid axle monster truck scene (If we had the backing of a large company we could make quite a special axle kit).

    As far as the scale looks go I do think tire to rim ratio needs to be kept in scale proportion. Low profile tires on huge rims is despicable on an MT. ;) Keep the form and scale true to real monster trucks. I agree our chassis’ are not that scale looking when you just look at the chassis, but overall most clod based trucks do appear far more scale looking than some other segments of the sport/hobby.

    Also, about softer tires. When racing on carpet, side by side, tight course, you need some give. Team PRP has been the nrctpa world champs several times and the best tires for the world champs are firm tires. Firm tires that have been worn down or shaved down to cut weight and add some pliability without adding too much traction. They allow some give in the corners without rolling your truck. You have to remember that these mod clods are 7-8 pounds with large tires and a large contact patch, so the more grip you have on carpet the easier they can traction roll. We already have our mod clods slammed to the ground and the weight low on the chassis and tires with too much grip can flip these trucks far easier than other classes. And that is part of the fun. The RC4WD Tires are getting close, but they don’t quite look right and they are heavy. I will admit I have not tested them on carpet yet so they may work well. However, I do agree that for racing on dirt, new softer tires would probably be a very good thing.

  5. member1329060519 says:

    I like the scale look of the monster truck and other vehicles. i used to have a clod zilla 2 and i will be building a new clod this year. I was in hobby town usa and i told them about my clod zilla. they looked at me funny and said that is way to old school. then they give me the rundown on traxxas.which i looked at. the summit is a awesome truck and other traxxas stuff is awesome. alot of it is race ready. also they said all traxxas is rtr. Which i am old school, i like to build my own trucks. Tamiya is more old school than traxxas. but Tamiya has always been good and tough. Traxxas has alot more built in than tamiya, but they focus more on racing. tamiya is updating more.i think it depends on the person, because nobody could go wrong with traxxas or tamiya. if somebody wanted a big all around monster truck that is really fast and handles like like a short course truck, then the summit is the best choice. if they want a monster truck that is brutal and can take a beating and be be upgraded unlimited then build a clod zilla or txt1.
    iI used to have a 2wd stampede with 17 turn motor that was pretty quick, but i love to drive a old school black foot.
    There is a market for solid axle trucks and i look rc to grow like it did in the 80′s because rc cars is cheaper than the fullsize version

  6. KevinatFMS says:

    1/10 scale modern day representation of solid axle monster:

    ~RTR wheely king
    ~HPI crawler king lower links & upper 3rd links
    ~HPI crawler king lower link mounts & shocks(black springs)
    ~HPI crawler king driveshafts
    ~Traxxas Monster Jam body of your choice
    ~Tamiya Clodbuster wheels with Traxxas Stampede rear wheels glued into backsides of Clod wheel
    ~RC4WD “rumble” monster truck tires
    ~CKRC front axle mounted servo mount
    ~RC4WD rear axle lockout
    ~32p pinion/spur gears
    ~CKRC aluminum transmission gears
    ~Traxxas VXL brushless system w/ 2s LiPo battery for slap wheely fun

    basics for a solid axle, scale 1/10 monster truck and pretty durable.

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