RC Car Action Membership Site http://www.rccaraction.com/members RC Car Action Membership Site Wed, 15 Oct 2014 19:27:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 TRINITY D4 17.5T BRUSHLESS MOTOR http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/trinity-d4-17-5t-brushless-motor-4/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=trinity-d4-17-5t-brushless-motor-4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/trinity-d4-17-5t-brushless-motor-4/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:05:00 +0000 The RC Car Action Team http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/trinity-d4-17-5t-brushless-motor-4/ TRIED · TESTED · TORTURED

Better, faster, stronger!

Looking at the D4's motor can there's no question as to why it's lighter than its predecessor. The large cutouts on the endplate and the narrow slits on the can greatly aid in cooling while saving weight.

All the parts of the D4 are made with high-grade materials and precise tolerances. The entire motor is held together via five screws with all the pieces fitting together like a puzzle, interlocking to form a solid unit.

Every since I began racing in the early 1990s, Trinity has been known for producing some of the fastest brushed racing motors around. That still holds true today with brushless power and the company's latest is called the D4. Trinity's previous D3.5 had an impressive list of features and a résumé that included wins at the U.S. Oval Masters, multiple regional championships, and domination at the prestigious Snow-bird Nationals. With the D4, Trinity has further honed its top competition motor to trim a few grams, increase precision, and hopefully keep the wins coming.


  • Item no.: TEP1702

  • Price: $99.99

  • Motor can: 540 size

  • Spec motors: 13.5, 17.5, 21.5 and 25.5 (VTA)

  • Modified motors: 2.5T through 9.5T

  • Input voltage: 7.4V

  • Length: 51.15mm

  • Can diameter: 36.18mm

  • Shaft diameter: 3mm

  • Weight: 171 grams


Lighter 3-Piece Can. As soon as you take it out of the box, you will immediately notice the attractive motor can finished off in gunmetal gray with the endbell finished off in trademark Trinity purple. Any unnecessary material that wasn't needed on the motor can and the end cap was omitted, which makes the D4 eight grams lighter than the D3.5. The generous amount of cooling vents incorporated into the 3-piece can design ensure temps stay low during extreme racing.

New stator Design. The high-temperature pure copper wire used in the D4 winds resist motor failure due to over-heating in extreme conditions. To avoid any confusion if the D4 is ROAR legal, the copper wiring is of certified wire gauge. The silver-plated solder tabs easily soak up solder for a solid connection to the speed control.

Improved Endbell Design. The endbell features an infinite actual timing adjustment that can easily be accomplished by loosening two screws. Once tightened, the new open bearing 2-screw endbell design on the D4 better aligns the rotor in the stator over the D3.5's closed bearing 3-screw design for predictable consistency and efficient performance.

D3.5 KillShot Rotors. One thing that was carried over from the D3.5 is the D4's compatibility with D3.5 KillShot rotors. Constructed of super-strong neodymium rare earth magnets, the tried and true D3.5 rotor helps the D4's bottom end grunt and top speed. Trinity's proven D3.5 rotor options include different high torque and high rpm versions.


Changing the timing on the D4 is as simple as loosening two screws. Turning the endbell counterclockwise will increase the timing and vice versa. The timing adjustment numbers are clearly marked on the can for precise adjustments.

The D4 is easy to mount in most RC car applications. If the large vent hole on the end cap needs to be rotated to a different position, simply remove three can screws.

I installed the D4 in off-road and on-road cars for a thorough test. When installing the D4 into my TLR 22 2.0 buggy, I had to remove the three can screws to rotate the mounting endplate counterclockwise. This moved the endplate's large vent hole to the side and put the mounting holes in the top and bottom position. For on-road testing, I installed the D4 into my TeamC TC10 sedan that required the endplate to be rotated once again to the stock position.


  • ⊕ Best of features of the D3.5 with an improved stator and can design

  • ⊕ Attractive, functional design

  • ⊕ Easy to work on and adjust


  • ⊝ May need to rotate the nose plate to fit certain vehicles


Off-Road Testing

I couldn't finish the photo shoot fast enough so I could get the D4 on the track for testing. My first stop was SDRC Raceway in Miramar, CA. The 17.5T 2WD buggy class is my favorite class and it was lucky for me that I had a shiny new D4 in my motor arsenal. I decided to the D4 box stock (30 degree timing) with the same gearing (5.87:1) as the previous 17.5T motor I had installed. On the track, the D4 had a ton of low end power allowing me to clear any jump on the track and exploded when coming out of turns. On the back straight though, the D4 was down on top speed which lead me to believe I was under geared. Temping the motor at 108-degrees confirmed it was definitely under geared. Before I went to a bigger pinion gear, I bumped up the timing on the D4 to 50-degrees of timing, which is the maximum that Trinity recommends. Back on the track, the D4 came to life with more power everywhere on the track. Motor temps came up to 134 degrees, which would allow the D4 to be geared higher, but I liked the balance of power too much I decided not to.

On-Road Testing

For on-road testing, I headed 20 minutes south to Heritage RC Park in Chula Vista, CA, where their on-road program on their permanent track is thriving. For timing and gearing, I decided to go with Trinity's recommendations for timing and gearing. I was looking forward to seeing how the D4 would hold up in an on-road sedan, because unlike off-road racing, on-road demands motors to be at maximum rpm for longer periods of time. On the track, it's always impressive seeing how fast a 17.5T brushless motor can really be, especially down a long straight reaching speeds of 30+mph. In the D4's case, it was faster than the typical 17.5T and closer to 13.5T speeds. Just like on the dirt, the D4 settled in quick to the various sections of the on-road track. Straightaway speeds were really impressive and equally impressive was how the D4 maintained consistent speed throughout a full 5-minute run.


I have had previous experience with D3.5 17.5T and 13.5T, so I had a good benchmark to judge the D4 against. On the track, the D4 is instantly competitive with the potential to trim your lap times. The motor is responsive to timing changes, and rewards tuning time with high performance. Throughout testing, the D4 never got above 140 degrees thanks to generous amount of vent holes in the can, though the venting does present the potential for dirt and grit to get into the motor — I'll keep an eye on it. The motor's cutaway design may also require additional wrenching to properly orient the motor on the motor plate while keeping the solder tabs in the best location for your car, but it's a small price to pay to get premium horsepower in your ride. Time will tell how successful the D4 is with race wins, but based on my testing, you can expect to see Trinity's pros taking their D4s onto podiums soon. —Joel Navarro


http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/trinity-d4-17-5t-brushless-motor-4/feed/ 0
RC4WD TRAIL FINDER 2 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/rc4wd-trail-finder-2-5/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rc4wd-trail-finder-2-5 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/rc4wd-trail-finder-2-5/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:05:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/rc4wd-trail-finder-2-5/ 1/10-SCALE 4WD TRUCK | RTR

This rig looks just as good on the trail as it does on your shelf

Right now, one of the hottest and fastest-growing segments is scale and trail, and RC4WD has made a name for itself with popular hop-up parts and complete kits that combine genuine off-road performance with ultimate scale looks. The next logical step is to go RTR, and RC4WD has done just that with the popular Trail Finder 2. The kit version of the TF2 has been around for a couple of years and is considered by some to be the standard to which all other scale rigs on the market are compared. Usually, features such as an all-aluminum chassis, a tough gearbox and transfer case (both housed by an aluminum casing and metal axles) are an aftermarket option for most RTR trucks. However, they come standard on this rig — and that's not all it has to offer! This truck has a great scale look and is designed to run on just about every type of surface you want to throw at it. Let's hit the trail and see what this thing can do.


  • Item no.: Z-RTR0019

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $460

  • Weight: 5 lb., 14 oz, (2678g)


  • Type: Ladder frame

  • Material: Aluminum


  • Type: Steel leaf spring

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R) N/A

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R) N/A

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R) 1/4

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R) 1/1


  • Bodies: Polished aluminum body

  • Shafts: 3mm steel shafts

  • Volume compensation: Emulsion


  • Type/Ratio: transmission and transfer case/31.93:1

  • Slipper Clutch: Adjustable single disc

  • Differential: Diff lockers front and rear

  • Driveshafts: Steel front dogbones and rear straight drive-shaft, plastic telescoping center shafts

  • Bearings: Metal shielded


  • Wheels: 3-piece 1.55 in. beadlock

  • Tires: RC4WD Mud flrashers, X3 compound

  • Body: Injected molded plastic


  • Transmitter/receiver: RC4WD XR3B

  • Servo: RC4WD Twister

  • Speed control: RC4WD Outcry brushed ESC

  • Motor: RC4WD 45-turn Crawler Motor


  • Battery: Peak PowerMax Sport 4200 7.4V LiPo


A realistic interior lives inside the TF2 body and it comes complete with a steering wheel and gauges on the dash.

If you're not familiar with the line of cars from RC4WD, you will quickly find out that they are one of the best in the business when it comes to scale realism. From the ground up, the TF2 will keep you guessing if it's full scale or RC. Start with the first contact the TF2 has with your adven tures; the Mud Thrasher tires in super soft X3 compound. Appropriately sized and not looking out of place, the tires are mounted to white stamped steel (they really are made of steel), 1.55-size beadlock wheels that bolt together with a six lug design. The crown jewel of the Trial Finder 2 is definitely its Mojave body set. Reminiscent of an 80s Toyota truck, the TF2's Mojave body is constructed of red hard injection-molded plastic with a Lexan windshield incorporated inside the cab. The wipers, mirrors, door handles and bed come finished in black to add to realism. For when the going gets too rough on the trial, the TF2 protects itself with plastic tube rock bumpers with matching side tube rock sliders to protect and to prevent the TF2 from snagging on something. Should you ever decide to light up your TF2 with LED lights, the tail and headlights have transparent covers and LED light mounts.


The cast metal axles are what set the TF2 apart from the crowd. Tough construction complemented with intricate scale details and functionality make an ultimate combo.

RC4WD didn't mess around when it came to this drivetrain package. The aluminum housing around the beefy gearbox and the transfer case both scream durability.

The workhorse under the TF2's hood is its versatile drive-train and the final drive ratio is an ultra low 31.93:1, which gives it plenty of power to overcome any obstacle. Power is channeled from the motor through an R3 Single Speed transmission that is packed full of wide durable internal gears and it's all housed in a cast aluminum case. Before the power is connected to the front and rear axles, it makes its way from the transmission to RC4WD's Hammer Transfer Case, which also uses a cast aluminum case and heavy-duty gears. Finishing off the TF2's drivetrain package are its very realistic-looking Toyota-style axles. The lightweight diecast metal axle housings have a removable cap to give you quick access to the internal gears for maintenance and are finished off with a black coating. The locked front and rear differentials come standard and give the TF2 positive trac tion over any surface.

Aluminum lAdder FrAme

The ultra-strong aluminum chassis is rugged enough to resist any bending or twisting normally associated with plastic chassis.

The Outcry ESC's strong drag brake and no forward to reverse delay makes it easy to control the TF2 in any condition.

It's no speed demon, but theTF2's 45-turn motor has enough torque to tackle any obstacle that gets in your way.

The machine aluminum frame features a square beam construction that resists flex while you're trucking along the most extreme trails. Finished off in a rugged black anodized finish, the chassis incorporates threaded holes so the construction of the chassis can be completed using only screws without nuts. Adding to the chassis overall stiffness are billet aluminum square and round cross members that double as mounts for the shocks, drivetrain components and electronics. The large aluminum shelf located in the middle of the chassis has a ton of room for the included electronic speed control and any size battery you might choose. Protection from the trail comes in form of a scale tubular rear bumper and side sliders.


The included 2.4GHz radio is packed full of features.

Mounted in the chassis is RC4WD's Outcry brushed speed control. It's designed for use with NiMH and LiPo-type batteries and features drag brake and no delay when going from forward to reverse. All of this makes for a powerful and responsive speed control that can easily get the TF2 out of trouble in a hurry. Propelling the TF2 forward is a 45-turn brushed crawler motor that will provide a lot of torque while driving the truck along at a decent speed. Steering duties are left to RC4WD's metal gear Twister servo that has 153 oz.-in. of torque.

Your connection to the Trail Finder 2 RTR comes in form of RC4WD's XR3B 3-channel radio. Transmitting with a 2.4GHz signal, the XR3B never let the TF2 stray and has many features that can be found on mid-range radios like endpoint adjustment, throttle and steering trims, dual rate and an easy-to-use third channel button. The open third channel on the receiver allows you to connect accessories such as lights or a winch to the TF2 and be able to control from the radio.


Leaf springs are used to support all four corners of the Trailfinder 2. Polished aluminum shocks with internal springs add to the scale look of the suspension.

The TF2 tames all terrain it encounters via its leaf spring suspension. The leaf springs are constructed of durable steel and connect to the axles with two screws that make changing the configuration quick and easy. They use individual leaf pieces that you can easily add to increase the TF2's payload capability or remove to create a softer set up with more suspension articulation. Dampening duties are handled with a set of RC4WD's Ultimate Scale Shocks. The beautiful silver finish on the aluminum shock bodies house internal coil springs that create a very functional shock package with killer scale looks. The rear shocks include several mounting holes on the ladder frame that will allow you to soften or firm up the rear dampening.


It didn't take long to get the Trail Finder 2 up and running. All I had to do was put batteries in the radio and in the truck and I was ready to go. I was eager to get the Trail Finder 2 on the trail and test its limits on multiple surfaces. This truck isn't just built for the trail; it also has components that should make it very capable on the rocks. With the truck ready to go, I packed up my survival gear that included some tools, extra battery packs, and a lunch and I headed for the hills. Right away I saw that the TF2 tracked straight and true and had a pretty tight turning radius for a truck that has no differentials. That was impressive but I knew the TF2 wouldn't be content until it was in the rough stuff and I was excited to see what it had to offer. The aggressive treaded tires were quick to find traction on the hard-packed and loose dirt. The leaf spring suspension showed it was more than capable of handling the terrain and soaked up any and all surface imperfections it encountered while keeping the TF2 calm and in control. As a ridge approached, I saw a shallow muddy riverbed that looked impassable and was taunting the TF2 for a challenge. As soon as I entered the mud, the TF2 immediately sank into it and as I thought that I was going to have to bail it out by pulling it out of the thick mud, the drivetrain's ultra-low 31.93:1 ratio really began to shine. The TF2 easily fought for every inch of available traction and in the end, made short work of the muddy mess. The underside of the truck had mud crammed into every nook and cranny, which didn't hinder any of the underworkings, but it made me not look forward cleaning it all out. I decided to cheat and clean the bottom of the TF2 by running it through the shallow water of the riverbed. The highly mounted electronics managed to avoid getting too wet while it splashed through the water. Ahead of the TF2 was a multitude of different rock formations that ranged from natural obstacles to high-traction rocks embedded in cement. Suspension articulation was pretty good on the TF2 in its stock configuration. It navigated over small- and medium-sized rocks with ease and kept all four tires on the ground while doing so. On the larger abrasive rocks, the Trail Finder 2 started to lift the rear tires off the ground upsetting the stability and balance. At one point I wasn't paying attention and managed to tip the TF2 onto its side and I scratched up that nicely detailed body. I guess that's to be expected when bouncing around on the rocks. With that scratch out of the way, I was more aggressive with my driving and once I was used to the handling of the truck, I found that it was able to attack some serious rocks with no problem at all.


  • Scale looks are second to none

  • Bulletproof drivetrain Sticky tires

  • 2-speed tranny not included Body is difficult to remove


The Trail Finder 2 RTR is unquestionably one of the most solid trail scale vehicles on the market today. Not only does it look great and handle well, but it's also packed full of features that are usually only found on custom-built trucks. You've just got to love the scale look of this truck and it's nice to see that it is topped off by a durable molded ABS plastic body. There's no doubt that this truck is going to be banging into a lot of rocks and that body will handle it. What I really like about the TF2 is that I was able to get it out of the box and onto the trail in minutes, which is great when you have a truck that looks this cool — all you want to do is drive it! The Trail Finder 2 RTR will take all the abuse you can throw at it and keep asking for more.


http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/rc4wd-trail-finder-2-5/feed/ 0
PRO-LINE PRO-2 BUGGY KIT http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/pro-line-pro-2-buggy-kit-4/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pro-line-pro-2-buggy-kit-4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/pro-line-pro-2-buggy-kit-4/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:05:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/pro-line-pro-2-buggy-kit-4/ PHOTOS BY JOEL NAVARRO


Built for high-performance play with pro specs, Pro-Line's open-wheel off-roader is buggin'-out fun

Pro-Line's original PRO-2 SC truck kit will go down in history as the brand's first all-inone-box kit, but it will no longer be PL's only kit. Now that the PRO-2 Short Course Buggy is here, Pro-Line has two ways to get your wrenches turning. PL fans will recognize the completed PRO-2 buggy as the same end result of combining the PRO-2 SC truck with the recently released buggy conversion kit, and that's exactly what the new buggy kit is — everything from the SC kit and the buggy conversion, minus the truck stuff you would be removing for the buggy conversion (most notably the big bumpers and full-fendered body). As such, the PRO-2 Buggy is an exceptionally well-outfitted machine, with specs to match any thoroughbred race car. All of Pro-Line's best stuff is in the box, from the ProTrac suspension and PowerStroke shocks to the Performance Transmission and Blockade SC tires. There's also some assembly done for you, with the main chassis arriving assembled, complete with transmission attached, and the shocks arrive ready for filling. Everything else is left to you, along with choosing your own electronics — or you can choose to swap in stuff you already own, a nice plus you don't get with RTRs. Let's build!


  • Item no.: 4002-01

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $390

  • Weight, as tested: 5.2 lb. (2355g)


  • Material: 3mm 7075 T6 aluminum

  • Type: CNC-machined plate


  • Type: Lower H-arm with 4mm steel turnbuckle camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R) 3/3

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R) 3/6

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R) 2/2

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R) 2/4


  • Bodies: Pro-Line Power=Stroke threaded aluminum, 10.8mm bore

  • Shafts: Titanium-nitride-coated steel, 3.5mm

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type: 2WD enclosed gearbox

  • Spur gear/pinion: 86T/pinion not included

  • Slipper clutch: Adjustable, dual-pad

  • Differential: Sealed bevel gear, silicone filled

  • Driveshafts: PRO-2 ProTrac, steel CV-style joint

  • Bearings: Metal-shielded ball

Wheels & Tires

  • Wheels: Pro-Line F11 ProTrac offset, 12mm hex

  • Tires: Pro-Line Blockade SC M3 compound, glued

  • Inserts: Closed cell foam


  • Transmitter: Airtronics MX-V

  • Receiver: Airtronics RX-37W

  • Speed control: Novak Crusher

  • Motor: Novak Vulcan 8.5T brushless

  • Pinion: 20/spur 86

  • Servo: Hitec HS-5645MG

  • Battery: Orion Carbon Pro 7.4V LiPo 6500mAh 90c


You'll need to supply your own pinion, but the slipper clutch is standard.

The Performance Transmission arrives installed on the chassis and looks trick with its milled aluminum motor plate.

There's more high-grade stu in the PRO-2's drivetrain, which includes the Performance Transmission originally developed as an accessory for the Slash (which means it also fits Bandit, Stampede, and Rustler). The gearbox uses a traditional 3-gear configuration with steel top and idler gears, and the gear differential is sealed with a gasket and O-rings for tuning with silicone oil. Many cars make do with two spider gears in the diff, but the Pro-Line's diff holds four. The transmission's slipper-clutch is equipped with dual slipper pads getting the squeeze from a pair of aluminum pressure plates that are drilled with vent holes to promote cooling (and they look trick). The motor you choose will find home on a 3mm-thick aluminum motor plate, which is amply milled to increase its surface area and assure maximum cooling. Power is transferred to the wheels via Pro-Line's ProTracspecific driveshafts, which are solid steel and feature large CV-type joints and clamp-on 12mm aluminum drive hexes. The outdrives are slotted to trim rotating mass and key to the diff's output shafts, where pass-through screw pins hold them in place. You can definitely go big in the power depart ment, this is a stout setup.


It's hard to find a better do-it-all speed control than the Novak Crusher. With Sport and Crawling modes, the Crusher is as at home in a trail truck as it is performing track duty. The full-programmable speed control allows you to dial in punch, braking force, drag brake and more. There's also RPM Boost Timing to give the motor an additional high-rpm kick, but with a 8.5T Vulcan modified spinning in the gearbox, there was no need for any extra revolutions per minute. See the March 2014 issue for a full review of the Crusher speed control.


The chassis pops out of the box just like this. It's the same setup as used by Pro-Line's PRO-2 truck. The nerf bars will be removed during the build.

Minus its body, the PRO-2 Buggy looks a lot like the PRO-2 truck.

Duh, of course, Pro-Line tires are included. The Blockade SC rubber is molded in M3 (soft) compound and mounted to F11 wheels. Any chance Pro-Line will do a set of narrower front wheels and tires as a buggy accessory? We hope so …

Instead of wrestling with individual body sections for chassis access, the entire body/cockpit/nerf bars/roll cage assembly lifts oflthe chassis as a unit.

Pro-Line doesn't want to pigeonhole its PRO-2 truck and buggy models as race cars, but they're sure built like competition models. The PRO-2 chassis a beautifully machined sheet of 3mm aluminum, and not just the usual 6061 stuff; Pro-Line spec'd the stiffer 7075 variety. The sides of the narrow plate are gently radiused, and the top surface has machined reliefs that trim a few grams but mostly look cool. A pair of girder-like molded side rails define the chassis' sides and hold sockets for the buggy-body's tube frame. Brackets on the chassis' “floor” prevent the battery you choose from sliding forward and backward, and a pair of Velcro straps secure the pack. Out of the box, these bits are installed on the chassis for you, along with the transmission, servo mounts (aluminum, nice) and steering bellcranks. Two minutes into unpacking the box, you'll feel like the build is well underway.


Clamping hexes are standard, front and rear.

Pro-Line's PowerStroke shocks are among the best in the biz. Note the thick construction of the ProTrac suspension arms.

Pro-Line energized Traxxas Slash racers with the release of its ProTrac suspension kit, which combined longer arms, optimized geometry, and reduced wheel offset to transform the truck's handling. The ProTrac parts are a key feature of the PRO-2 buggy, and are fully equipped with Pro-Line's up graded hex-head hingepins, hard-anodized hingepin brace, PRO-2 front hubs, hardened-steel kingpins, and clamping hexes. The first-rate parts are paired with equally high-grade shocks in the form of Pro-Line's popular PowerStroke dampers. These tick off all the boxes for top-notch features, including hard-anodized bodies, 3.5mm TiN-coated shafts, and true dual-rate springs. Each shock wears two springs, a “soft” for greater responsiveness to small bumps and a stiffer main spring to do the hard-hit work.


When the time came to test the Pro-Line PRO-2 Buggy, I made sure that the setup on the buggy was good and grabbed a few battery packs before heading to the best track I could think of. The Pro-Line test track is not far from my house and the buggy was developed there so it couldn't be a more perfect place for my testing. I have raced and played with a lot of short course trucks in my time at the magazine, but this was only the second time for me behind the wheel of a short course buggy and I was excited to see what the PRO-2 buggy had to offer. When installing the battery, you have an immediate appreciation of the design of the body and its mounting system. Normally when you have any vehicle with a roll cage, it can be difficult to get the roll cage off the chassis so you can install or remove a battery or to maintain the vehicle; that's not the case with the PRO-2 buggy. With a couple of twists of the two Secure-Loc caps, the body was ready to lift off and my battery was easily installed into the chassis. Installing the body was just as easy; line everything up and install the two caps. When I pulled on the trigger I could quickly tell that this was unlike any short course truck that I have driven in the past. The PRO-2 buggy is very responsive to throttle inputs and it tracks straight as the tires spin while driving away. I was impressed with the buggy as it quickly traveled from one end of the long straight to the other and it surprised me by carrying a lot of speed at the end. Before I knew it, the buggy was off the track and in the fence. It took me a few laps to get used to the speed that the buggy carries when you are off the throttle, but once I had things figured out, I found myself easily carving up the turns. The chassis stays flat in the turns and the steering is responsive enough to you get you out of any trouble if need be. Throttle response really shined when jumping the PRO-2 on jumps that were designed for a 1/8-scale buggy race that was held at the Pro-Line track just before my test day. I was able to easily get over some of the large doubles with very little run up. Normally, when you jump a short course truck on large jumps like the ones on the Pro-Line test track, you'll find that the body causes the front end to come up because of wind being trapped under the body. This can still happen even when you are running a high-flow body, although it's not as noticeable. With the PRO-2 buggy that is not an issue and it attacks the big jumps with ease. The buggy jumps level and the suspension does a great job of soaking up the landings allowing you to quickly get back on the throttle. —Kevin Hetmanski

Lights Optional

Our photo car shows off all the PRO-2 Buggy's stock gear, with one exception: the lights. The four bumper-mounted lights and the two by the cockpit are optional, and available as the “Performance Off-Road Crawler/Desert Truck Light Bar Kit,” item no. 6085-00. LEDs aren't included, but the housings are designed to accept standard 5mm LEDs so options are plentiful if you want to make the lights functional.


  • Aggressive scale-like buggy styling

  • Fun build with competition-caliber specs

  • Easy to drive, tough to break

  • You get a lot for your money, but $390 is still a big chunk of change


Unless you just don't like open-wheel off-roaders, there's nothing not to like about the PRO-2 Buggy. With the body on, it looks like a serious off-roader. With the body off, it looks even more serious when you scope all the race-bred features Pro-Line has baked into this high-tech hot-rod. It's an impressive bunch of specs, but don't let all those top-shelf touches fool you into thinking the PRO-2 Buggy doesn't know how to have fun. Though high-zoot, it's really a tough and rugged all-around offroader that's perfect for high-performance play, just like the PRO-2 SC truck. We've got nothing to fault, but there is one thing we could like better: the price. With every part getting the deluxe treatment, it's easy to see why the price is also “deluxe.” You get what you pay for, we just wish it was less. We say the same thing about Ferraris.


http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/pro-line-pro-2-buggy-kit-4/feed/ 0
TEAM ASSOCIATED QUALIFIER SERIES PRORALLY http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/team-associated-qualifier-series-prorally-4/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=team-associated-qualifier-series-prorally-4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/team-associated-qualifier-series-prorally-4/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:05:00 +0000 Peter Vieira http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/team-associated-qualifier-series-prorally-4/ PHOTOS BY JOEL NAVARRO


Hot-hatch rally styling combines with versatile on- and off-road performance in Associated's latest RTR fun-runner

The ideal ready-to-run model is fast, tough, fun, and a good value. Usually we have to settle for three out of four, as vehicles that are fast and tough and fun also tend to be expensive. Not so with Associated's ProRally, the latest addition to the Qualifier Series of RTRs. The Qualifier models are positioned “below” the RS (Race Spec) RTRs, but exactly how far “below” is open for debate, since there's hardly a skimp to be found. The ProRally is 4WD with a chassis and suspension as tunable as Associated's dedicated racing machines, full ball bearings are included, and brushless power is standard. The Reedy XP-SC900 setup is water-resistant, and includes a high-torque 550-size, 3500KV motor to move the ProRally out in a hurry. And, it's huge! Though techni cally 1/10 scale, the full-fendered bodywork is much closer to 1/8 scale and gives the ProRally a commanding presence on the road. Or off-road, since it's basically a short-course truck underneath the Lexan. Associated offers a lot of car with the ProRally, and it looks like a lot of fun — let's find out.


  • Item no.: 7070

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $380

  • Weight, as tested: 5 lb., 15 oz. (2,697g)


  • Material: Plastic

  • Type: Semi-tub


  • Type: H-arm with 3.5mm steel turnbuckle camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions: (F/R) 2/4

  • Outboard upper arm positions: (F/R) ½

  • Shock positions, towers: (F/R) 3/3

  • Shock positions, arms: (F/R) 4/4


  • Bodies: Plastic, 10mm bore

  • Shafts: Plated steel, 3mm

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type: 4WD shaft

  • Spur gear/pinion: 47T / 14T

  • Differential F/R: Sealed bevel gear

  • Driveshafts F/R: Steel CV-style/steel dogbone

  • Bearings: Rubber-sealed ball


  • Wheels: One-piece plastic, standard short-course configuration, 12mm hex

  • Tires: Rubber multi-terrain tread

  • Inserts: Molded closed-cell foam


  • Transmitter/receiver: Team Associated XP2G 2-channel 2.4GHz/TRS403-SSi 4-channel

  • Servo: XP DS1903MG, metal gear 53 oz.-in. at 6V

  • Speed control: XP SC900-BL water-resistant 90A, fan-cooled

  • Motor: Reedy 550-SL 3500KV Sensorless

  • Battery: Reedy WolfPack 7-cell NiMH with Deans-style connector


  • Battery charger


Removing the center brace and its integrated gear shroud reveals the pinion and spur gear. The motor mount is finned to help bleed off heat, and gear mesh is set easily.

The ProRally uses aluminum and steel parts throughout to make sure every bit of brushless power makes it to the wheels. The center driveshaft is a solid aluminum rod with steel drive pins, and the front and rear driveshafts are steel throughout — smooth-turning CV axles up front, traditional dogbone shafts in the rear. Steel is also used for the drive pinions, differential ring gears, and differential internals. Stout stuff, based on our experience with the ProLite 4X4. It's also a fully tunable setup, as both differentials are silicone-filled and ready to accept different fluid viscosities if you want to get your wrench on. A slipper clutch is also standard, and uses Associated's well-proven dual-keyed-pad design from the RC10 series buggies and trucks. The motor mount is cast aluminum and has a substantial “foot” to help it hold the motor steady. The clamping design holds a cam that mounts to the motor, allowing easy gear-mesh adjustment by just loosening a screw.


The front drive-shafts feature CV joints positioned so their pivot point align with the kingpins to assure maximum efficiency.

The ProRally's XP SC900 speed control and Reedy 3500KV motor deliver exciting performance on the included 7-cell pack, and with even greater speed potential on a 3-cell LiPo.

A rally car just wouldn't be rally-ready without dirt-hurling horsepower, and Associated comes through with a 3S-capable XP/Reedy brushless system. The SC900-BL speed control spins a sensorless Reedy 550-SL 3500KV motor, and the setup is fully adjustable. The system auto-detects for LiPo cell count, but you'll need to put it into LiPo mode; the speed control arrives set for NiMH packs, since the ProRally includes a 7-cell NiMH battery. Drag brake, punch, and reverse lockout are each easily accessed, and the speed control offers good all-around throttle feel. On the included NiMH battery, the ProRally topped out at 32.3mph.


The ProRally has a businesslike black-on-black look. The front bumper and rear “diffuser” are set low for hard-surface action and can be raised for off-roading.

The 90A ESC includes a fan to keep the operating temperatures down and performance up.

The ProRally is built on the 4WD Qualifier chassis that debuted as the ProLite 4X4 and went on to win our 2013 Truck of the Year award, so the ProRally is off to a good start right from square one. With the exception of its front and rear bumpers and the suspension settings (more on that later), the ProRally is basically the same car as the ProLite 4X4. That means you're looking at a modular plastic chassis with a standard shaft-drive layout: aluminum shaft down the center, battery on the right, electronics on the left. A substantial upper brace stiffens the chassis, and the battery tray is configured for “standard size” batteries. A Reedy 7-cell NiMH pack is included and 2S LiPos of similar dimensions will fit, but fat 3S LiPo (26mm or taller) won't fit under the strap. As is typical for Associated, the overall design puts function over flash, but the diffuser-styled rear bumper is a nice touch. Like the foam-padded front bumper, it can be raised from a low street-racing position to a higher setting that allows greater approach and departure angles when off-roading. It's a nice feature that shows Associated really wanted the ProRally to be rally-capable, not just rally-styled.


Traditional C-hubs and steering blocks aim the front wheels, and the kingpins are bushed for long wear. Note the hole in the top of each ball cup, which permits easy hex wrench access.

The ProRally's oil-filled shocks are set up with 8mm external limiters — you can see the sleeve on top of the spring perch.

Most ProRally users will be content to simply pull the car out of the box and run it until the rims are bare without altering the stock suspension settings, but the car does come equipped with all the tuning options we've come to expect from Associated machines. Camber and front toe are easily set via 3.5mm steel turnbuckles, and even the short link that joins the steering servo to the bellcranks is a turnbuckle. Shock angle settings are achieved with positions on the arms and towers, and there are multiple camber link positions as well. Nice touch: the tops of the ball cups are open, allowing access to the studs with a 2mm wrench so you can select different camber link and tie rod positions without popping off the cups. Even hingepin angle can be changed, front and rear, by repositioning the offset caps that hold the hingepins in their aluminum mounts. Shocks are oil-filled, of course, and tuned specifically for the ProRally with 8mm external limiters. Wide-set bellcranks handle steering duty, but there's no adjustable servo-saver incorporated into the 'cranks. Instead, a non-adjustable unit is mounted directly to the servo.


Team Associated helps you get out of the hobby shop quicker by including a 7-cell NiMH battery with the ProRally. All you need to complete it is a charger and 6 AA batteries for the radio. I chose to test the ProRally at a local park that had a lot of different surfaces to run on — just like cars in the full-size rally world. I started off in the parking lot and drove the car slowly while making sure the trims were set correctly — I quickly saw that the steering on this car is very responsive. … e ProRally is a bit darty at lower speeds, which may be a bit of a problem for the person who is behind the wheel for the first time, but that made the car more fun for me! You can reduce the steering response by turning down the dual rate if it's a little too much for you. … e 7-cell battery and included brushless power system are a great combo for this vehicle. It gives the car plenty of tire-spinning torque and a top speed of 32mph and that's nothing to complain about. When up to speed, the weight of the body shows as it causes the car to lean hard into the turns while you are on pavement; in my opinion, that adds to the coolness of the ProRally. While still on the pavement, I was able to eventually get it to drift in the turns by giving the brakes a quick tap to unsettle the car and quickly stabbed the throttle while I cranked on the steering wheel. I decided to get some dirt time so I drove the ProRally over the fairly thick grass to get over to the baseball diamond and it did better than I thought it would due to the low-hanging body. The body did get caught up a few times, but it wasn't anything that held the car up. On the dirt, the ProRally drove more like other RC vehicles that I have tested. The steering response was reduced and so was the body roll in turns thanks to the now sliding tires. The excitement factor went up because the car drifts very well in the dirt and that is always fun. I set up a small course on the baseball diamond and made my way through it several times with the ProRally. The car goes from corner to corner very well and I really had no trouble getting it slowed down and around the turns. I really wanted to see how this car handled jumps so I took it with me while getting some testing time in at a local track. This track has some small roller jumps and a lot of larger jumps that were designed for cars that are much larger than the ProRally. The ProRally loved the small roller jumps but I had to be careful how I hit them. If it was a little sideways, the car barrel rolled for a while before stopping. The larger jumps were tough due to the low -hanging body; they really tripped the car up because the body would hit them hard before the front tires. You can fix this by raising the body posts one more hole but if that isn't enough you can cut a little off the front of the body. —Kevin Hetmanski


  • Battery included, truly RTR

  • Super-sized rally styling

  • High-low bumper are off-road friendly

  • 3S LiPo-ready and fast

  • Battery strap doesn't accommodate tall packs

The rally-flavored rubber mounts to short course-style wheels, and the tires are well supported by molded foam inserts. Associated also offers the wheels in white as an option.

The XP2G transmitter is a staple of Associated's RTR line, and it's a solid 2.4GHz system. Throttle endpoints, steering dual-rate and trims are easily adjusted via large knobs, and the system offers good range with a comfortable feel.


As a redressed version of the Truck of the Year-winning ProLite 4X4, it shouldn't be much of a surprise that the ProRally scores highly as an exciting and tough fun-runner. It would have been easy enough to just plop a rally body on the Qualifier chassis and call it a day, but the high-low bumpers and revised suspension tuning help make the ProRally a total package, not just a new suit. Most importantly, it's simply a fun and versatile car. For your $380, you get a brushless-powered 4WD machine that let you drive virtually anywhere, with hot-hatch styling that sets you far apart from the short-course guys (and if you're a bona fide rally fan, that body is probably what led you to the ProRally in the first place). It's ready for knock-around fun straight out of the box, and if you want to tune on it, there's plenty you can do to make it a dedicated street machine or a more capable track star — your call. For versatility, value, and fun, there's lots to like with the ProRally.


http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/team-associated-qualifier-series-prorally-4/feed/ 0
AXIAL YETI http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/axial-yeti-4/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=axial-yeti-4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/axial-yeti-4/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 18:05:00 +0000 Kevin Hetmanski http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/axial-yeti-4/ 1/10-SCALE 4WD TRUCK | RTR


Axial goes rock-racing with its first all-new platform since the Exo-Terra

Axial has made a name for itself by recognizing off-road trends at the grassroots level and building trucks to suit. When rock crawling was growing in popularity with home-brewed trucks and conversions, Axial launched the first dedicated crawler kit with the hugely popular AX10 Scorpion (which we named our 2008 Truck of the Year). As pure rock-crawling designs gave way to more scale-focused models and trail-running emerged as popular flavors of off-roading, Axial tooled up the SCX10, which has gone on to become the default base for countless scale builds. Axial has now turned its attention to a new breed of motorsport called rock-racing, and the Yeti is the machine Axial hopes will set the standard for a new category. The design pulls a few parts from existing Axial models (most notably the EXO Terra's front arms, uprights, and knuckles and the AR-60 OCP solid axle developed for the Wraith), but there's no mistaking the Yeti for anything less than a completely new and unique platform in Axial's lineup. In addition to an independent front suspension/solid-axle rear suspension configuration that's true to rock-racing, the Yeti impresses with its size (it's as large as a short-course truck) and specs, which include brushless power and all-metal gears. Next big thing? If the answer is “yes,” it all starts now.


  • Item no.: AX90026

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $430

  • Weight: 7 lb. (3.175 g)

  • Length: 20 in. (508mm)

  • Height: 8 in. (203mm)

  • Width: 12.5 in. (305mm)

  • Wheelbase: 14.5 in. (368mm)


  • Type: Molded tub with tubular rear section

  • Material: Plastic


  • Type (F/R): (F/R): Double-wishbone with fixed hub carriers

  • Inboard upper arm positions (F/R): 0/1

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 0/2

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 3/2

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2


  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 10mm bore

  • Shafts: 3.5mm plated finish

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type: Shaft-driven 4WD

  • Pinion/Spur: 16/64 32 pitch

  • Slipper clutch: 2-pad, adjustable

  • Differentials (F/R): Sealed gear/spool

  • Driveshafts (F/R): Steel universal/Molded plastic universal

  • Bearings: Rubber sealed


  • Wheels: 2.2 in. Walker Evans Replica

  • Tires: 2.2 in. BF Goodrich Krawler TA replica

  • Inserts: Foam


  • Transmitter: Axial AX-3, 2-channel 2.4GHz

  • Receiver: Axial AR-3, 3-channel 2.4GHz

  • Steering servo: Tactic TSX45 151 oz.-in. metal gear


  • (4) AA batteries

  • 2S or 3S LiPo battery

  • LiPo battery charger


The bodywork and tube-frame detailing are easily removed from the chassis as a unit.

The main portion of the Yeti chassis is a molded plastic tub and this is where all of the components that make the Yeti run are mounted. The transmission is mounted in the center and forward in the chassis and this puts the motor smack dab in the center to give the Yeti the best possible weight bias. To the right of the motor and low in the chassis is the steering servo, with the speed control mounted above it on a shelf. The speed control mount features molded-in “fingers” that grab the Castle Creations-built speed control. The hardest component to spot is the receiver — it's mounted inside a waterproof box that is accessed through the bottom of the chassis. At the back of the chassis is a battery tray that accepts a 2S or 3S LiPo pack, secured via a single body clip that releases a swing-away door. The rear section of the chassis features molded tubular sections and that is where the rear shock and swaybar are mounted. Also in the rear tube section is a molded box that is designed to look just like a full-size racing fuel cell. The box is there so you can mount weight in it or use it for storage. A molded plastic roll cage protects the compo nents inside the chassis and adds to the scale look of the truck. Normally it's difficult to remove the roll cage to install a battery or maintain a vehicle but that's not the case with this cage. By removing two body clips in the front you can flip the cage up to gain access to the battery tray and the components in the chas sis. Remove the last two body clips in the back of the cage and it comes off the chassis entirely.


Axial offers these threaded aluminum shock bodies as options for its other models, but they come standard on the Yeti. Plastic caps and preload collars are standard, aluminum versions are optional.

The Yeti is the first Axial vehicle to have aluminum shocks right out of the box. The Yeti will encounter bigger hits and much higher shafts speeds than a trail rig, so the beefed-up shocks are welcome. The design features thread-in lower seal cartridges and volume compensation bladders beneath the plastic caps, and the pistons mount to nutted shock shafts so there are no e-clips to fuss with when it's time to swap pistons. The aluminum bodies are threaded and use plastic collars to set preload. Aluminum top caps and ride-height collars are available options, but the plastic parts work fine. The range of travel when fully extended is 90mm for the front shocks while in the rear you are looking at 125mm. Two mounting positions are available for the rear shocks on the chassis and lower links while the front shocks get three mounting positions on the shock tower and two positions on the suspension arms. Since each rear trailing arm offers two shock positions, it's possible to set up the Yeti with four rear shocks. Axial offers the additional parts required to mount the shocks separately.


The Yeti's chassis is mostly a tub, but a tubular rear sub-frame supports the shocks and swaybar.

The BF Goodrich Krawler T/A tires look great on the Walker Evans wheels.

The AX-3 2.4GHz transmitter has seen duty on plenty of other Axial models and performs reliably with the Yeti. The trim knobs and a dual-rate steering dial are hidden under a panel on the top of the case.

The BF Goodrich Krawler T/A tire is very popular in the full-size 4X4 scene and Axial's replica rubber looks spot-on. The tires feature the same tread as the full size tire and actually has the same raised lettering. Foam inserts are installed and the tires wrap replica Walker Evans 2.2” wheels. Unlike Axial's 1.9” version of this wheel, the 2.2” version is a true bead lock rim and uses three pieces to hold on to the tire. By rotating the inner bead lock ring you can alter how much air flow enters and exits the tire during use. There are no wheel hexes here, instead the wheel adapter is held on to the wheel by six screws.


The Yeti's independent front suspension arms, steering knuckles, and knuckle carriers are proven EXO parts. Fixed-length camber links are standard on the RTR — expect turnbuckle links as an option, and standard equipment for a kit version (fingers crossed).

The Yeti sports an independent front suspension system and is only the second vehicle out of the Axial garage to go independent, following the EXO. With much less unsprung weight than a solid-axle setup and the inherent benefits of each front wheel having its own dedicated shock, the independent front suspension will do a better job of soaking up terrain at high speed and contribute better handling than a solid axle. The suspension borrows its arms, steering knuckles, and knuckle carriers from the EXO, but wears a new shock tower and aluminum-body shocks designed specifically for the Yeti to better handle its 2.2” BFGoodrich Krawler T/A tires.


Look at the size of that motor! A 3150 4-pole brushless motor is included and sure to get the job done.

Like most of Axial's vehicles the Yeti comes in ready to run form so all you have to do is pull it out of the box and install batteries before you head out to run. The one electronic component that really stands out is that big motor sitting in the middle of the chassis. It is a 3150KV 4-pole brushless motor and it's coupled to a water proof 3S capable Axial AE-3 Vanguard speed control with forward, reverse and drag brake operation. The Castle Creations-built speed control is also fully programmable, and compatible with Castle's Field Programming Card and Castle Link PC software. A Tactic TSX45 servo with up to 151 oz.-in. pushes and pulls the tires to the right direction. To control all the action you get Axial's AX-3 2.4GHz radio and it features throttle and steering trim, steering dual rate and throttle and steering reversing switches.


The pinion and spur gear are made with strong 32-pitch teeth and inside the transmission you will find an all-metal gear setup.

High speed, brushless power, and big hits take a toll on a transmission, so steel gears and a heavy-duty drivetrain are a must. Axial comes through with a full set of metal gears in the transmission, and dual-pad slipper clutch to provide extra give to the robust 32-pitch pinion and spur gears. The transmission is geared for speed, but you can install the optional 2-speed transmission so you can shift from high to low. The transmission also allows for different front and rear ratios, so you can experiment with overdriving the front or rear wheels. The rear axle will be familiar to you Axial fans; it's the heavy-duty AR-60 OCP (Off-Center Pumpkin) unit originally developed for Axial Wraith. Unlike the Wraith, the axle contains metal-gear differential for Yeti duty. The axle is joined to the gearbox via Axial's HD “Wild Boar” driveshaft design, which is splined for smooth telescoping action and equipped with metal CV joints at both ends.


The Yeti is the first solid-axle equipped Axial to arrive with a swaybar. Links on the axle connect to levers that twist the steel swaybar that passes through the chassis.

Four-link suspensions aren't anything new, but we haven't seen Axial do one like this before. The molded upper links are mounted well to the outside of the chassis tub, then converge to meet at the center of the axle, not unlike they do on the AX10 and SCX10. Unlike those models, the Yeti's lower links/trailing arms do no triangulate and reach straight back to the axle. True to full-size rock-racing designs, the shocks mount to the trailing arms instead of the axle itself. The arms can be flipped to alter the truck's roll center and three mounting options for the upper links set anti-squat. Unlike a slow-moving rock crawler or trail machine that favors large amounts of axle articulation, the Yeti's rock-racing mission requires more roll control. And so, an additional pair of links rise up from the axle to meet a pair of levers that twist a swaybar. This helps the chassis stay relatively flat while cornering, where there would typically be a lot of chassis roll.


The Yeti is an awesome truck but a truck isn't much until you have a battery in it and are driving it. Time to hit the dirt and rocks and this is what the Yeti was designed for. The area when I tested the truck is packed full of dirt, small rocks and debris and large rocks so it couldn't be a better spot to run in. Normally when I get to the dirt I just pull the trigger and let it rip but this time around I decided to see just how smooth the speed control was. Controlling the power of that motor is very important in tricky rock crawling situations and I can tell you that this speed control is as smooth as silk from neutral to full throttle. On the dirt I was able to get the truck up to its impressive top speed of 16mph on 2S (and up to 32 on 3S) and throw the truck into the turns without the worry of it tipping like I saw on the pavement at my house. I have to admit that I was concerned about how well the truck would turn on the dirt but it wasn't because of the power of the steering servo; I was worried about the all terrain tires. The Yeti carved up the turns very well at lower speed and proved me wrong but when I gave it full throttle and tried to maneuver around obstacles I had the truck spin out a few times on the hard packed dirt. I happily drove over to a rocky area where there were various sizes of small rock and some big boulders to play on. At first I drove slow over the smaller rock to see how well I could maneuver the truck in the changing conditions and had no trouble getting the truck to go where I wanted it to. Once I reached a big boulder I attacked it and saw that the tires that struggled on the hard packed dirt really shined on the rock and Yeti had no problem getting up and over that big obstacle with little to no tire slip. With that minor stuff out of the way it was time to get some basing in to see how well this truck holds up. I lined the Yeti up with the section of smaller rocks (about the size of a baseball) and hit it at full speed to see if the drivetrain or suspension would hold up to the abuse or break because of it. I am happy to say that after several runs through the rocks the truck came out just fine. Besides not breaking the truck's suspension did a great job of soaking up the bumps and kept the truck pretty much on track with every pass. When you are rock racing you are going to have to hit some jumps and that is the last thing that I did. The Yeti jumped as well as some 1/8-scale buggies that I have driven; it was easy to adjust the attitude of the chassis in the air thanks to the high torque motor and large tires, is very well balanced and it soaked up the landings with only a little hop from time to time.


With all this talk of rock racing, we decided to sit down with Casey Currie to get a look into his racing career, a look into his family's company and his love of RC. Casey is well known for racing short course trucks but he also spends time on the rocks and has even raced in the famous King of the Hammers race that puts truck on a course that include open desert and a hard core rock section.

RC Car Action:

You have been involved in the short course racing world for a while now. What other types of motorsports do you compete in?

Casey Currie:

I compete in the Baja 1000 every year, the King of the Hammers and multiple UTV races like the Hammers for Kawasaki.


Your short course truck is a Jeep, this is different than every other vehicle on the track, how did this come about?


Nissan left the sport and instead of promoting a truck that has very few aftermarket parts I went with a Jeep to help promote Currie Enterprises, our family business. From there it snowballed and now it seems like Jeep is the biggest product line for most aftermarket companies.


Do you prefer off-road racing or rock racing?


I love short course because it's all-out. You have to be 100% from the green flag. I also love rock crawling because there is a technique in the rocks that I use and I love it.


Your family's company Currie Enterprises builds some of the sickest axles out there. What other full-size products do they produce?


They have a full Jeep suspension line and do tons of axles and rear ends for military, street sweepers, off road, muscle cars and hot rods!


Tell us about the CRC brand, what are your future plans for it?


CRC is a lifestyle brand. It will be products to make you go beyond the build. Products will be categorized in bundles making it easier for the customer to pick what they want. Also it will be all the best products on the market. No junk around my company.


How did you get involved with Axial?


Axial has some rad employees who understand the market. They love Jeeping and RC Jeeping. We started talking a couple years ago and when the deal happened it spiraled quick! They have been great to work with.


What do you think of the SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited C/R Edition with your name on the side of it?


It's amazing! I own the full-size version of it and it's my favorite Jeep! I wouldn't ask for anything different!


Will your company every get involved in the RC hobby and make parts?


I don't think I want to get involved with parts, but I do want to get involved in building tracks for people to enjoy their Axial RC jeeps and cars. Companies like Vanquish make some incredible parts for the Axial rigs to include scaled-down Currie Enterprises Rock Jock axles.


How long have you been involved in RC?


I used to race RC when I was 12-14 and after that I have always had them to play with.


What is your favorite RC vehicle?


My Jeep! It's insane! Axial built me a trick one with all kinds of upgrades from Vanquish and it makes for some great adventures!


Well, rock racing is exactly what the title says. Rock crawling was very popular a few years back and the object was to be able to get through a very tight and complex rock course in the lowest amount of time possible and with as few penalties as possible. As rock crawling comps grew in popularity an RC following started to happen and that too grew into something big. Now in the full-size world, rock racing is the new it sport and is getting bigger every day. An organization called U4, which stands for Ultimate 4 has been formed and events are being held all over the country with the most popular one being the King of the Hammers. The trucks used in rock racing basically look like the rock crawlers we are used to seeing but they have been modified to run on a course that has rock sections and also tight trails and jumps. So now skill is not the only thing needed to get though a course. You also have to have the right line and setup for all types of conditions making it a much harder sport. Again, we are seeing the trend translate into RC and we now have U4RC, which is the RC version of U4 rock racing. U4RC tracks are popping up around the country and consist of basically a off-road race track with jumps, rocks and other types of obstacles. People are building up custom rigs to run on these tracks and trying to get the most laps in within a specific amount of time. The coolest part of it is that these truck are built to look just like the real deal and are covered in scale accessories and lights. The Axial Yeti look the part and should be taking over the rock racing scene very soon.


  • Looks amazing

  • Plenty of power

  • Lots of adjustability

  • Stock tires don't hook up well on hard-packed dirt.


Saying that I like the Axial Yeti is understatement; this really is a nice truck. It's not only great for the guy already involved in the hobby but really good for the guy getting started in the hobby. It gives everyone what they want; speed, power, looks and it can go pretty much anywhere. So this is a rock racer which means that it has been tuned to work well in all areas but it can easily be fine tuned to work better where you want it to. For example, if you want to do nothing but rock crawling you can get more out of it for that type of surface or let's say that you want to run on a dirt race track, well it can be tweaked to work better there too. It's really not just a rock racer, it can be whatever you want it to be. I am impressed with how it works out of the box and how well it held up to my abuse. So, what is next for my review truck? A custom paint job, some details such as lights and so on and I am going to be setting it up to attack the U4RC track at Glen Helen Raceway in Southern California. This is going to be fun!


http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/30/axial-yeti-4/feed/ 0
UNDER THE HOOD: MARK PAVIDIS' TLR 8IGHT 3.0 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/29/under-the-hood-mark-pavidis-tlr-8ight-3-0-3/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=under-the-hood-mark-pavidis-tlr-8ight-3-0-3 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/29/under-the-hood-mark-pavidis-tlr-8ight-3-0-3/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:00:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/29/under-the-hood-mark-pavidis-tlr-8ight-3-0-3/ Silver State Setup

The buggy is outfitted with TLR's standard wing and has an adjustable wicker. Mark chose to run a bigger wicker (also known as a Gurney flap) at Silver State to help settle the buggy down in the rough areas.

Mark Pavidis is an icon in RC racing. He's been around since the beginning and still gives the young guns a run for their money. His list of wins is impressive and includes the 1995 IFMAR 1/10 4WD Off Road World Champion, 2006 IFMAR 1/8 Buggy World Champion, and IFMAR 1/10 Gas Touring Car World Champion. That's quite a list just at the IFMAR level and includes a variety of different classes that also reach in to the National Championship area. Needless to say, you don't get very far at that level without knowing how to set up a car, and with nitro, setups need to be fast and durable. For this edition of Under the Hood, we examine Mark's TLR 8IGHT 3.0 nitro buggy fresh from the Silver State Nitro Challenge in Nevada. No cleaning here, it went straight from pit bag to SD card still wearing its Vegas dirt.


  • Chassis: TLR 8IGHT 3.0

  • Body and wing: TLR 8IGHT

  • Engine: O.S. Engines Speed 21 Spec II

  • Pipe: O.S. Engines 2090

  • Manifold: O.S. Engines

  • Steering servo: Futaba S9353HV

  • Throttle servo: Futaba S9353HV

  • Transmitter: Futaba 4PX

  • Receiver: Futaba R614FF-E

  • Receiver battery: ProTek R/C LiPo

  • Fuel: VP Fuels Sidewinder

  • Tires: AKA Impact, medium compound

Mark chooses to run TLR's latest cab-forward body for aggressive handling traits and modern styling. For Silver State, AKA Impact tires were used in Medium compound. Also, Red AKA molded inserts are used and mounted to AKA dish wheels.

Mark prefers to use the milled aluminum rear shock tower from the 8IGHT-E. This gives him the option to run his camber link lower and closely mimics the setting he prefers from the older 8IGHT version. It's not exactly the same position, but pretty close.

Mark used TLR's green springs on all four corners. The standard spring setup is green up front with silver at the rear, but green is one step stiffer. Inside he uses Losi 40W with 1.3mm x 8-hole for the front and Losi 30W with 4×1.3mm and 4×1.2mm (8-hole) pistons in the rear.

For throttle and steering duties, Mark equips his buggy with Futaba S9353HV servos. They are fast and can take some pretty good abuse. Also, he swaps out the stock plastic servo arms for aluminum ones that also help with durability and precision. A ProTek LiPo receiver pack designed just for the 8IGHT powers the electronics.


  • What is your basic setup for your 8IGHT 3.0 before going to major race?

    I tend to run more or less Adam Drake's setup. The only thing I really change from his setup would be center diff oil going from 7,000 to 5,000 to make it easier to drive on power.

  • You've been racing for a long time. When did you first start racing, and did you ever think it would lead to this?

    I first started racing in 1988 at Hot Trax in Huntington Beach, CA. It started off as a hobby and I wanted to be around it all the time. In high school I worked weekends for Hobby Shack (now Hobby People) part time as well as pack parts for a small company Cliff Lett from Team Associated had.

  • What do you think has been the biggest innovation for 1/8-scale buggies?

    The biggest innovations for 1/8 buggy since I started racing has to be the overall reliability of the entire package from cars, engines and tires. Back in the day, just finishing a race was questionable. Today, the cars, tires and engines are so good finishing an hour-long event is not even a question.

  • If your TLR 8IGHT is a 10, what score would you give the 1/8-scale buggies you raced back when you first started racing the class?

    The cars back then were good, just very fragile and difficult to make the car or engine last the longer races. Based on this, I would say I give the cars back when I started racing a 6 or 7 with the engines back then being a 5.

  • Tires have contributed much to vehicle performance, and you've been a big part of that at AKA. What other technologies have changed racing the most in your opinion? 2.4 radios have been huge for the RC hobby and a large contributor to the overall change of RC. Managing frequencies used to be a huge headache, especially for racing but also for anyone getting together to run cars with friends, and now we don't give radio conflicts a second thought.

  • What is your feeling about removing the warm-up race for the Worlds?

    I am in favor for removing it. I like the idea of the drivers arriving at a new track and learning it at the same time — the ability to quickly adapt to a track and master it is part of being a pro. I would also like to see the event shortened as well. Every additional day represents considerable cost, and that doesn't help anyone or make for better racing. Another scenario that I would also be in favor of would be use existing events the pros already race at in Europe, USA and Asia as most of the pros have already raced at most of these tracks anyway. This would also be more of a World title instead of just a one race run at a world title.

  • Where do you think racing is going and what does it need?

    It is difficult to say. Currently, the off-road electric scene is very strong, which is great to see but many places to race rely on privately owned tracks which can be very expensive to operate. More and more off road tracks are also becoming on-road style that are hard on tires and setups are very hit or miss. The days of dirt flying off the tires unfortunately are few and far between.

  • What advice do you have for new kids getting in to racing?

    For new kids or just anyone looking to get into this hobby I highly recommend it. I have met some great people over the years and the stories are endless. Have fun with the hobby and remember for most people it is just that a hobby and we are all here to have fun.

Mark likes the power and efficiency of the O.S. Speed 21 Spec II. The engine is outfitted with a D4 plug and TLR's 4-shoe cutch. Mark sets the clutch up with two aluminum and two carbon shoes along with black and green springs.

The air filter has a big job to do ay Silver State, so Mark applies grease at the ends to help the foam seal better against the retainer.

Mark prefers to keep his fuel lines relatively short and adjusts fuel volume by removing or adding inserts built into the tank rather than altering the fuel lines. The pipe is an O.S. 2090.

Silver State is loose and dusty and that dirt can find its way into every tiny spot. To help seal the chassis and prevent “parachuting” when flying through the air, Velcro is used to hold the body tightly against the chassis' sides.

Like many other pros, Mark uses a rubber band as a throttle return spring. Admittedly, this doesn't really work all that great, but keeps the buggy within the rules that require a spring be fitted to the carb slide so the throttle will close if the servo fails or is disconnected.

Note the nutted screws that secure the shock tower. Mark drills through the front bulkhead and installs longer screws and nuts to make sure long mains don't vibrate the parts loose. It's the little details that can help prevent tiny issues from becoming big.

http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/29/under-the-hood-mark-pavidis-tlr-8ight-3-0-3/feed/ 0
LRP QUADRA COMPETITION V1 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/27/lrp-quadra-competition-v1-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lrp-quadra-competition-v1-2 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/27/lrp-quadra-competition-v1-2/#comments Sat, 27 Sep 2014 12:35:00 +0000 The RC Car Action Team http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/27/lrp-quadra-competition-v1-2/ Pro-grade charging in a blue box

LRP chargers have always been known for their blue case, streamlined design and simplicity. The adage “big things in a small package” is perpetuated in the Quadra.

LRP has long been in the business of high-end chargers. From their Pulsar series of yesteryear to the Quadra series of today, pro racers and discriminating bashers alike have “gone blue” in the pursuit of the best chargers on the market. With huge advancements in battery technology, chargers also had to advance to keep up. The Quadra Competition V1 is an AC/DC charger with big shoes to fill, but if it's anything like LRP's previous offerings, this little blue box will find its way into thousands of pit bags around the world. Let's take a closer look.


As a pro-level charger, the Quadra has more features than we can discuss here (rest assured, they're all in the manual), but here are a few that deserve a closer look and show what the Quadra can do for your charging regimen.

AutoStart Timer. This feature allows you to program a start delay from 0-99 minutes. If you aren't fortunate to have a pit man handy, delaying the start allows you to plug in the battery, wrench or race for a while, and start charging the battery at your discretion. Letting your packs cool down between cycles is recommended, and the AutoStart enables you to do so.

Storage Charge Mode. It is never recommended to store batteries with either a full or no charge at all. Thankfully, the Quadra has a great Storage Charge Mode which allows you to preset the desired storage capacity, and the charger automatically either charges or discharges the cells to desired level. The manual gives storage suggestions for both NiMH and LiPo packs so that you know exactly how to store your cells.

USB output. Since more and more of our everyday electrical devices have a USB charging interface, the Quadra cleverly offers a 5V/1A USB charging output on the side of the charger. You don't need to input any settings; simply plug your device into the output, and charging begins.

Updatable Firmware. The Quadra offers a PC link port (adaptor not included), which will allow you to interface the charger with a computer and download software updates on LRP's website. This will allow the Quadra to stay on the cutting edge of new battery technologies.


The Quadra includes AC and DC input cables and charge leads with alligator clips, but no balance board. A temp sensor and plug-in adapter for firmware updates are optional.

  • Item no.: 41420

  • Price: $165

  • Input voltage: AC 100-240V; DC 11-18V

  • Maximum output: 80W

  • Dimensions: 143 = 160 = 60mm

  • Weight: 1 lb. 6oz.

  • Battery types: NiMH/NiCd (1-15 cells); LiPo/LiFe/Lilp (1-6 cells); Pb (2-20V)

  • Charge current: 0.1-10.0A

  • Discharge current: 0.1-5.0A

  • Max charge power: 80W

  • User profiles: 5

  • Display: Blue backlit 16×2 character LCD

  • Balance board: Not included

  • Input connection: AC wall plug / DC connection terminal

  • Output connection: Alligator clips

  • USB Output: Yes

  • Cycle modes: Charge/discharge or discharge/charge, 1-5 cycles

  • Temperature cutoff: Adjustable, requires optional temp sensor

  • Overload/error protection: Charge timer; “balancer not connected” warning; incorrect battery connection; incorrect voltage setting; reverse polarity; low input voltage; input over-voltage; charger temperature overload; battery temperature overload (with optional sensor)


I've been using the Quadra regularly with a variety of LiPo packs. The display reminds you to hook up the pack to the balancer in case you forgot. While charging is in progress, the display shows the battery mode, Amps rate, time elapsed, voltage and capacity. For safety measures, the Quadra has a port for a temperature sensor (not included), which cuts off power in case the pack gets too hot while charging. Once again, it was easy to manipulate the settings with a few button pushes and menu scrolls. One nice feature is that you can manipulate the charge rate while the charge is in progress — instead of having to stop and restart the charge cycle like other chargers on the market. Although the powerful cooling fan enables the charger to zap high-capacity packs at a high Amp rate, the fan is pretty loud.

I also tested the Quadra with NiMH packs. Although they have fallen off in popularity, many hobbyists still run them. NiMH batteries are a bit finicky. They often exhibit false peaks where the charger “thinks” the cells are charged and then shuts off. NiMH packs are also difficult to “kick-start” if they haven't been used for a while. To test how the Quadra handles these NiMH issues, I hooked it up to a couple of packs which I haven't used in well over a year — way longer than the one or two months of max dormancy recommended by Quadra's manual. The packs both read “error” when I charged them at 5A, but by dialing down to 1.5A and increasing the Delta threshold, the packs then charged fully. Afterward, I utilized the handy “cycle” mode which discharged the packs and then charged them at a normal charge rate. The Quadra can be programmed to cycle a pack up to five times, and incorporates a delay between cycles to prevent the cells from overheating. After cycling the old cells, no “false peaks” occurred, and now the packs operate perfectly, even after sitting dormant for way too long.


The display offers real-time information relevant to the charge sequence and tells you everything you need to know to stay on top of the cycle. The high-contrast, blue LED display is easy on the eyes.

The Quadra offers the versatility of either plugging directly into the wall socket or hooking-up to a DC power source. The charger includes the AC power cable, plug-in charging leads with alligator clips, and a plug-in DC harness. Notably absent is a balance board, which you'll need to supply yourself to use the charger's cell balancing capabilities.

Beginning the charging process is simple for beginners thanks to five ready-to-go profiles with one default setting for NiMH and four for LiPo packs. Referencing to the manual, users can easily pick a “safe” modes for their types of packs. Tweaking the default profiles is simple with the use of the Menu and incremental keys, and the changes are automatically saved, so you can easily create five unique profiles for your individual needs.

Although the Quadra offers decent plug-and-play profiles and the menus are easy to navigate and manipulate, the manual does not define many of the terms that a newcomer would need to really understand the functionality of the charging parameters. Even though the Quadra is a fully capable “pro-level” charger, it would also be great for a beginner if the manual would facilitate better with step-by-step instructions and explain a little more about the charging process. The manual is fine for a hobbyist with some experience, but beginners would want to do a little research before deviating from the default charging profiles.


  • ⊕ Good price point for a high-end charger

  • ⊕ Full of features and output/input ports

  • ⊕ Upgradable firmware


  • ⊝ Loud cooling fan (the charger and I were asked to leave the room)

  • ⊝ Balance board not included


LRP did an amazing job marrying a pro-level charger with something approachable for hobbyists of all experience levels. The AC/DC nature is great — as lugging around a power supply is a bit of a drag, but for purists, there is also a port to use DC power instead. The charger doesn't include add-on's like the temp sensor and firmware adaptor standard, but for the $165 price point, you would at least expect the balance board to be included. At the end of the day though, if you are looking for an all-around charger that is full of amazing features, and are willing to eat Top Ramen for just a couple of days, look no further. —Michael Wortel


http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/09/27/lrp-quadra-competition-v1-2/feed/ 0
VIPER VTX8 SPEED CONTROL WITH EZ LINK AND VF8.21 MOTOR http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/viper-vtx8-speed-control-with-ez-link-and-vf8-21-motor/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=viper-vtx8-speed-control-with-ez-link-and-vf8-21-motor http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/viper-vtx8-speed-control-with-ez-link-and-vf8-21-motor/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:30:00 +0000 The RC Car Action Team http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/viper-vtx8-speed-control-with-ez-link-and-vf8-21-motor/ Heavy-duty Brushless Horsepower

Electric horsepower in 1/8-scale models is definitely something you don't want to take lightly. Heavy cars and big volts guarantee the electronics you choose will be getting a workout, and it pays to invest in stout stuff. Viper RC easily scores stout-stuff points with the gear tested in this review, the VTX8 speed control and VF8.21 motor. Just picking up the chunky components is enough to appreciate their robust construction. The orange-anodized speed control is a beefy aluminum-cased affair, and the matte-black motor feels like a primed grenade (in a good way). The only lightweight thing you'll find here is the EZ Link programmer, a slim plastic unit that makes it easy to link to the speed control and make setup changes (which is probably why it's called EZ Link).


In addition to the 2100KV VF8.21, Viper offers the VF8.19 (1900KV) and VF8.27 (2700KV). Note the 3mm and 4mm mounting holes. Convenient.

The VTX8 is ruggedly built with an all-aluminum case. Nice touches include the carbon-fiber fan guard and the tuning LEDs built into the switch housing.

The VTX8 is available as a combo with the EZ Link tuner. Highly recommended for a just $15 extra.

As with this issue's other power system review, the VTX8 combo has more features and adjustments than we can fit here. For a full list of all you can tweak, check the specs.

Adjustable brake and throttle frequency and curves: We're used to seeing adjustable throttle and brake curves (also known as exponential or “expo”) as transmitter adjustments, but the VTX8 lets you alter the curves via the speed control. There are five positive and five negative curves for throttle and brake, each set independently. For even finer control of throttle and brake feel, the switching rate of each can be set—600-16,000Hz for the brake, 2000-48,000Hz for throttle. Lower frequencies give a more aggressive feel, higher frequencies feel smoother.

Smart Braking: The throttle gets all the glory, but braking control is a huge contributor to racing success. That makes Viper's Smart Braking system well worth experimenting with. The system is essentially a two-stage drag brake that allows you to select two different drag brake settings and set a “trigger rpm.” You set one drag brake value to be applied above the trigger rpm, and another value to be applied below it. Smart Braking also includes a “Dynamic Curve” setting. Once you reach the Trigger RPM, the system transitions smoothly to the drag brake value using the braking curve you selected.

Multi-stage timing advance: Timing advance isn't typically used in 1/8-scale racing, but nonetheless, the VTX8's timing advance system is highly configurable. In addition to setting the maximum timing advance (up to 20°), you can set the rpm at which timing advance (“boost”) is applied, as low as 500rpm or as high as 30,000rpm. You can also set the “Finish RPM,” if you don't want boost over a certain rpm. “Top Speed Timing” is also offered, allowing additional timing advance at maximum rpm — up to 5° in addition to the maximum timing advance setting. The rate at which the speed control applies the additional timing is set by adjusting the “slew rate” value from 1 to 10. Choose a lower value for a smoother transition, or a higher value for a more aggressive kick. If you experiment with timing changes, keep a close eye on motor temperature.

eight profiles: Viper pre-loads the VTX8 with four factory-programmed setups or “profiles,” plus four “blank” profiles for your custom setups. The factory profiles include two 1/8 buggy/truggy setups for 4S and 6S LiPo power, and two short-course setups with 2S LiPo and 2-pole or 4-pole motors. Each of the factory profiles can be tweaked to your liking if you don't want to create an entirely new profile.

Programming with V-Link

The V-Link's graphic interface makes it easy to dial in the VTX8's settings

In addition to the EZ-Link programmer, you can set up the VTX8 using a computer and the free V-Link download (Windows only, sorry, Mac guys). Once you plug the speed control into your computer using the PC Link cable (GVSPCLINK1), you can dial in the speed control's settings and update firmware using graphic controls. Configure the settings as you like, click “update,” and go.


  • ⊕ Ultra-adjustable

  • ⊕ Inexpensive EZ Link makes programming simple

  • ⊕ High-quality construction

  • ⊕ Excellent power and performance


  • ⊝ One-sheet manual could be clearer



  • Item no.: 6VSVT08001 (w/EZ-Link); 6VSVT08002 (VTX-8 only)

  • Price: $205; $190

  • Input voltage: 7.4-22.2V (2S-6S LiPo)

  • Motor limit: None

  • Case size: 46 × 53 × 41mm

  • Case material: Aluminum

  • On resistance: 0.00036Ω

  • Rated current per phase:

  • Cooling fan: Installed

  • BEC volts/amps: 7V/5A

  • Weight w/o wires: 113g

  • Power wires: 12AWG

  • Overload protection: Thermal (motor and speed control)

  • Low-voltage cutoff: Yes, adjustable (3.0V — 21.0V)


  • Maximum brake: 0-100%

  • Drag brake: 0-100%

  • Brake frequency: 600Hz-160,000Hz

  • Brake curve: 1-5 positive; linear; 1-5 negative

  • Throttle frequency: 2000Hz-48,000Hz

  • Throttle punch: 1% -100%

  • Throttle curve: 1-5 positive; linear; 1-5 negative

  • Dead band: narrow/middle/wide/off

  • Acceleration boost: start/finish rpm, timing advance 0-20°

  • Top-speed motor timing: slew rate 1-10, 1-5° timing

  • Run mode: Practice/Blinking/Race

  • Motor direction: normal/reverse

  • Motor type: 2-, 4-, 6-pole

  • BEC voltage: 5-7v

  • Forward throttle: 50-100%

  • Reverse throttle: 25-100%

  • Auto-off: Disabled, 1-10 minutes

  • Battery cut-off: 3.0-21.0V

  • Motor temperature cutoff: off, 160-260°F

  • Speed control temperature cut-off: off, 160-260°F


  • Item no.: 8VSF082101

  • Price: $150

  • Dimensions: 69 × 42mm

  • Shaft: 19 × 5mm

  • Maximum voltage: 14.8V (4S LiPo)

  • KV: 2100

  • Rotor: 4-pole

  • Weight: 317g


The VTX8 arrives with the power wires already attached, so installation is quick. Use care when cutting and soldering the motor wires though; they aren't color-coded, so it's easy to mix them up if you aren't paying attention. The speed control's aluminum case has big, bold labels for the wires, so just open your eyes and you'll do fine. Radio calibration is simple; entering the calibration mode sets the neutral point automatically (so make sure your finger is off the trigger), then you just press the setup button to confirm the full throttle and full brake positions. Programming the speed control requires focus to count LED flashes (as is typical for modern speed controls) but Viper gets points for building the LEDs into the switch rather than burying them in the speed control. The hot setup is to skip the LEDs and get the VTX8 as a combo with the EZ Link programmer. You can save $15 if you get the VTX8 without the EZ Link, but you're going to want it and it'll cost you $25 to buy it separately — save $10 and get the combo. With the EZ Link, you just scroll through options using arrow keys, hit “OK” to select them, then use the arrow keys to adjust the values up and down. Much faster, much easier, and there's no wondering if you were actually adjusting what you thought you were adjusting. For actual track testing, I asked friend and regular 1/8 buggy racer Jason Fiock to install the Viper VTX8 and VF8.21 motor in his Tekno EB48.2. Jason reported the system was that very fast and very smooth, and the 2100KV motor delivered plenty of horsepower, with no shortage of torque to power out of turns and more than enough top speed for the straights. In fact, Jason wondered if Viper's VF8.19 1900KV motor might be a better choice for the tight track (Indy RC World in Garland, TX). Jason opted to run 3-cell with the 2100KV motor, and easily tapped in the appropriate low-voltage cutoff setting with the EZ Link programmer. Adjustments to drag brake and punch were also easy to make and effective. The more advanced options perform as indicated, but they require a good window of practice time in order to set them appropriately for the track'show up early, use the EZ Link, and if you've got the skills to make them work for you, a well-programmed setup can make a big difference in your lap times and how easily you get around the track.


Add Viper to the list of heavy-duty power systems worth considering for your 1/8 buggy or truggy, or 4WD short-course machine. The VTX8 and VF8 motor combo proved smooth, fast, and reliable, and with the EZ Link programmer, it was also very easy to program. Because the VTX8 has so many tuning options, the ability to quickly and confidently make adjustments is a huge plus. Overall construction and finishes on the speed control and motor are excellent, and as noted, they really perform. Unsurprisingly, this level of quality and capability doesn't come with bargain pricing, but the Viper gear is priced competitively with the other established high-performance 1/8-scale players, and in some cases, costs less.

http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/viper-vtx8-speed-control-with-ez-link-and-vf8-21-motor/feed/ 0
LRP FLOW WORKSTREAM SPEED CONTROL AND X20 MOTOR http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/lrp-flow-workstream-speed-control-and-x20-motor/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=lrp-flow-workstream-speed-control-and-x20-motor http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/lrp-flow-workstream-speed-control-and-x20-motor/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:30:00 +0000 The RC Car Action Team http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/lrp-flow-workstream-speed-control-and-x20-motor/ TRIED · TESTED · TORTURED

Worlds-winning Pro Power System

As its name implies, LRP's Flow WorksTeam speed control is the blue crew's top-of-the line racing speed control, as used by LRP's team drivers. That includes Steven Hartson, who used it in his Associated B44.2 to win the 2013 IFMAR off-Road Electric 4WD Worlds, and Ronald Volker, who just won the prestigious 2014 Reedy Touring Car Race and recently sealed his fourth consecutive European Touring Car Series title. The Flow models include the WorksTeam for stock and modified classes and the slightly lower priced Flow Competition, which is perfect for stock racing because of its 9.5 turn motor limit. A machined aluminum case, included cooling fan, and an improved commutation algorithm keep temps in check, and naturally, the speed control offers a full range of tuning adjustments including variable timing. I tested the Flow WorksTeam in combination with LRP's X20 modified motor for the full LRP professional-grade brushless power experience.


The Flow Worksteam helped steven Hartson score the IFMar Worlds 4Wd cup, which can hold a ton of M&Ms.

It would require more space than we have here to cover all of the Flow WorksTeam's features, but here are a few standouts that merit a closer look. For a complete list of the Flow's adjustable settings, see the Specs.

Torque, Boost and Turbo timing: Dynamic timing advance is not a new idea in speed controls, but LRP goes one step further with the concept by offering three different types of timing change. Boost Timing works like the dynamic timing advance you may already be familiar with. Without physically altering the motor's sensor configuration, the speed control applies 5 – 50° of timing advance (as set by you) across the full rpm range. Torque timing actually reduces the amount of torque you feel making the low end smoother, which is helpful when you've got more torque than traction — and the X20 motors definitely have a lot of torque. Turbo Timing advances timing beyond the Boost setting, adding another 5, 7, or 10° of timing at full throttle.

Adjustable Boost Trigger and Boost angle: In case it hasn't already hit you, you can really fine-tune timing with the Flow. The boost trigger setting is the rpm at which the electronic timing advance engages, and boost angle refers to timing in degrees per 1,000rpm. For example, if you set the Flow for 30° of timing advance (boost), set boost timing for 7,600rpm, and set boost angle for 0.6°, that means the motor will advance timing 0.6° for every 1,000rpm over 7,600. The higher the boost angle, the more aggressive the “boost.”

Boost0 Racing: “Boost zero” is LRP parlance for “blinky mode.” When the Flow's dynamic timing (“boost”) systems are switched off, the speed control's blue LED will flash continuously to indicate there is no timing change when the throttle is applied. This makes it easy to confirm you're not cheating in a stock class or any other “no timing allowed” race situation.

Transmitterless setup changes: you do not need to switch on your transmitter when making setup changes, just power up the Flow and do your thing. If you're using a non-2.4GHz radio, you'll just need to unplug the speed control from the receiver. But seriously, it's 2014. Get a 2.4GHz transmitter already.

Fading Compensation: LRP has devised a unique algorithm to compensate for falling voltage as the battery is depleted, so driving feel does not change (or the change is less apparent, at least).

X-Brake Pro: LRP promises “sharper response and super-linear feeling,” or as you may choose to call it, “crazy strong brakes.” The manual suggests you set up the transmitter to max out at 80% of max braking force. This is good advice.


The Flow speed control and X20 motor install like any other motor, but do pay attention to the speed control's orientation in the chassis. The sensor harness plugs in beneath the solder posts, and will be difficult to access if the back of the speed control is against a chassis rib or the side of the battery tray. The Flow arrives with power wires soldered in place, and the wire lengths are ample for any 1/10 scale car, including mid-motor 2WD buggies. Connector choice is left to you if you prefer to use plugs, and hard-wiring the Flow to the X20 motor's pre-tinned solder tabs was easy thanks to the scalloped tab shape.

I installed the motor using the factory setting for static timing. LRP's static-timing system is unique. Instead of rotating the entire endbell, the endbell is fixed and only the “PreciSensor” sensor assembly rotates. A plastic insert that surrounds the sensor harness plug sets the sensor's position at 27.5, 30, 32.5, 35, or 37.5°, with the 27.5° insert installed at the factory.

Radio setup is very quick; all you have to do is press the SET button to confirm the trigger's neutral, full-throttle, and full-brake positions. Tinkering with the other settings (drag brake, minimum drive, etc.) requires a little more focus; you use the MODE button to cycle through the settings, noting the LED colors to see what mode number you're on, and press the SET button to cycle through the values for each mode. Not hard, but an external programming card or PC interface system would be welcome.

With the default settings, the Flow cranks up power smoothly, precisely, and seemingly effortlessly — it's eerily good. The factory minimum drive setting of 7% throttle delivers a punchy but tractable feel that can easily be cranked higher for lower-power motors or dialed down for even more precise low-throttle control, which is helpful with a hot motor such as the 7.5-turn modified I installed (the 8.5-turn motor shown in photos is from our March issue's X20 motor review). I bumped drag brake from zero to 6% to suit my preference, and turned maximum brake down to about 70% at the transmitter. The Flow has a lot of braking force, with excellent modulation. If you run on high-traction tracks that favor hard, late braking, you'll like the precise braking feel. Slow is fast for me, so my experimentation with the boost setting was purely in the name of a thorough review — I don't need more straightaway speed! Unlike some speed controls I've driven that seem to “shift gears” when timing advance kicks in, the Flow retained its smooth feel with lower “boost angle” settings. As the manual explained, higher values gave a more aggressive “kick in” feel. With zero boost, my Associated T4.2 Factory Team topped out at 40.1mph. With the maximum boost setting of 50°, that speed jumped to 46.5mph. Yep, it works.


  • ⊕ Pro-quality gear proven in battle'see Steven Hart-son's Worlds win

  • ⊕ Highly tuneable timing advance system

  • ⊕ Simple, precise static-timing adjustment

  • ⊕ Solid aluminum speed control case

  • ⊕ Updateable firmware


  • ⊝ Not cheap (no surprise there)

  • ⊝ LRP doesn't offer a programming card or computer interface for setting changes



  • Item no.: 80970 (Flow WorksTeam speed control only); 81143 (Flow WorksTeam with X20 7.5 motor)

  • Price: $190; $270

  • Input voltage: 3.7-7.4V

  • Motor limit (7.4V): 3-turn

  • Case size: 32 × 34 × 21mm

  • Case material: Aluminum

  • Voltage drop (@ 20amp per phase): 0.011V

  • Rated current per phase: 400A

  • Cooling fan: Included

  • BEC volts/amps: 6V/3A

  • Power wires: 12 gauge

  • Weight (without wires): 40g

  • Overload protection: Thermal (motor and speed control), locked rotor

  • Low-voltage cutoff: Yes, adjustable (3.2, 4.0, 6.4V)


  • Drag brake: 0-40%

  • Minimum drive: 3-12%

  • Torque timing: 5-25°, off

  • Boost timing: 5-50°, off

  • Boost angle & activation (degress:1000rpm): 0.2-4.5

  • Turbo timing: 5, 7, 10°, off


  • Item no.: 50664

  • Price: $95

  • Input voltage: 3.7-7.4V

  • RPM (7.4V): 34,040

  • RPM per volt (KV): 4,600

  • Power (Watts) (7.4V): 357

  • Weight: 165g

  • Rotor: Balanced Work-sTeam, sintered, 12.5mm

  • Winding: Star pattern, copper multistrand

  • Rules compliance: IFMAR, EFRA, ROAR, FEMCA, JMRCA, BRCA, DMC


The Flow WorlsTeam includes an optional plug-in fan.

Note the rectangular insert around the sensor port. Four additional inserts are included to alter the angle of the PreciSensor and set static timing.

Here's the Flow Work-sTeam in Steven Hartson's B44.2 Factory Team. Note the optional WorksTeam capacitor.

I installed the Flow in an Associated T4.2 for testing.

Is anyone really going to be surprised that a $270 power system with Worlds-winning cred turns out to be a top performer? Probably not — I certainly wasn't surprised, given my previous experience with LRP gear and the inarguable success LRP has had on the track its many National and World titles. The Flow WorksTeam and X20 motor ooze quality and project a “serious racing equipment” vibe because they are indeed high quality and are serious racing gear. The price matches the performance, but the LRP gear is priced in line with competitive systems from other brands, so it's hard to complain there. And, you get what you pay for. In this case, you're paying for a speed control and motor that can win World Championships. —Peter Vieira

World's Fastest Firmware

The optional Bridge Spec.2 Firmware Update Link lets you connect the Flow WorksTeam to your computer and download the latest firmware via a simple online interface.

There was once a time when having the latest software in your speed control required you to go out and buy the latest speed control. With the LRP Flow, SXX, iX8, and Spin speed controls, you can update the firmware via your computer, assuring you always have the latest and high-performance code straight from the factory. Along with access to a PC or Mac and the required software download (free, of course), you'll need LRP's no. 81801 USB Bridge Spec.2 Firmware Update Link (not free, $35). The updater connects to the speed control the sensor wire port and plugs into the computer via USB port. Then all you have to do is follow the prompts on the screen to connect the speed control with the software, select the firmware file, and update the speed control. The latest updates for the LRP Flow are V4.7 for on-road, used by Ronald Volker in his on-road victories, and V3.8 for off-road, which is the same firmware Steven Hartson used to win the 2013 IFMAR Electric Off-Road Worlds' 4WD class championship. I uploaded the new V3.8 code for this review and the process was simple and fast.

http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/lrp-flow-workstream-speed-control-and-x20-motor/feed/ 0
BASHER NITRO CIRCUS 4X4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/basher-nitro-circus-4x4/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=basher-nitro-circus-4x4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/basher-nitro-circus-4x4/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:30:00 +0000 Peter Vieira http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/basher-nitro-circus-4x4/ 1/10-SCALE 4WD SHORT COURSE TRUCK | ARR


Brushless power, 4WD, and 1/10 scale at a price you'd expect to pay for a mini

These are facts. The Basher Nitro Circus 4X4 short-course truck has a shaft-driven 4WD system, aluminum shocks, aluminum chassis, full ball bearings, steel gears, and a 3S-compatible brushless power system. It's 1/10 scale, not a mini. And it costs $180 as you see it here, minus transmitter and receiver. OK, so no radio gear, that saves a few bucks, but this much truck for under $200 is astounding. There are corners cut (you have to put the decals on yourself, no tools are included, the manual is sparse), but there appears to be good stuff in all the right places, and nothing looks patently weird or cheap. Generic maybe, since there are no logos or graphics on the gear beneath the body, but it all looks like solid stuff. For $180, it's well within “why not, I'll try one” range for an adult-sized RC budget, and highly tempting for anyone mowing lawns, washing cars, or walking dogs to finance their next purchase. Is it worth the dough? The only way to judge Basher's first short-course machine is by driving it, which is exactly what we're about to do.


  • Item no.: 9249000806-0

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $180

  • Weight, as tested 5 lb., 13.5 oz. (2651g)


  • Material: 2.5mm Aluminum

  • Type: Plate with plastic side guards


  • Type: Upper and lower wishbone with pivot ball

  • Inboard upper arm positions (F/R): 1/1

  • Outboard upper arm positions (F/R): 1/1

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 8/2

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 8/2


  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 12mm bore

  • Shafts: Plated steel, 3.5mm

  • Volume compensation: Emulsion


  • Type: 4WD shaft

  • Spur gear/pinion: 44T / 14T, steel

  • Differential F/R: Sealed bevel gear, greased

  • Driveshafts: Steel dogbones

  • Bearings: Metal-shielded ball bearings


  • Wheels: Standard short-course style, 12mm hex

  • Tires: Rubber multi-terrain tread

  • Inserts: Closed cell


  • Servo: Standard type, torque not stated

  • Speed control: 35-amp forward/reverse for sensorless brushless motor

  • Motor: 2080KV Sensorless


  • Transmitter: Hobby King GT2B 2.4GHz 3-channel

  • Receiver: Hobby King GT2B 2.4GHz 3-channel

  • Battery: Zippy 4000mAh 3Sl LiPo and Turnigy 5.0 5000mAh 2S LiPo


Like the front and rear diffs, the center differential is sealed for oil but filled with grease, and features a steel ring gear. Stout aluminum center shafts connect the diffs.

More big-buggy tech, with front, center, and rear differentials in place. The diffs are sealed to accept oil, but are grease-filled from the factory. Each diff holds two spider gears instead of four to save a few pennies, and dogbone driveshafts are fitted front and rear in lieu of universal joint shafts to further trim cost. The pinion and spur gear are steel, and the center driveshafts — long rear, stubby front — are solid aluminum turnings that engage the differentials with steel cross-pins. Gear mesh is set “nitro style,” by sliding the motor and its chunky machined-aluminum mount closer or farther from the spur gear. The motor mount's cap nearly spans the entire length of the motor and is deeply finned, which will help keep motor temps in check. Again, all the parts are nicely executed. Nothing fancy, but far nicer than what you might expect from such an inexpensive truck.


Turnbuckles set toe-in, and pivot balls adjust camber. Note the three-screw caps that capture the pivot balls. They work, but there's no provision for adjusting pivot ball play. The shocks are nice-looking, especially for the price.

Basher cleverly uses identical suspension arms on all four corners of the Nitro Circus, which helps achieve the kits low, low price and also makes it easier to keep spares handy. Pivot balls handle both suspension articulation and steering movement, which allows identical hub carriers to be used front and rear—again, fewer unique parts = lower price. The shocks are very well executed for a truck of any price, with dark anodizing, finely threaded bodies, and a dual-cap design for easy seal access. The shock bores are 12mm, which puts them into “big bore” territory, and their action is smooth out of the box. The shafts scuff easily, however, and their shiny finish was dulled after a few runs. From the factory, damping is very light, which gives the truck a lot of pitch and roll action as you drive'thicker oil will help.


The rims are molded in red and wrapped in soft rubber. The painted beadlock detailing looks nice, but flakes off easily.

This is a $180 truck? The Nitro Circus still looks like a far more expensive ride.

The Basher's big battery tray easily holds the fat Zippy 3S LiPo I chose for testing.

The Nitro Circus 4X4's chassis configuration is loosely based on ⅛-scale buggy tech, and features the familiar plate-chassis and upper-deck construction we're used to seeing on big buggies. The 2.5mm chassis plate has slightly radiused sides that help provide additional stiffness, but it's the 3-piece machined aluminum upper deck that provides the real support. The center differential is pushed well forward on the chassis to make room for the not-included battery, and the simple post-and-strap battery retainer can accommodate standard size packs as well as taller configurations (such as the Zippy 3S pack I installed). Overall fit and finish looks good, with and a media-blasted finish to hide machine marks and a nice shade of bronze anodizing applied to the aluminum parts. It doesn't look like a $180 truck.


No fancy graphics, but Basher's 35-amp speed control and 2080KV sensorless motor performed reliably in testing.

There's no shortage of aluminum in that motor mount.

When it comes to getting a 1/10-scale 4WD short-course truck to hustle, only brushless power will do. Incredibly, Basher has managed to provide the Nitro Circus with a pretty solid setup for the truck's price. The 2080KV motor isn't particularly speedy on a two-cell LiPo (I clocked the truck at 23mph on a Turnigy 5000mAh pack), but with a 3-cell brick installed (a Zippy 4000mAh in this case), the Nitro Circus will easily blast to 36mph. The system is sensorless and free of any fancy graphics, but who cares? It works. Heck, it's even adjustable, with adjustable max-reverse throttle, brake force, drag brake, deadband, punch, and timing. The speed control auto-detects LiPo cell count and cuts voltage at 3.2 volts per cell. You can select lower voltages, but better to play it safe.


Mike's Hobby Shop in Carrollton, TX, was the site of the Basher Nitro Circus 4X4's photo shoot and maiden voyage. The outdoor track is an off-road playground that sees action from a variety of vehicle types and scales week in and week out, and was a good all-around test of the Basher's manners in the dirt. The truck's 4WD system was highly welcome on the slippery layer of loose dirt that covered the harder-packed earth beneath. Where 2WD trucks require a light touch, the Basher just drifted through in full opposite lock with all four tires churning. The lightly damped suspension allowed an ample amount of body roll, which made the truck appear very animated on the track but also contributed to the occasional handling surprise as the chassis recovered and broke traction with a spinout. The tires contributed some handling sketchiness as well, as their carcasses are very soft and the truck rolls onto the sidewalls when pushed hard in the corners. Not to worry, we're not racing here—if you spin out, just re-aim the truck and keep driving.

As expected for a 4WD short-course truck, the Nitro Circus flew off jumps well and responded well to throttle inputs for flight corrections as long as the truck wasn't pitched into the wind and “parachuting,” as short-course trucks tend to do with their full-coverage bodies. Backsiding jumps allowed for smooth touch downs, but flat-landing overtaxed the shocks factory spring and damping setup, allowing the chassis to slap frequently. The Basher took it in stride, however, showing only scuffs for all the wear and tear. Flips and tumbles also did little to faze the truck, which rolled out ready for more action after each biff.

After wrapping up the photo shoot and fun-running at Mike's, I gave the Nitro Circus a thorough street thrashing at home. Nothing beats driving at a track, but most RC vehicles (especially play cars) see much more action hopping curbs and pounding playgrounds. In the wide-open spaces of the neighborhood cul-de-sac, the Basher's 2S top speed of 23mph did not seem as speedy as it did on the track—3S was definitely the way to go, with 36mph on tap for a lot more fun. 4WD made it easy to climb over the neighborhood's beveled curbing and the shallow transitions from street to sidewalk made good jumps. I was surprised how hard the truck could be pushed through turns on the grippy concrete without flipping. The Nitro Circus put on a good show as its chassis leaned mightily and the tires folded beneath the rims, but it hung on. Cutting the throttle would initiate a pleasing slide, and cop-show chase maneuvers ensued. Quick direction changes were not the truck's forte, however. The steering servo isn't very speedy, and the servo saver is very soft — which is good for preventing servo damage, but made the truck feel lazy when trying to make quick heading changes. No changes were made to the truck's setup during testing, save one. While reverse was handy when nosed against obstacles, the factory setting only gave reverse 20% of the power forward-throttle offered, and it made for lethargic back-ups. Bumping max-reverse up to 100% took only a few moments of button-pushing, and enabled much more aggressive stunt driving.


  • Crazy low price

  • Higher quality and performance than expected

  • Adjustable speed control

  • Floppy handling

  • Decals application is left to you

  • No hobby store parts support


HOBBY KING HK GT2B Transmitter

Low-cost, reliable, and LiPo-powered. Pretty good for $25!

Basher offers the Nitro Circus “ARR,” which stands for “Almost Ready To Run” and means you'll have to supply your own transmitter and receiver. I chose Hobby King's $25 GT2B system and my expectations were low (based on the $25 price tag), but the 3-channel setup proved quite reliable and delivered more range than my eyesight would allow. There are rubber grips on the wheel and handle instead of bare plastic as cheap transmitters often use, and there's even a dual-rate steering knob under the radio's “hood” (along with the usual trims and channel-reversing switches). The biggest surprise is the included battery — not a set of alkalines, but an 800mAh LiPo! Hobby King even includes a USB charger that plugs into the radio. Once installed, the battery never has to come out. Dislikes? Only one: the chrome steering wheel, which works fine but looks like a Pep Boys hubcap.


When discussing the Basher Nitro Circus 4X4, it's hard not to begin every sentence with, “For $180 …” Any of the truck's shortcomings dissolve into hardly-worth-mentioning quibbles when you consider the very low price. Could use thicker shock fluid? I have to put the decals on myself? Needs a 3S pack to top 30mph? Who cares, it's $180! I hate to use the old “bang for the buck” cliché, but Basher really does deliver a high bang-to-dollar ratio here, leaving plenty of cash in your PayPal account for upgrades, more batteries, or whatever. The only thing low price can't make better is the lack of hobby store support. With no parts on the wall at your favorite RC dealer, you'll be left waiting by the mailbox when parts go pop. But if you're already out of range to visit brick and mortar stores and buying everything online anyway, there's no reason not to give the Nitro Circus 4X4 a shot if you'd like to get into 4WD short course on the cheap.


http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/08/27/basher-nitro-circus-4x4/feed/ 0