RC Car Action Membership Site http://www.rccaraction.com/members RC Car Action Membership Site Thu, 30 Oct 2014 18:57:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 XTM RACING X-SERIES SHORT COURSE TRUCK BRUSHLESS POWER SYSTEM http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/xtm-racing-x-series-short-course-truck-brushless-power-system/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=xtm-racing-x-series-short-course-truck-brushless-power-system http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/xtm-racing-x-series-short-course-truck-brushless-power-system/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/xtm-racing-x-series-short-course-truck-brushless-power-system/ Powerful 4-Pole Punch for 2WD and 4WD SC Machines

The 3300KV 4-pole motor has attractive machined detailing and etched logos. six mounting holes assure you'll be able to position the motor for best wire placement.

“Speed costs. How fast do you want to go?” We've all heard that one a thousand times, and for good reason: it's true. More speed and more power always means more money, but it doesn't have to be as much as you think. Case in point, Hobby People's XTM X-Series power systems, which aim to put sensorless brushless power into your favorite car or truck for maximum go with minimum dough. Two motor combos are offered, each with XTM's 3S-rated, 60-amp speed control. You can get a 540-size 3900KV motor, or the setup I tested, with a 550-size 3300KV power-plant. The speed control and 4-pole motor arrive pre-wired and ready for plug-in installation with 4mm bullet connectors, and a “T connector” (aka Deans clone) for battery hookup. And the price? Just $120 for the 550/3300KV setup, and $110 if you opt for the 540/3900KV combo. It's a good deal on a good power system, as I discovered.


  • Item no.: 145700

  • Price: $120

  • Includes: X60 speed control w/cooling fan, X550 3300kV motor, instructions


  • Input Voltage: 2S/3S liPo, 6-8 cell NiMH (7.2-11.1V)

  • Continuous current: 60 mps

  • Burst current: 380 amps

  • Resistance: 0.0007 ohms

  • BEC output: 6 volts / 3 amps

  • Motor Type: Brushless Sensorless

  • Suitable Motors: 540-size and 550-size*

  • Battery Connector: Deans-style

  • Motor connectors: 4mm gold-Plated Bullet

  • Dimensions: 2.04 × 1.49 × 1.41 inches (52 × 38 × 36mm)

  • Weight: 3.8 oz. (107g)

Adjustable settings (Programming Modes):

  • LiPo cutoff voltage

  • Reverse lockout

  • Motor timing (Very Low; Low; Normal; High; Very High)

  • Initial acceleration (punch) (Low, Medium, High, Very High)

  • Reverse throttle limit (20-100%)

  • Forward throttle limit (20-90%, off)

  • Maximum brake (10-100%)

  • Drag brake (0-30%)

  • Motor rotation (normal, reverse)

  • Neutral range (deadband) (2-10%)


  • Watts: 1200

  • Maximum Voltage: 15 volts

  • Maximum Amps: 80 amps

  • Poles: 4 Resistance: 0.0095 KV: 3300 Maximum rpm: 50000

  • Shaft Size: 3.175mm

  • Dimensions: 55 × 36mm

  • Weight: 6.9 oz. (195g)


The X60 speed control is tall, but has a small footprint. The cooling fan is included and factory mounted.

Since my X-Series combo was designed for 2WD and 4WD short-course trucks, I installed the system in a Traxxas Slash 4X4. The system installed as quickly as I could thread the motor screws, slide on a pinion, and peel mounting tape—everything just plugs right in. The color-coded motor wires have deep, gold-plated plugs that grip tightly but can still be removed without tear-a-phone-book-in-half strength when required, and there's ample wire length for any 1/10 vehicle. Neat freaks may want to shorten the wires, but I don't mind extra wire in my fun-runners, especially when it allows me to swap the power system to another car without re-wiring.

If to want to dig into the wide range of customizable settings (see the spec chart for the list), you can get the optional programming card (Item no. 145725, $22). It's easy to use; all you need to do is click MENU until you reach the number of the Programming Mode you wish to adjust, then click VALUE until the value you want is displayed, then click OK to enter the value. One hitch: the manual doesn't numbered the Programming Modes for you, so you'll have to bust out a Sharpie and number the modes in the manual yourself.


Sensorless brushless systems give up some low-speed throttle resolution compared to sensored setups, but this e ect is minimal with the X-Series combo. Unless you're trying to creep as slowly as possible (what fun is that?), you'll never wish you had finer throttle control when slowing for U-turns or picking through obstacles. The real fun, of course, is in mashing the trigger. A big squeeze is rewarded with an instant blast of tire-spinning torque, and the 3300KV motor had no trouble lighting up the Slash 4X4's BFGoodrich replica tires on pavement before they hooked up and shot the truck down the street. The Initial Acceleration setting (AKA “punch”) is set to “High” from the factory, with “Very High” easily accessed via the optional programming card. In the interest of battery life and motor heating, I stuck with the stock setting, but for high-grip drag racing, Very High will get you out of the hole with maximum thrust. The rest of the X60's setting were spot-on for all-around fun driving, including the 50% throttle setting for reverse. It's all you need for stunting, and if you just gotta have more, you can bump it all the way up to 100%. The other settings are more track-oriented, but “Throttle Forward Limit” may come in handy if you want to let an inexperienced driver take the wheel, as it lets you dial back maximum throttle to as low as 20%. Instead of looking like the heel who won't let little Timmy try your toy car, you can hand over the transmitter without worrying that the Timster is going to instantly spike your truck into the nearest hard object at full speed.


  • High-quality look and feel

  • Punchy performance

  • Lots of adjustability

  • Good value


  • Programming card required to access full tuning potential


The optional programming card id required to access the X60's adjustable features—it's well worth the extra $22.

The XTM X-Series power system im pressed me with its easy installation, solid construction and performance, and quality feel. There's no low-end vibe going on here, and I would expect the power system to sell for more than its $120 price tag. Beyond performance and specs, there's added value in having XTM service and support is as close as your local Hobby People and hobbypeople.com — something you don't get if you go for the cheapest of the cheap bargain brushless systems from off-brand names. The only hitch is the X60 speed control requires you to purchase a programming card to access all of its tuning adjustments. I like programming cards for convenience, but I'd prefer a card not be absolutely required. Many X-Series buyers may not notice or care, however, and will just plug the system in and hit the dirt without ever thinking about setup again. Final word: as a value-priced sport power system for high-performance fun driving, the XTM X-Series is a capable combo worth a slice of your RC budget. –Peter Vieira


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TRINITY MOTOLYSER http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/trinity-motolyser/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=trinity-motolyser http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/trinity-motolyser/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/trinity-motolyser/ High-tech motor testing for peak performance

It almost looks too simple, but the Motolyser's touch pad helps you navigate through a multitude of sophisticated test parameters. Once the Motolyser is up and running, testing motors is quick and easy. It's a good idea to keep a note pad handy to keep track of your motors testing history.

In all types of racing, whether full-scale or RC, extracting maximum power and efficiency from the power system is critical, and the ability to measure performance is essential to that end. Back in the heyday of brushed motor competition, there were numerous dynos and tools to monitor and optimize performance. With the advent of brushless motors, the incompatible brushed-motor dyno technologies disappeared, leaving racers to simply trust the motor manufacturers that their motors were operating at full potential. Trinity is the exclusive importer of the Motolyzer, a device that allows you to analyze brushless motor performance with precision and insight not available before. The device measures motor timing, rpm, and overall efficiency as well as providing diagnostic functions. With a handful of motors, I put the Motolyser to work in the pursuit of maximum performance.


A handy kickstand is incorporated into the Motolysers case to prop it up making the backlit LCD screen clearly visible.

Easy-to-use design. The relative small size of the Motolyser makes it easy to transport in your regular arsenal of racing gear. The functions of each of the plugs that are located on the left side are clearly labeled on the front face of Motolyser for easy identification. Once powered, the Motolyser's easy-to-read backlit LCD screen clearly displayed current information of the mode being tested. Navigating through the different testing modes and parameters is done via the front touch pad that you can either push up/down and side to side on the touch buttons or scroll menus by rubbing your finger in a clockwise/counterclockwise motion on the touch wheel.

Testing Modes

Sensor Timing Advance. This feature measures and shows the quality of your motor's sensor. Ideally, when you set the timing on your motor (30 degrees for example), you want the three sensor elements connected to your A, B, and C leads to measure exactly the same number of degrees.


Item no. TEP9009

Price: $400

Input voltage: 3.4V – 8.6V

Display size: 36mm × 12mm

Display resolution: 128 × 23 pixels

Length: 117mm

Width: 73mm

Height: 25mm

Weight: 102 grams


  • Extremely informative motor tuning tool

  • Simple to use and understand motor readings

  • Easy to navigate display


  • Expensive


It was an easy task when it came time to hook up the Motolyser and get it ready for testing. All wires needed to hook up a batter and to hook up a motor to the Motolyser came with the unit. All the hook ups to the Motolyser are located on the left side of the unit and are clearly labeled for easy identification and to avoid confusion. All the motor and battery wires use a 3mm banana plug on one end with an alligator clip on the other with a sensor wire plugging into a sensor port. The Motolyser includes a built in kickstand to help you easily read the screen during testing.

When it was time to test the Motolyser, I packed up my race gear like I normally do, only this time including the Motolyser to my arsenal of tools and headed down to SDRC Raceway in Miramar, CA. Since I was planning on running in the 17.5 stock buggy I brought half a dozen 17.5T brushless motors to test in the pits before choosing one for racing. I had a couple of pairs of the same motor, which the Motolyser should help me see how different or the same two of the same make motors. I also brought a few motors that had lots of race time logged on them to see how they would stack up against fresh motors. I started with the pairs of motors I had and the first pair I tested were two Novak Vulcan 17.5-turn stock motors. With both motors set on 30-degrees of timing, and with a notepad ready to write down test numbers I started the Motolyser by tapping on the right button on the touch pad while in the “start motor” screen. The motor fired up at 50% power with the option of ramping it up to 100% power. A good motor should show all sensor timing and phase current numbers from the A/B/C terminals and that's what the first test motor initially showed. The A and C terminals were reading right around 30% of timing while the B terminal was slightly off reading 4 degrees under 30, which was backed up with the B terminal drawing slightly less current. When I hooked up the second Novak Vulcan 17.5 motor, the numbers showed all A/B/C terminals were closer to being the same and showed higher rpm number under the same testing parameters. I ran the same tests on the rest of the motors I had with me and found that my current competition motors were decently fast compared to the new motors, but were slightly down on rpm and the timing numbers showed a bigger difference between the A/B/C terminals with the current draw numbers varied as well. On the track, I tested the two Vulcan motors with the same gearing and the same battery pack (after charging it up) and the lap time did back up the Motolyser's findings, the motor with the better numbers was a up to four tenths faster on the track.

Phase Current. In the phase current mode, the Motolyser shows you true RMS (Root Mean Square) current for each phase, or A/B/C terminals. This measurement preferably should read similar values on each terminal. If the amount is off on one of the phases, it shows that the stator is not balanced or something is hindering a smooth electric flow through the motor.

Motor Drive. ' is mode shows the voltage of the battery powering the Motolyser and once you start the motor at the default 50% speed, the screen shows you motor rpm, current draw and the rpm per voltage ratio (KV). Here, the Motolyser shows the battery is supplying 8.28 volts; motor rpm is 12,594; rpm per volt at 50% power is 3,062; amp draw is 0.27A; and motor timing on the endbell is 50 degrees.


The easily accessible plugs on the left side of the Motolyser allowed quick hook up of the battery and the test motor. A USB port is included for any future firmware updates

When my day of testing and racing was over, the data I was able to collect from the Motolyzer and put to work on the track made me feel confident that I had the fastest possible powerplant in my buggy. By the time you read this, the Motolyser will have even more functionality. A patch will be available to all Motolyzer owners that will change amp draw and RPM with timing to gather even more data. The Motolyser is a high-quality and effective tool, but at $400, it's priced out of reach of casual racers. Savvy race shops would be smart to purchase a Motolyser to service their racers, as it would definitely be worth $5-$10 to have a motor spun up on the Motolyser. If you do happen to be a bucks-up racer who can afford to buy a Motolyser for personal use, you'll find it's a valuable investment in your quest to stay ahead of the competition. —Joel Navarro


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ORION VORTEX R10.1 SPEED CONTROL & VST2 PRO MOTOR http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/orion-vortex-r10-1-speed-control-vst2-pro-motor/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=orion-vortex-r10-1-speed-control-vst2-pro-motor http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/orion-vortex-r10-1-speed-control-vst2-pro-motor/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/orion-vortex-r10-1-speed-control-vst2-pro-motor/ TRIED · TESTED · TORTURED

Orion's two-time World Champ controller is better than ever

The Orion 8.5-turn VST2 Pro brushless motor had smooth power delivery and obeyed every one of the R10.1's commands with precision.

Just like the R10.1, the 8.5T VST2 motor uses dual sensor ports to route your sensor wire in the ideal position. The large surface on the solder tabs ensure a solid solder joint. The gold plating on the solder tabs helps lower resistance.

Winning a World Championship title takes a tremendous amount of work and to produce championship winning electronics takes an equal amount of work. Team Orion put in the hard work with their Vortex R10 speed control and it paid off in 2013 with factory team drivers Jared Tebo and Jilles Grosskamp winning off-road and on-road World Championship titles using the R10. As technology improves and time is spent on the track, things are learned and now Team Orion introduced the Vortex R10.1 Pro. The new speed control features a redesigned aluminum case, updated FETs, a thicker circuit board and improved software profiles. Equally as beneficial from its World Champion experience, the 8.5T VST2 brushless motor features precision CAD-designed aluminum motor can, low-resistance gold-plated solder tabs and a dual sensor wire port. Given the success of this gear in the hands of top pros, I can't wait to see how it performs in the hands of a club racer.


The R10.1 looks downright mean with its black and silver finish. The aluminum case along with the heat sink keep operating temps down to a minimum.

Aluminum Case. R10.1 uses an aluminum case like the one before but the look has been updated and this one has a stealthy black finish on the upper casing that is accented by silver. The aluminum case does a good job of drawing heat away from the electronic components inside but Orion also includes a multi-finned heat sink on top to help dissipate as much heat as possible during operation. Holes are also included on top for the installation of an optional fan for high amp draw conditions and a plug beside the status LED is used to power the fan. The bottom of the case is molded out of plastic and it sports a carbon-fiber finish with the labeling that clearly marks where all the motor and battery wires go.

Upgraded Internals. From the beginning the goal of an electronic speed control was to get the power to the motor as efficiently as possible with the lowest possible resistance. For the new R10.1, Orion used a thicker-printed circuit board that less prone to performance loss due to heat and it lowers resistance at the same time. Orion also incorporated improved FET transistors to smoothly pass the power from the battery to the motor.

Dual Sensor Wire Ports. Modern RC racing cars have been coming in all shapes and sizes making wiring up a car difficult and the only way to mount your electronics in a professional looking way is to get creative with your wiring. The R10.1 is the first speed control to incorporate two sensor wire ports to make it easier to fit your speed control into various areas. One port is found on the top of the speed control while the other is mounted on the side.

Multiple modes. The R10.1 is aimed towards being one of the most versatile speed controls on the market and its updated software helps it achieve that. The different throttle profiles allow you to adjust between a forward only profile with brakes to use in racing applications where reverse isn't allowed. A profile with reverse delay is also available that is useful for everyday bashing and also helpful at the race track during practice when there aren't any turn-marshals around to back up your car if you're up against a pipe. For the rock crawling and trail scale crowd, the forward/reverse with no delay is available. The different modes of the R10.1 can be adjusted easily by using an optional programming box.


Picking a mounting location for the R10.1 is easier thanks to the two sensor ports that are located on the top and side of the speed control.

Installing the R10.1 couldn't get any easier. Orion ships the speed control with preinstalled black wires on the motor and battery terminals and they are long enough to reach the motor in most applications. The bases of the motor wires have a blue/yellow/orange insulation wrapped on them for easy A/B/C motor wire identification. There are no markers however for the battery wires so you have to pay close attention when soldering on your battery connectors or when plugging in your bullet connectors into the battery. I like the look of all black wires on the speed control but feel that it may be a problem for the less experienced user and wires may be plugged in the wrong way. I decided to mount the R10.1 into my Kyosho SC6 short course truck for testing and its small size made it fit nicely onto the speed control shelf mount on the truck right in front of the rear shock tower. The motor wires routed easily through the shock tower leading towards the Orion Vortex VST2 8.5-turn brushless modified test motor for soldering. I cut about an inch and a half of excess wire that gave me the proper slack the motor needed for whatever pinion gear I used. My test truck had plenty of room to mount the large capacitor plate but I could see it being a problem to mount in cars with less space. The side mounting location for the motor sensor was the perfect mounting location in my truck.

Orion Vortex DSB-R Plus Program Box

The big buttons on the front of the DSB-R are clearly labeled and make on-the-fly adjustments easy.

The Orion Vortex R10.1 is a lethal speed control out of the box, but to unlock the full potential of the R10.1 and other speed controls in the Orion line, the optional Orion Vortex DSB-R Plus Program Box is certainly a valuable asset to your secret weapon racing gear. The DSB-R features a large, easy-to-read backlit LCD screen. Orion periodically updates firmware for its R-Series speed controls and using the DSB-R program box allows you install the new software to your speed control. It connects to the R10.1 via an adapter that plugs into the sensor wire port. In addition to accessing the regular program parameters in the speed control, it unlocks the additional six boost timing parameters that are otherwise not accessible through the setup button, allowing you to fine-tune settings to your liking. The DSB-R even allows you to check the status of your LiPo/LiFe batteries via a balance port plug on the side of its case.



  • Item no. ORI65128

  • Price: $250

  • Input voltage: 7.4 volts

  • Rated current: 170 amps

  • BEC: 6 volts at 3 amps

  • Case material: Aluminum upper, plastic lower

  • Drive modes: Forward/brake, forward/brake/reverse and forward/reverse function modes for crawlers

  • Motor limit: 3.5 through 21.5 turn brushless

Adjustable/selectable features:

  • Drag brake: 7 steps, 0-100%

  • Low voltage cutoff: Yes, adjustable

  • Start Mode (punch): 9 levels

  • Max brake force: 8 steps, 12.5 to 100%

  • Max reverse force: 4 steps, 25-100%

  • Initial brake force: 3 steps − 0-14%

  • Neutral range: 3 steps, 6.12%

  • Overheat protection: Yes, adjustable

  • Length: 41.5mm

  • Width: 30.5mm

  • Height: 20.2mm

  • Weight: 44g (without wires)


  • Item no. ORI28260

  • Price $139 Motor Can: 540 size

  • Motor Wind: 8.5-turn

  • Input Voltage: 3.2-11.1V

  • Length: 52.8mm Can Diameter: 35.8mm

  • Shaft Diameter: 3.175mm

  • Weight: 188 grams


  • Attractive and effective case design

  • Convenient dual sensor wire ports

  • Easy to set up and adjust


  • More expensive than most speed controls in its class

  • All-black power wires look cool but require extra attention to avoid incorrect installation


I decided to initially start testing with the R10.1 with its default settings which were forward operation with brake/10% drag brake/punch set on level 7/max brake force on 75%. As a general rule of thumb, I set my brake endpoint adjustment on the transmitter to 75% brakes for a 2WD off -road vehicle. On the track, the first thing I noticed about the R10.1 was how snappy it commanded the Vortex 8.5T to be when it was coming on throttle. My Kyosho SC6 short course truck launched out of the corners connecting every bit of the Orion 8.5's motor to the ground. Clearing most jumps was easily done with a blip of the throttle. After the first battery pack through the R10.1, its temp was at a barely hot 102 degrees and the 8.5T VST2 coming off the track at 119 degrees running the 9.6:1; the high side of the recommended gearing. The next feature I wanted to test was the punch control on the R10.1. SDRC Raceway's high-bite clay didn't give you much tire slip when running proper tires, so I decided to wait for the track crew to hose water the track for it be become slippery. I threw the SC6 on the track five minutes after they were done watering, running the R10.1's default “level 7” punch control setting. It proved to be way too much initial punch, as the back end of the truck would break loose with the slightest pull of the trigger. Back in the pits, I quickly accessed the program modes on the R10.1 to the fourth parameter in the speed control which was punch control. I set it to Level 1 and pressed the setup button on the on/off switch for three seconds to save the setting. Back on the wet track, the SC6 was a different truck as I was able to successfully make an in control full lap around the track. The lap was slower of course versus a lap done in ideal conditions, but it shows the control the R10.1 can give you in super loose conditions. Experimenting with the other program features of the Vortex R10.1 Pro allows you to fine-tune your settings to any track conditions or driving style. Throughout testing, the Vortex 8.5T VST2motor power was always plentiful and consistent each run. When then R10.1 is coupled to the Orion Vortex DSB-R Plus Program Box, you can make ultra-fine adjustments plus allows access to six extra program parameters.


Throughout testing and during racing, there wasn't any doubt that the Orion Vortex R10.1 would make me fast on the track. Experimenting with the different drive modes and various other setup parameters were simple to navigate through while referring to the easy to understand instruction book. When coupled to the Vortex 8.5T VST2 brushless motor, this duo made lethal weapon capable of laying down insanely fast lap times. I had barely scratched the surface of what the Vortex R10.1 could do right out of the box, and if armed with the Orion Vortex DSB-R Plus Program Box, you could definitely do more damage to your competition. Both the R10.1 and the 8.5T VST2 motor are in a higher price bracket when compared to other speed controls and motors in the same class, which might put it out of reach to racers on a budget. However, you do get what you pay for which is premium running gear able to run at the highest of competition. —Joel Navarro


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TEAM C TM4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/team-c-tm4/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=team-c-tm4 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/team-c-tm4/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/team-c-tm4/ 1/10-SCALE 4WD BUGGY | KIT

A worthy competitor in the ultra-competitive 4WD class

Team C is quickly becoming known as a manufacturer to be seriously reckoned with and has collected podium finishes around the world. The cars that Team C is producing are all business and that includes its new 1/10-scale 4WD buggy, the TM4. Having tested Team C vehicles before and knowing that the quality is second to none, I knew that the TM4 wouldn't be any different. The sturdy double-deck aluminum and carbon-fiber chassis provides a solid platform for the fully adjustable suspension. Dual oil-filled gear differentials are used and connect to an adjustable slipper clutch for efficient power delivery. The TM4 screams fast even while standing still, lets see what the it can do on the track.


  • Item no.: HTCTM4

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $429.99

  • Weight: 3 lb., 73 oz, (1694g)


  • Material: 2.5mm 7075 hard anodized aluminum

  • Type: Lower plate with carbon-fiber upper deck


  • Type: Front and rear H-Arm with turnbuckle camber link

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

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/3

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

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 2/2


  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 14mm bore

  • Shafts: 3mm shafts

  • Volume compensation: Emulsion


  • Type/Ratio: 4WD Front and rear gear differentials/2.5:1

  • Slipper Clutch: Adjustable dual aluminum plate

  • Differential: Front and rear fluid filled

  • Driveshafts: Front and rear steel universals

  • Bearings: Rubber shielded


  • Wheels: 1-piece dish, 14mm hex

  • Tires: AKA Deja Vu Evo rears (Clay)/ AKA Pinstripe Evo fronts (Clay)


  • Transmitter: Spektrum DX4R Pro

  • Servo: Savöx SB2271sg

  • Speed control: Airtronics Super Vortex Zero

  • Charger: Hitec X4 AC Plus

  • Motor: Savox 7.5T brushless

  • Battery: PRIME 4600mAh 100C 2S shorty LiPo


The suspension geometry is carefully designed for efficient power delivery—note how the kingpins align with the drive-shafts universal joint. Clamping hex hubs are standard, but they're an odd size at 14mm.

The TM4 uses an independent suspension to soak up any jumps or imperfections in the track. The rear suspension arms are angled slightly while the front arms are straight and they have the balls for the swaybar links molded in which eliminates the need for mounting screws. They mount to the chassis via a large choice of included toe-in/kick-up/roll center inserts that install into orange aluminum hinge pin mounts. Down travel is quickly adjusted by using large set screw down stops in the inner portion of each suspension arm. Front and rear sway bars keep the chassis flat in the turns and they are easy to access from the front and rear of the car.


You won't find any dogbones here, the TM4 uses a full set of universals throughout and lightened outdrives help reduce rotating mass. An adjustable slipper clutch protects the drivetrain from shock and allows for fine tuning of off-the-line punch.

In the center of the chassis sits the spur gear and it's coupled to a dual disc adjustable slipper clutch. The as sembly uses lightweight parts to keep rotating mass down and aluminum mounts secure it to the chassis. The rear mount incorporates a slider type motor mounted and its thickness should not allow any flex while the motor is mounted, which will keep the pinion and spur gear in full contact at all times. To adjust the slipper clutch you simply loosen the setscrew on the adjustment nut and rotating the spur gear while holding onto the nut to loosen or tighten the slipper. The front and rear gear boxes are connected to the spur gear assembly by two steel universal driveshafts. A pinion and ring gear are used to spin the differentials; inside the sealed housing you'll find a beefy 6-gear setup that can be filled with various weight oils to tune it. The diffs transfer power to the wheels through lightened steel outdrives and steel universal driveshafts. I was a little disappointed to see that 14mm hexes are included in this kit; larger hexes are better for high-power applications but it will limit me when it comes to picking out wheels because just about every wheel out there is designed for a 12mm hex.


Ultra-smooth shocks dampen the ride and the threaded bodies and collars allow for precise adjustment of ride height.

Soaking up bumps and jumps are 12mm big bore coil over shocks and they use threaded aluminum bodies for fine ride height adjustments. The shocks are topped off by composite bleeder style caps and the lower aluminum caps are filled with double O-ring seals and a c-clip locks them in. Inside the shocks you'll find tapered pistons to dampen the ride. The 4mm-thick carbon-fiber shock towers o er multiple mounting positions for the top of the shocks and camber links while two mounting positions for the lower portion of the shocks can be found on the arms.


The TM4 includes a modern cab-forward body design and high-downforce rear wing.

That's one smooth and stiff chassis. The only two machined pockets that you will find are just under the di erentials to give gear clearance.

The mix of a 2.5mm-thick hard anodized aluminum chassis and 2mm carbon-fiber deck make for an exceptionally stiff platform for the TM4. Two pieces of carbon fiber are used to make up the top deck and they span the gab between the gearbox and center diff mount. Normally you will find pockets machined out of the aluminum chassis which reduces weight, but the TM4 chassis is almost completely smooth on the top side. There are just two pockets for di erential gear clearance. This leaves the chassis on the heavy side but that extra weight helps lower the car's center of gravity and not having pockets also keeps some of the sti ness in the aluminum plate. Nicely molded side guards finish off the chassis and they fit tightly against the body to help keep debris out of the chassis when on the track. Two aluminum stando s, a carbon-fiber plate, and a molded side mount (along with part of the right side chassis side guard) make up the battery mount. The molded side mount is attached to the center of the chassis adding to its sti ness. The battery mount is designed to fit a shorty style battery pack and there's not much room for movement.


You can't beat loose dirt for dramatic action shots, but the TM4 is built for groomed surfaces. Actual track testing went down at SDRC in Miramar CA.

When I finished building the TM4 it was time to go burn off some laps with it at SDRC Raceway in Miramar, CA. Before the first lap was run, I went through all the suspension settings to make sure everything was equal on the left and right side of the car. I settled on a setup of 24mm front and rear ride height, 1 degree of negative camber and full down-travel droop. With the very first pull of the trigger, the TM4 was oddly slow to accelerate and after a couple more pulls of the trigger and I could hear that the slipper clutch was set way too loose. Luckily, because of the design of the slipper clutch assembly this was a quick fix. I loosened the setscrew that holds the slipper adjustment nut and rotate the spur gear while holding the nut to tighten things up. Back on the track, the TM4 sprung to life and it accelerated hard and down the straight away to full speed. Continuing to the next part of the track, the TM4 remained composed as it navigated its way through the washboard section showing no tendencies of bottoming out or getting sideways. The shaft-driven 4WD and high-grip tires did a great job of pulling it through every lap. The TM4 had excellent turn in when entering a corner off power as it generated superb mechanical grip. Through the middle of the turn, the TM4 was on rails carrying cornering speed as if it was on a mission. As with most 4WD vehicles, the TM4 did show push if you came on too strong with the power when exiting the last part of the turn. One thing that both I and a lot of the people at the track were impressed with was the TM4's jumping abilities. Being able to effectively put the power to the ground, the TM4 made short work of the different jumps throughout the track with a blip of throttle from the trigger and small corrections while airborne. When most people were doing the double-double jump, the TM4 could easily quad it with excellent control in the air. Though the box stock suspension set up proved to be really decent right out of the box, if you need to make changes, the TM4's suspension is very user friendly with easy access. The TM4 is definitely a robust buggy — after surviving some bad landings, multiple crashes with other cars and going against one of the track's side brick walls, the TM4 walked away in one piece.

TEST GEAR Airtronics Super Vortex Zero speed control

The extreme racing conditions that come with the 1/10-scale 4WD class require a speed control that's up to the task. When looking for a speed control to install into my TM4, I went with the Airtronics Super Vortex Zero speed control. This speed control has been designed from the ground up for high-end racing competition and has all of the features that you would want on the track. Features of this speed control include adjustable voltage cutoff, thermal overload protection, and it has 12 programming modes. One of the coolest features is that if you are using an Airtronics M12 or MT-4S and an RX-472 2.4G FH4T Super Response 4-channel receiver with the speed control, you can adjust the settings of the speed control from the radio.


  • Robust aluminum and carbon-fiber chassis

  • Lightweight drivetrain components

  • Smooth shocks

  • Non-standard 14mm hexes


When the first Team C vehicle came my way for a review, I wasn't sure what to expect from a new company offering a car for high-level competition. Now, having tested off-road and on-road Team C vehicles, I'm a firm believer that they will only lead me to the top of the podium. Putting the power to the ground was something the TM4 did effectively as got up to top speed very quickly. Through all the crashes and tumbles the TM4 suffered during testing, it never broke one part. If there's one thing the TM4 did really well it was that it made me look better on the track than I really was!


Team C, distributed by HRP teamc.net, HRP hrpdealer.com

Airtronics airtronics.net

AKA raceaka.com

Hitec hitecrcd.com

Fatty Grafx fattygrafx.com

Prime racers-edge.com

Spektrum spektrumrc.com

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HOBBY-PRO STI STADIUM TRUCK http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/hobby-pro-sti-stadium-truck/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=hobby-pro-sti-stadium-truck http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/hobby-pro-sti-stadium-truck/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/hobby-pro-sti-stadium-truck/ 1/10-SCALE 2WD STADIUM TRUCK | KIT


A unique option to take on the big guns

1/10-scale off-road racing is a staple for any racer. Most pros cut their teeth in the highly competitive classes and work through the ranks to make their own mark among the elite. In the United States, stadium trucks are part of that equation. Although the class's popularity may have dropped a bit in the past few years with the rise of short course trucks, there's no denying that stadium trucks are still very popular. These 2WD vehicles are fast and generate tons of traction with their huge tires in relation to size of vehicle. However, a manufacturer willing to go up against the big industry giants and offer up a stadium truck design that can get drivers to the podium is a big undertaking. Hobby-Pro is committed to the cause and after the release of their PRS1 2WD buggy (reviewed in our January 2014 issue), it was time to release their stadium truck in to the market. This truck is a rear-motor model, but can be easily converted to mid-motor configuration (with a few optional parts) to suit track conditions. Loaded with all the high-grade racing features that most look for including milled and anodized aluminum chassis, and big-bore shocks, it is ready to hit the dirt. Will the features make it successful on the track against other modern designs? Let's find out.


  • Item no.: HPST1

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $299.99

  • Weight: 4 lb., 2.56 oz. (1885g)


  • Type: Milled aluminum with plastic sides

  • Material: Aluminum and plastic


  • Type (F/R): 4-wheel independent

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 5/1

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

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

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R):


  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 12.75mm bore

  • Shafts: 3.2mm

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type: 3-gear transmission

  • Pinion/Spur: 18/83 48-pitch

  • Slipper clutch: 2-pad, adjustable

  • Differential: Ball-type

  • Driveshafts: CV-style steel

  • Bearings: Rubber sealed


  • Wheels: White dish HobbyPro with 12mm hexes


  • Transmitter/receiver: Futaba 4PKS-R 4-Channel 2.4GHz FASST / R614FS 4-channel

  • Steering servo: Savöx SB-2271SG “High-Speed” Brushless Steel Gear Digital Servo

  • Speed Control: LRP Flow Works Team

  • Motor: LRP Vector X20 8.5T

  • Battery: LRP 2S 7.4V 4700mAh Comp Shorty Hardcase

  • Tires: AKA Stadium Truck Typo (Clay compound)

  • Inserts: AKA Red Molded (included with tires)

  • Shock oil: TLR 40W (front)/ TLR 30W (rear)

  • Pinion: Robinson Racing 18-tooth, 48 pitch aluminum pinion


Hobby-Pro's take on “big bore” is larger than most, with a 12.7mm bore instead of the usual 12mm. Anodized bodies and fluorine-coated shafts give smooth action.

Not a lot of places to tune here, but familiar designs and proven geometry keep things simple. Other places feature the use of shims under ballstuds to help make things easy.

Suspension features throughout the truck look pretty familiar and for most of us that's a big plus. No engineer-gone-wild at the expense of the racer, just solid, proven designs. Tuning options are limited; there are no options to change Ackermann, the front trailing axles are set in place and the front caster blocks are set with no options to adjust forward or back. The back is slightly different with shims to adjust rear hub placement fore and aft. Anti-squat is just a matter of adding or removing some shims under the rear, forward block. Rear toe is done by the familiar block system in 5-degree increments and up front gullwing arms are standard along with polished hingepins that use retaining screws to help keep things together. At the back, shims under ballstuds help with the roll-center (inner front link location is done with rows of holes on the shock tower) along with the typical shock locations on the tower and arms. The truck does have an option to adjust front kick-up by swapping the front plate (25 degrees is built in to the chassis), and they include two different ones in the box. Everything is easy, basic, and straightforward.

The truck comes with a shock body bore size of 12.75mm, slightly larger than the current standard of 12mm “big bore” sizing. The larger bodies help with shock-shaft volume compensation and are designed around the included bladders. Hobby-Pro offers plenty of springs and piston options for the shocks, so tuners needn't worry the 12.7mm shock size limiting their ability to find the perfect setup. The 3.2mm shafts don't go without some attention either and are fluorine coated.


The build of the PRST1 is pretty standard and familiar to those who have built a 2WD kit. Hardware consists of steel screws and fasteners and goes together without much binding or retrofitting. There is some flashing to note since most plastic parts come off a tree. The manual does a decent job, but requires just a little extra time since it lacks extra detail and any written help. Here are a few things to note:


The PRST1 would normally come with a gear diff, but Hobby-Pro USA knows that racers in North America often prefer a ball diff and have included it in kits sold here. The manual doesn't make this clear, but fortunately, the packaged up ball diff has its own printed directions. Just skip the gear diff steps in the manual and substitute where needed and you should be fine.


You'll need to supply your own silicone oil and setups for the truck and understand the oils listed are in cSt rating. The manual also forgoes any air elimination and rebound tips associated with building shocks with bladders. Just let the shock bodies settle for a few minutes after filling them up to allow all the air bubbles to escape before installing the bladders and make sure you match the rebound from shock to shock for consistency on the track.


The manual suggests placing the speed control high up on the upper deck/brace. Not the most optimum place for racers looking for low center-of-gravity. The battery side braces have slots for the wires, but no corresponding channel as the wires continue across the chassis from side to side. I ran the speed control harness behind the battery to the radio receiver placed on the opposite side and it could benefit from some zip-ties, but the servo wire is where I was a bit at a loss. I just tried to keep it neat and tidy with everything as balanced as possible.


Because of the body posts positioning on the towers, using the add-on posts can be an issue at it meets the underside of the body. Building the truck has you attaching the body posts, but the front raises the body too high. When it comes time for this step don't assume there are any default settings. You'll have to take your time and make sure everything lines up and do some improvising. I suggest you premark the body before painting to make things a bit easier and adjust the ride height of the body as needed.


The compact chassis looks like its plastic because of the molded side pods, but the main structure is a milled, 3mm aluminum sheet.

The main part of the 3mm-thick chassis is the milled hard-anodized aluminum, and with the motor in the rear there are lots of options for drivers. Electronics have plenty of room (although a bit vague on placement in the manual) and with a shorty pack like the LRP one I was using, there are lots of different placements to use for weight-bias tuning. There are trick battery braces that screw in to the chassis to keep it secure without having to resort to boring ol'foam spacers. The chassis is also drilled for mid-motor configuration. This makes future purchases minimal since a lot of the parts can be dual purposed. The plastic sides attach easily and do a good job of angling up to provide clearance when going through the corners and add a bit more rigidity where needed. Did I mention overall, it just looks trick?


A versatile transmission is included with ability to make future changes to 4-gear, along with a ball diff, steel CV-style bones and 2-pad slipper.

Stadium trucks were born and bred in North America, so it came as no surprise to see this kit spec'd to reflect this. The manual shows a gear diff, but a ball diff is included in the box with its own printed instructions. Clay-style tracks rule on this continent and most prefer the feel and handling characteristics of a ball diff. The transmission case is designed to be installed in either a rear-motor or mid-motor configuration, but parts are supplied for the rear-motor version only. One area of concern was the stamped aluminum motor plate. Hobby-Pro countersinks the motor screw slots to accept flat-head screws, and this configuration has allowed motor slippage with Hobby-Pro's buggy, which uses the same plate. Regular inspection (especially after a harsh tumble) and blue Loctite will help keep things in place. CV-style driveshafts connect the transmission to the wheels, and the CV joint parts are captured by the massive rear hubs and bearings.


It was time to hit the dirt, so it was off to OCRC Raceway in Huntington Beach, CA, for some testing. The track is frequented by some of the fastest drivers anywhere and would give my Hobby-Pro PRST1 stadium truck (the truck is called a truggy on the box and manual) a good gauge in racing-type conditions. The dimensions of the track are on the large side and with the track's misting system, traction is consistent and high without going in to the slick tire zone. A mixture of rhythm jumps and technical turns would really test every part of the truck's handling and give me a sense of where its limits are. I started out by setting the truck with Andrew Smolnik's starting point for the truck. Smolnik is the main person behind HobbyProUSA and helps customers get the most out of their purchasing experiences. So, I took his advice and tuned the truck to where he felt was a good starting point for the conditions I'd be driving on. I also mounted up a set of clay compound AKA Typos to the white dish wheels supplied in the kit. These tires are perfectly suited for the type of surface at OCRC and many drivers reach for them when serious laps need to be put down.

Once the LRP shorty pack was fully charged, I took my place on the drivers' stand. A few laps in and I was really starting to find the lines and see how the truck would respond. My initial impression of the truck was inspiring. The bottomless feel of the ultra big-bore, bladder shocks made it feel smooth and confident around the track. It landed firmly on the big jumps and I was able to get back on the throttle quickly without waiting for the truck to regain composure. Through the corners is where my real surprise took place. Most rear-motor vehicles tend to really scrub speed as they rotate. Often they require some brake input in order to slide the back end around the corners faster, but the PRST1 handled them better than expected and I was able to dive through the corners while maintaining good corner flow. Okay, not the lightning quick rotation of mid-motor, but not far off and much more confident and easy to drive. The next big areas were the jumps that required just the right flight timing along with correct approaches and landings. This is where the truck excelled. Combined with the suspension, the rear-motor placement was a big advantage in control and stability. The truck stayed flat when I needed it to, but responded to driver input when I flicked it or throttled to get the nose up or down. The LRP 8.5T motor was paired with the LRP Flow speed control and laid down consistent power that was consistent and punchy, but the slipper even when set properly left something to be desired. On the track, the slipper did its job fine, but after some laps were put down the consistency seemed to fall off as it heated up. This may have something to do with the materials or maybe it's the design, but it lacked what other more advanced slipper systems have. Okay, I'm splitting hairs here, but at the highest level of modified racing, those tiny details might be noticeable to those with the most sensitive feel. The slipper is a two-pad design and certainly functional, but not on par with the new breed of highly tunable, lightweight slipper designs currently equipping other top-tier machines. Overall, the PRST1 was easy to drive and smooth as butter, a time proven design with just a few tweaks to keep it toward the front.


Savöx SB-2271SG “High-Speed” Brushless Steel Gear Digital Servo

With 208.3 oz.-in. of twist, Savöx' SB-2271SG servo is a bit overkill for use in a 2WD stadium truck since the specs go beyond what many would consider needed. But racers want that insurance and when moving those big tires used on stadium trucks, and with its brushless motor, high-resolution circuitry and lightning-fast 0.085-second transit time, the SB-2271 delivers supernatural steering response. It's built tough too, with steel gears to shrug off pipe shots and an aluminum case to help things stay cool and efficient. Standard dimensions make it an easy fit, and the 25-spline output shaft means you'll have no trouble with servo horn fit.


  • Stable, jumps well

  • Available mid-motor option

  • Massive big-bore shocks

  • Few carbon and aluminum parts

  • Limited tuning options


The PRST1 showed impressive handling when pushed to the limit, but lacks some of the tuning details that some racers come to expect in racing kits. Arguably, these pieces may not always translate in to lower lap times since the truck in stock form does pretty well. It also may require a bit more experience in building than any new racer may be comfortable with, but Hobby-Pro's customer service has always been awesome and building hiccups can easily be handled with just a phone call or email. A nice tuning option is the ability to change the truck's configuration to mid-motor with just a few extra aftermarket purchases. This is where many feel the future of electric 2WD vehicles are going and the ST1 is embracing it. I like that there are companies willing to take on the more established in the industry and that competition will only make the standards higher for everyone.


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INTECH BR-6 2.0 PRO http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/intech-br-6-2-0-pro/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=intech-br-6-2-0-pro http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/intech-br-6-2-0-pro/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/intech-br-6-2-0-pro/ ⅛-SCALE 4WD NITRO BUGGY | KIT


Intech updates their top-performing BR-6 to take on the top buggies on the market

The populated world of ⅛ scale racing is certainly a competitive one and even more so in recent years with the resurgence of the class. Intech is an up-and-coming company that is determined to make a name for itself and its new BR-6 2.0 Pro buggy is sure to make waves. When it was originally released a couple of years ago, the BR-6 was a solid performer on tracks around the world. The 2.0 adds minor tweaks that will certainly score big on the track. In addition to lightweight 3mm chassis, silky smooth 15mm big bore shocks and carbon fiber steering, new items include a larger clunk-style tank, a stiff 1-piece carbon fiber radio tray, an aluminum servo saver arm and new aluminum front suspension plate for more kick-up adjustment. That's just scratching the surface of the long list of features. Make yourself comfortable and look into what makes the BR-6 2.0 so special.


  • Item no.: ITRBR-6-2.0

  • Scale:

  • Price: $449.99

  • Weight: 7 lb., 19 oz, (3263g)


  • Type: Aluminum plate with plastic braces

  • Material: 3mm hard anodized aluminum


  • Type: Lower H-arm with turnbuckle camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R) 5/5

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R) ⅓

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R) 7/7

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R) 2/2


  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, 15mm bore

  • Shafts: 3.5mm steel shafts

  • Volume compensation: Bladder


  • Type/Ratio: 4WDfront, center and rear gear differentials/11.29:1

  • Differential: Oil filled bevel gear

  • Driveshafts: Steel universal joint

  • Bearings: metal shielded

Wheels & Tires

  • Wheels: Not included

  • Tires: Not included

  • Body: Clear lexan type painted by Fatty Grafx


  • Transmitter: Airtronics M12

  • Servos: Power Star PM-2211

  • Engine: Arrow .21 GTR Plus

  • Pipe: Arrow Performance Race EFRA — 2103

  • Charger: Hitec X4 AC Plus

  • Tires: VP-Pro – Striker

  • Fuel: Byron Gen2 Race


The suspension on the BR-6 is controlled by large 15mm bore shocks with threaded bodies and rubber boots.

The robust, 4mm-thick carbon-fiber shock towers have a lot of mounting options and the same is true for the camber links. Attached to that shock tower are 15mm bore shocks that feature threaded aluminum bodies for ultra-fine ride height adjustment and molded rubber boots keep debris off the shock shafts. Intech recommended 550cst (45 weight) for the front shocks and 500cst (40 weight) for the rear shocks which gave the BR-6 agile, but easy-to-drive characteristics on the track. The nylon plastic suspension arms mount to the chassis via aluminum plates with adjustable inserts for the hingepins. The suspension arms incorporate an open webbing mixed with closed webbing design that gave the arm a medium flex characteristic that will translate to forgiving handling during hard driving. New to the BR6 2.0 is the front aluminum suspension hinge pin holder that adds more range to kick-up adjustment. To help reduce chassis roll, the BR-6 uses a 2.6mm thick sway bar in the rear and 2.4mm thick swaybar in the front.


Three gear differentials along with six steel universal drive-shafts make up the drivetrain. Dual disc brakes on each side of the center diff slow things down.

A 3-shoe centrifugal clutch is used to connect the engine to the drivetrain in the BR-6 and when the rpm comes up, the clutch bell spins a steel 42-tooth spur that has been lightened to help reduce the drivetrain's rotating mass. Three sealed gear differentials are used to get the power to the tires and they are connected in the center by steel universal driveshafts. If you want to change diff oils for tuning, quick access to the diffs was easily accomplished by removing a handful of screws. Power to the wheels is delivered with steel universals with the entire drivetrain riding on a full set of ball bearings. The universals themselves came preassembled from the factory, which was nice for speeding up assembly. A pair of vented steel brake discs and fiberglass pads are used to bring the buggy to a halt. The pair of thumb adjustment collars located to the linkages that connect the brake levers to the throttle servo made in the pits brake bias adjustments precise and quick during testing. The pads use springs to spread them so they don't rub on the discs when you're not using the brakes. This will keep the brakes from dragging, which can slow the car down and heat up and cause brake fade.


Inside the fuel tank is a clunk style pick up that will suck up the fuel even while the buggy is upside down. Fill ups are made simple thanks to the included finger pull.

The BR-6 2.0 includes a large-capacity fuel tank to get you more run time in between pit stops. The clunk style pick up inside the tank ensures the engine sucks up every bit of precious fuel during hard cornering, accelerating or even while it's upside down. The nicely sealed filler cap incorporates a finger pull lever that pokes through the body for easy operation and quick pit stops. The fuel tank is mounted to the chassis with rubber-insulated post to reduce vibration and fuel tube holders on both sides of the tank neatly hold fuel line in place.


A combination of carbon-fiber plate and molded plastic parts are used to make up the radio tray in the BR-6. Sealed battery and receiver compartments keep dirt and debris out.

The BR-6 2.0 chassis is made of lightweight hard-anodized 7075 Swiss aluminum. The 3mm-thick narrow plate uses its real estate wisely and keeps all components and electronics close to the centerline for nimble handling. The plastic side mudguards extend the width of the narrow chassis and house the radio tray and the tuned race pipe. To help reduce lateral flex, a pair of plastic chassis braces are utilized to solidify the BR-6. The aluminum motor mount makes adjusting the gear mesh precisely and easy thanks to its one-piece construction. Cooling fins are incorporated into the motor mount to help cool the engines crankcase while at the same time adding stiffness to the chassis. The underside of the chassis uses countersunk screws throughout and a plastic skidplate protects the rear of the chassis. The first gen of the BR-6 came with a two-piece radio tray, but this version has been updated to a single-piece unit. This improves the BR-6 in two ways; it stiffens the chassis to reduce lateral flex and makes it easier to remove when maintaining the buggy. A carbon-fiber plate ties in all of the pieces that make up the tray and provides a mounting location for the servos. The receiver battery is mounted in front while the receiver and switch are in the rear; both are protected by molded plastic cases.


The BR-6 2.0 looked promising while assembling since it possessed all the features a proper racing buggy should have. Now it was time to see if it could deliver on the track. I packed up my race gear and headed to Heritage RC Park in Chula Vista, California to put the BR-6 through its paces. Heritage is known throughout SoCal for its excellent traction, huge jumps and large size; a perfect testing ground for the BR-6 2.0. Before I hit the track for the first time, I went through the BR-6's suspension settings and initially set the ride front and rear ride heights at 29mm with 1-degree of negative camber on all four corners of the car. The silky smooth suspension did a superb job of soaking up most of the tracks small imperfections to keep the rubber to the dirt for unprecedented control. For the larger bumps and ruts that normally start to show up on the tracks well traveled racing line, the BR-6's did get thrown around, but no more than the usual ⅛ scale buggy that was on the track that day. What counted in the end was the BR-6's ability to recover quickly from its mishaps with the tracks rougher sections. BR-6 dealt with the barrage of jumps throughout the track with a level, controllable attitude in the air without the need for major corrections. No need to worry if you had over shot the landings of a jump, the BR-6 was able to soak up harsh landings like a champ. The suspension did its job well by quickly settling down and allowing me to get back on the throttle right away. Low-end grunt from the Arrow engine and great grip of the 3-shoe clutch brought the BR-6 up to speed in a hurry coming onto the track's long back straight away and when coming out of corners. The box stock set up did a good job handling 180-degree turns and off camber switchback turns in the infield. The BR-6 was easy to drive into the turns where it showed a hint of push initially when entering a corner, while keeping the rear in check. Through the middle of the turn, the BR-6 showed excellent corner speed and held its ground solidly allowing me to shape my turns however I wanted. It was the perfect tool for making passes on other cars. My lap times with the BR-6 were on par with the locals that regularly run at the track, but I wanted to shave off a tenth or two off my times. Back in the pits, I decided to move the rear shocks one hole outward to stiffen up the rear end and hopefully eliminate any push during cornering. As the shock springs broke in, ride height lowered a couple of millimeters, which I was able to quickly fix with a couple of turns of the threaded shock collars. Back on the track, the BR-6 was getting closer to my usual buggy I've been driving for months and I was able to push it harder with every lap I turned.

TEST GEAR Arrow .21 GTR Plus engine

There's a lot of bang for not a lot of buck when it comes to the Arrow .21 GTR Plus engine that I chose for the BR-6. This $199.99 engine is packed full of race features and imported by VP-Pro USA. Inside the Arrow .21 GTR Plus is a 5-port ABC piston/sleeve combo that is connected to hardened DLC Coated crankshaft. A low CG heat sink head keep operating temperatures in check and it comes with a P3 ultra hot glow plug installed from the factory. The air/fuel mixture is mixed inside a 3-needle 9mm carburetor. Once the proper mixture setting was set, the GTR Plus had plenty of power to spare to get over any jump with ease and rocket out of corners. The GTR Plus engine performance was flawless during the BR-6's test session.


  • Fade free brakes

  • Top shelf materials used throughout

  • Lots of shock and camber link mounting options

  • Wheels not included


It's really quite impossible to ignore the fact that Intech's BR-6 2.0 Pro is anything but a serious race machine. Intech's improvements it made to the 2.0 over with the one-piece radio tray and larger capacity clunker style fuel tank over the previous version made a capable buggy even better. At the track, the BR-6 showed good manners in the pits as every little change I made to the set up translated on the track as a positive improvement. Even though Intech is a young company and a newcomer to world racing arena, where it's either sink or swim if your car isn't competitive, the BR-6 2.0 Pro progressive design and arsenal of adjustments make it a very accomplished buggy in the hands of the seasoned racer.


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KYOSHO ULTIMA SC6 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/kyosho-ultima-sc6/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kyosho-ultima-sc6 http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/kyosho-ultima-sc6/#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:33:00 +0000 RC Car Action http://www.rccaraction.com/members/2014/10/25/kyosho-ultima-sc6/ 1/10-SCALE 2WD COMPETITION SHORT COURSE TRUCK | KIT

Kyosho's top short-course competitor is built on World champ DNA


When Kyosho's much-anticipated Ultima RB6 buggy came on the scene riding on the heels of the very successful RB5 buggy, everyone knew it would be a winner right out of the box. This feeling was only solidified when Kyosho factory driver, Jared Tebo, won the 2013 IFMAR World Championship with the RB6. Since the birth of the RB6, the RT6 stadium truck came soon after culminating to the short course truck version, the SC6. The Ultima SC6 carries over a lot of the same features as its world championship winning buggy. The proven suspension has every adjustment you could possible ask for and includes a set of silky smooth big bore shocks. The versatile chassis can be configured (all parts included) as a rear or mid-motor truck to get it hook up on a wide variety of tracks. Let's see if the Ultima SC6 could carry on the winning tradition of its buggy cousin.


  • Item no.: 30070B

  • Scale: 1/10

  • Price: $479.99

  • Weight: 4 lb., 7 oz, (2158g)


  • Type: Single-deck plate

  • Material: 3mm thick 7075 hard anodized aluminum


  • Type: H-Arm with upper adjustable camber link

  • Inboard camber link positions (F/R): 3/2

  • Outboard camber link positions (F/R): 1/2

  • Shock positions, towers (F/R): 2/4

  • Shock positions, arms (F/R): 3/3


  • Bodies: Threaded aluminum, Velvet Coated 12mm bore

  • Shafts: 3mm steel shafts

  • Volume compensation: Emulsion


  • Type/Ratio: 3-gear rear motor, 4-gear mid-motor, 2.6:1

  • Slipper Clutch: Dual plate, spring adjustable

  • Differential: Adjustable ball

  • Driveshafts: Steel with universal joint

  • Bearings: Teflon shielded


  • Wheels: not included

  • Tires: not included

  • Body: not included


  • Transmitter: Spektrum DX4R Pro

  • Servo: Orion VDS1007

  • Charger: Hitec X4 AC Plus

  • ESC: Vortex R10.1 Pro

  • Battery: Orion Carbon Pro 4000 WTS

  • Motor: Orion 8.5T VST2 Pro Brushless Motor

  • Body: Pro-Line EVO SC Painted by Fatty Grafx

  • Tires: Pro-Line Suburbs SC

  • Wheels: Pro-Line Renegade


The shocks have 2 locations they can attach to on the lower adjustable block. The blocks also have 2 spots they can be mounted for multiple combinations.

Even if the SC6 is in the same class as its predecessor, there's very little it shares with it as far as design. Instead, it's more closely related to Kyosho's RT6 stadium truck with many of the same proven suspension and transmission components carried over to the SC6. The SC6 uses hard composite plastic suspension arms on all four corners of the truck. They mount to steel hingepins that are held in place with a setscrew for added security against the pin popping out. The rear hub carrier has three locations to mount your ball stud that allows you to precisely adjust your roll center and camber rise. The hingepin that mounts the hub carrier is securely held in place with lock nuts, but can quickly be removed to adjust the wheelbase by moving the supplied washers in front or behind of the hub. The front end uses a c-hub to mount a trailing axle steering block, which made the SC6 easy to drive during testing on SDRC Raceway's high-grip clay. The adjustable upper camber links use strong hardened steel turnbuckle and have the option of being mounted into multiple positions to alter roll center, camber rise and camber. The composite shock towers have multiple mounting holes for the shocks and camber links that proved to be extra helpful in tuning the SC6 during testing to suit my aggressive driving style. The front shock tower's unique design keeps it separate from the front body mount to relieve stress on the tower from crashes. The shock mounting system on the front arm allows you to move the 3-hole mount block to an inner and outer position to get “in between” holes.


An adjustable dual disc slipper clutch protects the gearbox from shock. You can easily access the adjustment nut through the gear cover.

Kyosho includes all the parts necessary to make your SC6 a rear- or a mid-motor truck to allow you to easily tune the weight distribution for various track conditions. Kyosho included a full set of their low-friction, Teflon-shielded ball bearings, which gave the SC6's transmission low-rotation weight and resistance that translated to quick acceleration on the track. The ball differential is fully adjustable and is outfitted with top quality hardened diff balls that produced ultra-smooth diff action, even when set tightly. The diff is completed with steel outdrives that connect to the factory preassembled steel universals. The gears are protected by a two-disc adjustable slipper clutch that is easily accessible through the gear cover and uses lightweight components to further decrease rotating mass.


The aluminum shock bodies are threaded for precise ride height adjustments. The bronze “velvet” coating ensures smooth operation.

Kyosho shocks are some of the best in the business and there's a reason why. The low-friction coating on the threaded aluminum shock bodies, that Kyosho calls “Velvet,” ensures that the Delrin piston inside will move smoothly throughout the travel range of each shock. Dual O-ring seals keep debris out and they are housed in a rebuildable cartridge. The rear shocks mount their topside to composite plastic shock towers and bottom to the suspension arms via a unique gull-wing mounting system that puts two mounting holes level with the arm with one hole below arm level to tune the damping ratio and lower the CG.


The SC6's lightweight chassis offers 14 possible battery locations which allow you to fine-tune weight distribution. The front and rear bumpers plus the side guards help protect the SC6 from hard impacts.

Kyosho used top shelf materials when it came to designing the SC6's chassis to give it all the ingredients for success on the track. The 3mm-thick hard-anodized chassis incorporates slightly radiused sides, which stiffen the whole piece laterally. To give the SC6 chassis its lightweight characteristics, areas of low stress have been milled out. The plastic chassis side guards don't offer any space for electronics, but they do incorporate a clever servo lead routing that helps keep wiring neat. The underside of the chassis is kept smooth by using countersunk screws throughout. The battery mount uses quick-release body clips. The use of clips does limit the battery mount height versus adjustable thumbscrews which can adapt to different battery heights. The battery mounting itself has 14 possible positions available for the battery thanks to the many mounting holes in the chassis for the battery stays. Throughout the entire assembly process, all the pieces of the SC6 came together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle with an overall superb fit and finish.


Once an optional part, the SC6 comes standard with aluminum pieces for the steering system. The bell cranks ride on ball bearings for precise direction changes on the track.

One notable feature that Kyosho fans will notice on the SC6 is in the steering system. The plastic pieces that usually make up the dual bellcrank steering have been omitted in favor of aluminum for the SC6. The bellcranks ride on a full set of ball bearings to ensure precise steering. The ball studs for the tie-rods face forward, and there is one position for each ball stud. To set Ackermann, spacers are inserted beneath the ball studs. This allows for more precise setting changes than having multiple ball stud positions.


Once arriving at SDRC Raceway in Miramar, CA, I topped off the battery and was ready to put the SC6 through its paces. The track had a mix of sharp and medium radius turns with medium-sized jumps, a couple of tricky rhythm sections and topped off with a big step-up jump. Since SDRC's high-grip clay is notorious for causing traction rolls, especially in higher profile vehicles like short course, I decided to start with a lower to the ground 27mm right height and set the camber initially to 1-degree. With the SC6 all tuned up and ready to go, it immediately started laying down decent lap times. The SC6 handled the tremendous power from its Orion 8.5-turn powerplant with nice composure thanks to adaptable the dual pad slipper clutch, which I was easily able to adjust to the track's grip conditions. With acceleration grip taken care of, side grip and corner speed are what pay high dividends when clicking off competitive lap times. The Pro-Line Suburbs clay compound tire proved to be an excellent choice and though the tires weren't close to being properly broken in, the SC6 made the best of the traction offered. The SC6 was just stupid fast on the long back straightaway and handled the big sweeper turn after solidly as I confidently held ran the SC6 close to the inside track pipe for the fastest possible race line. There were times where the SC6's rear end did step out during the higher-speed corners, but from lack of traction, but from being too softly sprung allowing too much chassis roll. From big sweeping high speed turns to the slower 180-degree off-camber turn leading into the infield, which the SC6 navigated with surgeon line precision, very little seemed to foul up the SC6's race line. No matter which types of turns were encountered, the SC6 turned in hard and assertively carried high-corner speed and hurled itself out of turns hungry for more. The SC6's plush shocks did more than a good job when it came time to tame any small imperfection and especially the washboard section where it kept the rubber to the dirt. In the pits, the shocks were easy to tune ride height and locations to suit specific sections of the track the SC6 had trouble. Timing the double-double jumps in front of the drivers' stand was easy thanks in part to the SC6's snappy acceleration. Overall, the SC6 handled jumps well keeping a level attitude without needing much mid-air corrections. On my quest to better my lap times throughout the SC6's test session, working on and tuning the suspension was always a simple task with the SC6 responding clearly to every change letting me know if I was heading in the right direction. The SC6 did suffer a few bad crashes, which included a massive impact from an ⅛ scale buggy at full speed. When I surely thought I was going to have a long list of broken parts and was ready to walk off the drivers' stand, I pulled the trigger on the transmitter making the SC6 move forward and walk away from the crash unscathed.


Spektrum DX4R Pro

Spektrum's top radio was the perfect weapon of choice to steer the SC6 in the right direction. The DX4R includes a small and large removable grip and having larger hands, I immediately opted for the larger grip. To get rid of play in the trigger where your finger goes, I set the adjustable trigger to its smallest size. To further dial in the DX4R to my liking, I installed the included steering wheel drop down, which configured trigger to be inline to the steering wheel. During the action on the track, the DX4R responded to my every command with almost zero lag time. The steering wheel had an overall good natural feel to it, though it did take some time to get used to its larger than average wheel diameter.


  • Championship winning design

  • Mid and rear motor parts included

  • Infinite battery mount options

  • Pricey

  • Wheels not included


I couldn't wait to get the SC6 on the track and it surpassed all my expectations. The SC6's responsive suspension communicated every bump and imperfection on the track, which made it extremely easy to drive fast. The more time I logged on the Ultima SC6, the more my lap times dropped. As a short-course truck built on the same design notes as the IFMAR Worlds-winning Ultima RB-6, the SC6's performance didn't come as a surprise. However, it does come with a price, and the SC6 averages $85 or more than its competitors, and that's without an included set of wheels. For the premium price, Kyosho delivers premium performance.


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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


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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.


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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.


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