Kev’s Bench: Tuning the Axial Yeti

Kev’s Bench: Tuning the Axial Yeti


I’m currently reviewing Novak’s latest Crusher speed control and 4PHD motor combo, which includes a “short course” motor but is designed for all kinds 4X4 bashing, racing and rock crawling. I chose my Axial Yeti as a test bed for the combo, since it too is built for all-around high-impact off-roading. My plan was to simply install the speed control and motor and call it a day but you know it goes–there’s always some room for improvement.


The Crusher speed control is easy to tune, and includes adjustable drive mode, drag brake, brake power, dead band, drive frequency, motor rotation and boost–see the full review from our March issue below, when we tested the Crusher with a 17.5 Ballistic motor as well as a 17.5 crawling motor in an Axial Wraith. . The speed control was easy to install into my yeti but the motor was a very tight fit. A little cutting of the battery tray was necessary to make clearance for the motor’s sensor wire.



The Novak 4PHD motor is designed for heavier 4×4 short course trucks and it’s right at home in the Yeti. A little cutting of the battery tray was all that was needed to get the big motor in. If you don’t want to modify your battery tray you can remove the front endbell of the motor and rotate it to get the sensor wire on the low side which should allow it to clear the battery tray. It’s a tight fit but it clears.



The Yeti’s stock steering servo has a good amount of torque and speed for RTR service but I wanted something that had more power that could better handle the extreme conditions that I plan running my Axial Yeti in. A Savox SV-1273TG servo is now mounted to the chassis and it produces a maximum torque of 222.2 oz. in. which is 71.2 oz. in. more than stock. The torque along with the titanium gears inside should have no problem turning the tires under extreme loads. An added bonus of the servo is that the orange heatsink goes well with my Novak speed control.



When reviewing the stock Axial Yeti it left me wanting more in the traction department. The stock tires are pretty firm and in the conditions I am running my truck in they were a little on the loose side. I made a call to Pro-Line and picked up a new set of Super Swamper XL 2.2” tires for my truck. The Pro-Line tires are .3 inches taller than stock and only weigh about an ounce more which will make the truck only about 4oz heavier overall. The tires have an aggressive tread pattern and softer compound that will naturally get better grip on all surfaces and the taller diameter gives the truck more ground clearance; if you stick with the stock gearing the truck will also be slightly faster.


I took my Axial Yeti to my off-road test area to see how well it performs with my new modifications before really digging into my Novak Crusher and 4PDH testing. The Pro-Line tires felt right at home in the dirt and traction was noticeably improved. The area where I really noticed the change in traction was on the rocks and on the street; there’s a lot of grip to be had there. On the rock the truck climbed even better than before and on the street I was easily flipping the truck over due to the extra side grip. In the air the larger dia and slightly heavier tires made adjusting the attitude of the truck much easier. The Savox had no problem in the steering department; it muscled the tires around like they weren’t even there and it responded well to steering wheel inputs. How did the speed control respond? Well I will tell you that it was easy to set up and very smooth. I’m working on the full review and you will be able to read it soon. In the meantime, check out this review of the Crusher with 540 Ballistic and Crawler motors. Just click the pics to enlarge.







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Updated: July 21, 2015 — 10:53 AM
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