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New to the RC world. Looking for advice

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New to the RC world. Looking for advice

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Old 12-02-2018, 05:57 PM
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Default New to the RC world. Looking for advice

I have an 8 year old and 13 year old that I am getting RC cars for Christmas. I already bought the 8 year old a Redcat Blackout XTE from Amazon that was on sale for $86. I know this is a low grade RC car but I just wanted to get him something that he could bash and I could buy parts for when he breaks something. It looked like it had good reviews. For the 13 year old, I want to get him a basher that he can upgrade down the road and was thinking about getting him a kit since he is very hands on and likes to build things. I am looking for something that can run in the grass / go off road and would like to stay as close to $200 as possible. There are two hobby shops near me that sell Traxxas vehicles. One of them also sells ARRMA and Tamiya. I have noticed that Traxxas tends to be a bit more expensive when when compared to other brands but the availability of parts is appealing.

The vehicles I have been looking at are:
Traxxas Stampede 2wd
Traxxas Slash 2wd
Traxxas rustler
ARRMA Senton 4wd
ARRMA Granite 4wd
ECX torment 4wd
ECX Torment 2wd with LiPo
ECX Ruckus 4wd
ECX Ruckus 2wd with LiPo
Tamiya racing fighter 2wd buggy
Tamiya Manta Ray 4wd buggy
Tamiya Hornet 2wd buggy
Tamiya Midnight Pumpkin 2wd

I'm leaning toward ECX or ARRMA, although I do like the idea of buying a kit from Tamiya. I'm not sure how well buggies hold up or run in the grass as they look like they sit low. Probably going to try and catch something on sale before Christmas if I can. Team Associated had a brushless stadium truck on sale for $200 but missed out on that.
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Old 12-03-2018, 02:03 AM
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I can't comment on most of those but know a bit about Tamiya's. I have a few of the rerelease kits and also 2 TT02B buggies which my sons friend bash about. They are all 5 so I slow them down for them, but they have taken 2 years of abuse with very little going wrong.

Of those you have listed the Manta Ray or Racing Fighter are the best performers. The Racing Fighter is on their modern entry level platform which by all accounts is pretty good. The Manta Ray is a rerelease from about 1990 and was a great buggy back then and will still go ok with a sensible motor. The rereleases are better than Tamiya's modern 4wd entry level buggies as they were designed as buggies rather than converted from a touring car so have better ride height and jump a lot better.

I wouldn't go for the Hornet or Midnight Pumpkin as the performance will be underwhelming and can't really be fixed due to the solid axle design.

If you want a monster truck then the Monster Beetle or Blackfoot would work but need the MIP ball diff upgrade (expensive), otherwise if they have a WT01 in stock they are bulletproof (just avoid the narrow version like the Amarok). Its also worth checking out the other rereleases as there are some interesting ones around - I like the Novafox and Boomerang.

You probably know this but the Tamiya kits generally come with a brushed motor but no radio gear or batteries and no bearings so that will add to the cost. If it has an ESC its usually the TBLE-02S which can run basic brushed motors or brushless which is great as thats a cheap upgrade down the line. Spend USd40 on a cheap Trackstar motor and its a decent upgrade to speed. They also do the XB version which are RTR but they still don't have bearings.

My brother in law has an ECX Amp monster truck and that has been going strong for a couple of years. I've heard ECX are pretty decent bashers and his experience backs that up.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:11 AM
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Arrma has been making a reputation for themselves as being very durable RC trucks. I recommend the Granite. It will handle the grass and jumps and should be a good first rig for your son.
Here's a video of the Granite.
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Old 12-03-2018, 05:53 PM
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Thanks for the responses guys. I found out today one of the hobby shops near me sells the Tamiya kits but not parts. They do sell ARRMA parts though so that may be my best option. Still going to keep looking and doing research though.
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:29 PM
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I'm a fan of kits... Helps you understand better what to fix or where to troubleshoot when things aren't working properly (and that will happen at some point). With that, I do think Tamiya does a great job with their instructions. I was around 11 or 12 when I built my first Tamiya kit (and that was back before they had English instructions). However, going the Tamiya route will be a little more expensive as you'll need to do everything a al carte.

If they will be run in grass, you'll want something with larger wheels and good ground clearance. The Tamiya Lunchbox and Blackfoot are two trucks with both... Wild Willy 2 is a just a fun little vehicle. How can you not smile running something like that around. As for parts, Tamiya's don't break easily but you can order from TamiyaUSA.com without an issue.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:41 PM
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Default I recommend Losi Tenacity Monster Truck AVC

Let me throw in another suggestion. Besides Arrma and Traxxas I would also recommend the Losi Tenacity Monster Truck AVC. For $250 you get 4wd Brushless 4 pole system with AVC. Neither Traxxas nor Arrma has anything close to that price range with that performance. Plus, these are supported by your local hobby shops. If they don't support this car, then that's a darn shame. Order through Tower and you get free shipping with no tax. But sometimes supporting your local hobby shop is okay for certain things, until they hire newbies who don't have a clue or they give you the run around.
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Old 12-04-2018, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SuperFastSnail View Post
Let me throw in another suggestion. Besides Arrma and Traxxas I would also recommend the Losi Tenacity Monster Truck AVC. For $250 you get 4wd Brushless 4 pole system with AVC. Neither Traxxas nor Arrma has anything close to that price range with that performance. Plus, these are supported by your local hobby shops. If they don't support this car, then that's a darn shame. Order through Tower and you get free shipping with no tax. But sometimes supporting your local hobby shop is okay for certain things, until they hire newbies who don't have a clue or they give you the run around.
Yes, I saw that. From the reviews I read on it, it seems to have overheating issues and poor shock design. However, I was wondering though, if at the 250 price point it would be worth buying it and fixing those two issues. Being new to this, I'm not sure what exactly would be needed to fix it if those truly are issues. I have found three hobby shops near me that are horizonhobby dealers but they all favor Traxxas. One does sell this Losi truck though. I may try to visit them tomorrow.
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Old 12-04-2018, 12:37 PM
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That's a great price on the Tenacity MT. All the other Tenacity vehicles are still listed around $400. I wonder if they're getting rid of the MT? New, aluminum shocks and a bigger motor should help address the problems. Maybe all you need is lower gears to get the temps in order.
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:05 AM
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I used to work at my local hobby shop. When customers bring in their Traxxas or off-road truck, they all have overheating issues. There are two main concerns that I automatically address. If they run on medium to tall grass they will most likely run into a temperature issue very quickly. Secondly, if they like to overpower jumps and power through grassy inclines, it will be a temp issue along with drive-train issue. My best recommendation for bashers is to go 1/8th scale truggy or to go on dry dirt (not mud or sand or baseball fields). They should also go with a lower KV motor such as 2200 KV and run it on 3S; but then again you have to make sure the drive-train can take the abuse. If you can afford a 1/8 truggy or buggy, it will most likely take care of most common situations for bashers unless you jump them 20 feet up in the air. But since the OP was on a budget I had to look at the money scenario first. Another thing about the Losi Tenacity would be the plastic shocks. Run them and when they bend or twist, just upgrade them with aluminum ones from Fleabay. Sometimes I find that on Traxxas vehicles the stock shock towers are so flimsy you'd almost have to replace it with RPM towers right away. A little flex is good but too much flex like the stock Traxxas ones are junk if you run brushless. If you run their stock brush motor setup, then its all fine.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:22 AM
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Tamiya is great for building, but not great for hard bashing.

One of the best starter trucks and all around trucks, period, is the Traxxas Slash.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:59 AM
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Well, I think I'm going to be buying 3 used trucks for $500 that I found on Craigslist. They are a Traxxas Rustler VXL 2wd, Slash VXL 2wd and Slash 4x4 brushless. They look to be in pretty good condition from the pictures. They have had some upgrades and come with four nickel batteries, three 3s Lipo batteries, a charger and extra parts. I will sell one or two of the trucks to recoup some of the money. Seems like a good deal.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:10 AM
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In the case of buying used RCs, I don't care if someone says they took excellent care of their RCs. I'd get downloading all the manuals and exploded views. That's because you are going to tear everything apart and rebuild ...at least that is what I would recommend seeing how they are gonna be Christmas presents. Grungy bearings; bent/missing pins; wrong size/missing/stripped hardware, spacers, fluids, e/c-clips, etc., etc., etc...they all await your discovery .

My most recent used RC purchase was hidden with little..."treasures". I didn't take my own advice of checking the RC over before running, because I have other RCs to occupy my time when other RCs are "in the shop" for due maintenance. Over the next couple of weeks, I'd find/didn't find items just like I mentioned in above paragraph.

Good times.

Get out there and throw some dirt!
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by rustyus View Post
In the case of buying used RCs, I don't care if someone says they took excellent care of their RCs. I'd get downloading all the manuals and exploded views. That's because you are going to tear everything apart and rebuild ...at least that is what I would recommend seeing how they are gonna be Christmas presents. Grungy bearings; bent/missing pins; wrong size/missing/stripped hardware, spacers, fluids, e/c-clips, etc., etc., etc...they all await your discovery .

My most recent used RC purchase was hidden with little..."treasures". I didn't take my own advice of checking the RC over before running, because I have other RCs to occupy my time when other RCs are "in the shop" for due maintenance. Over the next couple of weeks, I'd find/didn't find items just like I mentioned in above paragraph.

Good times.

Get out there and throw some dirt!
Good point. Maybe I would be better off buying new for the first truck since I am new to this and wouldn't know what I was looking at. Not to mention, they are two hours away from me. I really don't like the idea of giving the kids used vehicles as Christmas presents.

On a side note, I did find a hobby dealer who sells ecx trucks. I really like the Torment. Looks like it would be a good starter vehicle and comes with a Lipo battery.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:05 PM
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the torment was my first rc vehicle after getting back into the hobby.. i upgraded to a brushless system and metal diff after like a week but not neccessary i just like to tinker. i ended up taking it to a track and liked the racing but it was not cut out for that at all but it was an amazing basher.
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Old 12-07-2018, 02:03 PM
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The ECX Ruckus (monster truck) would be a better all terrain truck but I'm still going to point you to the Arrma Granite 2wd. It's $99 right now.

https://www.horizonhobby.com/product...ack-p-arad09rl
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