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Trail Finder opinions

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  • Trail Finder opinions

    Sorry Al, I am doing a little thread-jacking here :-)

    I thought it would be pertinent to post this here as the subject line pretty much sums up my feelings towards these kits.
    I am doing some extensive bashing/crawling with this machine as I would like to market them a little here in the Middle East, just as a means of funding my hobby outside of the day job.
    I always wanted to make sure that the kit stands up to the best of both worlds and by that I mean as a normal basher truck as well as a scale crawler. And it seems to do this quite well. At this point I have been running it with a 55T lathe motor which is good for crawling, but the basher might find it a tad slow. To give you an idea, at full throttle in top gear, sharp turn and it will not roll over! I will try it with a standard silver can next and see how it fares, in order to promote it here, I will need an 'entry level' option that can be easily availble, after that I am going to try the el cheapo hobbywing brushless setup, with both of these options I will also try the 4:1 reduction set and see how that works, I think the brushless might cause some problems there, not sure yet.

    All in all these things are tough as nails and up until now, the only problems I have experienced are as follows:

    Scale shocks - Pretty ineffective as dampers, but good looking. I removed the springs and tried a number of options with oil, including creating bypass openings on the pistons, finally I have added some grease and no oil as a type of friction damper.

    Leafs - Tried initially with the normal 3 leaf setup, too hard. Removed leafs in varying combos and eventually added the soft leaf springs in the following combo. From bottom to top - Normal small spring, soft red spring, medium normal. This allows for decent flexing without turning the soft ones into pretzels

    Spools - Stripped out the stock rear, RC4WD replaced it for me. Drilled out the spool and installed a grub screw, this held out, but there was some wear and was not the best solution. Finally used cold weld on the worn one before inserting the axles, this has held up well. On the rear that was not stripped, I used steel epoxy and installed after curing. This is still going.

    Wheels - Started with stock aluminium classics, had a lot of problems with tire coming of the rims, tried silicone, super glue and cold glue...all failed. Eventually used tamiya hummer wheels with super glue 'spot welded' in 4 places each side. Held up well in the time I used it in this config. When I did remove the tires to put on beadlocks, they were still glued firmly with no sign of coming off. The beadlocks are awesome! I took about an hour to get them fitted, the first one gave me some problems as it was the first beadlocker I had ever done, but the rest were easy. I used some dishwashing liquid on the tire beads and tightened up in a pattern, no probs. Only taken the truck out once with the lockers, but did give it a thrash, with some decent bind spots and they have not let go yet.

    Gearbox - The R2 is bombproof from what I can tell. I have removed it once merely to clean and inspect. I used normal multi-purpose grease on it and I suspect that when this warms up it will become a bit liquid and lose some effectiveness. When I take it apart again I am going to use some marine bearing grease. It is thicker and less prone to being flung off, so with a quicker motor it might be useful. I think the trick with this stuff is to use sparingly as possible and it is VITAL to make sure the box is sealed up, any dirt/dust in there will form a grinding paste. I am not to concerned about the additional drag the grease will create, I am more concerned about the longevity of the parts. Any input you guys are able to add/recommend in this department will be invaluable. I know the monster lube is available, but I would like to use something that is commercially available to potential customers. I will use the same on the pinion/ring in the axles.

    I am currently running the truck on the following:
    Integy 55T lathe motor
    Traxxas XL ESC (need to gat an ESC with decent braking)
    Futaba Skysport radio modified to use on surface vehicles
    Hitec Digital HT Servo (steering)
    Futaba S3003 (gear select)
    Reedy Wolfpack 7.2V 3200mah NIMH (runtime is around an hour, maybe more, never really flattened a pack yet doing slow stuff)

    All in all these are really awesome little trucks, very strong, lots of fun and fairly capable as a scale crawler. I am awaiting a very specialised CR-01 that I got on the Bay to see how the difference is in ability. I am not a fan of the tubers and comp rigs, so the TF is the best of both worlds for me.

    Thank you RC4WD for getting these to the general public, I believe that they will last long and probably become an enigma in the RC world, and a collectors piece some day.

    Loving it!

    Regards to all, and a Merry Xmas to you and your families.

    Raptus regaliter

  • #2
    Nice read Andy!

    The TF is a great purpose built scaler.
    My only gripe is the spool,evreything else runs fine.

    The scale shocks are fine for the leaf spring set up.You dont need the internal spring.The leaf spring should do the work and not have to be fighting angainst the internal shock spring.
    Using them as a friction damper works fine to smooth out the suspension.An oil damper would work better though.

    I got both the leaf and 3 link versions of the kit to see how differently they perform.
    I run the red leaf spring with one long helper on the bottom.This stops any kinks at the mounting point,and still gives good flex.
    This set up will be awsome when the shooter shackles are available!
    I would like to see a mount for the front leaf so it can be mounted backwards.
    It can get in the way and bind up in the stock position.
    The 3 link version needs the next length in shocks to give enough suspension travel.I changed to TLT shocks.The springs are bit on the soft side,but work great as a droop set up.The body can sit low and i get loads of downward travel.
    Im running the 3 link version more now.Its great to see the movement in the suspension when its riding slowly over bumps.
    Ive heard people complain that the dual rate shocks are too soft.This isnt right.You dont want suspension at full needs to "squat" to be able to work effectively,you ideally want down as well as up travel.

    Theres a whole thread on the spool,so i wont go into that.Apart from the spool,the axles are great looking and work very well.Knuckles could probably do with leaning toward the centre more to stop the tyre rub on the links.The widener kit is useful but will put the wheels too far outside the wheel arches(just my opinion).Its only needed on certain wheels.Obviously i havent tried all of them but the landies dont rub at all.Think the tyre rub is mainly with beadlocks as ive used Tamiya plastic wheels with zero offset and not had a problem.

    I run the R2 2 speed in both of my rigs.They run very smooth after a couple of runs when the gears are bedded in.The gearshift works smoothly on the fly once it has been used a few times.
    I use waterproof prop grease for rc boats.It works smoothly and stays on the gears.
    I put threadlocked screws in the unused holes of the casing to seal it.

    I run landies wheels(god i love the look of them!)with the tyre held on with silicone i got from a model shop.It sets quicker than builders silicone,and ive not had a tyre come off yet.
    Couldnt get on with beadlocks.I could pull the tyre off the wheel.The groove could have done with being deeper.A mate of mine bought them and says he trimmed the tyre bead so now theyre ok.Not right though.I think the recess for the bead needed to be deeper.May have just been the ones i had.

    Ive tried a pretty big range of electrics.
    The Novak goat system is about the best ive used.Very smooth,plenty of speed and loads of torque.Its a bit overkill though.
    Novak rooster combo.The motor is too slow so if you use a rooster,go for a 35-45t motor.
    Ive used a castle creations sidewinder with different brushed and brushless motor.35t brushed works about the best.Enough torque and speed for a scaler.
    Ive used a Nosram waterproof with brushed motors.No drag brake and delayed reverse were frustrating.Being waterproof was handy though.
    Funny you should mention the budget hobby wing brushless.Im using one at the moment.Its the 35A with the 9t motor The motor is way over the top for a scaler and would be a killer on the trans and axles in no time.There is a 17.5t motor version but it comes with the higher spec 60A esc for some reason.
    I use a 1050kv outrunner with it.Its about the size of the 380 motors but its an animal!It works pretty well with the ezrun esc ,as you can alter the settings with a program card.Nothing fancy but you can set drag brake,brake force etc,which is very handy for a rig like this.
    We had a scale meet this sunday and i used two 3700 batteries on one rig all day!(beats the days of running buggies and carrying a bag of 18 battery packs!)
    I think the gear reduction would only be useful for a silver can motor.I would rather buy a low turn/high torque motor to be honest.

    I get private messages from people that want a TF but are put off by reading posts about failures.All RC models have something go wrong at some point.Theres such a big load on the small parts that something will give when pushed.And we ALL push a car/truck to its limits,wether its speed or trying to get over something thats near impossible.
    People only usually post when they have something go wrong.Not enough people post with praise.

    I always say just get one.You only end up regretting not buying the one you want!

    I had two high lifts before these were out and soon sold them when i had a trail finder.There`s just no comparison.

    Merry Christman to you too Andy.Christmas already!


    • #3
      Great info guys! I am planning to get a leaf edition Jeep TF. Are you both using the Tamiya Jeep body? Can you post any pictures? I am looking for spool info you talked about to see what you are talking about.
      I want to get the TF Jeep, red springs, and maybe the coil over rc4wd shocks since that biggest issue seems to be that the stock shocks are too stiff.
      Yes the Landie rims are sweet, they could pass for stock Jeep rims (Plain-Jane style). Any other info you could shoot my way to help me decide what parts to get would be helpful.