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Clod Servo Mounts

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Monster Truck Kits (Clods, USA-1s, Juggernauts, etc.)
Aftermarket Chassis Hop-Ups/Aluminium Parts
Electronics (ESCs, Servos, etc.)
Shocks
Batteries
Motors
Tires/Wheels/Inserts
Setups
Trouble Shooting
What Is?
Miscellaneous


Monster Truck Kits

Q: What is a Clodbuster and Bullhead and what's the difference between them?

These two trucks (both produced by Tamiya) are essentially the same chassis. As such, both are almost identical 4WD, 4WS monsters. There are differences of course… the most obvious one being the different covers that come with the cars. Here are some pictures of the Bullhead and Clodbuster. Under the covers lie almost identical chassis - although the Clodbuster one is molded predominantly in black with splashes of red, and the Bullhead is molded in a mix of red, yellow, black and chromed silver. The Bullhead also has nice chromed rims, which are often an 'look-enhancing' upgrade for most clodites.

The last difference is that the Bullhead has an additional metal brace that reinforces the chassis. I had a Clodbuster and found that even in stock trim, it was a very tough truck - but having never owned a Bullhead, I am not sure how much added performance that brace produces. Other than these differences, the two trucks are identical. Note that because of this, both chassis are often lumped together under the label of 'Clods'. If you are concerned about whether the Bullhead will accept all the aftermarket goodies for the Clod, you can relax because the answer is 'yes'. The Bullhead can be converted to a Clodzilla, Clod-A-Leaver or any other aftermarket chassis with the same ease as the Clodbuster.

Q: Which is better - the USA-1, Clod, Juggernaut or Juggernaut2?
Q: Which Monster Truck kit should I get?

This is a toughie and one of those questions with no sure answer. All of them form a special class of Monster Truck which have dual motors and have huge 6" diameter tires. But each one has it's own unique characteristics. Here's a brief introduction of their pros and cons.

ClodBuster/Bullhead
The Clod chassis has a solid-axle type suspension (for more info click here). In stock form, the truck doesn't have much suspension travel but this suspension type has the potential to have insane amounts of travel in modified form. With a proper multi-link setup this truck can have up to 11" of travel or more. Some rigs can even rotate one axle 90 degrees in orientation to the other axle. This makes for excellent rock-crawlers since they can keep all four wheels in contact with the surface in extreme conditions.

The potential to use a multi-link setup also allows the clod to look very realistic since real-life MTs also use similar suspension systems. However, for even more realism one might look to the Juggernaut.

The solid-axle setup also allows the center of the truck to ride very high off the ground which means it can clear obstacles which might stop other trucks with a lower chassis clearance. However, one disadvantage of the solid-axle setup is that the clearance below the axles is generally lower compared to trucks with independent suspensions. This means that the truck might have problems clearing particular obstacles that may hit the gearboxes.

One major 'con' of the clod is that a majority of the weight is not 'suspended'. The shocks support the chassis, battery and ESC, but the gearboxes, motors and sometimes steering servos are all on the solid axle. This means that all these heavy parts aren't being damped by the shocks off landings - as such, the clod is often a less able jumper, because it has the tendency to bounce of landings.

Still, guys have jumped clods off 5 to 6 foot high ramps with no problems.

One of the clod's greatest strengths is in pulling. It is quite undisputed that Clods will outpull USA-1s quite easily.

The Clod has a smooth transmission (smoother than the USA-1's). Each motor in the truck powers a gearbox and the 2 gearboxes are independent of each other.

Strengths:
Pulling
Articulation
Realism
Durability

Weaknesses:
Jumping
Handling
Fixed gearing options

RCCA conducted a comparison of both trucks in October 1995. Click here to see the results.

USA-1
The USA-1 Electric truck (sometimes referred to as A-1) is produced by Kyosho and features an independent double wishbone suspension - as opposed to the solid-axle setup on the Clod (click here for more info). USA-1 enthusiasts are adamant that this is the superior suspension system for handling. In my experience, this system does result in a truck that has less tendency to roll/flip. The independent suspension also makes the USA-1 a very capable jumper, capable of sound, no-nonsense landings.

In stock form, the truck is a decent performer but is often criticized for being less durable than the clod. The chief culprit is it's plastic dogbones, which have a tendency to snap (especially when performing those full-reverse-to-full-forward maneuvers). Sassy chassis has replacements which solve the problem though.

There is a trade-off for the superior handling and jumping though, and this is the USA-1's relatively lower potential to be a great articulating beast. Debates on the merits of insane amounts of suspension travel/articulation still wage on - so I don't purport to have the answers - but with the independent suspension, the USA-1 can never be setup to articulate like a mod clod can.

To compensate, the truck does generally have a higher ground clearance under the gearboxes (compared to solid-axle type trucks) and this allows the USA-1 to clear some obstacles which might stop/damage a clod.

In stock form, the USA-1 is generally faster than the clod and the kit also comes with stronger motors. Note however that it's tranny is not as refined as the clod and has a characteristic loud whine. Each motor in the truck powers a gearbox and the 2 gearboxes are independent of each other.

Strengths:
Jumping
Handling
Several gearing options

Weaknesses:
Pulling
Loud
Durability (stock)

RCCA conducted a comparison of both trucks in October 1995. Click here to see the results.

Juggernaut
The Juggernaut was Tamiya's new monster truck. Here's a write-up from their website:

"CUSTOMIZED MONSTER PICK-UP TRUCK JUGGERNAUT (FORD F-350) Smashing through boundaries and breaking down obstacles, the Juggernaut doesn't stop for anything or anyone. A new arrival to the monster truck mayhem, the massive Juggernaut Ford F-350 is sure to cause a commotion. The Juggernaut is the evolution of the classic Clodbuster, with a host of new features learned from Tamiya's 4x4 experience. The sturdy aluminum chassis uses a parallel twin 540 type motor configuration and a newly designed gearbox for maximum power. The twin motors share a common spur gear. The separately available servo is centrally located in a 4-wheel steering setup. The chassis uses a coil-spring suspension system with a double shock system, 8 coil-spring dampers and 4 metal leaf-springs are used in total. The massive wheels and tires are 175mm in diameter, the Juggernaut itself is 353mm tall, 480 mm long and 372mm wide. The awesome dimensions of this vehicle are complemented by colorful stickers. Two 540 motors are included."

The Juggernaut was a totally new design and not a re-hashed, hopped up version of the Clod. While the Clod's front and rear transmissions are totally separate and powered by one motor each, the Juggernaut's front and rear transmissions were linked(via drive-shafts) to a central spur gear located on-board the main chassis itself. This spur gear was driven by both motors and this, in theory, should result in more consistent power transfer to the front and rear wheels.

However, the in-board motors and battery mounting position in the Juggernaut result in a higher CG. Moreover, the Juggernaut's stock width was narrower than the Clods. These all added up to a truck that would flip easily.

The Juggernaut was released in 1999 and shortly after was discontinued because of tranny problems. It's main problem was that the bevel gears in the transmission would strip after a few runs. In addition, the universal joints had the tendency to wear out. Although Tamiya originally provided free 'upgrade' parts - these parts failed to solve the problem. The truck was re-released as the Juggernaut2 after a tranny re-design. In America, new parts were offered at a discounted price to bring the Juggernaut's specs up to those of the Juggernaut2. See Juggernaut2 for more details.

Juggernaut2
The Juggernaut2 is primarily the Juggernaut truck with a re-designed tranny. The latter truck had problems with the bevel gears stripping. So far, it appears that the problems are a thing of the past with the Juggernaut2.

The truck, like the clod, has a solid-axle type suspension… but unlike the clod, its most unique feature is that both motors are located in the main chassis and they drive a common spur gear. The power is then transferred to the front and rear axles via universal shafts. This means that the transmission on the truck is essentially one unit - contrast this to the Clod and USA-1 where the front and rear gearboxes are independent.

The most obvious advantage of this setup is realism. Of the 3 trucks, the Juggernaut2 has the most realistic transmission. Whether this setup has advantages in performance is still debatable.

One quirk of such a setup though is that under torque, the truck has the tendency to 'twist' resulting in the lifting of the left-front wheel. This can't be good for racing purposes, although many like the realism as real trucks demonstrate a similar trait.

The stock Juggernaut also does not have much suspension travel (more info on suspension travel) but like the clod it has the potential to have a lot of it… although I think the drive-axles connecting the front and rear transmissions to the center gearbox might limit articulation a little.

The solid-axle setup also allows the center of the truck to ride very high off the ground which means it can clear obstacles which might stop other trucks with a lower chassis clearance. However, one disadvantage of the solid-axle setup is that the clearance below the axles is generally lower compared to trucks with independent suspensions. This means that the truck might have problems clearing particular obstacles that may hit the gearboxes.

Jumping. While the jury is still out on this, I think the Jugg2 may make a better jumper than the clod because more of its weight is suspended and damped.

One major disadvantage of the Jugg2 however, is that a lot of it's equipment (motors, battery, electronics) is located very high up in the chassis resulting in a high center-of-gravity: increasing the tendency of the truck to flip when turning at moderate to high speeds.

Because this truck is still relatively new, not much more can be said about it's strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths:
Realism (hands-down)

Weaknesses:
High CG


Q: How does the Clod compare to the USA-1?

Radio Control Car Action magazine (RCCA) did a comparison of the two trucks (in stock form) back in October 1995, here are the results!

The Clod won the following categories:
Handling
Tug Of War
Durability
Runtime

The USA-a won the following categories:
Suspension Travel
Centre of Gravity
Hill Climb
Drag Race
Turning Radius

RCCA went on to suggest that the Clod is the way to go if durability and hop-up potential is what matters to you; and you should choose the USA-1 if hill climbing and speed is what thrills you. I think that's pretty good advice, but here are some additional comments.

The hop-up potential of Clods is a very important plus-point to keep in mind. After running RCMTs for a while (or any other RC vehicle for that matter), you will inevitably want to make it go faster and better. When it comes to the number of companies producing aftermarket parts for each truck, the Clod blows the USA-1 away. It's basic design offers the customizer a clean canvas to work on and this is evident when you see just how wild some custom Clods are!

This is not to say that USA-1's cannot be customized (not by a long shot), but it's independent suspension setup kinda limits this and although wild custom jobs are still possible, they would require considerably more work and innovation. Having said that, it is noteworthy that a company called Sassy Chassis - a major manufacturer of aftermarket USA-1 parts - re-opened in 1999 and they have a full range of hop-ups that make the USA-1 an awesome MT. Bennett equipment also produces an aftermarket chassis for the USA-1 but their design is shunned by several USA-1 owners because it locks out the independent suspension - regarded by many as the truck's best feature (more info on the Bennett USA-1.

For a full list of companies producing aftermarket parts for RCMTs, click here.

So which one is for you? Personally I would point beginners toward the Clod, Tamiya's excellent instructions make it easier to assemble and with the large fan-base help is not hard to find. However, more experienced builders who are looking for something new may choose to go with the USA-1, hopped up A-1's are just as potent as Clods if not more. Either way, you're still taking an exciting step into the world of RCMTrucking! You may also want to consider Tamiya's newest offering, the Juggernaut2!

 

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Aftermarket Chassis Hop-Ups/Aluminium Parts

Q: Which aftermarket chassis should I get and why?
There is no one correct answer to this question. Which chassis to get often depends on a variety of factors including: function, cost, parts support and looks. Which is best for you? You will have to decide by considering which chassis best meets your needs. Here is some info on the different companies and the chassis they produce:


For CLODS


Elite Speed Products (ESP)
[Company Info]

The manufacturer of the Clodzilla line of aftermarket chassis. Their chassis are known for their good looks and ability to produce good bashing fun! Feedback on the Zilla (short for Clodzilla) kits is that while they are good kits, they take quite a lot of tweaking to work right; this is, no doubt, in part due to the poor instructions that come with them. I have experienced this to be true with my Zilla IV. There is a general consensus too that the Bennett chassis are more durable, which is not to say that the ESP ones are wimpy - all the chassis here can take quite a beating before getting thrashed. For added confidence, ESP offers a life-time guarantee against breakage for their parts. I own the Clodzila IV and can testify that aftersales support is fantastic. There are currently 3 ESP chassis available:

a) Clodzilla II
Heavier and taller than the other 2 chassis. This chassis allows almost all the stock parts of the Clod: e.g. body, speed control and shocks. This chassis has space in it to mount 2 stick packs without much modification (although they are mounted high in the chassis resulting in a higher centre of gravity or 'CG') and I've heard that this chassis is very durable. However, it has a high profile and that results more in a 'monster' look rather than a sleeker 'racer' look.

b) Clodzilla III
Lower in profile than the Zilla II, it has a 'racing monster truck' look that appeals to many. Because of the lower CG, the truck corners better than the Zilla II as well. This kit utilizes single servo steering and low profile aluminium body mounts. May clod enthusiasts claim that this chassis is more durable and jumps better than the IV.

c) Clodzilla IV
I own this one so I can tell you more about it. ESP bills this as their 'state of the art' conversion kit. It weighs in the lightest of the 3 kits at 8lbs with over 4" of ground clearance. Built as per their instructions, the truck offers 10" of wheel travel which is impressive. Comes with lots of goodies like the ball bearing cantilevers, anti-sway bars and dual servo conversion. Instructions, however are poor, but I am working on some that I hope to post on this site sometime in the future. Although the single-bearing cantilevers are cool, they do get busted if you thrash really hard, for more info, visit my clod pages and see my truck and it's specs.

Bennett Equipment
[Company Info]
The performance of their trucks are proven by the number of NR/CTPA titles they've won (note that a ESP Prototype won the 2000 title though). The Clod-A-Leavers are generally agreed to be the best handling aftermarket chassis available. Like the ESP ones, they also utilize cantilevers (although theirs ride on plastic bushings) and come with anti-sway bars. The kits come in both 2WS and 4WS form although many people who run these lock out the rear steering for better handling capabilities.

One particular distinguishing characteristic of the Bennett kit is that it sits lower to the ground than the ESP ones, and it's overall CG is lower too. These, I'm sure, contribute to it's excellent handling capabilities. However, the lower ground clearance may affect it's bashing abilities as it can get stuck on some obstacles. I am told, however, that it's ground clearance is adjustable but unfortunately, I do not know how high it can go.

The Bennett kits mount their servos in front of the gearboxes (ESP mounts theirs above the gearbox, just over the motor) and this eliminates one of the links in the steering setup reducing slop in the system and translates to better steering control. However, this puts the servo in front of the wheel which may affect the truck's climbing abilities. (more info and pics on different servo mounting methods).

Bennett has recently released a Clod-A-Leaver chassis for the USA-1 (however, it is criticized by several USA-1 owners for locking out the independent suspension - regarded by many as the truck's best feature).

New Era Models (NEM)
[Company Info]
New Era Models has a reputation for poor service, but their chassis are certainly interesting. There are 2 models available for the clod:

NEM Tube Chassis
Information is sparse about the abilities of this chassis. This is probably in part due to the high price tag which keeps many buyers away. You do get what you pay for though, because their chassis consists of a heli-arc welded, 4130 Chrome Moly Tubular steel frame. This is not only realistic, but it is durable as well (take note that the first generation chassis had weak shock mounts that had a tendency to bend but I understand these were rectified in newer production runs). The chassis allows for different configurations of links, including the 'inverted' link setup found on real-life monster trucks. Possibly the most realistic looking aftermarket chassis you can currently buy. It has a higher center of gravity and weighs quite a lot more than the Bennett and ESP chassis.

NEM Clod 2000 Chassis
This chassis uses 2 aluminium plates cut to look like a tube frame. Information about this chassis is limited at the moment as it is still relatively new.

JPS Products
[Company Info]
Well known for their fantastic looking machined aluminium gearboxes and axles. Their machined chassis also looks fantastic. A fellow clodite with this truck has named it the Clodinator because of it's resemblance to the Terminator in the Arnold Schwarzeneggar movies. Surprisingly the price of this chassis is comparable to that of the ESP and Bennett ones (it's surprising because their gearboxes and axles are incredibly costly). For a machined chassis, the price is actually quite tempting. Comes with cantilevers that run on two ball bearings, anti-sway bars and several mounting positions for links and shocks.

Owners of this chassis claim it performs better than the other makes but these claims are hard to test. It is a very tunable chassis with a wide variety of tuning options and it is also very durable. However, it has a shorter wheelbase than the ESP and Bennett kits which may reduce it's abilities in the stability department.

One important thing to note about this chassis is that it comes almost fully assembled - just bolt on your gearboxes, shocks and electronics and you're good to go. The latest news is that the chassis now includes JPS' front servo/bumper mount and full instructions - which should make it a lot more user friendly than previously, when instructions weren't included.

Radical Chassis Midwest (RCM)
[Company Info]
RCM offers custom work done according to your needs which is a plus point. They also offer chassis at very reasonable prices. However, the company is small and that sometimes means longer-waiting times for them to fulfil their orders. However, if you're one a tight budget then you may want to check out their work.

Sassy Chassis
[Company Info]
Sassy Chassis offers an aluminium tub chassis for the clod that is known for it's durability! They also produce custom chassis to turn your clod into a 6x6 monster (i.e. with 6 wheels!). Sassy's aftersales service is remarkable and their new owners are very helpful people.

ThunderTech Racing
[Company Info]
This newcomer to the scene offers a graphite clod chassis called the Centurion. The graphite plates are cut to resemble a tube frame chassis. As this chassis is also new to the clod scene, information about it's performance and durability is still scarce.

It should be noted however, that this is one of the most complete kits available - as it comes with oil-filled shocks and even a body. No electronics or motors though.

Others
It's hard to keep a handle on all the individuals coming onto the RCMT scene to sell their custom made chassis. As such you may want to hunt around the popular forums to see if some of these meet your needs. Note however that these companies may not be around for very long as they are less established and replacement parts and aftersales service might not be as forthcoming.


For STAMPEDES


K & J's products
[Company Info]
This company produces a tube chassis to turn your 2wd Stampede into a twin motor, 4WD monster. According to those who have this kit, it's a real performer. It's strengths are supposed to be handling and jumping in particular. The advantages of using a Stampede tranny for a 4x4 monster include: the use of slipper clutches, adjustable gearing, independent suspension, proven durability and ease of replacement parts.


For USA-1s


Sassy Chassis

[Company Info]
Sassy produces a full line of aftermarket parts for the USA-1. Their top-of the line DXS kit includes a graphite double-deck chassis, cantilevered suspension, bellcrank steering (for proper ackerman), extended aluminium a-arms (widens the truck for stability), telescoping driveshafts and a super 4-link setup to strengthen the suspension.

This chassis uses a upper and lower deck configuration and is very stiff. Sassy manufacturers these chassis parts in both fibreglass and graphite. The two look identical, but the graphite ones are lighter and stronger and, unfortunately, costlier. To their credit, I've never heard of anyone having durability problems with the fibreglass units so they must be pretty tough.

This transforms your USA-1 to a very capable truck. It's very wide and hence very stable. It's got a very plush suspension that handles jumps very well. Note though that if the truck is setup with cantilevers and extended A-arms, normal hobby springs will not be strong enough to support the truck adequately for jumping. Perrys Hobbys offers some great springs for this application. Click here for more info.

The Sassy Chassis USA-1 is a very good 'neutral' truck because it can be setup for both racing or bashing purposes.

Phantom
[Company Info]
A relatively new company that has an innovative design for the USA-1 chassis. Has a lower ground clearance than the Sassy setup with a lower center of gravity so it's built more as a racer. It does look easier to wrench on though, primarily because of its chassis consists of 2 plates - one on the left and one on the right. This design is very 'open' and allows access to the various electronics and other 'innards'.

The phantom steering system is a 'direct' system which sees the steering rods linked directly to the servo horn. This reduces slop and is congruent with the chassis philosophy of simplicity.

Bennett Equipment
[Company Info]
Bennett has adapted their Clod-A-Leaver chassis for use on the USA-1. Information on the performance of this chassis is very limited as it is not very popular - largely because several USA-1 owners criticize it for locking out the independent suspension - regarded by many as the truck's best feature. Rumor has it that even Bennett has given up hope on this chassis.


Which AfterMarket Clod Chassis is the best?
In June 2000, RCCA did a shootout between the different chassis available. The various trucks were equipped with chassis components from the various aftermarket companies and graded on Instructions, Ease Of Assembly, Part Fit/Finish, Jumping Ability, Durability, Handling & Backyard Bash. Here are the results:

JPS Products Pro Chassis: 66 pts
Bennett Equipment Clod-A-Leaver IIR: 58 pts
ESP Clodzilla IV: 58 pts
ThunderTech Racing Centurion: 56 pts
New Era Monster Clod: 53 pts

Read the article for more info. It should be noted though that the categories on which the chassis were graded might not be the fairest (similarly some of the points awarded are arguably subjective), so I would be wary of placing too much weight on the results. The articles had some nice specs and pics though.

Q: Where can I get more info on aftermarket chassis?
Try these out:

ESP Hobby Mfg.
Address: 129 Elizabeth Lane #4, Genoa City, WI 53128
Phone: (262) 279-0900
Fax: (262) 279-0972
URL: http://www.esphobby.com/
E-mail: info@esphobby.com

Bennett Equipment
Address: 900 E. 1300 S., Romney, IN 47981
Phone: 765-538-2725
Fax: 765-538-3429
URL: None
E-mail: None

NEM
Address: PO Box 7378, Nashua NH 03060-7378
Phone: 603-888-4453
Fax: 603-888-8645
URL: http://www.nemscalecars.com/prod11.htm
E-mail: NewEraModels@nemscalecars.com

JPS Products
Address: 4755 Shasta Dam Blvd., Shasta Lake City, CA. 96019
Phone: (530) 275-1950
URL: http://www.c-zone.net/jps/
E-mail: jps@c-zone.net


Radical Chassis Midwest (RCM)
Address: 26 Oak Drive, Caseyville IL 62232
URL: http://rcmidwest.hypermart.net/
E-mail: RCMidwest@xoommail.com

Sassy Chassis
Address: 1932, 22nd Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53140
Phone: (847) 516-9834
URL: http://www.sassychassis.com/
E-mail: webmaster@sassychassis.com

ThunderTech Racing
Address: 1904 Wisteria Ct#1, Naperville, IL 60565
Phone: (630) 428-1276
Fax: (630) 428-1683
URL: http://thundertech.tsx.org
E-mail: ThunderRC@aol.com

K&J Products
Address: 4810 County Road 114, Maywood Mo. 63454
Phone: (573) 478-3600
URL: http://www.geocities.com/Baja/Trails/2416/
E-mail: kmassner@marktwain.net

Phantom Chassis
E-mail: phantom1@globalco.net

Q: Can I build an aftermarket-chassis-modified clod without buying the Clod kit?
Q: Are the chassis kits offered by aftermarket companies complete?
See Setups FAQs.

Q: Where can I get aluminium gearboxes?
Q: Should I get aluminium gearboxes?
Aluminium gearboxes are available from JPS Products.
The main advantage of the aluminum gearboxes is the ability to use pinion gears of different sizes. The stock plastic ones can only use 13T pinions. Oh… and they look GREAT too. Note however, that they are very costly.

Q: Where can I get aluminium wheels?
Aluminium wheels are available from JPS Products although they are very costly.

Zoom wheels is a company based in the UK that makes machined aluminium wheels for a more reasonable price. Click here to go to their website.

Q: My USA-1 dogbones are weak and break easily, is there anything I can do about that?

Many USA-1 owners often mention it's plastic dogbones as a weakpoint in the truck's design. These dogbones can take quite a workout, but they do break if stressed too much. I've heard of guys breaking these when they pull one of those wild 'full-reverse-to-full-throttle' maneuvers (which you really shouldn't do anyway). The good news is that Sassy Chassis produces telescoping driveshafts which are very tough and take care of the problem effectively!

 

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Electronics (ESCs, Servos, etc.)

Q: Which ESC to use?
For dual motor applications, There are a few things you need to pay attention to. These include whether you are running modified or stock motors, how low the number of turns on the motors and whether they will be wired in series or parallel.

ESCs normally list motor limits and these are good guides to go by. However, you have to note that if you wire the motors in series, the ESC can handle 2 motors - each with winds half the value of the ESC's motor limit. So an ESC with a 16 motor limit can handle motors down to 8 turns if they are wired in series.

Wired in parallel, the reverse applies - the number of winds in each of your motors has to be no less than twice the motor limit of the ESC. Hence, an ESC with a limit of 12 will can handle motors of no less than 24 turns. You can find more info on wiring from the Novak website here.

So which ESCs are best? Favorites in the RCMT world are the Novak SuperRooster and Tekin Titan. These are good reversible ESCs that handle tough loads. I myself run a SuperRooster that runs great. It also comes with smart-breaking technology that ensures that the car slows to a safe speed before engaging reverse. These 2 are the tried and tested reversible ESCs… although there are others which you may consider using.

The other important thing to note is that every ESC has a BEC rating. This is important for HUGE monster trucks. If you intend to use a high-torque servo (which is recommended since the wheels are so huge and require lots of torque to turn) and the BEC rating is not high enough, then the ESC may not transmit power to the motors when the servo is under load. For example, if I try to turn the truck's wheels when the truck is stationary... I find that the wheels don't turn fully and the servo is 'clicking' as it tries to turn the wheels... engaging the throttle at this moment, the ESC light's up normally, but the motors do not work. I had this problem when I ran my Clod with the Rooster and a high-torque servo. The SuperRooster has a much higher BEC rating that eliminated the problem altogether.

A little more on the Rooster: I have personally run a rooster on my Clod and currently on my dagger. It works fine with the standard stock motors and gets a little warm with aftermarket stockers, but with modifieds will probably overheat.

For more info on specs of different ESCs, check out this excellent ESC Spec Chart from Matt Verrochi's page.

Q: How do I wire my ESC to my motors?
See Motor FAQs.

Q: What servo to use?
More info being compiled, but for now, check out the excellent Servo Spec Chart from Matt Verrochi's page.

 

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Shocks

Q: Which shocks to use with aftermarket chassis?
For all the aftermarket clod chassis and the Sassy USA-1 chassis, any 4" shocks will bolt on just fine. The favorites here are the Losi 1.2 and the Associated 1.32 shocks. For those on a budget, the Duratrax 4" competition shocks or the Kyosho long sport shocks work great for a much lesser price. Note however, that many people (including myself) have problems with the Duratrax units leaking - so I would personally recommend the Kyoshos for budget truckers.

Note though that for the Sassy USA-1, if the truck is setup with cantilevers and extended A-arms, normal hobby springs will not be strong enough to support the truck adequately for jumping. Perrys Hobbys offers some great springs for this application. Click here for more info.


Q: Which shocks can I use with the stock chassis?
For the Clod or Juggernaut, you can purchase the direct Tamiya replacements. Look for 50304 C.V.A Long Shock Unit Set. These are oil-filled units that come in pairs. You will need 4 sets to replace the 8 friction units on the stock Clod. Alternatively, you could use the more common 4" shocks but you will need to drill a hole below the stock mounting holes to make up for the difference in length (4" shocks are shorter than the stock Clod units). The lower you drill the hole, the higher your chassis will ride. Remember to use rubber tubing of appropriate length to limit the shock travel so it the gearbox does not hit the chassis at full compression.

For the stock USA-1, any 4" shock will do fine. The favorites here are the Losi 1.2 and the Associated 1.32 shocks. For those on a budget, the Duratrax 4" competition shocks or the Kyosho long sport shocks work great for a much lesser price. Note however, that many people (including myself) have problems with the Duratrax units leaking - so I would personally recommend the Kyoshos for budget truckers.

Q: What shock oil/piston/spring/setup should I use?
For stock & modified Clods, as well as stock USA-1s, the general consensus is to begin with anything from 30-40wt shock oil and medium sized pistons. This should provide a neutral setting with which to start experimenting to fine-tune your truck to your own preference.

If you are running a full option Sassy USA-1, then you will want to try starting with 100wt oil with single holed pistons and Heavy Springs (from Perrys Hobbys recommended - more info on these springs).

 

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Batteries

Q: Which batteries to use?
Any 6-cell or more battery would work well on RCMTs for general bashing (but if using more than 6 ensure that your ESC can handle it), but I have been most pleased with the performance of 2000mah packs. They provide excellent torque, speed and good runtime. I haven't had much experience nor heard much about the 2400mah and 3000 mah packs though.

For more runtime, you can buy/make a Y-harness and wire 2 packs (ensure they are identical) in parallel. Alternatively, wire in more cells in series but it is important to ensure that your ESC can handle the additional load. Also keep in mind that you will need to find space on the chassis to mount the second pack.

Q: Are 4400mah battery packs any good (for the Clod)?
I do not have experience with these but those who do feel that the only advantage a 4400mAh pack has is runtime. It has a lot more runtime, but the same voltage. The 4400mAh packs weigh more as they use high capacity D-cell NiCd's. You will get alot of fun out of the extended run time but if you want to run these cells you will have to set the suspension different to handle the greater weight, for e.g. smaller piston holes and heavier oil weight. Because of the weight, they don't give the speed of smaller size cells.

Some have recommended hooking up two 1700mah or 2000mah (using a Y-harness) instead for additional runtime. If you choose to do this, wire the batteries in parallel and NOT in series. Also ensure that your ESC is equipped to handle the extra load, Check out Matt Verrochi's excellent ESC Spec Chart if you are unsure. (more info on extending runtime).

 

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Motors

Q: Do I need a reverse rotation motor for my dual-motor truck?
Most trucks that use dual motors require one normal rotation motor and one reverse rotation motor. The Clod uses the normal rotation motor in the front and the reverse rotation one in the rear. The Wild Dagger and the USA-1 uses the reverse motor in the front. The Juggernaut, however, will require two normal rotation motors because of its 'common spur gear' setup. Important note: For dual motor trucks, always use two motors of the same make, one in reverse rotation if necessary (e.g. X-Star stock and X-Star Reverse stock), it is not advisable to mix-and-match motors.

Q: How do I make a motor reverse rotation?
The answer to this question depends on what kind of motor you have. Is it stock or is it a modified motor? Does it have any timing?

For modified motors:
Modified motors normally do not have any timing. Even if they do, it may be a good idea to set the timing of the both motors to zero for ease. Two ways to reverse the rotation of these motors. One - Simply reverse the leads (wires) to the motor. Two - loosen the screws that hold the endbell to the motor and then rotate the endbell 180 degrees and tighten them again. Both of these procedures would do fine. Trinity's Speedgem2 series motors are good motors with no timing.

For stock motors:
Stock motors like the standard mabuchi 540s can be reversed by simply reversing the leads. However, if they have timing (most stockers have 24 degrees advanced timing), then the process becomes a little more complicated. You cannot simply reverse the leads because that will result in negative 24 degrees timing and that means that your motor will give really poor performance. So can it be reversed? The answer here is a little more complicated. I have obtained different answers from different sources, I will share them with you as well as what I have learnt from my own experience.

a) The first simple answer is 'No'. The logic is simply that the 24 degrees of timing is fixed and cannot be tampered with. I agree with this position only with regards to the new stock motors like the Midnight2 that feature modified armatures with what they call 'Z-speed' technology. I am not sure how this asymmetrical armature would perform in reverse, so I'm just mentioning it as a note. If any of you motor experts would like to jump in on this one, please email me.

b) The second answer is 'Yes, just reverse the end-bell by 180 degrees'. The proponents of this step claim that doing so reverses the timing and hence makes the motor reverse rotation. To remove the endbell, remove the brushes and springs from the motor, and then smack the shaft on a hard surface. The endbell should pop right off. Then rotate it 180 degrees and bend the tabs on the can back over the endbell to re-seal the motor. If you attempt this, be sure to note the washer placements on the armature and to re-assemble the motor with the same number of washers on each end.

c) My own experience with the technique in (b) is as follows. After reversing the endbell 180 degrees, I found that the final effect was no different from simply reversing the leads - that is, the motor still performed poorly. This seemed logical to me since turning the endbell is symmetrical and turning it 180 degrees does not appear to change anything except the direction of current flow. What I did was to remove the endbell as described in (b) and then reverse the rotation 48 degrees. By doing this, I reverse the endbell back to zero and then further another 24 degrees to give the motor a final timing of negative 24 degrees timing. Next, I reversed the leads to the motor. I reasoned that when the current was reversed, the negative 24 degrees of timing is now translated to 24 degrees of positive timing. This has worked well with me so far. Note, however, that to do this you must cut new 'slots' into the endbell for the can-tabs so you can re-seal the motor.

So is (b) or (c) correct? Well, I will ask you to try it out yourself and be your own judge. Charge up a pack, and then connect it to a normal rotation motor - note the sound of the motor (rough guide, but good enough). Reverse the leads, and then note the sound again - the pitch should be lower signifying lower RPMs. Next, try (b) and (c) and then decide for yourself which reverse rotation method produces similar RPMs to the normal motor running in normal rotation.

One last important note - opening the endbell of your non-rebuildable stock motors renders it illegal for most races. Moreover, the timing for many new motors (Midnight2, Paradox, etc.) have flat-sides on their cans which permanently fixes their timing at 24 degrees advanced - there is NO way to reverse the timing of these motors (unless you agree with the logic in (b)).

Phew… that was a long one!

Q: What is motor timing?
Motor timing is simply the measurement of the position of the magnets in your motor relative to the position of the brushes. Zero timing is when the brushes are directly centred over the motor. Hold the motor with the endbell facing you; to advance the timing (for a normal rotation motor), turn the endbell counterclockwise. To retard the timing, turn it clockwise. Increased timing increases RPMs but also results in lower torque.

Q: How do I wire the dual motors to the ESC?
You have 2 choices for this one. Do you want to run your motors in series or in parallel? The answers in this section apply to wiring for the Clod which runs the reverse rotation motor in the rear. Hence for the USA-1 and other trucks that run the reverse rotation motor on the front gearbox, simply swap the words "front" and "rear" in the following instructions. Parallel wiring results in more torque and power as each motor runs the same voltage off the battery. Series wiring yields longer runtimes but with less torque and power because voltage is divided between the two motors. Most guys run their trucks in parallel. However, you should check to ensure that your ESC can handle the method you choose - parallel wiring demands more of the ESC.

WIRING INSTRUCTIONS (for Trucks running Dual motors with reverse rotation motor in the rear gearbox)

Series wiring:
Positive (POS) lead from ESC to negative (NEG) tab on REAR motor.
Run a wire from POS tab on REAR motor to POS tab on FRONT motor.
NEG lead from ESC to NEG tab on FRONT motor.

Parallel wiring:
POS lead from ESC to NEG tab on REAR motor.
Run a wire from NEG tab on REAR motor to POS tab on FRONT motor.
NEG lead from ESC to POS tab on REAR motor.
Run a wire from POS tab on REAR motor to NEG tab on FRONT motor.

For more info and diagrams, visit this page from the Novak Website.


Q: What do terms like 'turns', 'single', 'double'… mean and how do they affect the motor?
The number of turns of a motor is the number of times the wires in the motor are wound around the armature. 'Single', 'double', 'triple' and 'quad' refer to the number of strands of wires being wound onto the armatures. Single refers to one wire, double refers to two and so on… Hence, a 16 turn double (16x2) breaks down to 2 wires being wound around the armature 16 times. The lower number of turns generally results in higher RPMs, amp draw and heat, as well as lower runtimes.

The number of strands wound round the armature affect where the torque is located on the motor's RPM. Singles generally have a lot more low-end torque (i.e. there is a lot of power at lower speeds) and Quads have more high-end torque (i.e. there is more power at higher speeds). Doubles and triples have their torque distribution accordingly. Most monster truckers favour singles and doubles as these huge trucks benefit from powerful acceleration. However, if you are going for speed, you may want to consider a triple. I've not heard of anyone trying a quad yet.


Q: Which motor should I get and why?
It all depends on your application and what you want from your motor. Depending on your desired runtime, power and speed requirements, many different motors are available. The general consensus is that a good balanced motor is the 17 turn singles. The Speedgem2's Sapphire motor fits this bill nicely and does not cost too much either. For a bit more speed you can try 16 turn singles or doubles. For real speed maniacs, you can go lower than that, but you will have to ensure that your ESC can handle it. I have heard of one such clodite who runs 7 turn motors on his Clod!

Another favourite motor is the Monster Mayhem motor from Kyosho. This is a 550 sized motor (it is too large to fit in the Juggernaut2) that produces a lot of torque. A favourite for those who want a lot of low-end torque. The mega-motors that come with the stock USA-1 kits are essentially Mayhems with different endbells. I was going to buy new motors for my USA-1 but after trying the Mayhems I liked them so much I stuck with them.

 

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Tires/Wheels/Inserts

Q: Where can I get foam inserts?
Q: Should I use foam inserts?

Foam inserts are available from Sassy Chassis.
They are excellent for providing additional support for your truck and increasing it's grip and handling on less bumpy surfaces. You may prefer to not use them for rock-crawling though. Inserts also provide additional cushioning for landings off huge jumps. I run them in all my trucks.

Q: Where can I get aluminium wheels?
See Aftermarket Chassis Hop-Ups/Aluminium Parts.

Q: What tyres should I use?
The stock 'V' threads are generally recommended for tarmac and climbing. The Pro-Line Giant-Traction Clodbuster tyres provide great traction on dirt, grass and other soft surfaces. Kyosho USA-1 are lighter and have slightly better traction than the Tamiya ones. If you're looking for tyres, Duratrax also produces a set for the Clod with small-pins arranged in a 'V'-shape pattern. Don't know how they perform, but they are reasonably priced.

 

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Setups

Q: How do I lock/tighten my differentials?
Locking differentials or tightening them up can be desirable if you do a lot of climbing on bumpy surfaces. Loose differentials can cause trucks to get stuck when one wheel loses contact with the ground and spins freely as the other stops spinning altogether. There are some different ways of locking/tightening up the differentials:

1. Use thicker grease on the diff gears. Some use auto-grease. It's suppose to stiffen things up a bit but still give you a bit of differential when turning.

2. Use an O-ring or spacer on the diff gears so that they mesh together more tightly... aimed to achieve similar effect as (1).

3. Glue your diff gears together. This is a permanent fix that eliminates differential altogether.

4. Take out your differential and with them assembled as they would be in the gearbox, drill 3 holes through both the side bevel gears right through the centre gear. Make sure the holes aren't too big and then use a piece of piano wire through all of them. It should be a tight fit so the wire does not come loose. This should allow you to reverse the process should you need diffs again. Warning! Don't drill through the 3 small gears on the centre gear... this will weaken your setup greatly.

5. Have a solid shaft made. I've heard of this but never seen one though.

But whatever you do, keep in mind that locking up the differentials will probably cause some turning problems when running on high traction and flat surfaces.

Q: How do I improve the steering of my Clod?
You can improve the steering of your Clod in many ways, here I shall discuss 4 ways:

a) Use a larger servo horn.
If you are running the stock steering setup with one servo, then you can try using a larger servo horn. I have found that the large circular one works very well. Drill the holes on it further apart than on the stock one provided in the kit and you will get more servo throw and more steering.

b) Using Dual Servos.
Most aftermarket companies produce dual servo-conversion kits that allow you to convert the stock single-servo steering setup to use 2 servos instead. This results in one servo that controls the front wheels and one for the rear. You do not need a 3-channel radio to do this, all you require is a Y-harness that allows you to use just one channel to control both servos (this is available from most LHS). Dual servos are better because you eliminate those long rods that connect from the central servo to the front and rear servo savers. With 2 servos, you also have more muscle turning those massive wheels - this is one case where 2 are better than 1!

c) Mount your steering servos in front of the gearbox.
Check out the Bennett style mount that does this. This improves steering because it eliminates one link and the stock plastic servo saver altogether - this results in less slop and more responsive, more powerful steering. Here are some pics.

Bennett-style mount 1
Bennett-style mount 2
[more pics of a Bennett-style mount I made for my clod]
ESP-style servo mount
[more pics of ESPs mount on my clod page]

d) Filing off the steering stops on the axle.
This is one of the easiest ways to increase the steering of stock clods. Examine the axles of the Clod, the end that holds the hubs resembles a 'C'. On this 'C', there are small triangular protrusions that limit the steering of the Clod. By filing away some plastic from this stop, you will allow your wheels to turn even more for more steering. Note however, that this is only possible with modified clods with multi-link rods or special wheel wideners because on the stock clod, any extra steering will cause the wheels to run against the stock bumper and suspension ladder bars (the large plastic pieces that connect the chassis to the gearboxes).

e) Using a stronger steering servo.
Another easy way to increase the steering of stock clods. Get a stronger steering servo. For MTs with such huge wheels, a servo with no less than 100oz of torque is recommended. Check out Matt Verrochi's Servo Spec Chart for a list of good high-torque servos.

Q: How do I improve the steering of my USA-1?
Info being compiled...

Q: How do I mount servos on the ESP dual servo mounts on my Clod?
One question many people who receive their Clodzilla IV kits ask is how to mount the servos on those small 'L' shaped aluminium mounts? The mounts are too small to use any servo mounts. ESP recommends that you use good quality mounting tape and add nylon tie-wraps for added security. I personally prefer to use servo mounts so what I did was cut a piece of aluminium that could accommodate my servo and servo mounts. I drilled 3 holes into it and countersunk them. I drilled another 3 holes on the ESP mount and used flat-head screws to attach the 2 parts. Drilling 2 other holes on the project allowed me to use my servo mounts and servo. It's quite an easy job with excellent results.

Q: How do I reverse gearboxes on the Clod?
I've not done this myself but those who've tried this claim it has certain advantages:
a) There is no need to reverse my modified motors, both will turn in the same direction.
b) With the rear motor toward the back of the chassis there is more room in the center portion of the chassis where the battery is mounted. This allows for more cells to be used.
c) The weight distribution does not allow for nose-dive jump landings.

How is this done?
Assemble the chassis according to the manufacturer's instructions but don't attach the rear gearbox. When you're finished you should have the four rear link bars hanging off the chassis. You should also have drilled the holes on the axles housings to mount the lower link bars (according to the manufacturer's instructions). Now turn the rear gearcase around and bolt it on. I don't have the Bennett kit, but I have read that you will have to reverse the nylon shock and sway bar mounts on the rear. Just put the right one where the left is to go - this way they face the right direction.

[As far as I know, the credit for this idea must go to Cobalt. I read about it on Clod Moves]

Q: Can I reverse the rear gearbox on a stock Clod?
Not without the use of an aftermarket multi-link suspension kit. The problem with the stock setup is that little black tab that connects the gearbox (near where the motor is mounted) to the red 'wing' piece that connects to the chassis. Without this tab, the gearcase assembly is unstable. The multi-link kit eliminates the need for that tab.

Q: For Clods, how do I attach multi-link suspension rods to the axles?
Common question. The most common way of doing this is to drill a hole in the 'C' shaped part of the axle housings. There is already one hole there that is used to connect the metal axle brace. Drill one more hole at the bottom 3mm in diameter. Use 15-20mm screws to attach the multilink rods to the axle housing. Use lock-nuts to hold them in place. You should also use conical washers (available from ESP or Bennett) between the rod-ends and the plastic to prevent binding under full suspension travel.

Q: Can I build an aftermarket-chassis-modified clod without buying the Clod kit?
Yes you can, but you will need to purchase all the parts to build the front and rear gearboxes, the axles, rims and wheels. I've not calculated this myself but some who have claim that the cost of this is almost equivalent to buying the whole kit. In my opinion, getting the entire kit is less troublesome and you get all the other parts too (body, chassis, shocks, etc.). The aftermarket chassis do not come with the transmissions, wheels, shocks, body and electronics (although you may check with them to see if they sell completed rolling chassis). If you still want to purchase the parts separately without buying the kit, you will require the following:

You will need two of the following:

0005294 B parts
0005296 D parts
0005297 E parts
9805230 Wheel Axle Bag
9805229 Drive Shaft Bag
9335039 Gear Bag
3515001 Pinion gear
9805231 Counter Shafts
0555026 Wheels
9805226 Tyres

You will need one of the following:

1055291 Instructions
9405352 Press Parts
9405353 Ball Connector Bag
9465188 Screw Bag A
9465189 Screw Bag B
9465190 Screw Bag C
9465191 Screw Bag D
9405349 Rod Bag

Please use this list only as a rough guide as I cannot be sure that the same parts are required for all the varied aftermarket chassis out there. I recommend that you get the instruction booklet first and familiarize yourself with what you need before making any other purchases.

 

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Trouble Shooting

Q: When I turn the truck's wheels when the truck is stationary... I find that the wheels don't turn fully and the servo is 'clicking' as it tries to turn the wheels... engaging the throttle at this moment, the ESC light's up normally, but the motors do not work. What's wrong?
The problem lies with the BEC rating of your ESC, check out Electronics FAQs for more info.


Q: My truck veers right on acceleration and left on deceleration. It tracks straight at constant speeds. What's wrong?
This is a toughie and I have not found any concrete answers. All I can say is my truck has experienced these problems too and this is what I think is the cause and possible solutions.

There can be three possible causes:

a) The chassis is tweaked.
This means that the chassis is not 'flat' and the 4 wheels do not touch the ground at the same time. The suspension can absorb some of this tweak so it is not obvious. To check, lift your truck off the ground and carefully and slowly lower it to see if all 4 wheels touch the ground at the same time. If they do not, then the damping provided by the shocks will be inconsistent on acceleration and deceleration causing the steering problems.

Solution:
Assemble the chassis again paying special attention to keep it 'flat' (or 'square').

b) Poorly assembled shocks.
The same problem can arise if there is differing amounts of oil in your shocks is different. Shocks with more oil have harder damping characteristics. Again, the inconsistent damping causes steering problems.

Solution:
Assemble your shocks again carefully. The Losi shocks come with cartridges that I am told make bleeding shocks really easy.

c) Motor Induced Torque.
The motors in your truck act as gyroscopes and when they accelerate they can impose a lot of load on the rest of the chassis 'forcing' it to veer in one direction or another during changes of speed. I'm beginning to suspect this may be the cause because I experience the same phenomena on my Wild Dagger even though I have made sure (a) and (b) are not the cause.

Solution:
None really to totally eliminate this. However, good strong high-torque servos and slop-free steering setups will go some way in cutting down the problem. Most guys I know just get used to this handling characteristic.

After all that...
On a final note, the problem is often noticeable only on hard, surfaces like tarmac and not at all when running on grass or dirt where RCMTs are most at home. The moral? Monster Trucks weren't meant to run on roads, they're monsters looking for some rough terrain to conquer!

 

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What Is?

Q: What is Suspension travel/Articulation?
Loosely put, this translates to how much you can lift one wheel of the truck off the ground while the other 3 remain in contact with the ground. Here are some examples of the axle articulation of my Clod and Wild Dagger. In the pics, you can see that the dagger has far less articulation than the Clod. In this case, the choice of shock is part of the reason for this, but the general rule is that cars with independent suspension will have potentially less axle articulation than cars with the clod-type suspension.

Q: What is Independent Suspension/Solid Axle Suspension?
Q: Can you give me an introduction to the various suspension systems?
One of the cool things about the Clod is it's suspension. Clods (and the new Tamiya Juggernaut) do not have independent suspension found on most other cars. Where independent suspension is concerned, the gearbox of the vehicle is directly bolted to the chassis, suspension movement involves the movement of the 'extensions' from the gearbox - namely, the wishbones (or trailing arms) and the upper-links (if any), the driveshaft (dogbones or universals) and the hub. These components allow the tyre and wheel to move up and down for the suspension action.

On Clods, the gearbox is not bolted onto the chassis and the driveshafts do not move in relation to the gearbox. Instead, the driveshafts are 'fixed' to the gearbox and the whole assembly forms one assembly with no suspension movement at all. So where does the suspension come in? The answer is that the whole gearbox assembly (with the dogbones, wheels and rims, are suspended from the chassis via some form of rods. This is what is termed as multilink suspension. In this setup, wishbones are no longer needed since the gearbox and wheels are connected with an axle instead that houses the dogbone.

Click here for a pic showing the above differences.

The beauty of this suspension system is it's potential for axle articulation. This is one reason why the Bennett aftermarket chassis for the USA-1 (which has independent suspension) actually locks out the stock suspension and uses a multilink setup instead (more info on this chassis).

It must be noted, in fairness of independent suspension, that it although it lacks axle articulation, it generally provides more stable handling and has it's own advantages. But most RC monster truckers favour the multilink suspension setup instead because it's excellent for what monster trucks do best - climbing over huge obstacles and crushing other RC cars! YEAH BABY!

So where do cantilevers come in?

Cantilevers often work in tandem with multilink suspensions. Click here to read more about Cantilevers/Cantilevered Suspension Systems.

Q: What are Cantilevers/Cantilevered Suspension Systems?

Cantilevers often work in conjunction with the multilink setup because of the axle articulation potential. You see, every suspension is limited by the travel of the shock absorber in the setup. Shock travel is simply how much the shock absorber can compress and this is often easily measured (in most cases) by measuring the exposed portion of the shock shaft (click here for a pic). When the shock is connected directly between the chassis and the gearbox, 1" of shock travel is roughly how far your suspension can compress. Here's where the cantilever system comes in handy. It's primary function is to increase how far your suspension can compress with the same shock (that still has 1" of travel). In this way, a cantilever system increases the axle articulation of the truck.

How do cantilevers do this? Here's a detailed answer:

We'll begin by considering the parts of a cantilever…

Parts of a Cantilever
It may be useful to refer to this picture while reading the descriptions.
Cantilevers will consist of the following:

1) The Cantilever
These are the heart of the system (duh!) and usually consist of triangular shaped pieces of aluminium although once you understand the concept you can design cantilevers of different shapes and sizes. It will have 3 important parts which I shall now discuss.

2) Pivot Point
This is a hole in the cantilever which a screw/bolt will go through to attach it to the chassis. The attachment will not be a 'solid' one in that the cantilever will be mounted in such a way that it can pivot on the screw. Sometimes a ball bearing is mounted at this pivot point so that the pivoting action would be silky smooth and also wear better.

3) Cantilever Rod Mounting Point
This is a hole on the cantilever which will be attached to the cantilever rod (I'll touch on this in just a little while). For the purposes of this discussion, I will refer to the distance between the pivot point and the cantilever rod mounting point as distance (A).

4) Shock Mounting Point
This is the part of the cantilever that will mount to the end of your shock absorber. The distance between the pivot point and the shock mounting point will be referred to as distance (B).

5) The Cantilever Rod
This is a simple part that consists of a rod with two rod ends at each end. The rods and rod-ends normally used for steering or upper-suspension links will do fine, although in the future you may prefer to use something more beefy and durable. This cantilever rod mounts from the cantilever to the gearbox/axle/transmission assembly. Hence when the assembly is pushed up towards the chassis, the rod pushes against the cantilever and that in turn pivots on the pivot point.

6) Other Hardware
You'll need all the screws, nuts and washers that will be used to mount the different parts together.

7) Ball Bearing (optional)
Like I mentioned earlier, a ball bearing (or even two) can be mounted on the cantilever's pivot point to smoothen out the pivot action of the cantilever.

The Principle behind Cantilevers
This is pretty simple. The secret lies in the distances (A) and (B) discussed earlier. For cantilevers, (A) will always be longer than (B). When the cantilever pivots then, the distance which the cantilever rod mounting point moves will hence be greater than the distance the shock mounting point moves. Consequently, when the shock is compressed, it's shock travel (labeled 'X' in this pic) translates to greater suspension travel (labeled 'Y' in the same pic). Simple - but effective!

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Miscellaneous

Info being compiled...

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