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Thread: TRX vs SH


  1. #1

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    TRX vs SH

    I know there are a lot of opinions, but if anyone has actually owned an SH .18 and TRX 3.3, I'd like some comparisons. The SH is a great motor, and has had plenty of power for my little 1:10 Redcat Volcano. I have a friend who has a TRX 3.3 with a couple gallons on it he wants to sell for ~$80. That's for the motor, header/exhaust, an air filter (looks like a MotorSaver, I've also heard mixed reviews of them), and the clutch setup. Last time I heard the motor running, it sounded like it was idling high and running a touch lean on the HSN (stalling out at high rpm), but it still seemed to have good power all around and the temp gun said it was ok.

    Basically, I would like to know how the 3.3 will compare to my SH in terms of power, reliability, and ease of tuning. I've heard all the SH horror stories, but mine has been outstanding. The air filter came off landing a jump yesterday, so I basically need a new motor, and I can replace the SH for $50 from Redcat. Would it be worth the risk investing in a slightly larger engine, or is the 3.3 junk? I've heard it is an "RTR" engine, and is made to be moron-proof and nothing more. Some people swear by it, while others say it will not hold a tune, lacks power compared to other similar-sized motors, and is generally a problem.

    Or, as I third option, I've been considering an SH.21. I know and love the SH motors, but the .21 would cost me more than my friend's TRX by the time I get a tuned pipe, etc etc for it.

    What do you think?
    Eflite Blade CX-2
    Redcat Volcano S30

  2. #2

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    RE: TRX vs SH

    First off SH makes very good engines. I have had a few XTM X Cellerators which run a SH .18 just stamped with a XTM logo instead of the SH. I have had no problems with the engines. They create very good power and are on of the easiest engines to tune I have ever messed with. And you cant beat the price. 
     Secondly, TRX engines are one of the toughest engines to tune, but do create alot of power. The problem with using a 3.3 or even a 2.5 is they use slide carbs. If your vehicle is setup for a rotary carb it can be a pain to convert it to run the slide carb. And from what I have seen they dont last very long. 
     For the money and ease of tuning, not to mention a drop in, direct replacement, the SH is your best choice

  3. #3
    proanti1's Avatar
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    RE: TRX vs SH

    Personally, I think the 3.3 is a great engine. It's easily the most powerful RTR small blocks included with a model. It's even more powerful than some big blocks. With all the power, comes a weak point, the connecting rod. If you break the engine in properly, you will have no issues. Aftermarket conrods are available if you don't trust your abilities. All Traxxas stuff is great at retaining its value, but $80 for an engine with that much use, you can get a brand new one on ebay for $30 more.

    SH motors are also good, but, in my opinion, the quality control just isn't there. They're cheap for a reason, and you get what you pay for.
    Her name was Lola. She was a show girl.

  4. #4

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    RE: TRX vs SH

    Yes SH is lacking in quality control. But I think it has gotten better. And if you just do a little inspecting of the internals before you break it in, you can save alot of hassle. And as I said, the 3.3 does have alot of power for a small block, but it would more that likely be a pain in the a** to set up into a redcat that is setup for the rotary carb. Im not saying TRX engines are crap, but it takes a more experianced operator to run them correctly and set them up in vehicles equipped for the rotary carbs. I buy and sell alot of stuff on eBay. And Ive seen more 2.5s and 3.3s being sold as parts than any other engine. For a company thats suppose to be on top like traxxas I wouldnt expect to see all these bad engines. What it comes down to is this is a very hands on hobby, and if you dont plan on maintaining your engines and vehicles properly you will have problems with any product. It all amounts to how much you want to spend to upgrade and or fix your vehicles. If you know what your doing you can make almost any engine work on any vehicle

  5. #5

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    RE: TRX vs SH

    Both engines are great engines and to be honest any engine that has not been broken in correctly is due for a connecting rod failure. I have owned several of both mentioned engines and I have also done alot of work on other peoples 3.3s and SH 18s. On a dyno running both on 30% nitro the 3.3 takes the cake. The Trx line of engines are well knowen for being hard to tune, but actually if you have one that you keep needing to chase the tune then check your front bearing, I have had brand new 2.5s and 3.3s sent to me for mods and right out of the box the front bearing leaks. Put a nice set of hybrid or ceramic bearings in the block and they will hold a tune just fine. Back to your question, I would stick with the SH. 18, main reason being its a rotary carb vs the 3.3's slide and it's just too risky to buy a used engine.Not to mention you would need the right pipe for the 3.3-morethan likely the 3.3 wont like your pipe for the SH .18 it will run hot.Lastly, $80 is just too darn much for a used mill that you dont know the history of.

  6. #6

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    RE: TRX vs SH

    Thanks everyone for your replies. I appreciate it. I think I will go with another SH motor, whether it is another .18 or some mod work to fit a .21, I think that is the best option for now.

    Also, for future reference, my old SH. 18 was getting oil all over the crankcase, so I assume it had an air leak going on somewhere. I would like to check the engine bearings, but I cannot seem to remove the crankshaft. I have the clutch off, the flywheel off, the piston and sleeve removed, but there is a small aluminum collet with some teeth that touches the back of the flywheel. It has a brass ring in between this collet and the crankshaft. I believe I need to remove this brass part, but I have no idea how to do that, and the crankshaft cannot come out with the collet still attached.

    Also, with new motors available for $50, and $10 for the front bearing, would it be wise to just run the engine until the bearings fail at 3-5 gallons, and get a new one? By the time you replace both bearings and the conrod bushings, you'd may as well have bought a new motor.

    Thanks again

    Kristoffer
    Eflite Blade CX-2
    Redcat Volcano S30


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