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An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

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Old 11-06-2010, 02:31 AM
  #1
willclark77
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Default An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

First off, this is not a clone vs hpi thread.I own several of both.If hpi were to offer a package similar to this within $400, I would most definitely go for it, but they do not.Also, I wanted to see if Rovan was able to produce a quality truck with many hop ups out of the box for an exceptional price compared to building one similarly equipped.I hope this thread will become a great resource for anyone else who purchases or considers purchasing this truck.I’ll be giving my ongoing review and invite any others with input to chime in.
This is where I am after about three weeks worth of getting to know the truck.

I took pics of the unboxing and package contents, but while in the middle of computer remodeling they were lost.If you’ve ever ordered a 1/5 scale you know what to expect.I did get a few pleasant surprises.I also ordered an extra Rovan 8k clutch, two speed, and Rovan offroad tires with the truck.

Out of the box she’s impressive, with much better finish and not as rough as I expected from a clone.My initial impression is positive.The aluminum rear bumper, lights, tuned pipe, cnc parts, etc are VERY nice.The right front shock was wet with oil residue in the box.The plug in the piggyback cap was loose.I checked all four and three were loose.I didn’t do a complete disassembly.All bolts I checked were secure, but no loctite anywhere.I apologize for the pic quality.As mentioned above, all were lost.These are just quick snapshots.

And no, that’s not me.That’s my bud that recorded some of the video below.It’s a nice looking truck!


Included is a nice exploded view in the manual.Also included are:

A set of spare A arms.Too bad they’re not nylon.I’ll keep them for the b.


Mounts, zip ties, pins, and servo saver part



Abottle of shock, air filter, and diff oil


Extra air filter


Extra axle boots, assorted pins, clips, and keepers


More clips, screws, and keepers


Allen wrenches and 4 way tool.Haven’t used them to see if they’re decent or just round off


The rear hubs are beautiful CNC machined works of art.Also, all A arms are white nylon.A+


The rear axles and joints are beefy!


The piggyback shocks are beautifully machined also

Front

Rear


Gorgeous CNC machined aluminum wheels with aluminum beadlocks.Schweeeeeeeet!
Also ordered at the same time as the truck were Killerbee killswitch, a set of back up RPM white nylon A arms, Hostile MTX rear tires, Rear sand buster paddles, two sets of Pro line split six rear wheels, two sets of foams, DDM black magic 5000 mAh receiver pack, and voltwatch battery monitor.
Onto the first start……………….
The video tells the story of the first three tanks, but I’ll sum it up first.It started easily.And yes, I know the choke was turned off one pull too soon.I’m behind the cam.The 30.5 is pretty tight with lots of compression.It takes more arm, and still does after almost two gallons, than any of my other gassers.About ten minutes into the first run it began acting like it was dragging on acceleration.I was about to kill it anyway to let it cool since the engine was up to temp.It rolled easily but the clutchbell was very hard to turn by hand.I removed it and found the inner bearing was frozen solid and spinning inside the holder.One of the clutch shoes had also came apart.



It's bare metal except for that piece stuck on the right side.



Fortunately, I had two spare holders and more bearings.I had also ordered an extra 8k rpm Rovan clutch along with the truck.I ASSumed it came apart from the heat generated by the stuck bearing and installed it along with a new bearings and holder.

I made it through the rest of the first tank uneventfully.I stopped every 10-15 mins to let the engine cool, tighten bolts, etc.After filling it up to start the second tank I didn’t run it hard because the engine was still very tight.About ten minutes into the second tank the steering servo went out.While inspecting things, the servo saver wasn’t too tight.However, the bolt that came installed in it was too long.It was dragging the frame.Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this until too late.I’m not saying that was the cause, but certainly didn’t help.I installed an extra sfl 10mg servo I had.

During tank three I gave up on the Rovan carb.It absolutely refused to tune down low.It acted like an air leak but I couldn’t find one anywhere.At idle it would lean rev and bog on touching the throttle, even with both needles adjusted rich enough to the point of drooling.Before I hurt the engine I went ahead and I swiped the fuel lines, carb, and filter off of my 5b.Instantly cured it.I hated it too because I got better performance from km carbs than real walbros.I hoped the same with the Rovan, but no.

During tank four it began stalling much lower than 8k rpms.I pulled the clutchbell to find the second Rovan clutch looked like the first.I wasn’t very happy with the truck so far.I had yet to run it hard in four tanks and was already down a steering servo, two clutches, clutchbell holder, bearings, carb.

So far, this truck would be a HUGE disappointment to someone without a bunch of parts on hand and might make less persistent folks give up on large scale, especially if it was their first.

Video 1
williamclark77.smugmug.com/Other/Video/5457681_CV33x#1048676825_p3tvE-A-LB


Time to regroup.I went ahead and ordered an Elcon clutch, Hitech 5755mg steering servo, billet aluminum mount for it, TFE ceramic clutch/wheel bearings, TFE shim kit, and new 668 carb.The clutchbell holder had to be shimmed in order for the Elcon clutch to fit.






Onto gallon two…………..
Gallon two started out HORRIBLE.Being stupid, I hadn’t installed the killerbee or a failsafe I already had.After warming it up and getting the carb tuned, we were getting ready to start the vid and ZOOOOM!Runaway!She made impact with my bud’s work van tire at full mast – upwards of 35mph.I was actually quite impressed.All it broke was the frame and busted the body up.I wasn’t waiting another week on a new frame to resume my shakedown so….

Well, see the vid……….

Video 2
williamclark77.smugmug.com/Other/Video/5457681_CV33x#1075262283_kXRji-A-LB

This is where customer support comes in.You’re pretty much on your own after the purchase.I emailed the seller after vid one with a description and pics of the servo, clutch, and carb.Didn’t even get a reply and don’t even know how to contact Rovan with it.That’s something any potential buyer should be aware of!

As of right now the verdict is still out.Just the mild jumping at the end of vid two pulled a shock apart and broke the frame mount off of the engine.However, the quality of the plastic and such has been very good.As of right now I’ve put a new engine cover on, new body, new shock body, and resumed testing it out with different gearing.I think I’ve uncovered most of the weak points in two gallons, but we’ll see in the coming days.

I’m not giving a negative review just yet because you still get a lot of truck for the money, but it definitely needs attention out of the box.That’s why I’m doing this thread.Had one been around before I purchased I could’ve avoided some unnecessary headaches.

I hope to get the two speed installed within the next few days.Much more video and action pics to follow soon!
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:21 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Ouch , it was a nice looking truck until the mishap[]
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:42 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Looks like a huge difference in quality with the rear bumper. I have the Dark Soul version of that bumper and mine has yet to collapse like the one they sent you.. Engine seems pretty strong though!
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Old 11-06-2010, 08:10 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Good review m8 looking forward to the 2 speed review too now
It defo shows the quality difference alright look how many parts you had to replace after that first gallon [X(]
True you do get some nice hopups on there but the quality says it all tbh

and rovan or hpi failsafe ftw
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:26 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

I'm in here with my popcorn bag!

Great thread so far!
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:09 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

this review makes me glad i got the king motors baja. i havent had nearly as many issues with it. the motor/carb/electronics have all worked perfect thus far.
those machined wheels look awsome tho!
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:12 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Hey mate [8D]
Is this the 305ST version ?
Nice review btw
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Old 11-06-2010, 01:04 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

How's the tire and the body quality? Is it brittle or does it allow flexing?
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Old 11-06-2010, 03:42 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Nitro, it'll be back all pretty very soon.  Just gotta paint the body.  Already got a new frame on her.

Noyb, yes.  The bumper should not have bent that easily.  It bent from small crashes, most of which are in the vids.  Funny thing is, it must've been made in a different place.  The rest of the aluminum, like rear shock brace, is higher quality. 

Tiger, yes sir.  All of which would've been upgraded anyway except the engine cover, carb, and shock body, but definately not this soon.  I need my butt kicked over not installing the killerbee or failsafe.  I was actually about to put a failsafe on when he stopped by.  He couldn't stay but a minute, so instead of putting it on we were gonna record a quick vid.  Live and learn.  [X(]  [:@]

bbuzzard, much more vid soon as I'm off work and the weather cooperates.  Already got some waiting to be edited.  I'm trying to be as thorough and unbiased as possible.

nitro, I have km and hpi and now this rovan.  They've all had their quirks.  This one has definately been the most trouble out of the box though.

dimag, I'm not sure of the exact model.  It's the one for sale in the RCU marketplace by Danic.  That's where I bought this one.

V0RT3X, the body is actually ok.  A little more brittle than a stock 5t body, but nowhere near as pliable or durable as a proline lexan one.  I wouldn't and didn't pay for the stock body again. 

I recorded a quick vid in sand and rough hardpack where cows water to test the driveline durability.  It's very choppy.  I must say I was impressed.  It has claimed a few spur gears, diff cups, and axles.  She didn't so much as hiccup other than vibrating two bolts out.


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Old 11-07-2010, 04:16 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed



Will....thanks for the review....been looking for one on this very truck.


Your review has really raised some major issues...making me very causious about buying this truck......

1. The clutch.....with that bearing faiure two times........Im a bearing engineer, and I can tell you that this bearing failed for one of two reasons.......a. radial preload causing excessive heat and bearing locking up....b. no lube in bearing which would result in same failure mode.......

2. The seller Danic.......sounds like a seller I should stay away from.....I mean he isnt even responding to you.........zero support....you might as well import the car yourself....if the seller is not supporting you........Just some guy trying to make a quick buck....but doesnt realize that everyone on RCU communicates to eachother...and its pretty easy to get a bad reputation with lack of support like that.........

Keep the upates comming....appreciate it.....

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Old 11-08-2010, 09:11 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

where can i get the rear hubs, and what is the cost? i would also like to have a set of thiose wheels!
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:35 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Man that thing moves! Great review so far!
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:47 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Mandroid, that is exactly why I did this review.  I hope this thread will follow the likes of the km thread.  The seller is very highly rated here and I have no grudges against him and may buy from again.  I would've liked a response, but was aware the customer support would not likely be there before I purchased.  I have Duratrax, Losi, hpi, KM, and now this Rovan rc.  I haven't taken advantage of the big names' customer support as I could've because I normally have plenty of spare parts, especially the ones that are cross platform and usually just rather take care of it myself immediately instead of wait, but would've liked to have gotten to swap the carb at least.  For those new to rc or 1/5 scale though, it could end their hobby.

I agree with you on the bearings.  Most rtr cars come with dimestore bearings anyway.  Add the heat from the failing clutches and they were doomed for a short life.  I've purchased cheap Chinese bearings locally at mower parts stores for a quick fix and had them lock up or come apart in no time.  Pay $2 more per bearing for a Taiwanese or Tinken bearing though when they had them with zero issues.  I've had no trouble since going to the TFE bearings.

Turbofungun, no idea where to get the hubs.  I will tell you I gave them a workout yesterday with quite a few awkward landings.  No broken parts.

Sherv, thanks!  I'm just getting started. 
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:10 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Update. Woot! Just realised today is my birthday. Gonna have to celebrate by beatin up my new toy! Dang, just a few years ago 28 sounded old!

She's back all pretty with the new body painted and new frame. Humina! Humina!









I took her to a dirt pit a few miles from my house yesterday. Awesome place for em. Now if I just don't get run off. Haha. I beat it pretty hard. Not abused but definately put her to a decent bashing. The only issue I had was I put in my steel 16/58 gears because I expected deep loamy sand, but it was hard packed red dirt in most places. During the first tank I lost the spur gear bolt. Ugh. Totally my fault. With the steel gears I normally need to retighten it two or three times every few minutes till it sets, but I didn't think about it. I ran home and stuck the stock plastic 17/57 back in. By the time we made it back it was almost dark, so the pics and vid aren't the best.

Here's a few crappy pics. Had to take them wide open and at iso 3200. I'll post the vid as soon as I get it done and uled.









Oh, and one other issue. I gave the tx to my buddy that was recording the video. Told him to drive before it go toooooo dark so I could get pics. First thing he does is launch it about 25' off a bluff and lands upside down on the nose, busting the body. Hahaha. "Holy crap it's touchy!" Oh well. Got the pieces shoe gooin back together now!

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Old 11-08-2010, 02:26 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Good job really like your actionj shots!! You are a pretty good photographer
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:30 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

So you cracked the body again? Can you feel the difference in the plastics vs. HPI? (mainly the 5T parts which are needed to convert from 5B, side mounts, bumper, roof guard etc.)

And are the aluminum rims tough? Saw the closeup pics but is the finish okay? Any scratches yet? (can get the full set for about the same as stock Outlaws[:'(])
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:41 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

The hubs are avaialble from the USA designer and original manufacturer here:

http://hostileracingproducts.com/
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:54 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Nitro, thanks.  I usually do decent pics, but seems like I only get to post crappy ones.  Haha..

Vortex, heck yeah I busted the body already, or he did rather.  If you look at the first actjion pic right behind the headlights on the left side you can see the chunk missing.  The crack goes all the way to the windshield.  Gah!  Sadness.....

The aluminum rims are nice quality.  Mine are anyway.  They're cast, not billet, but the casting is very smoothe without any porous spots.  I haven't removed the beadlocks though and don't intend to.  I'll upload you some macro shots of them tonight or tomorrow.  I have already started the vid uploading and it'll take a long time. 

I must give them credit on the plastic quality.  I did break off one of the side mounts mounting tabs at the front where the two hex bolts go through the front chassis support in the, ummm, runaway crash.  It's still plenty strong with only one bolt.  I can turn the truck on it's side (like when tightenig the under frame bolts), without the body on where all of the weight is on the body posts, and it easily supports the entire truck's weight. 

The black plastic is, or was rather, slightly shinier than the hpi plastic, which made me think it would be brittle.  But, it has survived some pretty hard head on collisions.  I don't know how well their quality control is, but if all of it is the same as mine I wouldn't think twice about using it.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:29 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

When's the two-speed installation and review?
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Old 11-08-2010, 10:32 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed


Quote:
ORIGINAL: TURBOFUNGUS

where can i get the rear hubs, and what is the cost? i would also like to have a set of thiose wheels!
You can also check with this dude:
rcs-racinglive.com/product_info.php

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:07 PM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

bbuzzard, gettin there eventually.  Haha

Video

http://williamclark77.smugmug.com/Ot...89_RBAXr-XL-LB
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Old 11-09-2010, 12:10 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Take your time, LOL!...don't want you crashing into anything too soon again
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Old 11-09-2010, 03:45 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

so where can you get the parts for this car?
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Old 11-09-2010, 08:18 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed


Quote:
ORIGINAL: TURBOFUNGUS

so where can you get the parts for this car?
You can start here http://www.rovansports.com/ or use Google...I am not sure about distributors closest to you, though. You do understand that any of the HPI parts are interchangeable with it for the most part...

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Old 11-09-2010, 09:10 AM
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Default RE: An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

Looking good!
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