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  1. #1
    mudfrog's Avatar
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    Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    I'm looking to get into the hobby and Iwant to get the best bang for the buck. I keep going back and forth between a Nitro or battery powered truck. Probably 30+ mph out of the box, would like to do some minor jumps (maybe 3-4 feet of air), some water / mud if I decide to and it must be able to go through grass that could be anywhere from 3-7" tall.

    My budget is under $450. I've been looking at the Savage X 4.6 RTR kit, if I go Nitro that is. For a battery powered.. I'm really not sure. I was debating the E-maxx but I hear Traxxas trucks break fairly easily and I don't want to replace parts all the time.

    I'm really leaning towards the Nitro, I like the simplicity of a battery powered RCbut my background in the automotive industry is telling me I'd have more fun with the Nitros.. Pros and Cons to either?
    Savage X - Losi 454
    Savage XS Flux RTR
    Axial AX10 Ridgecrest

  2. #2
    Community Moderators Foxy's Avatar
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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    This is easy...

    Thunder Tiger MT4 G3. Arguably the most durable and best value for money monster truck on the market at the moment. Don't take my word for it, read what the whole internet is saying about it. I have a race truggy and a Savage Flux and I still will be getting one myself when I get the chance.

    Pros and cons to nitro vs electric are the usual. Nitro is a bit more work for all that noise and smell. Electric is more powerful but soulless. but don't let the word soulless put you off. When I put my Mugen truggy down on 6S, not only does it make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, it makes everyone around stop what they're doing and look at each other whispering 'holy mother of god, what the hell is THAT!?'. 0-60 in 2.5 secs, lifts the front wheels at ANY speed, it's a total madman. the Thunder tiger will give you just that for half the price. Comes as a rock solid platform, 2.4Ghz radio, bulletproof electrics which are 6S ready, the only bad thing about it is the body.
    Down with the crew known to pump up the bass...
    We rock the joint at a cool, steady pace.
    Foxy
    RCU Community Moderator

  3. #3
    mudfrog's Avatar
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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    I've decided to go with the Savage X 4.6. Would it be best to sink $470 into the new RTRkit or should Irisk picking one up from an auction. I'm all for saving money but being new to the hobby my big concern is not knowing which parts are worn without seeing the truck in new condition. The used Savage X's are going for less than half the cost of a new one though.
    Savage X - Losi 454
    Savage XS Flux RTR
    Axial AX10 Ridgecrest

  4. #4
    LaTuFu's Avatar
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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    How new to the hobby are you?  Do you have any Nitro/gas engine (small or large) experience at all?  Will you be using it at a local track with lots of other experienced hobbyists to mentor you?  If not, consider getting an electric truck.

    Nothing against Nitros at all, they are fantastic vehicles.

    But electrics are a lot more forgiving for newbies, particularly ones whose only "support" is online forums.  Nitros will require a lot of tuning and care.  If you buy new, you'll have break-in procedures to follow.  If you buy used, you might be getting a newb's truck that never bothered with break-in, and you'll fight little issues the entire time.

    Electrics have all of the performance capabilities as Nitro, with less maintenance requirements out of the box. 

    Plus, you can run electrics in many places Nitro simply will not be an option.  (like your yard, if you have neighbors close by).

    Once you've gotten your feet wet and understand the "nuances" of these trucks, if you still want a Nitro, by all means, go for it.
    Unfortunately, Craigslist is littered with "only ran three times" Savages, T-Maxxs, etc. that newbies bought and got rid of because they didn't understand or have the patience to learn about Nitro.  They could have had a much better intro to the hobby with an electric setup.


    Like the Thunder Tiger MT4 G3? Check it out on wondertiger.com

  5. #5
    LaTuFu's Avatar
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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.


    ORIGINAL: Foxy

    This is easy...

    Thunder Tiger MT4 G3. Arguably the most durable and best value for money monster truck on the market at the moment. Don't take my word for it, read what the whole internet is saying about it. I have a race truggy and a Savage Flux and I still will be getting one myself when I get the chance.

    Pros and cons to nitro vs electric are the usual. Nitro is a bit more work for all that noise and smell. Electric is more powerful but soulless. but don't let the word soulless put you off. When I put my Mugen truggy down on 6S, not only does it make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up, it makes everyone around stop what they're doing and look at each other whispering 'holy mother of god, what the hell is THAT!?'. 0-60 in 2.5 secs, lifts the front wheels at ANY speed, it's a total madman. the Thunder tiger will give you just that for half the price. Comes as a rock solid platform, 2.4Ghz radio, bulletproof electrics which are 6S ready, the only bad thing about it is the body.
    I am going to have to pick one of these up. Waaaaaay too many people singing their praises for me to keep one out of the yard.

    Like the Thunder Tiger MT4 G3? Check it out on wondertiger.com

  6. #6

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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    Savage X4.6 is a great first RC. IMO, as most here know, I feel the Losi XXL is a more complete package. But if you can't swing that, the Savage 4.6 is a very good first RC. Especially if you want to bash - ie jump, wheelie, run in construction sites, etc.. That's a buy you don't have to have any qualms about.. Go for it and have fun.

    And sorry, but all the "ran three times Savages" were owned by people too clueless and impatient to figure it out. There is a learning curve to nitro, and ultimately, this is a HOBBY, not a toy, so there should be some learning and figuring out involved. You don't just plug in a Nascar or Formula One racer either and off you go.. On the other hand nitro is hardly rocket science. I have posted a very simple break-in procedure before, and will again if requested to show how easy it is. I was super nervous too when I got my first RC(also a Savage RTR..), but the nervousness is the one side of the coin, exhileration the other. Nitro IMO is far, FAR more rewarding than electric. Partially cuz you figured out how to get it going right. That it burns nitro makes it somehow more life-like.. Electric is plug and play and boring and soulless and just too quiet in my opinion.. Last time I had one I had invested all this money in it, gone to the park and run it, and was standing there just feeling dumb "playing" with this overpriced toy. Nitro on the other hand is always a kick..
    Nitro > stamp collecting, watching grass grow, cleaning room, etc.. > electric.

  7. #7
    LaTuFu's Avatar
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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    You've stated your opinion about Nitro many, many times. At the end of the day, it's still an opinion, not fact. And truth be told, if I ever get enough time in my life to mess around with Nitros on a regular basis, I would probably choose a Losi MT based on the information you have provided about them in these forums, so I am not trying to bash your knowledge or experience.

    If you lived in the same town as the OP, I would tell him "go buy that Savage and get Herr Savage on your speed dial". If he lives in an area that has a local club and they are encouraging him to join, then I would also say get the Nitro, if that's what they are all running.

    All I'm trying to say with my post is, getting into this hobby, completely new and inexperienced, requires a lot of patience for anything. But if you have to go it alone and figure it out via online forums, electrics will be a lot more forgiving, and that is a fact, not an opinion.

    Tuning a Nitro via forum posts is a whole world of difference from having you stand next to the guy and show him.

    That's all it's about. Opinions about whether Nitro is better than electric are just opinions. Let's help the guy out before he's another future CL listing.
    Like the Thunder Tiger MT4 G3? Check it out on wondertiger.com

  8. #8

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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    good choice, my first rc (hobby grade) was a savage x 4.6 and i still own that truck. it has a rock solid platform, very user friendly engine, parts availability at any hobby store. this is an easy choice over the thunder tiger. just for fun stop at your local hobby store and ask them how many thunder tiger mt-4 parts they have in stock, then ask about the savage. cheers and welcome to the hobby!
    oversteer scares passengers, understeer scares drivers!-savagex,-savagexl,-savageflux,-revo3.3,-tmaxx3.3,-losi aftershock ltd

  9. #9

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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    I clearly stated it was just my opinion.

    You are simply overrating the "difficulty" of nitro. I am not some guru tuning genius. Far from it. I am lazy and never do maintenance. I just liked what I perceived to be the challenge of getting all these parts running right together(including electronic stuff) when I first got into it. And I finally learned a general basic level of what you need to know.. And HONESTLY, this is what it amounts to: do a good basic heat cycling break in*, and then just mess with the needles, mostly the HSN, in small increments, til it runs right. You tell when it's running right based on SOUND, SMOKE, and PERFORMANCE. Check temps occasionally if you want... It's just not that hard..

    Also, last time I was in the US, I saw more guys coming into the LHS I went to with fried ESC's than nitro issues. It is NOT A fact that electric is better if you are alone. I was alone with nitro, and I figured it out. If you are impatient, that is YOUR problem, not the engine's. This is a hobby: it requires some insight, effort and a learning curve. For instant, mindless gratification get a TOY.



    * BREAK-IN

    1.) Take out glow-plug. Look down in hole, rotate flywheel to point where piston is at absolute bottom position. Scratch a notch at 3pm on the flywheel(in a Savage, 12:00 in a Losi, etc..). Thereafter you will know where "BDC" just by turning your flywheel to get the notch to 3 o'clock - bottom dead center is. This is important for cool down during break in. Capiche? Put plug back in.

    2.) Wrap head in alu foil and/or sock.

    3.) Start engine. Plop truck on ground, run around at 1/4 throttle, very slow blips in figure-8's or whatever. Monitor temps, try to get to 200-225F. After 3-5 minutes, if you reach this temp, shut down engine. Rotate flywheel to BDC position. Turn off electronics. Let truck sit til it cools completely. Play with your Iphone or do some school homework or work on your break-dance moves or whatever. The first 4-5 tanks of break-in are kind of boring, and take time - maybe even a whole afternoon.. Be patient. It's worth it.

    4.) Repeat this process 10-12 times. You can run more fuel through per cycle as you go along.. The whole point is to get to the 200-225F range, then shut down the engine and let it cool with the piston at BDC completely.. This is heat cycling.

    A lot of RTR engines are set too rich from the factory, so if you have issues getting it to run, or getting your temps up, lean the HSN in 1-hour increments.. Take your time. These engines are not as fragile as some (electric people especially.. make it out..)

    There are some very good videos on youtube showing how to tune. But again, it's all about sound, smoke, performance/responsiveness, and you can throw in temp if you like(though temp is overrated IMO.. If it runs well with smoke then it's good...)

    A lot of people turned off by nitro are people new to the hobby who start out with Traxxas RTR's, or maybe the Savage XL which by many accounts has a crap stock engine. The X 4.6 engine is meant to be much much better and more user-friendly. The Losi XXL has an LRP Spec 3 twin, and they are mega-powerful AND easy to tune and run.. (they run best cool IMO..)

    Anyway, just throwing all that out there.. I have run bunches of these SH engines, and they all last forever and perform great...

    Here is my last outing with one of my LST2's.. I've been more into buggies and other stuff the last couple years, but basically I broke this engine (Dynamite Big Red .28) in OVER two years ago, and it's just been sitting around most of that time. Took it out, started right up, leaned the HSN maybe a little bit cuz it was a bit sluggish, and that was it..:

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/arch...-rock-bad-rap/

    (OK, maybe I put after-run-oil in it six months ago last time I ran it...)
    Nitro > stamp collecting, watching grass grow, cleaning room, etc.. > electric.

  10. #10
    mudfrog's Avatar
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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    Well to answer some questions.. yes I will be alone (for the most part).  The local 4x4 store has got into RC's and I know him ok as I used to buy some parts for my truck there.  I'm sure if I buy some RC parts from him he could help me with tuning if there were any issues that were beyond me.  That being said I do have a mechanical background (I'm actually in the automotive industry).  We mess around with trucks, four wheelers and dirt bikes at the house.  I'm sure there will be a learning curve but it shouldn't be anything out of reach for me. 

    I'm not too concerned with noise.  We are on a 5-6 acre lot and constantly ride our four wheelers and dirt bikes and neighbors haven't complained yet.  I would imagine the Savage would be quieter than the 2 stroke dirt bikes.

    I got out of four wheeling due to the cost of gas.  I used to have a fairly nice blazer that I enjoyed working on.  I'm looking at coming into this hobby to have fun driving but to also have fun building the truck. 

    Originally I looked at going with an electric.  And while I'm sure they are nice I feel like I'd enjoy a nitro RC more.  I don't mind the break in process, maintenance etc..
    Savage X - Losi 454
    Savage XS Flux RTR
    Axial AX10 Ridgecrest

  11. #11
    LaTuFu's Avatar
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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.


    ORIGINAL: mudfrog

    Well to answer some questions.. yes I will be alone (for the most part). The local 4x4 store has got into RC's and I know him ok as I used to buy some parts for my truck there. I'm sure if I buy some RC parts from him he could help me with tuning if there were any issues that were beyond me. That being said I do have a mechanical background (I'm actually in the automotive industry). We mess around with trucks, four wheelers and dirt bikes at the house. I'm sure there will be a learning curve but it shouldn't be anything out of reach for me.

    I'm not too concerned with noise. We are on a 5-6 acre lot and constantly ride our four wheelers and dirt bikes and neighbors haven't complained yet. I would imagine the Savage would be quieter than the 2 stroke dirt bikes.

    I got out of four wheeling due to the cost of gas. I used to have a fairly nice blazer that I enjoyed working on. I'm looking at coming into this hobby to have fun driving but to also have fun building the truck.

    Originally I looked at going with an electric. And while I'm sure they are nice I feel like I'd enjoy a nitro RC more. I don't mind the break in process, maintenance etc..
    After reading your post and realizing where you are, we both use the same LHS.

    I still stand by my assertion that electric is more forgiving for most newbies.

    However, given your experience, and the shop you'll be using for support, Iagree with Herr Savage, go for the Nitro. The owner of that shop runs a lot of Nitro stuff himself, so he'll definitely help you out. He runs mostly MTs, too, if I remember correctly. He'll hook you up with some guys over that way who can really get you going. He mostly sells Traxxas stuff, much to HerrSavage's dismay, but he can get you whatever you want (Sounds like he already has...)

    On the plus side, once you get some experience with these trucks, you'll be able to take advantage of the "only been run 3 times" listings.

    If you're interested, Ihave a neighbor who has (had?) 3 Savages he has been trying to sell. He knows what he's doing with Nitro, so the trucks are in good shape. One is a Savage XL and the other is a Savage X. If I had the time (and space) for messing with them, I would have picked up at least one of them. They are good looking trucks. PMme if you want more details.

    Like the Thunder Tiger MT4 G3? Check it out on wondertiger.com

  12. #12
    mudfrog's Avatar
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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    Small world. Yea Sam mainly deals in Traxxas from what I've seen. I haven't been in the shop in a couple years but I've bought several sets of Swampers off of him. Know of any shops that stocks parts for the Savage? PMcoming your way.
    Savage X - Losi 454
    Savage XS Flux RTR
    Axial AX10 Ridgecrest

  13. #13

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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    Most HPI engines are pretty user friendly(easy to tune and break in) I order all my parts on line from tower hobbies, they ship really fast and have good prices.

    Why nitro over electric? COST There is no doubt these new brushless systems make rc trucks screamers and much faster than nitro, But your start up on a hot 4 wheel drive truck will cost you close to $800.00 initially.

    Again some day I hope to own one of these hot electric trucks but at this point cost is to high.

    Now TRAXXAS vs HPI. In my opinion The Traxxas motors are a real pain to tune. When tuned in right they are real screamers, but when out of tune, YUK! The hpi big blocks are a lot user friendly and easy to tune, and it is pretty much the same with most other big blocks.

    Good luck in your choice of trucks

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    RE: Best truck to get me into the hobby.

    Looks Good


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