RCU Review: Redcat Racing Volcano SV

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    Contributed by: Ken Isaac | Published: June 2008 | Views: 134438 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Redcat Volcano SV - RCU Review


     Review by: Ken Isaac (RCKen) | Email me


    Redcat Racing
    23 West Watkins Street
    Phoenix, Az 85003
    Phone: (602)454-6445
    Fax: (602)626-3543
    Sales: sales@redcatracing.com
    Tech: support@redcatracing.com

    • Easy to setup vehicle
    • Huge "Fun" Factor
    • Good Beginner Vehicle
    • Great Support System
    • Lifetime engine replacement

    • RTR (Ready-To-Run) to a point, some setup is required.


    So how does a dedicated RC "plane guy" end up reviewing a RC Truck? I actually asked myself the same thing after it happened too. During a discussion with a representative from Redcat Racing it came up that they would like to have one of their vehicles reviewed by a beginner in the hobby, but it was difficult to find a beginner that would be able to write up the review. Being as I had absolutely ZERO experience with RC cars or trucks I offered to do a review of their vehicle for them. By doing this they could get their vehicle reviewed from the standpoint of somebody that has never had a RC vehicle before. So with that in mind they agreed to send a Redcat Volcano SV truck my way. I must admit that I was a bit excited to be doing a review on a RC truck, as it was something entirely new to me, and even a bit nervous as well. So for those of you out there that are considering getting into a RC vehicle please follow with me and hopefully I can help you out in your decision in getting a RC vehicle.

    Redcat Racing was started in October of 2005, and since has become the premier source for Chinese manufactured 1/10, 1/8 & 1/16 scale Nitro & Electric RC Cars, Buggies, Trucks, and parts. Many more products are on the way and will be updated as they arrive on their website - www.redcatracing.com

    Redcat has several resources that make them stand out as a good company that takes very good care of their customers. The first resource they have is Redcat's own support staff. Their staff consists of several people that know the Redcat line of vehicles inside and out, and will gladly take the time to help out their customers to get them up and running. The next resource they have is a Support Forum here on RCU - Redcat Support Forum . This support forum is available any time of day or night, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year and usually gets questions answered pretty quickly. The forum is frequented by the Redcat support staff as well as Redcat customers that freely lend their knowledge to help out others that have Redcat vehicles. As I was getting started with this review I was able to get a lot of questions answered by the members in the Redcat Support Forum. The last resource would be Redcat's Lifetime Engine Replacement Program. Redcat will replace any Redcat engine with the same, or upgraded, engine for 1/2 the cost of the new engine plus shipping. Regardless of what happened to the old engine it can be replaced under this program no questions asked. All that the customer has to do to take advantage of this program is to send in the complete old engine and pay 1/2 the cost of the new engine plus shipping and Redcat will happily ship out a brand new engine to the customer.

    When a company goes to the lengths that Redcat does to support their customers it's usually a pretty good indication that they believe in their products and want to keep their customers happy. Seeing all of this before getting my Volcano SV really had me thinking that I was going to be getting a good vehicle to review.

    Many times a person new to RC hobbies will buy an item that looks "cool" and then find out once they get home that they got in over their head with the purchase. The item will either have a huge learning curve in order to use it, or it will require so many other items to be purchased that a ton of extra money needs to be spent in order to even use the item. These two items are usually the biggest things that keep somebody from staying in the hobby when they face these things. Many companies, including Redcat Racing, are addressing these issues by putting out quality products that are Ready-To-Run (RTR) which are complete products with a very low learning curve. The Redcat Volcano SV is one of those products.

    So, let's roll up our sleeves and take a good look at the Redcat Volcano SV truck.......

    Redcat Racing Volcano SV

    Price: $219.99

    VX 18
    Engine Manufacturer: Vertex
    Transmission: Gear reduction center transmission with dual disk slipper
    Drive System: 4wd
    Radio System: 2ch AM
    Length: 400mm
    Front Track: 150mm
    Rear Track: 150mm
    Weight: 2100g
    Height (Overall): 190mm
    Wheelbase: 275mm
    Front Shock Length: 95mm
    Rear Shock Length: 95mm
    Front Tires: 130x65mm
    Rear Tires: 130x65mm
    Tire Diameter: 130mm
    Wheel Diameter: 77mm
    Differential Type: 2 gear bevel gear
    Chassis Type: 2.5mm 6061
    Brake Type: Steel disc
    Fuel Tank Capacity: 75cc
    Shock Type: 8 oil filled plastic body shocks, 4 wheel independent
    Available Colors: Blue/Flame, Blue/Silver, Green/Orange, Red, or Red/Flame
    Hop Ups Installed: Balljoint Suspension

     Vertex VX .18 Engine Specifications:

    Engine Size .18(2.95ccm)
    Exhaust Side
    Bore 16.5mm
    Stroke 14.0mm
    Liner ABC
    Number of Ports 3+1
    Piston High-silicium alloy
    Glowplug Standard
    Carburettor Rotary
    Power Output* 1.1PS
    Max RPM* 32,000
    Weight 258g

    Items Required to Complete:

    • Nitro Fuel

    • Fuel Bottle

    • Glow plug igniter, w/charger or battery

    • Cross wrench

    • Foam Air Filter Oil

    • Hobby Knife

    • Small 1/8" flathead screwdriver

    • Phillips head screwdriver

    • 12 AA Alkaline batteries, 8 for radio/4 for car

    • After-run Oil


    Unpacking The Box

    I have to admit that I was just a bit excited when I got the box in from Redcat Racing. I opened the brown cardboard shipping box to reveal the retail box for the Volcano SV. Redcat uses the same box for both the Volcano SV and Volcano SV Pro and has a picture of the Volcano in an "action" shot that is sure to catch some attention from shoppers in any hobby shop. On the top of the box is a sticker that indicates what channel the included radio is set to. This will be especially important if you plan on running your vehicles with others so that you can ensure that your vehicles are on different channels. One side panel of the box has a list of the features of the Volcano. The other side panel shows what is included in the box, accessories needed for operation, and even shows a small portion of the "hop ups" that are available for the Volcano from Redcat. My only real complaint here was that the outside of the box never really showed which vehicle was in the box, the SV or the SV Pro. If it was marked on the box I never found it and wasn't sure of the contents until I actually opened the box and looked at the actual vehicle.

    I knew that the Volcano SV was a RTR (Ready To Run) vehicle, but I must admit that I really didn't know just how "ready" it was going to be. So when I lifted the top off the box I really wasn’t sure what waited inside. Once open I found a very attractive plastic body flanked by two cardboard boxes on each side, which isolated the wheels of the truck. To the rear of the body is another cardboard box, which contains the transmitter. The truck lifts directly out with the two side boxes. Pulling the boxes off the sides reveals a complete truck that indeed looks ready to do some serious running! The final contents of the box were a plastic bag, which contains the instruction manual and a plastic tube used for the receiver antenna wire.

    As I wrapped up my first look at the Volcano I wanted to take a quick look under the body and see what the truck was made of. The body is held in place on four mounting posts and is retained by four small clips. Removing all four clips the body lifts straight off to show the true heart of the vehicle. The engine head is protected from shipping damage by a layer of bubble wrap.

    The Manuals

    Note: The vehicle I reviewed shipped to me at the same time that Redcat released their Getting Started guide so it was not included in the box. However, I did download and print out this guide to use in setting up the Volcano SV. At the time of this review all Redcat Vehicles should have the Getting Started guide included in the box. If one is purchased that does not have the guide included, it can be downloaded here: www.redcatracing.com/nitromanual.pdf

    The included manual actually covers 3 different 1/10th scale vehicle types: the 1/10th scale touring car, the 1/10th scale off-road buggy, and the 1/10th scale monster truck that I received. I skipped past the other parts of the manual to look over the monster truck section. This part of the manual had very detailed breakdowns of all the major components of the vehicle itself. Also included was a parts listing for every part on the Volcano.

    Finally there is a listing for all of the "hop up" parts that Redcat makes available for the Volcano. "Hop ups" is the terminology used in the RC car world for upgraded parts. These parts can range from performance upgrades, to stronger metal parts, or parts that dress up the looks of the vehicle.


    For those who will purchase this vehicle as their first RC the Getting Started Guide provided by Redcat will be "The Bible" for them to successfully setup and break-in their vehicle. Redcat has done a very good job of explaining the setup and break-in procedures and have done so with a beginner in mind. The guide explains in clear concise wording what must be done to successfully break-in the engine on the vehicle. The guide is well written in a clear language that is geared so that a beginner will totally understand what is required to setup their vehicle. Included in the guide is a glossary of terms and diagrams to illustrate where the parts of a RC engine are. Redcat has included diagrams and pictures to help show the user where important parts are located on the vehicle.

    The Controller

    The controller for the Volcano SV is a 2 channel AM transmitter that operates in the 27 MHz ranges, which is set aside for the operation of ground vehicle. The controller is a "pistol grip" style controller that is held in one hand with the "trigger" control operating the throttle and brake. The trigger controller moves both directions from the center position. Pulling the trigger back operates the throttle for the truck, and pushing the trigger forward will engage the brakes on the truck when it's time to stop. The upper portion of the controller has a small "steering wheel" controller that is used to steer the Volcano SV. The wheel has rubber on the outside of it to keep the wheel from slipping from your fingers while operating the radio. On the bottom of the transmitter is a battery compartment that opens to accept 8 "AA" sized batteries. No special battery pack is needed for the transmitter, so standard alkaline batteries can be used here. The instructions don't mention this, but on the rear of the upper portion of the transmitter I found a charging jack. After verifying that it was indeed a charging jack I made the decision to use rechargeable NiMH batteries here. I purchased rechargeable NiMH's from Wal-mart, which have a capacity of 2500 Mah. I made the choice to do this simply to save money in the long run. Standard alkaline non-rechargeable batteries could be used here but the cost would add up pretty quickly if the user operates the vehicle on a regular basis.

    The upper portion of the controller is pretty straightforward and easy to understand. The rear of the controller has the on/off switch, servo reversing switches, and a LED battery level indicator. The reversing switches are used to change the direction that a servo travels when it is controlled from the controller. On the forward portion of the controller is located the frequency crystal and trim adjustments for the throttle and steering channels. The trims are used to make small adjustments to the position of the servos in the vehicle. The throttle trim is used to adjust the idle speed of the engine, while the steering trim is used to make minor adjustments on the steering to keep the truck rolling straight forward.

    The Vehicle

    Looking at the Volcano SV the first feature that is seen is the wheels. The truck looks like it's made for going over "stuff", and considering it's a 4-wheel drive it's easy to imagine that it'll be doing a lot of that once it's set loose. The tires are big in comparison to the overall size of the truck, measuring a huge 130 mm x 65 mm. The tires are made of rubber and have a tread designed to get good grip on a wide variety of materials it's run on.

    The truck body is available in several different colors, and the one I received is the blue/silver design. Graphics on the body are provided by a set of stick on decals that are pre-installed on the body. The body itself is a plastic shell with the paint scheme applied to the inside of the body in order to protect the paint from scratching and scuffing while running the vehicle. The body mounts to the vehicle by setting on 4 posts attached to each shock tower on the chassis, and is secured in place by the use of 4 metal clips. The clips are easy to install and remove in order to make it easy to place the body back on the chassis after starting it.

    As we take the body off of the Volcano I would like the experienced car guys out there to go easy on me as I describe what's "under the hood" as this is the first RC car that I've had experience with and I may get the terminology wrong.

    Lifting the body of the truck off it gives a good look at what's underneath. The main components we see are the engine, the fuel tank, the radio box, 2 servos, the suspension components, and a transmission nestled in the middle of everything. On the right side of the chassis the engine is mounted directly in front of the rear suspension with the output shaft of the engine pointing forward. The engine has a large heat sink heat head that is used to help dissipate heat while running the engine. Also on the engine is an air cleaner assembly made with foam element to keep dust, dirt, and debris out of the engine. The output shaft is attached to a clutch assembly which transfers power from the engine into the gear reduction transmission, which then transfers the power to the front and rear differentials to drive the wheels of the vehicle. The engine is connected to a muffler assembly by a small piece of silicon tubing, and the muffler assembly is held in place at the front of the vehicle by a small spring clip. Located just forward of the engine is the fuel tank. Looking at the left side of the vehicle we see the throttle servo, which sits next to the engine. Next to the throttle servo is the radio box. The radio box has an on/off switch mounted in it and also as the antenna for the receiver coming out of the box. Directly in front of the radio box is the other servo on the vehicle which controls the steering of the Volcano.

    When the body comes off of the Volcano the first thing that is noticed is the springs on the suspension, and this is because they are nice bright neon yellow in color! The suspension for the Volcano SV consists of 8 (2 per wheel) oil filled plastic body shocks, with 4-wheel independent suspension. The shocks are attached on the lower A-arms of each  wheel, with the top of the shocks attaching to a shock tower. On the top of each shock tower are two mounts, which the body of the truck sits on. Taking a look at the throttle servo, which controls not only the throttle of the engine but also controls applying brakes. The servo control horn has one pushrod connecting to the control arm on the carburetor and another pushrod connecting to the brakes located on the transmission. Located on the back of the engine is the pull start used to start the engine. Out of the box the pull start has a warning tag attached to it that warns the user to not pull the cord too far. This is to prevent the pull start cord from being broken or pulled out if pulled too far.

    The fuel tank has a capacity of 75 cc (~2.5 oz). The tank has a lid, which is held in place by a spring, but can be lifted up to fill the tank. There are two silicon fuel lines running from the tank: a fuel pickup line which delivers fuel to the carburetor and a pressure line which attaches to the muffler and supplies pressure to the tank to force fuel out of the tank. Turning the Volcano over shows the plate the entire vehicle is built on, which is a made from a strong and lightweight aluminum. Moving back to the radio box, a plastic tube is supplied that is used to mount the radio antenna. The tube is fitted into a recess on the top of the radio box and the antenna wire is routed out of the box and up the tube. The top of the radio box is held in place with 2 Phillips screws, one at each end.

    Inside the radio box are the receiver, switch, and battery clip used for the radio. The receiver is a 2-channel AM receiver. The switch is a simple on/off switch that can be used to turn on the radio of the vehicle. The provided battery clip facilitates 4 AA batteries. Looking at the radio box reveals that the box isn't water tight, so if the vehicle will be operated in wet or muddy conditions precautions will need to be taken to ensure that the electronics are not damaged.



    While the Volcano SV box does say that it's Ready-To-Run (RTR) I found out that this isn't entirely true. Granted, I could take it out of the box, start it, and drive it but the vehicle probably wouldn't last too long. There is some setup and break-in that needs to be done in order to keep the Volcano running for a long time, but then again most RC equipment is like that. As the vehicle is setup the areas that we really need to worry about are the radio setup, checking the chassis of the vehicle, and breaking-in the engine. As I said above, the Quick Start Guide that comes with the vehicle will be "The Bible" as we setup the Volcano. Another resource that will prove to be invaluable to anybody getting started with a Redcat vehicle is the Redcat Support Forum here on RCU. This forum is provided by RCU for Redcat in order to help their customers with their vehicles. The staff of Redcat watches this forum very carefully and is usually pretty quick at getting answers back to customers. If you have any questions or problems this is a great place to get the answers you need.

    The Redcat Getting Started guide will step someone through getting their vehicle setup, so I'm going to hit the highlights there of what is required. If interested the complete guide can be viewed online here: www.redcatracing.com/nitromanual.pdf

    So, let's roll up our sleeves and get to work preparing the Volcano to run....

    Radio Setup:

    The AM radio included with the Redcat Volcano SV does not come with batteries in it, so these will have to be provided by the users prior to being about to run the vehicle. The transmitter requires 8 "AA" sized batteries while the receiver requires 4 "AA" batteries. Regular alkaline batteries such as Duracell or Energizer can be used without any problems, although the replacement costs can become high if you will run the vehicle a lot. I used regular batteries as shown in the pictures during the break-in process but then I switched to Energizer rechargeable 2500 Mah Ni-MH's as I started to run the vehicle. I did this to simply lower the cost of operation of the vehicle by using batteries that can be recharged. These batteries cost approximately $20 for 8 batteries at Wal-Mart, which also sells a recharger unit that can be used to recharge the batteries. As I was setting up the radio I noticed that even though the transmitter does not come with batteries it does come with a recharging jack that can be used to recharge the batteries in the transmitter without having to remove them. In order to recharge the batteries in the transmitter a charger will be needed that has the capacity to charge 9.6 V 8-cell packs. Since I already fly RC planes I already have chargers that can handle charging the batteries in the transmitter. But if a user doesn't have such a charger the rechargeable batteries can easily be removed from the transmitter to charge them in the separate charger available at Wal-mart. The receiver is equipped with a battery clip that 4 "AA" batteries are placed in and then is sealed inside the radio box on the vehicle. The radio box will need to be opened every time batteries need to be replaced, or recharged if using rechargeable batteries. Being a bit lazy I chose to make a change in this setup using a bit of the hardware that I use for airplanes. On planes we use a power switch that has an external charging jack that lets the battery be recharged without removing it from the vehicle. I replaced the stock On/Off switch with one of these and then installed a charging jack receptacle in the top of the radio box. By doing this it allows me to recharge the batteries in the vehicle without having to open the battery box every time. In order to do this again you will need to have a charger capable of charging 4.8 V battery packs. If not, the batteries can easily be removed to charge them outside of the radio box. When installing or replacing the batteries in the vehicle it's very important to wrap tape, or a Velcro strip, around the battery clip in order to keep vibrations from breaking the connection of the batteries with the clip, which could result in losing control of the vehicle.

    The next part of the radio setup is to mount the antenna on the receiver. The antenna is made of a single wire that is approximately 20" in length. In order to operate properly the wire needs to be extended up and away from the receiver. If the wire is left "wadded" up in the radio box the vehicle will experience a serious reduction in range and could result in loss of control. An antenna tube is provided to mount the antenna with. The antenna is first routed out of the radio box and then up through the antenna tube. There is a molded mount on the radio box to insert the antenna tube in. Pull the excess antenna wire up through the end of the tube and then fold the wire back down the outside of the tube. Press the included rubber cap in place on the end of the tube to hold the antenna wire in place. Then wrap the wire loosely around the outside of the tube and use a piece of heat shrink, or electrical tape to secure the antenna wire in place on the tube.

    While the radio box is open it would be a good time to check and make sure both servos are properly plugged in to the receiver. Power on the transmitter first and then the receiver and check to ensure both servos operate properly. I found that the movement of the throttle servo was reversed and needed to be changed. Provided on the transmitter are two switches that allow for changing the direction of travel for the throttle and steering servo, and a simple flip of the switch on the transmitter had the servo moving properly on the throttle.

    Next the operation of the servos needs to be checked. The Volcano SV has two channels on it; one channel controls the steering while the other channel controls the throttle and brake of the vehicle. The steering should be check that it does turn the wheels in the proper direction. Also, check that with the steering wheel in the center position the wheels on the vehicle are pointed straight. Without starting the engine place the vehicle on the ground and give it a push and observe how it rolls. If the vehicle rolls straight everything is ok. But if it pulls to one side use the trim on the radio to correct the wheels so that the vehicle rolls straight. The last thing to check is the throttle/brake. Remove the air cleaner and check to see that the throttle moves the opening in the carburetor to the wide-open position, and with the control in the idle position there should be a small gap in the carb barrel of approximately 1/16". Move the throttle control all the way forward to engage the brake and check that the brake will stop the vehicle from rolling. If it does not stop the vehicle from rolling the linkage will need to be adjusted.


    The Chassis:
    The first thing that I know many will ask is why anything needs to bedone to the chassis of the vehicle. I can understand the confusion because the vehicle comes out of the box already assembled and looking like it's ready to go. And this is correct to a point. The vehicle could be taken out of the box, started, and run without any further work being required, but it probably wouldn't run very well and probably wouldn't last for very long like this. If you want your new RC vehicle to have a long life and run as well as possible a little bit of time needs to be spent in setting up the vehicle and getting it tuned properly.


    One of the most important things to set up is the "mesh" of the gears between the transmission and engine, meaning that the gap between the two gears needs to be properly set. If it's not the gears will be damaged or destroyed as the vehicle is driven. Setting the proper mesh is really a very simply process though. To set the mesh unscrew the 4 screws mounting the engine so that the engine will slide back and forth. Once the screws are loose place a strip of paper in between the clutch bell and the spur gear, then push the engine in to the spur gear and tighten the bolts. Pull the strip of paper out and the mesh will have been properly set.

    The thing that needs to be kept in mind is that a small internal combustion engine that is running at speeds of over 10,000 RPM's powers the Volcano. This will cause a lot of vibrations and stresses on the vehicle, which can cause screws to loosen up and fall out. We need to spend some time to go over the vehicle and make sure that everything is tight and put Locktite on all metal to metal contact screws so they won't fall out. One important fact that needs to be pointed out here is to use only blue Locktite, which allows the screw to be removed later on. Red Locktite will form a permanent bond and the screw will not be able to be removed later on. Go through the vehicle and use Locktite on any screws that have metal-to-metal contact. Also go through and tighten up the rest of the screws on the vehicle to make sure that they are tight and will not vibrate out while running the vehicle. There are two areas that need to have special attention paid to them when placing the Locktite on the vehicle, the engine mounting screws and any grub screws on the vehicle. There are 4 metal screws on the underside of the vehicle that mount and secure the engine in place on the chassis. If these come loose while running, the engine can slip it's position and damage the transmission gears. The other area of special attention is the grub screws. These are nothing more than simply Allen Head set screws that are used to secure parts of the vehicle. There are two on each wheel hub that secure the drive hub to the axle, as well as one on each drive shaft that comes out of the transmission and goes to the differentials. Without Locktite these can come out when running and will be lost, which can definitely ruin your day!

    Engine Break-in:

    This is probably the one thing that can be done that has the most impact on the reliability and life of the engine. Engines that aren't broken-in properly usually don't last too long. The engines on these vehicles are made up of parts that are precision made and have very close tolerances in order for them to perform so well. These parts need to go through the break-in process so that they fit together properly to ensure that the engine will run properly. Running the engine and "taking it easy" on it for the first few tanks of fuel, and then gradually increasing the speeds and heat in the engine until it is properly broken-in do the break-in process. During the break-in process it is very important to make sure that the engine never gets too hot, as this will damage the engine. Keeping the engine between 200 degrees and 215 degrees. As I was breaking-in my engine it was very cold outside which required that I wrap the head of the engine in aluminum foil to help keep the heat built up.  Before starting the engine for the first time you will need to use air filter oil on the air filter. Simply apply the oil to the air filter foam element and ensure it is completely saturated.

    The break-in process for the VX-18 engine will require running 5 tanks of fuel through the engine. Before starting the engine for the first time it's important to mark where the piston is at the bottom of its stroke (Bottom Dead Center - BDC). The easiest way to determine this is to remove the glow plug and turn the engine over until the piston is at the bottom of its stroke. Mark on the flywheel the location of BDC. This is important because the engine will need to be returned to this position after each tank of fuel is run through the engine during break-in. You will need to find something to set the vehicle on while doing the break-in so that the wheels are off the ground. A toolbox or cement block works well for this. To start the engine for each tank of fuel follow these steps. First fill the tank with fuel, and without the glow starter on the engine, cover the exhaust port on the muffler and pull the pull starter to turn over the engine. With each pull you will see fuel moving up the fuel line. Pull the cord until the fuel gets to the carburetor, then remove the air filter and place two drops of fuel in the carb to prime it and then replace the air filter. Turn on the transmitter first and then turn on the receiver. Place the glow starter on the glow plug of the engine and pull the starter cord in a quick short manner Be careful to not pull too far as this can damage the pull starter. The engine should start in a few pulls.

    Follow these steps to properly break-in the engine.
    Tank #1. Once the engine is running it should be allowed to idle for the entire tank of fuel. Let the engine run until the fuel tank is almost empty, and then pinch off the fuel line to kill the engine. The idle may have to be adjusted while the engine is running. Adjust it to the point where the wheels aren't spinning as the engine idles. During this process it is normal for fuel to drip from the exhaust. The excess fuel running through the engine helps to remove any metal that results from the break-in and helps to keep the engine cool. After killing the engine return it to the Bottom Dead Center previously marked on the flywheel and allow the engine to cool for at least 15 minutes before running tank #2.

    Tank #2. Refill the tank and restart the engine. For this tank of fuel the vehicle will be driven. Drive in a figure-8 pattern while keeping the throttle below 1/4 throttle. Keep driving this pattern until the fuel runs out. Make sure the engine sounds running "rich" while driving. This means that the engine will have a "sputtering" sound to it and should be blowing out thick smoke from the exhaust. It will also have excess fuel coming out of the exhaust as before. If the engine isn't running rich adjust the high-speed needle until it is (turned counter-clockwise). After the engine dies once again return the piston to BDC and let the engine cool for at least 15 minutes.

    Tank #3. Repeat the steps from tank #2.

    Tank #4. Refill the tank and restart the engine. For this tank of fuel the vehicle is once again driven in a figure-8 pattern, in the same manner as for tank #2, but this time the throttle can be brought up to 1/2 throttle. You will notice that the idle of the engine may start to go up This is normal during the break-in as there is less resistance between the piston and sleeve as the parts wear together. Pay close attention to the amount of smoke coming out of the exhaust during the tank, and richen the engine if necessary. After the engine dies return the piston to BDC and let it cool for at least 15 minutes.

    Tank #5. Refill the tank and restart the engine. This is the last step in breaking-in the engine. For this tank drive the vehicle back and forth in straight lines, running the engine from idle to 3/4 throttle. Try to use the full range of the throttle up to 3/4 and smoothly accelerate the engine. Run the engine in this manner until the engine dies. Return the piston to BDC. The engine will now be broken-in and can be run normally after this.

    The engine will probably require some retuning after the break-in process This is normal. In fact, keeping the engine properly tuned is an ongoing process. After each session of running the engine it's a good idea to use After Run Oil to keep the engine from rusting. Remove the glow plug and drop a few drops in the cylinder as well as a couple of drops down the carburetor. Pull the pull starter 2-3 times to circulate the oil inside the engine.

    I know that this all seems like a lot of work, but trust me that it looks worse than it actually is. The entire process can be accomplished in an afternoon. The break-in process takes the longest time which will be approximately 3 hours total time. But this time is well worth investing as it results in a well performing reliable vehicle.

     That's it. The engine is broken-in and ready to "play".





    With the Volcano engine broken in it was time to take it out and see what it could do. Luckily the winter weather in Oklahoma doesn't leave us locked indoors for long periods and we still get good weather even in the heart of winter. My son offered to help me out in getting the video shot for this review. We packed up the Volcano and the field gear and headed down the street for a local park that looked like a lot of fun to run in. The park has a huge flat area that has a baseball diamond on it, but it also contains a lot of ditches and gullies that almost look like they were made just for bashing. Once we got to the park I fueled up the Volcano and a few pulls of the pull start had it running. I tuned the engine and left it running a bit rich since the engine was still pretty new. As this would be our first time really running the Volcano at any speed we decided to start out on the flat baseball diamond. It had plenty of room for us to get used to how the truck ran. We started out just running it around on the field to get a feel for it. I started opening up the throttle and doing some speed runs around the field. All I could say was "Holy Cow!!!" It was definitely a lot faster than

    i expected it to be. There was a small pitcher's mound on the field so we decided to get a feel for jumping the truck. We finished out the fuel tank doing small jumps off of that pitcher's mound to get a feel for jumping as well. So, one tank of fuel and both my son and I were itching to get over to the rougher area to run in.

    With a refill of fuel we fired the truck back up and started out in the area of the park with gullies and hills. In this area I really wanted to push the truck as hard as I could to see what it would do, as well as see how it would hold up. One thing is for sure, this truck is definitely built tough. We had plenty of bad jumps, tumbles, and falls with the truck and nothing broke on the truck. In this area we found a little area that turned out to be a really nice jump, so we spent a lot of time trying to "get some air". Once again, I was trying to see if I could get anything to break on the truck. Once again, nothing broke.

    Overall we ran 7 tanks of fuel through the truck that day. Other than having to adjust the mixture and idle on the 3rd tank of fuel the truck didn't miss a beat. It fired up immediately each time we started it. The engine remained reliable the entire time and gave great performance. Once home it was time to clean up. The first steps for cleaning up were to blow off all the dried grass and dead leaves that had accumulated while running it. On the recommendation from several members of the RCU Redcat Support forum I spayed down the chassis with WD-40, and after it soaked for a bit I used compressed air to blow off the chassis and dry it up. I was impressed with how well this worked in getting the chassis cleaned up after a hard day of running.

    One thing for sure, this little truck had a father and son smiling like a couple of little kids after we "played" with it that afternoon. To boil it down it was just plain old fun to run this truck. The only bad thing is that now I have to buy another one so that both my son and I can have our own to run with!!


    Redcat Volcano SV Video
    Small File (9.8 MB)

    Redcat Volcano SV Video
    Small File (19.0 MB)


    I started out this review with the goal of looking at this vehicle from the standpoint of a beginner in RC vehicles buying their first one. So how did it do? I would say that the Redcat Volcano SV is a winner in this arena. With the resources provided I have no doubt in my mind that a beginner could successfully setup the Volcano and have a fun and reliable vehicle in the end.

    Redcat has put together a guide that will step the user through the process of setting up and breaking-in their new vehicle and leave no doubts in what needs to be done. If there are questions that arise Redcat has a support forum here on RCU that will work quickly to get the problem solved. In the event that something does break on the vehicle Redcat has a parts system setup to quickly get replacement parts to the customers, as well as a network of hobby shops around the US and Canada that customers can use for their replacement parts. It's easy to see that Redcat is devoted to ensuring their customers are well taken care of and receive a great product for their hobby dollars.

    The Volcano SV has been a real "smile maker" for both my son and myself as we have spent a lot of time running it. For fun days out in the park "bashing" I can state loudly that the Volcano is worth every penny. It's easy to setup, it's tough, and it's just plain old fun to run. Redcat has done a great job of combining a quality product with a support system that will give the customer fantastic all around care. For anybody wanting to get started in nitro powered RC vehicles, or those already in RC that are looking for something fun to run, I highly recommend the Volcano SV.



    Redcat Racing Volcano SV

    Redcat Racing
    23 West Watkins Street
    Phoenix, Az 85003
    Phone: (602)454-6445
    Fax: (602)626-3543
    Sales: sales@redcatracing.com
    Tech: support@redcatracing.com


    Zap Adhesives
    Frank Tiano Enterprises
    3607 Ventura Drive E.
    Lakeland, Florida 33811
    Phone: (863)607-6611
    Website: http://www.franktiano.com
    Products Used:  Z-42 Thread Locker



    Comments on RCU Review: Redcat Racing Volcano SV

    Posted by: pede_187 on 06/02/2008
    Nice Review. I like it - especially the video
    Posted by: racemaxx24 on 06/09/2008
    Great review. Beginners will like it alot because it is very explanitory. A++ Ken:)
    Posted by: qaiz on 06/10/2008
    Excellent review Ken, especially since its your first Land RC Vehicle review. Hope to see many more. Good going.
    Posted by: Swamp3r on 06/11/2008
    Ken you have to try the monsoon, hurricane or the tornado s30 my favorites anyway.Btw great review man.
    Posted by: ranger4x4 on 06/11/2008
    very good work i must say. a clear and concise review with lots of information and great pics. my hats off to you rcken great review, very professional.
    Posted by: c6z06 on 06/18/2008
    Great review, Its been a while since somebody has done one.
    Posted by: camo51 on 06/22/2008
    i owned a himoto eldorada which it is the exact same truck, and I can tell you it is a really weak truck. But on the good side I can tell it was a lot of fun to run.
    Posted by: evan14221 on 06/23/2008
    good review
    Posted by: PENGUINBLASTER!!! on 06/29/2008
    10,000RPM? It's 30,000 - 40,000.
    Posted by: 863outlaws on 09/13/2008
    Redcat racing should put a lil more into this truck and make an 8th scale modelthat is alot more sturdier. This truck is very nice for the the first timers and the kidsas well. With a lil more work and alot more confidence i think this truck will match up to any of the smaller or bigger scaled trucks out there! Great Review, and keep the goods coming!
    Page: 1 2 >
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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