Ready to run
Two speed tranny
Powerful .28 engine
17mm hex spindles
Metal gear steering servo
Threaded aluminum shocks
Steering servo sluggish
Front dogbones pop out
Steering and suspension a little loose.
can remember as a boy loving to watch the monster trucks. I got
so excited as they roared over the crushed cars, pulled wheelies,
& did donuts. I'm all grown up now and I still love to watch
any thing big, loud, & powerful run over things. These days
I enjoy watching off road buggies, jeeps, samurais, and hybrids
maneuvering through terrain that seems impossible to drive through.
That is kind of what the Mad Beast reminds me of. Off road vehicles
that can go almost anywhere. In this review we will look at where
the Mad Beast can and can't go and how well it holds together
while doing it.
Name: MAD BEAST RTR w/ reverse module Price: $799.95 retail price Price: $399.95 sale price Length: 21.25" Width: 17" Wheelbase:14.25" Engine: .28 Level engine Drive Train: Sealed Diffs., 2-speed tranny, & reverse
module Receiver Battery Used: 4 AA Radio equipment: (Included) 27MHz 3 channel computerized
AM transmitter, receiver, metal gear steering servo, standard
throttle servo, & standard reverse servo
sized battery for glow igniter
allen wrenches, screw drivers
The Mad Beast was well packaged and includes the truck, radio, truck manual, and radio manual. When
I first opened the Mad Beast's packaging, I was impressed with
the over all look of the vehicle. The body looks like the cab
of a tractor trailer truck with an awesome tribal flame paint scheme. The
flames are actually printed on the inside of the body for better
looks and durability. The openings are all cut out and trimmed
neatly. I didn't like having the antenna coming out of the windshield,
so I drilled a small hole in the roof. That looks much cooler!
The chassis consists of two aluminum upright plates with a roll bar/handle on the top. The electronics and engine are sandwiched between the two chassis plates. The included instruction booklet has exploded views of the truck. I would, however, like to see a little more info on special operations such as the two speed. The radio manual is informative on the basic opperations of the radio. Some more in depth information on the radio functions would be nice though. Over
all this truck looks pretty tough. Let's take a closer look.
Wheels, tires and drive train
wheel and tire combo look mean! The tread pattern is directional
with what looks to be claws on the tires. The chrome covered plastic
rims have a clean finish and look sharp. I'm very impressed with
the 17mm hex spindles which provide a larger mounting platform on the rims. I did not expect that! This adds to the over all stability of the wheels. Sealed differentials
in the front and rear of the truck transfer power between left
and right tires. This is after all a monster truck, so there is
no center differential. However, there is a two speed transmission which allows the truck to shift gears at an adjustable set point.
The two speed tranny is operated by a centrifugal clutch which
is adjustable so you can have the truck shift earlier or later,
depending on the terrain or track. The manual does not include
any information on adjusting the two speed tranny, so we'll take
a look at that a little bit later. A reverse module is pre installed
and is operated with a servo on the third channel. This allows
you to shift between forward and reverse by using the transmitter.
A slipper clutch is provided to help protect the gears from breakage
during sudden impact from hard landings. Sometimes when landing
a jump you may have your finger on the throttle. If the engine's
revved and the tires suddenly stop, you may end up with smoother
gears that you would like. Get my drift? This is where a slipper
clutch comes in handy. The blunt of the impact will be absorbed
through the slipper plates. The gears in side this beast are steel,
except for the two speed and external spur gear. To stop this Beast a steel double stacked
disc brake is supplied. The two steel discs supply plenty
of stopping power. The truck also comes with a full set of sealed
ball bearings. The drive shafts are all dog bone style, six total.
I must say, I was a little disappointed to see dog bone drive
shafts instead of cvd drive shafts. We'll test how well they work
bone drive shafts
Two speed Transmission
are two different RTR versions of the Mad Beast. One version does
not include the reverse module and the other version does. The
version w/o reverse comes with a standard "non-computer"
transmitter. We are testing the Mad Beast RTR w/reverse which
includes an AM computer transmitter, metal gear steering servo
with servo saver, and two standard servos control throttle and
reverse. The metal gear steering servo is a very important upgrade for a truck with such large tires. The metal gears will not strip as easily as the plastic gears. Well done Exceed-rc. The computer radio has lots of features like servo reversing,
end point adjustments, dual rate steering and throttle, exponential
on steering and throttle, fifteen model memory, and ABS. The forward
reverse switch is located under the steering wheel for easy access
and both steering and throttle trims are also easily accessible.
Eight "AA" batteries are needed to power the transmitter
and four "AA" batteries are needed for the receiver.
Gear Steering Servo
and reverse linkage
anger behind the Beast comes from a .28 Level engine with rear
exhaust and pull start. The slide valve carburetor has a dual stage air filter A dual stage air filter keeps debris out
of the engine. The dual stage filter actually uses two filter elements
for double the protection. Be sure and keep some filter oil on
hand to periodically clean and oil the filter elements. An aluminum
tuned pipe keeps the Beast's roar down to a more pleasant volume.
Power is transfered by a clutch with three composite shoes and
three separate tension springs. The three clutch shoes provide
better grip and better distribution of heat throughout the clutch
bell. The clutch pinion is meshed to a plastic spur gear slipper
clutch. A steel spur gear would be more durable, but I do like the idea
of having a slipper clutch. If properly set, the slipper clutch
will keep you from shredding gears from a hard "on the throttle"
landing. Yes, as you might have guessed, this has happened to
me with previously owned monster trucks. Set the slipper clutch
tension by tightening the nut just enough so it doesn't lip from acceleration
or when under load. Do not crank on the nut as tight as you can
get it, this kind of defeates the purpose of having a slipper
pipe & filter
suspension on the Mad Beast consists of a lower A-arm and upper
adjustable link. Providing dampening are eight oil filled, threaded,
coil over aluminum shocks. The threaded shocks allow you to adjust
the tension with out having to keep up with a bunch of different
sized spacers. A small drop of silicone sealant on the threads will help
keep the tension exactly where you set it. The toe in/out and caster/camber
are all adjustable thanks to threaded linkages. The shock towers,
A-arms, upper links, castor blocks, and turn knuckles are all
durable plastic and look pretty hefty. I noticed quite a bit of play in the steering and suspension. A couple
of shims from the local hardware store placed on the steering
bell cranks and suspension pivot points will quickly solve this
problem. This is not a necessary step, but it will increase the
performance of the truck. Be careful not to put too many shims.
You don't want the steering and suspension to be too tight and
bind. We're looking for non sloppy free moving pivot points. The
front and rear suspension are identical, so not many spare parts
are needed. I would say over all the suspension looks very durable.
Top up close
Front suspension arms
Coming out of the dark
Shocks & Towers
break in process went very smoothly. The
needle valves were already pre set from the factory so ran a few tanks of fuel
through it while the engine was set to idle. I placed the truck on a block and let it idle while I went inside for a snack. While on the fourth tank of fuel I ran the truck around the yard while taking it easy on the throttle. Make sure
you look over the truck after the first run to see if any screws
have loosened. Apply thread lock to any loose screws where the
threads contact metal.
decided to take the Mad Beast out to several different types of
terrains, since it did remind me of a "go anywhere"
truck. The first place I took it was to the park with lots of
grassy fields and hills. The truck barreled through the grass
with ease and climbed almost any hill I put it up against. When on
the steeper hills, it had a tendency to pull wheelies and roll
over backwards. It was pretty fun trying to time it just right
and shifting into reverse to level out. I then found a small
ledge to hop the truck onto. This Beast really likes to climb
over things. That gave me an idea. Rocks! I found a bunch of medium
sized rocks to do a little fast paced crawling. It was a complete
blast! The Mad Beast did really well crawling, or should I say
"jogging", over the bed of rocks. The big tires and
powerful engine add tons of excitement to your driving experience.
I was really pushing this thing hard. I figured with a name like Mad Beast, someone with a heavy finger might be buying this thing to bash,
so I wanted to make sure I tested it that way. So far I'm pleased with the durability, even with
all of the beatings I've given it. I continued
some tight maneuvers on some rocks and....... wait a minute. What's this? The front
tire was locked up. Something was wrong! A dog bone dislodged
itself from the wheel axle cup. I had to
remove the tire and pull the upper caster block pin to reset the axle back into place. This happened several more times.
I needed to figure out what was causing this because I was getting a little annoyed. After some investigation,
I figured out that the front dog bones were coming out when you
turned the wheels sharp and gave it throttle at the same time.
The pressure from the terrain on the tires would hyper extend
the steering knuckles. They would actually pry themselves out
because of the sharp angle. You can not fix this with the steering
EPA on the controller because of the angle of the steering linkage. This
will make sense when you grab the steering knuckle and over turn
it with your hand. You will see that the only effective solution
to this problem is a stop block of some sort mounted to the steering
knuckle. I found that the easiest solution was a couple of old
keys I had lying around. Why keys? They are a soft metal which
makes them easy to cut and it's the perfect shape and size. Use
a pair of tin sheers and cut the keys to the same shape as the
keys in the pictures. Then you need to remove the steering linkage
screw and put it through the hole in the key as shown. Use a zip
tie to secure the other end of the key to the steering knuckle. You can also go to the hardware store
and purchase some small springs to place in the diff out drive
cups to get rid of some of the slack. I cut the springs to about
1/4" long. If you cut them too long the suspension will bind
when compressing. The dog bones have to be able to move in and
out a little because of suspension dynamics. This seemed to work
pretty well. Rock on! Back to bashing!
For the most part the truck shifted into reverse and back into
forward very smoothly. There were a couple of timesthe linkage got stuck
in neutral, but that was because I had not completely stopped
before shifting. The Mad Beast's engine is very powerful! It'll
pull wheelies in the grass with ease and even on the pavement when
the tires hook up. Trying to ride a wheelie
for any length of time is a blast. Did I mention I was having a good time?
It's time to try out this beast on the dirt track. Corners weren't
bad for a monster truck, jumps were big, and it screamed on the
straight away. The suspension is a little bouncy but if you loosen
the spring tension it will help a lot. Jumps were a lot
of fun. The brakes are really touchy though, so be careful. Applying
a little brake to level out a jump may cause you to land upside
down. This can be remedied by using the exponential settings on
the transmitter. I set the exponential to -50 for the throttle
and -100 for the brakes. This really helps smoothen out the feel
of the truck.
two speed transmission is already set really well from the factory.
If you should want to adjust it you will need to pull out the rubber
grommet from the side of the center gear box. This rubber plug
is located beneath the muffler. Shine a light in the hole and
turn the spur gear until you see a set screw lined
up with the hole in the gear box. With an allen wrench, just turn
the set screw a little to change the shift point. Turn in small
increments. You can find more detailed info on tuning your two
speed on line. As far as breaking things goes, I did break the
inside link to the upper arm. I admit, it was a bad landing. I
put the Mad Beast through a lot of beatings and the only thing
that actually broke was a camber link. That's not bad.
I can't even express how much fun I had leaping over everything from my son's sand box, to decent sized rocks, to the street in front of our house. I do believe I've had just as much if not more fun with this truck, than any other truck I've driven. That's no joke! I would say the Mad Beast deffinately has a few querks but they are fixable for less than ten bucks. This truck is not one of the top name contenders, though it is pretty tough and very powerful. I would say this truck is very well priced and if you get it without reverse and computer radio, it's even $100 cheaper. They're worth the money though. I think with those simple repairs done spoken of earlier, this beast is awesome! It's fast, powerful, big, and kind of behaves like a real monster truck. The big tires allow the Mad Beast to go almost any where. If you're looking for an affordable monster truck with tons of excitement, the Mad Beast lives up to it's name.
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.