Lots of extras
Remote locking diffs
Titan 775 motor
17mm hex spindles
Two steering servos
Threaded aluminum shocks
External roll cage
uses old style radio
Tires not very durable
no on/off switch for lights
Traxxas led the way
the very first Ready To Run vehicles in 1986. Traxxas then blew the
many RC enthusiasts with the release of the T-Maxx
in 1999, the first
nitro powered RTR monster truck with forward and reverse.
They led the race
of Ready-To-Run nitro monster trucks for several years after that. Then
in 2004 they surprised us again with the release of the revolutionary
Revo. I can remember seeing a picture of the Revo for the first time,
it was unlike any other monster truck I'd ever seen. Then in 2008 they
released the Slash, which started a whole new class of RC racing.
Just when you think
there can't possibly be any more huge leaps in radio controlled trucks,
Traxxas introduces the RC world to remotely controlled differential
lockers with the Summit. Is it true? A cross between a rock
crawler and a high speed basher? I'm not sure what Traxxas is brewing
up next in that mad scientist lab of theirs, but I'm sure it's
incredible. For now, we've got a job to do. Let's take a look at this
hybrid vehicle they call Summit.
Titan 775 Drive Train:
Sealed remote locking diffs, remote Hi/Lo tranny Batteries Used:
Two Traxxas "Series 3" 7 cell battery packs Radio equipment:
(Included) Traxxas 27MHz TQ4 radio, Traxxas EVX-2 electronic speed
controller, two Traxxas 2075 digital steering servos, and three
Traxxas 2065 mini servos for locking diffs and gear shift.
6 or 7 cell NiMHbattery packs
batteries for radio
if running in water (to oil bearings)
noticed the box was very attractive and well designed when
the Traxxas Summit arrived. I opened the box and could see
that the Summit is very large. While removing the contents
of the box I was impressed with the packaging and labeling of the
different extras. Traxxas packaged the tools, the hardware, and
instructions in neatly labelled packets.
Included are three
allen wrenches, a suspension multi-tool, a t-wrench for
removing the 17 mm wheel nuts, a wrench for tightening the
retainer nut, another 4-way for miscellaneous nuts, an offset wrench
adjusting the slipper clutch, and two standard wrenches.
Ten body clips
with a rubber end piece
retainers for use with six cell
The instruction packet includes:
and support guide
The manual is top notch, very informative,
very detailed, and full of illustrations. If you need to know something
about the Summit, it's in one of the manuals.
Let's move on to
the Summit itself. The Summit is a big boy. You can tell right away
that the platform was taken from the extremely capable Revo. We'll talk
about the suspension a little later. The body is polycarbonate with a
plastic ExoCage. The roll cage braces off the body and looks awesome.
It also adds much strength to the wheel wells. The body posts go right
thru the cage so instead of the body clips touching the lexan body,
they touch the durable plastic of the roll cage. This puts a stop to
pulling the clips through the cracked body mounting holes during a
Traxxas applies the
decals for the windows, grill, lights, winch, and two Summit logos
at the factory. The front and rear bumpers house ten LED lights. The
overall look and feel of this truck is impressive to say the least.
All parts seem to be of high quality plastic and/or metal.
The Summit uses high-quality hex-head hardware throughout for
extra strength and easier wrenching. The design
lines of the Summit hold a realistic quality to them. It's very
attractive so far.
Left side toppless
Right side toppless
Left angle toppless
Rear angle toppless
Wheels, tires and drive train
wheels and tires are very cool looking. They are chromed plastic with
outer bead lock style rings. The bead locks are not functional, but
they do protect the rim/sidewall joint. The "lock rings" are removable
and Traxxas offers them in a variety of colors. The tire compound is
incredibly soft and sticky. You can see the tires conforming to the
some of the pictures. The soft tires will definitely help gain traction
while rock climbing. The wheels are held on by 17 mm hex nuts.
Summit is shaft driven by telescoping shafts with universal joints on
both ends of the center shaft and constant velocity joints on both ends
of the other four drive shafts. This will provide dependable power
delivery to all four tires. No need to worry about dog bones popping
transmission is a remotely operated two speed design that allows you to
select a high gear for tearing up the dirt or a low gear for precision
crawling. The shifter is controlled by a mini servo. The gears inside
the tranny include two metal gears at key points and the rest are high
strength plastic to cut back on weight and noise. From the looks of
these gears, I suspect they will hold up really well.
Summit has a front and rear sealed differentials which lock remotely.
There is a lever inside each differential which engages and disengages
locker gear. The gears inside the differentials are metal and have
rubber sealed bearings supporting them. This differential design allows
you to tune the front and rear differentials with diff fluid or lock
them solid. That's awesome! Each of the diffs is controlled by its own
servo so you can lock just the front one or both of them for severe
traction. Rubber sealed bearings are used through out the entire truck.
CV joint on telescoping axle
The Summit RTR
includes the Traxxas TQ4 27 MHz 4 channel transmitter. Although the
design of the radio hasn't changed much since the release of the
T-Maxx, it is very comfortable. The ergonomic handle fits the left hand
nicely and the foam covered steering wheel feels good to the right
hand. The third and fourth channel controls are easy to operate and in
well placed locations. The gear shift lever is directly behind the
throttle trigger, which allows you to shift gears with the left thumb.
The locker lever is in front of the steering wheel, this allows you to
operate the lockers with the ring finger of your right hand.
The locking diff
lever has three positions. The up position is for open diffs, the
middle position locks only the front diff, and the down position locks
both front and rear diffs. The TQ4 features servo reversing,
steering and throttle trim, and your choice of 70/30 or 50/50 split
neutral position. The 70/30 position gives you 70% throttle throw and
30% brake/reverse throw while 50/50 gives you 50% throttle throw and
50% brake/reverse throw. I can see where 70/30 would give you a
smoother and more controlled throttle feel for rock crawling.
The Summit also
includes a waterproof EVX-2 MOSFET powered electronic speed control.
The ESC has two battery connectors so there is no need for a Y-adapter.
When plugging up two Traxxas battery packs I noticed the battery
connecter wire on the ESC could stand to be a little bit longer. The
wire that connects to the right battery is pulled very tight.
ESC has three modes it can be set. The first mode is Sport
Mode. This allows 100% power to go to forward, brake, and
reverse. The second mode is Race Mode. This allows 100% power to go to
forward, brake, and with reverse disabled. The third mode is the
Training Mode. This mode only transfers 50% of the power to forward and
reverse while still allowing 100% of the power to go to the brake
control. The manual gives complete step by step instruction on setting
To steer the
Summit, twin waterproof 2075 digital servos made by Traxxas are used.
The two servos provide 250 oz.-in. of torque combined, plenty of
steering power. The servo horns and
steering bellcrank with integrated servo saver arms appear to be very
durable. Three 2065 waterproof mini
servos are used to control the two lockers and gear shifter. The three
servos are neatly placed and don't add much weight. Now we come to the
Tucked away inside
the receiver box is a four channel micro receiver and a diff locking
controller (DLC) mounted on top of it. The DLC has one input from the
receiver and two out puts for the diff locking servos and one out put
for the lights. The lights don't have a switch on them but they can be
unplugged if you don't want them on. One of the coolest things about
the receiver is the dual channel one inputs. This means you don't need
a y-adapter for the dual steering servos. If you want to replace the
servos just plug and play. If you would rather have one high torque
racing servo then just plug in one servo.
Receiver and DLC
Electronic speed controller
Battery tray vent
diff, & steering servos
and Slipper Clutch
Titan 775 fan cooled motor is currently the largest motor offered in an
electric monster truck. The motor has a 14 tooth pinion gear that
meshes up against the well shielded 68 tooth plastic slipper clutch
spur gear. The slipper clutch is adjustable by using the supplied
is always a bad idea to completely tighten the slipper clutch nut. This
could result in broken drive train parts such as gears or drive shafts.
Sometimes while rock crawling one of the tires may become lodged
between two rocks. If you apply power while this happens you can hear
the slipper clutch spin to save the drivetrain from breakage. The Titan
775 does supply ample power to strip parts. Well, there's my two cents.
Don't spend it all at once.
Titan 775 fan cooled motor
Summit is equipped with a fully adjustable pillow ball cantilever
suspension. What does that mean? It means smoother steering and better
damping. It looks really great too. The pillow ball suspension
actually has a ball screwed into the end of each A-arm which is locked
into the steering knuckle. There aren't any pins and c-clips holding
the steering knuckle in, just balls. A very smooth suspension and
steering are achieved by this method.
set the camber you simply use the supplied tools to screw in or out the
pillow balls and adjust the retainers to take out slack and you're
done. The cantilever suspension allows the Summit to get 120mm of
suspension travel with 87mm shocks. The rockers (the grey levers
attached to the end of the shocks) can be interchanged to achieve a
different dampening progression rate.
rockers are installed, and three optional rockers are available:, #1,
#2, and #3. The lower the number the
more constant the damping throughout the suspension travel. The
higher the number the greater the progression curve throughout the
suspension travel. This means it's almost like having soft springs
through the beginning of the spring compression and steadily increasing
the stiffness of the springs the more you compress the shock.
a standard vertical shock mounted vehicle, the compression rate
(stiffness) is the same all the way through the motion. It's flat. On
the Summit's progressive suspension the little bumps are soaked up
easily while the larger ones get progressively stiffer treatment. You
see how this would help the handling characteristics of the Summit. The
particular suspension set up in the Summit is very soft which allows
much articulation, but will also contribute to body roll.
pivot points (close)
Front susp arm
couldn't wait to try out the Summit in low gear with the differentials
locked. The nice thing about electric power is you can play indoors.
I first tried to climb two carpeted steps in my office. I
plugged up two 7-cell battery packs,
put it on the carpet, turned that baby on, flipped 'er in low, and
pulled the trigger. It scared my five year old half to death! That
thing lunged forward like a sling shot. Wow, low gear is fast.
Well, my son left
the room and I turned the Summit toward the steps. With ease, it
crawled up them at about a 30 degree angle. Now I'm excited. I did this
again and again. I was just as
successful climbing the stairs with only the front differential locked
was with both locked.
Next I wanted to
climb some boulders, so I took the Summit to a local construction site
to do some crawling. Considering the size and the spacing of the rocks
I think the Summit did very well. The suspension articulated over each
rock and for the most part, the traction remained clean and
The soft tires
squished and gripped the edge of the rocks and pulled the truck over.
When it was too slippery, or a little too rough, I blipped the throttle
and the Summit leaped out of trouble. This thing really is a capable
rock crawler, I'm impressed.
Let's see what this
bad boy will do in high gear! I unlocked the diffs, shifted into
high gear, and let her rip! The soft suspension handled surprisingly
well. Some of the bigger air produced some hard landings as expected,
but the smaller jumps did great. Cornering at high speeds proved to be
challenging at times. I rolled it over several times but most of the
time it landed back on its feet. The ExoCage was doing a great job of
protecting the body from damage.
It was fun climbing
hills in low gear with the lockers on and then shifting into high gear
to hit the flats. When cornering at high speeds the inside front tire
would come off of the ground and because it would spin freely, it
robbed the other front tire of power. Because of this, the Summit
wasn't pulling through the corners effectively.
I flipped on the
front differential and it pulled those corners so well I had to be
not to do a doughnut. I was able to corner better and sharper at high
speeds with the front locker on. It will be interesting to take it to a
track and try to finesse the lockers on each lap to see the difference
it makes. Tight low speed cornering however, requires both lockers to
I see water! I've
always wanted to drive an RC monster truck in the water. As you can see
by the photos, it's a blast watching the water spray everywhere. It
seem like the more you can influence the vehicles surroundings, like
flying dirt or spraying water, the more adrenaline will flow.
The Summit will
definitely create excitement. Big yellow handled being in the water
very well. Steering was obviously a little more difficult, but still
controllable. The gear shifter should be set in the low gear position
when running the Summit in the water to keep the motor from being over
worked. It works pretty hard rotating those big tires through all of
If you are going to
do much wet driving, you need to take the proper maintenance measures.
Oiling all metal components, including bearings, is crucial. The foam
inserts inside the tires will retain a large amount of water. If you
leave the water in there, it will start to stink and obviously hurt the
handling of the vehicle.
The easiest way to
remove the water is to drill two small diameter holes across from each
other in each tire. Once the holes are drilled place the vehicle,
without body, upside down and give it full throttle. I would recommend
doing this in low gear. I know it will take longer, but in high gear
the tires have a tremendous amount of strain on them from all of that
water trying to force it's way out of two small holes all at once. You
could tear one of the tires since they are very soft.
I checked out all
the electronics and everything was fine except for one mini servo. I
didn't see any signs of water, but it quit working. I emailed Traxxas
and they told me to register the vehicle online, send them the damaged
servo along with the purchase receipt, and they would take care of it.
That's good customer service. I recommend registering your Summit when
you buy it so you won't have to worry about it if something is faulty.
The water was fun,
but it sure is a lot of work to make sure your truck stays in top
working condition. Remember, the Summit's electronics are waterproof,
but the truck itself is not. There are still metal parts on the vehicle
that will rust if you don't care for them as instructed. The
included manual fully details all the maintenance steps you should take
after running the Summit in water. Be sure to follow them!
Summit is definitely a well thought out and well engineered RC marvel.
All the parts are high quality and assembled with precision. The motor
is powerful and handling is superb for a monster truck. The
Summit offers something other RC vehicles don't.
It offers the ability to blast around in the dirt and without blinking
an eye, the ability to crawl over large rocks. If you want to
experience the fun of rock crawling but still want to be able to bash
in the yard or tear up a track, then the Summit is definitely the
vehicle for you.
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.