RCU Review: Redcat Racing Ground Pounder


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    Contributed by: Matthew LeMay | Published: December 2009 | Views: 44727 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Ground Pounder rtr
    Summit top
    Review by: Matt LeMay
    Action photos by: Starla LeMay
    NAVIGATION

    DEALER INFO
    REDCAT RACING
    Phone: 602-454-6445
    Fax: 602-626-3543
    Email: support@redcatracing.com
    Website:
    www.RedCatRacing.com

    Distributed by:
    REDCAT RACING



    VIDEO


    See the Ground Pounder in action!

    Broadband
    Dialup

    HITS

    Ready to run
    Lots of aluminum
    Full scale looks
    Oil filled aluminum shocks
    Four wheel steering
    3ch FM radio
    Great looking body



    MISSES

    No foam inserts in tires
    ESC appearance

    intro

    Today's RC market offers several different solid axle monster trucks to choose from but Redcat Racing wanted to be different. A combination of solid axle four link suspension, realistic aluminum frame, aluminum threaded shocks, 540 electric motor, scale appearance, four wheel drive, four wheel steering, and a completely ready to run package makes the Redcat Racing 1/10 scale Ground Pounder monster truck a first of it's kind.


    specs

    Summit

    Name: Ground Pounder
    Scale: 1/10
    Price: $299.99 (varies with dealer)

    Length: 18"
    Width: 13.25"
    Wheelbase: 12.5"
    Height (overall): 10.25"
    Motor: Brushed 540 motor
    Drive Train: 4WD shaft driven, solid axle with front and rear sealed differentials.
    Included Battery: 7.2v 6cell battery pack with charger
    Radio equipment: (Included) 3ch FM digital radio, 4 channel FM receiver, and two standard servos.

    REQUIRED-ITEMS

    • Eight AA batteries for radio



    Check out the full size Ground Pounder below.

    Sudden Impact Racing has entered into a partnership with Redcat Racing and will be adding the Ground Pounder to their arsenal of monster trucks. This addition is supposed to happen within the first quarter of 2010. Sudden Impact Racing and Redcat Racing are both very excited about this opportunity. You will now be able to buy the Redcat Racing Ground Pounder monster truck on the Sudden Impact Racing online store as well.

    LINK TO PRESS RELEASE

    AT-FIRST-GLANCE
    Left side
    Front view
    Right side

    First glance

    The Ground Pounder was developed, prototyped, and tested by Crawford Performance Engineering. You can see as soon as you look at the truck that this is not your average 1/10 scale ready to run monster truck.

    The Redcat Racing Ground Pounder is unlike any other 1/10 scale RTR monster truck I'd ever seen. From the hulkish man dominating most of the body surface to the flashy lettering, the body screams monster truck. The post holes are drilled, the wheel wells are trimmed, and the decals are applied.

    The chassis is modeled after a tube frame from a full size monster truck. It is made of two 6061 aluminum plates that are anodized in blue. These two sides are joined by eight anodized threaded tubes.

    The quality and build of parts looks great. There are many aluminum parts used throughout the truck and we'll take a closer look at some of those parts later.

    The Redcat Racing Ground Pounder is truly an impressive looking truck.

    Also included in this ready to run package are a transmitter, an instruction manual, an ESC instruction sheet, a t-wrench, a Ni-MH battery pack, and a battery charger.

    Left angle
    Included literature
    Right angle
    Front top angle
    Front top
    Front top angle
    4 wheel steering
    Bottom
    Crab steering
    Top 4WS
    Top
    Top crab steer
    Rear angle
    Rear
    Rear angle
    Rear angle topless
    Front topless
    Front angle topless
    6061 aluminum chassis
    Body posts
    Right side topless

    Wheels, tires, and drive train

    The aggressive monster truck tires are glued to attractive chrome plated plastic rims. The rims are designed after a full scale monster truck's. Foam inserts are not used in the tires which allows them to conform to the terrain, however it may also allow the tire to collapse too easily.

    The rims ride on a standard threaded spindle and are fastened with 7mm lock nuts. The drive train is completely supported by a full set of ball bearings.

    The front and rear axles capture the sealed differentials. Inside the differentials you will see metal spider gears which give some resistance when turned by hand. Experience has shown that as the gears wear some, they will spin more freely. It's good practice with any new RC vehicle to change the diff lube after the first fifteen hours of use or after the diffs loosen up. New gears have a tendency to shed tiny metal shavings as they get seated properly. Changing the lube removes those tiny shavings for a long lasting and smooth running diff. Red grease is used to lube these diffs and can be replaced with diff oil.

    Metal dog bones are used inside the axle housings to transfer power from the differentials to the wheel spindles. The only angled movement the dogbones will see is from steering the vehicle. The suspension plays no role in the angle of the dogbones since they are encased in a solid axle. The dogbones should work just fine for this application.

    Distributing power equally to the front and rear axles is an easily removable center transfer case. The transfer case is very simple and contains two plastic gears. These gears spin freely thanks to sealed ball bearings. Red grease is used to lubricate these gears as well.

    Mounted to the input shaft of the transfer case is a slipper clutch which sports a plastic spur gear. The pads of the slipper clutch are an abrasive material with metal clutch plates squeezed against them. The pad material is new to me but the clutch design is standard. Holding all of this together are a spring and adjustable lock nut.

    Spanning the gap between the transfer case and both axles are two telescoping plastic drive shafts that include universal joints at both ends. This was a good choice for this application because of the angles the suspension will cause the drive shafts to engage.

    Tires
    Center U-joint drive shaft
    Steering knuckle
    Opened Axle
    Inside the diff
    Differential

    In the transfer case

    Transfer case
    Transfer case gears

    Radio

    The included LanSu 3TD digital 27MHz FM transmitter is loaded with cool features. Some of those features include 10 model memory, dual rates, end point adjustments, servo reversing, and four different steering settings.

    To change the steering settings, press the lower button on the handle. This is easy to do with the middle finger of the left hand. Below are the four different settings listed in numerical order.

    1. Front wheels steer and rear wheels are stationary.
    2. Front and rear wheels steer in the same direction. Vehicle will shift to the side while still facing forward. This is called crab steering.
    3. Front and rear wheels steer in the opposite direction. Vehicle will turn sharply.
    4. Front wheels remain stationary and the rear wheels steer.

    A LanSu electronics 4-channel LS-202-R FM receiver is mounted with double sided foam tape.

    The front and rear steering uses standard size B7018 9kgs servos for a total of two servos. Servo savers are not used on the Ground Pounder. We will have to see how the servos hold up after some hard testing.

    Steering servo

    FM transmitter

    4-channel FM receiver

    Motor , clutch, and battery

    Powering the Ground Pounder is a 540 electric motor with banana plugs connecting the motor to the electronic speed controller. There are no markings or decals on the ESC so I can't tell what brand it is. Regardless of the brand, it works well and omits a "do, re, me" tone when turned on to signify that it has found neutral. This is done automatically so there is nothing you need to set on the ESC. The specifications of the ESC are listed below.

    Input: 6V-8.4V DC
    BEC: 5V 1A
    Current drain: 20A (forward), Max(spark): 300A, Reverse(spark): 150A
    Application: 540/20T motor and above
    Dimensions: 35mm(L) X 33mm(W) X 30mm(H)

    A 6-cell 7.2V Ni-MH SC2100mAh battery pack and charger are also included with the Redcat Racing Ground Pounder 1/10 scale monster truck.

    Rear of motor
    540 motor
    Electronic speed control
    Included battery pack
    Included charger
    Electronic speed control

    Suspension

    The front and rear solid axles on the Ground Pounder are each suspended by four aluminum adjustable links. This is where the term "four link suspension" comes from. This setup allows the axles to travel straight up and down, as well as articulate. The upper links can be mounted in three different holes in the frame and the lower links have two mounting options. This allows you to tweak the geometry of the suspension.

    Crushing cars is hard work. To cushion the blows, the Ground Pounder is equipped with four threaded aluminum bodied oil filled shocks. The blue finish looks great and really makes them stand out. The threaded preload collars were screwed down which made the suspension extremely stiff. I prefer a softer feel so I loosened all the shock preload collars. The truck doesn't sit as high but at least the suspension dampens more like it should now. If you would like to change the ride height you can choose one of five different mounting holes for the shocks. The lower the hole, the higher the truck will sit. I left mine in the original hole for the look and feel of a real monster truck.

    The only other thing requiring some attention is the mounting of the shocks. They are tight against the frame which makes it difficult to adjust the threaded preload collars. I simply installed one shim per shock where it meets the chassis. Problem solved. RedCat Racing said they would be taking care of this at the factory on future runs. I happened to get a truck from one of the first production runs. This truck is very new!

    The shocks on this thing are sweet. They are not at all what I would expect from a 1/10 scale RTR truck in this price range. The large oil filled aluminum threaded bodies are more like what you would find on 1/8 scale vehicles.

    Aluminum susp. links
    4-link Suspension
    Suspension
    Aluminum tie rods
    Ball links
    Aluminum shocks
    Action shots

    performance

    Performance & Handling

    Driving the Ground Pounder monster truck is the kind of experience that brings me back to my childhood. Watching the monster truck perform reminds me of going to the centrum with my Dad to see all the big name monsters.

    If there is one thing that truly makes the Ground Pounder feel like a real monster truck, it's the four wheel steering. The four different settings explained in the radio section of this article are awesome. With a touch of your finger you can switch through the four different steering modes. It is an absolute blast jumping from one setting to another while pounding the ground. All I need now is a the roar of a dimly lit stadium with multiple camera flashes glistening off the body of the freshly polished monster truck.

    While the Ground Pounder is a blast to drive, it does have a few adjustments that need to be made from the transmitter. Steering EPA needs to be set. This allows you to set the overall range of the steering servo so you are not putting unnecessary strain on the servos or steering components. This will help keep the tires from rubbing the springs as well. Don't worry about having enough steering, the four wheel steering provides plenty.

    The front and rear steering trim also needs to be set. To achieve straight tracking, adjust the "DT1" lever above the steering wheel to center the front tires and the "DT4" lever on the handle to center the rear tires.

    There is one other thing you may want to check. I was having a little trouble at first with the steering. Upon inspection, I realized that the front and rear steering servos were plugged into the wrong channels on the receiver. This is easy to correct and will only take a few seconds. Just plug the front servo into channel 1 and the rear servo into channel 3. I was told by RedCat Racing that there was some confusion at the factory because this is such a new truck. They assured me it was being taken care of.

    The suspension is still a little stiff and the landings are a bit bouncy but it reminds me of the 1980s monster trucks. Very fun! You are now "READY TO RUMBLE."

    Acceleration and top speed are adequate for this style of vehicle. When compared to the competition it does really well. You won't break any land speed records but it's enough for high levels of fun, however it wouldn't hurt to have more torque. While trying to creep over or stopping mid way through an obstacle, the 540 motor had a tendency to want to stall. As long as I entered the obstacle with a little momentum the motor had plenty of power to conquer it.

    The solid axles contain gearing that will support stronger brushed or brushless motors so if you require more horse power, it shouldn't be a problem. With a brushless system this thing would be crazy.

    I noticed while bashing that the rear wheels steered in the wrong direction while in mode 4. Apart from that, steering was tight and accurate. The servos have enough power to turn the vehicle where you want it to go and both servos continued to work smoothly after the pounding. The truck was able to turn sharply and dust was thrown everywhere.

    I found that the Ground Pounder is easy to work on. Everything is layed out neatly with plenty of room for big fingers like mine. The vehicle can quickly be torn down and reassembled for cleaning or mods.

    For those of you who have children, they will love this thing! My two boys (6yrs & 9yrs) talked me into driving their stuffed animals around. This quickly evolved into a big event with checkered flag and all. We stacked the couch pillows on the rug and had our own little monster truck arena. This was before I got the truck dirty of coarse. I may be weird but I'm not crazy!

    The boys had a blast. Stuffed animals were flying everywhere and the monster truck was jumping over our home made jump. That was probably the most enjoyable time I had in a while. I know my boys enjoyed it as well. I labelled the clip bonus footage and included it below.

    See the Ground Pounder in action!

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here!

    Broadband
    Dialup

    Download and Watch in Windows Media Player here!

    Broadband
    Dialup

    conclusion

    I am impressed with the parts used on the Ground Pounder.

    • Large aluminum shocks
    • Aluminum 4-link suspension
    • Blue anodization on all aluminum
    • FM radio
    • Great looking body


    • The Ground Pounder is loads of fun and is perfect for beginners as well as the seasoned hobbyist. My boys do well driving this and it's durable enough for beginner mistakes.

      The Ground Pounder will also make a great platform for the fanatic who wants to build the biggest and baddest monster truck. The axles are filled with metal gears so they can handle all the power you can throw at them.

      The RedCat Racing Ground Pounder is one of a kind and has a great future ahead of it. This truck has something for everyone. I give it a thumbs up!

    manu and credits

    Redcat Racing
    23 West Watkins Street
    Phoenix, AZ 85003

    Phone: 602-454-6445
    Fax: 602-626-3543
    Support Email: support@redcatracing.com
    Sales Email: sales@redcatracing.com
    Website: www.RedcatRacing.com

    Comments on RCU Review: Redcat Racing Ground Pounder

    Posted by: zeo 1 on 12/06/2009
    memories :D
    Posted by: bigblock454XXL on 12/08/2009
    Thanks for another great review. I like the 4 wheel steering that seems to turn on a dime. The Bonus Footage was a great idea. This will be a great investment for my two sons, ages 3 and 1 month. Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!
    Posted by: ETdesign on 12/14/2009

    Posted by: ETdesign on 12/14/2009

    Posted by: Bluethunder3320 on 12/18/2009
    slow but looks sturdy
    Posted by: mindwreck on 12/19/2009
    good to see more monster trucks with proper solid axles.
    Posted by: cab1993 on 02/21/2010
    The gound pounder is a good truck way better than the wheely king.
    Posted by: cab1993 on 02/21/2010
    The gound pounder is a good truck way better than the wheely king.
    Posted by: Moserkid on 03/31/2011
    what kind of speeds are you getting?
    Posted by: Magickdog on 05/25/2011
    I too have got one of the early ones. Great truck and great support from the builders. Thriving forum for hop ups and mods. Mine now runs 3 cell Lipo, brushless power and 2.4 Ghz radio. Crazy speed and great fun.
    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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