RCU Review: Schumacher Havoc RTR

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    Contributed by: Eric Hege | Published: January 2007 | Views: 97698 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Schumacher Havoc (Schumacher RC Superstore RTR Combo)

    Schumacher-RC Superstore

    Website dedicated to
    Schumacher products

    Phone: (877) 563-FAST


    See the Havoc in action!
    Resolution: Low Medium High

    Assembly Ease

    Tons of Power
    Excellent In-Air Manuverability
    Extremely Tough
    Comes With a Nice Set of Tires
    Perfect for Hardcore Bashers

    Weak Steering Servo
    Glued Air Filter Element
    "Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!"
    -General Chang (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

    Bashing?. we've all done it at some point. For most, backyard bashing was the beginning of our hobby. With others it remains the core part of their focus, and some of those have even tried taking it to the next level. They'll push trucks to unbelievable heights pulling off multiple flips time and time again. After all not everyone wants to race, and there are plenty of people in the hobby who may not be very close to a track. With all of that in mind it's easy to see why spending the afternoon getting a truck airborne has such a widespread appeal. All you have to do is to spend a little time bashing, and you'll be hooked!

    The folks at Schumacher understand this, and wanted to target a vehicle specifically towards this segment of the market. However they weren't simply making a vehicle that was void of the adjustability options that race trucks feature. Instead, durability was the chief concern. Their goal was to create a truck that could withstand more punishment than any truck had withstood before it. The end result was the Schumacher Havoc.

    Before beginning the teardown of the Havoc, I need to point one thing out for you to keep in mind. The Schumacher Havoc, unlike most vehicles I've reviewed, comes from a distributor instead of direct from the manufacturer. Schumacher RC Superstore contacted RC Universe to conduct a review of the Havoc, as they wanted to allow RC Universe readers to get to know their approach to serving Schumacher fans. They offer Schumacher vehicle combos that give you everything you'll need to get started, and then they back the product up with their fully stocked line of upgrades and accessories. If Schumacher products are what you're after, they're confident they'll offer you the best service you can get!

    Model Name: Schumacher RC Superstore Havoc RTR Combo
    Part Number: K055
    Price: $400.00 (Approx. Street Price)
    Type: 1/8 Scale 2WD Off-Road Truck
    Length: 17.7" (450mm)
    Width: 11.8" (300mm)
    Wheelbase: 12.1" (308mm)
    Drivetrain: Two Wheel Drive, Rear Transmission with Ball Differential
    Suspension: C-Hub
    Axles: Hardened CVD-Style Axles
    Shocks: Aluminum Bottom Fill with Plastic Preload Spacers
    Wheels: 3.4x2.2" (86x56mm) Chrome Twin-Spoke
    Tires: 5.3x3.3" (134x84mm) Losi Step Pin
    Chassis: 4.5mm Anodized Aluminum (Purple)
    Engine: Thunder Tiger .28 (4.6cc) with E-Start
    Brakes: Carbon-Fiber Disk With Stainless Steel Calipers
    Fuel Tank: 130cc with In-Tank Filter
    Radio: Airtronics Blazer AM

    Additionally Suggested Items
    Air Filter Oil
    After-Run Oil
    Flathead Screwdriver
    Manuals and Documentation
    Owner's Manual

    The Schumacher Havoc includes an Atomik pre-painted body in one of three color schemes: black, blue, and yellow. Atomik bodies are well known for their nice designs and thick lexan. Upon first glance one may question their durability due to the completely removed windows, but the Havoc's rollbar protects the body's roofline from being crushed.

    I received the blue version of the body, and as you'll notice it has the body post holes already cut into it as well. This makes installation easy. The rear of the truck is opened up nicely as well, allowing you easy access to the engine for starting and tuning.

    You get a nice set of documentation with the Schumacher Havoc. The Owner's Manual gives you exploded views and diagrams walking you through the assembly process. I did find that details regarding some areas of the truck aren't covered as well as I'd like to see though. This leaves you guessing as to what length screws go in certain spots. Schumacher has also provided a manual for the included Airtronics radio as well.

    The Havoc has been under production for a little while, and Schumacher has made a few running production changes on the vehicle. So you'll want to make sure you check out the manual's amendment sheets that cover any recent changes that have been made. In addition you'll find a sheet of stickers to help you decorate the body, from both Atomik and Schumacher.

    Other Accessories
    Airtronics Radio

    Schumacher makes sure they provide you with plenty of accessories to get you up and running. T'his includes the E-Start wand for your cordless drill, which makes starting the Havoc simple and easy. However they don't cover truly everything you need to go from the box to the dirt. That's where Schumacher RC Superstore comes in. They go the extra mile in providing you a package that's truly "Ready to Run". Normally you would only see items such as preload spacers, glow igniter, and L-wrenches thrown in with a Schumacher vehicle. Schumacher RC Superstore expands upon that, providing you with all of the components you'll need to get up and running out of the box. This includes all necessary batteries as well as a fuel bottle!

    If you're looking for more than that, Schumacher RC Superstore also offers what they call a "Super Combo". This combo substitutes the standard Airtronics radio for an Airtronics MX-3 FM unit. Do you have your own radio gear? Schumacher RC Superstore offers the kit as an ARR (Almost Ready to Run) version as well. This allows you to use your own gear, so you won't have to pay for a radio you won't use. No matter what option you choose, Schumacher RC Superstore has you covered!

    The kit I received was the basic RTR combo package, so it included the standard Airtronics Blazer Sport AM radio. You get the basic functions such as trim and dual-rate, with a radio that has a proven track record. The AM radio is perfect for balancing performance with an affordable price.

    Left Side
    Right Side

    The Schumacher Havoc uses a basic two-wheel drive layout as it keeps the construction of the vehicle simple and easy to maintain. It also makes the chassis lighter, enhancing the power-to-weight ratio of the truck.

    The chassis is super thick, measuring in at 4.5mm. It's anodized in purple, and protects the vehicle's underside form front to rear. The .28 cubic inch motor is mounted sideways at the rear of the chassis. The header and exhaust pipe direct the spent gases out through the rear shock tower. The left-hand side of the chassis is home to the 130cc fuel tank, while the right side is home to the vehicle's electronics.

    The underside of the 4.5mm purple anodized chassis sports countersunk hardware to keep the underside of the chassis smooth. This is especially important on a vehicle such as the Havoc, as the bottom of the chassis may hit the ground at times. A smooth chassis doesn't hinder the vehicle's movement. The front kickup helps the vehicle stay in better control when landing jumps, as well as giving the Havoc the ability to run through rough terrain. The engine mounting screws are placed in recessed grooves, which still allow for the engine mounts to be adjusted.

    Front Suspension
    Shocks and Suspension
    Chassis Front

    A truck categorized as a ?stunt truck? is going to be jumped and abused. So it stands to reason that a tough suspension is a very necessary need for the Havoc. Schumacher doesn't disappoint, and therefore they relied on a large amount of carbon-fiber and thick plastic to beef up the front end of the Havoc.

    Many people may question the use of carbon-fiber, but those that do tend not to understand that carbon-fiber can provide a much stronger part than steel. Where the misconception lies is in the fact that there are many different grades of carbon-fiber. The carbon-fiber used by Schumacher is some of the strongest I've come across in the RC industry.

    The main section of the shock tower is formed from two individual sections of 4mm thick carbon-fiber secured together. Then for further reinforcement you'll find 4mm thick carbon-fiber bracing in front of the shocks, and a 3mm section behind the body posts.

    At the base of the shock tower assembly is the plastic suspension pin braces and bulkheads. These parts are thick, and use plenty of hardware that runs in from the underside of the truck to keep them rigidly placed on the chassis. The core group of screws is capped off with lock nuts, on the upper side of the vehicle, fully trapping the parts in place. The chassis is even cutout for the suspension arms, with the edges of the cutouts acting as a brace to prevent the arms from being pushed backwards and snapped off.

    Shock Brace
    Suspension Arm
    Suspension Components

    The 4mm brace for the shocks is reinforced by aluminum posts at the center of the shock tower. Long screws serve as mounting points for the shocks, and provide no optional settings for the basher-oriented truck. The lower end of the shock is mounted directly to a sole position on the c-hub, which gives the shock a rather horizontally-oriented angle and offers some progressive action when jumping.

    The Havoc's suspensions pins are stainless steel and trapped in place on the chassis. Two washers are used to help take up any slack between the plastic arm and the pin blocks. The inner suspension pins have a diameter of 4mm, making them a very strong component in their own right. The outer suspension pins for the c-hub are 3mm in diameter. 3.5mm stainless steel turnbuckles and heavy-duty rod ends are used for the camber and steering links.

    The c-hub holds the steering block in place via a pair of shoulder bolts. The nice thing about the shoulder bolts is that it eliminates the need for a separate insert for a screw to pass through. The catch is that you need to make sure you don't over tighten the shoulder bolt and cause the steering assembly to bind.

    The steering hub houses a pair of 10x19x5mm bearings that hold the front axles assemblies. The axle assemblies are hardened steel screws that pass through a plastic splined section that mate to the aluminum adapters we'll see with the wheels. This assembly provides a great deal of strength for a truck like the Havoc, without the need to rely on plastic hex adapters that may wear out or strip over time.

    Rear Assembly
    Rear Suspension
    Rear Shock Tower

    If you thought the front shock tower assembly was beefy, you'll be pleased to see the rear of the truck is built just as well. The main suspension components are the same, allowing you to use the same arms, c-hubs, and steering blocks at any corner of the truck. However, the shock tower assembly has to sit around the transmission; therefore Schumacher altered the design of the rear assembly somewhat.

    Just as with the front of the Havoc, the shocks aren't adjustable. However they're positioned to provide plenty of dampening action, as well as being capable of handling the punishment you'll dish out in the truck's direction. A very tough, and appropriately oversized axle assembly, takes the power from the transmission to the wheels.

    The engine's exhaust pipe routes the spent gases through the rear shock tower via a pair of holes for the rubber hose that are attached to the pipe. You'll notice that the carbon-fiber shock brace still uses the lower aluminum bracing posts, as well as screws that serve as the shock's upper mounting point.

    Rear Suspension Arm
    Suspension Components

    The main section of the axle shaft is 4.5mm in diameter. The most fascinating part of the axle though is the output yokes. The largest cross-section of the yokes are a whopping 19mm in diameter, making them some of the largest I've ever seen. While size doesn't tell the whole story of a part, rest assured that the captured universal and steel construction will provide a durable joint for the inner end of the axle.

    As I mentioned earlier, the suspension components at the front and rear of the truck are nearly identical. The only difference is when the driveline is involved. The axle has a stainless steel receiver cup on it's backside for the dogbone end of the rear axle. This also makes the splined axle for the aluminum adapter metal as well. This is a good thing where the driveline is involved as it needs to be much beefier than the plastic splined approach used at the front. The axle stub rides in a pair of 10x19x5mm bearings, just like the front.

    Carbon-Fiber Shock Tower
    Rear Brace

    The construction of the rear shock tower is slightly different from the front in the fact that the individual carbon-fiber sections are stacked against each other. At the front, one of the braces is offset from the shock tower. The shock mount brace is still mounted in the same fashion as the front however. The combined total of the three carbon-fiber sections that make up the shock tower is 11mm. As with the front, the shock tower brace is 4mm thick. The end result is a shock tower that is super-rigid, and capable of withstanding plenty of abuse.

    Typically a truck of this size uses some sort of brace to prevent the rear shock tower assembly from being pushed inward in the event you land the truck wrong. Most of the time this involves a brace that connects the shock tower to the chassis. However Schumacher takes a rather unique approach with the Havoc, in the form of a carbon fiber brace mounted onto the inner side of the transmission. This brace simply butts up against the engine, using the engine as a solid reinforcement point to brace the transmission assembly.

    To further protect the Havoc, Schumacher equips it with a 6mm thick stainless steel rollbar. The rollbar fits into purple anodized posts that connect it to the chassis. This tough rollbar protects the engine, as well as preventing the body from being crushed. This is simply one of the toughest bars I've seen to date!

    Steering Linkage
    Control Servos
    Receiver Box

    The steering assembly for the Havoc uses a bellcrank-style configuration. The posts pivot on flanged bushings and are connected to the plastic draglink by a pair of curved bars. The draglink bar is oversized to handle the stresses the Havoc will see, and is connected to the steering hubs by 3.5mm thick stainless steel steering links.

    Controlling the steering servo is an Airtronics 94102 servo which provides 50 oz-in of torque at 6.0 volts with a transit speed of .22 seconds. I think this is on the very low end of what's acceptable given the fairly large size of the Havoc's tires. A high torque metal gear servo would be a much better choice here, and reflect the tough construction used throughout the rest of the truck. A servo saver is mounted directly onto the servo, as a means of protection to the servo's gears.

    The same servo is used for the throttle as well, and in that position the servo should perform well. While more torque can increase available braking power, it's not as necessary as it would be in the case of the steering servo.

    The Havoc's receiver box is sealed to protect it from moisture and dirt. The box's lid is held secure by five Torx head screws. You'll find a power switch towards the rear of the box. Inside there's plenty of room to hold the receiver and a battery holder. Should you want to swap to a receiver pack, you'll find that there's plenty of room in that regard as well. The included receiver is an Airtronics 92727. It's a basic two channel AM receiver that backs up the Blazer radio very well.

    Wheels and Tires
    Wheel Adapter

    The Havoc's shocks are bottom-filled units which excel in the aspect of durability. Without a shock cap at the top, there's nothing that will be ?blown off? if the landing forces an extreme amount of instantaneous pressure. The shock shaft is stainless steel with a diameter of 3mm. Plastic preload spacers are used to adjust the Havoc's ride height. The springs are oversized, narrowing at their upper and lower ends to fit the shock. The H10F springs give the shock the ability to dampen even the highest of jumps, while still maintaining a plush drivable feel to the truck.

    Despite the Havoc being a two-wheel drive truck it uses the same tire at each corner of the truck. This gives it have more in common with a monster truck than some stadium trucks which might use different tires at the front and the rear. The foundations of the tires are the plastic chromed twin-spoke wheels.

    The backside of the wheel shows us some serious hardware, in the form of an aluminum adapter. One side of the adapter mimics the splined axle stub in the Havoc, the other features half circles that fit into the round openings on the Havoc's wheels. The wheels still features the splines that match the axle stubs, but aren't used. Schumacher simply doesn't feel that the use of them resonates the tough theme passed throughout the rest of the truck, and therefore opts for the much tougher aluminum adapters instead. The downside to the included adapters is the fact that they restrict your available aftermarket wheel choices.

    The tires are made specifically for the dirt, with their blocky tread. Inside the tire is a foam insert that helps the support the tires shape. The size of the wheels guarantees that large selections of aftermarket tires are available for the Havoc. The downside to the setup Schumacher uses though, is that your selection of wheels is limited to those made by Schumacher. This is due to the wheel adapter's unique design.

    Cooling Head

    The Havoc's engine is provided by Thunder Tiger, giving it their reputation of being a well-tempered mill with a very nice power output. Of course being a .28 cubic inch powerplant spurs that along nicely as well! The engine sits on top of two machined aluminum motor mounts that are anodized in purple like the rest of the truck.

    To mix the incoming air and fuel is the responsibility of the carburetor. In the case of the Havoc the carburetor is a slide version, is constructed from aluminum, and uses two adjustment needles. The low speed needle is actually housed in the spot typically associated with the mixture adjustment, being placed directly under the high speed needle opposite of the slide arm. At first glance one might think it would be tough to access this needle when the engine is installed in the vehicle. However, Schumacher has conveniently placed a hole in the rear shock tower specifically for access to this adjustment needle.

    To keep the Thunder Tiger .28 cool, a machined aluminum head is secured to the top of the engine via six screws. The head is anodized in purple, to match the rest of the vehicle. On the engine block, below the head, the engine sports cooling fins as well, as another way for the engine to shed heat.

    Clutch Bell
    Needle Bearings

    The Thunder Tiger motor sports an oversized flywheel to house the larger than normal clutch assembly found on the Havoc. So it stands to reason that the 14-tooth clutch bell is oversized as well. The nylon clutch shoes are retained by a wraparound spring that provides enough tension to hold the shoes in until the RPM's are raised to a point that gives the Havoc plenty of snap as it moves away.

    You may be surprised to see the lack of a standard bearing between the crankshaft and the flywheel. Instead, you'll just find a set of needle bearings. The benefit to this approach is that you're less likely to experience a blown bearing, as the needle bearings are much tougher than ball bearings in this regard. Big block motors are often known for their tenacity to kill off ball bearings in a short period of time. The downside to the needle bearings is that they aren't fully sealed, so you'll want to inspect and clean the needle bearings on a regular basis.

    The crankshaft is more than capable of providing the motor with plenty of fuel and air, thanks to its oversized mixing chamber. The back of the crankshaft sports a nub that fits the inside of the E-Start backplate, allowing the owner to spin the engine over easily for starting purposes.

    Piston and Sleeve
    Fuel Tank

    The rear of the motor has the Schumacher E-Start backplate bolted onto it, allowing you to easily start the Havoc with the supplied starter wand and a cordless drill. The construction of the starting system is solid, and should provide you with countless hours of starts.

    The internals of the Thunder Tiger motor use ABC construction to provide excellent fit combined with a long lifespan. The chrome-coated brass sleeve sports three intake ports and a single exhaust port. It's a simple, yet powerful, configuration that works well for Thunder Tiger. The sleeve is notched to keep it correctly oriented in the engine block, but the pin is actually on the opposite side of the block from the exhaust port. This is opposite of most engines, so you'll want to make sure you notice this upon reassembly.

    The piston has the skirt clearanced to allow for it to clear the crankshaft's counterweight. The upper end of the piston uses two oil grooves to keep a fine layer of oil lubricating the piston and sleeve. The connecting rod has a slight knife-edge to it, but most the material is left intact. Considering the fact that many owners will be revving the daylights out of the motor performing flips, this will suit the Havoc better than lightning the rod for every last drop of horsepower. At each end of the rod, pressed-in brass bushings are used in combination with oiling holes to keep the rod moving smoothly.

    Obviously you'll need a fuel tank to store the fuel that keeps the nitro mill running. So Schumacher equips the Havoc with a 130cc fuel tank that's mounted at the front left-hand side of the chassis. The tank features a spring-loaded lid, and a channel around the lid. The channel directs any spilt fuel to the back of the tank and then down out under the chassis. This keeps things neat, and reduces any oily mess that may have otherwise found its way onto the chassis.

    Spur Gear
    Inside the Transmission

    The Schumacher Havoc uses a large 63 tooth spur to provide plenty of low-end torque. While the truck can reach speeds of 50MPH, having lots of torque for jumping is much more of a priority. You won't find a slipper clutch on the Havoc either, ensuring that the power you have is thrown to the ground instantly. Instead, the plastic spur serves as the failsafe point for the drive in the event it becomes bound up. This approach makes perfect sense, as the spur is extremely easy to change should the need arise.

    I could make jokes about a truck like the Havoc not needing brakes, as it's made to be run wide open. However, that wouldn't really be truthful as we all have to stop at one point or another. So to handle this Schumacher equipped the Havoc with a carbon-fiber brake disk. The disk rides on a square nylon adapter, and uses a stainless steel pin to properly key it against the spur gear. A pair of stainless steel calipers clamps the brake disk tightly when the need arises.

    The complete internals of the transmission are metal gears, which continue the tough durable construction used throughout the Havoc. The lower gear that connects to the axles is actually an oversized ball differential that throws power to both the rear wheels in an efficient manner for a two-wheel drive truck. The gears are well greased, and sealed ball bearings are used throughout the transmission.

    Receiver Batteries
    Antenna Tube
    Antenna Cap

    I first tackled installing the AA alkaline batteries for the receiver. Several screws need to be removed to open the battery box, exposing the battery holder. Then you simply slide the batteries into place as indicated. I used the batteries supplied by the Schumacher RC Superstore combo package. I would encourage the change to a standard rechargeable 5-cell hump-style receiver pack as an early upgrade. This will save you money in the long run, providing a more efficient power source than alkaline batteries.

    Seal up the receiver box by replacing the lid, and running down the Torx head screws. Press the Havoc's antenna tube into place on the box's lid. To protect the wire, and to keep the antenna fully extended, I grabbed a Dubro antenna cap set (part #2342). The cap presses onto the end of the tube, and the price is right at about $0.50. So it didn't really bother me that Schumacher doesn't supply one with the tube. The caps also come with rubber antenna collars to assist in securing the excess wire.

    The stock air filter for the Havoc was not pre-oiled, forcing you to apply some before running the truck. However, this step was hampered by the fact that the foam element was glued into the plastic filter housing. I would have had to rip the filter out to remove it for oiling, which I felt would possibly compromise the filter's effectiveness. So I ended up using a spare 1/8 scale filter assembly on the Schumacher Havoc, and tossed the stock assembly off to the side. While I imagine Schumacher was trying to extend the durability aspect of the truck towards the air filter, the act of gluing the element in place served no real purpose as the element is already firmly retained by the plastic housing to begin with. Instead Schumacher simply made it more difficult in regards to proper maintenance.

    Tank Handle/Fuel Filter
    Glue Tires
    Radio Antenna

    To facilitate easy refueling, I used a ziptie and a small section of Dubro fuel tubing. The end result is a nice little handle for the fuel tank that makes opening the lid extremely easy with the body installed. This is an old racer's trick, but works well for anyone running a nitro-powered truck.

    Even though the stock tank provides filtering capabilities, I normally opt to add an inline filter to the fuel delivery system as an extra layer of protection. So I grabbed a Dubro Fuel Filter (part #2308), and cut the fuel line. I then slid the fuel filter into the gap, knowing that debris getting into the engine should no longer be a possibility.

    As in the case of most RTR vehicles, the Havoc's tires are pre-glued. However, I still like to run another bead around the tire to help make sure it's well sealed to the wheel. For this task, I enlisted the help of a few products from Frank Tiano Enterprises. First and foremost was the super-thin Zap CA glue, which I applied using one of their micro tubing ends. The applicator ends are sold separately, in a container that holds a large assortment in various sizes. They really do the trick though when it comes to a trouble-free gluing process, unless you really enjoy gluing your fingers together!

    If you're looking for quick results, as I often am, a bottle of Zip Kicker will also come in very handy. CA glue dries fairly fast, but Kicker is an accelerator that speeds the curing time up to nearly instantaneous. You simply spray it on the CA glue, and it cures it on the spot. The result is a strong hold that doesn't require you to hold the tire in place while curing. It also eliminates the need for the tire rings which some people use to hold the tires securely against the rims during the CA glue's curing process.

    The first step in preparing the radio for use is to install the supplied antenna. Slide it into position, and then twist it clockwise until it stops. The antenna should then be locked into position, and ready to extend as needed.

    Radio and Igniter Batteries
    Dubro Klip Retainers
    Body Installation

    I took this time to install the Schumacher RC Superstore supplied AA batteries into the Airtronics radio to power it. If you wish, you could pick up a rechargeable transmitter pack and charger later on down the road. That would be a more cost effective route to take, as opposed to supplying the radio with AA batteries.

    My final battery installation involved the glow plug igniter. Again the Schumacher RC Superstore combo came through giving me a battery to power it as well. So there was no need to worry about having everything I needed on hand to run the Havoc, it was all handy and available to me.

    Schumacher has already handled the body post and cooling holes, but I also wanted to install a set of Dubro Klip retainers. I'm hooked on the usefulness of these items, as not only do they prevent lost clips, but they are also very handy for keeping the clips attached to the body when you're working on the truck. I used my body hole reamer to make a couple of small holes for the Klip Retainers, and then installed a pair of blue ones onto the front and rear of the Havoc. With the body readied, all that was left was for me to install it onto the chassis.

    The nitro powerplant on the Havoc meant that I'd have to focus on break-in before anything else. So I took the time to run though a heat cycle break-in. The Thunder Tiger motor was a little too rich initially, so I leaned it out a little preventing the engine from choking on the fuel as it pulled away.

    After the small adjustment on the high speed needle, the rest of the break-in process went nice and smooth. The Schumacher E-Start setup worked perfectly for starting the truck, as the truck fired soon after the drill and wand started spinning each and every time.

    Once the break-in procedure was behind me it was time to start pounding on the Havoc and see just how tough this truck really was. I fine-tuned the engines needles, and then I pulled out my curved kicker ramp, and quickly threw it down on a pile of dirt. I wasn't playing around; I was all about seeking some big air!

    The Havoc was certainly a handful with all of the large engine's power being thrown down to the rear wheels. All out runs at the ramp simply weren't going to happen with all that power on tap. I could keep it under control at first, but the first little bump I'd hit running close to wide open would set the backend loose and leave me hanging on for the ride.

    Even with controlled runs to the ramp the Havoc had more than enough power to push itself way up in the air. I tended to use a rolling start, and then gradually squeezed the throttle as I neared the ramp. Once hitting the ramp the Havoc would shoot up in the air, approaching heights of 12-13 feet. What I kept telling myself was the fact I wasn't reaching the upper limits of the Havoc's speed when I was hitting the ramp either!

    In the air, the Havoc was very controllable. It responded to throttle and braking changes with quick agility. I found that even twisting the steering knob while in the air could affect the flight substantially as well. Several times I hit the ramp at an unusual angle when trying to push the Havoc a little harder. This would cause the truck to take flight at a crazy angle, with the left or right side pointed up. If I counteracted with the Havoc's steering I found that most of the time I could get the truck leveled back up for the landing.

    As I started getting come big air I wanted to lower the body a little more, reducing the gap between the upper half of it and the rollbar. In doing so I noticed the shock springs seemed to be rubbing the body some. So I trimmed the body along the backside, and around the wheel wheels. This gave me the necessary clearance I needed, as well as giving the body a lower more streamlined look.

    After making passes and seeking major air, it was only natural for me to start wanting to try and pull a few flips. The first of my attempts failed as my timing was off. The end result was the Schumacher Havoc crashing down from about 12 feet straight onto the rear bumper. I couldn't help but wince at the thud the truck made when striking the ground. The Havoc did bounce back down on its wheels, and a blip of the throttle brought it right back over to me. I had landed on the bumper several times earlier, but this time had cracked the plastic rear bumper. Later on, it would fall off. However, nothing else on the truck had suffered any damage at all. The tough as nails nature of the Havoc was really coming through!

    It didn't take long before I had the Havoc pulling backflips with increasing regularity. The rear tires ballooned like mad, and looked like razor thin pizza cutters at the center. This display of the engine's power was incredibly awe inspiring and just forced me to continue pulling flip after flip! Of course not every jump was perfect, and along the way several bad landings continued to test the Havoc. With the exception of one hard landing at an odd angle on one wheel, none caused any damage at all. This one hit bent the left rear toe link. I quickly straightened it back out with a pair of channel-lock pliers and fired the truck back up again. I never had another issue with the turnbuckle as I continually pounded on it!

    While continuing to jump and flip I was amazed at how well the Havoc responded. The large wheels and tires combined with the relatively short wheelbase simply made the Havoc very responsive while it was in the air. The short wheelbase added to the need for throttle control while on the ground, thanks to the large Thunder Tiger motor. However, owners of the Havoc will never complain when it comes to power. The shocks handled well for a truck whose primary intention is jumping. Thanks to their nearly horizontal orientation, the initial travel was fairly soft but they tightened up as the shock compressed. So even though this vehicle is undoubtedly targeted towards the bashing crowd that loves to catch some serious air, it still handles better than one might think!

    I had so much fun that I spent the better part of two days bashing the Havoc in this manner, giving it all the abuse I could muster. It was a serious torture test, and the Havoc came through it with flying colors. After it was all said and done I had encountered a couple of mishaps, but none of them could be considered a real problem.

    The first one was that both the camber link nuts on the rear shock tower loosened up over time and fell off as I was driving. When each instance occurred, I grabbed a spare Dubro nut from my pitbox dabbed a little threadlock on it and secured the camber link again. One of the screws on the rollbar loosened up as well, and I quickly cured it with a little threadlock as well. None of the screws on the Havoc seemed to have threadlock on them, and applying some initially on metal to metal screws when you pull the truck out of the box might be an excellent step to take in regards to preventative maintenance.

    Also, while doing some of my backflips and super high jumps the pressure line somehow managed to get over towards the spur gear and got snapped in half when it got tangled. I replaced it with a section of Dubro fuel tubing, and used a ziptie to keep it and the shorter fuel line together. This braced the pressure line and safely kept it in place.

    I also took the time to take the Schumacher Havoc out to my local track, Monkey Bottom Raceway, for some general testing around the track. I wasn't looking to lay down any fast laps, but rather just wanting to play in an environment with some more jumps and different terrain. The backyard jumping had been all about big air, but the track would be more about just having fun running in the dirt!

    The one thing that really reared its ugly head at the track was the steering servos lack of torque. In the backyard it really wasn't noticeable, as the loose soil and crushed leaves tended to mask the problems I was now seeing. At the track the front tires had a decent amount of grip and, when combined with the fact I was now trying to stay in the track's lanes, the turning radius was rather large when running through the corners. When running thorough the rough blown out corners on the track, the servo had a tough time keeping the tires pointed in the direction the radio indicated.

    Even though the Havoc isn't the first pick for a track-bound corner carver, a better steering servo will have its uses for many owners while bashing as well. Steering torque of just 50 oz-in just simply isn't enough to keep the big tires of the Havoc pointed in the right direction while running at higher speeds.

    Outside of the steering servo though, my time at the track was fun. I only wish I would have had more of the track at my disposal, as several areas were still muddy and under water from recent rains. However, from all of my time with the Havoc I do know one thing, the is the perfect truck for anyone who loves to simply have fun and dish their truck a healthy dose of punishment in the process!

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    See the Havoc in action!
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    If I had to use one word to sum up the Havoc it would be ?tough?. This truck takes abuse like no other truck before it, thanks to its rugged carbon-fiber and aluminum construction. Its lack of unnecessary components makes it a very lightweight and responsive platform for jumping. This is sure to keep it an established favorite in bashing clichés throughout the hobby.

    I only ended up with two complaints regarding the truck, and neither is related to the overall durability after beating on it intensively over a period of several days. One would be the air filter, as a glued in element simply makes no sense. The other is the steering servo, as it's simply too weak to be practical on a truck such as the Havoc. I can appreciate the need to keep costs down, but most RTR steering servos offer at least 80 oz-in of torque. That's much more acceptable for an out of the box servo as opposed to what the Airtronics 94102 offers. When looking for an aftermarket replacement though, I'd recommend metal gears and at least 120 oz-in of torque. You'll appreciate the higher torque rating and tougher geartrain as you abuse the Havoc further.

    I can't complain at all about the durability of the truck though, as the Havoc has certainly shown that to be a primary goal which it accomplishes very well. If you're into lots of air, high-powered engines, and crowd-thrilling backflips the Havoc is definitely going to be your kind of truck. Schumacher billed the Havoc as a stunt truck, and it fits that mark extremely well!

    Schumacher Racing
    Distributed By
    Schumacher Racing Products Ltd.
    6302 Benjamin Road, Suite 404
    Tampa, Florida 33634 USA
    Phone: (813) 889-9691
    Fax: (813) 889-9593
    Website: www.racing-cars.com

    Schumacher-RC Superstore
    Website dedicated to Schumacher products
    Phone: (877) 563-FAST

    Dubro, Inc.
    480 Bonner Road
    Wauconda, IL 60084 USA
    Phone: (732) 635-1600
    Website: www.dubro.com
    Products used: Antenna Cap, Fuel Filter, Klip Retainers

    Distributed Exclusively By
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021 USA
    Phone: (800) 637-6050
    Website: www.duratrax.com
    Products used: Air Filter Oil

    Frank Tiano Enterprises
    3607 Ventura Drive E.
    Lakeland, Florida 33811 USA
    Phone: (863) 607-6611
    Fax: (863) 607-6602
    Website: www.franktiano.com
    Products used: After-Run, CA Kicker, Thin CA Glue, Z-42 Threadlock

    Distributed Exclusively By
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 9021
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021 USA
    Phone: (800) 637-7660
    Website: www.hobbico.com
    Products used: 30% Racing Fuel

    Comments on RCU Review: Schumacher Havoc RTR

    Posted by: FoShizzle on 01/13/2008
    If it was gonna break it would have good job
    Page: 1
    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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