RCU Review: Team Losi Muggy


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    Contributed by: Eric Hege | Published: February 2007 | Views: 147113 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Team Losi Muggy RTR


    Team Losi

    Distributed Exclusively By
    Horizon Hobby, Inc.


    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822 USA


    Phone: (877) 504-0233

    Email:
    productsupport@horizonhobby.com
    Website:
    www.teamlosi.com



    See the Muggy in action!
    Resolution:  Low  Medium  High

    Quality
    Performance
    Assembly Ease
    Handling
    Durability
    Speed
    Engine
    Price


    Powerful Mach 427
    Rotary Starter
    Center Differential
    Low Center of Gravity
    Very Tough Chassis
    Tires Grip Very Well


    Clutch Poorly Matched to Truck
    Rear Toe-In Not Adjustible
    Camber Not Adjustable

    No matter what you call it, the truggy or unlimited monster truck class is definitely hot at the track. The class first got its start by racers bolting on monster truck tires to a buggy chassis. From that point, buggy-like platforms were the starting basis for what would end up being a performance-oriented truck. That is, until the Muggy appeared on the Horizon.

    The Losi Muggy strikes from the other end of the spectrum. While it does have the buggy-like characteristics of a truggy, there’s no doubt that it started life as a monster truck when it was on the drawing board. From that point it was given the trademark center differential and low chassis you’d expect from a vehicle in this class.

    While much attention may be focused on Losi’s up and coming release of the 8ight in truggy form, one shouldn’t overlook the Muggy for the popular truggy class. The Muggy is definitely a truggy, although it takes on a more brutish approach with its large tires and LST-like suspension. It seems to offer itself as a very capable performer, although the truth will require a few visits to the track. Before we do that, let’s tear through the truck and see exactly what makes the Muggy tick!




    Model Name: Team Losi Muggy RTR
    Part Number: LOSB0018
    Price: $550.00 (Approx. Street Price)
    Type: 1/8 Scale 4WD Hybrid Monster Truck
    Length: 21.75" (552mm)
    Width: 18.0" (457mm)
    Weight: 11.4 lbs. (5.2 kg)
    Wheelbase: 14.0" (356mm)
    Drivetrain: Four Wheel Drive, Triple Differentials
    Suspension: Front C-Hub Carriers and Rear Bearing Carriers
    Axles: Hardened CVD Axles
    Shocks: Over-sized Hard-Anodized Threaded Aluminum
    Wheels: 4.25x3.5" (108x89mm) Plastic Dish-Style (Yellow)
    Tires: 5.75x3.75" (146x95mm) 420 Series Losi Kingpin
    Chassis: 3mm Aluminum
    Engine: Mach 427 (4.27cc .26ci)
    Brakes: Crossdrilled Stainless Steel Disk and Calipers with Fiber Pads
    Fuel Tank: 150cc with In-Tank Filter
    Radio: JR XR2i

    Additionally Required Items
    8 AA Batteries or Transmitter Pack
    Standard 6-Cell Rechargeable Battery Pack
    Peak Charger Capable of Charging Standard 6-Cell Pack
    Nitro
    Fuel Bottle
    Air Filter Oil (Filter is pre-oiled, but you'll need after running)
    After-Run Oil
    Flathead Screwdriver
    Body
    Manuals and Documentation
    Owners Manual

    If you like your bodies with a nice splash of color, the Losi Muggy’s lexan shell will appeal to you. The base orange is bright and easy to see, even when it’s a good distance away. The ripped yellow and gray pattern adds even more color to the body, giving it a nice and colorful look. The back of the body is cut open for the engine, allowing you easy access to the glow plug. The Muggy’s body post holes are precut as well, making installing the body simple. As a final note, hiding under the windshield sticker is a precut hole to allow cool air to reach the engine. All you need to do is to trim the sticker around the opening.

    Losi has a habit of documenting their vehicles well, and the Muggy follows this train of thought as well. The Operations Guide gives you the information you’ll need to adjust, break-in, and work on your vehicle. Other sheets lay out exactly what you’ll need to get started, and areas to inspect between running sessions.

    Decals
    Accessories
    Radio

    To help you round out the looks of your Losi Muggy, the truck arrives with a sheet of stickers. It contains several “Losi” and “Muggy” stickers, to help identify the truck once it hits the dirt. Other stickers round out the appearance of the truck, and give you the option of equipping it with an identifying number. An antenna tube is included in the bag with the sticker sheet as well.

    Losi packs an assortment of accessories along with the Muggy. These items include L-wrenches for the metric and SAE hex head screws used by the truck, as well as a nice four-way wrench. The screws are one area of the Muggy that keeps you guessing at times. Some will be metric, while others will be SAE. I do wish that Losi would stick completely with one or the other. Regardless, the included wrenches cover all the sizes you’ll need. You’ll also find shock and turnbuckle tools as well. To assist you with the included receiver pack, Losi tosses in a wall charger. Of course the Losi rotary starter is included as well!

    Most of the recent Losi vehicles I’ve had the pleasure of testing included synthesized and Spektrum radios with them. However to keep the overall cost of the Muggy down, Losi equipped it with the JR XR2i. Despite the lack of synthesized or spread spectrum operation the XR2i AM radio is very well featured, offering options such as dual-rate, adjustable endpoints, and subtrim, as well as providing two programmable memory slots for separate vehicles. The XR2i is one of the best AM radios you’ll find, and the digital display makes navigation easy and simple.

    Left Side
    Right Side
    Chassis

    The center of the Muggy reflects the truggy-like characteristics of the vehicle. A 150cc fuel tank sits at the front-left of the chassis, with the engine directly behind it. Over on the right-hand side of the Muggy you’ll find the electronics. The rear of the chassis holds the receiver box, which is home to the receiver pack and the AM receiver. The dual-steering servos and throttle servo sit in front of the receiver box.

    The Muggy is aptly named, as it borrows much of its design from the Losi LST monster truck and the rest from 1/8 scale buggies. The LST’s suspension layout is fused with a buggy-like chassis to give is a low and stable stance. The aluminum chassis is 3mm thick, and sports a cutout for flywheel access. This chassis is the backbone of the truck, and the key item for allowing the truck to have the handling characteristics it does.

    Chassis Bracing
    Chassis Brace
    Suspension Pin Brace

    Along with the buggy-like chassis comes the need for bracing at the front and rear of the truck. Directly below the shock towers is an aluminum plate for reinforcement purposes. A thick chassis brace ties the shock tower to the chassis, creating an extremely rigid chassis platform. The brace is 8mm thick, but machined in its center to help lighten its weight and to clear the driveshaft. Screws and locknuts secure the brace to the shock tower assembly and chassis.

    Just like with the LST, the Muggy uses an aluminum suspension pin brace to reinforce the pins to one another. This prevents the general forces encountered by the Muggy from damaging the suspension assembly. Without the brace, collisions or jumping could cause the suspension arms to pull away from the bulkhead assembly. However, the reinforcement plate prevents this from becoming an issue.

    Front Suspension
    Arm Assembly
    Suspension

    Anyone familiar with the LST2 should quickly recognize the front and rear of the Muggy, as its adapted straight from the latest revision of the popular Losi monster truck platform. The oversized shocks are easily spotted, and provide plenty of dampening capabilities for a truck such as the Muggy. Also carried over is the rest of the suspension and bulkhead assembly. So you can expect to see a lot of universal parts used at each corner of the truck, as well as a design that makes adjustment and replacement very easy.

    At the front and rear of the assemblies, you’ll find a very well designed bumper that is made to absorb an impact as well as protect the truck’s components. Hidden underneath the plastic cover which the bumper mounts fasten to, is the aluminum suspension pin brace seen earlier. This reinforces the 4mm inner suspension pins. The upper ends of the shocks are only provided a single mounting position, although the lower end is given two points, allowing you to tailor the reactive angle of the shocks. The shocks face the front of the vehicle on each set of arms, which allows the use of the suspension arms at each corner of the truck.

    Shock Mount
    Suspension Arms
    Suspension Components

    A key element in the ability of the interchangeable lower suspension arms is the shock mount. It is held in place by two cap head screws, allowing the mount to be removed and its orientation changed to accommodate whatever position the suspension arm may be installed in. The suspension arms themselves are built with durability in mind as well, due to the fact that Losi has plenty of internal webbing on their inner face. The lower plastic arms are also 10.5mm thick, and the upper arms 7mm thick, helping to further strengthen them.

    The main difference between the front and rear suspensions is the fact the front uses c-hubs to accommodate the steering knuckles while the rear skips the use of the c-hubs and just sports bearing carriers for the rear axles. The bearing carriers and c-hubs use a pair of 4mm suspension pins to connect them to the arms. Shoulder bolts are used to tie the steering knuckles to the c-hubs, eliminating the need for metal inserts on the c-hubs.

    Inside the bearing carriers and steering hubs you’ll find a pair of bearings for the axle to ride on. The larger 15x21x4mm inner bearing sits around the backside of the axle stub, keeping the crosspin in place. This makes the axle assembly much more reliable; as failures are often attributed to this pin sliding out while the axle is spinning at violent speeds. The outer bearing is 8x16x4mm, and supports the outer end of the axle stub. A 5mm axle shaft extends from the axle stub to the differential.

    An aluminum hex adapter fits over the axle stub and 3mm axle pin, connecting the drivetrain to the wheels and tires. The adapter is 20mm, locking you into Losi’s wheels. This narrows your selection of aftermarket wheels with the stock adapters. However, you can pick up optional adapters that will mate with popular wheel options available on the market. In addition, the stock wheels are compatible with the 40-Series tires that are commonly found at most hobby stores, which helps with the available options. The outer nut that secures the wheel in place is a standard 17mm nut.

    Shock Tower
    Sway Bar
    Bulkhead Assembly

    The shock tower for the Muggy performs one crucial function for the Muggy that the LST’s shock tower didn’t do. That function is holding the sway bar that is used to help enhance the vehicle’s stability and keep its roll center in check. The front sway bar is 2mm thick, while the rear is 3mm. A collar with a ball end is held in place at each end of the sway bar via a grub screw threaded into it.

    A plastic link is used to connect the sway bar to the suspension arm. A ball stud is threaded into the suspension arm for the plastic link to connect to. The end result is an effective sway bar setup that works very well for the Losi Muggy, and keeps the vehicle much flatter in the corners than the standard monster truck platform.

    Differential Removal
    Differential
    Inside the Differential

    One feature I’m happy to see carried over from the Losi LST is the extremely easy to access differentials. All that you need to do is to remove the front bumper assembly, and then slide the aluminum suspension pin brace off. At that point all that holds the differentials in place is the plastic bulkhead caps. Slide them out and the differential quickly follows. So changing differential oil and performing maintenance is a very simple task. The LST led the way in easy differential access for the monster truck world, and the Muggy is right alongside it!

    The differential housing is split into top and bottom halves, which are held together via three cap head screws. Once the housing is opened up, you can catch a nice glimpse of the hardened steel ring and pinion gears. Stainless steel shims are used beside the differential’s bearings to maintain a proper fit between the gears. All of the bearings for the both the pinion and differential are 8x16x4mm bearings.

    I should point out that the driveline of the Muggy makes use of a lot of red threadlock. For those who may not know anything about this particular version of threadlock, it has a much higher holding threshold than standard blue threadlock. Red threadlock is used on the grub screws that secure the CVD yokes to the differential’s output shaft. You’ll want to heat parts held by the red threadlock with a heat gun before loosening them. While you may get the screw to break loose on its own, it’s very rough on your tools. You even risk breaking your tools, so applying heat is the key element in curing the threadlock’s hold on the parts. To further provide a secure and tough driveline, the differentials output shafts have a flat spot specifically for the grub screw to tighten down against.

    Inside the differentials you’re greeted with grease from the factory, although the differential is sealed in preparation for silicone oil. Most hardcore racers will make the substitution of grease for silicone oil as one of their first modifications. A full set of six internal gears makes the differential plenty tough and rugged enough to tame the power sent from the Mach 427 engine.

    Braking Linkage
    Center Differential
    Driveshaft

    One of the most advantageous traits of the truggy platform is the split braking. This is accomplished with the help of two main components, the center differential and the split braking assembly itself. The center differential allows the two halves of the driveline to have some sense of independence from one another, unlike a typical transmission which is locked from front to rear. The exact amount of this independence depends upon the weight of the silicone oil used in the differential. The split braking assembly allows you to tailor the braking strength of the front and rear brakes independently of each other, taking advantage of the split provided by the differential.

    In the case of the Muggy, the split braking assembly is top notch. Not only can you use the grub screws on the collars to adjust the linkage, but fine adjustments can be made by simply twisting the thumbwheels. The thumbwheels are colored, making it easy to identify the front and rear linkage from each other, and from the throttle linkage as well.

    The upper half of the center differential housing is made to be easily removed for access to the center differential. Cross-drilled stainless steel disks ride on the differentials output yokes, and are clamped by fiber pads and stainless steel calipers when called up. To keep premature pad wear at bay, plastic guides on the chassis properly position the disk in between the brake pads.

    Another interesting note is the tight clearances on the Muggy’s chassis. The chassis braces are machined to allow proper clearances for the driveshafts. Also take notice that the steering linkage brace performs double duty. Not only does it reinforce the steering assembly, but it also wraps around the chassis brace to protect it as well.

    Steering Linkage
    Steering Servos
    Shocks

    The steering linkage used on the Muggy is thick and rugged. Directly in front of the dual steering servos, you’ll find a servo saver built into the post. The servo saver’s tension is adjustable via the thumbwheel. An 4mm aluminum draglink, directly under the aluminum steering brace, connects the two thick halves of the bellcrank steering assembly together. Thick rod ends and indexed turnbuckles connect the steering linkage to the steering blocks.

    The LST solved the problem of using budget servos while still providing the turning torque large tires need. This tradition continues with the Muggy, although the setup is a little different. The two Z590M servos are positioned right alongside one another on the Muggy, and work together via a link that connects them to one another. A separate turnbuckle assembly transfers their power to the steering linkage.

    As was seen earlier, the massive shocks that were first used on the LST find a home on the Losi Muggy as well. These shocks hold plenty of shock oil, providing superior dampening capabilities when compared to shocks with smaller volumes. The larger amount of oil simply doesn’t heat up as fast in these large shocks, keeping their action nice and consistent for longer periods of time. The threaded shock bodies are aluminum, and use adjustable plastic collars to facilitate easy preload adjustment. The spring retainer locks into place on the shock’s lower rod end, while the 4mm stainless steel shock shaft provides plenty of strength for the multi-holed piston head. The plastic shock cap features a small screw which makes bleeding the shocks extremely easy when rebuilding them.

    Mach 427 Engine
    Left Side
    Right Side

    The Losi Muggy’s power is provided by the popular Mach 427 motor, with its .26 cubic inches of power producing displacement. This motor was first used in the Losi LST, and most recently in the Losi 8ight. The Muggy uses the version of the motor with the gun-metal gray finish, just as the 8ight does. Knowing how well it has worked in the past in providing plenty of power for their other vehicles, Losi found it a perfect match for the Muggy as well. It’s a favorite motor of mine, providing power that rivals many high end aftermarket motors while being very easy to work with.

    To expel the burnt fuel and gases, Losi equips the Mach 427 with a tuned pipe and header that compliments the engine’s powerband very well. A large header spring secures the header to the engine block, while three smaller springs connect the tuned pipe to the header. The front of the pipe is securely fastened to the chassis with a heavy duty hanger assembly. Silicone couplers connect all of the exhaust components together, as well as a silicone gasket connecting the pipe to the engine.

    The side of the engine block is labeled with markings to identify it as a Mach 427. Cooling fins on the block assist the aluminum engine head in keeping the engine cool. Four cap head screws hold the engine securely to the aluminum engine mounts.

    Carburetor
    Cooling Head
    Clutch Shoes

    The Mach 427 is equipped with an aluminum carburetor which features two adjustment needles as well as an idle adjustment screw. All of these are easily reached when the engine is installed on the truck’s chassis. To prevent a runaway in the event of an onboard power loss, Losi has equipped the carburetor with a throttle return spring. Should power to the receiver be lost, the spring will simply close the carburetor back down to the idle speed setting.

    To keep the Mach 427 cool it’s equipped with a gun-metal gray two piece aluminum cooling head. The main body of the head sports the cooling fins, and is held onto the block via four screws. Underneath the head you’ll find the head button which is home to the glow plug. This two-piece arrangement works very well, and avoids the need to replace the whole head if the glow plug threads become damaged. It’s just another example of the value that Losi packs into this particular motor. Inside the block, the six intake ports are well matched to the motor’s chrome-plated sleeve. This helps continue the ability of the motor to produce plenty of power that the crankshaft’s design started.

    The Muggy’s Mach 427 is equipped with a 13-tooth clutch bell which is held onto the crankshaft by a cap head screw. It spins on a pair of 5x10mm bearings. Underneath the clutch bell you’ll find three aluminum clutch shoes with individual springs. The aluminum shoes should provide plenty of grab for the clutch assembly, much more than composite shoes would.

    Backplate
    Backplate Components
    Crankshaft

    To make the engine user friendly and easy to start, Losi equips it with their rotary starting system. A backplate with a hex-shaped receiver spins a one-way bearing and starter shaft on the backside of the plate. The shaft then spins the crankshaft of the motor, and starts the engine when a glow igniter is clipped onto the glow plug. I’ve used this starter system before on several Losi vehicles, and it works exceptionally well. It’s definitely more user friendly than any pullstart, and much easier to carry around than a starter box. Not to mention that, unlike a starter box, there’s no need to fool with lining up positioning pegs either.

    In keeping with the capability of producing plenty of power the crankshaft sports impressive characteristics for a box stock RTR motor. The inner chamber is very large, and also utilizes a turbo cut design to help maximize the flow of air and fuel through the motor. This helps make the motor much more efficient and powerful when it comes to preparing the combustion process.

    Piston and Sleeve
    Fuel Tank
    Wheels and Tires

    The Mach 427’s piston and sleeve use ABC (Aluminum, Brass, and Chrome) construction. The chrome plated brass sleeve sports a total of six intake ports. The use of six intake ports is indicative of the type of power this engine can make. Most motors in the Mach 427’s price range tend to only use three intake ports, which prevents them from filling the combustion chamber as efficiently.

    The piston and connecting rod is manufactured from high strength aluminum. The piston’s skirt is cut away to allow for crankshaft clearance, and sports oil grooves close to the top edge. This helps to encourage proper lubrication. The connecting rod is knife-edged, and uses brass bushings at both ends so that it spins smoothly and within acceptable tolerances.

    Being that the Losi Muggy is powered by a big block motor, it needs an adequate supply of fuel to keep it running. So Losi equips the truck with a 150cc fuel tank. The tank features a spring-loaded lid that has a channel around the fuel opening. The channel routes spilled fuel towards the rear of the tank where it’s routed down a tube that dumps it out under the chassis. A splash guard mounted on the side of the tank provides additional protection in keeping the fuel away from the brakes.

    Losi equips the Muggy with their 420 dish wheels, which mate to the 20mm adapters on the Muggy. The wheels are yellow, making them very easy to see from across the track. The wheels are also sized to accept 40-Series tires. Holes in the wheels allow the tires ventilation, so that they flex as needed.

    Losi equips the dish wheels with a set of Losi Kingpin tires. These tires are very capable of providing excellent traction on most nicely prepared dirt tracks very well. The square shaped blocks excel in providing forward traction, as well as side traction when cornering at speed. In short, Losi has equipped the Muggy with one of the best sets of track-oriented tires you’ll find on a truck.

    Wing Mounts
    Receiver Box
    Inside the Receiver Box

    You would think that a large truck such as the Muggy would inflict quite a wallop on the rear wing that adorns the back end of the vehicle, and at times this can be true. However the rear wing mounts are more than up to the task. The uprights are 7.5mm mm thick and are reinforced by a plastic X-brace that ties the two sections together and strengthens them. This is the same assembly that’s offered as an option for the LST. If it’s tough enough for the LST, it’ll definitely work just as well for the Muggy.

    The Losi Muggy sports a rather unique receiver box when you take into account the configuration of the components housed within it. The Team Losi included flat-style receiver pack lies on its side on the inner side of the box. Directly beside it is the receiver, facing up. The inside of the box is compact and sized just big enough for the installed components. This keeps movement of the items inside the box to a minimum. A power switch is located at the rear of the box, and the removable lid is held in place by a pair of body clips.


    Receiver Pack Charging
    Antenna Tube
    Antenna End

    The Losi Muggy comes with its own receiver pack already installed, simply leaving you with the simple task of charging it. You can use the supplied wall charger, or any compatible peak charger. The supplied wall charger will charge a fully depleted pack in about 10-11 hours. Once the pack is charged, reconnect it to the receiver. Ensure the power switch for the truck is off, until you’re ready to actually start it.

    Attention should then shift to the receiver's antenna. Uncoil it from the bundle near the receiver, and then stretch it out by running it between your fingers. This helps to get the kinks out. Then run it through the supplied antenna tube and use the antenna cap to hold the wire in place. I used a Dubro antenna collar, from a Dubro cap set, to help hold the excess wire in place. If you encounter difficulty in getting the wire through the tube, a little baby powder sprinkled on the wire will help it slide though easier. Finally push the tube into place alongside the receiver box. Following that, secure the lid with the supplied body clips.

    Reglue Tires
    Tank Handle/Fuel Filter
    Rotary Starter

    As in the case of most RTR vehicles, the Muggy’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 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.

    To allow for easy refueling, I used a ziptie and a small section of Dubro fuel tubing. The end result is a nice 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.

    You’ll need to equip the starter with a standard 6-cell pack. I used a cheap 1500MAh Dynamite pack I keep lying around for purposes such as this. I charged the pack on my Duratrax Intellipeak Ice charger, and installed it into the handheld starter once it was charged. You'll find the starter wand mounted on the inside of the back cover. Simply slide it into the front of the starter.

    You can power the radio with 8 AA batteries, but I decided to use my JR-compatible transmitter pack instead. The charging jack on the radio allows a person to charge the pack without needing to remove it from the radio. If you need to pick up a charger for a transmitter pack, ensure that it is a reverse-polarity charger. If you use a standard charger not compatible with JR radios you can damage the JR XR2i AM radio.

    Cooling Hole
    Klip Retainers
    Body Installation

    The engine will need some air flowing across the head of the motor to keep it cool. However, this task will require less work than one may think it would. If you look on the inside of the body you’ll find the hole is already cut out of the lexan body, it’s just hidden by the windshield sticker. All you’ll need to do is trim the sticker up to the edge of the precut opening.

    Losi covered the basics when it comes to the body posts and cooling holes. However, I’ve become hooked on the Dubro Klip retainers. So they were a must-have addition to the Muggy for me. Not only do they prevent lost clips while driving, 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 orange ones onto the front and rear of the truck. With the body readied, all that was left was for me to install it onto the chassis.


    I started out by breaking in the Mach 427 engine that the Losi Muggy uses to propel itself around the track. Since I was already at Monkey Bottom Raceway finishing up with another vehicle, I broke the Muggy in at the track. Using the large empty parking area I heat cycle method the engine, giving the piston and sleeve a proper fit to one another. The engine was set pretty rich out of the box, and I found myself needing to lean it a little to get the engine up to a good operating temperature for the break-in process.

    The break-in procedure went smoothly, and each one of the engine’s warming and cooling cycles flew by pretty quickly. The Losi rotary starter made quick work of starting the motor each time it needed to be fired up, accentuating how easily the system is to operate. The starter shaft accessed the engine’s backplate easily via the rear of the Muggy. In fact, I found it much easier to access the backplate than when starting the Losi LST. It was a little easier to clear the suspension than it was to start from the side and clear the tuned pipe on Losi’s monster truck.

    With the engine break-in behind me, I quickly set about tuning the Mach 427. The tuning process went smoothly as well, with the Mach 427 being a very easy to tune motor, just as it was with the Losi LST and Losi 8ight I have reviewed prior to this review. If you’re looking to make the jump from electric to nitro, you don’t need to be afraid of a step learning curve when it comes to tuning this motor. You simply won’t find many motors that are any easier to work with.

    After the break-in and tuning was complete, I steered the Muggy towards the track. I started making some easy controlled laps around the track, getting a feel for Losi’s Hybrid truck platform. It was very stable and even initially I had quite a bit of confidence in the handling. However the front brakes were engaging just a little too hard. So I pulled the truck back into the pits, and used the front brake’s adjustable thumbwheel to back off the front braking strength a little.

    Once the Muggy was back out on the track, I soon had it mastering the dirt underneath its wheels. Thanks to the Mach 427 Losi equipped the truck with; the Muggy had plenty of power on board. The six port motor throws down some very serious power for a box stock powerplant, putting the engine in the upper echelon of powerplants. The power and RPM capabilities of the engine rival many highly regarded premium aftermarket motors you’ll find as well!

    Quickly getting enough air to put the track’s double underneath it was no task at all for the Muggy. The Losi Kingpin tires bit very well into the dirt, giving the truck plenty of forward grip for a good run to wherever it was pointed. Control while in the air was excellent, thanks to the truck’s truggy-like chassis characteristics. It was very stable, and I found it was very easy to bring the front end up or down at a second’s notice to give myself the best possible landing angle to tear away from the jump and head away towards the next corner of the track.

    The Muggy could get just as good of a run over the triple as well. I had the choice of clearing the entire set, or setting myself up for a double-single if I wanted to really cut the next corner close in the event I was looking for a nice controlled pass. The Kingpin tires provided enough grip to keep the Muggy in perfect control before the triple, making it easy whichever route I chose. That’s were the Muggy really excels, as it’s not hard to stuff power into a vehicle. However getting the vehicle to put down the power in a smooth controllable state isn’t as easy of task to accomplish. The tires and suspension of the Muggy do exactly that.

    When running through the corners with the Muggy, the tires give just a slight amount of tire roll which allowed them to bite very well into the dirt. A narrower profile tire will often exhibit much less roll which tends to cause the truck to feel as if it understeers a little harder in the corner. However, that’s not the case with the Muggy, and the low chassis stance keeps it nice and stable avoiding it feeling as if it wants to roll over in the turn as well. When this was combined with the braking adjustment I made earlier it was really easy to pivot the truck into the turn early and run it hard back out of the turn. Other wider turns that preferred an gentler approach found themselves at the mercy of the LST’s excellent turning capabilities throughout the full range of the turn.

    It was good to see how well the Muggy was turning as I was originally a little concerned about the servos and servo savers being up to the task. During the break in phase the patches of grass seemed to throw the wheels and tires around a little more than I liked. Given the 85 oz-in. rating of each of the JR Z590M servos, I figured this would be more attributed to the servo saver being a little soft. However once on the track, with a little tightening, the servo saver on the Muggy seemed to work fine through the corners. I set the adjustible saver so that it would kick in every once in a while if I hit one of the few blown out sections of the track a little too hard.

    Down the straightaway the Losi Muggy would rip down the track with tons of acceleration and speed. The front tires did seem to unload a little as it made its run, which indicated the need to replace the grease in the center differential with some silicone oil to control its action. The proper oil weight may vary some from track to track, but my local track’s straightaway was fairly smooth and allowed the differential to start unloading as it sped by on it’s way to the first corner and towards the opening doubles again.

    The big shocks that Losi equipped the Muggy with worked excellent over the rhythm section. The large oil chamber allowed the large truggy to soak up the bumps whether you ran through it at a controlled pace, or if you chose to combine the bumps into pairs. The stability was simply incredible, and pointed to how well of an overall package Losi has put together, The shocks, sway bars, and tires just simply worked very well together, establishing the Muggy as a very capable performer.

    My day ended after several hours of driving with a clutch failure. One of the aluminum clutch shoes allowed the shoe to slip forward and plant itself against the inner face of the clutch bell. The other shoes seemed to be worn quite a bit as well indicating the shoes had been slipping quite a bit, most likely when accelerating out of the sharper corners. The clutch bell was super hot and the bearings shot, due to the heat and locked up clutch shoe. After careful consideration, I decided to alter the setup and give the Muggy another shot at the track.

    After some research, I came up with a few extra items to utilize in the form of the Dynamite Max-Life clutch shoes (DYNP5180) and a vented 12-tooth clutch bell (LOSB3361). This combination is better suited for the amounts of acceleration called upon by the Muggy, especially in smaller running areas where low-end torque is called upon the most. Alternatively, you can try stiffer clutch springs with the Dynamite shoes to reduce slippage further if you still experience it. With the gearing change, I also knew that the differential unloading may be more prominent than before. So I filled the front factory differential oil with 7,000 weight silicone diff oil. Then I used 10,000 weight in the center and 5,000 in the rear.

    In addition to the aforementioned changes I also switched to Losi Nitrotane fuel, to see what advantages it may offer as it is formulated specifically for Losi’s nitro engines. The biggest benefit is the fact that the blend is targeted towards sport vehicles, instead of having a razor thin cushion for error which is typical of many racing fuels. This means that the tuning window is nice and wide, making tuning a much easier task especially for the novice. In the event of the engine being tuned wrong, the extra protection added by the synthetic and castor blend protects the engine’s internals while burning nice and clean.

    The clutch and gearing changes really woke the Losi Muggy up, and acceleration was much snappier than before with the truck accelerating madly towards and beyond the 40MPH mark. When combined with the stability offered by the Muggy’s suspension, the performance was simply outstanding. It felt much more stable and controlled than some of the truggy platforms I’ve had the experience of running, thanks to the Muggy’s oversized shocks and large tires. It’s very easy to drive and, despite the level of power it offers, it takes a lot to make it feel as if it’s on the ragged edge of control. After jumping it landed and planted itself on the ground, blazing away to the next corner. The differentials were doing a much better job of equalizing the power to the wheels, kicking acceleration up a notch, and preventing any corner of the truck from unloading.

    The other thing that stood out was how well the Nitrotane fuel was doing. I had to retune the Mach 427 motor as expected when changing fuel, but the power produced didn’t seem to drop down as much as I’d expect when moving from 30% O’Donnell back down to the Nitrotane 20%. Despite the fact that I’m used to tuning nitro motors, with a variety of fuels, it was very noticeable that the Nitrotane offered a nice wide tuning window as well. This alone makes the fuel ideal for those new to nitro, or those who want to spend less time tuning and more time running. The Mach 427 engine ran much cooler as well, with the temperatures after sustained high speed running between 5 and 10° less than before. In short, Losi’s Nitrotane fuel is more than capable of providing a motor with plenty of power without providing a narrow tuning window.

    As my time with the Losi Muggy drew to a close, it’s easy to see that the Muggy’s out of the box handling is excellent and, with further tweaking to tailor the truck to the owner’s tastes, it only improves. I initially had some doubts as to whether the Muggy would be capable of really running with the truggy crowd. This was because the non-enclosed center differential will place it in the truggy class most of the time, keeping it out of the standard monster truck classes. However, after driving the Muggy I can say that’s a seriously stable truck that can carve the corners and run just as hard as anything else it’ll come across!





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    The Losi Muggy definitely is a race-oriented truck that relies heavily on its LST heritage. On the track, its oversized shocks, low center of gravity, and center differential allow it to hold its own very well. For fans of the LST, the move to the Muggy as a racing platform is a no-brainer. Many of the parts carry over to the high performance Muggy, as well as how easy it is to work on.

    Aside from the clutch issue; I had no problem with the Muggy initially. With the changes I made in that area, the clutch assembly held up just as well as any vehicle. The Muggy is equipped with some seriously big tires, which really tax this area of the driveline. The smaller clutch bell helps to compensate for this, and the Dynamite shoes I mentioned earlier prove much tougher on the Muggy than the stockers do. It would be great to see Losi include these items in an out of the box configuration. They may even have some shoe and spring combinations from the 8ight that would work well for this hybrid monster truck.

    In short, don’t discount the ability of the Muggy to hold it’s own at the track. I expect it’ll become a popular platform for novice truggy racers, as it doesn’t have the myriad of adjustments that the 8ight truggy will have when it’s released. The more limited selection of adjustment options allows the owner to focus more on their driving. This is exactly what most novice truggy drivers will stand to benefit from the most!


    Team Losi
    Distributed Exclusively By
    Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822 USA
    Phone: (877) 504-0233
    Email: productsupport@horizonhobby.com
    Website: www.teamlosi.com
    Additional Products used: Losi Nitrotane Fuel

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

    Duratrax
    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, Intellipeak Ice Charger

    Dynamite RC Products
    Distributed Exclusively By
    Horizon Hobby, Inc.
    4105 Fieldstone Road
    Champaign, IL 61822 USA
    Phone: (877) 504-0233
    Fax: (217) 352-6799
    Website: www.horizonhobby.com
    Products used: 6-Cell Battery Pack

    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, Z-71 Threadlock

    Maxx Products International
    815 Oakwood Road, Unit D
    Lake Zurich, IL 60047 USA
    Phone: (847) 438-2233
    Fax: (847) 438-2898
    Website: www.maxxprod.com
    Products used: JR Transmitter Pack and Charger

    O'Donnell
    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: Team Losi Muggy

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    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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