RCU Review: RD Logics Wolverine


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    Contributed by: Nathan Maat | Published: October 2007 | Views: 59273 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon

    Nathan Maat
    12 Years R/C Experience
    nathan.rcuniverse.com


    Specs & Info
    Discovering the Wolverine
    Under The Hood
    Performance
    Photo Gallery
    Video


    Web: RDLogics.com
    Info: Info@RDLogics.com
    Sales: Sales@RDLogics.com
    Tech: Tech@RDLogics.com


    RDLogics Inc.

    Tel. 909.393.9568

    Fax. 909.393.9279


    HITS

    • Price
    • Durability
    • Performance


    MISSES

    • Instructions
    • Shock adjustability
    • Body


    The Wolverine is a 1/8 monster truck I had not heard about until it was discussed in RCU's forums. As it turns out, this is a well known truck in foreign markets and is only recently being introduced to the USA by RD Logics. From the looks of things when pulling it out of it's shipping package, it's a contender for the Tmaxx and Savage.

    when examining the Wolverine, I see many similarities in design to the Savage and other popular 1/8 monster trucks. It looks to be a well built truck ready for the some bashing. From the 3mm tower chassis to the eight adjustable shocks, it looks ready for action. Let's take a look.


     

    Model ...................................... RDLogics Wolverine
    Price ....................................... $349.99
    Type ........................................ 1/8 Monster Truck
    Length .................................... 22"
    Width ...................................... 16"
    Height ..................................... 10"
    Wheelbase .............................. 15"
    Weight .................................... 11lbs
    Engine ..................................... .25 4.02cc
    Transmission ........................... 2-Speed
    Differentials ............................ Metal Gear
    Clutch ...................................... 3-Shoe Racing Slipper
    Chassis..................................... 6061-T6 Aluminum
    Tires ........................................ 6.75" High
    Shocks ..................................... 8 Oil Filled
    Brakes ..................................... Dual Disk

    Fuel Tank .................................

    270cc
     


    PACKAGE CONTENTS SAFETY WARNINGS DANGER WARNINGS

    The Wolverine came packaged ready to run (RTR) save for a few steps. Included in the package is the truck, transmitter, glow driver (less battery), nut wrench, fuel bottle, filter oil, decal set and instructions. It's a complete package and pretty much considered standard equipment.

    As I inspected the contents of the package and the truck itself, I began to feel as though RD Logics was targeting a novice driver given the amount of warning and danger decals. Never-the-less, they removed simply and quickly without leaving unwanted residue behind.


    PROTECTIVE FILM WOLVERINE BODY APPLYING DECALS

    The protective film keeps the body in good shape during production and shipping. Simply start at any corner of the body and peel it away. The result is a freshly painted body, free of scratches and defects. The holes for the body posts, antenna, engine and pull start have been pre-drilled leaving only the application of decals to complete the body.

    FINAL DECAL APPLICATION

    There's nothing difficult about applying decals and to make it a little easier I will often use a hobby knife to help pin point the exact location before applying it permanently. I find it easier to get a smaller sticker exactly where I want it if use the knife instead of my fingers.

    For larger decals a drop of dish soap in a spray bottle full of water works great (window cleaner also works fine). The purpose of this technique is to give yourself time to move the decal into the exact position you desire.

    To apply larger graphics perfectly, simply spray the solution onto the truck body. Next, lay the decal over the solution on the truck body and get a flat edge (squeegee of some kind) to remove the excess air bubbles and solution, working from the center of the decal to the edges. Allow time for the solution to dry and it'll turn out great!

    The decal sheet had enough choices to completely cover the body. However, I'm not one to blast the body with random decals so I chose to apply only a few I liked and strategically placed them on the body where I thought they would look nice. I figure it's my truck, I'm going to make it look the way I like it to look. Your tastes may be different and RD Logics gives you enough choices in the decal set to do quite a few different things.


     


    RIGHT SIDE FRONT VIEW LEFT SIDE

    By looking at the pictures above you will see a common design theme accompanying many high end 1/8 monster trucks on the market today. The first thing I noticed was the two gold anodized 3mm chassis plates that make up the frame of the truck. It sets the attitude that the Wolverine is for real.

    Starting at the front of the truck you'll notice the shock tower angled slightly toward the rear of the truck. It gives the truck an aggressive looking stance as though it's ready to pounce. With 4 gold anodized, oil filled shocks on the front tower, it should be pretty decent at handling much of what I will put it through.

    The electronics compartment (or box) securely holds the receiver, batteries, steering servo and throttle servo and fills the front half of the chassis. Behind the electronics box is a 2-speed transmission and slipper clutch, followed by the 2.5cc engine and 270cc fuel tank in the rear.


    ROLL BAR MONSTER TIRES TIRE SIZE

    While breaking down the components that make up this truck and I started to realize this truck really isn't a toy. It's the real deal. Take a look at the roll bar. Bolted to the chassis plates with 6 screws and made the same 3mm thickness, it's ready to handle the truck landing upside down but I do question for how long. With a few solid hits, it may just start to bend as I've experienced in the past. For the time being it will save the body, electronics, transmission and even the engine to a certain degree, but for how long is to be determined. I've seen a few aluminum roll bars get pretty beat up after time, and while it looks fantastic a thick pliable plastic roll bar may make more sense for long term durability.

    Because it is 1/8 scale you would expect the tires to be large, and they are. Measuring in at a stout 6.75" tall and 3.5" wide, it won't be lacking for grip. The tread pattern should also work well on most surfaces, but especially sand and dirt.


    STEERING SERVO SUSPENSION ARMS & STEERING HUB CAMBER & TOE ADJUSTMENTS

    Turning those giant wheels is no easy task. The Wolverine assigns the task to the Airtronics 94162. This steering servo features dual ball bearings with metal gears. At 4.8 volts that's 123 oz/in of torque at a speed of .18 per 60 degrees. If you desire more power no need to switch servos, simply switch batteries. Install a 6 volt and watch the torque increase to 154 oz/in at a speed of .15/60 degrees. That should be a solid servo for this truck.

    The suspension arms sport a massive 9.5mm thick solid plastic, giving this truck some serious abuse potential. I also see the use of dog bones to apply power from the differentials to to the wheels. This is a proven method that works very well. The owner can also tune all four wheels by adjusting camber and toe.


    ENGINE SLIPPER CLUTCH FUEL TANK

    Getting things moving in this 1/8 monster is a .25 4.02cc engine. Attached to the engine is a steel header and tuned exhaust which sings a sweet little tune. It sounds good. Accompanying the engine is a 3-shoe heavy duty racing slipper clutch.

    The fuel tank is larger than most in this category. At 270cc or 1/4 quart it will feed the engines thirst well and for longer than many other trucks in this category. So while they're filling up, I'll continue to bash around them. Sweet. It's also quickly removable for cleaning and routine fuel line replacement with only 2 body clips securing it to the chassis.


    TRANSMISSION SHIFT POINT ADJUSTMENT BRAKES

    The metal geared 2-speed transmission sits neatly in the center of the chassis. The housing for the transmission is the same heavy duty plastic you'll find throughout the other components of the truck, like the differential housing and suspension arms. Enclosed inside you'll find hardened metal gears riding on ball bearings for ease of operation and long life.

    Since it is a 2-speed transmission the owner can adjust the shift point by looking for the removable rubber cap on the transmission housing and making adjustments as preferred. Fully installed you'll notice it is the exact height of the chassis, giving it all the protection it needs.

    Once the transmission gets this beast rolling stopping it won't be all that easy and will need a reliable system with lots of stopping power. The brakes were a bit of a surprise and I question how well they'll work and for how long as I empty a tank of fuel. There are 2 metal disks for brake pads with 3 metal calipers compressing tight when the brake lever on the transmitter is depressed. Most common is a fiber brake pad, so I'm curious to see how they will stop the truck and how soon they'll begin to fade.


    DIFFERENTIAL HOUSING DIFFERENTIAL GEAR DIFFERENTIAL GEAR

    The differential housing is well enclosed in the suspension components and chassis and they is not much two it. One gear receives the power from the transmission and sends it to another gear that powers the wheels via dog bones. What I like about this differential is the teeth are curved. having that means even power distribution and more importantly less wear over time. The gears marry to each other much better than when the teeth are cut straight. This is one of those small details that reveal to me how much of a player this truck is when compared to its competition. I'm thinking it's pretty serious contender.


    SHOCK TOWER SHOCKS SHOCK POSITIONING

    There are a total of 8 shocks, 2 on each wheel. Each shock is fully adjustable to give you exactly the suspension feel you prefer when driving different terrain. If you unscrew the cap on each shock you can also use whatever weight oil suits your driving style.

    As important as the oil, I think the length of the shocks will come into play when landing those huge jumps. There's not a ton of travel at about 3" so that could be an area in need of improvement. I'll know more when I drive it and will report back in the performance section. The shocks are then bolted into one of two positions on the shock tower. I would also like to see a little more flexibility in this area of adjustment, but ultimately I don't think most drivers will care.


    AIR FILTER HOUSING AIR FILTER OIL INSTALLED AIR FILTER

    Finally, I think oiling the air filter may be one of the more commonly overlooked applications for many new drivers, but important all the same. The air filter blocks dirt and contamination from getting into your carburetor and ultimately your engine. By oiling the filter, you increase its effectiveness in capturing harmful particles.

    The goal is to get the filter damp but not wet. What I like to do is put a drop in the center of the filter and fold each side in to spread out the oil. I will continue this process all the way around the filter. I liked that RD Logics included oil with the package. Not all companies include filter oil.


     



    The first step to enjoying any brand new nitro powered r/c truck is engine break-in. If you simply fuel up your truck and start driving, you're probably setting yourself up to be frustrated with the truck you just bought. However, if you break in the engine properly tuning the engine should be a breeze, performance will be great and the longevity of the engine will be awesome.

    The Wolverine instructions recommend running a few tanks through the engine at idle, checking often the temperature to ensure the engine is not over heating. The optimum engine temperature is between 200 & 250 degrees. If the engine is running hotter than that, it needs to be richened a bit. If it's not getting up to temp, it needs to be leaned out just a bit.

    I pretty much followed their recommendation for break-in, although only the first tank of fuel was run on blocks as suggested. After allowing the engine to completely cool, I ran the second tank through the truck by lightly driving it around the yard at different RPM's.

    During the second tank of fuel, the truck ran great. There was a nice plume of smoke coming from the exhaust indicating I'm running a bit rich. It also had great acceleration without hesitation or even a tendency to stall at idle. I'd say the truck was ready for some fun.

    I took it to a new development just behind my property where they had excavated sand to use as fill before building new homes. This created a giant crater or bowl I felt was perfect for bashing a 1/8 monster truck. The size of the bowl allowed me to stretch out the engine and transmission, easily getting it to shift into second gear.

    The first thing I noticed while cruising around in the sand was the traction was pretty good. I also thought the steering was easy and light for such a big truck, responding quickly to my inputs. The Airtronics 94162 pushing 123 oz/sq.in did it's job well in the Wolverine.

    Acceleration and engine power are right on par with other trucks this size. It takes a considerable draw to feed the engine with fuel initially, but once the fuel reaches the carburetor it fires right up pulls every time with just a few pulls and runs great. After a few tanks of fuel, the engine becomes even easier to start. It now takes much less effort to pull start than it did initially.

    I also like the transmission. While the shift point is adjustable, I liked the factory setting. While playing around in the yard, I never really had room for it to go fast enough to shift into second gear. I actually like that. I can't really explain why, but it seems like I've driven many vehicles that shift into second just as I need to slow down. That gets annoying and has to be harder on the transmission and clutches. Conversely, while driving around the sand pit where I had enough room to get up to speed and allow the transmission to shift and push the truck even faster toward its target. I would like to see a little more speed off the line, low end speed, but overall the engine does what its expected to do in such a big truck. And so far it's been running great.

    The suspension really did a nice job soaking up the terrain. Control of the Wolverine was better than expected as a result. Turning under power was predictable in the sand. Loading the suspension during jumps didn't seem to bother the control either in the air or while setting up for the jump. The suspension is a bit short, so landing higher jumps will create a little bounce. However, the balance and otherwise stability of the truck makes jumping fun.

    The brakes are intense. While driving around the yard, it quickly became clear the brakes demand attention and respect. While driving only half throttle in the grass, the truck will actually flip over if I break too hard. This means I must be careful to know where I want to stop and ease into the brakes. I suspect that will wear down a bit after a few runs, but for now the brakes grab extremely hard.

    The body looked and felt like any other body shell from any other monster truck. This is why I was surprised when it "ripped" apart doing well, not much at all. Take a look at the video and you'll see the truck come down the hill, nearly flip over on its side. Shortly after, you'll see it jump and land on its tailgate. While it was on the rear two wheels you will hear the body snap and break. I heard it happened clear as day and drove the truck back to me so I could have a look.

    I simply grabbed the loose piece and pulled it completely off the truck. Nothing else happened to the body or the truck, but I was a bit surprised that such a simple thing tore up the body so bad. In fact, I can still clip the body to the truck normally; it just doesn't have the one side any more.

     


     

    At the end of the day, the Wolverine proved durable. Despite taking several hits, it kept on rolling. That is what we want in a 1/8 scale monster truck right? The body did give way, but better the body than the body posts or suspension components.

    I like this truck. From the gold anodize frame and suspension to the huge chrome plated wheels that give the truck eye catching appeal. I also like the price. For less money, I get similar performance to the more popular trucks. Parts will be mail order when you need them, which is less convenient than running down to the local hobby shop. However, in the internet age it's becoming less and less of a distraction to buyers.

    I'd like to put this truck up against a Savage or TMaxx. I think it would hold it's own pretty well.

     
     

    Comments on RCU Review: RD Logics Wolverine

    Posted by: reonu5142 on 01/04/2009
    I have the Exceed Mad Beast which has a .28 engine instead of the .25, anyway just wanna say I felt it was a good buy even though parts are harder to come by. Run time is just awesome 270cc!!! 15min at least! It's my 1st truck and it has served well =) Leon - brahmabull113@hotmail.com
    Posted by: Nathan on 01/04/2009
    Even though the body is pretty well beat up now, I still run this truck without problems.
    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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