|Contributed by: Nathan Maat | Published: October 2007 | Views: 59273 | Email this Article
- Shock adjustability
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.
||1/8 Monster Truck
||3-Shoe Racing Slipper
||8 Oil Filled
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
ARMS & STEERING HUB
& TOE ADJUSTMENTS
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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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