RCU Review: DuraTrax Evader EXT RTR

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    Contributed by: Matt Gunn | Published: January 2008 | Views: 146207 | email icon Email this Article | PDFpdf icon
    Duratrax Evader EXT

    Review by: Matt Gunn (webdr)

    Duratrax Evader EXT
    Distributed exclusively by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 902
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021


    See the Evader EXT in action!!

    Dialup 11.8mb

    Broadband 20.6mb


    Very affordable

    Oil-filled shocks performed very well

    Stress-Tech chassis parts

    Slipper clutch

    A little underpowered

    Double-sided tape on esc/receiver didn't last

    The Evader has become the flagship of Duratrax's RTR vehicles, and the task of picking the one that's best for you can literally keep you up at night. You can choose from buggy or stadium truck, nitro or electric. Then, just when you thought you'd found your new vehicle, you get to choose your "trim" level; do you want plastic or aluminum shocks? Ball bearings or bushings? The Evader has more options than most luxury cars with a price tag that's slightly more affordable.

    But what about those beginners out there that don't need a pro-level truck or buggy? Or what about the guy that's looking for a first vehicle for his son or daughter? This is where the Evader EXT takes center stage. It's relatively high-turn motor is mild enough to put into the hands of an eager kid, yet packs enough punch to satisfy any person looking for some wheel-spinning, curb-jumping action.

    Most of the testing was done in my driveway and at the local park, because that's where this particular Evader belongs. I could have taken it to the track, but the thought of busting through piles of freshly fallen leaves was just too tempting! Now, lets take a look at Duratrax's newest model, the Evader EXT.

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    Name:Evader EXT
    Price: $119.99 retail price
    Length: 16.1""
    Width: 12.9"
    Wheelbase: 11.6"
    Dry Weight: 3.6 lb
    Motor: Photon Speed-2 540-sized motor

    Battery used: Piranha NiMH 7.2v 2000mAh (DTXP4005)
    Charger used: Team Checkpoint TC1030 charger
    Radio equipment: (Included) AM pistol grip, 2 channel receiver, steering servo

    • 6 cell flat battery pack
    • Charger
    • Phillips Screwdriver
    • 8 AA Batteries

    Other Helpful items

    • Duratrax Power Shot electric motor cleaner spray (DTXC2458)

    Evader EXT
    Sans body
    Front end
    Oil-filled shocks
    Sprint 2 ESC w/ reverse

    The Evader EXT is packaged nicely and comes with everything you'll need to get it going, minus batteries and a decent charger. The only tool included is a standard multi-wrench for the wheel nuts, slipper adjustment nut, and a few fasteners. If you plan on working on your Evader, you'll need a set of hex drivers and a Phillips head screwdriver; I used Duratrax Ultimate Hex Driver Set (DTX0292).

    The body comes mounted to the chassis without stickers and it's your job the put them on. There's six different body colors to choose from, all of which look pretty good with flames and carbon-fiber graphics. The rear wing needs to be attached with double sided tape that's surprisingly not included...seriously, it's a four inch piece of tape and not something a beginner would have lying around the house. I think there will be a few Evader EXTs running around "sans-wing" because of this.

    Take a look at the chassis and you'll see a clutter free platform made up of Duratrax's Stress-Tech parts which are warranted against breakage for the first year of ownership. These parts include the chassis, front and rear shock towers, gearbox, rear chassis plate, front and rear suspension arms, and many other parts. This is a great insurance policy for those rookie drivers who might encounter fixed-objects more than the other guys. The bottom of the chassis has raised sides to decrease contact with the ground, thus reducing drag when you bottom out.

    The shocks included with the Evader EXT are plastic oil-filled with light/medium springs. They effectively reduce shock transferred through the chassis but will cause the Evader to bottom out on big jumps. This isn't much of a problem because the entire truck can take some pretty nasty hits without faltering. Shock mounting points are adjustable at the top and bottom for changing the ride characteristics to suit your needs.

    Tactic AM receiver
    Photon Speed 2
    540-sized motor
    Slipper clutch and clear cover

    The motor included with the Evader EXT is the Photon Speed 2. It's a sealed 540-sized "silver can" motor aimed at economy. It's got enough juice to have alot of fun, but don't expect the whole shot advantage on race day. The stock spur gear is 88 teeth and the pinion is 18 teeth, both at 48 pitch. Feeding electricity to the motor is the Duratrax Speed 2 esc with reverse. It is a quality esc that didn't exhibit any bad habits although it has zero adjustability. Both the motor and the esc are a good combo for the beginner and help keep the overall price of the Evader EXT way down. It was nice to see a large plastic motor guard out back to protect it from whatever you encounter.

    A nice feature of the Evader EXT is the slipper clutch; loosening it helps control wheel spin and protects the gears from being stripped. The Evader also features a clear gear cover that protects the pinion and spur gears from debris that could damage them. There's a removable cover to access the slipper nut for easy adjustments.

    From the slipper clutch, power is transferred to the gearbox and on to the rear wheels via hardened steel driveshafts. The transmission is a beveled-gear type and is very strong, compared to more pricey vehicles that feature ball-bearing differentials. Inside features three gears and no bearings, just bushings, and again helps keep the price of the Evader EXT down. Hardened steel outdrives complete the transmission and the dogbones tie it all together. The whole setup is pretty strong and can take the added power of lower-turn motors. I even threw in my Novak brushless setup for the heck of it and the transmission performed flawlessly even with the massive power increase.

    Rear shock tower/body mount
    Beveled-gear transmission
    Rear a-arm and hardened steel dogbone
    Front a-arm
    Rear turf tires
    Front ribbed tires

    The front and rear a-arms proved to be worthy of some hard hits without breaking. They are pretty wide and give the EXT a nice stance and added stability. The hinge pins are held on with c-clips and are protected up front by the bumper. Wheelbase is adjustable by moving the washers on either side of the front hub; putting both behind the hub lengthens the wheelbase, both washers in front of the hub shortens the wheelbase. Front toe, camber and camber link placement are adjustable and a tuning guide is included in the manual to help those interested in learning how these adjustments effect the Evader's ride. Front caster is not adjustable and is set at 30 degrees front kick-up. A detailed maintenance guide is also included and explains step-by-step how to tear-down and rebuild your Evader.

    The wheels and tires included with the Evader EXT are a perfect fit for all-around bashing. The tires are glued to the rims and don't have any foam, mainly because the Evader EXT doesn't need them. They grip well on hard and soft surfaces and wear was minimal after running on asphalt. After sliding into a few objects, the wheels didn't chip or break like some other inexpensive RTR trucks.

    Tactic AM transmitter
    The radio equipment included with the Evader EXT also worked well for the price. I was impressed with the fit and finish of the transmitter; the Tactic 2-channel AM with adjustable trim. It's a basic unit that lacks all but the bare essentials...and that's really all you need to operate the Evader EXT. The only thing I wish it had was a charge jack; without it, your limited to non-rechargable AA batteries. Included with the transmitter is the Tactic TRX200 2-channel receiver and TSX200 steering servo. Both functioned as expected and the servo had enough power to turn the front end quickly. I was also glad to see an adjustable servo saver to protect the little guy from stripping it's gears.

    The Evader EXT doesn't need much to get it going; you will need to install the antenna tube, charge a 6-cell battery and add 8 AA batteries to the transmitter. Don't forget to strategically place the decals on the body. If you have a piece of double-sided tape, you can install the rear wing. Otherwise, you can pick some up at the hobby shop or order some from Duratrax.

    Now that the battery has charged, let's go test the Evader EXT.

    If I could sum up the Evader EXT in one word, that word would be "fun". It's not the fastest ship in the fleet but it makes up for it in durability and spunkiness. I found myself challenging the little Evader with jumps that I "thought" it wouldn't make but would then suprise me by clearing the jump and landing on all fours. The shocks included with the Evader EXT worked well. They kept the truck running fairly level on rough terrain and kept bottoming to a minimum on medium sized jumps. The bigger jumps resulted in a hard "smack" as the chassis bottomed but the Evader just shrugged it off.

    Speed and acceleration are not the Evaders strong points; again, Duratrax created the Evader EXT for beginners and the stock high-turn motor allows those getting used to rc a certain level of safety that faster vehicles lack. It also allows the beginner to concentrate on control which, sadly, quite a few people lack. Anyone can pull the throttle but the subsequent control involved separates the good drivers from the not-so-good.

    Running around the park, I found the Evader quite a joy to operate. Other park patrons were not bothered by it, and believe me, that's a plus. People tend to get annoyed at rc vehicles and their owners because they are fast and loud and disturb their "quiet time". Not so with the Evader EXT; I shared the park with a few people and their small children and everyone was all smiles.

    Run time on the Evader was around 15 minutes on a Piranha NiMH 7.2v 2000mAh. The battery, motor, and esc were only warm to the touch after running mostly full-throttle the whole time.

    I pushed the Evader EXT as hard as it would go and it still ran strong. Nothing broke or was damaged after 10+ battery pack charges and I'd say that defines the truck as a basher. My only complaint has to do with the double-sided tape used to secure the esc and receiver; it isn't strong enough to hold either in place after a few hard hits or up-side-down landings. I re-secured both with some velcro strips and that solved the problem.

    Evader EXT in action!

    Dialup 11.8mb

    Broadband 20.6mb

    The Evader EXT is the latest in a long line of Evaders and it's durability is no surprise. I repeatedly bashed this stadium truck and never broke anything. This is great for beginners or anyone wanting run-time over down-time. Even though the Evader EXT is not a super-fast truck, it can easily be hopped up and can definitely take the added power. I would recommend the Evader for a kid's first real rc, the beginner looking for an inexpensive route into this wonderful hobby, or anyone wanting a friendly, low maintenance rc truck.

    Evader EXT
    Distributed exclusively by:
    Great Planes Model Distributors
    P.O. Box 902
    Champaign, IL 61826-9021
    website: www.greatplanes.com

    Thanks to Jessica Halsak for helping me test the Evader EXT.

    Comments on RCU Review: DuraTrax Evader EXT RTR

    Posted by: qaiz on 01/16/2008
    Well could do with a better radio & reciever.
    Posted by: shingy on 01/20/2008
    this is a great starter car fun to drive. Really durable
    Posted by: AresROC on 01/21/2008
    The EXT can use some higher grade idler gear. I got two bad ones. The aluminum idler costs $17!
    Posted by: Kemo on 01/23/2008
    Time for DTX to go brushless.
    Posted by: ThunderbirdJunkie on 01/29/2008
    I'm glad they made the Evader tougher...IMO that's all it needed to be a perfect beginner truck. Are the new parts retrofittable to the Nitro Evader ST?
    Posted by: Kemo on 01/29/2008
    Definitely! This truck is completely upgradeable. I'd leave the parts as is, but beef up the tranny
    Posted by: countryboy4life on 04/14/2008
    Can someone tell me if they have a metal tranny upgrade so you can go brushless?? If so pm me or e-mail me at jdnance89@yaho.com
    Posted by: schleppenbach_chris on 10/09/2008
    its time to use some evader ext parts to upgrade my evader st.
    Posted by: schleppenbach_chris on 10/09/2008
    as far as the reciever and esc super JET super glue works great my reciever is mounted to my body strap to keep it dry when driving in wet conditions.
    Posted by: cumquat on 02/02/2009
    i got one about a year ago and stripped it about 8 months ago. i am considering getting another one
    Page: 1 2 >
    The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in products like the one featured in the review.

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