Old 11-06-2010, 02:31 AM
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Location: Hattiesburg, MS
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Default An Unofficial Rovan 30.5 Baja Terminator Review and Two Speed

First off, this is not a clone vs hpi thread.I own several of both.If hpi were to offer a package similar to this within $400, I would most definitely go for it, but they do not.Also, I wanted to see if Rovan was able to produce a quality truck with many hop ups out of the box for an exceptional price compared to building one similarly equipped.I hope this thread will become a great resource for anyone else who purchases or considers purchasing this truck.I’ll be giving my ongoing review and invite any others with input to chime in.
This is where I am after about three weeks worth of getting to know the truck.

I took pics of the unboxing and package contents, but while in the middle of computer remodeling they were lost.If you’ve ever ordered a 1/5 scale you know what to expect.I did get a few pleasant surprises.I also ordered an extra Rovan 8k clutch, two speed, and Rovan offroad tires with the truck.

Out of the box she’s impressive, with much better finish and not as rough as I expected from a clone.My initial impression is positive.The aluminum rear bumper, lights, tuned pipe, cnc parts, etc are VERY nice.The right front shock was wet with oil residue in the box.The plug in the piggyback cap was loose.I checked all four and three were loose.I didn’t do a complete disassembly.All bolts I checked were secure, but no loctite anywhere.I apologize for the pic quality.As mentioned above, all were lost.These are just quick snapshots.

And no, that’s not me.That’s my bud that recorded some of the video below.It’s a nice looking truck!

Included is a nice exploded view in the manual.Also included are:

A set of spare A arms.Too bad they’re not nylon.I’ll keep them for the b.

Mounts, zip ties, pins, and servo saver part

Abottle of shock, air filter, and diff oil

Extra air filter

Extra axle boots, assorted pins, clips, and keepers

More clips, screws, and keepers

Allen wrenches and 4 way tool.Haven’t used them to see if they’re decent or just round off

The rear hubs are beautiful CNC machined works of art.Also, all A arms are white nylon.A+

The rear axles and joints are beefy!

The piggyback shocks are beautifully machined also



Gorgeous CNC machined aluminum wheels with aluminum beadlocks.Schweeeeeeeet!
Also ordered at the same time as the truck were Killerbee killswitch, a set of back up RPM white nylon A arms, Hostile MTX rear tires, Rear sand buster paddles, two sets of Pro line split six rear wheels, two sets of foams, DDM black magic 5000 mAh receiver pack, and voltwatch battery monitor.
Onto the first start……………….
The video tells the story of the first three tanks, but I’ll sum it up first.It started easily.And yes, I know the choke was turned off one pull too soon.I’m behind the cam.The 30.5 is pretty tight with lots of compression.It takes more arm, and still does after almost two gallons, than any of my other gassers.About ten minutes into the first run it began acting like it was dragging on acceleration.I was about to kill it anyway to let it cool since the engine was up to temp.It rolled easily but the clutchbell was very hard to turn by hand.I removed it and found the inner bearing was frozen solid and spinning inside the holder.One of the clutch shoes had also came apart.

It's bare metal except for that piece stuck on the right side.

Fortunately, I had two spare holders and more bearings.I had also ordered an extra 8k rpm Rovan clutch along with the truck.I ASSumed it came apart from the heat generated by the stuck bearing and installed it along with a new bearings and holder.

I made it through the rest of the first tank uneventfully.I stopped every 10-15 mins to let the engine cool, tighten bolts, etc.After filling it up to start the second tank I didn’t run it hard because the engine was still very tight.About ten minutes into the second tank the steering servo went out.While inspecting things, the servo saver wasn’t too tight.However, the bolt that came installed in it was too long.It was dragging the frame.Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this until too late.I’m not saying that was the cause, but certainly didn’t help.I installed an extra sfl 10mg servo I had.

During tank three I gave up on the Rovan carb.It absolutely refused to tune down low.It acted like an air leak but I couldn’t find one anywhere.At idle it would lean rev and bog on touching the throttle, even with both needles adjusted rich enough to the point of drooling.Before I hurt the engine I went ahead and I swiped the fuel lines, carb, and filter off of my 5b.Instantly cured it.I hated it too because I got better performance from km carbs than real walbros.I hoped the same with the Rovan, but no.

During tank four it began stalling much lower than 8k rpms.I pulled the clutchbell to find the second Rovan clutch looked like the first.I wasn’t very happy with the truck so far.I had yet to run it hard in four tanks and was already down a steering servo, two clutches, clutchbell holder, bearings, carb.

So far, this truck would be a HUGE disappointment to someone without a bunch of parts on hand and might make less persistent folks give up on large scale, especially if it was their first.

Video 1

Time to regroup.I went ahead and ordered an Elcon clutch, Hitech 5755mg steering servo, billet aluminum mount for it, TFE ceramic clutch/wheel bearings, TFE shim kit, and new 668 carb.The clutchbell holder had to be shimmed in order for the Elcon clutch to fit.

Onto gallon two…………..
Gallon two started out HORRIBLE.Being stupid, I hadn’t installed the killerbee or a failsafe I already had.After warming it up and getting the carb tuned, we were getting ready to start the vid and ZOOOOM!Runaway!She made impact with my bud’s work van tire at full mast – upwards of 35mph.I was actually quite impressed.All it broke was the frame and busted the body up.I wasn’t waiting another week on a new frame to resume my shakedown so….

Well, see the vid……….

Video 2

This is where customer support comes in.You’re pretty much on your own after the purchase.I emailed the seller after vid one with a description and pics of the servo, clutch, and carb.Didn’t even get a reply and don’t even know how to contact Rovan with it.That’s something any potential buyer should be aware of!

As of right now the verdict is still out.Just the mild jumping at the end of vid two pulled a shock apart and broke the frame mount off of the engine.However, the quality of the plastic and such has been very good.As of right now I’ve put a new engine cover on, new body, new shock body, and resumed testing it out with different gearing.I think I’ve uncovered most of the weak points in two gallons, but we’ll see in the coming days.

I’m not giving a negative review just yet because you still get a lot of truck for the money, but it definitely needs attention out of the box.That’s why I’m doing this thread.Had one been around before I purchased I could’ve avoided some unnecessary headaches.

I hope to get the two speed installed within the next few days.Much more video and action pics to follow soon!