40+mph - Fully Adjustable Wide Track Suspension
Unsurpassed Durability - Bullet Proof EZ Start
"The T-Maxx 2.5 Review" by Steve Slayden
Over two and a half years ago the T-Maxx exploded onto the RC scene and took over the monster truck world with complete dominance. No other truck could dish out or take the kind of punishment that the T-Maxx was more than capable of delivering. I remember the first time that I saw a T-Maxx in action. It was all I could do to keep my jaw off of the ground. The first words out of my mouth, after dusting off my chin of course, were "I gotta have one!" Watching this nitro beast wheelie over rocks and branches, launching off of jumps, and effortlessly floating over curbs was a sight that had yet to be seen from an RC vehicle, especially in a RTR (Ready-To-Run) package.
I've spoken with many people about their T-Maxxes over the past couple of years and what their first experiences were like. All of the conversations pretty much went down the same way. Does this sound familiar? "I was ripping my T-Maxx around the yard to show a few buddies and within a couple of weeks all of my friends had one of their own." This seems to sum up the story of the T-Maxx quite well in my mind. Traxxas knew that they really had something with the T-Maxx. After seeing the overwhelming response from customers and after-market companies yearning to take this truck to the highest levels of performance, it was back to the drawing board for the Traxxas engineers. They knew that there was room for improvements that only Traxxas could deliver for the next generation of T-Maxx trucks.
TRX 2.5 The birth of a new racing engine
While the Pro .15 in the original T-Maxx was no slouch, capable of pushing the T-Maxx past 30mph, the T-Maxx's tough design and ample suspension travel would welcome some extra horsepower. The first improvement that the engineering team put into motion was an all new engine. Something with enough torque to rip wheelies on command and enough horsepower over a very broad RPM range to lay down some serious speed ratings. They also wanted to do all of this in a 2.5cc (.15ci) "small block" engine case. This keeps things like size, cost, weight and noise down. Simply going to a larger displacement engine to gain additional peak power was not enough to meet the engineering team's goals.
While other manufacturers were operating under the philosophy that "there's no replacement for displacement" and continuing to build increasingly larger engines, Senior engineer Brent Byers countered that there is a better alternative - "innovation, technology and efficiency". The trick was getting big block performance out of an engine with such a small displacement, also something that no one else had come close to doing. These ambitions were accomplished selecting just the right materials, and utilizing the latest sophisticated techniques in design. After committing two years to thorough research, design and countless hours of strenuous real world testing they did it, "The birth of a new racing engine".
Breaking it down
Everything in the new TRX 2.5 from the carburetor to the crankshaft, to even the rear exhaust o-ring gasket design was meticulously researched to squeeze out every ounce of performance and tuning ease that could possibly be engineered into a .15ci small block engine. The resulting technology built into the TRX 2.5 really shined on the testing dyno, easily producing 60% more power than the TRX Pro .15. The TRX 2.5 engine is all new and shares no parts with the TRX Pro .15 engine. Here are the special features designed into the new TRX 2.5 racing mill.
TRX IPS Crankshaft - The new IPS (Integrated Pilot Shaft) crankshaft is superior in design compared to standard threaded crankshafts, and operates with virtually no vibration transferred to the clutch bell. Threaded crankshafts that use an adapter nut cause a slight wobble at the end of the shaft where the clutch bell mounts. It may not be as noticeable to the eye when you're turning the flywheel over by hand, but the slightest fluctuation in the shafts movement will definitely be noticed by the gear train with an engine capable of winding up to 50,000rpm.
Senior Engineer Brent Byers reported that "initial dyno testing revealed that as much as 10% of the engine's power could be lost due to vibration and incorrect gear mesh." The crankshaft pin was also designed with those incredible RPM's in mind. The extra large diameter crank pin is subjected to a secondary surface hardening process to give excellent wear characteristics and should hold up to whatever is thrown at it. In addition to the IPS crankshaft, conventional short and standard threaded crankshafts will also be available to fit other vehicles designed for small block .12 - .15ci engines.
Lightweight Piston and Connecting Rod - The piston is machined and lightened for higher RPM and quicker acceleration. The wrist pin is offset toward the minor side (the side of the piston with the least amount of side load during the power stroke of the piston). This evenly distributes the side load of the piston between the compression and the power stroke, promoting even cylinder wear and longer engine life. It also reduces friction and heat for more power. I was very impressed with the fit and finish of the connecting rod. The TRX 2.5 connecting rod was designed to be considerably longer than typical connecting rods found in this size of engine (rod-stroke ratio = 2).
The TRX 2.5 connecting rod is even longer than those in some big block .15 engines. This reduces the rod angle throughout the stroke of the piston and decreases the load placed on the side of the piston, which in turn makes for a more efficient and smoother running engine. The finish on the connecting rod is superb, and knife edged for reduced crankcase turbulence created by the lower end of the rod at higher RPM. Once the break-in is completed and the TRX 2.5 is tuned in for performance, you can really see and feel the difference. The engine is silky smooth even right off of idle. The lightweight design and materials that went into this piston / con rod combo greatly contribute to the wheelie popping punch and seamless operation of the TRX 2.5 Racing Engine.
Cast Cylinder Head - Tons of cooling fins and trick styling best describes the look of the new TRX 2.5 cylinder head, but the performance of this new jewel is what it's all about. It's five-head bolt design keeps even pressure around the sleeve. This is important when you're talking about an engine capable of 50,000 RPM.
The cooling head is cast out of aluminum for maximum cooling and the cooling fins continue down into the crankcase for maximum heat rejection. The head is also fitted with a very cool plastic protector that is replaceable. Not only will it protect your new head from harm but it also has a slot molded in for the placement of the blue EZ-Start®? wire (no more pinched or frayed glow plug wires).
There are slots notched out just above the engine mounting flanges for easy access to the engine bolts for quick removal. There's also a place made at the bottom of the cooling head for the Traxxas temperature probe loop. Now that's attention to detail.
Square Reciprocating Geometry - Square reciprocating geometry means that the cylinder bore diameter is equal to the diameter of the crankshaft stroke or bore-stroke ratio = 1. This design produces a smooth, linear power curve creating lots of power throughout the power band. I was impressed that the TRX 2.5 did not feel "peaky" like some other engines.
High Volume / High Flow Air Filter - The new air filter is a very high quality unit. The most impressive feature of this new filter design is that the inside of the filter base is super smooth and is matched perfectly to the inlet tract of the carburetor body. This provides a fast and virtually seamless transition of airflow between the air filter base and through the carburetor body.
There is a finely meshed screen incorporated into the housing to keep out larger debris while maintaining the highest flow possible. The finer stuff is handled by the large foam element inside the housing. Traxxas supplies their own high quality foam filter oil that works great for any condition. Here's a tip, be sure to clean the foam filter element and re-oil after every hour of run time. This is critical for long engine life.
O-ring Exhaust / Back Plate Gasket - O-ring style back plate gaskets have been around for sometime now. They are reusable and virtually maintenance free. What sets the TRX 2.5 Racing Engine apart from the rest of the crowd is that an o-ring gasket system was designed for the exhaust header as well.
Typical rear exhaust header gaskets tear easily causing exhaust leaks that hinder performance. Two bolts secure the exhaust header to the rear of the engine case so there are no more tricky springs to mess with either. Note that the two header bolts only need to be a snug fit. Do not over tighten these bolts. The o-ring system does not require these bolts to be very tight to function properly.
Round Rear Exhaust Configuration - The TRX 2.5 has a rear facing, round exhaust port. Though many manufacturers have rear exhaust ports these days; they are not all created equal. The internal design of the port is the important factor in achieving performance. Some engines, in effort to create adequate flow area resort to having an overly tall exhaust port with the negative side effect of early exhaust timing. By having unrestricted exhaust flow along with low exhaust port height, the TRX 2.5 uses combustion pressure for a greater percentage of the power stroke compared to typical engines. Now that's the kind of rear exhaust engine that I want in my race truck.
High Performance Exhaust System - The sound and performance of the composite bodied tuned pipe and header combo is very impressive. This is a free flow exhaust system that is matched to the performance of the engine and intake system. Most racers, or anyone who is looking to gain performance from their RC model, usually upgrade the whole exhaust system or at least the pipe on their RC trucks.
This is typically one of the first things to happen after the purchase of a nitro model, however that is not necessary with the new T-Maxx. Unlike the under-engineered, "throw away" exhaust systems seen on other RTR trucks, this package will have no trouble holding it's own out on the racetrack.
Innovative Composite Slide Carburetor - I could spend all day talking about the new composite carburetor. It is truly a work of art. After many years of nitro racing I have not seen a carburetor with as much attention to detail as this one. I'll hit a few of the key elements of this "Bad Boy" carb. First of all, the new carburetor is a "slide" design. The airflow characteristics of slide carburetors are superior to standard barrel style carbs. Slide carburetors are also considered an upgrade on most manufacturers' engines raising the cost of the engine.
The carburetor is designed to promote efficient, laminar airflow by integrating the design of the air filter, carburetor inlet and crankcase, "High continuity airflow design". This optimizes fuel atomization for more torque and better efficiency through the entire operating range.
The composite body is molded in liquid crystal polymer (LCP). This space age material weighs less than conventional metal carburetors, transfers less heat to the carburetor and provides a smoother inlet tract than cast or molded carbs. This is a perfect carburetor material for an engine of this caliber.
The low speed spray bar is molded into the carb body, which allows the spray bar to be specially shaped for better fuel atomization. Another great feature is the positive stop built into the low speed needle. This prevents the needle from being turned in too far, which could cause damage to the low speed spray bar. Also, the high-speed needle valve assembly has multiple mounting positions to allow the carburetor to be positioned at 0 or 180 for installation versatility.
Now you can see why myself and every other red-blooded, horsepower hungry RC gear head should be ecstatic about this new engine from Traxxas. The TRX 2.5 just screams and keeps begging for more. Everyone will ask "What brand of .21ci do you have in there?" and with a smile, you can simply say "It's the stock small block .15ci TRX 2.5 Racing Engine that came with my T-Maxx out of the box".
EZ-Start® 2 Revolutionary starting ease
No discussion of a Traxxas engine is complete without delving into the details of the fabulous EZ-Start® 2 electric starting system.
The original EZ-Start® was one of the coolest starting systems to ever hit the nitro scene. Being able to kick over the engine at a steady RPM and heat the glow plug at the same time with just a push of a button was something that most nitro owners only dreamed about. How many of you ever tried to juggle a car while trying to heat the plug and operate a starter wheel at the same time, or ripped flesh from your fingers fighting with a pull starter? How many of you are tired of lugging around a big and bulky starter box with all of its accessories? Many of you know exactly what I'm talking about.
The second generation starting system from Traxxas, simply dubbed "EZ-Start® 2", takes electric starting above and beyond any other RC car/truck starting system. The features and the ease of use of the new EZ-Start® 2 make it "must have" amenity. The EZ-Start® 2 improves on the previous starter with an all new roller clutch design for positive clutch engagements every time.
There's also a new bulletproof gear train with compact planetary gear reduction, diagnostic LED lights and a new ergonomic controller that allows comfortable one handed operation. If this sounds good to you, then you'll be happy to know that the EZ-Start® 2 is standard equipment.
On-Board Starter Features
High-torque 380 sized motor
Optimized gear reduction ratio takes maximum advantage of starter motor characteristics.
Elastomer "cush drive" output protects gear train from shock loads due to engine kick back.
Internal roller clutch design provides reduced wear and more reliable clutch operation.
Hand Held Control Unit Features
Diagnostic light emitting diode (LED) indicator for glow plug condition.
Voltage regulated glow plug circuit - Delivers consistent voltage to the glow plug independent of the starter battery condition and motor load.
Overload protection, MOSFET driven, starter motor circuit - Protects starter motor from overload by monitoring current draw. MOSFET drive allows the starter system to operate at higher efficiency for improved starting power (more starts per charge).
Diagnostic LED indicator for motor circuit status indicates fault condition.
Molded belt clip for convenient mounting on your person.
Fully enclosed battery and integrated vehicle connector allow convenient one hand operation.
At first glance, with the body off, the new T-Maxx may not look so new to some people aside from the distinctive looking new engine and the redesigned EZ-Start® system. Upon closer examination, you can see the new wider suspension, and other improvements that the guys at Traxxas have been working on.
All New Prographix Bodies - The new generation T-Maxx is also sporting an all new look. Killer looking graphics with four different base color choices are available for the Maxx monster. These new graphics are sweet and look awesome on the truck. Choose from red, blue, green or black background colors. I particularly like the black one. There is also the option of buying a ProGraphix custom body with a clear background, (sold separately) that you can paint yourself. This enables you to show off the striking new graphics on your T-Maxx with your own choice of custom background colors. The graphics that Traxxas can put on their pre-painted bodies are truly amazing and like all Prographix bodies, the body and graphics are impervious to fuel and very durable, so your new T-Maxx body will stay looking new for a long time.
Thicker 3mm Chassis - An extra 0.5mm was added onto the chassis for more strength. It is 50% more rigid than the original. This extra strength prevents changes in gear mesh, and offers more precise suspension response. The 6061-T6 aluminum chassis plate is also anodized blue.
Strengthened Turnbuckles - The steering and rear toe links are replaced with larger 3.5mm turnbuckles. These new turnbuckles are beefy and should stand up to the extra punishment that the TRX 2.5 will be dishing out. Traxxas also took the guesswork out of adjusting the new turnbuckles. Turning the rod ends all the way down to the stops on the shaft provides correct stock alignment once installed on the truck. You can then adjust the rod ends for more toe-in. Replacement shafts now come pre-assembled.
Larger, Heavy Duty Drive Shafts - To handle the 60% extra power produced by the TRX 2.5, Traxxas beefed up all of the drive shafts on the truck and also fitted the drive shafts with larger universal joints as well. Stronger drive shafts also means less flex and more positive power to the wheels (quicker response). Another notable feature of these shafts is that they only key into each other "in phase", which eliminates the possibility of assembling the shafts "out of phase". Out of phase driveshafts can cause the axles to wobble slightly at high RPM robbing the truck of speed.
Of course all of these newly designed components and upgrades will be available individually so anyone can transform their first generation T-Maxx into a stronger, faster, wider and newer looking 4wd off-road machine. The basic layout, size and weight of the T-Maxx remains the same which is great for those of you with investments in after market performance and appearance accessories.
Maxx Suspension System
So what is so special about the T-Maxx's new suspension? How about over an extra inch of track width (14mm each side!), and enough shock mounting positions to dial in your suspension to any type of terrain on this planet. This truck is mega-stable. Blazing over large mogels, whoops and washboard sections out at the track is even easier than before. There are four shock positions on the lower suspension arms and three shock positions on the shock tower. Caster is also adjustable on the front suspension giving the new T-Maxx greater adjustment capabilities than any other monster truck on the market. Flipping the truck over in the middle of a turn is a thing of the past. The first generation T-Maxx could be dialed-in to work very well around most tracks, but sometimes the truck would lift a little in tight corners coming off of the straightaway. In high bite conditions this could happen in other sections of the track as well. Not only does the extra inch of track width keep the truck very stable throughout the whole course, but coupled with the wide array of shock mount positions there is not a situation this racer can think of, that this new truck can't handle.
The new Maxx suspension allows faster entrance and exit speeds in the corners and also through the very rough portions of the track, a characteristic that is essential with a very powerful engine such as the TRX 2.5. Best of all, when you're done racing, you can adjust back to the traditional Maxx plush feel and suspension travel for bashing and jumping etc. You can't do that with aftermarket wide arms kits.
Tuning the new suspension system on the T-Maxx is an easy task. Traxxas really out did themselves with the new 48-page color T-Maxx instruction manual. This has got to be the most informative manual that I've ever seen from not only an RTR model, but also any RC model kit manual that I've read.
For general "bashing" around and most surfaces that you'll encounter just playing around, climbing hills and plowing over rocks, the stock set-up works great (#2 pos. for lower arms, and pos. A on the shock tower). For high speed street racing you can move the lower shock position to the outer holes (3 & 4) to lower the ride height and down travel. This will lower your center of gravity and decrease chassis roll in the corners for excellent handling while retaining insane cornering speeds. The beauty of this new suspension is that you no longer need to tear down your shocks every time that you want to change the down travel of the suspension arms or the feel of the dampening rate at the wheels. Just change to the appropriate shock mounting position and get back out there. Keep in mind that though this suspension system has greatly increased the tuning window ease, there still may need to be a changes made with shock oil and/or springs to get your truck perfectly dialed to the track. This system just makes it a whole lot easier and provides more options. Here are a few suspension tech tips for those who are interested in dialing in their new T-Maxx' suspension.
1. Shock Position -- There are four mounting positions for the shocks on the lower front and rear suspension arms of T-Maxx. The outside holes make the suspension more progressive as it is compressed. This will give the truck a little bit of a firmer feel. The inside holes allow a little more chassis role in the corners.
Keep in mind that using the outside shock mounting positions also changes the down travel of the arms and lowers the ride height. Changing the upper mounting positions to the outside holes will add a firmer spring rate feel to the wheels, but will take away some dampening (faster compression and rebound). Note that the inner position on the shock tower (pos. 0) is for the original length (short) T-Maxx arms, and is not designed to be used with the outermost holes (3 & 4) on the new wider lower arms.
2. Caster -- Caster is the angle of the axis that the front hub carriers pivot on when looking at the side of the chassis. Positive caster will allow more weight to remain up front when cornering. This will provide more steering. Positive caster will also increase negative camber through a corner. Typically, more negative camber will equal more traction, thus more steering.
To adjust front caster you simply move the caster spacers that are located on the upper suspension pins. By placing the spacers to the rear of the arm you are adding more caster and you should get more steering from the truck. By placing the spacers toward the front you reduce the caster and will take some steering out of the truck. This usually makes the truck a little more controllable and less sensitive out of the corners. If you're just starting out and you're having trouble controlling a truck that has too much steering, start with all of the shims placed to the front of the arm then move one shim at a time, from each side, back to the rear as you need more steering.
3. Ride Height -- Ride height is adjusted by adding or taking away spring pre-load spacers. Do not use the length of the shock to set ride height. Using the length of the shock to set ride height minimizes or can even eliminate down travel making a very twitchy and unpredictable truck. Also, do not use extra pre-load spacers to give the shock a firmer feel.
Arms stock height
If you want to firm up the suspension then use a firmer spring or the outer shock mounting positions on the lower arms. Pre-load spacers are only used for adjusting ride height. Generally it is best to run the chassis as low as you can but still be able to negotiate the bumps and jumps on the track. Smooth surfaces will allow lower ride height settings and bumpy tracks will need a higher stance. Ride height is checked with the truck on a flat smooth surface.
Arms level (Racing)
Push down on the front and rear of the truck at the same time and allow the shocks to rebound the truck to its set ride height. For racing a good starting point is when the truck rebounds to where the front and rear suspension arms are level. You can run the rear up a little higher than the front for more steering into the corners.
I hope that this sheds some light on a few of the suspension adjustments. The T-Maxx has the most adjustable and plush suspension system of any monster truck on the market. Remember not to make many different adjustments at one time. You may not get the desired result and it would be difficult to tell which adjustment needed to be changed back. For a beginner it can be helpful to make a large change to just one area of the suspension to see how exactly that particular adjustment changed the handling of the truck. After getting a better understanding of how the changes effect the handling of he truck, then it is better to make small changes out at the track. Stay tuned to Traxxas.com for more of my suspension tips and set-ups in the future.
Breaking-in the TRX 2.5
I started prepping the T-Maxx for its first run by charging a 7.2V battery for the EZ-Start® 2 system. After gluing the tires and installing the transmitter and receiver batteries into the radio system, I proceeded to perform a systems check on all of the servos and radio gear. Everything checked out great so I headed out to the parking lot. I filled the tank with Traxxas Top Fuel (20%). This is the best and most consistent fuel that I've used. I've also been racing with this fuel for several years now in my on-road and off-road vehicles with great success. It provides the perfect mix of power, consistency and cooling for the engine. After installing the 7.2volt battery into the starter control box I proceeded to start the engine. The truck started up fine and sputtered a little, then died. The Texas heat was blazing like it usually does in the middle of the summer, and the humidity was also a little on the high side. This type of weather condition contains less dense air meaning that there is less oxygen in the air. This creates a rich mixture. I leaned the high-speed mixture a little as instructed by the handy little tuning card that came wrapped around the fuel tank. This little card is going to be a lifesaver to many people out there. It's small enough to fit in your wallet and is very informative. The engine fired back up and held a good steady idle.
The break-in procedure for the new TRX 2.5 is different from what I'm used to. Before, just putting around the parking lot back and forth for four tanks was the standard procedure. Well, the Traxxas engineers actually put their great minds together in coming up with a break-in procedure for the TRX 2.5 engine that will optimize the performance of the engine and provide the longest life possible. I won't bore you with "play by play" commentary of my break-in experience, but I will say that the engine ran great and actually produces a lot of power at such a rich break-in setting so don't get carried away during your break-in process. Carefully breaking in the engine by the instructions will give you the most power available from the engine and will ensure long life of the piston and sleeve. I must note that while trying to start the engine after the fourth tank I ran into some trouble keeping the engine running. Changing the plug out with a new one (plug#3231) brought new life to the TRX 2.5.
This is a common side effect during the break-in process of a new engine. The tiny particles that travel through the engine during the break-in process can foul the glow plug. I recommend picking up a few extra glow plugs at the hobby shop when you purchase your new Traxxas vehicle, or if you haven't already, then pick some up as soon as you can. You don't want to be stuck out at the track or your favorite running spot without extra plugs.
After completing the fifth tank of break-in I started leaning out the high-speed needle a little at a time. I wanted to crank up the performance of this bad little dude and see what it was actually capable of and WHOA!!!! Lookout!!!! This thing hauls! I didn't need to adjust my low speed needle for my particular driving condition, but you may need to for yours. Adjusting the low speed needle is simple. After getting the engine up to a normal operating temperature, clear the engine out by making a high-speed pass or two then bring the truck in and pinch the fuel line between the engine and the fuel tank. The engine should start to rev up a little then want to die. Let go of the fuel line before the engine dies and make your adjustment (if needed). The engine should idle up for a few seconds before almost dying. This is the correct setting. If the engine immediately dies or wants to die, then the low speed needle is too lean. The opposite is true when the engine idles up for more than several seconds then the engine is too rich. After adjusting the needle make a couple more high-speed passes and retest.
Bashing, Racing and Jumping the New Maxx
After completing the break-in process I was anxious to see what this animal was made of and how the new improvements contributed to the performance. I stuck around in the parking lot making high-speed passes back and forth for a while to experience the amazing speed of this truck. Watching this truck wind up in second gear is truly a sight. I haven't had this much fun ripping around a parking lot in a long time. Taking high speed turns on the high bite surface didn't upset the new Maxx at all. The wider track width really made a difference in the stability of the truck. The truck would actually break traction before it would flip. Wheelies were not a problem at all. In fact, with a couple of tweaks on the low speed needle the front end was actually hard to keep down. The new TRX 2.5 is so powerful that I don't see a good reason for going to a larger engine. From a racing stand point I would much rather run a powerful small block like the TRX 2.5 instead of a big block engine for several reasons; 1 - the small block weighs less with a lower center of gravity, 2 - less fuel consumption, 3 - less initial cost and lower maintenance costs down the road, such as plugs and rebuild kits. Also, Traxxas is going to offer the ERP (Engine Replace Program) for the new TRX 2.5. Now, there is no excuse for not having one of the little wonders in your own ride.
After blazing around the parking lot for a while I brought the T-Maxx in to clean it up a bit and give it a quick check over to make sure that everything was still secure. Everything was in order and looked great. I wanted to take the truck out to a place that could really push the T-Maxx's new suspension to the limits. I packed up all my gear and headed out to a vacant one-acre lot where a lot of people go to ride their four wheelers and dirt bikes. Loaded with open trails, a few jumps and some very rough rutted areas, this was an excellent test site for me to put the Maxx through its paces. I fired up the Maxx, which starts up within just a couple of seconds now that the break-in process is complete. I began my venture by making some high speed passes through the open areas of the field. Blasting the monster across an open field (at speed) while watching the suspension soak up every rock and stick without a stutter was absolutely mesmerizing. The chassis floats across rough terrain as if it were hovering several inches above the ground. There's not another vehicle out there that negotiates these kinds of surface conditions as gracefully as the T-Maxx. I loved watching the suspension go to work over the jagged rocks and hardened mud formations. The stock suspension set-up was working awesome on everything that I could find to plow over. I found that the T-Maxx was also more stable in the air coming off of the jumps. The dampening feel that the new suspension system gives is more of a feel that you would find from a race set-up, yet it still allows the driver to romp over large obstacles and curbs without reacting too harshly. So far, this test pilot was very impressed with the speed and handling of the new four wheel drive monster rocket, but I still had one more test site to crash??The track.
Once again, with a smile from ear to ear, I packed up my gear and headed out. I stopped at a local indoor off road track that is a fairly good size for nitro trucks and is loaded with doubles, table tops, whoops and berms. My first outing was with the suspension in the stock set-up. I wanted to see how the truck responded to a race track environment in box stock form before I started tweaking on the suspension. The truck handled very well. The power was over-kill for this particular track, but I consider that to be a good thing. I had to remind myself on some of the jumps to back off the throttle a little to avoid over shooting the landing jumps. It's almost like launching a Yamaha YZ250 over set of BMX doubles. With a little discipline and smooth throttle control, I was able to click off some pretty good times. The chassis had a little too much roll in the tighter corners of the track for my taste, but the new Maxx was definitely getting around much better than the narrow suspension trucks that were out there practicing. I pulled the truck off of the track so the engine could cool down while I repositioned the shocks for a lower stance and more progression. The shocks are mounted in the #2 position on the lower arms from the factory. The suspension is set up for Maxx travel and ground clearance out of the box. This position is best for most driving conditions. I chose to reposition them into the #3 slot for the current track conditions. This time out on the track was even better. The chassis stayed flat in the corners allowing me to dive in harder and roll onto the throttle sooner coming out of the corner than before. This new T-Maxx could be raced competitively at any local club track with the box stock equipment. With the addition of racing tread/compound tires and a little suspension tweaking, the truck could compete successfully against any of the modified aftermarket component equipped trucks. I can't wait to bolt a new TRX 2.5 engine into my own personal race Maxx and show all of those "buggy conversions" how to get around track.
One word that can best sum up how I felt about this new four-wheel drive beast is, "Stoked". After being in this hobby for quite some time now and driving many, many different makes and types of vehicles, it becomes a little harder to get super excited about a lot of new products. Well, the newly refined T-Maxx with its super smooth and very powerful TRX 2.5 engine has changed that for me. I really haven't had this much fun with an RC vehicle since the first T-Maxx hit the streets.
Traxxas has combined unsurpassed speed and mega-plush handling into a very attractive package, again. This time they did it with a lot of noteworthy improvements and very innovative designs. All of this is, of course, backed by the best customer service in the industry. Just like the ad says, the new T-Maxx really is faster, wider and meaner than ever. You don't have to take my word for it though. When you see them popping up all around your favorite stomping grounds shredding it up, you'll see just how much faster and meaner they really are. This truck speaks for itself.