Grant's Suggested Budget Backyard Bashing Setup

This should list everything you will need for a complete radio controlled truck setup that is fast, strong, and long lasting for a reasonable price.

Item Model Price*
truck Associated RC10T2 Team Truck $187.99
motor Trinity Speedworks Sapphire 17 turn single motor $27.99
ESC Tekin Rebel Reverse ESC $69.99
radio Futaba 2PB Magnum Sport with one S148 servo $52.99
battery Duratrax Pirahna1400mAh SCR (SCX) 7 cell flat $21.99
pinion gear any brand 18 tooth 48 pitch ~$5.00
charger Protech Model 702 AC/DC Charger $29.99
paint Pactra Polycarbonate Paints (spray) $3.19
TOTAL** $399.13

* Prices were taken from the mail order catalog: Speedmart (Issue #3, Good thru June 30, 1996) from Tower Hobbies.

** The total doesn't include shipping and handling costs (~$20, depending on location).

Expect to spend around 20 - 30% more if you purchase everything from a local hobby store. However, store employees are usually more willing to help you out with problems or with future purchases if you buy through them.

You will also need some tools and accessories for assembly such as Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, needle nose pliers, wire cutters, strong soldering iron and solder, X-acto knife, and super glue.


Truck - A stadium truck was chosen over a buggy because their bigger tires and wider stance gives more ground clearance which makes it easier going over grass and jumping small curbs or other obstacles. Also, their wider stance makes it more stable than the buggies, so you don't flip as easily. Buggies are lighter and a bit quicker than stadium trucks. As for choice of truck, the Losi XXT CR would also be an excellent choice, but the RC10T2 was chosen over the XXT CR for durability reasons. XXT CR claims to have better handling, but for playing around, you will probably be whacking curbs, rocks, trees, and flipping, scraping, sliding, cart wheeling (what a great hobby!) etc., so I personally would choose the most durable.

Motor - I think machine modified motors are the best for your money. They are only slightly more expensive than stock motors and give so much more features and options. Stock motors use bushings, mod motors use bearings. Stock motors are slower than modified (usually). The Sapphire to me offers a good balance of speed and runtime, but there are lots of selection as far as # of turns and # winds, so you can choose the motor that will suit your needs. You can see this movie of my truck (RC10T with sapphire and 7 cell, mpg 243K) to see the Sapphire for yourself. With a descent battery, you can expect maybe 6-7 minutes of runtime.

ESC (electronic speed control) - Novak And Tekin are the most popular brands out there. I like to have reverse for playing so I can just reverse my car if it gets stuck. The Tekin Rebel is reliable and can handle slightly modified motors like the Sapphire. The Novak 610HRV ($86.99) is the Novak equivalent of the Tekin Rebel. Just keep in mind that you can't use a reversible ESC for racing so if you plan to race in the future, then you may want to get a non-reversible ESC so that you don't need to buy another one later on.

Radio - Futaba, Airtronics, and JR seems to be the popular brands (in Hawaii anyways). Any of these brands would be good. The Magnum Sport was just chosen as an example and shouldn't be mistaken as my #1 choice. You don't need to have the BEST radio, but the radio should at least have servo reversing and of course it needs at least 2 channels and should have trim controls too. I chose the cheapest package with 1 standard s148 servo, but you can get different servos instead (at a higher price of course) to get better steering response. I use the s148 and I feel its good enough for backyard bashing. Futaba even offers ESCs with some of their radio packages. If you are really on a budget, you could ditch the Tekin Rebel ESC and get the radio and ESC package instead, but most people feel that you will fry the ESC especially if you get a mod motor. It will save you around $30 though. Weigh your options and decide what you feel comfortable with.

Battery - The SCR batteries seem to be the best battery for the money. You can recognize them because the cells are red in color (not the shrink wrap, but the cells themselves are red). They are 1400 mAh. Any brand should be good as long as they are labeled as "SCR" batteries. Duratrax seemed to be the cheapest one that I saw in the catalog. Duratrax just recently called them SCX batteries, but I think they are the same. I like to use 7 cells for playing because they produce more power than a 6 cell battery. If you plan to race, however, then you might want 6 cells because most places won't allow 7 cells for racing.

Pinion Gear - 18 tooth for the Sapphire motor seems to be around the right ratio. A larger pinion gear gives more top speed, but lower run times and more stress on your ESC and motor. Don't go too big or you could damage your ESC and/or motor. A smaller pinion gear will give more low end punch off the line, and increase your run time, but will reduce your top speed.

Charger - The Protech 702 is a timer charger. It works, but a peak charger is more convenient than a timer charger because it automatically stops after the batteries are fully charged. And it cost more. AC/DC means that you can either use it by plugging it into a house wall outlet, or by connecting it to your car battery (real car).

Paint - Make sure that you use paint that is specifically designed for use on lexan. Otherwise the paint will peel off very quickly.

And there you have it. This setup should satisfy that "Need for Speed" for a while.