New from ARRMA is a pair of affordable trucks in their Mega line up. Instead of 2wd, the new trucks are all wheel driven, thus making them easier to drive off-road. We’ve been testing one of the trucks, the Senton 4×4 Mega for several weeks now. With ARRMA’s great reputation and a truck loaded with features, we couldn’t wait to see what the Senton 4×4 could do. Does it live up to the ARRMA reputation? How fast is it? Is it just for noobies or can it be fun for the experienced hobbyist too? You know the drill, keep on scrolling down for our thoughts…
Review By: Cubby
Pictures By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Motor: Mega 12 turn brushed, 550
Speed Controller: Mega 35 amp
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: Tactic TTX300 2.4GHz
Differential: Gear type
Slipper Clutch: Yes
Driveshafts: Plastic universals
Shocks: Plastic, oil filled
Spur/Pinion Pitch: 48 pitch
Bearings: Yes, full set
Tires: dBoots Fortress
Battery: 2400mAh NiMH w/ charger
Part Number: #AR102667
Warranty: 2 year limited
Front wheel travel: 2.6″
Rear wheel travel: 2.3″
Wheelie on demand: No
Backflip off ramps: No
Stability Control: No
Sound Module: No
Top Speed (measured by BSRC): 24 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC): 11 minutes
Street Price: $239
Primary Competition: The Senton 4×4 enters deep water in the 4×4 SCT class. Some of its competitors include the ECX Torment 4×4 and the Traxxas Slash 4×4.
What’s Needed To Complete: You will need to dig up four AA cells for the transmitter, otherwise everything is included.
Build Quality: We let 3 members of our test crew give the truck a close looking over before testing began. We found the truck to be well built with the exception of two of its shocks. We found two of the shocks were a bit low on oil, otherwise the rest of the truck checked out fine.
Test Drivers: Robbie Da’ G-Man, Iron Mikeee, T-Money, and yours truly.
Test Venues: We drove the Mega Senton at the St. Louis Dirtburners off-road track, a city park in Belleville Illinois, Minnie Ha Ha park in Fenton Missouri, and at our local Costco parking lot.
Set-up Notes: Per our normal, we left the ARRMA bone stock for testing. We popped in four MaxAmps AA cells into the transmitter, used the stock NiMH inside the truck, and used a Duratrax Onyx for re-charging duties.
Turning: This version of the Senton is much different than the Senton BLX. The Mega series truck comes on a completely new platform, therefore we were super stoked to see how it drove. In corners, we were super happy with how the truck maneuvered. The Mega Senton cornered fairly neutral, with a touch of under-steer on slicker surfaces. The stock tires don’t have a bunch of side-bite, so corner speeds weren’t that high, but the truck was amazingly easy to get around both tight and sweeping turns. It didn’t bite too hard at corner entry, instead the front and rear both had about the same amount of traction. This made the truck exceptionally easy to corner with, especially for noobies.
Jumping: While the Mega Senton doesn’t come with a center diff, we still found that it jumped quite well. It tended to launch quite flat and jump landings were soaked up fairly well by the suspension. Now, the brushed powered Senton doesn’t have a lot of raw rpm/power to make mid-air corrections with, luckily the truck jumps so straight/flat that corrections are rarely needed.
Bumps/Whoops: Our test Senton did well in the rough. While not the best truck in its class for whoop-de-doos, the stock suspension settings were in the ballpark and the truck rarely stepped out when hitting bumps at speed. The suspension may have been a bit soft for hardcore rough driving, but overall we found that it was able to absorb, and mostly ignore, rain ruts, braking bumps, etc.
On-Road: We had a good time driving the Senton on-road. No, it doesn’t have a zillion watts of power on tap, but it is a nice handling package that rarely traction rolled. The tires make a cool screeching sound when drifting around on pavement, plus the truck basically ignores potholes and various pavement bumps. If the only place you have to drive is pavement, yes, you can certainly have a blast with the Senton.
Grass: While not the best 4×4 SCT on the market for grass driving, the Mega Senton still did a solid job. Its dBoots tires were excellent in grass, while its brushed power system did a solid job. Nope, you couldn’t just tag the throttle for a bunch of power to get through taller stuff like you could on the Senton BLX, but for sporting an affordable brushed power-plant, it did a fine job. We’ll also note that we did a lot of grass driving with the Mega Senton. Normally that would get most power systems quite hot, but we found temps to be quite reasonable on the Senton Mega. With an ambient of around 60 degrees, we shot the motor at just 130, not bad at all.
Tires: ARRMA mounted up some new dBoots tires on the Mega Senton and we thought they did a solid job. As mentioned earlier, the Fortress tires didn’t offer up a lot of side bite, but they sure did a good job in grass and on loamy dirt. On pavement or hard packed dirt, the tires still worked OK, but that was definitely not their forte.
Power: Power is normal for a brushed RTR on the Mega Senton. Its 12 turn, 550 sized, brushed motor put out pretty much what we consider to be perfect power for a noobie. Power is soft off the bottom, it gives a little kick of power in the early mid-range, then signs off at 24 mph with the stock NiMH. The soft powerband, along with enough raw wattage to make things interesting, made the truck perfect for noobs while still offering up enough yank to keep long term hobbyists interested.
Radio: The Tactic TTX300 is a solid RTR radio. No, it is not the fanciest radio on the market (if you are looking for that, you might wanna investigate the Futaba 7PX) but it worked perfectly for us. Range was off the hook and we never experienced a glitch during our entire testing period.
Broken Parts: Overall, we didn’t break many parts on the Mega Senton. We treated it rough, like banking off of curbs and doing big ramp jumps to pavement, and only managed to break a couple parts. After all was said and done, we broke one shock cap, one front camber rod, and the servo bit the dust.
As an all new design, what did we think of the Mega 4×4 Senton? The new chassis seems solid to us. We didn’t have an major issues and the truck drove really, really, well.
The Senton comes with a slider for its center driveshaft. For years we have been bending/taco’ing center driveshafts, thankfully we never have to worry about that on the ARRMA. But wait, there’s more! The center driveshaft is spring loaded. This means it takes all of 1.396 seconds to remove it entirely from the truck.
Our test truck was a bit louder than we expected. We didn’t track down where the extra noise was coming from, but it was some type of gear noise.
The new motor module takes just once bolt to remove. That’s right, once you remove one screw, you can pull the entire motor assembly out of the car.
We were also big fans of the new shock shaft protectors. These are very trick and look a bit like fork guards on a motocross bike. Also, they are molded into the spring retainers and shock ends. This will make it pretty much impossible to lose another spring retainer after a shock breakage.
While our stock servo died later in testing, it performed well. It had decent speed with more than enough torque to handle the steering duties.
Best Mod: The first thing we plan on doing to our Mega Senton is installing a new Hitec servo, then changing up the looks with a Pro-Line body. I mean, we can’t allow our truck to look the same as everyone else with a new Senton can we?
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B We had no problems getting our review truck up and running. After charging up the included NiMH, we installed four AA cells into the transmitter and were ready to jam after that.
Workability: A See what innovation gets you? An “A” in the workability category, that’s what. Not only does the Senton come with decent hex hardware and a nice open layout to spin wrenches on, but it also comes with some new engineering that actually does make wrenching easier. We were huge fans of the spring loaded center driveshaft and the one bolt motor module.
Car Show Rating: B Our test crew really liked the sharp graphics on the new Senton body. While the body itself was somewhat conservative and did not sport many scale details, it still looked good for its intended purpose. Also, the knobby style tires are not scale, but they sure looked good on those all black wheels.
Bash-A-Bility: B Our Senton had a hard life but still broke very few parts.
Fun Factor: B With nice handling and enough durability to make you want to try all sorts of stupid things, our test crew had a fantastic time bashing the Senton.
Handling: B Overall, the Senton is a great handling truck. The Senton jumps well and has nice neutral corning.
Value: A You get a lot of bang for the buck with the Senton, plus you have plenty of room for upgrades. At just a $239 price point you get full-on 4wd, plus a power system with enough wattage to still be fun to drive.
Parts Availability: C Even though the Senton is still quite new, we found that most of its parts are available on-line.
BigSquid Rating: B Good handling and durability, that’s what you get with the ARRMA Senton 4×4 Mega. We found that the truck had perfect power for a new driver and handling that was more than capable, even against the best of the best in the category. We had a blast with the Senton and think you will too.