Review – ARRMA Fazon BLX Monster Truck
First came the Nero, then the Big Rock, now ARRMA has unleashed the Fazon BLX on the world. The Fazon is an 1/8th scale, BLX powered, monster truck, that is aimed more at the pavement/high-speed bashing crowd. The Fazon comes with ARRMA’s cutting edge Smart Diff system, making it easy to lock up all the diffs depending upon how you are using the truck, and aerodynamic bodywork. Per the usual, we’ve been driving the Fazon like we just stole it, keep on reading to find out if the Fazon is worth your hard earned cash…
Review By: Cubby
Pictures By: Tim Mohr
RTR or Kit: RTR
2wd or 4wd: 4wd
Shaft or Belt: Shaft
Electric or Gas: Electric
Weight: 13lbs 3oz
Motor: ARRMA 2000kV, 4 pole
Speed Controller: ARRMA BLX 6S
Low Voltage Cut-off: Yes
Radio: Tactic TTX300
Differential: 3 gear style smart diffs
Slipper Clutch: Yes
Driveshafts: Metal sliders
Shocks: Threaded metal bodies, plastic caps, oil filled
Servo Saver: In rack
Screws: Hex, metric
Spur/Pinion Pitch: Mod1
Tires: dBoots Pincer
Battery: Not included
Part Number: #AR106020
Warranty: 2 year limited
Front wheel travel: 2.75″
Rear wheel travel: 2.7″
Wheelie on demand: Yes
Backflip off ramps: Yes
Stability Control: No
Sound Module: No
Remote Locking Diffs: Yes
Top Speed (measured by BSRC on 6S): 55 mph
Runtime (measured by BSRC on 6S 5400): 15 minutes
Street Price: $649
Primary Competition: Oh, there are loads of gnarly monster trucks in the Fazon’s class. Some of the big hitters include the Traxxas E-Revo, the HPI Savage Flux, the Losi LST XXL2-E, the Thunder Tiger Kaiser, and the Team Redcat MT8E.
What’s Needed To Complete: The Fazon comes completely assembled, but you’ll need four AA cells for the transmitter, a pair of 2 or 3S LiPo packs for the truck, and a battery charger.
Build Quality: We found the build quality to be very good on our test truck. After carefully looking over the truck, the only issue we could find was a slightly leaking rear shock.
Test Drivers: Iron Mikeee, Robbie G., The RC Kid, T-Mohr, and yours truly made up the test team for the Fazon.
Test Venues: With the Fazon geared a bit more towards on-road driving, we used several different parking lots for various paved driving. To check it in off-road environments, we tested at RC Outlaws in Collinsville Illinois, St Louis Dirtbuners off-road track, and at a city park in Belleville Illinois.
Set-up Notes: We like to review our vehicles bone stock, so that was exactly how we tested our Fazon. For power we choose a pair of Duratrax 3S 5400 LiPo packs and used a TrakPower VR-1 to keep them charged. Duratrax AA cells were used in the transmitter. While driving on-road we used the included wheelie bar but it was removed for off-road driving.
Turning: The Fazon, just like the other trucks in the Nero line-up, turns quite well. The front ends sticks well going into corners while the rear doesn’t do anything crazy. However, the Fazon does have crazy power under the hood, this requires that you ease into the throttle at corner apex. If you slam on the gas it will understeer coming out of corners simply because the the truck will start to wheelie and the front tires won’t be touching the ground at all. Coming out of a corner hard without pulling a wheelie takes a little practice, but is easy to figure out. Also, the Fazon tends to stay flatter in corners than the other trucks in its class, helping it to corner better than most.
Jumping: Wanna go for massive backflips? Lock up the center diff. Wanna go for an easy to jump truck? Make sure all the diffs are unlocked. The Fazon is at the top of the list for jumping in its class. It can make the big triple at the local track with merely a squirt of the throttle, or you can hit a big ramp and get it stuck up in a tree. Jumping is definitely fun time with the Fazon.
Bumps/Whoops: Like the other trucks in the Nero line-up, the Fazon was a bit heavily damped in the rear. That didn’t stop it from being a beast in the rough, but did lead to an occasional strange hop from the rear when hitting really gnarly sections at speed. Otherwise the Fazon could plow right on through large dirt clods, whoop-de-dos, etc. The progressive rate on its laydown shocks is well done, as are its spring rates for normal bashing.
On-Road: While on-road isn’t strictly what the Fazon was designed for, its wheelie bar and somewhat street tread tires do help it when driven on pavement. So listen up speed run guys, if you are planning on going fast with a monster truck, the Fazon is the one you want. And why is that exactly? For a couple of reasons. It comes stock with a wheelie bar, which we found worked perfectly for speed runs. But more importantly, is has smart diffs. When purely doing speed runs, all 3 diffs can be locked. This prevents one tire from “diffing out”. If you’ve done much hardcore speed running then you already know how easy it is to explode a tire when it diffs out. No longer will you have to install ultra-heavy diffs oils or JB Weld to build a speed run monster, just turn the dial on the transmitter and lock whichever diffs you want.
Grass: Yes indeed, our Fazon also got more than its fair share of running in grass. If you are looking at buying one, you’ll be happy to know the Fazon is also a beast in grass. Its large tires and remote locking diffs did an admirable job of getting through taller grass and heavy leaves.
Tires: Ya know, if the Fazon would have come with belted tires, it would have truly been a speed run machine. But it does not, it comes with normal style tires with a street’ish tread. Other than the tires ballooning while doing speed runs, we didn’t have many gripes with the stock kicks. The did a fine job of finding grip while bashing on a variety of surfaces, but were perhaps best suited to hard packed dirt and pavement. The stock foams are of the open cell variety and felt about right for all around bashing.
Power: If you are looking for over-the-top power, the Fazon delivers. The stock BLX brushless system has intense low-end, impressive mid-range, and it just keeps on pulling up top. It has more than enough power to make standing backflips easy, and plenty for over-jumping the biggest jump on your local track. Its one downside is feeling a bit rough from a dead stop, but otherwise the powerband felt quite smooth. And in case you are wondering, yes indeed, the Fazon is basically overpowered for every normal type of bashing. The only times we found ourselves using all the power was when doing speed runs or when going for long jump records.
Radio: What can we say about the Tactic radio that hasn’t already been written? It isn’t fancy, but it gets the job done. Range is more than we ever used during testing and we experienced zero glitching. Even its ergonomics work for most hand sizes.
Broken Parts: To be up front, our Fazon received one of the worst beatings we’ve ever put on an 1/8th scale monster truck, and that is saying something. It received such a beating because it took a lot to break it. We drove it really, really hard, and didn’t manage to break many parts. At the end testing, our truck is still in relatively good shape.
While we have not experienced any tire issues on previous Nero based trucks, we did manage to throw two tires off the bead on the Fazon. This wasn’t a big dealio, just requiring some Pro-Line CA glue to reattach.
We also managed to blow a rear outdrive. It broke right where it connected to the driveshaft, but only after some seriously stupid driving.
Finally, we also broke a pair of rod ends. Once again, they didn’t break easily, it took some nasty hits for them to give up the ghost.
Like the other Nero based trucks, the battery trays were a topic of conversation. For the most part they work well, but they do limit pack size and can become jammed if you drive much in sand. We’ve also had them pop open occasionally when catching really insane air.
The stock XT90 battery connectors seemed to work well, but unless you have already switched to them, you may need to do some solder work or buy some adapters for your batteries and charger.
The body has a small area in the rear that was left clear and it looks pretty cool. Also, the inside of the body also sports a message to get you fired up for bashing. Very basher like, and thus Very cool.
The Fazon comes with body clip retainers which help keep you from losing any more clips. Very handy and nice attention to detail.
After doing some driving, we found the servo saver on our truck was adjusted too soft from the factory. Making it stiffer was simple as the adjustment nut is easy to get to. If your Fazon is suffering from mushy steering, check the servo saver first thing.
We found motor temps on our Fazon to be relatively cool. Other Nero trucks have run a bit warm, but all of our testing with the Fazon took place in cooler ambient temps (around 65 F tops) and we found we could run the truck hard for an entire pack without the motor getting too warm.
Best Mod: Sweep belted monster truck tires are the best money you can spend on the Fazon if you plan on doing speed runs. With the belted tires and some taller gearing we have no doubt you can bust out some crazy numbers on a nearly bone stock truck.
A = Outstanding/Best in Class, B = Above Average, C = Average, D = Below Average, F = Horrific
Time To Bash: B The Fazon comes pre-built, the radio is pre-bound, and the speedo is pre-programmed. This means all you have to do is charge up some packs before getting your bash on.
Workability: C While we like a twin verical plate chassis for its stiffness and durability, it can make certain areas of the truck harder to work on than a standard 8th scale layout.
Car Show Rating: B Overall, our test crew thought the Fazon had a great look. It looked modern, it looked sleek, it looked like a modern bashing oriented monster truck. We liked the clear spot in its body and thought its wheel/tire combo looked good.
Bash-A-Bility: B It took a lot of hard bashing for us to break the Fazon. No, you won’t want to hand off the controller to a first time noobie, but we hit numerous hard objects and made plenty of driving mistakes before we could break it.
Fun Factor: A We really like the Fazon’s Nero platform because it is so versatile. The Fazon can be a heck of a speed run truck, or it can be crawled, or it can be ripped around an off-road track. And on top of that, it has stupid power, more than enough for even the most experienced of drivers.
Handling: A As an all around package, the Fazon sits right at the top of the class. It turns well and jumps even better. For you on-roaders, the addition of the wheelie bar and street style tires make it a pavement eating beast.
Value: B For all the tech included in the Fazon, as well as its serious power system, we feel like the Fazon gives you a lot of bang for your buck.
Parts Availability: C The Nero platform has been out for a while now, making it easy to find various replacement parts on-line. The Fazon gets a “C” in this category because we couldn’t find many parts for the Nero platform at our local hobby shops.
BigSquid Rating: B What can we say, the ARRMA Fazon is a fantastic all around bash truck. And perhaps more impressively to us, the Fazon makes it obvious that the folks at ARRMA are paying attention to what all you day-in, day-out bashers want. They know that a lot of monster trucks never see much dirt use, they know that many of them are used strictly for making speed passes up and down the cul-de-sac in your front yard. If you are a basher who loves going stupid fast on pavement, the Fazon is hands down the truck you want to spend your money on.