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Posts Tagged ‘halix

ASK Cubby

“Hey there…Just looking for some advice/ Opinions/ Guidence…. I’m looking to buy a new Electric Monster Truck…I have been looking at the HPI Savage XS and the Vaterra Halix….what are your thoughts on these two and what would you recommend? I’m a newbie and have a large grassy park across from my house with a skate park and a couple of Dirt fields for softball games.

Also, what Batteries would you recommend for long run time and what charger would you recommend for good fast charging?

Thanks for your time and help!
Santiago”

Cubby- Oh yes Santiago, the age old question, “which one should I buy”.

I found your letter interesting in the fact that you are stuck between two vehicles that have many things in common, yet are sooooo much different.

Both the Vaterra Halix and the HPI Savage XS are 4wd, monster trucks, and have enough raw, unadulterated, brushless power to do all the crazy stuff you see in the videos on U-tube. And… most importantly, both are capable of providing lots of good times.

However, just like everything else on the planet, they both have up and down sides. The biggest downside to the Savage is its size, it’s somewhat smaller than the Halix. This can be a downside when attempting to blast over extremely rough terrain. On the plus side, we’ve found the Savage XS can take some serious beating without breaking. Because of its size, the Halix can blast right over big dirt clods that would be tough to even get over with the XS, but you’ll have to do some upgrades to keep the Halix from breaking if you bash it hard.

Enough of the mumbo jumbo, which one should you buy? That’s up to you, but I would buy the Halix. It’s bigger, it has AVC, and most people are gonna mod-out their scoot to bulletproof it anyways. There is your answer, now go cut the check.

Oh and… for a battery and a charger, we had good luck with the gear we used in our Halix Review, which was a Dynamite 3S 5200 and Hitec X1 Touch.


“Part Number

Do you have a part number for the Kimbrough servo saver for the Carisma m40dt?

Aaron W.”

Cubby- What, seriously? Google search doesn’t work on the planet you are from?

Hey Aaron, welcome to BSRC, where everyone gets their balls busted from time to time.

Ok, so maybe you haven’t been in the hobby since the Earth cooled like us. Kimbrough Racing Products has made rock solid servo savers for years. They come in a few different styles and mount right to the output shaft of your servo. The spring inside takes all the abuse, while your servo lives on to fight another day.

During our Carisma review we broke the stock servo arm and just happened to have a Kimbrough #121 in our pit box, we popped it on and the truck was up and running in less than 2 minutes. We highly recommend Kimbrough servo savers if you want to bash hard without blowing up the gears inside your servo.


That’s it ya lunatics, shoot me your questions, wedding announcements, dirty secrets, and ex girlfriend pictures to Cubby at BigSquidRC dot com. If I pick your letter to hit our front page you’ll get something cool and free.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“FB

I have to say without a doubt what you said about FB is the best thing I have ever read in the R/C world.
Amazed at what level people need to partake in voyeurism of other’s lives. Never been on it, never will. I will cheer loudly the day it runs out of use with society, I do not really care for what reason.
Thanks man, you got a great site,
James C.”

Cubby- Yo hey James, thanks for the email and for the props, be sure and hit Brian up for a free sticker pack. Yes indeed, I am not a fan of FB at all, to me it has become one huge sham, for both users and advertisers. But… we have a whole lot of readers who are big fans of FB, so we opened a BigSquidRC Group over there. “Groups” are what FB introduced to kill off the old school forums and they have taken off quite well. As far as our Group goes, thus far we’ve got some cool people posting some good material, lets hope it stays that way. And… it has become a sort of underground hotbed for industry types to check out whats going on in the basher scene.


Hit the “Read More” button for the second question this week…

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Vaterra halix upgrade hop-up servo Xpert
While the stock servo in the Vaterra Halix works fine for general bashing, to go truly high performance a better servo needs to be installed. A better servo will not only be faster than the stock unit, but also have more power for keeping those big tires pointed where you intend them to be.

For our Halix project we decided to pop in an Xpert SM-5501HV. The 5501 has some impressive specs, .106 for speed and 270 oz-in of torque at 7.4 volts, and it is a digital servo, a requirement for use with the AVC system on the Halix.

Installing a Servo in the Halix -

1. Use a 2mm hex to remove the bolt out of the servo horn.

2. Use a 2mm hex to remove the 4 bolts holding in the servo.

3. Use a 2mm hex to remove 2 screws securing the receiver box lid.

4. Unplug the servo wire from the receiver and cut the zip-ties that hold the wire down.

Hit the “Read More” button to check out all the rest of the installation steps.
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Vaterra Halix hop-up tie rod turnbuckles
This week in our Vaterra Halix upgrade series we’ll be showing you how to install new turnbuckles. There are a couple of good reasons to do this, the first being that the stock units can break during hard bashing, the second is that the stock units are not adjustable. Being able to adjust tire camber and front toe-in comes in mighty handy for dialing in your Halix to your local bash spot.

How to install new tie-rods on the Halix-

1. Use the four way wrench that came with your truck to remove the wheels.

2. Use a 2mm hex for the bolt heads and use either the supplied four way wrench or needle nose pliers for the nuts to remove the stock turnbuckles.

3. We used two pairs of Traxxas #3644 ($7 per pair) for the front and rear camber rods. When you install these take note that one side has a wide ball in the rod end, while the other uses a narrow. On the Halix you will want to install the wide ball towards the hub, with the narrow mounted to the shock tower. The Traxxas tie-rods are also directional, there is a groove in each tie-rod that donates direction. You will want the groove on all the tie-rods pointing the same direction. This is done so during adjustment the same rotation of the tie-rod will result in either tightening or loosening for all six units.

4. We used a pair of Traxxas #3745 ($8 per pair) for the steering turnbuckles, these are slightly longer than the 3644s and work well in the Halix.

5. We will also note that we drilled new camber holes in the rear tower of our Halix. This was done to lower the roll center and change the camber gain on the rear of the truck. The higher mount gives the rear of our Halix a more planted feel in the low bite conditions we normally drive on. We used a 7/64 bit to make the new holes and removed the bumper and top of the rear shocks to gain easier access.

6. After all six tie rods and the wheels are mounted back up, you will need to adjust camber. You will need to set your Halix on a flat surface and use an RPM #70992 (or better yet their #70950, $12) camber gauge and a turnbuckle wrench. We used a slightly modified Lunsford wrench to set front and rear camber at negative 1 degrees. Also of note, set camber with a battery in the truck while it is sitting at its normal ride height.

7. One step left to go, adjust the front toe-in. We used our Lunsford turnbuckle wrench with a metal ruler to set toe-in to zero degrees. Zero degrees is a fairly common setting that works well on the Halix. Setting the toe-in is easy, we used the metal ruler to measure the distance between the centers of the tires from the front side, then from the rear, until they both measured the same. Many people just “eyeball” the toe, as long as both front tires are pointed straight forwards, not in towards each other or pointing outwards, you will be close to zero toe.

8. With the turnbuckles bolted up and the camber and toe-in set, your Halix is ready to drive. It took us about 30 minutes to do the job, we have yet to break one of the new turnbuckles, and the additional tuning flexibility has allowed us to really dial the truck in.

Next week we’ll be installing a new servo, until then you can Click HERE to read more Halix hop-up articles on BigSquidRC.

MIP CVD Vaterra Halix
The previous hop-ups we performed on the Vaterra Halix didn’t take much elbow grease. Installing pre-mounted wheels & tires can take as little as 5 minutes, while installing a pre-painted body might take less than half an hour. On the flip side of the coin, installing MIP CVDs on the Halix might be the most time consuming hop-up to be found. While installing CVDs on most vehicles is a snap, because of the design of the Halix, both differentials must be removed and fully dissembled, meaning this job might take you well over an hour. However, the stock driveshafts have a tendency to break, so installing MIP CVDs should be considered an absolute must if you plan on bashing hard.

How to install MIP CVDs on a Vaterra Halix -

1. Bust the MIP CVDs out of their package and fully assemble them. Follow their supplied directions, taking extra note to use the supplied thread locking compound on the grub screws used to secure the CVD pins, and make sure the grub screws mate up to the flat spots on the pins. Also make sure to use the supplied grease on the mating surfaces to reduce friction.

2. Use the four way wrench that came with your Halix to remove the wheels.

3. Use a 2mm hex wrench to remove the wheel hexes from the axles.

Hit the “Read More” button to check out the rest of the article after the jump.

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TBR Basher Front Bumper Vaterra Halix
The folks over at T-Bone Racing have a new All Terrain Basher Series front bumper for the popular Vaterra Halix. This ultra tough bumper is made for those big slams you encounter while out bashing, giving added protection to the front of your Halix. The easy to install bumper mounts under the chassis and comes with T-Bone’s lifetime warranty.

The part number for the TBR Halix bumper is #66101, it has a street price of $18, they are available right now, and you can get more information at This Link over on the TBR website.

You can find more TBR news at This Link on BigSquidRC.

Vaterra Halix Pro-Line Body How To
The single biggest difference you can do for the looks of your truck is to change its body. Changing out the body will make your truck look different from everyone else’s at the local bash spot, and in some cases, can even improve performance. For those reasons changing the body on our Vaterra Halix was a “must do” project.

In years past, prepping, masking, painting, then trimming a new body took hours. For people with little free time it can hard, if not impossible, to find a free evening to paint up a clear body. Thankfully pre-painted bodies are becoming more and more common, most of which can take less than 15 minutes to mount up.

For our Halix project we were looking for a scale looking body that came pre-painted. Our friends over at Pro-Line Racing had just what we were looking for, a red pre-painted Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The body has a gorgeous scale look and takes under a half hour to install, perfect!

Here are the steps to installing a pre-painted body on your Halix-

1. Drill the rear body holes. Test fit the new body on top of the truck. Use a Sharpie or hobby knife to make marks on the under side of the new body where the body posts are resting. Once you have double checked to make sure your markings are where you want them, bust out the body reamer and make the holes. Helpful hints- we used a hobby knife to mark where the holes should be front-to-back on the body, and a pair of calipers set to make sure the holes were the proper distance apart. Also, start with a very small holes just in case you are a little bit off.

2. Drill the front holes. Put the new body on and clip it down in the rear, then make two more marks on the underneath side of the body where the front body posts touch. Once again, break out a body reamer to make a pair of appropriately sized holes.

3. Set the height of the body posts. We lowered the body posts on our Halix by two holes front and rear to get the look we were after. This is quite easy, use a 1.5mm hex wrench to remove the four screws required to lower (or raise) the posts.

4. All done! Put in a freshly charged battery pack and get some bashing in! Our Halix has a trick new look and Pro-Line bodies are known for taking a good beating.

Next up in our hop-up series is how to install MIP CVDs on the Halix. Until then you can Click This Link to read more how-to articles on BigSquidRC.

ASK Cubby

“Halix build
I am very interested in your Vaterra Halix project. This has been one of my all time favorite trucks. I’ve upgraded the wheels, tires, and shocks. It is much better than stock.
You may ask why, but I wondered if you had any suggestions for upgrading the motor?
Any input is appreciated.
Thanks
Dave”

Cubby- Yo Dave, just like you we are big fans of the Vaterra Halix. It looks cool, drives awesome, and has good yank right out of the box. But… “good’ is never enough, therefore we started a hop-up series on the Halix. You’ve probably already seen the first couple of installments and we’ve got several in the can on the way.

Yes, later in our hop-up series you’ll see us throw in major power. We did so to have the ability to rip off massive backflips (on the ground and in the air), and to generally overpower it just like every good basher should.

What would I recommend for you? First, upgrade to MIP CVDs, they are a must on big power with the Halix. Then… the Halix comes stock with a 540 sized motor, it could really use a longer 550 for more torque to turn those big tires over. There is plenty of extra space for a longer can, and it will bolt right up. To get specifics on brand, gearing, cell count etc, you’ll have to wait a few weeks for our hop-up article. :)


Hit the “Read More” button for the second letter of the week, one that asks how to go high speed running with an 8th scale buggy on a $70 budget.

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Pro-Line Vaterra Halix Trencher
Changing to better tires is commonly known as the best “Bang for the Buck” upgrade that you can do to any rc car. While the Vaterra Halix comes with decent tires, we are shooting for top-of-the-line with our project truck so better units were a must.

We consider Pro-Line Trenchers the best all around bashing tires that money can buy, so that’s exactly what we installed on our project truck. To be specific we went with part number #1170-12, Trenchers that came pre-mounted on Desperado 2.8″ wheels. Those particular units are the perfect size for the Halix, come in a long wearing M2 compound, have the proper size hex, and are only .1 oz heavier (6.1 oz stock, 6.2 oz for each Trencher/Desperado) than the stock units.

If you are noob to the hobby, changing out wheels & tires is the easiest mod you can perform. On the Halix all it takes is removing the four wheels nuts with the 4 way wrench that was included with the truck, mounting up the new kicks, and putting the four nuts back on, a process that takes under 5 minutes. A couple of tips for the noobs – make sure the hex on the axle is properly inserted into the wheel, and make sure the wheels nuts are re-installed very tightly to prevent them from working loose.

After installing the Trenchers our Halix had much more traction on dirt and grass surfaces. The big lugs on the Trenchers just love to chew up and spit out loamy dirt, and the Trenchers are equally good at finding traction on grass. The difference was night and day, and we highly recommend this upgrade for your Halix.

Our next hop-up article will show you what it takes to install a new body on your Halix, until then check out This Link to read more how-to articles on BigSquidRC.

MIP CVD Halix
All you Vaterra Halix owners can now rejoice, the crew over at MIP have designed some ultra-durable CVDs for your truck. The units that MIP designed for the Halix feature splined telescoping shafts that should handle a lot more power than stock without breakage.

* Heat treated, all metal design
* Grease and thread gel included
* 100% made in the USA

The part number is #14185, they have a retail price of $80, and you can get more information at This Link over on the MIP website.

Click Here for the first TGIF Mystery Link of the day.

Pro-Line Shocks Vaterra Halix GIF
One of our favorite all around bash machines here at BigSquidRC is the Vaterra Halix monster truck. While out of the box it is great fun to bash, we are doing a series of hop-up articles to make it truly epic. This week we’ll start off the series by upgrading the shocks.

The stock shocks on the Vaterra Halix work fine, but use plastic bodies and we were looking for truly top-of-the-line performance. With that in mind we contacted Pro-Line Racing and ordered up two sets of their high-end Pro Spec Shocks. To fit the Halix we used the “long/rear” length, and also ordered their heaviest shock springs (super hard, part #6308-20, $8 a pair) to handle the weight of the Halix.

The Pro-Line shocks come with 3 different sets of pistons to choose from, after some testing we ended up running the heaviest damping pistons (smallest holes) in the front shocks, and medium holed pistons in the rear. For shock oil we ended up running 40 weight Associated in the front and 30 in the rear.

The Pro-Spec shocks mounted up without issue using the supplied hardware. The “long/rear” Pro-Spec shocks are slightly longer than the stock front shocks, and slightly shorter than the stock rears, but by using alternate mounting holes in the a-arms this was not an issue.

While out bashing the Pro-Specs provided top notch performance. We set ours up a bit on the heavy side which worked extremely well in high bite conditions, as well as when hucking big wood ramps. The Pro-Specs soaked up big hits like a champ and we never had an issue with them, even after extended abuse. To boil it down, the Pro-Specs felt like we had bolted up a finely tuned set of “A-Kit” factory suspension, they worked that well.

Next week in part #2 of our hop-up series we’ll be mounting up some new wheels and tires. Until then you can Click Here to read more hop-up articles right here on BigSquidRC.

ASK Cubby

“Vaterra Cogging
How can I get rid of all cogging from my halix vaterra? 2s Lipo
Aspen Sam”

Cubby- Yo hey Aspen Sam, what’s up and I hope you’ve been bashing the heck out of your Vaterra Halix. While it is still a very new model it has become a favorite among the BigSquidRC Bash Crew.

The Halix comes geared somewhat tall out of the box, which is great fun of course. We’ve shot it with a radar gun at 46 mph on 3S and it has enough power to “wheelie out” at pretty much any speed under 40. But… with the tall gearing comes a few downsides. One being shorter runtimes, two being higher temps, and three, the potential to induce cogging. Our test unit exhibited just a small amount of cogging from a dead stop, but if yours is having more of an issue here are a few things you can do…

1. Use a smaller pinion gear. We’ve popped on a smaller pinion and our test truck still had plenty of rip. It also extended the runtime and had virtually no cogging.
2. Make sure you use a good battery. A battery that can’t keep up with the current demands of the brushless system will cause excessive cogging.
3. If all else fails, go medieval on it. By that I mean install a Castle Mamba Pro with a 1415. With proper gearing you’ll have even more power with zero cogging.

Peace and love, peace and love…


“you know its strange ive been in this hobby for close to 30 years my first truck was a mauri big bear with a 6 volt NiCad. seeing these “new” losi universals kinda makes me sigh a little. these were all the rage until mip came out with the cvd which at the time were leaps and bounds beyond the universal, so is the cvd obsolete? its strange to see this hobby come full circle. ive seen the aluminum chassis get upgraded to carbon fiber, then to composite and it appears were back to aluminum. every 4×4 1/10 scale still shares the same layout as the xx4 which is almost 20 years old.
well theres my rant of the day, happy new year to all.
Jeremie H.”

Cubby- Yo congrats Jeremie, I am proclaiming your question (off our FB page) as “Letter of the Month”. Hit Brian up with your snail mail and shirt size so he can give you the hook up.

And ya, the hobby, as well as life in general, is cyclical. It happens in clothing, it happens in full size cars, and it sure as heck is all over the place in rc. Years ago electric dominated, then nitro, now it’s back to electric again, but it will be dominated by gas/nitro again at some point in the future.

As far as driveshafts are concerned, it was interesting to see Losi putting out “universals” again. Back in the day they were the bomb, now they are more of a tuning option. But… what I really want to see is- some blind testing to determine just how many drivers could tell a difference between CVDs, universals, and sliders. My guess would be not many…

Anyways… congrats Jeremie, enjoy your new t-shirt and keep in touch.


That’s it for this week ya freaks. Don’t be a slacker, send me your questions, answers, smansers, and utter non-sense to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If you are lucky enough to hit the big time you’ll get a free sticker pack, and if you are luckier still, all our “Letter of the Month” winners get one of our uber new t-shirts.

YOUR Cub Reporter

ASK Cubby

“Hello,

I am looking for a telescopic piston for r/c truck.
I am not using it for a specific truck, but assembling something general, so almost any type would be ok, as long as it is relatively short (not 10-12 inches, but less).
Can you help me?
Thanks,
Gal.”

Cubby- Yo to the yo Gal, and I don’t think the question is so much “can” I help you, but whether or not I feel like doing so.
Luckily for you I am still full of X-mas cheer. :)

So… you are looking for “telescopic pistons” for your rc truck, AKA hydraulic rams/cylinders. Boy do I just happen to know of someone that can give ya the hook up, at least with units that look proper. And just who is that company… wait for it… our friends over at RC4WD. But seriously, I am not expert on scale looking hydraulic cylinders, but check out This Link. If those don’t work, cruise the rest of the RC4WD website. If all else fails, shoot them an email, the RC4WD crew are gnar-core scalers, if they don’t have exactly what ya are looking for they can most likely point ya in the right direction.


“Ask Cubby

Hey Cubby have you guys heard anything about Losi discontinuing the LST line. I thought for sure they were just bringing out a new truck , but its been awhile now and still no word. I would really hate to see that line die. Of all the trucks that have passed though my garage it is a blast and really tough. Anyways just wanted to see if y’all had heard anything.
Thanks and great section.
frontedge2001″

Cubby- Hey now FrontEdge. I truly believe that alpha & omega are the only two things guaranteed in this world. So while you had a way super dope time with your LST, all good things must come to an end. There was a first time you took a breathe of air, and there will be a last. Yes, I am a bit of a fatalist, but I prefer to call it realism. Perhaps one of the most important parts of life is simply learning to move on…

Even when the LST line-up goes bye-bye forever, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. I don’t have any first hand scoop on the LST line, but I do know some seriously hardcore truck people at Horizon who want nothing other than to put out the best trucks on the market. A good example of this would be the Vaterra Halix, which might not be as big as your old LST, but is indeed a burly bash machine.

So… you never know when Horizon might pull the trigger on a new and improved Revo/Savage sized bash machine, but I would suggest that you hit them up on their G+, FB, or email and let’em know how much you would dig a new 8th scale bash truck.


That’s it for this X-mas edition of ASK Cubby. Have a legit question? Have a fake one? Just send it to Cubby at BigSquidRC.com. If your letter hits the bigtime you get a free sticker pack, if yours is the letter of the month we’ll even hook ya up with a t-shirt.

YOUR Cub Reporter