For Bashers, By Bashers!

Monster Truck Madness – A Big Monster Mailbag

Just wanted to thank you for the many Big Squid articles and Trigger King videos over the years. Really helpful for me as I got into the hobby a bit and am enjoying it with my son. I was completely bitten by the solid axle bug here in Va. I have two SMT10s and I have a couple of questions I was hoping you may answer.

The hobbywing 1080 ESC. Do you have any recommended settings that they guys in your group use? I am never quite sure the best setup in terms of the 15 different parameters. Obviously no drag brake and lipo battery, but what about all those other settings. All I can find is settings for crawling, but not for bashing/freestyling which is what I generally like to do. Also do any of these settings impact the heat on your motor and can they contribute to burning out the motor?

With a 17T motor and the hobbywing ESC what pinion would generally be safe for running 2s lipo. Can I go 16 or should I stick with 14 for bashing and freestyle running?

Thanks Doug,

Wish I lived closer to your guys, would love to get involved with the racing and competition. Thanks for all the information. Next will be Clodbusters, my son is dying to get one.


Hey Matt, nice to hear from you.

I am a big fan of the Hobbywing 1080 brushed ESC. Despite it being advertised for crawlers, it’s a fine ESC for someone looking for a brushed motor monster truck. I use one in my Nuclear Banana SMT10. To answer your programming question, I run all of the 15 program modes stock with the exception of-

Forward/Reverse/Brake being the throttle mode. Drag brake set to 10%. Drag Brake Mode set to level 3. BEC set to 7.4v. That’s a pretty good baseline for me.

As for your second question talking about the pinion, yeah, you can definitely go up. I run 16t but I’m racing. If I go deep in a bracket with a long track, by the finals or semi finals my truck is really hot. You may wanna back it down to 15t and see how it is and what kind of temps you are having. Of course, you could also just stay at 14 and be really safe, but what’s the fun in that?

Good luck and I hope you get in some racing sometime soon!

Hello Doug. What do you recommend for paint with monster truck wheels? I try and paint my wheels sometimes to match bodies but it doesnt take long for them to be chipped up and look bad. What’s your secret?


John, the bad news is that ultimately any kind of paint is going to chip. If you are deadset using paint, I’d recommend a good plastic paint. I really like the Tamiya TS series paint with a clear topper. That will hold up pretty well, but nicking hard objects or poking it with your wrench will definitely still show scratches.

The best thing to do to monster truck wheels when you want a specific color is dye them with Rit. If you start with white wheels you can get a lot of color variations by using a specific main color and then boiling the wheels in the dye. The longer you leave them, the darker they will get. If you need to see a how-to for dying wheels, here’s a video I did on it a couple years back.

When you guys run 4 wheel steering on your monster trucks, do you use a Y-Harness for the servos to bind them to a single channel? I started doing this on my Clod and the truck is very hard to handle.

Justin M.

Hi Justin, Y-harnesses are a stop gap for those that only have 2 channel receivers and want four wheel steer, but you really, REALLY need to get something with a third channel and a radio that allows the programming/mixing of that channel with another one. That’s how you can dial in a vehicle with four wheel steer.

Usually the rear wheels only need to turn maybe 40-50%. Sometimes even less. When you use a y-harness, the rear servo will always do exactly what the front does, which means it will have the availability of 100% travel. It’s really hard to control a truck like that.

Buy a 5 series Spektrum or one of the latest Futaba systems and you can thank me later! Seriously- a fantastic radio is some of the best money you can ever spend in r/c. I’ve never heard someone complain about having a good one! With 4 wheel steer monster trucks, you REALLY need one.

Thanks for the questions everyone and keep it on all 4’s!

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Posted by in Monster Truck Madness on Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at 10:48 am