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Monster Truck Madness – Crazy Times Mean a Dive into the Mailbag

Before answering a few monster truck-related reader e-mails this week, I wanted to give a quick “thank you” to the readers that reached out regarding my post that I’d soon be moving to the Tampa, Florida area, and asked if anyone wanted to race. Well, as it turns out, yes, a lot of you want to race solid axle monster trucks in Florida!

When I make the move and have more details on when racing is going to start up, I’ll make sure to post it here.

Ok, on to a few questions.

hello doug. I’m cody living in the beautiful Florida keys. so I’m asking a few people for ideas and suggestions on esc and motor, shock set ups and just the preferred parts and peaces guys who race and bash smt10 trucks like or recommend. I dont have any local hobby shops or really anyone who can help. most of my knowledge is nitro motors so battery is kinda out of my element. I have a base smt chassis and a hot racing transmission. I have 2 trucks in the works. that I want set up the same best as I can. thank you for your time and hope you have a great day.

Hi Cody, I hope things are good for you down in the Keys.

The good news for you is that having the Hot Racing Transmission (they are very durable, my main Pro Mod SMT10 has had one for around 2 years now with no problems whatsoever) means you are open to putting in pretty much whatever motor or ESC you want to. I run a Sensored 6.5t Graupner set up in mine, but I dunno that I recommend going that hot as I am only doing it for competitive racing. I will say it’s a blast to have an insane of amount of power like that, but be prepared to need to bulletproof everything on your axles if you want it to hold together.

My recommendation for general bashing is to go with a Castle Sidewinder 4 SV4 ESC w/ 3800kv motor. Plenty of speed to have fun with, maintenance free once you find a setting you like, and relatively affordable. Just go with that until you start breaking stuff, and start upgrading to aluminum from there.

If you are asking about shocks, I covered that two weeks ago.

Let me know how it goes!

Where do you get the monster trucks you use for competition. I’m looking at a stampede but im not sure if a can put a solid axle on it?


So Will’s question here is actually one that I get A LOT. There always seems to be a lot of confusion as to what a solid axle monster truck actually is, and what makes it different from a Traxxas Stampede.

The answer here is quite simple, and I don’t mean to sound like a smart@$$- a solid axle monster truck has a solid front and rear axle, like a full size monster truck that you’d see running in a stadium. The vast majority of r/c monster trucks, like the Traxxas Stampede, have independent suspensions and therefore despite both being called a “monster truck” and looking like a “monster truck”, they are a different class of “monster truck”. Doesn’t make them worse, just know they are different and not really scale to the full size thing.

Here’s a video I recently shot that covers this topic that will hopefully lay it out in simple terms with visual examples.

Anyways to actually answer your actual question Will, no, a Stampede, while a fine vehicle, is not the kind of vehicle you want. You definitely won’t be hanging a solid axle underneath it! You want a solid axle monster like an Axial SMT10, Tamiya Clod Buster, or Redcat Ground Pounder, for a few examples. Good luck and have fun!

Alright gang, I hope to have more of a dedicated theme for next weeks post. Stay safe out there!

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Posted by in Monster Truck Madness on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at 11:05 pm