Monster Truck Madness – Diff Thoughts
Hey folks, sorry for the late column this week. Been incredibly busy with house stuff/vacation!
This week I want to briefly touch upon monster truck differentials. Way back when I started writing the weekly MTM here, one of my first was about locked vs. unlocked differentials in solid axle monsters. It was column #3 to be exact.
For those not wanting to click, the main gist of it was my opinion in 2017 was that unlocked was the way to go for most people, but if your primary use for your truck was to bash and do stunts like the full size guys, a locked rear was OK but you probably don’t want to lock the front as well.
In recent years as r/c solid axle monsters have gotten crazier and crazier as to what they are asked to do thanks to stronger components and more voltage being thrown their way, my thoughts have come around on locking both the front and rear.
Now bare in mind that for the average hobbyist or the racer, unlocked diffs are absolutely the way to go. However, if you are one of the folks that wants to replicate the crazy stuff you see full size modern monsters do as your primary activity, I have seen proof that locked up is a very viable way to go.
You will want to have your vehicle drivetrain upgraded, mind you. Probably good to have other important components in metal as well, as the truck will face a lot more stress. This will help you not only from a durability standpoint, but from a performance one as well as your vehicle will have some added heft.
I’ve seen that heavier rigs seem to work better with this diff configuration versus lighter ones, mainly due how “flighty” a high power, plastic-based truck can be with this loadout.
If the truck is setup correctly though, it’s pretty wild what you can do while using the four big tires as gyros that always spin in unison. You can rip crazy power wheelies, backflips, power backflips (where you hit a regular jump and by goosing the gas can rotate all the way around just by sheer power), insane bicycles and, if you don’t care about scratching your body, the fact that it will be VERY hard to stay upside down as you can rock the truck back onto all 4’s with relative ease.
As r/c monster truck freestyle competitions become more prevalent, this setup has grown in popularity. I used to be against it but I’ve seen it work well too many times in person to write it off anymore! If you are wanting to get crazy with your monster, I’d recommend you give it a try.