Monster Truck Madness – SMT10 Parts Eater
As I fired up the laptop to write this week’s MTM post, this e-mail popped up in my inbox. Great timing!
Hello Doug, I have a family of SMT10’s currently and would like some input/direction. My personal smt10 has most of the usual upgrades, gears, metal axle housings, metal links, etc… What I am struggling with at this moment in time, is the wheels and or 12mm hex’s.
Using jconcepts tires, on their 2.6 wide wheels, and also trying prolines 2.6 wheels with the firestorms, no matter what I try, these things don’t seem to last long. I have tried jconcepts 25mm aluminum adaptors, and even these bend after a short time.
I know the smt10 is a league below the METAL aluminum chassis that seems common in the racing side, but the plastic chassis/frame has held up quite well, ( quite surprised myself ) Granted I did a little personal tweaking to it. (TI screws, longer screws for support, a few additional braces)
I have changed my axles, tried various versions ( spring steel, high carbon, heat treated, etc..) and no matter what, after a few hard jumps or landings, the wheels/hex’s get bent.
Axles have stayed true, and are always checked. Wheels are held on with large M4 serrated locknuts. No matter the spacing ( hex size / offset ) the end result seems the same, the 2.6 wheels end up bent or tweaked. It’s a pain and cost EVERY time. New wheels/ tires, then balance. I have even tried , NOT balancing, with no luck.
Truck jumps great, lands soft ( using 50 wt oil ) with soft springs.
Even went back to the stock AXIAL W8 driveshafts as they flex enough to help with torque twist. ( over MIP )
87spur/ 12 or 13 pinion
43/13 ring & pinion reduction
Thanks, Michael P.
Thanks for the e-mail, Michael.
So as I read this, I had one certain piece of advice I was ready to give, but before I administered it I wanted to consult with some monster truck racing buddies of mine to see what they had to say. Sure enough, we all came to the same conclusion, independently of one another.
Michael, you have to either stop going so big OR just go grab a bashing style monster like an ARRMA Outcast or Traxxas Revo. You know, a truck that’s designed to be repeatedly hucked under high power.
Here’s the deal, you can certainly build solid axle trucks strong, and you can also certainly run them really hard. The guys in my monster truck club run them as hard as anyone. However, for straight up extended bash sessions they are not ideal due to the mechanical make-up. Fragile isn’t the right word….but in my 20 some years with SA monsters, you just aren’t going to get a ton of mileage out of one using it as an everyday hardcore basher.
It sounds like you have bulletproofed every part of the truck that you can, but even so, if you are truly going huge (which it sounds like you are straight up Dennis Anderson-ing it) then unfortunately that energy has to go somewhere.
Now, for some sort of a technical answer here I’d say you need to loosen up those shocks. 50 weight oil isn’t super heavy but its still heavy enough. Maybe go down to 20 wt? I have a feeling your still going to have issues though, as those JConcepts and Pro-Line wheels are really tough and the only way I’ve ever seen them fail is when a wheel nut backs out. I’d love to see what kind of abuse you are inflicting on this rig, as it sounds epic!
I have a good friend that’s in a similar situation to you. Let’s call him “Danny”….because that’s his name. Actually, I’ll just use a picture of one of his trucks as the header image as well. “Clustertruck” is an apt name.
Anyways, Danny constantly complains about his truck breaking because he bashes the crap out of it. He breaks something, fixes and modifies, breaks another part, rinse/repeat. Ultimately, he wound up purchasing an X-Maxx. This arrangement has worked out MUCH better for him as he keeps his solid axle truck for competition and light “messing around in the yard” fun, while the X-Maxx is the everyday driver that sees the true abuse.
While a large truck like an X-Maxx may be out of your budget range, something in the same vein would probably do you well. Your SMT10 is modded to the gills already, so at this point you really need to either calm your driving down or just get a truck that’s more equipped for heavy, high speed, big air abuse. Sorry brother, that probably isn’t the advice you want to hear but I believe it’s the best way to go!