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Old 08-17-2008, 10:10 AM   #1
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Default Holmes' Cliff Climber

I received a Cliff Climber a few weeks back, and have been playing with it a while getting used to the stock setup. Generally I tear into stock trucks pretty fast and don't run them before screwing with them.

I have been very impressed with how quick Duratrax has modified the vehicle in small ways to improve the design AND is offering full product support in parts immediately. I also really love the body shape.


First impression: RTR comes in a nice carrying box and everything you need to run except Charger and batteries. I have a ton of electronics, so I may get another one in the Prebuilt form. It crawls very well for a crawler built by a company that hasn't been in the market previously. It is small enough to find obstacles anywhere, but capable enough that you can be surprised at how well it climbs (once the weight is moved lower at least). I am very impressed at the 4 link setup. While the center is a bit jacked up for my taste, the roll center and anti-squat of the rig is actually set up well.

Stock electronics certainly do the job. Servos handle the steering effort, and the motors and ESC are well suited for the task. It crawls very easy and controlled on one pack input, just short out the B1+ and B1- wires together. Then the second battery input can be used and the vehicle runs on a single pack. On two packs input (14.4v) the vehicle is very peppy, yet easy to crawl still.

Now time to modify it.

Current modifications:

Mamba Micro Pro ESC (brushed mode)
Cobalt Puller 454 motors
6s nimh input

Using just 6s nimh (elite 1500 cells) the weight on the chassis is decreased considerably, allowing much steeper climbing. The Cobalt puller motors offer a greater range of speed than stock while having more torque too. I had to shave a part of the mount bracket to clear the motors, and then I moved the lower links to the outside of the bracket. The Mamba Micro Pro is needed for the motors.


With this setup the vehicle is pretty fast. Fast enough to jump stuff. Just the way I like my crawlers It still creeps though, and it has more power than the rig can handle. After crawling for a while I went bashing through tall grass and got a front wheel tangled, stopping the rig fast and breaking a gear in the axle. This is because I was being stupid and full throttle gunning through two foot high grass. If I had used more discretion with my driving I wouldn't have broken. Good thing metal gears are on the way from DTX (as well as CVDs), and I can still get plastic gears.

All in all, I can't wait to get this rig running again and crawling! Future mods include 1.9 tires, removing the rear servo, moving the electronics lower, and possibly getting a new chassis.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:13 AM   #2
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Is one of the links off on the axle end in the 3rd pic?

Loving the mini pullers.
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Old 08-17-2008, 10:18 AM   #3
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Good eye. It isn't off, just cocked since I outboarded one side but not the other. It isn't staying stock for long anyway. Very impressed with the handling though, with some better tires and a rear lockout it will be a very fun rig.
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:25 AM   #4
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Looking good...
curious as why you used the black and white wire on the motor side of the esc....Castle Creations instructions say to use the red and black wire combination....
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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It didn't work as per the instructions, so I used the white wire and it worked. I was kinda stumped, and I need to call Castle about it.

Good question!
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:50 PM   #6
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Default Cobalt Puller 454 motors

John

Great looking crawler and the lid is really cool. I looked on your web site and I could not find cobalt puller 454 motors. Where can I purchase these wicked motors at.


Evan
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Old 08-17-2008, 12:53 PM   #7
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in stock form how long did you get on one pack ?
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:06 PM   #8
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I never managed to finish a pack in stock form. On a single pack 1500 I would guess at least an hour and a half of smooth crawling.

I can't manage to crawl more than an hour with any rig anyway. I either break, swap vehicles, get bored, or can't crawl that long because of time constraint.
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Old 08-17-2008, 01:12 PM   #9
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I figured you'd have 2 esc's and a rear lockout already, and running on the stick radio.
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Old 08-17-2008, 02:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRobHolmes View Post
It didn't work as per the instructions, so I used the white wire and it worked. I was kinda stumped, and I need to call Castle about it.

Good question!
What symptoms did you get from the ESC when it 'didn't work'? I hooked my new Sidewinder up on my AX-10 last week for the first time (on red and black) and it went scatty, even after I calibrated it on the handset I was using. It was banging back and forth between forward and reverse at full forward or reverse throttle, shaking and all sorts of crap. I was equally stumped...

Anyhoo, being a computer geek, I hooked the Castle Link to it and hooked it to the PC. I found they come set for 'Brushless' mode out of the box, and I was using a brushed motor (which I'll eventually be swapping out for one of yours ). I just set it to 'Brushed Reversing' and saved the settings and it's worked flawlessly since then

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Old 08-17-2008, 03:54 PM   #11
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It did absolutely nothing except blink at me, no tones from the motor at all. I knew it wasn't hooked up right so I chanced it and tried the white wire, then it sang the normal song on startup.
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:11 PM   #12
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Outer axles swap out with AX-10 stuff. This axle just got very interesting indeed. The stock one is the longer one with the shallow dogbone cup. I replaced them with axial stubs and hexes to bring the track width in a bit from 9.75 to 9.25"
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:39 PM   #13
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Did it increase the steering any?
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:40 PM   #14
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Nope. Stock steers pretty sharp thanks to the shallow cup. I will report back on steering once I get the front done.
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Old 08-17-2008, 04:41 PM   #15
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Awesome, I'm planning on picking up a smaller crawler soon to play around with, I'm between the Losi and the Duratrax.I really like the set-up you have, nice work!
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Old 08-19-2008, 06:50 AM   #16
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Looks good John can't wait to try this setup myself.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlickRockSpider View Post
John

Great looking crawler and the lid is really cool. I looked on your web site and I could not find cobalt puller 454 motors. Where can I purchase these wicked motors at.


Evan
JRH, you didn't answer this very interesting question, i would also like to get a couple for mine
I also have a question, will a sidewinder work ok with these 2 little stock motors and a 3s?

Last edited by cartronicshn; 08-19-2008 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:11 AM   #18
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The CP 454's are on my site now in the brushed motor section.

A sidewinder would work fine and be plenty overkill. 3s would be very fast though, as the motors are 2700kv. They could take the voltage, but at least in this vehicle it isn't needed.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:35 AM   #19
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Thanks for the info JRH, i will be calling you later for some motors and batt packs for mine.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:08 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the info. Will you be offering any other motors for these, for those of us too cheap (or poor) to want to replace the stock ESC?

And what bare-minimum ESC would you recommend to power a pair of Cobalt 454's?
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