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Old 12-30-2018, 12:34 PM   #1
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Default Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Making this thread for other CR12 owners to browse and for those that may be interested in one. Mine arrived a few days ago and I was able to get it out yesterday to evaluate it's performance and the fun-factor. Have to say that this is an incredibly cool little truck right out of the box despite it's limitations and faults. My buddy also received his CR12 the same day in the F150 version. His tires/ wheels are still stock but I had some bigger tires laying around so I slapped 'em on to compare. This thread will document my first impressions, my plans, etc.

What I've done so far:

> Cut the headlight leads in order to solder in a jst-style connector. Pretty cumbersome to have the body tethered and flopping around as you try to work on your rig.
> Raised the rear body-post mounts up one hole to allow a little more room for bigger tires. Out of the box, the FJ body had a slight rear-rake so this leveled it out. Also went ahead and used some "L" shaped body-post pins as the stock pins are much harder to grip.
> Installed larger tires/ wheels. I pulled these from my 1/16 Exceed Max-Stone crawler. Was cool to compare my buddy's stock F150 to the FJ with significantly larger tires. I was surprised to find that we both were able to do the majority of the same lines although the larger tires obviously had some advantage in certain situations. Also the FJ body is able to more easily accommodate larger tires than the F150 due to the slightly larger fender openings.

What sucks:

> Backing paint is pretty thin so that allows a lot of light to shine through the body at times.
> This particular lexan is very thin and flexible. It's more rigid around the hood and roof but in other areas like the bed, you can certainly tell how flimsy it is. Thankfully as small and light as this truck is, it's really not a big deal.
> Cheap-o plastic parts like body-posts, sliders, etc have very little rigidity. This also means that you need to be extra careful when tightening down any screws. Stripping out this plastic would be quite easy if not paying attention.
> Shocks/ springs are seem more toy-grade than hobby-grade. I had to stiffen up the preload all the way and there's still a bit of sag. I can appreciate the soft spring rate as this is a light-weight rig and needs to be able to fully articulate but I believe springs as well as shock-bodies should be a little longer. Springs pop out of the lower retainers very easily. The shocks themselves ( including adj collars and caps) feel as cheap as any shock I've ever handled. I'll be removing the caps and checking the oil before the next run... assuming that there's actually oil in them lol.
> Braking is very abrupt if the rig is going any faster than a crawl. I need to play with the "run mode" setting on the ESC as well as the trim/ dual rate to see if I can get this dialed in a bit better. As it is now, letting off the throttle results in the rear drivers side lifting up in the air... looks like a dog lifting it's leg to pee lol. Same behavior in my buddy's stock CR-12.
> Some of the steering components/ links ( tie-rod for example) feel awfully flimsy and the steering geometry isn't perfect although that didn't seem to noticeably hinder the overall performance on this first run.
> I could nit-pick a few other details but I think I've covered the most glaring negatives.

What's good:

These CR-12's are an absolute BLAST to run! They articulate very well and even the smaller stock tires have a good deal of grip, all things considered. The lightweight bodies allow these trucks to handle well and feel quite stable at steep angles, side-hilling, etc. The metal upper and lower links articulated freely and smoothly throughout full range of motion and although pretty thin, they seem adequate under this little rig. Axles also seem sturdy fwiw. We ran the CR-12's on a variety of surfaces including steep concrete angles, natural rock, shaggy grass, and a fairly steep hard packed dirt hill climb. The little 380 motor and ESC never even got warm ( although the ambient air temp was quite cool/ low 40's). Battery run time was fairly impressive. We were able to get almost an hour of run time on the first charge. I charged these 850mAh packs at .8 amps/ 7.4 v and charging took all of about 15 mins for mine/ 25 mins for my buddy's. I plan to run a larger pack in the weeks ahead but for now, I'm happy with how these little lipos did. The radio while not great, actually seems okay for this particular vehicle. No glitching at all and brake function/ throttle ( fwd/ rev) was constantly predictable and effective. I heard some guy suggest that the CR12's radio should be replaced/ upgraded but I personally don't feel as if that's immediately necessary. Although this rig could certainly benefit from a better servo, the stock servo held it's own for the most part. It sucks but it's usable for someone who might not want to immediately upgrade. Adding any weight obviously causes the servo to struggle in order to center and make it to full lock left/ right but the lackluster performance certainly didn't inhibit the fun! There's probably some other good things that I'm forgetting but again... this is just stuff off the top of my head that I found to be notable.

Short-range plans:

> DS 3218 servo
> Servo relocation
> Machined aluminum battery tray
> Upgraded shocks ( if I can find something better that's the right size/ length)
> Silver or black backing coat
> Front/ rear bumper D-ring mounts
> Tie-rod ( fabricate or buy.. not sure yet)
> Keep the larger tires and try some different compounds/ foams. I can't go back to the tiny stock tires now!

My plans will probably change as ( or if) things fail, break, etc but for now I'm not planning on having a major headache or expense to remedy anything. Hopefully this will be a cheap rig to own because it sure is a LOT of fun! Really hope that this thread compels some others to maybe get one for themselves. I'll continue posting up here as warranted and depending upon other people's interest.

Onto the pics!


































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Old 12-30-2018, 04:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Nice write up, and nice tires. Look a lot nicer then stock. Are the stock wheels 1.5?

I personally can't make up my mind on what to buy yet. I've got this, the ECX Barrage gen2, and the Gelande II 1/18 Black Jack, on a short list.

Problem is I can't fathom spending $300 Canadian on 8" truck, that's the Gelande II. Also, I'm not sure about in the states but in Canada ECX does not allow online sales, so no shipping. I've got 4 hobby shops within a 2.5 hour round trip which I don't mind making, but 2 don't carry ECX and the other 2 don't have any stock except the 1/24 scale. The hobby shop I usually order from is 6 hours round trip, and I'm not making that for an RC car. Also the Toyota CR12 isn't available in Canada yet, and I'm worried about parts selection down the road.

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Old 12-30-2018, 05:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Thanks for looking. Yep... 1.55 with fairly soft compound tires. Reminds me of the Ambush tires fwiw. I don't know about the ECX but I got tired of waiting and waiting on parts to come back into stock for my EMS 1/16. Luckily I'll be able to use some more of the EMS parts on the CR12. Funny that the stock tires for my 1/16 are so much larger than the stock 1/12 CR12 tires. I'm pretty partial to this rig at the moment so I think if it was me, I'd wait for the CR12 to become available. For $200 I think it's worth it. Btw The blue paint on my buddy's F150 is probably one of the most stunning blues that I've ever seen on an RC body... no joke. The grey FJ45 is also very nice and the flake in both colors is perfect for this scale.
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Old 12-30-2018, 05:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

I like both the Toyota and the Ford, I'm looking on American sites and I'm seeing pre order, so it might be awhile before I see it in Canada. The Canadian dollar is crap right now, so I'm looking at $300.

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Old 12-30-2018, 05:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Ah... I thought that you were looking at $300 for the ECX. At least here in the states, both Ford's ( black/ blue) and both Toyota's ( grey/ yuck blue) CR12 are all in stock. Before the Toyota's were available I told my buddy that he couldn't get his F150 until my FJ45 was available too haha. Hope you get one. I think it's not on a lot of people's radar for one reason or another but coming from two TRX4's, I love it!
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Old 12-30-2018, 06:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

No the Gelande II is $300 plus tax, that's way to much for me to fathom for a truck that's 8". It is nice, with real nice components but I want something bigger then that. The ECX is the cheapest at $245 plus tax, the CR12 at $269 plus tax which would put it at $305.

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Old 12-30-2018, 06:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Will the RC4WD 1.55 wagon wheels work on this?

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Old 12-30-2018, 07:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

They should fit. No idea the back-spacing but I would think there wouldn't be any issues. The ( albeit plastic) hexes on these rigs are pretty wide. I haven't had any issues full left/ right with the larger tires or wheels contacting control arms or any other components. I would think most 1.5's would work.

Funny I only put those 1.9's on there for some amusement but when I saw they cleared everything and also looked pretty cool, I went ahead and kept 'em. I feel like the mismatched scale should bother me but it doesn't.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Also just want to throw in here that we really ran these trucks hard yesterday... not carelessly but we definitely put 'em to the test and no broken or loose parts/ no failed electronics. They'll never replace a good 1/10 crawler or trail truck but for they seem to truly hold their own throughout quite a few various crawling and trail environments.
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Those are some of the smaller 1.9 tires available. About 96mm, IIRC. I use a set on my Yeti Jr. Iím longing one of these lately.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:51 PM   #11
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

I'm biting the bullet, I'm going to call and see if they know when the FJ will be available in Canada and then maybe wait. If it's not going to be for a while then the F150 it is.

Can't justify the cost of the Gelande II, and I don't know when I'll be able to get the Barrage.

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Old 12-30-2018, 10:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

These rigs look cool! Complete the collection. Pick up the Thunder Tiger Hilux! - https://thundertiger.com/products-de...?id=74&lang=en
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Old 12-31-2018, 07:57 AM   #13
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Went to place my order this morning and awesome the FJ45 is available for pre order in Canada. That's the good news, bad news is the price increased $10 over night, even on the F150 model.

I placed my order but I ordered the F150 in blue, reason for that was the supplier was behind on sending and receiving shipments and they weren't sure On when they would actually be in store. On top of that I was able to price match the F150 because it was in stock and saved $20 on the order.

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Last edited by wacmartin; 12-31-2018 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 01-02-2019, 08:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Mimes supposed to be delivered on Friday, I'm thinking a full tear down might be needed and some measurements taken. I'm not a fan of plastic steering links. I'd also possibly like to add a light bar, but that decision will be made when I have the truck in my hands. I think it might look a little silly with roof mounted light bar.

My big thing that I don't like is the shocks, and after reading what High Plains Drifter said and I've read in other places that they're not that great, I'd like to change them out. Plus I'd love to get a more scale looking shock, so I need to measure those.
I'm see Associated has released an aluminum bodied shock, they look nicer but not very scale.

https://rcnewb.com/team-associated-r...-for-the-cr12/
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:34 AM   #15
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

dravtechs would be sweet on these rigs.
Suspension – DravTech

or the not-so-fancy version:
https://www.rpphobby.com/product_p/tra4760.htm
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:41 AM   #16
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Nice looking truck. I'd love to see this compared to an MST CMX.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

As far as shocks go, these are measuring roughly 75.75mm. Not sure what would be a good aftermarket choice ( I'm guessing something in the 80mm range) but I love the scale OME and Bilstein's that I've seen at RPP. I like the upgraded set that Associated has for around $43 but as mentioned... not so scale.

The drag-link on the CR12 is metal but the tie-rod is plastic and fairly flimsy at that. That's the only suspension linkage to I immediately see needing replaced. I've got a variety of titanium and steel and aluminum links from other vehicles laying around here so hopefully I can find something with an appropriate OD to thread the little rod-ends onto.

I need to keep the pivot balls small on this rig in order to be able to continue using the stock screws ( that go thru the balls). Subsequently I feel like I need to keep the screws small/ stock as they aren't threading into a whole lot of plastic to begin with. Fwiw Looks like approx 95.26mm for the tie-rod length... center to center of the eyes.

I'd love to see ( lol or maybe I wouldn't) how the CMS and CR12 stack up side by side too. In terms of performance after the first run I honestly can't imaging being happier with the CR12 but I wonder in the long run, which rig would prove to be more durable and better designed.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

EMU's and Bilsteins are only scale when coupled with leaf springs, IMO. (or spring perch/shock separately like 1st gen early broncos)
gmade has some scale looking coilover shocks but a little pricey and not sure they make them as small as 80mm.

honestly traxxas big bores are hard to beat for the price.

or consider looking at smaller scale truck shocks? maybe in the 1:18th size?
*quick google image search shows yeti jr shocks look neato. worth a shot?
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Thanks for the information. Not sure why I was under the impression that the scale shocks would work... Forgot that they were for vehicles utilizing leafs but I failed to remember that I was searching. If the Associated upgraded shocks perform better than the plastic ones, I'd be happy with that for now but I'm going to take a look at the Yeti Jr's you mentioned. I didn't know that the Big Bore's came in a short enough size for the CR12 but I may give them a look too. I ran Big Bore's on my T-Maxx and loved 'em. Visually looking at the shocks that are on my EMS 1:16 they are way too long but maybe some other 1:18 offerings would work. Thanks again.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Adventures with Associated's CR-12...

Thanks for the great review and cool pics, these trucks are a nice smaller scale without being too small (little smaller than TF2) and look like a ton of fun! Really like the LandCruiser pickup version, but the classic 80s Ford is sweet too, looking forward to your updates!
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