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Old 01-23-2019, 08:55 AM   #1
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Default SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

Story time kids!

Long ago, in a time called yesterday, a box arrived at my house.

Contents were contained within which revealed themselves upon opening.

These contents were chewable fish oil tablets for dogs from the Kingdom of Amazon.

The End.

A glorious tale indeed; fit for a king even!

Oh and this thing showed up too.



Ahh, the Gen 8 or the Eighth Generation Scale Vehicle from the House of the Cat That is Red for the more formal among us. This was ordered after some friends who are bad influences showed off their new Gen 8s and said they weren't total crap. I can definitely work with something that has such stellar reviews.



You can see that I'm part of #teamblue but mostly because this was the only one I found in stock that wasn't selling for over $300. I suspect with the low availability of the Gen 8 now and the Chinese New Year factory shutdowns approaching, these things are going to have spotty availability for the next few months. RC Crawler Country had one in stock and now they don't because its at my house. That damn Scarcity Principle of Economics got me again.

One of the hot takes on the Gen 8 is "who would buy this when the TRX4 Sport is only $40 more?". Much discussion has been had on this topic and the answer boils down to a simple point. If you are Johnny Scalenoob walking into a hobby shop, the Gen 8 simply looks a lot cooler than the TRX4 Sport.



Before you start throwing words like "reliability", "durability", and "parts support" at me, take a moment to remember how shallow and into appearances people actually are then try to refute me. Think hard as you drive your leased Wrangler to get your stupid Starbucks coffee before going back to your double mortgaged 5,000 sq/ft home that costs 80% of your monthly income. Throw the 2 trucks next to each other on a hobby shop counter and 8 out of 10 people will choose the Gen 8 on looks alone.



I'm kinda glossing over stuff as I just throw pics up but a lot of the outside has been covered by others. The rear light buckets have separate lenses which are a nice touch and look great. The back lacks a lot of the 3D detail of the front.



However, you do get the most adorable wittle kitty hitch cover.

If you agree with that statement, then it is just further proof that there are too many cat weirdo in RC.

Since we are still covering the outside of the truck, another look at the facepalm inducing fender flares.



Those will definitely be getting trimmed up, nothing witty to add.

The next fender-adjacent topic: tires.



The Redcat IROKs look good but the wheels don't work for me. Something about the combination of the chrome wheels, uncoated beadlock rings, and huge black center caps just looks off.

A full size spare is included in the box but being an ungrateful jerk, immediately undid all of the factory's hard work to check out the wheels.



One thing that pleasantly surprised me was the beadlock rings felt very solid. The downfall of most cheap beadlocks is the rings are made of "metal" with all the structure of room temperature butter or SCX10 shock towers. I tend to blow out plastic hexes so these wheels probably won't see much run time.

As you probably know, the tires are filled with memory foam inserts which was a hot performance trend 10 years ago. As everyone else has moved away from memory foam, Redcat embraces the past.

"Why are memory foams bad?" you may wonder. Well, a simple squish test will reveal the answer.

The insert after being squished:


1 minute later:


5 minutes later:


2 hours later:


The next day:


You can tell from my drawn out hack of a joke that the foams are very slow to return to shape. Not anywhere close to ideal when trying to conform to the terrain. If you are a fan of old school, minimum performance tire mods, I suggest filling them with BBs.

(Editor's Note: Do not fill your tires with BBs, water, or anything else you think will flow to the bottom as the tire turns. This was a terrible idea from long ago and I do not want to be responsible for any idiot that picks this up and starts spreading it across social media.)

One thing I noticed when doing some research was Redcat isn't very forthcoming with the specs on tire size. One site said they are 4.5 inches tall by 1.7ish inches wide so I lined them up with some popular options for comparison purposes.



Left to right you have: PB 1.9 Rock Beasts, Redcat Iroks, PL Swamper XLs, PL Hyrax, and PB Rock Beast XLs.

The stock tires aren't that much smaller than the average large 1.9 tires and don't come close to filling up the huge wheel wells so there is room to bolt up what suits your fancy. Just not 5.5 inch 2.2s, don't do that.

Overall, the tires seem adequate. The compound is decently soft and sticky but not immediately impressive, reminds me of the Vaterra Swampers from the Ascender. I'm sure these will get better with lots of break in time but who knows if I will have that patients.

Time to pop off it's velcro mounts and:



The velcro holds better than the adhesive on the velcro. This seems to be a common occurrence with the Gen 8s as it happened to both of my buddies' trucks as well.

The Gen 8 in it's full body off glory.



If you haven't seen, the receiver box has a neat little feature where everything plugs in from the outside. It is not waterproof however never trust the waterproofing abilities of a box anyway.



The motor and transmission are crammed in there.



Here is the front chassis rail/servo mount. Kinda strange the chassis doesn't go all the way to the bumper mount.



I didn't realize when I first saw this design that the servo mount/chassis rail extension is also part of the front shock tower. You know how people complain about breaking a c-hub on Axial's 1 piece axle housings requires replacing the whole housing? Well Redcat has brought us "break a panhard mount, replace the shock tower, servo mount, and part of the frame rail". At least the whole setup feels very stout.

Speaking of the steering servo, there it is.



Can we talk about how bad this geometry is? I mean, we don't have to as long as you know it's bad. The bumpsteer is awful and that steering link connector thing introduces a ton of play in the steering. My buddy said his will drive perfectly straight forward and turn at a 30 degree angle in reverse like one of those wired toy cars that can only go forward and reverse. Much can be done to improve the truck in this area.

While the truck was upside down, here is the driveshaft setup we are working with.



I'm skeptical on these as I have popped many a plastic driveshaft yoke and they are very lightly splined. We shall see on these but shredding them on purpose may be fun.

And we arrive at the infamous skid plate hump.



Overall, the majority of the hump is rather smooth but the additional protrusion on the passenger side is pretty rough. I'm also not a fan of the huge gaps for the link pockets which brings me to a big issue I have with the design.

The ability to adjust wheelbase by moving the links around in the skidplate is a cool feature but should be done away with on the front. Steering and panhard geometry are fixed for a certain link length on the front, changing the link lengths around is only going to further mess with the already sketchy steering situation. This is exactly why pretty much every other CMS equipped truck changes wheelbase through the rear links only. The path of conformity would have served Redcat better here.

The star of the Gen 8



We are all here for portals right? I'll have to tear into the axles for a full assessment but even a simple overview says they would benefit greatly from a smoothed out diff cover. Hopefully SSD is reading this because his style of cover would be perfect.



Front knuckles and c-hubs are very Traxxas-esque. We all know Traxxas didn't invent the scale portal, they just made the first widely available one that didn't suck so that is a pretty good design to use for inspiration.

Aluminum shocks.



They feel decent although a tad soft. No idea if they still have oil in them or not. That is a problem for future me.

Standard rebranded Hobbywing ESC



We have all seen it 1,000 time.

When forging your own path to individuality, always follow rule #1.



Never miss a branding opportunity.

Well now that my Gen 8 is out of the box, let's start changing things!

Don't get on me about how your Gen 8 drives amazing out of the box. You are clearly new around here if "ain't broke, don't fix it" is your mantra.



Redcat is very cool in the fact they have a bunch of add ons that can be 3D printed for free. I'm no Scout purist and I decided this style of grill looks better than the stock one. Somebody somewhere is having a stroke because I put a 77 style grill on a 78 Scout. Somebody else is having a stroke because I just threw out some dates without bothering to look anything up.

Well, I guess that about wraps up this out of the box assessment. Things will get torn into soon enough and more will come.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:11 AM   #2
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

Awesome post. Your thread is funny. I like funny. I'm going to print this out so I can re-read it when my wife decides to talk to me tonight.

BTW, does Redcat purposely ship these with 1 shackle pointing straight up? I swear I've seen this on every picture and every youtube review.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

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Originally Posted by Jim85IROC View Post
Awesome post. Your thread is funny. I like funny. I'm going to print this out so I can re-read it when my wife decides to talk to me tonight.

BTW, does Redcat purposely ship these with 1 shackle pointing straight up? I swear I've seen this on every picture and every youtube review.
Thanks, remember to tape the paper to her forehead for maximum appearance of attentiveness.

As for the shackles, I would assume everyone conducts a thorough shackle rotational resistance test like me.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:23 AM   #4
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

Great out-of-box review of the very popular Redcat Gen8. Curious to see how you plan to change things.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

Awesome thread to read! Forgot to mention the hideous blacked out window stickers! Will be hanging around to follow this thread


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Old 01-23-2019, 10:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

"Who would buy this when the TRX4 Sport is only $40 more?" I am guilty as charged! And I'll stick to my word. I'll take one of these Scouts with a coupon though.

This was the first item to popup on my Instaspam feed this morning so I knew you'd have an interesting thread lined up. Glad to see you got what and I'm interested to hear your takes.

The cat hitch cover is hilarious.

I like the receiver box. The Velcro can KMA and that's because it doesn't work well in my experience. Your first experience is similar to mine.

The foams and wheels are so last decade. WTH was Redcat thinking?

The fender flares are atrocious as well. They are cancerous moles on an otherwise beautiful body.

Definitely watching this build though to see what you make of it.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

I'll be following along too, next blue Scout that arrives at my local hobby shop already has my name on it, I gave my Bronco Ascender to my bro in law so I'm at an odd number of rigs and I can't have that lol
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

Nice start man! I'm patiently awaiting my pre-order to get delivered.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:33 AM   #9
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

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Originally Posted by B-MOW71 View Post
Great out-of-box review of the very popular Redcat Gen8. Curious to see how you plan to change things.
I have a few ideas, just have to see which ones that will be carried out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poochie1029 View Post
Awesome thread to read! Forgot to mention the hideous blacked out window stickers! Will be hanging around to follow this thread
Yes, the stupid window stickers. I hate them but other things usually pop up and the clearing the windows usually gets pushed down the to do list. Its been a year and a half and I still haven't gotten to doing the ones on my TRX4, I'm sure this will be on a similar time frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JatoTheRipper View Post
"Who would buy this when the TRX4 Sport is only $40 more?" I am guilty as charged! And I'll stick to my word. I'll take one of these Scouts with a coupon though.

This was the first item to popup on my Instaspam feed this morning so I knew you'd have an interesting thread lined up. Glad to see you got what and I'm interested to hear your takes.

The cat hitch cover is hilarious.

I like the receiver box. The Velcro can KMA and that's because it doesn't work well in my experience. Your first experience is similar to mine.

The foams and wheels are so last decade. WTH was Redcat thinking?

The fender flares are atrocious as well. They are cancerous moles on an otherwise beautiful body.

Definitely watching this build though to see what you make of it.
I was originally on the TRX4 Sport is automatically better side but the thing that really surprised me is the Gen 8 feels really solid when you have your hands on it. Without driving them or tearing into the internals, it is hard to say the TRX4 Sport looks or feels like the better truck. Of course first impressions can be total BS but that is about the extent of hands on analysis that can be performed without buying one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kincer View Post
I'll be following along too, next blue Scout that arrives at my local hobby shop already has my name on it, I gave my Bronco Ascender to my bro in law so I'm at an odd number of rigs and I can't have that lol
#teamblue 4 life!

You can make up whatever lie you have to justify buying one but I wholly support RC truck purchases of all kinds unconditionally.

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Nice start man! I'm patiently awaiting my pre-order to get delivered.
I was patiently waiting for non-inflated Gen 8 prices on ebay and a 15% off coupon but here we are.
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Old 01-23-2019, 11:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

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Originally Posted by svt923 View Post


I was patiently waiting for non-inflated Gen 8 prices on ebay and a 15% off coupon but here we are.
Yep, that's what my pre-order is. 15% ebay couponed at non-inflated price pre-order that supposedly ships at the end of this month.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

Team blue scout!!! Canít wait to see what you do with it SVT. Threads never let me down with the narrative.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:29 PM   #12
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Before you start throwing words like "reliability", "durability", and "parts support" at me, take a moment to remember how shallow and into appearances people actually are then try to refute me. Think hard as you drive your leased Wrangler to get your stupid Starbucks coffee before going back to your double mortgaged 5,000 sq/ft home that costs 80% of your monthly income.
Razor-sharp wit as usual. Bravo sir.
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:14 PM   #13
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

Great unboxing review, well done. Lots of valid points here and looking forward to seeing what you can do with it.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

Had a good laugh with your wity humor. Enjoy it. Please keep use informed on how you you like it after a few packs. Where are gonna get parts if you can get them?

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Old 01-23-2019, 07:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

I don't give a damn how hilarious this thread will undoubtedly turn out to be - I completely refuse to read a word of it because you chose the blue one over the orange one. (mic drop...)


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Old 01-24-2019, 06:46 AM   #16
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Team blue scout!!! Canít wait to see what you do with it SVT. Threads never let me down with the narrative.
Was working on tearing it down last night and figuring out some ways to make it better. Also pulled a few things off the printer.

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Originally Posted by TooOldForThis View Post
Razor-sharp wit as usual. Bravo sir.
I was trying to come up with some kind of witty response the feigns modesty but instead will just agree that I am incredibly amusing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pant Danza View Post
Great unboxing review, well done. Lots of valid points here and looking forward to seeing what you can do with it.
I appreciate that valid points are accepted here, a pleasant change from FB.

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Originally Posted by Schs2013 View Post
Had a good laugh with your wity humor. Enjoy it. Please keep use informed on how you you like it after a few packs. Where are gonna get parts if you can get them?
I get more time for building than driving so that assessment may take a while. Although, tearing something apart and changing it with no baseline is not above me.

As for parts, I'll probably get whatever I need from Amain (they just added a bunch of Gen 8 parts yesterday) or ebay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by durok View Post
I don't give a damn how hilarious this thread will undoubtedly turn out to be - I completely refuse to read a word of it because you chose the blue one over the orange one. (mic drop...)
Got it, all replies to durok will be in orange so he can read them.

As a proud Auburn alumni, orange was my first choice but blue was in stock and sometimes availability is the best ability.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:03 AM   #17
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Got it, all replies to durok will be in orange so he can read them.

As a proud Auburn alumni, orange was my first choice but blue was in stock and sometimes availability is the best ability.
Aren't Auburns colors BOTH blue and orange? I know it's a navy blue, but I mean, you're in the right family
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:11 AM   #18
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Aren't Auburns colors BOTH blue and orange? I know it's a navy blue, but I mean, you're in the right family
Those are the colors but the correct blue is very important.

In the land of Duke and UNC, I'm pretty sure confusing shades of blue is a offense in NC punishable by death or being exiled to South Carolina.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:32 AM   #19
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Those are the colors but the correct blue is very important.

In the land of Duke and UNC, I'm pretty sure confusing shades of blue is a offense in NC punishable by death or being exiled to South Carolina.
Kinda like being a diehard Tar Heel fan with the name Duke... believe me, I get that. Over my shoulders as I type are 1982 home and away Jordan Jerseys hanging framed in my office. I get quite a few funny looks from people.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:07 AM   #20
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Default Re: SVT is Gen-er 8-ing a new thread

Hey everyone.

I didn't mean to leave you Redcat faithful hanging for so long. Just know that I still care even when I'm not around.

The more it sat on my workbench, the more the Gen 8's steering setup bothered me. Between the bump steer and the slop, it was just something I couldn't handle. Some (maybe most, I don't really know) Gen 8 owners will be of the "it doesn't make a difference when I drive so it is good enough" mindset. To that subset, I do truly envy you ability to have such low expectations and be OK with them. Unfortunately, I must have better so work was done.

After much trial and error working with the stock parts, some new stuff was brought in and we end up here.



Shall we dive in further?

One thing you may notice is the servo has been turned opposite from it's original direction. This allowed me to get the steering link to a length that both allows full throw and minimized bump steer. This also allows you to mount the original steering link to the knuckle and eliminate the connector on the tierod. I used a turnbuckle just so I could adjust the length and center the servo horn, the stock link will have the horn a few teeth off center.

A Protek servo horn was added because it's low profile moves the steering link attachment point up and more inline with the plain of the panhard bar. It is obvious the servo horn direction has also been reversed, pulling the steering link more inboard. The Protek horn tucks up high enough that the steering contacting the axle is no longer an issue with this orientation. To get everything as parrallel as possible, the panhard bar was moved from the back of the axle mount to the front.



The steering link was mounted on top of the knuckle and the tierod under the knuckle. The slight loss of clearance isn't a real issue with the portals but it eliminates the horrible slop introduced through the tierod/drag link connector. Also it move the tierod below where the gear cover sticks out the most so it no longer hits the axle housing at full throw. Double win!

One of the other things I really wanted to accomplish was pulling the steering link behind the front of the axle to protect it from rocks.



Anything that gets past the bumper will no longer be smashing directly into the servo linkage.

Here is one of those "I see what you are trying to do but please don't" features of the Gen 8.



The steering tierod has this little turnbuckle on the end which allows for subtle toe adjustments. A neat little idea but the fit of the turnbuckle into the steering link is terrible. There is so much play that I'm sure the threads in the aluminum tube will be ruined by the steel turnbuckle. It would have been much simpler to eliminate that adjustment and fix the toe at 0.

In the end, the steering has less slop (though still some that can be eliminated) and much less bump steer (only a couple of degrees near full passenger side compression). It is now something I can live with.

While going over the truck, this was a minor annoyance.



The driveshaft joints are fixed in an out of phase position. The angles aren't that extreme and the u-joints are fine but I still don't like it.

The itch to drive this was strong but there was one more thing to take care of: the battery tray.

I'm sure the target Redcat market is all about the huge battery and have designed the tray accordingly. I, however, am not about that "give me all the mah" life so the tray isn't ideal.



A quick battery stop was printed up to keep my Helios 3000mah 3S packs from sliding around. This should do the job.

Also threw on a XT60 connector so I could actually plug in one of my batteries.



Does anyone know if changing connectors voids the warranty? The correct answer is man up and get to cutting.

It was nearly time to drive so my Gen 8 Scout and my Scout-esque VS4-10 were packed up. Stay tuned to find out what's better between a $300 RTR and a $900 kit!



The answer is anyone that tries to actually do a comparison is stupid.

A few things I forgot about until this point was I printed another grill because I cracked a few mounting bosses on the first printed one.



Also the front fenders were trimmed up.



This was about 3 minutes of work with a pair of body scissors and a dremel while the batteries charged. It looks much better, just don't stare too long or you'll notice my uneven lines.

At this point a freshly charged battery was plugged in and a wisp of smoke rose from the motor. Usually we want the smoke to stay inside of our motors but everything was still running after that so clearly my motor just had a little too much smoke put in at the factory.

Time for the good stuff.



I put the front tires on backwards but performance probably would have been equally unimpressive. The compound isn't great so the expectations weren't all that lofty but many times they would slide off line unpredictably, hop unnecessarily, or generally lack traction on the rocks. The foams were not an issue in the 60* weather and generally held up. People may like their performance but they are no more than a pretty good RTR tire.



The stock electronics are pretty good but still leave much to be desired. The motor feels underpowered even on 3S and the generous gear reduction and the servo fully stalled on more than a few occasions that I wouldn't have expected.



The suspension felt good for a RTR truck. It is underdamped for my liking but generally kept the truck planted without too much uncontrolled body roll.



Going through here I could really feel the snag points on the diff covers and skidplate hump. While working my way through, the truck would hook and pull off the line like it rotated from the center. Yup, that is the skidplate.

Water crossing time



The tires didn't seem to like water than rocks but water than dirt weren't much of an issue.

Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of time to drive the Gen 8 but definitely got a feel for what it does well and what it doesn't. It is fairly stable, the portals do their job getting over the small stuff, and it held up to some gnarly terrain. Overall, it is a good RTR truck with the inherent limitations from being a RTR truck. I look forward to seeing what it can do with a better servo and some good tires.

Getting the truck home and giving it a post run check showed it handled everything very well. The inner fenders kept the chassis quite clean and there was only one casualty.



I broke my battery stop in a tumble, oops. Some more bracing has been added and another will be printed.

More to come at some point.
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