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Old 11-29-2019, 09:43 PM   #1
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Default Vaterra suburban questions

So i picked up a Suburban considering the price dropped. I have a course in my basement that is pretty tough to get up. I have a trx4 that struggles to get up. I have a capra that does better then the trx4 but still not as good as i thought it would. I also have a element sendero that does the best. i am really impressed with that truck. So the suburban i pulled out of the box was awful. Barely makes it half way up. Has almost no traction with the stock tires. Bounces around a ton. The servo is AWFUL lol. I cut off the rubber spacers on the shocks as i saw a guy saying to do so.... Truck felt no different. I am running a 2 cell shorty in stock battery tray. I tried other good tires from other truck and it was better but rubbed a ton. Where should i start with this thing?? Really hope i can get this thing rocking. Please help Lol.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

The "race claw" tires are terrible for rocks. That should be your first upgrade. Other than that, the Ascender chassis suffers from torque twist, so you can minimize that by outboarding the rear shocks and preloading the shock that droops first. Aside from that the Ascender is a good chassis with some upgrades like electronic.

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Old 11-29-2019, 10:08 PM   #3
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

what do you mean by out boarding rear shocks? They are outside the frame.
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Old 11-29-2019, 10:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cavwrench. View Post
what do you mean by out boarding rear shocks? They are outside the frame.
The shocks mounting position on the axle. Stock, the rear lower link and shock are mounted inside the molded tabs on the axle. Move the lower shock outside the axle tab between it and the tire. Use a spare pivot ball in its place inside the tab. You'll need a longer faster.
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Old 11-30-2019, 06:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

Don't throw in the towel on the Suburban. Two guys in my group are owners, and thanks to some relatively inexpensive mods, they're right there with the rest of us. This budget-friendly SUV, I believe, harkens back to a time when no matter what RTR you bought, tires were something you just tossed when you got home.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

I agree - $199.99 is a steal for the Suburban Ascender - there's plenty of capability in that chassis.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

The Ascender is an ancient platform. Its flaws become more glaring with each new scaler release from the various high quality manufacturers. I once was the biggest fanboy of the Ascender, but I don't ever run mine anymore because much better trucks have come along. My highly modified Ascender (mostly addition of weight down low in the form of brass) will still out crawl an SCX10 II. I haven't gone up against an Enduro, but I'd be shocked if I couldn't beat one. My Ascender is planted on the rocks!

The Suburban is as dumbed down as it gets which is why it was so cheap. Get better tires and start adding weight down low.

I never outboarded my shocks because I think the torque twist issue is greatly overstated and rarely becomes the limiting factor. I think the lack of overdrive options is a much bigger limiting factor.
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

Yep. Good advice has been passed along.

1)Throw some Rock Beasts and choice CI foams on it

2)Lower the body, slam that Burban and tub it out!

3) Brass knucks and caster blocks for the front

4) hub weights in rear.

...and Bob’s your uncle.

I don’t need another Ascender, but at the price I am tempted. Vaterrra comparably lowered the price on the old bronco last year before they discontinued it. I grab one then because the price was so good. I find the current concern is that Vaterra has stopped producing replacement pieces for the Ascender. The aftermarket is also slowly drying up for the ascender as demand wanes.

I’m very thankful to SSD who is still producing some stuff.
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Old 12-01-2019, 11:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

Come on, any 10ii on the planet? I hereby throw down the gauntlet.

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My highly modified Ascender (mostly addition of weight down low in the form of brass) will still out crawl an SCX10 II.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

Thanks for some info guys. I have tried different tires and i did outboard the shocks and tried thinner oil. I feel like it may articulate better now and crawl over objects a bit better. Still nothing like my sendero. I have wheels and tires coming for it. Also i have been running a 2 cell shorty and wonder if that is to light? I have added no weight yet. Waiting for tires and wheels. Yhen i will play with weight.
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:56 PM   #11
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Don't throw in the towel on the Suburban. Two guys in my group are owners, and thanks to some relatively inexpensive mods, they're right there with the rest of us. This budget-friendly SUV, I believe, harkens back to a time when no matter what RTR you bought, tires were something you just tossed when you got home.
What are these inexpensive mods?
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Old 12-01-2019, 07:56 PM   #12
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Come on, any 10ii on the planet? I hereby throw down the gauntlet.

Probably not ANY.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

Will the bronco parts fit the burban? like front brass knuckles? Rear brass axle weights?
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

Any Ascender part will fit - the difference in between the different models is really only the wheelbase.

So - if you are upgrading parts that don't change the length of the vehicle, they will work.

SSD brass knuckles and rear axle weights work on ALL Ascenders - I've got them on my K10.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:43 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cavwrench. View Post
Thanks for some info guys. I have tried different tires and i did outboard the shocks and tried thinner oil. I feel like it may articulate better now and crawl over objects a bit better. Still nothing like my sendero. I have wheels and tires coming for it. Also i have been running a 2 cell shorty and wonder if that is to light? I have added no weight yet. Waiting for tires and wheels. Yhen i will play with weight.
Without good tires and a lowered centre of gravity those kinds of changes will not really improve your climbing. Decent weight over a proper rubber compound is where the deal is made. You need those tires to hook up. Research the site you notice there is a trend. Out boarding shocks was primarily to reduce torque twist and not gonna address your concerns significantly. As Jato pointed out, torque twist is an exaggerated issue on the Ascender. As far as articulation goes, the Ascender arguably has too much of it. At some point limiting articulation will become a point of improving your performance. It will help keep that weight you are gonna add over the tires While a bigger battery adds weight, it’s not in an ideal location. You need it lower, near the hubs.

Last edited by smog; 12-01-2019 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:15 AM   #16
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Probably not ANY.
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:18 AM   #17
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Default Re: Vaterra suburban questions

As stated, I don't own, just crawl with and am suitably impressed. Knowing A & B I know they didn't shell out big bucks on upgrades, and I will ask for a peek under the slime green Lexan at our next meet (in March?) Meanwhile I see that others are chiming in, so thanks.

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What are these inexpensive mods?

Last edited by hobbyjumper; 12-02-2019 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 12-09-2019, 07:30 AM   #18
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