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1/10 Scale Electric Monster Truck:

Arrma Granite BLX (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History + Information (and How To Set-up Tips):


  Introduced by ARRMA RC circa 2013, the 2WD Granite BLX Monster Truck, was essentially the Brushless version of the original Granite and came RTR with a BLX 3600kv brushless motor, waterproof ESC, ATX100 2.4Ghz radio system, Nimh Battery and charger.

  Three painted bodyshell options were available: # AR102550 - Red, # AR102551 - Blue.

  The model is gear driven, on a TVP vertical alloy plate and molded composite chassis, with a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, slipper clutch, dogbone drive-shafts and ball bearings.

  In 2016 a revised version of the Granite BLX was introduced - # AR102660 (Green) - with a BLX 3800kv brushless motor, BLX85 ESC and TTX300 2.4Ghz radio system.

  The revised model was gear driven, on a molded composite chassis (upgradable to TVP alloy), with a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, slipper clutch, dogbone drive-shafts and ball bearings.

Arrma Granite BLX
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  To race the Arrma Granite BLX, it requires a high level of tuning for improved stability when cornering, to keep it on the track and give you more grip under acceleration. Even the smallest change in your cars settings can make a Big difference. Our simple to follow instruction chart will show how to attain the best Set-up for your personal requirements.

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★ Arrma Granite BLX Chassis (2013) ★
Arrma Granite BLX Chassis

★ Arrma Granite BLX Chassis (2013) ★
Arrma Granite BLX Chassis

★ Arrma Granite BLX Chassis (2016) ★
Arrma Granite BLX Chassis

★ Arrma Granite BLX Chassis (2016) ★
Arrma Granite BLX Chassis

★ Arrma Granite BLX Chassis (2016) ★
Arrma Granite BLX Chassis


Buying a Used Arrma Granite BLX
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Arrma Granite BLX Electric Monster Truck, or any used RC Model, has a number of advantages. It is generally cheaper than new, ready built and may come with a variety of expensive hop-ups already installed. Cheap, pre-loved bargains are always becoming available. However, depending on the age of your purchase, it may need a little tender loving care before you can take it out on the back yard.

   The one thing you will always need is an instruction manual. If not supplied with your purchase, they can often be downloaded from the ARRMA website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Monster Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Arrma Monster Truck, make a general visual inspection of the chassis, front and rear wishbones, suspension shock towers etc, for any broken parts that may need to be replaced. Then, take a screwdriver and box spanner and check each self tapping screw and nut for security, taking care not to over tighten.

   Next, for those Arrma models with oil filled shock absorbers, remove them from the chassis and dismantle the coil springs. The damper shafts should push in and pull out with a smooth action. If you feel a jolt as you change direction, this means the oil has leaked out and must be topped up. At the same time, change the O-Ring seals to prevent more leakage. Also check the damper shafts for damage. If they are scratched, change them as soon as possible.

   If the body shell of your Arrma Granite BLX is broken, ripped or damaged in any way, this can be easily repaired with rubber solution glue. Also, for added protection and if available for your Granite BLX model, fit an under guard to stop dirt and gravel entering the chassis.

Titanium Turnbuckles
   Examine the drive shafts for wear and replace as required. If possible, change them for titanium. The steel shafts wear and bend too easily.

   If you intend to race your Granite BLX Monster Truck model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   The gearbox of your used Monster Truck should be opened up to check for gear wear and lubrication. A thin coat of grease is often used on internal gears and although this is fine for basic running around on the back yard, if you intend to race your Monster Truck at a higher level, this should be removed and replaced with racing oil (ZX1 or Teflon Oil). Of course, this should be reapplied after each race meeting.

Spur Gears
   Gears are a weakness on all Monster Truck RC models. Head on collisions can easily damage the gear teeth on nylon and plastic spur gears. Heavy impacts can also loosen the nuts or self tapping screws that hold the Electric Motor in Position, allowing the pinion gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops off the teeth on your spur gear. To minimise this possibility, fit bolts with locking nuts to the Electric Motor mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Electric Monster Truck racing, the plastic ball connectors should be checked and if deemed necessary changed after every meeting. A simple thing like a loose fitting connector popping off could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

Servo Gears
   The Granite BLX steering servo is also prone to damage. In high speed crash situations, the fragile gear teeth of the servo can be broken off, rendering your expensive servo useless, so be sure to obtain a good quality "Servo Saver". Check out my Servo Information article.

   If body roll on your Arrma Granite BLX is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of stabilizers, anti roll or sway bars, stiffer tuning springs and, or, thicker silicone oil in the dampers.

Ball Bearings
   If your used Arrma Monster Truck comes with plastic and sintered brass bushings (ring type bearings), check the shafts that run in them for wear. Dust and grit can get into these bearings and abrade the shafts. Therefore, you should replace them all with shielded ball bearings. If the model has been run with ring type bearings, you may have to change all the axles and driveshafts. For more information, take a look at my article, How to get the best from your Bearings.

   Finally, good luck with your Granite BLX model and good racing.


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Or, check out our RC Model Car Setup Guide


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Manufacturers and Brands Catalogued and Listed by RC-Scrapyard.


   At present, the RC Model Manufacturers, Brands and Distributors covered by us are: ABC Hobby, Academy, Acme Racing, Agama Racing, Amewi, Ansmann Racing, ARRMA, Team Associated, Atomic RC, Axial, AYK, Bolink, BSD Racing, Capricorn, Carisma, Carson, Caster Racing, Cen, Corally, Custom Works, Durango, Duratrax, ECX - Electrix, Exceed RC, FG Modellsport, FS-Racing, FTX, Fujimi, Gmade, GS-Racing, Harm, HBX, Helion, Heng Long, Himoto Racing, Hirobo, Hitari, Hobao, Hong-Nor, Hot Bodies, HPI, HSP, Intech, Integy, Jamara, JQ Products, Kawada, Kyosho, Losi, LRP, Maisto, Mardave, Marui, Maverick, MCD Racing, Megatech, Mugen, New Bright, Nichimo, Nikko, Nkok, Ofna, Pro-Pulse, Protech, PTI, RC4WD, Redcat Racing, RJ-Speed, Robitronic, Schumacher, Seben, Serpent, Smartech, Sportwerks, Step-Up, Tamiya, Team-C Racing, Team Magic, Thunder Tiger, Tomy, Top Racing, Traxxas, Trinity, Tyco, Vaterra RC, Venom, VRX Racing, WLToys, X-Factory, Xmods, Xpress, Xray, XTM, Yankee RC, Yokomo, ZD Racing and Zipzaps.

   This is an ongoing project, with new and "lost in time" RC Model Brands being added as they are found and although most of those listed above have been covered in relative detail, some are still being researched and will be completed in the near future.


















Hints and Tips

Choosing a Transmitter

   When you first started in RC, you may have purchased a package that came with the car kit, motor, battery, charger, ESC and radio system complete. The transmitter was probably just a basic steer wheel, or stick type, with nothing more than forward, reverse, left, right and simple trim settings to centralise the servo and ESC.

   After a while, as your enthusiasm grows and your experience increases, you will want to move on to a better radio system, with more setting options, but where do you begin?

   Choosing the right transmitter is a personal thing. It has to feel right, have the balance you like, not be too bulky for your hand size and have all the features you might need to set up your car to your driving style.

   Transmitters these days are highly sophisticated pieces of engineering and once you choose your transmitter you will probably stick with it for the rest of your competitive career.

   Don't just go for the one you see in a review that looks and sounds like the best thing there could ever be and comes at a bargain price. Then when it arrives through the post and you get it in your hands it just doesn't have the feel you thought it would have. Sits awkwardly in your hands and is so complicated to set up you need a university degree to understand it.

   Talk to the experienced racers at your local track, ask them their opinion, see what their transmitter is like and if they will allow you to, hold it in your hands and see how it feels. All the best buys in life are made by recommendation. Then, once you have some idea what you are looking for, look on the internet for that model to get the best price, or go to a dealer and check out the latest models.

   Frequency choice depends on where in the world you live and what form of RC you are into. Fortunately, most of the top end transmitters can change to different frequency ranges by simply fitting a different module, so if you ever move up to an international level, you don't have to buy a new transmitter, just a module and receiver.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.







Hints and Tips

RC Model Car Weight

   If you ever step up and enter a regional, national or international event in RC, you will find one specific rule concerning the weight of your car.

   At the time this article was written, the Minimum weight restrictions for 1:10 electric Touring Cars at different events, was between 1350g and 1500g. This includes your Motor, ESC, Receiver, Battery, Body Shell and the transponder.

   Out of the box you will find the majority of 1:10 Touring Cars, with everything onboard, are way over this Minimum weight and unless you are good enough to attract sponsors, getting your car down to anything approaching that minimum weight will be very expensive.

   There are things you can buy like micro ESC and Receivers. But Batteries and Motors are what they are and you have to work around them.

   To reduce the weight of your chassis, there are a number of things you can do. If the car you have is generally considered competitive enough, there are often carbon fibre main chassis, shock mounts and other alternative parts available, but they are expensive. And when the new version of your model comes out all the money you have spent is lost.

   The most cost effective weight reduction is the metal parts of your chassis. UJs, Drive and Pivot shafts and the like tend to vary from model to model, but turnbuckles can often be transferred and lengthened or shortened by using plastic ball connectors, so titanium is a consideration.

   Screw sets can also be transferred from car to car. Titanium screws and wheel nuts are always available, but there is a cheaper alternative Aluminium screws and nuts can reduce your cars weight cheaply, but be careful not to over-tighten them, aluminum is not as strong as titanium and can easily shear off if you are over zealous.

   Another weight reduction option is to drill holes along the base of the chassis. However, I do not recommend this. For one thing you are reducing the strength and making the chassis less rigid, but you are also raising the centre of gravity of your car, which can affect stability.

   If you do manage to get your car weight below the minimum allowed, this will give you an opportunity to add weight where you want it and lower the cars centre of gravity.

   One last tip: Knitting needles. When I first started in RC, money was tight and my dad came up with all kinds of ideas to reduce weight. He obtained a 3mm dye and found some of my mums old aluminum knitting needles that were just the right diameter. Having determined the length of the turnbuckles needed for my setup, he cut them to those lengths and threaded each end, so he could put plastic ball sockets on them. Adjusting them was a bit of a pain and they could be a bit fragile in crash situations, but they saved us lots of money over those early years.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.










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