RCScrapyard ► Iconic Vintage Radio Controlled (RC) Model Car Archive ► Duratrax Thunder Quake.
RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models
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1/8 Scale Nitro Monster Truck:

Duratrax Thunder Quake - DTXD74** (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Thunder Quake:


  Introduced by Duratrax in 2001, the 4WD Thunder Quake Monster Truck, was available RTR - DTXD74** - with a Torq 21 engine and AM radio system.

  The model is shaft driven, on an alloy plate chassis, with gear type differentials, coil spring over oil filled dampers, rear dogbone, with front universal joint drive-shafts, 2-Speed forward and reverse transmission and a full set of ball bearings.

Duratrax Thunder-Quake
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  To race the Duratrax Thunder Quake, it must be fine tuned to improve handling, provide responsive steering and give you the grip to cruise around corners at high speed, without slipping off the track. Small adjustments can make a Big difference and our step by step procedure, will guide you to the best Set-up for your individual driving style.

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★ Duratrax Thunder Quake ★
Duratrax Thunder Quake

★ Duratrax Thunder Quake Chassis ★
Duratrax Thunder Quake Chassis


Buying a Used Duratrax Thunder Quake
Monster Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Duratrax Thunder Quake Nitro 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 Duratrax 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 Duratrax 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 Duratrax 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 Duratrax Thunder Quake 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 Thunder Quake 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 Thunder Quake 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 Nitro Engine 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 Nitro Engine mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Nitro 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 Thunder Quake 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 Duratrax Thunder Quake 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 Duratrax 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 Thunder Quake 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

Wheel Balancing

   At the tender age of 17 I passed my driving test. Of course, the first thing I did was to dash over to my girlfriends house and take her out to a long straight stretch of road close by where the boy racers would often congregate. No one was around that day, so the road was relatively quiet. I slowly went through the gears and we reached 65 with no problems, but as we got closer to 70, my hands sensed a small vibration on the steering wheel. By the time we reached 75, the steering wheel and the whole car was vibrating hard. I remember my girlfriend screaming for me to "slow down," Which I did of course and tried to laugh it off.

   Back home I told my dad what had happened and he reminded me, that just the week before we had put on a new set of front tires and it must be the balance that is out. Sure enough, after the wheels were balanced, 85, 90, was not a problem, the car drove perfectly.

   So, when I got deeper into RC, that memory returned and now I balance all my wheels.

   These days, wheel balancing equipment for RC cars is available from most RC model shops, but back then I had to make my own using the rear end of an old Tamiya F1 car. Here's how I did it.

   With the tire and insert mounted and glued, the wheel was fitted onto my home made balancer and allowed to settle. I would then gently turn the wheel through 90 degrees and again allow it to settle. Obviously the heavy side of the wheel would drop to the bottom due to gravity. Once I was satisfied, I would then make a mark on the rim with a felt tip pen at the top of the wheel where it came to rest. Removing the wheel I would mix a small amount of plastic resin and press a tiny amount of this into a recess on the wheel on the side where I made the mark. The whole process was then repeated until I was totally satisfied.

   I was amazed just how out of balance some of those wheels were and how much a small thing like that can make a difference on the track.

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







Hints and Tips

Droop

   When you pick up your RC model car, the suspension arms naturally drop, this is termed as Droop and should be equal from side to side, but can vary from front to rear.

   Setting the amount of droop, or suspension movement, can dramatically change the handling of your car by limiting the transfer of weight from one side of the car to the other.

   Basically, increasing the droop at the rear of the car can improve cornering grip at the front and increasing droop at the front of the car, improve cornering grip at the rear. The amount of effectiveness of this setting does in general depend on a number of other setting factors your car may have to suit your personal driving style. Also, adding any droop will increase body roll.

   Off road models obviously have the need for more droop than On road cars, especially on bumpy tracks where a large amount of suspension movement is needed to simply keep the wheels on the track, or the car will become unstable and un-drivable. Lower droop settings for smoother, high grip tracks on the other hand can be advantageous, but don't overdo it.

   On road cars can achieve good results from small changes in droop, on tarmac and on carpet. In general they are also easier to adjust for droop than their off road cousins.

   Limiting the amount of droop can be achieved in a number of ways, but by far the easiest is more often seen as a standard setting option for On road cars and is achieved by simply turning a screw, located on the suspension arms, that comes up against the chassis.

   For Off road models and those On road cars that do not have the above option, droop can be set by positioning a specific length of plastic tube over the damper shaft, just below the piston this of course means stripping and rebuilding each damper with the new setting, which can be messy, especially in the middle of a field. Some of the top drivers used to get around this by simply having a number of different sets of shocks, with all the settings they might need, but for us mere mortals, this of course isn't a realistic option.

   If you are close to what you consider to be your optimum droop setting, you can fine tune this by simply screwing on or off the plastic ball connector at the end of the shock shaft. You could also have different length ball connectors that you could easily change.

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










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