Granite Jerry-rigged's Granite Mega 4x4

Jerry-rigged

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(latest update, 12-30-19)
Howdy-


So I now I’ve got a Mega Granite 4x4!


The first few posts here will be my first impressions. I don’t plan on an unboxing, lots of those have been done. I might do a video review later to wrap up all my first impressions, before I mod it too much.


So first – my Truck!

20180311_225031.jpg

Thoughts on the first 10 minutes out of the box – no particular order –

The truck is lighter than I expected. But then, I mostly run 1/8 these days…

Body looks sharp, and I like the body clip retainers.

I like the high side chassis guards. the body fits nice and tight to them. Plus the "step" should help divert thrown dirt away from getting in the body. Hopefully they will keep the truck clean.

Tires feel good, not hard, but not real soft. Hopefully they will grip and have decent life.

T-plugs? Dang, I am XT60 these days, with a small mix of EC3 (they work together pretty good). I do have an adaptor handy, so the T-plug won’t slow me down. I am not a fan of running adaptors, but I don't expect the brushed system to stay for very long, so I probably won't clip it (yet)

7-cell nimh hump pack. Good for a starter, but I have plenty of lipos. I need to charge it up and run it at least one, though.

I’ve not used the new Tactic controller till now. It looks goofy, but feels nice in the hand. Wheel has a nice hard foam grip.


I dropped a charged 2s lipo in it, and powered it on. Servo is WAY off center, but the radio has almost enough trim to make it go straight. I’ll need to check the SS at some point.


Quick first run in the back yard –


First trigger pull – wow, the slipper is loose. LOL. I find the tool and get it adjusted. Removing the center drive shaft is not as easy as the videos, there is almost not enough clearance to get it out. Still, not real hard, just got to pay attention. Once the slipper was squared, I ran a few laps in the yard. Quick, but not fast. Enough punch to do a tree jump - backflip. It was late, so after 2-3 minutes, I put it away, went to bed.


Today at lunch, I hit a local park with a creek. Lots of sandbars to play on, some powder, some sandy mud, some grass. Overall, it was a blast. Speed is kind of slow, but my Kraton and Typhon have me spoiled. Tires hook up good, it was able to climb hills pretty good, so long as it didn’t diff out. In this tight creek area, I was wishing for a bit more motor, but considering it is brushed, it moved pretty good. I think as a first RC, most people will be satisfied, for a while. If you know brushless power already, though, you will want more power. Also, this brushed 550 is a hungry sucker – my 6000mah 90c lipo was LVC in about 15 minutes. Battery was not at 100% though, maybe 80%? I’ll charge it tonight and try again tomorrow. And I’ll bring the stock Nimh and give it a spin too.

20180312_114224.jpg



3/13/18 update –


Spent a bit of time this evening looking over the truck, and actually read the manual. Found out that the ESC comes in Nimh mode, not Lipo mode. Now I am confused, my Lipo was 3.7v per cell, kind of high for LVC, but the LVC was not turned on? I read a bit more, and decided the ESC probably thermal shutdown. I was doing lots of ‘punchy’ running, but still seems odd. (I packed my temp meter for today’s run). I did swap the jumpers to put it in Lipo mode.


Also, the servo was way out of center, so I pulled the RX module to re center the servo. 4 screws on the bottom, plus the one in the servo arm and the electric module pops off. Here I had a nice surprise – Arrma has ditched their triangle servo saver for a “kimbrough” style SS, nice! That old SS was giving lots of people issues, so it is nice to see Arrma didn’t wait and got that changed out quick. There is even a nice diagram on the bottom of the case showing how the SS horn is supposed to be set –
20180312_213215.jpg


While working on the truck, I noticed a few other nice things I had not seen listed in reviews. One was these cool moulded in dirt shields for the outer u-joint.
20180312_214308.jpg


They are on the rear too –
20180312_214438.jpg

Edit - 4/6/18-
Those little dirt shields work - check out the clean u-joints -
20180405_210442.jpg


20180405_210555.jpg
Also, the shocks – for a 1/10 truck they are almost as big as 1/8 shocks – 15mm! As a comparison, my Typhon shocks are 18mm, and my ECX Torment shocks are 12mm –
20180312_214627.jpg


Shock towers also show an eye for design detail – they didn’t do the typical “mould plastic to make it look like a plate” that so many plastic cars get. Rather, they actually designed an original support that uses the mould-ability of plastic to make it strong, and protects the top of the shock.
20180312_214809.jpg

And speaking of all that plastic, the stuff they are using is STIFF. The chassis and shock towers are very ridged – no flex. Again, comparing to my ECX Torment, the Granite make the Torment chassis look like a wet noodle. I hope that stiffness does not come with the price of broken parts later, though…


And while I realize I am still honeymooning with this truck, I am super impressed so far…

Update 3/19/18 -

My 5mm bore, 48p pinions came in, so I did the brushless swap, throwing in a BLX185 system I had lying around, and a 25t pinion. ( I have plans for this combo to go into my Typhon, but it has not made it there)

20180318_200113.jpg

The motor mount has holes for certain gear sizes, and 25t was not one of them. LOL. No big deal, I just made the 27t hole a bit oval, and get gear mesh works now.

Running - I dropped a storage charged 2s 6000mah 90c graphine pack in to give it a test. First punch - lots of slipper slip. New motor makes lots more torque. :) I tighten the slipper as much as I dared (plastic nut) and it is about right. I did a few laps around the yard, just playing, and a few 'speed runs' up and down the street. Faster, but still not fast, I guess about 25-30 mph.

Next up, I think I will get a 27t, and maybe swap in my current typhon motor - a 4068 2350kv motor. Might be a few days - I need to order the pinion.

Last - once again, ARRMA - we need a manual! Yeah, I know the kids like youtube, but I want a book that tells me how to get this truck apart. the current manual has zero maintenance / disassembly / exploded diagrams - you are on your own. There are the you-tube videos, but still. I had watched the 'power module' video when the truck had dropped, and tried to do this one from memory. I had a dozen screws out, but could not get this thing apart. Finally I broke down and watched the vid again. There is only one screw that holds the motor pod in, and I had it out, but sand or something had everything jammed up. Once I saw what was supposed to move, I was able to pry it loose, and got it to come apart correctly. While it is a neat system, it really needs a page in the manual explaining how to get it out.

Here is the Arrma Video -

Update, 12/30/19
Post Christmas update. My Granite is currently torn down for a rebuild, and I figured this would be a good time to do a update to the OP. My changes are all in the thread, but 14 pages now? dang, who wants to read all that? LOL

Anyway, for Power, I got rid of the BLX185. It was too much power, and too heavy. Yes, you CAN have too much power... LOL Now I run a system similar to the stock Arrma BLX100. My Racerstar combo motor is a 3660 size, 3800kv, ESC is 80a. Plenty of power - in fact it 'feel' like it has MORE power than with the BLX185 motor. IMHO, this is because with the less torque, it takes a second longer to get up to speed, so you get to feel the power. With the BLX185, it was just instant 100% wheel speed - the truck didn't even have time to wheelie... LOL Also, with the ligher weight of the 3660 motor and 3s lipo, the truck handles better. It is just all around a better drive with the smaller motor, odd as that sounds. Also, with the 15t pinion, top speed is still faster than the tires will allow. Somewhere mid-40's (guessing) the tires balloon, and the truck crashes. But at that speed, I still have enough throttle to blip a wheelie.. :EEK: So yeah, plenty of power.
20190118_134729.jpg

Speaking of tires, I have swapped to the Duratrax Lockups. These tires come on a 14mm hex, so they bolt on. They look good, and perform great. Ballooning is similar to the stock tires.

Another change was the body. I picked up a Proline '66 Ford (for Stampede). Painted it to look like an old truck - main color on the outside so it would be 'flat', and painted dirt, rust, and primer spots. Inside of the body, I painted tried to paint a rust-brown, so that as the truck crashes and get scratched up, it gets more rusty... Kind of worked...

Truck with the Duratrax tires-
20190313_113538.jpg
20190313_113548.jpg

For the steering, I have retired the stock ADS5 servo. Never failed, but it was always weak, and with brushless power, I wanted more. Plus, after a year of running, the gears had a bit of backlash... I replaced it with a Trackstar TS411MG servo. $15, good power, great speed. I have 2 of these servos, and like them for the money. Need to buy more.

Also, on the subject of steering, my Granite would wander all over the road, the steering just would not center. While I was changing the servo, I noticed the SS was dragging the chassis. Adding a washer under each mounting screw fixed that, but the steering links were also binding. Easy enough - just give the binding ball end a squeeze with pliers, and they free up. After checking each ball end, and getting them all to move, the Granite steering was much smoother, but there was still some slop. A bit of investigation found the bushings on the bell-cranks was worn. Thankfully, the set of bearings I bought has bearings to replace these plastic bushings. After getting it all back together, the steering is smooth, and centers GREAT! Really makes the truck drive so much better...


Shocks - I think my plastic shocks lasted longer than most, but eventually I swapped them for the 6s Typhon shocks. Great upgrade, if you can find them. I used the shocks off my v1 Typhon, and upgraded that trucks shocks to some v4 Talion shocks.
20190120_130953.jpg

What else... Broke a shock tower. But it was cracked for like 6 months... LOL. Also finally broke a pair of u-joints. Inspection shows all other u-joints badly worn, so new driveshafts all around will happen in this rebuild.

More updates to come!
 
Last edited:

Jerry-rigged

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I have a servo handy, so that will go in soon. I am also thinking of getting some Typhon shocks from a chopshop (upgrade my typhon) and use my V1 typhon shock on the granite. Also bought the parts for Megasty's HD diff input mod. They should be here end of this week (I hope). I hear lots of people break the front bumper, so I'll probably swap in a T-bone. Power? Still thinking. Budget china system for $60, or a MAx10 system for $100, or a Castle MX for $200?... Maybe not the castle, just cuz I am cheap.

I like this one, but out of stock -
https://www.amainhobbies.com/hobbyw...3660sl-motor-combo-4000kv-hwa38010201/p607216
 

olds97_lss

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Looking at the photo's of it on arrma's site, doesn't it run plasting ring gears in the diffs? I can't imagine those holding up too long to anything more than the stock motor. I was kind of excited looking at it, thinking it would be a decent replacement for a stampede 4x4 until I noticed the diffs with cast aluminum pinion/plastic ring gear.

With that kind of diff setup, I was almost thinking maybe this was a 1/12 or smaller rig.
 

Megasty

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It actually takes some serious power to wreck the diffs. 4S can't do it. The only problem with big power is that the drivetrain doesn't transfer it properly. The drivetrain (minus the bloody input pinion) can easily handle 1/10 scale brushless power.
 

Jerry-rigged

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I hear you Olds... I actually had Zero interest in the Mega4x4 because of the diffs, until I saw Megasty's thread on his BLX185 4s powered Granite. Plus the FB groups have lots of people dropping SCT brushless power in both of the Mega4x4 truck, and the only issues are the input gear. I have the parts on order to do Megasty's mod, so I am not worried about that for now.

I did a bit of wrenching last night, took some pics, will update the thread in a bit...
 

chevys10zr2003

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I hear you Olds... I actually had Zero interest in the Mega4x4 because of the diffs, until I saw Megasty's thread on his BLX185 4s powered Granite. Plus the FB groups have lots of people dropping SCT brushless power in both of the Mega4x4 truck, and the only issues are the input gear. I have the parts on order to do Megasty's mod, so I am not worried about that for now.

I did a bit of wrenching last night, took some pics, will update the thread in a bit...
I agree with you Jerry. When these new Mega 4x4s were revealed, just looking at the pictures I was skeptical and a little disappointed as I saw a lot of plastic but with it being more a budget vehcile I understood the reasonings. But from reading most posts they seem to actually be pretty tough vehicles after you fix their minor problems like the weak servo. It seems like some people get upset about the smallest problems, like a bad RTR servo, and wonder why they can't get a bomb proof vehicle for cheap.

Those shock towers, even though they are plastic actually look really strong and I like how they wrap around the shock and protect it. The U joint protection also looks really sweet. I might have to look into getting one of these in the future to mess around with.
 

olds97_lss

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Those shock towers, even though they are plastic actually look really strong and I like how they wrap around the shock and protect it. The U joint protection also looks really sweet. I might have to look into getting one of these in the future to mess around with.
Those are some nice subtle things that show some thought was really put into making it durable.
 

Jerry-rigged

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Ran it again during lunch. Got about 10 minutes, and it thermal shutdown again. I tried to shoot some video, but I was using a action cam instead of my cell phone, so I gotta upload it. I think the deep sand in the little creek was part of the issue. ESC was 175, motor was 190 the first time, I swapped batteries (to make sure it was not LVC) and got about a minute on the second pack before it shut off again. ESC still 175, motor now 205... :EEK...

Guess I copuld rig up a ESC fan somehow. But that won't help the motor.
 

chazekxt46

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my granite 4x4 is 6 weeks old. my came with the old servo saver.
 

Megasty

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I agree with you Jerry. When these new Mega 4x4s were revealed, just looking at the pictures I was skeptical and a little disappointed as I saw a lot of plastic but with it being more a budget vehcile I understood the reasonings. But from reading most posts they seem to actually be pretty tough vehicles after you fix their minor problems like the weak servo. It seems like some people get upset about the smallest problems, like a bad RTR servo, and wonder why they can't get a bomb proof vehicle for cheap.

Those shock towers, even though they are plastic actually look really strong and I like how they wrap around the shock and protect it. The U joint protection also looks really sweet. I might have to look into getting one of these in the future to mess around with.
I actually managed to smash my front shock tower during a 63mph speedrun. I had the truck slammed with zip ties. It ran over a manhole cover which sent it flying & cartwheeling. B4 the cartwheeling, it landed right on its top & bounced back up. That probably did it. The tower lost a piece of the left side at the top above the shock mount. It was still useable so I literally glue it back on & covered it with a sticky foam strip. That was the only thing that broke in that wreck. It does have upgraded shocks, adjustable links, & WD40'd arms - along with the fat bumper & wheelie bar skid plate. It's not bomb proof but I can't think of anything under $300 that could drive away from something like that.
 

JShipman5

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Yep mine too....wonder is Arrma will swap them?
My stock servo saver was popping loose every time I ran it. I have one coming in the mail from Kimbrough Racing later this week. I reached out to them last week to see what size I would need and they just offered to send me one to try for free. Great customer service
 

slick2500

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Yup tons of guys on the Arrma Facebook page running 3s all day long
Ran it again during lunch. Got about 10 minutes, and it thermal shutdown again. I tried to shoot some video, but I was using a action cam instead of my cell phone, so I gotta upload it. I think the deep sand in the little creek was part of the issue. ESC was 175, motor was 190 the first time, I swapped batteries (to make sure it was not LVC) and got about a minute on the second pack before it shut off again. ESC still 175, motor now 205... :EEK...

Guess I copuld rig up a ESC fan somehow. But that won't help the motor.
Sounds like it might be overgeared a little bit.
 

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