Kraton Recommended Arrma Kraton & Talion Upgrades 2020

Fussbob

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Thanks for doing this , a treasure trove of info all in one spot :) I wish this was here when i started my project , would have saved me countless hours scouring !!!

That servo you suggest isn't waterproof ? Depending on the upgrade path you take (e.g. one piece at a time like me) you would need an external BEC with that servo if you are going to run the stock ESC . I 'm about to install an xpert 6601 on a few others recommendation , Some people are also running the xpert 7701 with good results . They have good speed , good torque , are high voltage and REALLY waterproof (IP67 rated). It's important to note that stock servo arm isn't exactly a direct fit . I guess it's an extremely tight fit . I'm waiting to see what others come up with for this .

I see some people are able to bash the crap out of their Kraton repeatedly with all stock electronics and some people can't make it through a battery pack without burning $%^& up . I'm just finishing up a complete rebuild fresh out of the box .

It's also a good idea to shim the diffs (part # TD310475) and not a bad idea to replace the diff pins with hardened steel while you're in there. I used McMaster-Carr part # 3009a262 http://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/122/3758/=11k1ygt. I tried 2.25MM from the same place and it just wouldn't fit properly. I'm not sure why.

I can't say one way or the other about that charger as i haven't used it but for less than $20 more you can get the HiTec X2 AC Plus http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXFLVA which will do BOTH ac/dc with this adapter http://www3.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXFUUR&P=ML

I wish there were more videos on repairing and upgrading, Like I'm about to rip apart the front end to try and replace the steering bushing with bearings . Hint Hint @Thomas P :)

Keep up the good work !
The Arrma Kraton is a fine R/C out of the box and very capable to hold up to even the hardest of bashing sessions. There are a few things that can be done to further improve the Kraton - making it stronger, faster, and more durable.

If you're just getting an Arrma Kraton there are a few things you'll need to get started.

Required items for a new Arrma Kraton



Batteries - You could run NiMH packs in the Kraton but you'll be doing yourself a dis-service as to really get the power, speed, and run time that the Kraton can really deliver you're going to need to run LiPo batteries. You can use the following LiPo setup:
  • 2x2S LiPo packs
  • 2x3S LiPo packs
  • 1x4S LiPo pack
  • 1x6S LiPo pack
There is a great "Budget LiPo of choice" ongoing thread if you are unsure what battery packs to buy.

Battery Charger - One of the best bang for your buck chargers would be the Dynamite Prophet Sport Duo. It will charge both NiMH and LiPo batteries and can charge two batteries at one time which is really a must have feature for the Kraton as many will be running dual batteries.

LiPo Sack - Just buy one! A LiPO sack is super cheap and offers a great deal of protection to charge and store your LiPo batteries.

4x AA Batteries - These are for the transmitter and I'm a big fan of Eneloop rechargeable batteries. Either the Panasonic Eneloop or Eneloop Pro (higher capacity, longer run time).

If you're new to the hobby, I would also strongly suggest checking out the Tools for getting started in RC thread.

Now on to the upgrades to make your Arrma Kraton even better! :)

Most Recommended Upgrades for the Arrma Kraton v4



Radio Gear - Replace it. Period. The new Arrma's are shipping with the Spektrum STX2 and a simple search here on ArrmaForum alone will return tons of results of members having issues with it. From extremely poor range, slow response times and even out right dying prematurely. We all hope Horizon Hobby does the right thing and replace the STX2 with a much more reliable radio.

Until then, it is HIGHLY recommended that you NOT use the STX2 radio and instead buy a replacement. The Futaba 3PV, Tactic TX300 (which is what used to come included in the Arrma's) or even a Flysky FS-GT5 radio system.

I personally use and recommend Futaba so that would be my first choice, though the forum is filled with members that use Tactic and Flysky with great results.

Seriously, if you are going to buy anything for your new Arrma 6s - buy a new radio system.

Servo - You can go one of two ways to improve the servo issues on the Kraton, the best option would be to do both.
  1. Upgrade the servo to something like the PowerHD DW25LV, Savox SW-1210SG (powerful, steel gears, and waterproof), Savox SW-0231MG (a bit weaker than the SW-1210SG) or Hitec HS-7955TG. It is recommended you get either a Glitch Buster or External BEC when running these servo's.
  2. Upgrade the servo mount, the stock plastic mount flexes a lot causing more strain on the servo. The DIY Kraton servo mount upgrade or the one piece aluminum servo mount will remove the flex issues.

Bearings - This isn't a surprise really as there aren't many RC's that are shipped with high quality bearings, or in some cases no bearings at all. In the case of the Arrma Kraton it's both, the bearings that are used aren't very good and there are even bushings used in areas (steering). A bearing set from Fast Eddy Bearings will be a massive upgrade over stock and what I would recommend!

Bumpers - If you're really bashing your Kraton then you'll probably want a good durable bumper. T-Bone Racing make a very durable front and rear bumper for the Kraton. TBR bumpers are also guaranteed forever. If you break it, they will send you a free replacement.

Chassis Braces - A lot of people buy the Kraton because they want to bash it, jump it, and just go crazy. "Don't just bash. Blast." With that in mind another suggested upgrade would be to replace the stock plastic chassis braces with aluminum chassis braces.

There are several places that make them, two of which to check out would be GKA Custom RC Parts and Voltage Hobbies.



Addiontal Upgrades for older Arrma Kraton models



Wing Mount - Without a doubt the most likely item to break first out of the box on the older Kraton models was the wing mount. If you don't like the wing then go ahead and remove it, but if you want the wing then buy the RPM Wing Mount. RPM products are guaranteed forever. If you break it, they will send you a free replacement.

Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) - I'm going to say it, the stock BLX 180 ESC is questionable at best or just out right bad at worse. There are plenty of threads here on the forum documenting the numerous issues with this ESC. To Arrma's credit they have been on the ball replacing any bad ESC's within the warranty period.

That said if you don't want to mess with replacing the ESC each time it burns up, has other issues, or chance damaging your other electronics (battery, servo) then adding a new ESC would be best. Tekin, Castle Creations, and even Hobbywing make great alternatives and buying one of their combo's (ESC and motor) could give the Kraton even more speed and/or power!

Note: The BLX 185 could potentially fix the issues with the BLX 180 ESC, but the 185 has yet to be released or tested.

If you have other suggested upgrades, please share below! Let us know how your Arrma Kraton is holding up.
The best way to upgrade an Arrma is not to buy one, they're junk out of the box. You have to upgrade the transmitter and all the guts inside the vehicle just to make it a enjoyable experience!
The best way to upgrade an Arrma is not to buy one, they're junk out of the box. You have to upgrade the transmitter and all the guts inside the vehicle just to make it a enjoyable experience!
Arrma is junk!
 

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The best way to upgrade an Arrma is not to buy one, they're junk out of the box. You have to upgrade the transmitter and all the guts inside the vehicle just to make it a enjoyable experience!
Arrma is junk!

OK, I'll bite.

The STX2 was junk and it was a mistake from them to ship cars with it, but Arrma as a whole is not junk. Arrma cars do have their flaws and some assembly mistakes from the factory are indeed infuriating some times. I guess you just need to be prepared to work on it and fix things. That's part of the hobby and some will argue it's the best part (I do).

People who are not happy with Arrma quality that can always purchase a Tekno or TLR kit. It will be top quality and super nice if you assemble it correctly, but price-wise, it would still probably be more expensive than an upgraded/fixed Arrma.

People who want a real RTR that doesn't need too much wrenching out of the box could look into a Traxxas Hoss, but everybody is complaining about its high price and still...it's not perfect.

One thing Arrma does right is the overall design and how easy it is to wrench on them. I was recently looking at the new Losi SBR 2.0. There is no way I would enjoy working on such a truck. So many screws, weird battery compartment, etc.

TL/DR: I think Arrma are not perfect, but they are very nice for the price.
 
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The best way to upgrade an Arrma is not to buy one, they're junk out of the box. You have to upgrade the transmitter and all the guts inside the vehicle just to make it a enjoyable experience!
Arrma is junk!
Is there a way to dislike replies?
 

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The best way to upgrade an Arrma is not to buy one, they're junk out of the box. You have to upgrade the transmitter and all the guts inside the vehicle just to make it a enjoyable experience!
Arrma is junk!

Patently and obviously false. FYI - Arrma is updating all of their RCs with the new radios which work just fine. There is no need to upgrade anything. I thrashed my Notorious as a n00b who doesn't drive well and let my 10 year old bash it on 6s. I broke one part, a shock rod end broke when I hit a pole with only the right front at about 40 kph. $12 bag of ends and was running same day. I can't believe the punishment this thing has endured. I have a buddy who got a Granite and that thing has taken so much abuse it's crazy. They aren't perfect trucks - none are - but great value for me. If you don't like them then go buy Traxxas or whatever you think is better. I'm enjoying my Arrmas. :)
 

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The best way to upgrade an Arrma is not to buy one, they're junk out of the box. You have to upgrade the transmitter and all the guts inside the vehicle just to make it a enjoyable experience!
Arrma is junk!
the Armma Kraton v5 (2020 version) RTR is a HUGE improvement. All structural weaknesses are greatly improved and uses a great radio (again). Back is the SLT protocol and the new receiver (SR315) supports dual protocols (SLT & DSMR), clever. So if you have Spektrum radio, no need to replace the receiver, just bind and go. The RTR transmitter included in the box has great range and the input response is perfect, feels just like my Tactic TX300, so thats a major issue fixed in the v5. If you are curious about all the changes, Netcruizer breaks down all the improvements in this video. I bought the Kraton v5 last month and its really quite impressive out of the box. Only thing that looks like its still an issue is the wing brace/arms, bent mine doing wheelies, but thats a cheap fix and not mechanical. Very happy with my purchase and would recommend a v5 for anyone on the fence.
 

guzziboy532

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Patently and obviously false. FYI - Arrma is updating all of their RCs with the new radios which work just fine. There is no need to upgrade anything. I thrashed my Notorious as a n00b who doesn't drive well and let my 10 year old bash it on 6s. I broke one part, a shock rod end broke when I hit a pole with only the right front at about 40 kph. $12 bag of ends and was running same day. I can't believe the punishment this thing has endured. I have a buddy who got a Granite and that thing has taken so much abuse it's crazy. They aren't perfect trucks - none are - but great value for me. If you don't like them then go buy Traxxas or whatever you think is better. I'm enjoying my Arrmas. :)
the V4 radio is junk. Looks like Arrma are listening with the V5. I got a DumboRC and the difference in how the car drives and the control you have whilst jumping is like chalk and cheese.

he is also right with upgrades on the V4. If you plan to jump anything in stock form it will break. At a bare min spend, you need to install a decent bumper on the front for it to survive and throw the radio in the bin. Kids watching kev talbot videos need to understand they modify their trucks heavily to do what they do, and have extremely refined driving skills. The stock Arrma front bumper is woeful and will snap the first time you nose dive, most likely leaving broken bolts inside the aluminum brace for you to dig out.
 

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the V4 radio is junk. Looks like Arrma are listening with the V5. I got a DumboRC and the difference in how the car drives and the control you have whilst jumping is like chalk and cheese.

he is also right with upgrades on the V4. If you plan to jump anything in stock form it will break. At a bare min spend, you need to install a decent bumper on the front for it to survive and throw the radio in the bin. Kids watching kev talbot videos need to understand they modify their trucks heavily to do what they do, and have extremely refined driving skills. The stock Arrma front bumper is woeful and will snap the first time you nose dive, most likely leaving broken bolts inside the aluminum brace for you to dig out.

The STX2 was junk. They don't come with that radio anymore. You no longer have to upgrade the radio. The new one is really good I'm told.

There is a huge difference between:
The best way to upgrade an Arrma is not to buy one, they're junk out of the box. You have to upgrade the transmitter and all the guts inside the vehicle just to make it a enjoyable experience!
Arrma is junk!

And the reality - which is you do not need to upgrade the radio or anything else internally but if you are jumping it a lot you might need an RPM bumper for $15.

I think your version of "jump anything in stock form" is closer to Kevin Talbot/Rich Duperbash insanity than it is doing reasonable jumps. I do some jumps with my stock Notorious and I have not broken anything. I did put an RPM bumper on it because I wanted a skid plate and the RPM front bumper includes that and fits in front of the Notorious' stock bumper. Now I haven't jumped more than about 10' high and I am not hitting ramps at 50 kph, but it's a pretty tough platform in my experience.
 

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I broke the bumper and snapped the screws on a low speed tap of a kerb outside my house. It’s doomed to break from the start. I have done about 15 batteries now and last thing to break was the main diff drive gear. Now rebuilding rear diff.
 

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I broke the bumper and snapped the screws on a low speed tap of a kerb outside my house. It’s doomed to break from the start. I have done about 15 batteries now and last thing to break was the main diff drive gear. Now rebuilding rear diff.

Then you either "tapped" that curb at a bad angle or had a defective part, because I've hammered my stock Notorious' front bumper many times with no issues. Nosedived it into rocks and gravel coming off of a 15 foot high gravel pile, etc. I only put the RPM one on because I wanted a skid for the chassis under the diff bump and I saw how the RPM bumper would go in front of the stock one and protect it. I now have a new stock bumper and new RPM front bumper going on it with the scuffed up RPM front moving to the back as extra protection for tail landings. Maybe you had defetive screws that snapped or possibly were too tight? That doesn't sound normal and is totally opposite to my experience.

I did find a broken pin in the rear diff when I serviced it recently, but this is my first 6S and I have been doing things like landing on-throttle and doing standing back flips on super high traction surfaces like grass, so no surprise I broke something. Even with that it didn't fail and the three pieces of the pin were still in the groove in the sun gear.
 
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Then you either "tapped" that curb at a bad angle or had a defective part, because I've hammered my stock Notorious' front bumper many times with no issues. Nosedived it into rocks and gravel coming off of a 15 foot high gravel pile, etc. I only put the RPM one on because I wanted a skid for the chassis under the diff bump and I saw how the RPM bumper would go in front of the stock one and protect it. I now have a new stock bumper and new RPM front bumper going on it with the scuffed up RPM front moving to the back as extra protection for tail landings. Maybe you had defetive screws that snapped or possibly were too tight? That doesn't sound normal and is totally opposite to my experience.

I did find a broken pin in the rear diff when I serviced it recently, but this is my first 6S and I have been doing things like landing on-throttle and doing standing back flips on super high traction surfaces like grass, so no surprise I broke something. Even with that it didn't fail and the three pieces of the pin were still in the groove in the sun gear.
I know 2.2 mm is the pin size, i could sworn i read somewhere that 2.5 would work.Im currently rebuilding my blown diffs for backups till my backorder new ones come in. Im wanting to upgrade to better.
 

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I know 2.2 mm is the pin size, i could sworn i read somewhere that 2.5 would work.I am currently rebuilding my blown diffs for backups till my backorder new ones come in. Im wanting to upgrade to better.
In my Notorious V4 (and the other 6S trucks before they updated them this fall) I think you can get 2.3 in there but not 2.5. The EXB uses 2.5mm and I"m not sure exactly what comes in the new version 6S trucks now.
 

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That may be what i had read, thanks man
I can also tell you that a 3/32 drill bit shaft or blank is 2.38 mm and will not fit a V4 diff. I could sand it down.... eventually... but that's a lot of sanding with a hardened carbide drill bit. I used a 2mm allen key instead - we will see how that goes. Right now the 20 cm of snow we got earlier this week is melting slowly and it's too messy for me to take my nice Notorious out in the wet snow and slush.
 
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Think ima get some 2.2 drill bits. Found some hardened 2.2 rods but is on back order and not in the u.s.We don't get much snow in south carolina?. Rite now its 63 out and sunny but cant run my noto?. Iv got a new pk of stock pins i may use. Got some 500k oil on the way for my center diff. Guna use whats left to thicken my front and rear up. Somewhere around 70-500-30. What ya think?
 

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T bone racing! A big no on that company..worst company ever..worst customer service..cant even ship out a simple order without screwing up with missing parts. Just bought a Kraton 6s v5. RPM front bumper FTW!

What about a cooling fan for the motor? Anybody buy a heatsink and fan for the motor? Do you feel it would be worth getting. Does the v5 Kraton run hot?
 

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I swear someone told me that those don't fit on the new Spektrum motors.
According to Arrma the V5 has a 4074. I have the YR heatsink on the 4074 of the V4, which has fins (so basically 4274) and it is a even better fit on the 4082, since that hasn’t the cooling fins.
So unless it isn’t a 4074/4274 it should fit.
 
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