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Traxxas Summit RC Review

Review by Hunter Wick

The day that the Traxxas Summit came out just four years ago I knew that I had to have one for myself! At the time there was nothing like it on the market, and there still isn't today. More than anything I simply wanted to see what the truck could do with all of those unique features. Read on to find out if the truck fulfilled my hopes or if it was just another flop in the vast RC world.

In addition to this written review we have prepared Unboxing and Crawling, and features that are found on the Summit videos.

We also made a pros and cons videos for the Summit for you to check out.

Steering - 5/10

To be frank, steering on the Summit was downright pathetic out of the box. It wasn't the design of the steering or anything like that, but instead was the steering servos themselves. Traxxas brags about how the dual 2075 waterproof servos combine to produce 250oz of torque, which may sound like a lot, but in reality this is not nearly enough power to whip those tires back and forth. Sure, in high gear it would steer alright because of the higher speed, but in low gear those servos were simply unacceptable. Only 20 minutes into my first crawling session one of the stock servos began to act erratic and continued to do so even after being left to cool. Sure enough, on later inspection, one of the servos was gone. Thankfully, Traxxas agreed to send me a brand new one, but I would much rather see them actually address the problem than just hand out replacements that will likely do the same thing.

I ended up installing dual analog servos from valuehobby.com that were only $12 a piece, yet had double the torque of the stock servos. This made the truck much more capable- on and off the rocks.

Acceleration - 10/10

I was very surprised at the Titan 775's amazing acceleration and torque for a brushed motor. After breaking in the Titan as you must do with all brushed motors, it would allow the truck to pull wheelies, assuming the tires had enough traction. The truck's top speed was only around 20mph, but for something this big and top-heavy, you won't want to go much faster! The Titan's great torque was very necessary on the rocks. Not once did the motor stall or even come close. In fact, I snapped a driveshaft completely in half because a tire got jammed between two giant rocks and the Titan just wouldn't give up! The only complaint I have is that I believe that the Titan 775 is slightly over geared out of the box. I installed an Integy heatsink/fan to help keep the motor cool, but otherwise I would have needed to gear down slightly.


Braking - 8/10

The Titan that gives this truck such great power also lends itself greatly to braking. The motor was so strong that if the braking power was turned all of the way up, it would flip the truck forward and cause the truck to completely roll forward onto its roof! I found that the braking worked best at around the 80% mark, which was simple to turn down since I purchased the optional docking base and already had an iPhone. It is still possible to tune things like the braking power without the use of an Apple device, but it is much more time consuming and not nearly as easy. The only reason that this category didn't receive a perfect score was because the stock braking setting was much too powerful for the truck's high center of gravity.


Suspension - 9/10

The Summit's suspension is what makes it so versatile. It, without a doubt, has the most suspension travel of any similarly-sized rc truck on the market. This allows the truck to crawl over giant rocks and other obstacles, but since it is still a completely independent suspension vehicle, it can still bash in high gear. The truck was actually more fun in high gear in my opinion because of the ridiculous softness of the suspension. I was constantly on three or two wheels and always doing stoppies. Even though the truck isn't nearly as fast as some of the brushless monster trucks on the market, this suspension made it fun just going 15-20mph. The only thing that kept me from awarding that final point was that the truck utilizes a dual a-arm setup, something I'm not a huge fan of because this doubles the amount of a-arms used. However, this double a-arm setup worked great, so I can't complain. The shocks were plenty beefy and were easily tunable thanks to the threaded bodies. The rear of the truck was a little too soft out of the box, but a few turns of the threaded bodies allowed me to easily fix this within just a couple of minutes.


Jumping - 7/10

Whether or not the Traxxas Summit is a monster truck is debatable, but I would say that it is at least partly monster truck. What are monster trucks known for doing? Jumping off giant jumps of course! The Summit did alright jumping in stock form, but it didn't quite have the speed to balloon the tires and level the truck out in mid-air. Because of this, it had a nasty habit of nose diving right into the ground! Once I installed a 1/8th scale brushless system, the Summit jumped great because now it had enough juice to really balloon those tires, allowing me to level the truck out in the air. I wouldn't say that the Summit is easy to jump, but it definitely can be jumped with some successful landings.


Durability - 8/10

This is the one category that I was concerned about with the Summit. Since it features remotely locking differentials and a remotely shifting two-speed transmission, it has a lot of moving parts that a normal 1/8th scale truck wouldn't have. While this is what makes a Summit so unique, this also means more to go wrong. In stock form everything was more than plenty beefy for the Titan 775. However, once a 1/8th scale brushless system was installed and run on 4s, the truck began to show its weak points.

First off were the drive shafts. While they are some of the better drive shafts that I've seen Traxxas use, they are still plastic which will break sooner or later. I broke around four to five drive shafts within just a couple of days of installing the brushless system, and had the power turned down to 85%. This just didn't seem right to me that these drive shafts were that fragile. I've heard of multiple ways to re-enforce the stock shafts, but still I would like to see Traxxas fix this from the factory. The second issue I had was the rear diff started to act up. It still worked fine when you were just bashing, but as soon as you wanted to crawl and lock it the diff started acting up. I would have to drive the truck back and forth several times after telling it to lock the diff before it would actually lock. While neither differential ever went out on me, I have buddy who has one and has had multiple diffs go out on him. The last issue that the truck exhibited was that second gear randomly went out completely. I was crawling and decided that I wanted to go fast so I shifted into second (high gear). Nothing moved. I only heard what sounded like the gear in the transmission spinning freely. After a couple of times of shifting back and forth between first and second, the transmission began to work flawlessly again and never did this again. I don't know why it did this, but it definitely made me a little weary of how long this transmission was going to go without needing a complete rebuild.

At the end of the day, I enjoyed the Summit thoroughly but it was no longer my dream truck. It received an average score of a 7.8/10, but since it is so unique I don't think that it can really be awarded a numbered score! If a Summit looks fun to you because of all its unique features then go for it, just know that it's best to leave it in brushed form. Good job Traxxas, but I think with just a few minor tweaks this could be a great job!

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