RCU Review: DuraTrax Vendetta™ TC



RCU Review: DuraTrax Vendetta™ TC
 RCU Review: DuraTrax Vendetta™ TC
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Show user ratings Check for Retailers Contributed by: Matt Gunn | Published: January 2009 | Views: 41470 |
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Review by: Matt Gunn
Under the Body
Prep Work
Top Speed
Manufacturer & Distributor
The TC is the newest vehicle to bear the Vendetta name,
and it's quality and performance are certainly on par with
the rest of the team. The Vendetta TC is a 1/18th scale
4wd touring car manufactured by Duratrax, and is based
off of the popular Vendetta buggy and ST stadium truck.
From the factory the TC comes with a high performance
380 motor, oil-filled shocks, a rock-solid drive train, and
a great looking touring car body. This little Vendetta
comes with enough goodies to categorize it as
aftermarket, but with a rtr price.
Duratrax Vendetta TC
1/18th RTR
Distributed Exclusively by:
Great Planes Model
Distributors P.O. Box 9021; Champaign,
IL 61826-9021 The TC was tested at Nexus Racing, an indoor carpet
track in Atlanta, GA. Top speed runs and battery
longevity were tested outside on asphalt. So as usual,
grab your pit boxes and lets go to Nexus to test the
Vendetta TC!
See the Vendetta TC at Nexus
Indoor Raceway
Dialup 12.3mb
Broadband 26.2mb RTR
Very fast on a track
Great looking body
Knurled shock adjusters instead
of spacers
Annodized aluminum parts Name:Vendetta TC Price: $179.97 retail price
Length: 10.4"
Width: 4.5"
Wheelbase: 6.3"
Weight: 16.8oz
Motor: VR3 380 motor
Esc: ESC7500 w/ reverse
Battery used: DTX 1600mAh 7.2v 2/3a stick pack
Radio equipment: (Included) AM pistol grip, 2 channel receiver,
standard size steering servo
Optional DTX 1600 battery
provides longer run times
NiMh battery charger 6-cell 2/3a battery pack 8 AA Batteries Other Helpful Items Rear hubs are weak
Threadlock Formula Electric motor cleaner Traction compound for carpet racing Right front Front
Back end Undercarriage Body off right
Body off left
The Vendetta TC has a very aerodynamic body styled after the bigger 1/10th scale bodies
used in national events. The slope of the hood, windshield, and the open area of the wheel
wells are designed to cut drag as much as possible. The rear wing is functional in providing
down force and keeping the rear end from moving around too much at high speeds. It
fastens to the body with screws and even after multiple wrecks and bumps on the track,
has yet to tear off. The paint on the TC is very high quality and comes in 6 different
schemes to help differentiate yours from the rest of the pack. A clear version is also
available if you want to customize your TC further. The finish of the body and wing are
superb; no burrs or bad cuts to note. The height of the body can be adjusted by moving the
support pins up or down on the plastic body posts.
With the body removed, we see a chassis that is very similar the other Vendettas. But don't
let it fool you, the TC has many parts it calls it's own, and is unique in many ways. The front
foam bumper is stiff enough to stay together after repeated abuse, but soft enough to
absorb some serious frontal loads. The bottom of the bumper attaches to a plastic plate
which also protects the foam from abrasion when running on concrete and asphalt.
The chassis is a plastic tub design that is very rigid and has almost zero flex. Its just wide
enough to accommodate a 2/3a 6-cell stick pack and a full size servo. The layout is as
follows; the battery runs longitudinally on the left side, the motor and steering servo are on
the right side. The battery is held down with a plastic strap that slides into a slot up front
and attaches with a body pin in the rear. Atop the battery strap sit the electronic speed
control and receiver. Down the center of the chassis runs the blue anodized aluminum drive
shaft. At each end of the chassis are the differentials. The bottom half of each diff case is
moulded into the chassis. The gear differentials drop in and the top case halves are
screwed down.
The TC features a 380-sized performance motor dubbed the VR3. This little black motor is
just the ticket for the Vendetta TC and boasts great torque and an impressive top speed.
The VR3 comes with a motor plug soldered on and it's sealed so there's no option to
change the brushes once they wear down. That shouldn't happen very often, but if you do
need to replace the motor, you can purchase it for only $15.99 through Tower Hobbies. The
Esc used is the ESC750. This is an update from the older ESC500 that ships with the
Vendetta buggy. The ESC7500 features brake and reverse and will not go into reverse
unless the trigger is brought to neutral after the brake is applied. There is an on/off switch
located on the right side of the unit that can be accessed with the body on. After running
hot laps with the Vendetta, the esc was only warm to the touch and I feel it should last for
a long time.
Motor and speed control
Chassis layout w/ battery
strap removed
rear diff and gear cover From the motor, power is transferred through a 20T pinion gear and a 42T spur gear. The
spur is mounted on the shaft drive, connecting the front and rear differentials. The diffs
then transfer power to the wheels through the universal driveshafts. Running universal
shafts are better than standard dog bones due to decreased drag and better operation at
steeper angles. Speaking of reducing drag, there are two ball bearings supporting each
universal shaft at all four corners. The suspension arms are held on with captured hinge
pins vs using small c-clips that can get lost easily. One screw holds the caps on for quick
removal if necessary. At the rear, camber is adjusted by turning the turnbuckle connecting
the hub to the differential. Rear toe-in is set at about 1.5 degrees from the factory. The
front end has a little more adjustability built in and you have full control over the front
track width, toe, camber, and caster. Track and camber are adjusted by turning the pivot
balls on the front hubs while the caster is adjusted by adding an adjuster clip in front or
behind the upper arm. Droop is also adjustable and is done by turning the grub screws
located on the upper suspension arms.
The blue anodized aluminum shocks are a great addition to the already aluminum-laden
Vendetta chassis. They feature knurled ride height adjusters instead of those cheap shock
clips that are a pain to pull off and get lost easily. The rebound and dampening is great for
such small shocks. The Vendetta comes stock with medium (yellow) shock springs and
different rates are available from Duratrax. The TC shocks can be mounted in multiple
positions on the anodized shock towers and the a-arms. By changing the shock positions at
the top and bottom, you can effect handling characteristics such as high and slow speed
steering, rear tire grip, and faster/slower suspension reaction. With all the suspension
adjustments on the Vendetta TC, it makes a great platform to experiment with tuning and
learn the ropes of racing.
Aluminum shocks and
captured hinge pins
Front a-arms and foam
All new DTX 1600mAh pack
ESC7500 speed control w/
Tactic 2 channel receiver
Tactic am 2-channel transmitter
The steering system on the Vendetta TC is a dual bell crank setup with an aluminum
steering drag link connecting the two. A plastic servo saver is built-in to the steering horn
and slides over the servo output splines. A standard analog servo with plastic internal gears
is used to turn the wheels. Its pretty average when it comes to speed but gets the job done
and torque is really not an issue with this small vehicle.
The transmitter included with the TC is a Tactic am 2-channel pistol grip with a few
standard functions. It features servo reversing and steering/throttle trim knobs. With alot of
companies offering rubber and foam steering wheel grips, I think the plastic wheel on the
Tactic feels a little outdated. The Tactic receiver is also a pretty standard unit and works as
expected. I drove down the street and up a gentle hill to make a few fast passes and the
two stayed connected at almost 50 yards away. Not too bad for an am system.
The Vendetta TC requires a 2/3a 6-cell flat pack, a NiMh charger, and 8aa batteries for the
transmitter. Once you have them, charge a fresh pack, install the antenna tube, and apply
the Vendetta logo stickers to your liking. That's all the TC needs to get it moving... and
rather quickly at that. From the factory, the ride height was set too low which caused the
body to drag in the corners. A few turns of the ride height adjusters solved the problem in a
matter of seconds.
The Vendetta was tested at Nexus Racing's indoor carpet track in Atlanta, GA. during a
Wednesday night practice session. Racer Eddie Colon piloted the Vendetta and really
showed what this little 1/18th scale touring car is capable of. The first thing we did was to
add some traction compound to the tires and let it soak in for a few minutes. This makes
the tires more sticky and results in increased grip on an otherwise slippery carpet track.
After a few short laps, we realized the ride height was too low so we turned the shock
adjusters enough to raise it a few millimeters. That was all the Vendetta needed and Eddie
began cutting laps at an impressive pace for someone who had never driven this car before.
The VR3 motor is quite powerful for an rtr setup and made the Vendetta blast down the
back straight faster than the stock 1/12th pan cars he was running with. Through the
technical sections of the track, the TC held its line firmly with little noticeable under steer in
the turns. Acceleration was strong out of the turns and the Vendetta exhibited little
wandering from the rear end when traveling down the back straight.
One thing we noted is that, while the stock steering servo turns the wheels quickly for sport
driving, the reaction time needed to compete in a race is very fast, and the stock servo was
just slightly behind the curve. This shouldn't be a problem for anyone having fun on the
track or racing your buddies, but if your serious about competition, you might want to
upgrade to a high-speed steering servo.
I tested the top speed of the Vendetta TC on the street behind my house and used a small
Garmin Forerunner 201, which I feel had very little effect on the TC's performance. In fact,
its so small that I could lay it on the chassis and put the body on during the runs. The TC
had a best speed of 26.4mph and a total run time of 15 minutes and 27 seconds before a
noticeable dump in power. That's very impressive for this little car and the new DTX
1600mAh battery definitely contributes to the extended run times.
The only broken part I suffered was the rear hub. The area that attaches to the upper arm
is relatively thin and can break if you slam into a wall on the track. I broke 2 of them over
the course of a week but I'm not the best driver out there and the Vendetta saw it's fair
share of the guardrail when I was driving. The hubs are very inexpensive and I suggest you
pick up a few if your starting out, or buy the optional aluminum hubs and take the weak link
out of the equation.
The Vendetta TC had a best top speed of
26.4 mph. A small Garmin Forerunner 201
gps was used to determine the speed within
+/- .2 mph accuracy. High speed runs were
made on flat asphalt with a fully topped of
battery pack and run until the pack dumped.
The total time recorded with a stopwatch
was 15 minutes and 27 seconds. This was
not wide open running the entire time, but
rather a mix of fast, moderate, and slow
See the Vendetta TC at Nexus
Indoor Raceway
Dialup 12.3mb Broadband 26.2mb The Vendetta handles like a modded car, but costs a rtr car price. It has upgraded features
like aluminum oil-filled shocks with adjusters, true touring car suspension adjustability, a
quick motor and a stylish body. Beginners and pros alike can have fun with the Vendetta at
the carpet or asphalt track, or in the parking lot or driveway. The Vendetta TC is true
performance that won't damage your wallet. If your looking for a small electric on road
with big power and handling, please checkout the Vendetta TC. Thanks for reading my
review and have fun with it!
Duratrax Vendetta TC 1/18th RTR
Distributed Exclusively by:
Great Planes Model Distributors P.O. Box 9021; Champaign, IL 61826-9021 Nexus Racing
1720 Cumberland Point Drive, Ste 9
Marietta, Georgia 30067 (USA)
Web Site: www.nexusracing.com
Track Web site: www.track.nexusracing.com
Thanks to racer Eddie Colon for helping me test the Vendetta TC.
Comments on RCU Review: DuraTrax Vendetta™ TC
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The comments, observations and conclusions made in this review are solely with respect to the particular item the editor reviewed and may not apply
generally to similar products by the manufacturer. We cannot be responsible for any manufacturer defects in workmanship or other deficiencies in
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