TRX-4 Defender Review

Traxxas TRX-4 Defender Review

They say that “Good things come in small packages”. The Traxxas TRX-4 Defender is the exact definition of that. It is a 1/10 scale Trail Crawler which is officially licensed by Land Rover. It features the design of a Land Rover Defender and has extreme off-road capabilities which will make you go on journeys to find new paths. It features exclusive portal axles which help to provide maximum ground clearance with a set of tires that are 1 inch smaller than they need to be if a straight axle was used so no outdoor trails or rocks can stop you from testing the capabilities of this bad boy. This small yet powerful machine has remote-locking front and rear differentials and high/low range transmission all in a package of 23.07 inches by 9.8 inches by inches tall from tire to roof rack. These dimensions make it extremely portable so if you plan to go hiking or mountain climbing or any other adventure sport for that matter you can just put it in your bag and carry it with you and you can get all of this for a price tag of $469.99.

What’s Inside?

trx-4 inside

Under the removable body the materials mostly used is plastic. The chassis contains of thick plastic bumpers which are molded and it also contains rock sliders which help with rock riding. The body also has arch liners which will help to protect it from external elements, Heavy Duty steel frame rails which helps to eliminate chassis flex and let the shock absorbers do the job they have to do. Aluminum scale shocks which provide damping that is as smooth as butter.

The TRX also features a Dual-Fit battery tray which can easily accommodate either 3 cells of 500 mAh or 2 cells of 7000 mAh which can provide extended runtime. The wheelbase is adjustable to 4 different positions 300,312,324 and 336 mm if you decide to customize the existing body that will help a lot. The wire retainers are all molded into the frame rails so it looks more cleaner and the wiring is safe during times of extreme off-roading. The steel links are 5mm in diameter that is used to provide exceptional strength and durability.

The Driveline

The driveline features parts that are probably best in its class. To start of with one of the main features the portal axles which help to provide maximum ground clearance with smaller wheels which provide better off-roading capabilities. This also reduces the gear ratio at the wheels which helps to eliminate the twist through the chassis. The TRX is fitted with T-Lock Remote Locking Differentials which help to maximize traction. The RC control gives you full control over this and it can be done by just flipping a switch. It is also fitted with a low range transmission so when you reach a rock in your path you need to climb just switch it to the low range option with the help of a switch in the RC controller and you get the torque you need to conquer those rocks. The driveshafts have unique hardened U joints which help to provide reliable power delivery every time. The twin friction plate slipper clutch helps to reduce or eliminate any motor stalls that might be present. It also features unique ball bearings which help to provide resistance from mud, dirt and reduce the damage.

The Geometry

trx-4 geometry

When the differentials are unlocked the steering can angle at up to 45 degrees which helps it to maneuver through tight spaces easily. Because of the portal axle the driveshaft and the suspension link can be raised a little higher than it normally which means that the grinding can be reduced by a significant amount. Due to the portal axles the center ground clearance is 3.14 inches. The front wheels have an approach angle of 56.49 degrees which makes it practically ready to climb walls while the rear wheels have an equally impressive 41.67 degrees approach angle. It has a front mounted motor design which is an excellent approach because the weight bias is forward and this will help to provide excellent traction for going uphill.

The Electronics

Titan 21T 550 motor

The motor that is used in the TRX is the Titan 21T 550 it is front mounted weighs 390 grams which is quite heavy. This Powerful motor has a 30% longer armature than a standard 540 size motor for extreme monster torque. It is reverse rotation and no other motor. It is made of high-quality materials and it has a long life.

esc

XL-5HV ESC

The new ESC provides different driving profiles which include Sport, Race and training mode. It has High voltage 3S LiPO battery packs which provide greater power and efficiency. The trail profile features a drag breaking system and hill hold that will make you navigate the course with ease.

waterproof metal gear servo

Waterproof metal gear servo

The full metal servo which is waterproof gives you the durability and authority you need over the steering to go through the course.

micro servo

Waterproof Micro Servo with sleeve cables

The servo helps to actuate the front and rear differentials as well as the low range selection. The sleeves help make it waterproof and this means that it can go on any terrain

What’s in the box?

  • TRX-4 Ready to race model
  • Titan 21T reverse motor
  • 2.4GHz radio system with cruise control
  • High quality maintenance tools.
trx-4 defender box

The accessories not included in the box are the charger, the batteries and the alkaline batteries for the transmitter which are all sold separately. You can also buy a number of aftermarket accessories which makes this customizable and it is very easy to customize because of the maintenance tools included in the box.

Reliability

We all know about the reliability issues Land Rovers usually have and just like those some people who had purchased this product have had some reliability issues. The website claims the electronics to be waterproof but there were times when customers had found leaks in the servo due to openings present in It. Some have even claimed that after a week or so the steering had stopped working and the car could only move front or backwards. People have also complained that Traxxas offers very poor customer service and they were not able to get in touch with company even after trying a lot. People have also claimed that that even the replacement they got was defected. But this was only in the case of a few customers the rest of them enjoyed their TRX.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. Extremely fun
  2. Latest Technology
  3. can conquer any terrain
  4. Looks amazing
  5. Strong Chassis

Cons

  1. Pricey for a hobby item
  2. Reliability issues
  3. Doesn’t include batteries at this price point
  4. Poor customer service

Conclusion

It is a very fun little RC car to use but it doesn’t come cheap you are supposed to be willing to pay the price ($469.99) which is a little too much for a hobby toy. You can always look for alternatives before straight away purchasing it because even after purchasing it you’ll have other costs such as buying the battery, charging kit, LED kit etc. If you are willing to look above the reliability issues that you might experience (minor chance) then it is money well spent and will not be regretted.

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