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 » Review, Part 1

 XTM-Racing X-Cellerator 1:10 2WD Stadium Truck ARR

When it comes to low priced beginner cars Reely offers a wide variety of products. Whether it’s electric or gas powered, 1/10th scale or bigger – everyone will be served to his taste. Experienced hobbyists might turn up their noses at some of the chassis but to our mind the X-Cellerator stadium truck deserves a closer look.

Actually the X-Cellerator is manufactured by XTM–Racing, just with Conrad Electronic it’s labelled Reely.

Anyone knowing the 2wd stadium trucks by Team Associated will find some interesting parallels when inspecting the XTM-Truck: The front suspension shows some astonishing similarities to Associated’s T3 model while the rear end seems to belong more to a T4. And there are the shocks that, apart from their colour, are very comparable to Team Losi truck shocks. Best of both worlds one might say – a proven Asso race-suspension plus shocks that will, given that they’re built properly, last for a whole season without any maintenance… and you’ll get all that for just € 129,95. (Conrad Austria) Reason enough for me to order an almost-ready-to-race X-Cellerator right away to see what it’s worth.

Although ‚ARR’ sounds like "whack in the equipment and go", such models should always be disassembled and checked. By doing this eventual factory-built-in mistakes can be detected to prevent further damage – it also simplifies future maintenance work.

Length:       420mm
Wheelbas:     280mm
Width:        327mm
Height:       152mm
Weight:     1370g (just pre-assembled)

540 size electric motor an pinion

transmitter, receiver, standard-sized servo, ESC, 7,2V Sub-C battery pack

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 The X-Cellerator ARR package:

XTM Racing's stadium truck comes in quite a large box (when compared to the Associated T4 for example) which can be attributed to the completely pre-assembled chassis. The body is colourfully painted, even the 540-size standard motor is already built in. Not only that – it’s pre-wired, got capacitators and even the gear meshing is set – what a service!
Two re-usable zip ties have to be openend in order to deliver the truck from its box. Inside, you also find a decal sheet, tools and a short manual.

To complete the X-Cellerator, steering servo, ESC, battery and R/C equipment have to be bought separately. Against an RTR there is the advantage for the experienced hobbyist to use components that are already at hand.


 X-Cellerator in detail

Nice work – XTM's stadium truck looks good right away: Recessed countersunk screws, no sharp edges and cleanly glued tires. When it has to be a pre-assembled model, then it should look like this!
Only the plastic tub chassis looks a bit suspicious – but more on that later. The shock towers are relatively soft – but in case of a rollover this can only be an advantage.
Apart from its limited throw, the whole steering looks pretty Asso. Ackerman geometry and the position of the steering linkage can be changed, there seems to be no bump steering over the whole suspension travel - nice!
Furthermore the ball studs of the Reely X-Cellerator are equipped with "foam thing" dust covers which are normally found on more exclusive offroaders like Team Losi or Associated.


Classic 2wd layout - XTM-Racing's X-Cellerator keeps the proven 2wd concept, alltough a few mid-motor designs got quite some attention lately.

There is one detail on the tub chassis that is normally exclusive to the Asso B/T4 cars: a recess in the battery slot where the ESC cable can pass below the battery without suffering any damage, regardless of the battery position.

The nose section can be told from its American counterpart by the molded-on kickup plate; the massive bulkhead seems to concentrate more on mechanical stability and couldn’t poke aesthetics with a long pole. The long suspension arms look sturdy, don't show much play and on the aluminum axles you find truck-typical 3/16” ball bearings. Both toe-in and caster can be set by steel turnbuckles – normally a hop-up part in this price-class. 
The rear end is a typical 2wd design with compact three-stage gears, e-clip free hinge pins and bronzed steel MIP-style driveshafts.

Pinion and spur gear are effectively protected by a clear polycarbonate cover – only with the black cap that closes the cover, XTM's X-Cellerator does a bit of a cargo cult for the first time: Normally this cap can be opened in order to quickly adjust the slipper clutch from the outside. Alas, the ‘plug’ of the Reely-truck is made of hard plastic and will wear out the useful gear cover after opening and closing it for a couple of times. Some softer material would have been an advantage here.

Front left, rear right: Nothing really new here. The front suspension uses a kingpin-ball stud which holds both steering arm and upper arm. The chassis at the rear goes more with the T4.

The locknut at the slipper should be reversed because the factory setting is too hard – just loosening the locknut would render the nylon ring unused and the slipper might work itself free. In the price class of the X-Cellerator the quality of the ball differential comes as a real surprise: It is completely covered (and therefore not accessible from the outside), runs smoothly without further fiddling and the big 25 millimetre diff rings make it stay this way.

The slipper shaft plus top gear is all machined steel – also exceptional for this price range but important so the gears can stand high torque.

There is nothing really exceptional about the X-Cellerator's suspension – if it weren’t for the shocks. Apart from their blue anodic coating they bear a striking resemblance to their Team Losi counterparts; even the same tools can be used. But they are not identical: XTM's cartridges are bigger and the shock piston is secured by a locknut rather than e-clips.  A quick look at the spare-parts list also tells us that a whole set of X-Cellerator shocks only cost €19,95 – meaning less than five bucks a shock; with Losi that’s not even the shock shafts!

But with the factory setup no useful driving will be possible – some things have to be bought with more than just money …

The shock pistons should be checked for burrs and smoothed with 400-grade sanding paper.

The shocks feature no volume compensator, but a piece of closed-cell foam rubber pushed into the damper cylinder can do the trick. Like this, the shock is easier to fill and less likely to leak.

The springs are pretty soft, especially for the rear end – and the damper oil is, again, more of the cargo cult-style instead of having useful effects on the handling. When opening the shock (to install the mentioned volume compensator for example) you will first have to get rid of the viscous, smelly liquid inside and then clean the whole thing thoroughly.
Now the shock can be refilled with 25wt/300 cps silicone oil (Team Associated brand for example)
Anyone who misses to do this oil change will be granted wild rides because the stiff kit setup will make the truck lollop uncontrollably even with the 540 stock motor.

Things inside the gearbox have way better manners: Ball bearings everywhere and a cleanly built, excellently set up ball differential leave nothing to be desired. The slipper shaft is made of steel, the slipper plates are hard-anodised aluminum and, except from some small burrs, they seem to be up to do the job.
Out of the box the whole slipper construction is put together so tightly that it won’t slip at all. Instead of protecting the ball differential, the torque is delivered directly, no-brains style. The manual tells the newcomer not to touch this sensible adjustment. Wonder if that’s clever… but we already took care a few paragraphs above.

The stock motor has not enough torque to damage any gears but XTM-Racing gives it a different kind of ‚weapon’:

What’s the difference between a shark and this pinion?
Both are grey, but the pinion’s got the uglier teeth!

Admitting a 48dp module to this part might be an audacious challenge of reality – although - not the regularity of the teeth but the condition of their surface should become a problem. In order to illustrate this, the pinion remains inside the car for now. We will see …

A last tip for the steering: the small pins should be CA’ed into the chassis. Dust covers, like on the ball studs, keep away grinding dust – a problem with lots of 2wds. The lug on the upper plate was to be ground down a bit so that the steering won’t bind.



The XTM-Racing X-Cellerator presents itself as a hobbyists dream come true: a low-cost feature-rich 1:10th scale stadium truck American style. (and with us Europeans without the need to buy imperial tools)
This is accompanied by cheap spare parts and reasonable basic equipment. The quality of the pre-assembly is mostly good: link pairs are of equal length, the universals are threadlocked, the diff is cleanly built and all screws are tightened without damaged threads – perfect.
Only when taking a closer look some details don’t really want to fit; a number of parts does not seem to be sure of its actual functions: The shocks are too hard for any offroad use whatsoever, the pinion doesn’t look so reliable and the kickup which is part of the chassis like with the Asso T4 seems rather weak.

How this truck will perform in practice remains to be seen.

Text and translation by Markus Simon
Pictures by Aaron Banovics
This review has been published on on 02-20-2007.