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 » Review, part 2

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First of all, I'll take the XTM X-Cellerator out for a ride in pure stock form, that is: original motor and pinion, stock damper setup and almost completely locked slipper.
A Carson Speed Max ESC and a 27MHz AM rc-system fit the low budget image well enough so we decided to install those into the tub chassis. Steering is at the hands of the speedy Hitec HS-6965HB servo with a transit time of 0,12sec/60°.

The X-Cellerator's handling is like expected: even the comparably weak stock motor is sufficient to make the truck break loose as soon as it gets a little bumpy. The ball diff and slipper remain unimpressed however - there's simply too little torque available to get them even close to their limits.

The stock motor tries its best and coats the left rear suspension with a thin brown layer of grit from the brushes - thanks to its built-in fan.
Quite a different form of grit builds up on the inside of the formerly clear gear cover: the cargo-cult pinion takes its toll on the main gear as it grinds into the plastic teeth. High time for an upgrade to a quality 48dp steel pinion!


 Getting serious: X-Cellerator tuning

For the upgrades, XTM-Racing's X-Cellerator spends some time on the workbench again: The 27 turns stocker simply does not do the trick if you get used to the X-Cellerator or have had offroad experience before.
To check what the chassis and drivetrain are up to, I decided to go brushless: A Lehner Basic 4200 and later a Hacker C40-8S, both under control of the trusty but expensive Schulze U-Force 75 get their power from a pack of pushed and matched GP 3700 cells. The stock pinion gets ditched for Robinson Racing's chrome plated 23t version.
The shocks get their overhaul as promised in the first part of our review: 25wt oil inside, orange (front) and red (rear) losi springs around give the X-Cellerator just the lush suspension that is so special to stadium trucks.
Now the X-Cellerator can really show what it's made of!

And the XTM-truck does it! The tyre compound is basher-friendly and kind of semi-hard to even survive some driving on concrete, but the tread with its bars in the middle gets good traction on grass and loose soil. It's just not the right choice for hard packed surfaces that will need smaller studs.
A properly set slipper makes accelerating the X-Cellerator easy and spares the ball diff. My only gripe would be the steering throw: a little more would be better, especially on the outside wheel.

The reworked shocks are perfectly up to their task, providing a smooth ride without losing oil (thanks to the foam volume compensators) and getting gritty (thanks to the makeshift shockboots).
So with each and every lap, my confidence in XTM-Racings budget-basher grows bigger and bigger - it's just fun to drive! The ball diff, often a problem with low-priced, high powered vehicles, remains solid as a rock - no chirping, no signs of wear, just as smooth as out-of-the-box. Really amazing!

XTM-Racing's X-Cellerator could really pass with an excellent 5/5 score in terms of ruggedness, if it wasn't for the chassis that wants to contribute its share.
„Drive a lot, fall a lot!“ - a saying known to many motocross drivers.
It's just the same with us offroaders: not always are we able to keep our truck on track, not even with the X-Cellerator's fairly good handling. So, the XTM-Truck takes some blows - not more and not harder than usual.
Such a beating is returned with an unfamiliar snapping noise that sounds like trouble... big trouble!
Though I was prepared thanks to some online pictures floating around, it's still an awful sight ...

Shame on you, XTM-Racing. Instead of providing flexible arms that may bend or even break on an impact, they're beefy like they're straight from a 4wd. So the weak link is the kickup area: thin, flexible and obviously not up to the task. That's quite frustrating since an arm is easier and cheaper to replace than the whole chassis! 
Well, that leaves us with two choices: Either buy a new chassis and drive very careful or get your tools out and do something to reinforce that critical area. Guess what I did!


XTM-Racing's X-Cellerator is something of wannabe racer: it features turnbuckles, quality shocks and other things that are rarely seen if not completely uncommon in the € 100 - € 150 price range.
It could even be seen as full fledged racer, but due to the bad kickup construction, the X-Cellerator fails to broadly appeal to bashers and racers likewise, since ruggedness and quick repairs are important in both realms.

But to speak in favour of the X-Cellerator: The least of all pre-assembled models feature perfectly built shocks. Some other little deficiencies aren't that important as well: The slipper clutch is just a matter of the correct setting and you'll likely have some pinions to alter the gear ratio, so you won't have to rely on the stocker. If you don't, then better stock up, since you'll need these additional pinions sooner or later!

Only the weak chassis material (or bad construction) prevents the X-Cellerator from being a great stadium truck right out of the box. A pity given its otherwise attractive terms and (though with some tweaks) good handling.

Want to prove your DIY-skills? Then XTM-Racing's X-Cellerator becomes an extremly capable stadium truck, especially given its price tag. Its drivetrain holds up to extreme brushless setups and the suspension does a good job at harnessing that power and putting it to the ground.
For beginners shy of some handcraft work but eager to upgrade to a stronger motor, the XTM-Racing X-Cellerator may however not be their best choice.
The most important measure certainly means reinforcing the front kickup -  which has become quite popular in the meantime. Shock Boots (How-to) prolong the life of the shock seals and keep maintainance low. Teflon sealed ball bearings are nice for the hardcore basher, but not that important hence put into brackets)

As with any rating below average, we traditionally contact the manufactorer (or distributor) with a detailed report and possible solutions.
XTM-Racing quickly responded and promised to improve the chassis' material so that it's less likely to break.
As soon as this new production run becomes available in Austria, we'll re-evaluate our ruggedness rating.

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