This article was originally published in RC Driver’s December 2015 issue.
Words: Mark Ronge
Photos: Edwin Rodriguez
When I think of Arrma, rugged, fast, and brutal are a few of the first words that pop into my mind. Short course trucks are nothing new in the hobby but the Arrma Fury line of trucks are some of the most unique on the market with their monocoque chassis design and extra beefy components. Arrma has recently revised their Fury lineup, and this review features the MEGA and BLX trim. The MEGA is aimed at beginners and the budget conscious with an impressive brushed power setup at an absolute steal of a price while the BLX version goes all out with a 4-pole brushless motor and necessary upgrades for expert users. If there is room in your garage for a short course truck the Fury should be a top contender for the spot, read ahead to see which is right for you.
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Arrma
WHO IT’S FOR: Everyone
PART NUMBER: AR102605
HOW MUCH: $189.99
BUILD TYPE: RTR
• Durable monocoque chassis design
• Waterproof electronics
• Completely RTR with battery & wall charger
• Awesome price (MEGA)
• Ridiculous power system (BLX)
• Included battery and charger use T-connectors
• Battery bar can be a little difficult to remove/replace after some time
I have got to give Arrma two huge thumbs up on the Fury truck. From a design standpoint it can withstand plenty of punishment thanks to its unique monocoque chassis design. I found the MEGA trim level a pleasure to drive and fig- ured the model would cost a lot more than Arrma is charging. The BLX is an absolute beast of a machine and blows away most RTR short course trucks on the mar- ket. Whichever model you choose, you will not be dis- appointed with any of the Fury lineup of trucks.
TOOLS AND ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
• 4-way wrench
• L wrenches
• Receiver bind plug
• Wall charge
• 4X “AA” batteries for transmitter
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Motor Mount Heatsink Aluminum Red, AR310394, $19.99, Short course trucks typically are tough on motors, so why not help them out by installing an aluminum motor mount that also acts as a heatsink? Besides, it really stands out on the Fury and looks amazing with the anodized red color.
• Shock Tower Brace Front Aluminum Red, AR330148, $12.99, The shock from a rough hit can put tons of force on the front components and some extra bracing by the shock tower would help increase durability
• Duratrax Onyx LiPo 2S 7.4V 5000mAh 35C Hard Case, DTXC1964, $59.99, (For BLX) The stock 4600mAh NiMH pack is great, but this LiPo pack will give you more consistent throttle response and more run time.
The backbone of the Arrma Fury lineup of trucks is the monocoque chassis design. Because there is more structure to this chassis, it is able to be narrower than your standard short course truck, while providing more strength. Because everything is so narrow, the electronics are all mounted inline with the Fury’s center point which on paper should allow for quicker transitions between turns. Both the servo and battery pack are mounted towards the bottom of the chassis to help keep the center of gravity low. Where the MEGA and BLX trucks differ is the BXL series has the Arrma aluminum TVP’s preinstalled along with a metal skid plate on the bottom part of the chassis towards the front. Both of these hopups can be installed in the MEGA truck, and I would recommend it if you ever install a hotter motor or tend to be especially abusive to your trucks. Both trucks share an excellent bumper design, composed of composite plastics and have plenty of points to allow flex for absorbing harmful energy from impacts. This is also present on the sides of the trucks as the chassis is so narrow and short course bodies follow the opposite trend. Since the electronics are waterproof in the Fury trucks, the 2.4GHz receiver is mounted in a sealed radio box on top of the chassis.
The Fury has a traditional suspension setup with plastic, oil-filled shocks on all four corners. While I would prefer to see aluminum shock caps on the BLX truck, the red plastic accents look great and fit in with the Arrma color scheme. Ride height is adjusted using plastic preload clips included with the kit. Even the MEGA truck has front camber adjustments, something not commonly found in other trucks in this price range. The rear camber uses fixed links in the MEGA, unlike the BLX truck which has fully adjustable steel turnbuckles. Likewise, the rear of the Fury has a metal brace to strengthen the shock tower on both the MEGA and BLX trucks.
These short course trucks mix the tried and true dual bellcrank steering setup and an interesting steering servo mounting design. The servo is mounted in the laydown position and is held onto the chassis with an upper plate, no screws required. This nifty design allows for easy maintenance at the expense of a little slop in the steering system, but nothing that will affect bashing the truck. The servo offerings in both trucks do differ, with both being waterproof. The MEGA is equipped with an impressive 70 oz. / 0.12 second plastic-geared ADS-5 servo and the BLX a metal-geared 90 oz./ 0.14 second ADS- 7M. Both offer more than enough power to turn short course tires and wheels at some generally quick speeds. The toe angles are fixed on the MEGA, while adjustable turnbuckles are standard on the BLX model.
What really separates the trucks are the power systems included in the RTR. The Fury MEGA is equipped with a brushed 15 turn motor and a great 35A Arrma ESC with aluminum cooling fins to act as a heatsink to keep the ESC’s temperature cooler. This is definitely one of the better ESC’s for vehicles in this price range and even has a durable case surrounding it to add durability. The BLX is an all out speed machine, so it gets some of the best Arrma has to offer, a brushless 4-pole 3600Kv motor paired with an 80A waterproof brushless ESC. The ESC has a durable case protecting an integrated fan to aid in cooling. Both trucks are rear wheel drive only, so they are mated to a three-gear rear mounted transmission and with an adjustable slipper clutch. The differential is a sealed gear type and the user can tune the action of the diff with various fluids if they desire. Steel dogbones then transmit the power to the rear wheels.
Both of these RTRs have battery packs to get you going, along with wall chargers if you do not have your own. The MEGA has a 7.2V 2000mAh battery and the wall charger charges a dead pack in less than three hours, which isn’t bad at all. The BLX comes with a more substantial 8.4V 4600mAh, but takes up to seven hours to charge a depleted battery (with the upside of increased runtime). The batteries have pre-installed T-connectors and I like that both models have ESC settings for using LiPo batteries if the user decides to upgrade in the future. I have always liked the Arrma Fury body shells, both have a killer paint scheme and an awesome aggressive look that really stands out from other trucks. Arrma really knows their tires, and the dBoots short course tires offer awesome grip on most surfaces. Lastly, the Fury short course trucks both have an ATX- 100 2.4GHz radio setup, which offers basic trim settings and gets the job done just fine.
ON THE TRACK
The biggest difference between the MEGA and BLX versions of the Fury trucks is in the power system, so I immediately knew I had to stress both out with some high speed testing. One of the first things I noticed is that the Fury trucks do not like medium long grass very much (to be fair, neither do most short course trucks), so I set out for some loose dirt/gravel and pavement. The MEGA truck is not the fastest brushed truck on the market, but it offers a very controllable throttle profile and has a nice smooth power delivery. I noticed that it takes a couple of seconds for the truck to get to full speed which is desirable for beginners so they can get comfortable with low speed handling before getting into any trouble. Once up to speed, the MEGA truck does get along quite nicely and even retains excellent handling characteristics. I found the 7.2V 2000mAh to last about seven minutes before the speed began to drop off. After plugging in the BLX version, I pulled the trigger and was greeted with a prompt 360 degree donut. This truck has some major power and it takes a careful trigger finger to manage the massive amounts of torque the 4-pole brushless motor is pumping out. Even when the truck was up to about half its top speed the rear end could break loose with a full throttle input from the transmitter. Before I tested the truck I figured that it may need LiPo power to showcase the power of the brushless system, but I was quite wrong. I was more than satisfied with the 8.4V NiMH pack. The top speed definitely is over 30 MPH and is perfect when paired with the crazy acceleration. The dBoots tires work pretty well on most surfaces I tried, and I was even able to initiate some killer drifts that looked like something only a 4WD truck could pull off. The tires do have a slightly hard compound so you do sacrifice some traction for longer wear time.
Braking is slightly iffy on both of the trucks. On the MEGA truck it seems like the truck brakes at a rate that will not lock up the rear wheels, however this leads to making emergency stops requiring a bit of extra braking room. The BLX version has quite the opposite “problem”, the rear wheels are extremely easy to lock up due to the powerful motor/ESC combo which resulted in tons of spinouts. After driving the BLX around for a while I was able to plan ahead for my stops after the high speed passes and find the exact point before the tires broke traction, allowing for smooth controlled stops. It takes a lot of work, but is super rewarding at the same time.
Steering wise the Furys turn on a dime and offer excellent turn in angles in the steepest of corners. Both steering servos were up to the task and offered a fast enough transit time to make the truck feel snappy and responsive. The plastic steering servo of the MEGA held up just fine, but I did feel more confident with the BLX metal geared type. As mentioned earlier, there is a little bit of play in the steering system and this did not seem to affect forward turning much at all, but the trucks will wobble quite wildly when reversing at any speed. I tended to have more steering than I actually needed, so I did not need to mess with the toe angle on the BLX truck, but it is nice to have the adjustability for when I hit the track. The shocks were able to soak up any variance in terrain with ease, and were stiff enough to limit extreme body roll. Speaking of body roll, due to the central mounted components the truck did not sway as much as other short course trucks I have driven and changed direction quite well without the extra inertia fighting the trucks.
Jumping the trucks is a mixed bag. I started with the BLX and found that the truck jumped either poorly or very well depending on how much throttle you were giving the truck. If I launched off a jump with the throt- tle applied, the truck’s nose shot up into the sky and it was almost impossible to bring it back down (2WD short course trucks do not change attitude very well). On the flipside, when I reminded myself to ease off before exiting the ramp, I was treated to a perfect arch and rewarded with a proper landing ready to set up the next jump. What I found very interesting is that when I tried the MEGA truck, I found that it jumped way more reliably when compared to the BLX. It can either be the difference in weight between the trucks due to the battery, or that I did not have as much torque to flip the nose up. If I had the throttle hammered down or not, I always landed on all four wheels which made this version a pleasure to jump. The oil filled shocks proved to be the perfect balance of stiffness and rebound control which resulted in minimal chassis slap and made setting up the next jump very easy.
Since the Fury trucks are built with durability in mind, my bashing sessions did not result in any broken parts. The only slight issue I had was a wheel nut backing off on the BLX and the wheel falling off as well, totally my fault for not checking in between runs (and a few too many donuts!). I am very impressed with the durability of both models, even without the TVP’s the MEGA chassis withstood everything I threw at it. I also noticed that there were no signs of body rub whatsoever. Usually with short course trucks the graphics begin to rub off by the wheel wells, but not these trucks. The tires did not show much wear at all, even on the BLX with all the drifting and donuts, the dBoots tires looked almost brand new.
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SPECS AND TUNING OPTIONS
Length: 21.3 in. (540mm)
Width: 11.6 in. (295mm)
Wheelbase: 13.0 (330mm)
Weight: 4lbs 5 oz. (1.95kg
BODY, WHEELS AND TIRES
Body: Pre-painted and cut short course
Wheels: Black 5 spoke (MEGA), Chrome 5 spoke (BLX)
Wheel adapter type: 12mm hex
Tires: Arrma dBoots tires
Type: 4-wheel independent
Shock positions: (F) 1-tower, 2-arm, (R) 1-tower, 2-arm
Camber: Adjustable turnbuckles
Ride height: Pre-load clips on the shocks
Type: Dual bellcrank
Toe: Fixed (MEGA), Adjustable turnbuckles (BLX
Type: Monocoque (MEGA), monocoque + aluminum TVP (BLX)
Material: Composite plastic (MEGA), composite plastic + aluminum (BLX)
Thickness: 2mm plastic, 2.3mm aluminum
Transmission: 3-gear rear-mounted
Clutch Type: Adjustable slipper
Gear ratio: Optional pinion gears (speed set included)
Bearings: Full set of shielded
Opinion: 9/9 (Mega/BLX)
Acceleration: 6/9 (Mega/BLX)
Steering: 8/8 (Mega/BLX)
Handling: 8/8 (Mega/BLX)
Durability: 10/10 (Mega/BLX)
Feature Breakdown: 7/9 (Mega/BLX)
Overall Value: 10/7 (Mega/BLX)
I really appreciate the direction Arrma is headed with their off-road trucks and other vehicles. The monocoque chassis design in the Fury trucks hold-up so well in bashing conditions and even has some interesting handling benefits that mean the trucks can be raced on the sportsman/ beginner level with some minor tweaks. The MEGA truck is such an amazing deal and at a price less than $140 this could quite possibly be one of the best deals for short course trucks on the market today. The performance stacks up quite well with the competition and would be a great choice for beginner drivers. The BLX version reminds me of a high powered American sports car, tire shredding torque allows for insane high speed runs and the truck keeps you on your toes with the over- powered brushless system. The BLX is definitely geared at an experienced hobbyist, but the best part about the Fury lineup of trucks is that the MEGA version can be slowly upgraded to the BLX as a beginner user gains more confidence and skill in handling the truck
Arrma, arrmarc.com, (217) 398-363