Talk about big industry news, Pro-Line a leader in tires, bodies and accessories for decades has finally made the jump into offering a vehicle and all I have to say is it’s about time. I mean seriously, the company offers products at the forefront of design and style. Their products perform; why not introduce a vehicle world? Knowing them, they wanted to do it right… and they did. Pro-Line identified a platform to grow off of before just releasing a kit. For over a year now, they have been testing and offering parts that are performance upgrades for a variety of vehicles. PL released the ProTrac suspension kit with adjustability and durability, Power Stroke shocks for plush damping, Performance Transmission with durable gears, consistent slipper and an LCG chassis kit that is an RC masterpiece. All these items, some already assembled, stuffed into one kit along with a number of exciting and detail oriented parts. The more I check out Pro-Line’s Pro-2 the more I want to tell you about it. On to the details!
AT A GLANCE
WHO MAKES IT: Pro-Line WHO IT’S FOR: Basher to Racer
PART NUMBER: 4001-00
HOW MUCH: $389
BUILD TYPE: Partial Kit
PROS & CONS
+ Excellent parts quality with a number of USA made components
+ Instantly gets you A-main finishes*
+ Handles great for both the racer and basher
+ You’ll get more friends at the track driving it*
+ Ultra durable from bumper to bumper
+ Great tires included
– Little pricey, but it covers the needs of all types of SC driver
*Not exactly…but it could happen
Authors Opinion: Pro-Line has constantly put out killer products for all types of RC enthusiast and now with their first vehicle release, they’ve shocked the RC world with the Pro-2 SC. This truck was developed over a year with parts that were proven on both the race track and basher courses. Now it’s all in one kit so anyone can rule the SC class or have endless fun with a great looking truck.
Star rating (1-5) = 4.5
• Pro-Line was on target when developing the platform for the Pro-2, it had to be durable, yet performance oriented. To get the best for both worlds, they designed a 3mm thick 7075 hard anodized aluminum plate with press bent sides to keep the center section rigid. The chassis is milled in several areas to reduce weight, which is great for the performance racer and a cool bonus for the enthusiast driver. Small molded side-guards have nerf wings to keep the body stable and impacts away from the electronics. The battery can be repositioned to adjust weight bias with the rear ESC plate helping to keep the battery secure or two battery end plates are included to hold your packs position. Velcro straps secure the pack and foam padding damps impacts. The rear bulkhead is a molded one-piece plastic piece that as mentioned earlier incorporates a screw on ESC plate which gives the truck a great look with easy access.
• Up front, a narrow top plate mates up with the adjustable servo mounts and steering cranks. The cranks are made up of a machined aluminum center tube, adjuster nut, spring and composite plastic arms, there is a little flex here for the basher. A simple threaded rod, rod ends and hardware mate the servo to the cranks, but for the rest of the rods on the car, Pro-Line uses stout turnbuckles with their hard anodized pivot balls and heavy duty rod ends. Impressive and durable; if you pop one off, you deserve some sort of award.
• For the suspension assemblied, Pro-Line equipped the SC machine with their race proven ProTrac set-up. Long hefty arms front and rear have minimal flex thanks to their shape to hold up to big crashes. The arms are secured with a full set of screw-pin type hinge pins with retaining nuts. In the front an aluminum tie-bar further protects the pins from pulling out of the Pro-Line bulkhead. The caster blocks have three optional camber link locations and the steering knuckles with inboard bearings and steel axles have a double arm that the steering link attaches to for a ultra strong steering block set-up. In the rear, the inner hinge pin block can be replaced with optional anti-squat blocks for tuning and the outer rear hub has multiple camber link options to adjust roll. If you need me to spell out what this means, here it is again, this truck is truly ready for performance. On to the shock towers, the front and rear towers have multiple camber and shock mounting locations, but I did notice these items do flex. Again, great for the fun racer, but the skilled driver might find they flex too much. No worries, there are options in the works to firm up the towers. Bolted on all four corners of the truck are Pro-Line’s Powerstroke shocks with 3.5mm shafts, smooth seals to keep the oil in, threaded bodies for easy ride height adjustment and dual progressive spring set-up.
• Pro-Line’s Performance transmission has been a popular upgrade for a few vehicles on the market and a welcome sight to see on the Pro-2 SC. The composite case houses steel gears that can handle the power of wild brushless/ LiPo combo’s. The differential is a sealed gear diff which means its tunable with oils for racing, but requires less maintenance than a ball differential. On the top shaft, a vented dual pad slipper clutch puts power to the ground and CV axles mate up with lightened outdrives. Topping off the features on the drivetrain are; a heatsink motor plate, full ball bearings and clamping 12mm hex wheel adapters.
• Up front a single bar with skid bumper had a composite plastic spring type upper support to absorb hard impacts. Like the front, the rear has a similar design and takes hard shock, but has a double bar with brace design. To secure the body, Pro-Line equipped the truck with their extended body mounts. Tuning the height of the body is easy and to secure it, you use Secure-Loc Caps which are basically fancy thumb-nuts. It takes a few extra seconds to remove the body with the caps, but the body is ultra secure.
• On to the finishing details, Pro-Line includes a Flo-Tek body with the kit that is perfect for any type of driver. This body has great aero-dynamics and venting ability for racers and is durable for those who spend a lot of time rolling their truck back over on all four. Speaking of all four, Pro-Line includes their popular Blockade tires in soft M3 compound premounted on their F-11 rims. We’re always squaking about how we wished vehicles came with better tires and this truck does! The wheels are secured with serrated aluminum lock-nuts.
• 2-Channel Radio System
• Steering Servo
• Electronic Speed Control
• Assembly tools
• Futaba 4PKS-R Radio System- It costs more than the Pro-2 kit, but this radio controls a number of my race machines with its multiple model memory. It has all the tuning features anyone would want and transmits precise control to my race rigs.
• Hitec HS7985MG Digital Servo- With digital operation and metal gears, the Hitec 7985MG offers strong yet quick operation while being able to handle the abuse of SC drivers.
• Team Novak Pulse ESC- This sensored ESC is the popular choice for a variety of racer and thanks to its programmable profiles, I was able to dial in timing for ultra fast speeds on the straights.
• Team Novak 8.5T Vulcan Motor- Novak produces a great line of brushless systems and their new Vulcan series pumps out a lot of power. This motor is fast and ran cool in our test machine.
• Trakpower 6800mAh LiPo Battery- We went with a long pack in the truck and Trakpower’s offerings have plenty of punch with their 70C discharge capability.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS USED
• AMB Transponder, Pro-Line Pro-Bond Tire Glue
HOP-UPS WE RECOMMEND
• Pro-Line ProTrac Renegade Beadlock Wheels, 2731-03- Beadlock wheels are not often used on race trucks, but after running them in just one run, I became a believer. On a slick track, their little extra weight made the truck more nimble to drive. Not to mention tire mounting is secure and a breeze.
• Pro-Line Tazer and Holeshot tires- The included Blockade tires are awesome, but when track conditions change, its good to have choices. Tazers and Holeshots are always in my tire box when running the Pro-2 SC.
• Pro-Line Powerstroke Spring Sets, 6063-01 & 6063-00- Like having extra tires to get your truck dialed into your track, its also a good idea to have different spring rates on hand for tuning handling.
TOOLS & ACCESSORIES INCLUDED
ON THE TRACK
STEERING Understeer Neutral Oversteer
Testing took place at the RC Madness Short Course Nationals in Enfield CT. From the beginning I was amazed at the amount of steering the truck has, from entry to exit, I could give the truck more input and just watch it turn tighter. Depending on how the traction was at points it exhibited some oversteer, so by putting well-worn Blockade tires on the front I was able to give the truck a forgiving steering feel.
ACCELERATION Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
The track had the most traction during practice and with the 8.5 Novak Vulcan motor, this truck had so much rip on the straights, it would pull the nose off the ground mid-straight! With bite, the Pro-2 accelerated fast every where I needed it to, to clear jump gaps or pull away from competitors. It was only when the track operator watered the track and traction went down did I fight to regain traction. In the end, a motor change, timing tweak and switch to Holeshot tires on Pro-Line beadlock wheels was I able to put the power back down the truck was capable of delivering.
BRAKING Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
With either the standard wheel and tire set-up I tested and the Holeshots I switched too with heavier rims, the trucks braking remained smooth and consistent. Two-wheel machines tend to slide the rear out under braking, but the Pro-2 tracks well and doesn’t check up out of control.
SUSPENSION Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
Since the Pro-2 SC is set-up to cover the needs of so many different styles of driver, I was anxious to see how it would do on the track. The truck remains flat going through corners and over ruts in the track without any rear end wag on the real rough stuff. Over smaller bumps, the truck is, well, nimble. Its easy to drive and responsive to both throttle and steering input when making corrections. After getting slammed by a few trucks, I also noticed that the Pro-2 remains solid when going head to head.
JUMPING Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
The larger jumps is where things can get a little tricky with the Pro-2. For drivers running the Pro-2 for fun, you need not worry. Sky it, fly it, slam it down and do it again, the truck will handle whatever you want to throw at it in the name of action. For racers however, you’ll want to make sure you’ve throttled your jumps properly so the landings are plush. If you overshoot your jumps, you may gets some chassis slap that kicks the truck back up and rattles the body. It nothing that gets you too far out of sorts, but backing off the throttle for a recovery may knock a second off your lap time.
DURABILITY Poor Fair Good Very Good Excellent
During the last few packs during practice days, I like to thrash on my race machine to see how far I could push it. With the Pro-2 SC test there were countless nastly landings, a few punched pipes and nasty rolls. Then added on top were “helpful” drivers that slammed their trucks into my machine trying to “help flip it back on its wheels” without a marshal. The nice body Pro-Line had painted for me was scrapped up, but there were no breakage issues to report.
SPECS & TUNING OPTIONS
Length: 22.0″ (559mm)
Width: 11.6″ (295mm)
Wheelbase: 13.9″ (335mm)
Weight: 3.64lbs. (965kg)
Body, wheels and tires
Body: Clear Flo-Tek SC Type
Wheels: Black spoke-type F-11 rim
Wheel adapter type: 2mm hex
Tires: M3 Blockade SC
Type: 4-wheel independent
Shock positions: (F) 2-tower, 2-arm, (R) 3-tower, 4-arm
Camber: Adjustable turnbuckles
Roll: Adjustable ball position
Ride height: Pre-load collars on the shocks
Misc: Spring rates (option)
Type: Dual bell-crank
Toe: Adjustable turnbuckles
Type: Flat plate
Material: 7075 T-6
Transmission: Rear motor gear drive
Differential: Gear diff
Clutch Type: Adjustable dual pad slipper
Gear ratio: Optional pinion gears
Bearings: Full set of shielded
THE LAST WORD
The crew at Pro-Line finally decided to get into the world of vehicle kits and boy did they pick a tough class to make their entry with. It seems like every manufacturer out there has an SC offering of some sorts so how easy could it be to break into this market. Well, I’m happy to report, I know they did an excellent job with their first release. The Pro-2 SC is that truck that can be run for fun or raced or even both in the same day. The truck is fast, durable, fun and plenty capable of running up against all of the other seasoned competition offerings. The price is a little bit more when compared to other machines out there, but this is a do-all truck with several components made in the USA on it, I think Pro-Line got it right and future Pro-2 SC owners will get plenty of action out of this truck.
WORDS: Greg Vogel
PHOTOS: Walter Sidas