Get A Grip! Savage Tuning for Serious Monster Truck Owners

Tue, 8th July 2014

Bashing!! There’s no other word that gets the blood of a dedicated RC enthusiast going!

In this first article of the new Get A Grip series, we’ll show you how you can do a bit of tuning on your Savage. Every basher wants to have their Savage monster truck corner better, go faster and jump higher! Landing is another matter…actually, we’ll pass on a few quick tips that should help you jump better and, yes, land your Savage properly!

These tips are taken from the collective race knowledge of the HPI/HB crew, so there’s plenty to learn if you’ve never been to an RC race track. And if you used to race in the past, you might remember a few of the tips you’ll see below! There’s quite a bit of crossover knowledge between racers and serious bashers, and it’s great to share this RC know-how to make our HPI RC experience more fun every time you start up your truck!

So without further ado, let’s help your Savage Get A Grip!

 

 

Tire Choice

Tires are the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to tuning any vehicle – they’re the only part of your Savage that is in contact with the driving surface! Whether you’re on grass, dirt, mud or asphalt, your tire choice is going to mean the difference between slipping and sliding, or blistering-fast acceleration and maximum grip in the turns.

On-Road

The standard tires on the Savage is designed to provide great grip on all many surfaces, but if you’re going to do lots of driving on asphalt, you will probably want to look at our specific on-road tires that will give you amazing performance! Our on-road tires for the Savage feature a thin sidewall for increased traction and control in the turns.

#4886 - PHALTLINE TIRE (140X70MM/2PCS) - use with 115x70mm wheels only, such as Tremor or Blast wheels
#4882 - GOLIATH TIRE (140X70MM/2PCS) - use with 115x70mm wheels only, such as Tremor or Blast wheels

 

Dirt

On hard-packed dirt like a clay-based RC race track, you want as many edges contacting the surface as possible. This is why you’ll find very small pins on most dirt racing RC tires – large knobs or tread blocks are best for loose dirt, while small pins and blocks are ideal for firm, hard dirt.

#4852 - DIRT BONZ TIRE S COMPOUND
#4853 - DIRT BONZ TIRE XS COMPOUND
#4874 - DIRT CLAWS TIRE B COMPOUND

 

Mud & Loose Dirt

Traditional tractor-tread type tires are ideal for loose dirt and wet mud – the looser the dirt or wetter the mud, the larger the tread blocks should be! Check out this selection of tires oriented for mud or loose dirt.

#4878 - SUPER MUDDERS TIRE
#4462 - GT2 TIRES S COMPOUND
#4464 - GT TIRES S COMPOUND
#4874 - DIRT CLAWS TIRE B COMPOUND

 

Grass

Driving on grass presents a new set of potential problems that can trip up any RC basher. In addition to getting grass stuck in the axles, which can rob power and performance, grass that appears dry can be quite wet close to the ground, meaning slippery, tricky conditions. Long grass also sucks up the power you’re trying to put through the tires, and ideally you’ll want large, widely spaced blocks to get traction through medium-length grass. On shorter grass, such as on playing fields, you can get good grip with the same mini-pin tires you’d normally use on hard-packed dirt.

#4462 - GT2 TIRES S COMPOUND
#4464 - GT TIRES S COMPOUND
#4465 - TERRA PIN TIRES S-COMPOUND
#4852 - DIRT BONZ TIRE S COMPOUND
#4853 - DIRT BONZ TIRE XS COMPOUND
#4874 - DIRT CLAWS TIRE B COMPOUND

 

 

Wheels

Of course, you’re going to need some wheels to mount those tires on! Check out the full range of awesome-looking custom-styled wheels that are designed for the Savage! All Savage tires feature 17mm hexes for increased durability, and all of the off-road wheels measure 83mm in diameter and 56mm across, so they’ll fit a wide range of large and small block monster trucks.

#3115 6 SPOKE WHEEL WHITE 
#3116 6 SPOKE WHEEL BLACK 
#3117 6 SPOKE WHEEL SHINY CHROME 
#3119 6 SPOKE WHEEL MATTE CHROME 
#3161 6 SPOKE WHEEL BLACK CHROME

 

#3185 - MAG-8 WHEEL WHITE
#3186 - MAG-8 WHEEL BLACK
#3187 - MAG-8 WHEEL CHROME
#3188 - MAG-8 WHEEL MATTE CHROME



#3190 - WARLOCK WHEEL WHITE
#3191 - WARLOCK WHEEL BLACK
#3192 - WARLOCK WHEEL CHROME
#3193 - WARLOCK WHEEL MATTE CHROME
#105801 - WARLOCK WHEEL BLACK CHROME

 

 

 

If you’re going for a pure racing look, you can’t go wrong with a set of dish wheels!

#3150 - DISH WHEEL WHITE 
#3151 - DISH WHEEL BLACK 
#3153 - DISH WHEEL YELLOW

Our on-road tires are the perfect fit for the Phaltline and Goliath on-road Savage tires, which have a wider diameter (the measurement across the face of the wheel) and allow the low-profile tires to look and work their best on any paved driving area. These tires will fit the Phaltline and Goliath tires, and other 115mm x 70mm tires, only (scroll up to see what they look like!).



#3250 - TREMOR WHEEL WHITE (115X70MM)
#3251 - TREMOR WHEEL BLACK (115X70MM)
#3252 - TREMOR WHEEL CHROME (115X70MM)

 



#3255 - Blast Wheel White (115X70MM)
#3256 - Blast Wheel Black (115X70MM)
#3257 - Blast Wheel Chrome (115X70MM)

 

Ride Height

Changing the ride height of your Savage can really change the handling of your truck. In the most general sense, lowering the ride height is a quick, no-cost way to instantly transform the truck into an on-road monster or lift it into a mud bogger maestro!

Lowering the Ride Height

By removing all the ride height clips on your standard shocks, or dialing the spring collars all the way up to the top of the shocks on threaded shock bodies, you lower the ride height of the truck. This lowers the center of gravity (also known as the ‘CG’) for better handling on high-grip surfaces like asphalt/tarmac. If you’re using spiked tires on short grass, lowering the ride height can really improve the handling of your truck, too!

Lowering the ride height has its disadvantages, too: if you’re doing jumps and landings, the chassis can bottom out when the truck lands, meaning you can lose control on the landings or damage the truck on a big hit. Try adjusting the ride height to different levels to see what works best on each different surface you’re on!

Raising the Ride Height

Adding clips to the shocks or dialing the spring collars down will raise the ride height, giving you extra clearance to get over obstacles like small rocks, branches, water, leaves, etc. You don’t want the chassis dragging in the mud, let the tires do all the work! A higher ride height is ideal for off-roading through grass, water, bog and many obstacles – and of course as a monster truck the Savage lives to drive through this sort of terrain! If you’re doing big stunts like long jumps and back flips, you’ll want the ride height increased so you don’t bottom out the chassis on landings, which can damage the TVP chassis plates and other parts of the truck.

If you’re racing the Savage, think a bit before raising the ride height, because your center of gravity will be higher, making it easier to roll the truck over, losing you valuable seconds on your lap time!

You’ll always be looking to balance the grip of the tires with the landing ability and ride height so you don’t traction roll in the corners, and also make sure that you have enough ‘give’ in the suspension to land with the ability to keep rolling forward.

 

 

Shock Positions

Shock positions are a quick way to alter the handling of your Savage, and the Savage is great at responding to your tuning changes. There are 3 mounting holes at the top of the shock tower you can choose from to fine-tune your Savage’s handling. The middle hole is the standard shock location and gives you a smooth, neutral feel. Using the outer shock hole stands the shock up a bit more, making the suspension slightly stiffer and more responsive at that end, but the grip in the turns will be slightly less.

Using the inner shock hole will ‘lay down’ the shock more, making the suspension slightly stiffer and give you more grip while cornering, especially on higher grip surfaces.

As always, suspension tuning is about balancing! On the Savage it’s not as crucial as on a car like the latest HB touring car, but you can still

 

Advanced Tuning

Of course, there’s plenty more you can adjust on the Savage with various option parts: use the #85066 Turnbuckle Set to adjust the camber, upgrade to Big Bore Aluminum Shocks with the #A720 set, or even try a couple of sets of option shock springs and shock oils if you really want to get serious:

BIG BORE Option Springs – use only with the #A720 Big Bore Shocks

#86549 Shock Springs - 18x80x1.5mm 12.5 Coils/Blue 71GF/MM
#86550 Shock Springs - 18x80x1.5mm 10.5 Coils/Silver 89GF/MM
#86551 Shock Springs - 18x80x1.8mm 14.5 Coils/Pink 134GF/MM
#86553 Shock Springs - 18x80x1.8mm 12.5mm Coils/White 159GF/MM
#86554 Shock Springs - 18x80x1.8mm 11.5mm Coils/Yellow 177GF/MM
#86555 Shock Springs - 18x80x1.8mm 10.5mm Coils/Red 196GF/MM
For more convenience all the above Shock Springs are available in a set - #87525 Shock Spring Set (6 pairs)

If you’ve got a Savage with 8 shocks, these are the option springs should be looking at if you haven’t installed the #A720 Big Bore shock set yet:

#6743 - SHOCK SPRING 14.4X117X1.2MM 25 coils
#6744 - SHOCK SPRING 14.4X118X1.2MM 23 coils
#6745 - SHOCK SPRING 14.4X117X1.3MM 26 coils
#6746 - SHOCK SPRING 14.4X117X1.4MM 26 coils

These springs come 4 per pack, so 2 packs will be needed for 8 shocks.

Further tuning can be done with the shock oil you use, check out the full range of HPI Pro Silicone Shock Oils: 

#86951 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 10wt (60cc)
#86952 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 15wt (60cc)
#86953 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 20wt (60cc)
#86954 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 25wt (60cc)
#86955 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 30wt (60cc)
#86956 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 35wt (60cc)
#86957 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 40wt (60cc)
#86958 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 45wt (60cc)
#86959 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 50wt (60cc)
#86951 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 10wt (60cc)
#86953 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 20wt (60cc)
#86955 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 30wt (60cc)
#86957 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 40wt (60cc)
#86959 PRO SILICONE SHOCK OIL 50wt (60cc)

With these tips at hand, you should be able to get a lot more out of your Savage, so you can pull off some proper big-air, burley stunts!

There’s plenty more to tune and tweak on your Savage, so look out for the SECOND PART of this guide coming soon!


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