Like almost all monster truck racers, I’ve been seduced by the performance and the handling of the truggies. I put my monster truck on the shelf and bought a Thunder Tiger ST-1 RTR. With more than 3 gallons burnt with the ST-1, it’s time to a good long term review.
My Thunder Tiger ST-1 ready for the race
The steering is what required the more of my attention. I had few binding issues while racing because dirt or very small rocks got stuck between the chassis and the servo saver adjusting screw. Once I have tighten the servo saver few more turns, I have a 4mm gap between the nut and the chassis and this seems to have solved my problem.
I had to lengthen the steering rod that connects the steering servo to the bell crank to have a little bit more steering. I would prefer to have a bit more steering but with time I adapted my driving style to the ST-1 and steering is no more an issue.
Off-power steering is perfect right out of the box. To have the best on-power steering, you’ll have to replace the stock grease in the center diff with silicone fluid, 10000wt seems to be a good starting point.
Pay attention to the servo saver adjusting screw. Keep everything clean and bind free and you’ll have no problem.
Nothing. Only lost a bell crank screw.
The Ace Jaguar electronics that came with the ST-1 RTR is good quality. I didn’t use the transmitter and the receiver because I installed an Airtronics receiver. However the stock servos (S2008MG) give good amount of torque for the steering and the brake duties. They are a bit slow for the steering but for the brake/throttle they are perfect.
Once you are familiar with the ST-1, you can easily upgrade the steering servo for a faster one. I installed an Airtronics 358 for the steering. I broke the throttle/brake servo because my end point was not correctly adjusted. The servo broke during a race resulting in a spectacular runaway.
Frequently verify your end point settings but this have nothing to do with the ST-1.
I broke a gear in the throttle/brake servo but this was my fault.
I didn’t change anything to the stock ST-1 suspension setup. I still use 40wt shock oil on all four corners and this formula seems to be my winning shock oil setup. A front sway bar is included with the truck but I never installed it.
The ST-1 bottoms out a little bit when landing big jumps but driving into rough track condition is easy. The suspension absorbs all ruts, rocks and jumps with ease and it’s hard to get the ST-1 out of shape.
Shocks don’t leak after 3 gallons and the shocks boots still in perfect condition. The rear suspension’s components still tight as new but there is a loose in the front a-arms. This situation can be corrected by installing the new ST-1 Pro front a-arms.
Once you find your good suspension setup, the suspension only requires minor adjustments from track to track.
The suspension doesn’t require any special attention.
I broke a front shock shaft after I hit a cement block at full speed. Lucky I just broke a shock shaft and this was my fault.
The ST-1’s drive train is bullet proof. All the three diffs still tight as new and leak free. No loose neither in the CVD’s. I’m very impressed by the quality of those parts. Even after I installed a LRP .28 Truggy engine the drive train components still in perfect shape.
The first thing I did was to replace the stock diff grease with silicon diff oil. I use 3000wt in the rear, 10000wt in the center and 7000wt in front.
No special maintenance required
The stock Thunder Tiger .28 engine is a decent engine for a RTR vehicle. It runs nice and have good amount of torque. I got near 9 minutes of runtime when racing, it’s pretty good. When I bought my ST-1 I received a handled electric starter. I use this starting method for a while and then I started to blow one way bearings. Not that I tried to start a flooded engine but the one way bearings don’t seem to be strong enough to handle all the torque of the spin start unit. When I upgraded to the LRP 28 (read review), I began to use my starter box.
I also upgraded the tuned pipe. I installed a Thunder Tiger EFRA 2035 3-chamber tuned pipe (read review). This tuned pipe increases torque and top speed. For the price, it’s a really good pipe.
The stock .28 engine and the stock tuned pipe are a good starting point for anybody. Once you got familiar with the ST-1, you can do like I did and upgrade the tuned pipe and the engine.
Like any engine, keep the air filter clean and use air filter oil. Make sure the piston is at the bottom of the sleeve when your store your ST-1.
Tires: You can race the ST-1 with the stock tires. The thread and compound are good for loose track surface. However I didn’t race the ST-1 with the stock tires. I used Pro-Line Crime Fighter and Bow-Tie MTR (read review) during all my race season.
Body: The stock body was still looking nice after 2 gallons. Of course it depends how bad or good driver you are. After the second gallon, I bought another body because the stock body was broken where the body posts attach. The Thunder Tiger body is relatively thin and wear out fast compared to thicker aftermarket bodies. It have the advantage to be extremely light and this is good for racing. There is no “labeled” aftermarket body for the ST-1. Some guys use the Pro-Line Mugen MBX5T body. The ST-1 RTR doesn’t come with a rear wing. Click here to read how to install the rear wing.
Chassis: Didn’t have any issue with the chassis. Just inspect all screws frequently and use Team Associated Thread-Lock to keep all metal on metal screws in place. Some racers complaint about chassis flex and wanted a longer chassis. I still use the stock chassis and I’m satisfied with it.
Even if the ST-1 is not the most popular truggy on the market, I still love my ST-1. His reliability makes this truggy one of the toughest on the market. I’m also impressed by how the ST-1 handles on the track. It was easy to put regular lap time and the ST-1 is predictable.
This is just too bad that this truggy doesn’t have all the exposure it should have. Richard Saxton did well with the ST-1. The ST-1 is a good racer and certainly the most underestimated truggy of all the market. This explains why there is not such resource available for the ST-1 on the web.
I’m proud to say that I love my ST-1 and I’m 100% satisfied.