MCD Monster truck

Hetmanski, Kevin






IT’S HARD TO KEEP UP WITH WHAT’S NEW on the nitro truck market these days; turn around and … there’s another one! And they’re getting bigger and bigger! The MCD guys decided not to mess around with 1/10 and 1/8 scale; instead, they went right to 1/5 scale. The MCD “Monster Truck” (creative name, eh?) dwarfs all others with its bathtub-size body, 8-inch tires, and 23cc gas-burning engine. Who could pass up a chance to drive this behemoth?

VEHICLE TYPE 4WD gas-powered

monster truck

BEST BUYER Experienced hobbyist who wants the biggest and baddest monster truck

KIT RATINGS (poor, satisfactory, good, very good, excellent)

Instructions Satisfactory

Parts fit/finish Very good

Durability Good

Overall performance Very good


MODEL Monster truck 4WD

DISTRIBUTED BY Brooklyn Hobbies


PRICE $1,699


Wheelbase 20 in. (559mm)

Width 22 in. (508mm)


Total, as tested 28.25 lb. (12.Skg)


Type Plate

Material Aluminum


Type Multi-gear transmission

Primary 39-tooth spur gear/24– tooth pinion

Drive shafts Dogbone

Differential Gear type

Bearing type Metal-shielded ball bearings


Type Double-wishbone

Shocks Aluminum, threaded-body, oil-filled


Type Multi-piece


Type 8×5 in. Terra tread


Engine Zenoah G23

Carburetor 2-needle rotary

Muffler Canister

Starter Pull-starter

Tank 650cc


2-stroke gas/oil mix

2-channel radio system

3, quarter-scale servos

5-cell, sub-C receiver pack

Lots of polycarbonate– compatible paint

Far left: the transmission gears are fully exposed to the elements. If they have to be exposed, maybe metal gears would have been a better choice.

Near left: The suspension is highly adjustable; you can adjust camber and change the links’ mounting locations. Want to change the truck’s ride height? The threaded shock collars let you make quick work of that job.


CHASSIS. A 4mm-thick aluminum plate runs the entire length of the truck, and the screw holes are countersunk on the bottom so that the screw heads don’t scrape the ground. A large double bumper protects the front end. The plastic-composite radio tray is nestled in the front of the chassis and has many supports to keep it rigid. The sealed receiver/battery box is on the left of the radio tray, and it’s a little cramped; the large Ni-Cds required to run the radio don’t fit too well. An aluminum-tube roll cage protects everything that is bolted to the chassis, so if you roll the big truck over– no worries! The cage also stiffens the chassis.

DRIVE TRAIN. As the engine spools up, the two clutch shoes on the flywheel engage the large-diameter clutch bell. At the end of the clutch bell is a 24-tooth pinion gear that meshes- with a stepped countergear, which, in turn, mates with another gear that is attached to a steel shaft. All these gears are not protected from the elements, and that’s disappointing considering that this truck will see a lot of dirt time.

Three brake discs on the opposite side of the lower gear stop the truck. Two bevel gears-one at the end of the shaft and one in the middle of the chassis-change the direction of the drive train.

Heavy-duty steel shafts spin bevel gears on the front and rear gear differentials. Large steel dogbones connect the diffs to the wheels, which fit over a square drive hob.

SUSPENSION AND STEERING. MCD’s monster has 4-wheel double– wishbone-type suspension, and 5mm turnbuckles that allow you to adjust camber. Three positions are available for the inside of the upper arms. The mounting screws are supported on each side of the pivot ball to prevent them from bending. The inboard ends of the lower arms pivot on steel balls attached to the chassis. Aluminum oil-filled shocks damp the truck’s ride, and the threaded shock bodies allow ride height to be finely adjusted. Rod ends attach the upper and lower suspension arms to the cast-aluminum hubs, and two quarter-scale servos steer the front wheels. Each servo pushes and pulls its own bellcrank, and the bellcranks are connected to each other with one link. Adjustable turnbuckles make it easy to set front toe.

ENGINE AND ACCESSORIES. The Zenoah 23cc air-cooled engine features a heavy-duty pull-starter, a primer bulb, a throttle-return spring, high– and low-speed needles, a canistertype muffler and a large air filter. There’s a 650cc fuel tank, and an inline fuel filter keeps the fuel that enters the carb clean.

The Zenoah engine burns gasoline, not nitro fuel, so you must take extra safety precautions. First and foremost, you need a container designed to store and dispense gasoline. Do NOT use an RC fuel bottle, and NEVER store gasoline indoors.

You’ll also have to prepare the gasoline for use by adding a special oil to it. Your hardware store or lawn and garden center will hook you up with “pre-mix oil” that you’ll pour into the gasoline. For the Zenoah engine, a 40:1 ratio is best: that’s 40 parts fuel to 1 part oil (the oil container will have details on how to get the right mixture). Mix the fuel in your gas can-not in the truck’s fuel tank. It’s a little extra hassle, but look on the bright side: since the engine has electronic spark ignition, you’ll never have to worry about glow plugs!

BODY WHEELS AND TIRES. A big truck needs a, big body, and MCD’s Monster Truck comes with a nicely detailed Dodge Ram body (you had better have a lot of paint on hand for this sucker). Before I could even think about color schemes, Bob Hastings snatched the big polycarbonate shell out of my office and locked himself in our paint studio. (The Dodge is the subject of his “Body Shop” column this month, so be sure to check it out.) The body is protected by white overspray film, and it comes with plenty of detail stickers. The truck rolls on 7 3/4-inch-diameter Terra-tread tires on two– piece bead-lock rims (no glue!). The rims are not vented, so the air trapped inside supports the tires.


As with any 1/5-scale vehicle, it was exciting to fire up the engine for the first time. I turned on the

radio and receiver and made sure that all the controls worked properly before I started the engine. You definitely don’t want anything this big to run away from you!

After my final checks, I fired up the engine; it took only a couple of tugs to get it running. I drove the truck around at a low speed to get the engine up to operating temperature. I had to make a few minor carb adjustments to get the engine to run well; after doing that, I didn’t have any trouble at alt.

Despite its dual quarter-scale servos, the MCD monster won’t out-corner any of the RC vehicles you’re used to seeing; it’s simply too massive to turn on a dime, and you’ll quickly learn to give it plenty of turning room. As long as you keep that in mind, you’ll be able to get the truck where you want it to go. And if you forget about its large turning radius, you’ll probably be able to get it to roll up and over anything in its way. The transmission is geared for torque, and the Zenoah gas engine supplies plenty of grunt on its own. As a combination, they give the monster enough power to spin its go-kart-size wheels up and over some truly gnarly terrain. Surprisingly, top speed is very good, too, especially for a vehicle of this size. You’ll need a lot of room to see Oomph, but I think it can get up there!

I would never end a test session without getting daylight under a truck, so I set up a pair of test ramps for Evel Knievel action. At nearly 30 pounds, the MCD puts a much greater strain on its parts than any 1/10– or 1/8-scale car, but it easily took jump after jump. It occupies a much greater chunk of airspace, but piloting the truck when it was airborne wasn’t any different from launching any other RC machine. I think the ground shook a little when it landed, though.


Fully adjustable suspension.

Aluminum-tube roll cage.

Long run time.


The gears on the side of the chassis are not protected.

The radio box Is a little cramped.


I had a great time testing this truck; I think I just fell in love. The engine seems to run forever on a tank of gas, and I didn’t have to blip the throttle or check the engine temp constantly as I do with the nitro engines I run. If you do decide to pick up one of these trucks, be sure you have enough space to store it!

HITEC RCD INC. (858) 748-6948;


(310) 532-9355;

MCD distributed by Brooklyn Hobbies

(718) 951-2500,,

Copyright Air Age Publishing Apr 2003

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

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