Model: (Click to see more) 58256: Juggernaut 2
Status: How To Guide
Date: 26-Jun-2007
Comments: 15
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Tamiya Juggernaut 2 “re review”
Car crusher, or discontinued disaster?
There is no doubt that radio control monster trucks are superb backyard bashers. For more serious fans they can be hopped up into rock crawlers, racers or even truck pullers – no matter what they do, they always look cool.
One truck that has always stomped over its competition in the looks department is Tamiya’s Juggernaut 2. With its aluminium leaf sprung chassis, and highly detailed Ford F-350 body shell, it makes an ideal shelf queen. The Juggernaut 2 hasn’t been part of Tamiya’s monster line up for some time, so in this re-review we’re going to see if it works as well off of the shelf, and more importantly, if you should buy one! The original Juggernaut was unleashed in 1999, as Tamiya’s replacement for the ground breaking, but aging Clod Buster. A replacement of Tamiya’s original 4x4x4 monster truck was always going to be something special, but the Juggernaut became famous for a different reason. Horror stories of brand new trucks crunching gearboxes after only 5 minutes of use was not a good sign, so Tamiya had to work fast. They decided to over engineer the original Juggernaut design – The Juggernaut 2 was born! Classic Tamiya quality is what you can expect from the Juggernaut 2. It was only ever available in kit form, supplied with 2 rs540 motors controlled by a heavy-duty 3-step mechanical speed controller. The duel motors are mounted in between the chassis rails, onto a central gearbox containing extremely tough gears. Power is then transmitted though 2 steel universal drive shafts to the trucks military style axles. The axles contain all metal gears, the smallest of which are where the main improvements were made over the original Juggernaut design. Large chrome plated bevels supported by extra bushings are found in place of the old trucks small gears. The kit came with brass bushings, for running ball bearings are a must have hop up.
Steering of the 4 terra tread tyres is controlled by a single servo, mounted in the middle of the chassis. The servo is linked by connecting rods to the front and rear axles, which have servo savers integrated into them. The Ford F-350 shell is also found on Tamiya’s “High Lift” 3 speed truck, but it was seen first on the Juggernaut. Its one of Tamiya’s most authentic shells, and with the right paint job it can be made to look like the real thing!
To get a Juggernaut ready to run out of the box, you’ll need all radio gear (including 2 servo’s), a 7.2 volt racing pack and a charger. With everything installed, the Juggernaut 2 weighs in at over 5 kg’s. With all that power and weight, 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel steering, taking this truck off road could get interesting…. The Juggernaut 2 brings a whole different driving experience to any other r/c monster truck. Forget big air jumps and flat out speed – This monster is made for crushing anything stupid enough to get in its way.
The standard 540 motors are not the best for performance, and the mechanical speed controller wastes battery power, but you won’t notice because hitting the throttle lifts the front wheels clean off the ground! The gearbox creates so much torque the truck doesn’t feel underpowered; even with tame 27 turn motors.
The steering is very sharp even with a standard steering servo, but that’s because all 4 wheels are doing the job. You’ll only need full lock if you’re going slow. Turing full at maximum speed is a big risk if you’ve spent ages detailing the body shell. The truck has a high centre of gravity, and stability isn’t helped by the round profile of the Terra tread tyres. Keeping the Juggernaut on all fours is a challenge, but careful steering over comes the high centre of gravity – if you’re brave enough to find its limits! The Juggernaut 2 is the only 1/10 scale monster truck you’ll find with leaf sprung suspension. The trucks 8 coil springs are only there to dampen the suspension; it’s the 4 heavy-duty steel leaf springs that do all the work. Tamiya made the leafs very hard, which is great for reducing the torque twisting forces of the twin motors, but not so great at soaking up rough ground. Over bumps, the truck bounces into the air, and because the leafs are so hard, it keeps bouncing until you reach flat ground again. If you’ve ever seen a real leaf sprung monster truck in action, you’ll realise just how realistic the Juggernaut 2 behaves. Like the 4 wheel steering, the leaf springs add another challenge to the experience. With most trucks it’s easy to predict what they will do over rough ground, as oil filled shocks seem to soak up anything. The Juggernauts tough leaf suspension keeps the truck on the edge – not great for going fast, but excellent for an unpredictable wild ride!
If high-speed performance is what you’re after, the Juggernaut 2 does have some after market support. Chassis and wheelbase extension kits were very popular when the truck was first released. Suspension upgrades were also common for people who didn’t want the limitations and realistic ride of the leaf springs. With the right hop ups installed; the Juggernaut 2 can be made to out perform most other 1/10 scale electric monsters. It’s simply a matter of buying (and finding!) the right hop ups for what you need. Tamiya produced coloured aluminium option parts to enhance the trucks looks, but sadly they never made many parts to increase the trucks performance, apart from a ball bearing set and oil dampers. The Juggernaut shares internal axle parts, steering hubs and wheel axles with the Clod Buster, so some Clod Buster hop ups will work too. As the Juggernaut 2 also shares most of its drive and axle components with the TXT-1, many parts for that truck will also fit.
The gearboxes and axles have proven to be very hard wearing, able to withstand abuse, even with a brushless set up. After long periods of use, the universal drive shafts will begin to show wear, but unless they are badly worn they will not break. The chassis frame is largely made from aluminium, which is able to withstand all the knocks and bashes you’d expect a truck like this to take. The plastic components are all over engineered for added strength. In fact, the only part of the truck that is easily broken is the body shell. Although it’s made from thick abs plastic, its mounting points are fragile, and the front bumper has no strength against impacts. If you were planning to bash a Juggernaut 2, a lexan shell would be a wise choice. The High Lift body works perfect as a replacement, but it is no stronger than the Juggernauts shell. Tamiya’s F-350 shell is best kept for showing off!
Buying a Juggernaut 2 in 2007 isn’t as hard as you may have first thought. Although it didn’t have a long production life, it was a popular machine. New in box examples are the hardest to find, so therefore command high prices. Expect to pay around £300 for an un-built truck, and don’t forget all the extras it will need to become a runner. New built Juggernaut 2’s can be found for under £200 with radio gear already installed. Running examples for as little as £100. Finding a cheaper example is difficult, as the axles and gearboxes are always in demand for custom truck projects. Like most discontinued Tamiya trucks, online auction sites are the easiest places to find one, but the best deals can appear in the Tamiya Club trade rooms! One thing to be aware of when purchasing a built Juggernaut 2 is the risk of it being the earlier, first edition – the Juggernaut 1. With its gearbox troubles, the Juggernaut 1 will not work as a runner. New built Juggernaut 1’s will cost just as much as a Juggernaut 2 in the same condition, due to their rarity. But a run example will almost certainly have damaged gears, and will need a Juggernaut “care pack” from Tamiya to repair it to Juggernaut 2 specification. The up rated Juggernaut 2 parts are easy to spot, as Tamiya stamped them all with “2000” in the mouldings. Axel's, central gear case, servo savers and radio deck were all improved on the Juggernaut 2, so check those parts if you’re not sure. The decal set is also different on the original truck, as they only read “Juggernaut”. Great scale looks, tough gearboxes and enough power to tear down a small house, the Juggernaut 2 is no off road racer, but it is certainly a radio control car crusher!

Comments

benidormboy

26-Jun-2007

just saw a couple of these on ebay. you are right, they are not cheap. not seen 1 on b4 and now there are 2 in 1 week!. thanks for the review.

hairyguy4

26-Jun-2007

Dam nice review, after that i really wanna buy one, will av 2 save tho lol

hilux25

26-Jun-2007

What you said in this review is right on!! You have done the juggy proud

3clipZ

26-Jun-2007

Great review! Top notch.

mymonsterbeetleisbroken

26-Jun-2007

Thanks for the kind words people!

WILD WILLY

26-Jun-2007

Great review of a monster of a truck !

Wyoming

27-Jun-2007

Nice review, makes me wish I had kept mine instead of selling it to buy a TXT-1 when they came out which wasn't half as good looking.

Trail Jero

27-Jun-2007

Greate review, and a very nice truck you have./Björn

Devilsome

27-Jun-2007

great review, makes me want to get 1!

akemag

27-Jun-2007

Reviews doesent get any better than this! Keep em comming mate!!!!

mr_pushrod

27-Jun-2007

Good review this, looks like I've got some serious competition!

mymonsterbeetleisbroken

27-Jun-2007

cheers guys, glad you like it!

craigj2118

18-Jul-2007

yep iv now taken a fancy to 1 now! good write up! gets my vote

3-Sep-2007

are you selling your truck? or you know anyone selling f-350 RTR ready for rock crawling,mudding or water crossing?..diffs locked front and rear,big tires and bead locked rims...

Spannerman03

6-Aug-2008

I have a Juggernaut 1, running and no gear problems.
I contacted Tamiya about the upgrade pack but not heard anything any ideas of the replacement parts and their numbers??
btw very nice review and good pics.


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