BX 4.18 U P G R A D E
My son and I have spent a lot of time with the Dromida line these last couple months, exploring both the brushless speed series of vehicles, and most recently the BX4.18 brushed buggies. The experience with the BX4.18 buggy was favorable as we enjoy what they offer. And while the 4.18 series is a great value at $99 they lack the grunt, the horsepower, to really make a dramatic impact at the track. It’s time to turn up the volume to 11 and see what we can make of the BX4.18 Buggy.
I ordered the following Hop-Up kits:
Some instructions for the upgrade can be found online, but are otherwise sparse. If it’s your first upgrade, there’s not much to get worked up about as I found the process intuitive. For example, my 8 year old son was able to work along side me doing every upgrade himself. He would have run stuck if not for a little direction, but he was able to handle the upgrade work himself.
Depending on the upgrades, you can pretty much start anywhere. I began with the the steering servo, ESC and motor. I repositioned the steering servo, changed the spur gear, grabbed the 13T pinion and went to work. I left the new ESC and on/off switch for last simply to keep it a little easier to work on the suspension and drive train.
I did find the steering servo mount to be a little less precise than the other parts, requiring some patience to install. I would like to have this piece in aluminum as the plastic bracket allows the servo to move slightly under full load.
On to the drivetrain, installation couldn’t really have been simpler. Out with the old, in with the new; no drama, no problems. And the suspension was just as simple. Take a look at the pictures to see the progression of work.
T H E T R A C K
The stock BX4.18’s were clocked at 22mph, however they drove away from the radar gun at 31 mph after the upgrades. That 9mph increase is an incredible difference in speed at my track, Battle Front RC. I found with the increase in power, the upgraded bx4.18 easily cleared the jumps and required more effort to hit the timing just right. However, I started really enjoying the additional power and improved handling once I made it through the learning curve.
My son struggled to find a drivable buggy after the upgrade, and it wasn’t until I asked why he wasn’t going full throttle on the straight that he told me it was because he turned down the rates to make it easier for him to handle. However, I noticed he dialed it back up when he become more comfortable and learned he had no chance of keeping up with my buggy.
After the first battery pack was depleted, we setup on the workbench and reprogrammed the ESC to see if we could dial in the buggies a bit. Here are the settings we used to get the buggies more to our liking–
- Drag Brake Force – 0%
- Punch Mode – Soft
- Max Brake Force – Normal
The upgraded BX4.18 would benefit from a programmable radio, further dialing in performance for the driver. However, the changes we made provided a difference in the cars which helped both of us drive around the track with some consistency.
Despite driving on the same track before and after the upgrade, the shock shaft on the rear shock bent and stopped actuating on my buggy. On my son’s buggy, the rear shaft blew out and released the oil. Obviously one is a little easier to fix than the other, but I wasn’t expecting any repair to be necessary after having no issues prior to the upgrade. I’m hoping this is a fluke and will look to test replacement shocks more thoroughly.
F I N A L L A P
I’ve had a lot of fun with the Dromida series of vehicles, and I set out to see what the BX4.18 was like. And while I enjoyed it as is, the urge to upgrade was strong and I’m glad my son and I went through it. The difference is impressive and it’s proven a worthy track beast at my local track. Your results will vary depending on the track, but the smoother your track the more I believe you will enjoy the BX4.18.
I also believe this buggy is worth it’s own race event at the track. I would love to see a bunch of these ripping around the track as they’re inexpensive, fast, and have great jumping ability. They’re also very accessible to everyone, making them a great choice for anyone with track access.
If you did the math earlier in this article, you know I have $353 invested into the BX4.18 Buggy and upgrade kits. However, I could have saved $70 had I bought the BX4.18BL Speed Buggy first, then purchased the remaining upgrades. After the fact, my preference would be to spend a little more initially for the SPEED series and dial down performance for beginner’s. However, the brushed series is a good buy to save you money; either vehicle will take the upgrade kits, but only the brushless vehicle will take the LiPo. Budget is likely the deciding factor because they are both great options.
Go take a look at Dromida’s website and decide for yourself.