Review: Team Durango DESC210R Short Course Truck

Ok, this is actually my fifth full review of a vehicle as it turns out!  However it has been a little delayed for a few reason’s, like being in the 2nd new job since the last review, some back dramas and a busy family life.  Let’s just say that I was doing thorough testing and move on 😉

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Manufacturer: Team Durango
Kit: DESC210R
Type: 1:10 Short Course Truck
Website: http://www.team-durango.com/race-cars/desc210r/
Servo: Savox SC-1251MG
Radio: Spektrum DX2 with SR3000Rx
ESC: Novak GTB2
Motor: Novak 13.5T and Speed Passion 10.5T
Body: Proline F150 Raptor Flo-Tek
Rims: Team Durango
Tyres Front: Schumacher Mini Pin Blue
Tyres Rear: Schumacher Mini Pin Blue
Differential: Gear
Motor Configuration: Mid Mount
Optional Items: Gear Differential and Christmas Lights (I was feeling like some LED Glow last race meet! )

The Build

So this was the first Durango kit that I had from new as my buggy was a 2nd hand purchase.  I was very impressed with the way the whole kit went together from start to finish.  Great fit and finish, some great design in a number of areas and so on.  BUT, what I didn’t like was the manual.  There were some places where part numbers were missing or downright wrong.  I know this is an older kit now, and considering I paid $165 US on special at Tower Hobbies (about $210 AUD landed at my door) I can’t complain too much as it was an absolute steal!  Another Bittersweet moment was the updated parts.  As well as an updated chassis there was a few related updated parts to install as well, and as there were 2-3 updates on top of one another, it was very confusing in places.  Team Durango really need to look at a revised manual encompassing the changes and removing the pieces that are not required. However I suspect a new 2wd SCT will be forthcoming from them soon, so it is a moot point in a sense.  So while the kit stacked up to, and exceeded the quality of, other kits I had made, the instructions were inferior to the Tamiya and HPI manuals I am accustomed to.

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The shocks I think deserve a special mention. They go together so well, bleed easily and inspire confidence in their design.

First Impressions

I took one slightly unconventional step here of not painting the Team Durango body, and it still remains on the shelf in the shed.  Why? Because I had a perfectly good Proline SCT body sitting there in my colour scheme that I had not sold with the Blitz, so with some careful re drilling, and a little trimming around the rear bumper, the Proline body is fitted, and works quite well!  The front bumper actually sits behind the front of the body, but that doesn’t fuss me.  Otherwise, it looks good, has so much adjustability that I don’t know where to start, and seems strongly built in the right places.  I like the way that the front and rear bumpers move in a solid hit taking some of the shock out of the impact.  I think the empty rear motor mount looks a littles strange sitting out the back all empty, but I guess it does the job and expatiates the mid to rear mount changeover with a minimal number of parts. One design that I didn’t like is undoing the spur gear cover on the updated chassis, the lower screw is really hard to get at because of the reinforcing that is not there on the original chassis.  But i’d rather a tough to get at screw than a broken chassis.

Here is the cover screw in question, the bottom one of 2 screws that hold on the spur gear cover.
Here is the cover screw in question, the bottom one of 2 screws that hold on the spur gear cover.

The Drive

So mostly I have been driving this car on the carpet track at Launceston R/C, but I have had it on some dirt and on the bitumen as well, and to be honest, even as a mid mount it handles everything I can throw at it.  Being a racing kit, with a huge range of adjustment, you can make it handle any situation with the right tuning.  However the setup I am running with is working pretty well for me so far with some good decreases in lap times as I make adjustments.

Most of the adjustments on the DESC10R are the normal ones, pistons, shock tower and body position etc etc.  It is the caster adjusted by removable slugs that I find fascinating and a very accurate way of doing the adjustment without a bag full of spare parts.  The toe is at the rear is adjusted in the same way. Similarly the adjustment of the front axle positions, trailing or leading, is adjusted with inserts provided with the kit. These design features make for an impressive array of accurate adjustability right out of the box. Another tuning option that gives a lot of flexibility is the battery position.  You can run a full standard length pack in mid or rear configuration, with space to spare to move the pack forwards or backwards.  The only problems arise when you lose the foam blocks or steal them for your buggy.  I do need to get some more of those!
Droop screws are also an unusual feature in a kit of this scale, something that does get adjustment with the low height that SCT’s on the track here tend to use.
I did purchase and fit the optional gear differential instead of the ball differential because me and ball diffs, we don’t get along!  and on carpet the gear differential seemed more suited to the surface.

Damage

Unlike on my last review, I am the primary driver of this vehicle and it gets raced against some very quick opposition at my local club.  It also gets raced against some less than gentle opposition, which combined with my less than pro driver ability, means that the durability has had quite a workout, on the track at least.  So far massive air, bug crashes, and a lot of traction rolls while improving the setup have resulted in, well …. no damage to date. So i’m pretty happy as I hate spending parts on spares!

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Parts Availability and Maintenance

Ok, so far I have not needed any spares, which is a pus, but parts are readily available from Local Hobby Stores as well as the big overseas stores.  So you should have no problems there.  Prices are generally very good as well.

Maintenance has been fairly easy this far, shock oils are quick and easy to change, gearing adjustment is a little tricky thanks to the issue that I mentioned earlier with the spur gear cover.  All in all an easy truck to work on.

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Final Thoughts

This truck would suit anybody from a first timer through to a pro.  The only major downside being the confusing updated parts.  The only thing I am really disappointed with is the wheel bearings which will be receiving an upgrade when I get the chance.  Equaly at home on the track or in the yard as a basher, this jack of all trades has it all in my opinion.  Durability for the beginner and precision and adjustability for a racer.

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