Thanks to J-Rod and Heir as contributors & inspiration.
Comprehensive guide to the Savage Flux trucks:
So you just purchased a Savage Flux HP or Savage Flux 2350. You want to get it unboxed, get your batteries charged and go see just how fast this thing is. We're going to cover a lot of information from accepted facts to recommended upgrades.
"OMG what is that terrible noise when I push the truck?" - That's normal dude. The Flux has all metal gears in the trans, diffs, metal spur, & metal pinion. Couple this with a brushless motor that pulls 4000 to 5000 watts (5-6 horsepower) and you get a noise that is unmistakeably FLUX! It's all good.
Savage Flux HP 4S or 6S Lipo
Powered by Castle Creations Mamba Monster ESC and 2200kv Brushless Motor. These are rebadged as HPI Flux Blur and Flux Tork 2200
HPI clearly tells you that the Flux HP can handle up to (2) 3S Lipo packs totaling 6S / 22.2V (25.2 volts peak)
The key to the Flux HP ESC (electronic speed control) is it's minimum amperage draw. The minimum amp that the HP ESC needs is 120A continuous.
Your owner's manual for the Flux HP tells you that you need Lipo packs capable of a minimum discharge rate of 25C and a capacity of 4000mah. To calculate the total continuous amperage that the packs are capable of, use the following equation:
C (Pack C rating) x A (pack mah / 1000) = Continuous Amps
A 7.4V/11.1V 5000mah 25C 2S/3S lipo pack equates to this:
25 (C) x 4 (A= 4000mah / 1000) = 100A
Ok, so this looks like a typo right? Check your Flux HP manual, it says 25C 4000mah packs minimum. Check Castle's site and it says 120A continuous draw. For the HP it is widely accepted that 120A is where you want to be. Stick with a min. 25C pack at 5000mah, or a 30C 4000mah pack. This isn't the only typo in the Flux HP manual. The second most important typo is the slipper clutch nut adjustment which we'll cover later on.
Savage Flux 2350 - 4S Lipo ONLY
Powered by Castle Creations Mamba Max Pro ESC and 2350kv Brushless Motor. These are rebadged as HPI Q-base ESC and Alphastar 2350kv
HPI clearly tells you that the Flux 2350 is optimized for (2) 2S Lipo packs totaling 4S / 14.8V (16.8 volts, peak)
Castle's website states 6S lipo for this ESC. This leads me to believe that the 4S limitation is the Alphastar 2350kv motor. I have a Dynamite Fuze 1/18th Brushless system where the ESC is rated for 2-3S lipo but the motor is only rated to 2S.
Your owner's manual for the Flux 2350 tells you that you need Lipo packs capable of a minimum discharge rate of 25C and a capacity of 4000mah.
A 7.4V 4000mah 25C 2S lipo pack equates to this:
25 (C) x 4 (A= 4000mah / 1000) = 100A
Understanding Lipo batteries:
This is a very long read and probably the single most import information anyone and everyone should read before and after purchasing any RC vehicle with plans to run Lithium Polymer (Lipo) batteries.
PDF: http://forum.silentdrc.net/Understandin ... teries.pdf
Understanding battery chargers:
This is another long read by the same source. It offers knowledge about what you want to look for in a charger to best suit your needs. Remember that what your Local Hobby Shop (LHS) wants to sell you, may not actually be the best buy or what will suit your needs overall.
PDF: http://forum.silentdrc.net/Understandin ... argers.pdf
How to: Charge (2) 3S packs as a single 6S pack (for 1p packs only)
Use this link to create a (2) 3S male balance adapter to (1) 6S female balance plug. I allso used this to create a balance plug for (2) 2S to (1) 4S plug. Add a castle deans series plug and you will be charging (2) packs with a single charger.
Resouce: How to: Charge & Balance 2 Lipo Packs
Your battery packs can have a higher Continuous Amperage rating. You do not want to go below the recommended minimum: Flux HP 125A | Flux 2350 100A. Your packs can be any C rating 25 & above and mah as long as they equate to a minimum continuous discharge based on your Flux model. If your packs cannot handle the current needed by the ESC you run the risk of fire in either the ESC and / or the battery packs. Lipo fires are real. Proper care in charging and discharging must be taken. Respect your lipos and they will give you a long life of use. Don't respect them and you could burn your house down.
Flux ESC fires are real. There are plenty of posts on Savage-Central.com to demonstrate this.
Both ESCs for the Flux HP and 2350 are programmable using your computer. You can use either the Castle Creations Castle Link USB programming kit or the Field Link Portable programmer. The Field Link Portable allows you to do just that, make adjustments at the track or bash site without a pc. The Field Link can also be connected to your pc and used as the USB programmer. ?This is by far your best bang for the buck. You can find the Field Link kit for around $25. If you go solely with the Castle Link USB kit, I recommend getting the kit without the software CD. Kit without will cost you about $25. Kit with software will run around $40. The software is available on Castle's site for free. I happen to own both. I purchased the USB kit first and recently the Field Link kit. I wish I would have realized up front that the Field Link version was capable of being used as both. The software is very intuitive and explains each setting and how the settings affect the characteristics when modified.
Let's cover basic beginner settings for your ESC:
Castle Link: http://www.castlecreations.com/products ... _link.html
Field Link: http://www.castlecreations.com/products/field_link.html
Castle also provides a guide to setting up your ESC:
Castle Creations Driver's Ed: http://www.castlecreations.com/support/ ... _guide.pdf
Flux battery box dimensions:
190mm L. x 47mm H. x 32mm W. You can get about 49mm in height, but 47mm is the official height.
If you want the best and to spend the most take a look at Maxamps packs, Venom, Reedy, etc. or your local hobby shop. If you want to spend much less and get decent packs take a look at Hobbyking.com and their Turnigy packs.
Maxamps: 5250mah, 7.4v claimed true 100c rating w/ deans connector - $102.49 plus shipping
Hobbyking: 5200mah, 7.4v 30-40C (bullet connectors) - $23.99 plus shipping (USA Warehouse)
So let's see, I can get (1) 2S Maxamps pack with the right connector for $102.49, or I can get (4) 2S Turnigy packs for $100. To me this is a no brainer. I can get my truck up and running on 4S and have a second set of packs in waiting for the same price as (1) maxamps pack. I made the mistake of purchasing a "name brand" pack at my LHS once. I paid $54 for one 5000mah 3S 20C pack for another RC that I own before I found Hobbyking. That price actually isn't bad when you look at Hobbyking for 3S packs at 5000mah. They will run you approx. $40 per pack, but are 35C or higher discharge rate. The downside is the HK packs need replacement connectors or you have to replace the connector on your ESC. Connectors are cheap either way. If you don't know how to solder, Lipo packs may not be the guinea pig for you. You may want to stick with some retail packs that are ready to go. I am a fan of Venom packs with the universal connector system, especially if you have multiple RC vehicles like me.
Hobbyking has a few warehouses internationally and they are based out of China. Customer support has been reported as lack-luster at times but you can have a bad experience with any company. If you're state-side, their US warehouse is the way to go with decent pack selection & FAST shipping. The only downside is that the US warehouse doesn't currently stock the Turnigy Nanotech packs. These have gotten great reviews but if you want them prepare to wait. They are only available from HobbyKing China. They are a bit more expensive in comparison to the standard Turnigy packs, but apparently worth it.
HPI hop up recommendations:
There are a couple of upgrades that you should consider doing as soon as possible.
The stock drive gear is aluminum and soft, too soft for 6S and even questionable on 4S.
HPI 102514 HPI Racing Heavy Duty Drive Gear 18-23 Tooth Savage
Velcro straps to keep the battery boxes closed when those little rubber flaps end up flying off.
HPI 103682 HPI Racing Battery Strap 25x270mm (2)
HPI 86555 HPI Racing Shock Spring 10.5 Coils Red Hellfire (2 packs)
You may have issues with your stock pinion, I haven't yet, but will eventually, so pick one up to have as a spare or install and have your stock one as the spare.
Robinson Racing 1220 Xtra Hard 5mm Pinion 20T
Protect the underside of you chassis between the front and rear skid plates:
RPM 73352 Savage Flux Center Skid / Protector Plate (for standard length chassis)
Protect your chassis overall:
TCS Crawlers 5mm TVP available in stock, XL, or 1/5th scale lengths.
Experienced Flux owner recommendation section:
1. Video Tutorials from extreme basher Heir (aka Savage Junky on youtube) Heir's YouTube Channel
a. Heir's videos are very helpful & informative. Check out his youtube channel. You will find in depth information about how to prepare your Flux for extreme abuse. Tips from how far to tighten your slipper clutch nut, to adding loctite on the motor shaft to secure the pinion. Recommendations for Velcro battery straps, electrical tape to secure wiring and the ESC, etc.
b. Even if you don't bash like Heir, his tips will save you some down time and possible frustration.
a. For the motor braking you need a really good set of lipos that can be discharged fast. If the lipos can not soak up the power that is being sent to them via motor braking the ESC is in danger of being cooked and it will blow like a fuse. Make sure you set your ESC like SJ mentioned in the video in #1. For instance you can flip your truck too easy and put too much strain on your electronics if you don't adjust down your braking power.
a. Shim your diffs. Well detailed in the video seen in #1 - Heir also shows this in his video.
b. Make your diffs stronger - modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic& ... &highlight
c. Don't do tons of standing backflips all the time or in succession, this will destroy your diffs.
a. Learn to solder your deans connectors:
b. Soldering takes practice. Practice on scraps of wiring first.
c. Turnigy wiring for their 2S and 3S packs is a larger gauge wire than what Deans connectors are intended for. You will need to modify the wiring before soldering to the Deans. I like to take about 1/3 of the wire and clip it off. This allows a stronger connection to be soldered on the small Deans tabs.
5. Battery packs / voltage
a. Consider starting with a 4S setup if you?re new to brushless power. This will also give you a simple upgrade to do when you decide to experience the insanity that can be 6S with the Flux HP. Many say 5S is the sweet spot between power and stability for your flux.
b. 5S to achieve this, you must have matching lipo pack specs with one being 2S & the other 3S. MUST BE identical C rating and capacity.
a. Recommended *max* temps for your motor and esc are 180F.
a. The HPI steering bearing kit retails for $14. You can get those same 4 bearings from Avid RC for $1 each. Avid bearings You can replace all of your bearings with higher quality / sealed units for less than the cost to replace them with HPI units. Avid offers ceramic bearings as well, but they are more expensive. For the same steering bearings in ceramic from Avid, you'll pay $5 each. Boca bearings is another bearing maker of high end bearings, but Avid is cheap and good quality. Avid is located in Texas, USA. They ship fast as well.
8. Shock bolts
a. Flip the rear/upper shock bolts around so the bolt end doesn't cut into the motor wires on standard length chassis. Known for stabbing the fuel tank on a nitro Savage, these bolts can stab into the motor wires at the ESC upon some impacts when the shock towers bend nearly in half.
a. 5mm turnbuckles such as the hellfire ones (HPI86535). Rod ends from the adjustable upper suspension arm kit will work and make indestructible steering rods for about $10. This will compromise some steering throw however.
10. RPM Arms
a. A lot of members are talking about how good the RPM arms are, while they're not 100% necessary they have more flex and are stronger. Upside is arm breakage and lifetime warranty. Downside will be bent dogbones. You either end up replacing arms or dogbones. Personally I feel dogbones are easier to replace and they come in 2 packs. You'll always have a spare if you only bend one.
11. Rear bearing carriers
a. HPI or Integy rear bearing carriers eliminate the rear tie rod setup. These are highly recommended as a replacement for a known weak point. Hard landings on either rear corner tend to end in breakage. The HPI ones come with the Suspension Conversion kit (worth the money IMO, I have a kit on each of my Fluxes). The Integy are available as a pair. These are hard to come by because so many of us are buying them up.
12. Slipper Clutch nut
a. Lock that nut down! Everyone will tell you to tighten it as tight as you can. Make the spring squash and you're tight enough. The manual for the Flux HP says tighten it all the way, then back off 1/2 turn. Do not back it off. Trust us, we're Savage Flux owners, we know what we're talking about with this one.
Download a pdf of this guide: http://forum.silentdrc.net/Comprehensiv ... de-9-5.pdf
(added a link to a great how to for creating a series charger and balancer to charge (2) 2S packs as (1) 4S or (2) 3S packs as (1) 6S.)
(fixed Avid link)
(added rear bearing carriers and slipper clutch nut)
(added pdf download links to LIPOS, CHARGERS, & the GUIDE itself)
Heir's video tutorials: If you don't like reading here's some video from the man himself.