Clod Buster Faq _ and _ Super Clod 4x4x4 removal from the grill

Discussion in 'Tamiya RC Monster Truck Forum' started by ScaleManiac, May 17, 2006.

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  1. May 17, 2006 #1




    Well-Known Member

    May 15, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Long Island NY
    This FAQ was compiled by mverrochi

    Super Clod Buster Clod Buster Bullhead

    What is the Clodbuster?

    In 1987, Tamiya unveiled the Clodbuster. An electric monster truck with 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steering, two motors and gigantic tires. It was the first monster truck of it's type and has become popular for racing, pulling, crawling, competition and just plain bashing.

    What does it need to run?

    Batteries, a throttle servo or ESC, a high torque steering servo and a radio system. The kit comes with stock Mabuchi motors and a mechanical speed control. An electronic speed control increases the enjoyment and the performance of any truck tremendously and should be considered for immediate upgrade.

    If you are going to run the included stock motors, a Novak Rooster will work fine and be very economical. If you are planning to run modified motors, consider a Super Rooster.

    What ball bearings would I need?
    Four 5 x 8 Bearings
    Sixteen 6 x 12 Bearings (The kit includes 4 otherwise if you build from scratch 20)

    What kind of steering servo do I need?

    A high torque one. At least 70 oz inches of torque, preferably more. Cirrus, Hitec and FMA are popular, inexpensive hi-torque servos. There is a complete servo guide on my site that lists the specs of dozens of servos.

    What would I do with it?

    You're imagination is the limit to where this truck can go. It has huge tires and 4WD, it'll go more places than most 2WD trucks can. The wide tires provide excellent floatation over grass, soft sand and snow. It is heavy and cumbersome, so it won't jump or race well without some modifications.

    How does it perform in stock trim?

    Great compared to where most trucks can go, poorly considering where a modified Clod can go. With a few simple modifications, you can increase the stock trucks capability 500%. It comes with non-oil filled shocks that severely restrict the trucks capabilities and Mabuchi motors that don't get the adrenaline flowing. A modified chassis would address a number of performance issues that unlock the trucks potential. A stock Clod is impressive, a mod Clod is amazing.

    How fast is a stock Clod?

    Not very. About 12 MPH in stock trim. It's geared low and it's quite heavy compared to most other RC's. It's not really built for speed and it takes a lot of battery power (numerous cells) and strong motors to make it move and jump like a stadium truck.

    How long does it run?

    As with all RCs, it varies based on the way the truck is setup and what it's run over. In stock trim, probably about 8 minutes with a 2000 mAH battery pack in Power mode. Racers running multiple cells and hot mod motors struggle to reach the 4 minute mark. A Clod that is geared down may run for 20 minutes or more.

    What is this 4400 mAH Clod battery pack I've heard about?

    It's a large pack made of D cell batteries. Most are configured in a 3 cell x 2 halves so that the bulk can be split between the front the rear of truck. With the introduction of the 3000 mAH NiMH, the D cell pack lost some popularity due to it's size and mass.

    How far can it jump?

    In stock trim, about 2 feet. Modified Clods have been known to jump 20 feet or more. A stock Clod has chassis weaknesses that needs to be addressed if you're going to jump anything large. A metal chassis brace protects against cracking where the links mount to the chassis.

    How expensive is it to modify?

    You could buy a nice professionally made setup for as little as $300 and spend up to a couple thousand if you really wanted to go wild with accessories. The best money spent would be the first $300 on the basics aftermarket frame, long wheelbase kit and dual servo mounts, shocks etc. The Clod is very easy to build modifications for so the cost to modify can be virtually nothing.

    Can I use a quarter scale servo since they're cheaper?

    People have used quarter scale servos but mounting space is limited due to the increased size of the servo. Cirrus, FMA Direct and Hitech make very powerful and very affordable servos in standard sizes.

    How can I make it turn better?

    There are a few ways. One of which is to cut the stops off the steering knuckles to allow more left to right throw. If you have the stock steering setup, a way to increase throw is to increase the size of the disc (item B3) the steering rods connect to at the steering servo. The small diameter of the stock part provides much less throw than the truck is capable of using. This should be one of the first upgrades made. Three easy-to-build steering setups are shown here..

    What ESC can I use?

    That depends on the motors used. I've run stock motors on a Novak Rooster for over a year with no ill effects. If you intend to run modified motors, a Super Rooster is a better choice and of all the reversing ESC's on the market, it offers the receiver the most power (BEC amps) so that dual steering servos are not "shortchanged" on power. A number of other fine reversing speed controls exist and they can be viewed in the ESC Guide on my site.


    Can I use 2 speed controls?

    Technically, yes. Practically, maybe not. Timing them to work together and in synch is difficult. Additionally, the use of 2 ESC's is inefficient and runtime is shortened as a result.

    What motors can I use?

    The rear motor in a Clod requires reverse rotation, so there are some limitations as not all motors come in reverse rotation.

    Stock motors are fixed at 24? of timing and cannot be reversed by simply switching wires around. A few stock motors were made in reverse rotation but they're not very common. The X-Star is one that comes to mind and they work very well however I found that the 24? of timing that make it so fast going forward, absolutely rob it of all power in reverse.

    Most modified motors come with zero degrees of timing or can be set to zero degrees. This allows you to reverse-wire the rear motor without problems. Trinity Speed Gems are among the most popular modified motors due to cost and they come with 0? of timing so they're a natural choice.

    Where does the reverse motor go?

    In the rear of the truck. Think Reverse=Rear.

    How do I reverse a motor?

    In many cases of modified motors with 0? of timing, you can simply switch the wires around. In the case of a stock motor or others that have fixed timing, you have to buy a reverse rotation motor.

    How do I wire two motors?

    However you do it, the principle is always the same, each motor gets wired directly to the speed control via 2 wires that make a Y connection. The negative lead on the speed control goes to the negative lead on each motor. The positive lead on the speed control goes to the positive tab on each motors.

    Series or parallel wiring?

    Parallel wiring provides full power to both motors at all times. Series wiring halves the amount of power you feed each motor which can double runtime but reduces power and speed by 50%. Series wiring also has a nasty side effect of allowing one motor to easily stall and simply pass all the current to the motor with the least resistance.

    There is a bogus rumor floating around the internet that can trap inexperienced builders. The overall gist of it is that you can wire in series and get twice the runtime and still maintain all the power you had. This is totally false information and wishful thinking. No motor can develop full power by supplying it half the energy...think about it. It can't happen.

    What shocks should I get?

    There are a number of choices. Traxxas big bore shocks, both plastic and aluminum for the Stampede and Maxx trucks, are the same length as the stock Clod shocks and are a very cost effective and a direct fit to a stock Clod. Only one shock per wheel is really necessary and although it looks better with two, using two shocks makes the tire the softest element in the suspension and the truck will bounce as if it has no shocks at all.

    What gears can I run?

    The gearbox is fixed for a 13 tooth 32 pitch gear. Thunder Tech has adjustable motor mounts as does Hooters Chassis. The gearbox can be cut to allow the motor to swing forward and use a pinion gear with as little as 8 teeth.

    The stock pinion gear is a soft alloy gear that wears out in about 50 runs. This gear should be replaced with a steel gear that will last a lifetime. This is a must if you are going to install modified motors.

    What wheels can I use?

    Any wheel made for the Clod, Bullhead, or Juggernaut.

    What tires can I use?

    There are very few tire choices for the Clod. IMEX makes Pulling tires and some Baja tires. Duratrax makes some V spikes. Kyosho USA-1 Chevron tires also fit clod rims. Pro-Line makes a bar tread tire called Giant-Trac. There is a Tire Comparison article on my site that details the choices.

    My tires have flatspots, how can I fix them.

    Some soft tires like the IMEX Bajas, can flat spot if they are left sitting. I have heard of a number of methods that all seem to involve warming the tire. I've heard of putting it in a 200? oven, I've heard of people that have put them in their dryer and I've heard of people using a heat gun or blow dryer on the flat spot. Some of those methods sound dangerous so be careful. In many cases, if you can get the tire off the rim, you can simply stretch the flat spot out of the tire.

    What can I get foam inserts?

    Many people use the inserts from OFNA for the Monster Pirate. Hooter Chassis also makes foams for Clodbuster sized wheels.

    What is locking the differential?

    By locking the spider gears in the differential, you can greatly increase traction by forcing both wheels to turn at the same rate at all times. Most differentials allow the wheel with the least traction to spin freely while the wheel with traction gets virtually no power, leaving you stuck. A locked diff cures this problem.

    How do I lock the diff?

    I use JB Weld, a 2 part epoxy, and pack it into the spider gears to prevent them from moving. Be careful not to have excess sticking out that may bind the diff in the transmission case.

    Remove all grease with some type of cleaning agent so the epoxy will stick but careful not to use too harsh a chemical that will destroy the plastic gears. Make sure the spider gears and diff unit stays properly aligned or the diff will not fit in the truck when it is dry.

    Will a locked diff hurt my steering?

    Yes. The entire purpose of a differential is to allow the tires to turn at two different speeds when cornering.

    While turning, the outside tire has to cover a larger amount of ground than the inside tire does. The differential allows that to happen so eliminating it will effect steering to some degree. This can be compensated for by cutting the stops off the steering knuckles to allow for tighter turning. Cutting the stops off both front and rear knuckles can provide a very tight turning radius even with 2 locked diffs.

    How do I lock the rear steering?

    A number of methods exist. Most secure the steering rod to a fixed location. Straight axles exist, I believe Hooter Chassis makes them. See the page on my site about building a rear steering lockout.

    What hop-ups exist for the Clod?

    Many hop-ups exist for the Clod, too numerous to list in this FAQ. A list is in the works.

    What is a Clodzilla?

    Clodzilla is the name of a Kit from ESP Manufacturing that really popularized the modified Clod. A kit consists of an aluminum ladder frame, a set of suspension links, dual servo mounts, body mounts, etc. It's a complete chassis conversion that quite literally converts a mild clod into a brutal masher.

    Why would I want an aftermarket chassis?

    For the incredible increase in performance. The stock Clod has enormous potential that can only be unlocked with a redesigned chassis designed to be tougher, allow for more suspension travel and lengthen the wheelbase. Aftermarket kits can literally increase the trucks ability 1000%.

    What are cantilevers and why would I want them?

    Cantilevers are a lever that that increase the amount of wheel travel you can get.

    Picture a rectangle. The pivot is positioned on a lower corner. The rod that connects down to the axle is on the other lower corner. The shock mounts to the corner above the pivot.

    Unequal distances between the mounts and the pivot can lengthen the amount of distance the axle can cover. Hence the rectangle. If it's twice as long as it is tall, it doubles the distance the shock can travel.

    A diagram is forthcoming that illustrates this point.

    I heard these things can float, is that true?

    Yes, it's true. The tires hold enough air to make the truck buoyant. However water slowly seeps into the wheel and the truck will sink once the tires fill with water.

    How can I widen the truck?

    Many people have taken a Stampede wheel, removed the tall edges that hold the bead, and glued them inside a Clod wheel and made their own widener.

    I'm going to build a kit with mostly aftermarket stuff. Isn't it
    cheaper to buy just the axles instead of the whole kit?

    Actually, no. The parts are so costly, it's cheaper to buy a kit. There is a chart on my site that details the items and the total cost of the parts.

    How can I turn my axle sideways like some trucks I've seen?

    Through the use of cantilevers or swing arm style suspension. Either method can drastically increase the wheel travel, which is the key to 90? of articulation.

    Why would I want 2 servos?

    Dual servos make the steering on the clod much more effective. The large tires make it harder for the steering to overcome the friction between the ground and the tire. Giving each axle it's own steering servo makes the steering much more useful.

    How do I wire 2 servos?

    Typically with a Y adapter that you can get at most hobby stores.

    Some ESC's will not function properly with 2 servos due to the increased load on the BEC circuit. The Novak Super Rooster offers the most power to operate dual servos.

    How do I reverse the direction of my servo so my truck steers properly?

    A few companies offer servo reversing Y cords:

    , 6" Reverser Heavy Duty

    Horizon Hobby #2, 6" Reverser Standard Tower Hobbies, Hitec, JR etc Reversing Y cord

    Hobbies #2 Futaba J Reversing Y cord

    In many cases, you can flip the servo arm over (180?) on one servo to change the direction the servo moves. This varies from truck to truck.

    Can I get a ball diff for this truck?

    Thorp used to make an adjustable ball differential that is no longer produced, but still available and highly prized. Often they are sold on e-bay. You can view Thorp manuals this page.

    Where can I get Steel Gears for the Clod?

    Two companies that made steel gear sets for the Clod Buster were JPS and APM Custom Hobby. APM is no longer in business, but as of this writing, JPS still had some gears left.

    Where can I get aluminum axle cases?

    JPS and GPM both make cases. The JPS is a machined one piece unit and the GPM is a two piece unit. The GPM is available at and the JPS is available at

    Can I dye the stock white rims?

    Those are paintable, but not dyeable. There are some dyeable rims that float around ebay made by CRP. They're a white nylon rim and they accept dye very well.

    Here are some pics of 3 of the most popular ball ends used on MT's.

    The top is a Heavy Duty (HD) Rocket City Ball end.
    The middle is a standard Rocket City ball end.
    The bottom is a Traxxas ball end.


    The next pic is a side profile.
    This pic os a side profile.


    Note that the HD Rocket City ball end is the thickest of the 3.
    If you thread in your rods too far into the ball end, you will be prone to breaking them.

    Rod end comparison from

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2010
  2. May 17, 2006 #2




    Old Timer

    May 16, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Modesto, CA
    Clod Buster Chassis Options
    JPS billet chassis
    Jundac Feather Light Coversion
    Rockbull chassis
    Innerbee Crew IROCK
    Innerbee Crew Scorpion
    GMADE Dragoon
    GMADE Spider
    Team PRP Berzerker
    ECD-R Racing Tube Frame
    New Era Models Clod Tube Frame
    New Era Models Clod 2000 Conversion
    Xtreme Racing XC1
    Xtreme RC Racing XC2
    Thundertech RAGE
    Thundertech RIpper
    ClodModRacing CX1
    UTRCRC vPrime
    TCS "Stick" Chassis
    TCS NN Chassis
    RC Guy Gecko
    RCGuy Gecko II
    RCGuy Gecko Pro 60/40
    ESP Clodzilla II
    ESP CLodzilla III
    ESP Clodzilla IV
    ESP Rockzilla
    RC Mayhem Boss Kong
    Powers Racing Chassis
    Rod Boys Tube Frame
    Custom Tube frames made to order by:
    John Boyer aka RCWizard and
    Hulkwerks (contact both via email)

    Discontinued chassis':
    INET RC (all)
    ESP Clodzilla I
    Sassy Chassis (all)
    Thundertech Racing Centurion
    Thundertech Racing Tremor
    Bennett Clodalever (all)
    RC Guy Bladerunner
    RC Guy Venom
    Radical Chassis Midwest Tuber Frame
    Austin R/C Technologies VFX/CGX

    / Basic Info
    / 4 wheel drive
    / 4 wheel steering
    / Two 540 size motors
    / 8 Coil-Over Shocks
    / Mechanical Speed Control w/3 step forward and 1 step reverse
    / Length: 18.9" / Width: 14.2" / Height: 13.4" / Wheelbase: 10.5"
    / Stock Pinion = 32 pitch 13 tooth, gear ratio 1:30.1
    /Speed Stock = 25km/h
    /Run Time = about 8 minutes2000mAH battery

    Pinion gear/ ratio
    8T/ 48.89:1
    9T/ 43.46:1
    10T/ 39.11:1
    11T/ 35.56:1
    12T/ 32.59:1
    13T/ 30.08:1
    14T/ 27.94:1
    15T/ 26.07:1
    16T/ 24.44:1

    Original Tamiya promo video for the Clod

    Clod video

  3. Oct 7, 2006 #3




    Old Timer

    May 16, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Modesto, CA
    Why spend $20 or $30 for a rear steering lockout when you can do one yourself for literally 20 cents?

    I acutally spend like 50 cents getting washers cuz I noticed some were thicker than others and being that this lockout depends on the washer fitting tightly, it was critical that they be thick enough. All the washers were together and had the same dimensions, some were just a little thicker than others...

    The thin washers left play. The thicker ones are TIGHT and there is ZERO I mean ZERO wiggle on the rear now. It's sweet and it looks CLEAN.

    Get washer-- 1.5" outter diameter, .5" inner diameter.

    Remove rear steering knuckle and finagle washer over drive shaft.

    Replace rear knucke.

    I went a step further and cut off the steering attachment arm:

    That's it.


    I suppose you could paint them black so they don't stand out too. But either way it leaves the back looking clean!
  4. Jan 31, 2007 #4





    Jan 14, 2007
    Likes Received:
  5. Aug 31, 2008 #5




    Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Clod 4x4x4 grille modification

    A few folks have asked me how I did the GMC grille on the Fall Guy truck so I finally figured it was time to do a how to. This really is just a way to get the 4x4x4 part off the grille.

    All you need is a dremel with a cut disc, I also have the flex tool attachment on mine, and some #220 and #320 sandpaper. You'll also need some type of small sanding block(I used a scrap piece of delrin plastic, pictured on sandpaper) and a thin piece of metal or plastic to back the sandpaper when sanding in the grooves(I used a credit card, not pictured)


    Also have the cutoff tool sticking out from the chuck of the dremel a little. You'll be reaching over the grille on some cuts and that will keep the dremel from rubbing up on the grille.


    First tape up the chrome areas you want to keep, to protect it from the dremel and sandpaper.


    you want to start by making shallow guidelines on the deeper grooves. Don't go deep just in case you cut a line off you'll only damage material that is coming off anyway. Since the platic melts, you'll have to remove those melted pieces by hand, often, so you can see the cut lines.


    Once you are satisfied the the guidelines line up with the grille lines start making deeper passes. Don't go to fast, just slowly keep removing material as you go deeper. When you get closer to the bottom slow way down and don't be afraid to leave a little material. You can always get the sand rest of it to the bottom.


    Clean up the rest of the bottom cuts with #220 sandpaper wrapped around a thin but rigid piece of plastic or metal. The piece is so the sandpaper sands straight and cuts the walls vertical. It'll take material off pretty quick so be careful. You know it's flush with the bottom when the chrome starts coming off.


    This last step can be done a couple of different ways. You can use the dremel to take the high parts off the grille bars quickly then sand it flush or you can just sand it all down. When you sand it make a small sanding block so it sands the grille bars together and flush. Samething, when the chrome starts coming off your flush with the top of the bars. After that, clean it up with #320 paper and paint.


    This mod is easy and relatively fast. I did all this, including remasking and painting, in less than an hour. You can even slap on a emblem sticker or find one off a toy, this is a GMC sticker.

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
  6. Dec 30, 2009 #6

    SFC K

    SFC K

    SFC K

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2009
    Likes Received:
    Oakdale, MN
    Thanks for posting the how too! This was shared over on so I thought I'd give it a try. The results are definitely worth the effort. :tmb

    Here is my results...

  7. Jun 7, 2010 #7




    Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2010
    Likes Received:
    im going to have to try that aswell.. anyone ever chop the hood and make hinges so it opens... i have an idea of how to do it jus wondered it it had been done..
  8. Aug 17, 2010 #8




    Well-Known Member

    May 29, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Kaneohe, Hawaii
    Great info:rock

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