Tower Hobbies Nitro TOWER Terror MT .25 RTR Review

Tower Hobbies has a 1/10 scale nitro burning monster to feed the off-road enthusiast in all of us. This factory built RTR truck is an excellent choice for the first time monster truck driver. Ray Thomas gets dirty on this one.

Splash

Introduction

Tower Hobbiesí new 1/10 scale glow powered, RC Ready-To-Run off-road monster truck absolutely lives up to its name! I have long been interested in off-road nitro trucks, and have owned many of them. When Tower Hobbies came out with their Nitro Terror I was immediately attracted to it. When the review came up, I wasted no time in putting in my request for it. I could hardly wait for it to arrive.


Length:19.7"
Width:14.8"
Weight:8 lbs.
Height:7.3"
WheelBase:11.4"
Body Length:14.5"
Servos:Futaba S3305 metal geared high torque
Transmitter:Tower 2 channel AM 2TX System 3000 Pistolgrip
Receiver:Tower 2 channel AM 2TX System 3000 with BEC
Batteries:alkaline AA's (8 for transmitter, 4 for receiver)
Motor:Tower.25cu. ball bearing 2 stroke with purple anodized cooling head and tuned
Manufacturer:Tower Hobbies
Available From:Tower Hobbies
Retail price:Around $299

Kit Contents

My first impression upon opening the box was, this thing is gonna fly! It had to - there was more motor sticking out of the top of the body than I had ever seen on an RC truck! And it must be powerful, just based on the size of the tires! Looks were not deceiving!

Kit Contains:

  • 1/10 scale Truck RTR (no assembly necessary)
  • .25cu (4.1cc) ball bearing 2 stroke engine
  • Pull start
  • Glow plug
  • Tires
  • Wheels
  • Tower Hobbies 2 channel AM pistol grip radio with high torque steering servo
  • 14 tooth clutch bell and 45 tooth spur gear
  • Aluminum bodied oil filled shocks
  • Photo illustrated Instruction manual
  • Parts bag with the antenna tube, shock collars, decal sheet and axle nut wrench

The body comes covered in a thin plastic film to protect it from scratches during shipping and is easily removed by the consumer.

Kit Requires:

Glow fuel-20% nitro with 16% oil-(Tower suggests Duratrax Red Alert or O'Donnell)

  • Air filter oil-Duratrax brand suggested by Tower
  • Glowstarter-Large cooling head on engine requires a starter with a long ended connector to reach glow plug
  • AA batteries-12 (8 for transmitter, 4 for receiver)
  • Tools-Phillips head screwdriver, metric allen wrenches,small standard screwdriver to adjust carb

Details

RTR

RTR means "ready to run" and the Terror is true to its definition. There is no assembly needed at all - the truck comes prebuilt from the factory with engine, radio and servos installed and tested.

The truck includes an instruction manual with an added note detailing the settings for the high speed needle valve. The settings listed in the manual are incorrect! You must use the added note to insure there is no engine damage.

The manual specifically states NOT to run the engine without first oiling the air filter. I used Duratrax brand oil from Tower Hobbies and it worked great.

Receiver and battery

The receiver and battery pack are enclosed in a box to protect them from damage. The on/off switch is also mounted on the top side. It is easy to access the batteries to change them by removing the chrome body clips from each end. I might add that the box is NOT watertight. It has holes in the bottom for the servo wires to exit, and one on top for the receiver antenna.

You will have to lube the antenna wire slightly to allow it to go all the way thru the antenna tube. I tried for several minutes to do it without the lube, and it always got to within 1 inch of coming all the way through. Go ahead and use the lube... you'll thank yourself later.

Engine

The Tower .25cu in (4.1cc) engine has a chromed header pipe which is held onto the engine with a spring. Also included is a black tuned pipe. The carburetor used on the truck is the slide valve type instead of the usual rotating barrel. For safety, there is also a throttle return spring mounted on the carb. There are 2 ball bearings supporting the crankshaft. The engine uses a 14 tooth 3 shoe racing clutch, and of course the pull start.

Chassis

The truck has a beautiful aluminum frame which Tower calls a TPC (Twin Plate Chassis) that gives the truck incredible strength. The frame plates are 2mm thick.

The chassis is very well designed. The design is nicely planned which makes it much easier to service and clean.

Fuel tank

There is an extra large 170cc fuel tank for really long run times - upwards of 15 minutes. It has a quick fill spring loaded top and the tank can be easily removed by taking off one quick clip making cleaning the truck after running much easier. It is recommended that you use a quality 20% Nitro fuel with no less than 16% oil content. I used Duratrax RedAlert for the test.

Differential and Drive Shaft

The center differential /spur gear is a 45 tooth, made of hardened steel and very strong. The only thing I see that might be of a concern is the fact that the gear is unprotected from the bottom side of the truck except for the little protection offered by the bearing carriers on either side of it. They extend below the gear only a few millimeters. If you plan on running in pea gravel size rock, or a lot of sandy terrain, I would keep an eye on it. This unprotected differential /spur gear would really come in to play when taking jumps that might cause the truckís suspension to bottom out.

The drive shaft is a solid piece unit running thru the center diff/spur gear to both front and rear differentials. It is very large and should have no problem absorbing the torque put out by the .25 engine. There is adjustment up and down on the engine mount for diff/clutch mesh. On my test truck, it seemed as though the center diff/spur gear and the clutch gear were not centered exactly. The engine looked like it needed to slide toward the front of the truck a few more millimeters to better center the gears. There is no adjustment on the engine mount for front to rear diff/clutch mesh.

Brakes and steering

The dual disc brakes actually use the center diff/spur gear as the rotor. They provide plenty of stopping power and are fully adjustable. The steering and throttle/brake servos are easy to access. The steering servo on my test truck stopped working after the first run. It would turn left sometimes and didn't want to recenter at all. There is a 2 year warranty on the engine and 90 days on the truck and radio system, so a quick call to the service department at Tower Hobbies, and I had replacement parts on the way, no questions asked. The Tower service department is tops and goes above and beyond to make sure their customers are well taken care of. My hatís off to them.

The steering is a bell crank type with an all aluminum drag link and a built in spring loaded servo saver. With the huge tires on the truck a servo saver is a must have, and this one worked flawlessly.

Shocks and suspension

The shocks are oil filled, aluminum bodied with coil-over springs. They are adjusted by adding or taking away the provided shock clips which in turn help to either soften or firm up the ride of the truck. They seem a bit soft for the weight of the Terror, and I might suggest either running a heavier weight oil - say 40 wt. - or changing to a stiffer spring. The shocks are fine for trashing around the yard, but if you take any LARGE jumps, the Terror will bottom out. The front bumper is a high strength composite and does a good job of protecting the front differential. The front suspension consists of CV joints to get the power to all 4 wheels. The front and rear differential uses drive cups on the outdrive side which meshes with dogbone ends that go down to the CV joints at the wheel hubs. They provide plenty of articulation and are super strong. The front is controlled by huge adjustable turnbuckle tie rods. The ball joints are really big and durable. Toe-in and caster are adjustable. However camber is not adjustable, but set in at the factory.

Tires

Did I mention that the tires on this truck are really BIG? 6 inches tall by 3.4 inches wide. They might be big, but with the insane power and torque of the .25 engine, they are easily spun at a high RPM! The tires come factory mounted and glued to gray high strength composite plastic wheels. They use a 19 mm hex drive, but Tower Hobbies offers a 23 mm upgrade so you can run a number of different Pro-Line tire/wheel combinations. The factory wheels do not have foam inserts in them so the truck might look like its setting on half flat tires, but I assure you that this in no way affects the drivability of this truck. It is totally controllable at all speeds. When the truck is moving, you can't tell that there is no foam in the tires. I know this is beyond the norm when it comes to most other RC trucks, but trust me, the truck drives GREAT without the foam.

Wheelie bars

Speaking of drivability and power, you might have noticed the rather large set of wheelie bars mounted on the rear of the truck. They keep the truck from rolling over backwards under EXTREME acceleration. I did notice that about the only way my truck would wheelie was on grass. Any other terrain such as rocks, dirt or even dirty pavement or asphalt would just make the truck spin wildly and then accelerate like a race car.

The fun part

Before you run the truck

All of this power and fun is covered by a factory painted body. The only thing that should be done to the body before running the truck is to cut out the windshield and back glass area to provide ample airflow to the engine to aid cooling. The instructions state to run the first 5 tanks of fuel through the truck with the body OFF so the engine gets plenty of air. I did find that my truck body needed a slight trimming around the fuel tank filler top opening to allow the pull-start to come through so the truck could be refueled and started without removing the body. I also made a small notch in the side above the muffler exit so it wouldn't rub the body. All that's left before you go is to add the decals, batteries and fuel it up.

Driving

With regular alkaline AA's, you can expect to get about 6 to 7 full fuel tank runs before they need replacing. A tank of fuel lasts about 15 minutes on average. Of course this all depends on how "heavy" your throttle finger is!! Those large tires take a lot of juice from the batteries to turn them, and a large capacity 5 cell pack would be ideal for this truck giving you more power for the steering servo, plus added run time before recharging. The included Tower 2TX System 3000 pistol grip radio has the recharging plug built in so you could add a rechargeable battery pack to it if you choose to later.

The Terror is a blast to drive anywhere you take it. I did my initial engine break-in at the local school parking lot. Itís suggested in the manual to drive the truck on pavement during the break-in to keep dirt away from the engine.

After the school parking lot I moved on to the school playground and into my own front yard. There were never any obstacles that the Terror could not conquer. The videos were shot at a friendís house who was bulldozing his entire back yard to help it drain. There were ruts, bumps, hills, mountains of dirt and rocks, and he even made me a few jumps with the bulldozer while we were testing.

The truck really does handle great. The tires have tons of traction at low speed and will allow the Terror to climb almost any obstacle. They do, however, spin rather easily with an increase in throttle. The steering is dead on as far as throw on the servo, not jerky or loose, but smooth and deliberate. The built in factory servo-saver is a true asset to the Terror.

Another great thing about the Terror is it's wide speed range. I could throttle back and climb over and around everything in my path, or I could nail it wide open and the Terror would accelerate with blistering speed. Itís really cool to see the tires grow in diameter as the truck get going really fast. I would say speeds between 40 and 50 mph are easily attainable. In fact, this truck is the fastest off-road 4 wheel drive I've had the pleasure of driving. I have owned many on-road vehicles that were not as fast.

Video

As you can tell from the videos this is one tough truck! I intentionally left in all the great crash and recover scenes. I also have to apologize for all the dust in the videos - at the time the videos were made, it had not rained here in over 2 months!

Downloads

Downloads

Is this truck for a beginner?

You bet it is. Its very user friendly and comes complete with everything needed, but its RTR out of the box, pre-assembled, and would make a great addition to anyoneís fleet of RC vehicles. The Tower Terror would also make a good second or third RC Nitro vehicle for the more experienced.

Conclusion

If I had to choose 2 things to best describe the Tower Terror they would have to be power and design strength.

The Tower Terror is VERY strong and powerful with the .25cu Tower engine. By following the included directions for engine break-in there is anyone can realize the full potential from this remarkable off-road truck. You can see by the videos that the Tower Terror can take quite a bit of punishment. I drove it hard, and it just kept coming back for more.

Pluses

  • Factory built RTR (ready to run) nothing to assemble
  • Powerful .25cu Tower engine with factory 2 year warranty
  • Rugged and good looking
  • Long run times with extra large fuel tank

Minuses:

  • Body needed extra trimming around fuel tank to allow pull start to work with body on

The Tower Terror is one tough truck, hands down.

Last edited by Angela H; Jul 17, 2007 at 02:26 PM..
Thread Tools
Jul 17, 2007, 03:18 PM
Registered User
Michael Heer's Avatar
Looks like a lot of Fun Ray! I could almost taste the dust and smell the nitro while watching the video. Mike
Jul 17, 2007, 03:32 PM
KZ RIDER
raythomas's Avatar
Thread OP
It was a scorcher!! The Nitro Terror and the Mississippi heat!!!
It was totally a blast to review.
Ray
Jul 18, 2007, 09:48 AM
Canucklehead
orenda635's Avatar
I've been wanting a truck for a while now. I wish I hadn't spent all my money on planes now. lol.

Nice to see cheaper trucks out there. This one is even 4WD, which is rare at that price point. I wonder how durable it is though. Some of these cheaper trucks can be pretty fragile compared to something like a Savage.
Jul 18, 2007, 11:43 AM
KZ RIDER
raythomas's Avatar
Thread OP
You want to see durable? ha ha
Watch the video!!
I was not gentle with the Terror.
And I crashed it alot more than just what I put in the video!!!!
Not one piece ever broke.
Got scratched up bad, but never broke.
Ray
Jul 18, 2007, 09:58 PM
Mad Mad World
madmax93's Avatar
I have one and the engine would not start - just after I broke it in, so I gave up on the engine. I still have the truck and someday I will drop in an Axial .28.
Nice review. Have you seen the thread on RC universe? If not, check it out.
Jul 18, 2007, 10:15 PM
KZ RIDER
raythomas's Avatar
Thread OP
Yes, I have seen the other review.
Your engine has a 2 year warranty.
You should call Tower and see if they want you to ship it back for repair.
Hope you get it fixed.
Its too fun a truck not to keep running.
Ray
Jul 20, 2007, 01:09 PM
"Have Glue - Will Travel"
dawnron1's Avatar
Nice review Ray, looks like you were having a blast!!

Ronnie
Jul 29, 2007, 10:00 AM
Canucklehead
orenda635's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by madmax93
I have one and the engine would not start - just after I broke it in, so I gave up on the engine. I still have the truck and someday I will drop in an Axial .28.
Nice review. Have you seen the thread on RC universe? If not, check it out.
I may not be a car guy but glow engines are pretty much six and one half a dozen of each other. It's unusual that it wouldn't start, especially after you said it was running before. Are you sure it's not just a bad glow plug? Are you using the right fuel? Maybe it's just not tuned properly. If it even trying to start?
Jul 30, 2007, 03:47 AM
Mad Mad World
madmax93's Avatar
The engines in the Tower Terror are know to have issues. Most guys are replacing them. Some have good luck with them, but for the most part they are replaced with somthing else. I have replaced mine with a Wasp .28.
I do have some knowledge on nitro engines because I own a Savage as well.
The shaft that turns the wheel, I guess it's called a dogbone kept popping out, and I could not get if off, so I had to cut it. Also one of the tires flew off the other day. I do like the truck but I think it if I was to do it again I would have bought something else.
Last edited by madmax93; Jul 31, 2007 at 04:48 PM.
Jul 30, 2007, 12:39 PM
Canucklehead
orenda635's Avatar
I've heard a lot of mixed stuff about Tower's engines. I had always assumed they were an OEM of some sort since all their other "Tower Hobbies" branded products are. Anybody knows who actually manufactures them? Somewhere in China no doubt.
Make Tower fix/replace it. You paid for the engine after all.
Oct 01, 2007, 11:27 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Heer
Looks like a lot of Fun Ray! I could almost taste the dust and smell the nitro while watching the video. Mike
i'm tring to decide between:
the Warhed Evo
the Tower Terror or
the Team assoated buggy
What would u suggust

-Justin
Oct 05, 2007, 06:54 PM
Mad Mad World
madmax93's Avatar
If it's your first nitro don't get the terror, you will have nothing but problems from the start. It's not like they cannot be fixed but you will end up spending alot of money to get the truck running right. My choice would be the HPI Savage as a first nitro truck, but from what you have there, I would go with the team associated. Just my 2 cents
Aug 12, 2008, 04:20 PM
Registered User

Tower Hobbies Nitro TOWER Terror MT .25 RTR


Quote:
Originally Posted by raythomas
It was a scorcher!! The Nitro Terror and the Mississippi heat!!!
It was totally a blast to review.
Ray
so its is a good truck all together fast and powerful and fun
Aug 12, 2008, 08:22 PM
Mad Mad World
madmax93's Avatar
Funny thing is I still have my terror. With all the issues that I have resolved, it's not a bad truck.


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