BIGFOOT – The One That Started It All
How many of you remember the original BIGFOOT Monster Truck? I do … the first time it hit the scene back in 1979 it was something no one had seen before! I remember it rumbling out onto the field and proceeding to blow eardrums as it spit mangled car parts out from under it’s enormous spinning tires; it was truly and awesome sight. Throughout the years, though, many other MT’s have entered the car-crushing arena but to me, BIGFOOT remains the most well-known of them all.
When I saw that Traxxas was releasing a pair of replica BIGFOOT trucks (is that considered BIGFEET?), I knew I had to have one! They look absolutely amazing and I was excited to see what kind of performance they would have. Let’s take a look under that beautiful Lexan-skin and see what the BIGFOOT has a-churnin’!
Product: Traxxas Bigfoot 2WD Monster Truck
Part #: 36084-1
Recommended For: Anyone, especially Monster Truck fans
BIGFOOT is based on the proven Stampede chassis, using a narrow, modified-tub design as the backbone for the truck. The chassis is only slightly wider than the battery tray with plenty of internal ribbing for support. Up front, the bulkhead, skid plate, shock tower and bulkhead chassis support all tie together to form a very rigid setup, Out back, the transmission, rear tower, skid plate and bulkhead support mimic the same, robust design. These features add to the rigidity of the truck and give BIGFOOT some impressive durability.
Mounted just in front of the battery box is a waterproof Traxxas 2056 steering servo. This servo is mounted through the chassis to provide a direct link to the from wheels.
The battery tray accepts both NiMh and LiPo batteries, slipping under an elevated electronics platform. Traxxas’ XL-5 ESC is bolted to the left of the platform while the waterproof receiver box is bolted to the right.
Monster Trucks require a serious suspension system, another reason Traxxas chose the Stampede platform. Long suspension arms are located at all four corners as well as a plush set of oil-filled Ultra shocks. While I’m an aluminum shock body type of guy, these plastic shocks are extremely smooth, probably a result of Traxxas’ X-ring technology; this tech provides a perfect, leak-free seal and ‘ultra’ smooth performance. Pretty remarkable to say the least.
While the front and rear shock towers are part of the overall chassis rigidity, they are molded from a plastic that has a little bit of flex to them. This shouldn’t hurt the performance but will certainly add some forgiveness should BIGFOOT encounter any massive head on (or topdown) collisions.
Plastic, fixed links are used to control camber in the front and rear. This is perfect for a vehicle like this and helps keep everything straight and solid.
BIGFOOT is loaded with Traxxas’ versatile Magnum 272 transmission. This gearbox is a ‘monster’ and, even though BF is only powered by a Titan 12T motor, it’s brushless ready should you want to upgrade. It features a full set of 48P metal gears and rolls on a complete set of ball bearings. The planetary gear diff also uses metal gears and is virtually maintenance free.
To help control the power to the wheels, A Revo-Spec Torque-Control Slipper Clutch is fitted to the top shaft. It uses finned aluminum alloy pressure plates and semi-metallic pads … I know, I know, lots of techy mumbo jumbo, but I’m here to tell you that this slipper is fantastic. It has a consistent feel to help provide traction under even the most harsh conditions. I’ve witnessed this on my 70+mph LiPo-pumped Rustler and can say that it’s amazing.
Transferring the power to the rear wheels are a set of durable telescoping driveshafts. These are also surprisingly strong and should last forever in your Titan-equipped BIGFOOT.
Now this truck only comes with bearings in the transmission – Oilite bushings are used everywhere else. I really wanted to ping Traxxas for this but took some time to think about it first. Even though I’d like to see a full set of bearings, the fact is that Oilite bushings require almost zero maintenance. This allows you to drive BIGFOOT anywhere without worry – dirt, water and snow. If you had bearings, this wet-weather driving could potentially cause the bearings to rust and seize. This makes it perfect for a beginner that just wants to drive it, no questions asked. As a racer, however, I’ll be installing a full set of bearings as soon as possible.
Since it’s only a 2WD truck with very little weight on the front end, a dual-bellcrank steering system isn’t really needed. Instead, Traxxas installed the servo through the chassis just ahead of the battery box. The Traxxas 2056 servo features a waterproof design and plastic gears. It has some respectable numbers; 80oz/in of torque and a speed of .23 seconds, both on 6V. This is plenty for a truck like this; anything more would be overkill.
A large, plastic servo saver is attached to the servo and is protected by the molded bulkhead chassis support. Steel turnbuckles link to the steering arms, providing a good amount of steering throw.
I did notice a small amount of undesirable bumpsteer, but it’s near the very top of the shock compression so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Currently, both versions of BIGFOOT come with Traxxas’ XL-5 ESC and Titan 12T 550 modified motor, providing great power on the included 7-cell NiMh battery. Thankfully, the XL-5 is also LiPo compatible and dropping in a 2S pack will certainly boost the performance of your MT. Just note, though, that the included 4A Fast Charger won’t charge a LiPo pack, so you’ll need to pick up a different charger if you decide to make the change. I suggest something like Traxxas EZ-Peak iD Charger. It’s inexpensive and works great with the Traxxas packs that have the iD Battery Charging System.
A TQ 2.4GHz radio system comes loaded in the BIGFOOT. It’s pretty basic, the only features being a ‘SET’ button and Steering Trim knob. Also, unlike other Traxxas kits, you’ll need to provide the AA’s to power it. Thankfully I had some spare Traxxas Power Cell AA Alkalines lying around.
As mentioned in the Steering section, Traxxas has included their 2056 servo to handle the steering.
The included 4A Fast Charger can peak detect both a 6-cell and 7-cell NiMh pack, however it’s designed to charge using the lighter outlet (or power outlet) in your real car. This works great if you’re out in the field and don’t have access to AC power, but if you’re going to be bashing BIGFOOT near your house, I would again suggest picking up a Traxxas EZ-Peak iD Charger.
Body and Bumpers
The first thing that caught my eye was the killer BIGFOOT body. Personally, I think the body makes the kit; I would put one of these on the 2WD Stadium Truck I race! It’s got quite a bit of detail in it even before the stickers are placed.
The satin-finished wheels and Terra-Grooved tires first made their appearance on the Craniac and Skully Monster Trucks, but look better on this rig in my opinion. They come pre-mounted and without inserts; a little odd but they seem to work just fine.
This truck can be driven just about anywhere – grass, dirt or pavement. Instead of hitting up a local field and bashing away, I joined my buddies Larry and Trever who just happen to have a small Monster Truck arena in their backyard. They’re big MT fans and often have friends over for some fun. Thankfully, I’m one of their friends -this is the perfect spot to give BIGFOOT a proper testing.
Speed and Braking
I’ve driven a few different Stampede models and am always impressed by their torque. With a 7-cell NiMh pack, the Titan 12T motor gives some pretty rip-roaring acceleration. It pulls hard from a standstill, sometimes yanking the front wheels off the ground. For the size of the track, this truck had plenty of speed and was able to catch quite a bit of air off the jumps. Anyone playing in a more open area will probably want more speed; that’s as easy as installing a larger pinion (included with the truck) or dropping in a LiPo battery … or both!
The brakes on this truck are pretty strong, a good thing if you want to stop, but not necessarily a good thing in a 2WD truck. Slamming on the brakes does slow the truck down, but it also causes the rear end to become unstable. Unfortunately there’s no adjustment for this, so you’ll need to be gentle on the brakes at first. More on this in a sec…
Steering and Handling
Under normal use, the steering on BIGFOOT is great. The big ol’ Terra-Grooved tires and torquey servo help the truck weave in and out around the terrain with only a slight hint of push. This is negated the moment you mash the throttle; typically in a 2WD truck, putting the hammer down usually causes a whole lot of rear end wiggle with dirt flying everywhere, but not so with BIGFOOT. Whatever the reason – the light front end, flexy tires without inserts or just its design – it makes this truck very easy to drive. I powered around the MT arena without fear of spinning out, allowing me to use more speed to clear jumps or hit berms.
I did find a little trick, though, in regards to getting the truck to slide around a bit. Remember how I said the brakes were strong? Flicking the brakes and mashing the throttle while going into a turn pitched the rear around, creating a nice roost of dirt as the truck gathered its composure and sped off. That turned out to be my ticket for fun!
Traxxas did their homework on the handling as well. The truck jumps great with just a slight nose-up attitude, easily fixable by adjusting the throttle on take-off. The shocks keep all four tires on the ground even under hard cornering, and the suspension eats up uneven terrain with ease – absolutely no complaints here.
Durability and Maintenance
Having based this truck off the Stampede, Traxxas has had plenty of time to nail down the weak points and provide a very stout truck. Some of the plastics are stiff while other are slightly more flexible where they need to be. Traxxas construction has always been a little more different than everyone else, but the result is a sturdy truck that stands up to some abuse. Remember, though, that once you start boosting the power (via gearing, LiPo or brushless system), the chances of breaking it rise exponentially.
Traxxas has also kept maintenance to a minimum, even if you drive a lot in water or snow. The Oilite bushings won’t rust or need to be cleaned (like bearings), the gear differential is a maintenance-free item and the shocks should remain leak-free for some time. I took some time to really look over what might be a problem area and honestly, I couldn’t find anything. Again, this is in stock form. If you decide to power up, I’d keep an eye on things like the steering servo (and servo saver), rear driveshafts and possibly the spur gear.
Unfortunately there’s not much in the way of tuning on the BIGFOOT MT, but there are a few key things you can alter to adjust performance. The front and rear shocks have multiple lower mounting locations, and you can modify their fluid and spring rates. Ride height and front toe can also be adjusted. The only other tuning option available is gearing; you can swap out the stock pinion for something larger to gain some top end.
• AA Batteries
• Traxxas Power Cell AA Batteries
Power Source: Electric
Length: 16.25″ (413mm)
Width: 12.75″ (324mm)
Height: 9.5″ (241mm)
Wheelbase: 10.63″ (270mm)
Weight: 65.3oz (1.85kg)
Type: Modified tub
Material: Composite nylon
Type: 4-wheel independent
Shocks: Plastic coilover with pre-load clips
Steering: Direct with servo mounted servo saver
Transmission: Traxxas Magnum 272
Clutch: Dual-sided slipper clutch
Differentials: Planetary gear
Bearings: Only in the transmission, Oilite bushings at the wheels
Gearing: 48P, optional pinion gears
Body: Pre-painted, pre-stickered BIGFOOT scale replica
Wheels: Plastic Monster Truck replica, satin-finished
Wheel hex: 12mm hex
Tires: Pre-mounted 2.2″ Terra-Grooved, no inserts
• Based on the proven Stampede platform
• Very easy to drive
• Killer looks – the body is simply bad ass
• Colored-matched parts to add to the looks
• Waterproof electronics
• XL-5 ESC has multiple modes for different skill levels
• High ground clearance
• Includes iD-equipped 7-cell NiMh battery and 4A DC peak-detecting charger
• Bulletproof Magnum 272 transmission included
• Shocks work (and feel) fantastic
• Wish it was based on the 4WD Stampede