THE ZD RACING DBX07 DESERT ROCKET BUGGY
Review by Evo RC
The ZD Racing DBX07 is a 7 scale four wheel drive desert off road buggy.
Equipped with headlights and lightbars front and rear, front headlights are full RGB and have 15 lighting modes you can change from a channel on your controller.
Comes with aggressive all terrain tires, alloy chassis and shock towers, metal drive shafts all round, large capacity all alloy adjustable shock absorbers, double struts, anti roll front and rear, tow and camber front and rear, alloy hubs and carriers and the general built quality is impressive. This RC car is massive in size, larger than your average 7 scale with a total length of 68cm, 38cm width and ground clearance of about 5cm.
The DBX07 is a top accessible vehicle, which is awesome to work on. The whole body flips open just like the Losi desert buggy series. When flipped closed it secures itself with two clips at the front which hold the body securely in place.
What really got me hooked on this one is the scale body details that all come stock. The body itself has a carbon fibre depth look and feel, the side exhausts, the cockpit and drivers, the rubber side nets, the fire extinguishers at the back and so much more.
Scale details you don’t get on Traxxas and Arrma models. You get a spare wheel attached on the back which is always useful should you blow or rip a tire whilst bashing.
You can get the DBX07 as a roller or as a ready to run for a little more. If you opt for the ready to run version you get a 150A ESC, two 3S 5000MAH batteries, a 4282 2000KV brushless motor and a 15kg servo all branded ZD Racing. Onboard electronics are Surpass Hobby like and the remote is a rebranded Dumbo RC. Our take on the stock electronics is that the remote is excellent, Dumbo RC have some of the best bashing remotes with ranges of 500 meters which is excellent when compared to other stock remotes from top brands. The onboard electronics, motor and servo are average but perform well, the ESC is underpowered. The ESC is our main concern. Running it with the stock supplied batteries with average C rating is fine but many people out there replace those batteries with a much higher C rating and the ESC is known to burn or even catch fire. Well, let’s not take a step back here, this happens to top brands as well. Take the Spektrum Firma 150amp ESC, the stock ESC in most Arrma 6S vehicles, on road it’s a firestarter. We burnt 4, one only lasted 32 seconds. So just bear in mind that ZD supplies average C rated batteries for a reason, that is what the ESC is capable of. If you go for high C rated batteries likes 100C and above then it’s at your own risk kind of.
Another option is to get the RC as a roller. Maybe an option for the more advanced hobbyist, or is it? I can tell you that putting it together is not that difficult, plus you have a bunch of vids on YouTube showing you what to do step by step including our own DBX07 build video. A roller basically means getting the RC without any electronics inside and out. You will need a transmitter and radio, an ESC, a motor and a servo. Transmitter I suggest a Radiolink RC4 or RC6 which comes with a receiver in the box. With the roller option you still get the pinion, servo and radio mounts and a dual fan motor cooler. An ESC I’d suggest getting one that can handle more power, a 160amp, something like a Hobbywing MAX6 or a Surpass Hobby 160amp or above. Replacing the stock ESC fan with a Rocket fan means you will not need to worry about temps, the ESC will remain cool for sure. Motor I’d suggest a 6S capable, something in the range between 1650v and 2050kv. Lower KC will give you more torque and allow for higher gearing, higher KV will give you more revs with lower gearing. Servo I recommend a 20KG servo or higher, servo speed anything around 0.16 seconds is fine.
Something worth noting and quite unique on the 7 series ZD models is the brake centre module. It’s actually quite ingenious, far better than what you’d come to expect and a bit complex to explain but worth knowing. The module comes with two disc brakes, one disk before the centre diff and the other disc after the centre diff. Who knows some mechanics here can understand what you can do with this thing which is pretty awesome. This system provides you with not one braking options but six, yes six! Listed and explained below:
- No brakes
- Brakes on all four wheels
- Brakes on front wheels only
- Brakes on rear wheels only, ie handbrake
- Brake on front wheels or rear wheels
- Brake on front wheels or rear wheels or both
So basically how do you achieve this? You have a lever for the front brake and another for the rear. You attach the lever to a servo to operate that brake. To operate brakes on all four wheels you need to attach both levers to one servo. If you want to have just the front brakes or the rear brakes then attach that lever to the servo and leave the other without a connection. Where it gets a little more interesting is when you have two servos. You can apply the brakes in two different ways, like say brake on all four wheels or just handbrake. You can set the brakes to operate on separate channels on buttons on your remote. You can set brakes to operate on the same throttle channel, so if you brake from your remote, you would be assisting the onboard motor with additional braking power. This system is usually found on larger scale models with heavy nitro engines like the Losi 5ive for example. Keep in mind and it’s very important I mention this that these servos have to be set very well before operating, the endpoints have to be adjusted to the nearest percentage, otherwise you could end up screwing the whole mechanism. So if you are attempting this, be sure you know what you’re doing. Jack the car up without wheels and set the end points before you apply power to the drivetrain. Start with little servo movement and increase not the other way around. If you’re mixing brake servos with throttle channels, set the servo endpoints on a separate channel first. Now what do I think of all this? It’s good that you have the options but the car is not that heavy, so even with just the motor brake it’s enough stopping power. What I would do is set either just a handbrake or brake on all fours on a separate channel.
I got mine as a roller, enjoyed it for a few months then sold it to get something else, I do miss it sometimes and wonder if I should have kept it. I built mine with a Spektrum 150amp ESC, a 20KG DS Servo and a 2050 BLX 6S motor. Handling is excellent with or without a gyro system. Tires have excellent grip and perform really well at high speeds. The built quality is excellent and is a very good basher. I would stick to lighter jumps, this is a buggy after all, so not ideal for any launch ramps. It’s strong points are high speed offroad. I managed to get it up to almost 90kph on levelled terrain which is saying a lot. Not many RCs are capable of achieving such speeds offroad whilst also being stable and going straight.
ZD Racing is an awesome brand and not yet so popular in Malta but their scene in Australia and the US is huge! The local agent for ZD Racing is 4 Wheel RC Hobby Malta. They stock all models and all parts in stock. I don’t recommend you buying this online even if you find it at a cheaper price for various reasons but mainly because the agent supplies all the parts in stock which will keep your RC drivable at all times. Relying on online shops for ZD Racing means you’re stuck waiting most of the time and paying for shipping for every time you need a part. Apart from costs, building a relationship with the supplier is golden. You get to know a new person that can give you precious advice and tips on known issues which at the end of the day also saves you money and time.
If you’re thinking of getting into ZD Racing, that’s awesome, go for it. Get in touch with the agent right here in Malta to get a quote and advice, details below.
4 Wheel Hobby Malta – For all ZD Racing models and parts: