THE ZD RACING EX07 HOON CAR
Review by Evo RC
The EX07 is an all road 7 scale aggressively styled sports car created by the ZD Racing team.
Equipped with headlights on the front and tail lights on the rear in full RGB and have 15 lighting modes you can change from a channel on your controller. It’s designed over Ken Block’s hoon car and also comes with licensed stickers by Ford, Monster etc…
The EX07 comes with aggressive large drift rubber 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.
The scale body details are pretty amazing, with the rear spoiler supports, air vents, front grill and blower. Scale details you don’t get on Traxxas and Arrma models.
You can get the EX07 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. My 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. I burnt 4 myself, 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 like 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. 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 and built it up with a Spektrum 150amp ESC, a 30KG Yellow Servo and a Spektrum 2050kv 6S motor. I did some reinforcement body work and removed a few stickers. As such didn’t do much to be honest. Tires have good grip and perform really well at any speed but are just not my style and decided to go for dboots hoons. Only the normal hoons were too small, so I opted for the larger Felony rear Hoons all round. The built quality is excellent but I found th handling to be a little off. The front suspensions are too long and all suspensions are too soft that the body tends to roll about. It’s not something you can’t fix and it obviously depends on the style you’re looking for.
So let’s look at the direct competitor for this car, the Arrma Felony. Well they may be very similar in looks but having had owned them both I can tell you that they are very different cars. The Arrma comes ready tuned for drifting with little to no settings needed to run and keep running for months without much maintenance. The ZD Racing is different in the sense that you need to set it the way you want it to behave. The EX07 is somewhat more difficult to drive but once you get the hang of it it’s more rewarding.
The Arrma is more ready to run in the sense that you plug it in and go. It’s just the thing though with these cars… Can you really drive them and bash them and not know how to maintain them and keep them performing well. So as such you have to get ready to get your hands dirty so to speak. If I had to choose between them I think I would go for the Felony all round. If you’re looking for something different and you’re more into fixing and setting stuff up then the ZD Racing may have what you’re looking for.
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