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  1. #1
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Should I buy a new Jato?

    Hey folks, want some testimonials and opinions.

    Been thinking about picking up a new Jato from my LHS. I looooove me some nitro, so that is for sure. But I wanted to know what you guys think about the kit as a whole.

    -I like street bashing and speed runs
    -May keep a set of traditional stadium truck tires around for mild offroad
    -I want something with brushless speeds but in nitro. Since the 4-tec isn't around, this is their last street nitro...
    -I like the new telemetry stuff that comes standard as well, like the temp readings and voltages.

    To you guys, is it worth the $400+ for the fun? Was anything about the Jato disappointing stock? Are there any immediate upgrades you recommend? I love nitro and I've used traxxas engines before, so I know what to expect with that and the EZ start, and I am not new to nitro in the slightest.

    What gearing changes or mods do you need to do to hit the 65mph mark with it? I'd be a little bummed if my 1/8 nitro touring car could go faster than this, and that's not geared for speed in the slightest.

    Tell me what you guys think about it, and what you like to do with your jato.

    Thanks in advance!
    -Mike

  2. #2
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Here is my jato and how I set it up. forums.Jato-off-road-build

    Upgrade the plastic steering link to the upgraded aluminum one. And the stock servos were weak for my setup. As for a street machine setup I wouldn't be much help.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post

    Been thinking about picking up a new Jato from my LHS. I looooove me some nitro, so that is for sure. But I wanted to know what you guys think about the kit as a whole.

    To you guys, is it worth the $400+ for the fun? Was anything about the Jato disappointing stock? Are there any immediate upgrades you recommend?

    Tell me what you guys think about it, and what you like to do with your jato.

    Thanks in advance!
    -Mike
    If you have that kind of money burning a hole in your pocket, go ahead. Sounds like fun. Good luck finding one in stock right now. Nitro Slash don't go 65 MPH but they are pretty nice too. Also, to get that 3.3 to 65 you're gonna need a lot of room - maybe consider a car like the N Slash, you will have a good basher for a lot less money.
    Last edited by TruckerTucker; 04-25-2020 at 03:44 PM.
    I'm not afraid of my fellow man.

  4. #4
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Interesting. Yeah I do kind of have some cash burning a hole in my pocket, and I'm just trying to figure out whats gonna get me the most fun per dollar you know?

    My LHS has one in the shelf right now, that's why I ask. Might go look at it today and get an in-person impression on it.
    I live out in the desert, so yeah we do have lots of big straight roads where I could top it out. I really like the 2 speeds, that would be my biggest gripe with the n slash. And for 2wd, I want something in there that will make it more fun, which the jato offers I think.

    Grizzly your build is sweet! Love it. Might keep parts on hand to do street and offroad bashing, I had a rustler back in the day and that's kinda why I am drawn to the jato. It's good at doing most things, and it's nitro and 2 speed sooo thats awesome haha. BTW, where did you find a losi carb for yours? You posted that like half a year ago, but know where I can find one? Out of stock everywhere... My revo needs one bad too.

    Thanks for the suggestions guys, more welcome.

    -Mike

  5. #5
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    How much is it at the LHS?
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  6. #6
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    It's less than MSRP for sure. I bought my revo and it was 30 bucks undercut but most places don't sell the traxxas kits at the cost on their site.

    I want to say around $430? Somewhere around there. Not bad for all the stuff you get, and the new telemetry equipment I think.

    -Mike

  7. #7
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    ...where did you find a losi carb for yours? You posted that like half a year ago, but know where I can find one? Out of stock everywhere... My revo needs one bad too...
    Ebay. I just broke it today. Went online to see about a replacement and I found out the same "Out of stock" everywhere. Looks like I might just go the O.S. carb route. This COVID-19 really has caused issues for everything!

  8. #8
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Bummer man about your carb. See that's what I was thinking would happen to me.
    Get a 3.3 motor. Carb sucks. Buy a losi carb, 40 or 50 bucks. It breaks by chance. Buy OS 21 carb, 80 bucks. By then, Im already almost half way to the OS21tm entire engine.

    Buuut it's hard for me to justify 270 bucks or whatever for just an engine when you can get a good entire RTR for maybe 150 more. Not sure it would be 270 bucks more fun I guess.

    I don't want to buy one, or worse, two new carbs for the 3.3 only to find out I want to buy the OS engine and get stuck with 2 OS carbs... I guess I could sell the OS carb but still lost money on it, you know?

    I guess I'd have the same dilemma on the Jato at the end of the day. The 3.3 engine isn't bad, but man, the carb kills it. Some like Novarossi engines at the USA warehouse now are cheaper than the OS21, If I was really unhappy Im sure I could throw in an insane engine on a Jato and get some crazy speed too. Again though, does that make it hundreds of dollars worth more fun?

    Hard to justify, but some things just bug me about the 3.3 and will never stop... Hard to decide.

    -Mike

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  10. #10
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    The ebay ad says zero available, lol. Even if I can find one I am just not sure if I want to spend the 50 bucks on it when I could just put it towards the OS motor.

    -Mike

  11. #11
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    Just trying to help. GOOD carb.

    And I love my Jato, converting it to a Sprint car, lol.
    Last edited by Double G; 04-26-2020 at 06:23 AM. Reason: Merge

  12. #12
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Nice! Yeah I'm just trying to figure out if I buy it, what project it would become. It looks like a really good platform for a lot of different ideas.

    -Mike

  13. #13
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    Bummer man about your carb. See that's what I was thinking would happen to me.
    Get a 3.3 motor. Carb sucks. Buy a losi carb, 40 or 50 bucks. It breaks by chance. Buy OS 21 carb, 80 bucks. By then, Im already almost half way to the OS21tm entire engine.

    Buuut it's hard for me to justify 270 bucks or whatever for just an engine when you can get a good entire RTR for maybe 150 more. Not sure it would be 270 bucks more fun I guess.

    I don't want to buy one, or worse, two new carbs for the 3.3 only to find out I want to buy the OS engine and get stuck with 2 OS carbs... I guess I could sell the OS carb but still lost money on it, you know?

    I guess I'd have the same dilemma on the Jato at the end of the day. The 3.3 engine isn't bad, but man, the carb kills it. Some like Novarossi engines at the USA warehouse now are cheaper than the OS21, If I was really unhappy Im sure I could throw in an insane engine on a Jato and get some crazy speed too. Again though, does that make it hundreds of dollars worth more fun?

    Hard to justify, but some things just bug me about the 3.3 and will never stop... Hard to decide.

    -Mike
    The way I'm going to go, thought about it all night. Buy the OS21tm. In my revo it's been good and reliable. But when it dies, now I have a carb for the cheaper 3.3. Should have done it this way from the beginning. LOL
    and if something ever happens I could sell the OS engine.

  14. #14
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Ahhh that's a good call, the carb would still be good on the motor long after the engine expires for whatever reason. Maybe I should just pony up and get that engine and all this would go away lol. I'll have to sleep on it a few more days...

    I wonder how fast the jato with os21 would be. If the bigger motor makes more torque, I bet a re gear would make it go pretty dang fast. Hmm..

    -Mike

  15. #15
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Update: Bought the jato! Its really nice. The suspension is buttery smooth, way ahead of the typical TRX 2wd vehicles I've had in the past. The design is quite impressive as well.

    However, the factory wire routing is attrocious, as are almost all RTR kits. I bought a 1600mah nimh for it, only to find its dimensions are slightly too big. So I hit the center battery box with a dremel and it's snug but works good.

    While I was in there, just took out literally everything and re routed the wires. It's looking fantastic, so much cleaner and smarter than just shoving the wires in. Plus the nimh charge port wire wasn't installed so I had to click that in as well. Re routing the fuel tubing as well to be cleaner.

    I can see the brakes may be a bit weak stock setup, so I'll try them and see if they need any changes.

    Gonna check the suspension angles/setup, loctite some screws, and already got the piston oiled up and ready to start running.

    Pretty happy with it on the bench! We'll have to see how it runs!

    -Mike

  16. #16
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Congratulations! You'll have fun with it.

    Out of the box my wiring was the same. Also at first I didn't install the wheelie bar, because the instructions said not to use it when driving off-road. Big mistake. I bent up the rear of the body around the spoiler.

    The best first upgrade I recommend is getting the Aluminum drag link part#5542x. It made a big improvement in reducing the play in the steering. I repeated this from an earlier post. Mine just had too much play with the plastic link.

    The brakes are weak for my setup. I think I'm going to try either a dual disc setup or swap out the small plastic lever linkage to the T-maxx arm.

    It's definitely fun to drive. It's a rocket compared to the Revo.

  17. #17
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Dude yeah no kidding. Did the break in today out on a nice dead end road. Man it's a light car with a pretty big motor. She broke in nice and easy, and held temp actually really well, better than the revo did for sure. Only needed a sock over the head for the first tank and a half, then it stuck right at 230-260 for the rest of the break in. Did the heat cycling method.

    Yeah the steering slop is getting to me. On the bench, the wheels are just so sloppy, and then when you're turning the car while on the throttle, the front tires understeer and just start chattering/bouncing over the pavement. I can see em just flopping all over the place haha. Does that part fix 75-100% of the slop issue? If so, well worth the 17 bucks.

    And also yeah the brakes are not good. Out of the box, they literally do nothing. Not a single thing. Even though the spring compresses and squeezes the disc, it literally doesn't slow down at all. I played with the thumb screw a lot, and even with the brake dragging a bit at idle, it barely worked. So I've taken the spring out and put fuel tubing in there, a nice short piece, and I screwed in the caliper bolts a bit. The brake arm was bottoming out on the trans case, and tightening up the caliper bolts brought that arm out and gave it a bit wider range of motion to really pull more. Will test it soon, but I fear it will just be weak again. If that's the case, I might experiment with other brand brake rotors and calipers with different materials...

    Otherwise, the kit is pretty brilliant. It fired up pretty quick, and it's fast!! Even for me at 5500ft, it pulls pretty dang well. I couldn't get any wheelies out of it, but it's also just broken in, so until the motor does its final opening up, that's what I got.
    This 3.3 leaks less than my revo motor, so I think it will run well. Tuning is still a little wonky, as is any new motor though. I figure once it matures and gets run in, it'll tune better.

    I moved the engine temp sensor to 90 degrees off the exhaust, temp readings were pretty spot on with my handheld! Good to know, I'll be doing the same on my revo.

    It handles really well too, I put in the black heavy sway bars just now after the break in. At least comparing it to my rustler from back in the day, the handling on this is worlds better. I see why people would drive these on offroad tracks, it's a great stadium truck.

    Grizzly, got any recommended swappable parts for decent offroad performance? Would be nice if I could change out tires, shock parts, and maybe a clutch bell to have it run real nice in the grass and dirt. Plus the Jato wheel hubs are weird, I have no idea what fits since it just has bearings up front...

    Hyped! Gonna drive it some more, and bring it out to the bashing this weekend.

    -Mike

  18. #18
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Man, the brakes are pretty bad. So I drove it again, got a bunch of high speed passes, and it's running good. Although the brakes faded really bad. The first brake application was perfect. Just the right amount of controllable stopping power. Then it just went downhill.

    So out of curiosity I touched the brake rotor after a pass. Big mistake. So I temp gunned it, and it was literally over 300 degrees. Whaaaaaat. Seriously?? And it's glazed over pretty bad already.

    All my other nitros, the brakes would never actually get HOT. Warm of course, but not burning hot! Yeesh. I get that this is how brakes work, and when you do speed run after speed run, that's a lot of heat in the brakes. But dang it got hot.

    You folks with the HR dual brake disc's or any other aftermarket brake systems, do yours get that hot?

    This has to just be the wrong choice of brake components, right? Like material wise by Traxxas right? Even the revo has steel rotor and actual friction material, and for bashing, it will never fade.

    Bigger issue than I thought. But I'm the millionth person to conclude this I guess. Any input jato guys?

    -Mike

  19. #19
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Sorry for the triple post...

    I was checking out my brakes, and man after only one day there is a lot of wear. The fiber disc has dark brown, "burnt" looking rings on both sides. And the disc is wearing unevenly, more towards the outside edge on the left side, and more towards the center on the right side. Calipers have a decent amount of scoring on the friction zone, way more than I'd expect after one day of use.

    My old HPI Firestorm 10T nitro ST had almost an identical brake design, yet I remember that truck having superb braking power, out of the box. Identical fiber brake discs, and nearly identical steel calipers. But the difference is in the piston and brake cams.

    So I have looked closely, and for some reason, Traxxas decided a square piston was a good idea, which doesn't make any sense to me. And more importantly, that square piston on my Jato does not seat flush against the inner brake caliper surface. To be clear, part #5565 does not mate to the caliper surface. That's gotta be a huge problem with braking power, right? I mean that's like an automotive or motorcycle brake caliper having a seized piston, and any remotely demanding braking situation would totally overwhelm that flawed setup.

    I believe this is why my disc is wearing unevenly... I was considering some kind of small silicone sheet to put on the caliper to help distribute the force from the piston, but I can't think of anything that won't mush out the braking power...

    All my other models have a nice, cylindrical brass brake piston, that has a near zero-play chamber, and mates completely flush to the calipers. I can tell it mates correctly, because when you pull it apart for inspection, you can see the wear on the caliper that shows a perfect, round, wear pattern. Plus perhaps that piston is supposed to be a tiny bit of heat sink as well...

    I saw a thread on here where someone fabbed their own replacement of the square piston, although they made a new one for a different reason than mine, something about changing the dimensions...

    Ah the joy of tinkering with RC.

    -Mike

  20. #20
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Check your brake arm that it is not hitting your transmission case. I had to adjust mine so when I pulled the brakes the arm wouldn't touch. If the arm touches, no amount of servo pull is going to work.

    brakearm

  21. #21
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Yeah I fixed that. It still is just terrible.

    I know it was trying, the disc got over 300 degrees. Can't seem to find an in stock metal linkage set though...

    -Mike

  22. #22
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Sorry I missed a couple of posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    Yeah the steering slop is getting to me. On the bench, the wheels are just so sloppy, and then when you're turning the car while on the throttle, the front tires understeer and just start chattering/bouncing over the pavement. I can see em just flopping all over the place haha. Does that part fix 75-100% of the slop issue? If so, well worth the 17 bucks.
    It was a noticeable difference on mine. They also do sell different castor blocks. Haven't gotten that far into it, as mine is driven off-road.

    Grizzly, got any recommended swappable parts for decent offroad performance? Would be nice if I could change out tires, shock parts, and maybe a clutch bell to have it run real nice in the grass and dirt. Plus the Jato wheel hubs are weird, I have no idea what fits since it just has bearings up front...
    I put Proline Badlands on mine. If I had to do it over I would stay with the smaller original badlands all-around, not just the front. They are closer to size of the original tires and wouldn't need much of a gearing change. Maybe try drop 2 on cluth bell? The fronts are harder to find. I got lucky and found a set on Ebay. I also remember seeing an adapter to be able to mount hex wheels on fixed spindles. If I remember what and where I'll post it up.


  23. #23
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    Yeah I fixed that. It still is just terrible.

    I know it was trying, the disc got over 300 degrees. Can't seem to find an in stock metal linkage set though...

    -Mike
    I have seen where someone used the T-maxx setup. The blue rod that pushes the brass plunger and the metal arm to give more leverage.

    Also going to look into what REVO-KN-EVIL installed. The Hot Racing Kit
    Last edited by grizzly03; 05-07-2020 at 01:40 PM.

  24. #24
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Yeah I saw that post as well, looked like a decent upgrade, I may try to find a maxx brake camshaft too. The best part about it is just that it's all metal, no more plastic arm. My tmaxx actually has superb brakes, maybe the brass piston is a better performer than the weird piston on the jato...

    My only issue with the HR dual brake kit is the issue I have with the piston. That kit wouldn't solve that problem, I worry it would wear unevenly also, and just heat up like crazy. Plus it's $40 lol, I'll exhaust the cheap DIY options first, might as well.

    Would be cool if they made calipers with heat dissipation features.
    Thanks for the input man. I'm just finding it really hard to even find aftermarket aluminum brake parts from any major manufacturer, so I'm starting to look for DIY options.

    -Mike

  25. #25
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    My tmaxx actually has superb brakes, maybe the brass piston is a better performer than the weird piston on the jato...Plus it's $40 lol, I'll exhaust the cheap DIY options first, might as well...I'm starting to look for DIY options.
    The piston is square instead of being round, I'm thinking the extra leverage from the T-maxx arm setup. (I have the extra parts and this is what I'm switching to.)

    I know there is another option I have seen is where they have used some of the parts from the Traxxas revo rear dual disc kit part#5417.

    T-maxx metal arm setup with dual disc should stop mine quick. I also switched to a stronger servo.

    Here is why I need better brakes. The size difference of stock to the badlands on my Jato.


  26. #26
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Yeah wow I bet that'll eat up the stock setup real bad with the extra hard work the brakes gotta do to stop with the bigger tires.

    I dug out my classic Maxx, and it's in need of a new motor anyhow, so I pulled the brake shaft. About to trim it to fit and bend the wire linkage so it fits nicely.

    Jato on the work bench as we speak, I found a few interesting things.

    My metal brake calipers are not flat. Not bent, but manufacturing process problems. These are punch or dye cut, and if you look at your jato brake calipers, I bet you'd see the issue. Around the edges, the metal has deformed. One side is flat, and the other has raw machining artifacts. That was causing uneven wear on my disc. My other nitro calipers don't have this issue...

    Trying to investigate if this was also the cause of my piston not seating against the calipers right. May install calipers from my HPI firestorm nitro since they're very similar and worked well, and see if I get any changes.

    Seems like there's just a lot of things working against the braking system on the jato. The design, machining, and choice of materials seem to all be factors.

    I might be able to switch out a minor part and magically fix the brakes, but we'll see.

    -Mike

  27. #27
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Just test drove it, brakes seemed way better!

    -installed the modified T-maxx shaft
    -resurfaced the disc and metal calipers, got rid of the raw machining artifacts. Seated the calipers to the disc, and the caliper to the piston.
    -light grease on the shaft and piston
    -doubled up the fuel tube at the servo. (put fuel tubing over the existing fuel tubing, hard to do lol)

    Holy cow it immediately locked up the wheels with barely any brake pressure! and I did a couple full speed passes and then braking to a stop, and temp checked the brake parts.

    -250F at the disc maximum, right after a couple runs, averaged around 220F
    -150F at the metal calipers right after the runs, didn't measure this part again anymore

    This is much cooler than last time, which was around 300F at the disc. Although I didn't do multiple tanks back to back like I did on that day, but even with the brake parts up to temp, I could still easily lock the wheels. I toned down the end point adjustment on the brakes with plenty of overhead if they get real hot and fade some.

    All I used was the T maxx brake shaft, and the braking performance is so much better, night and day.

    The disc did start breaking in again, this time with no dark brown scorching, just a light brown ring. Wear looks a lot better.

    Next up is the bellcrank and she'll be perfect!

    -Mike

  28. #28
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    All I used was the T maxx brake shaft, and the braking performance is so much better, night and day.
    Awesome. Thanks for the update. I'll do this first before I purchase parts for dual disc. Now I really need to fix my carb!

    I also forgot that the steering posts also have bushings that should be replaced to bearings. I haven't done the bushing to bearing swap yet. I just did the Drag Link.

  29. #29
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    Are the bearings called out in Traxxas docs, or research yourself? For the steering?
    Slayer Pro, Slash VXL 4x4, Jato 3.3, Rustler 2.5

  30. #30
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slush View Post
    Are the bearings called out in Traxxas docs, or research yourself? For the steering?
    They list the bushing size. 4mmx7mmx2.5mm. Use the same size for bearings. Purchased mine from AVID.

  31. #31
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    Thank you, Sir
    Slayer Pro, Slash VXL 4x4, Jato 3.3, Rustler 2.5

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