As a kid, I loved monster trucks. What little boy didn’t? When it came to the RC hobby and the desire to relive the monster truck experience at home, the only option around was the Tamiya Clod Buster. Other trucks followed soon after like the Tamiya Bull Head, Kyosho USA-1, Tamiya Juggernaut and TXT-1, but slowly over time, the once huge monster truck segment started to fade. It wasn’t until later when Tamiya relaunched the Clod Buster that things started to take off again. Even with the trucks coming in and out production and healthy aftermarket support, there was still one major frustration for every Tamiya owner. Someone needed to build a decent and durable wheel. Pro-Line, pretty well known for its lineup of tires and wheels, has answered the call. You can thank the recent solid axle monster truck craze, which has included a lot of homespun variations, for these new wheels. In RC, where there is demand, there will be supply–eventually. Well, here they are.
Pro-Line’s new Brawler monster truck wheel is a 2-piece glue on style wheel. The wheel is sold in stock and 17.5mm offset. Both offsets feature molded scaled lug nuts with bead-loc like details for a scale look along with a imitation locker which acts as a wheel nut cover. The wheels are a direct fit for the Pro-Line Destroyer 2.6” tires and others such as the stock Tamiya Clod Buster tire. They feature a creatively captured breather system for tire venting and all the hardware required to assemble. They are gray in color and made from a strong and durable Nylon Material.
- Brawler 2.6” Gray Wheels (2 wheels = 4 pcs)
- Black Wheel Nut Covers (2 pcs)
- M2.5 x 10 SHCS (20 pcs)
- M1.6 x 16 SHCS (4 pcs)
- Hex: 12mm
- Width: 3.97″ (101mm)
- Height (OD): 2.95″ (75mm)
- Rim: 2.6″ (152mm
Back view: stock on left shown – 17.5 on right
The wheels go together quite well and use (10) M2.5 x 10mm screws per wheel to bolt the two half’s together. The beadlock outer edge is purely cosmetic and these tires will need to be glued. Topping things off with a cool looking mock planetary wheel nut cover, mounted with (2) M1.6 x 16mm screws.
Take note when installing the two half’s together, the hardware should be installed opposite to each other and secured in a cross pattern. Using hand tools here is suggested, but a low-speed. low-torque electric screw driver is ok, but care must be given so you don’t over tighten the screws. You have 40 of these to install for one set.
Vent holes from the middle of the two half’s notched into the backside of the back wheel half allow the tires to vent. If additional holes are need for extra venting, drilling some old school vent holes isn’t a problem in the rear wheel half. Once assembled, they are able to be painted if you decide to change things up.
How do you judge a wheel on performance, it’s a just a wheel right? Not so fast. Companies like Pro-line do the homework and really look into what the consumer needs and wants. These wheels held up well against most bashing and free style type driving. They are light weight and strong because of the Nylon construction and inner wheel structure design. We used the Pro-line destroyer tires in this test because they mated well and kept things scale. After testing a thorough inspection was made and we found the 12mm hex held up and didn’t round out, even with some intentional hard driving. Sure, we had some bumps and scuffs along the way, but thats expected. Overall the wheels performed as promised and still looked great at the same time.
We tested both the stock and 17.5mm offset. We swapped them around between vehicles to see what really worked. Since most custom monster trucks today consist of either a Tamiya Clod axle or Axial AR60 style rig, we matched them up with these axles. They were a direct bolt on to the axles, and had no play or clearance issues with the hex and lock-nut. Using a tapered nylon lock nut is recommended.
You can see the difference in what the (stock) and (17.5mm) offset does to both vehicles. When the (stock) offset is on, the total vehicle measures at 14.5in. wide. When the (17.5mm) offsets are installed, the total vehicle measures at a wide stance of 16 inches. Note: no other wheel wideners are used here. With the 17.5mm off set wheels installed, the steering angle changes and gets sharper on both vehicles. Very noticeable on the AR60 axles. The overall footprint and handling was also improved, as suspected. The stock offset wheels still performed well on both axles, but when it came to the AR60 axle our STRC steering linkage did rub on the stock offset wheels. This wasn’t a problem before with my older stock clod wheels and stock Axial steering linkage. This doesn’t mean the 17.5mm offset is the winner here overall, but if you are building a AR60 Axial rig, the 17.5mm wheels are strongly recommended for best performance. Hopefully this helps illustrate the visual difference and that it does impact performance depending on what your going for.
When I first opened the bags to the wheels, and really got to see how everything went together, I was impressed. I did, however, not look forward to putting in 40 small M2.5 x 10mm screws, but at least you only have to do this once (unlike true bead-loc wheels). Other than that, Pro-Line once again has hit the mark, and when you combine them with the Destroyer tires released last year, things are looking up for the monster truck fans. I hope the segment sticks around for a while because it’s a lot of fun and brings me back to when it all began.