Pro-Line Racing Ambush RTR Scale Crawler (1/25 scale) Review

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Pro-Line racing has, and is still best known for being the leading and largest tire manufacturer in the RC industry . They have provided winning products for years. In recent times, they have branched out beyond the tire and body market and brought us some great performing vehicles that have been based on existing platforms. This time around, they really exceeded expectations and designed a mini crawler.  It’s not alone in it’s mini crawling scale class, but it is certainly unique from pro-line. Here is more on the new 1/25th scale Pro-Line Ambush Scale Crawler RTR.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

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>Pro-Line 3-Ch 2.4GHz radio and ESC (ESC/RX combo) Open 3rd Channel Port and batteries
>2S 350mAh Li-Ion battery w/USB charger *(5 volt/2.1 amp USB power port req)
>4-wheel drive
>Full Bearings
>Brushed Motor
>Remote selectable speed control (low/med/high)
>Locked differentials (worm gear design)
>Detailed scale lexan body with scale interior
>Double plated steel ladder frame chassis & center skid plate
>Real steel leaf spring suspension and internal spring dampers
>Miniature Pro-Line Flat Iron Tires & Denali Wheels
>T-style mini wheel wrench
>Extra decal sheet with changeable green and orange theme
>Part# 4004-00
> Fully Detailed Manual (See HERE)

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Length: 7.8″ (198mm)
Width: 3.75″ (95mm)
Wheel Base: 4.52″ (115mm)
Weight: 0.68lbs. (308g)

 

FEATURES

 

Body
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-The body is made from lexan (we know it’s bronco inspired) and has a scale plastic roll cage and driver head figure. The optional green and orange theme decal sheet is a nice touch for those looking for some separation identity on the trails, since they all come out of the box with the infamous Pro-line “blue” decals.  The detail Pro-line put into this mold is pleasing in it’s size and you can tell they didn’t cut any corners in development when it came to the new mini Ambush look. The body mounts with Velcro.

 

Tires/Wheels
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-The tires are molded in the Flat Iron tread and are per-mounted to the appropriate Denali wheels. No foam inserts found here however, which is good because foam in a tire this size would be too rigid and have less flex.  The wheels are hex mounted and cross pin driven, care should be given when wrenching on the Ambush, things are relatively microscopic compared to working on a full size 1/10th crawling rig. The hardware in tiny.

 

Chassis
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-The chassis is made from steel and is configured in a ladder type design and about 3mm think. It features dual plates for the chassis rails on each side chassis rail. While being small, the chassis is solid and has little flex. The middle cross supports are also metal and made from brass. However the frame end caps/supports are made from plastic and incorporates the front and rear bumper as a one piece design at each end.

 

Axles
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-The axles are solid axle design and made of plastic and feature locked differentials and operate under the worm gear design. Having worm gear differentials helps keep the vehicle platted when going over an obstetrical and doesn’t “roll” off or free wheel. Knowing this in advance is important because you really can’t freely “push” the vehicle from a static stop by hand. The torque drive you achieve from a worm gear is impressive and I can see why Pro-line went with this design for something so small. Because it’s practical and works.

 

Suspension
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-The suspension features full steel triple leaf springs and shackles on each corner with internal sprung plastic dampeners. The leaf springs do hinder some articulation, but in a scale mini crawler like this we weren’t looking for inches of movement here, but enough to get the vehicle over the terrain ahead. For the most part, it drives just as suspected with the design and similar to most other larger leaf sprung vehicles.


Drive train

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– The center transmission has a 2 gear internal with outer pinon and spur gear (with cover) drive setup. The transmission is driven by a mini 190 inspired sized motor. No slipper clutch here though. The transmission is all protected by a under chassis steel center skid plate.

 

Electronics
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– The electronics setup on the Ambush consists of the combo ESC/2.4Ghz receiver and a 3 wire micro servo for steering.  It also has an open 3 pin servo port for an optional 3rd channel. This is great for what I can only assume at this point would be for lights of some kind. I’m not really sure what else would fit, but it crossed my mind that someone might talk about a winch. But only time will tell when the hardcore mini crawling guys come up with something.

 

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PERFORMANCE:
Taking the 1/25th scale Pro-Line Ambush Scale Crawler out from the indoors did prove to be a lot more fun than I had anticipated. Keep in mind, we are used to larger 1/10th scale crawlers around here, and while the 1/25th Ambush crawler was designed for indoors, the vehicle held up great outside. You just need to adjust your perception of terrain that the rig can tackle.
Grass:
Running in the Grass was great until I hit some thicker patches, but being realistic with surrounds this wasn’t a big surprise. The shorter stuff it buzzed through with ease.
Crawling – Gravel/Mud:
When it came to gravel hills and mud sections, it handled the terrain well, much  like a larger leaf sprung scale crawler. The mini Flat Iron tires hooked up well and the rig stayed well planted thanks to the worm gear differentials.  I did notice during some free style sections that the Ambush crawler was a little top heavy.  Over all it was easy to get into a groove and chug along. When it comes to RTR vehicles, Pro-line has done well with the mini Ambush. The supplied 2.4Ghz radio and ESC combo is well put together.  One of the coolest feature of radio system is the transmitter does have a “on the fly” speed selection switch for low,med,high speeds. While the difference in selectable speeds wasn’t a big difference, it was certainly noticeable when going from low to high. If you do have the transmitter speed switch in low, the first 1/4 throttle is really gentle, this was handy for challenging obstacles. The open 3rd channel is a nice touch. I would like to remind some that we don’t suggest plugging anything too over loading into this 3rd channel.

FINAL ASSESSMENT:
During the early new product launch on social media, Pro-line’s live feed was all a buzz with people tuning in and seeing the Ambush for the first time and was able to comment and ask questions about the Ambush live with Pro-line staff. They did discus a few key points. The 1/25th Ambush crawler isn’t waterproof, and that seem to be kind of a buzz kill when it comes to crawling outside. But it is 1/25th scale and lets be honest about purpose and fun. I think the waterproof idea is easy to dismiss on a rig this small. You simply don’t “need” it because of it’s size and real world applications. On a high note, they are looking at more wheels/tires combinations and body options. Just nothing is on the immediate horizon. I’m not surprised since this is a new territory for Pro-line to be in, maybe not the RTR market but the mini crawler market. In either case I am excited to see what they do come out with next, Pro-Line has been on the top of their game lately in last couple years with many different products, but it isn’t everyday that the world’s largest RC tire manufacturer sends out a completely new designed RTR product like the mini Ambush crawler. They clearly hit a home run here as a whole, if the mini segment holds up.

MAINTENANCE/REPAIRS:
During the review and testing, we broke nothing. We came close a couple times on some rough landings outside, but it came out OK. I have talked with a couple other early drivers of the 1/25th Ambush and was told the leaf springs may be a weak point depending on what your doing. We haven’t see this first hand, but though it might be important to mention because we have had similar troubles with fuller sized 1/10th scale vehicles with leaf springs. CAUTION: When you are working on a rig this small, the tools are limited to only a couple hex tools and needle nose pliers. Having said that, I strongly suggest working on a pit mat with an edge or a magnetic parts tray so parts and hardware don’t roll away. The parts on 1/25th scale Ambush Crawler are super tiny in comparison to what you would normally be used to working on with larger scale vehicles.

Hot
> 2.4GHz technology.
>Isolated, standard micro steering servo
>Open 3rd channel.
>Great details and scale look.
>Fit and finish of the assembly was clean and easy to work on.

Not
> No USB (120v) power port adapter included.
> The T-handle wrench in the box is a great idea, but ours rounded out during the review when trying to remove the tire for illustration purposes. Using a proper metal nut driver is recommended.

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LINKS
Pro-Line Racing

 

 

 

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Filed Under: FeaturedReviewsRock Crawlers and Scale

Christopher Oswald About the Author: Christopher is our Senior Editor and a professional automotive technician by trade, he has been a RC enthusiast for over 20 years and has hobby store experience under his belt. He has closed off many racing seasons with top podium finishes. His favorite is the Canadian National Championship series. He resides in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Good old fashioned competitive racing, scale crawling and some Sunday afternoon parking lot bashing is just some of his favorite ways to enjoy RC. When he isn’t writing, racing or bashing, Christopher spends his time with his wife and kids. Christopher also finds time to contribute other articles and RC tech on a variety of topics around the web. Christopher has his own personal RC project showcase website “R/C Modz Full Throttle” where you can find some of his own personal custom rigs. You can also follow Christopher on Twitter for up-to-date project's and review notifications at @RCTrkStp_Chris If you ever have any questions or comments, email Christopher at rctruckstopchris@gmail.com

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  1. James says:

    The tires come pre-glued and I want to add weights. Do you know if I soak these in acetone to release the glue, if the entire wheel and tire will be dissolved in the process?

  2. Hey James,
    I know acetone is a popular tire remover, in this case I would use extreme care with wheels this small. The plastic wheel is pretty small and acetone does weaken plastic and I would be nervous in doing this. Also, if it’s weight you want to add I should point that the inside air space of these tires isn’t a lot and weight would largely restrict any tire deflection/deflation when crawling.
    I would try and open only the inside tire bead and perhaps try squeezing in small lead pellets. I wouldn’t “soak” these wheels/tires.

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