Sharkus' Thunder Tiger ST-1 Home Page



This site is meant to gather helpful information about the TT ST-1 RC Truggy. Most of this information has been extracted from the 200+ page ST-1 owner's thread found on the forums.

Overview and Background

I just got started in the RC Truck hobby a few months ago. After seeing my younger brothers struggle with Nitro trucks in the past, I decided to start out with an electric truck. After some rearch I went with a brushless Traxxas Rustler XVL. This has been a great truck. Very fast, forgiving, and tough.
My brother recently purchased a RTR 1/8th scale Nitro buggy from ebay. We got together and had a short bashing session. I came away impressed and decided I was ready to take the plunge. While researching 1/8th scale buggies and truggies, I came across a short thread on Beat Your Truck about a little know truggy (at least in the USA) called the TT ST-1. Everyone who posted loved the truck, and had similar opinions: it is tough as nails and an excellent performer. Best of all, it comes RTR at around $300.

Getting Started

Where to Buy the ST-1 in the US:

A Main Hobbies - You can get the ST-1 RTR for $300 (+tax + s&h) here. Use the Live Chat feature on the home page and request the coupon codes. This will save you another $25.

Ultimate Hobbies - There has been reports of incredible sales at Ultimate Hobbies (on Christmas day the ST-1 was on sale for under $250).

Stuff You Need:

  • Receiver Battery Pack (6 volt flat pack recommended)
  • Glow Plug Ignitor
  • Nitro Fuel (20% Nitro, 10-15% Oil)
  • Fuel Bottle
  • Air Filter Oil (get this at your local motorcycle store, much cheaper)
  • Spare Glow Plug (McCoy #59)

Stuff You Will Probably Want:

  • Starter Box or Roto Start (keep in mind that the roto start should NOT be used until after break-in)
    • See following video for an example of a properly aligned starter box.
  • After Run Oil (ATF, Marvel Mystery Oil, or WD40 can also be used)
  • Temperature Gun
  • Differential Fluid of Various Types (1k, 3k, 5k, 7k, 10k)
  • Quality Set of Hex Wrenches

Pre-Run Checklist:

You should do a thorough inspection of the ST-1 RTR. Ensure all screws are tight and all parts are put together correctly (my ST-1 came from the factory with the front left a-arm installed upside down!)
It is highly recommended that you loctite all metal on metal screws and bolts and ensure all metal on plastic screws are tight. Using loctite when installing the wheels is especially important!

Oiling the Air Filter

You must oil the air filter (both inside and outside filters) before starting the engine for the first time. If not properly oiled your engine will suck dirt and particles and will die an early death!
Air filter oil is really sticky. The most enjoyable (and best way) to get a nice even coating of oil is to apply a bit of oil to the filter, then use your fingers to work it into the filter. Have some paper towels, soap and water handy to clean up!

Starting the Engine:

The TT ST-1 engine tends to be a little tight before it is broken in. This can put a lot of stress on the pull start. Here are some recommendations to loosen it up during the break-in process:
  1. "Gently" extend the pull start completely (you can use the flywheel on the bottom of the car to help). Mark the half-way point with a permanent marker. While pull-starting you should never pull past this mark.
  2. Heat the engine with a heat gun (or blow drier) before starting. 160 degrees is a good target temperature.
  3. Prime the engine by holding your finger over the exhaust opening and pulling the pull start until you see fuel enter the carb.
  4. Attach your ignitor and give it a good pull (or two or three) to start the engine! You may need a little throttle as well (have a friend help the first few times). If it is still too difficult to turn-over during the initial break-in, you can try slightly loosening the glow plug. Tighten it once the engine has started.

Here's a picture that shows how I like to start my ST-1. I use my right hand to pull the starter, while using my left hand to hold down the back of the truck. My left thumb feathers the throttle as necessary.

Breaking in the Engine:

I use this guide from RC Universe.

Tuning the Engine:

There are lots of good tutorials and videos around. I'll post my favorite(s) after I build up some experience and see which work best for my ST-1.

Advanced Topics

Richard Saxton's Steering Mod

This is one of the most popular mods for getting the ST-1 ready to race. Start with the following instructions and I will post my personal before and after photos when I complete this mod on my car.

Here are the parts required from A Main Hobbies (you can probably find these at you LHS as well):

Differential Fluids

The ST-1 has three differentials; front, middle, and rear. From the factory the differentials are lubricated with a bit of grease. While this is okay for playing and bashing, it is a good idea to fill them with differential fluid. There has also been reports of ST-1 RTR's missing grease in one or more of the differentials. This causes extra strain and wear of the differentials.

There are various viscosities of differential fluid available. The higher the number, the thicker the fluid. Thicker fluid causes more power to be transfered equally between booth wheels. Completely locking a differential is possible using a differential putty.

A good starting point for differential fluids seems to be 5k front, 10k middle, and 1k rear (as recommended by the ST-1 Pro instructions). However, there is no right or wrong answer. An in depth guide to differential setup can be found here:

You may also find useful to mix diff fluids (same brand recommended) to get the perfect weight.

Sealing the Engine

Sealing your engine can eliminate a lot of tuning problems. Often engines are difficult to tune because of small air leaks. I had noticeable leaks around my carborator in my engine. A very straight forward guide (with lots of pictures) to sealing a nitro engine can be found here:

Dremmel-ing the Head

The heat-sink on your engine should have notches in it to help cooling (like the following picture). If they don't exist you can add your own with a dremmel...

Waterproofing the Servos

Mud flaps

ST-1 RTR vs ST-1 Pro

Recommended Hop-Ups

Commonly Requested Replacement Parts

  • Glow Plugs: McCoy 59,
  • Bodies that Fit "Easily": JConcepts MGT Body, MBX5T Crowd Pleazer Body

Misc Information

Instructions and Build Manuals

  • ST-1 Pro Build Instructions: b&w, color (great reference for RTR owners!)

Where to Buy Parts Online: