(Picture from www.gorillamaxx.com)
When shopping for a chassis for your high-performance E-Maxx there are many factors to consider, including cost, performance-improvement, strength, weight-addition/distribution, configuration, compatibility and more. Of the many E-Maxx chassis available these days, the GorillaMaxx system is among the best you can get at any price.
The GorillaMaxx is not lighter than the stock plastic composite tub, but the handling improvements more than make up for the added "sprung" weight, and it is by no means "heavy". At just a couple ounces heavier than stock, the benefits far out-do the minor weight gain. Plus, you don't need a center skid plate, aluminum braces and whatnot, so it may turn out lighter than the popular hopped up E-Maxx configurations.
Exclusive to the GorillaMaxx chassis, the optional adjustable motor mount is a fresh new and nicely executed cross between form and function. Using the different motor mount positions, you can customize a look, mount a single or even several motors, or just mount the motors at the low position for optimum handling improvement.
The first thing I noticed is the quality and appeal of its packaging. Everything is nicely packed and separated so parts don't get scratched in transit. When you unfold the main chassis package label, you find underneath, straight-forward, simple, and professionally illustrated assembly/installation instructions, which hit even the smallest issues you'll experience. Nice.
The next thing I noticed is that all the parts fit together like a glove. No modifications are necessary to get a tight fit. I would hate to have to file any part of this beauty, and I didn't have to.
As I got further into the assembly little details jumped out at me, like the pre-drilled holes to access the steering servo screw, and the rugged sealed finish that resists scratching. Also, there are no swirl-marks from the cutting machine, and the slanted battery cell recesses are a nice and functional touch.
Now it's time to run it. I was happily surprised when I took the completed truck out to a favorite bashing spot and found that it was almost impossible to turn the truck over at any speed! The CG (center of gravity) is dropped so low that you can pull full-throttle turns without flipping over backwards or turning over sideways. Wheelies are fun though, and I found that with the right power-plant and traction it's still capable of pulling the truck up onto the rear bumper when you want it to, even on loose dirt. The short standard wheel-base not only allows for compatibility to your existing gear, it allows for quick turns and aerial leveling, along with acrobatics like you wouldn't believe!
Even though I bent and burned out several other truck parts pushing this chassis to the limits on this test day, the chassis shows no sign of strain and even minimal bottom plate scuffing.
With the amazingly low CG, I am able to push my suspension adjustments up to the highest lift settings for extreme wheel travel and terrain hold without rolling. Because of this, I think it's a perfect chassis upgrade for an enthusiast planning to run on a tight to medium sized race track in addition to every-day fun (bashing).
Also, although I began testing the chassis with Magnetic Mayhem brushed motors, the chassis begged to be pushed to the limits, so it was mated with a very powerful large Aveox brushless motor for further review. Woot! The lower-level of this deck makes a nice fit for some brushless controllers (the longer ones can find a nice seat on the upper plate near the motor or elsewhere), and there are pre-drilled slots for mounting straps, AND a perfect 40mm cooling fan-mount on the upper plate on the motor side. Cool!
The chassis does add about 1/4 inch of length to the over-all truck, so aligning body mounting holes may take some adjustment. If you run after-market shock towers like SuperMaxx you may just need to flip your towers around to put the mount position on each tower facing inside to fit your body. Another trick I discovered is... the longer your body mounts are, the closer they are to each other; try moving your body mounts up a tad to meet your original body holes. It's also close enough that a minor bend of the body mount would work as well.
With its slick 7-cell side-by-side slots on each side, you can easily push the power to the limits and the compatibility with your existing parts make it an easy investment. There is no need to buy proprietary drive shafts. Don't forget that this chassis system eliminates the need for additional chassis braces, servo skid plates and a transmission (center) skid plate, so that's less money (and weight) you'll sacrifice for a very complete ultra-truck.
Overall, I feel this is one great chassis system that also leaves plenty of room for creativity if you crave personalization. It's exciting when fresh ideas like this come around.