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   AJS Machine - 360 Degree Aluminum Savage Work/Display/Tuning Stand  RATING:
 fit / finish  

AJS 360 Degree Aluminum Work/Display/Tuning Stand

We first reviewed the original style, "stationary" 180 AJS T-Maxx stand close to two years ago! Man...time flies when you are hooked on RC. Their high quality T-Maxx stand has been a BYT shop favorite since it first arrived at our shop. If it was not built so incredibly well, we would have worn it out by now.

The world of RC has progressed during the last two years and AJS Machine is no exception. Their latest product takes the stand we have grown to love and cherish to the next rotates! Let's take a look at their new 360 degree stand.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: AJS offers the 360 degree stand in several models to fit the entire Traxxas "Maxx" family of trucks, the REVO, all the Savage's and the AE Monster GT. As we already have a stand for our Maxx's, we thought our new Savage SS deserved the same treatment. The stand arrived promptly and the packaging was very nice. Each piece was bagged in a very heavy mil plastic bag to reduce the chance of shipping damage and then it was packed with a heavy wrapping paper. Once we got everything out of the bags and on the bench, we started putting it together. There are no instructions with the stand but assembly is so simple that an amoeba could do it with it's hands tied behind their back (don't e-mail us...we know they don't have hands). You get the idea. Included parts are the base, the pedestal, the cradle and all the required hardware. We also opted for the optional tool tray accessory. It has proven to be a big asset on our other stand and we wanted nothing less for our Savage.

QUALITY: The machine work on all the components of the stand is exceptional. The cradle is CNC milled out of 1/8" 5052 aluminum. The tool tray is CNC milled out of 6061 1/4” thick aluminum. The pedestal is constructed of thick wall aluminum tube.

The holes in the base plate where the pedestal hardware connects to the base are countersunk (see picture to the left). This keeps the stand flat and prevents the screw heads from munging up your bench top. Four screws are used to attach the pedestal to the base and create a rock solid mounting design. This could have been done with fewer screws but we are glad to see that AJS went with four.

The quality of the hardware is very good and large size screws are used for maximum holding power.

The simple fact that the stand rotates makes working on your truck a breeze. Remove two tires, loosen the thumb screw, give it a spin and remove the other two tires! When you need the truck to stay put, crank down the screw and it stays in place.

A performance boosting item of this rotating stand is a nylon bushing that's located between the pedestal and the truck cradle. The bushing minimizes friction and allows the stand to rotate very smoothly and without any irritating metal-to-metal noise. This could be an item that many companies might have omitted to reduce cost but not AJS. Little things like this is one of the reasons why AJS is the premiere RC stand manufacturer in the industry.

We also really like that you can lock the stand into place to keep it from spinning away from you while you are working on it. A simple locking screw goes into the pedestal and contacts the cradle shaft. AJS took the initiative to machine a groove in the shaft for the locking screw to turn into, eliminating any damage to the shaft which might hinder smooth turning of the cradle. SMART! The plastic thumb knob gives you plenty of leverage to lock the stand into place. In fact it takes little effort to keep the cradle from moving.

Just like the 180 stand, you can load the truck into the cradle either way; it is bidirectional. There is not a "front" or back" to the cradle. When you place the truck into the cradle, it is very stable. The cradle fits the chassis like a glove. Here's another great feature of the cradle. You can buy additional cradles separately and use the same base. So you can have a Savage cradle, a T-Maxx cradle, a REVO cradle and a AE MGT cradle that all use the same base/stand. Additional cradles are inexpensive at only $29.95 each. This is a big benefit for those of us who have several "flavors" of monster trucks.

The optional tool tray rotates along with the cradle. This is a nice feature as any hardware you remove from the left side of the truck, stays on the left side of the truck! Each side of the tray has numerous places for different size tools to rest and a sunken tray to toss hardware into. There are also two spots on each side of the tray to screw spare glow plugs into.

The base plate is large, thick and heavy. Even when we got our Savage spinning like a top, it was very stable and never once wobbled. Take a look at the short video we shot of the stand in action (the rattling noise you might hear is the wrenches jiggling around...the stand itself is very smooth and quiet). It shows how smoothly it spins and how stable it is. Another bonus is that the stand can be bolted to a work bench using 1/4-20 bolts (the bolts are not included for this but more importantly, the holes are predrilled should you choose to mount it to your bench). Just know that it is not necessary as far as stability goes.

AJS Machine 360 Stand - BYT Product Review Video

FIT / FINISH: The fit and finish of the various parts is superb. Everything lined up perfectly, as expected.

We did notice that the finish on the tool tray was not quite the same as the rest of the stand. It had less of a "smooth" look to it. This is not a problem really as much of the tray is hidden under the cradle and if you use the tray (which you will), it gets scuffed up anyway. We asked AJS about this and they told us they have been working on some different finishes to make their stands look even better than they already do. It is nice to see companies constantly striving to make their product better...even on something as simple as the finish!

APPEARANCE: The stand looks superb. In fact, it is now the best looking part of our shop (other than our trucks of course). Actually, our trucks look even better sitting on this stand!!

COST / VALUE: The 360 stand retails for $74.95 and the optional tool tray is an additional $24.95. AJS offers a "Pro Package with the stand and tool tray for $99.95. Do we wish it was a little bit less expensive? Sure. Can we debate the price when looking at the quality, construction and performance of the stand? Nope. The value is there and it is worth every penny. Don't forget that for only $29.95, you can buy an additional cradle to hold other truck models. They also offer a "universal" cradle that is flat in design and would work great for stadium trucks and buggys. The ability to use multiple cradles on the same base/stand adds additional value to the entire package.

THE VERDICT: This is truly a first class stand from top to bottom. It is no surprise that we absolutely love this stand. We love the stationary stand and never expected AJS to improve upon that design! Being able to rotate the truck to the exact position you want without removing it from the stand is a big time saver on wrenching time.

Things like tools and stands are often pushed down the "to buy" list for other go fast goodies. Stop moving this stand down your "to buy" list and make it your next purchase. In reality, it is an investment in your shop and your hobby. Not to mention it is a pleasure to use! Visit the AJS Machine web site to learn more this stand and other products they offer. You can also purchase this and other cool items (like Bead Lock Wheels) right on their site. Bonus, they also take PayPal.

Tell them that the guys at Beat Your truck sent you!

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