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  1. #1
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    Talking Rebuilding the Rustler

    Hey guys!

    It has been FOREVER since I have posted any pictures here in the Rustler forum. It has mostly been because of my incredibly busy schedule that has stopped me from playing with my R/Cs as much as I used to. Some of you who have been here for a while (since 2006-2008ish) will know that I used to love posting action shots and making videos. While I cannot promise that I will be making a new video anytime soon, I can promise that I should have a few actions shots in the near future; provided that I can get some good ones...I might be a little rusty.

    At any rate, I am creating this thread because I just overhauled my Rustler over the past week or so. After several nights of tearing it down, cleaning it, making a few trips to the LHS, and reassembly, she is done. You'll find a picture or two at the bottom of this post of what it looked like before. The pictures do not do it justice; it was A LOT dirtier that it looks below. I haven't taken this truck completely apart since sometime in 2005-2006 when I did some transmission work.

    For those who do not know, here's a little background on the truck. She started life as a Bandit kit (yes, a kit!) back in 2001. I played with it like that for a couple of years, but back in 2003-2004ish I did a complete overhaul. I installed a CFR lexan chassis, did a wide front end mod, installed a Novak SS5800 brushless system, and did several other things. Other than a few minor upgrades here and there, some tires and wheels, etc., she hasn't really been messed with for the past 7 years.

    With that being said, don't think that I never drove it! Up until the past few years, this truck got driven multiple times a week when the weather permitted (I have almost a dozen R/Cs, so I have a few to choose from). Sadly, I have driven it maybe a dozen times in the past 2 years. (I know, I know...shame on me...but I've been busy!!!)

    Anyway, to the more recent stuff...my recent tear down was basically just for cleaning and replacing anything bent/broken that I could find. I found 2 bent shock shafts (replaced with TiN shafts), a couple of bent suspension pins, a cracked rear a-arm mount, a few crusty bearings. While I was at it, I rebuilt the shocks, diff, and transmission.

    Other than that, I just cleaned it really well. Since there was a considerable amount of dried on mud/clay, I did it in my kitchen sink. (A note to the wise, ask your significant other/parents/etc before washing R/C stuff in the sink. Thankfully, my fiancee was fine with it so long as I cleaned it out afterwards!)

    In the end, the truck looks almost like new again (besides all of the scratches); everything seems to be running smoothly. The final thing I need to do is adjust the steering endpoints and she'll be ready to go.

    I don't have any clean pictures yet, but I will get some soon.

    Take care,


    -cooleo

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    (PS: That's a mini work bench that I just made out of scrap 2x4's last week. I don't have enough room for my big one where we live right now, so that one is still at my folk's place. This bench is about 1/6th the size of my big one that I built back in 2005 for R/C purposes.)
    Last edited by cooleocool; 05-12-2011 at 05:01 PM.
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  2. #2
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    Here are a couple of shots of her all cleaned up...hopefully I can get some outdoor shots some time this weekend before I take her out for a run!

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    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  3. #3
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    ahhhhh...... I feel cleaner looking at the 2nd set of pics

    thanx and looking forward to more updates and videos etc.
    Ever Evolving Rustler

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. pavmentsurfer's Avatar
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    Wow... there are some old school tricks on there. Where is that bumper from? And a lexan chassis... thats sweet. I cant believe it can withstand the abuse but clearly this baby has some miles on it. This is really a testament to the old saying "if it aint broke, dont fix it".

    Welcome back around here Cooleocool. I for one will look forward to some more pics.

  5. #5
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    Old school indeed. The bumper is a modified RPM E-Maxx bumper (cut part of it off and flattened the ends out) that I bolted to a factory bumper. The rear bumper/skid plate is off from an old Associated nitro. She definitely has a lot of miles on her, that is for sure. I was thinking about this yesterday, though...I can't think of many parts on that truck that are original. The bulkhead and the front shock tower are the only two parts that have been on that truck since 2001. The transmission case was original until I had to replace it because of that cracked a-arm mount. A majority of the parts were installed in 2004 when I did the complete overhaul.

    I didn't get a chance to get any more pictures yet, I had another busy day. The weekend is shaping up to be another busy one too, so we'll see.
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  6. #6
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    Well the weather cleared up, so I thought I'd get a few good pictures outside before she gets all dirty. I still haven't driven it yet, but hopefully soon! I'll also try to get an upgrade list put together for those who are curious.

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    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  7. #7
    RC Qualifier MetalMilitia206's Avatar
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    Very nice cooleo! That was a very cool project. I remember the last overhaul. It's nice to see her all cleaned up and ready for the summer months!
    RCM Rustler
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  8. #8
    RC Champion NYbandit33's Avatar
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    what kind of front bumper is that you got there?
    Monster Baja Sla2h VXL
    Rustler VXL

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMilitia206 View Post
    Very nice cooleo! That was a very cool project. I remember the last overhaul. It's nice to see her all cleaned up and ready for the summer months!
    Thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by NYbandit33 View Post
    what kind of front bumper is that you got there?
    A modified RPM E-Maxx bumper bolted to a factory bumper.

    Well guys, I took her out for a couple of runs yesterday evening--she runs and drives great! I drove on a mix of grass and pavement and was running it hard and fast. My tired old Ni-Mh packs were pushing it past 12 minutes of run time, but they felt a little flat and weren't taking the mAh they can/should. They probably need a few more cycles to "wake up." Their peak voltage was also rather low, but I noticed that the voltage and mAh was slightly higher when I charged them after the run. Given that they have been used a total of a dozen times in the past 2 years tops (for all 8 of my Ni-Mh packs), they are probably just a little sleepy from not being cycled.

    I still haven't made the jump to Li-Po yet, but have started doing some research into possibly getting a pack (or two). I also might look into getting back into the racing scene, being that there are at least a couple of tracks in my area. But then again, I don't know how my SS5800 system would fair against some of today's newer brushless systems, so we'll see. Who knows, maybe I'll stick this SS5800 in my Stampede and get a faster system for my Rustler. I'd consider the Traxxas VXL system, but at the same time, I'm quite partial to Novak. I've been using primarily Novak ESCs over the past 11 plus years, and they have rarely let me down (with the exception of an XRS ESC that smoked on me, but I believe that was my fault).

    At any rate, we'll see what happens. I'm going to try to get a couple more runs in today and try to wake up my battery packs. I also need to play with my gearing a bit, as my ESC was rather hot after both runs yesterday (and it wasn't all that hot outside, either). She's currently set at 16/84, which should be a great gearing for my setup, but I'll just have to keep playing with it...
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. nitrostarter's Avatar
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    Don't rule out Castle Creations or Tekin. Both ESC's are extremely nice and full of features to tune for racing or bashing. CC doesn't have sensored motors bowever the MMP will run a sensored.


    And IMHO, Hyperion chargers are the way to go when switching to LiPo...
    Emaxx- truggy/CD conversion...

  11. #11
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    I won't use CC products. Traxxas or Novak till I die...when I find something I like, I stick with it. I suppose I'd consider LRP, too, since I have had such great luck with their products as well.

    Thanks for the charger suggestion, but I already have that taken care of. I bought two Duratrax Onyx 230 chargers 3 years ago in preparation for going Li-Po. I still need a couple of balancers, but I have those picked out, too.

    Thanks though!
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleocool View Post
    I won't use CC products. Traxxas or Novak till I die...when I find something I like, I stick with it. I suppose I'd consider LRP, too, since I have had such great luck with their products as well.
    Why not Castle Creations?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-RevoVXL View Post
    Why not Castle Creations?
    I'm guessing...

    ...when I find something I like, I stick with it.

  14. #14
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    Thank you, hailjack.

    Well I took her out for a couple more runs today. Apparently our dog loves to chase it around the yard...this was quite entertaining for both me and the dog! Also, I have come to the conclusion that my fiancee cannot drive an R/C car to save her life, but that's OK...she just needs some practice! (The problem was, I had the ESC set to Sportsman mode, so the top speed was limited, and she still had issues!!!) She wants a truck for her to drive with me now, though. She really likes the Stampede, so I think the next vehicle I rebuild of mine will be my E-Stampede. She wants a pink body, though...

    But overall, the truck ran well. The ESC still got a little warm for my liking, but not too bad. I will play with the gearing one of these days. I'm planning on making one more run with it later today, that'll put it at about an hour of run time since the rebuild. Then I'll go through and double check everything.

    So far, my plan is to install this brushless setup in my Stampede and I'll get a new (faster) one for my Rustler. Right now, I'm leaning Traxxas.
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  15. #15
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    Well guys, I took her out for a photo shoot run today, but none of the pictures I snapped were really worthy of posting. It has been quite some time since I have done any photo runs, so I'm a little rusty at driving with one hand. My backyard is also rather boring (I need to build a few jumps), so the pictures that did turn out were boring and uneventful. I ended up playing in my fiancee's garden patch that's waiting to be tilled. Got the truck all nice and dusty, but that was nothing some compressed air couldn't fix.

    Still haven't played with the gearing at all yet, but maybe soon. It doesn't thermal, even after almost 20 minutes of running in this hot weather...but it still gets a little hot for my liking.

    Here's the hop-up list:
    SS5800 Brushless System geared 16/84
    Futaba 3PM Radio
    CFR Lexan Chassis (no longer in production)
    Cirrus CS-60 Metal Gear Servo (no longer in production)
    HPI Ford F-350 Body
    HPI Geolandar Tires on RPM Talonz 3-spoke chrome wheels
    RPM spring retainers
    RPM gear cover
    RPM Bearing carriers
    MIP CVD's
    Aluminum idler gear
    Traxxas Big Bore shock caps
    TiN shock shafts
    Wide front end with Traxxas rear arms
    Modified RPM E-Maxx front bumper
    Hexcrews allen screws.

    The only parts that I can think of that have been on the vehicle since it was new are the bulkhead, front shock tower, and the top gear shaft.

    EDIT: Oh yeah...I have decided to stick with this BL system for the time being. After looking around, I really don't see the point in upgrading right now. The truck is plenty fast (fast enough to get many comments at the park) and still runs like a champ. The only issue I had with it recently was a loose sensor wire at the ESC plug, but that was an easy fix.
    Last edited by cooleocool; 06-05-2011 at 12:28 PM.
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  16. #16
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    How's it going cooleo? I miss seeing pictures of your rustler. You are one the first members to ever run brushless if I remember right. You should post more. Its sad to see some of the advice being given out. Back when I joined cooleo was the "go to" guy when it came to rustlers.

  17. #17
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    What was your account back then?

    I definitely wasn't one of the first, but I was one of only a handful of member running a bl setup at the time. Back then, the go-fast guys were running Hacker systems. Then Novak came out with their SS5800 system, and I got that when it was still relatively new. It's amazing how much a little time has changed things. I used to have one of the faster trucks on the forum, now I could probably be spanked (in a straight line) by a stock truck! And if someone spent as much money today as I did on that Novak system, they could have a nice bl setup and battery!

    I'd post more, but life has me busy! And when it comes to my limited free time, I have way too many hobbies (R/Cs, biking, kayaking, boating, etc., etc., etc.). There just isn't enough time in a day!
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  18. #18
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    my former account is aussiek2000.

  19. #19
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    Ah yes...that's a name I haven't seen in a while.
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  20. #20
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    There are a lot of us "RC turnbuckles" that haven't been on in a while. Many of us went to another site where there is more comradery and less drama.

  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. asheck's Avatar
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    And if someone spent as much money today as I did on that Novak system, they could have a nice bl setup and battery!
    Shoot, I paid $250 for my Novak system, in 2004. Now you can get a better brushless, lipo's , charger and a new 2.4 radio for that price. Funny thing is with all the new stuff, I still have basically the same Novak motor in my Pede.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by asheck View Post
    Shoot, I paid $250 for my Novak system, in 2004. Now you can get a better brushless, lipo's , charger and a new 2.4 radio for that price. Funny thing is with all the new stuff, I still have basically the same Novak motor in my Pede.
    We're in the same boat, but mine was a little less because I had a coupon (Jan. 2004)! It's hard to believe how much things have changed! The good thing is that things are more affordable these days allowing others to get involved who otherwise wouldn't have.

    I'm hoping to get the Rusty out for one more run today (if it cools down outside, that is). The other night I raced a little moped on the street...the moped driver wasn't very excited when I beet him down the block! Maybe he'll be back for a rematch?
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  23. #23
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    Well I broke my first part in about a couple dozen run since the rebuild...a caster block pin. Yeah, yeah I know I should install some aluminum caster blocks and some e-clip pins, but I just don't break many caster blocks! I've taken out maybe one or two on this truck over all the years I've had it! I ended up just replacing it with another screw pin.

    This happened when I was out jumping curbs in front of my house...I went just a bit too far out from the sloped part in the driveway and SMACK! I was surprised that was all that bent...it was a pretty hard impact.

    In other news, all of this street driving is taking a toll on my tires. I'm tempted to put a set of street tires on there, but I love the versatility of all-terrain tires like the Geolandars. When I run at home, I'm mostly in grass and on the street/sidewalk. I have my Gladiator tires for the park and off-road running. We'll see what I end up doing...in all reality, I'll probably just pick up some fresh all-terrains and new wheels. (And on that note...I'm amazed at how well the chrome on those wheels has held up. I clear coated them back when they were new...that was a good life choice!)

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  24. #24
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. brushlessman's Avatar
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    Looking Good! Nice to see some of the novaks still exist.

  25. #25
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. bashin Maxxer15's Avatar
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    Hey, good to see your breaking the R/C's back out! Gotta say, that Rustler is still my favorite truck in your collection.
    It's a Jeep thing, you wouldn't understand.

  26. #26
    Marshal ksb51rl's Avatar
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    Wow, what with the forum update, they'll let anybody back in.
    Alt-248 on the number pad =

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by brushlessman View Post
    Looking Good! Nice to see some of the novaks still exist.
    Don't know how I missed this before, but thank you! Yup, the Novak is alive and still kicking!
    Quote Originally Posted by bashin Maxxer15 View Post
    Hey, good to see your breaking the R/C's back out! Gotta say, that Rustler is still my favorite truck in your collection.
    Hey, long time no see! Thanks! It is a pretty cool truck, isn't it?
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

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