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Thread: Rusty Bandit

  1. #1
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Rusty Bandit

    Greetings All!

    A little background on this bandit. I purchased this VXL about two years ago, and I have to say it is my favorite RC. I have been mainly stampeding as well as a few 4wd 1/8 scale buggies. This is the one rc that I am most confident will last through a session racing at my local outdoor track. I almost always break something on our P2des, which led me down a money drain trying to "bullet-proof" my P2des. The journey and end result is fun, however.

    So I started with a vxl bandit, and then installed some rpm arms and wheels/tires from a rustler. I don't think there is much difference between this rc and a rustler now...except for the gearing, and body mounts...? Anything else? With that said, I think I could say that the Ruslter is my favorite rc! Except that I really like the buggy look as it goes back to my childhood when I had a turbohopper.

    Here are a few pics. I recently installed the rpm shock tower and front bulkhead. And these green springs are too much spring...I need something softer.



    This was before the tower/bulkhead, just shows the overall.



    This is just a silly pic of the TBR wide basher front bumper...I think it was a stampede bumper.



    Question for you more experienced: I am thinking of installing the sl2sh rear arms that have some toe-in built into the arm...do you think this is a bad idea or good? I want to stick with the stock tranny case (as in no rpm.) I know the length is a bit shorter...maybe that would be a good thing? I could use some different wheels with some more offset, or I could get an extender? What do you think?

  2. #2
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    I went ahead and installed some rpm slash rear arms (which have the toe-in built into the arm.) They are a little shorter than the rustler/stampede a-arms but not by much. I used some offset wheels to compensate.



    The links were too short, however, so I was able to utilize some LUNSFORD titanium parts (I'm not sure why I like these so much...perhaps because they are titanium, or perhaps because they are an Oregon company...but I love 'em.) I was also used some rpm rod ends in blue.



    I also realized that I have the axles mounted in reverse...so I can collect some dirt.... doh! And I also realized that I have a bent shock shaft...double doh!


  3. #3
    RC Racer A1ArmedToaster's Avatar
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    I like the losi springs for the 22, they're a bit shorter but you can make that up with the plastic clips.
    I also recently put some lunsford links and rpm rod ends on my rustler but on the front, I have the rpm wide kit and I managed to bend each stock link they recommend going with so I finally decided to do something about it. So far I'm pretty happy with them for having a nice product and great customer service.

    Rustler VXL/ Merv (sold)/ Q32/ Ambush/ Kraton

  4. #4
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion on the springs. What do you mean by 22 in your reply? Edit: I see what model you are referring to.

    I like how the ball is so smooth in the rpm rod end, good luck bending those rods...I think they have a lifetime warranty.

    I just noticed I have a few big bore shocks I can steal from a stampede that is going to be morphed into a sl2sh...I should be able to get this rc out this weekend...we finally got some snow here in the PNW. Sooo excited! I took Boss Hog (1/8 th scale stampede,) out and it is a monster. I really want to see how this rusty bandit does with a stiffer front end and the new toe-in rear.

    Thanks again for the spring suggestion.
    Last edited by Synnergy; 02-22-2018 at 12:38 AM.

  5. #5
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    I made some changes to my "Rustified Bandit":



    There should be some weight advantage getting rid of the esc mounting plate and moving the esc weight forward:





    I was able to spend a few hours messing around last night, I wasn't able to make a lot of noise...so I had to "whittle" with a knife and scissors to get the holes cut out. I'm not done yet, as it is a work in progress. I after cutting out the esc slot in the body I had a piece left over that I made into a sun visor. There is a little decorative metal part that might offer some protection when it flips over. I may wrap the wires with a colored electrical tape...or just leave it alone...we'll see. It has a retro look like some kind of 90s vehicle.

  6. #6
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Okay, so some more changes to Rusty Bandit, her she sits currently:



    Here's a close up of the visor, I also replaced the bent shock shaft, and found some softer springs for the rear:



    Here's a close up of the esc and wires. It still needs some cleaning up, and I may get another body to perfect this idea:



    I also put some tie-rods on the a-arms and the shock tower...it really stiffened it up. I have no idea how it handles yet, as I am still working on it:



    The goal of this RC is to be my Meldrum Bar racer. The only track we have around here is an outdoor track that is pretty tough on RCs...there are a lot of tight corners and big jumps with short ramps. The track was destroying my stampedes (hence the never ending search for a bullet proof P2de, which I didn't discover.) Sometime I'll take some video or pics of Meldrum, and hopefully introduce some of the regulars that go there as well as introduce their RCs if they let me. Most of them use Sla2h. They may not be professional, but they practice a LOT at the track and they are consistently fast around the track.

    Adios for now.

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    Dude, give me your toys.

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    I'm very interested to hear how it handles after relocating the esc. I've always thought about adding weight to the front end but never got around to it. It's hard to keep the front end down over about half throttle running 3s.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

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    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gripdog7205 View Post
    Dude, give me your toys.
    That's funny, I've seen what you have done and thought the same thing...plus I have 5 children that have "first dibs".

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    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bibm5 View Post
    I'm very interested to hear how it handles after relocating the esc. I've always thought about adding weight to the front end but never got around to it. It's hard to keep the front end down over about half throttle running 3s.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
    I'll def report back once she sees the dirt. I do plan to only use 2s however. I think the weight advantage willbe pretty small, but it may help. Moving the batt forward would be good as well. I think it is a balance between weight over the rear axle for traction and weight forward for handling and jumping...who knows what is the ideal?

  11. #11
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synnergy View Post
    That's funny, I've seen what you have done and thought the same thing...plus I have 5 children that have "first dibs".
    Just two for me, wonder how you find time to do anything with 5. Congrats

  12. #12
    RC Champion NYbandit33's Avatar
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    the bandit and rustler definitely need more weight in the front. I've played around with a few different ideas (basically zipped tied various objects to the front shock tower). I am not sure the esc itself is a heavy enough object to do the trick but hey you never know. I'm curious to hear how it handles though and how balanced it feels. I would maybe look into some type of shield or protector for the ESC since its now exposed. or a Rustler body.
    Last edited by NYbandit33; 02-25-2018 at 10:59 PM.
    Monster Baja Sla2h VXL
    Rustler VXL

  13. #13
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gripdog7205 View Post
    Just two for me, wonder how you find time to do anything with 5. Congrats
    Thanks GD, one was enough...but my wife just can't keep her hands off me.

    I did get in a little hot water after messing with this bandit...it's surprising how long it takes sometimes.

  14. #14
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYbandit33 View Post
    the bandit and rustler definitely need more weight in the front. I've played around with a few different ideas (basically zipped tied various objects to the front shock tower). I am not sure the esc itself is a heavy enough object to do the trick but hey you never know. I'm curious to hear how it handles though and how balanced it feels. I would maybe look into some type of shield or protector for the ESC since its now exposed. or a Rustler body.
    Thank you for the suggestions! The rpm bulkhead has that little compartment to add weight as well...you might already know that, but I just discovered this when I installed it a week or so ago.

    Moving the esc was more of a cosmetic change...but I did get rid of the mounting plate/screws, as well as moving the esc weight forward. I was originally going to move the rx box to the front, but then I started thinking about the esc. I like how it looks like an engine (sort of,) sticking out of the front. I will be revisiting this idea with a new body once I figure out exactly what I want to do.

    Thanks again for the suggestions.

  15. #15
    RC Champion RazorRC22's Avatar
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    ESC up front looks cool and should help, although it's up a bit high.
    youtube.com/c/RazorRCvideos

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    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion Razor, I was thinking of lowering the whole ride by limiting the shocks with some tubing internally...that should help to lower it a bit. I've been thinking about a bunch of different ideas...from mid motor or even front motor-fwd, but I do want to keep it closer to stock. I guess I'm figuring out how much I want to change...or where is the stopping point. I see a different wing in the near future, new body, a better esc motor wire "pass through" with the body, as well as a diff upgrade and rear shock tower upgrade.

    I think learning how to adjust the suspension settings/shocks/gearing will get me where I want to be with this rc...

    Thanks again for the suggestion!

  17. #17
    RC Champion RazorRC22's Avatar
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    I'm not a fan of fuel tubing in shocks, because they eventually tear. Maybe just get some softer Losi springs.
    youtube.com/c/RazorRCvideos

  18. #18
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synnergy View Post
    Thanks GD, one was enough...but my wife just can't keep her hands off me.

    I did get in a little hot water after messing with this bandit...it's surprising how long it takes sometimes.
    Lol. My wife suggested I get a hobby a couple years ago. I rekindled the RC bug.

  19. #19
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    !Rusty Bandit update!

    I have been toying with the idea of making my own wing, however, I don't know how. So maybe later eh? I went to the LHS to see what they had as far as wings and wing-mounts and they had some revo parts. I liked the size/shape of the wing and so I bought it as well as the mount that goes with it.



    The RPM tower needed to be adjusted a bit on the top as well as the width. I would say about 3mm off the top, and then the width needed to be about 1.5 mm thinner. After some adjusting and fitting...the wing mount is fitting pretty nicely on the tower.

    I also cut off some of the lower arm pieces of the wing mount...as I figured the Bandit doesn't need all that extra support and weight.



    So there she is. The modification was pretty minimal on the tower. The wing mount is a lot more sturdy than the stock one. The mount has some adjustability built in. AND I think it is pretty cool to have a traxxas part there.

    The rear end of this RC is on my mind and I should have some progress this weekend. May the Force be with YOU!

  20. #20
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    I've been experimenting with different wing ideas. Using the stock bandit mounting system...here is a revo wing using the same stock bandit parts:



    Here is a modified revo wing mount with the revo wing mounted to Rusty Bandit:







    I also installed the rpm rear shock tower, and installed the proline shock mounting hardware kit...much better now that the screws are "captured"!




  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    Rusty Bandit

    Quote Originally Posted by Synnergy View Post
    I've been experimenting with different wing ideas. Using the stock bandit mounting system...here is a revo wing using the same stock bandit parts:



    Here is a modified revo wing mount with the revo wing mounted to Rusty Bandit:







    I also installed the rpm rear shock tower, and installed the proline shock mounting hardware kit...much better now that the screws are "captured"!



    Iím sure the mini figs are for me. Liking the look, but the white wheels are hideous on there.
    Last edited by Gripdog7205; 03-02-2018 at 10:28 PM.

  22. #22
    RC Racer TheBatman11's Avatar
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    I been following this one. +1 on liking the look. She looking good, i have that color scheme body on my rusty..

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
    Modded Traxxas Rustler VXL
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  23. #23
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    It was a big weekend for Rusty Bandit! The motor-esc wires got re-soldered...making it easier to get the body shell on and off. I don't have a picture of the inside, not that it's very exciting.



    The front end got a different bumper. This aluminum piece came from a stampede super chasis from FLM...I wasn't using it for anything else, and I thought it may add a bit of weight to the front as well us some "Bling". I wouldn't want to get run into by this rig flying through the air:



    If you look closely you'll notice some more bling with the steering, that's the Traxxas Al bell crank. The action is super smooth:



    The biggest project that got done was the on the rear end. I decided to just put together another transmission. I happened to be at the LHS and they had a black one! Super cool, I'm more of a fan of the black parts than the grey. Inside this tranny is a 100k filled HR diff. I'm really curious how it will handle with that fluid. I have a few others to compare it to, we'll see. Of course we went with the RR idler and the rest stock.





    Debating the different tranny cases has led me think that the stock case is one of my favorites. The plastic is stiff, lightweight and costs $8 at my LHS.
    I do like the other ones as well. I have a couple flm trannys as well as some rpm. But bash/racing the way we do here...I like the stock ones. I think the main concern is the motor mounting and maybe wearing it out with a brushless motor. But for $8 dollars that's hard to beat. The other concern is the toe in, but with those rear slash a-arms it is solved.

    Well, adios for now.
    Last edited by Synnergy; 03-05-2018 at 01:33 AM.

  24. #24
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Gripdog7205: Iím sure the mini figs are for me. Liking the look, but the white wheels are hideous on there.

    I'll probably end up doing another body and staining those wheels and painting the wing...I'm thinking of some bright colors, maybe even neon something...real buggy-like. The body and cosmetics are last for me...but what if I just did a whit body and whote front wheels?

    Question: can I stain with the rit dye with the tires already glued on?

  25. #25
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Update: This Meldrum Bar (local outdoor track) runner has become my favorite rc for this track. This rig has undergone some transformation since my last update. The shock towers are now carbon fiber and the shocks themselves are now powerstrokes. I am using the springs with the green mark on them for the top and lower spring. I also upped the shock oil to 50 wt. to see how that works on my track. I replaced the black bulkhead with a blue one as well so I could use the black on a different project.



    After messing up the body's window are for the battery plug, I decided to put a little metal mesh there to cover the hole. I have another clear body waiting, but I'm going to get as much life out of this one as possible.

    So right after I got done making these changes I took it out on the street in front of the house. I'm zippin around on 2s when the tx/rx loses its signal and rams into a curb at about 15mph. OUCH!! It bent the front bumper a little bit and slightly tweaked a camber link end...but no major damage and I think it is good to go. I'll watch that rod and see if it gets worse...it was really frustrating because it happened right out of the shoot. I want to switch my rods over to a different style soon, so that rod is on its way out anyhow. Adios for now.
    MTFBWY

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