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  1. #1
    RC Enthusiast
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    New rustler VXL owner and RC enthusiast after some tips!

    Bout 20 yrs ago I used to race my Kyosho Rampage ST and have just this week bought a rustler VXL and have fallen in love with the RC game all over again.

    Been bashing round all week and am after a bit of advice...

    1. Seems the stock battery is very average... not ready to go to lipos yet, so have ordered a couple traxxas 5000mah 9.6v batteries and the relevant expansion pack for the chassis. Dumb or good move?

    2. Though I havent broken anything yet, I keep popping the shocks out of the shock caps and spilling shock oil everywhere. Will upgrading to aluminium caps avoid this? Or what should I do to avoid it (other than not crashing hah)?

    3. I've done far too many skids and donuts on concrete and my tyres are going bald already. Any suggestions on new tyres to get? 1 pair for off and another for on-road ideally.

    4. Are there any other must have upgrades I should be considering?

    Any advice or suggestions are hugely appreciated!

  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    If youíre happy with the shocks other than the caps, aluminum caps will solve your problem. I like JConcepts Glocs for the road, Proline Trencher SCís or Badlands(not the 2.8 version) for short grass, dirt, gravel. The 2wd Rustler is a great car, youíll love lipo batteries, so much more punch, and very little fade until there at low voltage cutoff. If you want larger tires 2.8 MT tires, keep
    In mind youíll need new axles and gear down in the pinion.

  3. #3
    RC Enthusiast
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    I wouldn't bother with NiMH either. Get LiPos. 2S in a Rustler is fairly tame but you'll get better run time and no drop-off. As gripdog said.

    3S is a riot! But you'll need a wheelie bar. You could run 3S in training mode then go full power when you want.

    Again, the standard shocks run ok with alloy caps but you could buy big bores for maybe twice the cost of the caps which is a decent upgrade.

    Apart from that RPM caster blocks are a worthwhile addition. If you break anything else, just replace with RPM bits too.

    Have fun!


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  4. #4
    RC Qualifier
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    I agree. Lipos are the way to go. Youíll find that the NIMH batts might give you good punch for a couple passes but will quickly fall off. If you are wanting speed, get a couple 3s batts. The voltage is a little more then the 9.6v batts, but it will have much better run times and also wonít fall off like the NIMH batts will after a couple passes.

  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    WELCOME TO THE FORUMS!!!

    1. Like the others have said, lipos really do offer supior performance, and are well worth the upgrade. The care and feeding of lipos really isn't that much more than NiMH, you really just need to learn about cell balancing. The chemistry has really come along way, and today's lipos are not any more dangerous that any other battery type.

    But, if NiMH are keeping the grin on your face, then keep running them until you want a little more. I do recommend getting a better charger, one that will charge multiple packs at once, and that will balance charge lipos.

    One common mistake with NiMH is running them down until your truck can no longer move. This heat stresses the pack and ruins it. These are not like the NiCD cells where they needed to be discharged all of the way so they did not get a memory. There will be a point in the run where the truck suddenly will only go about half speed at full throttle, this is the point where the pack has "dumped", and when you should stop running that pack.

    One more thing about more power (going to 3S or 8-cells), Traxxas RCs will take higher voltages, but were designed around 2S (7.4VDC), when you go to 3S (11.1VDC) you will start breaking things.

    2. The pig problem with Ultra Shocks (stock) are those shock caps, they flex under load (your RC landing), deform and lose contact with the threads, causing the cap to pop off. Aluminum caps are this solution. I would recommend replacing any shock body that has had its cap pop off, the threads of the body are compromised. Also, recommend putting in 40wt oil, it will make your suspension less twitchy.

    3. For on road, Proline Steer Fighters (only made in 2.2/3.0). For off road, Proline Gladiators.

    Also, for anything above 30mph, recommend balancing.

    4. At this point I would recommend getting a good set of hex drivers and a good charger.
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  6. #6
    RC Enthusiast
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    Thanks alot guys, appreciate all the Feedback.

    The NiMh batteries I've already ordered, so that was obviously a dumb move. I've been told lipos are very volatile and require a lot more care and attention hence avoiding them... but seems that may not be the case.

    As for the charger I bought the Traxxas 2972 ez-peak plus (dual charger) when I got the car - this charges lipo batteries as well, but will I also need a balancer as mentioned above?

    Shock caps are on the list to buy today, thanks! What would the big bore shocks achieve overall - better stability?

    Have seen these RPM c-blocks mentioned in alot of places, but am really unsure what upgrading them will actually enhance, can anyone explain?

    And lastly, re: replacing broken parts with RPM parts - is RPM a better quality brand, with better quality parts than Traxxas?

  7. #7
    RC Racer GotNoRice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OWDSKL View Post
    The NiMh batteries I've already ordered, so that was obviously a dumb move. I've been told lipos are very volatile and require a lot more care and attention hence avoiding them... but seems that may not be the case.
    Not really an issue. Don't puncture them with a knife or short-circuit them or anything like that and you generally won't run into any issues. The only real extra work is putting them into "storage charge" afterward. The batteries last longer when they are stored at ~3.85v per cell instead of fully charged (4.2v per cell) or fully discharged. I have Lipo batteries from 2011 that still work great, not doing anything special other than putting them into storage charge when I am done.

    Quote Originally Posted by OWDSKL View Post
    As for the charger I bought the Traxxas 2972 ez-peak plus (dual charger) when I got the car - this charges lipo batteries as well, but will I also need a balancer as mentioned above?
    If you are using Traxxas Lipos, it should balance them, as the balance wires are built into the main connector on those packs.

    Quote Originally Posted by OWDSKL View Post
    replacing broken parts with RPM parts - is RPM a better quality brand, with better quality parts than Traxxas?
    Main thing about RPM is the plastic that they use. It is a very soft plastic, almost a rubber/plastic hybrid. It has a lot of flex to it, so where a stock plastic part might snap, an RPM part will bend (and bend back) instead. This is almost always a good thing, but there are some that don't like the extra flex.

  8. #8
    RC Racer
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    Quote Originally Posted by OWDSKL View Post
    Have seen these RPM c-blocks mentioned in alot of places, but am really unsure what upgrading them will actually enhance, can anyone explain?
    Kingpins get bent with plastic c-blocks and stock c-blocks have been known to break I have broke a couple. RPM c-blocks being flexible plastic can still get bent kingpins but they may not break like stock. Aluminum c-blocks are a good upgrade in this case IMHO.

  9. #9
    RC Enthusiast
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    Gotcha!

    So I just grabbed;

    Couple lipo batteries
    Battery expansion kit
    Aluminium big bore suspension kit
    Aluminum c-block
    Aluminum steering block
    Wheelie bar
    Off and on-road tyres
    Tool kit

    Think that covers most of the suggestions (have to order in a front guard upgrade, so waiting on that)

    Now what's going to break 1st so I know what to add to my shopping list for next week? Haha

    Mrs is going to divorce me if she finds out how over the top I'm getting with this new hobby

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