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  1. #1
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    Rustler Track Build

    Hi all. New to the forum. I have lurked around and used it for research purposes for a couple years, but decided to now sign up, mainly because I have decided to build a budget club racer out of a stock Rusty. I also have a Slash VXL 4X4, but the club I will be running with, at least as of last year, didn't run a SCT class. And, I have some other family matters going on in my life right now that is absorbing most of my income (separation, child custody battle, and so on), so the budget to build a rig is strained, hence picking up a used Rusty, and having the next several months to slowly acquire parts and pieces and build it up before the spring/summer season kicks off.

    I have read several threads on here, as well as the ultimate rustler page, though that may be a bit dated now, and I am taking inspiration from several builds here, including but not limited to RazorRC, FlyingTigerDad, and Synnergy's carbon fiber build.

    My current list of upgrades is RPM wide front arms, RPM rear arms, RPM trans case, RPM bulkhead (although I am wondering if I should go aluminum there). I already have a Castle system for it. I will be doing aluminum parts on all 4 corners. Have not yet decided on which shocks and towers. Also debating between the ball diff, or a sealed oil diff.

    Due to budget constraints, I will be sticking with the stock chassis, at least for awhile. I looked at the G10, alum, and C.F. options out there, but for now I will stay stock, and put that money elsewhere. So my question there is, to "Jangify" the chassis, or just leave it as is? Is there really that much to gain there? I was thinking maybe doing a "mild Jang". Use it as a baseline, but not go so extreme. Our track does have a couple fairly tall jumps, and don't want to make it too weak.

    TIA, and ideas and inspiration are welcome!
    Last edited by Montana_JB; 01-15-2019 at 09:45 AM.

  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Howdy Neighbor!!!

    The Rustler really has not changed in years, so most of the Ultimate Rustler page is current.

    If you plan on racing, recommend getting rid of the RPM hardware and going back to stock. RPM makes wonderful stuff for bashing, but it is a lot more flexible than stock parts are and causes all kinds of slop in your steering and suspension, this makes evaluation and tuning a nightmare. The only thing I would consider keeping is the transmission case. After going back to stock parts, I would upgrade the bulkhead and carriers to aluminum (Traxxas, HR or STRC).

    Three big keys to racing...
    1. Only one or two changes to your truck at a time (other than a complete rebuild). Any more than that and it becomes very difficult to see what effects to performance the changes you made had.
    2. Track time... The more time you have on the track learning your rig, the better.
    3. Consistency. Speed is great, but speed has a tendency to put drivers in to the wall rather than winning the race. Consistency wins races, your ability to get around the track without crashing.
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  3. #3
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    The only thing RPM other than the case I plan on using is the arms. Already intend on doing the Aluminum castors, hubs, and bearing carriers all around. Have the STRC ones on my sl4sh, and very happy with them. Was gonna do the RPM bulkhead as well, but I am not completely decided there. Thinking maybe aluminum would be better there as well. And trying to decide what to do with the chassis. Gonna use the stock one for now, to keep it in budget, but whether or not to cut it up Jang style, though maybe not so extreme, or just leave it as is.

  4. #4
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    I could keep the stock arms, but I like the idea of the RPM wide arms, for the sake of being able to use the same wheels all around. But maybe my thinking is wrong here?

    Edit: I have not actually started the build yet. As of now, I am just starting to acquire the parts and pieces.
    Last edited by Montana_JB; 01-15-2019 at 12:56 PM.

  5. #5
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Whatup Montana!

    I'm excited to see what you do. I agree about the RPM arms...they are really flexible. You should definitely check out the protrac arms. I know that Razor and FTD like 'em. The length of those rear arms are in this order: 1. The P2de/R2stler stock rear a-arms 2. Protrac sl2sh rear and 3. RPM P2de/R2stler. As in the stock are the shortest and then the protrac and the longest are the RPM. With the protrac arms you have equal width front and rear, so you COULD rotate tires...but usually the front has different tires than the rear (being a 2wd.) FWIW

    What kind of rules do you have to follow? Are there limitations on motor/esc? Those wide rpm a-arms might be too wide?

    FTD (pretty sure about this,) is going to recommend the aluminum front bulkhead. One thing about the RPM bulkhead is that it has a 'recessed' area that allows you to add weight...but it might not be enough.
    MTFBWY

  6. #6
    RC Champion RazorRC22's Avatar
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    If you're running a high-powered motor (anything more than a 10.5t 2-pole), I'd stay away from the ball diff. It can't hold up to 4-pole or low turn 2-pole motors IME.
    youtube.com/c/RazorRCvideos

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synnergy View Post
    Whatup Montana!

    I'm excited to see what you do. I agree about the RPM arms...they are really flexible. You should definitely check out the protrac arms. I know that Razor and FTD like 'em. The length of those rear arms are in this order: 1. The P2de/R2stler stock rear a-arms 2. Protrac sl2sh rear and 3. RPM P2de/R2stler. As in the stock are the shortest and then the protrac and the longest are the RPM. With the protrac arms you have equal width front and rear, so you COULD rotate tires...but usually the front has different tires than the rear (being a 2wd.) FWIW

    What kind of rules do you have to follow? Are there limitations on motor/esc? Those wide rpm a-arms might be too wide?

    FTD (pretty sure about this,) is going to recommend the aluminum front bulkhead. One thing about the RPM bulkhead is that it has a 'recessed' area that allows you to add weight...but it might not be enough.
    I will definitely look into the protrac arms. The way I understood it, with the RPM arms, is the wide arms made it the same width as the rear, which then allow running rear offset rims all around, and retain stock width. Doesn't mean my understanding is correct. Lol. Yes, I do realize the tires are different. I was just thinking for ease of buying wheels, would be more convenient just buying multiples of 4 all with the same offset. As opposed to having different front and rear wheels. Rotating tires wasn't a thought, as yes, they are different.

    As far as rules, it's an open class as far as motor, but limited to 2s. Otherwise following basic ROAR rules, so trying to keep it inside 13".

    Growing up, I raced pan cars, on road with my old man. Then was out of the hobby for many years. Got my sl4sh a few years ago. Currently racing 1/18th scale touring cars on a carpet road course for the winter. My first year doing that. And the club has the off-road track for summer. But other than our very casual Slash group we have (we get together one night a week during the summer and jave unorganized races on a home made track), the off-road side of the hobby is new to me.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorRC22 View Post
    If you're running a high-powered motor (anything more than a 10.5t 2-pole), I'd stay away from the ball diff. It can't hold up to 4-pole or low turn 2-pole motors IME.
    The truck came with a 5600kV Castle system. Planning on running that, cuz that's what I have.

  9. #9
    RC Qualifier Synnergy's Avatar
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    Whatup Montana!

    I'll try and hook up some wide rpm arms to a bulkhead and get a pic/measurement for you. I think they will be too wide, although not convinced of that. I should have re-read your post before commenting on the arm/wheel topic as I misunderstood what you were saying. I followed FTD's advice about the arms and wheel combo and that is what I would recommend to you. I checked yesterday to confirm that I am using the same four wheels on the protrac arms. IMHO, the stock plastic is harder than the protrac plastic. I really like the front arms as they are really "beefy", but the rear protrac arms flex MORE than the stock rear arms. The stock arms are just slightly shorter than the protrac rear arms, which if you used stock rear and protrac fronts, you would have a slight difference in width.

    If you are mainly running on the same track you might as well use a sealed gear diff. If the track is fairly big I'd use somewhere between 60-100K diff fluid. The general rule is the tighter the track the lighter the diff oil and vise versa.

    Regarding tower, It would be super nice if you could find an Anza rear tower kit. They were recently discontinued, however, there may be some lurking around somewhere. The kit comes with a nice aluminum piece that attaches from the chassis to the trans and then the carbon fiber tower piece attaches to the aluminum piece. If you can't find an anza rear, I'd try and get some pictures and then make one similar to the anza OR just go with an RPM tower. You might be able to use a stock or rpm tower and also brace it with a carbon piece...but this may not be easy on the pocket book. Maybe just keep it simple until you make the jump into a different chassis (at which point definitely check out a factory works srt-r chassis.) I like fiberglass and carbon material for the towers, the front is easier as there are quite a few options from a Traxxas fiberglass front tower (from their website,) or a carbon fiber tower from factory works.
    MTFBWY

  10. #10
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    Thanks Synnergy, and everyone else for all the great info! Keep it coming. Measurements/pics would be great. I'm trying to stay somewhat selective on my wish list. I started adding up rough process in my head of everything I "want" to do, and it started adding up to a point where it would defeat the purpose of my "budget build". That's why a chassis swap is pretty low on the list. I want to mod it up to a point, keeping the budget within expectations, and see how it does. Then decide how much further to take it, or if it would be money better spent on possibly upgrading the whole vehicle. Of course, all of this depends on what the bank balance says. Lol! Need to get some other personal matters sorted out first, before going too crazy.

    I also know my personality. Sometimes it's hard to remain satisfied with "just good enough".

  11. #11
    RC Champion RazorRC22's Avatar
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    BTW, I would suggest getting a used dedicated race kit rather than trying to build up a Rustler. I spent a lot of money and built a pretty good one, but it is still way worse than anything released in the last 8 years. I have the latest stadium trucks and my super Rustler is nowhere close to even a 1-2 generation old race-designed model. You could probably pick up something used for $150.
    youtube.com/c/RazorRCvideos

  12. #12
    RC Qualifier PJbottoms's Avatar
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    The RPM gear case has fitment issues, so just be warned ahead of time. I gabbed the Hot Racing hybrid case for mine after the Traxxas one split on me this past weekend. I would also do rpm shock towers, the stock ones are garbo. Broke one literally in half on the same day.
    Here's some pics of the carpet track I was running on at the time (it wasn't cold inside either) and the ensuing carnage from one day of racing only. Both breakages happened on the small tabletop next to where the guy is standing on the right side of the pic.







    Also don't let anyone tell you a Traxxas cant compete (if they survive the race that is). Here's my Rustler vxl and my big ol' trophy I got with it. Everything stock except some aluminum casters/knuckels/axle carriers.



    But I also agree with Razor. You can grab a much better quality racer used as a roller and use your existing electronics for probably as much as you're looking to spend upgrading the Rustler and you'll have a better car overall.
    Last edited by PJbottoms; 01-18-2019 at 12:33 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazorRC22 View Post
    BTW, I would suggest getting a used dedicated race kit rather than trying to build up a Rustler. I spent a lot of money and built a pretty good one, but it is still way worse than anything released in the last 8 years. I have the latest stadium trucks and my super Rustler is nowhere close to even a 1-2 generation old race-designed model. You could probably pick up something used for $150.
    While I do mostly agree with that, my pickings are slim in my area. I do browse and watch the interwebs occasionally. And there is a few guys in my club that might be upgrading and selling their current rigs this year. So that option isn't off the table. But there is part of me that kinda wants to do this build, just for the sake of doing it. I have been inspired by all the threads on here, and it sounds fun. Anyone can buy a "race ready" rig. It takes a little more dedication and effort to make one. Lol. But we'll see what I end up with. If I find a good deal, I may still do that. The advantage to this, is I can slowly piece it together. Takes a little burden off the pocket book, and when it's all done, I'll have enough spare parts to put together a complete second truck. I have a second "parts truck" with a good chassis and complete trans.

    On another note, after doing more reading, I am leaning more and more towards the protrac arms. And otherwise still researching and pondering what other parts. Including shocks. Right now I am leaning towards GTR's, simply cuz they seem to be the best option that fits my budget. And if I don't like them on the Rusty, or find something else better later, they can go on my sl4sh. Also considering the STRC upgrade for the stock Ultras, with TiNi shafts. Would love prolines, but that's more than I can swallow, budget wise. After reading thru all of FTD's thread, I could go crazy trying to duplicate his build. I really like the chassis he used. But again, I don't want to go too crazy all at once.

  14. #14
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Jimdog's Avatar
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    What surfaces are you running on? The rustler doesn't stand a chance against a t5m on carpet. If you are on dirt then just throw a titan 12t in and practice. The fastest stadium trucks at my local dirt track seem to be bone stock rustlers.

    Sent from my LG-US998 using Tapatalk
    This will TOTALLY work, saw a guy on YouTube do it

  15. #15
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    Hey all. Been kinda busy on away from the forum awhile. It would be for an outdoor dirt track. Not clay. But loose dirt. Ended up barter the Rusty away for a nitro T Maxx. Not sure what I am going to do with that yet. Didn't really have am interest in one. But the guy offered me a straight up trace, as he wanted the Rusty for his boy. Figured it would be something new to mess around with for awhile. Needs a little work, but may keep it to screw around with. May flip it for another project. I still have the 2nd Rustler "parts car" of I opt to build one.

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