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  1. #1
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    New Rustler 4x4 VXL overheat

    Hello all,

    Purchased a Rustler 4x4 VXL for a friend. We took it out, popped in some 3S LiPo and had some fun. After about 15 minutes, we noticed the ESC was flashing red. Opened the hood, removed the battery and felt the connector was hot. The ESC, motor, and wires connecting the ESC to the motor were also extremely hot.

    Is this normal when running 3S? I can understand the ESC and motor needing fans but the wires felt like they would melt if we had kept going. The ambient temp was around 78 degrees, and it was after sundown.

    Is this a warranty issue or a known problem?

    Appreciate the help all.

  2. #2
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    I have had one for almost two months. Have not had an issue. Are you running it continuously hard for more than three minutes? If so, maybe ease up abit, and let it cool. On three s at least. If that doesn't help. I would call Traxxas.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Moodispaug View Post
    I have had one for almost two months. Have not had an issue. Are you running it continuously hard for more than three minutes? If so, maybe ease up abit, and let it cool. On three s at least. If that doesn't help. I would call Traxxas.
    Thanks for the response.

    The park near our place is relatively small, so we couldn't pin the throttle with out running out of space real quick. So I do not feel like we were running it hard. Perhaps there is a bad connection causing too much resistance/heat build up if other do not experience similar problems with the stock car.

    If anyone else has experiences I'd love to hear about them. Thanks!

  4. #4
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    Check the gearing. Maybe it is geared too high for 3s...?


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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiniElmo View Post
    Check the gearing. Maybe it is geared too high for 3s...?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    We did not install the included high-speed pinion, so it should be on the stock gearing (I believe stock is 11/54?). It seems odd that the stock gearing may be too high?

    Thanks for the response!

  6. #6
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    Yes the traxxas VXL system will get hot on 3S lipo. Don't worry that you overheated it, the ESC shuts down and blinks red before any damage can happen.

    The wires will get hot no matter what, ignore the wires. You have to take breaks and drive calmly every few minutes, or get a fan on ESC and another fan on the motor.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houseofmoo View Post
    The park near our place is relatively small, so we couldn't pin the throttle with out running out of space real quick. So I do not feel like we were running it hard.
    Pinning the throttle and running flat-out does not make heat. Several hard starts and stops in succession make heat. A flat out run would have probably cooled your car down.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanDiegan View Post
    Pinning the throttle and running flat-out does not make heat. Several hard starts and stops in succession make heat. A flat out run would have probably cooled your car down.
    Appreciate the information. I ended up buying an ESC and motor heasink/fan and the issue has not come up again thankfully.

  9. #9
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    The same thing happened to me and one of my buddies Rustler 4x4’s with the VXL ESC’s. I bought a Hobbywing EZ run Max10 ESC and the problem was solved for about $58 bucks. I can run mine all day on 3S now.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Houseofmoo View Post
    We did not install the included high-speed pinion, so it should be on the stock gearing (I believe stock is 11/54?). It seems odd that the stock gearing may be too high?

    Thanks for the response!
    According the user manual, stock gearing is for nimh/2s lipo use only.


    Mine is also running hot quickly (motor and esc) and much quicker since I run with the new sledgehammer tires, and there's a fan on my vxl.
    I orderd a 9 tooth pinion gear (still waiting on UPS....), enough for me as I'm only off road.
    I also think about replace the velineon 3500 by a Leopard V2 Series 3663 LBP3663/V2 3100kv instead of replacing the ESC as scoviman.
    I know this motor and for sure, he won't get hot as the velineon!
    The rustler will become a lot of more punchy with this combo! Or maybe I could keep the stock gearing with this new motor.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoviman View Post
    The same thing happened to me and one of my buddies Rustler 4x4’s with the VXL ESC’s. I bought a Hobbywing EZ run Max10 ESC and the problem was solved for about $58 bucks. I can run mine all day on 3S now.
    Did you bought the max10 60A or max10 sct 120A ?
    At this price it might be the 60A, right ?

  12. #12
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    if you're doing a lot of full throttle in open spaces then yes, it will get hot. there is a thermal protection in the esc that will cut off power to minimum so you can retrieve the car. you can add a fan to the motor and also consider getting the aluminum motor mounting plate which will help dissipate heat. i know some people who trim a 1/4" or so from the front of the body to allow for more more air flow.

  13. #13
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    Definitely disappointed in the 3S performance of the truck. Got mine the other day along w/ the sledgehammers on 3s with stock gearing and it overheats in about 10 min. Of grass running. Can’t wait to stick a better power plant in the thing so it can actually run for a decent amount of time. Will be selling my esc/motor as soon as my Mamba X/2400kv arrive. Gear it up a little bit and run the heck out of it. Stupid it takes an upgrade to run it reliably.

    I almost think the sledgehammers are too big for the truck. You lose a ton of stability as it just raises it up and shortens the wheelbase. So I think I’m gonna throw those on my sons 3S Big Rock and get the LP Trenchers for the Rusty. Smaller and lighter, but still bigger than the stock.

  14. #14
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    Doesn’t sound like a fault with the Rustler. You put larger tires on effectively raising the gear ratio and lugging the motor.
    That’s why it’s overheating.

    How does larger tires shorten the wheelbase?

    Am I missing something?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heli_av8tor View Post
    Doesn’t sound like a fault with the Rustler. You put larger tires on effectively raising the gear ratio and lugging the motor.
    That’s why it’s overheating.

    How does larger tires shorten the wheelbase?

    Am I missing something?
    Oh no doubt about it...people can't run 3S w/ the standard tires...but Traxxas shouldn't be promoting the tires as standard without warning you should gear down.

    And when I say it shortens the wheel base, the distance between the tires is smaller, making it less stable...same way it would if you got smaller tires, it would be more stable because it's mass is lower and more spread out. It just makes the truck taller and a lot easier to do wheelies and flips because it is so compacted.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbdynsty25 View Post
    Oh no doubt about it...people can't run 3S w/ the standard tires...but Traxxas shouldn't be promoting the tires as standard without warning you should gear down.

    And when I say it shortens the wheel base, the distance between the tires is smaller, making it less stable...same way it would if you got smaller tires, it would be more stable because it's mass is lower and more spread out. It just makes the truck taller and a lot easier to do wheelies and flips because it is so compacted.
    Wheelbase is measured from the centerline of the front wheel to the centerline of the rear wheel. Not the distance between them. Different sized wheels/tires don’t decrease or increase the wheelbase. Actually larger wheels and tires will put more weight down low, keeping the vehicle much more stable. If it lifts the body up, then use different suspension setups to get the body back down to stock height, and then you have the advantage of that extra weight down low and no extra height.

    Also running on grass, especially higher grass, causes a lot of heat as it is constant resistance. The rustler is a relatively small car and smaller vehicles don’t like grass very well. Especially with larger, heavier tires.
    Last edited by justin13703; 04-04-2020 at 05:25 PM.

  17. #17
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    Yes, I realize that wheelbase is axle to axle, I'm just saying, it's significantly LESS stable w/ the sledghammers than stock. It's just fact. It feels like a more compact truck. Just the way it is.

    Traxxas' whole idea for the tire is to increase ground clearance. They did that...at the expense of handling. And heat. Significant heat. Ran em again on 2S today...still hate the tires. Didn't overheat today at least. But also not nearly as fun. So, new power system and different tires have been ordered. Get my wheelbase back. . lol

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbdynsty25 View Post
    Yes, I realize that wheelbase is axle to axle, I'm just saying, it's significantly LESS stable w/ the sledghammers than stock. It's just fact. It feels like a more compact truck. Just the way it is.

    Traxxas' whole idea for the tire is to increase ground clearance. They did that...at the expense of handling. And heat. Significant heat. Ran em again on 2S today...still hate the tires. Didn't overheat today at least. But also not nearly as fun. So, new power system and different tires have been ordered. Get my wheelbase back. . lol
    Did you do anything to lower the center of gravity back down? If not then yes having the truck sitting up higher will trade off stability for ground clearance.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by justin13703 View Post
    Did you do anything to lower the center of gravity back down? If not then yes having the truck sitting up higher will trade off stability for ground clearance.
    I guess I’m just not explaining myself correctly. The tires ruin the truck...they are trying to make the truck a monster truck and if I wanted that I’d have gotten a Stampede (well actually an Arrma probably). I thought they would be a wider offset or something to balance out the heigh, but it’s not the case. So no, I didn’t lower it - because there are other tire options that are probably better at keeping it the same height (like some belted Bandland MX28s which I just ordered).

    I also thought the truck would have to work a little harder for the tire weight and size, but less because of the clearance in grass. But that’s not the case. So yeah...basically I made a mistake getting the tires. The truck clearly can’t handle them on 3s. No matter what the height.

  20. #20
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    Stock gearing is set up for 2s, as others stated and is stated in the manual. You run 3s, you need to gear down. You add larger tires, you need to gear down. You run 3s and larger tires, and don't gear down, of course it's going to over heat. So before you run it again with your new badlands (which I love them tires), make sure you install a smaller pinion.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve g View Post
    Stock gearing is set up for 2s, as others stated and is stated in the manual. You run 3s, you need to gear down. You add larger tires, you need to gear down. You run 3s and larger tires, and don't gear down, of course it's going to over heat. So before you run it again with your new badlands (which I love them tires), make sure you install a smaller pinion.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    Already bought a new motor setup. Cheaper than a 9T pinion.

    Want it to be much cooler...went 2400kv and will gear up to probably the speed pinion size (17T) to keep the speed up. Right now even with regular gearing my sons Big Rock 3S dusts the Rustler 4x4 on 3S. Crazy speed in that BR without needing to change gears.

  22. #22
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    Yeah a bigger motor is always more fun then gearing down...

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