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  1. #1
    RC Qualifier GotNoRice's Avatar
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    Building a Beater

    I am starting on a new project, to basically build a Stampede 4x4 to use as a beater truck, meaning a truck where I don't care if it gets damaged or destroyed in hostile environments during the process of having fun.


    My first Traxxas vehicle was a Stampede 4x4 VXL. After almost fully upgrading it, I eventually converted it into a Slash 4x4 Monster Truck. I have a 2nd Stampede 4x4 that I built from the ground up using mostly spare parts. That truck is almost fully upgraded now also. I like having both, as I keep one true to the Stampede 4x4 platform, where my Slash 4x4 monster truck is the truck that I take more liberties with making custom modifications, etc (such as converting it to a Slash 4x4 Monster Truck, using hub extensions, etc). I also have a 2wd Rustler that I mainly use for the Track and speed runs.

    The only problem is, taking into account the parts costs and time invested in those vehicles, I have become somewhat apprehensive about using them in hostile environments. Things like using them in salt-water and sand at the beach, using them in the mud during a rain storm, driving through shallow rivers, etc.


    Although my beater truck is going to start out by using mostly spare parts, I will probably upgrade some parts, but with a different focus. For example, both my main trucks have MIP X-Duty CVDs. The only issue is that they tend to rust if you don't take special precautions such as spraying them with WD40, etc. So in the short term I'm going to stick with the stock plastic CVDs, and perhaps upgrade to the Rustler 4x4 plastic CVDs at some point.

    For the motor/ESC, I'm thinking of re-using my old 2-pole Velineon system, the system that came with my Stampede 4x4 VXL back in 2011 that I still have and still works great. It should be waterproof, and since it's been sitting on my shelf for years, I won't feel too bad if it gets destroyed. It's also super easy to turn the LVC on and off with the VXL-3s, meaning I can easily use some of my old NiMH packs instead of possibly destroying a LiPo. I also have a Castle Sidewinder SV2 and a 4-pole Castle 3800kv 1410 motor laying around. I wouldn't mind using that either, and it's probably a better system, but I don't think the SV2 version of the Sidewinder is fully waterproof, and you can't turn the LVC on and off as easily. I'll probably gear 9/54 regardless of which one I use. I'm obviously not going for top speed with this truck.

    There are a few other things I'm considering. I'm wondering if it would actually be better to use bushings instead of bearings in certain locations. Bushings are not great obviously, but might still perform better than a seized up bearing. Maybe even take this a step further and use the plastic center drive-shaft instead of the metal drive-shaft, use the fixed plastic camber links and turnbuckles instead of the metal ones, but not really sure if it even matters much if those parts rust. Maybe I can try to use Stainless-steel screws all around instead of the stock screws. I'm sure there are plenty of other things that I have not considered yet.

    So thanks for reading my wall of text. Has anyone else done this and have any suggestions or ideas?

  2. #2
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    Heck yeah I just did this, stampede can can a hit that for sure....


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  3. #3
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    Why not just keep it brushed? You can't beat brushed for durability.

    A Titan 12T + XL5 ESC is fast enough, since you've already got multiple brushless vehicles. The ESC is solid, basic and inexpensive. The motors don't last forever, but when I had an XL-5 Stampede for my first re-entry RC, it lasted a full year. I didn't even break it in properly.

    I also like the chevron pattern tires for bashing, especially beach duty, as they pretty much double as sand paddles. (but with a bit of lateral traction thrown in)

    If you keep it to 12T brushed speeds, you'll never break it, either.
    -Jeremy
    TRX-4|BL Summit|St4mpede|Aton|Maxx|Slash

  4. #4
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    Aren't the brushes supposed to wear out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
    Why not just keep it brushed? You can't beat brushed for durability.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
    Why not just keep it brushed? You can't beat brushed for durability.

    A Titan 12T + XL5 ESC is fast enough, since you've already got multiple brushless vehicles. The ESC is solid, basic and inexpensive. The motors don't last forever, but when I had an XL-5 Stampede for my first re-entry RC, it lasted a full year. I didn't even break it in properly.

    I also like the chevron pattern tires for bashing, especially beach duty, as they pretty much double as sand paddles. (but with a bit of lateral traction thrown in)

    If you keep it to 12T brushed speeds, you'll never break it, either.
    What good is a brushed beater? I say full send


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  6. #6
    RC Qualifier GotNoRice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
    Why not just keep it brushed? You can't beat brushed for durability.
    I'd have to buy a brushed system, since I don't actually have one at the moment.

    Also, I'm not sure that I agree in terms of durability. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the XL5 is as durable or even more durable than the VXL-3s, but as far as the motor goes, no way. The Titan 12t has huge holes in the side that will let things like salt-water and sand right into the core of the motor. I'd have to completely clean, or even get a new motor, every time I use the truck in that sort of environment. The Velineon 3500kv motor on the other hand, even the older 2-pole version that I have, is completely sealed. Nothing would get inside the motor unless the bearings failed first (which may very well happen eventually). The fact that my old VXL-3s setup has lasted 9 years and seen life in at least 3 different vehicles is a testament to it's durability IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Smaug View Post
    I also like the chevron pattern tires for bashing, especially beach duty, as they pretty much double as sand paddles. (but with a bit of lateral traction thrown in)
    I 100% agree about the chevron tires. I actually used them on my main Slash 4x4 Monster Truck until recently when I replaced them with belted trenchers. Now I use them on my primary Stampede 4x4 VXL.

    I have a very old set of non-belted trenchers, where the tires are still in good condition. The only "issue" with those is that I stripped out the hexes on the wheels, and "fixed" them by super-gluing in a set of plastic hexes. So the hexes are now permanently attached to the wheels, and you install them by literally popping them onto the axles every time you want to use them. A bad decision in retrospect, especially since that makes them incompatible with the new version of the MIP X-Duty stub axles, but they are potentially perfect for usage on my beater truck. I also still have my talon tires that came with my Stampede 4x4 back in 2011. They are still in good condition aside from the rubber being a bit harder now.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaronjohn View Post
    What good is a brushed beater? I say full send


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    Iím sure he will if you are generous enough to supply the replacement parts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotNoRice View Post
    I'd have to buy a brushed system, since I don't actually have one at the moment.

    Also, I'm not sure that I agree in terms of durability. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the XL5 is as durable or even more durable than the VXL-3s, but as far as the motor goes, no way. The Titan 12t has huge holes in the side that will let things like salt-water and sand right into the core of the motor. I'd have to completely clean, or even get a new motor, every time I use the truck in that sort of environment. The Velineon 3500kv motor on the other hand, even the older 2-pole version that I have, is completely sealed. Nothing would get inside the motor unless the bearings failed first (which may very well happen eventually). The fact that my old VXL-3s setup has lasted 9 years and seen life in at least 3 different vehicles is a testament to it's durability IMO.
    Salt water is the only deal-killer for brushed. Salt water is conductive, while fresh water isn't. You get salt water in the brushed motor and it'll short the ESC. The ESC is protected, but what it really means is brushed simply won't work in salt water. Fresh water is OK, because whatever gets in will also get rinsed out while it's under water.

    If you need the speed, of course there's no replacement for brushless.
    -Jeremy
    TRX-4|BL Summit|St4mpede|Aton|Maxx|Slash

  9. #9
    RC Qualifier GotNoRice's Avatar
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    I got it finished for the most part.



    Compared to my other trucks. From left to right there is my Slash 4x4 Monster Truck, my main Stampede 4x4, my beater Stampede 4x4, and finally my 2wd Rustler.


    I didn't have an extra Stampede 4x4 front bumper for it, so I put an old blue RPM Slash 4x4 front bumper on there. It sticks out a bit in the front but gets the job done for now. I want to get the new Hoss 4x4 bumper for one of my main trucks, then I figure I'll pass down a Stampede 4x4 bumper to the beater.

    I did a test run with a 2s LiPo. The old Velineon system seems to be working okay for the most part. The only issue is that the LVC on the old VXL-3s ESC is triggering very easily. A lot of the 2s packs that I have are old and tired, some nearly a decade old, so it doesn't surprise me that the voltage sags under load. Still, I used the same pack last week with my main Stampede 4x4. I'm pretty sure that the 2400kv 3674 motor in there (geared 17/54) is pulling more amps than the 3500kv 2-pole VXL motor in my beater stampede (geared 9/54), but the LVC on the Mamba Max Pro in my main Stampede 4x4 was not being triggered early. I guess the next step is to turn the LVC off, use a LVA, see when it goes off and what it says.

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