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  1. #1
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    Question Is an ESC needed to swap Nimh to 2s Lipo?

    Finally pulled the trigger and ordered a New “ Traxxas Rustler XL-5 with ID Technology” to be specific, been wanting one since I was 12 finally was able to just took 20 years marriage and 2 kids lol. But I can’t find definitive information on what’s
    Needed to safely swap from the provided nimh battery to use 2s Lipo.

    I know I need the correct charger for Lipo and have done some reading on charging them but
    Not sure if you have to have anything else?
    Last edited by Shaqueezy; 11-18-2020 at 11:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Finally pulled the trigger and ordered a New “ Traxxas Rustler XL-5 with ID Technology” to be specific, been wanting one since I was 12 finally was able to just took 20 years marriage and 2 kids lol. But I can’t find definitive information on what’s
    Needed to safely swap from the provided nimh battery to use 2s Lipo.

    I know I need the correct charger for Lipo and have done some reading on charging them but
    Not sure if you have to have anything else?
    Nope, you should be all set from there in terms of purchases. Though you will need to put the ESC into low voltage detection mode when running a lipo, you can do this by following the instructions shown in the video I linked below.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCNsmV18PSg
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    ^ agree with his post
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    Awesome thanks

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    Keep in mind that using lipo power will add heat in your motor and esc. Im not sure how well the xl5 esc handles 2s. If the esc or motor feels hot to the touch, you might want to get a temp gun to be safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Calebs0615 View Post
    Keep in mind that using lipo power will add heat in your motor and esc. Im not sure how well the xl5 esc handles 2s. If the esc or motor feels hot to the touch, you might want to get a temp gun to be safe.
    I say if it is too hot to touch then it is too hot to drive. Plus, the outside of a motor is nowhere as hot as the core so if anything seems to hot then that's most likely because it is too hot.
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    The xl-5 can handle 2s lipos with no problem. It's the motor you'll have to worry about. The Titan 12T motor that comes with will wear out eventually, and the 2s battery will contribute to it burning out. You'll get a nifty power boost and more run time, but it does come at a price. Like was stated above, keep an eye on the motor temp. I ran 2s in mine for a long time, and never had any problems at all with the ESC, just the motor. Titans have a life span, and they're meant to be disposable. Also, make sure you store and charge the lipo correctly. My first one only lasted about 6 months because I didn't do the research to know how to charge and store it. Lipos can be a little finicky, but have a lot more power. NiMh batteries aren't as powerful, but a lot more reliable in my (albeit limited) experience.

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    Do they have cooling fans or anything to help with that for the titan motor? Luckily it’s getting into winter and not 95 degree summer heat but my local park has a rc dirt track and I’d like to be able to run it through more than 1 battery when we go

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Do they have cooling fans or anything to help with that for the titan motor? Luckily it’s getting into winter and not 95 degree summer heat but my local park has a rc dirt track and I’d like to be able to run it through more than 1 battery when we go
    The Titan has a built in cooling fan inside the motor. The main issue with them is that dirt and dust gets into the motor thru the fan ports at the back of the motor casing. If you give the motor a rest in between batteries and try to keep the dirt and dust out of it, it should run fine. Just to prolong the lifespan of the motor, I would recommend getting a can of air duster to blow it out with, or if you have a handheld blower that would work as well. After every few batteries you run, shoot a little bit of WD-40 Dry Lube into the motor to clean it out and keep it turning smoothly. The Dry Lube WD-40 doesn't attract dust and dirt like the regular kind does. You can get it at Walmart or most hardware stores for around $12. If you plan on keeping your rustler with the brushed motor for a while, it's not a bad idea to keep a spare in the toolbox just in case. They aren't terrible motors, but they seem to go out on you at the worst times. Main thing is to just give the motor a rest in between batteries.

    Also, just a few tips for your rustler:
    If you plan on doing jumps, which the rustler is great for, invest in some aluminum shock caps. The stock plastic ones tend to blow off on hard landings, wasting your shock oil and making a heck of a mess.
    Rustlers are tough as nails, but they don't like frontal collisions AT ALL. It wouldn't hurt to throw some aftermarket casters and steering blocks on it. Aluminum ones are kinda pricey, but the RPM plastic ones are a pretty cost effective option and are tougher than the stock parts. Also, RPM has a warranty on all their parts, as long as they're installed correctly.
    Another cheap and easy upgrade is to switch from the stock wheel bushings to bearings. You can find the bearings just about anywhere. I got mine off Amazon, and a set of 20 was only $10 or so. The bearings will reduce the friction on your axles, giving you a little more speed and reducing resistance and wear on your steering and drive components. They can also help your motor out by reducing the amount of power needed to move the car. You can find videos on YouTube to help with installing the bearings.
    Another easy thing to check and maintain is your slipper clutch. It's the little spring thingy on top of your spur gear. Depending on the terrain your running on, you can tune the slipper appropriately. Tightening it gives you more power, but is harder in your transmission and motor. Loosening it gives less power, but also less wear. Play with it a little bit to find a spot you like. It's not going to break anything to experiment with it a little bit, just don't leave it super tight for multiple runs.

    And now I'm gonna stop rambling. I've done a lot of work on my own rustler, which is also my first hobby grade R/C, and put tons of aluminum parts on it so it can hold up to the torture I put it thru. It's a lot of trial and error, so don't be afraid to make mistakes and ask questions. There's nothing on them that can't be fixed or replaced, so don't be scared of breaking it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, though there are other people here that are a lot more knowledgeable and experienced than I am.

    Most important thing: HAVE FUN!

  10. #10
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    When your titan burns out and you need a new one, the holmes hobbies trailmaster sport 550 12t is a direct replacement for the titan motor, that is build better and will last longer. So I'd recommend one of those.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethMiller19 View Post
    The Titan has a built in cooling fan inside the motor. The main issue with them is that dirt and dust gets into the motor thru the fan ports at the back of the motor casing. If you give the motor a rest in between batteries and try to keep the dirt and dust out of it, it should run fine. Just to prolong the lifespan of the motor, I would recommend getting a can of air duster to blow it out with, or if you have a handheld blower that would work as well. After every few batteries you run, shoot a little bit of WD-40 Dry Lube into the motor to clean it out and keep it turning smoothly. The Dry Lube WD-40 doesn't attract dust and dirt like the regular kind does. You can get it at Walmart or most hardware stores for around $12. If you plan on keeping your rustler with the brushed motor for a while, it's not a bad idea to keep a spare in the toolbox just in case. They aren't terrible motors, but they seem to go out on you at the worst times. Main thing is to just give the motor a rest in between batteries.

    Also, just a few tips for your rustler:
    If you plan on doing jumps, which the rustler is great for, invest in some aluminum shock caps. The stock plastic ones tend to blow off on hard landings, wasting your shock oil and making a heck of a mess.
    Rustlers are tough as nails, but they don't like frontal collisions AT ALL. It wouldn't hurt to throw some aftermarket casters and steering blocks on it. Aluminum ones are kinda pricey, but the RPM plastic ones are a pretty cost effective option and are tougher than the stock parts. Also, RPM has a warranty on all their parts, as long as they're installed correctly.
    Another cheap and easy upgrade is to switch from the stock wheel bushings to bearings. You can find the bearings just about anywhere. I got mine off Amazon, and a set of 20 was only $10 or so. The bearings will reduce the friction on your axles, giving you a little more speed and reducing resistance and wear on your steering and drive components. They can also help your motor out by reducing the amount of power needed to move the car. You can find videos on YouTube to help with installing the bearings.
    Another easy thing to check and maintain is your slipper clutch. It's the little spring thingy on top of your spur gear. Depending on the terrain your running on, you can tune the slipper appropriately. Tightening it gives you more power, but is harder in your transmission and motor. Loosening it gives less power, but also less wear. Play with it a little bit to find a spot you like. It's not going to break anything to experiment with it a little bit, just don't leave it super tight for multiple runs.

    And now I'm gonna stop rambling. I've done a lot of work on my own rustler, which is also my first hobby grade R/C, and put tons of aluminum parts on it so it can hold up to the torture I put it thru. It's a lot of trial and error, so don't be afraid to make mistakes and ask questions. There's nothing on them that can't be fixed or replaced, so don't be scared of breaking it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, though there are other people here that are a lot more knowledgeable and experienced than I am.

    Most important thing: HAVE FUN!
    Awesome thanks for the info, yah I ordered a front bumper because it’s way faster than I expected and I hit a bunch in the front already, and I have a 3 year old daughter who really wants to drive it so my fence took a beating. I have Lipo batteries on the way but I do plan on keeping the titan motor for a while, i was able to find a deal on a traxxas Id charger with a 5000mah 2s and 3s 5000mah combo. Will the 3s burn up the titan motor? eventually get one of the more budget friendly brushless but that’ll be a while. I have started looking up aluminum parts and 5x11x4(?) bearings to throw on there, most of those upgrades are 10-20$ so I’ll likely do those soon.

    Never heard of this dry wd40 but I can see what you mean by dust and debris, just running it through the yard kicked lots of grass and random debris under the cover. Also it bottoms out when I run up the sidewalk curb and the bottoms scratched, can you adjust the ride height?

    Other than that, thanks for the rant lol a lot of info I needed.
    Last edited by Shaqueezy; 11-20-2020 at 10:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethMiller19 View Post
    Play with it a little bit to find a spot you like. It's not going to break anything to experiment with it a little bit, just don't leave it super tight for multiple runs.
    Haha, my Rustler has an oversized 4s brushless system in it and I have that slipper clutch cranked all the way down. I do have a 72 tooth spur from HR and my pinion is the biggest one I could find. On 2s I hit 45 top speed, and I'm frankly afraid to go any faster than that. All of my A-arms are RPM and I have the RPM oversized front bumper. With all of that the only thing I have ever broken is a single rear toe link.

    Being able to pop a wheelie at 3/4 throttle was the coolest thing to me back when that was my basher...... Now I have an E-revo
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    Yah so I just ordered aluminum axle carriers (only because I thought the stock ones werent 5x11x4 but turns out they are in the newest rustlers) some dry wd40 lube, and enough 5x11x4 bearings for all 4 wheels and axle carriers. Oh and a RPM bumper and some extra antenna tubes since mines already taken a beating lol.

    Will the Titan motor be able to handle a 3s LiPo battery?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Yah so I just ordered aluminum axle carriers (only because I thought the stock ones werent 5x11x4 but turns out they are in the newest rustlers) some dry wd40 lube, and enough 5x11x4 bearings for all 4 wheels and axle carriers. Oh and a RPM bumper and some extra antenna tubes since mines already taken a beating lol.

    Will the Titan motor be able to handle a 3s LiPo battery?
    Yes but it definitely won't like it, I imagine that you will only get 10 3s packs through it before that motor is shot.

    As for antenne, I would advise that you don't stick it up through the body. You won't really loose range if you just keep it bent backwards under the body. If the actual antenne gets damaged somehow (from a bad crash or something) then you can completely ruin it's ability to broadcast for then a few feet, it also look better not having a big 'ol blue straw sticking out of the top of your car (I find it looks more toy-grade with the antenne sticking up).
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    Yah after doing more research I’m going to return the 3s and swap it for a 2s 5800mah. Don’t really wanna be buying another motor soon, and the antenna look doesn’t bother me too much. But I also rarely have it go more than 25 yards away, I’m going to the local park rc dirt track today so I can see what the distance is from the furthest point and the little stadium booth where you control from.

    I ran it probably about 3-4 houses down the street (average neighborhood lot sizes) and didn’t have any issues though. At any rate, you still leave it in the tube you just lie the tube down under the body?
    Last edited by Shaqueezy; 11-20-2020 at 02:26 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Yah so I just ordered aluminum axle carriers (only because I thought the stock ones werent 5x11x4 but turns out they are in the newest rustlers) some dry wd40 lube, and enough 5x11x4 bearings for all 4 wheels and axle carriers. Oh and a RPM bumper and some extra antenna tubes since mines already taken a beating lol.

    Will the Titan motor be able to handle a 3s LiPo battery?
    The XL5 ESC and Titan 550 12T motor are not designed to handle 3s. The most they can handle is 2s, so you may blow the ESC.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Awesome thanks for the info, yah I ordered a front bumper because itís way faster than I expected and I hit a bunch in the front already, and I have a 3 year old daughter who really wants to drive it so my fence took a beating. I have Lipo batteries on the way but I do plan on keeping the titan motor for a while, i was able to find a deal on a traxxas Id charger with a 5000mah 2s and 3s 5000mah combo. Will the 3s burn up the titan motor? eventually get one of the more budget friendly brushless but thatíll be a while. I have started looking up aluminum parts and 5x11x4(?) bearings to throw on there, most of those upgrades are 10-20$ so Iíll likely do those soon.

    Never heard of this dry wd40 but I can see what you mean by dust and debris, just running it through the yard kicked lots of grass and random debris under the cover. Also it bottoms out when I run up the sidewalk curb and the bottoms scratched, can you adjust the ride height?

    Other than that, thanks for the rant lol a lot of info I needed.
    If it bottoms out too much, you can add a bit of nitro fuel tubing on the shaft as a limiter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Yah after doing more research Iím going to return the 3s and swap it for a 2s 5800mah. Donít really wanna be buying another motor soon, and the antenna look doesnít bother me too much. But I also rarely have it go more than 25 yards away, Iím going to the local park rc dirt track today so I can see what the distance is from the furthest point and the little stadium booth where you control from.

    I ran it probably about 3-4 houses down the street (average neighborhood lot sizes) and didnít have any issues though. At any rate, you still leave it in the tube you just lie the tube down under the body?
    I've seen some bend the tube back, but I removed it, and taped it to the chassis (doesn't seem to affect range by a lot).
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    Thanks, yah I should’ve done more research before I ordered it. Already contacted the company to swap it for a second 2s. I imagine you still have to let the motor cool down between battery swaps tho?

    As far as continuous use goes, say your on the track and on the throttle around the whole track, do you have to be conscious of motor temps?

    And yeah I figured maybe you can leave it in the tube but not put it in the little slot, and then tape it down somewhere? Instead of bending it.
    Last edited by Shaqueezy; 11-20-2020 at 02:39 PM.

  19. #19
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    For the motor, temps shouldn't be much of an issue if the ambient temperature is relatively cool (say, under 75 F). If the ambient temps are higher than 85F, you might want to check it every once in a few minutes (especially if it's running under direct sunlight).
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCWilly View Post
    For the motor, temps shouldn't be much of an issue if the ambient temperature is relatively cool (say, under 75 F). If the ambient temps are higher than 85F, you might want to check it every once in a few minutes (especially if it's running under direct sunlight).
    Cool thanks. It’s about 75 now but I live near New Orleans and we regularly get 95-100 days for most of the year and the track is outside so I’ll have to keep that in mind next year.

  21. #21
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    Also, you can invest in a cooling fan ($5-$10) if you need to, but you probably won't need it until summer.
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    I think someone in this thread (maybe another) said something about the titan having one built in? Is there one on the stock xl5? Or can you upgrade it or add another? I’ve only seen ones for the valineon motor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Yah so I just ordered aluminum axle carriers (only because I thought the stock ones werent 5x11x4 but turns out they are in the newest rustlers) some dry wd40 lube, and enough 5x11x4 bearings for all 4 wheels and axle carriers. Oh and a RPM bumper and some extra antenna tubes since mines already taken a beating lol.

    Will the Titan motor be able to handle a 3s LiPo battery?
    Are you getting a different esc? I don't think the xl5 is rated for 3s batteries.

    Sent from my LGL722DL using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Thanks, yah I should’ve done more research before I ordered it. Already contacted the company to swap it for a second 2s. I imagine you still have to let the motor cool down between battery swaps tho?

    As far as continuous use goes, say your on the track and on the throttle around the whole track, do you have to be conscious of motor temps?

    And yeah I figured maybe you can leave it in the tube but not put it in the little slot, and then tape it down somewhere? Instead of bending it.
    I actually leave it in the tube and just bend it back under the body, after a while the antenne tube will just naturally want to bend back. Some guy at a hobby shop was the first to recommend for me to do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    I think someone in this thread (maybe another) said something about the titan having one built in? Is there one on the stock xl5? Or can you upgrade it or add another? I’ve only seen ones for the valineon motor.
    Most brushed motors have a built-in fan (if you take a look through the holes, there are white fins that act as fan blades), and it is driven by the motor, so it only works when the motor is spinning at high speeds. If the motor isn't spinning, the fan isn't doing anything to cool the motor, so having a separate fan would be beneficial. You can either get just the fan, and make your own mount, or get a heatsink with a fan mount (any 540 or 550 heatsink fan mount would work).

    Note that if the fan is too close to the motor, the fan could stop moving or spin with a pulse due to the magnetic field from the (car) motor overriding the magnetic field from the fan motor. This doesn't really apply to the Titan 12T, but it could potentially become an issue with brushless motors, so I thought I'd bring it up.

    The XL-5 ESC does not come with a fan and does not have any specifically built for it. However, you can probably make a bracket or use adhesives to secure a fan to it. Here is the link to a good fan: https://www.amainhobbies.com/yeah-ra...a-0180/p491060
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    Unrelated but prob the most significant thing I noticed after taking it out. The front steering trim was constantly getting out of whack every time I ran into something. Is this normal? Is there front end upgrades or possible adjustments to keep it from coming out of alignment so easily?


    Other than that. The track is a red clay; it was super compacted and dry, rock hard so I couldnít get traction to save my ***

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Unrelated but prob the most significant thing I noticed after taking it out. The front steering trim was constantly getting out of whack every time I ran into something. Is this normal? Is there front end upgrades or possible adjustments to keep it from coming out of alignment so easily?


    Other than that. The track is a red clay; it was super compacted and dry, rock hard so I couldn’t get traction to save my ***
    It's the servo saver. It's a spring in the servo horn that is designed to absorb energy when the car crashes so the servo does not take all the impact. You can also switch to a 25t servo horn, but you may strip the stock servo since it is only plastic geared. Also, the stock plastic bellcrank isn't very precise, so that may have contributed to the slop as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaqueezy View Post
    Unrelated but prob the most significant thing I noticed after taking it out. The front steering trim was constantly getting out of whack every time I ran into something. Is this normal? Is there front end upgrades or possible adjustments to keep it from coming out of alignment so easily?


    Other than that. The track is a red clay; it was super compacted and dry, rock hard so I couldn’t get traction to save my ***
    Getting a better bellcrank and horn will help a lot with that, as well as some better steering links. If you're wanting aluminum parts, GPM (Not to be confused with RPM) has some really good parts. Like I said, they don't like frontal collisions. Getting a better set of tires will help with the traction issue as well. I would recommend Proline tires, but they are a bit pricey. That being said, you definitely get what you pay for with them. They have a killer selection of off and on road tires that will help you keep traction. I'm running 2.8" Proline Badlands tires on mine, (I think the stock size is 2.2") and have no complaints outside of the price. If you start shopping for tires, just keep in mind that the front and rear tires are different, so make sure you get the right ones. Proline has tires with interchangeable hubs so you can put them on either end of the car. The stock Alias tires that come with the rustler are decent for grass or turf, but they leave a lot to be desired for hard off road use. One issue I had was that my rustler couldn't get any traction simply because the car is too light on the back end, making it slide in turns. Going up to 2.8" tires helps with that a lot, though you'll have to adjust your slipper to compensate for the bigger tires. Also, having aftermarket parts helps with weight in turns; the stock plastic is super light and kind of flimsy, so having a little more weight can help a lot. If it's an oval track, you can also adjust your steering arms to turn harder to one side than the other, much like a full size dirt track car does. RCSuperstore and AMainHobbies both are great sites with good selection of parts to give you a boost. I buy most of my stuff from RCSuperstore, and have no complaints. If you want to look I to tires, I can give you them Proline part number for the Badlands tires I use that have the interchangeable hubs.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethMiller19 View Post
    Getting a better bellcrank and horn will help a lot with that, as well as some better steering links. If you're wanting aluminum parts, GPM (Not to be confused with RPM) has some really good parts. Like I said, they don't like frontal collisions. Getting a better set of tires will help with the traction issue as well. I would recommend Proline tires, but they are a bit pricey. That being said, you definitely get what you pay for with them. They have a killer selection of off and on road tires that will help you keep traction. I'm running 2.8" Proline Badlands tires on mine, (I think the stock size is 2.2") and have no complaints outside of the price. If you start shopping for tires, just keep in mind that the front and rear tires are different, so make sure you get the right ones. Proline has tires with interchangeable hubs so you can put them on either end of the car. The stock Alias tires that come with the rustler are decent for grass or turf, but they leave a lot to be desired for hard off road use. One issue I had was that my rustler couldn't get any traction simply because the car is too light on the back end, making it slide in turns. Going up to 2.8" tires helps with that a lot, though you'll have to adjust your slipper to compensate for the bigger tires. Also, having aftermarket parts helps with weight in turns; the stock plastic is super light and kind of flimsy, so having a little more weight can help a lot. If it's an oval track, you can also adjust your steering arms to turn harder to one side than the other, much like a full size dirt track car does. RCSuperstore and AMainHobbies both are great sites with good selection of parts to give you a boost. I buy most of my stuff from RCSuperstore, and have no complaints. If you want to look I to tires, I can give you them Proline part number for the Badlands tires I use that have the interchangeable hubs.
    GPM parts are kind of a hit or miss (imo). Some parts are good, some parts meh, some parts don't work and are just good for aesthetics (their aluminum isn't great, as it bends easily). I would look into STRC or Hot Racing parts. Just imho.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve g View Post
    When your titan burns out and you need a new one, the holmes hobbies trailmaster sport 550 12t is a direct replacement for the titan motor, that is build better and will last longer. So I'd recommend one of those.

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    If that 12t trail master has 0į of timing like my 21t trail master, it will have less power than stock. It will run more reliably and cooler. You probably can bash it on 3s with proper gearing, and it will run much better than stock...

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    Ya can't polish fertilizer...

  31. #31
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. rag6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCWilly View Post
    The XL5 ESC and Titan 550 12T motor are not designed to handle 3s. The most they can handle is 2s, so you may blow the ESC.
    Old style blue xl5 esc(the ones with 3 separate black heat sinks) can run 3s and even 4s if you use a separate bec....

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