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  1. #1
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    Steel or plastic spur gear?

    I'm conflicted on which way to go. Plastic or steel. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Plastic seems like it would strip out pretty easy but steel seems like it would put strain on the motor. About help would rock fellas!

  2. #2
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Plastic is more then enough when running the stock electronics on 2S. When running on 3S, or when upgrading motor to higher kV (depending on how high), switching to hardened aluminum or steel gears could prove a 'smart' idea. As for which of those two, that could depends on the vehicle's use, and whether (or not) weight matters. For bashing, steel is usually better...for racing, aluminum (and, locationally, even plastic) is probably better.


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  3. #3
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    Can't do aluminum on a steel pinion. Do they make aluminum pinions? I can look it up. But I'm running 4000kv on 3s and 4s eventually I think so I'll for sure run steel. Thanks!

  4. #4
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michiganmisfit7 View Post
    Can't do aluminum on a steel pinion. Do they make aluminum pinions? I can look it up. But I'm running 4000kv on 3s and 4s eventually I think so I'll for sure run steel. Thanks!
    I don't know if Traxxas makes metal gears...tho, in fairly certain that they don't. But others, such as Robinson Racing, makes several options.

    As for aluminum, you are correct...to a point. You can't use standard aluminum & steel gears together. But, depending on the speed of the motor, it 'could' be possible to use hardened aluminum & steel together...not that I'm recommending it, but in certain vehicles, it can be done. The "smarter" solution is to pair hardened aluminum with hardened aluminum, or steel with steel, or plastic with plastic (although, some have been known to pair plastic with 'standard' aluminum...but, again, not necessarily "recommended"). At the same time, there area also composite-material gears, such as plastic infused with carbon.

    Determining which material is typically based on the vehicle and/or vehicle type, and intended use. Lightweight racers will usually use plastic or composite. Crawlers will typically use hardened steel. In one of my Rusty 4x4s, I'm running RR hardened steel. In the other, I'm running hardened aluminum (although, I don't remember the 'brand', and I'm currently out-of-state, so I can't check).


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  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. olds97_lss's Avatar
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    I've been running 3S in my stampede 4x4 with plastic spur for over a year. I think I've stripped 2 spurs in that time. Both times was due to the pinion moving.

    I'm running 1/8th electronics in it now on 4S with 3.8 tires.

    I also run a center diff in it, the old version, but I'm using a FLM alloy cup.

    I run plastic if I can. Pinions last longer and if something really bad happens, the spur will give way, or at least I hope it does.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by olds97_lss View Post
    I've been running 3S in my stampede 4x4 with plastic spur for over a year. I think I've stripped 2 spurs in that time. Both times was due to the pinion moving.

    I'm running 1/8th electronics in it now on 4S with 3.8 tires.

    I also run a center diff in it, the old version, but I'm using a FLM alloy cup.

    I run plastic if I can. Pinions last longer and if something really bad happens, the spur will give way, or at least I hope it does.
    I agree. I too have only stripped 2 spur gears in 2.5 years in my stampede 2wd, which has a castle sidwinder 4 with 1410 3800kv motor running 3s.
    Who needs coffee when you have a 10KV+ capacitor?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenSpider25 View Post
    I agree. I too have only stripped 2 spur gears in 2.5 years in my stampede 2wd, which has a castle sidwinder 4 with 1410 3800kv motor running 3s.
    I agree whole-heartedly with these guys.... you're going TO WANT a "weak/breaking point" somewhere in the trans/drivetrain...so if (heavens forbid) something catastrophic happens at 50+ mph, you have somewhere for the spinning (rotating) mass to transfer shock-energy to! Whereas, if u run steel on steel, either both gears will be fine, one of two will strip, or worst-case, BOTH strip out, and/or motor shaft takes a beating! No bueno!

    Ive had good luck in my R4stler vxl on 3s, with 1/8th power system, running plastic mod1 spurs, and steel or hardened steel pinions!

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    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Just thought of a couple of additional questions...something the Op might not have thought of, and others might have info on.

    First, what type of plastic are the Traxxas spur gears made from? Second, if the Traxxas spur gears are not made from Delrin, what is the option of using the 'stock' plastic vs Delrin?

    Hot Racing makes spur gears on hardened steel, and hardened aluminum. RC4WD makes Delrin spur gears...and, based on the hole spacing, I think they'd work with Traxxas vehicles. Kimbrough produces spur gears made from 4/6 Nylon, which can (supposedly) withstand higher temperatures than the nylon gears made by RC car manufacturers (at least those producing spur gears made from 'other' nylon). Pro-Line doesn't indicate what material their 56T 32P spur gear is made from, although I'd say it appears to possibly be a carbon reinforced plastic of some sort (only problem is, it's ONLY available in 56T 32P).

    So, might anyone have suggestions...for the Op, as well as for others...on Delrin and/or carbon-infused spur gears? 48P and/or 32P?

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michiganmisfit7 View Post
    I'm conflicted on which way to go. Plastic or steel. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Plastic seems like it would strip out pretty easy but steel seems like it would put strain on the motor. About help would rock fellas!
    Plastic - light weight, fusible link in drive train, most users
    Metal - More rotating mass, excess forces continue through drivetrain, specific builds

    I personally use 90t 48p stock gears on my 2wd. Itís all I need.
    I have no problem blowing a spur maybe once year on one of my rigs.
    I run pretty hard on my little track and change them out every year anyways.
    Once you get the hang of setting the gear mesh and the slipper properly, they last a long time.

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. olds97_lss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panther6834 View Post
    Just thought of a couple of additional questions...something the Op might not have thought of, and others might have info on.

    First, what type of plastic are the Traxxas spur gears made from? Second, if the Traxxas spur gears are not made from Delrin, what is the option of using the 'stock' plastic vs Delrin?

    Hot Racing makes spur gears on hardened steel, and hardened aluminum. RC4WD makes Delrin spur gears...and, based on the hole spacing, I think they'd work with Traxxas vehicles. Kimbrough produces spur gears made from 4/6 Nylon, which can (supposedly) withstand higher temperatures than the nylon gears made by RC car manufacturers (at least those producing spur gears made from 'other' nylon). Pro-Line doesn't indicate what material their 56T 32P spur gear is made from, although I'd say it appears to possibly be a carbon reinforced plastic of some sort (only problem is, it's ONLY available in 56T 32P).

    So, might anyone have suggestions...for the Op, as well as for others...on Delrin and/or carbon-infused spur gears? 48P and/or 32P?

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    The only delrin spurs I ran were many years ago on nitro's. I tried them on my xxx-nt (2wd stadium truck) and t-maxx 2.5. I didn't really find that they held up any better or worse than the stock spurs they replaced.

    Maybe delrin is used because it's more "slippery", so less friction, longer run times for electric?
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  11. #11
    RC Champion zedorda's Avatar
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    If we are to be clear and accurate no Traxxas model has been sold with a plastic spur gear for over 15 years. They are all composite materials now. The formulation has changed at least 4 times and they are continually developing it. Unless you are going to exotic levels with your build the stock spur will work fine.

    A stronger spur will only promote the breakage of more expensive parts.

  12. #12
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    Newb here, trying to wrap my mind around the reason that the Hoss has a steel spur gear, but on the 4pede forum, a metel spur gear is a huge no no.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk81978 View Post
    Newb here, trying to wrap my mind around the reason that the Hoss has a steel spur gear, but on the 4pede forum, a metel spur gear is a huge no no.
    For some, somewhat understandable reason, seasoned RC drivers always seem to be like, "nah, dont you EVER!..
    ....ever EvEr, EVVERR use stell pinion on a plastic spur! Not now, not neva!"

    ...not my spur gear, not my problem, thats what i say! Bwahahahaa!

    Although i get it, the differing hardness in two constantly rotating pieces meshed together, used for stopping, going, wheelies, etc...sure. makes sense,


    However, either ive been extremely lucky, or i am GOOOOooooood as gold...because the only time either combo has caused a stripped gear for me, was either my own fault due to bad mesh, my own fault due to landing on-throttle, or my own fault for not double checking motor mount/plate tightness and it having shifted after a few hard landings/cartwheel, etc.

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  14. #14
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    Do they make non steel pinions? I mean the slash comes from the factory with a plastic spur and steel pinion so I'm not sure where that comes from but I've never ever ever heard that before. So, the next way to go is the ole plastic spur and shell pinion? Has anybody ever used the Robinson racing slipper gear set up? Seems like it would be heavy though. You all rock! I can't thank you for all your combined knowledge!

  15. #15
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michiganmisfit7 View Post
    Do they make non steel pinions? I mean the slash comes from the factory with a plastic spur and steel pinion so I'm not sure where that comes from but I've never ever ever heard that before. So, the next way to go is the ole plastic spur and shell pinion? Has anybody ever used the Robinson racing slipper gear set up? Seems like it would be heavy though. You all rock! I can't thank you for all your combined knowledge!
    As already mentioned, yes, pinions other then steel are made. As for the RR Slipper Unit, be I've used it, and it was great. The only reason it's a "was", instead of an "is", is because, after using it for almost a year, I replaced it with the TRA6780 center differential. However, it will be going into my Sl4sh...at least until I can afford another TRA6780.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michiganmisfit7 View Post
    Do they make non steel pinions? I mean the slash comes from the factory with a plastic spur and steel pinion so I'm not sure where that comes from but I've never ever ever heard that before. So, the next way to go is the ole plastic spur and shell pinion? Has anybody ever used the Robinson racing slipper gear set up? Seems like it would be heavy though. You all rock! I can't thank you for all your combined knowledge!
    I use the Robinson Racing slipper steel gear set up in my Wraith. Big difference between a crawler and a speed vehicle. All of my speed and Basher vehicles have plastic spur gears. I would never use a steel spur on a Slash. If you have the mesh set correctly you will never have a problem. I would rather strip a spur gear as it is cheap and easy to replace as opposed to transmission gears. I haven't stripped a spur gear in over 6 years. I always check the gear mesh before I drive the vehicle.

    There is a company or two that makes plastic nylon pinion gears, but they are more for race vehicles like Stadium trucks and Buggies. I wouldn't use one on a Basher vehicle. Just learn how to properly set the gear mesh.

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  17. #17
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    Thanks fellas

  18. #18
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Kimbrough makes composite spur & pinion for 48P & 68P. For 32P, they only do spur.

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  19. #19
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    Interesting Thread...
    I am going to keep the plastic spur and see how long it will last on track for the 2WD Slash

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by pl9171 View Post
    Interesting Thread...
    I am going to keep the plastic spur and see how long it will last on track for the 2WD Slash
    My Slash is 5 years old and I'm using the original stock plastic spur. Just check the mesh often.

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  21. #21
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    I'm in the non-metal spur camp as well, mostly for the fact that they are easier to replace than other parts. In many of my older vehicles, I have ran Kimbrough spur gears for years; I prefer them because they "seem" stronger, but I cannot really confirm that in any way. If Kimbrough makes spurs for the "newer" style slipper (which isn't really new any longer ), I'd recommend them.
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  22. #22
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleocool View Post
    I'm in the non-metal spur camp as well, mostly for the fact that they are easier to replace than other parts. In many of my older vehicles, I have ran Kimbrough spur gears for years; I prefer them because they "seem" stronger, but I cannot really confirm that in any way. If Kimbrough makes spurs for the "newer" style slipper (which isn't really new any longer ), I'd recommend them.
    Jim & I have been emailing back & fourth about something related to this. I hope to get him the info tomorrow. Specifically, it has to do with spur gears for the Pro-Line PRO-Series 32P Transmission.

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  23. #23
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    Hey guys do you have to switch to an associated slipper to use Kimbrough spur gears?

  24. #24
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Jim (Kimbrough) babe up with a possible solution...but, before he did, with a little bit of help from Pro-Line, I came up with an alternate solution. For anyone running the stock Slash transmission, and wanting to switch to 32P, this might also work for you.

    I picked up an Arrma 32P 54T spur (310404), and, while the shaft hole is only 4.75mm (the Pro-Line transmission has a 5mm shaft), I was really able to tell it out with a body hole reamer. As for the slipper pads, the Associated V2 slippers pads are a near-perfect fit.


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  25. #25
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    MM2 6s Traxxas Summit, original Traxxas spur gear... countless battery packs and still going... I like my spur gear to be the weak point, but apparently mine won't strip lol

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linh811 View Post
    MM2 6s Traxxas Summit, original Traxxas spur gear... countless battery packs and still going... I like my spur gear to be the weak point, but apparently mine won't strip lol
    Careful, don't jinx yourself!
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