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  1. #1
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    Putting together a budget rustler for a friend

    Hey all, so I'm about to start building a rustler for a friend if mine out of parts and pieces I have sitting around in my toolbox. It's on a tight budget, so I'm mainly using stock parts I've been stockpiling from upgrading my own 2 Rustlers. Its not gonna be anything fancy or high performance; just something he and his 6 year old son can play with together. I have most of the important parts, including a speed control, receiver, transmitter, and a D/C charger and A/C adapter I don't need. I have a set of shocks I can (hopefully) rebuild, as well as drivelines, arms, spur and pinion gears, axles, etc. I also have the chassis and tons of old tires I can give him.

    That being said, it's the parts I don't have that are running up the cost. I'm looking for suggestions on a cost effective motor (brushed), steering servo and NiMh battery. His budget is around $80, and I also have to get some little odds and ends to put it together, such as bearings and hardware. I also need a differential housing, which seems to run $8-$10.

    I found an Apex brushed motor on Amazon for around $15, and it has decent reviews, but I don't know anything about the brand. Also, a servo with a servo saver included would be nice, but I can always get one separately if I have to. I'm trying to have it all put together before Christmas if possible, so I can't really order stuff from overseas. Anyone have any suggestions on how I can pull it off and stay as close to his budget as possible?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    RC Champion RCWilly's Avatar
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    For the motor, get a Holmes Hobbies Trailmaster Sport 12T 550. It will last much longer than the Titan 550 since it has bearings and it also has a better magnet placement. HH is also a very reputable motor brand especially in the crawler community. It's out of stock at the moment, so if you don't think you can get it, the Titan 550 is the next best choice: https://www.amainhobbies.com/holmes-...100095/p898272

    For the servo, Power HD makes some affordable 20Kg servos (it also comes with a few servo horns, but I am not sure whether they will fit in the Rustler): https://www.ebay.com/itm/Power-HD-LF...4AAOSwsFpWROfA

    For NiMH batteries, I am not completely sure of a budget brand. For LiPos, I have seen ones on Amazon of 2 batteries for $25 (few brands I have seen include Ovonic, Zeee, Hoovo. They seem to have pretty good reviews, though I have no experience with them). Ovonic offers a 2s LiPo for $12 but I have seen reviews on it saying it is too long for the rustler: https://www.amazon.com/5000mAh-Batte...dDbGljaz10cnVl

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=2s+lipo&ref=nb_sb_noss

    If these batteries seem a bit sketchy (they do seem a little sketchy for me), then I would probably go with a Gens Ace LiPo.

    Hopefully this helps!
    Last edited by RCWilly; 12-09-2020 at 02:15 PM.
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  4. #4
    RC Champion Acidic01's Avatar
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    Check your online used listings like craigslist offer up. So on. I sold a bunch of my unused parts there cheap.

    I do have a titan 550, and another off brand motor. Still if I ever get around to putting on my flm diff housing I got a stock one then available. Can pm me for details.


    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    I talked to my buddy that I'm doing the Rustler for, and showed him a few budget friendly motors and servos. I told him I didn't know much about the brands, but he okayed me to order them. If the servo I ordered doesn't work out, I have a spare one I can use. As for the battery, I just went with a Traxxas NiMh pack.

    I dug around in a box of old parts a friend of mine found in an old storage unit and gave me, (mostly old Stampede parts, I think, and some Nitro parts) and came up with a set of functional shocks. I think they were for a Stampede, but they're gonna get repurposed. They have good compression and hold oil, so I'm gonna experiment a bit with em. My friend I'm doing this for us a junkyard loving mechanic, and he's stoked that I'm reusing old parts to make a "junkyard dog" for him. This thing may be a Frankenstein monster, but it should be interesting. Anyone know what parts on a stampede I can stitch together to make this abomination?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCWilly View Post
    For the motor, get a Holmes Hobbies Trailmaster Sport 12T 550. It will last much longer than the Titan 550 since it has bearings and it also has a better magnet placement. HH is also a very reputable motor brand especially in the crawler community. It's out of stock at the moment, so if you don't think you can get it, the Titan 550 is the next best choice: https://www.amainhobbies.com/holmes-...100095/p898272

    For the servo, Power HD makes some affordable 20Kg servos (it also comes with a few servo horns, but I am not sure whether they will fit in the Rustler): https://www.ebay.com/itm/Power-HD-LF...4AAOSwsFpWROfA

    For NiMH batteries, I am not completely sure of a budget brand. For LiPos, I have seen ones on Amazon of 2 batteries for $25 (few brands I have seen include Ovonic, Zeee, Hoovo. They seem to have pretty good reviews, though I have no experience with them). Ovonic offers a 2s LiPo for $12 but I have seen reviews on it saying it is too long for the rustler: https://www.amazon.com/5000mAh-Batte...dDbGljaz10cnVl

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=2s+lipo&ref=nb_sb_noss

    If these batteries seem a bit sketchy (they do seem a little sketchy for me), then I would probably go with a Gens Ace LiPo.

    Hopefully this helps!
    Thanks for the offer, but I found a diff case for it. I think I have just about everything I need coming in the next week or so. I appreciate it, though!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acidic01 View Post
    Check your online used listings like craigslist offer up. So on. I sold a bunch of my unused parts there cheap.

    I do have a titan 550, and another off brand motor. Still if I ever get around to putting on my flm diff housing I got a stock one then available. Can pm me for details.


    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
    I found a diff case and the other parts I need, but I appreciate the offer!!

  8. #8
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    The Stampede shocks are actually the same as the Rustler shocks (long and XX-Long Ultra Shocks). While the two models have very different styles, they're actually quite similar. A-arms, shocks, shock towers, bulkhead, transmission, and so on are all the same. If you're using Stampede parts, I'm afraid it won't be much of an abomination as you call it.
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooleocool View Post
    The Stampede shocks are actually the same as the Rustler shocks (long and XX-Long Ultra Shocks). While the two models have very different styles, they're actually quite similar. A-arms, shocks, shock towers, bulkhead, transmission, and so on are all the same. If you're using Stampede parts, I'm afraid it won't be much of an abomination as you call it.
    Actually, I looked again and some of the parts are for sure stampede, but there's a bunch in there that I can't identify. The shocks I pulled out are the same length as the back shocks on my rustler, but they came off of a set of arms that have a top and bottom arm, and the bearing carriers are way bigger. So outside of the stampede parts, I can't use the rest. There's also a bunch of aluminum parts that are smaller than everything else, and look like they came off a 1/16th model. Also a carb, 4wd gearbox and part of an engine for a gas powered model of some sort.

  10. #10
    RC Champion Acidic01's Avatar
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    If it was me and a big pile o random parts I would just see what fits together. May take some trial and error.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCWilly View Post
    For the motor, get a Holmes Hobbies Trailmaster Sport 12T 550. It will last much longer than the Titan 550 since it has bearings and it also has a better magnet placement. HH is also a very reputable motor brand especially in the crawler community. It's out of stock at the moment, so if you don't think you can get it, the Titan 550 is the next best choice: https://www.amainhobbies.com/holmes-...100095/p898272

    For the servo, Power HD makes some affordable 20Kg servos (it also comes with a few servo horns, but I am not sure whether they will fit in the Rustler): https://www.ebay.com/itm/Power-HD-LF...4AAOSwsFpWROfA

    For NiMH batteries, I am not completely sure of a budget brand. For LiPos, I have seen ones on Amazon of 2 batteries for $25 (few brands I have seen include Ovonic, Zeee, Hoovo. They seem to have pretty good reviews, though I have no experience with them). Ovonic offers a 2s LiPo for $12 but I have seen reviews on it saying it is too long for the rustler: https://www.amazon.com/5000mAh-Batte...dDbGljaz10cnVl

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=2s+lipo&ref=nb_sb_noss

    If these batteries seem a bit sketchy (they do seem a little sketchy for me), then I would probably go with a Gens Ace LiPo.

    Hopefully this helps!
    I have some experience with the HOOVO brand batteries, and also with SOCOKIN brand, both similarly priced (cheap) on amazon, and that's for a reason, you get what you pay for. I just started a thread about this issue in the Summit section, and after many input from other and my latest tests, the batteries are the culprits. They don't hold nowhere close to the labeled Mah. Today I turned off the LVC on my Summit and installed a voltage sensor on the battery while running, to discharge it down to 3.3v / cell on load. After that, the 6200mah 70C 2S Lipo HOOVO brand battery took in only 3700mah. The other brand is acting the same, but that came used with the truck so I don't know It's history.

  12. #12
    Traxxas Marshal
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    Quote Originally Posted by KennethMiller19 View Post
    . . . but there's a bunch in there that I can't identify. The shocks I pulled out are the same length as the back shocks on my rustler, but they came off of a set of arms that have a top and bottom arm, and the bearing carriers are way bigger. . . .
    Sounds like E/T-Maxx parts; those trucks used 8 XX-Long shocks (same as Rustler rear) and had upper and lower suspension arms.
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

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