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  1. #1
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Introducing "Rust & Ash"

    There are several...ok, quite a lot...in this forum familiar with my 'Rustler 4x4 to "true" stadium truck conversion, which I referred to as "Rusty-Frankie". For those unfamiliar with it, you can read the build thread here: https://forums.traxxas.com/showthrea...eimagined-quot

    The 'purpose' of that conversion was to see if I could get the Rustler 4x4 to operate on standard 2.2 ST wheels/tires, as the stadium trucks from all other manufacturers do. As those who followed that thread know, the prices involved many failures, but also several successes. In the end, the project was process successful...very successful, in fact...right up until the truck decided to do an impromptu "audition" for Cirque du Soleil...while going over 60mph.

    I can confirm that the truck was more than capable of performing incredible aerial acrobatics, and might have even been the first RC to score a 'perfect 10' (if competing in gymnastics). Unfortunately, the landing was far less then spectacular, ending with the first -10 in history. While the chassis, and many other parts were left in perfect, or near-perfect, condition, there were also parts that for damaged (some more then others, with a few that were somewhat unrecognizable). While a good percentage of the damage was immediately noticable, there was also damage that was never noticed, until I started to rebuild after it sat in its case for almost 7 months...and, I'm still discovering damage (just discovered that one of the rod ends on one of the front GTR shocks snapped).

    However, like the phoenix...and as I've pointed out in my two most recent posts within that thread...she is rising again, being rebuilt into a new vehicle. Like Steve Austin, she will be better, stronger, and faster...but, thankfully, she won't cost $6M (or even $600). While I could just continue within the original thread, as she's becoming an entirely new vehicle (and, at least for now, will be running 2.8 wheels again), I decided it's probably best to start a new thread, while referencing the original (which I've already done, above, complete with a link to that thread). And, so it begins..........

    I have no photos (yet) to post, so I'll start with a breakdown of the name. The original conversion was called "Rusty-Frankie", because it started life as a Rustler (4x4), but had a variety of parts designed for a variety of different vehicles, thus 'Frankenstein'...or "Rusty-Frankie". While there were many Rustler parts, there were also parts for the Sl4sh, XO-1, 4-Tec, Axial SCX-10, XRAY, and others. To be completely honest, I can't even remember how many different vehicle's parts went into the build. With the new conversion. I'd estimate that greater than 95% of the parts will be designed for two specific vehicles - the R4sty, and the Sl4sh. So, what nickname to give her?

    While a few nicknames came to mind, the one that seemed to stick best is "Rust & Ash". 'Rust', because she'll be part R4sty, but also because she's "gone through a LOT" (ie. "old(er) & rusty)...'Ash' because she'll be part Sl4sh, but also because she's "rising from the flames". Just remember, "ash" ends with an 'h', not an 's'...although, both kinda apply.

    To be continued.........


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  2. #2
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    Hey, Rust & Ash sounds a lot more upstanding than Slustler.

  3. #3
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Squeegie's Avatar
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    ... or Road Rash (Rustler + slASH)!
    Creativity is intelligence having fun. -Einstein

  4. #4
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeegie View Post
    ... or Road Rash (Rustler + slASH)!
    Darn u...I REALLY like that.. I should have thought of that one.


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  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Squeegie's Avatar
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    Take it... it's your rig!

    I suppose Rush (RUstler + slaSH) works as well... Rush Hour, Morning/Evening Rush?
    Last edited by Squeegie; 01-07-2021 at 04:08 PM.
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  6. #6
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeegie View Post
    Take it... it's your rig!

    I suppose Rush (RUstler + slaSH) works as well... Rush Hour, Morning/Evening Rush?
    Will think on it. Thanks. How to have since photos added tomorrow. Will be "interesting" to see how this project turns out. It's previous incarnation was pretty darn good...until I almost destroyed it. Why do those curbs always jump out in front of our vehicles? Even worse, why do those bricks have to jump out after the curb does?


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  7. #7
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Ok...the promised (first) updates, and photos.

    First, gone are the XO-1 front shock towers. As those who followed the Rusty-Frankie build (aka the E-Jato), I had installed front XO-1 shock towers, front & rear, with the front end flipped 180° (to make it more upright). In their place are STRC aluminum front & treat shock towers, in their proper positions. While I maintained the front GTR shocks on the front, the front GTRs that were in the rear have been replaced with rear GTRs. Unfortunately, until I can find the proper-length rear springs, front springs (temporarily) live on the east shocks, with the preload cranked way down. This WILL be corrected very soon. As for shock oil, I've filled the front with 45wt, and the rest with 80wt. While the fronts feel perfect, the rears appear "soft"...probably because of the (temporary) springs.
    As you might have noticed (from the previous photos), the 4-Tec body mounts are also gone, replaced with Pro-Line adjustable body mounts, using their 'clipless' design. When I first heard about these a while back, I wasn't too keen on the idea, partly because I didn't think the caps could truly stay tight when running, and partly because replacing lost caps would cost CONSIDERABLY more then lost clips. I can tell you that the caps hold plenty tight...and, as for lost caps, while they'd still be more costly to replace (I haven't lost any), due to their size, they're a LOT easier to find.
    Moving further to the sides, the 4-Tec steering & caster blocks have been replaced with the Traxxas aluminum parts (which I had from before Rusty-Frankie). The Tekno carriers (which go with the M6 driveshafts) have been removed (now on the R4sty E-buggy conversion, still in-progress) are gone, replaced with the Traxxas aluminum versions (which I also already had). Also returned is the center brace. As this incarnation will primarily be used on the street, and mostly-flat hard-packed dirt, instead of rough terrain (that's what my Losi Baja Rey is for), the center chassis brace shouldn't pose any problems.
    In a couple of the photos above, you might have noticed a new rear bumper...and, if you're thinking that's the Sl4sh rear bumper, you'd be correct. And, what pairs up better with a Sl4sh rear bumper, than the Sl4sh front bumper.
    I'm sure some reading this will wonder, "Why put Sl4sh bumpers on a R4tsler?" That will be revealed in the near-future. What I can reveal now...even though it's not yet installed...is that the Robinson Racing Slipper Unit, with its hardened steel 54T spur, will soon be replaced with this fella - a Traxxas center diff, inside a HR machined diff cup. While the diff comes with three different spur gears (54T, 52T & 50T), I'll be starting things off with the 52T. Why? That, too, shall be revealed soon.
    As for the blue wheel nuts, those came from my Sl4sh roller, and I haven't yet decided if they'll stay, if I'll go back to the black ones, or if I'll get something different. Part of this is because I'm still deciding on whether to stay with the 12mm hexes (if you look at the photos, you might have noticed that the front hexes are currently black HR clamping hexes, while the front are stock Traxxas plastic hexes)...or go with 17mm hex adapters. Part of this had to do with wheels & tires in considering.

    Stayed tuned for more..........


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    Last edited by Panther6834; 01-08-2021 at 05:57 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Well, you know some things are going on when you capacitors that big in a Rustl4r.

    My uneducated guess to the bumper tease combined with the PL adjustable Sl4sh mount is that you are using a modified slash body?
    Last edited by TwoBelugas; 01-08-2021 at 06:03 PM.

  9. #9
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoBelugas View Post
    My uneducated guess to the bumper tease combined with the PL adjustable Sl4sh mount is that you are using a modified slash body?
    I will neither confirm...nor deny...that.
    I will say that the ESC & motor (left over from Rusty-Frankie) won't be remaining. The ESC will (probably/eventually) find it's way into the Sl4sh, once I get around to building it (hint: it'll have a Toyota Tundra body). As for the motor, it's been tested enough to know it's strong & reliable, so it'll be going into the E-buggy. As for what the new electronics are, "the answer is out there".


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    Last edited by Panther6834; 01-08-2021 at 06:23 PM.
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  10. #10
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoBelugas View Post
    Well, you know some things are going on when you capacitors that big in a Rustl4r.
    To quote one of my favorite SNL 'characters', "Well, isn't that special.". The answer to your inquiry was just delivered less than 3 minutes ago.
    And, along with it, the "cooling" power.


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    Last edited by Panther6834; 01-08-2021 at 06:26 PM.
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  11. #11
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    I know it's been over a month (by one day) since my last post...but, in addition to working on this project, and my job, I've also been working on a few other land & water vehicles/vessels.

    My TFL Jet Boat has been OoC (Out of Commission) since December...and, even though I tried to install the new 4-blade impeller, I ran into another problem. Parts were 'reserved' through OSE, and they just called in today, so that boat should be back in the water soon. One of my two race boats (carbon fiber TFL Pursuit) has been getting prepped for painting (whether, it not, the 2021 season actually takes place). Work my Losi Baja Rey, the Cerakote on the cage had a "problem", and had to be started over (will, hopefully, be picking up later this week, or next week). And then, there's the newest addition to my collection - a Losi Mini-B - which, for those who might not know, is an almost part-for-part smaller version of the TLR 22 5.0 SR 2WD race buggy. In the past month, this little speed-demon (ok, it was slow with the stock brushed motor...but, with the new 7800kV brushless motor, it's closer to a "rocket rocket") has received most of it's upgrades, and is ready for the track, and the competition.

    Anyway...back to the R4sty. I got the new ESC & motor installed...only to discover since problems. Just not sure if it was the motor, or ESC...or both...that was the problem. So, my brand-new electronics had to be shipped to Castle. They received them on Saturday, and the motor has already been repaired. As for the ESC, that's handled by a different sub-department, and they should be getting to it tomorrow. While I wait, thinks to a few others who mentioned them, I purchased/installed the Traxxas Arm Guards (TRA6732 & TRA6733), front & rear.I'm not going to say having these would have prevented a considerable amount...or, even any...of the damage the R4sty received last April. But, it's highly probably that, at least some of that damage could have been avoided. So...now they're installed. The other half of that same install involved front & rear "tuned racing springs" from VG Racing. They're available on several different colors, but, sticking with the same overall color scheme I had already been going with, I decided to go with the blue. While yellow might be 'faster' on the East Coast, out here on the West Coast, blue is faster (although, I should mention that, in regards to that Losi Mini-B, I did get the yellow edition).

    The next upgrade (which I'm still working on) was to remove the entire stock battery hold-down, and replace it with a 'steel plate & velcro' based hold-down (as you can see, the plate is even engraved with "Rustler 4x4"). Unfortunately, the two straps is came with are only usable with thinner (ie. 25mm) packs, so I'm in the process of obtaining longer straps.

    With the plate, batteries with lengths of 125mm to 140mm can be used. As for battery widths, 30mm, 40mm, and 50mm are all possibilities, depending on whether straps come up through both inner, one inner & one outer, or both outer, strap slots.

    The MOST important aspect of this plates...and, the PRIMARY reason I bought it...has to do with battery pack thicknesses. With this plate, users are no longer limited to specific, predefined, pack thicknesses...gone are the "requirements" of only using packs worn heights of 25mm, 30mm, 35mm, or 42mm. Users are free to use whatever they want (as long as lengths & widths don't exceed 140mm & 50mm, respectively). If you can fit an 800kV motor, and want to use a 6S pack to power it, you're free to do so.This does not mean I'm recommending, or even suggesting, putting a 800kV 1/8 motor in a R4sty...but, if you wanted to, and were trying to figure how you’d get one of those thick-***** 6S packs into the R4sty's space-limited battery tray, now you know how you can do it.


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    Last edited by Panther6834; 02-09-2021 at 06:50 PM.
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  12. #12
    RC Racer VisionSlash42's Avatar
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    What brand is that battery plate? Or did you make it?

  13. #13
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VisionSlash42 View Post
    What brand is that battery plate? Or did you make it?
    Bought it through a seller on Amazon:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0826...b_b_asin_title

    Just note that it is ONLY did the R4sty that uses the shorter battery chassis. For those having the 'redesigned' Rustler 4x4, which has a longer length battery tray (allowing the same length batteries as used in the Sl4sh), there's a different velcro battery tray, made by a different manufacturer, available through Amain. And, for those with a Sl4sh, there's also another velcro battery tray (also through Amain), but it's different than both of the above-mentioned versions.


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  14. #14
    RC Racer VisionSlash42's Avatar
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    Okay. Do you have the name of either of those?

  15. #15
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VisionSlash42 View Post
    Okay. Do you have the name of either of those?
    Search "battery tray" on Amain's site, and you'll find this one (https://www.amainhobbies.com/xtreme-...10627/p1249084) for the Slash & Sl4sh, and should also fit the newer R4sty.


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  16. #16
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Good news...just heard back from Castle regarding the motor & ESC. As I already knew, the motor had been repaired. Over the phone, they didn't tell me, specifically, what the problem was, but I do know that there was more than one problem, and all problems were taken care of.

    As for the ESC, at the time of the phone call, it hadn't even been looked at, yet, so they're was no way of knowing what the problem might be. In the end, instead of repairing the ESC, it appears that they replaced it. So, whatever the problem(s) was/were (there might have been multiple), not only was the unit factory-defective (as was the motor), but it was, obviously, beyond being 'repairable'.

    Anyway, Castle shipped them yesterday, and should be delivered (if USPS tracking is to be believed, coming from Kansas) on Monday.


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  17. #17
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Squeegie's Avatar
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    Good for you!
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  18. #18
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeegie View Post
    Good for you!
    "Good" for several of us, as I'm just one of at least a few (truthfully, I have no way of knowing how many others) who purchased this combo recently, and we all experienced the exact same problems. Seems highly possible that specific manufacturing run on the Mamba Monster X may have produced who-knows-how-many defective ESCs. While I don't know if the motor was also defective, or whether or was damaged due to the defective ESC, I'd say it's relatively safe to assume that, of the motor read also defective, the same could possibly apply to all units manufactured during that run.

    Besides myself, I am now aware of three other people (the third PM'd me a couple days ago, asking for help, after realizing the problem he's experiencing is identical) who purchased the same motor & ESC (one of which was not purchased as a packaged combo), and have experienced problems identical to what I experienced. When it was just 3 people, I called Castle to let them know they might want to check into this. Unfortunately, while I've had quite a few "excellent customer service" experiences with Castle, that phone call was not one of them, as the person I was speaking with didn't really appear to care.

    After I receive them back, and fully test, then I will call Castle again (hopefully racing someone different...someone who cares), and try to explain what I think might be going on. Whether, or not, Castle actually checks into it, I probably won't know. But, it is (obviously) in their own best interest of the do check into the possibility. I don't know if a 'production run' consists of 300 units, 30,000 units, or 3 million units...but, if the problem(s) are consistently happening across multiple units, they should check into it.


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  19. #19
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    Good luck with the Castle situation! Its the worst when things just don’t seem to go right out of the box.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panther6834 View Post
    "Good" for several of us, as I'm just one of at least a few (truthfully, I have no way of knowing how many others) who purchased this combo recently, and we all experienced the exact same problems. Seems highly possible that specific manufacturing run on the Mamba Monster X may have produced who-knows-how-many defective ESCs. While I don't know if the motor was also defective, or whether or was damaged due to the defective ESC, I'd say it's relatively safe to assume that, of the motor read also defective, the same could possibly apply to all units manufactured during that run.
    Could you give some details of what the issue was? I just installed a set of mmx+2200kv combo and it is behaving a little off so I was wondering what you saw.

  21. #21
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoBelugas View Post
    Could you give some details of what the issue was? I just installed a set of mmx+2200kv combo and it is behaving a little off so I was wondering what you saw.
    First test, outside vehicles, sensored motor operated (tho the 'sound' was "off"). After installing, the spur & pinion just "vibrated" back & forth. It was almost as if there was some 'binding' somewhere in the rear of the drivetrain...except that there's was NO binding - disengage the mesh between spur & pinion, and the vehicle rolled freely (by hand) on both directions, thus proving no binding.

    After a few more tries, and again getting the "vibrating" the motor stopped working...or, so I thought. Upon removing the sensor wire, the motor functioned again. Plus sensor cable in, and nothing. Unplug sensor cable again, and motor works again. Initially, I thought the only problem was that the sensor board was defective, & died. But, after Castle received it, and inspected it, the sensor board wasn't the only thing they replaced inside the motor. Indianapolis, when I called, the ESC hadn't yet been looked at it, so there was no way (yet) of knowing if anything was wrong with the ESC.

    A few days ago, I received an email from Castle, providing the return tracking number, and including a PDF related to the ESC...but, containing no specific details, other than that they replaced the ESC. Turns out, something (tho, I don't know 'what', as I haven't yet received the return) was also wrong with the ESC, as they didn't 'repair' the ESC - they 'replaced' it.

    So, what I'm suspecting is that there was some sort of manufacturer defect in the ESC, and, whatever the defect was in the ESC, it was not repairable, thus the replacement. I also suspect that, whatever the ESC's defect...whether, or not, the motor was already defective...it may have caused damage to the motor, this leading to the repairs needing to be done to the motor.

    If this helps you, great...and, if the problem you're experiencing it's different, hopefully it gets resolved. With the problem I had, I'm already aware of three other who had the same problem, two of whom have already shipped theirs (ESC & motors) in for repair/replacement.


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  22. #22
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    Hm mine is going that vibrating back and forth thing but the sounds are working, I keep getting a . _ which their manual says is lipo cut off, except my battery was at storage charge and not low. I will try it tomorrow without the sensor wire.

    This is one of the few castle esc and motor combo I use, I usually use their esc with either Poseidon or tp power motors. But I wanted to use the sensored function for this build. :/
    Last edited by TwoBelugas; 02-22-2021 at 03:04 AM.

  23. #23
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    My initial testing, before installing, was done with "storage" level battery. Testing once ESC & motor were installed was done with fully-charged pack. Since yours is a different motor, but the same ESC, this is REALLY starting to seem like a problem with the MMX. I'm not home right now (it's after midnight, and I'm just getting off work)...but, is there a way (say, something printed on the box and/or ESC) to determine what "production run" each of our MMX ESCs came from?

    If this is related to a specific production run, Castle REALLY needs to know about this, ASAP. Of the 5 of us (that I'm, personally, aware of), you're the only one not running the 1512-2650kV. Of the rest of us, three of us (myself, included) purchased the MMX/1512-2650kV combo, while the fourth person purchased the ESC & motor separately (his LHS didn't have the combo in-stock, and he didn't want to wait). If only 2 of us had the exact same problem, I'd call it a "fluke". If 3, I'd call it unusual, but not impossible. But 5 of us? Including one with a different kV motor, but the same ESC? That's WAY beyond "unusual".



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  24. #24
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    Mine was a separately purchased mmx esc while the motor is from a mm2/2200kv combo.

    I will have to look at the esc because I am a bit too quick to clean up and tossed the box already. I bought the esc sometime last fall from AMain.

    It does sound like the esc’s sensor components is the intersection of all the problem cases.
    Last edited by TwoBelugas; 02-22-2021 at 03:38 AM.

  25. #25
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Then it seems that 3 of us (out of 5) ordered ours through Amain...but, I'm also fairly certain that Amain has nothing to do with it, as the packaging was factory sealed.


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    Last edited by Panther6834; 02-22-2021 at 04:14 AM.
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    Agreed, Amain is not in any way an issue.

  27. #27
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    According to USPS tracking is to it should be delivered tomorrow. As it's highly probable it won't be delivered until after I've left for work, or shortly before I leave, I won't be able to check/test until Tuesday...or Wednesday, as I'm trying to get my new XRAY XB2C 2021 built.


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    So I unplugged the sensor wire and it didn’t make a difference. Neither did another battey of identical make and model at storage charge. So I charged the battery about 440mah and it ran fine, so my issue seems to be slightly different, the auto lipo cut off is being super aggressive even though I set the setting to auto and cut off at 3.2 volts. I need to google this, I recall there were some discussions about their esc cutting off batteries like this.

  29. #29
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
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    Received the returned ESC & motor, tho I still don't know what, exactly as the problem(s) was/were. I know (from my phone call to Castle last week) that they did 'something' to the motor...I just don't know what that "something" was. As for the ESC, whatever the defect(s) was/were, I can only assume it wasn't repairable, as they replaced it, instead of repairing it. Whatever is going on with the MMX, maybe Castle is aware of it, and, for any sent in, they're just replacing them.

    Honestly, that's just an assumption...but, I am going to call them tomorrow morning, to see if I can get more specific details...but, considering the number of people who've had the same problem(s), it seems a decent possibility.


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  30. #30
    RC Racer VisionSlash42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panther6834 View Post
    Search "battery tray" on Amain's site, and you'll find this one (https://www.amainhobbies.com/xtreme-...10627/p1249084) for the Slash & Sl4sh, and should also fit the newer R4sty.


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    Okay, thanks a bunch!
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    100+ posts, here I come!

  31. #31
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    Location
    Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada-The Wet Coast!
    Posts
    123
    That whole MMX thing seems really weird. I know Castle just put a bulletin out about the MMX-8S/XLX2, so, maybe something similar?
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  32. #32
    RC Champion Panther6834's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    1,583
    Good news: Finally got to test the replacement ESC, and repaired motor (once again, not that Castle bothered to tell me what, exactly, the problems were). First, I tested the ESC & motor, without actually installing either in the vehicle. Without a sensor cable (I'll get to this in a minute), everything works perfectly. After installing the motor to the motor plate, estimating the correct position for the pinion (I was off, but by less than 1mm...will adjust later), installing into the vehicle, and getting the mesh just right (on first attempt), I tested everything again (albeit, again, without the sensor cable). With the original ESC, remember that the spur & pinion just "vibrated"...with the new ESC, we have liftoff.

    Bad news: Unfortunately, I can't text6 (yet) with the sensor cable. Why? Because, in shipping the replacement ESC, not only did they not remembered to remove the sensor cable harness from the defective ESC, but they also didn't remember to include a new sensor cable harness. So.......I just called Castle, and they're shipping out a sensor cable harness to me. At least the vehicle is (sorta-kinda) 'operational'.

    No worries, tho, as I still have a few other things needing to be done. In the meantime, until the sensor cable harness arrives, I've got a few other vehicles needing my attention...e especially my Class 3 Comp Crawler rig, which I need to make certain is ready for Scale Nationals, which starts two weeks from today. Here's a sneak-peak (pay no attention to the finger holding the ESC in place...lol)


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