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  1. #1
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    Mar 2021
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    Project Phoenix: '95 Hawk 2 resto-mod!

    Maybe it's just me, but it sometimes seems like the Hawk is the younger step-brother to the Blue Eagle that most people, Traxxas included, would like to pretend didn't exist.

    Certainly, in perusing this forum, I've seen a few diehard Hawk fanboys like myself, but it just seems like most people either ignore the Hawk or are unaware of its existence. A few weeks ago, I was actually AT Texas with my Hawk 2, and no one there seemed to even know what it was. Talk about the Slash, Stampede, Rustler, Bandit, even the Nitro Hawk, and they're with you. But the Hawk? The truck from which a great many of the bits that STILL make up those other vehicles come? Blank stares. It's crazy because the Hawk was essentially an entry level Blue Eagle, and could, with enough time, money, and patience, be converted into a Blue Eagle, just as a Slash can be converted into an XO-1. In my admittedly biased and not so humble opinion, the Hawk was one of Traxxas' best models, and the Hawk 2 was the pinnacle of that wonderful model.

    My younger brother and I have been in the RC hobby since 1988, when I was 14. I've been a Traxxas fanboy since I first saw the original Hawk back in 1990; it took my brother a few more years to come to his senses. I owned an original Hawk, but during one of my periodic exits from the hobby, I gave it away - to my brother, who's never left the hobby, I believe. But in 1995, I saw the Hawk 2, and I fell in love all over again. I bought one, built it, hopped it up with everything available at the time, except for the graphite chassis (I preferred the tub chassis, even though I was prone to breaking them), and ran it for several years, loving every minute of it. But, life and family. You know the drill. And I ended up leaving the hobby again, giving my Hawk first to my then 12 yr old son, and then, when he returned it to me, to my brother. He's kept it all these years, pulling it out from time to time, playing with it, modding it here and there. But, for the most part, it's still the Hawk 2 I built in 1995 (though the chassis, which is still miraculously in one piece, has seen better days). He recently sent the old girl back to me, rebuilt as best he was able, with a few modifications - some good, some not so good, and that lit the old fire again. I've been running the Hawk for a few weeks on a Dynamite 3S capable ESC, a Hobbypark 12t 550 motor, 6200 mah Ovonic Lipo, and 35t pinion/76t spur combination.

    Boys, the Hawk flies!

    But...she's NOT pretty anymore. The body my brother sent with her is beautifully done, but under the hood, time has not been kind to the old girl. I don't want the thrown together modifications on there anymore, even though, for the most part, they do improve durability. So, I started looking for a way to restore her to her former glory. And luck was with me. I found a bone stock Hawk 2 from the same era as mine, and it looks like the former owner only ran it a few times, then stuck it in an attic somewhere. As far as I can tell, the only missing part, aside from the body of course, is the battery hold down bar, which I have. She's got some dirt and dust, but the shocks still squeak and hold oil, and the diff action is as smooth as the day she came out of the box. I have found a perfect donor.

    All THAT to say, here's the plan:

    I'm going to do a complete rebuild of my old Hawk, using the donor to replace any missing or wrecked parts. I'm going to keep all of the hop ups from mine - ball diff, blue aluminum shocks, slipper clutch, steel gears, etc., so the end result will be the Hawk EXACTLY as she was when I shut her down for the last time in '98 or '99, with the exception of the modern electronics.

    That's the resto part. That's my starting point.

    The mod part is that, from there, I'm going to add in as many modern hop ups as I can, to bring the old girl into the modern world. Traxxas hasn't changed all that much over the years, and MANY of their modern aftermarket parts for their modern models will bolt right on to the Hawk 2, perhaps with some minor modifications here and there. I shouldn't have too much trouble finding aluminum caster and steering blocks, A- arms, shock towers and body mounts, stainless steel or titanium linkages and pins, etc. etc. etc. And, of course, she's going brushless, although I haven't settled on a system yet. I plan to keep the original chassis for as long as possible, strengthening it with carbon fiber reinforcement and a more durable front bumper. In the end, she's going to be beautiful, and she'll be the fastest Hawk 2 on the planet. And no one will sleep on the Hawk again.

    As for the old parts? Well...that's another story. 😉

    If I can figure out how, I'll post pictures here to document my progress. Also, I'm going to be putting videos up on my YouTube channel - I'll provide a link when they start going up. Anyone reading this who's interested in the project and wants to help with advice, encouragement, whatever, I welcome your comments and input.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

  2. #2
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    9
    Quick update: I did make some videos during the rebuild (which is nearly finished), but they disappeared from my phone when I moved them to my SD card. Maybe they'll turn up; I hope so, at least. But I didn't find them in about half an hour of searching, so I'm not holding out much hope. I do have pictures, though, so I'll put those up later. I'm waiting on some more bearings before I finish the rebuild. Once I have those, I'll do another video before the first run, explaining what's been done thus far, and where all of this is ultimately headed. And, of course, I'll do a video of the first run!

  3. #3
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    Quick update: project stalled for a few days, due to failed electronics. Trying to nail down the problem, but it seems to be the Dynamite ESC. Awaiting a complete set of Traxxas electronics. Other than that, still on track.

  4. #4
    Traxxas Marshal cooleocool's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
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    Wherever the road takes me.
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    38,092
    Too bad about the video footage and the Dynamite ESC. But at least you're getting some new electronics!
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  5. #5
    RC poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    9
    OK, another update. Ordered an XL-5 ESC, a Titan 550 12t motor, a TQi radio and receiver (for that TSM, since I'd like to avoid smashing this truck up), and a new Traxxas steering servo. All of that SHOULD be here between the 6th and the 8th. Once I get it installed, I'll take some pics and do some video, which I'll post to YouTube and link here.

    Also, I picked up a 32p 26t pinion and a 32p 54t spur. I'm considering switching pitches on the outside gears because, with my current 35/72, my mesh is difficult at best, and I don't think I can get any more gear out of it. I mean, I COULD go to a smaller spur, but I'll start losing too much acceleration, and there's the issue of heat to consider (there's no motor fan that will fit on the Hawk 2 the way the motor is mounted - at least, none that I'm aware of). Beyond that, I'm already well beyond the limits of the nearly 30 year old plastic, and parts are hard to come by. On that note, if anyone knows someone who can duplicate parts in carbon fiber or billet aluminum, can you hook a brother up? ��

    And, while I'm thinking about it, I'm considering a drag build (either Slash or Rustler), and I noticed that people are using Bandit A arms all around. I looked and, is it just me, or are the Bandit A arms almost exactly the same length as the Hawk's A arms? The Hawk's A arms are significantly shorter than Slash or Rustler ones, but they LOOK to be nearly the same size as the Bandit's. Can anyone confirm?

  6. #6
    RC Racer
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    106
    Yesssss, the hawk rocks! Happy to see you doing this. I also did a project on my childhood hawk II, but for me I had to upgrade it to the blue eagle LS-II that I badly wanted as a kid after seeing it in R/C car action. Little did I know at the time that the LS-II was really different from the original blue eagle and thus the hawk II. It turned into quite a journey across a few years and I ended up with two trucks I got so many parts, lol. Check out https://forums.traxxas.com/showthrea...an-Eagle-LS-II for how it went for me if you haven't seen it.

    Unfortunately I'm way out of all this stuff now, so I forgot all the little details. And I never looked into the car variants like the Bandit, good question on the A arms. All I can say is all the best to you with this project, good luck!

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