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Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

Old 12-01-2009, 02:40 PM
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Bosoxfan0003
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Default Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

I just dove into the RC truck world this weekend and I think It's going to be with me a long time! Here's the story.....

I bought a nitro XTM from a pawn shop that I thought was a good deal. Turned out it was junk so they gave me my money back and I decided to go with an electric Rustler. Not the VXL, the standard. (In retrospect, that was dumb because now all I can think about is MORESPEED!) I decided the ease of use and maintenance was better for a newb anyhow. I also purchased the Traxxas EZ peak charger and a 5000 Venom battery. Oh, and replaced the rear shock tower with an RPM because I snapped the stock one.

My question is, what upgrades are suggested? I will go with a brushless motor here soon, but besides that and maybe a wheelie bar, Im not sure what else to do. I'm not even sure what brushless to go with. The Velineon looks good and so does the Mamba Max, but since I have no clue on how parts transfer over, Im stuck. So here's where the information from you folks would help. It seems that there are no cool aftermarket upgrades for the Rusty. Everything everywhere is Slash, T-Maxx, Revo. So why did the guys at Hobbytown push this thing on me? Anyway, I just need some info........anyone got ideas for me?

Old 12-01-2009, 05:07 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

If you have the new rusty with the Blue XL5 ESC then you basically have a VXL model without the Brushless motor or bearings.

First thing to do is swap the bushing in the carriers for bearings. You'll need 8 of size 5x11.

I recommend only replacing items that break when they break. You'll be surprised how much of a beating the stock stuff will take. When something does break replace it with RPM. Aluminum is really a Bling thing and not needed.

As for the brushless setup. You can't go wrong with a VXL system. After all it is made by Traxxas for these trucks. A better combo would be a Mamba ESC with the VXL motor. I don't recommend the mamba motors. Just personal preference but I don't like them.

If you're on a budget then the EZrun 13.5 (3300KV) system is very good for right around $100.

Other than that just drive it. When it's time Invest in some Lipo batteries, a balancer, charger and low voltage alarm.
Old 12-01-2009, 05:14 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

Fantastic, thanks! Tell me more about the balancer, low voltage alarm, etc. Specifically why I need them and what they might run. Thanks again!
Old 12-01-2009, 05:17 PM
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cenracer1
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?


ORIGINAL: john01374

If you have the new rusty with the Blue XL5 ESC then you basically have a VXL model without the Brushless motor or bearings.

First thing to do is swap the bushing in the carriers for bearings. You 8 of size 5x11.

I recommend only replacing items that break when they break. You'll be surprised how much of a beating the stock stuff will take. When something does break replace it with RPM. Aluminum is really a Bling thing and not needed.

As for the brushless setup. You can't go wrong with a VXL system. After all it is made by Traxxas for these trucks. A better combo would be a Mamba ESC with the VXL motor. I don't recommend the mamba motors. Just personal preference but I don't like them.

If you're on a budget then the EZrun 13.5 (3300KV) system is very good for right around $100.

Other than that just drive it. When it's time Invest in some Lipo batteries, a balancer, charger and low voltage alarm.

Good advice given here.. aluminum is mostly for bling and the stock rustler is very durable.. Johns personal preference to the vxl motor over the Castle motor is just pure preference.. I have the Castle 5700 and love it.. its much faster than the vxl, but it does not have the low end torque of the vxl.. Like he said its just a preference.. I like to go fast.... The rustler weighs so little, torque isn't too much of an issue... I've owned my Rustler for years, started out as an XL-1 and transformed to a VXL running all Castle power...
Old 12-01-2009, 05:30 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

best way to tell what needs to be upgraded: if you break it, replace it with something stronger.
Old 12-01-2009, 05:35 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

All good advice. From what I can tell, it is all about preference. I'll go with the Mamba Max or Ventileon motor at some point next month.

Another question: Best tires for these conditions
-Dirt Track
-Pavement/asphault
-Carpet
Old 12-01-2009, 06:01 PM
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rclugnut10
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

carpet you'll want foams made by Jaco
pavement foams again or something like 30 series road rages from proline or road weapons from losi
dirt track depending on the dirt anything loose, grass, sand rocks, general bashing i'm gunna say 30 series proline badlands for a loose track bowties 30's if you want for a harder track holeshots or something similar with a smaller tigheter pin design all those tires are made by proline,

for bl systems also give novaks havoc and castles SW systems a look at, both are budget systems but don't skimp on power, i have the SW 4600 combo and on a 2s lipo i push my evader to around 35, my B4 a bit faster, and it doesn't dissapoint on TQ with the stock mounting holes i couldn't control wheelies with punch control at 50% and low timing, and high gearing, i ended up moding the shock tower to drop the rear end down significanly to go control wheelies, on a matched 6cell it wasn't so bad but wheelies were still no problem

as for balancing, lipo's you need a charger that can balance the packs or an extrenal blancer like an Astroflight blinky which is what i have, or similar, this is very important to do with lipos so that a voltage imbalnce doesn't form and grow with the cells causing over charging or disshcaring which can lead to a big boom but thats in very dramatic cases most of the time you'll get a puffed cell and then have to dispose of the pack

if you're going brushless i'd get all metal gears you tranny a plastic diff gear and it WILL fail the spur is fine but your diff may go under heavier power i run a plastic diff and its good under 2s and a 6 cell but i have yet to bump up the power to anything higher

the lug
Old 12-01-2009, 08:51 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?


ORIGINAL: Bosoxfan0003

Fantastic, thanks! Tell me more about the balancer, low voltage alarm, etc. Specifically why I need them and what they might run. Thanks again!
Bos - A balancer and low voltage alarm are only needed when you make the switch to Lipo batteries. Like standard Nimh batteries lipo's are made up of multiple cells but they are much more sensitive to voltage and need to be balanced regularly so you should always balance them before and during charging.

The low voltage cut alarm is just like it sounds. It alerts you when your Lipo battery is getting too low on voltage. It's a bad idea to drain a Lipo below 3.2V per cell so the Alarm starts flashing around 3.4V per cell and makes an awful Beeping sound when they get to 3.2V

If you want to go Lipo right away (and it's not a bad idea) then just let me know. I've been messing with them for almost 3 years now and I can walk you through it.

And Like CEN said. My preference for the VXL motor is just that. A personal preference. Nothing wrong with the Mamba motor is light weight trucks.
Old 12-02-2009, 10:35 AM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?


ORIGINAL: john01374


ORIGINAL: Bosoxfan0003

Fantastic, thanks! Tell me more about the balancer, low voltage alarm, etc. Specifically why I need them and what they might run. Thanks again!
Bos - A balancer and low voltage alarm are only needed when you make the switch to Lipo batteries. Like standard Nimh batteries lipo's are made up of multiple cells but they are much more sensitive to voltage and need to be balanced regularly so you should always balance them before and during charging.

The low voltage cut alarm is just like it sounds. It alerts you when your Lipo battery is getting too low on voltage. It's a bad idea to drain a Lipo below 3.2V per cell so the Alarm starts flashing around 3.4V per cell and makes an awful Beeping sound when they get to 3.2V

If you want to go Lipo right away (and it's not a bad idea) then just let me know. I've been messing with them for almost 3 years now and I can walk you through it.

And Like CEN said. My preference for the VXL motor is just that. A personal preference. Nothing wrong with the Mamba motor is light weight trucks.
Im still not quite sure of the benefits of going LiPo. More powere? Longer life? My friend that owns Hobbytown here told he some horror stories of people forgetting to disconnect them from the chargers, etc. Such as the interior of a guys truck going up in flames. If I did go LiPo early on, is there anything I'd have to change on the Rusty?
Old 12-02-2009, 10:55 AM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

There will always be horror stories of people mis-using lipo's and stuff going wrong. You cant fix stupid, and if your going to go Lipo its in your best interest to read up on them and follow proper handling and care procedures...theyre not hard, but it does take a limitedamount of responsibility to avoid the "horror" stories.

There's hundreds of threads on these forums talking about Lipo's, and any upgrades recommended. I dont have a rusty so I cant tell you, but it would be easy to find with a search and 5-10 minutes of reading.

"The official Rustler Thread" would be a good place to start.
Old 12-02-2009, 11:38 AM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

Any and all RPM parts (lifetime warranty)

Bearings, if not already equipped

Aluminum bodied shocks (Associated shocks are great)

TRX Brushless

Lighter wheels and tires

Titanium screws and tie rods
Old 12-02-2009, 03:54 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?


ORIGINAL: Bosoxfan0003

All good advice. From what I can tell, it is all about preference. I'll go with the Mamba Max or Ventileon motor at some point next month.

Another question: Best tires for these conditions
-Dirt Track
-Pavement/asphault
-Carpet

I have a Rustler and hopefully can answer some of your questions...
Running on dirt.. hardpack with dusty conditions I use proline mini pins, for regular conditions I use holeshots..
Pavement.. I use the traxxas Anaconda's with traxxas wheels.. these are from the jato, but traxxas sells them with correct offset for the Rustler..
Carpet.. Never tried it with the Rustler but foams are the only way to go..

Your friend at the Local Hobby Town isn't doing you or the r/c community any favors by trashing Lipo's... I've been using them for years, starting with Helicopters and Planes and eventually for cars when they became big enough... leaving a lipo on a charger doesn't make it explode.. The Lipo chargers will shut off when the battery is charged, just like any other charger... Nimh can be just as dangerous if overcharged... Lipo's need a bit more care, but the payoff is much greater.. much more power and lighter weight..

I run a low voltage alarm on my Rustler even though my Mamba speed control has a low voltage cutoff.. I guess I'm a bit anal from my Helicopter days without cutoffs... any decent brushless esc has a low voltage cutoff, so its not really necessary, but most brushed esc's do not.. so you have to be careful with them..

I saw the video of the truck going up in flames from the lipo battery a while ago... I won't place blame here, but if I remember it was in Texas during the summer time and the guy was charging the battery on the seat of his truck while he went inside.. From what I remember, he claimed to have just gone inside for a minute and when he came out the truck was engulfed in flames... Nothing goes up that fast, lipo's will puff for a while, then smoke for a while then maybe... just maybe you get a flame.. Its just not that common... I think there were other things going on here.. but I won't acuse anyone ... I wasn't there....
Old 12-02-2009, 04:18 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

Bos - The benefits of Lipos are huge. First they provide much better punch than a NiMh pack as the have the ability to deliver more amps.

The discharge curve of a Lipo is basically flat until it dumps at the end where a Nimh pack begins to lose it's voltage as soon as you begin to run it so you will get better punch longer with a Lipo.

Lipo's weight less. Less weight = better performance.

No cycling needed. If you are going to store a Lipo you simply charge it up and put it away. Nimh needs to be cycled every couple of weeks or they begin to go bad.

Longer run times. A 2S 5000mah pack lasts 40+ minutes in my Slash on the track.

Much longer Life. I've put over 300 cycles through on of my packs and I have a coupl eof more that are well over 200 cycles. Nimh give you about 80 to 100.

You would not have to make any changes to the truck. You would have to buy and run that low voltage I mentioned above.


I have been running Lipo's for almost 3 years and in that 3 years I'm managed to smash, puncture and short a couple of Lipo. It each case I got a nice smoke show and a couple of sparks. No flames and no ones house of truck burned up. There are way too many people spreading incorrect info about Lipo's.... I have had several packs explode on me over the past 20 years but every single one of them where NiCd or NiMh. I feel safer using Lipo.

One more plus.. They're cheaper than Nimh too... By a lot...
Old 12-02-2009, 05:00 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?


ORIGINAL: john01374


No cycling needed. If you are going to store a Lipo you simply charge it up and put it away. Nimh needs to be cycled every couple of weeks or they begin to go bad.
You should NOT store a lipo charged to full capacity, it won't explode, but it weakens it.
Old 12-02-2009, 05:24 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?

I've heard that but in talking to the manufactures they all tell me that it's ok to store them full. I've also noticed that the last few packs i've bought came to me fully charged. I charged a brand new Turnigy hard pack last week and it only took around 80 mah.
Old 12-02-2009, 05:52 PM
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Default RE: Newbie With A Rustler - Mod Suggestions?


[quote]ORIGINAL: cenracer1


I saw the video of the truck going up in flames from the lipo battery a while ago... I won't place blame here, but if I remember it was in Texas during the summer time and the guy was charging the battery on the seat of his truck while he went inside.. From what I remember, he claimed to have just gone inside for a minute and when he came out the truck was engulfed in flames... Nothing goes up that fast, lipo's will puff for a while, then smoke for a while then maybe... just maybe you get a flame.. Its just not that common... I think there were other things going on here.. but I won't acuse anyone ... I wasn't there....
That's almost the exact story I heard, but it was his buddy at the Boise airport who set the battery on a cookie pan on his car seat at lunch. Burnt up the interior of the truck.

I think I'll do the brushless motor and new esc, then do the LiPo batts. May as well get used to what I have b4 I dump more money into it.

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