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Posts Tagged ‘hop-ups

Vaterra halix upgrade hop-up servo Xpert
While the stock servo in the Vaterra Halix works fine for general bashing, to go truly high performance a better servo needs to be installed. A better servo will not only be faster than the stock unit, but also have more power for keeping those big tires pointed where you intend them to be.

For our Halix project we decided to pop in an Xpert SM-5501HV. The 5501 has some impressive specs, .106 for speed and 270 oz-in of torque at 7.4 volts, and it is a digital servo, a requirement for use with the AVC system on the Halix.

Installing a Servo in the Halix -

1. Use a 2mm hex to remove the bolt out of the servo horn.

2. Use a 2mm hex to remove the 4 bolts holding in the servo.

3. Use a 2mm hex to remove 2 screws securing the receiver box lid.

4. Unplug the servo wire from the receiver and cut the zip-ties that hold the wire down.

Hit the “Read More” button to check out all the rest of the installation steps.

Vaterra Halix hop-up tie rod turnbuckles
This week in our Vaterra Halix upgrade series we’ll be showing you how to install new turnbuckles. There are a couple of good reasons to do this, the first being that the stock units can break during hard bashing, the second is that the stock units are not adjustable. Being able to adjust tire camber and front toe-in comes in mighty handy for dialing in your Halix to your local bash spot.

How to install new tie-rods on the Halix-

1. Use the four way wrench that came with your truck to remove the wheels.

2. Use a 2mm hex for the bolt heads and use either the supplied four way wrench or needle nose pliers for the nuts to remove the stock turnbuckles.

3. We used two pairs of Traxxas #3644 ($7 per pair) for the front and rear camber rods. When you install these take note that one side has a wide ball in the rod end, while the other uses a narrow. On the Halix you will want to install the wide ball towards the hub, with the narrow mounted to the shock tower. The Traxxas tie-rods are also directional, there is a groove in each tie-rod that donates direction. You will want the groove on all the tie-rods pointing the same direction. This is done so during adjustment the same rotation of the tie-rod will result in either tightening or loosening for all six units.

4. We used a pair of Traxxas #3745 ($8 per pair) for the steering turnbuckles, these are slightly longer than the 3644s and work well in the Halix.

5. We will also note that we drilled new camber holes in the rear tower of our Halix. This was done to lower the roll center and change the camber gain on the rear of the truck. The higher mount gives the rear of our Halix a more planted feel in the low bite conditions we normally drive on. We used a 7/64 bit to make the new holes and removed the bumper and top of the rear shocks to gain easier access.

6. After all six tie rods and the wheels are mounted back up, you will need to adjust camber. You will need to set your Halix on a flat surface and use an RPM #70992 (or better yet their #70950, $12) camber gauge and a turnbuckle wrench. We used a slightly modified Lunsford wrench to set front and rear camber at negative 1 degrees. Also of note, set camber with a battery in the truck while it is sitting at its normal ride height.

7. One step left to go, adjust the front toe-in. We used our Lunsford turnbuckle wrench with a metal ruler to set toe-in to zero degrees. Zero degrees is a fairly common setting that works well on the Halix. Setting the toe-in is easy, we used the metal ruler to measure the distance between the centers of the tires from the front side, then from the rear, until they both measured the same. Many people just “eyeball” the toe, as long as both front tires are pointed straight forwards, not in towards each other or pointing outwards, you will be close to zero toe.

8. With the turnbuckles bolted up and the camber and toe-in set, your Halix is ready to drive. It took us about 30 minutes to do the job, we have yet to break one of the new turnbuckles, and the additional tuning flexibility has allowed us to really dial the truck in.

Next week we’ll be installing a new servo, until then you can Click HERE to read more Halix hop-up articles on BigSquidRC.

MIP CVD Vaterra Halix
The previous hop-ups we performed on the Vaterra Halix didn’t take much elbow grease. Installing pre-mounted wheels & tires can take as little as 5 minutes, while installing a pre-painted body might take less than half an hour. On the flip side of the coin, installing MIP CVDs on the Halix might be the most time consuming hop-up to be found. While installing CVDs on most vehicles is a snap, because of the design of the Halix, both differentials must be removed and fully dissembled, meaning this job might take you well over an hour. However, the stock driveshafts have a tendency to break, so installing MIP CVDs should be considered an absolute must if you plan on bashing hard.

How to install MIP CVDs on a Vaterra Halix -

1. Bust the MIP CVDs out of their package and fully assemble them. Follow their supplied directions, taking extra note to use the supplied thread locking compound on the grub screws used to secure the CVD pins, and make sure the grub screws mate up to the flat spots on the pins. Also make sure to use the supplied grease on the mating surfaces to reduce friction.

2. Use the four way wrench that came with your Halix to remove the wheels.

3. Use a 2mm hex wrench to remove the wheel hexes from the axles.

Hit the “Read More” button to check out the rest of the article after the jump.


Vaterra Halix Pro-Line Body How To
The single biggest difference you can do for the looks of your truck is to change its body. Changing out the body will make your truck look different from everyone else’s at the local bash spot, and in some cases, can even improve performance. For those reasons changing the body on our Vaterra Halix was a “must do” project.

In years past, prepping, masking, painting, then trimming a new body took hours. For people with little free time it can hard, if not impossible, to find a free evening to paint up a clear body. Thankfully pre-painted bodies are becoming more and more common, most of which can take less than 15 minutes to mount up.

For our Halix project we were looking for a scale looking body that came pre-painted. Our friends over at Pro-Line Racing had just what we were looking for, a red pre-painted Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The body has a gorgeous scale look and takes under a half hour to install, perfect!

Here are the steps to installing a pre-painted body on your Halix-

1. Drill the rear body holes. Test fit the new body on top of the truck. Use a Sharpie or hobby knife to make marks on the under side of the new body where the body posts are resting. Once you have double checked to make sure your markings are where you want them, bust out the body reamer and make the holes. Helpful hints- we used a hobby knife to mark where the holes should be front-to-back on the body, and a pair of calipers set to make sure the holes were the proper distance apart. Also, start with a very small holes just in case you are a little bit off.

2. Drill the front holes. Put the new body on and clip it down in the rear, then make two more marks on the underneath side of the body where the front body posts touch. Once again, break out a body reamer to make a pair of appropriately sized holes.

3. Set the height of the body posts. We lowered the body posts on our Halix by two holes front and rear to get the look we were after. This is quite easy, use a 1.5mm hex wrench to remove the four screws required to lower (or raise) the posts.

4. All done! Put in a freshly charged battery pack and get some bashing in! Our Halix has a trick new look and Pro-Line bodies are known for taking a good beating.

Next up in our hop-up series is how to install MIP CVDs on the Halix. Until then you can Click This Link to read more how-to articles on BigSquidRC.

Pro-Line Vaterra Halix Trencher
Changing to better tires is commonly known as the best “Bang for the Buck” upgrade that you can do to any rc car. While the Vaterra Halix comes with decent tires, we are shooting for top-of-the-line with our project truck so better units were a must.

We consider Pro-Line Trenchers the best all around bashing tires that money can buy, so that’s exactly what we installed on our project truck. To be specific we went with part number #1170-12, Trenchers that came pre-mounted on Desperado 2.8″ wheels. Those particular units are the perfect size for the Halix, come in a long wearing M2 compound, have the proper size hex, and are only .1 oz heavier (6.1 oz stock, 6.2 oz for each Trencher/Desperado) than the stock units.

If you are noob to the hobby, changing out wheels & tires is the easiest mod you can perform. On the Halix all it takes is removing the four wheels nuts with the 4 way wrench that was included with the truck, mounting up the new kicks, and putting the four nuts back on, a process that takes under 5 minutes. A couple of tips for the noobs – make sure the hex on the axle is properly inserted into the wheel, and make sure the wheels nuts are re-installed very tightly to prevent them from working loose.

After installing the Trenchers our Halix had much more traction on dirt and grass surfaces. The big lugs on the Trenchers just love to chew up and spit out loamy dirt, and the Trenchers are equally good at finding traction on grass. The difference was night and day, and we highly recommend this upgrade for your Halix.

Our next hop-up article will show you what it takes to install a new body on your Halix, until then check out This Link to read more how-to articles on BigSquidRC.

Pro-Line Shocks Vaterra Halix GIF
One of our favorite all around bash machines here at BigSquidRC is the Vaterra Halix monster truck. While out of the box it is great fun to bash, we are doing a series of hop-up articles to make it truly epic. This week we’ll start off the series by upgrading the shocks.

The stock shocks on the Vaterra Halix work fine, but use plastic bodies and we were looking for truly top-of-the-line performance. With that in mind we contacted Pro-Line Racing and ordered up two sets of their high-end Pro Spec Shocks. To fit the Halix we used the “long/rear” length, and also ordered their heaviest shock springs (super hard, part #6308-20, $8 a pair) to handle the weight of the Halix.

The Pro-Line shocks come with 3 different sets of pistons to choose from, after some testing we ended up running the heaviest damping pistons (smallest holes) in the front shocks, and medium holed pistons in the rear. For shock oil we ended up running 40 weight Associated in the front and 30 in the rear.

The Pro-Spec shocks mounted up without issue using the supplied hardware. The “long/rear” Pro-Spec shocks are slightly longer than the stock front shocks, and slightly shorter than the stock rears, but by using alternate mounting holes in the a-arms this was not an issue.

While out bashing the Pro-Specs provided top notch performance. We set ours up a bit on the heavy side which worked extremely well in high bite conditions, as well as when hucking big wood ramps. The Pro-Specs soaked up big hits like a champ and we never had an issue with them, even after extended abuse. To boil it down, the Pro-Specs felt like we had bolted up a finely tuned set of “A-Kit” factory suspension, they worked that well.

Next week in part #2 of our hop-up series we’ll be mounting up some new wheels and tires. Until then you can Click Here to read more hop-up articles right here on BigSquidRC.

Revell Dromida Option Hop Up Parts
A big part of bashing is hopping up your rig, making it faster, look better, and more importantly, durable. After the guys over at Revell announced their new Dromida line-up of bash machines, they also announced a slew of hop-up parts. Some of the parts help improve performance, some improve durability, and all of them help uber-out the new Dromidas. The new option parts include-

* Axle Set Aluminum Blue- DIDC1102, $7
* Battery Strap Carbon Fiber- DIDC1100, $6
* Center Drive Shaft Aluminum Blue- DIDC1107- $5
* Chassis Brace Aluminum Blue- DIDC1103, $25
* Blue Aluminum Dogbones- DIDC1108, $10
* Front Blue Aluminum Hinge Pin Mount- DIDC1111, $10
* Rear Blue Aluminum Hinge Pin Mount- DIDC1112, $10
* Hub Carrier/C-Hub Aluminum Blue- DIDC1101, $34
* Rear Blue Aluminum Blue Hubs- DIDC1106, $34
* Knuckle Arm Aluminum Blue- DIDC1104, $34
* Motor Heatsink Aluminum Blue- DIDC1113, $7
* Pinion 10t- DIDC1114, $5
* Pinion 13t- DIDC1115, $5
* Shock Body, Long Aluminum Blue (2)- DIDC1127, $10
* Shock Body, Short Aluminum Blue (2)- DIDC1126, $10
* Shock Springs 38 mm, 12T Yellow / Soft (2)- DIDC1118, $3
* Shock Springs 38 mm, 9T Black / Heavy (2)- DIDC1116, $3
* Shock Springs 42 mm, 15T Soft (2)- DIDC1119, $3
* Shock Springs 42 mm, 9T Black / Extra Heavy- DIDC1117, $3
* Shock Tower Front / Rear Aluminum Blue- DIDC1124 SC, $18
* Shock Tower Front Aluminum Blue BX- DIDC1109, $18
* Shock Tower Front Aluminum Blue MT- DIDC1121, $18
* Shock Tower Rear Aluminum Blue BX- DIDC1110, $18
* Shock Tower Rear Aluminum Blue MT- DIDC1122, $18
* Spur Gear 45T Aluminum Blue- DIDC1105, $8
* Speed Secret 370 Brushed Motor 22 turn- DIDC1133, $10

The hop-up parts are scheduled to hit hobby shops in late October and you can get more information at THIS LINK.

Click Here for more Revell news on BigSquidRC.

Pro-Line Custom Parts for Ty Tessmann
The good folks over at Pro-Line have released two pictures of custom parts they made up just for Ty Tessman to use at the IFMAR Worlds this week in California. Pro-Line has in-house manufacturing capability at their California headquarters, thus making it easy for them to whip up some uber parts for their factory hotshoes. Pictured are custom Pro-Line titanium camber plates and billet shock caps to help Ty take on the world.

Of course this got the BigSquidRC staff talking, just how cool would it be if Pro-Line started making trick aftermarket parts for some of our favorite vehicles? As far as we know there are no plans for it to happen, but it would be pretty sic if they did.

Click Here to take a look at all of Pro-Line’s fine products over on their official website, and hit This Link to read more Pro-Line news right here on BigSquidRC.

Pro-Line Body Wing Thunder Tiger MT-4 G3
When you start hopping up your Thunder Tiger MT-4 G3 the single biggest change you can make to its looks is changing the body. This week we’ll be going over what it takes to put a new body on your big TT.

Hit the “Read More” button to see what it takes to mount up a body and wing to the Thunder Tiger MT-4 G3.


Thunder Tiger MT-4 G3 New Pro-Line Wheels Tires

One of the most cost effective ways to gain performance on any rc car is to install new wheels and tires. This is especially important in todays high powered world of brushless and Lipo. Today there is more juice on tap than ever before making it even harder to put all the power to the ground.

The stock tires on the Thunder Tiger MT-4 G3 actually do a fairly good job. They are light, they wear a long time, and they aren’t known for ripping themselves to death. However, one thing they aren’t known for is traction. Today we’ll be going through the process of putting new high performance shoes on the big Thunder Tiger. This is perhaps one of the easiest hop-ups you can install. Experienced hobbyists can do it with their eyes closed but we’ll explaining everything more in depth for first timers and newer hobbyist.

Wheel/Tire Selection

There are a lot of different wheels/tires that will bolt on the Thunder Tiger MT-4 G3. The most important things to remember when looking for new wheels/tires for the MT-4 G3 is- 1. the wheel needs to have a 17mm hex, and 2. they need to have the proper offset so they don’t rub the body. Pretty much anything that fits on a Traxxas E-Revo or HPI Savage will work on the MT-4 G3.

You will also run across pre-mounts or unmounted wheels/tires. We prefer using pre-mounts around the BigSquidRC offices because they save us so much time, but the choice is up to you. In some cases you may not have the option of pre-mounts if you are looking to mate a certain wheel from one manufacture with a tire from another, and some tires simply don’t come pre-mounted at all.

Our tire of choice on the Thunder Tiger MT-4 G3 for general bashing is the Pro-Line Big Joe II. These are big bashing tires that are slightly smaller in diameter than the stock tires, but substantially wider with much more traction. The Pro-Line Big Joe IIs work great on pavement, grass, and loamy dirt. The Big Joe IIs are designed to be lightweight, which they are for their mammoth size, but weigh about 17 grams more than stock (349 grams for a Big Joe II mounted and balanced, 332 grams for a stocker).

For use on strictly dirt surfaces we prefer to use Pro-Line Badlands. The Badlands are somewhat smaller than stock but their moto inspired thread gets loads of traction on many different types of dirt. They are also exceptionally lightweight (246 grams pre-mounted), yielding great acceleration with lower motor temps and slightly longer run-times. The Badlands are also make the Thunder Tiger less sensitive to throttle/brake input while jumping.

Fast Install – Putting Pre-Mounts on the MT-4 G3

1. Using the wrench supplied with the truck, loosen the four wheel nuts to remove the stock shoes. Remember “Righty tighty, lefty loosey” if you aren’t sure which way to turn. The wheels will slide right off.

2. Slide your new pre-mounts on, tighten up the wheel nuts and you are all done! Super fast, super easy, and now your MT-4 G3 will have more traction and look better to boot.

Longer Install – Gluing & Balancing Wheels/Tires

1. Make sure the wheels are ready for gluing. Check to make sure the bead surface is clean, you can do this with a damp cloth. Also make sure there are vent holes in the wheel (if you aren’t venting the tire carcasses). If there are no vent holes they can be easily made with a body reamer.

2. Check the tire foams. The tire foams may be good to go and already inside the tires, or they may be wadded up inside the tires bead. If the foams are lumpy simply let them sit out for a few hours until they get their normal shape back.

3. Check and clean the tire bead surfaces. Sometimes there will be a bit of extra rubber, flash, left on the tire bead surface that can keep the bead from getting a proper bond to the wheel. This is easily removed with a set of body scissors. You’ll also need to clean the bead surface of your new tires. A release agent is used at the factory that needs to be removed before you start gluing. We use a paper towel and TrakPower motor cleaner to remove the release agent on our tires.

4. Install foams into the tires. This doesn’t have to be perfect as the first time you tag the gas real hard the foams will center themselves, but you can use a thumb on each side of the inside of the tire to make sure the foam is fairly centered.

5. Install wheels into tires. Of note here- some tires are directional, some are not. If you are installing direction tires this is the time to double check to make sure you’ve got the tires pointed the proper direction.

6. Start gluing. We recommend going with a thin CA glue like the kind we used from TrakPower in the photos (Bob Smith and Pro-Line are just a couple other companies that sell awesome CA glue). Thin CA is used because it just seems to hold better and it dries super fast. Also of note- one of the most important tricks while gluing is to use a needle tip on your CA bottle, this does wonders for controlling that fast moving thin CA glue. Make sure the bead of the tire is properly aligned with the bead surface of the rim and start gluing. Remember, a tiny, TINY, bit of CA glue goes a long ways. Remember to wear eye protection, gluing your finger to the tire is no big deal, getting CA in your eye is serious stuff.

7. Give the glue some time to dry. CA is said to dry nearly instantly, but we try to give our tires a good 24 hours before we use them.

8. Balance your new shoes. Big power on unbalanced monster truck tires can nearly shake a truck apart. Balancing rc wheels/tires is super easy and doesn’t take long. We used an AKA hand balancer that comes with putty to make sure our new wheels/tires rotated smoothly.

9. Bolt them up, you are ready to bash!

That’s it for this installment, next week we’ll be installing a new body and wing to the MT-4 G3.

To view previous hop-up articles on the Thunder Tiger MT-4 G3 simply click THIS LINK.

Duratrax Carbon Fiber 835B 835EThe Duratrax 835E and 835B 8th scale buggies have been doing well with the basher crowd. They both have affordable price points and have proven to take a good beating. With their popularity, users are looking to make them even better with hop-up parts. Today Duratrax has announced some affordable parts to beef up and allow more tuning on their popular buggies. The upgrades include-

* DTXC8942 Shock Spring Front – Yellow/Med (2) (835B/E option) $2.69
* DTXC8943 Shock Spring Rear – Yellow/Med (2) (835B/E option) $2.69
* DTXC8940 Shock Spring Front – Cyan/Heavy (2) (835B option; 835E stock) $2.69
* DTXC8941 Shock Sprint Rear – Cyan/Heavy (2) (835B option; 835E stock) $2.69
* DTXC8946 Shock Spring Set – White/Soft (4) (835E option, 835B stock) $3.59
* DTXC6641 Graphite Center Brace (835B only) $8.99
* DTXC6640 Graphite Front Brace (835B/E option) $12.99

Some of the upgrade parts are available right now, while others should be in stock very soon. To see everything that Duratrax has to offer, simply click THIS LINK for their official website.

Happy Friday everyone, help yourself to a BSRC Mystery Link to get your weekend kicked off right.

STRC Limited Edition Red Anodized Axial Wraith Option Parts
Hey all you Axial Wraith owners, the folks over at ST Racing Concepts have a web-only special for you. They’ve got some Limited Edition red anodized hop-up parts for the Wraith that are perfect for making your Wraith stand out in a crowd.

The red STRC Wraith option parts can be bought as a complete set for $299, or separately with prices starting at just $12. All parts are CNC machined from top grade aluminum and are sure to turn heads along the trail. To get more information, simply click THIS LINK to take you over to the STRC website.

Looking for more STRC news? Hit THIS LINK right here on BigSquidRC.

LaTrax Premium Racing Accessories hop ups
Right out of the gate LaTrax has announced a full line-up of go fast goodies for their new Rally Car. Some of the hop-ups are mainly for bling, while others like the bearing set should be a “must have” for the car. The performance accessories announced by LaTrax include-

#7573X 12 spoke mirror chrome wheels (red, blue, black and chrome) $11/pr
#7550R Aluminum drive shafts $14/pr
#7537X Aluminum front/rear shock towers $23
#7590 Aluminum motor plate $7
#7555X Center drive-shaft $25
#7560 Aluminum oil shocks $30
#7541X Bearing set $15
#7579 One way diff $5
#7581 Blue anodized spool $14
#7580 Ball diff $18
Carbon fiber chassis

To get more information on these and on everything LaTrax, simply click THIS LINK.

Want to check out what else Traxxas has been up to? Click Right Here to find out on BigSquidRC.