ASK Cubby – Your Weekly Questions, My Weekly Answer Dodging
I am just getting back into rc cars, could you please recommend some basic upgrades for my Traxxas Rustler? I basically drive around my yard and local parking lot and don’t want to spend a lot of cash.
Cubby- Yo hey Ronnie, thanks for taking the time out of your day to write in. Oh ya, don’t forget, a snail mail for a sticker pack.
The Traxxas Rustler has introduced thousands upon thousands of people to our wonderful hobby of rc. While it is a great bashing platform, it does have a few areas that need beefed up, most of which are quite affordable to upgrade.
IMO, this is how I would upgrade a brand new brushed Rustler RTR…
1. New shock caps. The stock caps work fine for casual bashing, but can strip and pop off when taking the bashing up a notch. I would hit up Steve’s website over at STRC and order up a set of Aluminum Shock Caps ($15). These don’t pop off and you can get them in a wide variety of different colors. Oh, while not a “necessity”, ordering up some STRC hing pins would also be a good idea.
2. Spur gear. The stock spur tends to strip from time to time. There are a number of different options available, but I would go with a steel spur upgrade from Robinson Racing. The Robinson High Performance GEN3 Slipper Kit ($45) really beefs up that area and comes with a hardened steel spur gear that is Never going to strip out.
3. Tires. The stock units aren’t bad for casual bashing, but replacing the tires will instantly give your Rustler much improved grip, thus making it easier to drive fast. In your email you state you drive on grass/dirt in your backyard, but you also drive on pavement. For those surfaces I would recommend some Pro-Line Trenchers (around $20 a pair). Trenchers last forever, are molded from softer rubber for more grip, and are perhaps the best all around bashing tire that money can buy.
4. Power? You didn’t mention if your Rustler was VXL or brushed, but if it is brushed, then you will want to consider a brushless upgrade. Now, brushless will cost a few bucks, but you can fairly easily triple your Rustler’s power/speed by going to a more potent motor and speed controller. For the Rustler, I would go with a Castle Sidewinder 4/1410 system ($139). Our review for the Sidewinder 4 goes up next week, but for your Rustler the Sidewinder 4 can handle some serious loads, while the 3800kV 1410 motor is IMO the best motor that Castle has ever put out. Designed for short course trucks, the 1410 will Really power the heck out of your stadium truck.
Now, one of the biggest/best reasons to buy a Rustler is all the aftermarket support. Every single part on the Rustler can be replaced with a much more uber aftermarket piece, what I have listed above is the way I would start modding out a new Rustler.
Have fun with your truck Ronnie, and send me some pics when you get it completely built.
“Buggy Recommendation for Unusual Use Case
I discovered your site searching reviews for a buggy/car to use to exercise some racing jack russell terriers. The buggy or car needs to go fast 35 mph to stay in front of them, it also needs to run over grass, slighty bumpy terrain, and on sand (beach).
The idea is to tie a lure (fox tail) to the back and let them chase.
Do you have any recommendations?
Last note…I am not rich so under $300 is best…but lower is even better.
Cubby- Well howdy there Nate Dog, thanks for writing in.
Oh and yes, quite the special request there. But… I think nearly every rc’er has had some fun with dogs and their rc car at one point or another, sounds like you would be using the car for legit training.
So… 35 mph over rough ground while pulling a small bait, for under 300 clams. Well, it can be done for under 300, but to give you an easy solution “out of the box”, I would highly recommend going up a couple price points. While 35 doesn’t sound “fast”, that is really hauling over rough ground, which means a larger sized vehicle, like an 1/8th scale, would be beneficial. Also, you will need brushless power to be able to do 35 mph, run, after run, after run.
While I hate to not come up with a good option at your price point, here is what I consider to be the easy options. I would go with a truck like the Losi 8IGHT-E brushless RTR buggy, the ARRMA Kraton RTR monster truck, etc. Both of those examples would not have a hard time cruising up and down the beach at 35, all the while having the suspension/stability to easily drive over bumpy terrain. Their price points are in the 499 area, but to soften the blow, after you are done training your dogs, both are absolutely fantastic general bash machines.
Anywhos, let me know what you ended up going with, I really am quite interested to hear.
So there ya go ya bunch of lunatics. Do you have a question? Have something you just need to get off your chest? Shoot me an email- thecubreportrc at gmail dot com.
YOUR Cub Reporter