Laying Rubber – Dropping the Bandit Ride Height on the Cheap
Hey all, I’m back to discuss my Traxxas Bandit VXL Drag Car project! We are close to getting it on track. To see how I got to this point, check out the archive here.
Before I pick and mount the drag car body, the last thing that needs to happen is to drop the ride height.
As the car sits out of the box…er, well, not quite out of the box as it HAS been modified a good bit, but you know what I mean…the shocks are just too long, even if you move the mounting positions to the lowest/widest spots. In trying to test launch the car immediately after converting it to the Slash chassis, the center of gravity was too high.
The car wanted to squat back excessively and there was a lot of roll. Time to fix it!
To solve this issue on the cheap, I grabbed some fuel tubing that I had laying around and made some internal limiters. Most hobby shops should have some, and it wont cost you much. Heck, your LHS will probably thank you for taking the fuel tubing as there isn’t much use for it these days (I kid, I kid, nitro burners). You only need a few inches of it! I learned this trick back in my Traxxas Slash dirt oval racing days where you could only use the stock shocks.
I cut my spacers to be about 11/16″.
You slide the spacers onto the shock shaft like so, snug against the piston. Be careful when you wrangle them on there that you don’t rip them. To add some extra stiffness to the suspension I went with 50 weight oil all around when rebuilding. You can then reassemble, and make sure you spend a bit of extra time bleeding the air out of the shocks due to the potential pocket with the spacer.
You’ll notice that your shocks are quite a bit shorter when you reinstall. To see the difference in the stock ones versus the ones with the internal limiters, check out these pics I shot below to compare.
The right rear has the limiter installed, the left is stock.
In this pic the left front has the limiter and is slotted on the lowest mounting spot, the right shock is stock in the standard mounting position. As you can see, it’s a significant difference.
In addition to shortening the shafts and adding heavier oil, the springs, now with some compression applied, will also add to more stiffness.
Check out how the car sits now-
Oh yeah, that’s the stuff. The chassis now sits low, close to parallel with the ground.
I don’t have video of it, but I did spend a good while making test launches with the car set up this way and it feels like a night and day difference. The chassis suspension stiffness allows for a much more predictable vehicle.
However, not having a body isn’t exactly great for downforce, lol. In the next Laying Rubber, we put the icing on this cake and finally put some proper lexan on top to finish the transformation from off-road buggy to drag car.