For Bashers, By Bashers!

Monster Truck Madness – Monster Mailbag

Hey guys, big apologies for missing Monster Truck Madness last week. One of only a few times I’ve ever done that. Been crazy round these parts. I’ve had some e-mails I’ve been hanging onto, some quite lengthy, so this week we are going to have mega-mailbag.

Hi Doug,

Quick question. The only thing holding me off from buying an LMT are the small axle bearings. Have you had any problems so far? They will take a lot of leverage from the big wheels. Do you see any solution in the long term?


Hey Javier,

I’ve yet to personally see problems with the smaller bearings. I have seen some folks online on the various groups having some issues, but for me and my buddies that have LMT’s, so far so good!

Good morning (or afternoon depending on when you read this). If you dont mind, I have a question or two about monster truck building and cant seem to find definitive answers to my questions from other sources.

My wife and I are looking to build a pair of vintage looking monster trucks over the course of this year. We already have two Traxxas Slash 2wd trucks and due to the familiarity of the platforms, will be using a Slash 4×4 and a Stampede 4×4 for our builds.

My questions are concerning motor selection and temps. The Slash will be mine and will be running JConcepts Renegades with Tribute wheels. The wife is going with the ‘Pede and will be running the Renegade Jrs on their Midwest wheel. Im fairly certain the stock VXL unit wont work for the Slash as it will just be too large and heavy. But what about in the ‘Pede? I know your racing series is geared toward solid axle trucks, but I imagine the concepts of heat and gearing would still hold true to a point.

I tried asking on the Traxxas forums, but got a mixed bag of “Im not sure but I dont think so” type answers. I also tried to contact JConcepts directly to ask their opinion, but got no reply. I just dont want to spend $250 on a Castle Mamba Monster 2/1515 motor combo if I dont have to. Like I said, Im fully expecting the Slash to need the extra power, but if I can get away with only buying ONE motor combo, thats a lot more money to spend elsewhere in this dual build.

Thanks for your time in reading this.
Bob G.

Hey Bob, thanks for the e-mail.

Ok, let’s start with the Stampede. You are fine running the Renegade/Midwests on the truck. They will stress your system a tad more but not too much. You’ll be good as the tire size isn’t much difference. Just know they are a smidge heavier than stock, though, so it will be tougher on the driveline.

The Slash, though, is gonna be a bit different. As you know, you are going from small short course wheels to Clod-sized monster truck tires. You may of seen this already, but in case you haven’t, a few years ago JConcepts did up a Stage 4 slash monster concept and put a parts list together. You can find it here.

You asked about motor, though. My advice to you is use the stock VXL for the moment. Yeah, it’s not a high end Castle system, but it will do the job. If you want more speed and torque, then you can upgrade.

The secret sauce will be in how you gear things, as those big tires definitely require you to gear it down without going nuclear hot. While I really don’t have an idea, having never done it myself, the JConcepts guys recommend an 11t pinion with a 54t spur. I’ve seen them run their truck before, and it’s about dead on.

Please send me pictures after you build these things!

Hey Doug,

Well after having to deal with slight delay because of bad roads I finally got my LMT on Saturday. I also ordered a spectrum smart charger and batteries which came today.

I have to say all the videos I have watched the last couple months don’t do it justice!

Just an amazing truck, I ran it on 2s in the snow and it is a beast! I can’t wait until spring when i can get it on dirt.

I agree with what you said about 2s vs 3s,
2s seems perfect.

I haven’t had this much fun with a monster truck since I first got my Clod Buster when I was a kid!
I tried the smt10 but even after all the upgrades it was never really fun to drive.

I look forward to seeing you guys race them on Triggerking!



Hey what’s up Steve, thank you for the e-mail. I’m glad you are digging your LMT.

On the 2S subject, yeah, I know that many folks put it on 3S and bash away with it but I actually do find it most fun on 2S because it feels very similar to how a real monster truck reacts. There is power on tap, but not so much to blow the tires off. It’s just how I enjoy wheeling it.

Agreed on the Clod. I still love my Clods and my SMT10’s, but I’m just really happy the LMT is out there. I can’t wait to start racing them! Me and some buddies intend on getting together soon to wheel ours.

Outdoor season can’t get here fast enough…

Hello Doug,

First, thank you for all of the coverage you’ve done on the Losi LMT. Being a huge solid axle fan (have more than I can count at this point), this was a huge release and applaud Losi for the job they’ve done. I receive my Roller earlier this week and this is a great truck out of the box. Waiting on my motor (going with a 1/8 Castle 2650kv and Mamba Max 2), so I haven’t driven it yet, but with my experience with Clods, TXTs, and SMT10s, its easy to tell this truck is in another league.

With that said, there are just a few things that I’m not crazy about. Definitely not deal-breakers, but curious on your thoughts:

Not crazy about the short course style wheels, think they look goofy on the inside. I totally get it from a performance standpoint, but I value the aesthetics and it just looks off to me. Ended up painting the wheels and beadlock rings and did the insides in black, I think it helps hide it a bit (photo attached).
Same thing for the 3 degree rear hub carriers, I get it from a performance standpoint, but looks a bit off to me. Luckily they include 0 degree hubs with the Roller, but unfortunately mine came with an extra 0 degree and extra 3 degree. No matter, have parts on the way to convert to 4 wheel steering so it’s a moot point. Should have the 4WS installed soon.
The cage – This is my biggest gripe with the truck. Again, I understand it due to the Digger bodies, but it is way too tall to use with any standard pickup body. Was hoping to do a rear window/bed cut like we do on SMT10s, but it’s just not happening with the stock cage. Attached photos of a couple bodies I tried and had to remove the cage for them to look right – last photo with the Thunder Chicken body is with the cage (already cut for my SMT10, you can see it sits waaay to high). If you have any ideas on bodies that may have the height for this I’d appreciate it. The Proline ’66 Ford in the photos is the tallest I have and still wouldnt get under the cage so doubtful there’s anything currently out there. For now I’ll probably just remove the cage.
Other than that this thing is fantastic and a great value for the money. You couldnt built a comparable Clod or SMT based truck for what this costs, let alone be as durable.

Hopefully you have time to read all of this and thanks for your great work at BigSquid, love reading your column.


Shawn in PA

Hey Shawn thanks for sharing your detailed impressions of the LMT! The photo at the top of this page, the BIGFOOT one, is his.

The cosmetics on the short course wheels are not completely my cup of tea. I think they work great though, so I’m OK with it. I know what the goal was and I think they did hit that goal.

I do agree on the body/cage, though. It’s why for my truck I just removed it to go with traditional body posts that they include. I am hoping that in time we see some more bodies, especially pick up trucks, that are designed to fit the cage!

Thank you all for reading. If you ever want to contact me, shoot an e-mail to!

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Posted by in Monster Truck Madness on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 at 12:23 am