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2.09.12, 3:18 am
I'm starting this to document the procedures that I follow to upgrade a few components on the Torment, in hopes of helping others do the same to their's. I've found some good info online, but all the answers I needed weren't all in one place. I'm currently waiting for a few parts in the mail, but will start with pictures as soon as they arrive. Start with a few pictures of the truck as it is now. Shocks are Traxxas Big Bore, have upgraded to a brushless Tacon 3200kv motor with a 60a Hobby Wing ESC, added a 2s Venom 5000mah lipo, and installed a wheelie bar w/ shocks on the back. To come: Traxxas Heavy Duty VXL drive shafts, Traxxas turnbuckles, (hopefully) new wheels/tires, new slipper pad, and new gearing.
I know when I start getting into this hobby, some of the even basic questions were seemingly hard to get answered and I had to go all over the place to find them. If you own an ECX Torment (which have been selling like CRAZY in our area), then I hope this thread helps you in your quest to get the most out of your truck.
2.09.12, 3:30 am
Wheelie Bar: Part# ECX1014 (http://www.ecxrc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdId=ECX1014) When you upgrade your stock motor to brushless, or maybe even when you get a lipo battery pack (which will work with the stock components, btw, but is not recommended as the stock ESC's LVC (low voltage cutoff) is set a little on the low side and is not configurable. It's recommended to get an external LVC alarm if running lipo with the stock esc), the torque from the motor will want to throw the truck into a wheelie on high grip surfaces. You can either adjust your slipper clutch to prevent this, modify the "punch" setting on your after-market ESC (as the stock, to my knowledge, doesn't have a setting for this that's changeable), or add a wheelie bar. You can pick a direct bolt on from Horizon Hobby for about $13. The shocks are a DIY and help prevent the tires from unloading when you're really getting on the throttle. This helps keep more tread to the ground. More tread = more traction = better acceleration. There hasn't been any post for a specific walk-through on how to add suspension to your wheelie bar, but it's something you'll really have to figure out on your own with help from some of the pics in the forums. What I did is cut one of the bars off the wheelie set down toward the black wheelie bar tires. You can see in the pics... there are four horizontal bars going down the length of the wheelie bar set; there used to be five. Near the wheelie bar wheels, where the two bars are closest to each other, the third bar up I cutoff to use at the top of my suspension system. I placed the small section I cutoff in the "c" grip of the portion that attaches to the top of the motor housing (the top of the 3421 picture above). I then used two screws to thread through the top of each shock and into this small bar I cutoff. Then I simply screwed the bottom of the shocks into the side of the wheelie bar. It's simple, easy, quick, durable, and lets you take it all back apart in case you don't like it or want to change something around.
2.09.12, 3:39 am
Suspension: Part # Traxxas 5862 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001VBCNGG/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details) - The ECX Torment suspension is decent out of the box, but loves to roll on high grip surfaces. To remedy this, I picked up some 30 wt. and 50 wt. oil at my LHS. I put 50 wt. in the front shocks, 30 in the rear, and added stiffer springs to the front. This helped tremendously and made controlling the truck on high grip surfaces, such as pavement, much more predictable and made handling much better. I upgraded my shocks to the Traxxes Big Bore shocks, part # Traxxas 5862 (link listed above), which are a direct bolt on, and are all aluminum. I have found that with these shocks, the stiff springs and the oil weights listed above, no preload on the rear and the largest preload in the front seems to work best for me. Provides a nice, predictable pattern of handling both on road and off road. The problem with the plastic stock shock bodies is with the heavier oil and repeated bashing, they will start leaking and/or the threaded tops will start to pop off. Some of these problems can also be taken care of by ensuring your're properly filling the shock with oil and getting as much air out of them as you can. Jang posted a great how-to video on properly changing/filling your shocks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_d1nEquS6Y
nice... i will def be following this build and thread...thnx
2.10.12, 5:02 am
Rear Body Posts: After quite a few rolls on pavement and some heaving bashing, my rear body posts started to wear down. Almost to the point where the top of the post met the hole that held the small body clip. I know the body post set (http://www.ecxrc.com/Products/Default.aspx?ProdId=ECX2010) is only $2, but if they've worn down this much in 2 months of running, I'd rather not have to purchase a new kit every other month. My solution: http://shop1.mailordercentral.com/marshfasteners/products.asp?dept=47 I went to my local hardware store, with body post in hand, and purchased two cap nuts. Purchase price: $0.30. I apologize, I don't know what size or thread they are, I just found the right ones using trial and error. What I did was ensure I held them perfectly horizontal and threaded them onto the body post. Now, instead of body clips in the back, I thread the two nuts on each time I run. NOTE: See previous pics, you can see them on the read body posts. They are made of steel, so I'd imagine that they're going to last much longer than my truck ever will.
2.11.12, 10:43 am
Metal Transmission Gears - Part# ECX9001 (http://www.horizonhobby.com/products/metal-gear-set-electrix-ECX9001) These are almost a must when upgrading to a more powerful brushless system, or even maybe running 3s on the stock motor. I would recommend it to anyone, however, as it could never hurt installing these components. This will ensure that the gears within your transmission should never fail. I've posted some pics of the install and, for the most part, it's fairly self-explanatory; replace the three plastic gears in the transmission with the three metal gears that come in the set. Please note the setup of the slipper clutch components, as you will have to completely remove this assembly to change out one of the gears. If you're not familiar with slipper clutch assemblies, I'd take notes and/or take pictures as you go to ensure you put it back together correctly. Once you have the transmission assembly out of the car (covered here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m18E8AJDjxU) there are only three screws needed to take the transmission housing completely apart. See attached pictures. What I never read about, however, are the bearings that you reuse from the old gears. Be absolutely CERTAIN that you get the bearings off the old gears to out on the new ones. They might stick a bit, but with a little patience I promise you'll be able to get them off. Be careful with them, as they are precision parts and something that you don't want to damage. A bad bearing can produce noise, vibration, unnecessary strain on the motor, and a bunch of unwanted heat. Simply, and carefully, tap or pry each one off the old gear and put it on the same place on the new gears. You want to be certain to light grease all your new metal parts before putting them back in. After I got everything re-installed, I added an extra glob of grease, just to make certain everything was well lubed. You don't want to pack it with grease, just get enough to make sure everything well coated. After putting everything back together, donít try to adjust the slipper clutch until you get the transmission housing back in the truck and the shafts re-attached to the tires. This will make it much easier getting the slipper clutch properly set. Just in case you donít know, the factory setting on the slipper clutch is to fully tighten it (the one and only bolt holding it on) until you canít tighten any more, then loosen it two FULL turns. Obviously, you can tighten it more, or loosen it more, to your preference, but again this is the factory/stock setting.
2.11.12, 12:05 pm
VXL Drive Shafts: Part# TRA6852X (http://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Duty-Rear-DriveShaft-Assemble/dp/B004ED61D4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328983150&sr=8-1) The installation of new drive shafts are also a must with an upgrade to a brushless system. You will want to order 2 of the item above if you want to replace both drive shafts, which I would advise doing. I replaced mine while doing the metal transmission gears, since I already had the entire transmission housing out of the truck. Letís start with the replacement of the half shaft portion that connects to the differential (the big ďgearĒ that sits inside the transmission housing). First, obviously, youíll have to take off the old shafts. They are held on with a small hex bolt (I donít know its official name). Itís a small bolt that goes through the shaft. You simply unscrew it, then pull the unthreaded portion out of the shaft, and pull the plastic half-shaft off the differential. The new shafts that you put on will have a few modifications made to them before they will fit properly. If you look inside the new shafts, you will see two flat ďwallsĒ of sorts on the inside where youíd fit the shaft of the differential in. To fit this onto the ECX differential shaft, which is completely round, unlike the Traxxas differential shafts, you will have to drill out these two flat edges on the inside of the shaft. I used what I believe is a 5mm drill bit to do this. Whatever size bit you use, it should fit perfectly into the round portion of the shaft, as you donít want to make this part any larger in diameter than it already is. I found that I also needed to drill a bit further back into the shaft as well to get it to fit all the way onto the differential shaft. What I mean is that with the drill bit in the half-shaft, drilling out the two flat sides, drill a bit further back. This allows the differential shaft to fit properly inside and will allow proper alignment for the shaft hex bolt and the hole it goes through. Be sure not to drill too much out, though, as you donít want to drill a hole all the way through the back of the plastic shaft. After this, youíll want to sand down the ďlipĒ on the edge of the half-shaft that will be pointing towards the transmission housing (see attached picture, figure A.). Youíll only have to sand it down about 1mm or so, for it to fit properly on the differential shaft. Sand a little, test fit, sand more, test fit again. You want to avoid sanding more than needed. Once you see the differential hex bolt holes aligning perfectly and the bolt fits through the hole, youíre golden. Repeat the process for the other side.
Now, for the installation of the half shafts that connect to the wheels. The only modification that needs to be made here is to take the same drill bit used for the steps above and slightly expand the holes that go through the stock wheels and the hex behind the wheel so they fit onto the new shaft (see attached photo, Figure B). The stock ECX shaft had a small portion that was not as large in diameter, so the wheel and hex fit right on. The Traxxas drive shaft doesnít have this. Once complete, you can slide the new shaft through the bearing on the suspension arm and, if necessary install a few washers (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006O5HJE/ref=oh_o04_s00_i02_details) to remove the extra space between the bearing and the small pin in the shaft. NOTE: The installation of washers is very important. I recommend installing at least one between the small pin that goes through the axle that sits inside the hex. I had an issue where the hex was rubbing the body of the car and kept causing my tire bolt to come loose and, subsequently, my tire to fall off. Don't forget this step! For more information, you can reference this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_uPtpum_Bo or the URC thread: http://www.ultimaterc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=128675
2.12.12, 2:58 pm
Had a quick run today after the last few upgrades and everything has held up great!!! The metal transmission def. has a different sound to it than the plastic did. Looking forward to getting the turnbuckles, new spur and pinion gears, and high torque slipper pads on sometime this week! Will also hopefully get some new rubber on there soon. Hope this info is helping others with their upgrades!
2.15.12, 1:32 am
Great build layout! Your links clear up the questions. Keep up the good work
2.15.12, 8:17 am
so i see alot of threads on the torment so im thinking i should of waited an bought the torment instead of the circuit
2.16.12, 2:25 am
Look forward to putting on adjustable turnbuckles this weekend! I'll be sure to write up a decent how-to after I'm done.
2.16.12, 8:33 am
I have done put them on the front way better control on my circuit
2.16.12, 6:06 pm
Ecx Torment1985 thank you for posting that info. I just start in the rc world and buy a Torment 5 days ago. Now i know what exactly what i need. thx
Wheelie Bar: ....., but is not recommended as the stock ESC doesn't have a lipo low voltage cutoff built in), the torque from the motor will want to throw the truck into a wheelie on high grip surfaces........
Is this info correct? I read on these forums the Torment's stock ESC does have Lipo cutoff. I read that the cutoff is a little on the low side but the stock ESC does have it.
2.25.12, 10:28 am
The stock ESC doesn have LVC, that's correct, but it's set too low for safe LiPO cutoff (I believe 2.8v, someone correct me if I'm wrong). It's best to either switch our the ESC or to get an external alarm just to be on the safe side. Of course, you can always run without a LVC. it's just not recommended unless you have decent experience with LiPO batteries. Sorry for the confusion in my post, I'll be sure to update it!
2.25.12, 10:32 am
Sorry again for the delay, guys. I promise I'll be updating the process for links/turnbuckles soon. I've been travelling for work quite a bit lately as our firm is finally rolling out W7 + Office 2010. So it's going to be a busy next couple of months, but I'll be doing my best to keep the updates coming. Thanks for the feedback, btw, as it's always greatly appreciated!
Great thread Ian! This is all good stuff. I just put the wheelie bar on my sons Circuit and I was wondering about adding suspension. The pics you posted show it perfectly and I think it will be done soon. One thing I might add is SERVO SERVO SERVO. In my opinion this was one of the best changes I made to my Ruckus. This is the one I added http://www.hobbypartz.com/60gexidised2.html for <$16. I didnt know until I installed it though that its power hungry and I had to add a BEC. There are MANY that are very inexpensive and will make a huge difference. Research or post before buying if you're not sure.
@macllns30 Your Circuit shares almost ALL the same components less the chassis and front bulkhead. All of the suspension and motor/tranny mods will be the same as well as the wheelie bar mod.If you wanted you could change your Circuit into a Torment or Ruckus with little money and effort.
Here is my 5yr old sons Circuit next to my Ruckus...
Dumb question what is a bec?
3.13.12, 1:52 am
Blain, correct me if I'm wrong, but a BEC (battery eliminator circuit) takes the voltage from the battery and will step it down to a particular voltage to match that required of the rx and servo(s) you have attached. Most ESC's have these built in, but in some cases it might be required to wire an external BEC to prevent a significant voltage drop from all components running off the main BEC on the ESC, thus delivering more consistent power to the rx and servo(s). Will/should provide better, more consistent performance of those devices.
NO dumb questions on here my friend! Thats what this is for ;)
This is from this link: http://www.castlecreations.com/products/ccbec.html
What the heck is a BEC?
Our Battery Eliminator Circuits are small devices that eliminate the need for a receiver and servo battery pack. They draw higher voltage from the motor batteries and drop it to a voltage level that is suitable for your receiver and servos. This is required in applications which draw high power for multiple servos or use more than 3S motor packs, as most ESCs with linear BECs are not designed for these applications.
I found out about needing a BEC when setting up my Axial Wraith with a stronger servo. I use the Castle BEC in my Ruckus too and it makes sure my fast and strong servo has full power. If I upgrade the stock ESC then I may not need the BEC anymore and it may go into one of my crawlers.
STOCK SERVO ($17.99 retail)
Torque: 41.66 oz (3kg-cm)
Speed: 0.23sec/60 degress of travel
EXI D227F DIGITAL METAL GEAR SERVO ($15.70 @ hobbypartz.com)
Torque: 111.14 oz (8kg-cm)
Speed: 0.09sec/60 degrees of travel
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