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Was browsing my local craigslist and see a Traxxas Stampede listed for $40. I'm like, "no way". I pull up the listing and it looks like a very clean older Stampede RTR with a Nimh, Traxxas AM Radio, ect...
Well, I call immediately and it turns out it's a Super Pawn in our town. I jam down there like a bat out of hell and $40 later it's mine, wweeee!!!! It even comes with a 30 day warranty. If for any reason I'm unsatisfied within 30 days I can take it back, LOL.
Got home and immediately comb over the entire truck. It's in near mint condition, looks like whoever had it used it a few times and shelved it years ago. Tried the battery to test it out and the 7.2V 3300mah radio shack nimh it came with is completely dead. I throw it on my AC6 charger at 3A and it begins charging. I'm curious to see how much mah it takes. From what I gather it looks completely stock, right down to the steering servo, esc, and old school Traxxas "Stinger" motor. (BTW, anyone know if that's the stock ESC? It looks weird and has no markings or stickers on it to verify what it is?) I also was surprised to find the shocks weren't leaking one bit and were topped off perfectly with fluid.
Next, I try to take off all the wheels to see the condition of the axles ect...Rear wheels come off without issue. I'm surprised to find it has 12mm hexes. I thought it would have been drive pins in the back with bearing in front like an Evader or something. I then try to take off the front but the nut seems to just keep spinning. I notice that the front axle is just spinning freely and both front wheels seem to have a lot of slop. I use my pliers to hold the back of the axles so they won't spin and finally remove the wheel nut. Upon taking them off I find that the fronts should have 12mm hexes, but the hexes and pins are missing. That's why I couldn't get the nuts off and the axles where just spinning. I'm assuming at some point the previous owner ended up loosing the front pins or hexes and just put on the wheels without them? I don't know. Lucky I had some spare 12mm hexes in my RC drawer and fashioned drive pins out of big, heavy duty body clips. It works perfectly and takes out all that slop it had. I also find that the tires are not glued to the wheels but it actually seems fine that way. At this point I also remove the spur gear cover to check the condition of the gears, as well as to check the gear mesh and slipper. The gear mesh is a little loose so I tighten it up a tad. I also take note that the motor pinion is an 18T.
After taking off the tires/wheels and body I take the truck into my garage, spray the truck down with a cleaning solution, let it sit for a minute, then continue to clean it off with an air compressor followed by a towel. At this point the truck looks brand new! I go back into the house to hear the charger beeping that the battery is ready. I look and the battery has taken 4087 mah! Pretty good for a listed 3300mah battery!. I let the battery cool down for a bit and plug it in with the radio trims set to neutral. I hold the truck in my hand as I switch it on and it starts accelerating at almost full throttle and the front wheels turn to the left. I turn the throttle knob on the receiver a quarter and it centers the throttle and the wheels stop spinning. I then take the horn off the servo and center the wheels so they point straight when the radio steering trim knob is at neutral. Time to go for a spin!!!
I throw the body on, drop the truck and floor it onto the street. It isn't blazing fast, but seems to do well for an older truck. The servo seems a little sluggish but it is fairly old. I'm used to blazing fast race servos. I can tell immediately that the truck is over geared. It doesn't have much acceleration, but slowely builds up to a pretty high top speed. Exactly the opposite of what I want. I want low end torque so I can get through grass, dirt, hills ect... not speed runs. I go into my RC drawer but the smallest I have it s 16T pinion. I slap that on and try it again. The top speed comes down a bit, but the acceleration improves a decent amount. For the best mix of torque and speed for it's current electronics I'm going to buy a 14T pinion to put on it. I'm also going to switch the esc battery connector to a Deans and try a Lipo to see how it performs. I'm thinking maybe instead of gearing down to a 14T pinion I can just run a lipo with a cut off or buy a 8.4V traxxas nimh "hump pack" to get that added torque without having to gear down.
Here are the pics...
(Last edited by TheBlueKnight : 12.20.12 at 3:22 pm)
Nice find Mr. Knight, looks very clean, $40 is a steal for that. Love the body, you don't see them that clean for being that old.
The pede does use 12mm hex's all around but different off set wheels front/rear. I'm assuming it still has the brass bushings out by the wheels instead of bearings.
Trans has plastic gears in it and the idler usually strips first even on brushed power.
Luckily all the metal slash 2wd gears drop right in. Parts from the slash/raptor. monster jam/pede, rustler, bandit are all the same.
The 2wd Stampede remains one of my favorite RC's of all time, b/c it's so tippy you have to drive it right which makes you a better driver, parts are cheap and plentiful and it's not hard on electronics.
Thanks for the info on the ESC Reme, I'll look up the manual for it and see if I can zero out the throttle trim.
And Guys2NV, I like that old school look too of the body. I want to leave it brushed, but may end up putting the newer XL-5 esc with lipo cut off and a water proof servo in it and RPM out the entire truck to make it bullet proof so I can hand over the controller to anyone and let them go buck wild (crashing, rolling, splashing into water ect) without having to worry about it. And since it will be brushed it will be harder to break. I think I might want to shoe goo and dry wall tape the inside of the entire body as well if I want it to last a while.
Edit* Pulled up the instructions for the stock XL-1 esc this truck has. So I guess the ESC has two little phillips head screws on the bottom. One is the "neutral screw" and one is the "proportional screw". So you are supposed to set your throttle trim to zero on the radio and then turn on the truck. It's wheels will start spinning and you just turn the "neutral screw" on the esc until the wheels stop spinning to zero it out. After zeroing out the throttle to neutral you are supposed to floor the throttle on the radio and adjust the "proportional screw" until the wheels are spinning as fast as they will go.
LOL, this is the screwiest esc I've ever had.
(Last edited by TheBlueKnight : 11.29.12 at 12:05 pm)
So I've driven the truck through a few battery packs (the 3300mah 7.2V nimh). Truck seems to do really well, it's a fun truck to drive! Ended up taking it out last night, the battery lasted exactly 10 min before it started to die (not bad for a 3300mah nimh and practically flooring it the whole time!). I pulled off the body and checked the temps. Battery was at 110F, ESC was at 98F, and the stock 20T Traxxas Stinger Motor was at 190F!!! There isn't any binding in the drivetrain and the gear mesh is set good. I'm thinking even though I geared down from the stock 18T to a 16T pinion, it's still not enough. I think I need to gear down to a 14T pinion. Even with the 16T the truck seems overgeared when I drive up hills or go through grass or start from a stop it bogs down a bit. On flat ground, from a stand still, it kinda ho hums off the line but then slowely builds up to a nice top speed. Since I don't care about the top speed and like hill climbing, popping wheelies, ect... I think the 14T will be good.
Sooooooo on to Stage 2...
So I want to make this truck Bullet Proof. I want to be able to hand over the controller to anyone and let them just go buck wild and not worry about it breaking. I've been searching URC and the internet for hours this morning and have come up with a list but still have some questions for you Stampede guys. Here is my list to make this thing a TANK. (P.S. truck will never run brushless).
RPM Wide Front Bumper $6.39 RPM Rear Bearing Carriers $8.25 RPM Front Bearing Carriers $8.25 Larger Bearings for New Carriers $10 Aluminum Castor Blocks $20 RPM Front Shock Tower $7.29 RPM Rear Shock Tower $8.25 RPM Front Arms $10 RPM Rear Arms $10 RPM Castor Links $5.49 (I don't care about adjustablity) Traxxas Aluminum Shock Caps $12 STRC Front Bulkhead $25 Shoe Goo and Drywall Tape Body $5
Total = About $135 after tax
Things I'm on the fence about (are these really needed?)
-RPM Front Body Mount $9.25 -RPM Rear Body Mount $9.25 -STRC Front Aluminum Skid Plate $17 -STRC Rear Aluminum Skid Plate $15
The reason I'm on the fence about the above items is because in all my research I haven't found anyone complaining that the skid plates or body mounts breaking. Also, I've heard people bend shock shafts, if I need to upgrade the shock shafts, anyone have a link to the needed ones?
(Last edited by TheBlueKnight : 11.30.12 at 12:38 pm)
Your list looks good with the exception of the RPM bearing carriers. I would put aluminum there especially the front, metal castor blocks with plastic steering hubs usually results in bent kingpins, going all metal helps keep them from bending.
You can pick up a full set of Stampede VXL camber links/turnbuckles for about the same price as the RPM's off ebay.
Body mounts aren't really necessary, if you do break the stockers then I would pick up the monster jam body mounts (traxxas 3619) which have a ton more adjustability over the RPM or stock ones.
Aluminum skids are a must to me, at least the front, I always break the front plastic front one's.
I also prefer the T-Bone bumpers over the RPM ones.
As someone who owns a Rustler of a similar vintage...
Don't bother with the upgrade parts, unless you actually break something. Especially if you are keeping it brushed. My Rustler is approaching it's 10th year in my service, and I can count on one hand the number of parts I've actually broken.
-Front bumper. Drove it into a fence post dead center, full throttle, in the dead of winter. Replaced it with RPM. Didn't like the RPM, went to a stock replacement. No further issue.
-Transmission housing. Didn't really break it, but I over tightened the motor screws so much, and geared it wrong so much, that heat and torque gouged out the mounting slots for the motor. Was using washers just fine, decided to replace it anyway.
-Idler gear. Did a bunch of donuts. Stripped it. Put a metal one in. No further issues.
-Front bulkhead. Pulled the hinge pin for the arm clean through it landing a jump badly last night while racing. I'd say a 10 year old part failing on driver error on a 23ft jump is perfectly acceptable.
Thats it. I've swapped a few things here and there, but not because they were broken. Just because I like to tinker.