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1/10 Scale Electric Truck/Truggy:

Traxxas Rustler VXL (Radio Controlled Model)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Traxxas Rustler VXL:


  Originally introduced by Traxxas in 2007, the 2WD Rustler VXL Stadium Truck - # 3708 - was available RTR with a Velineon 3500 Brushless Motor, Velineon VXL-3s forward/reverse ESC and TQ radio system.

  In 2010 the Rustler VXL - # 3707 - was upgraded with a 2.4Ghz radio system, revised in 2012 - # 3707L and again in 2014 - # 37076.

  The model was revised once more in 2015 - # 37076-3, with the "Traxxas Stability Management" system (TSM).

  The Traxxas model was based on a composite chassis, with a gear type differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, Revo Spec slipper-clutch, universal joint drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

Traxxas Rustler-VXL
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  To race the Traxxas Rustler VXL, you need to tweak and adjust all you can to give your car improved handling, stability and grip to ease around the curves and keep you on the track. One little setting change can transform your car into a world beater. Just follow our chart to attain the most favourable Set-up to suit your particular needs on any track.

  Learn what to look for when you search for the right Electric Motor for your Rustler VXL and achieve the best Gearing, for the best performance and put you on the winners rostrum.

  See how the highest level racers optimise and halve the friction of their Bearings with some easy to implement tips. Discover what you can do to avert Radio interference, and the optimum conditions to Charge your Batteries, to help keep them in good condition and give you excellent performance.









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★ Traxxas Rustler VXL ★
Traxxas Rustler VXL

★ Traxxas Rustler VXL ★
Traxxas Rustler VXL Chassis


Buying a Used Traxxas Rustler VXL Truck (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Traxxas Rustler VXL Electric Truck, or any used RC Model, has a number of advantages. It is generally cheaper than new, ready built and may come with a variety of expensive hop-ups already installed. Cheap, pre-loved bargains are always becoming available. However, depending on the age of your purchase, it may need a little tender loving care before you can take it out on the back yard.

   The one thing you will always need is an instruction manual. If not supplied with your purchase, they can often be downloaded from the Traxxas website, or purchased separately on eBay. With an instruction manual, any problems with your model Truck you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Traxxas Truck, make a general visual inspection of the chassis, front and rear wishbones, suspension shock towers etc, for any broken parts that may need to be replaced. Then, take a screwdriver and box spanner and check each self tapping screw and nut for security, taking care not to over tighten.

   Next, for those Traxxas models with oil filled shock absorbers, remove them from the chassis and dismantle the coil springs. The damper shafts should push in and pull out with a smooth action. If you feel a jolt as you change direction, this means the oil has leaked out and must be topped up. At the same time, change the O-Ring seals to prevent more leakage. Also check the damper shafts for damage. If they are scratched, change them as soon as possible.

   If the body shell of your Traxxas Rustler VXL is broken, ripped or damaged in any way, this can be easily repaired with rubber solution glue. Also, for added protection and if available for your Rustler VXL model, fit an under guard to stop dirt and gravel entering the chassis.

Titanium Turnbuckles
   Examine the drive shafts for wear and replace as required. If possible, change them for titanium. The steel shafts wear and bend too easily.

   If you intend to race your Rustler VXL Truck model at a competitive level, I would also recommend you obtain and fit titanium pivot shafts, turnbuckles, tie rods and steering rods.

   The gearbox of your used Truck should be opened up to check for gear wear and lubrication. A thin coat of grease is often used on internal gears and although this is fine for basic running around on the back yard, if you intend to race your Truck at a higher level, this should be removed and replaced with racing oil (ZX1 or Teflon Oil). Of course, this should be reapplied after each race meeting.

Spur Gears
   Gears are a weakness on all Truck RC models. Head on collisions can easily damage the gear teeth on nylon and plastic spur gears. Heavy impacts can also loosen the nuts or self tapping screws that hold the Electric Motor in Position, allowing the pinion gear to pull out of mesh slightly and rip the tops off the teeth on your spur gear. To minimise this possibility, fit bolts with locking nuts to the Electric Motor mount and remember to check them for security after every two or three runs.

   Ball joints always cause problems. For top level Electric Truck racing, the plastic ball connectors should be checked and if deemed necessary changed after every meeting. A simple thing like a loose fitting connector popping off could easily end your race, so better safe than sorry.

Servo Gears
   The Rustler VXL steering servo is also prone to damage. In high speed crash situations, the fragile gear teeth of the servo can be broken off, rendering your expensive servo useless, so be sure to obtain a good quality "Servo Saver". Check out my Servo Information article.

   If body roll on your Traxxas Rustler VXL is a problem, handling can be improved with the use of stabilizers, anti roll or sway bars, stiffer tuning springs and, or, thicker silicone oil in the dampers.

Ball Bearings
   If your used Traxxas Truck comes with plastic and sintered brass bushings (ring type bearings), check the shafts that run in them for wear. Dust and grit can get into these bearings and abrade the shafts. Therefore, you should replace them all with shielded ball bearings. If the model has been run with ring type bearings, you may have to change all the axles and driveshafts. For more information, take a look at my article, How to get the best from your Bearings.

   Finally, good luck with your Rustler VXL model and good racing.


For More on how to Setup your Truck, check out my Hints and Tips page.


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Manufacturers and Brands Catalogued and Listed by RC-Scrapyard.


   At present, the RC Model Manufacturers, Brands and Distributors covered by us are: ABC Hobby, Academy, Acme Racing, Agama Racing, Amewi, Ansmann Racing, ARRMA, Team Associated, Atomic RC, Axial, AYK, Bolink, BSD Racing, Capricorn, Carisma, Carson, Caster Racing, Cen, Corally, Custom Works, Durango, Duratrax, ECX - Electrix, Exceed RC, FG Modellsport, FS-Racing, FTX, Fujimi, Gmade, GS-Racing, Harm, HBX, Helion, Heng Long, Himoto Racing, Hirobo, Hitari, Hobao, Hong-Nor, Hot Bodies, HPI, HSP, Intech, Integy, Jamara, JQ Products, Kawada, Kyosho, Losi, LRP, Maisto, Mardave, Marui, Maverick, MCD Racing, Megatech, Mugen, New Bright, Nichimo, Nikko, Nkok, Ofna, Pro-Pulse, Protech, PTI, RC4WD, Redcat Racing, RJ-Speed, Robitronic, Schumacher, Seben, Serpent, Smartech, Sportwerks, Step-Up, Tamiya, Team-C Racing, Team Magic, Thunder Tiger, Tomy, Top Racing, Traxxas, Trinity, Tyco, Vaterra RC, Venom, VRX Racing, WLToys, X-Factory, Xmods, Xpress, Xray, XTM, Yankee RC, Yokomo, ZD Racing and Zipzaps.

   This is an ongoing project, with new and "lost in time" RC Model Brands being added as they are found and although most of those listed above have been covered in relative detail, some are still being researched and will be completed in the near future.


















Hints and Tips

Soldering

   In the sport of Radio Controlled racing, there are a number of things you have to learn to get you up there with the best. One of the most difficult, for those with little practical skill, is the art of Soldering.

   For their 540 silver can motors, Tamiya provide two wires, typically green and yellow, soldered to the endbell, with two bullet connectors to plug into the speed controller. While this is fine for bashing around the back yard, as you advance to a higher level you will soon find just how inefficient this method is.

   Motor wires are best soldered directly to the ESC. That way no energy is lost through high current draw. Some of the top drivers at one time even used to solder their batteries directly to the ESC, but these days with connectors such as "Deans" and "Power Pole" this isn't necessary but I still wouldn't use any kind of connector for the motor.

   There are basically two kinds of solder. Plumbers solder which is made up of 60% Lead and 40% Tin, where as electrical solder is the opposite 40% Lead with 60% Tin. NEVER use plumbers solder for your battery, ESC or motor joints. Lead melts at 327 degrees C, where as tin melts at 232 degrees C. The higher Lead content of plumbers means it melts at a higher temperature, which is not good for your battery cells. Also, Tin has almost half the electrical resistance of lead, so with the higher Tin content of electrical solder, electricity flows much easier to your motor.

   More recently, due to the European regulations for lead use, lead free solders are becoming more widely used well, in Europe anyway. The problem with lead free is the melting temperature it is much higher, making it difficult to produce reliable joints.

   Lead, as we know, is a poison to the body if ingested or inhaled in certain quantities. so when using lead based solder, try not to inhale any of the fumes and always wash your hands after completing your work. One of my friends also wears cotton gloves, but I find these cumbersome.

   For me lead / tin solder is far easier to use and if used with care, has less potential to damage your batteries having a much lower melting temperature.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.







Hints and Tips

Caster

   Caster is basically the angle the steering kingpins or steering pivot points, leans back in relation to the horizontal when viewed from the side of the chassis.

   To test the effectiveness of your cars caster, place your model on a flat surface, point the front wheels straight ahead and push the chassis over to one side to simulate body roll when cornering. You will notice that as the car leans over, all four wheels also lean over in the same direction. Tires provide the most grip when the wheels are perfectly vertical and the full width of each tire is flat on the ground. Body roll pushes the wheels past the vertical and reduces the amount of tire contact. Now, if you turn the front wheels as if cornering and again push the chassis over, you will see that in this position, the front wheels are now more vertical, giving you better ground contact and therefore improved grip.

   Another effect of caster can be seen by disconnecting your steering servo and pushing your car along the floor. Because of caster and the kingpins leaning back, your car will naturally roll straight ahead.

   Obviously, the more body roll your car induces, the more positive caster you need to counter it. Buggys, Trucks and Truggys, because of their high ride height and long dampers have more body roll and therefore require more positive caster than on road cars, with their low ride height and shorter dampers.

   If you consider a corner as having three parts: An entrance, middle and an exit. Caster influences each of them.

   With a high degree of positive caster, as you enter the corner and body roll is at its greatest, steering is better. In the middle section, as body roll reduces, steering is less effective and some under-steer is induced, that will continue as you accelerate on corner exit.

   With a low amount of caster, steering response is improved in the middle section of low speed turns and will be more likely to over-steer on corner exit because of increased front end grip from the tires.

   Too little caster can result in difficult handling on corners and poor stability on the straights.

   Most modern RC model kits come with a standard caster setting that has been set for the best handling by the manufacturers. If you are new to the sport I would recommend you stick with this setting until you get a little more experience.

   Methods to adjust caster can vary from model to model. Sometimes it is as simple as moving the position of a plastic washer from one side of the top wishbone pivot bar to the other, or simply using a small clip. Models from some manufacturers often have specific caster blocks to change the angle and must be purchased separately.

For More Setup Information check out my Hints and Tips page.










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