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RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models
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1/10 Scale Electric Buggy:

Traxxas TRX-3 - # 2603 (Radio Controlled Model Review)


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History, Info (and How To Set-up Tips) for the Traxxas TRX-3:


  Introduced by Traxxas in 1993, the 2WD TRX-3 Buggy - # 2603 - was based on a double deck plate chassis, with a ball differential, coil spring over oil filled dampers, slipper clutch, universal joint drive-shafts and a full set of ball bearings.

Traxxas TRX-3 - 1:10 Electric RC Buggy
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  To race the Traxxas TRX-3, it requires a high level of tuning for improved stability when cornering, to keep it on the track and give you more grip under acceleration. Even the smallest change in your cars settings can make a Big difference. Our simple to follow instruction chart will show how to attain the best Set-up for your personal requirements.

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★ Traxxas TRX-3 ★
Traxxas TRX-3

★ Traxxas TRX-3 Chassis ★
Traxxas TRX-3 Chassis


Buying a Used Traxxas TRX-3 Buggy (and What to look for)


   Buying a used Traxxas TRX-3 Electric Buggy, 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 Buggy you may discover can easily be fixed.

Dampers
   When you receive your used Traxxas Buggy, 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 TRX-3 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 TRX-3 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 TRX-3 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 Buggy 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 TRX-3 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 TRX-3 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 Buggy 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 TRX-3 model and good racing.




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Or, check out our RC Model Car Setup Guide


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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

Decals

   After spending lots of time and effort to paint your bodyshell, you come to the point where you make it look good by putting on all those flashy decals, but before you rush in with the scissors and start cutting, there are a few things you should do first.

   Good preparation is key to a perfect job, so before you do anything with your decals, you must first of all wash your hands and then make sure the bodyshell is clean and no oil or grime from your previously grubby fingers remains on the Polycarbonate Lexan surface. Methylated spirits is the thing to use, or failing that, use one of those wipes you use for your computer monitor screen. As the body shell dries, you can carefully cut out the decals from the sheet. Do the big ones first and leave the smallest ones for last.

   Now you can prepare to the decals for positioning. Carefully remove the backing paper from the decal with your thumb nail and then put it back on again, but slightly out of line. Place the decal in the position you want it on the bodyshell and when you are satisfied, press down the sticky corner onto the bodyshell and peel off the backing paper, following it along with your fingers to avoid any bubbles. Repeat the process until all your decals are in place.

   Any bubbles or misfitting areas can be corrected by using a sharp modelling knife to carefully pierce the bubbles, or score the poorly fitting area and complete the process with your finger nail.

   Some misalignments can often be fixed using a hair dryer on the offending decal to soften the glue enough to allow you to reposition it, but be careful; Lexan can react like heat-shrink and may wrinkle if you use too much heat.

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







Hints and Tips

Wheel Balancing

   At the tender age of 17 I passed my driving test. Of course, the first thing I did was to dash over to my girlfriends house and take her out to a long straight stretch of road close by where the boy racers would often congregate. No one was around that day, so the road was relatively quiet. I slowly went through the gears and we reached 65 with no problems, but as we got closer to 70, my hands sensed a small vibration on the steering wheel. By the time we reached 75, the steering wheel and the whole car was vibrating hard. I remember my girlfriend screaming for me to "slow down," Which I did of course and tried to laugh it off.

   Back home I told my dad what had happened and he reminded me, that just the week before we had put on a new set of front tires and it must be the balance that is out. Sure enough, after the wheels were re-balanced, 85, 90, was not a problem, the car drove perfectly.

   So, when I got deeper into RC, that memory returned and now I balance all my wheels.

   These days, wheel balancing equipment for RC cars is available from most RC model shops, but back then I had to make my own using the rear end of an old Tamiya F1 car. Here's how I did it.

   With the tire and insert mounted and glued, the wheel was fitted onto my home made balancer and allowed to settle. I would then gently turn the wheel through 90 degrees and again allow it to settle. Obviously the heavy side of the wheel would drop to the bottom due to gravity. Once I was satisfied, I would then make a mark on the rim with a felt tip pen at the top of the wheel where it came to rest. Removing the wheel I would mix a small amount of plastic resin and press a tiny amount of this into a recess on the wheel on the side where I made the mark. The whole process was then repeated until I was totally satisfied.

   I was amazed just how out of balance some of those wheels were and how much a small thing like that can make a difference on the track.

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










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