Rock Crawler

This board is for you people out their who would like to discuss RC cars and trucks

Postby wibblywobbly » Wed May 23, 2018 8:31 am

I did buy a TRX4, lol, here it is sat awaiting various mods. I am impressed with the programming on these, takes RC trucks to a whole new level. I am toying with the idea of installing clear windows at the front, and installing an interior, and stripping the shell for a repaint. Wheel weights will also be on the cards.

My mate Simon, who owns the model shop has a wealth of knowledge, and more RC models than I can shake a stick at. I was wondering about the Lipo/Nimh choice but he advised me that they will run perfectly on an Nimh battery, a 2S Lipo is plenty good enough, and a 3S is too much for a trail truck. That was good news.

The Mars buggy is based on an FTX Mauler, which is a bargain priced crawler, it does the job really well.
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Postby jackalope » Wed May 23, 2018 11:28 am

Apologies I missed where you bought the TRX4 too. A 2 cell lipo is PLENTY for the TRX4, if you stay with the Traxxas setup (battery wise) they have up to 7600mah 2 cell lipos that when you also use the Traxxas ez system for the battery and charger it's a complete fool proof lipo battery system.

Now onto the wheels, for both your Mars rover and your Land Rover pick out the beadlock wheels you like and tires. Beadlock wheels are usually 3 pieces that use a floating ring in the center that the 2 side parts mash the tires bead against locking the tires to the wheel. On that floating ring part is where you want to add weight. Look for automotive supply houses that carry stick on lead wheel weights, here locally I get mine from Harbor Freight Tools for under $5.00 for a box. Take the stick on wheel weights and stick them around the outside of that floating ring, depending upon the diameter of the ring and the design of the stick on weights you can add between 2.75oz (78gr) and 3oz (85gr) per wheel! Some wheels already start around 80gr ea. So now you're looking at adding 160+gr PER WHEEL! I do this to my wheels and it makes a huge difference in how the truck handles.

Now as for your TRX4 look for a set of 4mm output shaft extensions made by MIP. They replace the factory output shafts on each of the axle portals widening the trucks wheelbase by a total of 8mm. Also as far as it being waterproof well yes the electronics are in fact waterproof however the wheel portals, diffs, and transmission and bearings are not waterproof. The portals and diffs and transmission can all be helped by replacing the bearings for a sealed bearing kit made by Integy. These sealed bearings make it evan harder for water to get into these areas. When you disassemble the truck to add the sealed bearings and MIP extended axles get some automotive multipurpose lithium grease it's thicker then the factory Traxxas grease and will not just wash away like the Traxxas grease will. Doing these mods will also increase battery run time and make the truck quiet as a mouse as well as NOW it really is waterproof!

Not sure how far you feel like digging into your TRX4 but I've rebuilt mine now about 5 times and have turned the long wheelbase Land Rover into a Shorter wheelbase Bronco that has much smaller overhangs which allows steeper hill climbing.
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Postby jackalope » Wed May 23, 2018 11:50 am

You can also look around on Ebay for your TRX4 and get a nice set of stainless steel screws (the factory black ones tend to rust).

Also you can find replacement portal covers made from brass, steering knuckles made of brass, weights to add inside the wheels also brass, diff covers brass again (diff covers are a good idea as the screws on mine were stripped from the factory) and if you plan on doing any real trail driving pick up a set of diff skid plates.

I replaced all the suspension arms with a stainless steel set that are much larger diameter, but the arms can also be had in titanium! And if it doesn't have enough long travel arm kits are out there too which adds height to the truck and increases suspension travel.

Don't crank the adjustable springs up too much, keeping the springs on the softer side allows for better suspension articulation and travel.

For tires G8 compound is unbelievable! May as well be running suction cups instead of tires.


I'm throughly enjoying my TRX4! I take it to the same trails I used to take my tanks on but I don't run it out in the open park for fear of problems with any officials. It is amazing how much the truck can drive through really is! Careful not to submerge the antenna or the truck will stop, apparently the radio does not communicate through water.
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Postby jackalope » Wed May 23, 2018 11:52 am

The light kit for the Land Rover from Traxxas is FANTASTIC! Highly recommend it!


Almost forgot, the steering servo is crap! It WILL break. Mine let go and I had to go wading in after the truck. You want a SAVOX waterproof steering servo the higher the tq you can find the better! I got one that's almost 400in lbs of tq, waterproof and I added a Traxxas steel steering arm and I haven't had any problems at all anymore.

I tend to really REALLY beat on my truck just like I do my tanks.
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Postby wibblywobbly » Wed May 23, 2018 1:00 pm

I just fitted a Turnigy 20kg servo to the Mauler chassis, much stronger than stock, so I'll look for another one for the TRX4 as well.

Most of the accessories I can 3D print, just done a set of doorhandles, and the remote on/off switch works like a charm. Got some decent jerry cans on the printer at the moment. Need to ditch the front and rear bumpers and print some scale ones at some point, and probably move the spare wheel or take it off altogether. I've had crawlers before so know most of the tricks, but I want to try and keep this one as a scale trail truck. There is no way that I will be trying underwater driving, I can't think of a quicker way to mangle the thing. :haha:
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Postby jackalope » Wed May 23, 2018 1:19 pm

I'm keeing mine as a scale trail truck too, all the tips I listed don't change it's looks.

If you want REAL scale looking trail truck a hard plastic Land Rover model kit quality body is available for the truck. Then you can have full interior, driver, passenger, open the hood have a detailed engine, real working WARN winch, full lighting too. I'm considering once I get back on my feet I may get the full detailed Chevy Blazer body kit for my TRX4.

Have you seen the video of mine running on the trails?
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Postby wibblywobbly » Wed May 23, 2018 1:43 pm

Post up a link, I'll have a look. :thumbup:
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Postby jackalope » Wed May 23, 2018 1:55 pm

Ebay my friend, Ebay.

Just search 1/10 Land Rover body kit.
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Postby wibblywobbly » Wed May 23, 2018 6:08 pm

I meant your video, :haha:
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Postby jackalope » Wed May 23, 2018 6:34 pm

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Postby wibblywobbly » Wed May 23, 2018 6:43 pm

Jeez, you are lucky having terrain like that to play on. There is nothing around my parts that comes remotely close, though if my house move goes through that may all change and I will have a giant RC playground to take advantage of. :thumbup:

Stripped the whole rear off the Landrover and ditched the spare wheel, jack and fuel can, and will fit a replacement small bumper, will do the same at the front. I should get a lot better clearance that way. Keep reading about failed steering servo's...??
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Postby jackalope » Wed May 23, 2018 8:31 pm

Yes the steering servo is the trucks week link, it WILL let go.... trust me and it'll make sure it's in the worst possible place! LOL!

Too bad you have no trails like those that truck is a LOT of fun! Now that I've had my surgery and am just waiting to get back to 100% (6 weeks at least) I'll get more videos for you. You should see some of the trails I have locally to me or within an hour drive! Beautiful!

Even better, the doctor has said that going for walks will actually help my recovery! So even the wife is behind me playing with with my truck.
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Postby wibblywobbly » Wed May 23, 2018 9:00 pm

Very glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery, fingers crossed that life only gets better. :thumbup:
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Postby jackalope » Wed May 23, 2018 9:03 pm

Thank you sir. Sorry if I hi-jacked your thread.
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Postby wibblywobbly » Wed May 23, 2018 9:08 pm

No worries...it's good to talk. :D
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Postby wibblywobbly » Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:45 pm

Whilst waiting for various bits to arrive that will allow me to finish the JS3, I have been doing a military truck that will fit the FTX Mauler chassis. It's an odd size, so after discovering that there are no lexan shells that will fit, I decided to look at alternatives. By reverse scaling the wheelbase to 1:1 I was able to Google the dimensions and discovered one vehicle that fits. It's a Steyr, so I found a blueprint and fired up Openscad. The cab is huge, so it has taken a long while to compete that, in addition to which something happened to the filament on my last reel which messed up the printing big time.

Two new reels arrived, and normal service was resumed. The cab is done, just doing the bumper. It has taken hours and hours to print the parts as they are so large, but I am getting there. I'm using styrene for the rear as it is quicker than printing big flat panels. I have a new esc coming that will slow it down a bit, and I'm hoping that I can turn it into an all terrain truck, rather than a crawler.
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Postby silversurfer1947 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:35 pm

To show my ignorance, what's the difference between an all terrain truck and a rock crawler, please?
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Postby jackalope » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:49 pm

silversurfer1947 wrote:To show my ignorance, what's the difference between an all terrain truck and a rock crawler, please?


A rock crawler is geared VERY VERY low so it can crawl over the terrain. It can go places that an all terrain truck wouldn't dare. They have things like ultra high hp engines, locking front and rear differentials, locking transfer cases, portal axles, bead lock tires and wheels, run very low air pressure in the tires, rubber compounds are extremely soft and almost sticky to help them go up trails that are almost vertical.
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Postby wibblywobbly » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:51 pm

It should be able to cope with all of the earth trails and ascents/descents, but it will fail miserably over tree roots, steep cambers and rough rocks. This one is likely to have a high centre of gravity, and after I have replaced the 2.2" wheels with 1.9" ones it will also have reduced ground clearance. It 'might' clamber over the rough stuff but I am not really expecting it to.
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Postby jackalope » Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:53 pm

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