The Chase: Traxxas Slash

This weekend, I spent a few hours upgrading the electrics in the Slash. I had a $60 “reward” at Amain Hobbies, so I bought a Hobbywing Max10 combo with a 3300kV motor, a “drop in” replacement (almost), to go to a brushless propulsion system.

The base Slash comes with a 12 turn Titan brushed motor. If I had spent the extra $100, I could have avoided the brushed experience, but I wanted, nay, I craved that 8 year old who got his first RC for Christmas, and I wanted to experience that.

If you’ve been following along, I started with the 2WD bundle with the NiMH battery and DC charger, and not surprisingly, the performance on the NiMH battery is, pedestrian. Not that it is terrible, but if you are going to put the remote control into a young lad’s hands, the NiMH combo is one where he won’t get into trouble.

Along the way, I bought a 2S LiPO (the biggest that can be used with the stock electronics), and I spent a fair amount of time trying to improve the handling.

That required:

  • Upgrading to the LCG (low center of gravity) chassis
  • Stiffening the front shock spring preload
  • Upping the viscosity of the shock fluid from the stock 30 wt to 70wt in the back and 50wt in the front.

All this helped tremendously.

But, it still wasn’t super exciting to drive. I knew that the electronics were holding it back. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, and it is becoming one of my favorite cars to drive.

So, yesterday, I spent a couple of hours upgrading the electronics, and with a little Dremel work, I got it all wedged in. I tossed in a 3S battery, and made sure that it worked before calling it a night.

Today, I charged up the 2S and a 3S battery (I also charged up the 4S batteries for the X-Maxx) and went to my favorite place to drive.

Wow, the brushless electronics really make the car a lot more fun to drive. A lot more responsive when you yank the throttle back, and I think I even get a few extra minutes of run time on the 2S 4000mAH battery.

And then I put in the 3S battery.

Wow. With the stock gearing, it is fast. Really fast. Probably 40+ MPH. But it brought out a couple of things I need to do.

First, the extra power and speed cause a lot of body roll. I really need to add at a minimum front sway bars. They have been ordered.

Second, I now know why the VXL (aka brushless version of the 2WD Slash) comes with the TQi controller and the TSM receiver. With the hobbywing and 3S battery in the car, it is, to put it mildly, a handful to control. It has enough power to cause the rear to fishtail. All the challenge of a late 60’s vintage muscle car are present. I might need to take advantage of the powerup program to swap the TQ system to a TQi + TSM.

Third, the open rear differential diffs out pretty easily with the extra power. I think I will need to invest in the Hot Racing sealed differential housing, and 200K differential fluid. This will help keep the power going straight.

Fourth, the stock shocks are not bad, and with the viscosity change of the fluids, the dampening is up to the task, but the stock ultra-progressive springs are way too soft initially, and that leads to a lot of body roll. I need to order up some Losi shock springs for the front and rear.

Lastly, the stock tires. They suck. They are OK on tarmac, but they don’t provide much traction off road. I will look for replacements (and also use this opportunity to buy the replacement RPM front A arms, so I can use tires with the same offset in the front and rear.

I want to put the optional pinion and spur gear on, to get the faster speed. But without TSM, that seems like a bad idea. It is plenty squirrelly with the new power-plant.

Regardless, this journey is fun, and this truck is rapidly becoming my favorite.

Product Manager in Tech. Guitar player. Bicycle Rider. Dog rescuer. Techie.