From 4WD Short Course to 4WD Road Course
I’m sure everyone reading these pages has, at one point, had an extra RC car lying around. You’ve made your first purchase based on speed or included features, but soon find that you want another vehicle that has more of both! Yes, you’ve been bitten by the RC bug. But what do you do with the old car you had previously? There are plenty of conversion kits out there that can transform your dust collector into something fast and fun. My space taker-upper is in the form of a Traxxas Slash 4×4 Ultimate. I raced this truck several times and had a blast with it, but as new vehicles showed up, my focus turned to them. I decided to throw a conversion kit its way and give the Slash a new purpose in life. Surprisingly, the conversion kit only includes a few items to turn your 4WD off-road truck into a 4WD on-road screamer!
Chassis and Suspension
For the chassis and suspension, I decided to keep it relatively stock since this was a conversion kit and not a complete build. I figured this is the way most of us would have a spare car…in ALMOST stock form. I kept the stock chassis, suspension and drivetrain, as well as the Ultimate’s blue aluminum front caster block and rear hubs. To add a little matching blue bling, I installed Traxxas’ blue front and rear aluminum shock towers. The STRC Conversion Kit includes a set of blue aluminum 17mm wheel hexes that allow the use of 1/8-scale wheels and tires. These bolt on to the stock axles and do not require any modifications. To complete the chassis conversion, you will need to remove the front and rear short course bumpers. The STRC conversion also includes new hardware to button up the front and rear of the truck. A large, oversized foam front bumper from Kyosho was installed to help protect the body. Also added was a Pro-Line battery hold-down to help secure the big 3S pack that was going to find its way into the hull of my land missile. Finally, to help keep the Velineon motor cool with that pack, I installed Traxxas’ optional blue-anodized motor mount.
Again, since this was a conversion and not a full build, I kept the stock Traxxas Velineon brushless system intact. On 2S, this power combo is pretty lethal, but in our local GT8 class, 2S won’t cut it. I ordered up a MaxAmps 3S 6500 mAh LiPo pack to juice the stock system. Traxxas claims a 60+mph speed with a 3S on their Velineon system (with adjusted gearing, which I did), so that’s going to be just about right for our GT8 class. I also kept the stock Traxxas 2.4GHz radio system and 2075 servo installed.
Body, Wheels and Tires
To play the part, you need to look the part. As I was researching a body choice, I happened to set the Traxxas down next to my current Losi GT8 car. BAM! The wheelbase is spot on! Instead of choosing the same body, however, I wanted something a little more realistic, so I gave a call over to Kyosho and inquired about their complete Aston Martin DBR9 body set. In about 15 minutes I had a body and front bumper on the way to my house for the project. The foam bumper is suggested by STRC to help keep the body from flexing at high speeds or collapsing during heavy impacts! For tires, I went with Sweeps GT8 45 tires on a set of their cool black wheels. This combo really fits the look perfectly of the Kyosho DB9 body. To finish off the build and provide a little more aerodynamics, I installed Pro-Line’s Slash 4×4 Undertray.
I headed to a local parking lot with cones in hand to set up a makeshift track for the test. I plugged in the battery, turned everything on and set the Slash down. I yanked the throttle and the Slash ripped away, lighting up the tires and spitting a huge dust cloud behind it! Power from the MaxAmps battery and Velineon brushless system was awesome, but I think I had it a little over-geared. Steering was good in the corners, and as long as I didn’t over-drive it, the combination of soft Sweep tires and loads of body roll helped keep it planted. This was a bit surprising since I was running on an un-prepared asphalt parking lot. Put this beast on a track and you’re talking a whole new ballgame!
This is one of those projects that helps bring an old closet-car or truck back to life. The addition of the STRC GT8/Rally Cross Conversion Kit, black Sweep wheels and awesome Kyosho Aston Martin body turn what used to be a competent off road racer into a definite street terror! There is plenty of power on tap to run with the big boys and, with a little fine tuning, keeping up with them in the corners is only a matter of time. The best part is the look on people’s faces when they see what’s under all that green Kyosho plastic!
#6807 Traxxas Slash 4×4 Ultimate
#6860X Traxxas 6061-T6 Motor Mount
#6839X Traxxas 7075-T6 Front Shock Tower
#6838X Traxxas 7075-T6 Rear Shock Tower
ST Racing Concepts, www.teamstrc.com
#ST6822B STRC GT8/Rally Cross Conversion,
Pro-Line Racing, www.prolineracing.com
#6066-00 Pro-Line Adjustable Battery Strap
#3325 Pro-Line Undertray
MaxAmps Hard Case Race Edition LiPo 6500 3S 11.1v LiPo Battery Pack
#IGB004 Kyosho Aston Martin DBR9 Complete Body Set
#KA90001 Kyosho Aston Martin DBR9 Shaped Bumper
Sweep Racing, www.sweepracingusa.com
#S40145EK6P Sweep Racing 1/8 GT Belted Slick EXP 45deg Premounts