Extend Your 2021 Bronco TRX-4’s Driving Time With Plug-N-Play LED Lighting
By Contributor Mark Houlahan
If you haven’t noticed, scale realism is where it’s at in the RC hobby these days. From 3D printed trail accessories to fully licensed bodies, wheels, tires and more, it’s all about “keeping it real” on the scale trail, race track or dragstrip! Nowhere are we seeing this scale growth than in LED lighting. While it has been huge in the off-road RC hobby for the last few years with licensed scale LED light bars for rock crawlers/racers, it has blossomed into fully integrated headlight and taillight housings that allow LEDs to be either installed from the factory or retrofitted as an upgrade that take this scale lighting to the next level.
We remember our first foray into LED lighting about eight years ago. It was a rather basic headlight/taillight setup and you simply used your body reamer to make a hole in your RC vehicle’s polycarbonate body for the LED bulb to be pushed through or glued into place. The LED controller was simply a little junction box (that wasn’t waterproof) that tapped into your Tamiya-style battery plug. These kits were popular for the scale drift crowd but wouldn’t last two minutes in a wet and muddy trail, that’s for sure.
Leave it to the pros at Traxxas though to develop its Pro Scale Lighting System. The Pro Scale LED lighting is kit specific (there are LED light kits for each of the TRX-4 and TRX-6 platforms) and takes the standard LED lighting kits Traxxas has offered and upgrades it with a waterproof controller that provides incredibly realistic functions including brake lights, reverse lights, and even turn signals! These functions are easily adjusted via push buttons on the Pro Scale controller, or if you have the optional TQi Bluetooth adapter then the majority of them can be controlled from the Traxxas app on your smartphone. So, if you have already added a Traxxas LED lighting kit to your TRX-4 or TRX-6 you can take it to the next level by simply adding the Pro Scale Lighting System (PN6591) to your vehicle along with the appropriate installation kit (listed at the end of our install).
One exclusion is the new 2021 Ford Bronco edition of the TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler. Its Pro Scale Lighting System is a single box solution (PN 9290), providing the Pro Scale Lighting System modules, installation kit and LED lighting for your install. We’re sure as more LED lighting systems are developed for scale licensed bodies like the Drag Slash C10 Chevy pickups and 4-Tec 2.0/3.0 Mustang, Corvette, etc. we’ll be seeing more single box solutions (unless already factory equipped with LED lights like the new 33 Hot Rod and 35 Hot Rod Pickup 4-Tec 3.0 models).
Installation is not hard, though a little time consuming, as you have to disassemble all those sweet 3D headlights and taillights to install the LED light boards, route all the wiring and, in some cases like the TRX-4 Sport, trim and cut the body for new light assemblies. However, the bench time is certainly worth it to have the most scale LED lighting on the trail. The last thing we will note is that if you have upgraded to a brushless system the brake lights and backup lights will not function, as they are determined by the brushed motor’s motor senser cable included in the lighting kit. Let’s see how it’s done in the following pics!
For the 2021 Ford Bronco TRX-4 model Traxxas has made its Pro Scale Lighting System an all-in-one solution. In the box you’ll find the Pro Scale Lighting Power Module, Pro Scale Lighting Distribution Block, mounting brackets for both, front and rear LED lighting harnesses, fasteners and silicone grease.
The Traxxas Pro Scale Lighting Power Module is mounted to the included bracket (installed first on the chassis) and secured with the included Allen head fasteners. Connect the red power connector to the to the red connector on the speed control or via an adapter to an auxiliary battery source up to 3S LiPo.
The 2021 Ford Bronco kit ships with the Maxx Link cable for TQi receivers. Remove the rubber cover from the Maxx Link “IN” connection and plug the Maxx Link cable into the power module. This is the main communication cable between the power module and the factory TQi receiver. If you’ve updated your radio electronics you will have to find the receiver communication cable normally sold in the 6591 Pro Scale Lighting System kit, as it is not included with the 2021 Ford Bronco’s 9290 version, and install that instead. According to Traxxas, this cable will be available separately soon for anyone looking to go that route.
Route the Maxx Link cable under the battery tray and between the diff lock servos to the receiver box. You will need to remove the receiver box cover and wire clamp so that the Maxx Link cable can be threaded through the receiver box and plugged into the receiver’s expansion port.
Using the included tube of silicone grease, apply a fresh bead of silicone on the wire clamp and reinstall the clamp to secure the wiring and seal the wire pass through area of the receiver box. Re-install the receiver box lid as well, ensuring the O-ring is seated properly to maintain the waterproof nature of the box.
The included motor senser harness plugs in line with the factory brushed motor and is utilized by the Pro Scale Lighting Power Module to determine braking and reverse operation. Red to red, black to black and plug everything back in.
The opposite end of the motor sense harness plugs directly into its own dedicated port on the Pro Scale Lighting Power Module. Route and tuck the wires away from any moving parts and secure with the included zip ties.
With the chassis electronics covered it is time to set the chassis aside and begin the LED lighting conversion on our 2021 Ford Bronco body. Using a hex driver, remove the headlight and grille support.
The headlights are a rather tight fit to the body and require carefully rotating out of the body opening as shown here.
You will next disassemble the headlights to remove the white plastic spacer. This spacer is installed from the factory and the LED board takes its place.
Carefully insert the LED board in place of the white spacer, being mindful of the wire routing and that it clears the back cover opening, then reinstall the factory screws to secure the assembly.
Your updated LED headlight assemblies should look like this and be ready for re-installation in the body.
The taillight assemblies are removed in the same manner as the headlights, disassembled and the white plastic spacer removed to allow installation of the LED board in their place. One extra step on the taillights is to install these blackout decals on the red portion of the lens. Don’t forget to do that like, umm, someone we know did!
Re-install the headlights, taillights and the headlight/grille support. Attach the distribution block mount to the body and then attach the distribution block. We found it easier to connect all of the lighting to the distribution block before securing it to the body. There are extra connections for rock lights, light bars and more, so the system has plenty of expandability.
The distribution block’s breakaway cable is inserted into the breakaway cable connection port on the power module to complete the installation of the Pro Scale Lighting System. At this point you can plug your battery in and test the lighting.
Upon plugging the battery in, you will be greeted by the daytime running lights (DRL) feature. This is helpful in reminding you your battery is still plugged in when you’re done for the day too! You can control the headlight function via the mode button on the power module (DRL/low beam/high beam) and the turn signal function and hazard lights are controlled by the signal button (press to turn hazards on or off, press and release two times quickly to enable or disable turn signal function).
For the TQi’s Traxxas Link Wireless Module there is a quick update necessary to control the Pro Scale Lighting System from your smartphone. Ensure your transmitter and receiver are connected to each other and the app, then continue with the update using your phone’s cellular or Wi-Fi connection.
Once the update is complete you can access your TRX-4/TRX-6’s LED lighting via the “Garage” tab on the Traxxas Link main page. The controls are programmable via edit button in the upper right of the screen. The hazards and turn signal function will still require to be manually set via the power module.
Just like the real 2021 Bronco, the front turn signals include a “switchback” function, where the white DRL bar turns amber and when the turn signal is cancelled it switches back to the white DRL bar! And yes, even the small amber side marker blinks!
We hope you enjoyed this install! It was simple and really expands the cool-factor of your 2021 Ford Bronco TRX-4 Trail Truck! Now, go out and enjoy some night-time trails!
92076-4-Red Traxxas TRX-4 – 2021 Ford Bronco – Red: https://bit.ly/3i2Ftud
92076-4-Yellow Traxxas TRX-4 – 2021 Ford Bronco – Yellow: https://bit.ly/3eipSEc
9290 Traxxas Pro Scale LED Light Kit: https://bit.ly/2VT4FdD
Traxxas Pro Scale Lighting System Installation Kits:
8032 Traxxas TRX-4 1979 Ford Bronco: https://bit.ly/3BmE5K8
8082 Traxxas TRX-4 1979 Chevy Blazer: https://bit.ly/36NZuxO
8083 Traxxas TRX-4 Sport: https://bit.ly/3wKyb24
8091 Traxxas TRX-4 1969/1972 Chevy Blazer: https://bit.ly/3BlB8tm
8893 Traxxas TRX-4 Mercedes-Benz G500 and G63 6×6: https://bit.ly/2VXQ3tI
Traxxas LED Light Kits:
8036 Traxxas TRX-4 1979 Ford Bronco: https://bit.ly/3iquJ7B
8039 Traxxas TRX-4 1979 Chevy Blazer: https://bit.ly/3kvwkvH
8085 Traxxas TRX-4 Sport: https://bit.ly/3zgrpTA
8090 Traxxas TRX-4 1969/1972 Chevy Blazer: https://bit.ly/3zbBX6g
8095 Traxxas TRX-4 Land Rover Defender: https://bit.ly/3Bj4loK
8898 Traxxas TRX-4 Mercedes-Benz G500: https://bit.ly/3xQc9wl
9290 Traxxas TRX-4 2021 Ford Bronco: https://bit.ly/2VT4FdD