When any hazard on the trail is not problem for your TRX-4 or TRX-6
By Contributor Mark Houlahan
Scale crawling has become one of the largest segments of the RC hobby over the last few years and every major RC brand has released RTR crawler rigs and kits that fly off the shelves. Accessory companies have hopped on the band wagon as well, creating all manner of scale and licensed products from beadlock wheels to tires, rock sliders, LED light bars, and more. It is not hard to practically double your investment in accessories alone these days!
We understand crawling’s allure for sure now, but at the onset (coming from on-road speed runs and fast monster truck bashing/jumping) we just didn’t get all the hoopla. Standing there going 2mph trying not to tip over was akin to watching paint dry in our minds—until we tried it! Oh man, it is indeed a challenging good time! If you haven’t tried crawling yet you owe it to yourself and the hobby to give it a try. It’s even more fun with a bunch of friends!
One of the more popular rigs on the trails right now is Traxxas’ TRX-4 Scale and Trail Crawler. It is quite a capable rig right out of the box with portal axles for awesome ground clearance, locking front and rear diffs and high/low transmission gearing (all handled from the TQi transmitter no less!). Available with several very scale looking licensed bodies (from the classic Land Rover Defender to a Chevy Blazer – and now both classic and new Ford Broncos), it has been a hit for Traxxas. Not to be outdone by the accessory companies either, Traxxas has been dropping scale bits since day one for the TRX-4 (and TRX-6 six-wheel model). Lift kits, wheels, tires, LED lights, aluminum suspension pieces and more are just a click away. Their latest offering is the Traxxas Pro Scale Winch. With our new 2021 Ford Bronco on the bench, we knew we had to ditch the “prop” winch on the front bumper for the real thing. It’s an easy upgrade that just might save you or a buddy’s rig on the trail! Let’s get to it!
Shown here on our CowRC.com work mat is the Traxxas Pro Scale Winch kit (PN8855) out of the box. For the 2021 Bronco version of the TRX-4 you will not be using any of the included fasteners, the fairlead or the two alignment pins. The included Y-harness is only needed if you’re planning to install other powered accessories like LED lighting.
The included instructions are based on Traxxas’ line of winch-compatible bumpers and their full line up of TRX-4/TRX-6 models, so not every step/illustration is going to be specific for the new Bronco. For example, to remove the Bronco front bumper you need to remove these two screws (per side) at the frame horns versus the vertical screws shown in the instructions.
With the four screws removed, grasp the front bumper assembly and pull it straight away from the chassis to free it. Move the bumper assembly to your work area and set the chassis aside.
There is a single screw retaining the “faux” winch to the factory Bronco bumper. Remove this screw and retain it for installing the new winch. If you’re installing the Pro Scale Winch on another TRX-4 model you will need to acquire the appropriate winch-compatible bumper (we’ve listed them at the end of the article).
Depress the free spool button on the side of the winch and pull about six inches of line from the winch spool. Carefully slip the winch hook and washer through the bumper fairlead. We found the knot in front of the washer a little on the small side and the washer would sometimes pop over the knot when securing the winch lead. A quick additional knot increased the surface area to prevent it from happening.
Thread the winch harness behind the winch’s pre-installed mounting bracket and ensure it is seated in the notch found in the top of the bumper assembly. Then press/slide the winch into place, securing it with the original retaining screw. Do NOT use the new, longer screw in the winch kit. It is too long for the 2021 Bronco’s bumper and will poke through the front. Ask us how we found that one out! Re-install the bumper with the new winch in place.
Begin roughing in your winch’s wiring. There are two leads, power and the remote’s antenna. Use the included zip ties to secure the wiring away from moving parts.
The power lead travels around the front shock tower and connects to the auxiliary power lead on the factory speed control. The auxiliary power lead is secured from the factory under the mounting ear of the speed control, so you’ll have to remove this one screw and fish the lead out from under the mounting ear to access the full length of the harness. If you are running aftermarket electronics you can use the Traxxas Power Tap Connector, PN6541X, to provide direct battery voltage to the winch.
We went ahead and installed the included Y-harness for the winch power lead at this time knowing we have a set of Traxxas’ Pro Scale LED lights for the Bronco to install soon as well.
The winch’s antenna lead is routed to the front differential shift servo’s shift cable support arm and zip tied in place, per the kit instructions.
All that is left is to bind the winch to the remote control. With battery power supplied to the winch, press and hold the bind button on the top of the winch until the status LED is solid red (about three seconds). Then depress the winch in or winch out button to bind. The remote has two channels (default is channel 1), allowing you install a second winch at the rear and control both winches with one remote.
All winch-compatible bumpers include recovery D-rings, which is the easiest way to secure your winch lead. Simply hook it to one of the D-rings on the front bumper and winch in the line until it is snug. Traxxas offers replacement winch line in several colors to compliment your rig along with aluminum fairleads in traditional Traxxas aluminum anodized colors as well to customize your install!
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
8855 Traxxas Pro Scale Winch Kit: https://bit.ly/2UMJMAe
8865 Traxxas Land Rover/Tactical Unit: https://bit.ly/3kmKA9R
8866 Traxxas TRX-4 Sport & Sport Kit: https://bit.ly/3wFKUDl
8867 Traxxas 1979 Ford Bronco & 1979 Chevy Blazer: https://bit.ly/2VyCsIY
8868 Traxxas Mercedes G 500 & G 63: https://bit.ly/3wEmt9f
8869 Traxxas 1969 & 1972 Chevy Blazer: https://bit.ly/2UcXQTV
Aluminum Fairleads (works with stock 2021 Bronco bumper and bumpers listed above except PN8868)
8870G Traxxas Fairlead – Green: https://bit.ly/2VHC3Eh
8870T Traxxas Fairlead – Orange: https://bit.ly/3yWVLKp
8870R Traxxas Fairlead – Red: https://bit.ly/3eeVbQb
8870A Traxxas Fairlead – Gray: https://bit.ly/36zIpYr
8870X Traxxas Fairlead – Blue: https://bit.ly/3xJukDU
Replacement Winch Lines
8864X Traxxas Replacement Winch Line – Blue: https://bit.ly/3ekejMN
8864R Traxxas Replacement Winch Line – Red: https://bit.ly/3idoLXy
8864 Traxxas Replacement Winch Line – Gray: https://bit.ly/3kiimNx
6541X Traxxas Power Tap Connector (for non-stock ESC): https://bit.ly/3icOZcG