Rustler to Slash LCG conversion by a newbie

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bozo

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Hi all,
This is my first attempt at building an all-purpose rig that will hopefully run good and not break much.
I've read tons of stuff on this forum (very helpful!) and am trying to learn the mechanic and driving skills.
Any comments, critiques or suggestions are welcomed... I want reliable and repeatable- fast will come later.
Started off with a moderately beat Rustler VXL 2WD I got for free. It was missing the transmitter, but everything else was accounted for including a 3000mah NiMh battery.
My LHS started me off with a new TQi transmitter and a HTRC C150 charger to get me rolling. Here's the before pics...
PXL_20220704_233838073.jpg

PXL_20220704_233805626.jpg

I originally thought the silvery pattern on the body was tape residue, but it seems to be part of the paint scheme. Personally, I think the paint scheme on these bodies is ugly. Besides that, the car ran OK.
First few hours of running were in the backyard, and only broke one shock cap. LHS to the rescue with a set of Integy shocks for not much more $$$ than aluminium caps and hardened shock shafts.
I then decided the Slash LCG conversion looked cheap and effective. Since I had most of the good parts from the donor Rustler, it was just a matter of selecting the best parts for the conversion.
RPM parts seem to be the best, so I started my "shopping list". I'm on a budget, so price/reliability is important.
Here's what I added so far...

RPM parts:
Front bulkhead black
Front and rear shock towers
front and rear bumper
Front Rustler A arm and rear Slash A arm
Adjustable body mount kit
steering knuckles
rear hub carriers
side nerf bars
Rear bumper mount

Other parts:
Traxxas LCG chassis and front pan in black. I didn't get the blue kit because of the color.
Integy shocks w/ 35 weight oil
Chinesium aluminium c blocks
39mm turnbuckles for the rear (Rustler was too long)
ebay ESC fan
Traxxas battery retainer and receiver box
ebay metal gear servo
extra NiMh battery (free)

On to assembly...

Pretty straightforward, only a few minor problems. the servo was larger than stock so some trimming was required to fit. Boy, that material is tough! Dremel and file wouldn't touch it, so I carved the offending material away with an xacto- much easier! After the rear was done, I realized the turnbuckles were too long. LHS for 39mm turnbuckles.
Still have a problem with the RPM rear bumper mount. NO WAY does it fit the stock Traxxas gearbox! Any fixes? I'm thinking of getting the RPM gearbox case (mostly for the metal motor plate) and am wondering if the bumper mount fits that gearbox better. I re-used the Rustler body for now, shot a coat of Testors Blue Galaxy color change paint on the exterior. It looks much better and really adheres well. I also cut out the rear window and hot glued some screen material for better cooling.

With all these mods, I wasn't expecting any real performance increase (that'll be later on) just better reliability. So far, it seems to be holding up well to my amateur bashing and crashing.
Here's the current setup:
PXL_20220721_153335947.jpg

PXL_20220721_153317754.jpg

I know, it's really ugly, but a new body is on the way...
$30 ebay wonder
s-l1600.jpg

Here's the boss supervising the work:
PXL_20220721_153418392.jpg


Future plans and questions...
Ordered a mesh chassis guard- Tired of cleaning out the debris in the chassis after a session.
RPM wheelie bar

I'm also thinking of installing Bandit front A arms. From what I understand, this will allow me to run Slash 4X4 wheels all the way around with proper offset. Is this correct, or do I need a different combo?
Also, anyone figure out a way to mount a cooling fan on the motor? Not a lot of room there.
If anyone has a solution to the RPM rear bumper mount fitment (or lack of) I'd like to hear it...

That's it for now, I'll update as progress occurs.
 

Chubaka

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Cool cat. Multiple dogs and cats here, I have tons on supervisors. 🤣

Is the eyes two different colors? I got a dog with one white eye. At night she has one red and one blue with the glare.

Truck is looking great. I like the blue and green coloring on the body.

Ill see what info I can gather on the front. You want a wide mod, rear arms on front.
The factory arms in front are 1/2 inch/ 5 or 6mm narrower then the rear. The bandit arms are more narrow then the factory.
 

bozo

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Cat's name is Mr. Snowball, one yellow and one blue eye. He's one of a herd of five we have, all of which are the QC department.
They're a tough crowd...
Thanks for the tip on the front arms Chubaka, I'll do some measuring and research this wide mod you mentioned.
Only reason is to run the same wheels all around. Some say this isn't such a good idea. If it doesn't work out, not much $$$ spent and the extra parts will eventually be used.
The Rustler body on the Slash LCG chassis looks dumb. but at least now I can reach the ESC power without removing the body.
Ran it again for about an hour tonite, no breakage and nothing seemed to shake loose or go out of whack.
I'm almost ashamed of posting this next pic, but it works. Slash training bumper!
Very effective, cheap and light. One pool noodle and two zip ties.
PXL_20220722_032535340.jpg

THIS is why I chose Bozo as my user name...
 

Doom!

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Cat's name is Mr. Snowball, one yellow and one blue eye. He's one of a herd of five we have, all of which are the QC department.
They're a tough crowd...
Thanks for the tip on the front arms Chubaka, I'll do some measuring and research this wide mod you mentioned.
Only reason is to run the same wheels all around. Some say this isn't such a good idea. If it doesn't work out, not much $$$ spent and the extra parts will eventually be used.
The Rustler body on the Slash LCG chassis looks dumb. but at least now I can reach the ESC power without removing the body.
Ran it again for about an hour tonite, no breakage and nothing seemed to shake loose or go out of whack.
I'm almost ashamed of posting this next pic, but it works. Slash training bumper!
Very effective, cheap and light. One pool noodle and two zip ties. View attachment 149367
THIS is why I chose Bozo as my user name...

I like the training bumper, it's actually pretty smart. We have four hobby cats. Houdini is my biggest pal when I'm puttering, Kabuki is the most mischievous. One day we were kicking back and watching TV, and he comes in proud as can be, and drops an Xacto knife between my feet...we were like WTF? I no longer leave an Xacto on the workbench. :oops:
 

bozo

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Sounds like you have a stabby cat there, Doom! Mine like to lay on whatever I'm working on or knock parts off the bench. Little rascals!

Got a lot done lately. First off, I found out that the RPM bumper mount DOES work with the RPM transmission case. In fact, perfectly! Just don't try to put it on the stock bumper mount or trans case. BIG misalignment! Here's some shots of the rear end- RPM shock tower, RPM Rustler A arms, RPM transmission assy RPM rear axle carriers and RPM bumper assy.
PXL_20220726_172334980.jpg

PXL_20220726_172344556.jpg

PXL_20220726_172359357.jpg

Another big advantage is I can use the 3 degree toe in parts from the RPM trans assy to use Rustler A arms. Gives me a good toe in and the Rustler arms are longer than the Slash ones, making the rear track width 10mm wider.
PXL_20220726_172412776.jpg


Since I wanted to use Slash 4x4 wheels to allow rotation front to back, track width and slash body clearance were next to address.
Using the RPM Rustler front and rear A arms with the RPM trans assembly yielded a front track width of 11.25" and a rear track width of 11.75".
PXL_20220726_172427627.jpg

I think that's close enough, and the Slash spec wheels fit under the new body just right with plenty of suspension and steering clearance.
PXL_20220726_172534465.jpg


I went ahead and did a full caster/ toe in setup and boy does it handle better! Next is reinforcing the body and cutting some anti-parachute holes.
I've got a couple of 2s LiPo batteries, as soon as I get to be less of a wrecky driver I'll put them in and take the ESC out of training mode.
 

WickedFog

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The RPM wheelie bar/bumper mount fits fine on the stock gearbox. I have seen people say it doesn't, but it went right on ours.
20211217_121031.jpg

20211217_121022.jpg


Great looking build man!
 

bozo

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I'm glad yours fitted, mine sure didn't. The curved part on the bumper mount when fastened down caused the whole assy to twist. Really noticeable when the bumper was attached. Off on all 3 axises... whereas with the RPM trans, everything lined up exactly.
Here's some pics of the RPM mount on the stock trans.
Right side is 4mm higher and 3mm closer to the axle than the left side.
PXL_20220726_183450055.jpg
 

WickedFog

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Oh, I see what you are saying now. Well ours may be off too then. I haven't mounted the wheelie bar on it yet. But I do have the hot racing trans case going in, so not sure if we will even be using the RPM mount at all now.
 

bozo

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hot racing trans case going in
I was thinking about this case, but I want to keep the weight down in the rear. LMK how everything lines up after you install it.
I got some 4x4 Duramax street tires yesterday, and they have a bigger offset than I was prepared for. It caused the front track width to extend beyond the body, so I installed the Traxxas heavy duty front A arms from the drag slash. So now I have Rustler A arms with the 3 degree camber RPM mounts in the back and Drag Slash A arms in the front. Front track width hub to hub is now 9.5", rear is 10.3". Everything tucks in nice under the Slash clone ebay body. Still need to reinforce the body and cut some air vent holes. I'm currently using my old Rustler body for testing, just had to add two mount holes in the back. It's nice to be able to swap bodies/tires easily. I'm glad I decided to use 4x4 equal offset wheels.
Here's some pics of the new wheels:
PXL_20220728_023755647.jpg

PXL_20220728_023949964.jpg

I've got a question on aluminium front bulkheads and shock towers. My plan is to use as little metal parts as possible to keep the weight down, and was wondering if there are any downsides to using metal for those two parts. They would add some weight but in the front where it needs it. I just am scared the added stiffness will start breaking parts.
So far no breakage, and I'm having a blast with this thing. Next is to go run on some asphalt and see how things turn out. Still holding off on LiPos and sport mode, gotta walk before you can run. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
 

Longtimetrxxuser0311

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Hi all,
This is my first attempt at building an all-purpose rig that will hopefully run good and not break much.
I've read tons of stuff on this forum (very helpful!) and am trying to learn the mechanic and driving skills.
Any comments, critiques or suggestions are welcomed... I want reliable and repeatable- fast will come later.
Started off with a moderately beat Rustler VXL 2WD I got for free. It was missing the transmitter, but everything else was accounted for including a 3000mah NiMh battery.
My LHS started me off with a new TQi transmitter and a HTRC C150 charger to get me rolling. Here's the before pics...
View attachment 149292
View attachment 149293
I originally thought the silvery pattern on the body was tape residue, but it seems to be part of the paint scheme. Personally, I think the paint scheme on these bodies is ugly. Besides that, the car ran OK.
First few hours of running were in the backyard, and only broke one shock cap. LHS to the rescue with a set of Integy shocks for not much more $$$ than aluminium caps and hardened shock shafts.
I then decided the Slash LCG conversion looked cheap and effective. Since I had most of the good parts from the donor Rustler, it was just a matter of selecting the best parts for the conversion.
RPM parts seem to be the best, so I started my "shopping list". I'm on a budget, so price/reliability is important.
Here's what I added so far...

RPM parts:
Front bulkhead black
Front and rear shock towers
front and rear bumper
Front Rustler A arm and rear Slash A arm
Adjustable body mount kit
steering knuckles
rear hub carriers
side nerf bars
Rear bumper mount

Other parts:
Traxxas LCG chassis and front pan in black. I didn't get the blue kit because of the color.
Integy shocks w/ 35 weight oil
Chinesium aluminium c blocks
39mm turnbuckles for the rear (Rustler was too long)
ebay ESC fan
Traxxas battery retainer and receiver box
ebay metal gear servo
extra NiMh battery (free)

On to assembly...

Pretty straightforward, only a few minor problems. the servo was larger than stock so some trimming was required to fit. Boy, that material is tough! Dremel and file wouldn't touch it, so I carved the offending material away with an xacto- much easier! After the rear was done, I realized the turnbuckles were too long. LHS for 39mm turnbuckles.
Still have a problem with the RPM rear bumper mount. NO WAY does it fit the stock Traxxas gearbox! Any fixes? I'm thinking of getting the RPM gearbox case (mostly for the metal motor plate) and am wondering if the bumper mount fits that gearbox better. I re-used the Rustler body for now, shot a coat of Testors Blue Galaxy color change paint on the exterior. It looks much better and really adheres well. I also cut out the rear window and hot glued some screen material for better cooling.

With all these mods, I wasn't expecting any real performance increase (that'll be later on) just better reliability. So far, it seems to be holding up well to my amateur bashing and crashing.
Here's the current setup:
View attachment 149317
View attachment 149318
I know, it's really ugly, but a new body is on the way...
$30 ebay wonder
View attachment 149319
Here's the boss supervising the work:
View attachment 149320

Future plans and questions...
Ordered a mesh chassis guard- Tired of cleaning out the debris in the chassis after a session.
RPM wheelie bar

I'm also thinking of installing Bandit front A arms. From what I understand, this will allow me to run Slash 4X4 wheels all the way around with proper offset. Is this correct, or do I need a different combo?
Also, anyone figure out a way to mount a cooling fan on the motor? Not a lot of room there.
If anyone has a solution to the RPM rear bumper mount fitment (or lack of) I'd like to hear it...

That's it for now, I'll update as progress occurs.
The slash w lcg and slash body catches way too much air and it wants to fly lol so there is a clip on fan for the motor I have one it’s seems to go on pretty good and the rpm bumper with wheelie bar is a good upgrade. Looking good tho nice build.
 

bozo

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The slash w lcg and slash body catches way too much air
I cut some vent holes in the back area and covered them with screen door mesh. I an leary of cutting any more to avoid compromising the body's structural integrity.
I shoe glued the body, but instead of drywall tape I used screen door repair tape. Much finer weave, better adhesive and stronger. I also added some nylon washers on the mounting holes. After I applied all that I coated the whole inside of the body with Plasti-dip black spray. It came out really flexy, tough and not very heavy. So far it has stood up pretty well. I also added some cut up pool noodles on the chassis side outriggers for padding- works great!
Next is some skid plates for the roof and fender tops. Looking at the Pro-Line set.
Motor fans are a bit tricky. There's not a lot of wiggle room to mount anything beefy using the Traxxas transmission.
rpm bumper with wheelie bar is a good upgrade
Bumper is great, really durable and fits perfect. Wheelie bars, not so good. They are too high and short to do any good and are not adjustable.
I may modify the Traxxas bars or keep looking for viable alternatives.

PXL_20220808_144957379.jpg


PXL_20220808_144438902.jpg


PXL_20220808_145028117.jpg


PXL_20220808_150627000.jpg
 

Longtimetrxxuser0311

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Looks great and sounds like you've done everything that needs to be done to strengthen it up. :thumbs-up:
Yes good job on that there are many ways to skin a cat lol i like the plastidip idea maybe I’ll try that. And the holes. 👍👍 the wheelie bars are very limited I will agree on that unfortunately I don’t like the big ol long drag racing wheelie bars for off-road
 

LibertyMKiii

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You should look into getting a 2s lipo for it.
LiPos perform so much better and charge considerably faster!

My son's 2wd slash is a blast on 2s with the VXL and just the right amount of power for the way it is setup. 3s would just rip it apart or blow the tires on his.
 

bozo

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there are many ways to skin a cat lol
Good one!
The Plasti-dip seems really tough so far. Next body I'll try the brush on, should have better coverage control than the rattle can.
You should look into getting a 2s lipo for it.
Got some, just using the NiMh for testing 'cuz I've got a few laying around. Good for something...
 

Longtimetrxxuser0311

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You should look into getting a 2s lipo for it.
LiPos perform so much better and charge considerably faster!

My son's 2wd slash is a blast on 2s with the VXL and just the right amount of power for the way it is setup. 3s would just rip it apart or blow the tires on his.
You might be right I’ll have to try a 2s lipo
 

LibertyMKiii

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Broke yet another CV Axle axle today on 2s. Couldn't imagine 3s carnage.
I'll have to get some aftermarket metal axles it appears.
 
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