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After tons of testing and many weekends at the track racing the new Revo, I've come to know our new monster pretty well. I've put the Revo to the test on many different styles of tracks, with conditions ranging from hard packed blue groove to soft and loamy. Now, after all this testing and track time, I've put together a comprehensive, highly informative, and accurate set-up guide. It's time to let all of you race hungry Revo owners in on everything I've learned about this killer truck. So as promised, here is the first installment of the complete performance-tuning guide for the Revo. The format of this guide will be similar to the Maxx series of articles where I separated the guide into three categories: suspension, chassis, and transmission/drivetrain. Keep in mind, even though many accessories are mentioned for the Revo, they are not all necessary for competitive track racing. However, each accessory component does have its own purpose and offers an increase in performance in one way or another. Some are for strengthening, and some are for lightening different areas of the truck (some do both). The Revo is an excellent track performer right out of the box, and with the many trick factory accessories available, you can custom tailor and personalize your Revo to be the ultimate race machine. Let's get started!
The Revo's suspension system is very unique and offers independent tuning options that most standardstyled suspension systems cannot. The geometries designed into the Revo's rocker arms change the way the shock feels as the suspension is compressed. The 90mm travel rockers were designed to increase the progessive rate felt at the wheel as the suspension is compressed. This means that the suspension will get stiffer as it is compressed. Each rocker set is designed with different geometries to raise or lower the progessive rate of the suspension. I'll explain what components I use for track racing along with what adjustments I make for different conditions. Let's start with tuning the shocks.
The stock aluminum GTR shock absorbers on the Revo work extremely well.
They are very smooth and are equipped with threaded bodies to make pre-load adjustments a snap. They also come standard with x-rings for a perfect seal and smooth action. X-rings provide two sealing surfaces against the shaft vs. just one from standard o-ring. Also, the use of just one x-ring allows for more room for stroke since it takes up less space than a traditional two o-ring set-up found in most shocks today. The Teflon®-coated hard-anodized dampers (above #5460X) are even smoother and have TiN (Titanium Nitride) coated shafts to resist wear. Shock Tuning w/ Fluids and Pistons
Filling the shocks with oil - With the bleed hole molded into the cap, anyone can build a perfect shock every time. Just fill up the shock body close to the top. Next, slowly move the piston up and down to clear all bubbles. Check to make sure the shock bladder is seated correctly into the cap. Spread a little bit of oil around the edge of the shock bladder, then thread on the cap slowly while the excess oil seeps out of the bleed hole. Tighten the cap until it stops. Wipe away the excess oil, and it's ready.
There are three pistons available for the GTR shocks. All three are made with two bypass holes. Each one with different hole sizes, piston #1 = large, piston #2 = medium, piston #3 = small. Smaller holes provide more damping (slower action). Out of the box, the stock GTR shocks come assembled with #1 pistons in the front and #2 piston in the rear. The #3 piston is more suited for heavier springs such as the springs designed for the long travel set-up.
Selecting the right viscosity
Base Rocker/Oil Chart(stock pistons)
P1 Rockers P2 Rockers P3 Rockers 60wt 50wt 40wt
My base shock oil choice for the P2 rocker set is around 50wt for most tracks, using the stock piston arrangement. For P1 rockers start with 60wt shock oil. P3 rockers work well with 40wt shock oil. These are base settings and may need to change due to varying track conditions.
The fluid inside of the Revo's dampers gets a little warmer than with dampers found on traditional suspension systems, due to the extra work they perform. This will loosen the damping up a bit after the truck has made a lap or two around the track. Ambient temperatures also affect damping fluids. Hotter days will make the fluid feel a little thinner, so on very hot days, you may need to step up 5wt to 10wt in the dampers for more desirable performance. Keep this in mind when selecting the right fluid for your conditions.
Shock oil for track surfaces
On smooth tracks with a lot of bite, the damping should be increased for better response. With the stock pistons and P2 rockers, 50wt to 65wt fluid is a good starting point. Another option is to move the rear shocks (with #2 pistons) to the front and install the #3 pistons into the front shocks, which will now be mounted in the rear (Be sure you don't mix up your front and rear springs). This set-up will allow you to run thinner shock fluid than with the stock piston arrangement, or it can be used with thicker fluids for firm spring applications.
Proper springs are a vital part of a good handling truck. Traxxas offers 11 pairs of springs to get your set-up dialed-in for any surface. The stock springs (white dot/front, green dot/rear) work well in a wide variety of applications, especially extra rough terrain. Sometimes when changing to a firmer spring, it's a good idea to also change shock fluid to a thicker viscosity and vise-versa. This will help prevent the suspension from becoming over sprung or under damped. A good rule-of-thumb is to adjust approximately 5-10wt up or down corresponding to each rate level change in spring selection.
My base choice of springs is the orange dots up front with the gold dots in the rear. These springs are one step firmer (front and rear) than the stock springs, and provide a little extra response for negotiating corners quickly on the track. It's important to note that due to the design, the Revo requires a 20% stiffer spring for the rear to be balanced with the front. This is part of the reason why there are so many different spring sets available for the truck. The springs can still be changed out independently front and rear for your particular driving style and conditions. I'll go to a softer spring set-up for very rough tracks.
Reducing the weight of the Revo can affect spring selection. My Revo weighs in at close to 8lbs. This is approximately 1.5lbs. lighter than stock weight. However, since the Revo's suspension system works so well at absorbing rough track surfaces, I still choose to run springs that are a step firmer than stock. This provides the quick response I'm looking for in most track conditions. For Revos close to stock weight, try green dots up front and tan dots in the rear.
Choosing the right rockers for your track condition is easy. There's a rocker set for any kind of surface imaginable. This is not to say that each rocker set won't handle a wide range of surfaces, but each one is designed to better suit each type of surface you'll encounter. P1 Rockers (standard) - For rough terrain use such as rocks, curbs, branches, and tracks with jagged and uneven surfaces. This is the rocker set best suited for the roughest tracks out there. The long travel rockers can also be used for extreme conditions, but they do not handle jump landings as well as the P1 rockers. Use the P1's for really rough tracks. P2 Rockers (#5358) - This is my favorite rocker set for most racing conditions. The P2 rocker set combines just the right amount of progressiveness for quick response on the technical sections of a track, without sacrificing the suspension's ability to handle the rougher sections. The P2's are the most wellrounded rockers for the majority of today's nitro off-road racetracks. P3 Rockers (#5359) -The P3 rockers work extremely well on smooth tracks with smaller jumps. Small tracks with tight turns will appreciate the quick response delivered by these rockers. Be careful about changing track conditions, and keep a close check on the track's surface throughout the course of the day to see if the surface becomes pitted and broken up. If this happens, it would be advisable to switch back to P2 rockers. Use the P3's for smooth high-bite tracks. LT (long travel) Rockers (standard) - I haven't really found a rough enough track condition that the P1 rockers couldn't handle. The LT rockers offer an insane amount of travel and plushness that works best on super chunky surfaces like those found at a construction site. The LT rockers lack the progressive bump handling traits of the 90mm rockers sets, which makes them a little more sluggish in the corners, and jump landings can be pretty harsh if landing from anything larger than a medium-sized jump. This is not to say that they won't work well for you on the track, but I prefer a more progressive feel to the suspension. I would stick to bashing and rock climbing with the LT rockers. Note that the LT rockers can be used for jumping, but require much heavier shock fluids to soak up the landings. These thick fluids are generally not ideal for track use.
This adjustment allows you to change the ride height of the Revo without changing the damping force or the progressive rate of the suspension. Changing to the Outside hole will lower your chassis roughly 10mm. You can make fine-tuned adjustments with the threaded pre-load collars located on the shocks. I generally run my pushrods in the middle location, and set my pre-load collars to where the truck sits with the front and rear lower arms close to being level with the surface (see below). The use of the inner positions on the arms will raise the trucks ride height too high for most racing applications, and is generally reserved for extreme off-road bashing and rock crawling
Ride height is an adjustment that I check and adjust every time I make a change to the suspension set-up. Always double-check ride height after changing rocker sets, adjusting pushrod locations, swapping springs, etc. Small adjustments can easily be made with the pre-load collars.
A lower ride height is better suited for smoother terrain while the rough stuff will want a higher stance. Set the ride height in both the front and rear to where the lower suspension arms are level. Try that first and see if the truck will negotiate all of the rough sections without upsetting the handling. I like to set the ride height on my Revo up just a little bit higher in the rear for a little more weight to transition to the front when entering a corner for more steering.
Extra pushrod tuning tip
The multiple pushrod locations on the lower suspension arms also change the relationship between the tires and the bottom of the front and rear skidplates when the chassis is lifted off of the ground. This means the distance between the bottom of the tires and the lowest point of the chassis (skidplates) can be adjusted to three different settings (see pic below). The outer position decreases the distance which works very well for smooth tracks. The inner position is best for tracks with huge jumps and/or extremely rough surfaces. The middle position will cover everything in between. In most situations, I use only the outer two location.
Notice how the bottom of tire to the left (pushrod located in the inner hole) is further from the skidplate than the tire to the right (pushrod located in the outer hole). Note that the middle pushrod location would position the tire between the two shown here.
Think of it as a way to further tune within a particular rocker set. Important: If the pre-load collars on the shocks are set too far up or down on the shock, this will affect where the rocker is positioned (at rest) in its progressive rate curve (see pic below). This means that if you locate your pushrods in the outer position to limit the travel in relation to the chassis for smooth surfaces, but still want to run a higher ride height, you must remember that the rocker will start it's compression stroke at a lighter progressive rate. The owners manual refers to the pre-load collars only being adjusted in small amounts for this reason.
This pic shows the affects of using different pushrod locations while setting both shocks' pre-load collars to attain the sameride height. The pushrod on the right is located in the outside hole, and the pushrod on the left is located in the inner hole.Notice that the rocker on the left is in a higher rate of its progressive range. Using the spring pre-load collars for large ride height adjustments can put your rockers in a different area of the rockers progressive rate range. This can affect handling, but may actually work to your benefit. Try different settings to see what improvements you can attain for your track. Important: The use of different pushrod locations (left to right) is not recommended for the Revo. The above photo is for demonstrative purposes only. Angle Settings Toe Angle
I keep the front toe set around 0 to 1.0 degree of toe-out for improved steering and response. Toe-in will tone down steering response and make the truck less aggressive. On tracks that are really tight, I will run as much as 2 to 3 degrees of toe-out.
I start the rear at 2.5 degrees toe-in for most conditions. For high bite tracks, I'll reduce this to as little as a 0.5 degree. I'll tune in as much as 3.0 degrees toe-in for conditions that are rough and slick. Reactive Toe (bump steer)
Bump steer is associated with the tie-rod and suspension arm relationship concerning active toe angle. This condition is detected if the front of the wheels point inward or outward as the suspension is compressed. Traxxas engineers worked hard to eliminate bump steer in the Revo's suspension. There is less than 0.1 degree of bump steer through the entire range of travel. That's pretty amazing considering that the Revo offers the most suspension travel of any monster truck. For best performance, it is ideal to dial bump steer out of the suspension so that handling is as precise as possible. However, it can be used as a tuning tool for different handling characteristics while entering and exiting turns. Bump in : The front of the wheels point inward when the suspension is compressed. Bump out : The front of the wheels point outward when the suspension is compressed. There are offset hollow balls along with different shims (#5355)available for moving the outer rod ends up or down to tune 'bump in' or 'bump out' into the toe angles. The front bump steer adjustment can be configured so that no matter what caster or roll center setting is used, bump steer can be eliminated by shimming the outer toe link rod end up or down to compensate for the caster/roll center change (see chart).
Front: For my personal set-up, I position the front toe links in the upper position (highlighted above) to counter the 15 degrees of caster that I typically run (note that this is subject to change with different track conditions). This eliminates bump steer induced by my aggressive caster setting. Adjusting bump in or bump out into the front suspension is usually not recommended. Rear: I start with the middle position in the rear, and then tune up or down if needed. 'Bump in' will increase rear bite under acceleration with an increase in steering off throttle. 'Bump out' will do the opposite.
I usually keep my camber set around -1.5 degrees (set at ride height) front and rear. I normally won't change this until I get to a very high-bite track where camber can actually be used as a tool for adding or taking away traction. On high-bite surfaces adding negative camber (tilting the top of the tire in toward the chassis) will make the truck a little more aggressive and improve traction. Standing the tires up (perpendicular to the surface) will tone down the traction by decreasing the contact patch between the tire and the surface in the corners. Always measure your camber with the truck ready to run and at ride height.
Caster directly affects the steering of the truck throughout the entire turn. More caster (upper arms moved back) will generally yield more steering. I like to get as much steering as I can out of my monster trucks because of their bigger wheels and tires. This is why I generally run the maximum amount of caster (arms to the rear/all shims to the front). This is also an adjustment that suits my driving style a little better (I wouldn't recommend automatically using max caster). Try it in the stock position first and decide if you need more steering in the corners or not before you make a change.
I generally mount the front in the stock (upper) position. The lower position makes the front end more responsive, but takes away some steering. Since I like a lot of steering in my truck, I tend to keep the front roll center set a little more relaxed than the rear.
I like to use the lower position in the rear when I can. This keeps the chassis flatter in the corners and helps rotate the truck quickly when entering turns. This will also make the truck feel a little more aggressive and a little less plush in the rear, but since the suspension works so well in that department, it ends up working out nicely. If the track is really rough and rutted in the corners, I will switch back to the upper roll center location in the rear. This will allow the suspension to be more forgiving over the ruts, and the truck will be easier to control. Lightweight 7075-T6 aluminum accessories to further enhance the performance and look of your Revo I use the following pieces on the suspension of my Revo to save weight while maintaining excellent durability. 7075-T6 series aluminum is stronger than most steel materials and weighs only 1/2 the weight of Titanium and 1/3 the weight of steel.
Aluminum Aluminum Pushrods (#5318X) RockerPosts These push rods are very strong (5354X) and weigh next to nothing. Saves Super light hard anodized rocker posts to drop even more weight. Saves 16 grams. 31 grams.
Aluminum Hollow Balls (5355X) - 12 grams can be shed from your Revo by replacing all of the steel hollow balls with these lightweight hard anodized aluminum hollow balls.
Aluminum pivot balls (4933X) - Same optional aluminum pivot balls used in the Maxx trucks. Hard-anodized and Teflon®-coated to be smooth and durable. Saves 19 grams.
The suspension on the Revo is a remarkable piece of engineering, but it's very easy to use. It provides not only exceptional handling, but also a wide array of tuning options and adjustments to tailor your chassis to any track. I hope this section of my performance guide helps you to get your Revo suspension dialed-in to your local track.
Keeping an accurate account of set-up information can become a little tedious at times, so I recommend using these handy set-up sheets to keep track of personal set-up information on each track that is raced on. You can also share your information with fellow Revo racers to help them try out your set-up. Click the link below for my complete base set-up for the Revo. Stay tuned for the next part of my Revo series when I cover all of the chassis tricks that I've performed on my Revo. Until then, see ya!!!
Revo Performance Set-Up Guide (part 2)
Pit Pass » Archives Revo Performance Set-Up Guide ID #472
Steering System & Chassis Attachments Welcome to the second installment of my Revo performance guide. This time, it's about chassis set-up. I'm going to show you the little tricks that I do to my Revos involving chassis attachments and radio boxes for better weight transfer and ease of use. You'll also find simple mods to greatly improve steering performance and chassis balance. It's important to remember that paying attention to every little detail on your Revo
will make your search for faster and more consistent lap times much easier to attain. Sometimes, it's the "little things" that can make or break you during a long competitive main. Check out the following chassis tricks for some piece of mind at your next big race. Enjoy. Important: Some of the following procedures require the use of a rotary power tool for cutting and grinding. Always wear eye protection when using a rotary power tool.
Steering Mods Trimming specific areas to attain "full-lock" steering
1. Remove the steering bump stops
This is a very important step in achieving maximum steering angle from the wheels. There are two molded bump-stops designed into the Revo lower hinge pin retainer (part #5343) that straddles the steering bellcrank. These bump stops limit the travel of the bellcrank, which was intended to keep newer drivers from over-steering the truck. With the bump stops ground down (shown above), and the bellcrank arm beveled (shown below), the steering angle of the wheels is significantly increased for more overall steering. 2. Bevel the bellcrank Once the steering stops are ground down on the hinge pin retainer, the bellcrank can now travel to the body of the retainer. But, even more range can be gained by beveling the edges of the bellcrank that touch the retainer (see photo).
Left - Grinding the edges indicated in the photo can easily be accomplished with a Dremel tool. Right - This photo shows how the bellcrank and the hinge pin retainer meet after the mod.
3. Make room for the steering arm
After substantially increasing the range of the steering bellcrank, the part of the arm that connects to the servo will now interfere with the outside of the hinge pin retainer, where it mounts to the bulkhead (See photo). Remove material, as needed, to get full range from the bellcrank (left to right). You shouldn't need to remove any more material than what is shown in the photo. 4. Eliminate the interference between the rod ends and the bulkhead When the suspension is fully extended, the inner rod ends on the steering links may rub against the bulkhead halves in the areas indicated below. This can slow steering response and limit range when under acceleration. Be careful not to over-grind this area because this is where the two rear suspension pins are captured for the front suspension arms. Use the photos as a guide.
5. Remove the pivot ball dust boots
This is very minor, and normally doesn't need to be done. But, if you've completed all of the steps above correctly, then chances are the boots are now keeping the hub carriers from bottoming out against the ball shafts. To get maximum angle from the hub carriers, the boots must be removed. Make sure to check the pivot balls and hub carriers regularly for dirt or binding. There should be no problems with the operation of the pivot balls when routine maintenance is performed.
6. Install a longer steering arm
After all of the above modifications are performed, the steering system will allow an extra-long servo arm to be mounted onto the steering servo. The longer servo arm will provide the extra range needed. I recommend the use of a heavy-duty servo arm. Check with your local hobby shop or your radio manufacturer for what's recommended for your particular servo. 7. Traxxas heavy-duty servo saver spring (part #5344x) / Pro-Line aluminum steering arm I use the heavy-duty servo saver spring in all of my Revos. The HD spring provides more steering authority and keeps up with the higher demands of track surfaces that offer extreme traction. It's also best if the HD spring is used with a strong high-quality servo. The stronger spring may not give enough for weaker servos. This may lead to servo failure.
You can also check out the Pro-Line #6037-00 aluminum steering arm for the Revo (right). I haven't actually broken the stock steering arm, but this Pro-Line aluminum steering arm will ensure that nothing like that will happen when using the extrastout servo saver spring and a high-powered steering servo.
8. Upgrade the steering servo The twin stock servo set-up is great for bashing and novicelevel racing, but when facing the demands of competitive off-road racing, a high-powered/highspeed servo is what you'll need to transition from left to righthand corners quickly. I use the Hitec HSC-5997TG servo.
I recommend using a servo with at least 110oz. of torque, so only one servo can be used. This will save a little bit of weight and will leave you the choice of mounting the servo on the left or the right-hand side of the chassis. I place my steering servo on the left side (drivers side). This helps balance the chassis after removing the EZ-Start® electric starting system from the engine.
Weight balance Removing weight is common for making a more responsive race truck. Sometimes, removing too much weight can cause the truck to be unstable. I've found that 7.5 to 8.0 pounds is a great range for the Revo. This weight range offers a good balance between response and stability.
Most everyone knows that removing unnecessary items such as the starting system, and the reverse components will knock off the ounces. However, when you get down to less than eight pounds, you may try moving some of the weight around to different areas of the truck. This will change the feel of the truck, and better suit your driving style or track conditions. I measure the front to rear weight bias on all of my race vehicles. So much can be gained from correct balance.
Removing weight from specific areas
There are different ways to achieve desired results. There are many items that can be removed or swapped with lighter versions of the same item. You may choose to replace steel components with aluminum counterparts, like the pivot ball (#4933X) in this photo. It's a good way to shed some weight in a specific area. For example, if you want to reduce the weight at the rear of the chassis, but not at the front, you can replace just the rear pivot balls with a set of aluminum pivot balls. This also works for items like toe links and push rods. Strategic weight placement
Sometimes you need to get just a little bit more out of your chassis. Adding weight to specific areas can help. This photo shows where I mounted two ounces. of lead (tire weight tabs) to the front skid plate. This helped with steering and improved handling when using engines that generated a lot of torque. This also helped keep the chassis flat off of high-speed jumps. Weigh your truck Keeping track of your truck's weight will give you a good idea of what needs to be done to get your chassis where it needs to be. The scale set (below) is an elaborate one and not totally necessary to get the information you need. Multiple digital scales like these can be pretty pricey. All you really need is one scale. When only using one scale, place the scale under one corner at a time, while the other three wheels are propped up by a solid object of the same height as the scale. This way you can measure one corner at a time, and then total up your readings.
A good starting point for weight bias (front to rear) is 47%-front bias, and 53%-rear bias. My truck in the picture totals out at just over eight pounds, with a front weight bias of 47.8%, and rear bias of 52.2%. The more you increase the front bias number, the more steering you will find. Calculating weight bias (front to rear) (total of both front corners) = total front weight (F) (total of both rear corners) = total rear weight (R) (F) + (R) = total truck weight (T) (T) = 100% (F) = n (front weight bias) cross multiply (T)n = (F)100 n = (F)100/(T) Now, let's do this using a sample scenario with actual numbers from an 8 pound truck: weight of front = 61oz. weight of rear = 68oz. 61 + 68 = 129oz. total weight 129 = 100% 61 = n cross multiply 129n = 6100 n = 6100/129 n = 47.29% (front weight bias) Once you start recording changes to your truck's weight bias, you can use those results as reference for when you decide to make a change in set-up, or install aftermarket components onto your truck. You can see what affect the changes made to your bias, and better understand why your truck may have felt different on the track.
Radio installation and RX box mods Here are few things you can do to better secure your radio boxes and to make working with them a little easier.
Zip tie radio the box hinges I made hinges for my lower and upper covers for my receiver box. This allows the covers to be opened to access the receiver, battery, switch, and etc. without having to separate them from the box. They also secure their respective ends to the radio box, so you don't have to worry about the covers popping off from a hard crash or jump landing. RX cover
Drill the holes close to the pivot points of the covers (click on photos for larger view). Use small zip ties for the hinges and be sure to make the holes large enough for the ties being used. After drilling the holes, insert the zip ties through the holes, and cinch them up (not too tight at first). Make sure the lids close securely, and open all the way to access equipment. Battery Cover
Extra antenna tube security
Here's a little trick that I use to keep the antenna tube from loosening and pulling out. Cut a slot (yellow arrow) right next to the groove that the tube slides into. Now, drill a small hole (red arrow) to the other side of the antenna slot about a 1/4-inch down from the top of the tube entrance. Insert the tie through the hole and around the tube slot. After inserting the antenna tube into the slot, cinch down on the zip tie. This will tighten the slot around the tube, making it much more difficult for the tube to come out.
Extreme radio box mods Left - Here is an example of removing all excess material from the throttle servo box. This is pretty extreme, but it does clean things up a little bit, and makes getting to the throttle servo and linkage much easier. Below - This is an extreme modification to the RX box. All but the battery compartment was trimmed off to reduce weight and lower CG. The receiver is placed inside of the battery compartment area, while the battery was moved up front for more front weight bias. Important:This photo is to show what can be removed from the box only. It's very important to cover all areas of the receiver box to prevent moisture and dirt from entering. This set-up is fine for dry conditions, but I don't recommend this mod to be run in wet conditions. Body mounting Here's two of my favorite body styles for the Revo: The Traxxas S-Maxx body (#5112X), and the Pro-Line Crowd Pleazer body (#3144-00). I'll use these two bodies to show you a few things that I believe are important for racing.
Here's both the S-Maxx (above), and the Crowd Pleazer (below) in action. These are the two most commonly used body styles on my Revos. I prefer a "fastback" style not only because I think they look more "racy", but they also offer extra protection to the engine and exhaust system vs. standard bed designs.
This one should go without saying, but I can't stress enough how important it is to provide a good amount of airflow to the cooling head of your engine. Cut out about a 2-inch hole (round or square) into the windshield on the same side that the engine is located. It doesn't hurt to cut a little out of the drivers side window as well, to allow even more cooling. Tank cutout
Making the opening for the filler cap large and easy to use is the most important part of this mod. A larger opening allows easier access, which will speed up your pit times and cut down on the chances of a mistake from your pitman. Make sure the hole is cut high enough to open the tank lid fully, and so you'll be able to fuel accurately even at extreme angles. Roll bar trimming
Many Revo owners are unaware of what the two little lines are at the bottom of the roll bar are for. These lines are actually there to show where to cut when lowering the body. Each mark is an equal distance from one another, just as each screw pin hole is on the body mounts.
This means for each mark cut off of the bar, the body can be lowered one hole to match. This keeps the top of the bar up against the inside of the cab, where it needs to be. I generally run mine in the stock position for extra protection against damaging the engine and exhaust system, but the adjustment is there for those who want to lower CG, or to just get that slammed look.
Cross-drill rear body mounts Tired of losing rear body clips? Cross-drill the body pin holes in the rear body posts. This will allow you to insert the body clips into the posts sideways, like the front end. This will help prevent the clips from popping out during a crash or rollover.
Miscellaneous tricks Trim the bumpers
Trim off the sidebars from the bumpers to "clean-up" the appearance and to make caster clips easier to access. Tank strap Attach an extra-long Zip-tie to the fuel cap on the tank for easier pitting. The longer strap is much easier to grab quickly for fast pit stops.
Fuel tank cap mod Cut off the material indicated by the red line in the photo. Remove material from both sides of the cap to allow the cap to open further. Be very careful not to cut into the tank.
Uncut Cut Eliminate the On/Off switch Switches are vulnerable to dirt and moisture. This can lead to failure from worn out contacts, or from shorting the circuit.
This failure can't be detected beforehand, so you risk the chance of the switch failing during a very important race. A failed switch could not only end your main prematurely, but it can also cause a runaway, which can be very damaging to your engine and chassis. Using a servo extention wire to directly connect the battery to the receiver will eliminate that from being possible. Just plug-in when you're ready to race. Stayed tuned to Traxxas for more information..
Revo Performance Set-Up Guide (part 3) Engine, Clutch & Drivetrain
by Steve Slayden
Photo Courtesy of Cliff Hudson Welcome to the third and final installment of my Traxxas Revo performance article series. Like my previous articles, I will be shedding some light on the tips and tricks that I perform on my own personal race trucks. In part 1, I showed you my complete guide to tuning the Revo suspension, and in part 2, I explained many of my steering and chassis tricks. In this installment, I will focus on the drive train along with getting the most out of your engine and transmission. Racing the Revo is a lot of fun. There are many ways to tailor the Revo to your driving style, so be sure to check out the previous two Revo performance guide installments located above to catch up on everything that I do to my own Revo race rigs.
The starter box in this pic is the Revo starter box from RD Racing Products.
Converting to bump start The term ³bump start´ refers to starting the truck with a starter box. A starter box is a box with a motorized rubber wheel powered by one large 12V battery or two smaller 7.2V battery packs. The rubber wheel engages with the flywheel of the engine (while spinning) and turns the engine over. While the engine is turning over, a separate battery powered glow igniter is used to heat the glow plug.
Parts needed for bump start: back plate #5274R, non p/s crankshaft #5219R, large flywheel #4142X This starting system allows the removal of the EZ-Start onboard starting system so that weight can be reduced from the chassis while also reducing rotational weight from the crankshaft. This takes load off of the engine, which will increase acceleration and allow the engine to run more efficiently.
Install larger 1/8-scale Air filter The stock air filter delivers exceptional performance keeping the air that enters the engine clean. However, on dusty tracks, the entrance into the air filter¶s housing is a little small for long races. This area can become clogged with dirt, so I use a large cylindrical air filter like the ones found on 1/8-scale buggies. Check with your local hobby shop for the different 1/8-scale buggy filters that are available. Use shoe-goo to bond the air filter housing to the Revo air filter base. There are also pre-filters available for this style of air filters which collect the bigger dirt particles while the main filter catches the fine stuff. Check with your local hobby shop for available air filter systems that will work with the Revo filter base.
Don¶t forget to secure the base of the air filter to the carburetor with a zip-tie. Single or dual chamber pipe I generally use the dual chamber (stock) pipe for most applications for its smooth power band. The Traxxas single chamber pipe (#5490) is good for a little extra power in the lower to mid rage of the power band. This is useful on high±bite tracks or anywhere a little extra grunt is needed. Plus, it comes in this beautiful hand-polished finish.
I install my clutch shoes in the trailing edge (stock) configuration. However, the clutch shoes can be installed in reverse for a snappier bite and/or modified for a different engagement feel. The clutch shoes can be shaved for a later engagement. This can be useful for getting more punch out of your engine. Make sure that you take the same amount of material off of both shoes, and be careful not to take off too much material as this will soften the engagement too much and accelerate shoe wear.
Use a hobby knife to shave the material off of the clutch shoe. Only shave a small amount at a time and make sure that each shoe is cut identical to each other. This will level out the wear and provide better clutch performance. Traxxas clutch shoes (#4146X) are already cut from the factory, but you can experiment by shaving off a little more material for later engagements. The stock shoes (#4146) are uncut and will engage a little sooner than the cut ones. These can be helpful on a slick track with a lot of loose dirt on top of the surface. Be careful not to remove too much material from the shoes, as this will leave the shoes too ³light´. They will not engage the clutch bell firmly, defeating your purpose of getting more punch out of the truck. Trim a little, and then try them out in the truck to see what works better.
Here¶s a tip: Trim off the corner of the inside diameter of the assembled shoes. This will allow better clearance around the clutch nut and will allow your clutch shoes to operate more freely.
Gearing There are quite a few different gear combinations available for the Revo. The chart below will give you a good idea of where to start for your local track. Remember, these are only suggested gear ratios. The actual track layout, jump specifications, surface conditions, etc., will ultimately dictate what ratio is best for your track. Gear Choice Guide Clutch Bell 14t (#5214) 14t 15t (#5215) 15t 16t (#5216) 16t Spur 40t (#3955) 38t (#3954) 40t 38t 40t 38t Track Size (length end to end) 50ft to 75ft (small & tight tracks) 75ft to 100ft 100ft to 125ft 125ft to 175ft (typical track size) 175ft to 200ft 200ft+ (large & open tracks)
NOTE: A 36t spur gear (#3953) is also available for the Revo but is better used as a fine-tuning option. Use it to attain just a little more top end when combined with any of the combos above.
Track Size Your gearing should properly match the size of the track for fast and consistent lap times. You want to be able to efficiently use all of the power available from the engine. Being over-geared will put more load on the engine and clutch causing the engine to run hot with less power out of the corners. The idea is to get the engine to clear out before you get to the next corner. The engine produces its best power when it is burning the cleanest mix of air and fuel (not too rich & not too lean). This is normally found in the mid to upper RPM range.
Big off-road tracks, such as Johnny Cool Guy Raceway in Euless, TX (shown above) is a perfect example of a modern, nitro off-road track that Monster trucks are raced on. Choosing the right gear ratio is very important on a track this size. On larger tracks it is ok to gear a little higher because the truck's cornering speed is usually greater. This keeps the engine in the best RPM ranges as described above. If the truck is geared too low on larger tracks, the engine will spend too much time in the upper RPM range. This will cause the engine to run hot, increase the danger of fouling the plug, and will affect top speed. ump Placement
The placement of jumps on the track can also have an impact on your gear choices. A lot of tracks will have a set of jumps coming out of low speed corners so good bottom-end punch is important to clear the set. What this means is that you may have to gear down to make certain jumps effectively. Your truck may be a tad slower down the straight, but it is now getting from apex to apex much more quickly. This set-up will be more desirable when your truck spends the majority of its time in the infield. Of course, this may change if you are on a more open course, with either smaller jumps or easier jump sets.
1st gear jump set
Here are two good examples of doubles that will need to be negotiated in 1st gear. There is simply not enough room to utilize 2nd gear efficiently. Make sure that your truck is geared low enough in 1st gear to get out of the hole (red arrow) with enough punch to clear the double set (yellow arrows).
2nd gear jump set
There should be plenty of room before this jump to hit 2nd gear, which would propel the truck over the third jump. Without 2nd gear this set would otherwise be a double-single, meaning that you would have to jump the first two jumps as a double then immediately take the last one by itself. This will take a bit longer to get through, so tuning the 2-speed along with choosing the right gear ratio to clear the whole triple set would be the way to go.
It is ideal to utilize a gear ratio that works best for the majority of the track. If the track has a long straight but a tight infield, then gearing up to be the fastest truck on the straight is not necessarily going to be the best move. You will need to maintain a fast pace through the infield as well. If you are coming up short on doubles, and bogging slightly out of the corners, then you can bet that all of the time lost in the infield will never be made up by the fraction of a second that you stand to gain on the straight. Adjusting the two-speed
Two-speed adjustments are necessary when changing the gear ratio between the clutch bell and the spur gear. Changing the gears on the clutch bell to a higher number of teeth and/or changing your spur gear to a smaller number of teeth will give you a higher top speed. This will also take away a little bit of low end punch. This will affect your shift point by making your two-speed shaft turn at a higher RPM, thus causing the two-speed to shift sooner. If you are going to a clutch bell gear that has a lower number of teeth and/or a spur gear that has a larger number of teeth, then the two-speed will react just the opposite. Turn the adjustment screw clockwise for a later engagement or turn the adjustment screw counter-clockwise for an earlier engagement, depending on the need. Adjust the two-speed in small increments. Never turn the adjustment screw more than 1/8 turn at a time before testing the shift point. This is a fine adjustment and can get off base very quickly if large adjustments are made.
This pic shows what you are actually inserting the driver into. The 2-speed hub is located within the 2nd gear of the 2-speed assembly.
Notice the lever reaching out to lock into one of the 2-speed pins located inside of the 2nd gear. The preload set by the 2-speed adjustment screw determines the speed in which the 2-speed hub has to rotate to release the lever. Lighter settings will allow the lever to engage sooner and tighter setting will hold it back for later shift points. The shift point of the two-speed is not only important for optimum performance on the track, but it is very important for long engine life. If the transmission is shifting too soon, power will be lost and the engine will over-heat quickly. If the shift point is too late, the engine will be allowed to rev too high for too long. This condition can cause many problems like accelerated wear between the piston and sleeve, plug damage, poor fuel economy, and very hot engine temperatures. The prime time for the transmission to shift is at the point before the engine is just about to ³wind-out´ or ³peak´. You don't want it to actually reach its peak rpm, but you will want it to get close. This will allow the engine to clear out (burn clean) and continue to produce good power on through the next gear ratio.
Optional Close-ratio two-speed (#5383) Now that you know how important the timing of the shift is, it is now time to learn what is happening to the truck when it shifts and how it affects handling. When the two-speed shifts there is a noticeable ³instant´ boost in speed. This boost can upset your truck's handling before and through the turn. This can cause a greater chance of you over-shooting the corner, which adds seconds onto your lap times. For instance, if you're racing on a medium-sized track that has a long straight but the rest of the track consists of many turns and switch backs, then there is a good chance that first gear will be able to handle all of the infield duties on its own. There is really no need for the transmission to shift until you're on the straightaway. In a situation like this, allowing the transmission to shift in the infield will more than likely hurt your lap times by increasing the chance of the shift throwing your truck wide in a corner. If the engine is really revving out in an area or two within the infield, then it is ok to allow your transmission to shift; just use good judgment. You may also benefit from gearing up a couple of teeth on the clutch bell to get the rpm down through the infield portion of the track. This, of course, will depend on the track size and layout.
The second gear (lower middle gear) in the close ratio gear set is molded with 40 teeth. This is one more tooth than the stock 39T 2nd gear. This means that the engine will have an easier time pulling the truck around the track in second gear. Note that the top gear cluster must be changed to match the new 2-speed gear combo. The close ratio gear set comes with this gear. The best solution for getting smooth shifts is to install a close-ratio two-speed kit. This brings the second gear ratio closer to the first gear ratio. This helps with several things. Shift points are less critical in keeping the engine in the proper power-band. There is less of a ratio change when shifting which makes for smoother shifts. This is what attributes to better chassis balance when shifting through a corner. A small amount of top end will be lost, but for most tracks, there is still plenty of speed with the close-ratio gear set. Also, the attitude of the truck is much easier to control when airing out on high-speed jumps.
FWD Only gear shaft (part# 5394X)
Removing the reverse system is a big step towards reducing rotating mass inside the transmission, along with reducing the weight of the extra servo that is used to shift the system. A lightweight single-gear shaft replaces the entire system and is located where the main output shaft used to be. This set-up eliminates reverse (which is not used during racing anyway) and provides quicker acceleration.
Look at what all is removed just from your transmission alone when converting to the FWD-only set up.
Adjusting the slipper
Slip a 2.0mm driver into the slipper shaft that exits the front of the transmission to lock the shaft for adjustment. Next, use the 8.0mm tuning wrench to adjustment the slipper nut. Be careful to only use small adjustment changes at a time. The slipper clutch is very sensitive to adjustments. High Bite TracksOn high bite tracks that offer a lot of grip, a properly adjusted slipper can help prevent the front end from lifting up when accelerating out of a corner. This will keep the front end down, preventing a push or under steer. Low Bite TracksOn slick tracks or surfaces that do not offer much traction, the slipper can be loosened enough to limit wheel spin to keep the truck stable under acceleration.
Note the orientation of the bevel washers located between the slipper nut and the bearing within the spur gear. The outer edges of the washer should touch each other in the middle for proper operation. A good starting point for the slipper setting on the Revo is threading the nut to where there is only about 1/16-inch of the slipper shaft sticking out from the nut. Experiment with different settings for your track conditions to obtain optimum traction with as little wheel spin as possible. Caution: Be careful not to run the slipper extremely loose or tight. If the slipper is set too loose, this can cause excessive heat build-up and could result in a melted spur gear. If the slipper is set too tight, not enough slip will be allowed to protect the spur gear from violently engaging with the clutch bell. This can chip the teeth of the spur gear and will eventually strip all of the spur gear¶s teeth.
The differentials of the Revo are filled with a thick lube to slow down the diff action. This will help prevent the diff from unloading when powering out of the corners. Any of the hobby-class differential lubes out on the market should be fine; the thicker the lube, the slower the diff action. Slowing the diff down will make the truck's traction more positive on throttle. This will typically reduce steering entering a corner but will actually increase the steering coming out of the corner. Heavier fluids are also beneficial for higher bite surfaces. Loose and bumpy tracks will want thinner oils in the differentials. I¶ll generally start with 10K in the front and rear. Experiment with different thicknesses to see what works best for your driving style/conditions. Thicker fluids can be used to mimic thinner fluids by not using as much of it in the diff case. If you only have 30K diff fluid in your pit box and you need the feel of 20K, then you can just fill your diff cases 40-50% full of 30K fluid to get the same diff action that 20K would give you.
Picking the right fluid for the track conditions Thicker fluids ± high-bite, smooth, high-output engine Thinner fluids ± low-bite, bumpy, lower output engine Traxxas offers diff lube in three different thicknesses: 10K (#5135), 30K (5136), and 50K (5137). They also offer them in a 3-pack (5136X).
Photo Courtesy of Cliff Hudson
Revo Tuning and Setup Guide - Part IV
Pit Pass » Archives ID #594
As many of you know, the Revo 3.3 is a high-performance 4-wheel drive monster truck that is very capable on the track. The Revo 3.3 has won nearly every major monster truck racing event, and has taken home the gold in every national championship that it has entered. However, these wins weren't achieved by pulling it out of the box, dropping in a random set up at the track, and pulling the trigger. There are many things to consider when preparing your Revo for serious competition. This applies to all levels of racing. Even if you're a weekend warrior at your local track, a better prepared truck will always give you an advantage over the competition, no matter who you are.
This guide is designed to compliment and enhance my previous set up series on the Revo (Revo Performance Setup Guide part 1, 2 & 3). The original Revo setup guide will assist you by explaining the basics of tuning the Revo suspension as well as many other aspects of the truck. This Revo 3.3 setup guide will get your Revo up-to-date with current setup tips and tricks that I (along with other Traxxas team drivers) are currently using to achieve maximum performance from our race Revos. I highly recommend referring to the original setup series for additional info or questions you may have when reading this guide.
I'll walk you through the "how's & why's" of each tip and modification that I use as I rebuild my personal Revo 3.3 for its next race. I'll also follow up with a Revo 3.3 base setup sheet to follow for prepping your own Revo 3.3 for your next race. Let's get started.
There are five things to remember before setting up your chassis and suspension:
1) Mechanics first: It's very important to understand that an ill-handling truck is often caused by a mechanical problem rather than by a particular setting. For example, a screw fastener may be missing or a suspension component may be bent or broken, inhibiting the suspension from moving freely. If the truck is not mechanically sound, adjusting the settings will have little or no benefit. Therefore, it must be assumed that the truck is mechanically functioning properly before moving forward. This includes the following:
y y y y
No binding in the suspension or steering, front/rear Smooth and consistent operation of the shock absorbers No excess bind or drag in the drive system Suspension settings are equal, left to right
2) Evaluate before making changes: Effective tuning begins with an effective evaluation of the truck's performance. Rather than conclude your truck is "just not working", try to analyze and pin point where (in a certain turn or jump section) or when (accelerating, braking, etc.) the truck is not performing well. It can be helpful to ask yourself specific questions like 'Do I have enough steering into/through/out-of the turn?'; 'Is the truck accelerating well or is it spinning out when I apply throttle?'; 'Is the truck responsive enough or does it feel too reactive or twitchy?' Knowing which areas are not working as well as they should, will allow you to narrow down the setting that you should try adjusting. 3) Tuning is usually a compromise: Improving one area of performance typically means reducing performance in another area. By increasing steering into a turn, you often lose steering out of the turn. By gearing for more acceleration, you will lose a little top speed. Stiffening the suspension may increase responsiveness, but may make the truck more difficult to drive. It's all about the best possible compromise and how you feel when driving the truck. 4) Only make one change at a time: To effectively tune your race truck, it's best to make one change at a time. If you make more than one change at a time, it will make it difficult to determine which change made the difference. Even if multiple changes improved the truck's performance, it would be difficult to tell which change made the best result. It is possible this can backfire and decrease the truck's performance, which will leave you not knowing which change was most effective. It's best to just make one change and if it improves performance, then continuing in that direction will help get you to where you want to be. If the change causes a negative outcome, then you'll know exactly what the change affected and will help you better learn what you should or should not change at the next track you race on. If you do not feel a change in the truck from making an adjustment, then try timing your laps to see if an improvement was made. Less experienced drivers may not feel each change, but the effects of the change may be seen in the lap times. 5) Don't hesitate to experiment: Each driver has their own preference of how they want their truck to feel. One driver's setup may feel awkward to another driver. There is basically no single 'one' best setup for every driver. Use the Revo tuning guides to better understand what effects each change will make, and then experiment with these changes to better suit your driving style and your particular track condition. It's also beneficial to keep a record of the changes you made and how it affected the truck on the particular track you were driving on.
Important: Some of the following modifications require the use of a rotary power tool for cutting and grinding. Always wear eye protection when using a rotary power tool.
Revo 3.3 Tips and Tricks
First, I start by disassembling the entire truck, and thoroughly clean each component as I reassemble. I inspect each component for cracks, wear or any kind of deformity. I replace these components with new pieces to keep my truck in the best shape possible. This also keeps the truck feeling consistent on the track. If any component is neglected too long, the truck may develop bad characteristics that can be difficult to tune out down the road, or even worse, the component may fail during a very important race, and leave you with a DNF.
Next, I inspect the chassis plate for any cracks or bends, looking carefully around the front end and the engine mount area. Impacts to the front end of the truck and the engine itself can flex the engine mount plate up and down eventually forming a crack in one of the radiuses. If you are continuously stripping spur gears and you know that your gear mesh and engine mount are good, then this is usually the place to check. If the chassis is cracked, it will need to be replaced.
I begin the assembly process by attaching the small plastic pieces to the chassis plate along with the engine mount brace and roll bar. It's important to insert the rear diff locater in the proper direction. The piece should lean toward the front of the chassis.
Using the extra thick M2C Racing® engine mount brace will provide reinforcement to a larger area, and is machined from extra thick aluminum for additional support.
I grind a little bit of material from the inside of the roll bar where the throttle linkage passes by. The stock setup is generally fine, but since I use a larger servo horn for the throttle linkage, the extra clearance is necessary to prevent the throttle linkage from binding with the roll bar.
Miscellaneous items in this section: Rotary power tool (for cutting and grinding) Wear eye protection when using a rotary power tool M2C Racing® engine mount brace
Moving forward, I start the assembly of the front end. First, I disassemble the differential and inspect the gears and housing for wear. I replace the old fluid with new diff fluid. My personal preference is to use Traxxas diff fluid, and I usually run between 30K (#5136) and 50K (#5137) weight in the front diff or a combination of the two to achieve a viscosity level in between.
When installing the assembled diff into the case half, I apply Traxxas thrust bearing lube (#2717) to the ring and pinion gears. Greasing this area decreases wear and extends the life of the gears.
Using a rotary tool, I grind away material from the bulkhead halves just below the steering links. This provides clearance for the rod ends to move more freely when the suspension arms are extended or unloaded, such as when accelerating or lifting from a bump or jump.
Extra caster is attained by removing material from the bulkhead halves and upper suspension arms. By grinding away 2.0mm from the back of the suspension arm pivot locations and 2.0mm from the bulkhead halves (just behind the arms) two extra caster clips can be installed in front of the upper arms for increased caster. The harder you drive your Revo, the more you will benefit from the extra caster. This trick helps by calming the truck down when steering through bumpy and rutted out corners. It also helps to calm down high speed steering on and off throttle on any surface. Try just one clip at a time to get the feel of the difference.
Modifying the steering bell crank and removing the steering stops from the lower hinge pin retainer is a commonly known trick to provide your front wheels with more steering throw/angle. Bevel the upper/outer edges of the bell crank and remove the steering stops from the lower hinge pin retainer so that the bell crank can rotate further side to side. Also note that you will need to remove some material from the top of the retainer where the steering arm meets the retainer. I use a Pro-Line® aluminum steering arm in place of the stock plastic unit for extra durability. A longer servo arm will be required to utilize this mod to its fullest potential.
Front end showing maximum steering angle
The extra steering throw will allow your hub carriers to be limited by the pivot ball shafts. I grind away a little bit of material from the shaft just next to the ball (where they meet with the carrier). Make a path about 3.0mm wide and approximately 0.5mm deep all the way around the shaft. A lathe would be the ideal way to turn the shafts down, but if you are smooth and steady with a rotary tool, the same result can be achieved. Just a little bit of grinding makes a big difference, so don't get too carried away. Removing too much material will definitely weaken the shafts and they'll be much more prone to bending or breaking.
Make sure to locate your steering links in the upper most location in the hub carriers to accommodate the extra caster. The extra caster may still induce a bit of bump steer, but it is minimal, and poses no real negative effect.
I've used RD Racing® aluminum hub carriers for a few years now, and they are solid. I also choose the 8.0mm axles for extra strength and reliability. Large 8x16mm bearings are used with these axles/carriers for long life. The plastic pivot ball caps are locked in with set screws to keep them in place. I also use M2C Racing machined aluminum 17mm hex hub adapters for the use of 17mm hex wheels. The larger hex distributes power efficiently and prevents stripping of the wheel hex in plastic racing wheels. These units are lightweight and the cross pins run from end to end for maximum strength.
I strongly recommend Traxxas TUBES (#5338R) toe links for the Revo 3.3. They stand up to the abuse of racing and they look cool. I also use Traxxas aluminum pushrods with steel inserts (#5318X) in place of the stock steel pieces. They resist bending and also look sharp.
I generally start with the pushrods mounted in the middle location, and use a shim on each end (stock P2 setup) with P2 rockers. This setup is the best base starting point on most tracks that I have raced on and is what I usually find myself going back to at many races. I'll remove a shim from each push rod to decrease down travel when needed. I choose to run as little down travel as the track will allow. It's more responsive in the corners, but can be a little sketchy when it gets too bumpy. The same result can be achieved by moving the rod to the outer location. The inner location will increase down travel and will calm the truck down in the corners and from hard jump landings. Too much down travel isn't recommended for high bite tracks though.
Parts used in this section: #5136 Traxxas differential fluid 30K weight #5137 Traxxas differential fluid 50K weight #2717 Traxxas thrust bearing lube #5338R Traxxas TUBES toe links #5318X Traxxas aluminum pushrods with steel inserts Miscellaneous items: Rotary power tool (for cutting and grinding) Wear eye protection when using a rotary power tool Pro-Line® aluminum steering arm RD Racing® aluminum hub carriers 8.0mm axles Large 8x16mm bearings M2C Racing machined aluminum 17mm hex hub adapters
Like the front end, I start by going through the diff. I generally use between 10K (#5135) and 30K (#5136) weight in the rear diff. Mixing these weights 50/50 will achieve a 20K weight feel, which I prefer to use for a variety of track conditions.
Traxxas TUBES toe links and aluminum push rods are used out back, as well. Down travel is adjusted the same way as the front, and I use the same setting as the front for base setup - two shims on the rod and the rod located in the middle position.
I use the Traxxas Revo extended wheelbase suspension arms (#5333R) in the rear to increase the wheelbase of my Revo. I generally use the longest extension of 19mm.
completed rear end
Parts used in this section: #5135 Traxxas differential fluid 10K weight #5136 Traxxas differential fluid 30K weight #5333R Traxxas Revo extended wheelbase suspension arms
Moving to the radio gear and receiver box, I start by installing the steering servo. As I mentioned earlier, a longer servo arm is needed to get the full potential from the steering modifications made to the front end. With that being said, some clearance may be needed to allow the servo arm to get maximum steering angle. Remove only the amount of material needed from the guard.
I use two small zip-ties to hinge the battery door to the receiver box. This makes it convenient when removing the battery pack, and also keeps the door from popping out after hard jump landings. I use
a Ballistic Batteries five-cell 1400 Mah battery pack that is hand soldered by Ballistic Batteries. They're very reliable battery packs for long mains. The personal transponder fits neatly inside the receiver box, so no extra mounting plates are necessary. I use a 2.4 GHz receiver and transmitter module for flawless control over the servos. A cutout in back of the box is made to clear the larger 145cc fuel tank that I am running in the stock location (more on this later). However, I did slightly reposition one of the end cells of my Ballistic Battery Pack to the top end of the pack to fit inside the stock box.
To mount the throttle servo, I use an Extreme Racing throttle servo mount for the Revo. This unit is made with dual graphite plates and tied together by four aluminum posts. This mount is as stiff as they come and reduces flex under heavy braking. I recommend using a strong high-end metal gear servo with this mount as the extra flex is reduced that normally prevents budget servos from over-working. I custom-shaped a large round servo horn so that I could relocate the throttle and brake linkages to my preferred positions. Different locations can provide more or less throw and can also alter the rate curve of the linkages. I generally like more throw and higher rates for faster response. However, this puts a little more strain on the servo, so a good race servo is suggested for this as well.
I use a lighter gauge throttle return spring on my Revo to keep extra stress off of the servo. I use the Traxxas spring (#4045) from the Nitro 4-Tec. I also drilled a small hole into the throttle bell crank for the throttle return spring. The lighter gauge spring has a tendency of breaking prematurely when hooked onto the metal throttle rod. The extra hole in the bell crank allows the spring to hook into plastic, which is a lot more forgiving than the throttle rod.
Parts used in this section: #4045 Traxxas spring (from the Nitro 4-Tec) Miscellaneous items: Rotary power tool (for cutting and grinding) Wear eye protection when using a rotary power tool Zip-ties (small) Ballistic Batteries five-cell 1400 Mah battery pack 2.4 GHz receiver and transmitter module Extreme Racing throttle servo mount
Fuel tank & mount
I use an aftermarket 145cc fuel tank made for 1/8-scale truggies to maximize fuel capacity for sanctioned racing. To mount the larger tank into the stock location, I had to make a mounting plate from Kydex® plastic. There are many tanks out there that may require different methods of mounting them onto the chassis. This is just an example of what you can do to fit a larger tank onto your Revo. Keep in mind that I use the extended wheelbase suspension arms, which are a must for using any tank longer than the stock unit. This tank together with the appropriate length of fuel line stretches my fuel capacity to just under the legal limit of 150cc. This equates to about two to three minutes of extra runtime versus the stock tank, which makes a difference of being able to pit at the 10 minute mark or not.
Miscellaneous items in this section: Rotary power tool (for cutting and grinding) Wear eye protection when using a rotary power tool Aftermarket 145cc fuel tank (made for 1/8-scale truggies) Kydex® plastic
Shocks and sway bars
After mounting the fuel tank, I move on to prepping the shocks for installation. As a rule, I generally run one weekend of racing on the same shock oil to maintain consistent performance. So, I usually replace the shock oil when I'm going through the rest of the truck. A good base setup for damping is the #2 pistons all the way around with 50wt shock oil. In warmer conditions, I recommend 55 to 60wt fluid. I use Traxxas hard-anodized shocks with titanium nitride coated shafts (#5460X) for long wear. The Teflon®-coated shock bodies reduce wear inside the shock dramatically and last a long time. You'll see the difference as soon as you change shock fluid. It will be fairly clear instead of a dirty dark gray color. Up front I use green springs (#5438) and thread the rod end up all the way onto the shaft, also using the blue rubber bump stop.
I prefer to use gold springs (#5439) on the rear shocks and double-up with two upper threaded collars to keep the retainers from jumping threads at high pre-load settings. I thread the rod ends all the way and use the blue bump stop on the rears, as well.
Sway bars have been extremely beneficial to me at almost every track I've raced on. I highly recommend equipping your Revo with a set of the Traxxas sway bars (#5498). They are very instrumental in reducing chassis roll in corners, which equates to faster corner speeds. They are adjustable and come with different bar sizes. I still use the original prototype rear bar configuration, since I run the exhaust down the side of the truck. This frees up room for me to make adjustments to the shocks, and to perform any maintenance to the back end of the truck without having to remove the exhaust pipe and header. The Traxxas unit works just the same, but relocates the linkage to the bottom of the rear rocker arms providing clearance for the stock rear exhaust location.
Up front, I use the 1.9mm bar and a 3.0mm bar in the back. Start with a light setting at first. As you get adjusted to using them, start tightening them up until you can drive as hard as you like without getting too sketchy. After I find a good position for the front, I will adjust the rear bar for more or less steering response. The tighter the rear setting, the more response, and the opposite is true with a lighter setting.
assembled chassis and suspension, ready for transmission
Parts used in this section: #5460X Traxxas hard-anodized Teflon®-coated GTR shocks #5438 Traxxas Green springs #5439 Traxxas Gold springs #5498 Traxxas sway bars Miscellaneous items: 50wt - 60wt shock oil (mix for desired weight)
Prior to assembling the transmission, I inspect all of the gears for wear and all of the bearings for smooth operation. If a bearing feels gritty or is packed with grease and doesn't spin smoothly, I will clean it and relube with a good quality bearing lube. If this doesn't fix the problem, I simply replace the bearing. After checking all of the bearings and cleaning the interior of the tranny case halves, I install the gears. I'm installing a new set of gears into the transmission for photo purposes. Before I assemble the gears together, I check the primary shaft for excessive wear or any imperfections that may cause trouble for the one-way bearing. If the shaft is fine, I'll clean it and re-lube the area that the one-way spins on with a mineral-based lube. Sewing machine oil works great for one-way bearings.
I typically use the close-ratio (#5383) two-speed gear set everywhere I race. The shorter second gear ratio works great with the TRX 3.3 power band and pulls hard in second gear. It also allows for smoother shifts and makes the truck easier to drive in faster sections of the track.
The transmission gears were intended to be run dry. This is fine, but the smaller two-speed gear cluster tends to wear when running the truck hard on the track. I used to replace the two-speed gear set on a scheduled basis, but I have found that Traxxas silicon grease (#1647) is a great (and safe) lube for the plastic gears and doesn't pose any problems to the rest of the transmission. I apply several dabs of the grease spaced evenly around each gear and rotate the gears until the entire gear is covered. My two-speed gears seem to last forever using this grease. I also use this grease on the primary gear. When I open up my tranny after a race weekend, the inside of the tranny is clean and free of gear dust and the gears are in excellent shape.
I also use the Revo center differential (#5414) in my transmission along with the rear brake kit (#5417). The center diff allows you to apply more throttle with less correction when driving through the rough or on surfaces with inconsistent traction. The rear brake gives you control of the front and rear brakes independently. I dial in the rear brake to actuate before the front brake to help set up for corners. Too much front brake can cause a push, but too much rear brake can cause the rear end to wash out in the corners. Try to find a good balance for each track condition. I replaced the stock front brake rotor with the vented disc rotor (#5364X) from Traxxas. The stock brake rotor works great, but can overheat when really working hard. The vented rotor from Traxxas stops the truck just as well, but never seems to fade. I can always depend on the braking power staying consistent with this brake rotor. A little trick I use to keep the calipers from dragging on the rotor while under acceleration is to install small ball point pen springs between the calipers. Trim the springs so that the calipers can clamp onto the rotor without trouble, but leave them long enough to spread the calipers out after releasing the brake.
After assembling the transmission, I inspect the spur gear for excessive wear. If the gear is chipped or has missing teeth, it usually means that the slipper is too tight. It's best to disassemble the slipper system and check the components for cracks or corrosion. Replace any damaged pieces and replace the slipper nut if the nylon locking material is worn out. This will cause your slipper to loosen during operation. I generally use the 38T (#3954) spur gear, but sometimes I switch to the 40T (#3955) gear to keep the engine's rpm up on smaller tracks.
After setting the transmission into the chassis opening, I connect the front and rear brake linkage. I replaced the flexible Z-bend rear brake rod with a solid turnbuckle link. This setup applies 100% of the servo's power to the rear brakes. I prefer a powerful rear brake system, and this was the best way to eliminate flex in the linkage. I connect the link to the servo horn with 3.0mm hardware and install a rod end with hollow ball onto the screw so that the link can pivot and rotate freely on the servo horn. On the other end, I installed a large thumbscrew to make quick brake adjustments easy.
Once the linkage is attached, I flip the truck over and install the transmission skid plate. Another trick I use is to tie the tranny skid to the rear skid using the center section of another tranny skid plate (#5337). I remove the legs from the skid plate and join all three skids together with 3.0mm hardware. It's best to mark your holes with the tranny and rear skids mounted on the truck. Locate the tranny skid hole so that the screw is positioned between the two engine mount side plates. The rear hole should be located so that the screw goes all the way through the center of the rear skid and exits just behind the rear bulkhead. Leave enough room for a 3.0mm nylon lock nut to secure the screw.
This trick provides a couple of benefits. First, it saves the rear skid from wearing through, which will expose the rear suspension pins. Some tracks are abrasive enough to wear all the way through the rear skid during a long main. This allows your suspension pins to fall out and the suspension arms to separate from the chassis. The extra skid keeps this from happening and provides more skid area for longer skid life. The extra skid also over laps the front portion of the rear skid and provides a smoother transition over large bumps and pot holes. It also helps keep the truck from catching the top of jumps and bucking the rear end over the front after casing a jump. Just replace the extra skid when it wears down to the rear skid. You can also replace the rear screw intermittently to extend the life of the extra skid. Keep in mind that you may need to modify your starter box to accept the extra skid, depending on which starter box you use. It's cheap and easy to maintain once you've made the modification. Plus, no more lost rear suspension pins.
Parts used in this section: #5383 Traxxas close-ratio two-speed gear set #1647 Traxxas silicon grease #5414 Traxxas Revo center differential #5417 Traxxas Revo rear brake kit #5364X Traxxas vented disc rotor #3954 Traxxas 38T spur gear #3955 Traxxas 40T spur gear #5337 Traxxas skid plate set Miscellaneous items: Rotary power tool (for cutting and grinding) Wear eye protection when using a rotary power tool Sewing machine oil Small springs (from ball point pen) Solid turnbuckle link 3.0mm hardware Rod end with hollow ball Large thumbscrew Starter box
Engine and exhaust
Now, the chassis is ready for engine and exhaust installation. The first thing I do before installing a new engine is to get it ready for a starter box and also ensure everything is assembled correctly. I usually remove the starter pin from the crankshaft with a rotary cutoff wheel, but you can replace the crankshaft with one that already has this pin removed (crankshaft #5288R). The backplate will also need to be replaced with a standard plate (#5274R) made to be used with starter boxes.
Next, I align the carburetor and check the settings for break-in. The carburetor should be slightly canted clockwise as you look down over the top of it. Make sure that the o-rings located in the block are in good shape and that the carburetor is pressed down into the block firmly before tightening the pinch bolt to prevent air leaks. I always remove the high speed needle from the carburetor to make sure there is no foreign debris on the needle that can block fuel. The tip of the needle should be smooth. Next, check the throttle arm on the carburetor. The arm should point straight down.
I prefer to use a three-shoe aluminum clutch system in my race Revo, even though the stock shoes work quite well. M2C Racing makes a solid three-shoe racing clutch for the Revo that is fully adjustable and lasts a long time. There are multiple shoe compounds and many spring rates to suit your driving style and conditions. I typically use a combination of medium to hard shoes with 0.95 and 1.0 springs.
Once the engine is mounted onto the chassis, I lube the throttle arm and bell crank with Traxxas white lithium grease (#5148). This helps keep dirt from scoring notches into the plastic bell crank and keeps throttle action smooth and consistent.
As I mentioned before, I route the exhaust down the side of my Revo using a 180-degree header coupled to a Traxxas Jato Resonator two-chamber exhaust pipe (#5485). The Jato pipe is compact and its oval shape helps it fit under the body and you can drill out the stinger for more power. The two-chamber design seems to work best with the TRX 3.3 and provides a very smooth power band. I attach the front of the pipe to the chassis using a coiled wire stand off. The coiled wire allows the pipe to flex up and down without bending the wire. Note the third zip-tie on the exhaust coupler. This is routed around the chassis between the engine mount and the chassis plate to keep the coupler from being pulled away from the chassis.
I replaced the stock air filter housing with a larger cylindrical 1/8-scale buggy racing air filter. This type of air filter provides more surface area for the engine to breathe and is crucial for long dusty mains. I use the stock inlet tube and join the large filter base with Shoe Goo®. I also glued asmall piece of Lexan to the front of the inlet tube to guard the tube from the spur gear.
Parts used in this section: #5288R Traxxas IPS crankshaft #5274R Traxxas backplate #5148 Traxxas white lithium grease #5485 Traxxas Jato Resonator two-chamber exhaust pipe Miscellaneous items: M2C Racing three-shoe racing clutch (medium to hard, 0.95 & 1.0 springs) Zip-tie 1/8-scale buggy racing air filter (large cylindrical) Shoe Goo® Small piece of Lexan
Wheels and tires
Wheel and tire needs change from track to track, but the new LPR series of wheels and tires from ProLine bridge the gap between small athletic types and large forgiving setups. So far, they have been incredible on everything that I've used them on. The larger wheel diameter keeps the profile of the tire low while maintaining a large overall tire diameter. This combo lays the power down and reacts to ruts and bumps more effectively than the smaller wheels. However, they're not as wide as the 40-series setups that are a little too wide for most applications. The LPR series provide a good balance of handling, response, and most of all, traction. The Holeshot treadpattern can be used in most track conditions, and the BowTie tires are great for wet or sandy loam conditions. Note that the new Pro-Line LPR wheels are only available with 17mm hexes, so you'll need the appropriate adapters to fit these wheels. I also use the ½-inch offset wheels for more track width. This improves the stability of the truck tremendously.
I always balance each of my wheel and tire sets. Balancing the large wheels on your Revo improves traction and handling. It also makes the truck feel smooth and more predictable when driving. I use the wheel balancer from Ballistic Batteries because it accommodates 14mm, 17mm and 23mm wheel hexes, and includes a pack of balancing putty. Just apply a small amount of putty to the light side of the wheel until there is no heavy side to the wheel. The wheel should not rotate on its own at any position.
Miscellaneous items in this section: Pro-Line LPR wheels (17mm hex adapter needed) M2C Racing machined aluminum 17mm hex hub adapters Pro-Line LPR Holeshot tires Pro-Line LPR BowTie tires ½-inch offset wheels Wheel balancer from Ballistic Batteries
Body and wing
I replaced the 1/8-scale wing and wing mount on my Revo with the new Traxxas Revo wing (#5412) and wing mount (#5411). The mount fits perfect and is a solid unit. It also allows you to adjust the height and rake of the wing, offering two positions for height and three positions for rake. The wing not only looks great, but is extremely durable. It holds its shape even after a ton of crashes.
The body is the new Pro-Line Crowd Pleazer 2.0 body and is extended on the left side to fit over the Resonator pipe without modification. I use the Revo extended rear body mount posts from Pro-Line to set the rear of the body at the proper height.
Parts used in this section: #5412 Traxxas Revo wing #5411 Traxxas wing mount Miscellaneous items: Pro-Line Crowd Pleazer 2.0 body Pro-Line extended rear body mount posts
Complete Parts Summary:
Traxxas Parts Used: #5135 Traxxas differential fluid 10K weight #5136 Traxxas differential fluid 30K weight #5137 Traxxas differential fluid 50K weight #5136X Traxxas differential oil kit (1 each: 10K, 30K, 50K weights) #2717 Traxxas thrust bearing lube #5338R Traxxas TUBES toe links #5318X Traxxas aluminum pushrods with steel inserts #5333R Traxxas Revo extended wheelbase suspension arms #4045 Traxxas spring (from the Nitro 4-Tec) #5460X Traxxas hard-anodized Teflon®-coated GTR shocks #5438 Traxxas Green springs #5439 Traxxas Gold springs #5498 Traxxas sway bars #5383 Traxxas close-ratio two-speed gear set #1647 Traxxas silicon grease #5414 Traxxas Revo center differential #5417 Traxxas Revo rear brake kit #5364X Traxxas vented disc rotor #3954 Traxxas 38T spur gear #3955 Traxxas 40T spur gear #5337 Traxxas skid plate set #5288R Traxxas IPS crankshaft #5274R Traxxas backplate #5148 Traxxas white lithium grease #5485 Traxxas Jato Resonator two-chamber exhaust pipe #5412 Traxxas Revo wing #5411 Traxxas wing mount Miscellaneous items: Rotary power tool (for cutting and grinding) Wear eye protection when using a rotary power tool M2C Racing® engine mount brace Pro-Line® aluminum steering arm RD Racing® aluminum hub carriers 8.0mm axles Large 8x16mm bearings M2C Racing machined aluminum 17mm hex hub adapters Zip-ties (small) Ballistic Batteries five-cell 1400 Mah battery pack 2.4 GHz receiver and transmitter module Extreme Racing throttle servo mount Aftermarket 145cc fuel tank (made for 1/8-scale truggies) Kydex® plastic 50wt - 60wt shock oil (mix for desired weight) Sewing machine oil Small springs (from ball point pen) Solid turnbuckle link 3.0mm hardware Rod end with hollow ball Large thumbscrew Starter box M2C Racing three-shoe racing clutch (medium to hard, 0.95 & 1.0 springs) 1/8-scale buggy racing air filter (large cylindrical) Shoe Goo® Small piece of Lexan Pro-Line LPR wheels (17mm hex adapter needed) Pro-Line LPR Holeshot tires Pro-Line LPR BowTie tires ½-inch offset wheels Wheel balancer from Ballistic Batteries Pro-Line Crowd Pleazer 2.0 body Pro-Line extended rear body mount posts