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  1. #1
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    New to hobby - Looking for advice

    So, around mid-March I'm going to be purchasing my first RC car since I was a kid. I'm going to be getting a 2wd Stampede for my 4 year old son to bash around with, as he loves the cheapie toy one we got him for Christmas. I figure getting him a hobby grade one is overkill for his age, but the fact that I can put it in trainer mode, and repair it when it breaks more than balances out the long term cost of buying multiple toy ones at Radio Shack.

    So, for daddy...I've pretty much decided that I'm going to be getting a Stampede 4x4 VXL, however I have some questions that I thought I would ask the user community here. I'm brand new to this, I don't understand terminology, however I'm very eager to learn and don't mind putting the time / money into doing it right.

    When I get my truck, I'm going to have some disposable income (bonus check from work), and want to make sure that any necessary or desired upgrades get purchased up front. Right now I'm buying:

    Decent set of tools
    Pro-Line Cover (1972 Chevy C-10)
    Additional LiPo battery - No idea what yet, looking for opinions!
    Replacement RPM Bumpers and A Arms
    Charger - No idea what yet, looking for opinions!

    Is there anything else you all would recommend? Like I said, I have some loot to spend, but don't need to go crazy. Are the stock tires okay? What is recommended as far as "spare parts" go to start building a kit? Are there any other parts that I should upgrade out of the box (esc, servo, etc)? If so, please be as specific as possible with parts, since I don't quite get all of the acronyms and terminologies yet.

    The other big thing, I really don't like how high the cover sits. I've read vaguely that you can buy body and cover lowering kits. What am I looking for there?

    Primarily plan on bashing around the backyard, local parks, etc with my son. Eventually I might get a Slash to go with this for racing at a couple local tracks, but I know that probably isn't happening with the Stampede.

    Thanks in advance for the help. So far found this community to be great (RC in general) just want to make sure I do the research in advance, so I don't buy the wrong stuff. Also, I'm trying to make sure all parts are available at the LHS, as I want to make sure and support those guys, since I've already spent a couple hours bending there ears.

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
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    the easiest thing to do is upgrade parts as they break. you dont have to know everything right now. its a fun learning process. welcome to the addiction!!!

  3. #3
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    I think investing in a versatile, good quality, LiPo-capable charger is the wisest first step. I have a Hitec X4 AC PLUS with four charging ports. Having the ability to charge four packs at a time is AWESOME. And since you're not the only kid in the family, you'll be doing a lot of charging. Unlike many others, this charger has a built-in power supply, so it just plugs into the wall. It runs for $219.
    Make it idiot-proof and along comes a better idiot

  4. #4
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    Don't get the Rpm bumpers. You'll be more satisfied with the Tbone racing bumpers. No need to build a spare parts kit unless you don't have a hobby store near by.

  5. #5
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    I agree about upgrading parts as they replace, but I know there are probably a couple that just make sense out of the gate. Also, when I purchasing is when I'll be the most cash flush so there is an ulterior motive for doing it up front. Wife has approved $1k~ish for both cars, leaving me about $750 for mine total.

    Thanks for the advice on the charger. Probably a bit much out of the gate for me, since that will consume a large portion of "extra" money. Priorities are 2nd battery and replacing and lowering body. Definitely need a charger, but the $200 one is probably a down the road purchase.

    Keep any and all advice coming! Like I said, no idea what I'm going yet!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaughter33 View Post
    Don't get the Rpm bumpers. You'll be more satisfied with the Tbone racing bumpers. No need to build a spare parts kit unless you don't have a hobby store near by.
    I've not read anything on the T-Bone bumpers, will read up on them now (after hockey, let's go Flyers!)

    I do have a LHS, actually several, close to me. I'm more concerned with parts that I might break while out fooling around. Last thing I want is to be out romping around and have a $2 part break that I should have had in a tackle box. Major replacement components, I agree, my LHS has a great stock.

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Congrats & Welcome to the Forum!!!

    The truck is pretty decent right out of the box. Like Slaughter said unless you live some distance from a HS then I wouldnt stock up on anything until it breaks. RPM A-arms are a good upgrade if you bust the stockers.

    A couple of good upgrades down the road are the King Headz motor mount. This beefs up where the motor plate is mounted to and the rear end of the chassis. This also comes with an oversized bearing. Which is an improvement over the stock one. If you get this buy the alloy bearing adapter, either by King Headz or Traxxas. Being that you are going to run the stock motor it would be adviseable to pick up a motor heatsink. This will help keep temps down while out bashing. I also went with the HR motor plate, this is what the motor bolts up to, this one has heat sinks on top of the plate for extra cooling. Anything you can do to keep the motor running cooler is beneficial. JMHO

    The stock tires really arent much good for anything. Other than sliding across pavement and squeeling. LOL Most go with Trenchers or Mashers. Both have excellent traction on most surfaces.

    SPC ( Spec Point Concepts ) has some good quality Lipo's for an excellent price. One of the best around. For a charger spend a good sum of money here. This is something you don't want to skimp out on the first time around and have to go back and buy another to take care of business. There are many good ones to choose from. Basically anything over $100 is worth the money. Just remember the cheaper it is the lower quality it is. We like to call them, 'battery cookers'. They are given that name for a reason.

    This is just the tip of the iceburg. Any questions bring them on!!!
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  8. #8
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    Thanks Diggerpede! That's a lot to digest, which is one of the other reasons I'm waiting until March to purchase. I have some educating to do.

    Is "Trencher" a type of tire, or brand?

    I was thinking somewhere around $125 for the charger...if I can swing it I may go with the bigger one suggested above since I will have 4 batteries out of the gate. Actually, can that one support NIMH batteries? That's what will be in the Stampede 2WD.

    Any advice on lowering the body? It's the one thing that is really bothering me about the Stampede....

  9. #9
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    a common part that breaks is the rear bearing carrier. rpm makes replacement ones. also are you running 2s or 3s batteries? you might look into new axles, they break a lot when your using big power, upgraded shocks are a must in my book too

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulfromtulsa View Post
    a common part that breaks is the rear bearing carrier. rpm makes replacement ones. also are you running 2s or 3s batteries? you might look into new axles, they break a lot when your using big power, upgraded shocks are a must in my book too
    Batteries are something I am looking for advice on, so not sure. Is the 3s overkill for someone new? What's the major difference in runtime and speed?

    Any suggestions on the axel and shocks?

  11. #11
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmhicks78 View Post
    Is "Trencher" a type of tire, or brand?
    Its a tire from Proline Racing, so is the Masher 2000. Both of these are offered in the 2.8" Traxxas Style bead. Click on the link below and it will take you to their website.

    << 2.8" Proline Trenchers >>


    Quote Originally Posted by bmhicks78 View Post
    I was thinking somewhere around $125 for the charger...if I can swing it I may go with the bigger one suggested above since I will have 4 batteries out of the gate. Actually, can that one support NIMH batteries? That's what will be in the Stampede 2WD.
    Chargers of the caliber can charge all/ most battery chemistries these days.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmhicks78 View Post
    Any advice on lowering the body? It's the one thing that is really bothering me about the Stampede....
    You can cut/dremel down the body posts to lower the body. It's a fairly easy mod.
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  12. #12
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    That's awesome. I'll probably buy 3 sets of those tires out of the gate and replace the stock ones once they wear out. I'm also thinking of putting Desperado wheels on it.

    Excellent on the chargers.

    So, for lowering the body, I can do that just by working on the stock chassis, not with aftermarket parts? Hoping the LHS can walk me through that, not something I'd feel comfortable doing without guidance...

    I have already talked to an artist friend of mine who is going to paint a couple spare bodies for me...I'm getting fairly geeked about this. Though, I feel like I've done about 20 hours of research so far without really learning anything.

  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest the Desperados. Figured i'd let you find them on your own. LOL

    You can cut the stock ones down to the height you prefer. If not, go with the RPM body mounts. I use these and they are really nice. You can do the same with these to get them even lower if you like.

    << RPM-73932 >>

    Has your friend artist painted RC bodies before? They need to be painted from underneath and the paint needs to be Polycarbonate for Lexan bodies. Otherwise, the paint will crack, chip, & peel. Will he be using rattle cans or airbrush?
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  14. #14
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    Do the after market parts generally come with directions for installation? My experience so far is that the exploded parts view in the user manual is just about worthless. If not, any recommendations, or it is just go slow and pay attention?

    For painting...she's never done anything RC before at all. I figured I would find some videos online at youtube that give good directions for how to do it. I'm going to be buying whatever she needs for painting, so it will be whatever is suggested. I'll take any advice on that as well. Was thinking of buying a airbrush kit.

  15. #15
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    I used this method to lower my body with two sets of rustler battery post kit PN TRA3727. Pretty simple, just $6 in parts.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpalmer65 View Post
    I used this method to lower my body with two sets of rustler battery post kit PN TRA3727. Pretty simple, just $6 in parts.
    That is exactly what I was looking for. This is an awesome link, thanks very much!

  17. #17
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    I would suggest getting a velinion system and some ball bearing for your sons 2wd if you have the spare funds. The 12t brushed motors are junk.

    And alloy shock caps for both trucks.
    O.S.21 Nitro Revo, Stampede 4x4, 2 Axial Honcho's

  18. #18
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    I would also recommend gluing a shock diaphragm over the power button before you even run the trucks to prevent dirt getting in there and making the button sticky (VERY common problem with traxxas speed controllers).

    Did this to mine when I replaced my speed controller 8 months ago and it is a smooth as the day I bought it.





    O.S.21 Nitro Revo, Stampede 4x4, 2 Axial Honcho's

  19. #19
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    Thanks Nitro, I'll put that on my list of "must do" things.

  20. #20
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    The ESC button mod is a GREAT IDEA. I will do that ASAP. Sure beats the electrical tape I use over the button.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skaling View Post
    The ESC button mod is a GREAT IDEA. I will do that ASAP. Sure beats the electrical tape I use over the button.
    I was doing that, and when I had a failure (because of a previous one), Traxxas said not to as it can trap moisture in it if the glue starts to give way after a while. They said to just spray some WD-40 on the button to keep it from sticking. When I wash the truck, I put a piece of tape over the button and then remove it. They did give me a free replacement ESC.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmhicks78 View Post
    So, around mid-March I'm going to be purchasing my first RC car since I was a kid. I'm going to be getting a 2wd Stampede for my 4 year old son to bash around with, as he loves the cheapie toy one we got him for Christmas. So, for daddy...I've pretty much decided that I'm going to be getting a Stampede 4x4 VXL, however I have some questions that I thought I would ask the user community here. I'm brand new to this, I don't understand terminology, however I'm very eager to learn and don't mind putting the time / money into doing it right.

    When I get my truck, I'm going to have some disposable income (bonus check from work), and want to make sure that any necessary or desired upgrades get purchased up front. Right now I'm buying:

    Decent set of tools
    Pro-Line Cover (1972 Chevy C-10)
    Additional LiPo battery - No idea what yet, looking for opinions!
    Replacement RPM Bumpers and A Arms
    Charger - No idea what yet, looking for opinions!

    Is there anything else you all would recommend? Like I said, I have some loot to spend, but don't need to go crazy. Are the stock tires okay? What is recommended as far as "spare parts" go to start building a kit? Are there any other parts that I should upgrade out of the box (esc, servo, etc)? If so, please be as specific as possible with parts, since I don't quite get all of the acronyms and terminologies yet.

    The other big thing, I really don't like how high the cover sits. I've read vaguely that you can buy body and cover lowering kits. What am I looking for there?

    Primarily plan on bashing around the backyard, local parks, etc with my son. Eventually I might get a Slash to go with this for racing at a couple local tracks, but I know that probably isn't happening with the Stampede.

    Thanks in advance for the help. So far found this community to be great (RC in general) just want to make sure I do the research in advance, so I don't buy the wrong stuff. Also, I'm trying to make sure all parts are available at the LHS, as I want to make sure and support those guys, since I've already spent a couple hours bending there ears.

    Thanks again!
    Well you made a good choice. Here's a few things I've learned in 11 months of hard daily bashing with mine. MIP driveshafts should be one of your first upgrades. Stock isn't going to last long on Lipo.
    Next would be cooling. I run the Traxxas ESC fans and dual Integy fans w/heat sink on the motor.
    Trencher tires seem to have the best handling and traction of all I've tried.
    RPM Bumper is a lifesaver. The stock A arms are tough enough. I've had 4 high speed collisions into immovable objects. Only one broke a front A arm. The other three broke: 1. rear bulkhead, 2. front bulkhead and bumper, 3. front bulkhead and front dif case. This last one was the worst. The servor saver did its job, and the RPM bumper saved the Traxxas LED light bar on the front end - amazing!
    RPM rear hubs are a good upgrade. I've got aluminum front carriers and C blocks.
    It's hard to beat the Traxxas E Z Peak Plus charger for $80. It will do anything you need to do, even car batteries. Charges up a 4000 Mah Lipo in about an hour at the recommended 4A, but it can put out 6A.
    Easiest way to lower the body is to unscrew the pin mounts, cut off enough to get the height you want, and drill a small starter hole in the center if you cut off all the original hole. Then screw em back on and away you go.
    Have ball!
    P.S. I learned the Radio Shack lesson the hard way too. They don't supply any parts (nor does anyone else)!
    First time you break something - it's scrap. I keep a good supply of spare parts in my bin. Even after the big crash, it was running again in a little over an hour. Integy makes a good starter tool set by the way.

  23. #23
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    First off welcome.
    Here's my .02 cents. I have had my Pede since right before Christmas. I am a "replace it when you break it type of guy".
    So I have broken my rear bearing carrier, shock cap popped off today doing some pretty hard bashing on 4' tall gravel piles, and obviously the body has cracked like crazy by the rear body posts.
    I am running 3s and have had no problems YET with the drive train. I will be purchasing some MIP CVD's soon to have them when they are needed.
    I did buy the JConcepts lowering body posts. I like the look a lot better lower.
    I have also replaced the bearing adapter 6893x. My gear grub screw came loose so I had to take everything apart, so I figured why not. There are a lot of posts on here about the bearing adapter going bad.
    I have been replacing the black screws with stainless as going.
    I will also be purchasing an Outerwears body cover to keep the chasis / electronics cleaner.
    Also planning on getting some neoprene to close up the driveshaft hole.

    Enjoy!!

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