Pit Pass Project: Stampede XL-5


Half the fun of owning an R/C monster truck is customizing it—for many of us, it's our favorite part of the hobby! The Traxxas® Stampede® is a tough and inexpensive truck that's ideal for letting your imagination go wild to create a one-of-a-kind R/C rig with head-turning looks and dirt-slinging performance.

Traxxas and many aftermarket brands offer products to customize your Stampede to suit the style and performance you're looking for. Traxxas' extensive line of Stampede hop-up goodies combine solid premium performance with a factory fit and finish. In this article, I will showcase each custom accessory I used for my Stampede project to show you how to take your Stampede truck to the next level for with improved peak performance, maximum durability, and custom style.

Suspension

One of the most effective ways to strengthen the front end of the Stampede is to install the fiberglass front suspension tie bar (#2532). This inexpensive piece joins the two front suspension pins together to increase the strength and reliability of the front bulkhead and suspension arms. The tie bar requires the extended suspension pin set (#2640) for installation. These heavy-duty pins are longer than the stock screw pins to accept the tie bar and are held in place with E-clips. The extended pins are machined for smooth operation and allow the suspension arms to pivot more freely for consistent performance.

For better bump handling and jump absorption, I recommend replacing the stock composite Ultra Shocks with a set of Traxxas aluminum Big Bore™ shocks, (#2660-Long up front and #2662-XXL in back). These high-performance dampers are PTFE-coated and hard-anodized for smooth action and long life. I filled the Big Bore shocks with 40wt shock fluid for great all-around performance on rough terrain and blasting over large obstacles.

Out back, I installed a set of the new Traxxas progressive-rate springs (#4957R). Since most of the Stampede's weight of the truck is toward the back, the progressive springs help keep the rear end under control from big jump landings while still managing the small stuff without getting sketchy.

To beef up the corners of the truck and reduce drivetrain friction from the axles, I replaced the stock composite hub carriers, caster blocks, and steering knuckles with a full set of Traxxas' sweet-looking machined aluminum pieces.

Up front, I used the Traxxas fire-red-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum caster blocks (#3632X) and steering knuckles (#3636X). They improve durability and control up front and look awesome. They're also available in brilliant-blue finish (#3632A & 3636A). The caster blocks are laser-etched with a cool TRX logo, and the steering knuckles come complete with a set of four high-performance 5x11mm sealed ball bearings for higher efficiency and precision with less maintenance and rolling resistance.

The fire-red-anodized rear aluminum hub carriers (#3652X) increase durability for hardcore bashing, and like the steering knuckles, they come with a full set of factory installed 5x11mm sealed ball bearings for smooth operation. These high-quality hub carriers are also available in a brilliant-blue finish (#3652A).

Completing the suspension upgrades is a complete set of Traxxas 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle camber links (#3741X) and steering rods (#2336X). The ultra-stiff aluminum camber links replace the stock plastic non-adjustable links for precise camber adjustments, and all the links come factory assembled. Traxxas also includes a cool 5.0mm aluminum turnbuckle wrench for easy adjustment. Like the other aluminum upgrades, they're also available in brilliant-blue (camber links #3741A and steering rods #2336A).

Parts used in this section
Part Number Part Name
#2532 Traxxas fiberglass front suspension tie bar
#2640 Traxxas extended suspension pin set
#2660-Long Traxxas aluminum Big Bore shocks (front)
#2662-XXL Traxxas aluminum Big Bore shocks (rear)
#4957R Traxxas progressive rate springs
#3632X Traxxas red-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum caster blocks
#3636X Traxxas red-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum steering blocks
#3632A Traxxas blue-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum caster blocks
#3636A Traxxas blue-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum steering blocks
#3652X Traxxas red-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum hub carriers (rear)
#3652A Traxxas blue-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum hub carriers (rear)
#3741X Traxxas red-anodized 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle camber links
#2336X Traxxas red-anodized 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle steering rods
#3741A Traxxas blue-anodized 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle camber links
#2336A Traxxas blue-anodized 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle steering rods

Drivetrain

For improved traction and optimum power delivery to the wheels, I replaced the stock gear differential with the Traxxas pro ball differential (#2520). The pro ball differential uses high-quality carbide differential balls for smooth operation and diff action, and is adjustable to suit any condition.

The differential is easily adjusted by inserting a small Allen wrench into the adjustment slot. Simply turn the other side of the differential clockwise to tighten or counter-clockwise to loosen the diff action. A good base setting is to tighten the diff until the differential gear is unable to turn with the output shafts locked. You can tighten the diff further to reduce diff action on high-bite surfaces. Be careful to not over tighten the adjustment screw. This can damage the differential.

Pit Pass Project: Stampede XL-5Pit Pass Project: Stampede XL-5Next, I replaced the stock output yokes with hardened steel output yokes (4628X). The steel output yokes are exceptionally strong and endure the rigors of intense bashing for ultimate reliability. You'll definitely want a set of these if using a high-powered battery and motor.

Parts used in this section
Part Number Part Name
#2520 Traxxas pro ball differential
#4628X Traxxas hardened steel output yokes

Control

The new Traxxas digital high-torque steering servo (#2070) is priced right and provides excellent performance for 1/10-scale electric trucks like the Stampede (you'll even find it as standard equipment in the 65+mph Stampede VXL). It features ball bearings for long-lasting performance and is designed with digital circuitry for increased power and speed. This means faster response and better overall control. With 125 oz-in of torque and a speed rating of 0.16-seconds, it rivals some of the more expensive racing servos on the market.

Parts used in this section
Part Number Part Name
#2070 Traxxas digital high-torque servo

Racing Body & Track-Worthy Treads

Now that I'm finished with the inside, it's time to dress up my project Stampede on the outside with a cool truck body, a trick set of wheels, and appropriate treads for maximum traction. Not that it needs any help in the style department; with its revamped styling, chrome All-Star™ wheels and Talon™ tires, the Stampede looks custom straight out of the box. But hey, this is Pit Pass, I gotta change it up!

RPM Products offers an assortment of 2.2" wheels for the Stampede, and I found the perfect choice for my truck with their "Bully" chrome wheel set. They feature a deep-dish five-spoke configuration with a smooth chrome finish. Don't forget that the front wheels require a different offset than the rear wheels on the electric Stampede. I used RPM's "Bully" wheel set #82123 up the front and #82113 out back. Traxxas also offers optional wheels for the Stampede that look trick; you can choose the chrome Twin-Spoke design (#5572 front, #3774 rear) or go for a blackout look with black-chrome versions of the All-Star design (#5576A front, #3772A rear). Click here to check them out.

One of my favorite tread patterns for R/C trucks is Pro-Line's Badlands tires. The Badlands tires are MX-inspired and work great on any surface. Pro-Line offers the Badlands design in a 2.2" size and also in two compounds—M2 for long lasting wear, and an ultra soft M3 for maximum traction. I chose the M2 compound for best all-around performance and wear (#1144-00).

I topped off my Stampede with a very cool retro 1972 C10 Chevy truck body from Pro-Line. Pro-Line offers a ton of sweet bodies for the Stampede, but this one has to be my favorite. The Pro-Line 1972 C10 Chevy body (#3251-00) looks great on top of the Stampede and was perfect for the style I was going for.

Parts used in this section
Part Number Part Name
#82123 RPM Products 2.2" Bully chrome wheels (front)
#82113 RPM Products 2.2" Bully chrome wheels (rear)
#1144-00 Pro-Line 2.2" Badlands M2 compound tires
#3251-00 Pro-Line 1972 C10 Chevy

Conclusion

My project Stampede turned out just the way I wanted it. The hopped-up Stampede handled the rough stuff effectively while keeping the truck on all four wheels jump after jump. The truck's smooth power delivery was definitely noticeable, and project Stampede's enhanced steering authority of my project Stampede enabled me to put the truck exactly where I wanted it. I could also plow the truck harder into ruts and over rocks with confidence knowing that durability wouldn't be an issue. My durability mods had elevated the Stampede from "bulletproof" to "bomb-proof." If you're looking to customize your Stampede and set it apart from the rest, try out any or all of these accessories—click here for a look at all of Traxxas' factory upgrades. You won't be disappointed. Your Stampede will not only look and perform great, but it will also show you what so many others love about customizing and tweaking R/C trucks. Enjoy—and be sure to post a pic of your custom Traxxas truck in Surfers' Rides!

Complete parts listing for this article
Part Number Part Name
#2532 Traxxas fiberglass front suspension tie bar
#2640 Traxxas extended suspension pin set
#2660-Long Traxxas aluminum Big Bore shocks (front)
#2662-XXL Traxxas aluminum Big Bore shocks (rear)
#4957R Traxxas progressive rate springs
#3632X Traxxas red-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum caster blocks
#3636X Traxxas red-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum steering blocks
#3632A Traxxas blue-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum caster blocks
#3636A Traxxas blue-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum steering blocks
#3652X Traxxas red-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum hub carriers (rear)
#3652A Traxxas blue-anodized 6061-T6 aluminum hub carriers (rear)
#3741X Traxxas red-anodized 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle camber links
#2336X Traxxas red-anodized 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle steering rods
#3741A Traxxas blue-anodized 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle camber links
#2336A Traxxas blue-anodized 7075-T6 aluminum turnbuckle steering rods
#2520 Traxxas pro ball differential
#4628X Traxxas hardened steel output yokes
#2070 Traxxas digital high-torque servo
#82123 RPM Products 2.2" Bully chrome wheels (front)
#82113 RPM Products 2.2" Bully chrome wheels (rear)
#1144-00 Pro-Line 2.2" Badlands M2 compound tires
#3251-00 Pro-Line 1972 C10 Chevy
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