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  1. #1
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    Cheap ways to make your summit 1/16 better

    So I bought my 1/16 Summit VXL a couple months ago. I love this thing. I read all over the forums about driveshafts breaking, but I have literally not had one thing go the least bit wrong. Well, the steering servo burnt out within the first week, but traxxas gives you a free 30 day warrantee on those things. Took it back to my retailer and they replaced it for free. I've run at least 10 packs of 3s lipo and no problems at all. At this point I'm starting to upgrade things just for looks. I originally wanted to do some 2.2 bead locks but man those cost a fortune. So I went to my hobby shop and bought myself $18 of spray paint. Viola
    A can black for the rims and a can of red for the locknuts. A can of matte finish for the both. Lemme know what you think. Also I was at a local yard sale and I found this!
    It's a new bright(ish) hard body and it fits perfectly. I haven't drilled holes or anything for body posts yet... I'm thinking about putting it for sale on eBay. If anybody is interested I will post a link to the listing. More
    To come soon, I just bought a silverado body and I have some idea for painting it. Thanks everybody. More to come

    Just a few more pics
    Last edited by cooleocool; 06-04-2014 at 09:51 AM. Reason: merge

  2. #2
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    Nice, don't forget to check the diffs see if they need to be shimmed.
    Those who forfeit liberty 4 security get neither

  3. #3
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    I haven't gotten around to that yet... I read the thread on how to do it but am not sure what to look for

  4. #4
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    I'm pretty sure you need the shims to check.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by qzhearty View Post
    Guys, if you have any simple or cheap mods/ upgrades that you've done to your mini summit please post them here
    What silverado body did you get? I got the proline 2500 hd one for the stampede and was gonna extend my chassis and decided not to. Since I have a nitro pefe I put the body pn that, but platidiped the outside of the bed with it.

    If your wheels have raised letters, I use a white paint marker to make them stand out.
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  6. #6
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    I got this body: http://m.ebay.com/itm/151283718704?nav=SEARCH I was thinking about plastidipping the body but I'm not sure what that looks like. Do you have a pic?

    Haha sorry its not a silverado
    Last edited by cooleocool; 06-04-2014 at 09:52 AM. Reason: merge

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by qzhearty View Post
    I got this body: http://m.ebay.com/itm/151283718704?nav=SEARCH I was thinking about plastidipping the body but I'm not sure what that looks like. Do you have a pic?

    Haha sorry its not a silverado
    Looks like a chevy avalanche.

    Plastidip is available in several colors, I use the black in a spray can. Its a rubbery grippy flat black. It can rub off, and peels off like a paint mask.



    Another tip for chrome is to use that chrome duct tape. I cant seem to find the perfect working spazstix paint, so I use tape on the outside on the bumpers.
    Last edited by Chubaka; 06-04-2014 at 06:05 PM.
    People Eating Tasty Animals

  8. #8
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    got the avalanche body in. I've started painting it. Sadly I ran out of black spray paint right now.😕 More
    To come

    After a ton of tape and spray paint I'm finally done
    Last edited by cooleocool; 06-09-2014 at 09:35 AM. Reason: merge

  9. #9
    Traxxas Marshal cooleocool's Avatar
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    Did you paint the outside or the inside of that body?
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  10. #10
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    Both.... For some reason the film came on the outside but I thought it normally came on the inside.... So I left the film on for the clear and red parts, did the outside black, then did the inside red and taped off the clear on the inside. It was complicated but worth it

  11. #11
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    Almost always you should paint on the inside. And the paint itself is special flexable paint.
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  12. #12
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    It looks good, I like the flat matte look

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by qzhearty View Post
    Both.... For some reason the film came on the outside but I thought it normally came on the inside.... So I left the film on for the clear and red parts, did the outside black, then did the inside red and taped off the clear on the inside. It was complicated but worth it
    The film on the outside is over spray film. The film prevents over spray from getting on the outside of the body when you're painting the inside of it.

    And USA1 is correct, these bodies were intended to be painted on the inside with proper lexan paint. Painting the inside helps to protect the paint in rollovers and the like.
    "Happiness depends upon ourselves." -Aristotle

  14. #14
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    Oops. Well I had intended this body more for show anyways. Now I'm trying my hand at styrene using the exo cage as a bade

  15. #15
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    Nice body! Where did you get the chevy one? It looks slick! I want that body! Ebay maybe?

  16. #16
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    eBay. I think there's one more!

  17. #17
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    I really want a 1972 Blazer body.
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  18. #18
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    That would be nice

  19. #19
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    Alright ill hopefully get that body off ebay. Thanks

  20. #20
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    Will the Chevy body sit lower than what u have it? I was looking at it on eBay. Really thinking of getting it.

  21. #21
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    cheap way to make the summit 1/16th better

    mini revo rear a rms, and mini revo axles and rockers

  22. #22
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    Cheap ways to make Summit 1/16 VXL better.

    I'm fairly new to RC but my knowledge is pretty good.
    This is my first post on here and I'm sure someone will direct me to another forum but I've chosen this one because the heading is my question exactly! Or more specifically what upgrades in what order? I've searched high and low for the answer to this question and the only answers i can find involve people doing full upgrades worth $$$.
    I'm quite happy to just upgrade parts if and when they break.

    My first tip is change the shock oil to 90W or 100W. Big improvement to handling and only costs a couple of dollars.

    Question- What comes next? A arms or axles?

    Lots of people seem to muck with gearing. I'm not interested in going that route. For me 1x 7.2v battery is almost perfect. 2x in series @14.4v is just a little crazy and probably not great for the rough stuff.

    Question - Can (does anyone?) you run/ recommend a mid range voltage? I.e. 10-12V, i imagine that would put me in the sweetspot im looking for, provided im not damaging the ESC or something?

    (Ive done this in the past with cheaper RC's with great results. I've also got some fantastic batteries cheap from china on ebay (always tested of course) though i cant find anything suitable to fit the smaller battery box... Anyone had luck with this?)

    Thanks for any info!

  23. #23
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    Trx 7033X is definitely worth considering.
    While you are at it, make some shims to tighten up the wheel bearing clearance. It's free.
    Dental floss on the worn hollow balls. It's also free.
    Sounds like you have 2 X 7.2V and a series connector already. Flip the tranny gears (free again) will reduce the top speed but improve acceleration.
    If you want lower voltage, either repack your battery or get single cells and pack your own.
    If you r into hill climb or mud bog type terrain, make some tire chains. Minimal cost.

  24. #24
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    Put your two 7.2v batteries in paralell, or better yet get a couple 2 cell lipos, I bet the lipos would be just the "midrange" you are looking for. The voltage is only slightly higher, but don't let that fool you. Compared to a single 7.2v nimh pack, you 7 will gain probably 10mph, a ton of acceleration, and with a pair of 2200mah packs in paralell, you will get 45+ min of runtime...

    As for upgrades, an upgrade as you break it policy is a good one for the most part.

    Steel hollow balls and threaded pivot ball caps will tighten things up considerably.
    an aluminum servo saver assembly will save you the downtime of breaking it over and over.

    As your driveshafts break, replace them with mini revo driveshafts. They are stronger and hold up better.

    If your stock servo is still running, get yourself a savox 0250mg for when it craps out. The savox is a drop in replacement, waterproof and metal gear.

    Also, the mini revo is nearly the same truck, the only non-cosmetic differences are rockers, gearing, and tires (plus the aforementioned driveshafts) so checking that forum for tips isn't a bad idea. Nearly anything that applies to a mini revo also applies to a mini summit.
    Dacaur

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken84 View Post
    Will the Chevy body sit lower than what u have it? I was looking at it on eBay. Really thinking of getting it.
    The body can sit very low. Lower than I have for sure. I would recommend the steel hollow balls, it takes a lot of slop out of the whole truck.

  26. #26
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    Thanks for the fast reply guys. Just the info I was after.

    To be honest I had ruled out getting the Lipo's for two reasons, the first being the high cost of them and the charger, particularly here in Australia (mainly due to shipping costs). The second being that my attention span only lasts a couple of Nimh batteries anyway so run-time isn't an issue.

    However after those comments I am seriously considering spending some money on batteries and a charger. I can't imagine that the extra 0.2v would see much of a power gain (I understand there will be some gain and a reduction in weight). & Correct me if I'm wrong but I can't run two 7.4v Lipos in series because that puts me at 14.8v which exceeds the max correct? Which means my biggest gain is really just run time...

    I noticed that listed under the Summit 1/16 parts is a 1400mAh 11.1v 3-Cell 25C LiPo Battery? Anyone have any knowledge or experience with that? I hadn't seen that before but that is probably just what I'm after?

    I have thought about flipping the tranny but I have two concerns...
    If I am running 14.4v (two Nimh 7.2v in series) then that may be the perfect answer for me but am I going to start stripping gears or overheating or something?
    If I go the Lipo's then I think flipping the tranny might make my top end speed too slow? (Unless I find a mid range battery e.g. the 11.1v)

    I realise that my best option is just to test these theories, and I will and for anyone interested I will report back.
    For now I just figure someone must have gone through a similar process and may be able to answer these questions without me spending money on a setup that's not right.

    As I mentioned Traxxas gear is pretty expensive here in Australia, I realize this is a Traxxas forum but can anyone suggest another brand of quality Lipo's or charger?

    (PS, I have mates who race and I'll take it to the track on rare occasions but I'm really just trying to build something fun for the backyard or park, hence the 1/16 scale.)

  27. #27
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    After writing that i have since discovered that a 3 cell Lipo (11.1v) is called a 3s? Perhaps we don't use that terminology in Australia or I didn't simply didn't realize?

    However that kind of answers my question because I've read plenty about people running 3s lipos in the mini Summit. (Without realising that was actually the 11.1v)

    I think thats the route i will take and then try flipping the tranny.

    Problem now is to find some 3s lipos and a charger that dont cost more than my actual Summit to purchase!

  28. #28
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    I would stay away from 3 cell. 3 cell is really only good for speed runs on road... for bashing, stick with two cell. It will be easier on the batteries and the truck.

    It's not the extra .2v that makes the difference with lipo, it's the extra avalable amps.

    The way it works is the motors have a kv rating, (kv= rpm per volt) which means the more voltage you supply the motor, the faster it spins, and the faster the truck goes. Any battery at rest will be at a certain voltage. As soon as you start drawing power from that battery, it's voltage will go down. How fare it goes down depends on how much power you are drawing form it, as well as the batteries internal resistance. (With lipos, we call it the "C" rating) today's common lipos range from about 25c to 45C. Nimh doesn't have an "official" C rating, but if tgey did, your average nimh pack would be rated at around 10C....

    When you exceed the c rating on a battery, the first thing that happens is the voltage drops really fast. Lower f voltage = lower speed.

    When you run the stock nimh packs, the limiting factor is the batteries, you just can't pull many amps from those little nimh cells before the voltage sags dramaticaly, and voltage = speed. You would be lucky to be able to pull 12-15amps from one before the voltage sags to a ridiculous level (25-30 with two in paralell) and thats when they are new.

    On the other hand, with a pair of cheap 2 cell, 2200mah 25c lipo's (25c is about the lowest you can get these days) you have avalable 110 amps without significantly affecting the voltage, which is quite a bit more than the truck needs.

    The difference between the two battery types in this truck is dramatic, to say the least.


    With one nimh pack, you can wheely for the first couple min of a pack, and only from a standing start.

    With two nimh in paralell, you can wheely fir about the first half of the runtime, again, only from a standing start.

    With two 2 cell lipos in paralell, you can wheely until it hits lvc (low voltage cutoff ) and it will wheely even starting out at 25% throttle. (That is, you can be moving, and hit the gas harder and it will wheely )
    Dacaur

  29. #29
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    Thanks Dacaur. Some good info there. I see you post lots of answers for people so thanks for your help!

    I've been loving my Summit. So far ive only broken two outer driveshafts. I have replaced them with Merv shafts and they do look and seem much stronger.

    At first i hated the fact that my Summit tiped over constantly. Now i actually like the fact that it takes some skill and concentration to drive, vs a Slash with the lower CG which is a little more forgiving.

    That said i would like just a little more stability. Was thinking of going with the steel driveshafts and a Merv setup but i dont want to loose the ground clearance. Maybe i could compensate with bigger wheels? But as this is a forum on cheap upgrades im thinking some slightly wider wheels or spacers (if that can be done?) to increase stability? I actually dont like the stock tires as i think the traction is terrible on almost all terrain. Can anyone recommend some wider or larger all terrain tyres (grass, dirt, occasional bitumen) that you have personally proven to be better?

    My second question is batteries again (thanks Dacaur). I'm now running two 2s lipos in parallel and it is awesome. Rarely do i ever get my full power down. However on those occasions when i do reach full trigger i find myself wanting more.
    If i ran 2x 3s lipos would there be any electrical based issues? What i mean is that i realize the truck will go faster, I'm more likely to brake stuff, motor might get hotter etc etc. However if im generally only running at the same speed as with 2s, the esc is regulating the power to the motor right, so other than a touchy throttle wont i just get longer run times and have the extra power in reserve, if and when i want it?

  30. #30
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    For tires, the stock tires are actually decent, not awesome, but decent. They have a lot more traction than the stock mini revo tires, that's for sure. That said, when I upgraded my mini revo to a summit, I went with big joe II tires on desperado wheels. I wasn't sure about them after the first run, but now I absolutely love them. Much better traction than the stock tires, and you gain some width as well, so its win win. I highly recommend them. Here is a pic of my two summits, one with stock tires, one with big joe II's



    RE: stability. The only difference between summit and mini revo suspension are the springs and the rockers. The stiffer springs are required to control the heavier wheel/tires, and the rockers just add extra suspension travel. Actual running ground clearance is, when properly set up, the same on both trucks, other than the difference caused by the tires. When you drop the truck from about 6 inches to a foot, it should end up with the arms level front and rear. The mini summit simply has more available up and down travel in the suspension, which is only due to the rockers. in the pic below, I have already modified the rear with the new rockers, the front is still stock revo. (the arms in the rear are RPM revo arms, green)


    You can see the summit suspension droops considerably more than the mini revo suspension, and the same goes for uptravel.

    I have gotten to the point where I only roll my summit about once every 20 min or so of driving. Having a radio with expo helps a lot with that.

    The arms, pushrods, and toe links are the same on both trucks. If you switch out to revo rockers, you will gain a little stability, but at the cost of handling in the really rough stuff.....

    The best way to add stability would be with a swaybar kit, but I don't know of anyone still making one at this point....

    As for the battery question, I don't recommend 3 cell other than for top speed runs. But to answer your question, no you wont get longer runtimes even if you drive the same as you did with two cell, you will get significantly shorter run times......
    In theory if you drive the exact same speed, and accelerate at the exact same rate, and gear it so that the motor draws the same number of watts on both setups, you will pull the same amount of "energy" out of both setups, so runtime would be similar. However, that's the catch, you obviously are not going to gear it down on three cell, which means you average amp draw will be significantly higher, even if you manage to drive exactly the same as you did with two cell. When both are geared the same, even if you accelerate at exactly the same rate, the three cell setup will be pulling a lot more amps. SO add the higher amp draw to the lower overall capacity, and you get much shorter runtimes.
    Dacaur

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    Wow Dacaur thanks heaps again!

    Yeah I'd actually marked a set of 1:16 swaybars on ebay but i wasn't sure if they fit the Summit (think they were Trx slash,rally,Merv?). Looked like they would but i need to go back and check that.

    Those tyres look good. Ill look into that.

    I understand the suspension differences pretty well now but i just dont think i want to loose that travel and ride height just for CVDs. Probably just buy a couple of Merv outer driveshafts as spares in case i break another. Mind you i was launching pretty high at a bmx track so its no wonder i broke two, you'd think I'd have learnt the first time!

  32. #32
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    if the swaybars will fit the other 1/16 trucks, they will fit the summit as well. I wasn't aware anyone still made the swaybar set, im going to have to pick up a set of those myself! Thanks!

    As for driveshafts. the mini revo shafts have lasted fine for me. The truck that started life as a mini summit I have just replaced the shafts with mini revo shafts as the break, and haven't had an issue since.... I think I have one stock summit shaft still in there.... The other of course started as a mini revo, so I have never had any driveshaft trouble with it, before or after converting to a summit.
    Dacaur

  33. #33
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    eBay has the hr sway at kit in stock at a couple of their stores.

  34. #34
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    So next breakage. Which is to be expected as im pretty hard on my little beast!

    Blown two shocks.

    Sticking to the subject forum which is "cheap ways..."

    What now? Rebuild only to break again? Replace?

    Or fork out the extra $$$ and put the adonized 7061X with purple springs?

    I would ultimately like the truck to be more bulletproof as it will continue to get used roughly. I don't mind doing little repairs, in fact i enjoy it. I just dont want to look back in 6 months and realise i could have saved money by spending more initially on better parts.

    Are the 7061X any less likely to blow/leak on me???

  35. #35
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    What weight oil are you using in the shocks?
    One mistake a lot of people make is trying to use oil thick enough that the truck doesn't bottom out over jumps. The result us always blown shocks. The proper way to tune shock oil is to use thick enough so it handles good when the wheels stay on the ground, and just let it bottom out on jumps, as that's what it was made for.
    If you can drop the truck from a foot in the air and it doesn't bottom out, your shock oil is WAY too thick.

    That said, I have heard good things about the aluminum gtr shocks from traxxas. One day when I have an extra $50 laying around, I plan to get a set, I would say go for it.
    Dacaur

  36. #36
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    I'm running 90 weight. I read a few of the other forums and decided to upgrade, i knew the risks but thought it was worth it for the handling. But even with 90 it still just bottoms out from around a foot, i should have done the springs at the same time i guess. Actually one of the shocks has leaked from day one, which is why i bought the shock oil in the first place.

  37. #37
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    No oil weight will keep it from bottoming out, well, no reasonable weight. If the suspension were stiff enough to not bottom out over jumps, handling would be terrible every other time, because it would be too stiff to follow the terrain over small bumps.

    I like 70wt in mine. Mini revo stock is 35wt, summit is 60.

    stiffer springs will help some, but lighter oil is the cure to blown shocks. The aluminum shocks will help to, but you can still blow the oil out of them if you use too thick oil.
    Dacaur

  38. #38
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    Personally i thought it was a marked improvement going from 60 to 90, much better handling. I was getting too much roll and sag with the factory setup. I'm slowly learning though.

    You're trouble though Dacaur, after your previous post i went straight online and ordered some Proline Big Joe II tyres! Just had to have them.

    So my intention to slowly and cheaply upgrade is quickly becoming more expensive!

    The money ive spent so far could have got me a good secondhand Merv...

    But I'm happy that ultimately ill end up with a good box of spares and a quality car.

    I've always had cheaper RC cars but really this is my first proper brushless and I'm amazed at how quickly ive become addicted. If things keep going this way ill have to get a Slash! But for now i think it might be smart to keep my eyes out for a cheap Merv.

  39. #39
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    Because I've got good help on here i will continue to post on this thread.
    In the interest of making my Summit better i bought some BigJoe II tyres.
    Just installed them and ive noticed that my rear wheels are angled inwards, i.e. pointing in towards the centre of the fwd chassis. Quite dramatically. Seems less pronounced when the suspension is fully depressed.

    I understand having chamber but surely it can't be right to have such significant toe in?

    Ive hardly used the car, am i missing something? No other mods...

  40. #40
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    PS- i realise a little toe-in is necessary/good for handling but it now visually looks like way too much... perhaps its the bigger tyres just making it more pronounced? I should try take some pictures later.
    There's no real mechanical adjustment is there? Actually my whole suspension/steering setup is feeling very loose. Any tips to tighten things up besides converting to a Merv setup with RPM parts and $$$ (which i seem to be heading towards)

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