THE TRAXXAS SLASH
view by Evo RC
The Traxxas Slash is a 10 Scale Short Course Truck which comes RTR (Ready-to-Run) two wheel or four wheel drive. It’s a beast that can tear through just about any terrain and do so at high speeds. The Slash was inspired by the Traxxas Off-Road Championship. The Slash gets lots of hype and you can rest assured that it’s all very deserved. It’been around for ages and you can find many aftermarket parts.
First of all, let’s go through all the versions of the Slash. I’m not going to go through the differences between each one but it’s good to note that there are many different ones to choose from.
2WD VS 4WD
Just like full size automobiles, RCs are offered in 2WD or 4WD. Lets get a quick comparison on paper:
In the RC world, when we talk about 2WD and 4WD models, we’re just talking about how many wheels are attached to the drivetrain and spin under acceleration and slow down when braking.
This truck has a fairly basic layout, just like most 2WD models. Mechanically there isn’t a whole lot going on, except in the back end of the model. The electric motor powers the transmission, which turns the differential, and then that diff has driveshafts that power each of the tires in the back.
This layout is a little bit more complex than the two-wheel drive. Essentially there is a motor that powers a center driveshaft. This driveshaft distributes a single power source to two ends of the model. In the rear-end, we have a differential, and that diff is connected to the driveshafts that power the axles. If we follow the center driveshaft up to the front, this is a four-ball, four-wheel drive truck with a second differential. And, this kit has another set of driveshafts that power the front tires.
So which whould I go for?
The 2WD model is rear-wheel driven, and that means the rear tires are pushing. With the 4WD model, not only are those rear tires pushing, but the front tires are always pulling. When you have a push-pull situation, the system generates a lot of traction. This system wants to be in motion continually. Therefore, the 4WD model will produce more traction and excel, rather than getting stuck in really loose, loamy situations, such as sand and mud, or rough terrain where there are obstacles.
A 2WD model performs just great with those rear wheels pushing but not in all situations. For example, the 2WD model doesn’t generate the same traction in really loamy sand or mud. And, the rear tires will just end up spinning, digging out holes, and sinking. The same can be said when it comes to the brakes. Again, on a 2WD model, when you try to slow down and apply the brakes, it’s just the rear tires doing the work.
On the 4WD model, you have all four tires applying the same force generating a lot of traction, and you can come to a stop faster. Therefore, four-wheel drive models are generally more in control. But it’s not all roses and butterflies for 4WD models. 4WD models have a lot more mechanical parts to wear out. For example, on a 4WD you have a front and rear differential, front and rear driveshafts, plus a center driveshaft. So down the road, there are more parts in a 4WD model to replace. On the other hand, you only have to worry about the rear end with a 2WD model. With fewer parts, the maintenance requirements are lower for the 2WD versus the 4WD version.
Besides the cost of repairs, those additional parts on the 4WD model are almost always heavier than the 2WD counterpart. The drivetrain has more rolling mass, rotational mass, and overall weight. And typically, a 4WD model delivers more strain to the system. More strain in the drivetrain, more strain on the motor, more strain on your electronic speed control, and more strain on your battery.
Traxxas Slash 2WD
Less Upfront Cost
Less Maintenance Cost
Easier To Work On
Slightly Faster Out of the Box
Lighter Weight = More Run-Time
More Challenging on Loose Terrain
Less Control & Stability
Traxxas Slash 4WD
Handles Rougher Terrain
Higher Quality Diff & Drivetrain
Heavy Duty Parts
Better Weight Distribution
More Maintenance Cost
More Stressful on Electronics
Front Tires Wear Faster
Heavier = Less Run-Time
What’s my take on the slash?
The Traxxas Slash, be it a 2WD or a 4WD is awesome. I have also tried other branded short course trucks like the Arrma Senton and whilst it is difficult to compare the Slash and the Senton, in some ways you can. You cannot compare the 2WD Slash to the Senton but you can compare the 4WD to the Senton. To work on, I prefer the Traxxas setup as you the car is split in 3 sections with a few screws. The rear end, center chassis and the rear section. It is just easier to work on one section at a time. The Senton is not difficult to work on but the chassis is one piece front to back and each time you need to reach the rear differential, you have to take out the whole motor section out. I just prefer the Traxxas setup, not saying the Senton setup is not good or anything. Coming from an Arrma fan, this is a lot to admit.
With regards to the question of, should I get an Arrma Senton or a Traxxas Slash, in many ways it’s easy to answer. The Slash has many different configurations as seen above and the Arrma has the brushed version which isn’t worth it, so mainly the 3S 4WD version. If you want a RTR and you’re not going to fiddle with the setup then the Arrma is pretty much ready to go. If you want say a 2WD model, then you can only go for Traxxas. Keep in mind that Arrma electronics are Arrma BLX or Spektrum whilst the Traxxas electronics are Velineon. In my opinion Arrma’s ESCs, motors and controllers are better, Traxxas have a better Bluetooth system and app if you’re into that sort of thing.
But is there a 3rd option ? Hell yes ! Evo RC advice coming right up !!
The 3rd option
The 3rd option is pretty simple, get the cheapest one you can get your hands on, even if it’s a brushed version, take out all the junk electronics and put in a custom overpowered system then burn rubber like there’s no tomorrow. Let’s have a look at what I’m on about ok, here goes.
The greatest advantage if that as I said before, the slash has been around for years, so aftermarket parts are everywhere. Here is a bit of a guide on what you could look for and what you should upgrade when upping the power to 3S or even 4S.
With all parts you can go for cheap unbranded parts, hobby grade parts or high end parts. I’m going to go down the route of hobby grade parts here, then if you prefer say Hobbywing or Castle you can go for that.
You will need a 3660 brushless motor. I will explain below what that number means. Brand is Surpass Hobby and there is an agent in Malta that stocks them, get in touch for more info. You would one ranging from 3200KV to 4300KV. All KV motors in that range are the same and are good for a Slash, the difference is in torque and high revs. The lower the KV the higher the torque, the higher the KV the higher the revs. Be careful, if you intend on sticking in a large pinion then go for the range between 3200KV and 3800KV, if you’re not looking for best acceleration from stand still but higher speeds then go for the range between 3800KV and 4300KV. The 3800KV would kind of give you a bit of both. If you go for Hobbywing, there is a motor ESC combo which is perfect, the HW MAX10SCT 4000KV combo. Local RC outlets do stock them, get in touch for more info.
A bit of an explanation on the motor size, the 3660 number I mentioned earlier. The 3660 is just the number of the size of the motor, it’s equivalent to the size of a 550 brushed motor. As seen on the pic here, the first two digits are the motor width in mm, 36mm. The next two digits is the motor length, 60mm. Hence 3660.
Be very careful about the motor shaft size. Standard slash shaft size is 3.175mm. There is the 5mm shaft size as well which is more durable but it all depends on the pinion you have. The pinion had to be that size as well.
With more power there will be more stress on the drive train and the majority of Slash drive trains are plastic geared. If you’re looking for more durability then you can go for an aftermarket metal spur and pinion set like this one from Yeah Run which supports both motor shaft sizes mentioned earlier with a pinion adapter.
You will find that the stock Traxxas composite drive shafts are quite sturdy but you might want to consider switching to metal drive shafts. There are the Traxxas branded ones and you can also find aftermarket ones. You basically change the cup that’s attached to the differential with a grub screw pin and replace with these ones.
If you’re going to go for 4S on a 2WD slash or a ludicrous 6S build, then the standard rear differential, gearbox and plastic motor mount will not cut it. You would need to upgrade to a Traxxas Magnum rear section or an aftermarket one like this one. Consider locking the diffs with a kit that comes with this gearbox.
There are many aftermarket alloy upgrades to for and dirt cheap. The trick here and a bit of an Evo RC top tip, is not to go crazy on alloy upgrades. Alloy upgrades are only good as long as you really need them. One would find out that in many scenarios, plastic is better than metal as it bends and alloy snaps. So go alloy only when you really need it. I know it looks good but keep in mind as well that you need to move all those heavy alloy parts as well. A lighter build will be faster, always!
The Slash has many aftermarket bodies you could go for apart from the standard Traxxas ones. Proline are amongst the top brands that provide them. Check out some options below:
For my built I went for a the VW Baja Bug in metalic blue, 2WD Slash, Surpass Hobby Brushless 4300KV, 100AMP ESC, metal spur and pinion and with some light upgrades.