The JANG Wide Mod for the Traxxas Rustler & Slash
Originally devised for the Ultimate Stampede project in 2002, this mod is a simple and inexpensive way to add a significant amount of width to the front end of your custom Traxxas Rustler or wildly modified Traxxas Slash-based stadium or monster truck project. The widened track, about 1.5" beyond stock, dramatically improves the stability of the truck, improves steering, and lets you run identical wheels at all four corners. Pair it with the use of front wheels all around or other wide-offset rims, and you end up with a vehicle that handles completely differently! For owners of multiple vehicles or a handful of spare parts, you may find that you can do this mod at zero cost!
Note: This mod can easily be adjusted to work on a Bandit or Stampede; you'll just need to use different camber links & rod ends.
What you need to supply
If you have a Slash or VXL Rustler, you need:
- One pair Traxxas Stampede or Rustler rear suspension arms, #3655
- One pair each Traxxas Rustler / Stampede inner & outer screw pins from set #3640
- Traxxas Stampede steering toe links, #3645, or any links with 3mm ball ends and measuring approx. 96mm center to center
- Optional: Traxxas 4-TEC shock spacers, #4365, or use the short shock spacers included on any Traxxas stock or Big Bore shock parts tree
- Two 4mm flanged locknuts or enough small 3mm washers or spacers to fill two 5.5mm gaps
- Enough 3mm spacers or washers to fill two 2mm gaps
- Two 3mm x 20mm fine-thread screws (or you can get away with 18mm)
- Drill with #30 bit or you can get away with a 1/8" bit and some patience
If you have an older Rustler, XL-5, or any version with plastic camber links, you will also need:
- Second set of Stampede steering toe links, #3645, or any links with 3mm ball ends and measuring approx. 90mm center to center
From the list above you should see that there's a fair amount of flexibility in how this mod can be finished. All you need for certain are the rear arms & pins, and then you will just need to fit new wider camber & steering links to fit, and some spacers to shim everything up. In the photos below I started with a Slash, which has the same setup with as the Rustler VXL with pre-installed adjustable camber links.
I recommend doing one side at a time. The first thing you'll need to do is remove the stock arm, both links, and the shock, and take the caster block & steering knuckle assembly off as one piece (there's no need to separate them). Ignore my 17mm hub adapters :)
Now it's drillin' time! The new arms use larger, more durable outer pins, so you'll need to enlarge the hole in the caster block to accept the thicker part. A #30 drill bit is the perfect size to make this happen, leaving just enough clearance to hold the pin with only the slightest amount of friction. If you only have a 1/8" bit, you can still get by, but the pins are already 1/8" thick so you'll need to ream the hole out just slightly more by carefully wiggling the bit around while stroking in & out of the hole. Don't overdo it or you'll have too much play.
Now you can install the carrier & knuckle on the new arm. Make sure the shock mounting holes are facing forward. There will be some extra space that needs to be taken up with spacers. You can use a stack of small 3mm washers, plastic spacers from the Traxxas shock parts tree, or anything that fits. Here I use one 3mm washer and one 1.5mm plastic spacer. You can put all of the spacers on the rearmost side of the arm; I only put the small washer on the front side because it was a little easier.
Now you can attach the arm to the bulkhead with a long suspension pin. A 4mm flanged locknut is the perfect thickness to take up the extra space, or you can again use anything that will fit. Be sure to install the horizontal fiberglass pin brace in the stock location, if you have one (I did not use it in these pictures).
Now for the shock. Up top, you're going to assemble parts against the stock mounting hole in the shock tower in the following order:
- Shock spacer -- the 4-TEC piece would be perfect, or you can use the shorter one that comes on the stock shock parts tree plus 2mm to 4mm of spacers behind it so the shock will be parallel to the tower.
- 3mm washer (should have come off the truck earlier)
- 3mm x 20mm screw
At the bottom, use the stock screw and just pick a mounting hole you like. For a similar angle to stock, use the innermost hole. Depending upon how your truck was assembled, the screw may be a little long, but that's okay -- just drive it straight through the small amount of material at the back of the hole. On my truck, the screw the factory installed on one side was longer than the other!
Now for the fun part, the links! For the camber link you need something that assembles to about 90mm between the centers of the holes at either end. If you used Stampede steering links for this purpose, you'll need to tighten them down by 3mm on each end. If you have Traxxas adjustable links from the VXL Rustler or Slash like I did, you can do a cool trick by taking just the inner long rod end (with the thinner steel ball part) from the stock camber link and assembling it onto the stock steering (toe) link!
Stock hardware can be used to attach it. Take care to orient it properly and you can get a sweet factory look, nearly perfectly parallel with the arm.
Now just add your new steering (toe) links, which should be assembled to approx. 96mm center to center (same as Stampede stockers). I had some other extra links & ends, so I made my own. Do all of this for both sides, fine-tune your camber & toe, and you're done!
Finishing up & taking it farther
The wider arms put more leverage on your shocks and you'll find that your front suspension is now softer. If you have stiff springs like the ones that came on the front of the XL-1 & earlier Rustler, this softer feel may actually be welcome. If you have an XL-5 or later Rustler or a Slash-based truck with white springs, you may want to firm up the springs with some Losi 3.5lb/in or stiffer replacements, and thicker shock oil may be helpful as well. You'll need to drive the truck first to determine what you need.
Now, if you're starting with a Rustler, you may notice that your front end is wider than the rear after you do this mod. That's because the suspension width is actually very close to identical front & rear, but the front wheels have a lot more offset than the rears. You can now get those wide-offset front wheels for the rear as well to even it all up! If you're doing a Slash-based project, you should also install Rustler rear arms on your rear (requires no special mods, just the arms and a set of Rustler rear camber links) to get that extra width.