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Project: Ultimate Rustler

Jangification: Page 2

The transmission case was trimmed significantly. When it's out of the vehicle, it doesn't look like anything Traxxas has made since the SRT. The new aluminum motor mount insert is covered on the Drivetrain page. I cut out the motor "guard" and transmission housing as much as I could. I also used aluminum locknuts wherever possible (including the slipper clutch), and also ditched the pretty RPM gear cover from Phase I cover in favor of a 7 gram trimmed & sanded stock piece. Hey, every bit counts, right?

In a couple of photos you may have noticed some nice blue-anodized screws or nuts on the truck. These might look great, but they're used purely for function, not form. The blue hardware is all anodized aluminum, by General Silicones. Some screws needed to remain steel, however, for strength. On these, I carefully selected replacement screws that were just as long as they needed to be. Too short and they would strip; too long and they would add unnecessary weight. If you look at the photo of the bottom of the truck, you'll notice that some screws are missing, and the rest are not stock Traxxas chromed pieces. For a stock-motored truck, I'm confident the default setup is over-fastened. I ran a reduced screw count for months no with no ill effects other than an occasional small clod of dirt getting stuck in a hole. The transmission, for example, normally has 16 screws holding it together. I use 10.

Finally, enough about the chassis, the Ulti.Rusty has a sleek new body! The effect of body choice on handling is often overlooked in offroad racing, but not in my workshop! Like in Phase II, I wanted to use the lightest, lowest, most sleek body possible. I was leaning strongly towards the Crowd Pleazer XXX-NT shell by Pro-Line, but really hoped to find an old Traxxas SRT body. Fortunately, at the last minute, I decided to go with the Traxxas Nitro Sport shell. There couldn't be a more perfect fit. The front shock tower fits up into the hood bulge with less than 1mm of clearance, and the front body mounts protrude through the front face of the hood at a perpendicular point. At the rear, the custom body mount goes through a flat open space in the body, and the rear shock tower actually slides a bit up into a raised horizontal ridge on the rear deck. Again building on a trend started in Phase II, I went for a lightweight paint job. The lower stripe consists of two even coats of Pactra Metallic Green, with no backing. The black is a single coat. The yellow consists of two very light coats backed by one quick spray of white fluorescent undercoat. The spoiler was left unpainted. The windows were left untinted, with the exception of a visor strip on the windshield. The result? This body is 0.3oz. lighter than the Phase II stock Rustler shell, which itself was 0.9oz. lighter than the Phase I Pro-Line Silverado body. The HPI Nitro Rush body I had used earlier in Phase III for dirt oval racing was 0.7oz. heavier than the current choice.

These weight-reducing measures may seem a bit over-the-top to some, but hey, they sure worked for me.

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