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Project: Ultimate Rustler

Suspension Front - Nitro Rustler Hub Conversion:

The parts used here are #2536 steering blocks & spindles, #2634R caster blocks (note that these are 25-degree vs. the stock N.Rustler's 30-degree blocks, a better setup for the electric truck), #2636 kingpins. You'll need to very carefully drill out your outer hinge pin holes to a accept second set of #2636's, or get #2531 Nitro Rustler a-arms and 27-28mm screw pins from set #1739. I modified the stock arms to take advantage of their greater width (around 3/8" extra between the two). You'll also need adjustable turnbuckles for camber links.

Click to enlargeTo minimize bump-steer (changing of a wheel's toe as the suspension is compressed & extended), I had to raise the inner mounts of the steering linkages. This is a very important step. I used three 1mm spacers from the Traxxas shock parts tree, directly beneath the rod end. You can use any form of spacers you like, as long as the total thickness is 3mm. Note that you'll also need to use screws that are 3-4mm longer than stock to secure the linkages to the bellcranks, due to the extra height.

The front wheels used here are Traxxas' lightweight dish rims, but you can just as easily use Traxxas chrome 5-spoke wheels as I used on the Phase II Ultimate Stampede, Pro-Line Agitators, or any of the appropriate RPM front wheels (list here). These need 5x11 bearings in the wheels, 2 apiece. Also, for a bit of extra width, I added 2mm of spacers (two Traxxas #3685's worked perfectly) over each stub axle before installing the wheels.

This setup, with bearings in the wheels, gives far less rolling resistance than the stock Rustler's live stub axle system. Less rolling resistance equals more speed and longer runtimes. The Nitro Rustler kingpins are also significantly thicker and more durable than the frail stockers.

Another big advantage of running this conversion is the increased steering throw. In the comparative pictures below, (click to zoom in, as usual), I've laid the Ultimate Rustler directly over a stock Rustler, both at full lock left steering. The photo angles are not scientifically precise, but the pictures do show how noticeable the difference in wheel angle is. The Ultimate Rustler's inside tire is turned in about 10 degrees more than stock, and the outside tire is turned in 3 degrees more.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

In addition, the added width (nearly 1/4") of the new setup further contributes to increased steering while simultaneously enhancing the truck's poise over rough terrain.

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