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Unbelievable RC

Cragar's Racing Bandit


Before I even purchased my Bandit, I saw it as it is in this picture. I knew what it was that I wanted, I just needed the time and funds to get there. I had already built my Stampede utilizing ideas from The Jang's Ultimate Stampede, but wanted something more. Behold, my custom project. In the pages below, I will do my best to describe the build as it occurred.


All images and descriptions by Cragar (Craig.Wallace@emotors.com).

** Be sure to click on the images below to see the large, zoomed-in versions **

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The first modification I made was drilling the weight reducing holes as you see them directly below the battery compartment. Advancing to the next stage required a little more boldness. I began cutting unnecessary weight from the front A-arms as described in the build of Jang's Ultimate Rustler, Phase II. Beyond that, I just laid out a few more patterns to be dremeled out as seen directly below the steering servo compartment. The holes came out very clean and uniform. Now that my dremeling craze had taken over, the next area that received my attention was that on each side of the battery compartment. Yes, this pattern is exactly the same as that of the Ultimate Rustler, Phase II.

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Here, you see the crossbar I added similar to that of a Losi XXX. It was dremeled down from a manual speed control mount. I thought that the front shock tower was a little too weak in it's stock mode and needed some help. This does add quite a bit of strength in the "X" axis letting the shocks work more like they're supposed to. The springs you see here (and in the back, for that matter) are made by Associated. They had to be flared just slightly to fit the RPM lower spring clips made for Traxxas vehicles. There's not a whole lot of clearance between the O.D. of the shock body and the I.D. of the spring, but there's enough that the springs don't rub. The RPM bumper you see is made specifically for the B3, but I made it work anyway.

You can also see some of the dremeling done to the top of the servo compartment in this picture.

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In this photo, you can barely make out the RPM bearing carriers. They are made to hold 5x11 ball bearings, which should rarely, if ever, wear out if maintained properly. They have been installed at all four corners. I replaced the stock front axles with those made for the Rustler and included hex adapters (front and rear) in order to get the HPI Super Star 2.2" wheels to fit. Due to the width of the HPI rally tires, I had to install a 3mm plastic spacer in the front for added turning clearance.

In the steering department, I replaced the Futaba S3003 servo with a Hitec HS-525 metal-geared high-speed servo. The response time is awesome.

There are no Lunsford titanium turnbuckle packages specifically made for the Bandit, so I had to measure the existing tie rod and camber links in order to get the right parts. The front tie rod and camber links are the same at 2.125" long. The rear camber links are 1.500" long. I've incorporated RPM heavy-duty ball cups along with HPI 4-40 ball studs and Associated dust covers to complete the package. I must say, it all works very well.

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In this photo, you can see the Team Orion Orbital 2 Pro ball bearing 14x2 motor. All I can say about this motor is that it's extremely fast. So fast, I need to learn how to drive it. I'm going to need to learn throttle control all over again. Tucked away in the background is the ESC. It's a Futaba MC330CR speed control and can handle modified motors down to 13 turns. It has 200 forward amps and 100 reverse amps. I'm very happy with the performance of this little ESC. Powerpole connectors help eliminate resistance in the electrical path.

Steel output yokes were installed for added strength to the driveline. Although I know there are some that are still using the stock plastic output yokes with no problems, with the modified motor I'm running, I didn't want to take any chances.

You can also see how I've dremeled down the motor shroud. Traxxas includes quite a bit of plastic back here that I don't think is necessary. You'll notice this is also a direct copy of the work done by The Jang himself.

This pic also shows a good view of what remains of the stock rear shock tower. In other words, there's not much left. I left only enough to mount a rear shock tower made by Kyosho in order that I can have multiple shock positions. I'm not sure why Traxxas doesn't offer this option. I think it would be utilized quite well.

It's not visible, but the wing is attached similar to the stock setup. I've drilled two holes in the Kyosho shock tower for attaching it. The holes were drilled small enough that it's a tight slip fit. It's quite hard to remove it, so I don't have to worry about it ever falling out.

Closing Statements

This project was a blast and I'd do it all over again just for the satisfaction alone. It's been great to see the "head turning" it creates when I've had it on display and has been quite a topic for discussion. I did the paint job myself and, I must say, it has very clean lines. I absolutely love the color combination. The rear of the body was cut down so I don't have to remove the wing. I was a little hesitant in doing it at first, but since I did, I love it.

I hope that you've enjoyed reading about my adventure. May there be more to come. God speed.

Bonus Pics

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