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Project: SLASH/6b

SLASH/6

Intro & Vitals

The vehicle you see above is a bona fide Traxxas Slash 2WD electric truck. If you have not yet seen the original SLASH/6, the truck version of this beast, go see it now, then come back here. The /6 truck, converted from a stock Slash in just three days, was the icebreaker -- the proof of concept, if you will -- and this buggy creation is the next step in its evolution!

Length 32.5 inches Weight 7 lbs. 11 oz. without battery
Width 16.25 inches Motor Traxxas Velineon 3500kV 540-size BL for 1/10th scales
Height 9.25 inches Battery Standard single 7.2V sub-C or 7.4V LiPo pack (2x in parallel optional)
Wheelbase 20.5 inches Speed 31mph as equipped

SLASH/6

Photos

Chassis

The SLASH/6 truck chassis was reused here as it proved itself a worthy, capable platform to expand upon. To further improve it, I first sought to widen out the track for better stability. At the rear, electric Rustler a-arms and camber links were hassle-free, direct fit upgrades that wouldn't sacrifice durability. These arms have no toe-in (compared to the 3 degrees on the stock Slash/Nitro Rustler arms), but this would be a good thing as I had, if anything, too much rear end traction with the extra-wide monster truck tires. Up front, I decided to dig up a years-old trick I first employed on the Ultimate Stampede, the "JANG Wide Mod." With a pair of Stampede steering links, some small miscellaneous hardware, and about 25 minutes of free time, I attached Rustler/Stampede rear arms to the unmodified Slash bulkhead & uprights for a quick & easy boost in width at the lowest price possible. I like to keep my Traxxas vehicles "in the family" in terms of parts use, so the all-Traxxas conversion makes me and the buggy happy!

For one last extension in width without introducing fragility, I ditched my New Era 17mm hub adapters for a more standard-sized set from Integy. New Era's adapters are an old design have the least possible offset, holding each wheel in very close to the uprights. This was very important on the \BACKSLASH to minimize tire rub, but on the /6b I didn't have this constraint. Since the Slash was released, many aftermarket manufacturers have begun offering a fairly standardized form of 17mm adapters that introduce enough offset to run normal 1/8th scale buggy wheels under a stock Slash body. To achieve this, the fronts have a different offset, so you can use identical wheels all around. In my case, I installed the wider, front hubs on the rear of the vehicle, and rears on the front. This brought the rear width to 16 1/4 inches, nearly a 2" increase over the /6 truck. Up front, I used an acetone bath to remove my extra-wide older Pro-Line #1079 Bow Tie MT tires, and replaced them with a set of newer, narrower #1127 treads, also Bow Tie MTs, and narrowed them slightly further by mounting the inner edge of the tire to the inner edge of the molded bead in each wheel, rather than using the beads themselves. After roughly adjusting toe & camber, the front & rear widths are now nearly identical.

Body

The /6 truck used a Pro-Line Desert Rat 5b truck conversion body, and so I kept the trend going by ordering their regular Desert Rat 5b shell for this new phase of the project. Instead of building a roll cage from scratch, I took the easy way out and ordered a genuine HPI 5b longitudinal bar set, plus the center upright bar set, and a genuine 5b wing to mount right up to it all. It took a couple long evenings of mocking up parts and eyeballing fittment, but I eventually discovered the simplest way to attach it all to the chassis. Up front, I completely removed the extended body mount and installed two short posts directly on the chassis, behind the shock tower. Moving back to the center cabin section, I cut just enough material out of the body to barely be able to maneuver the roll cage parts through the shell, then I used the standard 5b side mounts (which attach to the center roll bar) to hold the sides of the body firmly in place. The holes where these went through are approximately 3/8" in front of the standard mounting points, as I angled the roll bar back, lowering the roof for a more compact, 1/6th-instead-of-1/5th-scale stance. I left off the normal 5b "side pod" extensions as the /6b is a shorter vehicle and didn't seem to need them.

Just behind the rear shock tower, I busted out the heat gun and bent the longitudinal bars horizontally, so they could rest flat on the aluminum bracket I had made for the truck, with the body posts removed. I drilled through the bars and bracket alike and attached 4mm screws from underneath the bracket to form threaded stubs so that I could securely clamp the cage down by hand with RPM nylon wheel nuts. Finally, all the way at the rear, I again used the heat gun, this time putting a new downward bend in the bars to return the wing mounts to a more natural angle. The whole rearmost assembly rests freely on the stock Slash rear bumper without any form of real attachment. The rear screw-down mounts are sufficiently secure that you can grab, carry, and swing the whole car around by the wing without a worry.

Back at the front, the final touches were to attach the normally separate nose piece to the main body using double-sided tape, and I reinstalled the stock Slash front bumper for just a slightly more rugged look.

Power

Like the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." The little 540 brushless setup, a Mamba Max ESC and Traxxas Velineon 3500kV motor, performed flawlessly on the /6 truck, propelling it to HPI Baja 5b speeds on a single 7.4V battery while barely getting warm to the touch. All I did was switch back to 18/90 gearing to restore the top end speed, as I had run 15/90 in the grass and over sand with the truck for its action video.

Summary & Future Plans

This is now the third total conversion I've managed out of the humble Slash platform. How many more tricks does this thing have up its sleeves? I don't know, but I have a strong feeling that I haven't seen the last just yet!

Honestly what makes me most happy after thrashing the /6b around for a bit is the proof of the durability of the Slash drivetrain. Set up to be actually driveable, not ludicrous and uselessly uncontrollable, it seems to be able to handle the big monster-sized tires without complaint. There's no doubt in my mind that there are still more great possibilities to be explored with this vehicle. For the moment, /6b will remain as a bashing runner and I'll likely make more videos with it over time.

I hope you like this conversion, or better yet, that it gets ideas swirling around in your head for a unique conversion of your own! If you have any questions or comments, or come up with a new creation you'd like to show off, head on over to my Traxxas Slash forum and post away!

Video