In my free time, I enter sweepstakes for nearly everything under the sun. I am ecstatic to see sweepstakes for RC cars and trucks because they are so few and far between. I will post these sweepstakes as I see them to give all of my readers a chance to win new RC cars or trucks from the leading manufacturers.

Current RC Car Sweepstakes

Force RC is giving away a Traxxas 1/10 4×4 VXL Stampede. You can enter here to win.

Fishbowl Prizes is holding a giveaway for a HPI 1/10 Sprint 2 Drift 350Z. Follow this link to enter.

My beloved 350Z drift car

Best Practices for Sweepstakes

Although the sweepstakes promoters are legit, you may receive frequent correspondence in the form of newsletters. If you prefer to avoid clutter in your inbox, create a dedicated email for your sweepstakes activities. Check your email daily for win emails. If you win, you may need to fill out and return an affidavit to receive your prize.

Remember to never:

  • Pay anything for a win, not even shipping
  • Click on suspicious links or download anything
  • Give out sensitive bank account or credit card information to verify your identity.

If you have any questions, you can contact me anytime.

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3 Awesome Upgrades For Your 2WD Stampede

If you want to dramatically improve the performance of your two-wheel drive Stampede, you must think well beyond the typical brushless motor upgrades. As you may well know by now, the Stampede takes every opportunity to do wicked cartwheels and flips as you move through the corners and blast over jumps. Although this is great fun, constantly running down to flip your truck over can become tiresome while trying to learn or enjoy your local track. Luckily, you can easily improve the handling characteristics and overall performance of your Stampede by investing in the three following upgrades.

Big Bore Shock Set

The big bore shock set (5862) by Traxxas will instantly improve your vehicle’s ability to remain upright through the corners and land smoothly after taking big jumps. The shock bodies are made from hard-anodized aluminum that will stand up to an enormous amount of stress without breaking. The shafts are coated with titanium-nitride for improved durability and functionality.

The kit comes with springs installed and a small bottle of shock oil. In the future, you can improve your big bore shocks even more by investing in progressive rate springs and aluminum shock caps.

Pro-Line ProTrac Kit

The Pro-Line ProTrac kit (6062-00) is the ultimate way to widen the stance of your Stampede to improve its handling and overall stability. The upgraded arms and links will improve the strength of your build as well.

Since Pro-Line designed this kit for the Slash, the included rims will not fit your Stampede. Although you can purchase the other components separately, you will likely pay more than simply buying the full kit outright. You can offset your upgrade costs a bit by selling the short course wheels to RC enthusiasts in your area.

To ensure perfect fitment for this kit, you need to purchase 4mm rod ends (5525) from Traxxas. You will also need to run front rims in the stock 2.8 size all around to ensure your wheels match the offset requirements for this kit.  You can either buy new front rims and tires to put on the back, or just buy the rims and install your old rear tires to save your funds for other upgrades.

Wheelie Bar

You can help keep your Stampede from flipping and rolling by installing a purpose-built wheelie bar on the rear end. As the truck’s front wheel reach high in the air, the wheelie bar hits the ground to stabilize your vehicle. If you let off the throttle and lightly tap the brakes right as the wheelie bar hits the ground, your truck will return to its optimal position, so you can continue on your way.

Traxxas offers their wheelie bar in dark blue (3678X), bright green (3678A) or black (3678) to perfectly complement or contrast your truck’s color scheme. This bolt-on component is made from extremely durable molded nylon and features rubber tires. You can upgrade the wheelie bar tires to ones with red (5186) or blue (5186A) aluminum rims if you want to further customize the look of your Stampede.

Sourcing Your Stampede Upgrade Parts

Since Traxxas is well supported in almost every region, you can likely find these upgrades at your local hobby store. If you cannot, or just wish to save a few extra bucks, all of these parts are available from Amazon as well. You can use the part numbers listed above to search for your components on Amazon or order them from your local shop. Most 4WD and 2WD Traxxas parts tend to vary in size and fitment, so make sure to always verify the part numbers before completing your orders.

Check back to see how these upgrades turn out when installed on our son’s Craniac.

Soon to be upgraded. Stay tuned.
Soon to be upgraded. Stay tuned.
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In the early days, spending tons of money on an RC car definitely feels unjustified and impractical (until you fall deeply in love with this hobby, that is). Buying a low cost starter car, however, can be quite a gamble due to the differences in build quality across the various model lines.

RC Driver Magazine’s review of the fun, durable and affordable BZ-444 RTR by Basher/BSR Racing can help you narrow down your options in your search for the perfect starter RC. Click on the picture below to the read this incredibly thorough review and determine if this car is the right choice for you.

BZ-444 RTR Review

 

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Fresh Painted Raptor Body For The Stampede

In true monster truck fashion, the bodies on the Stampede suffer extreme damage from all of the high speed cartwheels and flips. The stock body ripped at the rear post holes within a couple months of occasional usage. Even the the replacement body, the ’72 C10 from Proline, also started to come apart along the bed section after just a few months.

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Unfortunately, the damage not only ruins the aesthetics, but also allows the body to flop around uncontrollably down the straights and over jumps.

To replace the Chevy body, we picked up the new F-150 Raptor SVT body designed specifically for the Stampede. The bold styling of the Raptor is a good match for the performance of the monster truck chassis.

The body is clear to allow you to paint it any color you wish. We chose Tamiya PS-38 Translucent Blue for the initial coats and Tamiya PS-17 Metallic Green for the base coat. About five coats of each color were applied with a 10-minute break in between. After letting the paint dry for about an hour, the window masking stickers were removed. We applied a single coat of Tamiya PS-31 Smoke to tint the windows.

The blue and green layers combined to create a beautiful metallic teal color that slightly changes with the light. Unfortunately, without an additional backing, the paint remains somewhat transparent. You can easily see the wires and chassis inside in bright light or while standing at the right angle. We will likely mask the windows and apply a few coats of black or white paint to either darken or brighten the teal tones.

For now, here are the results..

In The Shade

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In The Sunlight

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The sunny season is quickly on its way, so I hope you all are ready to start running your cars at the track once again. If your old RC cars and trucks are too beat and battle-worn to live through another season, you may want to give them a rest by purchasing a brand new model. You can avoid delays by picking up RTR RC cars that are just raring to blast down the straights, hug tight corners and fly off the jumps. Here are three brand new RTR vehicles available for your springtime track days.

RS4 Sport 3

HPI released their newest RTR model, the shaft-driven RS4 Sport 3, late last year. The original $400 price tag has recently started dropping to affordable levels, depending on the body style and tire configuration you prefer. You can choose from the bright orange BMW E30 M3, urban camo Porsche 911 GT3R or the blue and white Subaru BRZ. The M3 comes equipped with treaded rubber tires, so you can start your street racing journey ASAP. Both the 911 and BRZ come with drift tires to suit their respective Flux and Drift designations. You will pay between $259.98 and 319.98 for these cars.

Team Associated Apex Scion Racing

Team Associated released their Apex with the 2015 Scion FR-S body to encourage serious competition on the tarmac. The four-wheel drive, aluminum shaft driven car can whip around the track without worry about small rocks or other debris in the way. The fluid-filled coilover shocks keep the car hugging the ground while traveling at high speeds or maneuvering around fast corners. The car can use up to a 2S lipo or 6 cell NiMh battery. You can add this car to your collection for just $259.98.

ARRMA Fury BLX

If you prefer a dirt capable short course truck, ARRMA has your back with their Fury BLX. This model comes brushless and ready to run to allow you to blast down the track on the day of its arrival. You can easily upgrade the motor and speed control in the future, as you see fit, of course. The use of strip-resistant hex hardware throughout the chassis allows for easy upgrades that keep your truck in great condition year after year. Drizzly springtime days won’t stop you, thanks to the stock waterproof components used throughout the build. The Fury BLX is just $259.98.

Disclaimer: I shop around for every purchase, but time and time again, Tower Hobbies offers the best deals. If you can find even better prices somewhere else, please let me know.

Do not forget to use the coupon codes for additional savings. For $24 off $199 or more, use 410KD. For $33 off $299, use 410KE.

 

 

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4 New Cars Added To The Pack

Now that the holidays are over, I can share all of the new cars that joined our pack. Each of us in the family added a new vehicle to our collection. Our goal in obtaining these cars was to better enjoy our time at the local dirt track. The cars in this list are all highly capable taking the jumps, corners and straight aways at high speeds. Future upgrades will only serve to improve their performance in these areas. With the exception of the Fury, the following RC cars are completely stock at this time.

Fury

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The ARRMA Fury Mega is a short course truck that comes ready to run. At first glance, you’ll notice that this truck looks a whole lot bigger than other 1/10 scale electric trucks. With its 21-inch length, 11-inch width and 8-inch height, this vehicle has a truly intimidating presence. This base model truck features a 15T brushed motor, programmed speed control and waterproof servo. The high traction tires are durable without compromising grip for run after run at the track. Since its purchase, the Fury has received a motor and ESC upgrade with the Castle Creations Sidewinder 3 5700.

Bandit

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My newest vehicle is the Traxxas Bandit Pink Edition. This ultra cute buggy performs exceptionally well on the local dirt track. In typical buggy style, this little vehicle launches off the jumps and lands smoothly every time. I received this buggy to replace my XV-01, which struggles with the large dirt jumps covered in thick carpet pads. This buggy also comes ready to run with a Titan 12T 550 motor, XL-5 ESC and 7-cell battery. All of the components are waterproof, which is definitely nice in rainy Seattle. The pink, black and yellow paint scheme looks great and is easy to spot on the track.

Craniac

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For our son, we picked up the rugged and powerful Craniac, as his first hobby RC. This red truck is styled as a realistic monster with fanged teeth and glaring eyes. The Craniac runs on the Stampede platform for never-ending wheelies, flips and speed runs. The RTR platform comes with a Titan 12T 550 motor, XL-5 speed control and 7 cell hump pack battery all in waterproof cases. The truck is designed to reach speeds up to 30 MPH stock. Until our boy learns the finer art of steering and throttle control, this RC is going to remain stock.

Rustler

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For her first hobby RC, our daughter received the Courtney Force Rustler by Traxxas. This colorful Rustler also comes ready to run with the typical Traxxas fare: 12T motor, XL-5 speed control and 7 cell battery pack in waterproof cases. The ProGraphix body features a beautiful color scheme in light blue, dark blue, red, black and green. This RC truck performs well on every surface imaginable from grass and dirt to tarmac and gravel. I expect that we will need to upgrade this truck in the near future as our daughter improves her handling abilities on the track.

Do you have any upgrade suggestions for our cars? Respond below with your build ideas.

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Okay, first I would like to apologize for my absence. I had some health/dental problems that kept me inside the house and far from my RC cars.

Now for the big news.. Seattle RC Racers club has completed the on road track structure and added the temporary layout. The track is located right next to the off road track at South 136th St. and 20th Avenue South in Seatac.

Additional work will go into creating a permanent track layout. I will get out there and take some pictures and videos of my own soon! Hope to see you there.

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Finally Here!

Guess what finally arrived!? That’s right, my slipper clutch for the XV-01.

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Can’t wait to get it installed and try it out.

Next up, universal shaft hop ups. Keep losing the dog bones left and right over jumps. What are your next planned RC car hop ups?

 

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Painting New RC Car Bodies

We recently added three new RC bodies to our collection, the Lancia Delta Integrale, 72 Chevy C10 and the R32 Skyline. All three bodies started off clear and required custom paint to finish. We elected to use Tamiya paints all around due to their availability, price and quality. We were able to pick up the polycarbonate paints locally from Galaxy Hobby and HobbyTown USA.

Before painting, we carefully cut out the bodies using lexan scissors. We washed the bodies out with a small amount of dish soap and cool water. We removed all excess moisture with a couple thick paper towels. To finish up the prep process, we applied window-masking stickers to keep paint from adhering to those areas.

Lancia Delta Integrale XV-01

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Although the suggested bright white paint and iconic Martini livery looks absolutely stunning, I elected to go in a different direction with my Lancia. I selected the Tamiya Iridescent green and purple paint for my car. I left off the livery in favor of using just a few key accents.

As I added each coat of the iridescent paint, the body remained clear with just a hint of sparkly color. The iridescent paint received a thorough coat of PS-5 black backing to instantly allow the color to develop. I used one can each of the iridescent color and black backing to create the deepest tones possible. The plastic mirrors, spoiler and grill received a coat of Tamiya plastic paint in black.

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72 Chevy C10 Stampede

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For the C10, we elected to use Tamiya camel yellow paint with a black racing stripe, bumper and bed. Before starting the painting process on this body, it was necessary to tape off the racing stripe, bumpers and bed. We kept the tape in place while coating the rest of the body in yellow, and then a Tamiya white backing.

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After carefully peeling off the tape, a thorough coat of black was applied across the entire body. The black backing color filled in the racing stripes and bed to create the desired final appearance. The combination of a white and black backing also brightened the camel yellow tones considerably.

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Skyline R32 TT-02D

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The R32 Skyline received Tamiya fluorescent orange paint with a bright silver backing to create a metallic effect. We applied the entire can of orange paint to the body for the richest tones possible. The result still looked a bit translucent, however. Three coats of bright silver were sprayed on next to create a stunning metallic finish.

We sprayed on a single coat of white paint as a backing, though it didn’t have much effect. Since the body ended up having some odd white spots, I would skip the white next time in favor of a darker backing. Some people state they’ve had good luck using a black, copper or red backing with the fluorescent orange.

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Finishing Up With Tinted Windows

After finishing the painting process for all three cars, we carefully peeled back the tape on the windows. A couple coats of Tamiya smoke paint were applied to each one to create a tinted window effect. In my opinion, the effect turned out the best on the C10 body. On the Lancia and Skyline, it appears slightly blurry rather than a clean dark tint.

The bodies were fun to paint and turned out really well. They looked so good, in fact, that it was difficult to take them out bashing the next day. The only consolation was the thought of being able to paint new bodies once these ones start looking totally thrashed.

While we’re on the topic, do you guys have any suggestions for alternate bodies for the XV-01? The Lancia is already starting to look a little beat up!

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Disclaimer: All Tamiya paint links are from my affiliate account at Amazon. Thank you in advance!

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