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.
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.


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




In The Sunlight



Finally Here!

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


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?


Finding Tamiya Parts in Seattle

After a few nice runs at the outdoor RC track in SeaTac, my spur and pinion gears started to shriek, necessitating immediate replacement. Once I arrived home, I called around to see if any shops carry my parts. Unfortunately, I found that the majority don’t. Fantasy World Hobbies in Tacoma, HobbyTown USA in Tukwila and Remote Control Hobbies in Covington do not keep any Tamiya parts in stock. Luckily, I can find the items I need at Galaxy Hobby in Lynnwood and from few key online retailers.

Galaxy Hobby

Galaxy Hobby has a small a selection of Tamiya parts in the aisle and behind the counter. The parts I noticed are generally for the TT-01, TT-02 and XV-01. I was able to find my spur and pinion gears there for immediate purchase. Unfortunately, this shop did not have the hop up parts I was searching for (XV-01 slipper clutch and universal drive shafts).

Online Retailers


Although Amazon carries Tamiya parts, most of the suppliers are based in Japan. As a result, you may be waiting for months for your part to arrive. If you can wait, however, the price is often quite a bit lower here. I went ahead and purchased the slipper clutch through this site for $36 total with free shipping, rather than over $50 from other retailers. Since I’m not in a hurry and wanted to save a bit of money on the purchase, this deal worked best for me.

Tower Hobbies

For reasonable prices and quick shipping times, I head over to Tower Hobbies for my Tamiya parts. This site lists most of the stock and upgrade components for my cars. Small parts under $5 ship for free, while larger parts orders are given the $1.99 shipping rate. You can expedite shipping for $4.99 total. There are even one and two day shipping options available for quite a bit more.


You can buy your parts directly from Tamiya, but the listed price sits firmly at retail. You cannot apply discounts on your parts, but you can rest assured you are receiving official factory replacement or upgrade components. Shipping costs vary from region to region and order to order. If your order totals more than $50, however, the parts ship free. I often use this site to confirm part numbers or learn about hop up components I didn’t know even existed.

If you know of any good place to find Tamiya parts, please share them here.

4 Places to Find RC Drift Tires

As you slide your drift car over the pavement, the rough surface rapidly sands down the hard plastic material at a surprising rate. My first set of drift tires lasted about 12 hours of runtime tops. Although I had the bright idea of raising the body to compensate, the flat spots on the tire surface affected the handling characteristics of my car too much.

So, at that point, I resigned myself to the fact that I would be buying drift tires every two weeks if I kept practicing that often. To save my pocketbook from ruin, I knew I needed to find some great deals on RC drift tires.

My search revealed the four following options as a great starting point.


Raikou is a small-scale RC parts supplier with a wide range of drift tires available on their site. RC enthusiasts confirm the supplier’s claims that their most popular tire, the D70, withstands constant abuse without wearing down too quickly.

Many of the other options are precisely cut to allow intense camber adjustments that totally change the stance of your drift vehicle. You can even pick up narrow 24mm tires to emulate the ever-popular stretched look.

Before you make your selections, read the listings carefully. Some of the sets come with two tires, while others arrive in sets of four. With shipping, you will likely pay just under $20 for four drift tires.

Tower Hobbies

Tower Hobbies carries a large selection of drift tires from HPI Racing and Team Associated. If you want to save money on your order, go with the smooth drift tires lacking the simulated tread pattern.

All of the listings vary in quantity and contents. Some of the tires come in sets of four with rims, sets of two without, and vice versa. Before adding your selections to the cart, check the right side of the button for the ‘In Stock’ designation. Otherwise, you could be waiting weeks to months for your parts to arrive.

Remember to apply the 011P1 coupon code if your order totals more than $55 to save $8. Orders over $99 ship free, unless you happen to make your purchase during the limit drop to $49.


Unlike the other options on this list, many of the drift tire sets on Amazon come with rims. Considering the low price of this combo offer, however, it’s not likely the rims are the highest quality. Therefore, if you regularly crash your car into curbs, walls and other obstructions, you might just want to mount the drift tires on stronger rims from the get go.

On the other hand, you are not losing much if you give the provided rims a try.

Although I have not tried out these tires and rims myself, the 5 spoke white set, 5 spoke green set and Hobbypower black set all feature good reviews. All three sets are priced under $15 shipped for a set of four, if you have Prime.

Local Hobby Shops

Check your local hobby shops for drift tire options and deals whenever you can. If the demand is there, hobby shop owners will start to keep these tires in stock for their loyal customers.

Many of the hobby shops will also order the requested tires for customers who request that service. Although you may end up paying a few dollars more for a full set than when buying online, the ability to have the tires that day is usually well worth the extra cost.

Plan Your Tire Replacements

Refer back to these listings anytime to pick up drift tires before yours start to wear too thin. I tend to replace my drift tires when the body starts to lightly drag on the ground. Other factors may play into your replacement timing, however, depending on your chassis type and personal preferences.

**Disclaimer: I’ve provided affiliate links in this post. If you’re not comfortable following those links, go through the supplier’s main page to source and purchase the item in question. Thanks.