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Project Track Bae: The Monster Stadium Truggy

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Project Track Bae: The Monster Stadium Truggy

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Old 05-04-2019, 11:08 AM
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Default Project Track Bae: The Monster Stadium Truggy

I walked into the a local track after 20 years and the racing but bit hard. I needed a truck immediately. I've been a loyal HPI guy since the late 90's, and I stubbornly refuse to change. But the scene has changed since I was last involved. Stadium trucks, Ni-MH batteries, and brushed motors aren't really things anymore. Even HPI itself wasn't the RC powerhouse I remembered. But I'm still an HPI guy, and I wanted an electric stadium truck (even though the class barely exists nowadays). 4WD would be nice, but I'd settle for 2WD. I've got two HPI RS4 MT's that are in fighting shape, but they're both 22 years old. They're literally old enough to drink. Plus, they weren't designed with brushless power in mind. The Firestorm looked nice, but due to it's age, parts support isn't exactly great. HPI's Jumpshot looks cool, but 4WD would be so much cooler. Then I ran across the Bullet. It checked all my boxes. But reviews were less than stellar. Every thread, every page, every video, every piece of media I saw on it referenced broken parts. The Jumpshot seemed like a much better proposition. The twin-plate chassis looked like it'd withstand literally any abuse I could dish out. But the Bullet and the WR8 are fraternal twins, parts support is abundant, and I simply cannot resist a project that's too big, too expensive, and overly involved. Hence, Project Track Bae: The Monster Stadium Truggy. Forget track-ready; I intend to make this Bullet track-lethal...





Monster: It's got a 272mm wheelbase, massive, oversized tires, bumpers/brush guards, and EIGHT (8!) shocks. (Going down to four shocks make infinitely more sense, but the eight shock setup looks super mean, and was one of the most appealing things about this platform, so they're staying.)
Stadium [Truck]: I intend to bump the wheelbase up to 295mm or so,fit some 2.2 inch wheels/tires, and find a nice stadium truck body. Just like a proper stadium truck.
Truggy: This thing has got three diffs and six axles... o.O

Okay. Regardless of what the box says, the Bullet ST is 125% monster truck. That low[-ish]-slung body and those 5 spoke wheels aren't fooling anyone. Upon getting the truck, I immediately started tearing things off of it. The body and wheels were on eBay before the truck was out of the box. The cumbersome battery box thing was next. Yah, I'm losing bashability by the moment, but this will be built strictly for the track, so whatever. Then I began ordering parts...





EDIT: I apologize to anyone viewing this on PC for the pic size. I cannot figure out how to make them not take up the entire screen...
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Old 05-04-2019, 11:34 AM
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Wow, two people with interest in a 7 year old truck in 24 hours.

I had brief interest in the Bullet back in 2012. Store owner talked me out of it. And stopped carrying them. Hpi was in bad place then. I’m interested to hear how it goes for you.

Oh the Firestom was updated about 4 years ago. But never heard much after. Bankruptcy and new ownership followed.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:54 PM
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I donít want to put water on the flame but the integy parts will disappoint both you and your wallet sooner than later. Good old fashioned plastic will take more abuse, especially coming back from a 20 year hibernation from driving.

Maybe taking the long road will be more enjoyable along the coast, but this road seems to have nothing but dry desert without any trees or greens to be seen out the window.

either way, good luck with your build. Iím curious to see the end result.
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Old 05-04-2019, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Billy Kelly View Post
Wow, two people with interest in a 7 year old truck in 24 hours.

I had brief interest in the Bullet back in 2012. Store owner talked me out of it. And stopped carrying them. Hpi was in bad place then. I’m interested to hear how it goes for you.

Oh the Firestom was updated about 4 years ago. But never heard much after. Bankruptcy and new ownership followed.
I'm the other guy you're talking about.

- - -

You made the right call buying aluminum hubs and front CVDs immediately. The aluminum chassis braces may or may not be helpful, depending on how strong they are. The rest of the aluminum stuff you can return, you won't need it.

I have HPI aluminum shocks on my Bullets, but only because they have threaded shock bodies and because I just like aluminum shocks; the stock plastic shocks worked fine for years.

Aluminum shock towers are a waste of money on this truck since the body posts are integrated into the shock towers. The aluminum body posts won't even line-up with the holes cut into the body shell, at least based on my personal experience anyway. Besides, having some flex in the body posts is a good idea to prevent damage during rollovers; I'd rather have to re-bend a body post than replace a shock tower or diff bulkhead.

Don't bother with those X-Ray turnbuckles; the weak points in the suspension linkages aren't the turnbuckles anyway, they're the sloppy ball-ends. Get some pre-assembled Traxxas suspension linkages and adjust them to the length you need; that's what I did.

My builds:

Build Complete: HPI Bullet ST Nitro
Build Complete: HPI Bullet MT Nitro
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:10 AM
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Wow that car just plain looks fragile.
Enjoy
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by RCSteveH View Post
I donít want to put water on the flame but the integy parts will disappoint both you and your wallet sooner than later. Good old fashioned plastic will take more abuse, especially coming back from a 20 year hibernation from driving.

Maybe taking the long road will be more enjoyable along the coast, but this road seems to have nothing but dry desert without any trees or greens to be seen out the window.

either way, good luck with your build. Iím curious to see the end result.
Normally, I'd agree wholeheartedly, but the Bullet is NOTORIOUS for it's soft, brittle plastics. The hub carriers tend to disintegrate, and I've seen plenty of pics of the shock towers split into multiple pieces. Guys used to ziptie them back together, LOL. The only plastic that I never saw broken pieces of were the arms, the shocks, and the diff cases. I even saw a plastic steering rack that had given up the ghost...

Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
...You made the right call buying aluminum hubs and front CVDs immediately. The aluminum chassis braces may or may not be helpful, depending on how strong they are. The rest of the aluminum stuff you can return, you won't need it.

I have HPI aluminum shocks on my Bullets, but only because they have threaded shock bodies and because I just like aluminum shocks; the stock plastic shocks worked fine for years.

Aluminum shock towers are a waste of money on this truck since the body posts are integrated into the shock towers. The aluminum body posts won't even line-up with the holes cut into the body shell, at least based on my personal experience anyway. Besides, having some flex in the body posts is a good idea to prevent damage during rollovers; I'd rather have to re-bend a body post than replace a shock tower or diff bulkhead.

Don't bother with those X-Ray turnbuckles; the weak points in the suspension linkages aren't the turnbuckles anyway, they're the sloppy ball-ends. Get some pre-assembled Traxxas suspension linkages and adjust them to the length you need; that's what I did.

My builds:

Build Complete: HPI Bullet ST Nitro
Build Complete: HPI Bullet MT Nitro
Your builds are SICK. Yah, for the most part, I only went for aluminum when multiple people reported breakages. Knuckles and hub carriers, really. A couple of people said that the rear chassis brace can start to bend and warp over time after enough hard landings, so I went with an aluminum one. Then I got one for the front because I wanted it to match. I opted for CF shock towers because I wanted more shock mounting options. The stock tower's single mounting points felt restrictive. I went with Firestorm shocks because they have served me well in the past, they can be had for cheap, and they are threaded/adjustable without spring spacers. And I feel you on the turnbuckles. There's no logical reason to go down to a 3mm turnbuckle from a 3.5mm one. Especially for a truck that's this heavy. I'll save them for my next actual HPI ST.

Originally Posted by KoP View Post
Wow that car just plain looks fragile.
Enjoy
Stock, it kinda is. Or it can be, depending on how hard you are on it.

I wanted a longer chassis and a center diff as opposed to the stock truck's slipper clutch and short, stubby chassis. Exotek's looked sick. I was concerned about flex/resilience, but the aluminum center brace removes all flex once it's bolted on...



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Old 05-05-2019, 02:52 PM
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I like what I see, off to a great start! The only thing I can think of that will almost guarantee better track performance would be almost any 1/10 sct/st shock that has aftermarket pistons/options available. Love the CF bits and chassis. (:
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by KoP View Post
Wow that car just plain looks fragile.
Enjoy
Like I said, the hubs are undersized, the diffs need better internal shims, and the front dogbones have a bad habit of popping out and getting stuck during cartwheel crashes, but other than that...no, it really isn't fragile. It doesn't have a full upper deck, but the lower deck is 3.5mm 6061 aluminum, which is usually reserved for 1/8-scale trucks. It's actually quite a tough truck. I don't know how many times I sent mine tumbling at 30mph without breaking.

I can't comment on the durability of the Exotek CF lower deck. I assume the main part is plenty strong, but I worry about that bolted-together joint between the lower deck and the front bulkhead. Drilled holes are always weak points, doubly-so in composite materials.
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Old 05-06-2019, 08:12 AM
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I always enjoy seeing somebody take a vehicle that isn't the norm and experiment with it to make it what they want. The easy Road would have been to get a race kit or something similar. To me, this is a very fun part of the hobby. I've done similar projects in the past, and the end result always made me smile.
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Old 05-06-2019, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
...I can't comment on the durability of the Exotek CF lower deck. I assume the main part is plenty strong, but I worry about that bolted-together joint between the lower deck and the front bulkhead. Drilled holes are always weak points, doubly-so in composite materials.
That was the first thing I noticed. That's the chassis' weak point, no question. That was the other reason I opted for an aluminum front anti-bending plate (or brace or whatever the official term is). The connecting point is actually pretty beefy on it's own, but I figure triangulating it with an overabundance of aluminum might actually help. I suppose I'll find out at some point.



Originally Posted by MaX-D View Post
I always enjoy seeing somebody take a vehicle that isn't the norm and experiment with it to make it what they want. The easy Road would have been to get a race kit or something similar. To me, this is a very fun part of the hobby. I've done similar projects in the past, and the end result always made me smile.
Man. I almost settled for a Firestorm, but the challenge/potential of the Bullet was just too much to resist. I love building a one of a kind kit. If it doesn't work out, I was warned. But if it performs like I hope it will, not only will I be dominating, I'll be the only guy at the track running one.







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Old 05-06-2019, 09:22 PM
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The triangulated braces on the front are probably more than good enough for nose-down and belly-flop landings, but I'm concerned it won't provide adequate reinforcement for one-wheel landings where the front bulkhead gets twisted because the truck landed asymmetrically. I suppose the worst-case scenario is you'd have to switch back to the stock chassis plate, which I know from experience is very strong. I only had to replace one chassis plate, and that was before I discovered the need for aluminum braces.

In any event, I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Since I'm pretty much the only other person who's put significant effort into a Bullet build in the past few years, I'll be happy to borrow any good ideas you come up with.
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Old 05-07-2019, 12:21 AM
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Have fun with the build. But if it were my money and I wanted 1/10 4wd truck for track use only, I'd buy a Tekno ET410.
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by morgoth View Post
Have fun with the build. But if it were my money and I wanted 1/10 4wd truck for track use only, I'd buy a Tekno ET410.
I looked long and hard at that truck. Repeatedly. But buying a purpose-built truck would have made too much sense, LOL.
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Old 05-08-2019, 08:14 AM
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WR8 drivetrain is in. The cool thing about this chassis is that I can move the motor and batteries for and aft on the chassis. I've got the motor torward the rear, and battery toward the front at the moment.





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Old 05-08-2019, 11:56 AM
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That's looking really good so far, can't wait to see it completed!
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