Traxxas

The Traxxas runs really well with the light kit and an aero kit on. It's very fast and very stable and a good time, even in the dark.

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I had intended for the aero bodywork project to be a simple "bolt on" approach which would require no (permanent) chassis modifications.

This approach imposed that many standard hard-points of the chassis be retained. The motor, the receiver radio box, antennae, the bumper... these all define the minimal boundaries of the bodywork. A place where this has probably the biggest impact on the effectiveness and appearance of the prototype style bodywork is the rear bulkhead.

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After building a prototype of the twin-goose-neck rear wing and diffuser setup, it looked like it could develop even further. Also, the flat floor left quite a bit of unused room under the battery boxes which could be utilized for underfloor tunnels.

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Running a very low, dynamically-loaded chassis requires precise spring and damping rates. However, the Traxxas chassis is optimized for off-road use with provisions for very long-travel suspension. Unfortunately this bias is exactly the opposite from what would be ideal for road use. In stock configuration, the front wheel rate to shock rate ratio is nearly 2:1, allowing a compact shock to take up a very long-travel load from the wheel.

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LMP model needed another round of changes to accommodate some new aero ideas for the underfloor and wing-mount as well as correct some fitment and dimensional issues.

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Decim8 is a brilliant iOS app designed to destroy photos through a expansive set of processors and filters. Aside from curating the selection and sequence of these filters, there is very little in actual user control. The variables built into each step ensures that no two outputs are the same.

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Having addressed most of the problems small rocks pose to running the Rally in the dirt, the car would run long enough to expose yet another issue. When running in decomposed granite with its tiny granules , I noticed my steering block would eventually lock up.

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I intended to avoid any permanent modifications to the Traxxas chassis to accommodate my new bodywork concepts. However, there are a couple relatively simple things which could be done to allow for much more optimal designs.

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Took the back half out for a spin and it looks amazing in motion. Of course there are few places that can use some inner structue, and a few form things to change. Also have to build the new wing mount and rear diffuser. But still, this thing tearing down the street is pretty spectacular.

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Quite happy with how this worked out. Fair bit of complex curved forms changing from the roof down the back, ridiculous to try in paper but totally worked. The character lines flow nicely from the windscreen screen down the sides.

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Starting with the critical roof for fitment. Should fit like a glove over the motor, esc, radio box, and servo.

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Decided to go with a clean, simple Prototyp // theme for the test build... will get to the crazy layered hexagonal themes in later renditions. Right now just need to focus on nailing down fitments and any other adjustments before moving forward with the design.

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As the LMP body design continues to evolve, I needed to work out the most effective airflow management approach for the sidepod design.

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I had a custom chassis-mount light kit built for me by Alpat Tugay via eBay. The whole rig is designed as a self-contained modular layer that fits onto the chassis without any tools or parts modifications. I wanted to be able to easily install the kit for occasional night runs, but leave it off and out of the way for daytime running.

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One more area to address in the pursuit of saving center drives. There's a gaping point of access for rocks and things lurking under the motor. One would think there's too little room here to do much, but turns out there's plenty of space.

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As my skills improve and car speeds increase, the little Traxxas Rally's instability at speed is becoming an issue. The chassis handles so much better without the bodywork on that I believe it's probably more than just a weight consideration.

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My Rally has ground to a halt each time it's been run in decomposed granite or soft dirt. Opening up the underside reveals little rocks and other pulverized stuff getting in through various openings in the underbelly skid and under the motor.

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The internet has a lot of tales about how the Rally can't rally. Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

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Amongst the R/C boards, there's a lot of desire for stability at speed. These little cars can be juiced upwards of 70mph or more, and their short wheelbase and high center of gravity pretty much guarantee they go cartwheeling at the slightest twitch of steering. More often than not, the advice turns to adding weight to achieve stability.

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