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-   -   OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard" (http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/traxxas-trx-4/594496-osrcs-trx-4-defender-greybeard.html)

OSRC 01-22-2018 08:33 AM

OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
Other TRX4 Builds:


Finally got around to picking one up. I had some Amazon gift cards from x-mas burning a hole in my pocket so $150 later, I had a grey TRX4 sitting at my front door. My wife commented that the color matched the grey starting to pop up on my facial hair (:flipoff:) so I nicknamed it Greybeard.

Not going to rehash everything that's been said, but I did check a few things out when getting it. Reading the TRX4 threads I wanted to check out the gear mesh and front driveshaft. No rubbing on the driveshaft at all, and my truck definitely meshed best in the C holes. Not sure if there have been running changes but everything was good to go out of the box.

I like the Defender body, no plans to change it at this time. I did pull the rack off and spray the roof white so the body didn't look so bland. Really makes a difference imo. Also pulled the fake winch eyesore off and moved the bumper back 1 hole.

Since it was delivered when it was about 2 degrees outside, the tires had flatspotted somewhat and even letting them sit in front of the heater didn't stretch them back out. I think they look a little chunky anyway, so I swapped over some Falken tires with dual stage foams as I think their narrow width looks much better. Added some GDS wheels with a wrap of lead weights to get some weight down low until I can order some portal weights. Other than that, it was bone stock.

We went out to a local park which is a nice mid level trail for the first run. Plenty of flat trails, with some rocky sections, stream crossings, muddy pits and a decent hill climb. Figured it would be a good test run area. Had a good group of trucks - 2 Cross rigs, SCX10 I & II, and my daughter was wheeling my CR01 mud bomber.

Since it was in the mid 40's after a long stretch of cold and snow, I expected a lot of mud. Turns out most of the trail was still frozen with hints of mud here and there.

I was not expecting a lot from the Falkens. Having run them before, I was not over the top on their performance. I stand corrected...apparently they just need a heavy truck as they worked out pretty good.

I'm not a throttle jocky in any way. I don't really scale out my rigs, but drive in a very scale manner. I focus more on tire placement and throttle control when I wheel. I left the diffs unlocked, and have to say I was blown away at how capable the truck was with the diffs open. Could not believe what this truck went up and over. I suspect that with a lighter body, it would need the diffs locked more often, but with the heavy stocker up top it good good traction just about anywhere. Making me rethink a few things about how I build my other rigs.

I generally do not do waterproofing..nice to have a rig I can tool around in wet areas with.

Steep rock. No lockers needed. Amazing.

Towards the end of the run, the ice was melting and things were definitely getting muddier. As the tires started packing up more, I did have to start locking the diffs and using 2nd gear to get some wheelspeed to get up and over rocks. Great to have options.

All in all, I have to say I was impressed. Driving was a ton of fun seeing what I could get up and over with the open diffs (pretty much everything) - tire placement was key. Shifting into second to get some wheelspeed for the muddy spots and downshifting into first to let it creep down inclines was a ball. If there's a better scale drivers setup out there, I don't know what it is.

Stock steering servo did fine, though I could see it was struggling here in there when wedged in rocks. Not enough for me to replace it yet though.

Noticed my truck was dead silent in 2nd gear, but somewhat loud in first. Not to the point where I was worried about it - just an observation.

As soon as the budget allows, looking into portal weights, bumpers and the Bowhouse battery holder.

Have the feeling this truck is going to get a lot of wheeltime this year. Next run will be a somewhat more difficult location. We'll see how it does there.

JatoTheRipper 01-22-2018 09:12 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
That steep rock climb is pretty impressive especially with that body and that big spare hanging out back. That you did it without lockers is even more impressive.

OSRC 01-22-2018 10:01 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
I'm sure you recognize the spot. Walked right up it from any angle I tried. Rear heavy body and all.

OSRC 01-24-2018 08:11 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
So I plan to mod this in $50 (ish) increments, partly because it's the cool thing to do, and partly because I'm broke.

First $50 went to a set set of wheels. Done! Tires and foams were already in house.

Second step: Got the light kit in and got it installed. Skipped the rock lights and trail bar for now, though I might add the trail bar later. Nice kit, just took forever to get the body apart. Little disappointed with the rear lights....3 holes and only lights in 1? What's going on there?

While I had it apart, I took the dremel and assaulted the tires. Modded tire on the left - I broke up the large center lugs. Seemed to work well on my 2.2's and definitely feels more flexible, we'll see.

Also took the oppurtunity to weigh this pig. I'm at 9.1 lbs right now, with a 47/53 bias. I'd really like to get more weight up front to get it closer to 50/50, if not a little more front biased. I like the scale goodies hanging off the back, but I might make some changes - most notably that spare tire.

OSRC 02-24-2018 01:20 PM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
Time for a few mods. Last time out I had this truck on a more technical trail, and the plastic flex-o-matic bumpers were really a hindrance. Didn't notice it at all on the previous trail run, but with bigger rocks, steeper ascents and just generally gnarlier terrain, really noticed how often I got hung up.

Performed well, but I can't leave anything alone! Don't want to change it too much from the stock Defender look overall as I like it, so tried to keep it understated. First up - added an SSD rear bumper and bowhouse battery tray.

Batteries didn't quite fit with the BH tray, so a bit of time with the Dremel and now they drop right in.

Front got an SSD bumper as well as a set of portal weights to try and get the weight balance more front centered. I've got the wheels weighted as well, not sure if I'm going to leave the weights in there or not. I don't do fast with this, so I like the weight added down low.

Soooo much better!!

Rear also, but man that spare tire....

After a bit of brainstorming, I removed the spare tire and hacked up the rear rack. Kept the scale goodies and just relocated them a bit. Much better clearance out back now, not to mention quite a few ounces less hanging off the back of the body.

Hopefully the weather clears next weekend so I can get this out and play! Think it'll do much better with just these few simple changes. I kinda blew the $50 mod theme though... :)

Inspector86 02-25-2018 12:47 PM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
I'm kinda like you, I was disappointed with the Traxxas light kit. I found the MyTrickRC kit a much better deal and it gives you backup lights, brake lights and turn signals(if you want) for less money.


FANATICRC 02-25-2018 07:03 PM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
A good alternative if you liked the look of the rear tire on the back would have been to get a spare tire cover and wrap a wheel foam for a 2.2 tire which would have given you the look without the weight. I havn't done it myself yet but am in the stages of building my TRX. Considering getting as much unsprung weight as I can first. Going with a complete samix portal overhaul and titanium high clearance links underneath and SSD portal weights....but of course I'll have to save my build budget for a couple months haha...looking great though

OSRC 06-23-2018 09:23 PM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
Haven't really had the chance to run this truck since adding the Bowhouse battery tray, SSD knuckles and bumpers. I've had it out on an easy trail run, and it was so mild the truck never really got to show off what it can do but today I took it to crawler heaven and it got a real test....

Did freaking great. This is a heavy truck - I still have the wheels weighted to counteract the heavy body, and it's a pig - my heaviest 1/10 truck by far. All that weight does wonders for traction though, and the modded Falkens kept up today with Jato's KLR's. It was planted, stable and smooth. I'm still amazed at where this truck goes with unlocked diffs...just manage the weight transfer and it'll get up and over.

Does it go up sheer rock faces and cling to steep sidehills like my more performance oriented trucks? Nope. But that's not how it's set up nor how I drive it. I can't think of a better truck to work your way through the woods on a 3.5 hour looping trail..navigating creek beds, weaving up and over rocks, and fording the creeks. Using second on the flat areas, dropping down to first for the technical sections, and locking diffs when the going gets tough. Such a fun truck to drive, I had a total blast today.

My only complaint is with all that weight, I chewed through about 8400mah in 3.5 hours. Wow. Usually a 4000mah pack gets me through the entire run, no problem. May remove the weight or drop down to a 9t pinion, not sure yet. It really struggles in second with all that weight. The stock servo isn't all that happy about turning weighted wheels and brass portals either, but for the type of driving I do, it's holding up well so far.

A few pics from this morning's run. A poser pic with Jato's Bronco before we went out and got muddy.

Climbing uphill through a creek bed. Water was not running, but there were plenty of muddy holes and exposed rocks. Perfect TRX4 country.

A view ahead.. :)

After the long slog uphill (about an hour) we come downhill though another runoff area and join up with a century old rail bed. There's a few flat straight runs (cruise control is an awesome feature) with quite a few washouts and exposed rocks where nature has taken back over. Quite a few areas to play with high gear here as well.

Lots of little paths meander off the main trail - perfect for exploring. And picture taking of course!

One of the washouts. A fair sized creek has cut through the rail bed here, and it's quite an adventure getting though. I was trying to get a reflection pic, but it had started raining and the light was just terrible. Couldn't get back up the other side, so we had to back off the boards, cross the creek and find an alternate path. Low gear, diffs locked, no problem!

alexleblanc 06-24-2018 04:51 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
I’ve done pretty much the same changes to my TRX4 and love trail running with it. It’s one of the only trucks that stays in my RV for the summer because it’s so versatile, otherwise I change up the 5-6 rigs I bring to where we are camping (go fast, sct, monster trucks or crawlers).

If you remove just the top portion of the rack and leave the cage it tends to me much less prone to tipping, one of the best mods I did for free out of the box.

OSRC 06-24-2018 06:59 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
I like the look of the roof rack as it is, no plans to change it. I'm sure eventually I'll get bored and change it up somehow.

I charged my batteries last night and my two 4000 mah packs only took about 3700mah total and the voltages are good. Not sure how they triggered the LVC...but I didn't use nearly as much battery as I thought. Hmmm...

meatmonkey 06-24-2018 11:44 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
One of my many complaints with the stock esc is that the LVC seems to be permanently set at 3.7-3.8V. Maybe to leave them at storage level? Anyway, its annoying and requires extra packs to be carried on long hikes.

OSRC 06-24-2018 12:02 PM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
Ah, I did not know that. That would certainly do it.

durok 06-24-2018 07:26 PM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
Man, I really like Defenders with a white roof - makes them look more "authentic". ;-)

It's getting to the point that I am seriously thinking that I may need to get one down the road...

Get a silver one and just mask it off and paint it a military green w/ white roof and matte clear over top.

I do still love the Bronco body, but for the rough treatment that these get I'm leaning more towards the Land Rover.

Yours and GrimmTheTourist's black w/white roof rig are prime examples of the look I like! "thumbsup"

OSRC 06-25-2018 05:42 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
Just painting the roof makes it look 100% better imo. I'd almost feel bad banging up a Bronco body... have no qualms running the Defender though!

new2rocks 07-02-2018 09:11 PM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
Glad to see youíre having so much fun with yours. I completely agree with your assessment of this as a trail truck. Itís a lot of fun, and I never get tired of trying out locked vs unlocked diffs in different places.

ScoJac 07-03-2018 03:39 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
I really like the authentic look with the white roof. If you ever want to change out the wheels I own both the sets I linked to below and can say they both look great on the Defender. Nice job "thumbsup"

Gmade SR02 in white and the white SSD 8 Spoke Wagon Wheel

OSRC 07-03-2018 06:54 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"

Originally Posted by new2rocks (Post 5847642)
Glad to see youíre having so much fun with yours. I completely agree with your assessment of this as a trail truck. Itís a lot of fun, and I never get tired of trying out locked vs unlocked diffs in different places.

Traxxas nailed it in my opinion. Debating selling a few rigs to pick up another.


Originally Posted by ScoJac (Post 5847697)
I really like the authentic look with the white roof. If you ever want to change out the wheels I own both the sets I linked to below and can say they both look great on the Defender. Nice job "thumbsup"

Gmade SR02 in white and the white SSD 8 Spoke Wagon Wheel

I like the Gmade wheels a lot, though I thought they narrowed the track a bit too much. I've got another set of wheels on the way. I like the black, but think I can do better.

ScoJac 07-03-2018 08:47 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"

Originally Posted by OSRC (Post 5847733)
Traxxas nailed it in my opinion. Debating selling a few rigs to pick up another.

I like the Gmade wheels a lot, though I thought they narrowed the track a bit too much. I've got another set of wheels on the way. I like the black, but think I can do better.

They are a 2mm positive offset, I picked up some 8mm hexes and that returned the track width back out to a 0mm offset.


TunedUpDiesel 07-09-2018 06:32 PM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"
I love the white roof. I have been wanting to do something to my defender to make it stand out a bit more. Did you just scuff the roof and use regular lexan paint? I am definitely going to tackle it. But after seeing yours, I am debating on painting the entire thing. J

OSRC 07-10-2018 06:59 AM

Re: OSRC's TRX-4 Defender "Greybeard"

Originally Posted by TunedUpDiesel (Post 5849755)
Did you just scuff the roof and use regular lexan paint?

Yes, exactly. It's holding up very well.

I was debating painting the whole thing, but the window stickers make it more trouble than it's worth IMO. Plus, I like the gray. "thumbsup"

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