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Thread: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

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Old 01-12-2023, 08:01 AM   #1
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Default TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

I have two boys, and they are hard on our RC rigs. But repairing and upgrading those broken parts is half the fun of this hobby.

This TRX-4 Sport is one of our first crawlers and has seen many adventures. I'm proud of its patina.

But the gears are crunchy, the mud has worn down some bearings, and it's time for a restoration.

Most recently, we put a plow on it to help clear snow up here in Maine, which has increased the stress on the drivetrain.





Here are a few shots of the "patina":













So, let's tear this down and inspect:













Follow along for the next step: degrease, soak the greasy bits, and inspect the parts.
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Old 01-12-2023, 04:45 PM   #2
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

I soaked all of the metal overnight to de-grease. I use a combo of mineral spirits first, Chemical Guys De-greaser for the plastics, then some Isopropyl to finish it.

I replaced all of the hardware with stainless and replaced the crunchy bearings. All parts have been lubed, and I used Traxxas's gear grease on all the gears.

Time to rebuild:





































Next step: Refurbish the steel suspension links and replace rod ends as necessary.
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Old 01-13-2023, 04:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Sanded the rust off of the rails. I'll hit it with a quick blast of black enamel.



Put the shocks, pivot balls, and rod ends through the ultrasonic cleaner.







Drained the shock oil and put fresh 40wt in.



Sanded the rust and painted off the links. I might leave them brushed and put some clear enamel on them.




Last edited by casco_bay_rc; 01-13-2023 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Added shocks
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Old 01-14-2023, 06:05 PM   #4
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Axles and transmission are assembled, lubed, and ready:



The rails are ready. Drivetrain assembled:



The brushed (stock) links look at home here:





Let's complete the chassis:





And let's not forget the upgrades:

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Old 01-14-2023, 08:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Looking awesome so far man and great documentation!!!
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Old 01-14-2023, 08:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

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Originally Posted by AK KRAWLER View Post
Looking awesome so far man and great documentation!!!
Appreciated buddy. I'm surprised with how the links turned out with a little sanding. They look aftermarket. I slapped a coat of matte clear enamel on them, too.
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Old 01-14-2023, 10:07 PM   #7
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Default TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Nice write up and detailed pics. Rig looks to be in pretty good shape.

You mentioned that you cleaned with a ultrasonic cleaner. By chance would you have a pic of it or know the brand? Iíve been looking to get one but have no idea what to buy. Thanks.


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Old 01-14-2023, 10:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Excellent! It looks great


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Old 01-17-2023, 07:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

After a brief respite in the mountains, I got back to it.

I applied a vinyl/plastic protectant to all the soft parts, and the results were stunning. These parts look new, and they repel dirt and water quickly.



I painted the body between adding parts back to the chassis.



I painted the bed, flares, and sills with truck bed paint. I'm hoping once I remove the masking, it turns out okay



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Old 01-17-2023, 07:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

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Originally Posted by twade984 View Post
Excellent! It looks great


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Thank you

I'm almost done with it. It's incredible what severe cleaning, sanding, and care can do to a five-year-old abused rig to make it look new(er) again.

Last edited by casco_bay_rc; 01-17-2023 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 01-17-2023, 07:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by B-MOW71 View Post
Nice write up and detailed pics. Rig looks to be in pretty good shape.

You mentioned that you cleaned with a ultrasonic cleaner. By chance would you have a pic of it or know the brand? Iíve been looking to get one but have no idea what to buy. Thanks.


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Thank you.

I bought a cheap unit off of Amazon, and that lasted for a few months

I then bought a slightly nicer unit online: Here

And this one has lasted longer.

The key to these cleaners, I've found, is to find the right solution to degrease parts, remove dirt, or brighten them up. Water alone does nearly nothing. You need to add a surfactant.
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Old 01-17-2023, 09:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Very nice, love a good rebuild thread. There's something very satisfying to taking a beat up R/C and bringing it back to new. That looks better than new!

Wow, that ultrasonic cleaner does wonders...I do it the old fashioned way with hot soapy water, a couple of brushes and a few choice curse words and my parts never get fully clean - there's a lot of "nooks and crannies' that are hard to get into.
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Old 01-17-2023, 03:22 PM   #13
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

It turns out my masking was okay. So, here's the final product:



































































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Old 01-17-2023, 03:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

To summarize:
  • I tore down my sons' TRX-4 Sport with Traxx to individual parts, nuts, and bolts.
  • Cleaned each part with an ultrasonic cleaner.
  • Degreased all of the drivetrain parts.
  • Sanded down metal and plastic parts to even out the finish.
  • Sanded the rust off the chassis rails and hit it with matte black enamel.
  • Created a brushed finish on the suspension links.
  • Re-assembled the drivetrain with fresh grease.
  • Re-filled the shocks with new 40wt.
  • Painted a new body in Lime Pearl with the bed, flares, and sills in truck bed coating paint.
  • Applied vinyl protector to all soft parts to restore the finish.
  • Added Traxxas's winch.
  • Add a full lighting system to the body and expedition rack.
  • Replaced every fastener with stainless steel equivalents.

I put the original set of wheels and tires back on while I start the restoration of the Traxx. I'll post that in a separate thread.

Last edited by casco_bay_rc; 01-18-2023 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 01-17-2023, 04:23 PM   #15
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

That's some satisfying work. I bet the boys love it.
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:35 AM   #16
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Man, that looks brand new! Excellent work!

I think the body turned out great! Great color and the black textured accents on the outside look great too!

Thanks for the info on the ultrasonic cleaner. I really need to pick one of them up!
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Old 01-18-2023, 07:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by B-MOW71 View Post
Man, that looks brand new! Excellent work!

I think the body turned out great! Great color and the black textured accents on the outside look great too!

Thanks for the info on the ultrasonic cleaner. I really need to pick one of them up!
Thanks, bud

The only new parts on it are the body, the 400 servo, the lighting kit added later, and the winch. All the plastic/nylon parts are original, and all the suspension and gearing components are. I only had to replace a handful of crunchy bearings. If you look closely, you can still see battle scars.

You can't go wrong with an ultrasonic cleaner.
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Old 01-24-2023, 05:57 AM   #18
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

Great documentary. I did something similar just last week in my Sport.

The only thing I would have addedto your upgrades would be the bearings. They will rust and corrode eventually and upgrading them to stainless steel to replace the chrome steel would have been a worthwhile investment, The factory bearings had to be tossed out as they were beyond repair after owning the truck for only 4 months (through all the elements).
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Old 01-24-2023, 08:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by CosmoM3 View Post
Great documentary. I did something similar just last week in my Sport.

The only thing I would have addedto your upgrades would be the bearings. They will rust and corrode eventually and upgrading them to stainless steel to replace the chrome steel would have been a worthwhile investment, The factory bearings had to be tossed out as they were beyond repair after owning the truck for only 4 months (through all the elements).
I tested each bearing after cleaning, and only a few were too crunchy to save. These bearings, too, went through a lot of submersion in snow and mud.

Upon reinstallation, I put a drop of bearing lube (the kind racers use), which seems to mitigate rust. I do this with all of my RC vehicles.

But, your suggestion would be the best upgrade over all of that.

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Old 01-24-2023, 09:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: TRX4 Sport Teardown and Restoration Thread

That green is just down right sexy. Fantastic overhaul...
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