I recently got my first Fast Traxx, it’s the 27MHz neon-green pickup truck version. Having no experience with these vehicles, the only things I knew when I bought it were that the treads were still intact and the remote’s LED came on when I put in a fresh 9volt. The truck was complete, no missing remote, battery doors, treads, etc., so I went for it.
When I got home, I immediately started cleaning and disassembling the truck. I found a forum thread where other owners’ front wheels had broken, and sure enough mine was busted, too (must be a common issue for the Fast Traxx). Each front wheel has 2 rims, creating a channel in the middle for the tread teeth. I didn’t get a pic of it, but the left-inside rim was broken and just flopping around on the axle. I removed and cleaned the front end and used JB Weld to repair the wheel. I used 2 C-clamps to hold the wheel together while it was drying, making sure that the 2 rims were parallel. Here is the end result:
So far the JB Weld is holding up. It’s easy to see why the wheels break so easily, I even thought about reinforcing the other wheels with some JB Weld, but “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, right?
I also used JB Weld to fix the battery door. One of the little pivot nubs broke off, so I put some JB Weld on that area and positioned the door vertically on it’s side so that the JB Weld would drip a little. Once the JB Weld is hard enough (6 hours?) you can mold it a little, and I jut tried to match the unbroken nub from the other side. I don’t have an in-progress pic of the repair, but I can show you the end result.
At first I wasn’t confident about this fix, and I still have a delicate touch when swapping batteries, but it’s held up for a while now. If I had to do it all over again, I would just “plastic solder” a piece of model sprue (Plastic rod) on the door instead.
The gearbox was the trickiest part to take apart and reassemble, but not too bad. There was some sand in there making the gears stick. I cleaned out all the gear teeth with an Xacto knife and cleaned out the whole gearbox. I meant to put a little lithium grease in it, but my tube was missing so I reassembled it dry. I’ll probably lube it a little the next time I’m fiddling with it, but I run some of my hobby-grade transmissions dry, so I figure it should be ok for now.
Luckily, the electronics were in good shape, but all my old NiCd batteries are no good. I found a 2200mah NiMH and charger made by Tenergy at my local Fry’s Electronics (about $20). This battery should last over 3 times longer than the old 700mah NiCd, and the charger has an indicator LED (invaluable). It would be best to charge it on my peak charger, but this way I can charge my hobby-grades and toy-grades at the same time. If you don’t mind waiting, you can also get packs off of eBay cheap ($6 for an 18oomah pack, free shipping), but you’ll have to wait a month for them to get here from Hong Kong.
During it’s first 2 runs, the treads had a tendency to pop off every couple of minutes. I’m not sure if this was common for the model or because my treads are so old, but it sure is annoying (and probably damaging). I remember seeing an eBay listing for a Fast Traxx where the owner claimed to have shortened the treads, but I’m not sure how that could be done. I may attempt to make an adapter to extend the wheelbase in the future.
The truck cleaned up nicely enough. The chassis looked almost new, but the body is still a bit rough thanks to the decals and windshield scratches. The decals were poorly applied, and dirt got under them in several spots. They’re also pretty scratched up. I thought about cleaning up the decals by cutting off the excess clear parts. You can’t really notice the dirt and scratches on printed areas, but they really stand out where the body is supposed to show through. Given that it’s a cosmetic thing and could likely make the truck look worse, I’m leaving it as is for now. Here’s some pics of the end-result. I can never remember to take pics BEFORE I get it dirty so excuse the dust. 🙂