Traxxas is well known for making exceptional ready-to-run (RTR) vehicles that are built to be incredibly robust and have proven to be very reliable, especially the ones intended for off-road duty. The Traxxas Bandit is just one of the many off-road vehicles offered by Traxxas and stands out from the others since it is the only one that is not a truck, but rather a 2WD off-road buggy. The Bandit is designed for bashing and having a blast tearing up all types of terrain which makes it a great first time car for someone getting into RC or getting their first off-road vehicle.
For many of us in this hobby we start with a basher vehicle like the Bandit and the natural progression seems to be to then get into racing. Whether it be just some friends getting together on a track that they laid out in a backyard or at a local track for organized RC racing. The Bandit can do a decent job on the track and if you want to get the edge over other 2WD buggies without buying a brand new purpose-built race buggy, there are some things you can do to this buggy to make it more competitive. Pro-Line is the perfect company to turn to for just this purpose. They have a few products that can take your Bandit to the next level in performance and be competitive at the track.
In this article, the most significant of all the changes to make to the Traxxas Bandit to transform it into a race buggy is the installation of the Pro-Line Performance Transmission (#6092-00). The stock transmission in the Bandit is perfect for bashing yet falls a bit short when it comes to track duty. It is rather heavy, is non-adjustable and basically not race inspired in its design. On the other hand, the Pro-Line Performance Transmission was developed specifically for racing and incorporates every feature you would expect in a high-end race transmission. Now if you are thinking that you won’t be able to properly build a race-spec’d transmission, don’t worry because Pro-Line eliminated this issue by offering the transmission pre-assembled. Inside, the sealed, oil-filled differential is packed with 5,000wt diff oil and the slipper has already been set to achieve proper performance.
It is the sealed differential that is the standout component over the stock transmission. Like 1/8-scale buggy diffs, the Pro-Line Performance Differential is completely tunable so that you can adjust it to suit specific track conditions by changing the weight of the diff oil. Inside you will find super smooth and extremely durable steel diff gears along with four O-rings and gasket to keep the diff oil from leaking out. Pro-Line even includes a small bottle of diff oil for when the diff is ready for some maintenance.
Unlike the stock slipper, the Performance Transmission is outfitted with a race-style slipper pad and plate system that is more consistent, lighter and runs truer. Hard anodized aluminum is used for the plates that are designed with vent holes to lower heat buildup thus improving slipper consistency.
Sandwiched between the slipper pads is an extra wide 86-tooth spur gear that is not offset like the stock spur. This setup ensures the spur gear won’t wobble. A clear hard plastic cover protects the slipper and spur gear and comes with a removable rubber cap for easy tension adjustment with a 7mm nut driver.
Part of the performance increase for the Bandit equipped with the Pro-Line transmission is the benefit of weight savings. Not only does it have 20-percent less rotating mass, but it is also 20-percent lighter overall compared to the stock transmission. This translates into quicker acceleration since the motor does not have to work as hard and will yield faster lap times. Pro-Line constructed the transmission with the bottom made of durable high impact plastic while the top gear and idler gear are made up of super strong steel.
There are several other features that help to make the Pro-Line Performance Transmission a great option part for a race buggy.
>>Like the 3mm thick, aluminum motor plate complete with cooling fins that act as a large heat sink so that the motor stays running cool.
>> To keep friction down and offer incredible load capability, Pro-Line uses nothing but high-quality ball bearings throughout the transmission.
>> A clever piece of design work is that the toe block is molded separate from the transmission case to allow for quick and easy access to the tranny when swapping out the diff oil. It also gives you the option for different tuning blocks to tweak toe angle and anti-squat.
>> The outdrive shafts are made of hardened steel and will accept the stock Bandit axles or even aftermarket CVD’s.
>> The Performance Transmission will also work with the Traxxas Slash 2WD, electric Stampede 2WD and electric Rustler 2WD.
You can further boost the handling of the Traxxas Bandit with Pro-Line’s PowerStroke shocks sets. You will need one set of the PowerStroke Shocks for the front (#6063-00) and one for the rear (#6063-01). Along with the shock sets, pick up the Pro-Line PowerStroke SC Universal Shock Mounting Hardware Kit (#6063-05) so that you can properly install the shocks onto the Bandit. The mounting kit includes high quality 3mm hardware and machined Delrin pivot balls for smooth action. As for the shocks, they feature aluminum shock bodies and caps, stout 3.5mm shafts, true dual-stage spring rate, injection molded, super durable spring perches and shock ends, bladder sealed shock cap and dual O-ring seats and upper and lower shock shaft guides. A welcome feature with the PowerStroke shocks is that Pro-Line sells them assembled so all you have to do is add oil. If you need more tunability for the Bandit’s suspension there are PowerStroke Spring Assortment packs for the front (6063-03) and rear (6063-04) shocks. The packs include six primary springs and six secondary springs which are color coded to easily identify spring rate. It makes it possible to further adjust ride heights and dual-rate spring rates almost infinitely.
When you buy a ready-to-run vehicle, the vehicle manufacturer will spec a tire package that will offer the best traction and durability on a multitude of surfaces. When it comes to racing, you should select tires that have proven to work the best on the type of track you will be running on. The handling and performance increase is instantly noticeable once you make this upgrade. Our plan is to setup the Traxxas Bandit to race on abrasive indoor types of tracks and we selected the Pro-Line Electron 2.2” 2WD Off-Road Buggy tires (#8239-03 front) (#8238-03 rear). The Electron 2.2s share close family ties with Pro-Lines’ popular ION tires. With connected tire tread technology, it improves wear and traction on the harshest indoor track conditions. Tiny square center pins are located within the connected tread so that the tire can provide consistent forward and side bite even when the track becomes dusty. Indoor tracks are usually technical and therefore require exceptional handling in which the Pro-Line Electron 2.2” tires offer precise steering and awesome corner speeds. The Electron tires come unmounted so you will need to get a set of wheels. We have seen some people put in the extra work and remove the stock tires from the wheels so that they can keep the stock wheels. We like to keep the stock wheels and tires as a back-up and to use them when we are not running on the track. Furthermore, the Traxxas Alias tires and Tracer wheels are a really nice combo for bashing. On this race Bandit build, we picked the Traxxas Optional White Dish Wheels (front #2475/rear #2474) which have the correct look and offer the performance needed an a race buggy.
Swap out the stock Bandit rear wing with the Pro-Line Air Force Lightweight 6.5” Rear Wing (#6320-00). It is designed with the latest CAD technology so it can handle serious performance and meet durability specifications. It features massive radiuses on the wing corners to prevent cracks from starting while allowing smooth air flow over the wing. Its lightweight construction and the flexible material that is used offers a nice balance between performance and durability. Additionally, Pro-Line includes aerodynamic center fin stabilizers for enhanced high-speed stability. Each Air Force wing comes clear and in a pack that includes two wings with two center fins.