Traxxas E-Revo Brushless – The best all-round RC car money can buy!

Traxxas E-Revo Brushless 4WD Monster Truck

Through the years I have tried racing on tarmac, sand and gravel with everything from buggies to trucks and monster trucks. I have tried 2WD and 4WD vehicles powered by gasoline, brushed and brushless motors. All has been great fun and I have always enjoyed the great selection and thereby the versatility of this hobby.

A few years back I bought a Traxxas E-revo brushless car. My main purpose was to have something that was the “ultimate bashing vehicle” to be used in gravel pits. I had a long list of requirements:

  • It should be durable and capable of taking a solid beating when landing after big jumps
  • Spare parts should be readily available and not overly expensive
  • It should be 4WD in order for it to climb the big gravel piles and still make it to the top
  • It should come with a decent transmitter and not need a heap of up-grades before being ready to race
  • It should be fairly powerful but still have enough runtime to do bashing for at around 20 minutes on one set of batteries

Before the purchase I did a lot of research and found that all the boxes seemed to be ticked.

I had the car for around 12 months and drove it extensively over that timespan. Never have I put a car through so much and still had a car that just kept on going. Most of the time it was used in the gravel pit but I also tried it out on a 1/8 scale track and on tarmac only changing the tires to suit the surface. It stood out most when doing bashing on gravel but was aways a solid performer on other surfaces

But most importantly… I can’t recall I having had so much fun with as with the Traxxas E-Revo Brushless Edition. It is just THAT good and therefore I went along and bought one again after being away from RC cars for 2-3 years. A thing worth mentioning is that the car has had a few good upgrades in that timespan – the ESC has been made waterproof which was as a bit of a painpoint in the previous version and now it also features pretty solid telemetry if the transmitter is coupled with a smartphone using the Traxxas Link app via bluetooth. I have briefly tried out the telemetry and it seems to work well giving data such as speed, battery voltage, temperature and RPM.

As you can see from the pictures below I have bought the Traxxas Rustler VXL for my son who is 7 years old and I am also building a Losi 5ive-T brushless car that I plan to finish over the coming 4-6 weeks (waiting for parts to arrive from multiple hobby shops).

So all in all – this vehicle comes with the best of recommendations from my side and I look forward to having as much fun again with it as I did in the past!

Traxxas E-Revo Brushless 4WD Monster Truck
Traxxas E-Revo Brushless 4WD Monster Truck
Traxxas E-Revo Brushless Waterproof 4WD Monster Truck
Traxxas E-Revo Brushless Waterproof 4WD Monster Truck
Traxxas E-Revo Brushless Waterproof 4WD Monster Truck
Traxxas E-Revo Brushless Waterproof 4WD Monster Truck
Traxxas E-Revo Brushless Waterproof 4WD Monster Truck
Traxxas E-Revo Brushless Waterproof 4WD Monster Truck
Traxxas E-Revo Brushless shock system
Traxxas E-Revo Brushless shock system
Traxxas E-revo brushless and waterproof underneath
Traxxas E-revo brushless and waterproof underneath
Traxxas E-revo brushless and waterproof
Traxxas E-revo brushless and waterproof
Traxxas TQi radio
Traxxas TQi radio
Traxxas TQi radio close-up
Traxxas TQi radio close-up
The Traxxas E-Revo and Traxxas Rustler VXL compared
The Traxxas E-Revo and Traxxas Rustler VXL compared
The Traxxas E-Revo and Losi 5ive-T compared
The Traxxas E-Revo and Losi 5ive-T compared
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Building a Losi 5ive-T Brushless (part 2) – Choosing the motor and ESC

Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor

Back in 2010 long before HPI released their HPI Baja 5B Flux 1/5 scale brushless car  I made a Baja 5B brushless conversion using a big Schulze ESC and tested two different motors – one being a Neu 2230 and the other a Lehner 3060. This was a very capable setup and even though I really enjoyed the build and had fun driving it a few times I must admit that the setup was just too powerful for the car to put down the immense power to the ground.

Now with the Losi 5ive-T and 4WD it should be easier to get proper traction instead of the 2WD on the HPI Baja 5B that I ended up crashing. So in choosing the motor and ESC I made five decisions:

  1. Start out with something that can be upgraded to more cells if I need more power but don’t start out like last time and “overdo” it
  2. Build a car that works well on the track and for bashing – I will not be doing speedruns or something similar
  3. Even though it will put pressure on the ESC I have decided to use the motor and ESC for breaking
  4. Get something where there is a reasonable balance between price and quality/performance
  5. Get something that has been on the market for a while and has been tested thoroughly (no cheap stuff from HobbyKing or similar)

The motor for the Losi 5ive-T

Having looked at the options today I got it narrowed down to three options for the Motor. The Lehner 3080, the Neu 2230 or the Castle Creations 2028 (which is basically a Neu motor just mass produced). My priority list would be the Lehner 3080 as the preferred choice but I ended up with the Castle Creations 2028 instead for two reasons. It has had great reviews on many forums, it is by far the best bang for the buck and I could run the car on a range from 8-12 cells which is what I would prefer to start out with (more on that later).

It is also worth mentioning that Castle Creations recently made some performance-enhancing updates to this massive motor:

  • Revised stator and magnet shapes provide lower cogging torque for improved starting performance
  • The new 800Kv rating will make the setup faster
  • Rated at a higher RPM (45,000) due to improved manufacturing processes
  • Capable of operating on 12S

Here some photos of the unit as it comes right out of the box including a shot with the motor on a scale and a size comparison to a Castle Creations motor in a 1/10 Traxxas E-Revo:

Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor
Castle Creations 2028 Extreme 800kv brushless motor

 The ESC for the Losi 5ive-T

Finding the ESC turned out to be a choice between two manufacturers and both options had its pros and cons. One option was going with the highly praised MGM controller lineup. From what I can gather going over tons of YouTube videos and forums the TMM 25063-3 for Cars X2-SERIES PRO should be a solid performer and I have yet to find anyone stating that this has caused them issues or that has complained about performance. This ESC is capable of handling 15S and 250amps continous. The only downside is the price tag at around 610EUR  with a few necessary optionals (fan, on/off switch, water protection, wiring).

The second option was the Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC. This speed controller is an excellent partner for the 2028 motor and is fairly priced at 171USD. This has also been on the market for a few years but with that said there has been issues with the unit and many have experienced that it went up in smoke. Furthermore there is an issue with the warranty and the fact that the Losi 5ive-T will probably weigh around 35lbs. Castle Creations write the following on their website:

“The Mamba XL 2 and 2028 motor are recommended and warrantied in vehicles weighing less than 25lbs for 4WD and 30lbs for 2WD. Any use outside of these recommendations may lead to an ESC and/or motor failure that is not covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.”

Also the Mamba XL2 ESC is only capable of taking up to 8S batteries but going back to my wish to start out and then be able to upgrade I decided that with the affordable price tag, the fact that they should have fixed most issues by now and that I have seen a few videos on YouTube where this setup is tested made me confident that this was the right place to start. This would also allow me to upgrade to the MGM controller if and when this should ever become relevant.

Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC
Castle Creations Mamba XL2 ESC

Videos of the Losi 5ive-T with the Mamba XL2 ESC and 2028 motor

The following is a two videos show a) a car with the same setup running and b) a video review of the Losi 5ive-T and the Castle Creations motor/ESC combo:

Continue to part 3 of the Losi 5ive-T build series http://deguno.com/rc-cars/building-a-losi-5ive-t-brushless-part-3-fitting-the-parts-and-testing-the-truck

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Building a Losi 5ive-T Brushless (part 1) – Stripping down the car

After having tried lots of different brands on the 1/5 scale scene – including HPI, FG and MCD – it was time to try something new. I had been away from large scale off-road cars for a few years and initially wanted to build a HPI Baja 5B brushless car but then found that there was a new sheriff in town – The Losi 5ive-T!

Many things with the Losi 5ive-T caught my eye. It was bigger in every way when compared to the competition, it was four-wheel drive, reviews on different forums were good, it seemed easy to work on and to do a brushless conversion and last but not least – it looked bad-ass.

So the first step was to get a hold of a Losi 5ive-T roller. Contrary to the Losi 5ive-T ready-to-bind model the 5ive-T roller comes without RC-components like servos, receiver, telemetry sensors, receiver battery, charger, engine, clutch and muffler – all stuff that I did not need now that I was doing a brushless conversion. I found one in Germany at an online hobby shop and paid €949 including a painted body.

Here is the car and the parts you get with the roller:
Losi 5ive-T Roller

Losi 5ive-T Roller accessories

Losi 5ive-T Roller rear

Losi 5ive-T Roller front

Before going any further and getting started with stripping down the car I wanted to check  the weight of the car. Not that I am fanatic about the final weight but with that said I still wanted to keep an eye on it making sure that no fancy upgrades were to be added if the had too much of an impact on weight. Here the weight before stripping down the car (13.6kg = 30 pounds):

Losi 5ive-T roller - Weight out of the box

So now it was time to start getting rid of things that were not needed in the brushless conversion. First thing to go was the fuel tank:

Losi 5ive-T roller - Fuel tank removed

I had also decided to use the ESC and Brushless motor for breaking so next up was removing the standard breaks:

Losi 5ive-T roller - Standard breaks removed

Losi 5ive-T roller - Standard breaks removed

With these parts removed the Losi 5ive-T had already shed 500 grams (1.1 pound) and now weighed in at 13.1kg (28.9 pounds):

Losi 5ive-T roller - Weight after removing the tank and standard breaking system

All in all this took 15 minutes and the car was now ready to start installing the first parts. Stay tuned for part two where we mount the motor and ESC and please do comment below if you have questions or things you would like to know more about.

Part 2: Building a Losi 5ive-T Brushless (part 2) – Choosing the motor and ESC

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