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PRP_TLT_conv_kit

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									            PRP TLT conversion kit

The stock TLT is a fun little truck. Pretty damn tippy, zero ground clearance
and a bear to work on from a motor point of view. I ran mine at Monster Jam
5 this last summer with a Stinger motor in it. Got smoked! Got hung up on
every sandbag! Had a blast! (this shot actually shows the PSW chassis
which was worse to work on from the motor stand point- needing the whole
axles dropped to pull the motor!)




Ideas rolled around… I made up a design for a chassis that would use a Pede
tranny, have better clearance and a longer wheelbase which would make life
much simpler. Before that happened though, I came across the PRP chassis
kit. I saw the photos and knew I had to try that out!
This is a write-up on the build of that chassis and my impressions of the kit,
design, instructions etc. This is going to be long and I apologize before we
get going. Lots to say.

First, I want to emphasize that mine was a very early kit- the first chassis
that came out were sold fully assembled as the instructions hadn’t been all
written down. Mine was one of the first with the written instructions and
that was made clear with “beta” written on them and warnings from Ben at
PRP. I am sure that many of my very minor issues will be dealt with in later
(or current) sets of instructions. They have been extremely helpful through
e-mails throughout the entire build process. Props for that!

The PRP website: http://www.teamprpracing.com/tlt.html has a complete
list of all the extra parts you will need to complete the truck. Strangely that
wasn’t on the instructions. It probably is now. Nowhere do they tell you
about the tools you will need! All you really need are X,X and 3/32” allens
a Phillips head screw driver and a wrench to hold the 4-40 and 3mm nuts.
Get some blue loctite as well! All the bolts go into aluminum and although
they say none have come loose without the loctite, it is cheap insurance!

The kit came in a tiny flat envelope! Why not? It consists of a bunch of flat
G-10 fiberglass plates and short aluminum rods and all the hardware to turn
it into a 3-D masterpiece.



 Five bags in total, with each bag containing everything you need for each
section of the build! No searching through a million bags for the right screw
(as in with the TLT itself!).
My only real complaint with the kit was the lack of finish on the aluminum
pieces. I understand that polishing them would cost a lot but these were just
plain ugly! So, I started the whole process with the polishing wheel so the
finished product would look oh-so-nice! PRP says some folk like the
aluminum dull grey. Not me.!

All nice and shiny!
You build up the chassis in sections:




                 front,
Rear




center
      and then the long side plates that secure the whole thing together.

 Finally, the tranny is built and dropped into the middle. This consists of
three G-10 plates and a bunch of stand-offs to mimic the Pede tranny. All
the parts are right out in the open, exposed to the dirt. I was using old stuff
so there is lots of grerase. Not good, I am sure. I would go with dry gears if
I could!
Again, if you follow instructions, it makes sense. In the second photo, you
see the stand-offs used to secure the tranny to the chassis. These are the
servo mounts for the original TLT. Luckily that comes with two sizes since
I planned on 4WS and had one set in use. As they say, make sure they are
all the same size or things wont fit. The longer ones will put the motor
slightly further back, adding to the rear bias caused by the battery.

The only issue I had was that the conical washers they say to use on either
side of the idler gear seemed to bind things up. I chose to use three Traxxas
fiber washer under the idler and one on top instead of their washers. This
allows some slop but it all rolls smoothly. PRP says they haven’t seen a
problem. Might just be me…

When I got my kit PRP did not offer links so it was up to me to decide on a
wheelbase choice. Before I got the kit I had images of a Pede sized truck
with ~10.5” wheelbase and a Pede lid. Once the chassis came together it
was clear that that wasn’t going to work. This chassis is a full 6” wide! It is
HUGE. A Maxx body is the only real choice. Not that that is a problem but
it is different! I have made several Clods from scratch so making links is
not a big deal. I have access to a lathe, bandsaw and such at work so it is not
a problem. It only takes a bit more effort (and lots more time) to do it with a
hacksaw, jig and a drill press. I wont go into detail on that here.
Using Traxxas ball ends, 4 of which are included for the upper links (they
are built into the chassis as you go along which is why they are included), I
decided on an ~11” wheelbase. I ended up with 2.85” upper links and 3.2”
lower links. My first set of lowers is about 1/8”-1/4” too short so the axles
are rotated outward a bit.




When I get a chance, I will make new ones to level the servos out. Or, you
could use E/T-Maxx turnbuckles. Just add an inch to the link length and you
would be in the same place. That would have been easier but I am just
cheap. I also like the beefier look. As I usually do, one could also start with
threaded rod cut to length to make sure it works and avoid the reworking as I
am now forced to do. I learned that a long time ago. Just forgot this time.
Picked a sweet 14T Fantom handwound motor and installed it for a 78/23
gear. That is as high as I could get. The front and rear diffs of the TLT are
just over a 3;1 gear reduction. With the Pede tranny adding a 2.72:1, I had
to gear it as high as I could to make any speed at all! Initially I wanted this
truck for a fun charge-around truck. Maybe later it will be crawler that
would use the ultra low gears possible.

I had worried about getting the completed tranny in place.




I was right! It reminded me a lot of getting an alternator into an old Toyota
pick-up! You know there must be a way to squeeze it in but… You have a
spur gear with nut on one side and the motor sticking out the other side.
That plus the sliders on the bottom make it tough to get it in past the chassis
cross members. It will go though. BUT, once you get it in, the only way I
could figure to get the sliders together was to disconnect the bottom links at
the chassis and swing the axle up and out. Not a big issue at all.
The instructions call for another pair of servo mounts on which to bolt the
electronics plate. Since I was using all of them, I just servo taped the plate
to the tranny top.

Add a Super Rooster and a full size receiver and I was good to go! Plenty of
room on the plate!




The battery- stick packs only, go into a nifty slot in the rear where they are
held down by two hinged pieces of G-10. I simple twist of two nuts and the
batts can be lifted out. PRP said there were ways of super securing the batts
for rough running. I didn’t see it. As I assembled it, the battery would rattle
around some. It is NOT coming out but the pack rubbing around on the G-
10 didn’t seem like a good idea. I cut four 1/2-3/4” pieces of fuel tubing, slit
it lengthwise and slipped it over the G-10. Now, when I close it, the pack is
nicely cushioned and wont move! The fuel tube doesn’t want to stay on all
that well so I have to work on that!
With all else in order, I put on some front Pede rims (RPM’s) mounted with
M2K tires. As with a Pede, make sure you use the narrow hex nuts, or make
your own or the wheel nuts will not spin deeply enough onto the axle and
you will lose a wheel for sure!
 Finally I got to take the truck out! I quickly learned that I should have used
the locked Pede diff I had in my other TLT project! Just like on the stock
TLT with an open center diff one wheel in the air and it spins like mad as
everything unloads to that wheel! Not good for forward progress and death
as a crawler. That I can fix later. The truck is not slow but it sure isn’t
FAST, even with that motor and gearing. I can go up a bit but I guess that
isn’t what this truck will be for! Most people will be buying this for
crawling, as it was designed!

The truck is probably as tippy as a stock TLT but somehow it is more
manageable- you can recover off of two wheels much of the time. Other
than going for HPI rims to go a bit wider not sure what to do. Other than
stay off pavement with M2K tires which will flip a Pede!

The one issue I have come up with in driving is that with the links mounted
to the outside of the chassis the front tires hit at full turn.
The PRP website has only one photo showing links and they are on the
outside. Not sure why this happens other than my shortish wheelbase. I
moved them inside and the problem was gone.




This may effect other things but I didn’t see a problem yet. The axles are
still very tight laterally.

This project was relatively simple-probably easier than the stock TLT
chassis build actually. Had I used turnbuckles or purchased their precut
links it would have been super fast.

Final note, on that first run, seeing how tippy it was, I decided to mount up
an old Proline Pede body- an F-150. It WILL fit but barely. The mounts are
way forward and back and to the outside but it does work and it does look
pretty good!
(I said it was old!)

Well, if you have read this far, I am impressed! I apologize for my
longwindedness. Hope this helps somehow!

Chris

								
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