|Once you remove the body, the differences become very obvious between real life and scale dreams. For starters, the Traxxas has fully independent suspension where most short course trucks have a solid rear axle, even in 4WD. The insides of the wheels also stray drastically away from the 1:1 truck. The outside rims look correct, but the inside rims are more towards the cartoonish side, but that is so the suspension can clear, which you'll be able to see a bit better later on.
|The other drastic difference is engine placement. Like many 2WD off road RC trucks, the engine is all the way in the back behind the axle. That's more buggy style than truck, but the engine placement is not very noticeable when driving it. This placement actually helps with rear traction in many cases.
The receiver is located in the black box in the bottom of this picture and is water resistant. However, get it submerged and you do run the risk of frying it. The blue box near the shock is the Electric Speed Control (ESC). This is pretty much the “pedal box” of the electric racer. This controls the acceleration, braking, and reverse of the truck. What's interesting about Traxxas is that these OEM ESCs have multiple modes; Normal, Race, and Trainer.
Normal Mode has full acceleration, braking, and reverse. Race Mode has full acceleration and braking, but reverse is inoperable. At many RC tracks, reverse is not allowed. I believe this rule dates back to the time when most ESCs didn't have reverse and the ones that did were expensive. Now, ESCs that include reverse are fairly inexpensive and come stock on many electrics. Trainer Mode is for the kid or guy not used to racing an RC car. It only allows 50% acceleration, full braking, and reverse. Trainer Mode should help keep you from killing the truck or even hurting yourself.
|The front and rear suspension features oil filled plastic dampers with progressive rate springs. They do not provide you with extra springs, but do give you little clip spacers that change the preload of the springs. While the dampers are not externally adjustable, you can change the pistons. The plastic pistons have 1, 2, or 3 holes in them which serves to change the damping rate. While the dampers are not independently adjustable for bump and rebound, they do give you something. You can also change to lighter or heavier shock oil to get some more “adjustment” out of the dampers, too. I wonder if I can't get Mike Kojima to get me some trick shocks?
Unlike many RC cars, the Slash come out of the box with turn buckles to adjust camber and toe on all four wheels. Now, that's not to say that many models don't come with threaded ends and shafts, but they require you to remove them off of the truck and twist them. Turnbuckles, on the other hand, allow you to make adjustments with them on the truck. How slick is that?
|Underneath the chassis is also pretty simple. That's great, though, as that means there is less to worry about in terms of breakage and maintenance. The skid plates do help protect the chassis if you bottom out or get your jump wrong.
|In this picture you can just see the somewhat unique steering system used on the Slash. It is a dual bell crank system that is tougher and provides more accurate steering than the single drag link systems found on many other RC Cars.