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The 5 Essential Monster Truck Modifications

One of the coolest things about our hobby-grade RC trucks is that we can upgrade them–a lot. We’re really only limited by our imagination as there is no shortage of hop-up parts out there. Because almost everyone has the need for speed, the most common modification people make is to install a faster motor. Even though that’s the number one mod, it actually isn’t the first thing any of us should break out the wallet for. Below is the list of the top five essential monster truck modifications–in order.

These Pro-Line Dirt Hawg tires offer a ton of traction and will out perform almost any stock tire.

Tires. New kicks aren’t just the most valuable improvement you can make to a race vehicle. In fact, you’re unlikely to find a modification that delivers more bang for your buck than new tires. Most trucks come with tires that are made to last long and work on a variety of terrains. More specific use or specialized tires will really improve the performance. For example, get street treads if all you do is tear up parking lot pavement or get tires with deep treads for running in soft dirt.

The Spektrum S6100 puts out 208 oz-in of torque at 6V and 361 at 7.4V.

Servo. There are a lot of modifications you can make that don’t noticeably change performance. The above mentioned tires don’t fall into that group and neither do servos. Install a high-torque servo and you’ll immediately notice improved steering. Most aftermarket servos are also faster than stock servos. All of the radio companies offer servos and there are up-and-coming brands like Savox, so there is no shortage of servos to choose from and finding one with over 200 oz-in of torque is easy.

RPM's wide bumper for the Traxxas Stampede isn't a life saver, it's an A-arm, camber link and shock saver.

Big Bumper. If you bash, you hit stuff, so money spent on a new, more protective bumper will save you money in repairs that can then be spent on other hop-ups. RPM and T-Bone Racing make nylon bumpers for a variety of vehicles. A wider bumper will protect a lot of parts that are easy to break such as A-arms, camber links and shocks.

These aluminum arms from STRC look cool and can take a real beating.

Suspension Arms. Run your monster truck a lot and sooner or later, you’ll break a suspension arm and it will probably be a front arm. The worse part is that that broken suspension arm can take some other parts such as shock shafts with it. There are two schools of thought on heavy-duty suspension arms–nylon and aluminum. Both have their pros and cons. Nylon arms from RPM are pretty much indestructible, but when they bend in a big crash, other parts will bend too. Bent shock shafts aren’t pretty. Aluminum won’t easily bend, but when there is an impact big enough to bend or break aluminum arms, look out because odds are there going to be a whole lot of carnage.

This MaxAmps.com LiPo battery is a huge improvement over the typical NiMH pack.

High Capacity LiPo. RC is all about having fun, so any modification that increases the fun must be a good thing. More capacity means more runtime. Even better is the fact that switching from a 3000mAh NiMH to a 6500mAh LiPo will make your truck feel like it’s got a supercharger. Not only will there be a huge increase in runtime, but the LiPo has a far superior discharge curve and will feel more like a 7-cell pack.


Honorable Mentions

  • Titanium Turnbuckles
  • New Body
  • High Kv Motor
  • Roll Cage
  • All-aluminum Shocks

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