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Mudboss Setup Tips & Tricks

Mudboss racing continues to grow. In fact, it is undeniably one of the fastest growing classes in RC. If you’re unfamiliar with the Mudboss class, check out this article here. If you are familiar and want to go faster, check out the tips and tricks below.

Once you’ve seen a Mudboss in person it’s pretty easy to see how the body attaches. The stock rear body mounts are used as is and, usually, simple universal body posts from Duratrax or Parma are used up front. The posts mount to the forward holes used for the nerf bars. Another option used for the front is to take the stock posts off the front shock tower-mounted body mount and attach them with shock pistons as spacers under the posts. The pistons are just thick enough raise the body so that it clears the steering servo. The trick to getting the lowest CG and best handling is to skip the pistons as spacers.

This, however, requires lowering the servo by mounting to it the bottom of the chassis instead of the top. This lowers the servo enough that the body will clear. Believe it or not, but this can make a noticeable difference in handling. A Mudboss body weighs a lot and the lower you can get it the better.

The stock transmission is lubricated, as you’d expect, with grease. This is great for longevity, but not necessarily best for racing. Tacky grease stays on the gears and prevents wear, but that stickiness also slows you down–slightly. If you’re crashing every other lap, now is not time for this trick. It’s time for practice. However, if your racing is at the level where every tenth and hundredth of a second matters, take the transmission apart and remove all of the grease. Use motor spray for this. Clean each gear and the inside of the transmission case halves. When you rebuild the transmission, make sure each bearing is properly seated and use a single drop of oil on each gear. Wipe off any excess oil and test spin the transmission. It should spin freely. Do not over tighten the transmission when reassembling the case. Carefully snug each screw down. Work your way around the case and make sure it continues to spins freely. Do you have to do this tip to win? Absolutely not. Plenty of A-mains have been won by racers who have never taken a Slash transmission apart.

It should go without saying, but keep in mind a degreased transmission that isn’t completely cranked down will require more regular maintenance. That’s part of racing.

I recently saw a fellow Mudboss racer go from near bottom of the B to TQ (at least for one round) just by switching to new tires. He was using the original SCT Slash tires–both before and after. You don’t, by any means, need new tires for every run, but pay close attention to the edges of the tread lugs. These hard compound tires take a long time to wear down the lugs, so they might look to be in good shape even as the edges round off. And, what might look like a tire with many miles left on it may really be lacking in forward bite, which means you’ll be slow getting out of the corners.

Batteries make a big difference.You can buy speed. There I said it. Now, that speed won’t matter if you suck at driving, but I have never raced in an oval class on pavement, carpet or dirt where batteries didn’t matter, as in play a big role. Get the best batteries your budget allows. That’s a pretty simple tip, but anybody who tells you batteries don’t matter is, well, wrong. The truth is batteries won’t necessarily win any Mudboss races, but they will lose races. To learn more about LiPo batteries from an industry expert, check out this article.

If you race in the Sportsman Mudboss class, you’ll be using the Traxxas Titan 12T 550. Contrary to popular belief, you can run one of these motors right out of the bag and be fairly competitive–all other variables being equal. You will, however, be more competitive and more likely to reach your car’s full potential if the motor is properly broken in. Motor break-in is a whole separate article. We’ll have that for you soon. If you are not confident in your ability to properly break-in a motor, you can purchase a pro-prepped motor. More on that topic here.

Did you know (and the answer will be “no” if you’re honest) that it should be technically impossible to get 48-pitch gear mesh too tight? The tooth size and profile is designed in such a way that fully pressing the gears (pinion and spur) together would yield perfect mesh. I can assure you, however, that mashing them together won’t actually work. The reason why we have to make sure our gear mesh isn’t too tight is due to manufacturing irregularities in molded plastic gears and spur gear mounts, runout in the motor’s output shaft and/or the transmission top shaft and how the spur gear got mounted. In a perfect world, we would just tighten everything down and the gears would cleanly mesh, but because of all of these variances we must carefully check for proper mesh. The tip is to check the mesh in multiple spots. Rotate the gears and make sure the mesh isn’t too tight or too loose in different spots. If needed, ditch the plastic insert that sets the pinion position for the 16-tooth pinion.

I can’t give you a setup that is guaranteed to work at your track, but I can give you some general tips. While I rarely follow my own advice, it is always best to try one change at a time. Make a change, get the car on the track and see if it made a positive difference. One change at a time.

Read the rules and get your Mudboss as low as allowed. This means cutting at least four “rounds” off the front springs and installing internal limiters in the shocks. That said, consider making the left rear internal shock spacer shorter than the right rear spacer. A shorter spacer will create a taller shock and help the left rear tire stay in contact with the ground as the car leans going through the corners.

Again, get that race car low. I guarantee you the racer winning the A-main has a slammed Mudboss. A Mudboss with the rear end all jacked up isn’t worth much more than a facepalm. Here’s the deal, a Slash that has the suspension essentially stock will transfer a lot of weight, which is good for cornering. What I mean is this “setup” will create a lot of weight transfer and weight transfer can help a car corner. The car might actually be okay in practice, but it will be inconsistent. It will be a handful in an actual race where you have to make corrections, avoid other cars, etc. Get the thing low. Make it look like a race car and it will drive like a race car.

Don’t be afraid to add external preload spring spacers to the right rear shock . If you need more steering, add more spacers. Some racers run two thick spacers.

Mess around with camber, especially front camber. Rear camber matters too, but you’ll notice the biggest difference when tweaking front camber.

I am always surprised by the lack maintenance invested by some racers. Almost always, the cars that look like junk, run like junk. Step one in any maintenance regimen is keep the vehicle clean. At the very least, blow the car off with compressed air. To do the job correctly, remove each hinge pin and  clean out the suspension arm and arm mounts with pipe cleaners. Wipe each hinge pin down with WD-40 or similar corrosion preventative. Remove and clean the motor with motor spray. Use a single drop of bushing oil (slightly thicker than bearing oil) on each bushing. Again, use a single drop on each bushing, spin the motor by hand a few times and wipe off any excess. Next, check your shocks. Typically, you will not have to rebuild them after a single day of racing, but you should use a brush to remove any dirt from the shock shafts and shock bodies. If you open one shock and the fluid is discolored and not clear, rebuild the shocks. If the fluid looks dirty after one race day, you may need new shock seals.

In addition to the suspension arm hinge pins, check the steering king pins. These are notorious for bending. Check these often.

In addition to compressed air, I use a large paint brush and a denture brush (both bought at a dollar store) to clean the entire truck. Not only am I getting my Mudboss clean, but I am inspecting each and every component. I then wipe the chassis and suspension parts down with a light amount of WD-40. This dries and leaves the vehicle looking new.

The number one speed secret is, always has been and always will be practice. We spend a lot of time looking at our lap times and worrying about our finishing position when what really should be the focus is simply how well we drove. How often are you crashing on your own? Can you do a five minute solo run with zero crashes? The racer who won the A-main can. Best of all, the fix is easy–you guessed it–just practice.

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      1. could you email me a copy of set up sheet as well. Thank you for writhing this article. You are blessed with the knowledge and talent to put it to paper to help others, thank you Matt

  1. Our track basically runs the Mudboss (rules) but with the Tornado body. Cannot get it to turn! Pushes big time coming out of turns, no corner speed. Right rear and left front tightened with spacers. Shocks have limiters. Also trying negative camber on rt frnt but I don’t want it to get twitchy. Trying not to cut springs or get too radical. Any suggestions?

  2. Pls send setup sheet.
    I have read all of your Mudboss related articles and would like to see more info on shocks, specifically oil weights versus one, two, or three hole pistons.

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