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Slash 4x4 LCG Final Stage: More testing and finalizing

Slash 4x4 LCG Final Stage: More testing and finalizing

 

As we were days away from finalizing the design and production schedule, we were hit with the news that Traxxas was about to release LCG setup themselves for the Slash 4x4.  Immediately the first thought that came to my mind was “oh great…the original manufacture have jumped in….” However, it took about the time for me to eat dinner to decide that we were going to go forward with our LCG conversion kit production regardless of what’s out there.  Not just because we have come too far to quit, but I honestly believe our LCG is at a completely different level in terms of looks, quality, performance and price in comparison to what’s available on the market.  Upon further research, with the Traxxas components it will cost around $55 to convert a Slash 4x4 to a LCG setup, and that’s with a plastic motor mount.  With an aluminum motor mount, it will easily go up to $80+.  So with our aluminum/graphite conversion kit coming in at $99, I really feel we will be competitive with our product, not just in performance but also in price.  I feel very confident to let the customer decide if they want to pay $80 for a mostly plastic LCG conversion kit, or spend a few bucks more and get a CNC machined aluminum/graphite conversion kit. 

From the beginning, the root of this project has always been more about show casing our capability to design and produce race competitive products, and not really about making a profit.  It was also about me going back in time to finish a project that I had long had a desire to do, but wasn’t able to tackle until now.  This project also acted as a medium for customer to get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scene here at STRC and how product goes from concept to reality, bringing the customer closer to us and have a better understanding of how the product they put on the vehicle is developed.  It just simply wouldn’t be right to those that followed along this far to have the project end without having it gone into production.  With these reasons in mind….We went forward with the project into production. 

(down to the small details: CNC Machined aluminum front sway bar mounts)

(Hand modifying parts throughout testing.  Here we add a slot to the design of the motor cam to provide easier access to the pinion gear screw)

We sent off the prototype to a customer/driver, Brian Reigle, who’s out in PA to test the LCG kit just to gain more feedback, especially on setups.  I always browse around on forums, and I first approach Brian after reading his on-going build/race thread on the Slash 2wd with our 2wd LCG conversion kit on it.  What got my attention was how thorough he was on his write-up and his meticulous approach to testing and setup.  I sent him a message to see if “Wyd” (which was his screen name) would be interested in doing some testing for us.  Little did I know that Brian turned out to be an old customer of mine when I had my hobby shop back in the touring car racing days, and I recognized him right away after he gave me his full name.  It was like catching up with an old friend, and I know we had a good guy testing our product.  The following is Brian’s take on the LCG project:

My Name is Brian Reigle and been racing R/C cars since 1985.  I have raced dirt oval, pan cars, off-road, and touring cars during this time period and currently race off-road and touring cars.  I do sales for time and work part time at Bumps and Jumps R/C where we hold indoor dirt oval races and off-road races.  Bumps and Jumps R/C currently has the two largest dirt oval races in the country with the Custom Works US Open Wheel Championships and the February Freeze.  Those two races average over 450 and 350 entries for the last 3 years.

Currently I race for Bumps and Jumps R/C, Castle Creations (racing and testing new products) and now for Steve at ST Racing Concepts (STRC).  I have tested many products before for Castle Creations (Mamba Max Pro and Sidewinders are the two most notable products I tested).  I knew what went into testing a product and had a good idea what I needed to do for STRC once I had the chance.



Steve contacted me through a local website and asked me if I would be interested in being sponsored and running his products.  For me this was a very easy decision as I have already been using his products and knew the quality of his company’s products.  I been running for Steve for about a month and he said he was working on a new 4x4 Slash LCG chassis.  When i heard this I was thinking OHH YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Because I’m running a lot of Traxxas products and knew it was something racers and bashers a like were looking for.  Well in about two weeks time after that email I had the test chassis in my hands.  I couldn't believe it.

Once the chassis arrived I took it out of the bag he sent it in to me and was right away impressed with the quality of the prototype and knew right away this chassis setup would work 100% better than the stock unit before I even ran it.  I sat down one day after working at the hobby shop and go started taking my donor truck apart (Traxxas Platinum Slash) that I had all STRC aluminum parts on that replaced the stock Platinum aluminum parts with.  In about 2 hours total I had everything switched over and had the electronics in.  It was a very easy conversion over to the new LCG setup.  No directions where needed for me to do the conversion.  It was one of the easier conversions I have put together over the years.

Now I have the new LCG Prototype ready to go and just waited for Sunday to come around as that is our off-road race day.  First time on the track I could easily see the improvement over the stock chassis.  Very first lap I noticed less overall body roll and much better steering response.  Now I knew the chassis was better on the track so I went ahead and did some nose dives off jumps and made sure I would wreck off some of our jumps to start testing the durability of the chassis setup.  With my old body on I made sure after I would run some race type laps I would also make sure I would make a few wrecks happen where I would roll off jumps or land sideways to get it rolling.  We have a nice spine jumps where I would get 4' to 5' high and end plant my truck into the hard clay we have to see if the chassis or top plate would bend, twist or break.  I never had anything happen while I was running the truck.  Now it’s been two full weeks of me testing the chassis and it’s been nothing but better overall.  The new LCG chassis for the Slash 4x4 was a success overall for me on and off the track.  Been fantastic testing a product for STRC and would like to thank Steve Wang personally for giving me this opportunity to be a part of this new product.

With testing complete and all parts performed flawlessly, we scheduled the factories to begin production.  For those of you that has been following Brian’s threads on the internet message boards and also reading these articles, I sincerely hope we provided entertaining and insightful information as to just how a product is created and the amount of time it involves in producing a product like this.  To put the icy on the cake sort of speak, we started a pre-order for the LCG kit with the option to custom anodize your kit to the color combination you want.  Yup, during the pre-order process you can pick your color to have a unique LCG conversion kit for your Slash 4x4.  This has probably never been done in the industry, and it is our way of saying “Thank you” for coming along for the ride in the development of this product.  I took to heart all the feedback that I’ve read on the forums and received in email, and from Brian our test driver, and really try to put the best product out there at the best price possible.  Reading all the comments and the interest on the message boards really motivated me and the design team to keep pushing, especially during some of the really long hours of going back and forth with the design in the middle of the night to try and come up with the best design or solving a problem on the design. 

Currently the production is set to complete by the 3rd week of November (19th) and we hope to start shipping right after the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Custom color anodizing option for pre-order will last until the 12th of November.  Again, a big THANK YOU for reading these articles and your continuing support of STRC products.   I will see you guys out at the race tracks.

 

Sincerely,

Steve Wang

Owner/Racer

Click here to go to the pre-order page of the STRC Slash 4x4 LCG conversion kit

Check out the following message forum threads by STRC Driver Brian Reigle:

RC Tech Thread

RC Short Course.com thread

Traxxas Community Forum Thread

 

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