GOING ALL IN – Installing Every Traxxas Upgrade Part We Could on a Traxxas TRX-4M Defender

GOING ALL IN – Installing Every Traxxas Upgrade Part We Could on a Traxxas TRX-4M Defender

In the ever-evolving world of 1/18-scale RC crawlers, Traxxas has released a genre-redefining model in the TRX-4M. This compact powerhouse is not just a miniature replica; it’s a formidable crawler that’s redefining the small-scale RC experience. Inspired by its quality build, design and the promise of unparalleled upgradability, we embarked on a journey to transform our TRX-4M Land Rover Defender into the ultimate crawling beast.

For a more realistic look, we installed every LED light accessory that Traxxas offers for the TRX-4M Defender.

For a more realistic look, we installed every LED light accessory that Traxxas offers for the TRX-4M Defender.

All Traxxas Mods

Diving deep into the extensive Traxxas catalog of modification parts, we left no stone unturned in our quest for enhancements, both functional and visual. With the assistance of RCCA’s seasoned contributor, Mike Wiene, we worked to craft a machine that would conquer any terrain in its path using only Traxxas upgrade parts.

Our first aesthetic decision was to bid farewell to the original red body, opting for a factory-painted green body that exuded rugged elegance. Other colors are available, but we thought that British racing green on a British legend like the Land Rover Defender was quite appropriate. A clear body, destined for a custom paint job in the future, was also secured—RCCA readers will see it in a future issue.
To illuminate the path ahead, we integrated the Pro Scale LED Defender light kit, turning night crawling into an immersive experience. The impressive light package features daytime running light, headlight, taillight, reverse and hazard light functionality. On top of that, we also added the TRX-4M’s LED lightbar kit. Under the body, the aluminum motor heat sink and servo mount enhance durability, ensuring our TRX-4M can handle whatever challenges lay ahead.

This TRX-4M Defender rides on Traxxas’ upgraded BFGoodrich and Method Race Wheels wheels and tires.

This TRX-4M Defender rides on Traxxas’ upgraded BFGoodrich and Method Race Wheels wheels and tires.

A Traxxas Titan 87T motor heat sink keeps the motor cool to help extend run times and decrease wear.

A Traxxas Titan 87T motor heat sink keeps the motor cool to help extend run times and decrease wear.

Traxxas brass parts help add weight to the truck for enhanced handling.

Traxxas brass parts help add weight to the truck for enhanced handling.

Traxxas brass parts help add weight to the truck for enhanced handling.

The list of upgrades reads like a crawler enthusiast’s dream. Aluminum steering link, metal servo horn, aluminum suspension links and aluminum-bodied GTM shocks were all carefully assembled to create a robust and responsive driving experience. HD driveshafts, a hardened steel axle set, aluminum center shafts and a hardened stub axle further fortified our machine against the toughest trials.

ADDING WEIGHT

Understanding that weight is the key to conquering rocky terrains, we strategically added Traxxas’ brass caster blocks, steering blocks, axle covers, spring retainers and wheel hubs. The result? Improved stability, enhanced climbing ability, and an overall more realistic driving experience. The 1/18-scale rig looks more realistic when negotiating rocks and trails with the added weight as well.
No crawler is complete without the right shoes, and we spared no expense in this department. Traxxas’ licensed Method Race Wheels 105 beadlocks, complemented by brass wheel weights and BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 tires, not only look stunning but deliver maximum grip and unparalleled authenticity.

TOW WORTHY

Adding to the TRX-4M’s versatility, we hitched Traxxas’ Utility Trailer to our Defender. This modification wasn’t just about aesthetics; it was about functionality. The trailer, further customized with Traxxas’ Trailer Stake Sides and Trailer Light Kit, became an extension of our crawler, ready to carry the load and conquer the unknown. We use it to carry extra batteries when out on the trail.

INTERIOR DETAIL

You may have noticed that this Defender rocks a fully realized interior. This piece is the only non-Traxxas part that made it onto our build. Mike contacted DBI Engineering, makers of this incredible interior piece, and was able to secure it in time for this article’s photo shoot. We really like this final touch of detail. DBI’s interior is available on Etsy.

Base Vehicle: Traxxas TRX-4M Defender

P/N: 97054-1
MSRP: $149.95
URL: traxxas.com

Installed Upgrade Parts

Traxxas Body, Land Rover Defender,
Complete, Green – P/N: 9712-GRN
Traxxas Defender Pro Scale Light Set – P/N:9784
Traxxas Light Bar Kit – P/N:9889
Traxxas Heat Sink, Titan 87T Motor
(6061-T6 Aluminum) – P/N:9793
Traxxas Servo Mount, 6061-T6 Aluminum – P/N: 9739
Traxxas Steering Link, 6061-T6 Aluminum – P/N: 9748
Traxxas Servo Horn (metal) – P/N: 9740
Traxxas Suspension Link Set, 6061-T6 Aluminum – P/N: 9749
Traxxas Shocks, GTM, 6061-T6 Aluminum – P/N: 9764
Traxxas Spring, Shock (GTM) (0.072 rate) – P/N: 9757
Traxxas Driveshafts, Center, (Steel) – P/N: 9751
Traxxas Ball Bearing Kit, Black Rubber Sealed,
Complete – P/N: 9745X
Traxxas Axle Shafts (Hardened Steel) – P/N: 9756
Traxxas Stub Axle, Front (Hardened Steel) – P/N: 9753X
Traxxas Lower Retainer, Shock, Brass – P/N: 9761A
Traxxas Wheel Hubs, 7mm Hex, Brass – P/N: 9750X
Traxxas Wheel Weights, Brass – P/N: 9780
Traxxas Caster Blocks, Brass – P/N: 9733
Traxxas Steering Blocks, Brass – P/N: 9737
Traxxas Axle Cover, brass – P/N: 9787
Traxxas Wheels, 1.0”, Method Race Wheels 105 Beadlock
(Black, Beadlock) (2) – P/N: 9781
Traxxas Tires, BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM3 – P/N: 9771
Traxxas Utility Trailer – P/N: 9795
Traxxas Utility Trailer Stake Side Panels – P/N: 9798
Traxxas Trailer Light Kit – P/N: 9790
DBI Engineering TRX-4M Defender Interior
IG: @dbiprinting

Don’t let the fun wind down after it gets dark. Let Traxxas LED light kits show the way.

Don’t let the fun wind down after it gets dark. Let Traxxas LED light kits show the way.

Don’t let the fun wind down after it gets dark. Let Traxxas LED light kits show the way.

Don’t let the fun wind down after it gets dark. Let Traxxas LED light kits show the way.

All these parts made it onto our Special Project TRX-4M Defender.

All these parts made it onto our Special Project TRX-4M Defender.

FINAL WORD

It’s no surprise that when installing Traxxas upgrades to a Traxxas vehicle, you get the assurance that the part will truly enhance your vehicle without any negative side effects. We found this out first-hand. All the parts we installed fit perfectly and performed well. With every Traxxas upgrade installed, we can see how a fully modified TRX-4M can redefine the boundaries of small-scale RC crawling. We’re already looking forward to seeing what more Traxxas will make for the TRX-4M.

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Updated: May 16, 2024 — 7:45 PM
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