Traxxas Villain IV
This is an original 31-Inch Deep V hull, with Twin Wizard motors, 2:1 gear reduction gears.
The stock Villain of today has twin 20 turn Stinger motors


Boat was purchased used in the following condition:

  • Battery & Motor wires were melted

  • Steering servo froze

  • Rubber steering boots had decayed

  • Original stickers were pealing off

  • The white plastic had turned dingy by extended exposure to the sun.

I replaced the wires and connectors, new standard servo for steering, painted the boat four times, (never happy with how it looked) I ran it for the first season with a friend who also had a new one. We got pretty good and would run them side by side, turning together, looked like a ballet, several people would stop and watch, when we were done, they would approach us and ask a lot of questions and most wanted to get one. The start of our boat club.

Redesigned - See below

I came up with the idea for the aluminum motor plate to solve the problem with the plastic motor mounts melting, this was before Traxxas started adding this mod to their production models.
To make the plate, acquire a piece of aluminum plate, cut it to fit height and length, remove the motors and gears, hold the plate in place and mark it through the mounts including the slot. Drill and file.
I replaced the XL1 ESC with a Streak ESC which eliminated receiver batteries and gave me higher amp rating for motors, but sacrificed reverse capability.
I tried 14 turn motors with water cooling coils, kept the 2:1 gearing and added bearings to the drive shaft.
The 14 turn motors worked, but did not give me the performance I had hoped to get plus everything runs too hot including the wires and the batteries.
This may have caused one of the shaft bearings to seize resulting in damaging the shaft hold-down.
I do know that the Aquaspeed motors work well at 8.4V in this boat with the gearing.

Update - Direct drive does not work for this boat
Boat is too heavy, the speed was the same with the 2:1 gearing and ran too hot causing the ESC to shut down, I will move what I have below to a "failed ideas" page later.

Direct Drive, I dismantled and took everything out, I drilled new holes in the motor mounts large enough to allow a universal to pass straight through. Reinstalled the motor mounts.

The aluminum motor plate lined up great when flipped top to bottom, I mounted the motors (Aquaspeeds) to the plate and the universals to the drive shafts, then connected the two together.
Now I know where and at what angle to attached the motor plate, it sits back about a half inch from the mounts due to the length of the universals. I could have cut the shafts and stuffing boxes shorter, but I want to be able to restore it back if this does not work.
With the motors set back farther, I had to cut half moons out of the area behind the motors and can no longer fit two batteries side by side. I cut two openings, one on each side, just big enough to slide a battery length wise into the sealed bow section, there is Styrofoam that had to be notched, I made it so they would only go half in. I wanted to try this anyway to get some weight toward the front.

With the motor assembly in place, I glued (superglue jell) a piece wood and the angle piece to the hull, marked the holes on the motor plate, slide it out between them, put two screws in both angles, drilled and taped the motor plate, slide it back in and put two screws each side to lock it in. I will be testing it this weekend.


Recommended Modifications:

  • Aluminum motor plate

  • Streak ESC

  • Aquaspeed  motors

  • water cooling coils

The finish is a translucent red and yellow paint, clear coated and wheel buffed.
Got ride of the rubber boot for the radio switch and made a small hatch door.


The screws are counter rotating so you will need left and right rotating props, if they rotate in the same direction, it would most likely walk to one side from prop torque.
I made a call to Traxxas and made some inquires about the new Villain EX, I was told there was an improvement with the props, I picked up a set, they are larger and have more pitch,  I will be testing them this weekend with the direct drive set up.

Brass props can be used, you will need longer outdrive shafts and use a drive dog, this is a common upgrade for this boat. Our club rules out metal props since we run a tight course, boats tend to go over one another and metal props cut the hulls like butter.

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