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  1. #1
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    Traxxas Villain IV - "updated" electroinics

    I got this Traxxas "Chaparral" Villain IV at the neighborhood garage sale for $30 about 10 years ago. In stock form, these boats are idiot-proof and very user-friendly, but quite heavy and rather slow.
    I recently updated the electronics. I installed a new 2.4 GHz receiver to use with my Slash 4x4 trigger-style transmitter. This also allowed me to eliminate the external antenna used by the old 27 MHz radio. I also installed a Traxxas EVX2 speed controller, which is a 16v monster truck ESC designed to run two packs in series with two brushed motors. With its own on-board BEC, I was able to eliminate the 4 x AA battery holder to save some weight. I have a jumper on one battery connector, running the boat on a single 7.4v LiPo pack (Turnigy Nano-Tech 30c 5300 mAh.) The boat is now feather weight, reaches its top speed within 2 seconds, still takes huge waves no problem, maneuvers quickly and tightly like a mouse on crack, is nearly impossible to flip or swamp, and runs forever on one pack. The stock motors get nice and hot, but the new ESC barely even gets warm.
    In the future, I may update the stock props and shafts with metal props for a little more ooooMPH.



    '89 Hydrostream Vegas XT, '90 Merc 2.4 Bridgeport PCU EFI
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  2. #2
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    Had a few blow-overs last summer. This boat doesn't like to hit big waves running into a strong headwind. I'm ready to step up to a ProBoat Blackjack 29 for this season, but I'm still going to keep my Villain for days when the water is super rough.
    '89 Hydrostream Vegas XT, '90 Merc 2.4 Bridgeport PCU EFI
    My YouTube videos________My Flickr photo gallery
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  3. #3
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    Chad, that's really cool. I have a Traxxas Spartan but I haven't even had the chance to run it. The ProBoats look very cool too.


    Facebook | YouTube | Vintage Outboard Catalogs
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  4. #4
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    I'm actually ordering a ProBoat Blackjack 29 this week.

    I will also be listing my Nitro Vee for sale here soon...
    '89 Hydrostream Vegas XT, '90 Merc 2.4 Bridgeport PCU EFI
    My YouTube videos________My Flickr photo gallery
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  5. #5
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    Indian Lake Ohio
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    Boat looks great. I just started a new r/c project and will post a thread when I get going on it. I use to be into r/c cars a lot 10 years ago and don't have much experience with the new lipo batteries. I'm going to be doing a twin engine boat and planned on using traxxas titan motors and the evx-2 esc much like traxxas used in the villain ex. My question regarding lipos is what is a safe size single pack to use for this set-up and what type of charger do you recommend for a lipo set-up? Any help is appreciated. Thanks

  6. #6
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    my brother had one of those. thing hauled ass. he put twin 14 turn motors with a novak super rooster?? with two 6 cell packs.. might be heavy and stock props, but it moved out pretty good. all this was before modern brushless and lipo packs and such.. he also did it pretty cheap. lots of options now

  7. #7
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    I run this on a single 5300 mAh 2s Lipo with conservative 5-10 minute run times. Since this is a 16.8v ESC designed for a pair of 8.4v nimh packs, the battery hookups are internally series linked. So, I made a jumper to plug into the second battery connector, to allow it to run a single Lipo pack, which works just fine. This ESC does not have a low-voltage cutoff, so I am always careful not to run it for a long time, since over-discharging will destroy a Lipo pack.

    I use a Turnigy MAX 80W charger with a 12V 6A laptop power supply.
    '89 Hydrostream Vegas XT, '90 Merc 2.4 Bridgeport PCU EFI
    My YouTube videos________My Flickr photo gallery
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyro View Post
    I run this on a single 5300 mAh 2s Lipo with conservative 5-10 minute run times. Since this is a 16.8v ESC designed for a pair of 8.4v nimh packs, the battery hookups are internally series linked. So, I made a jumper to plug into the second battery connector, to allow it to run a single Lipo pack, which works just fine. This ESC does not have a low-voltage cutoff, so I am always careful not to run it for a long time, since over-discharging will destroy a Lipo pack.

    I use a Turnigy MAX 80W charger with a 12V 6A laptop power supply.
    are those stock motors in there?

  9. #9
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    Yes. Stock motors, gearing, u-joints, props.
    '89 Hydrostream Vegas XT, '90 Merc 2.4 Bridgeport PCU EFI
    My YouTube videos________My Flickr photo gallery
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1706097519

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyro View Post
    Yes. Stock motors, gearing, u-joints, props.
    swap the motors that thing will go twice as fast

  11. #11
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    Yeah... but then you need to upgrade the U-joints, and the propshafts to accept industry-standard metal props, and by that point it's not a cheap boat anymore! If I really want to go 2x or 3x fast in a straight line, I just put my Blackjack in the water.

    The way it stands, the Villain is fun to run around at the sandbar... It hits its top speed almost instantly, turns on a dime, goes through big chop, and is nearly impossible to flip or roll over unless you put it into a headwind and hit a big wave.

    Each boat serves its purpose well.
    '89 Hydrostream Vegas XT, '90 Merc 2.4 Bridgeport PCU EFI
    My YouTube videos________My Flickr photo gallery
    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1706097519

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyro View Post
    Yeah... but then you need to upgrade the U-joints, and the propshafts to accept industry-standard metal props, and by that point it's not a cheap boat anymore! If I really want to go 2x or 3x fast in a straight line, I just put my Blackjack in the water.

    The way it stands, the Villain is fun to run around at the sandbar... It hits its top speed almost instantly, turns on a dime, goes through big chop, and is nearly impossible to flip or roll over unless you put it into a headwind and hit a big wave.

    Each boat serves its purpose well.
    nahhhh they will hold up a looong time with a mild motor upgrade. we never broke anything on ours and we had it running pretty damn good with 14 turn doubles. but i see your point, its just a cool boat, nothing crazy invested. I have a cool old school tunnel hull i mounted an aquacraft outboard on and its crazy slow even with a 15 turn and a 6 cell.. wicked bummed. every time i hit top speed or i corner it cavitates. i filed down the gear case to smooth out the water flow to the prop.. have not tried it since. now that im talking about it, i wanna go try it haha

  13. #13
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    i know this is an old post but could you give some more details on how you wired the villain iv? i have one and the speed control is bad. would like to get it back running again with minimal cost. thanks

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