Tamiya Clodbuster – Converting to Retro

Before I could run the Retro Clodbuster at the High Voltage Monster Truck Championships at iHobby 2012, I needed to finish a couple of things.

For those that missed it, here is the build of the stock Clodbuster. In this article, we’ll perform the two wheel steering conversion, we’ll install the Tekin FX Pro ESC, and the ProMatch Racing 4 cell pack. A 4 cell NIMH or a 1S Lipo is required in the Retro class. We’ll also install the pulling hitch.

The first mod we’ll do involves the front steering knuckles. See those two little nubs that limit how far the knuckle will travel?


They only let the knuckle travel a couple of degrees. With 4 wheel steering this is ok, because you get a cumulative effect when you combine the front and back tires turning together. But in a two wheel steering application, this is not near enough travel.

We use a Dremel rotary tool to cut off the nubs.




In addition to the nubs, you also need to shave some material off of the back of the knuckle. Mainly that raised inner ring.


Now the knuckle has plenty of travel for two wheel steering.

Time for the ESC upgrade.

We’ll pull the center tray so that we can remove the servo from the belly of the chassis.

We needed to find an ESC that could operate effectively at the voltage that a 4 cell NIMH pack puts out. We went to Tekin, and they sent us their FX Pro ESC.


It comes with wiring, a capacitor, a sticker sheet, and instructions. You have to solder everything on for yourself.

Out comes the servo, for relocation to the front axle in a later step.

We’ll also disconnect the motor wires from the stock ESC.


Since you need to power two motors, you have to wire the ESC a certain way. The FX Pro is a 3 post style ESC, so the positive motor wire and the positive battery wire both get soldered to the same post.

We’re using a Traxxas battery connector for the Promatch NIMH pack, so we set the connector posts in the Killerbee soldering jig

We put a Traxxas connector on the battery wires, and a Deans connector on the motor wires. This way we wouldn’t accidentally plug it in incorrectly.

The motors need to get wired in parallel. The front motor is wired in reverse to reverse the rotation.




The last piece to go on the ESC is the included capacitor.

Now we can plug the ESC into the motor wires.

And install the top tray. We’ll use double-sided servo tape to hold the ESC in place.

The rules of the Retro class state you must either use a 4 cell NIMH, or a 1S Lipo. We went to Promatch Racing for one of their stout NIMH packs.

It didn’t come with wires or a connector, so we soldered on a Traxxas connector.

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