5 Best Upgrades for the Traxxas Maxx
What are the best upgrades for the Traxxas Maxx? With tons of parts and accessories available it can be difficult to know what really matters and what doesn't. That's why after owning our Maxx for two years on 4S and 6S use we're going to talk about what upgrades we think make the biggest difference for durability and achieving maximum Maxx performance. Before we begin let me say that the Traxxas Maxx is an incredible monster truck, and it doesn't necessarily need any upgrades but as with any R/C car there's always room for improvement. With all the upgrade options available you can easily transform the Maxx's looks and styling. You could even convert the Traxxas Maxx to be 6S although we don't recommend that. Now with that said, here are our five best Maxx upgrades in terms of performance, convenience, and durability.
#1 Steel Driveshafts
The plastic driveshafts on the Maxx hold up pretty dang good for what they are but they're plastic and they can withstand only so much abuse until they wear out and break. That's why the Traxxas steel constant velocity driveshafts are the number one upgrade for the Maxx, providing a robust and durable solution that should last many, many hours of use.
Something really important to consider is that these driveshafts are offered in two different lengths one set is made for the truck in its stock configuration and the second set is made for the WideMaxx conversion kit, so it's important to choose the correct driveshafts for the configuration of your truck. Once you have those driveshafts the durability and reliability of the Maxx goes way up—so much so that if I could choose only one upgrade for the Traxxas Maxx these driveshafts would be it.
*Please note that to use these driveshafts, you do need two other parts: Traxxas 17mm Splined Wheel Hub Hexes, and 17mm Splined Wheel Nuts. Along with a 17mm wheel wrench, you’ll be good to go.
Pro Tip: “These driveshafts come assembled but not greased so we recommend adding a little grease inside the ball joint.”
#2 WideMaxx Suspension Kit
Our number two upgrade is probably the most popular and it's the WideMaxx conversion kit which adds 20 millimeters extra width per side for a 40-millimeter total increase. This may not seem like much, but it widens the Maxx by over an inch and greatly improves stability and cornering performance. In fact, this kit may be the single greatest upgrade to enhance the overall experience for those with a full throttle aggressive driving style. This conversion kit includes everything needed, with a full set of extreme duty tracks, suspension arms links, rear springs, and extended plastic driveshafts.
#3 Upgrade Your Servo
Number three as with any RTR R/C car the steering servo is a common failure point and for good reason the motor in the servo works really hard to hold the tires in the direction you pointed them while the surface pushes back against the tires. As you can imagine the heavier the vehicle, the faster it's going, the greater those forces are exerted onto the servo adding to the extra stress and strain. Now with the Maxx being a heavy, high performance basher an upgraded steering servo is a must have. It doesn't necessarily need to be done right away but definitely do it once the stock servo dies.
For upgraded servo options take a look at the 2085X X-Maxx servo for a more powerful solution. Traxxas also offers a metal servo horn that will fit onto the larger servo size made just for the Maxx. With the unique size of these Traxxas servos it's not common to find aftermarket servos from other brands in this size but we can get around that by using the Traxxas X-Maxx servo adapter which allows us to use any standard size servo we want that are readily available at most hobby shops.
Now one thing to keep in mind when shopping for servos is you're going to want a waterproof one if you plan to drive in wet conditions, otherwise you can't get the servo wet. For standard size servos my two recommendations would be the EcoPower WP120T waterproof servo for you journeymen or go with the waterproof ProTek 370TBL for full God mode.
If you do go this route, you'll have to provide your own servo horn if you want to use a standard size servo because the Maxx horn is just too big to fit.
Note: We walk through adding the servo horn in our 6S Conversion Video.
Pro Tip: “If after about six months to a year of use you've noticed your steering just feels a bit weaker or maybe it doesn't track straight like it used to, there's a good chance that your servo saver parts are worn out and need to be replaced. After time dirt and dust finds their way into these parts and ends up acting like sandpaper weakening the tension on the servo saver the result of this is the steering may feel spongy and the vehicle may not turn as tight as it once did.”
#4 Swapping Out The Tires
Number four this next upgrade idea is my favorite for any R/C, it's swapping out the tires. Honestly, the stock Maxx tires are good with the multi-terrain tread pattern and long-lasting rubber compound. We found from customers that if you jump your Maxx high enough the plastic wheels may weaken when you land or even crack and a cracked wheel is no good. Now if you're not really one to go out and jump your Traxxas Maxx or you just kind of take it easy you'll probably never experience this issue but for those who are wanting to jump their truck bigger and harder these pre-mounted monster truck tires are a great alternative with a bunch of great tread designs like the Badlands 3.8 or the Trencher LP’s.
Pro Tip: “Keep in mind when you use a tire that's a larger size than the stock Maxx tire, you'll probably need to gear down your motor pinion one or two teeth to ensure you don't overheat your electronics.”
For a smaller tire size, one of my personal favorite combinations on the Maxx are using UDR tires which are just a tad smaller diameter than the Maxx tires. The adjusted tire size gives the truck a boost in torque and acceleration, but less top speed—kind of like gearing down on your pinion gear. However, you must use Traxxas wheels with these tires and it's unknown how well they hold up with big and gnarly jumps. The cool thing about the Traxxas Maxx is it will fit almost any 1/8 scale size tire and wheel as long as the wheel has a 17-millimeter wheel hex.
Pro Tip: “If you're going to invest in really nice tires put tape over the vent hole on the wheel if you're going to drive in wet conditions. If you don't, the foam insert inside gets wet and moldy and eventually breaks down, ruining those new tires.””
#5 Expanded Battery Tray
The carbon fiber battery tray from Xtreme Racing may not be a necessity for everyone, but it’s a convenient solution for those that run larger batteries. It replaces the stock battery hold-down bar with a carbon fiber tray and hook-and-loop strap. This is the most secure option for larger batteries in your Maxx.
We’ve also used the Pure-Tech Xtreme Quick Mount in the past and had a lot of luck with it. The main difference being it’s just held down with adhesive, as opposed to screws.
Featured Products (Shop any of the items on our list by clicking on the links below.)
1) Steel Driveshafts
Maxx Constant Velocity Driveshafts
WideMaxx Constant Velocity Driveshafts
17mm Wheel Hub Set
17mm Wheel Nuts
17mm Wheel Nut Wrench
2) WideMaxx Conversion Kit
Traxxas Servo Adapter
EcoPower WP120T Waterproof Servo
ProTek R/C 370TBL Waterproof Servo
Traxxas Steering Bellcrank Set (for servo saver parts)
Badlands 3.8" Pre-mounted Tires
Trencher LP 3.8" Pre-mounted Tires
UDR Hyrax Tire
Traxxas UDR Wheel
Road Rage 3.8" Pre-mounted Tires
Street Fighter 3.8" Pre-mounted Tires
Shop All Monster Truck Tires
5) Battery Strap
Carbon Adjustable Battery Brace
*Prices subject to change without notice - last updated June 21, 2021
Note: Speed ratings are for informational purposes only, actual speeds may vary due to condition, terrain, battery type, and driving style.