LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

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FlyingTigerDad
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LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

So a little background first... I started racing Losi trucks way back in the beginning, the late 80's, first JRX-T's, then LXT's. I continued until the mid 90's, when I got sick of having to buy the latest gadgets every few months just to stay competitive. After that I was out of racing and the RC hobby for many years, as family, children, and work obligations took over. I got rid of all my trucks (regrettably), and figured I'd never be involved in RC again.
About 6 years ago fate & circumstance intervened, and I found myself back into the RC hobby & racing again. I built, customized and fabricated a few trucks in that time, enjoying them all immensely, but still there seemed to be something missing. I still missed my favorite truck of all - my old LXT. Given their age and rarity these days, I never thought I'd ever be re-united with my beloved LXT again. After lurking here for a bit and seeing the beautiful trucks being built with NOS parts, I saw a glimmer of hope. I started watching and searching on eBay, just to see what was out there - at least that's what I told myself, anyway. Sure enough eventually I found the perfect truck for me. A newly built, never run LXT roller with all the right stuff - XX Retro-fit trans, Lunsford Titanium rods, original (neon green) LXT wheels with new Losi rib front tires & new Losi step pins in the rear - both in HT compound.
After making the purchase, I decided rather quickly that this would not be a shelf queen. With that in mind, I began collecting the pieces needed to make it a (somewhat) modern race truck. Knowing that racing can be hard on equipment, I started collecting a host of spare parts as well, while availability is still somewhat decent. So now, without further ado, here is the progression... from its first arrival in October to as it sits today.
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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

I started with some modern brushless electronics in the form of a Hobbywing Quicrun 10BL60 ESC and Hobbywing Fixed timing 17.5T brushless motor. I didn't want anything too overpowering for 30 year old components. Back in the day, I ran exclusively in the Modified Truck class, so I figured this would be comparable in brushless terms.
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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

I found some miss-matched wheels in white that I mounted some modern rubber on, as well as some old HPI black Star 5 spoke wheels I used for my clay track tire setup. For radio gear I'm using a Futaba 3PV transmitter, and an R204GF-E antenna-less receiver. Also, had to change gearing to be a little better suited to a 17.5T setup. I started by finding an 86T Losi spur gear, but then lucked out and fount a vintage Kimbrough 81T that was compatible. For steering duties, I used a Reedy RT-1508 Hi-torque servo (just an extra I had on hand). After installing the servo, I went to hook up the linkage, and the steering arm cracked and split, as they commonly do. So, I purchased a 3D printed ball bearing replacement from Sabula Tech.
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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

Just as I was thinking I was close to being finished, I came across some extra nice goodies that I had to have. Original Losi threaded shock bodies (XXT vintage, I believe), and some nice titanium nitride coated shock shafts. Found a really cool custom cut chassis protector in carbon fiber as well. And speaking of carbon fiber... Did I mention that it's my Kryptonite? That being said, I just had to get the Vintage RC carbon fiber shock towers & upper chassis brace.
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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

And, of course, lastly the body. I wanted a slightly modified version of a Pro-SE scheme with different colors. The gray in the stripes & the bed accents came out a bit darker than I wanted, but live & learn. Just an excuse to get TBG body & try again later.
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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

Oh, and I almost forgot... MCI racing provided a custom colored decal sheet that I used to go with my choice of body colors. This also allowed me to keep the original sheet intact. I substituted the yellow accents for blue & the pink accents for gray.
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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by MarkyDents »

Yowza ! That’s one nicely appointed resto-modded LXT !
Nicely done 8)
Who do you race for ?
Me……. I race for me.
That’s impossible, I was told you need a sponsor to race.
Hey Cru ! Go balls out 8)

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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

It's been an interesting few months since my last post with this truck. I took it out to my local home track, Hot Rod Hobbies, for its first initial shakedown run within weeks of posting pictures of the (more or less) finished truck. That didn't go so well & certainly not as I envisioned, or would have liked. After only 2 laps around the truck seemed to be handling pretty well, with the exception of being a little too sensitive in the steering down the straight. At the end of the second lap, it drifted a little wide on the straight coming into the big sweeper, and proceeded to just barely graze the outer retaining wall with the right front wheel. Well, apparently, that was enough to do some major damage. The front bulkhead broke where the inner front arm hinge pin goes through, which allowed the arm to get pulled back enough for the lower shock eyelet to get pulled on and broken as well. Needless to say, my day was done before I even really got started.

I went home, disassembled the front end, assessed the damage and took stock of what I needed to replace. I had another shock eyelet in my spares, but not the correct front bulkhead, so I decided to order a strong looking 3D printed one for a replacement (actually ordered 2, just to have an extra). Not satisfied with just that, I also ordered a Factory Works front hinge pin brace with the hopes of eliminating the possibility of that type of damage from ever happening again. Factory Works specifies that the inner hinge pins need to be replaced with slightly longer ones when using their brace - going from stock of 1.6" to a minimum of 1.7". I went looking for these, but could only find some TiNi coated ones that were 1.9" long. So I got these & figures I'd use some spacers if needed to take up the extra length, which I wound up using a few o'rings to accomplish this & keep it a little flexible as well. You can see what I'm talking about here...

I also moved the top of the front shock mounting position back to the factory setting - I had it one hole out from there, but as the manual stated, steering was just too sensitive on the straight.
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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

One more thing that I've wanted to address is the fact that with the current battery retention method, it can only accommodate full sized battery packs. Shorty's will fit fine, but they have nothing to hold them in the back & keep them from falling out. I could have used the Vintage RC setup, but it seemed too involved, and wouldn't be easily adaptable to run both the standard 2S & the shorty's. I decided to fabricate something on my own, which I'm quite pleased with the outcome. I removed the factory Losi front battery mount and replaced it with 2 posts (modified Traxxas Slash body posts) that were dremeled to fit. I then used an Exotek battery thumb nut kit to mount two studs into the posts for the nuts to go on. Lastly, I used an Associated Factory Team carbon fiber (couldn't resist 8)) battery retaining plate from the T4 that I cut to the proper shape to fit for what I needed. Now, with this system, I can run both standard packs & shorty packs with only having to insert a foam block spacer for the shorty's.
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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by Toyotachris1982 »

Wow! Looks great I love the custom decals

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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

Thank you very much, I thought those were just too cool when I saw them. And while I'm thinking of it, thank you to all who have checked out (and hopefully enjoyed) this build. I've actually thought a bit about my fellow members here recently. I get the sense that perhaps some of the Vintage Losi purists might frown on taking a fairly rare machine like this, modifying it so much and deviating so far from the original production truck. Maybe I get that impression by seeing all of the beautiful, faithfully restored LXT's that people have built just for display. I too was tempted to do that as well, but just couldn't keep myself from being able to enjoy this truck on the track like I did so many years ago.

Even though I started this built to be specifically a modernized LXT designed to run on a modern race circuit, I did still have a couple caveats that I imposed on myself so I wouldn't get carried away and ruin such a rare machine. I told myself that I would do nothing to this truck that couldn't be easily reversed to take it back to an all stock/original configuration. Despite the many things I've done so far, everything is bolt on only. Even the customized/fabricated items are all things that can be readily removed and replaced with original parts. And speaking of those - I have all the original parts on-hand for just such an occasion. Even such a simple thing like the most recent battery retention modification - I could have easily just dremeled some slots in the battery box of the chassis to run some velcro straps and called it good, but I'd never do anything so sacrilegious to a rare original part. I wouldn't even run it (on any surface) without some significant chassis protection on the bottom, just to keep it nice & scuff free. Perhaps some day when I have all of the racing bug out of my system, I'll return this truck to an all original display only model and enjoy it that way. After all, I still have many of my old parts & electronics from my old LXT, for example... Novak T1X Speed Control, Losi Big Ed 15T Quad motor, Novak mini receiver, even an original barely used Losi Hyrda-Drive unit with a full bottle of fluid.

Pehaps someday. But today.... Well, today is race day!

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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by Lavigna »

Really cool build and thread. I really love how the body and decals look. Just perfect. I love seeing these old cars and trucks outfitted with modern electronics and run hard against the latest and greatest.

While it's true this stuff is getting rare, you can always find another. These kits were sold in the thousands.

I feel bad about cutting up the XX chassis for my current XX buggy build, but I already have several pristine shelf examples, and I wanted to build something different.

Thanks again for the great build thread!

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Re: LXT Resto-Mod Racer Build

Post by FlyingTigerDad »

Thank you, coming from you that means a lot. Among all the fine builders/builds here, I consider you & yours to be "top shelf". As a matter of fact, it's your beautiful JRX-T build that inspired me to get a vintage truck of my own, as that was my first real race truck, and what started my whole love of racing RC Stadium trucks.

And certainly as many fine examples of the XX buggy as you have, you should be able to make one of your own choosing guilt free, even if means cutting up a few original parts. I know what mean though... with the deep appreciation as guys (and gals!) like us on this forum have for these machines, sometimes it feels painful.

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