Horizon Hobby’s Preview of the new Pro-Line Performance Transmission
When it comes to short course trucks, the Traxxas Slash is one of the most popular 2WD trucks out there. While the Slash makes a great spec racer it can leave a few things to be desired as a hard-core race truck. The Pro-Line Racing folks have long had a soft spot for this truck, first with their ProTrac suspension kit and now with their latest release. Pro-Line Racing has released a new, performance-orientated transmission that will not-only fit the 2WD Slash but also the 2WD electric Stampede, Electric Rustler and Bandit. We got an inside look at this new gearbox at RCX 2012 and were lucky to have gotten our hands on the actual RCX display unit. We dove into the transmission itself, compared what it offers over the stock gearbox and mounted it in a Slash of our own. Let’s take a closer look at this potential gamechanger.
What Pro-Line has done with their Performance Transmission is to make your Traxxas vehicle not only more durable but easier to work on and more tunable. While the stock transmission is functional and pretty durable, it does leave a few things to be desired. The Pro-Line Performance Transmission provides significant upgrades in a number of areas:
This is one of the biggest benefits of the Performance Transmission. The stock Traxxas differential can be packed with grease to change its action, but that gets messy and grease tends to break down over time. There are some tutorials on how to modify the stock differential to kinda-sorta-almost-maybe make it fluid-fillable, but that tends to leak or have other issues. Pro-Line has designed a true, 1/8-scale buggy-inspired sealed gear differential for the Performance Transmission. This allows you to change the handling of your truck by changing the viscosity of the diff oils used in the diff itself. Overall this should help to greatly smooth out the power delivery and provide better traction.
Racing-Style Slipper Clutch
This is more of a refinement than some of the other changes that Pro-Line has incorporated into their transmission. The stock slipper works well; however, there are better designs out there. Pro-Line has borrowed from its racing lineage and incorporated a dual-disc slipper clutch assembly into the topshaft. The gear and slipper pads are specific to this transmission and aren’t shared with any other manufacturers. The gear itself is very thick and beefy and should handle just about any power you might want to throw at it.
With extreme power provided by today’s brushless motors and Li-Po batteries, the slipper clutch is taxed like never before. Heat can be a significant issue to overcome. When a slipper clutch gets hotter, the overall performance is affected. To help address this Pro-Line has taken an extra step of venting the slipper plates to help dissipate heat better. A side benefit to these vent holes is that the rotating mass is reduced slightly, improving acceleration.
2-Piece Suspension Mount/Transmission Case
I won’t lie, this is one of the biggest improvements over the stock transmission to me. Anytime you want or need to work on the transmission with the stock components, you have to not only remove the transmission from the chassis but also remove the rear suspension arms too. This is time consuming and, honestly, a bit of a pain. With the Pro-Line Performance Transmission the suspension mount is a separate component, meaning you can remove just the transmission for service and leave the suspension mounted to the chassis. This will make it a lot easier to work on things moving forward.
Metal Motor Plate
The stock motor plate is molded right into the rightside of the molded transmission cases. That’s right—the stock Traxxas motor plate is molded composite. While this is inexpensive to produce, it provides little, if any, cooling for the motor itself. The Performance Transmission not only has an aluminum motor plate, but it is also strategically machined to reduce weight and assist in cooling. I have to admit the machined PL logo looks cool too.
Solid Gear Cover/Transmission Case
There are two openings on the stock transmission that, out of the box, you need to cover up with tape. Yeah, it’s a minor thing, but it’s still a bit of a pain, especially if/when the glue on the tape gives up the ghost. The Pro-Line components are completely sealed, from the bottom of the gearbox itself to the gear cover. This will help keep dirt, grit and grime from getting in and messing up your equipment.
Installing the Performance Transmission onto your car or truck is fairly straightforward. Anything you need to install the transmission onto your vehicle that you won’t be transferring from the stock components is included with the Performance Transmission. The total installation should take you between 30-to-60 minutes to complete and should be rather painless. In the end this is a quick, easy and impactful modification you can make to your vehicle.
The Pro-Line Racing experts have done it again, allowing people to grow with their vehicles and increase the performance quickly and easily. The Pro-Line crew has done a great job in making something that not only improves the handling and performance of your car or truck, but also makes it easier to work on. Whether you have a Slash, Electric Rustler, Stampede or Bandit, this is a top-tier upgrade you’ll definitely want to check out. I am looking forward to getting in some laps with our revamped Slash and seeing exactly what this transmission is capable of.