We know that everyone can't afford $2000 in parts to hop-up their truck. Project JUMPMAXX is our attempt at taking a basic T-Maxx and making it jumpworthy on a budget of less than $400. We will break it down piece by piece so even if you don't have that many smacks burning a hole in your wallet, you can select what parts you do want to invest in and in what order.

We have tried to focus on components that will significantly reduce the common problems associated with BIG jumping (broken a-arms, blown shock caps, busted shock towers, bent turnbuckles, etc). After all, nothing will ruin an afternoon of bashing fun faster than a handful of broken components.

Now we know that there are a million and one different ways to go about building a jump truck. You can go with aluminum, high strength plastic, etc. Everyone has a different opinion on what works. The fact is a lot of different component combinations work. The parts we have chosen for this particular project are readily available, high quality pieces and budget minded without sacrificing performance.

We wanted to start with a somewhat basic T-Maxx so we chose to use "Old Blue", a "old style" T-Maxx (a BYT favorite). Old Blue has a few minor engine upgrades. Our feeling was that this would not effect the jumping performance of the truck (the OS is getting a bit tired anyway). Remember our goal is to keep the truck from breaking (as often) when jumping.

Here's what we started with:

Traxxas T-Maxx (old style) equipped with:
  • OS CV-15 recoil start engine
  • Motor Saver Air Filter
  • Dynamite Fuel Filter
  • CVEC Exhaust Pipe
  • Dynamite Ultra Performance Cylinder Head
  • Racers Edge 18 Tooth Clutch Bell
  • Traxxas / MIP On-Board Temperature Gauge
  • RRP Dual Disc Spur Gear (72 tooth)
  • Click here to visit the RC RAVEN web site  Click here to visit the FULLFORCE RC web site  Click here to visit the GREAT ASSEMBLY RC web site
    Aluminum goodies
    JUMPMAXX top view

    Remember our mission is not to jump the Grand Canyon (maybe a later project). We have tried to use parts that will significantly reduce the common problems associated with BIG jumping....on a budget!

    Here's the skinny on the goodies for JUMPMAXX:

    RC Raven Aluminum Shock Towers.................................................
    RC Raven Dual Rate Shock Springs..................................................
    RC Raven Aluminum Bumpers...........................................................
    FullForce RC Black Oxide 12.9 Hex Head Screw Kit.........................
    FullForce RC Solid Aluminum Roll Bar................................................
    Great Assembly 6061Aluminum Bulkheads and Braces...................
    Pro-Line Maxx Performance Suspension Kit (n/a for new style T)..
    Traxxas Big Bore Aluminum Shocks.................................................
    Traxxas Stainless Steel A-arm pins.................................................
    RC Rocket Aluminum Chassis Braces..............................................





    We have burned a gallon of nitro through our JUMPMAXX and have done nothing but jump, jump and jump some more. We put the truck through a variety of different jumps ranging from 1 foot tall to 4 feet tall (what we thought the average basher would be doing in their own back yard). So what happened? BYT had a BLAST!!! And we didn't break anything (no matter how hard we tried).

    We purposely hit the jumps sideways and off center just to see how the truck would handle the landings. The results were plush and would make even the most inexperienced driver look good.

    The following clips illustrate the smooth landing ability of JUMPMAXX:

    jumping (639kb)
    jumping (338kb)
    more jumping (445kb)
    and more jumping (414kb)


    RC Raven Springs (top)
    Traxxas Big Bore Springs (bottom)

    Click here to visit the RC RAVEN web siteThe RC Raven Dual Rate Springs worked great (check out the picture to the left showing the Raven Dual Rates versus the springs from the Big Bore Shocks). They are stiffer than the stock Big Bores Springs and yet proved to work well both during high speed bumps (not too bouncy) and during jumping (nice landings without too much recoil). We used no spring spacers during testing.

     RC Raven Dual Rate Springs
    quality   - VERY GOOD
    performance   - EXCELLENT
    cost/value   - EXCELLENT

    Traxxas Big Bore Shocks with
    RC Raven Dual Rate Springs

    We wish Traxxas would have set the T-Maxx up with the Big Bore Performance shocks as a standard item (we know about costs etc but there is also something to say for doing it right the first time). This truck needs these shocks. Anyone that has jumped anything with their T-Maxx has blown the caps off of their plastic shocks (or worse). We PUNISHED these shocks and they laughed at us. No leaks, no blown caps, no trouble.

    The only thing we would change with this setup is moving to heavier weight oil in the shocks. We have been told the Big Bores come with 30 weight oil in the package. This may be a personal preference but we think a heavier weight shock oil would make for a better driving truck and stiffen things up a bit. This is a GREAT upgrade and worked very well with the springs we chose.

    UPDATE: We have changed the shock oil to 50wt and it is awesome. Still, after months of BASHING, no leaks, no shock trouble! These are a great investment.

    Traxxas Big Bore Performance Shocks
    quality   - EXCELLENT
    performance   - EXCELLENT
    cost/value   - VERY GOOD

    RC Raven Aluminum Shock Tower

    Click here to visit the RC RAVEN web site
    The RC Raven Shock Towers gave us plenty of adjustment for shock location, 5 to be exact. Combined with the three settings at the a-arms, we had a ton of different combinations to play with. Highly polished (very nice finish) and looking good, these shock towers fit perfectly with the Great Assembly Aluminum Bulkheads.

    After several (20+) nasty landings, we did manage to put a slight (very slight) bend in one of the rear shock towers. It was easily straightened. Let us stress... we were being VERY hard on the truck and purposely landing it on anything but the wheels (the stock "Old Blue" body is in really bad shape after all of this). We recommend these towers to anyone who wants to add some adjustability to their suspension. Not to mention they are awesome looking!

    RC Raven Shock Towers
    quality   - EXCELLENT
    performance   - VERY GOOD
    cost/value   - VERY GOOD

    RC Raven Aluminum Bumpers

    Bumper mount trim job

    Click here to visit the RC RAVEN web site
    We gave the RC Raven Aluminum Bumpers a thorough beating and alas, we could not bend them. BYT feels the key here is to use the stock bumper mounts. This keeps some impact absorption while allowing the bumpers to protect the truck. During the installation, we trimmed the bumper mount faces so they were flat (see picture at the left) for a stronger mounting surface.

    We did have to re-tighten the bumper mounts (bumper mount to bulkhead) at the end of each day, even Loctite would not hold. Hey! Something has to give! These bumpers worked great. Bonus... the grass and mud stains cleaned off easily at the end of each day. They were a little rough when we received them. We needed to remove some of the excess material around the inside edges of the bumper and the corners. Not a big deal especially for the price and the performance.

    some rear bumper abuse (639kb)
    more rear bumper abuse (445kb)
    and more bumper abuse (506kb)

    RC Raven Aluminum Bumpers
    quality   - GOOD
    performance   - VERY GOOD
    cost/value   - EXCELLENT

    Great Assembly RC Aluminum Braces

    Great Assembly RC Rear Link Brace

    Click here to visit the GREAT ASSEMBLY RC web site
    When we received our 6061 Aluminum Bulkheads and Braces package from Great Assembly RC, we were nothing short of impressed. The kit includes all of the hardware needed along with super meaty aluminum bulkhead braces. The bulkhead set was packaged very nicely and installation was a treat. Everything lined up perfectly. The machine work is quite nice. There are access holes machined into the bulks to make tightening the lower shock tower bolts very easy. THIS IS A GREAT FEATURE!! Way to go Great Assembly!

    The kit also includes an excellent set of bulkhead braces. Constructed of solid aluminum and beefy in size to say the least (see picture at left with comparison to stock braces). It also includes a rear link brace (see picture at the left).

    To say the least, this is a very complete kit with nice added features compared to the stock setup and also when compared to many other aftermarket bulkhead sets. All we can say is if the 6061's are this good, the 7075's must be off the charts!

    GARC Aluminum Bulkheads and Braces
    quality   - EXCELLENT
    performance   - EXCELLENT
    cost/value   - EXCELLENT

    FullForce RC Black Oxide Screw Kit

    Click here to visit the FULLFORCE RC web site
    A screw kit may not mean much to some of you but if you have put some serious bashing time in, you can attest to what a pain it is to remove bent, broken and stripped head screws. The FullForce RC Black Oxide Screw Kit is an excellent kit with tons of high quality screws for your T-Maxx. A wide assortment is supplied in a very nice storage container with adjustable compartments. The flush mount allen head screws are tougher than stainless screws.

    We gave the JUMPMAXX a severe beating and not once did we have a screw become damaged in any way. BYT says "Not having to screw around with bent, broken or stripped screws....priceless!"

    Save yourself some time and aggravation when working on your truck. Get this sweet screw kit NOW!!!

    FullForceRC Black Oxide Screw Kit
    quality   - EXCELLENT
    performance   - EXCELLENT
    cost/value   - EXCELLENT

    FullForce RC Aluminum 2-Point Roll Bar

    Click here to visit the FULLFORCE RC web site
    We had a good time rolling the truck over and over again and literally pounding this roll bar. We landed JUMPMAXX at least a dozen times on its roof and not a whimper. The FullForce RC Aluminum 2-Point Roll Bar was easy to install and included good instructions on how to get the job done. Two holes need to be drilled in the chassis for mounting. No big deal. The hardware to bolt the roll bar in is included as well as an allen wrench to do the job. Nice touch FullForce! Our OS engine has the carb linkage on the right side so we had to make a slight bend to make everything fit nicely. We also added a piece of fuel line over the linkage to prevent any servo twitching (linkage bumping the roll bar). It works great!

    We have used other roll bars that bolt into the bulkheads etc and they work well also. However the FullForceRC roll bar is lighter in weight than others we have used and that's a bonus, especially when we have added some weight with all the aluminum goodies on the truck. It is inexpensive and good cooling head/engine protection!!!

    We are running a Dynamite Ultra Performance head on the truck and the bar is higher than the head (see the picture to the left). If you are running a larger (taller) cooling head than this, you might wish the roll bar was slightly higher for additional protection.

    FullForceRC Aluminum 2-Point Roll Bar
    quality   - EXCELLENT
    performance   - VERY GOOD
    cost/value   - EXCELLENT

    Pro-Line Maxx Performance Suspension

    If you haven't already figured it out, the Pro-Line Maxx Performance Suspension is a must have item. This upgrade kit has been our favorite all-time upgrade for the T-Maxx. More stability (MUCH more stability) and less breakage. In fact, we have yet to break a Pro-Line suspension component (and we have been using this kit for over a year on two of our trucks).....knock on wood! Extra bonus...Lunsford titanium turnbuckles are included with the kit. The lower a-arms have three different shock mounting positions for extra tunability. This combines with the RCRaven Shock Towers gives you tons of different shock mounting combinations.

    Pro-Line Maxx Performance Suspension
    quality   - EXCELLENT
    performance   - EXCELLENT
    cost/value   - EXCELLENT

    RC Rocket Aluminum Chassis Braces

    RC Rocket was our choice for aluminum chassis braces. They install easily and we felt they were a nice, inexpensive way to stiffen the chassis. For $20, you can't go wrong with these braces. Not to mention they also look great!

    RCRaven Aluminum Chassis Braces
    quality   - VERY GOOD
    performance   - EXCELLENT
    cost/value   - EXCELLENT

    Traxxas Stainless A-Arm Pins

    Stainless A-Arm Pins from Traxxas: We did put some slight bends in a couple of pins. Nothing too bad and overall pretty impressive. We expected these (or the a-arms) to give out during some of the nasty landings. At the very least, we thought the e-clips would pop-off (see picture at the left) but we were wrong. Traxxas does include a couple of extra e-clips in the kit.

    They held strong throughout the beatings, much better than the stock ones have in the past. Certainly worth the money (note: these are a required item when using the Aluminum bulk heads)

    Traxxas Stainless A-Arm Pins
    quality   - VERY GOOD
    performance   - GOOD
    cost/value   - VERY GOOD


    Click here to visit the RC RAVEN web site
      RC Raven, a leading RC performance parts supplier, supplied some of their hop-up parts for the project. Our experience with them has been nothing short of A+.

    The following items from RC Raven were included in Project JumpMaxx:

    Shock Towers - if you haven't seen these yet, you need to stop and take a look.
    Dual Rate Shock Springs - an essential jump item.
    Aluminum Bumpers - a nice touch that beefs up the front and rear of the truck.
    Click here to visit the FULLFORCE RC web site FullForce RC, another leading RC performance parts supplier, also supplied components for the BYT JUMPMAXX Project. These guys are really great to work with and we are always excited to try some of their components.

    The following items from FullForce RC were included in Project JumpMaxx:

    Screw Kit - the stock screws on a T-Maxx are not strong enough for serious truck beating...these are trick!
    Roll Bar - bad landings are almost guaranteed once in a while. This little beauty is great for protecting the truck vitals.

    Click here to visit the GREAT ASSEMBLY RC web siteGreat Assembly RC (if you haven't seen their stuff's time to crawl out from the rock you've been living under) has treated us to a full set of 6061 Aluminum bulkheads and braces. These are some gorgeous parts and the price can not be beat for what you get. Tired of replacing plastic bulk heads? Quit screwing around and hook up with Great Assembly RC.

    The following items from Great Assembly RC were included in Project JumpMaxx:

    6061 bulkheads and braces - take a peek at these bad boys and the rest of the Great Assembly site.

    RC Rocket offers great parts at very reasonable prices. BYT chose their aluminum chassis braces for this project. They are strong, lightweight and add rigidity to the framework of the truck.

    We added the Pro-Line Maxx Performance Suspension Kit to our JUMP MAXX. The kit includes the Lunsford titanium turnbuckles.

    We also added a set of Big Bore Shocks to the project truck. We have matched them up with the RC Raven Dual Rate Shock Springs. We also slipped in a set of Traxxas stainless steel suspension arm hinge pins.

       THE VERDICT  

    We truly enjoyed all of the components we tested and felt each of them offered a unique benefit to our project. SO...what gives you the most bang for the buck? In our opinion, it is a three way tie for first place. The combination of springs and shocks with the suspension kit are probably the best way to get into the jumping scene. Followed closely by the bulk heads (these are awesome) with stainless a-arm pins , screw kit and roll bar. After that the chassis braces, shock towers and bumpers.

    The order in which you decide to go about building your own jump truck may vary and that's ok! We hope that we have helped you decide where to start. By no means are we finished. We will be attacking a JUMPMAXX Stage 2 at a later date. This time we will add horsepower (for higher jumps) and much more. Stay tuned and be sure to send us your jumping photos and videos so we can add them to the site!

    The items used on our projects will also be reviewed individually on our Product Reviews page. Do you have an idea for a project? Contact us and we will check it out!

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