Traxxas Velineon in a Tamiya Lunchbox


I decided I wanted to take my Tamiya Lunchbox to the track last Friday night. It would be a big change from the Traxxas Slash 4x4 I usually run, and I thought it’d be fun to bring something unique out to run.

Based on the title of this post, this is a big mistake, right? For those unfamiliar, the Lunchbox is an RC from the 1980s, when brushless technology didn’t even exist! The Velineon 3500 motor spins twice as fast as the stock 540; the torque of the Velineon is practically unmeasurably higher. Ridiculous! However, my goal wasn’t actually to put the Velineon system in the Lunchbox. I simply wanted to run with my “good” batteries. After digging through some speed controls and connectors, I decided the simplest thing to do was drop the Velineon in. I could simply not pull the throttle hard to maintain a manageable speed, right?

Does anybody remember watching the Lunchbox races in the 80s? It was crazy fun! (Here’s a “highlights” clip from a recent get-together.)The Lunchbox is very top-heavy and has such a short wheelbase that it rolls easily, the suspension is so short and bouncy, and the truck runs on two wheels as much as it runs on four. It didn’t matter if you were a good driver or not, you would roll the truck while driving, and it was a laughably good time for everyone.

And that’s pretty much how running the Lunchbox was. The Velineon system had so much torque that it was difficult to keep it on four wheels. The Velineon has a “training mode” that restricts the motor to about 50%, which worked well to reign in the power of the Velineon and make the truck almost drivable. Several people took a turn with the Lunchbox and we all laughed at how ridiculous it was to control.

I intended to race the Lunchbox, but running it on the track just proved how completely outclassed it was by absolutely everyone else. A few others did talk about bringing their Lunchboxes, though… and if we had a Lunchbox class then we’d all certainly be competitive with each other!

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