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From a parts perspective there is very little difference between the Stampede and Rustler/Bandit with the exceptions of the chassis format, length and the more predictable racing style bell crank steering of the Rustler/Bandit. The Bandit being exactly a Rustler with a different body, a 78 tooth spur gear, and buggy tires. With the exception of the tires, chassis and steering differences, these three RC's are the same with completely interchangeable front and rear ends. So may parts are exactly the same that a Rustler/Bandit can be converted to a Stampede and vise versa for about $30 in parts. Attention Traxxas this was a stroke of genius that simplified all our lives and changed RC for a long time to come.
The height advantage of the Stampede is for the most part a moot point, other than the Stampede runs taller/bigger wheels, has a larger spur gear in the tranny, and the chassis is set up to provide higher clearance in the mid-section presumable for a raised 4X4 look. The Rustler running the same tires provides the same amount of "minimum" clearance as the Stampede, but drops the center of gravity down in the mid section for a more track/race oriented RC that is less "tipsy" and handles and corners much better.
Most people feel the Stampede
is and was designed more ruggedly as a do it all backyard urban RC for the
masses that can keep going when the terrain is rougher than a groomed
track. I additionally believe the Stampede chassis can handle a
bit more abuse than the
Rustler's due to it's design, but that's just my experience. The Stampede was designed for the person
who doesn't care about
track racing, and wants to have fun no matter what the terrain - grass,
rough dirt, street, snow, anything. Although it should be noted
that almost every track has a Stampede racing category due to the
popularity of this model.
Quality and Durability
Already one hell of a RC truck, and arguably the most durable and best ready-to-run electric sport truck right out of the box, the performance of the Stampede will drastically improve with some upgrades - (see useful links and projects & hop-ups). The Stinger 20 Turn motor is pretty good if proper break-in procedures are followed, the shocks have been said to be some of the best plastic shocks available, the chassis is solid, the geometry of everything works well, it comes with a whole bag of extra parts including an 84 and 87 tooth spur gears, a nice heavy pre-painted body, and three sets of great directions. The tires are harder (less sticky) than what most people want, but will probably never ever wear out and will definitely last through the initial set of upgrades. One little gripe I have is the photo to the right. The Traxxas literature shows the Stampede popping a wheelie...no chance of that in any sort of stock configuration for the pre-2006 models unless the Traxxas is really geared down. I feel it is a little misleading for a lot of people (it's a big subject on the forums). The Traxxas XL-1 ESC (electronic speed control) is a good smooth speed controller for faster/hotter/stronger 17 turn motors and will rival most ESCs under $50-$60 with a little low-cost tweaking. Without even going to a faster motor, the Stampede is very fast and probably too fast for youngsters under 6-10 (but is can always be geared to slow it down).
The Stampede is one tough truck. One of the things that makes the Stampede so much fun is it durability. The Stampede continuously take obscene amounts of abuse without breaking. I have flipped mine end over end and cart-wheeled it down stairs (sure - it was an accident), and taken amazing jumps with no damage. Of course the Stampede is not indestructible, and the great part is when something does break, Traxxas parts can usually be had easily and in-expensively at almost any local hobby store or directly through Traxxas at BuyTraxxas.com.
- Stampede or Rustler/Bandit?
If buying a pre-2006 model not equipped with the new XL-5 ESC and Titan 12 Turn 550 motor, I recommend to go ahead and buy the cheaper Mechanical Speed Control (MSC) model, toss the MSC, and buy a high end speed control with a low turn motor limit of at least 8-15 (a lower turn limit is better). Looking back the $20-$30 extra bucks I spent on the ESC model would have been better spent on even an intermediate higher end ESC such as Novac's XRC or at that time the Novak Rooster. The old XL-1 Traxxas ESC is again good and gets you up and running quick, but will be retired as soon as you want to upgrade past a 17 turn motor. In addition that cheap MSC can and should be used when running in very wet and/or snowy environments. Water is the enemy of the ESC, but the MSC can be safely sealed away in a waterproof container for snowy and wet RC'ing - (see waterproofing sections).
Whether you just like to terrorize the neighborhood or are a seasoned RC veteran, the Stampede and Rustler are durable, low maintenance RC trucks that provides tons of fun in stock and modified forms all at a price that is hard to beat.
The Traxxas Electric Stampede
The chassis is pure monster, with its reinforced channel design, fiber-composite materials, and unsurpassed ground clearance. The suspension is pure race, with track-tuned geometry and the fully-adjustable oil-filled shocks of a competition-level race truck.
The Stampede is loaded with features, such as a new wide-ratio transmission with ball bearings; adjustable slipper clutch; high-torque, Stinger 20-turn motor; and a super-strong, planetary-gear differential, which uses metal gears to handle real-world abuse. Giant, soft-compound, monster-mudder tires provide great traction on dirt and rocks. The Stampede is available ready-to-run with either a precise rotary mechanical speed control (model 3610) or the powerful XL-1 electronic speed control (model 3606).
The Stampede includes a fully trimmed and finished five-color ProGraphix™ painted body. With the ProGraphix process, you will never see bleeding paint or over-sprays that need to be covered up with a page full of decals. Our unique ProGraphix™ painting process creates crisp, clean lines, smooth fades, and amazing professional graphics. Each model is available with four different color schemes to choose from. No painting or trimming is required, so you can start running faster than ever! You'll be even more satisfied knowing you got all this speed, style and handling for such an affordable price.
Ready-to-run models (3610 and 3606) include our powerful, pistol-grip TQ radio system, ProGraphix painted body and stylish chrome wheels."