Pro-Line–best known for tires and bodies–also has a respectable history of making aftermarket performance parts. During the reign of the Traxxas T-Maxx, Pro-Line’s MAXX suspension kit and Power Stroke shocks were the hot setup. In fact, the shocks were ahead of their time and close to drool worthy. Fast forward to the current era and Pro-Line is once again proving that they are more than just treads and Lexan. When short course took off and tracks across the country were full of Traxxas Slashes, Pro-Line stepped up once again. Pro-line’s ProTrac suspension kit for the 2WD Slash was an instant hit.
I’ve run this kit on a Slash–as it’s intended to be used–and have seen firsthand how the ProTrac treatment improves the track prowess of the truck. This time, however, I installed the suspension system on a Traxxas Monster Mutt Monster Jam Replica truck. Since the Monster Jam Replicas are based off the Stampede and the 2WD Slash uses the same suspension as the Stampede, the kit is essentially a direct fit.
Part no.: 6062-00
The ProTrac system includes wider front and rear suspension arms, new front and rear shock towers, new rear hubs and longer steering and camber links. The shock towers offer more tuning options for the upper shock mounts and inner camber links. The rear hubs offer additional outer camber link options. The wider stance increases stability in corners and when landing from bumps and jumps. The additional camber link mounting options allow for adjustments to be made to roll centers and camber gain. The additional upper shock mounting locations allow for a subtle changes in the progress feel of the shocks. The end result is a better handling truck that has more race truck like tuning capabilities. It’s worth noting that the ProTrac kit also includes four rims with the needed offset to keep the width of a Slash within the ROAR legal limits.
The ProTrac is a simple installation as all of the parts are designed to be direct replacements. No special skills required. Anyone of just about any skill level can perform this parts swap. I complicated the process a bit by electing to boil the plastic (nylon blend) parts before installing them. I did this to increase the flexibility and durability of the components since I was using it on an “open-wheel” truck. The front arms required a bit of hand fitting to fit properly on the front bulkhead. I’d say this is purely optional, but I used a large flat file to remove material from the bulkhead arm mounts until the arms fit without being tight.
Instead of reusing the stock hinge pins, I installed STRC’s replacement hinge pins (item no. ST3640BK). The STRC hinge pins are heat treated, polished and use a lock nut instead of E-clips or by screwing in. They cost $16.99 and are simply worth every penny. Another worthwhile investment I made was the use of Pro-Line’s PowerStroke SC Universal Shock Mounting Hardware Kit (6063-05). The Traxxas family of vehicles using this suspension design (Rustler, Stampede, Slash, etc.) are all plagued by the hinge pins and shock mounting screws loosening during a run. The STRC hinge pin kit and the Pro-Line mounting kit are not only stronger than stock, but they completely cure the problem of lose screws.
The last part that needs to be mentioned about the installation is that since I was using a Monster Jam Replica, I had to get new rod ends (5525) for the steering and camber links. I lucked out and had these in my parts bin, but they are easy to find at most hobby stores. While I was rummaging around, I grabbed some ball bearings to replace the bronze bushings used in the hubs and scooped up a pile of stainless steel hex screws to replace the easy-to-strip stock Phillips hardware.
If you’re looking for some instant performance gratification, you’ll get it with the Pro-Line ProTrac kit. Some bench time is required to install it, but you’ll be instantly rewarded with a better handling truck the second you plop it down and run it. The old Pontiac “Wider is Better” slogan is now cliche (it’s been used about a 1,000 times in RC alone), but it’s hard to avoid here. Even with rear offset rims mounted front and rear, my modified Monster Mutt was clearly more stable in the corners and that’s thanks mostly to just being wider. It was less likely to flip and just easier to drive fast. Staying on all four tires is undeniably, well, better. Since I’m using my Monster Jam Replica for some side-by-side racing that includes the classic sharp U-turn, the suspension gives me a distinct advantage.
If you just bash your Monster Jam Replica truck for fun, the ProTrac kit may be overkill. Now, if you want to modify and customize your truck, significantly up its cool factor and significantly up its performance, going with the Pro-Line ProTrac system is very much worthwhile.