ESC SMASH Hop-Up Guide

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First upgrade is two Gens Ace 800mAh 20c lipos from  Initial results had me very happy.  Durring testing it was drizzling outside so there wasn’t any wheelie action but there were tons of donuts and burnouts.  The two combined will give me great run time and fit really well.  Will do more testing when it is dry outside but for now I’m very happy.

*Since changed to a single Sky Lipo Battery which is bigger, easier to deal with.

Shock Mod

I had an extra set of shocks from my RC18T2 lying around so I decided to make them fit my Smash.  The mod isn’t perfect and I’m looking into a few options to improve the mod.  If I can get better eyelets I would like to compare the RC18T2 shock mod to the Losi upgrade shocks.

I started off by removing the stock, bottom eyelet.

I then removed the bottom ball cup of the  RC18T2 shocks.

I then drilled out the threaded end of the ball cup and cut the bottom part off the ball cup creating a spacer of sorts.

The next step is to place this spacer on the shock shaft and thread the stock eyelet back on.

From here just add the spring and the spring retainer and mount on the Smash.

With this mod you do lose travel but you gain dampening which is really nice.  If you have any questions comment below.

Drive Train Mods:

With the new shocks I decided to get a brushless system in there.  I’m running the Toro 25 amp ESC with a Tacon finned motor.  They are controlled with a FlySky GT3B radio and powered with my new Sky Lipo 1300 mAh 25c.  I also ordered a Losi Mini-T motor plate to add adjustability to the motor mount position and a set of Loi pinions designed for their 1/18 scale vehicles.  To complement all this I added a bearing kit from Duratrax.  Thanks to all these mods the truck has great runtime, speed and does wheelies which always puts a smile on people’s faces.


  • DuraTrax Bearing Completer Set Losi Mini-T (8) DTXC1105
  • Losi Pinion Gear Set 13T-16T Mini Vehicles LOSB1261
  • Losi Transmission CaseMotor Plate Set Mini-T LOSB1058
  • FlySky FS-GT3B
  • Sky Lipo 1300mAh 7.4V 25C
  • Tacon 2030-3100KV
  • Toro 25amp ESC


I also bought a new body for this truck from Parma of a Nissan Titan.  I’m not sure how I like it so we’ll see if it lasts.

Well, I ended up getting bored of the Titan body so I ordered up the Parma X-Citer buggy body for a Mini-T.  It’s a pretty easy fit really. The only issue is that the front shock tower needs to be dremeled out a little and you need to use velcro in the front instead of a body clip.

You may wish to get Mini-T tires to better achieve the buggy look but I’m fine with the way it looks.


92 comments on “ESC SMASH Hop-Up Guide

  1. Hi, I am interested on upgrading my son’s smash with Lipo battery. Do I need a y cable to connect both batteries together? What are the steps?

    • For the time being I simply switch batteries when one gets tired out but if you want to run both batteries together for the extended battery life you would have to make a parallel adaptor. To make a parallel adaptor you would have the positive (red) lead from two female plugs soldered together onto the positive lead on a male adaptor and the same for the negative terminal. You can also buy parallel adaptors online but I haven’t found one small enough for the Smash and I don’t feel like making one because I don’t like fussing with JST connectors.

    • Unfortunately I do not have a step by step guide but it is really quite simple. If you are using the stock receiver/esc you will need a LiPo alarm to ensure you don’t over discharge your battery. If you upgrade to a brushless system like I have it should have a LiPo cutoff built in. If you are using the stock esc/receiver you will want to upgrade to a better battery connector like a Dean’s T connector. They can be found extremely cheap on eBay along with a LiPo alarm. The only real work you will have to do is soldering up the connectors to the new battery and esc. For soldering tips just search throughout YouTube. Remember if this is your first hobby grade RC you will probably have to purchase a LiPo charger as well.

    • No you don’t need to upgrade the electronics but you will need to purchase a LiPo alarm to prevent you from over discharging the battery.

  2. What is a lipo alarm and what lipo alarm would you recommend for my stock parts? thanks again

  3. Pingback: ECX Smash Hop-Up Guide Update « mainlandrc

  4. Question…from a 34 yo noob working on a Smash for my 8 yo son….he’s had one for 2 weeks, ive put a 7.2 v in, and i’ve already replaced the servo once. now the motor is fried i think….ESC comes on, it steers, but no power to the motor…we’re not even bashin it that hard…if I upgrade to brushless, do i have to have a new motor plate? im just looking to make this thing a little more durable…we’ve had it out twice and twice something has broke….any help is appreciated!! Your’s looks sick!!!

    • I’m sorry you are having these issues. To answer your question, no you will not need to purchase a new motor plate as long as you use the same pinion gear that comes with the truck. You will also have to buy a new radio system if you don’t already have an extra radio. I would recommend the FlySky GT2. Also, if you are getting a brushless system I would highly advise that you pick up some bearings. they will increase run times and the vehicle will run better. Good luck!

  5. thanks a lot…i’m considering just finding an upgraded brushed motor for right now to be cost effective….he’s pretty happy running 15 mph….lol…i just can’t believe the motor friend after two runs….

  6. no i don’t know for sure….the motor was really hot…(i didn’t have my temp gun with me) and the ESC was not…that’s the only reason i thought it was the motor…ESC comes on and it steers? maybe that doesnt matter…I’m learnin a lot very quickly…

    • it does sound like it’s the motor. Motors don’t really fry themselves unless they are run past 170 degrees Fahrenheit or they are jammed. Neither of those things are really possible in the smash because of the gear cover and the fact that the truck is so small and gear quite conservatively. All in all this is very weird. If you don’t want to drop a lot of money, get a mod motor ad make sure you do a proper break-in. There are many guides online that illustrate proper brushed motor break-in techniques. This is also a good reason to buy wheel bearings. They will reduce the amount of drag on the driveline which puts less stress on the motor. If you gun it ad the wheels can’t turn properly then you will wreck you motor.

  7. makes sense..he bought it with his great gma, and took it straight to the RC track and ran the crap out of it…running it through 2 sets of AA batteries before I could even help him break it in properly…he didnt have any clue about the break in, but said he only hit a couple hills…i was hoping because it was only the “AA power”, that the improper break in didn’t matter so much….perhaps it did….i will make sure I break it in with him this time with the 7.2V…i hear the Losi Frenzy or Insane is a direct fit?

  8. you have been the best help ever…nice meeting you and i look forward to future conversations!!

  9. I got one of these trucks for my son also, changed out the battery to the dynamite 7.2. I saw your notes on the suspension…I agree, the rear shocks are really loose and the truck will flip over pretty easy if you try to jump it. Do you think upgrading the rear shocks to the Losi shocks would help at all? I saw your mod but I am not sure I get how you did it….

    • The Losi shocks should help as long as you get the aluminum ones with oil dampeners. The reason the stock shocks are so terrible is because they are friction shocks and don’t have any dampening action. I hope your son is enjoying the truck!

    • For most shocks I Like to start with 30-35wgt and adjust from there. I’ve never used then shocks so I’m not going to be able to give you a definite answer. Losi sells a pack of oils with a wide range of weights that I would recommend picking up.

  10. I have one of these stock, get a white paint pen and paint the letters on the wheels it looks great. 🙂

  11. I just bought one of these little cars and it’s all stock. If i buy the Sky Lipo 1300mAh 7.4V 25C
    What else will I need to make it work with the car and how fast will it make the car go?

    Much Thank’s

    • If you buy the LiPo then you will need to get a LiPo alarm to ensure you do not damage your battery. Other than that I would highly suggest ordering some ball bearings to go with the improved speed and run time. I can’t give you a number but I can say from experience that it is pretty quick with a LiPo and the stock, brushed motor.

      • OK, but if I have the stock dynamite motor in there will the lipo burn it up?


  12. Honestly your choices are quite limited if you wish to stay brushed. I would simply stick with the stock motor. Depending on the motor temps you are getting you may be able to gear up but that would require you to purchase the motor plate as well.

  13. Hi do you happen to know off hand the size of the bearings for the wheels and also battery compartment size going to order one but want to order battery and bearings too thanks.

  14. Hi sorry for repeat questions but iam geting a brushless moter for mine next week and was woundering if i would have to chang the stock esc. And also will the 7.2 v nimh battry pack be ok with speed i know lipo will but thn i knoe i would half to by extra stuff to run it and what esc do you recomend geting if you could could you give me a link to a web site thanks

  15. Thanks now i know i need to call the hoby store that i had order me a brushles moter to get a esc if thay can get it at a good price what is a good price for esc i know brand vary but what is to much or just right and the last site with the combo have you bought from thim and if so you trust thim iam new to this also

  16. Ok cool thanks alot the hoby store faild to tel me i needed the esc for a brushles moter inles it comes with the 10$ moter wich i dought that thanks for the help hay have you ever got a body from a model car or a toy car to work on the smash just woundering

  17. By the way is this car fun to play with once i get speed upgrades cause stock out of box i would have more fun with a air hog

    • The stock radio system is built into the ESC. If you replace one, you have to replace both. The nice part is that if you buy a decent radio (ex. FlySky GT-3B) ten you can reuse it with other RCs as you get them.

    • I don’t really have any experience with replacing the servo so I can’t recommend anything. Search google for some recommendations. If you can’t find anything look for Mini-T servo upgrades since it’s the same chassis. I believe Hitec makes one that works but I can’t verify.

  18. hey, great info here. best ive seen for the smash. anyways, i bought my 8 and 4 year old sons each a smash a month ago or so. after burning through dozens of AA batteries, I went back to the hobby shop and bough 2 of the recharghable 7.2 volt dynamite battery packs. The one time i let the boys play with their cars unsupervised, my 4 year old comes in and asks me to feel how hot his motor was. very HOT! the next day, i was setting up his car so we could play on the backyard track we made, and his car would not move. i could steer, but not move forward/backward. took the car to the hobby shop and was told motor was fried. i installed the new motor, plugged in battery, and still nothing. i can still steer, but not move forward/backward. could you please give me some ideas to what this could be. i am new to rc racing as well, and cant figure it out. thanks in advance.

    • If his motor was hot then it is quiet possible the ESC overheated as well. If the motor is brand new and the transmission is free to rotate then it’s most likely the ESC. Make sure there isn’t anything to cause binding in the drive train. It should rotate pretty freely.

      • wow, thanks for the quick response. anyways, it is a bad motor. just put my other sons motor on his esc and it ran fine… so that means both my kids burnt up there motors, i just didnt know it because my oldest didnt ask me to feel his car. now my question is , what are my kids doing to burn up there motors after only a month. does it have anythng to do with the new battery packs. did we not break it in properly, i dont know. have any advise for this one now. your help is appreciated.

  19. Proper break-in is key to the life of a brushed motor but I don’t think I would lead to such a quick failure. At 7.2v the batteries shouldn’t be to problem either although its probably no coincidence that they failed at the same time as the upgrade. Did you notice any higher speeds? Where they driving in grass, dirt, cement, etc? Binding in the drive train can cause overheating so I would recommend insuring there is none. Something as simple as over tightening the wheel nuts can completely ruin your motor.

  20. I bought a truck like this for my 7 year old son and he burned out the motor after only about 15 minutes of driving, I did some research and found that his truck had a RS-280 motor in it, it later versions of this truck come with the RX-280 motor so I got a RX-280 for free on warranty and I have been running a 7.4 volt li-po battery with out any problems except steering servos.

  21. the motor issue is quite common my son and my nephew both have one they burnt out 4 stock motors befor we upgraded to a losi late model motor which needed a new pinion but works much better pulls catwalk for about ten feet or so but i need to upgrade the servo but i can’t find one that fits the stock hole online and my LHS is useless can anyone tell me where i can find one for a good price ?

  22. i need a new servo i already replaced the motor with a losi motor i need to find a decent servo to fit the stock hole cuz it has that stupid mounting plate

  23. Great info here. we just got a smash for our son and been having a great time. after the first week, i upgraded to a LiPo battery. we took it out and had a great time yesterday but after 30 min. or so, reverse just quit working. i tried the TH. Rev switch on the transmitter but that didn’t change anything. I also when through the ESC resetting process in the manual and still no change. forward works great/strong, but no reverse. any thoughts? Thanks

  24. I got the Smash but the motor stopped working after the first ride..
    So I just replaced it by the same one again (its the horizon one)
    But now, the new motor melted a littled bit, then it made a lot of weird noises nd now it stopped working again.. I just dont know what to do, Horizon is gonna send me now the 3rd motor tomorrow.. I think the transmission isnt as smooth as in the beginning anymore.. but i just dont know what to do.. can you help me?

    • What kind of surface are you running on? If there is something wrong with the transmission then it can definitely cause the motor to burn out. I would disassemble the transmission and inspect it.

  25. I have an ECX Smash. I have upgraded battery to lipo 2s 1300mah. The stock motor burnt out. I upgraded the motor to an Insane 370. I also had a replacement motor sent from ECX which is a Losi Mini-t replacement. The insane motor is the current motor. Also, I have the Losi Mini-t metal gear set for the motor. My question is – What is the biggest battery I can put into this truck? What will the electronics (esc/receiver, servo, motor) hold up to? I know the manual says 4.8-8.4V. However, it says nothing about Mah. I have seen the 8.4 2500mA packs for the Mini-t and also some have installed 3s lipos in it.

    • The capacity of the battery will not affect the motor/ESC. All the capacity rating effects is your run time really. 3s is too much for the ESC to handle and will shorten your motors lifespan. In short, the mAh raring does not matter, but the higher the number, the longer runtime.

  26. Can you give me the battery tray dimensions? I am going to upgrade to brushless and want to install 3s. However, I can not find the actual dimensions for it. I want to fill out the battery tray as much as possible. I have no good way of measuring the tray myself.


    • Unfortunately I don’t have the truck anymore so I’m not able to measure it for you. Do some searching on forums and you might be able to find what you are looking for.

    • Those go between the shock cap and the spring on each shock. All they do is raise the ride height of the vehicle. If you put too many on then it will also stiffen up the suspension but that would be improper use.

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  28. I am going to upgrade my motor to brushless because I fried my other one. I over powered it with 9.6 volts. When I put in the brushless do I have to change any of the electronics?

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