Traxxas 6S MAXX Slash Metal Axle Install

Mar 3, 2024 | R/C

plastic and steel driveshaft before and after
The original plastic driveshafts/axles on left | Completed steel CV axle conversion on right

The Problem:

The Traxxas 6S MAXX Slash is a high performance, high power short coarse race truck. Like similar high power models by Traxxas, they are sent out with plastic factory axles, in addition to being weaker than steel, they’re also assembled with pins and clips that are susceptible to being lost during use. Our own customer demo MAXX Slash suffered an axle failure on it’s first use. Some grass and debris knocked the c-clip off of the pin/joint that holds the axle together, this is a known issue with the Traxxas Slash models as well. In this article we’ll convert our MAXX Slash to the axle configuration it should have come with from the factory.

driveshaft side by side
Vulnerable axle pins and clips

What We’re Doing:

We will be removing the factory plastic axles/driveshafts and replacing the bearings in the knuckles, adding steel drive cups to the differentials, installing the steel CV axle driveshafts, installing 17mm aluminum hex hubs and reinstalling the factory wheels with 17mm aluminum nuts.

traxxas maxx slash cv axles

The parts list:

Installation:

Fortunately this install is fairly easy and should take you less than 2 hours to complete. A lot of the parts we’re working with are identical left to right and front to back so we’ll be performing the work on all 4 corners at once.

We’ll drop the truck onto our work stand and remove the body.

Begin with an 8mm hex driver and remove all 4 wheels.

traxxas maxx slash hex driver for wheels
Remove wheel nuts and wheels with an 8MM hex nut driver.

Next we’ll remove all 4 plastic wheel hub hex’s and the pins behind them. We just use a small flat head screw driver behind them, they pop forward and come right off.

wheel hub hex removal and pin side by side
Remove wheel hex and the steel pin behind it.

Next we’ll need to remove all 4 driveshaft pin screws that hold the shafts to the differentials, these can be difficult to get to but we found it possible at the angles in the photos below using the Traxxas 2.0mm hex driver tool. Set the pins aside, we will not be reusing them, new ones come in the driveshaft kit with the steel drive cups.

traxxas maxx slash drive cup pin removal
Removing the driveshaft retaining pin screws.
traxxas maxx slash driver tool to reach drive cup pin
We found it possible to remove the rear shaft pins by inserting the tool through here.
traxxas maxx slash driver tool hex to remove drive cup pins
We found it possible to remove the front shaft pins by inserting the tool through here.

With the driveshaft retaining pins removed we can remove the front and rear knuckles to remove the old ones completely and install the new ones. We started in the front, using a 2.5mm hex driver tool, remove the upper and lower screw pins and set them aside, they are the same length and size so there is no worry of mixing them up. Leave the steering tie rod links attached, you’ll be able to remove the knuckle with them on. In the rear, remove the upper and lower screw pins. These ARE different lengths, the shorter one is on top and the longer is on the bottom, do not mix these up.

front knuckle upper and lower screws
Front knuckle upper and lower screw pins. These use a 2.5mm hex tool. You’ll have to unscrew, then apply slight outward pressure while continuing to turn to remove them completely.
rear knuckle screws upper and lower
Rear knuckle upper and lower screw pins. These use a 2.5mm hex tool. You’ll have to unscrew, then apply slight outward pressure while continuing to turn to remove them completely. These are different lengths, do not mix them up.
traxxas maxx slash upper and lower knuckle pins rera
Rear knuckle upper/lower screw pins. Shorter one goes in the top, longer pin in the bottom.

The rear knuckles will pull right off, the front knuckles will stay attached to the steering links, just tilt, slide out and set them aside.

front knuckle removed side by side
Leaving the steering link attached, tilt the front steering knuckle then pull out to remove.

Then pull out all 4 driveshafts and set aside.

traxxas maxx slash stock axle driveshaft removal
All 4 axles will pull right out at this point.

Next you will have to remove and set aside the inner and outer bearings in all 4 knuckles. The driveshaft kit has all new bearings, they’re a different size and will install directly into the trucks hubs. Bearings are all the same front/back and left/right. The only difference is inner and outer. The larger one is the inner for the back of the knuckle, the smaller ones install in the front of the knuckles.

traxxas maxx slash bearings removal
Remove the inner and outer bearing from all 4 knuckles, they push right out.
traxxas maxx slash knuckle wheel bearings
Remove the inner and outer bearing from all 4 knuckles, they push right out.

Next you’ll need to take the new steel drive cups from the driveshaft kit and the new drive cup retaining pin screws that have pre applied blue thread locker. Just push them onto the differentials and install the pin screws with the same 2.0mm driver and tool orientation that you used to remove the old ones.

traxxas maxx slash steel cv axle drive cups
New steel drive cup and retaining pin screw with pre applied thread locker.
traxxas maxx slash steel cv axle drive cup installed
New drive cups installed.

Next we’ll install the axles into place, they’re all the same, it doesn’t matter where they go, push them all the way into the cup. Then reinstall each knuckle pushing the end of each axle through the bearings and reinstall the upper/lower pin screws at all four corners.

traxxas maxx slash cv axle install
Install all four axles.
traxxas maxx slash cv steel driveshaft axles install
Knuckles reinstalled and new axles installed through bearings.
traxxas maxx slash steel cv axle driveshaft install complete
Axles fully installed through bearings.

Next we’re going to take our 17mm splined aluminum wheel hubs. In the package are the hubs, the steel pins and the pin retaining grub screws with pre applied thread locker. Turn the axle so that the retaining pin hole is facing straight left and right. Next slide each hub onto the end of each axle ensuring the retaining pin holes are aligned. Install the pin through the hole in the hub and axle. You’ll need to make sure this pin stays flush on both sides while tightening. If the pin protrudes on either side after tightening, you will not be able to install the wheels. Once the pin is flush, use a 2.0mm driver and install the grub screw into the center hole. You will need to use your 17mm box wrench to hold the hub while tightening the grub screw. Once tight, ensure the pin hasn’t move and that it isn’t protruding on either side.

traxxas maxx slash 17mm hub pin and grub screw
17mm splined aluminum hubs with steel pin and grub screw with pre applied thread locker.
traxxas maxx slash installing 17mm hub
Install the splined aluminum hubs onto the end of the axles making sure to align the hole in the hub and the axle.
hub pin side by side
Make sure the pin remains flush on both sides or you wont be able to install the wheels.
traxxas maxx slash 17mm hubs install
The grub screw with pre applied thread locker is installed into the end of the axle shaft.
traxxas maxx slash tightening 17mm hubs
Hold the hub with the 17mm box wrench and tighten the grub screw. Once tight, ensure the pin hasn’t moved and isn’t protruding on either side.

Next we’ll install the wheels. There is a removeable piece in the center of each wheel, it just pops out. Once out it exposes a factory 17mm hub hole and a face for the 17mm nut. Push firmly and the wheels will snap back on. Take the blue aluminum nuts, the serrated side goes toward the wheel to keep it tight and tighten with your 17mm wheel nut tool, you may be able to use a thin wall 17mm socket if you don’t have the Traxxas tool. If you own a truck with factory 17mm nuts (Sledge, X-Maxx, XRT, etc.) than you should have one of these tools already, those trucks come with one.

wheel center removal side by side
Remove the wheel center cap.
traxxas maxx slash 17mm wheel hub through wheel
Reinstall the wheels.
traxxas maxx slash 17mm wheel nuts serrated front and back
The non colored, serrated side goes toward the wheel.
17mm wheel wrench side by side
Using the Traxxas 17mm wheel wrench, tighten the wheel nuts.
traxxas maxx slash 17mm wheel hub and nut finished
Nuts tightened and job complete. Looks awesome too!
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