The Traxxas Villain is no doubt one of the best valued, best priced RTR RC Boats on the market today. Two models are currently available, the Villain and Villain EX. The Villain is 7.2 volt and the Villain EX is 14.4 volt. Both versions have many of the same features including: 31 inch durable molded ABS hull, sealed radio box, BEC circuit in the speed control to maintain steering control when batteries are low, built in foam flotation, water cooled electronic speed controls, counter-rotating propellers which allow higher turning speeds and more stability, surface piercing propellers which increase top speed, fully adjustable twin steerable outdrives.
The deep-V hull design slices through the water, allowing you to enjoy RC boating in much rougher waters than what a hydro or tunnel hull can handle. The Villain hull is 31 inches long and has foam flotation just in case the unexpected may occur.
The Villain EX uses the same motors and speed control that the E-Maxx uses, and you know how much power the E-Maxx has, just wait till you see what this power does on the water. A small water pick-up directs water through a specialized heat sink on the EVX speed control effectively keeping the temps cool, allowing you to get the most out of your batteries and motors. Also a water cooling kit can be purchased to cool the motors, installation is easy, and the benefits are very noticeable. Both Villain models include water cooled speed controls.
Traxxas Water Cooling Kit
The hottest items under the lid of the Villain after a full running session are the motors. This is especially true when upgrading to modified motors. The Traxxas water-cooling kit (part #1580) is an absolute must if you want to keep the temps of your precious modified motors at a reasonable level. The thin walled aluminum tubes channel cool water around the motor cans, and dissipate heat quickly. This allows them to run longer and faster.
Power Delivery Upgrades
There are several areas to look at when upgrading the drivetrain. The most popular would be going to an aftermarket metal prop, such as these beryllium copper props from Octura. Metal props resist flexing under acceleration and slice through the water more efficiently than plastic props. To get the most out of a metal prop, it’s necessary to sharpen, balance, and polish them.
NOTE: The use of the Traxxas 4.0mm prop shaft set (part #1529X) will be required for installing most aftermarket props. Octura beryllium prop X447 (left) & X447R (right).
Traxxas Prop Shafts (part #1529X)
Traxxas makes a 4.0mm prop shaft set for the installation of aftermarket props. Installation is a snap.
Ball Bearing Supported Drive Tubes & Outdrives
The process takes a little bit of work, but it’s well worth it. The driveshafts of the Villain boat ride on smooth oilite bushings, but still provide a significant amount more friction than ball bearings.
Important: The ball bearings must be stainless in order to prevent corrosion, which in turn, would negate any benefits the bearings would offer.
- 8 - 4x8mm flanged bearings (must be stainless)
- 1 piece - (min 12″) 11/32 brass tubing - cut to 1/8″ longer than stock tubes
- 8 - 4.0mm shim washers (Traxxas part #1549)
Replacing the bushings with ball bearings will require some modification to the drive shaft housing, and the replacement of the drive tubes with larger pieces of 11/32 brass tubing. The brass tubing should be cut off about 1/8” longer than the stock drive tubes. The motor mounts will then have to be drilled all the way through to accept the larger diameter brass tubes. The tubes should be packed with grease in order to prevent water from being sucked into them.
To install the 4x8mm flanged bearings into the outdrive units, the strudders must be slightly modified. The modification requires using an 8.0mm drill bit to increase the depth of the bearing stop. The drill should be twisted by hand, removing a small amount of material at a time. The bearing fit should be continually checked until it’s properly seated. The remaining stock components on the Villain should go together easily with the ball bearing modifications.