Review: Dynamite Conversion Kit for T-Maxx with Mach .26 Engine

Posted:  Monday, May 10, 2004
Provider Name:  RC Car Action
Issue:  March 2004
Written By:  David C. Konneker
Copyright:©2003 Air Age Media

Dynamite's T-Maxx conversion kits include everything you need to shoehorn a nitro-snorting, big-block engine into a T-Maxx. Dynamite offers conversion kits for the original T-Maxx and the new 2.5 version; they are both available with and without the Mach .26 engine. I tested the 2.5 version.

INCLUDES
· Dynamite Mach .26 engine with pull-start and slide carburetor
· 3mm-thick, hard-anodized chassis
· Hard-anodized aluminum chassis braces
· 4, heavy-duty, universal drive shafts
· Heavy-duty, universal center drive shafts
· 6 drive cups
· Hard-anodized-aluminum, big-block engine mounts
· Polished tuned pipe & header
· High-volume air cleaner
· Essential hardware
· Photo-illustrated instruction manual

INSTALLATION
I converted my 2.5 T-Maxx with the full version of this kit in about 4 hours. The quality of parts is superb. The drive shafts have rubber boots fitted over the universals to keep dirt out. The polished tuned pipe and header will increase the power of big-block engines.

The hard-anodized parts on the chassis plate and braces will resist damage from the abuse that off-road running can dish out. And the powerful Mach .26 engine features a pull-starter, ABC construction, slide carb and large, powder-coated, heat-sink head. One aspect of the kit that could be improved is the instructions.

They aren't written with the novice in mind. General topics are covered, but the ambiguous descriptions and vague pictures lead to guesswork and head-scratching between steps. I began to build by disassembling and cleaning all of the parts of my donor Maxx. I mounted the suspension assembly first and then the electronics, the fuel tank, the transmission, the engine and the exhaust system on the new, longer-than-stock chassis plate.

The new chassis plate increases the wheelbase by 1.6 inches (40.6mm) to make room for the larger engine. In the final steps, I centered the servo trims and set all of the linkages. A few words of advice for big-block beginners: take your time to set the gear mesh between the clutch bell and spur gear correctly, thread-lock all drive-train hardware, and don't forget to tighten the slipper clutch to handle the increased power. Overall, the kit went together very smoothly without any major modifications to get proper fit and finish.


PERFORMANCE
The Mach .26 has a throaty exhaust note that made my trigger finger hard to restrain during engine break-in. Fortunately, the first few tanks of fuel didn't last long because the rich carb settings made the big-block thirsty for nitro.

After break-in, I adjusted the shift points and watched the Mach .26 whip the truck around like a rag doll. The increased chassis length helped make the truck more stable, but the mighty Mach .26 engine can still wheelie the truck onto its lid. Compared with the stock truck's balance, there is a slight rearward shift in the center of gravity (CG) that's evident during jumps and in its increased understeer in the corners. I adjusted the caster shims to the rear positions to help compensate for the CG shift. It made the truck well mannered around the track and a very well-balanced performer.

FINAL CALL
The Dynamite conversion kits are packed with high-quality parts, include everything you need to get the job done and their assembly is trouble-free. If you're in the market for one of these kits, and you value your dollar like I do, go with the kit that includes the Mach .26; it's worth the dough. The Mach .26 engine is reliable, powerful and a perfect complement to this kit. Bottom line: Dynamite has put together an explosive kit that will propel your truck's fun-factor off the charts.