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Before we get into the specifics of what a cush drive is on a Traxxas model we should first look at what a cush drive is in general.
A cush drive is the part of a vehicle drive-train that is specifically manufactured with the goal of reducing the stress on the engine torque that can cause damage to other components during gear or throttle changes. A cush drive is commonly used by street motorcycles or scooters but in this article we will specifically be talking about how it is used in A Traxxas RC vehicle.
A cush drive comes with three major pieces: the wheel, the sprocket assembly, and the rubber damper. The wheel and the sprocket assembly are attached together with five or more sections. Between the wheel and sprocket assembly are rubber blocks, which ensure that the wheel and the sprocket have a dampening layer between them. The rubber blocks also help to lower wear and tear on the metal assemblies. A popular system of a cush drive includes metallic compression type coil springs kept right between the input and output shafts of the cush drive assembly.
Now, what a cush drive means to a motorcycle or scooter as mentioned above is also what a cush drive means to your Traxxas car.
A cush drive on a Traxxas vehicle is used to provide maximum protection for your Traxxas RC car while you race. It is essentially designed to help reduce the strain on your engine when accelerating hard.
The Traxxas cush drive typically comes in front and rear halves and is an innovation to help extend the life of your Traxxas RC parts by reducing the strain on the engine torque to make sure that other components of the car are protected during gear and throttle changes.
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How Does a Cush Drive Hub Work?
By dampening the initial shock from the motor on acceleration and shifting gears, the cush drive is able to achieve the goal of reducing the strain on the engine torque. Basically, the cush drive serves as a barrier between the surfaces, causing the shock from the acceleration/ shifting gears to not harm the parts of the RC vehicle. This hub is made in two basic parts; the hub that secures the spokes and rim, and the housing that the sprocket bolts to.
Both of these are machined with tabs or fingers to fit together in just the way your sprocket fits into the links of your chain. Here, there are rubber dampers that go between the sprocket housing while the hub itself goes between the fingers or tabs.
Is a Cush Drive Hub Important?
Generally speaking, a cush drive hub is a great idea. It normally helps to reduce the wear on your transmission regardless of the size of your motor and regardless of the amount of power it is putting out. But, whether the cush drive is important or not is something that depends on you.
If you do not want to have to deal with wear on your transmission and you want to reduce the strain on your engine then you might want to consider a cush drive housing. If you are a hard shifter or you’re really aggressive on and off the throttle, you might also want to consider having a cush drive since it can help to reduce the negative effects of your activities.
A cush drive hub will also typically lessen the effect of a single cylinder’s combustion stroke on your transmission, rear tires and drive chain. So yes, the cush drive housing is actually a very important addition to help provide protection for your RC vehicle.
But, on the downside, the cush drive comes with quite a large amount of extra weight which in turn will slow down your RC vehicle to an extent. This certainly isn’t the end of the world but it is something that you might want to keep in mind. The rear hub is also normally heavier with a cush drive hub, which normally causes a slight increase in unsprung weight and leads to the rear wheel being a little more likely to go wider during racing.
What are the Benefits of a Cush Drive Hub?
You will notice the benefits of a cush drive hub more as you race in the lower rev ranges. Typically, it is most noticeable in slow or stop-start traffic or racing. Hence, the cush drive will work a lot better for you, and you will find it more exciting when you’re racing at a lower speed or racing on a course that has a lot of twists and turns.
How Much of a Difference Does a Cush Drive Hub Make?
A cush drive hub definitely makes a lot of difference in your Rc car racing. You will find that the ride is smoother and that there’s also less chain snatch. A cush drive is certainly something you can depend on to make your drive a whole lot easier and also keep your mind at rest as you race. But keep in mind that if you’re a hard racer, you may not notice much of a difference.
So, generally, here are the major differences you can expect a cush drive to make on your RC vehicle:
- Reduced wear on your transmission.
- Reduced wear on the gearbox and other parts that move during the race.
- A smoother racing experience whether you’re accelerating or decelerating.
- Longer rear tire life, and you certainly don’t want to have to change tires every so often.
Generally, know that when the rubber damper becomes old and gets hard, or begins to wear out, there would be changes in the load on the drive shaft caused by changes in throttle position or changes in gear. This can lead to unevenness in the delivery of power.
Loads can be greatly increased in conditions like this, especially loads on the driveshaft. This can, in turn, increase the risk of breakage and other events that can cause damage to your RC vehicle. More precisely, there could be a sudden transfer of force to the rear tires, and this can lead to a momentary loss of traction and, in turn, lead to small changes in direction. In the worst-case scenario, this could even lead to you experiencing a total loss of control of the vehicle.
So, basically, the cush drive on your RC vehicle is just the innovation included to make sure that the engine torque of your vehicle is protected during gear and throttle changes hence, protecting other components of your car. Now, you can race knowing that Traxxas RC car is well protected from the hard shocks that could result in damage.
Ultimately only you can decide if the cush drive is worthwhile to have on your Traxxas vehicle or if you should instead forgo it all together. Many RC racers feel it is overkill and doesn’t do a whole lot to protect the vehicle and the extra weight isn’t worth it.
However other people prefer to have it for the peace of mind.
Whichever side you come down on is totally fine just make sure that you are convinced either way.