The Rustler VL-5 is a truck with a brush system and comes with a pack of 8.4V NiMH batteries. For longer runtimes and higher speeds, you can upgrade the battery. Its power system is a 12T 550 modified motor and High-performance waterproof XL-5™, you can run a 7.4v 2s lipo battery directly without any problem.
Of course, you can also run a higher voltage lipo battery, provided you need to upgrade to a brushless system and replace the powertrain and transmission. If you run the battery with too high a voltage, it will damage the ESC and motor.
Below I will recommend some great lipo batteries for you to upgrade and give my actual test results to see what top speed and performance I can get from these batteries.
Power system upgrade to 3s
Provides ample power for all-terrain driving. You can make a few simple battery upgrades that provide a major power boost and significantly increase speed. A new powertrain will be installed, the gearing replaced, and the upgrade complete with a 3s lipo battery.
For power systems, we recommend the VXL-3s brushless system, an ultra-efficient, low-maintenance system optimized for maximum power flow. For the transmission, we recommend installing a 28-tooth pinion and an 83-tooth spur gear. This transmission will increase the model’s top speed for high-speed travel on flat terrain.
There are many battery options, we will be using the Ovonic 3s 4000mah lipo battery which can be charged using a common lipo charger. The 3s lipo delivers maximum power and speed, but we also like the 2s 5200 lipo for general driving and long runs. Even when used with a 7s 3300mah NiMH battery, the brushless motor will provide higher speed and power when used with proper gearing. High-quality Ovonic lipo batteries are reasonably priced and they are my first choice.
Battery Upgrade Notes
Before running the lipo battery, you need to set the low voltage cutoff. It’s off by default and you can see it’s the red light. You want to make sure it is green when using the Lipo battery. So all you need to do is hold down that button for about 10 seconds and you’ll hear a beep. This means it has been activated and the light is green, keep that in mind.