t maxx 3.3 engine upgrade

T Maxx 3.3 Engine Upgrade – All You Need To Know

Traxxas T Maxx 3.3 is a versatile RC car and you are using one. However, as an RC enthusiast, you might want to get some extra performance out of that engine.

However, you might get confused about the topic. You might be asking yourself,” How can I start my “T Maxx 3.3 engine upgrade?”

You can start upgrading your engine with the supercharger. This is the first choice for any car enthusiast. You can work through the rear bearing upgrades as they are notorious for being fragile. Upgrading the con rods and transmission can add up to durability. Also, do measure before installing.

That’s for the quick brief. Keep on reading to know all the ins and outs.

Let’s begin.

Is It Worth Upgrading the T Maxx 3.3 Engine? 

The Traxxas T Maxx 3.3 is a trendy RC car. However, as popular as it is, it has its own drawbacks.

The engine of Traxxas T Maxx is good nevertheless. But the rear bearing seemed to be problematic to some users. 

Also, some users may suffer from conrod failures. This happens because people run them too cold and too rich when breaking them in. 

Another shortcoming is a weaker transmission of the T Maxx 3.3. It cannot handle big block power. Hence, the engine is limited to lower power.

As an RC enthusiast, you might get disappointed with these shortcomings. Therefore, it can be said that the upgrade is worth the shot. It will be easier than upgrading a Traxxas blast.

T Maxx motor
Source: horizonhobby.com

Drawbacks Of T Maxx 3.3 Engine 

Despite being a good engine, the Traxxas T Maxx has some shortcomings. We have noted down those drawbacks for your convenience.

Weak Rear Bearing 

This is the most common T Maxx Engine issue. You will always want the best bearing for your RC car. However, in this case the rear bearing is very fragile and breaks up very often. This weak bearing prevents the car from using its full power and potential.

So, why bearings are important?

If the bearing in the system is not properly maintained, a couple of problems can happen. The unburned model fuel can get into the one-way bearing through the starter shaft bearing. This will stick the bearing up with caster oil and other lubricants. This will sip the one-way bearing. 

Therefore, the engine will not start.

Rear Bearing
Source: eBay.com

Connecting Rod Failure 

The T Maxx 3.3 engine connecting rod has a very bad reputation for breaking down. This problem is prevalent among T Maxx users. 

Sometimes, the connecting rod pulls itself off the wrist pin and cracks the piston skirt. This can prove to be fatal for the engine in some cases. You will not want an engine with a broken rod. 

Fragile Transmission

Another alarming problem is weak transmission. Very often, the transmission may not shift to reverse gear. Even gear slippages might occur at times.

This really messes up with your power delivery issues. Sometimes the clutches jam out due to dirt and grease. This seriously hampers the performance. Hence, this definitely calls for an upgrade.

Limited Engine Power

These engines have more power than any other model and perform like thoroughbreds. In fact, they have more horsepower than any other race engine model by more than 60%. 

Their class-leading horsepower ratings come from their larger displacement and more advanced porting.

If you want to know how much horsepower the 3.3 has, it’s 2.128 HP. However, there is a catch. The weak transmission, conrods, and bearings cannot handle all these horses. They break down very easily.

This limits the peak performance of the engine. Most of the time the power and rev are limited through ECU controls. As an RC enthusiast, this can be really disappointing for you.

Look at this fully powered Traxxas T Maxx 3.3 nitro to understand its potential; 

Compatibility Factors for Upgrading T Maxx 3.3 Engine 

So, you have decided to upgrade your T Maxx 3.3 Engine. But hang on, don’t rush. There are some compatibility factors that you need to consider before upgrading. 

Here we have jotted them up for your ease.

Engine Displacement

Before upgrading your engine, look at its displacement. This will give you the engine size and dimensions. Also, an engine with bigger dimensions will have more upgrade potential.

You can check the engine displacement and specs from the product manual. Also, note that more displacement means more fuel consumption.

So, plan your upgrades accordingly. You will need to balance between power and fuel economy.

Connecting Rod Dimension

Connecting rods is one of the weakest points of the T Maxx engine. Before replacing your stock connecting rods, make sure you measure the dimensions properly. 

You will need the exact fit for the engine. A bigger or smaller connecting rod won’t fit. This will only increase the hassle for you. 

So, do check the dimensions before fitting in.

Bearing Diameter Matching 

As the rear bearing is weaker in the T Maxx 3.3, you might think about replacing it. For this, matching the bearing diameter is very important. 

Check the specification sheet before buying a new bearing. You can measure the bearing diameter easily with a slide caliper.

A bearing with a larger diameter than the stock one won’t simply fit. On the other hand, a small bearing will slip right in. But it will wobble and come off very easily. 

Hence, it is an essential part of a compatibility check.

Supercharger Compatability

If you are looking for power and speed, you might think of an RC Car supercharger. However, all superchargers won’t fit in directly. You might have a look at the intake manifold dimension for matching.

The most popular choice for the Traxxas T Maxx 3.3 is the Nitro 4 Tec Supercharger. It is decently priced and easy to install. If you are using aftermarket ones, do check them properly.

4 Recommended T Maxx 3.3 Engine Upgrades

Here are some recommended T Maxx 3.3 Engine Upgrades which will boost performance significantly.


For Climbing

For Bashing

For Racing
    Connecting Rod 
Rear Bearing 

Upgrading T Maxx 3.3 Engine For Racing

Racing requires power, acceleration, and top speed. It is a game of speed and acceleration. When it comes to racing upgrades, superchargers are your get-to-go. 

You can install a supercharger to get some extra power out of your stock engine. To handle the power you will need to upgrade the connecting rods and bearings too. 

Upgrading your transmission will allow you to deliver the extra power to the wheels very easily.

Upgrading T Maxx 3.3 Engine for Bashing 

Bashing is more of a game of durability and strength. For this, you will definitely need a supercharger to bash hard into your opponents. 

To handle all the trouble don’t forget to upgrade your bearing and con rods. Otherwise, your car might end up in the pits.

Upgrading T Maxx 3.3 Engine For Climbing 

Climbing requires more power and traction. For more power, a supercharger is a must. Equipping your car with good tires is also important.

Apart from that, install stronger connecting rods and bearings. For this, you can choose the HPI Racing 15141 Cylinder, Piston & Connecting Rod Set.

Also do not forget to install a new transmission. For upgrading your transmission, you can use the Traxxas Single Speed Transmission Conversion Kit.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Temp Should The Traxxas T Maxx 3.3 Run at?

Ideally, you should be between 250 and 270 Fahrenheit. But this can change depending on the temperature and the type of fuel you are using. It also depends on the glow plug and the condition of the engine itself. Also, keep in mind that the little temperature gauges are not always accurate.

Why Does My Nitro Rc Car Bog Down When I Accelerate?

This happens due to a clutching problem. Your clutch might also be going in too soon. I would drill one hole in each shoe and then give it a try. Make a very small hole, not a big one. If it’s still slow, try making holes in it.

How Long is Rc Fuel Good For?

RC fuels have a shelf life of 20 to 30 years. The fuel will be just fine for this time period. If you keep it well sealed, out of the sun, off a concrete floor, and away from extreme temperatures, it should last for a very long time.


That will be all regarding the T Maxx 3.3 engine upgrade. We hope that this article will help with your upgrading decision-making.

Whichever upgrade you put on, don’t forget to maintain the engine properly. This will ensure long-lasting performance for your engine.

Have a nice day. See you soon. 

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