TRX3.3 rod failure

Why You Are Facing TRX3.3 Rod Failure And Solution

TRX3.3 or Traxxas 3.3 is a groundbreaking innovation of an engine. The engine is loved by RC hobbyists.

But many of us have been facing a common issue for 10 years. That is the infamous TRX3.3 rod failure.

So, what are the reasons and solutions for TRX3.3 rod failure?  

There are a number of reasons for TRX3.3 rod failure. Mainly the TRX3.3 rod snaps due to the poor manufacturing quality of the conrod. Other reasons include poor landing from a height and excessive engine revving. The solution is warrantied repair. However, it’s best to replace the engine.

Let’s say you are desperate to keep the engine. This article demonstrates ways to repair the engine and more. 

Interested to learn more about this decade-long problem? Hop on to the next section.

TRX3.3 rod

The Reasons Behind TRX3.3 Rod Failure

Following up on the fact that the rod knocking issue of the TRX3.3 engine is a persistent problem for a decade. So, why has this problem lasted for a decade? 

Let us break the news here. 

Reason 1: Poor Manufacturing of the Conrod

You read that right. It was never the user’s fault. 

Despite the fact that TRX3.3 is a fantastic piece of engine, Traxxas really looked over the connecting rod department during manufacture. 

The conrods of TRX3.3 engines are very poorly engineered and manufactured. So the rod cracks during a break-in, sometimes raising the nose during a jump.

Therefore, due to the faulty manufacture of the conrod of TRX3.3, it keeps failing. And this is the reason behind all the subsequent reasons why the TRX3.3 rod fail.

Now you know, it was actually the manufacturer’s fault. 

Traxxas steering working without throttle is another similar issue to this.

Solution 1: Replace The TRX3.3 Rod

This solution is for the users who absolutely refuse to replace the entire engine. 

The installed rod in the TRX3.3 snaps quickly. To avoid and alleviate the issue, you can install ceramic rods in the trx3.3 engine. Ceramic rod lasts a really long time. So you’ll be free from the trx3.3 rod failure problem for good.

Davis Diesel makes really good con rods for this engine. You can purchase and replace the broken rods.

ceramic rods

Reason 2: Bad Bearings

Another reason why the TRX3.3 rod fails is because of the quality of the bearing.

They go bad quite fast, without any warning. They can literally crack during break-in. 

The symptoms of a bad bearing are engine stalling and rough sound. But the problem is that even trained ears can not hear the bad bearing noise of TRX3.3. 

Solution 2: Replace The Bearings

For replacement bearing, you will need one of the best RC bearings for TRX3.3.

We highly recommend installing a Boca MX ceramic bearing. These are the finest quality bearing for RC and last a long time. The only downside is they cost as much as 60-65 bucks.

Reason 3: Incorrect Written Break-In Process And Needle Settings

Traxxas instruction manual has poorly written procedures for break-in and needle settings. 

Suppose you try to break in the trx3.3 with factory needle settings, chances are that the rod will fail instantly.

Solution 3: Temperature management

The solution to avoid trx3.3 rod knock during break-in is, to break the engine in while it’s warm. The sweet spot for the Trx3.3 engine is between 200-245F. 

Fire up the engine and lean down the 2 needles valves. Keep the engine running till the temperature hits 200F. Then break the engine in and the rod failure problem will be evaded. 

Besides, remember to keep the temperature under control at all times. It is best if you can keep the temperature under 245F when you run the trx3.3. 

Ultimate Solution: Replace the Engine 

This solution sounds harsh for Traxxas lovers. But it is the only way to avoid hundreds of dollars in repair. Although we admit that repair is part of this hobby. 

But you don’t want to play with an engine that has faulty rods.

The Dynamite 19T 5-port is a great replacement for the Trx3.3. 

If your engine comes with a warranty, the safest bet is to remove the engine entirely. 

You can then sell the engine or keep it in a zip lock bag.

The Dynamite 19T engine is a perfect replacement for a number of reasons – 

  • Made for all Traxxas trucks and Nitro models.
  • Utilizes the EZ-start function
  • 2-needle valves increase efficiency
  • Knife-edge conrods that don’t break or fail
  • Has the ability to withstand harsh landing and engine revving.

Traxxas Nitro engines do not require batteries but the engines sometimes face trouble with starting. One of the reasons can be the EZ start issue. Dynamite 19T can help you with that. 

However, after fixing the issue the TRX3.3 engine should fun smoother. Here is someone with a good experience with the TRX 3.3 engine.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can an engine run with a broken rod?

You can’t run an engine with a broken rod. Because a broken rod means the engine has sustained quite a damage. The torn rod will keep flying around inside the engine. And then running the engine while the rod is broken will keep causing more damage. So, repair the engine before running it again.

What causes an engine to throw a rod?

Traxxas 3.3 engine is infamous for its poor connecting rods. There are a few reasons why the connecting rod of an engine breaks. Some of them are – poor manufacturing, excess revving, low battery life, and poor landing condition from a height. You should repair the engine before using it again.

How long will a motor last with rod knock?

It’s quite hard to predict how long a motor would last. Because the connecting rod breaks without prior warning. The engine also may or may not have other damages as well. So the engine or motor can either last up to 6 months. Or it can break down the next time you start it after knocking the rod.


That concludes the article on how to work around the TRX3.3 Rod Failure.

The solutions we provided were not as complicated as you may think.

But, RC engines are quite sensitive to dismantling and repair with amateur hands. We recommend you to get help from someone with expertise. 

Best of Luck!

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