Installing the Traxxas ESC Cooling Fan [Rustler VXL Upgrades]

I live in central Florida, and the midday heat can be oppressive. It regularly hits over 90 degrees during the day. So, I’m installing the Traxxas ESC cooling fan to help keep the temperatures down when running my Rustler VXL.

The fan fits neatly on top of the Velineon VXL-3s ESC, adding a high-performance fan to help pull hot air away from the heatsink. 

In this article, I’ll show you how easy the installation is for this cooling fan. Then I’ll explain who should consider buying this for their Traxxas Rustler VXL and who should give it a pass. 

Let’s get started. 

Traxxas ESC cooling fan installed on Rustler VXL

How to Install the Velineon VXL-3s ESC Cooling Fan

Installing the Traxxas VXL ESC cooling fan is a quick, three-step process. 

First, remove the fan plug next to your Rustler VXL’s heatsink. It will be a small red wire with a two-plug connector on the end. 

First, remove the power lead from the VXL-3s ESC on your Rustler VXL

Next, gently slide the ESC cooling fan over the heatsink. You shouldn’t have to force it. Four clips on the bottom of the fan will align with a ridge on the side of the heatsink. 

Next, slide the fan gently on to the heatsink until it clicks into place.

Be sure the ‘V’ sticker on the fan is facing up. When your car is running, this will draw hot air away from the heatsink. 

Once the cooling fan is secure, connect the red wire from your ESC to the plug on the cooling fan. The plug will only fit one way, so don’t force it. 

Finally, connect the power lead to the cooling fan plug

That’s it. Once you turn on your Velineon ESC, the cooling fan should start spinning automatically. 

When Should You Add Active Cooling to Your ESC?

Not everyone needs to add additional cooling to their RC car. It’s typically only necessary if you frequently drive your vehicle in hot environments or run it at high speeds for extended periods. 

High-performance motors and ESCs generate a significant amount of heat. Excessive heat can cause damage to electronic components, resulting in reduced performance and potential failure.

RC racers will likely need additional cooling to help keep your motor and ESC cool, especially if you run your car at full throttle for long periods. 

Similarly, if you live in a hot climate like I do, you should consider adding additional cooling. In hot weather, even normal driving can generate enough heat to cause damage to electronic components.

However, you may not need additional cooling if you primarily drive your RC car in cool or mild weather. The stock cooling system is usually sufficient for most people, so adding a cooling fan wouldn’t benefit significantly.

Traxxas ESC cooling fan


What’s Included in the Traxxas ESC Cooling Fan Kit?

The Traxxas ESC cooling fan kit includes a high-speed fan with an attached power lead. While you don’t need any additional tools to install it, a pair of needle nose plyers may be helpful for connecting the power lead. 

What are Some Common Issues During Installation?

Two common issues that may arise during installation are misaligning the cooling fan on the heatsink and improperly connecting the power lead. 

When installing the cooling fan on the heatsink, be sure to match the clips on the bottom of the cooling fan to the ridge on the side of the heatsink. This will ensure a secure fit, so the cooling fan doesn’t move around during a bashing run. 

When connecting the power lead, be sure to match up the connectors properly. The plug is shaped like an ‘M,’ so it only fits one way. If it does not easily slide in the power lead, reverse the plug and try again. Do not force it.

How Do You Maintain the Traxxas ESC Cooling Fan for Long-Term Performance? 

It is important to periodically clean the fan and surrounding area to remove any accumulated dirt or debris. This can be done using a soft brush or compressed air. Periodically check the wiring connection and mounting clips to ensure they remain secure. 

If any issues are detected, remove the fan to prevent damage to it or the ESC. 

Tim Wells

Tim Wells is the creator and driving force behind His passion for RC cars began when he caught a glimpse of a Kyosho Optima while on a family trip to Japan. Although he couldn't afford it then, the seed of his RC car hobby had been planted, and he knew he had to have one. Fast forward a few years, and he could finally dive head-first into the hobby as an adult. He found a ton of websites and YouTubers doing crazy stunts with their expensive RC cars but very few resources for the average person who just wants to go out and have fun. That's when he launched his RC car website: ClutchRC.

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