Axialfest Rock Racer Preparation Tips

AxialfestRockRacerPrep

If you are a regular follower of the Axial Blog and we know you are, you probably saw the Trail Rig Prep blog for Axialfest. It’s loaded with great tips to help trail truck drivers and don’t think we forgot about you Rock Racers either. Rock Racing is a whole other experience at Axialfest and prepping a rig for the Rock Racing course or the Altra Ultra 5K can require a bit more preparation than a trail rig. Trail rig courses are not timed anymore at Axialfest and its a run at your own pace experience. But for Rock Racing and the 5K, there is much more on the line. Although they are fun events, there are prizes at the end for the winners and so you want to spend a bit more time making sure your rig is ready for what it is about to endure. We’ve altered our suggestions just a bit here, so if you read the previous trail blog, you should reread everything seen here.

AF18 Rock Prep2

Hardware Check

Set-Screws- Set-screws can be a headache in the RC world, they are used in several areas on just about any rig. The most common is the pinion gear. If the set-screw goes into metal, it’s a good idea to add some blue thread locking compound to it before installing it. The thread locking compound is a measure to ensure the screw doesn’t back out during use. Most people use a blue thread locking compound which is serviceable, but in a Rock Racing competition, some have been known to use Red which is a permanent compound. Some heat can be used in the future to help break free hardware secured with red thread lock.
Lock-nut- Sometimes standard nuts are used in several locations on a rig and perhaps you’ve installed a nut or two along the way while working on or customizing your truck. Consider swapping out all standard nuts with ny-lock nuts. These nuts have a plastic insert ring that helps prevent the nut from backing off of the screw. You may also want to consider using threadlock compound as an additional way to secure the nut and some have even gone as far as installing two nuts to secure bolts in place.
Machine Screws- Machine screws have a much finer thread than a self-tapping screw. This finer thread often offers more “bite” into a part for extra security. Consider using machines screws wherever you can. And like that pesky set-screw, always use blue thread-locking compound on machine screws that go into metal so they don’t vibrate out while in use.

AF18 Rock Prep4

Steering Tips

Super Servo Arm- Kits and ready to runs include plastic servo arms that will certainly get you underway, but in an Axialfest Rock Racing competition, they have been known to strip out. Axial’s option aluminum servo horns are some of the best available and are often used by builders in builds beyond installs in Axial vehicles. These option horns are available for different servo splines, have a double clamp and two holes for the steering link. The strong aluminum horns will hold up to the abuse on the course.
Servo Upgrade- Many drivers upgrade to higher torque servos with strong metal gears to withstand the abuse on the course. If you do upgrade, consider using a servo with an aluminum case. The mounting ears on a plastic case servo can break on hard impacts. At the very least, use a wide head screw to support the servo in the mounting bracket.
Steering Links- Steering links are often the first thing to hit rocks and other on course debris on the front of RR10 Bombers, Wraiths and on SCX10’s. Plastic links can flex, lead to weakening or can even break. Many upgrade to aluminum links to handle more abrasive action and still deliver precise steering.

 

AF18 Rock Prep1Suspension Work

Shocks- Before heading out on the rock racing course or 5K, its a great idea to rebuild your shocks with new oil and even better replace the seals. The shocks on a rock racer or even trail truck are among the most abused shocks in RC. Not only do they move up and down, but receive side loading as well that can wear on the shock and even cause it to leak. After rebuilding your shocks, make sure they have some “wiggle room” don’t clamp down on the shock mounts with the retaining screws. Let them slide on the mounting bolts a bit. This will give the shock additional movement that will lessen the wear of the shocks internals.

Trailing Links- The lower trailing links see a lot of ground action while damping the rig on the trails. When using plastic links, check to make sure the ball ends have not elongated and may break during the run. Use the aluminum plates to make the plastic links more rigid or there are plenty of aluminum options available from various Axial supporting aftermarket manufacturers.

 

AF18 Rock Prep6

Driveline Tips

Screw Pins- Screw pins are used to secure the universal yokes to the axle drive pinions, if your rig doesn’t have them and you have a through-hole in the bevel pinion shaft, go with a screw-pin instead of a set-screw. This will ensure drive instead of a set-screw that can back out and slip. Use thread-lock here too of course.
Universals- We’ve seen some torn-up universals in our day. These components take a lot of abuse. Replacing the cross-pins before your course run can be a good idea. At the very least, check your universals for binding or regrease them if they look dry.
Bearings- Do you want to be “The Squeaky Guy?” Bearings take a lot of abuse and as they get covered in dirt or submerged in water, you risk the chance of bearing failure. If you hear squeaking, consider cleaning your bearings, blast them with a cleaner and re-oil them. Some go so far as to repack the bearing with grease. A bad bearing can eventually wreak havoc on your driveline on the trail. Fix it before it causes other possibly more expensive problems or dropping out of the race.
Gears- This is an important topic here. Many of crunchy transmissions have been heard along the trails at Axialfest. During your pretrip check, take a look at all of the gears. Do any look sharp, missing parts of their teeth, is your gearcase full of metal dust? Don’t leave it to a trail run to find our you needed to replace gears. In the axles, make sure the gear lash is correct between the bevel pinion and ring gear. Shims may be used to adjust gear lash. Inside of the center transmission, make sure your gears are well lubricated with grease. And finally, your pinion and spur. Make sure your mesh is correct, not too loose that your gears can skip and not too tight that it binds.
Slipper- Your slipper clutch is often the line of defense to protecting your transmission. When your rig gets caught up in a gap in the rocks and you pin the throttle, the slipper will slip rather than the gears skipping. You want the slipper tight enough so you get through gnarly obstacles, but you do need that slip for protection. A little trial and error works here in terms of setting. Always lean toward the loose side to start with.
Grease- As mentioned above a number of times. Grease, grease grease. Grease the gears, consider greasing the bearings, add grease to metal shafts inside of the axles, grease universal joints. Grease will keep these parts smooth and offer some protection from the elements.
Axle caps- The ends of the axles are secured with screws which if they back out can wreak havoc in many ways. Place a small dab of CA glue under the screw head before installing it to help secure it and prevent it from backing out during your run.

 

AF18 Rock Prep3

What To Carry

Parts Supplies- Beyond prepping your rig for the course, you should prep for those what if moments. What if a screw falls out, what if a part breaks. It’s a good idea to carry a small parts bin of hardware with you at all times. Pack the bin with an assortment of screws, nuts, set-screws, body pins, flanged bushings for the steering knuckles, axles pins and washers in case something falls off on a run. Next you’ll want to carry some more substantial parts like a spare shock, some spare links, a spare center universal set-up. An extra servo horn or even and extra servo. There are even some drivers who will pack an entire assembled axle, or center transmission, just in case…
Batteries- During a rock race or during the 5K you may need to swap batteries. For better performance or to make it to the end. Have several packs on hand for the events and stored in a LiPo sack for safe transport.
Tools- You know those little bags of allen wrenches and the box wrench that came with your kit? They make great lightweight travel tools and can fix most of the issues you’ll have to deal with on your rig. Now granted hand tools make the job easier, carry the basics, 1.5mm, 2.0mm and 2.5mm hex drivers; 5.5mm and 7.0mm nut drivers, long nose pliers, scissors and cutters can also be useful. Place them in a bag and put them in your backpack during your adventure.
Survival- Always carry water with you for hydration, in fact its pretty much mandatory for the 5K and a must for between rock racing runs.. Cisco Grove is at a higher elevation and having water on hand will keep you hydrated during your hikes. Also have some nutrition with you. Some power bars, trail mix or other foods can take the edge off your hunger while competing on the courses. It’s also good to have a small first aid kit in case you get a scratch or scrape on the trail. Wear a hat, use moisture wicking clothing, wear proper footwear such as Altra shoes that will keep you sure footed on the course.

AF18 Rock Prep5

The Axialfest Rock Racing and Altra Ultra events test both man or woman and machine. It’s a good idea to prep both your rig and yourself for these events. Train ahead of time for quick sprints and lengthy runs. Be prepared for all types of weather too. It can be cold in the mornings and hot in the afternoons. These events at Axialfest are to promote fun first and foremost, but racing can always get intense and being prepared can help you make it to the finish with success.

AXIALFEST2018 – Concours Show & Shine

AXIALFEST2018 - Concours Show & Shine

CONCOURS • AXIALFEST 2018

Hello AXIALFEST2018 participants! Concours is now in its fifth official year and growing because of YOU! Because last year’s participants stepped up the game, AXIALFEST is responding back with additional classes!

10-classes within Concours Show & Shine for AXIALFEST2018

01: BEST DAILY DRIVER
02: BEST CONCOURS D’RAISIN (do your homework!)
03: MOST ADVENTURIST
04: BEST TRAILER
05: BEST MONSTER TRUCK
06: BEST RR10 BOMBER
07: BEST 12 and Under Build
08: BEST 13-18yo Build
09: BEST Theme Inspired
10: BEST OF SHOW – PEER VOTED

CONCOURS CLASSES AND RULES

01 BEST DAILY DRIVER

There is only one rig in our fleet that can legally claim California Street Legal status, the Axial SCX10! And it must be 100% drivable! Heck, it has to be able to drive to the DMV! How are you going to get current registration on it if won’t drive in?

Judges will be looking for items such as these:
Head lights – check!
Tail lights – check!
Turn signals – check!
Mirrors – check!
Seat Belts – check!
Insurance Documents – check!
License plate – check!
Mudflaps – check!

Just so you know, in 2016, half of the class was eliminated on the first pass due to no license plate. The battle went toe-to-toe with the participants having all the boxes ticked, with the final winner walking away with it all because he had scale miniature insurance documents! It was a scale version of his actual DMV and insurance paperwork with matching VIN numbers!!! Yes, the competition was decided by a single miniature scale item!

02 CONCOURS D’RAISIN

Raisins raisins raisins… What is our fascination with rock raisined, tree-scraped sheet metal? Sounds like a proper trail rig to us! Bring your Trail-Mix bag of Trail Tested-Raisined out rig!

Yes we are talking about sun dried and rock fried… show us what beat down looks like! We know it’s your favorite ol’ trusty that you would drive off into the sunset any ol’ day! What happens when you push the limits and smash your rig into the rocks or get squeezed by those massive pine trees? Check those off too! But it has to be 100% drivable!
• Raisined body work – check!
• Weathered treatment – check!
• Red Solo cups for rear turn signals keeps you from getting pulled over!
Must be Axial based and recognizable Axial chassis; SCX10, Wraith, Yeti, Bomber, AX10

03 MOST ADVENTURIST

Plan as though you are going on a safari expedition and you want to be fully equipped and fully self-sufficient! Does Overland Journal or Expedition Portal sound familiar? Must be 100% street drivable because all adventures require tarmac transits. Must be Axial based and recognizable Axial chassis; SCX10, Wraith, Yeti, Bomber, AX10. Tagged, insured, highway legal and highway operable.
• Head lights – check!
• Tail lights – check!
• Turn signals – check!
• Mirrors – check!
• License plate – check!
• Seat Belts – check!
• Insurance Documents – check!

Vehicle Recovery Items:
• Front frame mounted recovery point or points are required
• Rear frame mounted recovery point or points are required
• Full size spare tire
• 1 working winch
• 1 pulley block rated for winch
• 1 tree strap
• 1 recovery strap

Vehicle Protection
• Front Bumper
• Sliders
• Rear Bumper

• Exterior Items:
• Roof Rack
• Snorkel
• Limb Risers
• Spare Tire Carrier

Personal Items on Rig:
• Camp Gear (A method to sleep; hammock, tent, RTT, swag-bag and or sleeping bag.
• Camp Kitchen (A method of sustaining yourself and your dependents).
• Water Container (A method of providing drinkable water to yourself and your dependents).
• Fuel Containers – For extra long distance travel

04 BEST TRAILER

This year we’ve combined the Trailer classes, so we’re ready to see some crazy trailer action! Make it an adventure trailer, work trailer, hauler or even a full blown travel trailer – we want to see them all!

There will be, of course, bonus points for working items. Our judges love ‘workability’ and will take into account features like:
• Working internal and external lights, including turn signals
• License plate
• Ramps to load with
• Straps to tie load down with
• Working TVs or sound systems

The more scale items, the better chance you have of winning. Concours gets more and more crazy each year, so you’ll need to bring you A game if you want a chance to win!

05 BEST MONSTER TRUCK

Must be based from Axial SMT10 Chassis. Must use Axle type Gearbox and Lower Chassis plate. Replicate a team or make up your own team! Do something crazy!
• Interior
• Dash, Steering wheel, gauges etc., looking for detail!
• Seats & Seat Belts
• Driver figure
• Lights
• RII (look it up) (Rii)
• Motor
• Fuel tank
• Detailed Body
• Detailed Rims – Lug Nuts, Bead Locks, Planetary’s
• BKT Tires

06 BEST RR10 BOMBER

Time to bring out all the rock racers and KoH style rigs – the RR10 Bomber class has arrived! Although you can get crazy with your builds, they must retain the stock Axial RR10 Bomber lower chassis plate. MORE RULES HERE

07 BEST 12 AND UNDER BUILD

The 12 and Under class was designed to get the kids involved in some creative building. Let them loose to design and create their own personal trail rigs complete with crazy paint, lights and lots of scale details. These kids are the future of the hobby, so it’s time to let their creativity shine!

Parents: Please let the kids do their thing. We know it will be easy to ‘help’ them build a killer rig, but we want this class to reflect their style and their vision. We’re not looking for perfection, we’re looking for hard work and their proud faces!

08 BEST 13-18YO BUILD

The 13-18YO Builder class is similar to the 12 and Under, but with young adults that have a bit more experience in building and driving (maybe!). Same rules apply – let the kids have their time!

09 BEST THEME INSPIRED

Creativity at its best – build your rig based on this year’s theme – Expedition Through the Unknown! Show us what this means to you by building an apocalyptic trailer, a truck for chasing Jurassic creatures or some other build that’s out of this world! This is going to be one of the hardest classes to judge, but one of the best classes to witness!

10 BEST OF SHOW – PEER VOTED

The overall winner will be picked by the top three winners of each of the 9-categories. Yes, that’s 27 judges! The winner of this class will definitely earn this year’s trophy for Best in Show!

Axialfest Trail Rig Prep

adventures_Axialfest-Trail-Rig-Prep_500px

Before you know it, Axialfest will be upon us and the last thing you want to worry about is preparing just a few days before you embark on your adventure. You want to have your adventure vehicle ready to go and ready to take on the terrain without failure ahead of time. Yes, Axial vehicles are built tough, but taking the time to have your rig ready will ensure more fun on the trail. We’ve gathered up a number of tips to help get your rig ready from what hardware to use, to driveline tips and things you may need along the way.

AF18 Trail Prep4

Hardware Check

Set-Screws- Set-screws can be a headache in the RC world, they are used in several areas on just about any rig. The most common is the pinion gear. If the set-screw goes into metal, it’s a good idea to add some blue thread locking compound to it before installing it. The thread locking compound is a measure to ensure the screw doesn’t back out during use.

Lock-nut- Early SCX10’s used standard nuts in several locations and perhaps you’ve installed a nut or two along the way while working on or customizing your truck. Consider swapping out all standard nuts with ny-lock nuts. These nuts have a plastic insert ring that helps prevent the nut from backing off of the screw.

Machine Screws- Machine screws have a much finer thread than a self-tapping screw. This finer thread often offers more “bite” into a part for extra security. Consider using machines screws wherever you can. And like that pesky set-screw, always use blue thread-locking compound on machine screws that go into metal so they don’t vibrate out while in use.

AF18 Trail Prep3

Driveline Tips

Screw Pins- Screw pins are often used to secure the universal yokes to the axle drive pinions, if your rig doesn’t have them and you have a through-hole in the bevel pinion shaft, go with a screw-pin instead of a set-screw. This will ensure drive instead of a set-screw that can back out and slip. Use thread-lock here too of course.

Universals- We’ve seen some torn-up universals in our day. These components take a lot of abuse. Replacing the cross-pins before your many Axialfest adventures can be a good idea. At the very least, check your universals for binding or regrease them if they look dry.

Bearings- Do you want to be “The Squeaky Guy?” Bearings take a lot of abuse and as they get covered in dirt or submerged in water, you risk the chance of bearing failure. If you hear squeaking, consider cleaning your bearings, blast them with a cleaner and re-oil them. Some go so far as to repack the bearing with grease. A bad bearing can eventually wreak havoc on your driveline on the trail. Fix it before it causes other possibly more expensive problems.

Gears- This is an important topic here. Many of crunchy transmissions have been heard along the trails at Axialfest. During your pretrip check, take a look at all of the gears. Do any look sharp, missing parts of their teeth, is your gearcase full of metal dust? Don’t leave it to a trail run to find our you needed to replace gears. In the axles, make sure the gear lash is correct between the bevel pinion and ring gear. Shims may be used to adjust gear lash. Inside of the center transmission, make sure your gears are well lubricated with grease. If you do have plastic internal gears, on your SCX10, consider upgrading to the metal gears, here is the link for the upgrade: HERE And finally, your pinion and spur. Make sure your mesh is correct, not too loose that your gears can skip and not too tight that it binds.

Slipper- Your slipper clutch is often the line of defense to protecting your transmission. When your rig gets caught up in a gap in the rocks and you pin the throttle, the slipper will slip rather than the gears skipping. You want the slipper tight enough so you get through gnarly obstacles, but you do need that slip for protection. A little trial and error works here in terms of setting. Always lean toward the loose side to start with.

Grease- As mentioned above a number of times. Grease, grease grease. Grease the gears, consider greasing the bearings, add grease to metal shafts inside of the axles, grease universal joints. Grease will keep these parts smooth and offer some protection from the elements.

AF18 Trail Prep2

Waterproof Everything

Specific Electronics- Axialfest is known to have some water encounters and as you know water and electronics don’t mix. Most ready to run electronics are waterproof or water resistant but if you’re running something from an older build date or have swapped out your electronics for something non-WP, you might consider taking some precautions to waterproofing your equipment. Seal the servo case with silicone, put a bead of grease around servo output shafts. ESC’s are a bit more difficult to waterproof using silicone as the heatsink area is an area where water can get in. Brushed motors can get wet, just prep by oiling the bearings or bushings.

Radio Box Sealing- The radio box is often the home for items that can be damaged by water or debris. The receiver, lighting module or winch controller are often placed in radio boxes. But water can still get inside unless you seal it up. Use a bead of silicone or grease to seal off any gaps that will allow water to enter the box.

Axialfest night

Light It Up

Why You Need Them- Some of the best adventures on the rocks at Cisco Grove happen at night. The night driving element is very challenging and you’ll see drivers out on the rocks until all hours of the morning. You’ll want to consider adding as much lighting to you and your rig as possible.

Options- Headlight and taillight kits are obvious and selecting the right one really depends on the type of body you run. The other option are light bars. Light bars are a pretty simple bolt on light system to install and many plug right into the receiver for power. Another option to consider are well lights. Those are lights in the wheel wells so you can see exactly what type of terrain your rig is going over. There are plenty of lights to choose from in the Axial options list. You can find more on lights: HERE  Then there are the lights for you. A head-lamp is a great source of light to blaze through the trails. Some fashion flashlights to their radios with tape or rubber bands. Get creative with your lights, but whatever you choose, make sure it’s enough to light the way for long periods of time.

AF18 Trail Prep1

What To Carry

Parts Supplies- Beyond prepping your rig for the trails, you should prep for those what if moments. What if a screw falls out, what if a part breaks. It’s a good idea to carry a small parts bin of hardware with you at all times. Pack the bin with an assortment of screws, nuts, set-screws, body pins, flanged bushings for the steering knuckles, axles pins and washers in case something falls off on a run. Next you’ll want to carry some more substantial parts like a spare shock, some spare links, a spare center universal set-up. An extra servo horn or even and extra servo.

Tools- You know those little bags of allen wrenches and the box wrench that came with your kit? They make great lightweight travel tools and can fix most of the issues you’ll have to deal with on your rig. Now granted hand tools make the job easier, carry the basics, 1.5mm, 2.0mm and 2.5mm hex drivers; 5.5mm and 7.0mm nut drivers, long nose pliers, scissors and cutters can also be useful. Place them in a bag and put them in your backpack during your adventure.

Survival- Drivers can spend hours on the trails. Always carry water with you for hydration. Cisco Grove is at a higher elevation and having water on hand will keep you hydrated during your hikes. Also have some nutrition with you. Some power bars, trail mix or other foods can take the edge off your hunger while completing some of the long trail layouts. It’s also good to have a small first aid kit in case you get a scratch or scrape on the trail. Keep your cell phone with you, lights and a suitable back-pack to carry extra batteries is the best way to take on Axialfest.

AF18 Trail Prep5

Prep For Fun

With rig prep out of the way, you should now be able to relax and enjoy the driving and scenery on the trails instead of being concerned your rig can handle the trek. If something does happen along the trails, don’t be shy and ask another driver for help borrow a tool or even a part to keep you going. The attendees at Axialfest are among the best enthusiasts in the industry and meeting new people in the camps or on the trails can turn into new friendships. See you at #AXIALFEST

Battery Endurance Test – Maximize Your Drive Time

 

tech_aa_radio_battery_overview_500px

What is the best battery? We spend so long in the hobby trying to answer that question ourselves along with seeking opinions on the subject from others. When talking batteries, most people go right to the battery used in the vehicle. But what about the forgotten batteries, the batteries that are essential to making it all happen. Those batteries are the radio batteries and their often just tossed into the radio and forgotten about until we hear lots of beeping to indicate its time for a battery charge or swap. But why not get more out of these batteries too? Wouldn’t it be better if you got more time on the trails rather than spending time trying to figure out if you need new radio batteries? Or perhaps worse, your batteries go dead on the trail leaving you to haul your rig back home by hand.

Battery Test

In this battery discussion, we’re going to look at the popular available options for radio batteries, determining what is the best value and what will give you the best bang for your buck. After All, the longer you’re on the trails, the more time you can spend taking photos and posting them to your social media pages with the hashtag #AxialAdventures.

 

Alkaline

Alkaline AA

These are the most readily available batteries for your transmitter. Alkalines can be found at just about every store you walk into and hobby stores as well. Like any device you install them in, you pull them from the package, install them, use them and toss them in the battery bin at the nearest recycling center when you are done. These cells can last several few months depending on how often you use your RC machine.
EXAMPLE SHOWN:
Brand: Duratrax/ Onyx
Voltage: 1.5V
Average Capacity (at 50mA Drain): 1800-2600mAh
Rechargeable: No

Nickle Metal Hydrid

NiMh AA
Nickel Metal Hydrid, now this may be a battery chemistry more familiar to many RC folk. This battery type is used to power many ready to run vehicles as it’s main battery, just in a series of sub-C size cells which are larger than the cells above. But they are the same basic concept, an easy to use, easy and safe rechargeable cell that you can use over and over, sometimes up to several years. You can find these batteries in various capacities and the price may increase depending on the performance of the cell. You’ll need a NiMh compatible charger to recharge these batteries and they are available in different capacities. These batteries can offer consistent operation, but eventually their performance can diminish and you may notice their capacity can lessen over time.
EXAMPLE SHOWN:
Brand: EBL
Voltage: 1.2V
Capacity: 2800mAh
Rechargeable: Yes

Lithium

Lithium AA

Lithium Polymer technology has made its way into an AA sized cell. LiPo cells are known for delivering consistent power through their use and they can be recharged. During their cycle life they will maintain consistency capacity output right up until they reach the end of their life cycle. Life cycle times can vary depending on the cell. Although they cost more than the others in this blog, they are the most powerful rechargeable cell. Depending on the brand you get, charging styles can vary. The cells above are charged by mini-usb style plugs with the included USB cord adapter.
EXAMPLE SHOWN:
Brand: Creative Standard Battery
Voltage: 1.5V
Capacity: 1250mAh
Rechargeable: Yes

 

Lithium Polymer

LiPo AA

Lithium Polymer technology has made its way into an AA sized cell. LiPo cells are known for delivering consistent power through their use and of course they can be recharged. During their cycle life they will maintain consistency capacity output right up until they reach the end of their life cycle. Life cycle times can vary depending on the cell. Although they cost more than the others in this blog, they are a powerful rechargeable cell. Depending on the brand you get, charging styles can vary. The cells above are charged by mini-usb style plugs with the included USB cord adapter.
EXAMPLE SHOWN:
Brand: Creative Standard Battery
Voltage: 1.5V
Capacity: 1250mAh
Rechargeable: Yes

WHAT TO USE
Obviously the more economical choice over the long haul is to utilize a rechargeable battery. A great choice is the NiMh cell that offers consistent performance and long usage. The LiPo battery cost is slightly higher and depending on the cell can have a capacity near many NiMh offerings, but where the LiPo shines is if you are looking for a higher power output on the cell; 1.5 volts versus the NiMh 1.2 volts. Now if you’re an install a battery and toss it (recycle it) when it’s done type driver, the Lithium is a great choice, they’re more expensive than the Alkaline battery, but performance and longevity are the winning factors here. And in the end, don’t knock the Alkaline cells. These things can be snatched up at just about any store and they work, they work well. Just don’t leave them in a radio if you store it for a long time. A leaky Alkaline cell is not pretty.

 

AXIALFEST2018 – Pre-Reg Is Closing Friday May 4th 9:00am PST

AXIALFEST2018 - Pre-Reg Is Closing Friday May 4th 9:00am PST

AXIALFEST2018 is fast approaching you only have a short time left to register; Pre-Reg will close on Friday May 4th at 9:00am!!!

CLICK TO REGISTER FOR AXIALFEST2018

Why is this such a big deal? DRIVERS BAGS!
You’ll want to get the drivers bag as it comes with some cool stuff like the commemorative T-SHIRT, THE HAT and the WATER BOTTLE! Can you guess what color the water bottle is going to be this year?!?!?!

Check out this video we re-edited from Josh at ESP as he dumped the contents of his bag.

IMAG00516

SWAG! The driver bag-o-goodies! Here’s what was in mine: the bag, hat, shirt, water bottle, patches, stickers, and coozie.

IMAG00517Also in the bag was bunch of goodies from AXIALFEST2016 sponsors like stickers, lanyards, battery straps, shock grease, bottle openers, and coupons.

This year’s bag will be even better! So don’t miss out – Pre-Reg and secure yourself a cool bag!

AXIALFEST2018 – Adventure Class Rules

AXIALFEST2018 - Adventure Class Rules

ADVENTURE CLASS RULES – AXIALFEST 2018

First and foremost, this is not a race, nor a rally.
What it is – is the pursuit of RC adventure!

If you are into scale trailing, adventure crawling, overland adventure, whatever you wish to call it, and/or if this is your first time coming to AXIALFEST, we highly recommend this class as your choice if you own an Axial AX10, SCX10, SCX10ii or a Wraith / Bomber set up for adventure. If you are bringing the whole family, you can all run together and run the Adventure Trails at any time. This is the class all about adventure suited for both those who like to meander through the woods at a leisurely pace and or those looking for technical adventures. This year, the ADVENTURIST will simply be about completing the designated trails with your friends and family at your leisure. Please be respectful of those in front of you.

• Will there be a score card? YES! BUT, you will *simply-keep it as your memento, AFTER you record all of the trail times. 10-trails with check-in / check-out Times.

• Will the Adventurist Class be about time? NO and yes…
No it will not be a timed event (by us), but you will record your time/s.
It will be all about you having a GOOD TIME and who got the most of it!

*simply-keep: You will want to guard it with utmost care to not lose it as the adventure does not end there! You will want to make sure your AXIALFEST SCORECARD makes it home with you as we will make a post some time after AXIALFEST and ask you to post/share your overall time. Who put in more trail time, more trail miles?!

VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS FOR ADVENTURIST CLASS ONLY

Rule #1: Axial Chassis: AX10, SCX10, SCX10II, Wraith, Bomber, Yeti (geared down)
Factory chassis can be modified. Aftermarket frame rails MUST BE PRE-APPROVED! Your brand of choice must be technically pre-approved and a supporting vendor of AXIALFEST in order to be eligible. Please review the Approved List: http://wordpress.axialracing.com/approved-aftermarket-frame-rails-for-axialfest-2017
Rule #2: Axial transmission or an aftermarket transmission housing using Axial gear format.
Rule #3: Axial axles or any aftermarket axle using Axial ring & pinion sized gearing.
Rule #4: Must display the mandatory Tech Sticker
No restrictions for the following items:
• Tires
• Suspension links
• C-hubs
• Steering knuckles
• Driveshafts

 

AXIALFEST 2018 – Schedule of Events

AXIALFEST2018 Dates and Schedule of Events

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS – AXIALFEST 2018

WEDNESDAY JULY 18
01:00pm-04:00pm Registration & Tech Opens
01:00pm-00:00pm Trails Open Upon Completion of Registration & Tech Inspection
05:00pm-06:00pm Dinner
06:00pm-08:00pm Registration & Tech Open

THURSDAY JULY 19
10:00am-12:00pm Registration / Tech Opens
12:00pm-01:00pm Lunch
01:00pm-02:00pm Concours Staging & Tech
01:00pm-06:00pm Registration Open
02:00pm-06:00pm Concours Judging & Awards
06:00pm-07:00pm Dinner

FRIDAY JULY 20
07:00am-11:30am Registration / Tech Opens
07:00am-07:30am ULTRA Driver Check-in
08:00am-11:30am ULTRA Race
12:00pm-01:00pm Lunch
02:30pm-05:30pm Registration & Tech Open
06:00pm-07:00pm Dinner
07:00pm-09:00pm AXIALFEST2018 Parade – Starts at Front Office of the Campground

SATURDAY JULY 21
08:30am-10:00pm Registration & Tech Opens
09:00am-12:30pm Rock Racing
01:00pm-02:00pm Lunch
05:00pm-06:00pm Dinner
06:30pm-07:00pm Raffle Ticket Pick Up Main Pavilion
07:00pm-09:00pm Awards Ceremony

SUNDAY JULY 22
Sleep in and travel home safely. Thank you for attending AXIALFEST2018!

A First Timer’s Guide to AXIALFEST 2018

A First Timers Guide to AXIALFEST 2018

A FIRST TIMER’S GUIDE TO AXIALFEST

Are you planning on attending AXIALFEST2018? Is this your first time? Then this blog may be just what you have been looking for.

This is Skeeno’s Guide to AXIALFEST. I will be covering all that you need to know about having a successful AXIALFEST experience.

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Let’s start with what AXIALFEST is. AXIALFEST is a customer appreciation event held by Axial Racing to thank it’s loyal customers for their support. Each year is a bit different. For AXIALFEST2018, there will be several driving events including the world famous ALTRA ULTRA 5K Enduro. There is a grand awards ceremony on the final evening with so much giveaway swag it will make your head spin.

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Last year I witnessed what seemed like every single participant receiving a prize. Many lucky participants scored brand new kits and RTRs. You definitely want to make sure you attend the awards ceremony.

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At AXIALFEST you will witness a celebration of all things Axial. AXIALFEST is the Woodstock of Scale RC, a family gathering of Axial enthusiasts. Hundreds of participants from all over the world come together to share their love of Axial and scale adventure. Expect to see both male and female drivers from all walks of life. From singles to large extended families.

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Not all are drivers; many are just there to support friends and family and watch the fun. There will be groups of people hanging out, wrenching on their Axial kits, cooking and just generally socializing. Expect to find a very family friendly atmosphere where everyone is willing and eager to help out.

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STEP 1: REGISTER

This year there is only one price for everything at AXIALFEST. $60 for each adult and $25 for each child 6-15 years old (kids 5 and under are free!). All pre-registered drivers will receive a driver’s bag containing limited edition AXIALFEST2018 swag from Axial and the AXIALFEST sponsors. Word on the street is the swag will be extra special this year, so make sure you pre-register now if you haven’t already.

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You can register online right now at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/axialfest-2018-tickets-42717706811?aff=es2

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You may also register in person at AXIALFEST, but will not receive the driver’s bag. Extra shirts will be available for purchase at G-Central, but the driver’s bags are limited to only those who pre-register. It is highly recommended that you pre-register so you don’t miss out on any of the limited edition swag from Axial and the official sponsors of AXIALFEST.

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STEP 2: GET A PLACE TO STAY

Luckily, AXIALFEST is held within a campground – a huge campground. Don’t be scared if you’ve heard all the camp sites are gone. They are not, but you may have to walk a little farther to get to G-Central as the veterans have probably already reserved their camp spots from last year that are closest to G-Central. Call Cisco Grove to reserve your spot ASAP.

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Cisco Grove Campground
48415 Hampshire Rocks Rd., Cisco Grove, CA 95728
P: 530.426.1600
W: www.ciscogrove.com

Cisco Grove is about an hour from Reno, NV and about an hour and a half from Sacramento, CA. Camp sites are about $30 per night and include water and electrical hookups. There are bathrooms and showers available at the campground. Multiple people can share the spots to help divide the cost among several people.

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STEP 3: START PACKING RC STUFF

• Your kits. Since this is AXIALFEST, the most important thing to remember is to pack your Axial vehicles. You can leave your other RCs at home as this is an Axial appreciation event. Before you arrive at AXIALFEST, make sure you do a once over on your kits. Clean, rebuild and replace worn components to reduce chances of failure.

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Don’t let something little stop you from having a great time. I found this broken axle housing while cleaning up Skeeno Jr’s Axialfest rig.

Also, be prepared for mud and water. Due to all the rain we had in California this year, chances are high that you will be driving through both – even possibly some snow – so waterproofing your electronics is not mandatory, but highly recommended.

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For more info on waterproofing, check out these past Axial blogs:

Waterproof Your Receiver

How to Waterproof your SCX10

• Transmitter, charger and all of your batteries. You will be driving your kits probably more than you ever have, so you want to make sure you have enough mAh to complete each trail. You will be able to charge your batteries at your camp site with the available electricity. Make sure to bring a power strip so you can have multiple chargers going at once.

• Spare Parts. Bring all the spare parts and electronics you have. Driving for three hours straight can tax even the most stoutly built drivetrains. If you don’t have many spare parts, that’s OK. Most veterans will have something to help you out on the trail. Vendors will also be selling parts on site, so bring some spare cash.

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• Tools. Chances that you will need to make repairs or adjustments are high. Bring all your tools including wrenches, pliers, drivers, scissors and even a soldering iron.

• Hydration pack/Camelbak. It will be July and most likely very warm. You will be walking long distances for many hours. Bring a backpack or pack hydration to carry water, trail snacks and tools and spare parts. There is no shame in stopping on the trail to rest, eat or fix your kit because the goal is to finish. For more info on what to bring out on the trail, check this blog: Make Your Own RC Vehicle Field Tool Pack.

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CAMPING EQUIPMENT

• Lots of people bring RVs and campers. Others rough it in tents. Some people sleep in their cars. A good night sleep makes for a happy AXIALFESTer. Bring the stuff that will get you the best sleep. Tent, mattress, sleeping bag, pillow and extra blankets are highly recommended.

• Canopy/EZUp. It’s nice to have protection from the sun or rain while cooking or wrenching. If you have walls for your canopy, bring those as well.

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• Power strip/splitter. As mentioned earlier, each camp site has water and power. Make sure you have enough outlets for all your chargers, soldering irons, lights, etc. Some sights have the RV outlets, not the standard 110 outlets you see at your house. Have no fear, the camp store has adapters for sale for cheap. I think I paid $5 last year.

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• Lighting/Lantern. You want to be able to see at camp if you have to have a late night wrenching session.

• Alarm clock. Events start early in the morning. You don’t want to be late or miss anything, so bring an alarm that will wake you up, especially if you are a night owl participating in after event revelries.

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• Flashlight and Headlamp. The trails are open all the time, even at night. In fact, night runs are some of the best runs, so you’ll need to be able to see in the dark. Don’t skimp. Get a headlamp with a high lumen output.

• Shampoo/soap/quarters. Showers are available in the campgrounds, if you can find time, so you don’t get too ripe. No quarters needed, just sounded good.

• Sunscreen & hat. Don’t get burned by the sun at high elevation.

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FOOD AND BEVERAGES

• Water/beverages. A hydrated AXIALFESTer is a happy AXIALFESTer.

• Meals. Hungry equals grumpy. Prepare you breakfasts, lunches and dinners for each day you will be there. There are no restaurants close by and the camp store has a very limited selection of edibles. That’s 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners, if you are planning on being there from Thursday until Sunday. Plan accordingly. Axial is also working on securing a couple food trucks to come up and join the party. Last year we had Starkey’s Food Truck show up and it was a major hit!

• Snacks. Trail mix and power bars are good to have in case you need extra nutrition in between meals.

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• Stove/BBQ. You gotta cook that food on something, right?

• Regular kitchen supplies. Pots/pans/knives/forks/spoons. Think about what you need for each meal and make sure you bring it.

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• Coffee maker and coffee cups. A nice cup of coffee gets me ready for each long day. I like mine with a little cream and sugar.

• Paper towels. For your meals, wrenching or just general clean up.

• Soap/sponge/towel/buckets. Good for washing your face, brushing your teeth and doing dishes.

• Toothbrush/toothpaste. Fresh breath makes socializing less awkward, especially after a few cups of coffee. No one likes morning breath.

• Ibuprofen/Aspirin/Advil. Bring the pain reliever of your choice. Your feet and legs will be sore if you are not used to extended hours of being on your feet. This year we’re going to have 10 trails; 1000+ trail markers can equal several miles of hiking around the campground.

CLOTHING

• Shoes. Bring sturdy shoes for mountain hiking. Hiking boots are recommended. It’s also a good idea to bring some spare shoes for relaxing at camp and flip flops for the showers. I’d also plan on extra socks.

• Jackets/sweatshirts/pants/hoodie/beanie. You never can tell what Sierra weather will be like. Temps can vary from in the 90s during the day to in the 30s at night. One year it rained. Last year the nights were quite cold. Be prepared for everything, so don’t just bring shorts and t-shirts. Pack for four days of clothing, plus extra socks and underwear.

• Swimming gear. There is a little swimming hole at the campground. My daughter makes sure we hit it every year.

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STEP 4: ARRIVE

The first stop is at the camp store at the front of the campground. Pick up your campsite and vehicle tags, then go find your campsite. Get set up as soon as you can so you can start the fun.

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After you have camp set up, go find G-Central. G-Central is the central hub of AXIALFEST where all the activities begin. G-Central is located near the upper pavilion. There will be signs posted to point you in the proper direction. It is easily spotted, because you will see lots of large green Axial banners, the Axial motorhome and the trailer. There are usually other vendor booths also set up around G-Central. If you are not sure, ask someone. Everyone is friendly and helpful.

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Don’t forget to check out the camp sites. Assorted vendors will also have their booths set up with their wares displayed and items for sale.

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Trail markers will be everywhere! Don’t be surprised to see trail markers on the side of the road, next to your camp or around G-Central – pretty much everywhere. There are 10 trails with over 1,000 trail markers for AXIALFEST2018, so please do not disturb them. They will be needed for the entire event. Do not be tempted to take the one with your favorite number and risk the next driver getting lost. Also, feel free to play with your kits, but please stay off marked obstacles. You’ll know because there will be colorful ribbon on certain sections.

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What class are you in? Most AXIALFESTers come for the Adventurist class. The Adventurist is a scale trail run with 10 different courses and over 1,000 trail markers. Drivers start at different locations around G-Central, sending them up through different areas of the Cisco Grove Campground, ultimately returning them back to the G-Central area. The general rule of the Adventurist class is No HOG, which means No Hand of God. That means you should not touch your rig. No flipping over or repositioning it if stuck. Use a tow strap or winch to make a scale recovery. Also remember to travel in the proper direction. The red trail marker is always on the right. Red on Right, get it?

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Out on the Adventurist trail, drivers will encounter a varied selection of terrain from dirt to rocks to mud to water to trees – basically whatever is out there. Have fun using your scale accessories like tow straps, winches and sand ramps to conquer the terrain.

Drivers have the freedom to drive as fast or slow as they feel. Most drive in small groups assisting each other when the trail gets difficult. Drivers on the Adventurist trails are always happy to help out others by loaning a strap, winch line, parts or tools. Whatever it takes to help their fellow Adventurist continue on the adventure. At AXIALFEST, the Adventurists trail is often many miles long, that’s why being prepared is so important. Drivers and their kits need to be prepared to endure a long day of scale fun.

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OTHER EVENTS

Rugged Radio Rock Racing
As traditional R/C offroad race tracks have become super-groomed sugar-coated brown tarmac, Axial is once again putting the rough, the rocks and real dirt back into off-road racing! For more information, including the rules, see our post here: Rugged Radio Rock Racing.

ALTRA ULTRA 5K Enduro
Axial launched this program in 2016 in conjunction with ALTRA Running shoes. If vehicle speed and running through the woods appeals to you, this might be the class you seek. Axial will design a designated enduro course just for this class! This will be fast paced physical event. Physical endurance, quick reflexes and knowledge of your rig as well as your physical ability are key. For more information, including the rules, see our post here: AXIALFEST2018: Altra Ultra 5K Enduro Rules.

Concours Show and Shine
Hello AXIALFEST2018 participants! Concours is now in its fifth official year and growing because of YOU! Because last year’s participants stepped up the game, AXIALFEST is responding back with additional classes! For more information, including the rules, see our post here: AXIALFEST2018 – Concours Show & Shine.

AXIALFEST SCHEDULE

WEDNESDAY JULY 18
01:00pm-04:00pm Registration & Tech Opens
01:00pm-00:00pm Trails Open Upon Completion of Registration & Tech Inspection
05:00pm-06:00pm Dinner
06:00pm-08:00pm Registration & Tech Open

THURSDAY JULY 19
10:00am-12:00pm Registration / Tech Opens
12:00pm-01:00pm Lunch
01:00pm-02:00pm Concours Staging & Tech
01:00pm-06:00pm Registration Open
02:00pm-06:00pm Concours Judging & Awards
06:00pm-07:00pm Dinner

FRIDAY JULY 20
07:00am-11:30am Registration / Tech Opens
07:00am-07:30am ULTRA Driver Check-in
08:00am-11:30am ULTRA Race
12:00pm-01:00pm Lunch
02:30pm-05:30pm Registration & Tech Open
06:00pm-07:00pm Dinner
07:00pm-09:00pm AXIALFEST2018 Parade – Starts at Front Office of the Campground

SATURDAY JULY 21
08:30am-10:00pm Registration & Tech Opens
09:00am-12:30pm Rock Racing
01:00pm-02:00pm Lunch
05:00pm-06:00pm Dinner
06:30pm-07:00pm Raffle Ticket Pick Up Main Pavilion
07:00pm-09:00pm Awards Ceremony

SUNDAY JULY 22
Sleep in and travel home safely. Thank you for attending AXIALFEST2018!

For more info, check out our past AXIALFEST reports.
Axialfest 2014 – Report By Skeeno
Axialfest 2013 – The Recap!
Axialfest 2012 – Skeeno Report

Useful links:
Facebook Event Page
Recon G6
Cisco Grove Campground
How To Waterproof your Receiver
How To Waterproof your SCX10
Make Your Own RC Vehicle Field Tool Pack

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Suspension Link Types Explained

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There is no shortage of suspension design types in the RC world, but for trail trucks and other off-road adventure vehicles, one of the most preferred suspension styles is the link type. Links are typically a long fixed plastic bar or long metal rod with ball-ends on each end that stretch from points on the chassis to the trucks axle. Sounds pretty simple right? There is a bit more to it. There are several link set-up types and Axial vehicles such as the SCX10 and SCX10 II use different type of link setups. There are three different designs used; a 3-Link, 4-Link and a 3-Link with panhard bar setup. Here we’ll go over what each style looks like and their performance attributes.

3-LINK

A 3-Link suspension setup can commonly be found on the front of the SCX10 platform. Two lower links, one on each side, span from the skid to the lower axle tubes. The third link is located up higher to secure the axle from rotating. Here an upper Y-link is used for the third link. It mounts to the frame and spans to a single center point/ mount on the top of the axle.

3-Link Suspension

A 3-Link setup rotates the axle around the moving vertical pivot during articulation and can result in some axle sway.

4-LINK

The 4-Link design is similar to the 3-Link in regard to how the lower links span from the skid-plate to the axle housings in a triangulated format. However the top link is slightly different. The top utilizes two links that span from the inner frame to two pivot points on the top of the axle in the center.

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The 4-Link suspension design moves in a much linear path than the 3-Link and results in less axle sway, steer and reduces the effects of torque twist.

3-LINK W/ PANHARD

Now, are you ready for the description of a 3-Link with panhard bar? Brace yourselves, it’s actually made up of 4-Links. It’s similar to a “4-Link design” but with one upper link purposely missing. So if you’re one of those people who have opened your kit and said to yourself; Hey a link is missing, it’s not supposed to be there. To prevent the axle from shifting in this style of suspension design, a “panhard” bar is used; the fourth link. A panhard bar runs from the frame perpendicular to the other links and mates up with a mounting boss on the axle carrier.

3-Link With Panhard

This suspension setup offers smooth linear articulation without the axle sway associated with a 3-Link system.

LINK TECH

Although we’ve discussed the different type of link designs in a simple format, there is a bit more to it such as anti-squat, roll center, anti-dive and other tuning options that further differentiate each, but that is for another discussion. The style of links found on your specific SCX10 model are there by design to deliver articulation for optimum performance.

AXIALFEST2018: Altra Ultra 5K Enduro Rules

AXIALFEST2018: Altra Ultra 5K Enduro Rules

ULTRA 5K ENDURO RULES – AXIALFEST2018

Sponsored by ALTRA RUNNING SHOES

Axial launched this program in 2016 in conjunction with ALTRA Running shoes. If vehicle speed and running through the woods appeals to you, this might be the class you seek. Axial will design a designated enduro course just for this class! This will be fast paced physical event. Physical endurance, quick reflexes and knowledge of your rig as well as your physical ability are key.

Must be 18 years+ of age to compete in this class.

You may wish to not participate as this is a physically demanding 5K endurance race.

THIS IS A TIMED EVENT! NO TRANSPONDERS REQUIRED! Leaning on the roots of trail running, timing has evolved to a bib process. Each driver will be issued a large numbered bib to wear for the duration of the race and makes for a great addition to your wall art!

ALTRA ULTRA 5K ENDURO Men’s Class & Women’s Class Rules

Rule #01: Eligible chassis: Wraith, Yeti, Bomber, EXO, SCX10, AX10 (No Yeti XL’s). Chassis can be modified, but must retain a portion of the original chassis.

Rule #02: Must display the mandatory Tech Sticker & and show wristband at start.

Rule #03: No aftermarket tube chassis or aftermarket frame rails.

Rule #04: 2.2” wheels or 1.9” wheels

Rule #05a: Must use factory plastic Axial AR60 / AX10 axles / AR44

Rule #05b: Must use Yeti plastic a-arms if running Yeti chassis

Rule #6a option: Must retain the original Axial C-Channel frame (SCX10)

Rule #6b option: Must retain the original Axial plastic tube-chassis (AX10 / Wraith / Bomber / EXO / Yeti). Slight modifications may be made.

Rule #07: Axial transmission or an aftermarket transmission housing using Axial gear format.

Rule #08: Drink water with electrolytes and carry a hydration pack.

Rule #09: BE MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY PREPARED.

No restrictions for the following items:
• Suspension links
• C-hubs
• Steering knuckles
• Steering Links

• Driveshafts