Axial at Off Road EXPO 2014

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Off Road EXPO at the Pamona Fairplex is an event that you must attend if you live in the So Cal area. This is the big off road show where you get to see all the latest and greatest off road equipment. We were on the scene checking out some of the awesome rigs on site and snapping photos of the Axial rigs we could find at the show.

This year was different for Axial as we had quite a lot going on. We had demos going in the Poison Spyder booth, the Icon Vehicle Dynamics booth, and the Yeti XL was attracting eyeballs in the BFG booth for its first public appearance.

Many of the Axial marketing partners were also on site showing off their latest goodies…. Check it out!

Icon Vehicle Dynamics just picked up a big rig to take their products and show on the road. This beautiful rig grabbed tons of attention. Those that ventured over to see them got to try their hand wheeling some SCX10s. You would have the option of running the Ram Power Wagon, the Honcho or the JK.

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Have we mentioned we Love the ICON JK?

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and check out this awesome machine!!! I want this body for an SCX10!

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Camping anyone?

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Walker Evans Racing on site with this super clean JK!

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and of course Walker’s beautiful pre-runner buggy

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Rebel Off-Road always brings a crowd of people, and they should with their awesome selection of JK’s and other fun toys

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Does anyone else want 20 minutes alone in the desert with Method’s TT?

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Speaking of Method Wheels, check out this Shannon Campbell Replica Rock racer using Wraith and EXO parts that is almost completed. We found this in the Magnaflow booth

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Also cruising around the Magnaflow booth was this little desert package, ready for the dirt this winter season!

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They even had a Yeti on site!

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Our friends over at Rock Krawler made the trek from New York

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The Poison Spyder booth was a hit as always, completely jam packed with Jeep enthusiasts all day long!

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Crispy was out attracting people to the booth complete with a G6 mini Crispy

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Still one of our favorite JKs

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The Demo at Poison Spyder was fun all around.

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We stopped in to visit the Currie Family and check out their goodies. They had all their latest equipment on display along with their very high end Axial JKs

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Only Casey Currie would do this……

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and then do this 20 mins later….

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The infamous Jerry from U4RC made an appearance

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The BFG booth had a steady flow of people all day, most to see the new KO2 tire, and a few to check out the Yeti XL!

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BFG has an awesome 2 door, we want this one too….

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We bumped into sPOD in the main hall. They are using their SCX10 as part of their display system. So9 cool to hit the buttons on the sPOD, and the lights on the SCX10 light up!

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Our buddies at Nitro Gear getting ready for the crowds…

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Holy Billet Batman!

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Alex at AOE has been busy, his JK is looking ready for action!

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Here are a few parting shots for you, these kids have no idea how cool they are!

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Oh and did you want any Jeep with your tires?

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Properly Build Suspension and Steering Links

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Building Axial’s aluminum suspension and steering links isn’t tricky business, but if you don’t perform the task correctly, you can create problems. Follow these steps for perfectly built links.

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The 3x16mm set screw (AXA186) threads into the plastic rod end, not the other way around in the threaded aluminum pipe. Threading the set screw in halfway is perfect, and there is no need for thread-locking compound.

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To make sure you’ve threaded the set screw in to the correct depth, hold an uninstalled set screw next to the parts you’re assembling to visually see how far you’ve threaded the set screw in. If you don’t thread the hardware in deep enough, the set screw will easily pull out of the plastic. If this happens, the plastic rod end should not be reused. If you thread the set screw in too far, it can bind the ball in the rod end. Even if you back it out, you may have created a dimple inside the rod end and you won’t have the free movement that is desired for suspension and steering links. Also, if the set screw isn’t deep enough into the link, it may be prone to wobble.

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You can make custom-length links by adding spacers or by joining aluminum links together. Two aluminum links can be connected using a set screw. Again, don’t use thread-locking compound. Instead, just snug down the pieces and the assembly won’t loosen once installed.

Mount Scale Accessories

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Axial Racing’s scale accessories are designed to be easy to attach to a body, but there are steps you can take to get more realistic results and to ensure the scale accessories stay put.

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Mirrors
Side mirrors might be small, but they undeniably make a huge difference and really up the scale realism of a body. Quite possibly the most important tool for mounting the vast majority of scale accessories, including side mirrors, is a high quality body reamer. Axial’s thin reamer is more precise than a large reamer and perfect for this type of work because it makes it much harder to cut an overly large hole. The first step in mounting your mirrors correctly is to go online and do a little research. Search for photos of full-size trucks similar to your model. This will help you select the best mirror style and locate the correct placement. After you have located where you want to mount the mirror, use a permanent marker to mark the spot. Use the reamer to open a hole—a small hole. Go slowly and make sure you do not create too large of a hole. Don’t worry if the mirror fits slightly loose as the mounting method we recommend will secure the mirror. Axial’s scale accessory parts trees include shims. The shims are not always needed, but are very handy for achieving the desired angle of the mirror on different bodies. If shims are used, a small amount of modeler’s cement will keep them in place. Glue the shim to the mirror’s mounting plate. Do not glue the shim to the body. The glue isn’t necessary, but it will keep the shim from rotating. When the mirror is inserted through the body, slide one of the supplied O-rings over the small nub. If a shim is used, the O-ring can be difficult, if not impossible, to install. Do not worry if you can’t get an O-ring on. Either way, secure the mirror with one of the small body clips. The real trick to mounting the mirrors is using silicone glue on the inside of the body. Silicone will still be flexible when dry and can be removed if the mirror needs to be replaced. A healthy glob of silicone glue will secure the body clip and keep the mirror from rotating on the body.

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Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers are more straight forward and easier to mount than side mirrors, but they too require a little bit of research for the best results. For example, if you’re trying to make your Deadbolt look like an early Bronco and have added a windshield, mount the wipers from the top of the windshield frame.

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Dirty Windshield Trick
Real off-road vehicles get dirty and one of the places that always catches dirt and grime is the windshield. You can easily mimic the dirty windshield look and the results are truly eye-catching. This technique requires a lot of masking, but is fairly easy to full off. What you are to do is mask off the entire body. A plastic bag will be a big help here. Next, carefully mask off where the windshield wipers clean the glass. This will essentially look like two overlapping half circles. The only part of the body that should be exposed is the parts of the windshield that the wipers don’t clean. Sometimes there is a small section in between the wipers at the bottom of the windshield that also doesn’t get cleaned. When you’re satisfied with how everything is sufficiently masked, spray a very light coat of brown Lexan safe paint. Hold the can twice as far away as you normally would and move the paint spray across in a smooth motion. You are not painting the windshield brown. The goal is to slightly tint the area. Next, do an even lighter coat of black. Be extremely careful to only perform a quick, light coat. Also, resist the temptation to add more paint. When the paint dries, it will cover slightly better than it looks wet. Plus, you don’t want the windshield to look completely filthy when the rest of the body is relatively clean. The goal is to just make the windshield look real.

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Cracked Windshield
Cracked windshields aren’t uncommon on off-road vehicles. When you get a big crack in a passenger car, you get it fixed. Off-roaders, however, usually, just suffer the damage until it has to be fixed. Making a fake crack is easy, but you have to be carefully so you don’t hurt yourself or your vehicle’s body. Using a hobby knife, draw a slightly zigzagging crack down the windshield. You can add a few small offshoots if you like.

Decal Removal

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While it’s a task most of us rush to get done, applying decals can be tricky. Less than careful work can yield crooked decals with creases and air bubbles. But, what about removing decals? When you peel decals right after they have been applied, they might come off cleanly. Decals that have been adhered for a while may be difficult to remove, coming apart incompletely and in pieces, or at the very least leave a lot of messy residue behind. Using certain solvents can work, but some can easily damage Lexan. Lifting the edge of a decal with a sharp hobby knife can work and often does, but you need to be careful to not scratch the body.

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The best way to remove a decal is to use heat to loosen the adhesive. The key is to use heat, but not too much heat. A hobby-grade heat gun can be used, but most get hot enough to damage the body (and your skin) if you’re not careful. A decent hairdryer actually works great for this. Rarely do hairdryers get hot enough to damage Lexan, but most get plenty hot enough to loosen the adhesive. When using a hairdryer, or any heat gun for that matter, turn it on and let it run. The wire coils inside take a second or two to heat up. Start with the hair dryer close enough to target the decal you want to remove, but not so close that too much direct heat is applied. Keep the heat source moving and only apply heat to the non-painted side of the body.

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If a small decal that is close to other decals needs to be removed, the heat trick may not work. You may have to go simple and use your finger nail to scrape the decal off. To remove the residue that has likely been left behind, use an ordinary cotton swab and a cleaner such as rubbing alcohol to target the specific area. A careful touch here will prevent damage to surrounding decals.

Scale Canoes

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It’s obvious here at Axial that we are into scale anything. This also holds true for RECON G6. As seen at many RECON G6s, including AXIALFEST, Brian Parker’s personal enthusiasm with what he calls “clear mud” is obvious with every RECON G6. We have seen numerous photos of rigs with canoes strapped to the top. It’s just a natural extension of the outdoor lifestyle!

On a recent RECON G6, Brian Parker had the pleasure of meeting one of the participants who happens to work in the 1:1 canoe industry. Parker’s enthusiasm led to the arrangement of this bio about Justin Hinshaw of Jackson Kayaks.

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My name is Justin Hinshaw. I’m 32 years old and bought my first hobby grade RC when I was 17. I’ve loved RCs since I can remember, but as a kid I only ever got maybe 3 or 4 crappy Kmart buggies for Christmas and I always broke them right away like my parents said I would. When I was 17, I picked up a Traxxas Stampede with mechanical speed control from my LHS for $165. I modded the hell out of it over the years and I still have it today. I’ve had a few other cars (nitro 4tec, rustler and some HPI nitro buggy I got used).

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Anyways, I wanted an Axial since the first time I saw one but never had the extra cash to throw at one until I drove my buddy’s SCX10 this past summer. The next day I went on Craigslist and found a Wraith for $225. I’ve thrown about $600 at it in upgrades since then. I love crawling – always have. I used to crawl my 2wd stampede and pretend it was a real crawler (I locked the diff).

When I heard RECON G6 was going to be a mere 8 hours away, I knew I had to go. One of the requirements was that each driver had to bring a scale boat of some sort. Since I’ve worked in the kayak industry for nearly a decade I knew I’d be making my own.

The place I work currently is a thermoforming plant which is partly owned by Jackson Kayaks. We make all types of products from playground slides to kayaks to rooftop cargo carriers you see on minivans on their way to the beach. The thermoforming (aka vacuum molding) process is a simple concept. I’m pretty sure it’s how Lexan RC bodies are made. It’s a relatively low temperature process so the molds can be made of a variety of materials from aluminum to wood or MDF. The plastic comes in square or rectangular sheets and a vacuum box is built slightly smaller than the size of the sheet then the mold or molds are mounted to the vacuum box.  Once the part is molded, it is trimmed out of the sheet and the leftover plastic is ground up and recycled, that’s where my canoe comes in. The extra space on the vacuum box is where I set my canoe mold so each time I molded a green playground slide I also molded a scale canoe. I made a quick canoe mold out of a piece of pine 2×4 during my break one day and molded a couple.

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They looked okay, but I wanted something better so I turned to a co-worker named Joe Walton.  He is our R&D guy, he designs and builds our molds and he has over 25 years of experience in designing kayaks. He’s designed boats for Wilderness Systems, Legacy Paddlesports, Wave Sport and Jackson Kayaks. He is well known in the kayak industry. He is also an avid RC model airplane builder and pilot, so he was happy to help me with my canoe. The next day I came into work and he had a beautifully-sculpted canoe mold made of wood stashed in his shop (the big boss man still doesn’t know I’ve been molding canoes at work). The canoes turned out very nice and I’m grateful to have had an expert there to help me.

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I went ahead and made about 20 of the canoes to bring to the RECON G6 comp to sell, give away or just to help out a fellow G6er who may have needed a boat. Everyone seemed to like them and they also performed very well in the water. They track straight as an arrow. The canoes I brought were just rough cut out of the sheet and still needed some trimming shaping of the cockpit rim. I brought the tools along and trimmed them as needed when I gave them out.

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The G6 was over and award ceremony was wrapped up when Mr. G6 himself, Brian Parker, approached me and said he had to have a canoe. I didn’t have any more canoes trimmed and the canoes and trimming tools were back at my campsite. At this point my only option was to give him my personal canoe that had been strapped to my Wraith all day (except when I took it off to tow it through the water for one of the challenges on the stage). I was more than happy to hand it over to him and I’ll never forget what Parker said when I did. He handed it back to me along with a black Sharpie pen and said, “I’m a fan first.” That made me feel great and made my whole [RECON G6] experience even more memorable.

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Axial, you are blessed to have Mr. Parker on your team. He is a great guy and truly one of a kind. I certainly hope to see more [RECON G6] events here on the east coast in the future. It would be awesome to bring AxialFest out here as well! Thanks Axial for making the best scale off-road rigs ever and thank you Mr. Parker for sharing your passion with the world in such an awesome way!

Service Announcement

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Dear Valued Axial Customers,

We are very excited about our latest release, the AX90026 Yeti 1/10th scale RTR.  Axial recognizes that some customers have had issues with their rear wheel hubs part number AX80128. If you have experienced this issue, please contact Axial Customer Service for a 12mm Hex Conversion Service Pack, part number AX31074. The below image is the instruction sheet included with this service pack along with the AX80128 Wheel Hub Adapters. Click here to download the instruction sheet.

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Axial Service Contact Information:

For customers in the USA and Canada, email us at: service@axialracing.com and provide the serial number from your chassis or product package as well as your name, mailing address, telephone number, and email address.

For international customers outside the USA and Canada, please use Axial’s Dealer Support channels located here: http://www.axialracing.com/support

 

 

The playground just got a lot smaller – YETI XL™

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You DIDN’T ask for it, you didn’t expect this size from us. You said all we do is re-badge our existing AX10, SCX10 and Wraith platforms… but good grief Charlie Brown, we are only nine years young!

While you’ve been hugging your SCX10 branded pillow case, we’ve been quietly working away for the past two years on some newness; first came the Yeti and now the Yeti XL!

Yes, it’s real, yes it’s big. Yes, we did it our way and that just takes a little longer than most!

The playground just got a lot smaller – YETI XL™

How to Remove Stripped Screws

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The hardware fails, but the part is fine. This is the opposite of what we expect to happen. As it happens on full-size vehicles, it also happens in RC. Usually in RC, it’s a small set screw or flat head screw. Both are prone to stripping out if poor quality tools are used or if care isn’t taken. Many people get stumped when this happens, and while the fix is a bit of work, when the worst happens, it is still fixable.

Prevention
Two things prevent stripped hardware—quality tools and proper use of those tools. Axial Racing vehicles include some basic tools to get you started, but lots of wrenching (half the fun in this hobby) requires quality tools. Axial offers hex drivers with comfortable handles that feel like real tools and have replaceable tips. The tips are precision ground so those are a perfect fit. Proper use consists of making sure the tool is fully seated in the hardware. Besides using worn out poor quality soft steel tools, to not have the tip of the driver fully seated in the hex hardware is one the biggest reasons hardware gets stripped out. In addition, to make sure you are inserting the wrench fully, make sure the hardware is free of debris. Use the tip of a hobby knife to clean out any screw heads that may be clogged with dirt.

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Gear Puller
Pinion gears are held in by small set screws. These small screws are prone to stripping out when we use Herculean efforts to tighten them down. Great Planes makes a pinion puller (item no. GPMR2410) that can sometimes force a pinion off a motor’s output shaft as the puller is tightened down. These pullers cost about $25 and are not guaranteed to work. Axial pinion gears cost between $5 and $6, so it will most likely eventually pay for itself as other methods of removing a stuck pinion result in a destroyed pinion gear.

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Rotary Tool and Cutting Wheel
I wouldn’t even read this section without eye protection. When a set screw is stripped in a pinion gear or in a driveshaft, the most common way to fix the problem is to break out a rotary tool fitted with a cutting wheel. The fiber reinforced cutting wheels are preferred as they are more durable, but regardless of what type of cutting wheel you use, you must use eye protection and keep your head clear of the path of potential flying pieces. Cut off wheels shatter and the flying pieces can blind you permanently. This type of work should only be done by an adult.

To remove the stripped out hardware, you will need to basically grind out the set screw. This is the preferred method over attempting to drill out the set screw. Drilling a set screw on an object that wants to spin can be very difficult and even dangerous. Grinding out the set screw results in a ruining pinion or driveshaft, but cures the problem.

If a flat head screw is stripped (most commonly stripped screw type other than set screws), use the cut off wheel to notch a flat groove across the screw head. If you’re careful, you will only damage the already damaged screw. This notch will allow you to remove the screw with a flat blade screwdriver.

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Reliability and customer satisfaction go hand in hand, so Axial is continually improving our products. A great example of this the WB8 HD Wild Boar driveshafts that uses a 2 mm hex drive instead of a 1.5 mm hex, which can be prone to stripping out if the wrong tools are used.

Brushed vs. Brushless Motors

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Axial Racing RTR vehicles come with either two types of motors, brushed or brushless. To better understand why Axial offers the two different types, it’s helpful to know the key differences between the two designs. As you’d expect, both designs have their key differences and their advantages.

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Brushed
Brushed motors are the older technology of the motor world, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have their advantages. The biggest advantage is low cost. Brushed motors simply deliver a lot of bang for very little buck. Brushed motors come in many versions; Axial uses a sealed end bell design with bronze bushings (as opposed to ball bearings). This setup is highly robust. So, what makes a brushed motor brushed? In simplest terms, brushes are hard conductors (one positive and one negative) that brush up against the spinning commutator in the center of the motor with positive and negative magnets on the inside of the can. These brushes are a wear item as there is physical contact and the parts spin at an extremely high rate, but if the motor is kept dry and clean, it will last a very long time. Best of all, Axial’s brushed motors list for only $16 to $19, depending on the turn selected. Another advantage of brushed motors is its throttle response. Brushed motors provide excellent slow speed control making them a great choice for rock crawlers where precise driving is key.

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Brushless
Brushless motors are basically built in the opposite manner of brushed motors. If you have a good understanding of brushed motors, think of brushless motors as the inside out version. The magnets spin and the coils of wire are inside the wall of the motor’s can or main casing. They don’t require brushes, and are thus appropriately known as brushless. An advantage of brushless motors is that they have a much longer lifespan since the main wear components have been eliminated. Brushless motors, such as the Vanguard 3150KV, are also more efficient, so they can provide best use of power (more runtime) and make more power. Axial currently offers two brushless motors. One is 2900KV and the other is 3150KV. The higher the KV rating, the faster the motor. This is the opposite of how brushed motors are labeled. Brushed motors are typically labeled in turns, and the larger the number of turns, the slower the motor but more powerful the motor.

Make Your Own RC Vehicle Field Tool Pack

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When you’re enjoying a trail run with your SCX10 or other Axial vehicle, the last thing you want is for a simple problem to end your day early. Going home before the fun ends is, well, no fun at all. The key is to be prepared when your adventure takes you away from the workbench. And, being prepared doesn’t mean taking your whole arsenal of tools and spare parts with you. You can, in fact, pack light with a properly, and selectively, stocked field tool pack and still be more than ready for the typical field repair. Here’s what you should have on hand for your next off-road excursion.

Backpack
First things first, you need somewhere to put your gear. You don’t need to get fancy when picking a field tool pack. Any inexpensive daypack will do. You may even have one at the bottom of your closet. For an added measure of security, you can spray it will camping-style waterproofing, which help protect your items and also make it easier to clean.

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7mm Socket Driver
In addition to tightening the wheel nuts (you check those often, right?), a 7mm socket driver is essential for removing the wheels, which is essential for many repairs.

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1.5-, 2- and 2.5mm Wrenches
You could bring a half dozen or more wrenches with you, but that is hardly packing light. A complete set of wrenches doesn’t way that much by itself, but the idea is to have a pack that is so light that you don’t even know it’s there. The three most often used wrenches are the 1.5, 2, and 2.5mm wrenches. This will allow you to do everything from replace a driveshaft to swap in a steering knuckle.

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Needle-nose Pliers
Instead of bringing a bunch of socket wrenches, a pair of needle-nose pliers will allow you to grasp most nuts while that hex screws thread into. Long pliers will make it easier to get into tight spots.

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Little Extras
In addition to the above mentioned tools, it’s a good idea to have a few other items stowed away in your adventure pack. These include:
Cable ties
Extra battery
Assembled driveshaft
Body clips
Spur gear