Understanding Tire Wear

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Tires are inarguably one of the most significant deciding factors when it comes to determining the real-world capability of a vehicle. Tires will make or break a RC vehicle. In the case of crawlers, where a lack of traction can lead to a nasty fall, tires can quite literally make or break a rig. You need the right tires, and to really get the most out of a set of tires you need to know when to replace them.

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Most people think of reduced tread depth as the primary concern with tire wear. It may be important for your full-size car, but it is essentially a nonissue when it comes to RC applications such as rock crawling. The real issue at hand is rounded edges. When tires are new, the lugs have sharp edges that grab rocks and provide traction. Rounded edges will, in contrast, slip and spin.

Examine your tires closely and look at the forward edges of the lugs. If you look closely, you’ll see how the edges get rounded. You also most likely notice the rear facing edges of each lug are relatively new looking in comparison.

Where all of this leads is to hopefully making you realize the value of rotating your RC tires. Rotating tires really works for getting the most out of a set. When a set of tires has been rotated and both sides of the lugs are rounded off, it’s time to set the tires aside for practice and play and get a new set.

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Another part of tire wear you need to understand is examining for tears and cuts. Tires come in different thicknesses  Thinner carcasses are, as you’d expect, often easier to get tears and cuts in. The key to dealing with these puncture wounds is early detection. If you notice the damage before it gets too bad, you can actually fix the repair with CA glue. It’s worth noting that some pretty long tears can be fixed, but have to be fixed in small sections at a time.

The Truth About Waterproof

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When an RC vehicle has “waterproof” stamped on the box, what does that really mean? Most people believe that you can drive that vehicle in water without any harm coming to the vehicle or any of its components—it’s waterproof, after all. This claim of the vehicle being waterproof is somewhat misleading. Entire RC vehicles are simply not waterproof. Believing that they are and thus using the vehicle as if it were entirely impervious to water will result in damage. We want you to enjoy your Axial Racing purchase for a long time and not ruin any of your RC investments, so here are the facts, as we see them, on what really is waterproof. We want you to know what can really happen if you take a water adventure too far. Honest information will prevent you from ruining your investment.

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Axial Racing vehicles are scale models of real off-road vehicles and are, as such, intended to be used in a scale equivalent for terrain. What this means is that water crossings that would be appropriate in a full-size Jeep and run no risk of damage would be appropriate, in scale, for your Axial vehicle with no expectation of damage. The general rule is that you can drive a stock full-size off-road capable vehicle in water up to the center of the wheel hubs. The same holds true for Axial vehicles; hub deep is safe for your Axial vehicle. So, if you drive straight through water that is approximately as deep as the middle of the wheels, your SCX10, for example, will traverse the conditions with no concern. You won’t incur damage and won’t require any special maintenance. Commonly, when you buy a new 4X4 truck from a dealer, you think you are prepared to take on any and all terrain. With water crossings, core enthusiasts, however, will tell you that you need various modifications such as lengthened differential breather vents raised off the axle and onto the firewall, waterproofing of the distributor and airbox and, of course, the iconic snorkel. Or, you can learn the hard way. The same is true for surface RC vehicles. Without very specific and specialized modifications, you shouldn’t exceed that general hub-deep recommendation. And, even with extensive modifications, both RC and real vehicles will require maintenance beyond what is normally required if driven in deep water.

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Receiver Boxes
Receiver boxes that are considered or labeled as waterproof often do an excellent job of keeping the elements out when use consists of splashing through wet terrain and shallow water. These sealed boxes are not, however, truly suitable for protection when submerged in water. When submerged, water can seep in for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, the quality of the seal depends on how well the receiver box was assembled. If the O-ring falls out of position on the main lid or there isn’t sufficient grease on the seal for the servo leads and antenna wire, the box will leak. Water will actually get on the wires and travel right into the box if enough grease doesn’t completely surround the wires where they enter the box. Even a small amount of water can get moved around inside the box and eventually inside the receiver. Again, these boxes provide great protection, but shouldn’t be relied on for submerging your vehicle. Also, keep in mind water depth and time submerged impact how waterproof a receiver works. One of the most problematic aspects of sealed receiver boxes is that it’s next to impossible to see if water has found its way in.

Radio Reception
Here’s a fun fact. Did you know that water is dense enough to impact the reception quality of 2.4GHz radio systems, which are now the most common type of radio system used in hobby-grade RC? Those guys you see driving their RC vehicles into lakes to show off how waterproof their vehicle is might be in for surprise when they lose signal. While receiver antenna length, battery strength, and other factors play a role, technically you could lose control of your RC vehicle if enough water gets in between your 2.4GHz transmitter and the vehicle.

Drivetrain
When a manufacturer claims a vehicle is waterproof, a glaring omission is the drivetrain. Transmissions and axles are not waterproof. The bearings may be water resistant (see below), but water will seep in components such as transmissions and axles. These parts may have a tight fit that does an exceptionally good job keeping dirt out, but maintenance will reveal that, eventually, dust or fine dirt gets in. If dirt can find a way in, water certainly can. Not only will water cause corrosion, but it will contaminate the grease. When a vehicle is completely submerged, a surprisingly large amount of water can seep in. Not only is the water bad by itself, it is most likely dirty water carrying abrasive dirt particles with it.

Axial bearings are sealed and made out of high-quality stainless steel, but RC bearings are not watertight. The seals keep dirt out and grease in, but prolonged submersion in water will contaminate the bearings, as dirty water will eventually seep in. Cruising through shallow water will not harm your Axial bearings and even mud can be cleaned off the outer surface. When completely submerged, however, the water will contaminate and simply gum up the grease. It’s important to note that stainless steel is not rust proof, despite what most people think. It will stain less, but it can still stain. There are also different grades of stainless steel. Odds are you don’t know the grade of the stainless steel used in your bearings, but 300 series stainless steel resists rust better than 400 series. Axial bearings are sealed and made out of high-quality stainless steel, but no brand of RC bearings are watertight. Again, the seals keep dirt out and grease in, but prolonged submersion in water will contaminate the bearings.

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Brushed Motors
Brushed motors are well known for being able to survive wet conditions. They can even run under water—completely submerged. Brushed motors are frequently said to be waterproof and are actually a great example of the difference between being able to do something and being able to do something without long-term damage. Brushed motors can, in fact, be completely submerged in water and run. Many RC enthusiasts will point out that old school RC racers used to purposely dunk and run brushed motors in water to break them in for higher performance. This is only partially true. The key point to know is that this was done because it rapidly wore or “seated” hard brushes. This technique was used because it was the only option for sealed, non-rebuildable motors and/or because the job of breaking in needed to be done quickly. Water dipping was not the preferred way to break in a motor. Again, water dipping the motor causes rapid wear. Clean water wears down the brushes quickly; dirty water—naturally more abrasive—wears the brushes and scores the softer commutator. Bottom line is a brushed motor can run in water, but doing so undeniably wears the motor out extremely quickly. The bushings (or bearings) will also need to be lubricated after, which requires the motor to be completely removed from the vehicle for cleaning and maintenance.

Brushless Motors
There are two types of brushless motors—sensored and sensorless. While there are some sensorless motors labeled as waterproof, it is highly advised that you do no submerge these motors or even subject them to extremely wet conditions unless you are prepared for and know how to perform motor disassembly and maintenance. These motors use steel shielded bearings, which are not designed to be water tight or even truly significantly water resistant. The stainless steel shields used in most RC vehicles are high quality and well-sealed, but are designed to keep debris out and are not watertight. Sensored brushless are not waterproof due to the sensors that give them their name.

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Tires
Unlike full-size tires, RC tires almost always use foam inserts in place of compressed air. Also, unlike full-size tires, RC tires are almost always vented with holes in either the wheel or in the tire itself. The foam supports the tire so it can bear the weight of the vehicle and the vents allow air to escape and reenter as the foam compresses and then regains its shape. Without the vent, tires would not readily conform to obstacles and would act more like bouncy balls on bumps and jumps than tires. The downside is the vents also allow water in. Water soaked foams are difficult, if not almost impossible, to get 100% dry, and water has proven to significantly degrade the foam and make it deteriorate quickly. On beadlock style wheels, the tires can be disassembled and the foams can be replaced—at a cost. Tires that are glued to the wheels, however, may be a complete loss if soaked.

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Speed Controls and Servos
Speed controls (or ESCs), such as the Axial AE-5, and servos are good examples of individual waterproof components. Electronic components are easily damaged by water and when damaged, it is often quickly apparent—the vehicle immediately stops working. Other water damage, in contrast, takes time to manifest. This is the primary driver in declaring a vehicle to be waterproof when only the electronics are actually protected. Speed controls and servos can have their circuit boards sealed—often with an epoxy type material—or have the cases sealed with gaskets, but with both methods more heat is retained. Like water, heat can also damage electronics, so make sure you operate the device within the manufacturer’s specifications.

Batteries
Both NiMH and LiPo batteries function underwater as the individual cells are sealed. Both, however, have exposed tabs that easily corrode. Water does damage batteries. The inside of the cells is well protected, but the exposed parts are not. The battery packs work in wet conditions, but that doesn’t mean damage doesn’t occur. Batteries are also difficult to dry due to their construction.

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Hardware
In addition to the components and related issues described above, the hardware holding your RC vehicle together will quickly corrode when exposed to water. This isn’t just an appearance issue; hex hardware will often start corroding inside the hex-shaped head and make maintenance difficult.

Industrial Ratings
There are many waterproof rating methods used in industry and very few are stated in RC. It’s worth noting that none are applied to entire vehicles. That is essentially the point. Your entire vehicle is an investment and worth protecting. Even if the box says waterproof, you could be ruining it by driving it in deep water.

Below is the IPX rating that only describes water protection. IP stands for International Protection. The X indicates that solid particle protection is not identified. There is a two-digit IP code that does also list solid particle protection, which will be the first digit in place of the X.

IPX-0: No protection
IPX-1: Protected against condensation or dripping water falling vertically
IPX-2: Protected against spraying water when tilted up to 15 degrees vertically
IPX-3: Protected against spraying water when tilted up to 60 degrees vertically
IPX-4: Protected against splashing water from any angle
IPX-5: Protected against low pressure water stream from any angle
IPX-6: Protected against high pressure water stream from any angle
IPX-7: Protected against water immersion. Immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of up to 1 meter
IPX-8: Protected against continual water submersion in under water conditions.

Click Here to Read Our SCX10 Waterproof Post

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.

wb driveshafts

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.