Colorado Competition 1.9 Class

Here’s a few highlights from the 1.9 comp this past weekend at the Westminster HobbyTown in Colorado. Courses were brutal to say the least. Tons of holes and diff hangers made it very difficult to negotiate the tightly spaced gates. I really liked the obstacle layout for all of the courses personally, and ended up 3rd overall for the day.

colorado-trip-067

colorado-trip-071

colorado-trip-068

colorado-trip-080

colorado-trip-083

colorado-trip-167

colorado-trip-175

colorado-trip-170

colorado-trip-176

colorado-trip-181

colorado-trip-186

colorado-trip-187

colorado-trip-188

Colorado Competition 2.2 Class

I took a trip out to Colorado over the long Memorial Day weekend to visit friends. Of course we ended up at the local HobbyTown for a crawl comp while I was there. Here’s a few highlights of the 2.2 comp.

Westminster, Colorado HobbyTown
colorado-trip-0431

colorado-trip-0201

colorado-trip-0271

colorado-trip-0171

Comp Area
colorado-trip-0331

colorado-trip-0351

“Cables of Carnage” leading up to the covered bridge
colorado-trip-0361

colorado-trip-0371

colorado-trip-0921

How steep can your rig climb?
colorado-trip-0891

colorado-trip-0491

Highlights from the 2.2 Comp
colorado-trip-0441

colorado-trip-0661

colorado-trip-096

colorado-trip-1081

colorado-trip-1311

colorado-trip-1421

colorado-trip-148

colorado-trip-1491

Axial Team Driver Jason Rioux climbed his way into the top 5 shootout at the end of the day.
colorado-trip-0641

Shock Building Tips

Here’s a few pointers for assembling Axial’s new comp shocks for optimum performance. Building shocks is fairly easy, but paying attention to small details makes a huge difference in how they perform. Nothing is more annoying them rebuilding a set of shocks only to see they’ve started leaking after a couple runs. So let’s get started…….

First step is assembling the shock cartridges. Here you can see I’ve laid the parts out in order.
comp-shocks-005

Start by lubing up the rubber o-rings with grease. This helps eliminate any chance of tearing the o-rings when you install the shock shafts into the cartridge. Just put a dab of grease on your finger and cover the o-ring with grease throughly by rubbing it between your fingers.
comp-shocks-007

Now install the first o-ring inside the cartridge body.
comp-shocks-010

Set the plastic spacer on top of the first o-ring and press it down until it stops.
comp-shocks-012

Lube up the 2nd o-ring and set it in place on top of the plastic spacer.
comp-shocks-015

Then snap the top cap onto the cartridge body.
comp-shocks-017

Now install the supplied o-rings onto the base of the shock cartridges.
comp-shocks-020

You’ll want to slide the shock shaft into the cartridge from the bottom, or left to right as the pictures indicate. If you slide it in the opposite way you run the risk of tearing the o-rings inside the cartridge with the M3 threads for the lower rod end. Since the shock piston is held in place with a smaller M2.5 Nylock nut the threads are less likely to touch the o-rings when you install the shock shafts. Wipe off any excess grease that is on the top of the shock shaft after sliding it into the cartridge.
comp-shocks-025

comp-shocks-031

Now it’s time to install the shock pistons. You can see I’ve laid the parts out again in order as far as assembly goes.
comp-shocks-033

Install one flat washer onto the top of the shock shaft, then slide the piston into place and install the second flat washer. Hold onto the flats on the lower portion of the shock shaft with a set of needle nosed pliers and thread the M2.5 Nylock nut onto the threads at the top of the shock shaft and gently tighten it down. This nut doesn’t need to be tighten up a bunch, just thread it on until it stops.
comp-shocks-039

Next decide which lower rod ends you want to use, for SWX builds I’d use the shortest rod ends on the left of the parts tree.
comp-shocks-042

Slide the included rubber bump stops onto the shock shaft and thread the rod end into place. Again holding the flats on the shock shaft with a pair of pliers. Make sure you install the rubber bump stops too, because these will prevent the flats on the lower section of the shock shaft from entering the shock body at full compression. If the flats are allowed to go inside the shock body you risk them tearing the lower o-ring seals over time.
comp-shocks-044

comp-shocks-048

comp-shocks-079

Now it’s time to prep the threaded aluminum shock body.
comp-shocks-052

Start by inserting the supplied o-rings into the threaded pre-load collar.
comp-shocks-056

comp-shocks-059

Then thread the pre-load collar about 1/2 of the way down the shock body.
comp-shocks-060

Next up, install the shock bladders into the shock caps. Find something soft to work them down into place so you don’t rip the bladders. I used a plastic pen cap.
comp-shocks-063

comp-shocks-067

Now thread the cap onto the shock body and tighten it down as tight as you can with your fingers. If you use pliers you may unseat the bladder which will cause the shocks to leak. I’m installing the cap now because I will bleed the shocks through the cartridge when I fill them with oil. If you want to bleed them through the cap that works too, just install the cartridge at this point instead.
comp-shocks-075

Next we’ll fill the shock bodies with oil and bleed them out. Make sure you let any air bubbles in the oil rise up and dissipate before you try to bleed them.
comp-shocks-087

Wrap the shock body with a napkin or paper towel and fill the shocks with oil until the oil just touches the threads inside the body for the shock cartridge. Wrapping the shock body with a paper towel keeps the oil from running down all over the shock body when you bleed them.
comp-shocks-090

Pull the shock shaft all the way out until the shock piston bottoms out on the cartridge. Then thread the cartridge into the body a couple turns only.
comp-shocks-096

Now compress the shock shaft until the bump stop bottoms out on the cartridge. Any excess oil should flow out through the gaps in the threads at this point. Once the shock shaft is bottomed out, thread the cartridge into the shock body with your fingers and tighten it up by hand. Make sure the shock shaft stays fully compressed as you thread the cartridge into place. Remove the paper towel and wipe up all excess oil. Now tighten the shock cartridge up using a pair of pliers on the plastic flats of the cartridge and holding the shock body with your hand. If you start cycling the shock before you tighten the cartridge up all the way, you may get air bubbles inside the shock body and you’ll have to start all over again.
comp-shocks-097

Next up is installing the shock springs and lower spring retainers. Now you should be able to cycle the shock without hearing any air bubbles inside the body.
comp-shocks-1011

Last thing you need to do is install the supplied rubber bushings into the top cap.
comp-shocks-106

Here you can see them mounted up to an SWX AX10 build.
comp-shocks-118

comp-shocks-123

Following these tips should help you get the most out of your shocks and keep you out on the rocks practicing, instead of at the work bench rebuilding.

Convert Your AX10 to an SCX10

I decided to see how hard it would be to convert an AX10 to an SCX10. The transformation was relatively simple by just changing out some hardware here and there. Most of the stock AX10 M3 hardware can be used in the conversion to the more realistic SCX10 chassis. But, you will need to purchase a few screws and some new links depending on the direction you go and the wheelbase you are looking for. You can also make your own links as well. I decided to use Axial’s new Trail Ranger body (Part #AX4009) for this build which has about an 11 5/8″ wheelbase. It’s important to decide what body you want to use before you get too far into the build. That way you can set your wheelbase and link lengths accordingly.

Getting started:
First thing I did was assemble the SCX10 frame. Start by bolting all the plastic cross members to one chassis rail then bolt the 2nd chassis rail up after that. I installed the battery tray out front to keep as much weight on the front wheels as possible. This will help when climbing steep obstacles.

SCX10 Chassis
scx-conversion-build-001

scx-conversion-build-003

ax10-scx10-078

ax10-scx10-084

Optional front battery mount
ax10-scx10-086

The Tear Down:
Start by removing the axles, transmission and links from the AX10 kit. I usually keep a bowl or small parts tray handy to drop all the hardware in as I remove it from the various components. This will help keep your hardware in one place instead of it being scattered around your workbench.

Here’s what I started with, a fairly bone stock AX10 kit.
ax10-scx10-069

Transmission:
Installing the transmission was the first step in the conversion process. You can use the 2 long stock transmission screws in the holes closest to the right chassis rail, looking at the chassis from the back end. But, you’ll need longer screws for the holes near the center of the skid plate. I used M3X12 screws (Part #AXA146) for this.
scx-1221

Rear Axle:
In order to maintain a relatively scale look to this build I installed a set of straight axles (Part #AX30421) out back with Axial’s plastic lockouts (Part #AX80020).
ax10-scx10-0021

Remove the aluminum hexes, knuckles, outer axles, short tie rods, C hubs, and inner axles. Make sure you take the bearing out of the ends of the axle housing too, these bearings will now be installed into the ends of the plastic lockouts.
ax10-scx10-004

Now slide the new longer straight axles into the housing making sure the flats of the axles seat properly into the locker. Drop the bearings you removed earlier into the ends of the lockouts, and install the lockouts onto the axle housing. If you try to use the M3X8 screws you removed from the stock C hubs in the lockouts they’ll hit the inner straight axles because they are a bit too long. I had to use shorter M3X6 screws (Part #AXA863) to remedy this problem.
ax10-scx10-013

Front Axle:
I decided to go with grey links throughout on this build, instead of the standard Axial green. I picked up the short steering link in grey (Part #AX30517), and the longer steering tie rod in grey (Part #AX30516) as well. Start by removing the upper 3 link mount from the axle housing, and remove the steering links too if you decide to change them out like I did.
ax10-scx10-014

Install the old rod ends onto the new steering links, and bolt them back up to the front axle.
ax10-scx10-017

Lower Links:
Now remove all the rod ends from the old lower links. I decided to go with two packages of grey 98mm lower links (Part #AX30518) on this build because the wheelbase on the Trail Ranger body is slightly longer then the stock SCX10 body which uses 91mm lower links.
ax10-scx10-021

Using the supplied hardware that comes with the SCX10 chassis kit install the lower links to the chassis and axles. Then install the upper links as well. I used the grey 65mm threaded posts (Part #AXA1430) as upper links. I also had to use some small grey 6mm spacers (Part #AXA1418) at the upper 3 link mount on the axle to adjust the pinion and caster angles correctly. They come with 6 in each package, the remaining 4 can be used as upper shock mount spacers to move the top of the shocks away from the plastic shock hoops. I used the stock upper 3 link screws that tie the upper links to the chassis in the plastic 3 link connector on the axle side. Because of the extra 6mm spacers used, you’ll need longer screws for that now.
ax10-scx10-022

Shocks:
I grabbed a set of our scale shocks (Part #AX30090) and installed them onto the axles and chassis next, using the 6mm grey spacers on all 4 upper shock mounts. I used M3X18 Binder head screws (Part #AXA668) for the upper shock mounts on the chassis.
ax10-scx10-033

ax10-scx10-0341

ax10-scx10-0401

Tires, wheels and body:
I swapped the stock green AX10 rock rings out on the Rockster wheels for the gun metal colored rings (Part #AX8112). if you are converting an RTR you already have these beadlock rings as standard equipment. Then dropped the body posts into their mounts with the supplied body clips and set the orange Trail Ranger body I painted up in place until I get a chance to paint another TR body specifically for this build. As you can see the conversion is fairly simple and it’s an easy way to get a more realistic/scale appearance out of your AX10.
ax10-scx10-043

ax10-scx10-045

ax10-scx10-061

For a more scale appearance you can also go with Axial’s 1.9 beadlock wheels and Pro-Line 1.9 Flatiron tires.
dsc_0084a

Part Numbers Used for Conversion:
SCX10 Chassis Kit AX30525
Trail Ranger Body AX4009
Rear Axle Lockouts AX80020
Rear Straight Axles AX30421
Short Steering Links AX30517
Long Steering Tie Rod AX30516
Scale Shocks AX30090 (X2)
98mm Grey Lower Links AX30518 (X2)
65mm Grey Upper Links AXA1430 (X2)
6mm Grey Spacers AXA1418
M3X12 Screws AXA146
M3X18 Screws AXA668
M3X6 Screws AXA863
Gun Metal 2.2 Beadlock Rings AX8112 (X4)