XR10 Build – Part 4 – Chassis Assembly

For this installment of our XR10 build, I will cover the assembly of the chassis and link installation.

First thing’s first, tear open Bag “G” and dump it’s contents into your parts tray.


Grab your front axle and a pair of upper suspension links. Slide the long 30mm screw through the ears, and rod ends, in the top cap. Use one of the thin M3 Nylock nuts to secure the upper links to the axle. Take note that there are standard M3 Nylock nuts, as well as thin low profile M3 Nylock nuts for this step.


Here you can see the difference in thickness between the two different versions of the nuts.


Next install the lower links, and shocks. Insert the straight rod end of the lower links into position on the axle housing and secure them both with the supplied hardware. Here is a shot of the front axle with the links and shocks installed.


Repeat the last 2 steps for the rear axle.


Now it’s time to start assembling the chassis. Open Bag “H” and grab the required chassis components for this step. Build your front shock ears per the instructions and set them aside for now. Meanwhile, assemble the rear shock ears and attach them to the chassis plates. Take note that the chassis is not symmetrical.


Next up we will grab the passenger side chassis plate, skid plate, and battery tray. Attach the skid plate to the chassis with the supplied hardware. Then grab the battery tray and attach it to the chassis. Note that the battery tray gets sandwiched between the chassis plates and shock ears.


Now you can install the 2nd chassis plate as required.



Time to install the body posts next. This step is pretty straight forward. One thing I can suggest is tilting the body posts a little so they point towards the front and rear axles just slightly.



Now we will move on to the electronics tray. First thing we need to do is apply the small thin strip of foam to the bottom of the tray. This foam will help prevent dust and moisture from entering your receiver box if you crawl in less then ideal conditions.



I am setting this XR10 up for dual speed controls, so I used the ESC mounting tab that allows you to install dual Tekin FXR’s. Attach the mounting tab to the radio tray using the supplied hardware.



Next we can set the receiver box o-ring into place and attach the lid.



Install the bottom cap for the radio box. Don’t forget to apply the last piece of foam to the cap before installing it, and make sure your foam orientation is right before you apply it.


Install the cap as required.



Next we can install the radio tray into the chassis and secure it with the 4 supplied flat head screws.


Now we can install the body posts.


Time to bolt up the axles.


Front axle will be first. Pop the wire stays into place on the upper links. Take note there are 2 different sizes and they have to go in their specified locations.



You can hook the links and shocks up to the chassis in any order. I chose to do the lower links first, then the upper links, and shocks last.




Moving on to the rear axle. Pop the wire stays into place as required on the upper links. Then install the links and shocks.



And your done!!


That takes care of the chassis and links. We are almost finished! The last post will cover the beadlocks.

XR10 Build – Part 3 – Shocks and Links

For this installment of our XR10 build, I will cover link and shock assembly.

To get started we will need Bag “E”, part’s tree #AX80059 (2) and parts tree #AX80057.


Here you can see all the parts that make up one of the front lower links.


First thing we’ll do is thread the long 16mm set screw into the lower link sleeve.


Now you can thread the second 16mm set screw into the opposite end of the lower shock mount/link sleeve. After doing so, install the 3rd 16mm set screw into the curved rod end. Slide the lower link into the sleeve and thread it onto the 16mm set screw until it’s tight. Now install the rod ends to both sides of the lower links and install the flange balls. The straight rod ends go on the shock mount side of the links and the curved go on the opposite end. Here’s what the finished front lower links look like.


Now onto the rear lower links. Here you can see all the parts required for one rear lower link.


Thread the long 20mm set screw into a curved rod end. Slide the lower link into the link sleeve and install the curved rod end to pinch the sleeve between the rod end and link. Now thread the 16mm set screw into a second curved rod end and install it on the opposite end of the link. Then install the flange balls into the rod ends as required.


Time to make the upper links. Here are all the parts required for this step.


To install the plastic rod ends into the plastic links I like to run an M3X.5 tap into the ends and links to get the threads started straight. If you don’t have access to a tap, you can just use one of the 16mm threaded studs and an Allen wrench to start the threads. Then thread the rod ends onto the links, and install the flange balls as needed. Here you can see the finished links ready to be installed.


Shocks are next. Grab Bag “F” and dump the contents into your parts tray.


First step will be prepping the shock cartridges. Here you can see all the parts required to make a complete cartridge.


First apply a little grease to your cartridge o-rings. Put a dab of grease on your finger and work the grease all over the o-rings before dropping them into your shock cartridges. This will help prevent tearing the o-ring during assembly.


Then install the first o-ring into the shock cartridge.


Now set the plastic spacer (part #AX80035) into place on top of the first o-ring.


Lube up the second o-ring and install it on top of the plastic spacer.



Now snap the top cap of the shock cartridge into place.


Once the shock cartridges are assembled, you can install the o-ring that goes over the cartridge.


Now it’s time to install the shock shafts into the shock cartridges. Slide the piston side of the shock shaft in through the hex side of the shock cartridge. You can slide the shaft through from either side, but installing the end with smaller threads first lessens your chances of tearing the o-rings. Wipe any excess grease off the shock shafts after installing them into the cartridges.


Next we can install the shock pistons. I personally use the two-holed Delrin pistons that come with the kit. Install one flat washer onto the shock shaft, slide the shock piston into place, install the second flat washer and tighten the Nylock nut down until it stops.


Now you can install the rubber bump stop and rod end onto the shaft.



Thread the plastic spring pre-load adjuster onto the shock body.


Here you can see all the components before filling the body with shock oil.


Install the shock bladder in the top cap.


Make sure you seat the bladder down into the cap as best you can before threading it onto the shock body. This will help eliminate the bladder from distorting as you tighten the shock cap.


Now we can fill the shock body with oil. I am going to bleed the shocks through the shock cartridge over the shock cap, because the plastic shock caps don’t have bleeder holes like the aluminum versions. Fill the body with oil until the oil just touches the shock cartridge threads inside the shock body.


Now, with the shock shaft fully extended, set the cartridge assembly in place, and thread the cartridge into the body a turn or two only.


Compress the shock shaft until it bottoms out to allow any air bubbles and excess oil to escape. You can do this by holding the shock shaft in the compressed position and thread the shock cartridge all the way into the body as tight as you can with your fingers. Now grab a 10mm box wrench and tighten the cartridge down all the way. Cycle the shock a few times at this point and look for leaks between the cartridge and shock body. If you still see a little oil bleeding out, tighten the cartridge up more.



Investing in a 10mm wrench for the shocks is key in my opinion, it’ll make rebuilding your shocks so much easier. I spent $7 on this wrench with a ratcheting box end at Ace Hardware. You can buy a standard 10mm wrench for about $4.


The last thing we need to do is install the springs and lower spring retainers to finish this step off.


That does it for the link and shock assembly. Stay tuned for the next installment, covering link installation and chassis assembly.

XR10 Build – Part 2 – Rear Axle

Here’s the 2nd installment of our step by step XR10 build. This post will cover proper assembly of the rear axle.

First step, open Bag “C” and dump it into your part’s tray. Building the rear axle is very similar to the front, especially the gear box assembly.


Now grab the required parts for step 15.


Install 2 of the flange bearings into their proper bores in the motor plate. Afterwards, insert the drive pin into the transfer shaft, slide the drive gear over the pin, and snap the E-clip into place. Once that is all together, slide the shaft through the first flange bearing.


Now install the 2nd drive pin into the transfer shaft, slide the idler gear over that, and snap the 2nd E-clip into place. Install the 5×8 bearing into the rear axle housing’s top cap and attach the cap to the motor plate with the supplied flat head screw.


Install the last flange bearing and remaining gears into their required positions.


Hit the gears with a little grease and install the gear box case over the motor plate.


Fit the three 5x8mm bearings into the cap of the gear box.


Now slide the cap into position, and tighten everything down. You can install the motor at this point too and set the gear mesh as needed.


Open Bag “D” and pour the contents into your part’s tray. Grab the top half of the rear axle housing and set the gearbox into place. Secure the gearbox to the top half of the case with the 2 supplied self tapping screws shown in Step 20. Next, install the bearings on the spool gear and apply a little grease to the gear. Flip the whole axle/gear box assembly over and set the spool gear into place in the axle housing. Again, note the orientation of the spool gear in the housing as it is not symmetrical.



Next, you can install the rear straight axles, take note that they are 2 different lengths.


Make sure you insert the cutting brake plug into the rear housing too. This will help keep debris out of your housing and gear box.


Mate the two halves of the rear housing together using the 8 screws shown in step 22.


Moving on to step 23 you can install the cutting brake servo mount and last few screws for the top cap.


Time to install the rear lockouts and bearings. Slide the 5×11 bearing over the rear straight axles.


Afterwards, slide the plastic lockouts onto the ends of the axle housing and secure with the 4 supplied self tapping screws.


Insert the long 3x45mm screw through the rear housing and secure with the supplied M3 Nylock nut.



Here you can see both complete axles ready to go under the XR10 chassis.


That wraps up the rear axle’s assembly. Stay tuned for the next installment of our step-by-step XR10 build!

XR10 Build – Part 1 – Front Axle

Now that the XR10′s are starting to hit distributors, we figured that it was a good time to do a step-by-step build of the new kit with pictures and detailed descriptions. This will serve as a guide for a basic XR10 build by the kit instructions. While it is relatively a straight forward build, there are a few steps that require specific screw lengths. It is important that the correct length hardware is used during the build to ensure proper performance.

So, let’s get started.



First thing we will do is open that sexy box and take a look inside.




First step involves building the front gear box/axle assembly.


Open up Bag “A” and dump the contents into a small tray or parts catcher of some sort. Each step has it’s own bag of hardware, and assorted parts. So, it is very easy to build step by step.


Here you can see all the parts required for step one.


First thing we’ll do is set 2 of the flange bearings in the appropriate holes of the motor plate. Then install the drive pin, drive gear and E-clip onto the transfer shaft.


Now slide the transfer shaft through the front bearing and install the drive pin, idler gear and 2nd E-clip.


Grab parts tree #AX80063 and remove part #1, the axle housing’s top cap. Install the small 5×8 bearing into the top cap for the transfer shaft. Then, attach the top cap to the motor plate with the supplied flat head screw. After everything is in place, check to make sure the shaft spins freely and the drive gear isn’t rubbing anywhere inside the top cap.



Next, we will install the remaining gears into the gear box. Grab part # AX30556, install the drive pin and idler gear.



Then, set the assembly into place with the 12 tooth gear towards the flange bearing in the motor plate. Next, install the last flange bearing and stepped gear so the smaller 12t gear is facing away from the motor plate.


Use the supplied grease in the kit to lube the gears up a little.


Now you can install the plastic gear case over the whole assembly.


Make sure you install the small M3 Nylock nut into the gear case (see arrow) before moving on to the next step.


Next, grab the plastic gear case cover and install the three 5×8 bearings.


Install the gear cover as shown in the directions.


Grab the front axle housing, specifically the top half. Set the gear box into place, and attach with the supplied hardware. Be careful with this step, it is important that the correct screws go into the correct hole. If too long of screw is used you run the risk of pinching the bearings on either side of the spool gear. This will put tremendous strain on the whole front axle, causing binding at the bare minimum.


For the next step we will install the bearings onto both sides of the spool gear, and grease the gear up before dropping it into place in the axle housing. Pay close attention to the spool gear’s orientation in the axle housing too, it isn’t symmetrical on both sides.


Now install the outer bearings into the axle tubes. Pay close attention to this step too. There are 3 different size bearings in Bag “B”. You want to install the smaller 5×10 bearings in the axle tubes. The slightly bigger 5×11 bearings are for the steering knuckles. Here you can see the slight size difference in the 2 bearings.



Grab the bottom half of the front axle housing and install the steering slider, again pay attention to the orientation.


Next assemble the 2 halves of the axle housing and tighten everything up.



Now it’s time to install the C hubs and steering servo mount. Here you can see all the parts required for this step.


Slide the C hubs onto the ends of the axle tubes, note the orientation on these as well. The longer ear will go towards the bottom of the axle housing. Use the supplied short self tapping screws to attach the C’s to the housing. Then, attach the plastic servo mount to the aluminum servo plate using the self tapping button head screw. Then use the flat head screws to tie the servo mount to the axle housing.


Here is what the front axle will look like when you are done with this step.


Moving on to the knuckles and inner axles. Here you can see the new oversize universals for the front axle.


A closer look at the U-joint.


Time to prep the steering knuckles for installation on the axle.


Drop the bearings into place on the backside of the knuckles.


Install the 5×11 bearing into the front of the knuckle, and screw the steer arm onto the passenger side knuckle.


Now grab the knuckles, flange pipes and 3×10 button head screws to install the knuckles.


Install the universal axles into the axle housing first. Then insert the flange pipes into the knuckles, slide the knuckles over the universals and onto the C hubs. Use the 3×10 screws to secure the knuckles to the C’s. Now check and make sure you aren’t getting any bind, the knuckles should move freely. Otherwise your servo will have to work even harder then normal.



Now on to the steering turnbuckles.


Thread the rod ends onto the turnbuckles, take note that one side has a right handed thread and the other a left handed thread. So, one rod end will thread on clockwise, the other will be counter clockwise. Thread the rod ends on until you have an 11.5mm (or .453 for those anti metric countries like us) gap between the ends. Using turnbuckles like this allows you to change toe in/toe out on the fly.


Pop the flange balls into the rod ends with a pair of pliers, note the direction of these too as you assemble.


Here you can see both turnbuckles side by side. Notice the groove cut into the hex on the turnbuckle, make sure they are facing the same rod end for both sides.


Install the turnbuckles onto the front axle as instructed, and use thread lock on the steering slide to avoid any lost screws while out in the rocks.


The complete weight of the stock front axle is 8.7 ounces.


That wraps it up for the front axle. Stay tuned for the next installment on assembling the rear axle.

A Deep Fried Weekend – Skateboarding & a Wicked Art Show


“The Maloof Money Cup,” one of the world’s greatest skateboard contests took place 08/6 – 08/08 at the OC Fair located in Orange, CA.

It had been some time since I attended a skateboarding street contest, so when the opportunity came to join some friends, I was all for it. The Maloof Cup at the OC Fair has been one of the biggest contests in action sports since its start in 2008. With a combined purse of almost $800,000 in cash and prizes for both street and half-pipe skateboarding, you can bet the AMS and PROS are going to throw down some heavy duty skills for their name to be on the big check!

Finishing up the morning at Axial, I grabbed the camera and was off to Volcom headquarters in Huntington Beach, CA to meet up with the homies and head out to the OC Fair. My friend Floris Gierman, marketing head at Volcom, shown here is greeting us at the offices…crazy how they have to wear official Volcom uniforms at work! Big thanks to Flo for hooking us up with guest passes at the Volcom employee store with a discount off anything, yeah anything you want!



So afterwards, we showed up to the OC Fair and it was on. The last time I was there I saw Kool & The Gang perform for free which was…I can’t even remember when. To my surprise, it was exactly how I remembered it except with more BBQ and artery clogging goodness (that’s right, Deep Fried Butter is legal in California). They even have a DISKO and just like any disco, people puking right after.




Things were looking good. We arrived at our seating section right when the AMS were getting ready for their street runs. The Volcom street course was similar to a regular skate park and was made of concrete (which is way more rad than having a street contest on a wood course; it adds to the street affect). The surface looked super smooth and when the guys would slam, they seemed to just slide on the cement. They actually made falling look fun!




I’ve been to a good amount of skateboarding contests to know that you always expect the PROS to show up and just destroy whatever course they have to skate. Watching the AMS though is another story, it’s sometimes surprising seeing kids you’ve never heard of just plain RIP IT UP! Gives you a chance to see who the next big name will be for sure! The AMS skating at the Maloof on Friday were KILLING IT!




Check out the judges, each of them deciding the contest results using their own iPads! I’ve never seen that before..welcome to the future!


The PRO contest started at about 8 p.m. and went all the way to Sunday with Chris Cole (shown below) winning the PRO Street Finals and $100,000. Not bad for a weekend. Plus, Li’l Jon was there to make sure it was all OK!!! Thanks to Floris at Volcom for providing Axial photos of the final day of the event!







After the OC Fair and Maloof Money Cup, I headed to downtown Santa Ana, CA for the Artwalk event held once a month. Their galleries are always a good source of inspiration. With the variety of galleries each having their own shows opening in one night, you have paintings, prints, sculptures, music, and good people. With all of this going on, it made for a guaranteed good time! Here are some memorable pieces that I saw.







Until next time!


Axial XR10 Team Driver Tip!

Here is a cool tip for those who like to wrench on things a lot, or just like to run all the same tricks that the Team Drivers use. To help ease the time it takes to separate the axles and gearbox’s, you can cut a small notch in the AX30557 Gear Case Plate.

I highlighted the area to cut in GREEN below.

As you can see in this picture, once the gear case plate is installed without the cut it requires the removal of the Axle shafts before you can pull the Gearbox assembly away from the axle.

Once you remove that area of the gear case plate, you can see below the only steps required to remove the gearbox from the axle while the axle can still stay assembled. You can even leave the entire axle mounted to the XR10 chassis.

Hope this helps with the assembly of the axles. This trick with the notch in the gear case plate will work on the front and rear XR10 axle. Feel free to ask questions.


Axial XR10 Rear Axle Assembly Tips and Precautions

With the XR10′s starting to arrive in the hands of our loyal consumers, I figured it would be a good time to share some tips, tricks, and precautions on the rear axle assembly.

The most important thing to take note of is the specific hardware and length used on the rear axle. Not following the instructions exactly can cause failure of the final gears. The most critical are steps 20 & 23. Specifically the location of AXA466 and AXA465.

Step 20

Step 23

Installing AXA466 at the location circled in Green. Note the 12mm Length

Installing AXA465 at the location circled in Green. Note the 10mm Length

Installing AXA466 at the location circled in Green. Note the 12mm Length

Installing the AXA466 M3x12 Flathead at the incorrect location will actually puncture through the inside of the AX80065 “1″ upper rear axle housing. This is pictured below, the AXA466 has been installed at the incorrect location that requires a AXA465. This is circled in RED showing the potential issue.

Everything looks “ok” from the outside.

Note that the screw is now going to interfere with the 15×21 bearings (AXA1243) and the 36T Final Gear (AX30552).

This can cause a few issues:

  • The most critical one being the center-to-center distance on the gears. When this distance increases, you decrease the contact on the teeth. The less teeth in contact, the higher the load will be on these gears.
  • Another issue is the 15×21 outer bearing race  being smashed by using the incorrect hardware. This can cause the bearing to fail by creating a lot of strain on the entire rear axle.  Hopefully these pictures will help you guys prevent this from happening.

The other important thing to check during the rear axle assembly is the clamping hardware on the back of the housing. Make sure to get these as tight as possible without stripping the upper plastic that holds the 3mm locking nut. If these are not fully tightened the rear axle case may flex allowing the center to center distance on the gears increase – this causes a decrease in the contact of the teeth.

Just to clarify, here is a diagram of the “center-to-center” distance on the final gears that I mentioned above. As you can see, when this distance increases, the gears are not as effective at transferring the torque of the motors.

This is the ideal center to center distance with the correct tooth contact.

Here is the potential danger if the gears are allowed to separate. Notice the minimal tooth contact.

UPDATE! 9-17-10:  Please be sure to always install AX30559 XR10 Rear axle plate.  It plays a crucial part of the strength of the rear axle.  The screws holding this plate on are the main clamping bearings on the 5×8 bearing on the end of the AX30196 5×58 Gear Shaft.  You must run this plate and the correct screws.  Instant gear failure will occur without this plate installed.

I hope this helps clarify the above steps and shows the importance of using the correct hardware on the rear axle.  Please feel free to ask questions.


Brandon’s XR10 Setup for Axial WCC 2010

Thought it would be great to share my XR10 setup that I ran at WCC for you guys preparing their parts and starting to think about your own setups before the kits arrive. Let me start by explaining that the XR10’s that Scott, Brad, and myself ran at WCC were all pre-production and at the time we were still running some early prototype parts. However the trucks drove almost identically to the production XR10’s that we are running currently. The great part about the XR10 was displayed at WCC, take it out of the box and build it per the instructions and it’s a very capable competition 2.2 crawler. Our setups were not very far off what is recommended in the manual.

Here is what I ran on my XR10:

  • Tekin FXR’s (2)
  • Tekin 55T’s
  • Axial Steel 14T pinion (Front) Part #: AX30569
  • Axial Steel 13T Pinion (Rear) Part #: AX30571
  • Maxamps 1550 3S LiPo
  • Futaba 4PK
  • Futaba S9157 Steering Servo
  • Futaba Aluminum Servo Horn
  • Castle Creations BEC
  • Dace MFG servo clamps
  • Axial 61-90mm Aluminum Shock Set
  • Pro-Line Single Stage Powerstroke springs
  • XR10 Stage 2 Carbon Fiber Upgrade Kit. (More info coming soon)
  • Axial Machined Hi-Clearance Links
  • Prototype plate for battery mount
  • Axial Hardline body

I will let the pictures do most of the talking. Although there are a few things that I would like to hit on. Most importantly is the ability to adjust your caster on the stock XR10 front axle. I rotated my C’s back and noticed I gained a lot of steering on the rocks. The rig felt like it held lines and was able to dig up obstacles easier. Next I decided to try something different. The Aluminum bodied Axial comp shocks that come with the XR10 are extremely smooth, we even included the machined delrin piston in the kit. However, I decided to try the SCX10 aluminum shocks to lose a little weight and test them in a competition environment. Filled with 100wt oil they did extremely well. I also decided to move my lower shocks to the first hole on the lower links. This gave me more clearance for the 45° of steering that the XR10 has and allowed me to adjust my center height. The SCX10 Aluminum shocks weigh in at 14.0g (.48oz) each. The XR10 shocks weigh in at 21.0g (.74oz) each. Thats a pretty decent weight loss off the most critical area of a crawler. Any where that you can reduce the weight above the center of the tires is going to make a noticeable difference.

I arrived at Cisco Grove Thursday night for the 2010 AWCC. Getting reports from Scott and Brad a few days before that and hearing how their setups were working had me slightly worried. I had one of the only sets of XR10 wheels mounted on mine. Scott and Brad gladly ran Vanquish Products wheels on their XR10’s. At the last minute I decided to pick up a set of Vanquish Products wheels (Thank you Steve!) and match the wheel/tire combos that Scott and Brad have been having success with. There was nothing wrong with the XR10 wheels, but the added width proved to be a safer bet the night before LCQ! Especially when you are getting tips from those two. Friday morning I woke up and lined up for my first course of the LCQ. Scott and Brad fortunately already qualified for Saturdays event. I started with Vanquish Pro Comps and Pro-Line G8 chisels. Early in the morning my memory foam setup was just too stiff. Brian Crofts came to my rescue with a set of Vanquish SLW’s and his favorite foam/tire setup. He basically said “Here try these”. Once again going in blind I nailed my 3rd course with a perfect score! Thanks again Brian. I ran the SLW’s for the remainder of the weekend with a total weight of 14.5oz up front and 5.6oz in the back. If I remember the Vanquish hubs were 225’s in the front and 350’s in the back. This gave me the same track width front and rear.

Finishing the LCQ I was very happy with how I had done. I made the cut and was onto Saturday’s main event. All 3 of the XR10’s finished all 5 courses placing 9th, 10th and 20th. Overall a very successful first event for the XR10 and I cannot wait to start exploring its full potential.

If you have not seen the XR10 video that Lisa Budvarson put together of the XR10’s running at AWCC you have to check this out! Click
Thank you Lisa for doing such an awesome job with the video.

I will be updating the blog soon with pictures and specs of my current setup. I made some slight changes and it’s a completely different rig to drive now!

Thanks to Tazz @ Shot-n-the dark Photography for providing some of the action shots at AWCC!