2010 R/C Rock Crawling Nationals

The 2010 R/C Rock Crawling Nationals, one of the biggest annual R/C rock crawling events, was held on Sept. 9-12th in Disney, Oklahoma.  This event is an invite only competition so to get in, you have to either be the best in your local club to earn an invite or win one of the several qualifying events held during the calender year. So if neither one of those works out, you can enter the last chance qualifier (LCQ) at Nationals a few days before the main event and hope to transfer from there. For Brandon, Scott, and myself, the last option was our only chance of getting into the big show. The three of us showed up a day before the LCQ to try and test our trucks on the local rocks in preparation for Thursday’s qualifier, but mother nature wasn’t going to cooperate. With pouring rain in the forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, we just had to trust that our existing set-ups would be good enough to get through LCQ and qualify for the main event.

LCQ Day
We woke up Thursday morning at 6 a.m. sharp to find a torrential downpour outside our hotel room. Good thing we spent a little time water proofing our rigs the night before. We loaded up the rental car with all our gear and headed off to the comp site 20 minutes away. We watched the skies for most of the drive looking for a break in the clouds, but didn’t have much hope for it to clear up. So, we just decided to make the best of it and whatever happens with the weather was obviously out of our control. We pulled up to the comp site about 6:45 a.m. to find that the rain had let up a little. People were mingling around talking set-ups, course design, and just catching up in general since the last time they had seen each other. The driver’s meeting started promptly at 7 a.m. and shortly after, everyone lined up to tech their rigs and made sure everything on their truck was legal for the competition. After your rig passed tech, you were free to go line up and run courses. Once we were finished with tech, Scott, Brandon, and I headed down to be the first competitors to run course #1. The LCQ courses were very tough with jumbled up loose rocks, holes, and a little mud mixed in. This made it very tough to stay on line, and made simple obstacles a challenge. As the day went on, the Rock Gods smiled upon us with some sunshine which helped dry the courses out. After a long wet day of competing, we turned our scorecards in pretty confidently. We were pretty sure that all 3 of us made the cut to transfer. Once all the scores were tallied, the 3 of us ended up 1st (Scott), 2nd (Brandon) and 3rd (myself), with Axial team driver Jason Rioux in 4th and Dave Demaray in 6th. Five XR10′s made the top 10 at the end of the day, which was pretty awesome to see.

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Championship Day
Woke up Saturday morning to a little nicer weather. It appeared to have rained over night, but the sky seemed to be clearing up as we made the drive. We pulled into the comp site as the sun was just starting to peak over the trees. It was already shaping up to be a nice day and everyone was excited to start the competition.

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RCC Headquarters.

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After tech, we made our way down to our first course, which had a nice scale river flowing through it. Here are a few highlights from that course.

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Brandon’s XR10 in action.

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Squirrel’s XR10.

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I thought squirrels were afraid of water??

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Axial Racing’s good friend Yoshiaki Kataoka showed up with about 10 other competitors from Japan for this year’s event. A great group of guys that love to crawl, have a lot of fun in the process, and are a blast to watch on course.

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Nice axles!

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Jeff Gill and his freshly built XR10.

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Yoshiaki on course #2.

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My XR10 on course #2.

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There were a few 1:1′s playing in the park during the competition as well.

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Team Carnage Crew brought their Axial sponsored KOH buggy out, and made short work of this waterfall.

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A few pictures from course #3.

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Me dropping into the crack of death. This crack gave a lot of competitors a really hard time.

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There were plenty of scalers running around during the competition too.

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A few pictures from course #5.

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John Riplinger’s latest creation in action.

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Titanium axle housings are just sexy!

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Love seeing AX10 based rigs still competing.

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The rock candy girls from left to right, Mindy Howe, Becky Barger and Jess Downing. The girls raised over $3000 for breast cancer research by raffling off a complete competition ready truck, and an XR10 kit donated by Axial. Well done ladies!!

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Finals shootout
After a long hot day in the sun, here is how the top 5 ended up going into the shootout course. This year, the shootout went a little differently then it did in the years before. In the past, the #5 driver went first, then 4th, then 3rd, and so on. This year, the running order was randomly pulled out of a hat, putting even more pressure on all the top five guys. To top that off, there was “bonus land” after gate 10. This was an area with multiple bonus gates set up sporadically throughout a certain area. If you cleared gate 10, and had time left on the clock, you could go run as many bonus gates as your remaining time allowed. Once you cleared a bonus gate, you had to return to a boundary marker and drive around the outside of it to “bank” the -5 points per gate you earned. A very interesting and fun twist to the shootout.

1st Austin Dunn
2nd Jeremy Toney
3rd Travis Crockett
4th Andy Zuber
5th Shoji Murata

A few pictures from the finals. Jeremy Toney’s name was pulled out of a hat first, so he had to be the guinea pig for everyone else and run the finals course first.

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Austin Dunn’s name was called next.

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Gate 4 had about a two foot tall ledge you had to drop off into an area tightly lined with boundaries. Austin took the smart approach and jumped from the gate all the way past the boundary to avoid any penalties.

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Austin had well over a minute left after clearing gate 10. He then proceeded to clear at least 5 bonus gates before his time expired. Here you can see him hard on the throttle to get back to the bank.

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Andy Zuber’s name was called next. Once your name was called you had 30 seconds to start the course.

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Japanese driver Shoji Murata was next up.

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Travis Crockett was lucky enough to go last.

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While everyone waited for the final scores to be tallied we gathered around for the prize raffle.

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Axial donated a new XR10 for the raffle. Colorado driver Mica Renquist was the lucky winner.

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Here are the final results from the 2.2 class.

1st Austin Dunn
2nd Jeremy Toney
3rd Travis Crockett

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That wraps up this year’s nationals. Axial would like to thank all the sponsors and volunteers that put in a ton of hard work and sweat to make this event the best it could be. See you next year!!

XR10 Build – Part 5 – Beadlocks

For this last installment of our XR10 build, I will cover the assembly of the beadlock wheels. This wheel is a completely new design. It is a true beadlock wheel, but it only requires the removal of 6 screws to change your tires. You can tune your foam or change the weight inside your wheels fast and easy. It is a real time saver when you are playing with different set-ups.

First thing we need to do is grab Bag “J” and our wheels.

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Here is a break down of the parts required for each wheel.

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Starting with the front wheels, we will install the internal weight rings first.

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I attached the 2 halves of the rings together with one screw, inserted the weights into the center slot of the ring halves, and wrapped the ring around the wheels. It’s time to install the second weight ring screw and lock nut.

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For tires we will use Pro-Line G8 Chisels.

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Insert the wheel into the tire.

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Then pull the beads out over the front and back of the wheels.

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Now flip the wheel 180 degrees, grab the second half of the wheel, and slide it into place. There are grooves molded into both halves to keep everything lined up.

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Slide the second half of the wheel all the way in until it stops.

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Now flip the wheel over and set your beadlock ring into place. Line up the holes in the rings with the holes in the wheels.

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You can attach the rings by hand with a 1.5mm Allen wrench. But, I suggest investing in a decent cordless driver/drill, with some small metric hex attachments. It just makes assembling the wheels so much easier and faster. I personally use Hitachi’s DB 3DL.

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I set the torque on the clutch to 9, removed, and reinstalled my rock rings several times without stripping anything.

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I usually start with 3 screws and insert them into the ring holes that don’t have the weight retainer ring relief cut in them. Then evenly tighten them down until the ring almost bottoms out on the wheel.

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Flip the wheel over and make sure the backside bead is seated properly.

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If the backside of the tire is seated properly, flip the wheel over again and tighten each screw down a few turns until all 3 screws are tight. If you try to tighten 1 screw all the way up at a time you will run the risk of stripping out your screw holes or the hex in the head of the screw.

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Now insert your last 3 screws and tighten them down as needed.

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The total weight of the stock wheel with the weight rings and tires installed is 12.3 ounces, a perfect starting point.

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Next we will install the wheels on our freshly built XR10. Grab the four small M3 set screws, drive pins, and hexes.

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Insert the drive pins into the outer axles.

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Install the small M3 set screw about half way into the drive hex with a 1.5mm driver.

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Next, slide the hex into place over the drive pins, and tighten up the set screw. The set screws don’t have to be tightened down with much pressure, just snug them up to hold the hex in place. Now is not the time to practice your Hulk impersonation people.

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Slide the wheel over the hex and outer axles. Then tighten them down with the supplied 4mm lock nut.

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There you have it. The finished product:

 

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Well, that wraps up our box stock XR10 build, minus painting the body and installing the electronics. We will go into more detail on those aspects soon too. Only thing I changed from the manual is the rear shock ears. I moved them down one hole from what the manual suggests to level out my ride height.

Be sure to check out RCCrawler for more tips and tricks on the XR10.