Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Story: Rodney Wills
Photos: Scott Roberts & Rodney Wills

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
I personally have been a fan of Rory’s art for a long time. My first Racers Only shirt was a Robby Gordon design when he was racing a Ford. It had a cool stars and stripes flag waving through it and that iconic warp-speed comic look that Rory draws into his trucks. I thought that warp-speed look was very fitting for Robby’s driving style. Later I use to work for a little off-road magazine called Dirt Pilot Magazine. The magazine did an interview with Rory and I have always liked his artwork. Being a Toyota fan, my favorite issue was the one with Ivan Stewart on the front cover and it had a Rory drawing of a buggy driving through the logo. It has been quite obvious that a lot of folks within the off-road industry like Rory’s art, starting with the most famous off all off-roaders, Ivan “Ironman” Stewart! And from my own personal perspective, Rory’s art represents the off-road industry like Ed “RatFink” Roth does for the hot rod scene.

Rory said his passion for art started like it does for all of us, he even said we’ve all done the same as him… Rory started drawing his favorite hero’s and favorite trucks. But the difference is, Rory kept drawing and then later he saught out the guys at the races and started having them autograph his drawings. He was doing that purely for his own personal collection. Then that “spark” came in 1988 while attending the SCORE Off-Road Show when he approached Ivan Stewart to sign a drawing he did of his rig. Ivan must have liked what he had seen as he asked if Rory would like to draw a T-shirt design for Team Toyota.

While on our desert location scouting mission that had us close to Rory’s place I wanted to drop in and visit him, so we pre-arranged a meeting. Rory is more than just an t-shirt artist, he is also a bona fide off-road enthusiast. He is more that just a side-line fender lizard enthusiast, Rory wheels a Class-12 2-Seater desert buggy and has been known to dabble in restoring vintage desert race vehicles. Rory also owns a very special Dodge Pre-Runner.

And if that is not enough, Rory is also a full-time fireman for the past thirteen years with four years in reserve, all within the same department. Add in his creative arts side that is time consuming as well!

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
While we came to see his artwork, we learned more about his racing habit as we never made it inside the studio for all the off-road jewelry sitting in the driveway and garage. Rory campaigns a Class-12 2-seater buggy. It is powered with a Major Performance built 1910cc VW motor nestled in a 2004 Suspensions Unlimited Chassis, built by Billy Gasper originally, then the rear-section was rebuilt in 2009 by Mark Fusting. Rory’s Sponsors are Racers Only, BFGoodrich, MSD, Vision X, Method Race Wheels, RacerX, B&R Buggies. Class-12 & Class-8 [single seat buggy] are the fun economical ways to get into off-road racing. Trucks are always cool, but cool comes with a larger price tag and more weight.

We asked what series or sanctions does Rory run in; SCORE/SNORE/BITD/HDRA?
Rory stated that he runs a little bit of everything but he has not been racing as much due to the economy and the restoration projects.

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory’s recent race results snap shot as follows:
SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge- 1st place
BITD Parker 425- DNF (taken out by a Trophy Truck).
SNORE MINT 400- 1st place
MDR California 200- 6th place
SCORE Baja 1000- 1st place

SCORE Laughlin Desert Challenge- 1st place
SNORE Rage At The River- 4th place

NORRA Mexican 1000- 1st place

Rory’s next race plans will have him pitting for Terrible Herbst at the Baja 1000 and he will personally be racing the SNORE Rage At The River (RATR) in his Class-12 buggy.

Shows where Racers Only T-Shirt merchandise trailer will be at?
BITD TRANSWEST FORD HENDERSON “250″- Dec 2-4. Henderson Nev.
SNORE RATR- Dec 9-11. Laughlin Nev.

To dig a bit more into the Rory racing archives, we asked him what was his first race? He first entered as a co-rider (right seat) at the 1987 SNORE 250 in a Class-5 1600cc rig. First DRIVING stint was in a friends Class-5 Unlimited at the 2000 AVI 250 in Laughlin, NV., as both split the driving duties resulting a 1st place finish.

Rory Racers Only

His first race in his own vehicle was at the 2005 Laughlin Desert Challenge in a 4-seat play buggy. He DNF’d after running out of fuel on day one, but finished 2nd on day-2. Racing with spare gas on the roof rack must not have been allowed…

The Trophy Truck Killer (TT Killer) Chenowth

Rory’s first TRUE race car was the Trophy Truck Killer, a 1989 Chenowth DR2V chassis. It was Pat Deans old Factory sponsored “Barbary Coast” Class-1 Unlimited rig.
Click for story on the TT-Killer on RacersOnly Blog

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

It was impossible to miss this shiny silver beast of a pre-runner that was sitting in the driveway as we drove up; and it’s how our conversation started. Rory’s 1977 Dodge Pre-Runner, for those of us that hold history and hero’s dear to our hearts, is very special. It belonged to a particular cowboy-hat-wearing gentleman by the name of Walker Evans.

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

As Rory is telling us about his truck, I asked Brad “Bender” Dumont to snap a quick picture with his smart phone and shoot it over to our buddy ScottG. ScottG quickly texted back, “is that Walkers Evans old truck? It’s one of two trucks and both used to have the race livery to match the race truck.” Rory stated it was in fact the same truck but was painted silver by a previous owner. ScottyG also texted us, “THAT TRUCK ALMOST GOT ME FIRED!”

That was grounds for a phone call to our man ScottG for full disclosure. According to him, back in 1995 the Baja 1000 was starting on the eastern side of Mexico, in Tecate. ScottG was working for Walker Evans Racing at the time and was in route to the race with the team. While driving the support rigs they stopped for food near the border. While in the restaurant all the guys sitting around the table spotted what looked to be a sweet jump. It didn’t take much encouragement from the team to get ScottG to go hit this potential jump! And as a result of his text to us, we know the outcome of the event. With “almost fired” it is now easy to see here where youth is naive when it comes to “bosses bluff” or is it the bosses re-living their youth through the young. Or was it the team encouragement of which the boss sits back to see the results and then reprimands. Regardless, it was a funny story just by sending over an image of a truck.

The truck is a beast with a 408 Stroker Motor, EFI, roller rockers, Edelbrock manifold, custom headers, aluminum heads…approx 500HP, pump gas/Pemex.

Suspension Front: 15″ travel, double A-Arm, 3.0 Coilover shock with 2.5 bypass, Cone hubs, Wilwood brakes, Henry’s Ball Joints.

Suspension Rear: 20″ travel, 2.5 Coilover and 2.5 triple bypass, on 3-linked custom trailing arms.
All suspension work done by Mark Newhan.
Little tidbit: As the truck was built for Walker Evans as a prerunner, it was later traded to Frank Vessels for a NASCAR Super Truck, then sold to construction contractor in San Diego (friend of Frank Vessels).

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Rory loves the truck very much, but yes, it is for sale. WHY?! There is another project in the stable now.

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Check out the Mickey Thompson vintage buggy – The Challenger IV.

Real painted name of the real deal on metal:
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

While there are miles and piles of history around Mickey Thompson, the interesting note about this rig is that this could very well be the first “Truggy” and if not the first, then we think it’s safe to say that Mickey probably built the most competitive Truggy up to that point and ONE of the first true truggies!

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

The Challenger IV was built in 1977 and first raced at the 1978 Mexicali 300. John House was the crew chief and lead fabricator with project help from Danny Thompson and Bruce Parrish. Mickey Thompson was well ahead of his peers at the time on technology.

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Shocks alone were so far ahead of it’s time that no one built anything like them until the early to mid 80′s. The Challenger IV had almost twice the suspension travel as the top competitors in his class and probably 3 times the horsepower since he was running a V8 while the competition was running VW motors.

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Mickey’s main problem with the car was it was never fully developed and did not get the test time it needed to work all the bugs out of it. Mr. Thompson always had 100 different things going on and never spent a whole lot of time on one thing. This car could have DOMINATED if it was given the time and effort needed. Also, Mickey ran as hard as he could, would never lift even if he had a big lead. Off road racing is about personal management of that skinny pedal and saving your equipment.

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

1980 MINT 400 sticker on the side wing panel of the Mickey Thompson Challenger IV. History…

More info on the legendary Mickey Thompson

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

After a lot of tire kicking in the garage, we finally make way into Rory’s studio that is more like the library of off-road congress!

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Here is a drawing / sticker Rory did for the restoration project of the Mark Stahl Chenowth 1000 that was originally built in 1977. Click on the link to the build thread:
Rory is a true historian of off-road with a nice personal collection of memorabilia as well as his contributions!

Rory breaks out the history of where and how it all started for him; the original fan drawings:

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Then Rory shows us the more recent stuff, some of which I spy around the office and shop:

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
63 cents if you guess the right person who this drawing is for…

While we are there, Rory’s client list keeps him busy to the point we get to see him in action and share his process with us:
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs
Rory Ward of Racers Only Motorsports Designs

OH YEA! I already know what you are thinking by seeing this COOL art! YES, we will be talking to Rory about making us some drawings of the SCX10′s, XR10, AX10 and WRAITH!!! What else will be cool about that is to see what Rory can do with our Rock Crawl/Race rigs as he has not done anything for our sector of the world. It will be a fun collaboration!

WILD CARD: How cool would it be if the drawing Rory was working on is a new rig for Axial? How about those green apples!?

View All The Images in a SLIDESHOW::

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip


Axial’s marketing crew went out for a location scouting session recently.
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
October is the “official” start of what is called “desert season” as the day time tempratures are nice and cool. Since our planned trip to visit Rory of Racers Only [look for a blog report soon] would have us driving right through the desert, we took advantage of this time-temprature to scope out some new locations for an upcoming SCX10/Wraith video-photo session. So follow along for the awesome sites and look closely as you just never know what you will find! Let your imagination run wild!

A road will lead you to many places…

One road in particular will lead you to two signs, thus two choices:
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip

We chose the first one as that was our original plan and had no idea the same road would take you to “other” places…

We called this one Boxing Glove Rock

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
When you run up on a gate with this much creativity on it, you have wonder what is back there… But, the gate-art itself is made from a steal file shaped into a snake… First, it’s steal, to mold it into that shape it takes some heat and some imaginative talent AND it’s on a gate in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!!! Go figure! Yes, we want to know what is behind this gate also! Add that to the “Find Out About” list.


Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
We all got bit by various cactus that just seemed to find a way to snag us!

It’s not like there are just a couple cacti here and there – they were EVERYWHERE – EVERY BUSH IS A CACTI BUSH!!! I have never seen so many varieties of cactus in one area or location outside of the Walmart Garden Center! There is no walking along and looking elsewhere! If you want to site-see, stop, look and then walk! Add chewing gum for extra points.

This we called dolphin rock.

Found this sign in a gas/food station on Route66:
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
It was the only gas-food in a 86 mile span on the freeway and the burgers where good. The place was a little strange, but good… We placed this location on the “been there – done that” list so we sought out another exit on the return trip.

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
When was the last time you saw a ‘Yota on forty fours? What used to be crazy before is not so crazy now. While I was at the Off-Road EXPO, I ran across this:

YES! A real deal truggy on 42″ desert tires!!! Holy flippin’ Batman in a ‘Vader suit! And it is on 20″ wheels!!! Those ruts just keep getting deeper…
Remember making fun of those other trucks on 44′s?
And then if that was not enough, Brad said the ‘Yota on 44′s reminded him of Stomper 4X4′s! Who remember those?

Stomper 4X4 Trucks Original Commercial:

Stomper City 4×4 – Episode One ©1980

Stomper 4X4 Pull Comp Video – WHAT!?!??!

OK, sorry for the side-track, but it just goes to show you the passion for all things 4X4 that we have!

Back to the regularly scheduled story…
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
Words just aren’t going to do this image any justice… just enjoy it!

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
We told the boss we where buying this for the road show! Notice the swing-out awning over the drop-down liftgate! Can you say, Shaded mobile driving stand/marketing office on wheels!

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
We asked where the trails where…

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
Sorry… when we see these kinds of things, we have to stop! The kid comes out in us!

Someone at “Mikky-D’s” corporate wanted corporate to buy these so they could get them at the group discount price:
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
EMECO 1006 Aluminum chairs – love these! Also called the “Navy Chair” Read more:

We always get asked how we come up with creative stuff…
Brad Dumont and Scott Roberts of Axial
This is how the advertisements get done. They get drawn out in the dirt and then scanned into this machine where you add .63 cents and it spits our pretty artwork. All within 24hours! Rush fee is $63 and 63-cents. Now if you want this same rock picture to transform into motion picture, just add $633 and yes, it excepts credit cards.

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
The desert takes toll a on Scott Roberts shoe! Look closely now… critter in the background….

Exposed video sniper location. We surveillance, detain and place here:
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
Hey Tony Phalen, we have a new product to show you….
Way out in this cool location.. In the desert.. Yea, sure, we can take you…
Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
Black unmarked “borrowed” truck on a lonely road.

This trip is on the “TO DO” List – one day!!! There is a book and map for the trip.
Step 1 has been made:

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip

Axial Desert Location Scouting Trip
Hmmm, that “X” looks pretty cool!

Will Parker “request” Stomper 4X4′s for a time-bonus skill section at the next RECON G6 Challenge?
What was that in the “shoe” photo’s background?

Stay tuned to find out these answers and many more that we have not thought of yet: hit the L-I-K-E please and thank you!

Off-Road EXPO 2011 Pomona, Ca

TJM at Off Road EXPO 2011
The Off-Road EXPO is held each year at the Pomona Fairplex located in sunny Southern California and has been the def-facto event for the off-road community for twelve years now. The “desert season” as we call it is upon us and everyone is getting restless and ready to enjoy the wide open desert! The Expo was started by Dirt Sports Magazine and recently acquired by Family Events, with this years show contining to deliver with yet another successful gathering, even in the “bubba-scrubb” of a “turn-down” economy. Even with the temperament of economy, aspirations and dreams are what fuel the off-road industry guided along with history and tradition. Maybe it’s just the reality of us wanting to escape into the far corners of the desert.. but before we do, people want to mingle and talk shop and shops want us talking shop and so do the manufactures! So, we talk shop and then we hit the deserts and mountains with the Halloween weekend being the first “big” weekend for the south-western portion of the United States.

I too have my dreams and for the last couple of years I personally have had my eyes out for anything relating to the “overland adventure” scene. Some say this is an emerging scene, and while I am a big campaigner for it, I just say I’m just getting old enough for it to be on my radar. I have been labeled a Chameleon as I have gone from Ivan Stewart fan with a Toyota desert pre-runner with wide front end and fenders, to rally cars, to adventure bikes and now overland style with a 80-Series Toyota Land Cruiser. Again, age… yes, I have actually seen Ivan Stewart race both in the stadium and in the desert for age identification.

What dreams are made of:
Axial at Off Road EXPO 2011
Axial at Off Road EXPO 2011
Camburg builds awesome rigs and putting it on display in this stripped to the bones fashion was super cool!

The opposite of baller is BUDGET and all of my projects have had a heavy emphasis on .99 cents and under portion of the budget spectrum! “What can we get for sixty three cents!?” So I fit right in there with the nominal mainstream of budget of most fender lizards, but we all have a dream! The EXPO is a great place to “dream” for a day or two about your next project while studying in detail the big guns. The off-road scene or industry, how ever you look at it, is unique. The people will dream for a day… then go home and start cutting, notching, bending, shaping and welding dreams together into what reality is… far from what was just seen at the show. BUT, its a learning process that everyone has to go through! Well, not everyone, just those on budgetary confinement. I did my learning process! Everyone has that first truck and passing tech inspection usually requires tow-straps and flat bed trucks with a few trips back and forth to the garage for a bit of re-sketching exercise on the cardboard, napkin, notepad, wall or just get after it and cut and jig some new drawn over mandrel.
CCB’s – Credit Card Ballers just buy it and wad it up within two miles as they have never driven thirty-two inches of travel at 21% interest rate.

Overland Journal at Off Road EXPO 2011
This year with the rising interest of overlanding, Off-Road Expo hosted the guys from Overland Journal and friends to come out and display. So, RTT’s – Roof Top Tents abound and I was in heaven! Yes, I have dreams of preparing my 80-Series Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure machine, not a rock crawler and not a desert race support rig shod with 37″ leftover Projects. Yes, overlanding has a whole “other” set of principles.

On another “adventure front,” we posted on our Axial FaceBook page for our fans attending OffRoad EXPO to track the official Axial rigs on display in various booths. [see original post – link] We had specific placement and we knew others would have rigs as well, but we wanted to see if someone would list the correct companies. These chosen companies came about as a buddy of ours put some time together to make some custom graphics for Axial Wraiths and SCX10. Our buddy Cody Waggoner of Laser Cutting IPE made these cools stands for as well, so check these out!

Wilwood Brakes

Raceline Wheels


Walker Evans Racing

AOE / Axial Wraith at Off Road EXPO 2011
AOE: American Overland Expedition

ICON Vehicle Dynamics / Axial SCX10 on display at Off Road EXPO 2011
ICON Vehicle Dynamics

And last but not least – OVERLAND JOURNAL!
While we only got five examples done, there are a few more to come with another notable show around the corner.

Winner of the FaceBook Expo Adventure: Daniel T. Noda
We sent him a nice little package for his time and efforts and just for having a little fun with us!

CRAWL Magazine at Off Road EXPO 2011
I also got to meet John Herrick, editor/publisher of CRAWL Magazine as well!

Also on the highlights list was meeting Del Albright of the BlueRibbon Coalition.

Del is on the right and left is Chris Collard of Overland Journal.

Everyday Del is out there spreading the word about land use and this is a major topic for those of us – ANYONE who enjoys the great outdoors of off-roading! I am not going to preach to you nor ask you to join a cult or political party. BUT, what I will ask you to do is – DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and form your OWN OPINION about what is really going on!

What you need to know about Del Albright is that while he is of wise nature “age,” he has gone to great lengths to communicate at the speed youth, to the younger folks with 1:1 steering wheels in hands. Albright has made a full adoption of the digital & social medium’s of communication. While the age-old ink on paper is still a staple, Del has also adopted the use of electronic blogging and FaceBook connectivity to spread the message about “Land Use, Access, Rubicon Trail and Volunteer Training!” So please visit his site and also like him on his FaceBook page too.

If all you do for now is “like” stay in touch with Del on his Facebook page and just start thinking…

All of the images from 2011 Off-Road EXPO Viewed in a SLIDESHOW::

The previous Off-Road Expo’s I have attended:
2010 EXPO

2009 EXPO

2007 Impact EXPO – Vegas

2006 EXPO

While your out there in cyberspace; stay in tune with us via our FB page.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge – Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011

R.E.C.O.N. G6 Challenge
Haunted Rock Park
Rock Park – Reno, Nevada
October 15, 2011
words & photos: Matthew Soileau

Why was Rock Park chosen for the Halloween edition of the R.E.C.O.N. G6 Challenge?

Tiss the month, it’s a great place to tell a camp fire stories, especially scary ones….

Horror legend has it that in 1910 the Southern Pacific Railroad was in full swing after building a switch station in Sparks, NV in 1904; known then as Harriman, NV after the president of the S.P.R. Well the railroad brought in all kinds of adventure seeking souls looking to make it big out West, but with the good, the rails also brought, the bad.

The baddest was a man named Jeremiah Earl Danziger, a descendant of Poland, came to Harriman, NV in 1910 and one of the bloodiest years that Sparks, NV has ever seen. Jeremiah Earl Danziger, or Jed went to work for Aphia Mine in Virginia City but was soon dismissed after he was caught stealing from the mine. This upset Jed and he what he did for the next 7 months, still horrifies and haunts people who walk the river path through Rock Park.

Jeremiah Earl Danziger (aka JED) killed 16 young girls in 7 months. Butchered was used in most of the descriptions as each girl was found missing wrists and ankles. When Jed was caught in the act with his last victim, he slashed her throat as she yelled for help for her unborn child, just as a group of hunters passed by. One of the hunters shot Jed, but the bullet struck him in the lower back. Unable to walk, Jed was dragged to a tree and hung after his hands and feet were cut off with the hatchet that Jed himself used on his female victims. This all happened where Rock Park is located today.

I have lived in Reno for over 30 years and have only heard bits and pieces of this tale. But some say they see a blood covered man carrying a hatchet. I have been to Rock Park after dark and have never seen or heard anything, but I can tell you that where the tree once stood is a bridge and walking under that bridge all the hairs on the back of my neck and arms stood straight out. Was it just a cool breeze coming off the Truckee River or was it the ghost of JED?

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
When I arrived at Rock Park, all seemed calm…

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
…although, there was a strangely out of place cemetery in the corner of the park.

Soon, G6ers began arriving wearing Halloween costumes;

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
That’s when I knew this was going to be a great G6 Challenge!

Rigs began to line up;
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
I noticed that even they were in the Halloween spirit.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
This Axial SCX10 wasn’t really in the holiday spirit, but it was my favorite G-Ride of the day.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
As registration began, some wondered why Under Dog was taking their information.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
It turns out that Brad’s was actually dressed as ‘Ballsy’; one of the giant red balls from the TV show Wipe Out.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Mmmmm, Brad’s neck looks delicious…

Word must be spreading about the good time the G6 Challenge delivers,
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
because after registration there were 47-trucks lined up and ready to begin!

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Immediately after Trail Marker #1, drivers had to complete the Hop Scotch Drivers Challenge. I think Parker just put this here to have some entertainment.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
First you got a little dirty..
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
and then you cleaned off in the Truckee River.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Right after this grassy section was TM unlucky 13…

luck would have it, this crayfish found out it was part of TM#13.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
A winch line near this 50-foot culvert could only mean one thing.
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Yup, trucks were going to be driving through it.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
At the graveyard, drivers had to stop to find their tombstones, yes, each driver had his name on a tombstone and there where 50+ more names than event entries so finding your name was a little more in depth!
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Drivers were then required to attach their tombstone to their rigs for the remainder of the challenge.

Captain Axial stopped by to make sure everyone was having a good time. Here, he saves this young girl from complete boredom.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
The ghost of JED appears to be levitating Mike Pham’s truck over this crevasse.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Even the bugs at Rock Park dressed up for Halloween.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Here’s one of the reasons the G6 Challenge is becoming so popular. Look at all the people doing something. There’s not a lot of sit time like there is at other R/C events. And when there is that “sitting moment” its REST!

Six female drivers made the G6 Challenge. Here one of them shows that all that is needed is an RTR Honcho in order to do the Parker’ism – “Do Work!”

These G-Rides show how they are not afraid to “DO WORK!”
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Since the G6 Challenge isn’t really about winning but rather completing the adventure, most drivers are eager and ready to help out their fellows adventure challengers. This is a perfect example of the “tow strap hover.”

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Hey there little buddy, Trick or Treat.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
At dusk, things began to get a little spooky after the jack-o-lanterns were lit.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Have you ever driven through a jack-o-lantern?

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Up the slide…

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
down the slide as your Trail Buddy looks on thinking… “dad, I did that with two wheels out the top!

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Even rarer than spotting the ghost of JED is spotting a smiling Stuart. I think he was happy that I spelled his name correctly, finally.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Lights were not mandatory…

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011

The darker it became…

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
The creepier the trails felt.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Surprises awaited drivers along the trail to add a little spook.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Under the bridge I spotted something.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Could this have been the ghost of JED? Yes, he moved and scared the baheebeegeebee’s out of us!!!

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011

At the end of the night stage, was the sharp shooter challenge. Hitting the ghost with the slingshot earned you a time bonus.

Missing the ghost earned you a trip to the bucket of guts. Pulling a chip out of there also earned you a time bonus.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
G6 Trophies JED would be proud of. Thank you Zonkerd.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Thank you to BPC and PLE…
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
For finishing prizes.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
G-Degree winner, Heather O’Conner

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
1st Place Wraith, Dan ‘Smoking Lipo’ Wilson. Thanks again for the driveshaft.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
Cameron Nienkark took 3rd place in his first G6 Challenge.

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
2nd Place: Rick Mercado

Axial / RECON G6 Challenge - Haunted Rock Park October 15, 2011
1st Place: Bruce Pease

Well… Another R.E.C.O.N. G6 Challenge is in the history books and that can only mean one thing…impatient days waiting for the next one. We hope to see you there. I already have my ticket ready for the G-Train.

*Note from Axial Inc.
Please note that no living items where made “un-living” for this event. They where found in their natural cycle of decomposition, used as fear props for the good of the children. They where then returned to their regularly scheduled reincarnation. Exception made for the pumpkins… their souls where asked to soak up JED spirit and where discarded in the proper RENO-Sparks waste management service system and later will be making special guest appearances on late night TV.


The Official SBG Axial Wraith Build Off

Event: The Official SBG Axial Wraith Build Off
Location: The Scale Builder’s Guild
Date: June 17th – September 3rd


The Official SBG Axial Wraith Build Off

This July the Scale Builder’s Guild members eagerly anticipated the release of our new Wraith. Not just to tear into the box and get out on the trails but because they wanted in on the SBG Axial Wraith Build Off. We challenged builders to start customizing the Wraith showing how versatile the truck is and give people innovative ideas on how to make their new rigs stand out in a crowd!

The rules were simple, everyone would be starting with the same RTR Wraith, keep original driveline, 75% or more of the factory Cage, and keep interior panel/seats intact. The balance of the truck and design was up to the builders, by adding body mods, scale accessories, paint, tires and wheels… it turned into a really fun contest over the summer. It really showed how versatile the Wraith platform really is and brought out some innovative ideas on how to make yours stand out from the crowd!

Outside of our people’s choice voting from the Scale Builder’s Guild members, representatives from Axial, MaxAmps, RC Car Action and TGN Distributing took care of the official judging.

Results are as follows:
Axial’s Favorite Mod Prize – PardonmynOOb’s Wraith – The upper cage modification completely changes the look of the truck and requires no extra parts to pull the look off… INCREADIBLE BANG FOR THA BUCK!
SBG People’s Choice Award – Copious- Swiss Army

1st PardonmynOOb- n00b’s Wraith 135
2nd Copious- Swiss Army 123
3rd Imthatguy – The Bluesmobile 118
4th BrainDead – Wraith Digger 117
5th Hillbillycrawler – Rock Rod 107
6th HeadQuake – Wraith of Headquake 96
7th Beaster – Ford Monster/DC Wraith 87
8th ChevyLuv – The Great White North 82
9th Graminizer’s – The General 79
10th Pr24meb – Pr24meb’s Wraith 72

Check out the build threads on the SBG!

Headquake – Wraith of Headquake

Imthatguy – The Bluesmobile

Hillbillycrawler – Rock Rod

Copious – “Swiss Army”

PardonmynOOb – n00b’s Wraith

Pr24meb – pr24meb’s Wraith


ChevyLuv – The Great White North

BrainDead – Wraith Digger

Graminizer – The General

Special thanks to our judges from Axial, MaxAmps, RC Car Action and TGN Distributing and to Rick “Headquake” White for developing the concept and putting together this great contest

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part VI – Final Assembly

For the final installment of our Wraith kit build series we will turn this beast into a roller. We will finish the chassis assembly, marry the chassis to the transmission and axles, install the body panels, mount the tires to the wheels and bolt them up to the axles. Start on page 34 of the manual, at step 34.

Find bag F in your remaining parts supply.


All the parts required to complete step 34.


Starting with the rear shock tower, bolt it up to the left chassis plate with the supplied hardware.


Then move forward to the lower part of what will be the windshield area.


Next cross member.


Last one at the very front.


Now we can move to step 35 and install the top of the cab.


Step 36 will complete the main chassis structure. Everything needed to complete this step.


I started at the rear shock tower again, install the supplied 3x12mm self tapping screw. At this point we need to just start assembling the cage at all the points required.


Rear frame cross member.


Upper cage area.


Lower cross member in the rear, under the battery tray.


Rear cross member again.


Front A-pillar area.


Top of the cab again.


Front shock tower and cross member.


Next I installed the second support for the front bumper.


Tighten up that second bumper support, and the last frame cross member in the front.


Complete chassis.


Install the last few screws to secure the interior.


On to step 37, and page 36 in the manual. Everything needed to complete this step.


Start by installing the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the big light buckets.


Flip the light buckets over and snap the clear lens into place.


Snap the light guards into place.


Install the light buckets into position on the front bumper.


Attach the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the small round light buckets.


Snap the clear lens into place.


Install the light guards next.


Bolt the small light buckets up to the front grill’s tube work.


Step 38, and everything needed.


Set the front grill tube work into place, and attach using the supplied 3x12mm screws.


Set the front bumper into place next.


Install the supplied 3x18mm screws.


Step 39, attaching the chassis to the skid plate and axles.


Set the chassis into place over the skid plate, and attach using the supplied hardware.



Next we will bolt the shocks up to the shock towers. I deviated from the instructions a little here too. I moved the upper shock mounts in towards the center of the Wraith. I did this to lower the ride height a little, and to soften up the shocks.


Shocks all mounted up.


Time to move on to the tires and wheels.


First thing I did was open up the breather holes in the wheels. I chased the existing holes with an 1/8″ drill bit. This will help the tires conform to the terrain a little better. Stock on left, modified on right.


Next tuning tip I will throw out there is to trim the edges of the inner diameter on the foams. This will let the beads of the tire sit in their natural position. It also makes gluing the tires a little easier, as it stops the foam from working it’s way into the bead seats while you are trying to glue your tires.


You can see here that you don’t need to cut much, keep your cut about a 1/4 – 3/8″ wide max.


With the foam installed, you can see there is no interference between the foam and the tire’s bead seat.



Next slide the wheel inside the tire, and seat the bead properly. I usually glue my tires little by little, with “stitches” of glue. Add a dab of CA to the bead seat, and seat the tire into place. Then spin the tire 180 degrees and add another stitch of glue, then let the tire sit for a few minutes. Then, repeat these steps until the tires are glued all the way around the inner and outer beads.


All glued up. I love the looks of these wheels in black!


Next we will move on to step 43. Find bag G in your dwindling parts stash.


Everything needed to bolt the wheels up.


Thread the small M3 set screws into the drive hexes part way.


Slide the drive pins through the outer axles.


Install the hex into place over the drive pin, and tighten down the M3 set screw.


Bolt the wheels and tires up to the axles.


It’s a roller!!


Here’s a little sneak peek at a part not yet released from the Axial arsenal, aluminum diff covers. Sexy!


Now we can ream the holes out in the body panels and mount them. Wallah!



Close-up shots of the hood, side panels and interior.




Mandatory articulation shots.



There you have it, a complete step by step build of Axial’s Wraith Kit. I will be doing more articles with this particular build in the near future too, like electronics install, hop-up parts, tuning tips, etc. And of course there will be video too, so stay tuned!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 7

The AXIAL Geocache #5 Cache and Carry – Found!

Axial Geocache #5-2011
Congratulations to Andrew Clark of Cogan Station, PA for getting out and finding the Axial Geocache #5.

Axial Geocache #5 Finder Andrew Clark

Andrew found the Axial Geocache #5 on October 23rd, 2011 at 12:30PM EST.
Here is what Andrew had to say about his adventure.

“It was a little tricky with all of the leaves on the ground. It was fairly easy once I remembered to look at the pictures taken on the bl0g page and saw that the higher picture was where I needed to go! These shocks couldnt have came at a better time as I was looking to get some in the next week or two anyway!!! I dont have anything to put these diff covers on though….YET! Thank You guys for doing something so awesome!”

Not only did Andrew just score a pair of Axial AX30092 72-103mm Aluminum Shocks and a prototype Axial Wraith Differential Cover and a couple of Axial tools, he also found some cool Axial Swag that is limited to our Axial Geocaching program. And for reporting back to us that he did fine the Axial Geocache #5, we sent him a matching pair of Axial AX30092 72-103mm Aluminum Shocks and a matching prototype Axial Wraith Differential. The shocks are going to be a great addition to Andrew’s custom Axial Crawler. Make sure you stay tuned for the next Axial Geocache, it could be hidden in your area.
Axial Geocache #5 Finder Andrew Clark


Axial Geocache #5 Original Post:

It’s that time again Axial Geocache’rs, we have just placed our latest Axial Geocache #5  for you guys on the, wait for it……. EAST COAST!!!! As usual we are putting another twist in the mix and making this one a little interesting by adding a technical feature to the game. Watch this video in HD and have your smartphones ready with your QR code scanners on. The QR code will open the location in Google maps. This particular location is probably the most epic scale crawler spot we have found on the east coast, so grab your Axial rigs, your camera/smartphone and get on the road! Don’t forget to bring some drinking water too. Please be aware that this spot has a ton of water, so waterproofing is “Highly recommended”. You should also be aware that the river itself is NOT meant for walking in, and is very slippery. You do not need to walk in the river to find this cache. Stay on the walking paths, have fun and be safe! This is a cache and carry prize box, you find it, take the box with you and keep its contents.

What we want from you:
Name / Address / Email / Phone
Photos of you and your Axial Rig at or near the Geocache site.
Time / Date of when you found the Axial Geocache #5

What you get from us:
More prizes on top of the prize that you will find.

P.S. Prototype parts!!!!!!

Watch Axial Geocache #5 Location Video


Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part V – Chassis

Next step in our Wraith kit build is the assembly of the chassis. Flip to page 26 in the Wraith kit manual, start with step 25.

Find bag E and the corresponding parts required from the various parts trees.


We will start with the light buckets, grab everything you will need to complete this step.


Grab the first light bucket and mounting bracket.


Insert the light bucket, part number AX80045B-5, inside the mounting bracket, part number AX80045B-2.


Install the LED holder, part number AX80045A-1, on the backside of the light bucket with the supplied 2x6mm screws.


Tie the bucket and bracket together using another 2x6mm screw.


Now snap the light bucket lens into place.


Repeat the last few steps for the second light bucket.


Grab the remaining parts needed to complete step 25.


Install the light buckets to the bottom of the rear frame cross member, part number AX80077-001-2.


Tie part number AX80082-1 to the rear frame cross member assembly.


Now install the battery tray as directed with the supplied 2.6x8mm flat head screws.


Jump to page 27 and step 26. Lay everything out needed for this step.


Tie the lower part of the tube frame to the upper left side of the chassis.


Install the left shock mount next.


Last thing we need to do for step 26 is install the front bumper support and radio box base.


Step 27 is next, lay everything out you’ll need to complete this step.


Assemble the right side just like you did the left side. At this point I installed the battery tray on the right side chassis plate, even though the instructions say to mount it to the left side chassis assembly. Either method will work fine, it has no bearing on the assembly process.


Next we will prep the radio box.


Start by applying the thin strip of foam to the top half of the radio box.


Then install the other foam strip on the top cap of the radio box.


Attach the bottom half of the radio box to the frame support.


Flipping to page 30 you will see it’s time to start on the body panels. All the panels laid out like a blank canvas. Make sure you wash the inside of the body panels with soap and water before painting. Regular dish detergent will work fine. This will help the paint stick to the panels properly. It’s a bummer to spend time painting a body all up only to have the paint flake off during your first rollover because you skipped this step. The instructions suggest cutting the panels out first, then washing them and paint last. I washed the panels first, then paint and trim last. Again, either method works great, it’s just personal preference.


The theme for this build will be black on black!! Here you can see the painted roof and dash panels.


Next I trimmed the dash per the instructions.


Dressing up the dash with some decals. An X-acto works great for applying small decals.



For the Wraith side panels and hood I am going to do something a little different. I am going to use the over spray film as a paint mask. I am going to paint parts of these few panels on the outside, and the inside, to get a gloss black on flat black effect. Keeping it simple I laid out the paint job as desired on the outside of the body panels with electrical tape.



The hood.


I am even going to carry the paint job into the interior a little, with one flat black strip on the transmission tunnel.


Now use your X-acto to cut the desired areas to be painted on the outside of the body away.



Peel your cut areas away very carefully. If your cuts aren’t nice and clean, when you remove these pieces it may pull up the rest of your over spray film at the same time. Patients is key here, take your time.



Next I painted the inside of the body panels black.


While the paint dried I moved on to assembling the Corbeau seats.


Slide the back rest of the seats into place.


Move the seat back into position, and secure using the supplied 3x12mm self tapping screws.


Using my X-acto knife again to position the seat detail stickers.



Both seats assembled and detailed.


Back to the body panels. Now that the inside of the panels have been painted with a few light coats, it’s time to paint the outside. Take a minute to do one last visual scan to ensure the over spray film isn’t pulled up in an area it shouldn’t be. Then paint the outside of the panels. I use very light coats of paint to get the desired coverage needed, and to keep the paint a consistent color. Once this coat of paint on the outside is dry, you can remove the over spray film.


Subtle but cool!!


A couple shots with the flash directed at the body to show the contrast.




Next I rough cut the panels out with Lexan scissors close to my final cut lines.


Then I go back and cut the panels to size as needed. Cutting the body twice takes a little extra time, but your body lines will be a lot cleaner using this method compared to cutting it on the body lines the first time.



It’s best to use a body reamer to cut the front grill area cleanly for the chassis tubes that will hold the front bumper. Use a reamer to punch the holes in position, then cut the remaining body out with scissors.



Simple sticker scheme for the side panels.


Time to add some detail to that interior. Using your body reamer, punch all the holes needed in the interior tray to finish detailing it.


After applying the interior decals, we can add the cool scale bits into the driver’s compartment.


Attach the shifters to the proper spots in the interior.


Finish building the dashboard.



Finish the interior by bolting in the seats and dash.


Now we will attach the interior to the left side of the chassis assembly. Once I set the interior into place I noticed that it wasn’t sitting square to the chassis. Closer inspection exposed the culprit. There is a boss molded into the roll cage that allows you to bolt the body panels on. This tab was hitting the interior floor pan before I could get it into position. So, a little trimming with the body scissors was in need. I just had to elongate the scallops on the sides of the floor pan beside the seats and everything fit fine after that.


Install the supplied 2.6x6mm self tapping screws into the floor pan and roll cage.



That wraps up this installment of our Wraith kit build series. Next steps will be the last to make it a complete rolling chassis. We are getting close!!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 6

Step 7

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part IV – Transmission

For Part IV of our Wraith kit build I will cover assembly of the transmission. The transmission for the Wraith is still based off our proven AX10 and SCX10 transmissions. Assembly is still very similar as well, with just a few minor changes. So, let’s get started!

Go to page 22 in the kit manual, start at step 19. Find bag D and your plastic transmission housing parts tree.


All the parts needed to complete this step.


Grab your slipper drive gear shaft, 20t drive gear and 1.5x8mm cross pin. Slide the cross pin through the hole in the end of the shaft.


Now slide the 20t drive gear into place over the pin.


Install a 5x10mm bearing on each side of the 20t drive gear.


Slide the shaft into the top hole in the transmission case.


Install two more 5x10mm bearings into the small plastic idler gear, then slide the 5x18mm shaft through the bearings.


Insert the gear into the transmission case beside the first gear/shaft assembly.


Now it’s time to assemble the main spool gear. Everything needed for this step. Notice I left out the small plastic ring, labeled AX80051 in the instructions, that is suppose to be sandwiched between the transmission outputs. It’s not needed, that is a misprint in the manual.


Install the main drive gear between the two transmission outputs.


Add a dab of thread lock to the screws that will hold the main drive gear assembly together. It’s not noted in the manual, but it is a good idea. These screws see a lot of stress, especially with big motors and batteries.


Go around the 3 screws holding the main gear assembly, and torque them down as evenly as you can. Then install the 8x16mm and 15x21mm bearings over the outputs.


Now add a thin layer of grease the main drive gear.


Drop the main gear into the transmission case. Give the whole assembly a spin to spread the grease evenly over the gears.


Moving on to step 20. Everything required to complete this step.


Slide the 2nd half of the transmission case into place.


Install the small plastic spacer over the slipper clutch gear shaft, part number AX80051-8.


Slide the spacer into the recess in the transmission housing.


Install the backside of the spur gear cover into place over the slipper shaft.


Set the motor plate into place over the spur gear cover.


Install the 3x15mm self tapping screw into the transmission case to tie the two halves together.


Add a dab of thread lock to the 3x25mm screws for the motor plate.


Thread the 25mm screws into the motor plate, and torque them down evenly as needed.



Moving on to step 21, grab everything you need to build the slipper clutch.


Start with assembling the spur gear. Grab the outer slipper plate, spur gear, three 3x6mm cap head screws and three flat washers.


Slide the flat washers over the screws, slide the screws through the spur gear and thread them into the outer slipper plate. Torque the screws down evenly.



Now slide the second 1.5mm pin into place in the slipper shaft.


Install the inner slipper plate over the drive pin.


Slide the spur gear assembly into plate so the friction pad is sandwiched between the slipper plates.


Install the biggest flat washer into place on the slipper shaft, part number AXA1091.


Slide the slipper spring into place next.


Install the smaller flat washer, part number AXA1071.


Now start the M4 Nylock screw onto the slipper shaft. You will need a way to hold the transmission outputs still while you tighten down the slipper clutch. Easiest way I found was inserting something into the transmission output holes. Then tighten down the slipper clutch as needed. I usually tighten mine all the way down until the nut stops, then back it off 1-2 full turns for a good starting point.


Slipper clutch complete.


Next we will tackle the spur gear cover, and finish the transmission assembly. Everything needed to complete this step.


Install the short M3 set screw into the 20t pinion gear.


Install the single 5x11mm bearing into the backside of the transmission cover, part number AX80051-1.


Pop the small round plastic cover into place on the backside of the transmission slipper shaft, part number AX80051-7.


Now slide the back transmission cover into place over the rear output.


Install the 3x12mm self tapping plastic screws into the backside of the transmission cover, on each side of the transmission output.


Now install the 3x6mm screws into the top of the transmission housing.


Grab the front side of your spur gear cover.


Install the spur gear cover over the spur gear.


Tie the spur gear cover to the transmission using the supplied 2.6x10mm flat head self tapping screws.


Next tie the transmission to the kit’s skid plate. Everything required for this step.


Use the four self tapping plastic screws to tie the transmission to the skid plate. Note that 2 screws are slightly shorter, make sure they go into the proper holes to avoid stripping out the transmission mounting holes.


Install a male half shaft to the spur gear side of the transmission output.


Now grab your front axle, the skid plate/transmission assembly and required screws to complete this step.


Start by mating the driveshafts, then install the upper links into position on the skid plate using the supplied 3x15mm self tapping screws. Lastly, flip the whole assembly over and install the long 3x20mm set screws through the lower links.


Grab your rear axle and repeat the last few steps.


And you’re done! It’s really starting to take shape now.


That takes care of this installment of our step by step Wraith kit build. Next up, we will start assembling the roll cage/chassis.

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part III – Links

For part 3 of the Wraith kit build we will cover building the links. I am also going to use a few upgrade parts in this step as well. Go to page 18 in the instruction manual, start with step 11.

All the parts required to build the lower links. Notice I am using the metal flange balls again for the lower links.


Here you can see everything needed to build a single lower link. Use a 1.5mm driver to install the M3 threaded rod half way into the rod ends.


Pop the flange balls into the rod ends and screw them into the lower links. Make sure the long curved rod ends are facing opposite ways. All 4 lower links completed.


For the next step I am going to upgrade from the stock plastic upper links to our machined aluminum high clearance links in grey, part number AX30469, for extra durability. You will also need our M3 threaded studs and 2 packages of the metal flange balls I mentioned earlier. You can use the extra short curved rod ends that are included in the Wraith kit to build these links too.


All the parts laid out to build a single upper link.


Pop the metal flange balls into the rod ends. Install the M3 threaded rod half way into the rod ends, and thread them into the upper links. Again, make sure the rod ends are facing away from each other.


All 4 upper links completed.


Now it’s time to tie the links to the axles. Start with the front axle, then grab one driveshaft, 2 lower links and the required hardware.


Slide the output of the driveshaft onto the pinion shaft, install the M3 screw shaft and tighten up as needed. You don’t need to go overboard torquing the driveshaft screw either, just snug it up. Then tie the lower links to the lower hole in the shock/link mounts.


Next we will install the upper links and shocks.


Start with the upper links, and install the long side of the links into the upper link mount on the axle. Secure the upper links to the axle with the supplied M3x30mm screw and Nylock nut. Then install the lower shock mounts into the upper hole on the link/shock mounts and secure.


Moving on the front servo mount and steering linkage.


Assemble the servo mount plate and servo posts. Use your steering servo to set the width between the servo posts before tightening them down.


Install the servo mount onto the top of the front axle.


Next we will install the servo arms on the knuckles. Use the extra M3 machined screws from the first installment of this build, if you are using aluminum knuckles and C-hubs. They are the same length as the M3 screws used for the kingpins in the knuckles.



Now install your steering servo.


Find your steering links and hardware. Here are all the parts required for this step.


Install the flange balls into your steering linkage, I am swapping out the plastic balls for metal again in this step too.




Secure the drag link to the steering tie rod using the supplied M3x12mm self tapping screw.


Install the servo arm onto the opposite end of the drag link.



Install the supplied M3x15mm screws into the knuckle steer arms from the top.


Now secure the steering tie rod to the bottom of the knuckle arms.


Slide the servo horn onto the output shaft of the servo, and attach using the supplied M3x6mm screw.




Last step for this installment is rear links and shocks. Start at step 17 in the manual. These few steps are just about identical to the front axle assembly.


Attach the driveshaft and lower links.


Grab your upper links and shocks, and secure them to the axle like you did for the front.


Both axles complete, with shocks, links and driveshafts installed.


That takes care of this installment of the Wraith kit build. Up next, building the transmission.

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

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Step 2

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7