With the addition of the AX10 Ridgecrest RTR to the Axial chassis line up came a new body. Now just because the description on the tag for AX04032 says AX10 Ridgecrest Body doesn’t mean it can only be used on that chassis. Jamie Seymour, the designer of the Ridgecrest and its body, thought we should see what it looks like on a SCX10 chassis. It sounded like a cool idea so we ran with it!
***Please keep safety in mind when using a Dremel and wear saftey glasses. Paint your body in a well ventilated area.***
Masked up and ready to be fitted to the SCX10 chassis. I highly recommend fitting and drilling all holes in the body before paint is applied. This way when it’s all painted up you know without a doubt you’re not going to run into any surprises that may be difficult to overcome once the body is painted. Trying to mark body mount holes on a custom application like this when the body is painted is not easy trust me!
Go ahead and remove the stock rear body posts because we will be using the ‘SUV’ body mount that comes in the spare parts bag that came with your SCX10. If you need to purchase one the part number is AX80031 Body Mount Parts Tree.
Assemble the front and rear bumpers, line them up, mark the holes with the Sharpie, and drill them out. Be careful not to drill to big of holes because these holes are very close to the edge of the fender wells. I found it very helpful to have a friend hold the bumper in place while I marked the holes. Side note: if you’re planning on installing the light buckets from your Honcho front bumper to the Ridgecrest front bumper you will need to cut out the grill for clearance.
We thought the body looked best riding low on the chassis. To get the body riding low it was necessary to relocate the battery tray to the rear. You may find you like the body better a little higher on the chassis at which point the battery can remain in the front.
The three very long battery tray mounting screws will either need to be cut down or you can purchase shorter AXA464 M3X8mm Hex Socket Tapping Flat Head screws.
Since we had to remove the flange that supported the body two new holes on each side need to be drilled. Insert a body clip into the lower most hole to support the body then use the hole you drilled above it to hold the body in place. Make sense?
Lastly drill one hole on the lower part of the body mount so when you have the mount lowered all the way down you can clip it in place. I promise this is the last drilling and modifying needed on the rear body mount. Haha!
Now that we have the body sitting properly on the chassis it’s time for some paint! I used Tamiya Polycarbonate (PS series) specific paint so all my hard work doesn’t flake away when the body flex’s. The colors are as follows: PS-14 Copper, PS-1 White, and PS-5 Black. I tinted the windows using Pactra’s RC294 Window tint. Before you spray the black lines make sure you have backed the copper heavily with the white so the black doesn’t come through and darken the copper.
For a few more pictures from this project visit Axial’s Flicker.
It’s time for Part 2 of our Ridgecrest crawler build. For those that missed Stage 1, here is a link to that article in order to bring you up to speed.
Stage 1 Ridgecrest crawler build
Out of the box the Ridgecrest is meant to be more of a basher, rather then a full on crawler. So, for Stage 2 of this build we will cover more tips, and option parts, to improve upon its crawling capabilities.
First thing we will work on for this installment is the steering. Out of the box the Ridgecrest comes equipped with a plastic servo horn, which works fine with the stock steering links. But, I want piece of mind when out crawling and don’t like making repairs in the field. So, I am going to install an aluminum servo horn, and upgrade the plastic ball studs to steel for a little smoother steering action. Some may think that upgrading the plastic steering links at this time is a more worthy modification. But, I actually like a little flex in my steering set-up on my crawlers. Some of you may recall I ran Delrin steering links on my competition crawler for years with good success. It’s really personal preference at this point.
The new replacement servo horn. There are a few different spline counts for the various servos that are available on the market. For RTR Axial vehicles you will need a 25 spline servo horn, which is compatible with Futaba and Savox servos as well.
These new servo horns have small screws on each side of the head. When these screws are tightened down the servo horn actually clamps onto the servo’s output splines like a piranha. A must have for harsh conditions. Use a 1.5mm driver and gently tighten up both screws evenly.
Another mod I want to make for this Stage 2 build is the jump from Tamiya battery connectors to Dean’s Ultra Plugs. I plan on running small lipo packs in this build from here on out, and all my small packs have Dean’s plugs. So, the Tamiya plug had to go.
First thing I do after cutting the old plug off is to slide the heat shrink tubing for the Ultra Plug into place. Nothing is worse then installing new battery connectors and putting your soldering iron away, only to realize you forgot the slide the heat shrink on first. Doh!!
Solder the new connector into place, make sure to double check the polarity is correct before plugging a battery in. Now slide the heat shrink tubing down over the terminals and heat them up with a lighter to seat/shrink them.
Next modification I made was the jump to XR10 beadlock wheels and our sticky R35 compound Ripsaw tires. The difference in traction between these tires and the stock tires is unreal. I couldn’t scrape up a new set for this build so I borrowed my old set off the Project Backyard Basher Ridgecrest build. I also added some weight to the front wheels. This helps keep the front tires planted on steep climbs.
That takes care of Stage 2. I will try to shoot some video of this build as it sits now, before I move on to Stage 3. Stay tuned!!
The video is up!!
The Azusa Canyon OHV Park has been a go-to spot for 4X4 and off road enthusiasts from all around So-Cal for many years. On July 14, 2012 a new edition to the park was finally unveiled. First conceived as far back as 2001 by Mike Bishop, president of Azusa Canyon Off Road Association (ACORA), the 4X4 obstacle course is now open to the public. The 3 acre course presents challenges not only for heavily built rigs but for near stock 4X4’s as well. Work began in the summer 2010 and was near completion by September 2010 when the Forest Service told Mike and the team that a ‘seasonal’ stream cut directly through the site. Nothing was going to stop ACORA at this point. So with some clever revisions, and the help of Falken Tire, not only was the stream protected but a new obstacle was born. With the last hurdle out of the way the final touches were added including a mini ATV track for kids. As part of the grand opening festivities Axial was invited to set up some gate markers and run a demo RC course. Several Axial rigs appeared out of nowhere to participate in the fun. When the demo concluded the announcement was made to gather around the podium so the opening ceremonies could get underway. Among some of the local dignitaries that spoke were the Mayor of Azusa, Joe Rocha, Assemblyman Roger Hernandez, and the Director of LA County Dept. of Parks & Recreation, Russ Guiney. They were all very excited to witness the unveiling and hopeful of its future contribution not only to the local economy but to off road enthusiasts from all around. Alas the ribbon was cut and immediately after all who spoke during the ceremony were practically forced, by Mike Bishop, to go for a ride on the course. Professional drivers were on hand, including Axial’s Randall Davis, giving many their first taste of extreme 4X4 driving. I assure you the smiles were of no shortage from the passengers. Afterwards the course was fair game to anyone that wanted to test the limits of their rig or simply get a tire up on a rock. As the day came to a close CORVA continued to raffle off some awesome prizes including a set of Pro Comp tires courtesy of 4Wheel Parts and an Axial AX10 RTC that was ready to hit the rocks. The Azusa Canyon OHV Park & Obstacle Course is a perfect model, for off roaders anywhere, proving that these types of recreational parks can still exist. The off roading community and government agencies can work together benefiting both. Remember united we stand, divided we fall. Tred lightly fellow off roaders!
For more information on the Azusa Canyon OHV Park take a look at their Facebook page: Azusa Canyon OHV Park Facebook
Axial’s Randall Davis taking Tom Sanchez, Azusa Chamber of Commerce BOD, for a ride through the course. Mr. Sanchez later e-mailed us about his experience: “Thank you so much it was a blast and I ‘ve never been to a course such as this and I’m telling you Randall this will not be the last I’ve been spreading the word and will encourage the chamber members to continue to support your efforts in this very exciting sport. I was amazed how these drivers can control the vehicle over these massive boulders without flipping the truck. Thanks you guys for a wonderful experience and remember whatever we as a chamber can do to support you count on us.”
Road Race Motorsports John Rocha and his old school Willy’s. I overheard a few people chatting about how top heavy this rig must be and how it must not wheel very well. They were silenced quickly after watching him take some challenging lines through the course. The Willy’s will amaze!
Some video footage of the various action taking place on the course. It’s like a big playground for 4X4′s!
I’ve see this super clean and capable Toyota at quite a few off roading events. It reminds me alot of a SCX10 Trail Honcho. The owner and I got to talking and this beast even has a TRD supercharged V6. The cab is so clean that it’s hard to believe the paint job was only $400!?
Road///Race Motorsports had a nice display including their 2007-2012 Jeep JK Power Packages. For more information visit their online store:
Road///Race Motorsports Store
Raceline Wheels had an awesome array of rims. From bling bling to beadlocks they have what you want. Raceline also donated some rims to the raffle. For a complete look at their products visit their website: Raceline Wheels
For a complete look at all the pics taken please visit Axial’s Flicker profile: Axial’s Flicker
Axial also visited the Azusa Canyon OHV Park ‘Obstacle Course’ several times before it’s grand opening to the public. See the links below for details and pics:
Axial’s EXO Terra Buggy made the cover of Velocity RC Magazine this month. Be sure to pick-up a copy to get the low down on this build.
As some of you may have seen I recently built up a new Axial Ridgecrest dubbed “Project Backyard Basher”. It was built for all around bashing, trail running and a little light duty crawling without adhering to any rules or specifications. I have been having a lot of fun with it in it’s current state. But, I also wanted to build another one up for entry level competitions. These competitions require your rig to fit certain criteria, like having a maximum wheelbase of 12 1/2″ for the 2.2 comp class. I wanted to do this build in a few different stages starting with some very basic mods and eventually evolve that into a hardcore crawler, with durability in mind. While the Ridgecrest is pretty stout right out of the box, I want to take it even further with vital option parts in key areas. Those modifications will come later though. For now, I want to see how capable I make this rig just spending a little time at the workbench. So, let’s get started!
First thing I wanted to do was get as much weight over the front axle as possible. To do that I swapped the battery tray and electronics tray around so the battery will be in front. Start be removing the four screws that hold the battery tray in place.
Re-install the electronics tray next. You will notice the servo wire lead is probably too short to plug back into the receiver now. No big deal, you will just need to spend a few bucks for a servo extension wire. This is basically an extension cord for your servo wire. Plug the servo lead into the female end of the extension, plug the other end into your receiver and you are ready to go. Notice I have already plugged everything back into it’s required place. Route the antenna wire out the top half of the radio box, and run the servo and ESC wires in from the top.
I also moved the power switch to the opposite side of the chassis from the stock location, just to keep wires neatly routed along the chassis plates. Use the wire routing tab for the on/off switch and the steering servo wire.
Next thing I wanted to improve upon is the ride height. I wanted to lower the overall stance of this Ridgecrest to help with off camber obstacles. This was also a simple no cost modification because you can flip the lower link mount/lower shock mounts on the axles to lower your ride height a little. First, remove your wheel and tire from the corner of the truck you are working on. Now you can clearly see the lower link/shock mount.
Another inexpensive modification I made was going to softer shock springs. I installed our “Black” comp springs which are the softest we make. This will help the suspension conform to the terrain better.
Last thing I am going to do for this installment is cut the stock tires for better forward bite. The stock RTR Ripsaw tires are quite a bit harder than our soft R35 compound Ripsaw tires. So, cutting the stock tires is an inexpensive way to get a little better performance. I went around all 4 tires and cut the smallest row of lugs out using a pair of wire cutters. A shot of the stock Ripsaw tread pattern.
A shot of the finished tire. Another mod you can make to soften the stock tires is to open up the breather holes in the wheels. I used a 1/4″ drill bit and open up the existing holes to help the tires breath better and conform to the rocks.
That does it for Stage 1 of this build. These few mods will help the overall crawling capability of a Ridgecrest right out of the box. Stay tuned for Stage 2 which will be coming soon!!
It was a perfect June day for the 4th Annual So-Cal Off Road Truck Show and Axial was happy to attend for the 3rd year running. This year 4Wheel Parts of Compton was kind enough to open its gates allowing off roaders from all over Southern California to display their rigs. From a bone stock 1950′s GMC pickup to pre-runner style trucks to all out rock crawlers this show had something for everyone. The California Off-Road Vehicle Association, CORVA, was on site handling the announcing duties as well as the raffle. This organization works tirelessly to keep our trail’s open for us to enjoy; please visit their website for information on how you can help: www.corva.org. Although we did not have any natural rock to play on I was able to make a challenging little course with a few artificial rocks and a wood ladder. It was difficult to get all 4 tires up on the rock without using too much gas and going right up and over the rock. Once on the rock you hoped you were facing the ladder because there wasn’t much room to maneuver without falling off the rock. The skill level of the drivers was impressive and most had prior R/C experience. The EXO RTR was a hot topic since it was just released and not yet in stores. Those who were lucky enough to get behind the wheel were surprised with its top speed and excellent handling. Just before the raffle 4Wheel Parts brought out the RTI ramp for anyone who wanted to test their flex out. A crowd drew as more and more rigs, including a 2wd pre-runner, tested the fruits of their labor. One rig went a little too far and flopped over to the crowds delight and cheers, see the pic and video link below. Lastly was the much anticipated CORVA raffle. Raffle items included a Smittybilt 8,000lb winch donated by 4Wheel Parts, a LED Light Bar by Tough-Light, even a ride in a Class 1 trophy truck by Engage. This year CORVA had a separate raffle specifically for the Axial Trail Honcho and I was honored to draw the winning ticket that belonged to Alex Ayala. This was a great way to spend a summer Saturday and we will be back next year for more off roading eye candy!
Big thanks to Pepe Palomo of Global Offroad Supply for organizing yet another great show! www.globaloffroadsupply.com
Also a big thanks to Nicole Pearson for the great pictures! http://www.pearsonimages.com
The Axial booth in all its glory!
Sand ramp’s anyone? Did you know Axial makes scale sand ramps? AX80112 is the part number and they can be purchased from your local hobby shop. To view them visit the Axial website: http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax80112
No off roading truck show is complete without a Suzuki Samurai with Toyota Axles. I believe the Chevy bow-tie represents the current power plant. The ol’ Suzuki 1.3L 4cyl is probably not up to the task of pushing all this extra steel!
See the guy leaning against the yellow Jeep Cherokee in the background? He was driving his heavily modified Honcho from his Jeep and managed to make it across, now that’s skill! He also had a very nice Wraith in his collection. Thanks for the support!
With her nimble handling, brisk acceleration, and awesome top speed, the EXO RTR impressed even the most seasoned short course drivers. Drivers quote of the day: ‘Wow, the EXO RTR seems to handle way better then my [insert brand/model here]?!?!’ That’s what we want to hear!
Someone had to do it and that someone was Richard Flores of the ‘Rock Brawlers’. For a great video of the action click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Quh-FyG3DBY&feature=youtu.be
Once again Wayne Ford of CORVA, along with the CORVA crew, did a great job with the raffle. This year they had a separate raffle for the AX90022 Honcho RTR which became very popular. Other great prizes were raffled off as well.