U4RC 2013-2014 Winter Series Wrap-Up

blog_u4rcwinter

Words: Jerry Tobin-U4RC
Photos: James C. Goad

Now that the dust has settled on the 2013-2014 U4RC Winter Series, it’s time for a final report. U4RC’s partnership with Axial Racing has again proven to be “the perfect fit”. U4RC racing is a blend of r/c rock crawler, short course style rock racing, with a twist of scale realism. Axial based rigs continued to be the dominating force in every U4RC series nationwide. This series again saw racers compete with everything from “out-of-the box” Axial RTR rigs to fully custom, purpose built, Axial based racing rigs. R/C rock racing is proving to be “the next big thing” throughout the r/c community.

The exciting r/c action was non-stop from the Season Opener in October, all the way to the Finals March 22nd 2014. The series championship battle in every U4RC class was highly contested from the sound of the buzzer in the first heat of the series, until the closing moments of the last Main at the Finals. This U4RC series again saw appearances from several high profile drivers and figures from all over the r/c industry and fullsize 1:1 racing. The list included current and past R/C Rock Crawling Champions, r/c pro-off road drivers, 1/5th scale pros, r/c world record holders and a handful of industry insiders, all getting in on the buzz, early. U4RC Racing has a class that will match and be fun for and every level of driving skill and experience that exists out there, from “newbies” through to “seasoned pros”.

1.9 Trail Class Series Champion Shad Patton took the series win with his lightly modified SCX10 Dingo. Trail class is another entry level class for 1.9 tire clad scale rigs. This class’s series championship went right down to the wire. Owners of Casey Currie J/K’s, G6 Jeep’s, Honcho’s, and all other SCX10’s typically run in this class. Axial Racing participated with some great driver giveaways of complete rigs for the 1.9 Trail class.

1.9 Trophy/Comp Class has seen a surge in Axial SCX10 based rigs during the last series. These rigs are fully custom, highly realistic and usually mimic full size 1:1 race rigs. Full metal chassis’, custom interiors, and stricter scale requirements are the backbone of the Trophy classes.

Axial Racing Team driver Jake Wright put together a flawless series to take home the Championship in 2.2 Competitor with his modified Axial Wraith. Jake also laid down the fastest lap time of any class for the entire series! 2.2 Comp class is filled with the absolutley fastest rigs on the rocks.

The closest points race out of all the classes was in 2.2 Trophy, where Chris Pickering faught his way to the class championship in his Axial based custom race car. Up until one race before the Finals there were 4-5 drivers that had a possible shot at the championship. All series long the starting bell meant total excitement instantly. Many of the rigs in this class run complete Wraith drivelines bolted directly into metal upper chassis’. The realism doesn’t get any better than in this class, with the sound of the 8+ pound rigs banging against the rocks and each other.

U4RC will be rolling out additional classes starting the next series. We have created a “2.2 Competitor Limited” class. This class came about to offer entry level 2.2 drivers a place to start in U4RC racing and race against similar, “stock” or “lightly” modified rigs, without the pressures of racing against the pros with highly modified vehicles. Axial Wraith and Dead Bolt owners will feel right at home in this class.

U4RC would like to thank all of the sponsors and partners that helped make the Winter Series such a great success. We couldn’t have done it without them. Check out each of these sponsors great products and services!….

Axial Racing, PitBull Tires, Mattzilla R/C Works, Holmes Hobbies, Mad Dog R/C, Mad Skinz R/C, Kling-on R/C, Jevne Racing, Cow R/C, Undertaker Custom Paint, RCP Crawlers…..

Driving Tips For the Axial EXO Terra Buggy

blog_new_driving

The EXO Terra Buggy is built for speed, and while speed is a lot of fun, it requires a different approach to driving than the other vehicles Axial Racing. Follow these tips and you’ll be driving like a pro in no time at all.

exo 4

Look Ahead
It is natural to look directly at the vehicle we’re driving, but the faster the vehicle the more we need to look ahead of it. Instead of look at the hood of the EXO Terra Buggy, look ahead. How far ahead depends upon how good your peripheral vision is. Even if your peripheral vision isn’t that great, the good news is it will prove with practice. The great news is that input (the things you see) in your peripheral vision travels to your brain 25% faster than what you see in the direct center of your visual range. When you look ahead you’ll see obstacles before you get to them and be able to react, and as you improve your peripheral vision, the car your driving will almost feel like it’s going in slow motion.

exo 2

Switching Directions
One of the hardest skills to learn when driving a fast RC vehicle such as the EXO Terra Buggy is mastering how to drive it when it’s coming towards you. This is difficult for many people because the vehicle responds to steering input backwards, meaning when the vehicle is coming at you and you turn right, the vehicle goes to your left. Most drivers turn, see the vehicle go in the opposite direction they intended and correct their input. The end result is a zig zag driving line. The key to solving the problem is to visualize yourself inside the vehicle, as if you were driving from a driver’s seat perspective. Do this visualization trick when the vehicle is driving towards and eventually it will just “click.”

exo 3

Before You Turn
If you want to drive in control, the key is slowing down. The reason you want to drive in control is that control equals fast. So, slow is fast. You don’t to start driving slowly. What you need to do is slow down before turns. Most drivers don’t slow down until the reach a turn. Slowing down before helps maintain control and allows for higher average speeds to be maintained.

jumping exo

Jumping
The EXO Terra Buggy is a lot more like dirt bikes when airborne than the buggy it’s modeled after. The difference is the EXO Terra Buggy responds to throttle and brake inputs while airborne. Staying in the throttle helps keep the buggy level or even nose up. Tapping the brakes does just the opposite and drops the nose. If a RC vehicle has enough power (tire size also comes into play) and/or strong enough brakes, it can do back and forward flips off jumps. While this driving skill may not be intuitive to many drivers, it is easy to see in action and quickly becomes second nature.

Proper Shock Care

blog_new_shocks

shock

Maintenance
Axial shocks are built in a similar fashion to high performance off-road shocks and are engineered for extreme use on a variety of terrains. Being built to take abuse, you do not have to service them between runs. If your last run, however, included conditions such as fine dirt such as silt, sand or mud, it may be a good idea to remove the shocks, one at a time, from the vehicle.

After the shock is removed, clean the mounting hardware and mounting locations, on the chassis and shock, with a rag or paper towel soaked in WD-40. A non-abrasive pipe cleaner is useful for cleaning the shock ends. While they don’t move a lot, these are moving parts and the cleaner they are, the longer they will last.

Remove the springs to make cleaning the shock easier and to easily judge how the shock’s condition.

A cheap toothbrush is a great tool to have in your collection. One use that it’s perfect for is cleaning shocks. Between runs, use the toothbrush to clean the dirt that can accumulate at the bottom of the shock bottom and on top of the lower shock mount. Carefully brush dirt away from these parts. You especially don’t want to inadvertently force dirt in the shock or even closer to the seals. The brush is also perfect for cleaning threaded shock bodies.

After cleaning the exterior of the shock, check that the screw-on cap and lower body cap are properly tightened. Next, slowly cycle the shock by hand. If the shock does not feel smooth, if it catches or feel like it gets stuck, you should rebuild all four shocks. There should be smooth, consistent resistance. Inside the shock, a flat piston with tiny holes in it is moving through silicone shock fluid, so you should feel some resistance when compressing the shock. If there is no resistance, you should rebuild all four shocks.

Rebuilding Tips
Axial’s manuals outline exactly how to build shocks, but the following tips will make the process easier and help you achieve perfectly build shocks.

Use a clean work surface. Clean your work area and then cover small area with paper towels.

Make sure the pistons are free of burrs. Check each piston carefully and remove any burrs or extra material with a sharp hobby knife.

mmrc3523-lg

Use new O-rings in the lower part of the shock body and use O-rings specifically made for RC shocks and make sure you use the correct size O-rings. You can use silicone shock fluid to coat the O-rings, but RC specific O-ring lubricant is highly recommended. Use generous amount and make sure the O-rings are completely coated. Muchmore Racing’s Shock Slime (MMRC3523) is perfect for Axial shocks.

dtxr1140

If you’re rebuilding the shocks, you shouldn’t need to remove the lower shock end, but if you do, great care must be taken to not scratch the shaft’s surface. Duratrax has a solid brass tool (DTXR1140) that allows you to tightly grip shock shafts with pliers without scratching the shafts.

Fill the shocks with silicone fluid about 2 mm from the top. To help trapped air escape from under the piston, cycle the shock slowly and without the piston breaking the surface of the fluid. Let the shocks sit upright for a few minutes to further allow air bubbles to rise and escape. Top off the fluid so that it just slightly domes.

Push the piston to the top and tighten down the top shock cap. If you place the cap in position and slightly rotate it counterclockwise, as if you were loosening it, this will let it drop onto the threads of the shock body and help prevent cross threading the cap. After this, slowly thread the cap on. Fluid should leak out as the cap is tightened, so have a paper towel wrapped around the shock.

A rag soaked with rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol can be used to remove fluid from the shock body.

When reinstalling the shocks, make sure you do not over tighten the mounting hardware or the shocks will bind and not function properly.

AXIALFEST 2014 Sponsor: Gear Head RC

blog_sponsor_gearhead_500x220

Axial RC Inc. is proud to announce that Gear Head has been added to the sponsor list for AXIALFEST2014!

About Gear Head R/C
Launched in 2011, Gear Head is an aftermarket R/C performance and scale parts brand of RPP Hobby. Gear Head – Designed by guys who love R/C as much as you do!

http://www.gearheadrc.com/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/GearHeadRadioControl