Upgraded SMT10™ Grave Digger Monster Jam Truck for Dennis Anderson

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With the 2017 No Limit RC World Finals just around the corner, we decided to provide Dennis Anderson, driver of the 1:1 Grave Digger, with a fully hopped up version of our AX90055 SMT10™ Grave Digger Monster Jam Truck.

Here’s a list of the parts used in this build:

Front End
AX30395 Axial Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 38T/13T
AX30762 Axial XR10 Aluminum C-Hub Carrier
AX31244 Axial Upper Link Plate Set
AX31245 Axial Lower Link Plate Set
AX31428 Axial AR60 Steering Upgrade Kit
AX31429 Axial AR60 Machined High Clearance Differential Cover
AX31430 Axial King Shocks Aluminum Caps and Collar Set – 12mm
AX31431 Axial Aluminum Shock Spring Retainer – 12mm
AX31432 Axial AR60 Machined Servo Plate and Mount Set
AX31433 Axial AR60 Machined Link Mounts
AX31434 Axial AR60 Machined Steering Knuckles

Mid-Section
AX24260 Axial AE-3 Vanguard Brushless ESC
AX30839 13T 32P Pinion Gear
AX30860 Axial Machined Motor Plate
AX31047 Axial Brushless 3150kV Motor
AX31068 Axial Slipper Pads
AX31163 Axial Steel Spur Gear 32P 56T

Rear End
AX30395 Axial Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 38T/13T
AX30789 Axial AR60 OCP Aluminum Straight Axle Hub Carrier
AX31244 Axial Upper Link Plate Set
AX31245 Axial Lower Link Plate Set
AX31429 Axial AR60 Machined High Clearance Differential Cover
AX31430 Axial King Shocks Aluminum Caps and Collar Set – 12mm
AX31431 Axial Aluminum Shock Spring Retainer – 12mm
AX31433 Axial AR60 Machined Link Mounts

© 2016 Feld Motor Sports, Inc. MONSTER JAM®, UNITED STATES HOT ROD ASSOCIATION®, USHRA®, and GRAVE DIGGER® are trademarks used under license by Feld Motor Sports, Inc.  All rights reserved.

2017 RC Monster Truck World Finals

2017 RC Monster Truck World Finals

Axial is back from the 2017 RC Monster Jam World Finals in Las Vegas and it was a huge hit. After last year’s success, the promoters loved us so much that they moved the track to the middle of the pit party. Grandstands were erected so people could watch and a Monster Jam Snack Bar was set up for those that wanted some refreshments during our races. In the three days we were there, we staged three segments; each had a qualifying run, main event race and a freestyle event.

2017 RC Monster Truck World Finals

To further promote our time at the event, we grabbed our trucks and walked out into the crowd after each segment to chat with the crowd. FELD, the management used to regulate the show, said we were a huge hit and probably the best part of the pit party. We constantly had 3-4 rows deep of people surrounding the track, easily 400+ in number, all cheering us on.

All the trucks used were prepped and painted to mimic the real Monster Trucks competing each night in the Big Show. Each day during the pit party there was approximately 10-15,000 people walking threw. All day the event promoters were pushing the RC Monster Truck World Finals, letting everyone know how to get started by simply buying an Axial Grave Digger or MAX D. Once a day the camera crew would stop by and talk to Bari on how he got started, and of course he would talk about Axial.

2017 RC Monster Truck World Finals

The track was a dirt base with painted wooden ramps and a fully detailed Sam Boyd Stadium scoreboard. We copied the full size track as best we could and when the FELD people walked by they said our Track looked better than theirs!! LOL

2017 RC Monster Truck World Finals

Thanks to Bari, FELD and all the Monster Jam crew for all their help! It was a fantastic event and I can’t wait until next year! Axial is looking to make it even better!
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Axial Transmission Guide

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Store-bought RTR scale trucks are a blast; they’re already built and ready to get out on the trails as soon as your battery is charged. There are those, however, that love the extra challenge of scratch building their next scaler – pulling parts from multiple rigs to create a one-off design that suits their technical needs.

If you’re that scratch-built guy then this post is for you! We’ve gathered all our current transmissions and put together a little transmission guide complete with part numbers and specific details. This should help you choose the best transmission configuration for your custom build.

AX10™ TRANSMISSION

Found in: AX10 / SCX10 / SCX10 II RTR / WRAITH / SMT10 3 GEAR TRANS

Stock Gearing
SCX10: 32P 13T Pinion / 56T Spur Gear
SCX10 II RTR: 32P 13T Pinion / 56T Spur Gear
Wraith: 32P 12T Pinion / 56T Spur Gear
SMT10: 32P 16T Pinion / 56T Spur Gear

Click for AX10 Transmission Parts List

Axial Transmission Guide - AX10 Transmission

Gearing Chart

32 Pitch (Stock Gearing AX30392 or AX30395)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
38.69
41.45
44.22
46.98
12
35.47
38.00
40.53
43.07
13
32.74
35.08
37.42
39.75
14
30.40
32.57
34.74
36.91
15
28.37
30.40
32.43
34.45
16
26.60
28.50
30.40
32.30
17
25.04
26.82
28.61
30.40

32 Pitch (Overdrive Gearing AX30401)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
34.04
36.47
38.90
41.33
12
31.20
33.43
35.66
37.89
13
28.80
30.86
32.91
34.97
14
26.74
28.65
30.56
32.47
15
24.96
26.74
28.53
30.31
16
23.40
25.07
26.74
28.41
17
22.02
23.60
25.17
26.74

32 Pitch (Underdrive Gearing AX30402)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
43.78
46.91
50.04
53.16
12
40.13
43.00
45.87
48.73
13
37.05
39.69
42.34
44.98
14
34.40
36.86
39.31
41.77
15
32.11
34.40
36.69
38.99
16
30.10
32.25
34.40
36.55
17
28.33
30.35
32.38
34.40

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LCX TRANSMISSION

Found in: SCX10 II CRC Edition 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Stock Gearing
SCX10: 32P 13T Pinion / 56T Spur Gear

Click for LCX Transmission Parts List

Axial LCX Tranmission Parts List

Gearing Chart

32 Pitch (Stock Gearing AX30392 or AX30395)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
38.69
41.45
44.22
46.98
12
35.47
38.00
40.53
43.07
13
32.74
35.08
37.42
39.75
14
30.40
32.57
34.74
36.91
15
28.37
30.40
32.43
34.45
16
26.60
28.50
30.40
32.30
17
25.04
26.82
28.61
30.40

32 Pitch (Overdrive Gearing AX30401)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
34.04
36.47
38.90
41.33
12
31.20
33.43
35.66
37.89
13
28.80
30.86
32.91
34.97
14
26.74
28.65
30.56
32.47
15
24.96
26.74
28.53
30.31
16
23.40
25.07
26.74
28.41
17
22.02
23.60
25.17
26.74

32 Pitch (Underdrive Gearing AX30402)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
43.78
46.91
50.04
53.16
12
40.13
43.00
45.87
48.73
13
37.05
39.69
42.34
44.98
14
34.40
36.86
39.31
41.77
15
32.11
34.40
36.69
38.99
16
30.10
32.25
34.40
36.55
17
28.33
30.35
32.38
34.40

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YETI / RR10 TRANSMISSION

Found in: YETI SCORE TROPHY TRUCK / YETI / RR10 BOMBER

Stock Gearing
Yeti: 32P 16T Pinion / 64T Spur Gear
Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck: 32P 16T Pinion / 64T Spur Gear
RR10 Bomber: 32P 12T Pinion / 64T Spur Gear

Click for Bomber Transmission Parts List

Axial Transmission Guide - RR10 BomberTransmission

Gearing Chart

32 Pitch (Stock Gearing AX30392 or AX30395)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
28.85
30.91
32.97
35.03
12
26.44
28.33
30.22
32.11
13
24.41
26.15
27.90
29.64
14
22.67
24.28
25.90
27.52
15
21.15
22.67
24.18
25.69
16
19.83
21.25
22.67
24.08
17
18.67
20.00
21.33
22.67

32 Pitch (Overdrive Gearing AX30401)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
25.38
27.19
29.00
30.81
12
23.26
24.92
26.58
28.25
13
21.47
23.01
24.54
26.07
14
19.94
21.36
22.79
24.21
15
18.61
19.94
21.27
22.60
16
17.45
18.69
19.94
21.18
17
16.42
17.59
18.77
19.94

32 Pitch (Underdrive Gearing AX30402)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
25.38
34.97
37.31
39.64
12
29.92
32.06
34.20
36.33
13
27.62
29.59
31.57
33.54
14
25.65
27.48
29.31
31.14
15
23.94
25.65
27.36
29.07
16
22.44
24.04
25.65
27.25
17
21.12
22.63
24.14
25.65

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SCX10 II TRANSMISSION

Found in: SCX10 II Kit

Stock Gearing
SCX10 II: 32P 15T Pinion / 56T Spur Gear

Click for SCX10 II Transmission Parts List

Axial Transmission Guide - SCX10 II Transmission

Gearing Chart

32 Pitch (Stock Gearing AX31405)

_
Spur Gear

Pinion
56
60
64
68
11
66.18
N/A
N/A
N/A
12
60.67
N/A
N/A
N/A
13
56.00
N/A
N/A
N/A
14
52.00
N/A
N/A
N/A
15
48.53
N/A
N/A
N/A
16
45.50
N/A
N/A
N/A
17
42.82
N/A
N/A
N/A

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TRANSMISSION PARTS LIST

AX10 / WRAITH / SMT10 TRANSMISSION

AX30487 Complete AX10 Transmission
AXA013 M2x6mm SH Screws
AXA089 M3x25mm SC Screws
AXA1045 M4 Nylon Lock Nuts
AXA1053 M3 Nylon Locking Hex Nuts
AXA1218 Bearing, 5x10x4mm (2 pkgs)
AXA1225 Bearing, 8x16x5mm
AX30162 Cross Pin
AX30190 Shaft 5x18mm
AX30394 20T Drive Gear
AX30413 Slipper Spring
AX30435 Steel Outdrive Set
AX30491 AX10 RTR Motor Plate
AX31026 Slipper Plate Washer
AX31027 Spur Gear 32P 56T
AX31068 Slipper Pad
AX31149 Slipper Drive Gear Shaft
AX80009 Transmission Set
AX80010 Gear Set
AX80078 Transmission Spur Gear Cover

AXIAL LCX TRANSMISSION PARTS LIST

AXA0023 M2.6x8mm Cap Head Screw
AXA013 M2x6mm Cap Head Screw
AXA1045 M4 Nylon Locking Flanged Nuts
AXA1218 Bearing 5x10x4mm
AXA1225 Bearing 8x16x5mm
AX30162 Straight Pin
AX30394 20T Drive Gear
AX30413 Slipper Spring
AX30435 Steel Outdrive Shaft Set
AX30190 Shaft
AXA146 M3x12mm Socket Head Screw
AX31026 Slipper Plate
AX31027 Spur Gear 32P 56T
AX31068 Slipper Pad
AX31531 LCX Transmission Case
AX31539 LCX Top Shaft (Coming Soon)
AX31585 Gear Set (48P 28T/ 48P 52T)

YETI SCORE TROPHY TRUCK / YETI / RR10 BOMBER

AXA436 M3x12mm BH Hex Screw
AXA1218 Bearing, 5x10x4mm (2 pkgs)
AXA1221 Bearing, 5x11x4mm
AXA1225 Bearing, 8x16x5mm
AXA1243 Bearing, 15x21x4mm
AX30394 20T Drive Gear
AX30413 Slipper Spring
AX30435 Steel Outdrive Set
AX30491 AX10 RTR Motor Plate
AX31026 Slipper Plate Washer
AX31027 Spur Gear 32P 56T
AX31068 Slipper Pad
AX31149 Slipper Drive Gear Shaft
AX80010 Gear Set
AX80051 Dig Transmission Case
AX80078 Transmission Spur Gear Cover
AX80079 Wraith Tube Frame Skid Plate/ Battery Tray

SCX10 II

AX31439 Complete SCX10 II Transmission
AXA0055 M2.6x12mm FH Screws
AXA116 M3x12mm BH Screws
AXA146 M3x12mm FH Screws
AXA1218 Bearing, 5x10x4mm (3 pkgs)
AXA1221 Bearing, 5x11x4mm (2 pkgs)
AX30162 Cross Pin
AX30394 20T Drive Gear (2 pkgs)
AX30413 Slipper Spring
AX31026 Slipper Plate Washer
AX31027 Spur Gear 32P 56T
AX31068 Slipper Pad
AX31126 2-Speed Gear 48T 18T (Low Speed Gear)
AX31375 SCX10 2-Speed Transmission Case
AX31376 SCX10 2-Speed Transfer Case
AX31377 SCX10 2-Speed Transmission Motor Mount
AX31378 SCX10 2-Speed Transmission Spur Gear Cover
AX31379 SCX10 II Skid Plate
AX31409 48P 26T Transmission Gear
AX31411 Gear Shaft
AX31413 2-Speed Hi-Lo Transmission Bottom Shaft
AX31414 2-Speed Hi-Lo Transmission Top Shaft
AX31416 32P 36T Transmission Gear

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build

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Words and photos by Tony Phalen

I’ve been looking forward to getting one of Axial Racing’s SMT10 Monster Trucks, so when the MAX-D landed on my doorstep (thanks UPS guy), it was literally a matter of seconds before the box was open and the truck was out. I was even more stoked, however, when I found a big ol’ box of Axial’s aftermarket goodies included so I could do an upgrade article.

Below is a step-by-step guide, walking you through the disassembly and re-assembly of the SMT10 with all of these parts.

STEP 1

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build Here’s a overview shot of all the parts I’ll be installing on the MAX-D. A list is included at the end of the article complete with part numbers and links.

STEP 2

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
I’ll be splitting the build up into three sections; front, rear and mid. Here’s a pic of the parts I’ll be using for the front end rebuild; steering parts, upper and lower link plates, link mounts, shock parts, gears and the diff cover.

STEP 3

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Since the SMT10 is modular in design, I need to remove anything that will keep the front from coming off easily – that being the front tires and servo. Once the servo has been disconnected, you can let it dangle down and under the center transmission.

STEP 4

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
To remove the front ‘clip’, simply unscrew at the three attachment points designated by the red arrows. Do this on both sides and the front end will drop right off. Pay close attention to the WB8 center driveshaft coupler; it fits between the front and center driveshaft sections and, once the front clip is removed, this piece can fall out.

STEP 5

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Attach the AX31244 Axial Upper Link Plate Set and AX31245 Axial Lower Link Plate Set. Because of the design, I didn’t need to remove anything other than the shocks; that’s fine because I need to work on those at a later time anyway.

STEP 6

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
The AX31432 Axial AR60 Machined Servo Plate and Mount Set is up next for install, but before you do that, assemble it and attach the servo to it. This ensures the two side upright pieces line up with the servo. I would also suggest using a dab of blue threadlocker on the two screws going up and into the aluminum side uprights. Once everything is aligned, remove the servo.

STEP 7

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Remove the stock plastic servo mount and replace with the aluminum assembly from STEP 6.

STEP 8

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Remove the lower links and replace the plastic link mounts with the AX31433 Axial AR60 Machined Link Mounts. Re-attach the lower links.

STEP 9

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Before moving on, I suggest paying close attention to the orientation of the steering blocks in relation to the lower link mounts. The upgrade C-hubs I’ll be using have more adjustability than the stock plastic ones, so if you just throw them on and clock the C-hub like the original (red arrow), your caster will be WAY off. So, my suggestion is not to assemble to match the C-hub (red arrow), but to assemble to match the top kingpin screw (orange line).

STEP 10

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
But first, remove the steering system. Four screws will do it.

STEP 11

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
I’m also going to replace the diff gears while I’m at this point. Remove the four screws holding on the diff cover and the four screws holding the diff in place. You’ll need to pull the axles out a bit to disengage them from the diff.

STEP 12

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Remove the four screws to release the stock diff gear and replace with the AX30395 Axial Heavy Duty Diff Gear. Make sure the gasket is in place and not still attached to the original diff gear. A keen eye will notice the planetary diff design instead of a locked unit. This type of differential is actually a better fit for Monster Trucks.

STEP 13

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
You’ll need to replace the stock input gear as well; that can be done on the opposite side of the axle. Replace with the AX30395 Axial Heavy Duty Input Gear, re-install the differential and slide the axles back into the housing. You may need to rotate the axles to key them into the differenial.

STEP 14

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Replace the stock plastic cover with this beautiful AX31429 Axial AR60 Machined High Clearance Differential Cover.

STEP 15

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Ok, now it’s time for the steering. On one side at a time, pull the plastic parts off, keeping the bearings and hat bushings handy. Re-assemble the the AX30762 Axial XR10 Aluminum C-Hub Carrier and AX31434 Axial AR60 Machined Steering Knuckles. Note the orientation of the parts; if you get confused, look at the opposite side of the steering to make sure you’ve assembled it correctly (the reason why I suggest removing only one side at a time).

STEP 16

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
The AX31428 Axial AR60 Steering Upgrade Kit comes with a small build sheet in it. Use that to assemble the steering links, then attach them to your steering knuckles. The final assembly should look like this.

STEP 17

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Using STEP 9 as a guide, slide one C-hub onto the axle and secure. Now slide the other C-hub onto the axle and secure.

STEP 18

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
At first, I thought the shocks were going to be a pain; replacing oil, bleeding, etc. However, if you complete this step carefully, you won’t have to do any of that!

Start by inserting the rubber o-ring into the AX31430 Axial King Shocks Aluminum Collars; set aside. Grab your shocks and remove the lower spring retainer and spring. Carefully remove the shock cap and set the shock off to the side in some sort of stand. Pull the bladder out of the shock cap (if it’s up in there) and install it into the AX31430 Axial King Shocks Aluminum Cap; set aside. Grab your shock again and spin the plastic collar off; it can only be removed from the top. Spin the King Aluminum Collar on followed by the King Aluminum Shock Cap. Install the spring from the bottom and the AX31431 Axial Aluminum Shock Spring Retainer. These retainers utilize a small screw to keep them from popping off in the event of an crash. These are, after all, Monster Trucks – there will be plenty of crashing.

STEP 19

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Re-attach the shocks to the lower links and, wah-lah. Your completed from clip should look like this! Ain’t she pretty?

STEP 20

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Attach your front end to the chassis; if you’re unsure, use STEP 4 and the three red arrows to remind you. This is also the time to re-attach the servo and servo horn. Use a dab of blue threadlocker on the four screws that attach the servo to the aluminum mounts to make sure they stay put.

STEP 21

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
I’ll be moving to the rear of the MAX-D, installing the parts shown here. The procedure will be pretty much the same as the front end; the only minor difference will be the lockouts. Be sure to pay attention to the WB8 center driveshaft coupler as well.

STEP 22

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Remove the rear clip; STEP 4 and the red arrows will help you out here. You’ll need to remove the anti-roll bar connections that attach at the lower link mount.

STEP 23

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Attach the AX31244 Axial Upper Link Plate Set and AX31245 Axial Lower Link Plate Set as well as the AX31433 Axial AR60 Machined Link Mounts.

STEP 24

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Remove the lockouts and pull the axles out slightly; this will allow you to remove the rear differential.

STEP 25

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
With the same procedure as the front, replace the stock gear with the AX30395 Axial Heavy Duty Diff Gear.

STEP 26

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Remove and replace the AX30395 Axial Heavy Duty Input Gear from the other side of the axle, then re-install the diff gear. Cap the opening off with the AX31429 Axial AR60 Machined High Clearance Differential Cover. Key the rear axles into the diff gear, then slide the AX30789 Axial AR60 OCP Aluminum Straight Axle Hub Carriers into place. These are an easy install; they are a straight fit and can’t be clocked like the front C-hub.

STEP 27

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
I replaced the plastic bits with the aluminum upgrades like I did with the front shocks.

STEP 28

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Boom – the rear clip is done! Your final assembly should look like this.

STEP 29

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Re-attach the rear clip and connect the anti-roll bar. Since we replaced the plastic link mounts with aluminum, you’ll want to add a small drop of blue threadlocker to help keep the anti-roll bar links in place.

STEP 30

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Alright – on to my favorite portion of the build, the electronics! Now, this is MAX-D – MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION – so I’m going big and replacing the stock brushed system with some serious Axial mojo; something Tom Meents would be proud of. I’ll be dropping in an AX24260 Axial AE-3 Vanguard Brushless ESC and AX31047 Axial Brushless 3150kV Motor. Since this is a pretty healthy upgrade, I see it only fitting to upgrade a couple other parts as well.

STEP 31

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
To make this part of the build easier, I started by removing the top part of the roll cage and interior.

STEP 32

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Here’s a better look at the ESC tray. We’ll get to it in a minute.

STEP 33

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Flip the MAX-D over and remove the four screws that hold the transmission in place. Axial uses two different screw lengths here so to make sure I get them back in the correct holes, I’ve added a little L (for Longer). Once the screws are out, unplug the motor and pull the whole transmission assembly out. It’s actually alot easier than it looks.

STEP 34

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Remove the gear cover followed by the motor and slipper assembly.

STEP 35

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Remove the stock motor place and replace with the AX30860 Axial Machined Motor Plate.

STEP 36

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Before attaching the spur gear, make sure you attach the AX31068 Axial Slipper Pads. They’re sticky-backed so they’re not reusable; we have to add new ones to our AX31163 Axial Steel Spur Gear 32P 56T. Re-assemble the slipper clutch. I would suggest tightening down the slipper nut quite a bit; the added power needs a tighter slipper.

The only drawback with the AX31047 Axial Brushless 3150kV Motor is the fact that it uses a 5mm output shaft; the stock motor uses a 3mm. This means you’ll need a new pinion gear. I didn’t want the MAX-D to just have more power, I wanted it to be fast as well, so I’m starting with a AX30839 13T 32P Pinion Gear. MO’ POWA ARH ARH ARH

STEP 37

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Now that I have a new heart for the MAX-D, it’s time to transplant it back in the truck. Remember to install the screws in the correct holes.

STEP 38

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Flip the SMT10 back over and remove the top to the receiver box. Carefully pull the stock ESC power lead out of the receiver and remove it from the truck.

STEP 39

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
Apply some double-sided tape to the bottom of the AX24260 Axial AE-3 Vanguard Brushless ESC and attach it to the ESC platform. Route the ESC power lead through the waterproof seal and into the receiver box as shown. Re-attach the receiver box lid.

Finally, plug the brushless motor wires into the ESC, matching the A-wire to the A-plug, the B-wire to the B-plug and the C-wire to the C-plug.

STEP 40

Axial MAX-D SMT10 Monster Truck Full Option Build
The final step is to re-attach both the interior and top of the roll cage. Looks super tough just sitting there! Time to go see what she can do!

Here’s the list of parts used in this article.

Front End
AX30395 Axial Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 38T/13T
AX30762 Axial XR10 Aluminum C-Hub Carrier
AX31244 Axial Upper Link Plate Set
AX31245 Axial Lower Link Plate Set
AX31428 Axial AR60 Steering Upgrade Kit
AX31429 Axial AR60 Machined High Clearance Differential Cover
AX31430 Axial King Shocks Aluminum Caps and Collar Set – 12mm
AX31431 Axial Aluminum Shock Spring Retainer – 12mm
AX31432 Axial AR60 Machined Servo Plate and Mount Set
AX31433 Axial AR60 Machined Link Mounts
AX31434 Axial AR60 Machined Steering Knuckles

Mid-Section
AX24260 Axial AE-3 Vanguard Brushless ESC
AX30839 13T 32P Pinion Gear
AX30860 Axial Machined Motor Plate
AX31047 Axial Brushless 3150kV Motor
AX31068 Axial Slipper Pads
AX31163 Axial Steel Spur Gear 32P 56T

Rear End
AX30395 Axial Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 38T/13T
AX30789 Axial AR60 OCP Aluminum Straight Axle Hub Carrier
AX31244 Axial Upper Link Plate Set
AX31245 Axial Lower Link Plate Set
AX31429 Axial AR60 Machined High Clearance Differential Cover
AX31430 Axial King Shocks Aluminum Caps and Collar Set – 12mm
AX31431 Axial Aluminum Shock Spring Retainer – 12mm
AX31433 Axial AR60 Machined Link Mounts

2016 Solid Showdown R/C Monster Truck Shootout

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By Rafael Cox

Showtime R/C Motorsport’s Solid Showdown 2K16 is now in the books and it definitely established the fact that solid axle monster truck racing is here to stay. This event is a blast to attend. The turn out was huge with over 130 entries of beautiful trucks that made it very difficult to decide on the concours winners.

Solid axle fanatics from all over came out to participate in what is quickly becoming a major event once a year in Virginia, hosted by Showtime RC Motorsports. Qualifying ran smoothly and at half time CowRC took center stage with the R/C demo derby, which also is becoming very popular in the R/C world.

Prizes and giveaways were frequent throughout the event from the numerous sponsors that were onboard. Brackets and racing soon got underway without a hitch, followed by an added competition of Freestyle.

For a one day event the Showtime crew kept things exciting and moving along nicely for over 130 trucks. If you’re into solid axle monster trucks this definitely one of the top notch events you want put on your calendar.

Click for more photos :)
http://s1275.photobucket.com/user/juckjones/library/Mobile%20Uploads/2016-04

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2016 Monster Jam World Finals – Las Vegas, NV

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Words and Photos by Anthony Rivas

Welcome to the Monster Jam World Finals, taking place here in Las Vegas, NV. Normally I would share the road trip or airport visit with you, but this is just across town so I’ll spare you the pics of traffic.

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So do you want to know what’s at Monster Jam World Finals? I will start by saying a lot! More than I could possibly show you in one blog. Of course you will see Monster Trucks both past and present.

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If you don’t follow Monster Jam this may look like an ordinary truck, other than the body is on backwards. You might be right.

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Soldier of Fortune camp had some very cool military rigs.

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Like this beast; I am not really sure if it’s a trike or motorcycle, but I know it looks fun!

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How many of you could use something like this? I can admit that I don’t need it, but I sure would like to have it.

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Maybe you’ll recognize some of these trucks. Or maybe you wont, but maybe you will find them as cool as I do.

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I think you could make a monster truck out of most anything if you have the imagination. I wont venture to guess the cost though, but can you really put a price tag on fun?

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Wild Flower really jumps out with all the vibrant colors.

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Ice Cream anyone?!

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American Sniper kind of draws you in, even with all of the other monster trucks around.

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The Avenger body is a work of art. It can’t be easy making a body look this weathered.

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There are plenty of snacks and food on the premises. No lines so take advantage of the Double Down package! Check out Monsterjam.com to learn about this offer.

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Gas Monkey Garage jumped out at me too. There is just so much to see.

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One of the Zombie trucks on display, complete with two zombies.

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Drivers are signing autographs and taking pics with fans.

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Ride trucks are an option too!

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The entertainment zone is just that, there are quad races, freestyle bicycles, and motorcycles going on at the moment. Non stop entertainment here.

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I believe there are over 100 monster trucks here.

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There is even a Monster Jam video game. I am convinced that everything Monster truck can be found here, probably even more than you realize.

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When I think Monster Jam I think of screaming motors, side by side racing, and big jumps.

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The Young Guns get to battle it out for a spot in the big show.

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The height these trucks reach on a jump is amazing, I am not sure the pictures do them justice.

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Drivers wow the crowd with some very nice saves. The other side of Monster Jam would have to be the spectacular freestyle event.

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These drivers come in with big air and really put on a show!

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The crowd roars when destruction seems inevitable and the drivers save it.

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Malfunctioning rear steer and Max-D still puts on a show. The crowd cheers as he goes big. The fans are getting their money’s worth for sure.

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The freestyle course is open to whatever you can make happen.

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You’re already in a Monster truck, now imagine looking straight up. A little nerve racking, right?!

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El Toro Loco black kicking up dust in this cyclone. The crowd gets pumped up with every rotation of the truck.

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Its deafening in here as this Monster Truck pulls off a backflip. Everyone jumps to their feet.

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Big air did lead to some destruction.

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At the end of the night you can tell these guys really enjoy what they do. Like Zombie driver Bari Musawwir.

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Bari is really into RC Monster Trucks as well as being a professional full size driver. He has invited 16 drivers from around the US who are also here for the RC Monster Jam World Finals.

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Here is the field. 32 replica builds of the 1:1 monster trucks that are here to compete.

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Here are the dedicated 16 drivers. These guys have built 2 replica trucks each and in true monster truck fashion some have even brought back ups.

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Just like the 1:1 they have a Thunder Alley and fully functioning tree.

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Did you ever think to use Axial AR60s on a Monster Truck?

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Just like the real trucks, there was a day of qualifying in both lanes.

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A lot of these guys are carpet racers so the dirt took some getting used too.

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A race could be decided in the corners, so some pushed while others found their limits.

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These guys were looking for traction anywhere.

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Some had a favorite lane and some just adapted their driving style.

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When race day came around these trucks had some people coming by to see how their mini version was doing.

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Monster Energy truck driver Coty Saucier came to check out the Mini Monster Jam.

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Grave Digger Purple driver Adam Anderson.

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Son uva Digger driver Ryan Anderson – also a crowd favorite.

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Madusa drivers Debrah Miceli and Young Guns driver Brianna Mahon coming to see what the Mini Jam is all about.

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This was also a chance for the RC builders like Leigh Guarnieri to meet the 1:1 drivers like Donald Epidendio.

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FS1 Cleatus driver Frank Krmel paid the track a visit and checked things out.

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Soldier of Fortune driver Tony Ochs said he may have to get one of these.

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Monster Mutt Rottweiler driver Rod Schmidt giving a thumbs up of approval.

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Monster Mutt Dalmatian driver Candice Jolly stopped by as well.

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Monster Mutt driver Charlie Pauken was on hand also.

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Doom’s Day driver…

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Gerardo Gonzales and his Axial AX10 Deadbolt platform Grave Digger Chrome take the win 2 days in a row in the side by side racing.

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Well the masses have gathered here on the third day of the RC Monster Jam World Finals for the freestyle event.

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The drivers did a parade lap, just like you see at the 1:1 Monster Jam.

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These guys came to see big air and cheer on their favorite trucks.

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You can see the shock these trucks are taking on impact from the insane amounts of air these guys are catching.

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Drivers are throwing everything they have at the freestyle course.

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Just like their 1:1 counterparts these guys are throwing backflips in the mix. Grave Digger Chrome above and Overkill Evolution going really big pictured below.

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Big air will bring some destruction.

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Some lucky fans were given a treat. The RC drivers had the 1:1 drivers give the RC shells to the crowd!

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Bari Musawwir also Doubling Down and giving the fans a show with the RC monster truck Zombie.

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Big air and leaving nothing to chance, he was putting on a show and having fun!

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Talking to the 3 celebrity judges as he makes his way off course, still smiling.

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Here are 14 of the 16 dedicated RC Monster truck drivers after 3 days of competition. Now it’s their turn to go watch the big show, Monster Jam World Finals Freestyle.

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Bari Musawwir Driver of Zombie – 2011 Rookie of the Year, 2012 Young Guns Champion, and nominated for the 2016 Arena Freestyle Driver of the Year. Win, lose, or draw he wants fans to enjoy the show. He is living his dream; he was actually an RC driver before being approached to drive full size Monster Trucks. So do what you enjoy and always have fun. You never know where it will lead you!

Budget-friendly Axial-based Monster Truck Build

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There’s a growing number of Axial-based monster trucks being built. And, specifically, many builders are using Axial Racing AR60 axles and drivetrain components. This actually seems to be the most popular choice for newer builds. Many of these rigs being built are simply amazing, so if you’ve seen any of these custom creations, it’s likely that you’ve been inspired to build your own. But, if you’re on a budget, you might think these trucks are out of your reach. RC Truck Stop showed that building your own solid axle monster truck can be done on a budget without sacrificing any performance. The build below uses an Axial AX10 as the base for the project. This saves time and money. Interestingly, this same type of configuration has since been used to national-level solid monster truck racing competitions.

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With the body off, you can see this build isn’t that big of a departure from the standard AX10 setup.

You can read the full article here.

 

Axial-based Solid Axle Monster Truck Project

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Solid axle monster trucks patterned after real monster trucks have a long history in R/C. And while these big rigs have been around a long time, it has always been the case that you need to make it yourself to get what you really want. Creative modelers have fashioned a plethora of scale versions of the legendary Bigfoot and Grave Digger trucks and numerous other popular trucks. At the heart of this segment is a creativity that we can all appreciate. Lately, builders have turned to Axial to build high performance competition worthy monster trucks. The most common part they’re reaching for are a set of Axial AR60 axles. One of the early movers in the Axial-based monster truck movement was RC Truck Stop. Their build used a variety of Axial parts. In fact, the drivetrain is just about all Axial. Check out the article and photos below:

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Could you imagine showing up to the track with a 25-year-old RC car? Me either. Like all other club racers, I’m a sucker for having the latest and greatest, and when I wanted to build a new monster truck for side-by-side racing, I couldn’t bear to start a new build with outdated equipment. But, that’s exactly what the vast majority of solid-axle monster truck racers do when they lineup for side-by-side action. I am, of course, making reference to the Tamiya Clod Buster and its legions of loyal owners. I am a huge fan of the Clod, and you probably are too. Tamiya’s classic car crusher is truly iconic and one of the most significant releases in RC history, but while we celebrate its 25th year, it seems odd to race it in anything other than the vintage class. I knew with some tinkering and some creativity, I could build a modern monster for racing.

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CHANGE OF CHASSIS
In my opinion, side-by-side monster truck racing is a lot like rock crawling. Huh?! Lower that eyebrow and let me explain. I see the appeal of monster truck racing being in both the performance and scale appearance of the trucks. As such, many of the race chassis just don’t do it for me because while they perform well, they don’t look anything like a real monster truck’s tube frame. Going the other way, while not all are super heavy, steel or even brass tube frames are generally not very light or built with a low center of gravity. They look great, but aren’t the first pick for racing for a reason. I wanted the lightness of fiberglass, graphite or plastic and the realism of a tube chassis. As such, I went with HPI Wheely King plastic side plates. They are feather weights and look like the real deal. All I used from the stock Wheely King are the side plates. To get a more custom look and inspired by the way the full-size Grave Digger’s chassis is painted green, I painted the frame rails with a plastic-specific spray paint. The cross members I made are solid Delrin rod that I cut to length and drilled for 3mm hardware.

The only possible downside to the Wheely King plates is that they allow a noticeable amount of flex. Even with five Delrin rod cross members spanning the chassis, the finished frame can be twisted by hand. It’s unlikely this will negatively impact handling, but it’s worth noting.

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SKID PLATE
While the frame rails are what most people initially notice, the real heart of the truck is the use of Axial Wraith drivetrain components (axles and transmission). I’ll outline the benefits of the Axial components a little later, but the transmission required a custom skid plate to be fabricated. While I would eventually like to get a higher quality skid plate professionally machined, I was able to fabricate my own out of plastic. I started with some blank plastic stock that I received from my friend and fellow RC’er Tom St-Onge and from Pin Shop Hobbies in Oakville, CT.

When designing the new skid plate, I used my preferred method–CAD or Cardboard Aided Design. In addition aiding in marking the transmission mounting holes, I used the stock Wraith skid plate as a guide for how to position the lower link mounts. Axial’s engineers know heaps more about suspension geometry than I do, so I saw no need to mess with their design. One I had all the measurements I needed, I made cardboard template. And, after transferring the template to the plastic, I cut the template (hacked at times, to be honest) with my bandsaw and Dremel rotary tool fitted with a reenforced cut-off wheel(See safety note below).

WHY THIS WIDE?
The determining factor in how wide I built the skid plate was actually the axles. I wanted to use the AR60’s stock shock mounting positions to maintain as much of Axial’s geometry as possible. So, I built the skid plate to position the side plates about 4″ apart. The link geometry of this truck is the same Wraith with the exception of link length and the upper inner link mounts.

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SUSPENSION
As I have said, I took as much as possible from the suspension design of the Axial Wraith. I did vary from the formula when building the link length. I made the links longer to achieve the 13-inch wheelbase I desired. I also made the rear links slightly longer than the front to increase front of center weight bias.

The shocks I used are HPI Wheely King aluminum upgrade pieces. I removed the purple anodizing to make them better fit the look of the rest of truck and filled the shocks with 30-weight shock fluid after rebuilding them using Team Associated Green Slime on the O-rings. I also installed limiters under the pistons to decrease the extended length of the shocks and lower the truck a fairly low race-ready stance. I used Axial shock bushings for the top mounts and trimmed (narrowed) the shocks lower plastic balls to allow them to fit in the AR60 lower shock and link mounts. I used Axial’s aluminum lower link and shock mounts because they offer more adjustability with three holes for the shocks and three holes for the links.

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Most monster trucks benefit from sway bars, but they are absolutely essential on a shaft driven monster truck. I bent and cut music wire in a variety of thicknesses. The music wire is attached to the lower links with cable ties. This is how many people add sway bars to trucks like the Wheely King and is similar to the factory sway bars on Tamiya’s TXT-1.

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DRIVETRAIN
The only things Clod Buster about most racing Clods are the axles. While the motor-on-axle (MOA) design of the Clod Buster axles have the huge advantage of no torque twist, the axles were never intended for competitive use. The Axial AR60 axles have many of their own advantages. There is no denying that shaft driven trucks are plagued by torque twist, but it can be tamed and in the case of the AR60 axles, I strongly believe the pros outweigh the solitary con.

AR60 Advantages:
> Streamlined design
> Option of sealed, tunable differentials
> Replacement parts readily available
> Significantly durable
> Wider than most other modern axles
> Easily adjustable caster
> Numerous hop-up parts available
> Easy to service
> Excellent steering geometry
> Easily made straight or steerable
> Gearing options

I installed Axial EXO differential parts (Thank you, Axial) to replace the stock locked differentials. I did this because I preferred actual differentials for this application, but also because No Limit RC–one of the sanctioning bodies I will be racing in–requires front and rear differentials. I have started with simple black grease in the diffs, but thicker grease or silicone fluid is a possibility.

I installed Axial’s heavy duty bevel gear sets, front and rear, and I took advantage of the fact that I could run different gear ratios in each axle. Using an under drive (43T/13T) gear set in the rear axle and the stock ratio (38 to 13) is a common trick used in rock crawling to control torque twist.

While the AR60 axles are wider than most 1/10-scale axles currently being made, I needed a wider stance for racing. I used RC4WD’s 12mm to 12mm aluminum wideners (Z-S0449). These wideners increase the width on each side 1.25-inches for a total increase of 2.5-inches.

AXIAL PARTS LIST*

  • AR60 OCP Front Axle Set >> AX30831 >> (2X)
  • AR60 OCP Machined Link Mount >> AX30830 
  • Aluminum Servo Horn 24T (Hard Anodized) >> AX30835 
  • Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 43T/13T >> AX30402 
  • Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 38T/13T >> AX30395
  • WB8 Driveshaft Set (2pcs) >> AX30794 
  • Differential Bevel Gears >> AX30390 >> (2X)
  • Differential Shaft >> AX30170 
  • Differential O-rings >> AXA1162 
  • AX10 Locked Transmission Set >> AX30487 
  • Steel Outdrive Shaft Set >> AX30435 
  • AX10 Slipper Clutch Set >> AX30414 

 *List does not include all possible parts and hardware needed as builds can vary

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STRC PARTS PACKAGE
There are a number of manufacturers that offer aftermarket parts for the Axial AR60 axles (Axial included). One of my favorites is STRC. The reason I like STRC is they make a wide variety of direct fit aluminum parts with a quality finish, and best of all, the parts are durable. Since the axles take a real beating on a truck like this and because I wanted rear steer, I upgraded the axle C’s and knuckles with STRC’s aluminum pieces. I also replaced the plastic diff cup retainers and diff covers. My upgrades didn’t end there. I added STRC’s upper link mounts and aluminum steering links.

STRC PARTS LIST

  • CNC Machined Precision Aluminum Steering Knuckles for Axial Wraith (1 pair) Black >> STA80061BK >> $31.99 (2X)
  • CNC Machined Precision Alum. C-Hubs for Axial Wraith (1 pair) Black >> STA80062BK >> $30.99 (2X)
  • CNC Machined Alum. HD Diff Cover for Axial Wraith (Silver) >> STA80070DS >> $15.99 (2X)
  • CNC Machined Alum. Internal Diff Holders (1 pair) for Axial Wraith Silver >> STA80070S >> $$15.99 (2X)
  • CNC Machined HD Alum. Front Servo Mount Block/Upper link mount, Axial Wraith (Black) >> STA80072FBK >> $23.99
  • CNC Machined HD Alum. Rear Upper Link Mount, Axial Wraith (Black) >> STA80072RBK >> $23.99
  • CNC Machined Aluminum Servo Mounts (1 pair) for Axial Wraith (Silver) >> STA80072SS >> $14.99 (2X)
  • STRC Heavy Duty Aluminum Steering linkage set for Axial Wraith (Silver) >> STA80073S >> $12.99 (2X)

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GETTING GRIP
In RC racing, I often preach that tires are the single most important part of setup, so why would a monster truck built for racing be any different? To get improved traction over the stock rubber, I selected RC4WD Rumble tires (Z-T0015). These are direct a fit on the odd ball sized Clod Buster rims. The Rumble tires look like shaved full-size monster truck tires in that the backside of each lug have been removed. The compound is significantly softer than stock, and the tires include foam inserts. Even though the Clod rims have vent holes, I added three small additional holes to the tires. The goal is to allow the tires to compress and distort when landing or cornering without causing bounce or not returning to their proper shape immediately.

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BODY
Traditional thought is that looks don’t matter in racing, but you better believe appearances matter in monster trucks. Looks may never win a race, but the body on a monster truck is its personality–the basis of its persona. I envisioned a truck that looked bad to the bone, but wasn’t a dime a dozen like RC Grave Diggers. And, I wanted to avoid a typical pick-up truck body, so I selected the ’55 Bomber body (182) from McAllister Racing. This gives my truck the styling of the popular Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam Avenger truck, but the simple black paint job sets it apart. The McAllister ’55 Bomber body is a little wide, but is otherwise perfect for this application.

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MORE MOTOR
As much as I personally love solid axle monster trucks, the reality is that this segment isn’t short course racing. What I mean is there isn’t a race class at every hobby shop. So, I have to go where the racing is and play by their rules. And, that’s where it gets complicated. To maximize my potential racing opportunities, I designed this truck to be able to compete in No Limit RC competition and at RC Monster Truck Race Series (RCMTRS) races. Both series require 2.6-inch Clod rims, but the similarities between the rules pretty much end there. Ironically befitting the name, No Limit RC has no wheelbase or track width limitations. In contrast, RCMTRS limits wheelbase to 14″. For now, I’m sticking with a 13″ wheelbase but may change to 14″. More on that later.

The biggest dilemma I faced was that No Limit RC requires dual motors and RCMTRS does not. I’m not a big fan of running two motors when one can get the job done, but I needed to be able to comply when needed. I installed Level3-RC dual motor mount for the Axial transmission. Level3-RC makes two versions, and I selected the one that positions the motors one on top of the other because it makes for the most compact arrangement.

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ELECTRONICS
After an initial round of testing, it was clear I needed to go with a sensored brushless system for my single motor setup. The local RCMTRS affiliated club, RC Monster Truck Challenge of NY, limits motors to 5700Kv and limits the battery to 2S as opposed to no motor limit and a 3S limit outlined by RCMTRS. At first I tested with a sensorless 5700Kv 4-pole motor just to push the suspension and general setup. The low speed hesitation (often referred to as cogging) was unbearable, so I installed a Duratrax DE10 speed control (DTXM1300) and a sensored Duratrax 8.5-turn motor (DTXC3425) which is rated for 4450Kv. To tap into the full potential of this speed control, I also used Duratrax’s handheld digital programmer (DTXM13500).

With 4WS, I needed exceptionally strong servos, so I bolted in Hitec HS-7950TH servos (37950S). These servos feature coreless motors, titanium gears and deliver 403 oz./in. of torque at 6V and can put out 486 oz./in. of torque on 7.4V.

To control the truck, I went with a Spektrum DX3R Pro. This 3-channel radio is easy to program and allowed me to quickly setup my on-demand rear steer. I programmed Switch B which is normally used for steering trim (moved to switch C) to control my rear steer. Switch B is easy to reach while driving and I have to set up in such a manner that when turning right I flip it to the right for more steering and vice versa for turning to the left.

Because the battery sits high, I am using a MaxAmps.com 3250mAh 2-cell (part no. varies). This pack is incredibly thin and lightweight, but will easily keep up with the power needs of the truck and offer plenty of runtime–more than enough considering I’ll be doing side-by-side runs.

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PERFORMANCE
Since this project is more of a custom creation than, say, a modification of an existing platform, I was exceptionally eager to test it. While the concept seemed sound in my head, there were no guarantees that it would even work. My first tests quickly proved that my fear of torque twist was very real. Adding sway bars, as planned, immediately helped, but were not enough. I even doubled up the rear sway bars at one point. I also experimented with extremely stiff spring setup on the right rear and left front shocks. While stiff springs can be used to tame the torque twist, jump handling is diminished too much for this to be a viable solution. Ultimately, I installed the under drive gears in the rear axle and switching to the milder Kv motor. With the rear axle geared lower than the front and the slightly lower Kv motor (also less torquey 2-pole), the truck was pretty close to dialed. Thicker sway bars are needed and in the works. I simply underestimated how thick the wire needs to be to control torque twist at launch.

Further testing included a short run on carpet at Pin Shop Hobbies in Oakville, CT. My impression of the truck on carpet is that it handled extremely well, but covers a lot of ground quickly. Quickly enough to make me nervous. I didn’t hit anything too hard, but I now know what the full-size drivers feel like when racing in the small arenas. While not every carpet track is the same, I was surprised how well the truck rotated on the fuzzy stuff.

My first real test that featured some competition took place at a Touch-A-Truck event that the Eastcoast RC Trucks club was participating in. In addition to demonstrating the truck, I raced it on the club’s timed course. Even while running at a fairly conservative pace, I was happy with how competitively the truck performed. My times were among the fastest recorded and I wasn’t running all out. After the timed runs (I ran two official runs to settle a tie-breaker), I started to get braver with my freestyle antics. The truck jumps great and responds extremely well to throttle inputs. It also recovers well from less than perfect landings. If you’ve ever driven or seen a truck like this run, you know how much fun watching one handle like the real trucks.

Only once during my day of time trials and freestyle, did I encounter any sort of breakdown. A particularly nasty end-over-end landing popped the front steering link off. I snapped the rod end back in place, made a mental note to add a washer as a retainer and was back on my way. But, speaking of breaking stuff, previous to the Touch-A-Truck, I did have some minor parts carnage. The early victims were the body mounts. Even though the body mounts are fairly short, the thinner 1/10-scale touring car style ones I first tried pretty much instantly broke. So far, the slightly beefier replacements have held up, but I’ll be watching them and thinking of an even stronger solution. I also broke the original Clod Buster rims–all four. I have no idea how old these rims were, but they didn’t last too long. Pin Shop Hobbies came to the rescue with a set of new Clod Buster rims from Tamiya. The “un-aged” ABS have worked out great and withstood all sorts of abuse.

The best way to describe the overall experience of driving this truck is that it’s fun. I know that’s vague, so to be more specific, it drives, reacts and generally behaves like a real monster truck. All of that makes it–a lot of fun. It’s a handful off the line when too aggressive with the throttle, but I’m working on that. As described above, jumping is a blast. Hit a jump square and it flies perfect, is easy to control and lands on all four without even the slightest bounce. Fly through the air crooked and it’s even more fun as you land one wheel first, bounce the front up and power out like the real deal.

Unlike most race Clods, this truck has rear steer. The rear steer adds to the fun, but I have to admit I largely ignore it even though I have the rear steer throw turned down to less 25% of the front steering. I’d have to get tons of wheel time and develop some real synergy with the truck to use it in racing, but it rocks in freestyle type use.

While the testing will continue and I will certainly learn even more when I race it side by side with other trucks, I can say I am highly satisfied with the truck thus far. At this early stage, it isn’t perfect, but this truck clearly has potential to be a legit racer.

FUTURE PLANS
While I’m sure there will be changes that I can’t predict as getting more real racing experience with the truck will show what needs to be done–or not done. I do hope to have a skid plate professionally machined. I would also love to have new side plates cut out of G10 fiberglass. My design for the fiberglass side plates would mimic a tube frame and the look of Wheely King plates, but will have more tuning options for the upper shock mounts and upper link mounts. Even better, it will be more durable.

I also plan to cut down the lugs of the RC4WD tires and balance the tire and rim setup. While these tires are proven to be exceptional thus far, I would like to also try Imex’s Baja tires for the Clod Buster rims.

The one item I am on the fence on is the rear axle and whether to keep the rear steer or go with a straight axle. On testing and experimentation will reveal which is best. I have lightheartedly dubbed this project the Clod Killer or CK-1 as it’s the first version. Maybe CK-2 will be based on the Axial XR10 if I can talk someone into making a differential for the axle.

How To Build a Winning Deadbolt Monster Truck!

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How to build a Winning Axial Deadbolt Monster truck!

By John Schultz

All of these trucks are based off of the Axial Deadbolt. With a couple of mods you can change your Deadbolt in to a Winning Monster truck too! All of the suspension is the same as the Axial Deadbolt besides adding some links and some option parts to help with durability.

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John Schultz’s winning Axial Deadbolt at the No Limit RC Monster Truck World Finals

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Bari Musawwir TQ and Winner in the Mini Shafty Monster Truck Class at the 4 Link Nats

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Russ Taking the Win in Shafty Monster Truck Class at the 4 Link Nats

First, what you need to install are AX31109 Yeti Links for the front and rear.  The biggest change will be adding a front and rear sway bar. This is super easy to do. Install the AX80118 Battery tray on the front of the chassis and you will have sway bar mounts front and rear. Use AX30782 Wraith sway bar set with the heavy bar. I also used AXA1429 post to clean up the look of the Sway Bar.

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To get the width, I used HPI 88055 Wideners with Tamyia Clodbuster Rims 9335085 and TAM0005294 Adapters, with 10114-02 Pro Line Destroyers!

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For the front Axle, use AX30780 AR60 OCP Universals to keep the steering smooth, combined with the AX30760 Alum Knuckles, AX30762 C-Hubs, rear AX30789 Alum Straight Axle for durability, and AX30829 Alum Diff Cover front and rear to polish it off!

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For the transmission, I used AX30708 Metal gears, AX30401 36t/14t Front, AX30395 38t/13t HD Machine Ring and Pinion gears and AX31100 Alum Skid plate to plant all the Power!

For handling, install diff gears front and rear. I used the AXA1162 o-ring, AX30390 Diff Gear, AX30170 Diff Pin. Plus, I run a black grease inside the diff.

Shock Set up is different with all 3 trucks, I personally run AX30223 14x70mm 1.04 Springs with 10 wt oil in AX31171 Icon Shocks.

Other Optional parts we use to help strengthen the truck are:
AX30836 Alum Servo Horn  25t
AX30830 OCP Links Mounts
AX31101 AX Alum Shock Brace
AX31099 Alum Upper Link Capture
AX30860 Machine Motor Plate

Here are some under the Hood Pics!

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John Schultz’s World Finals Truck

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Bari Musawwir’s Mini Shafty Winning Truck

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Russ Bryant’s Winning Shafty Monster Truck

High Voltage R/C 4 Link Nationals

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High Voltage R/C 4 Link Nationals

Written by: Bari Musawwir
Photos by: John Schultz and Stephen Hopkins

The High Voltage R/C 4 Link Nationals was an event held over Labor Day weekend at the Samson /Patrick Enterprises Monster Truck Racing shop in Circleville, Ohio. This spectacular race was dedicated to the Electric Solid Axle R/C Monster Truck enthusiasts from around the country, drawing participants from as far away as California, Florida, Kentucky, Connecticut, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, Arizona, Maryland, Michigan, and Ohio. With a field of 212 entries, each competitor had their work cut out if they wanted to make it to the winners circle. As the Title Sponsor of the Event, Axial sent their ace Product Specialist John Schultz to provide event and vehicle support.

The Venue
Nestled in Central Ohio just south of the capital city of Columbus, Circleville is the home of one of the most outstanding racing shops that the full size Monster Truck Industry has ever seen. The Patrick Enterprises Inc. Racing Shop is not only home to the world renown Samson Monster Truck but it also has its very own history museum that tells the story of over 30 years of racing history that Dan Patrick and his family posses. This is definitely a destination that you must see if you are a hard core, die hard Monster Truck Enthusiast. We were thankful and honored that the Patrick Family took a break from there very busy Schedule from making Monster Truck parts for the industry, to open their doors to have this event inside the main building of their fabrication complex!

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The Racing Track and Format
The Solid Axle Electric R/C Monster Truck craze has been around since the late 80s and after 28 years it still continues to grow stronger in popularity among the pioneers of the sport as well as newer competitors! This event was comprised of a carpet racing surface that contained a Chicago style monster truck racing course featuring carpeted jumps and crush car obstacles. High Voltage R/C kept track of the timing duties by utilizing a digital Christmas tree timing system that started each of the entertaining elimination style bracket races. Saturday was qualifying day, where each participant got one chance in each lane to get the fastest qualifying lap that they could. The best time that they were able to record would be the one that would be used as their official qualifying time to seed the bracket. This format pits the slowest versus the fastest until a winner is crown! This type of racing is pretty intense because every race counts; you have to win to advance to the next round of racing.

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Show and Shine Contest
Before all the action on the track got underway we held a show and shine contest for the Patrick Family to pick out their favorite aesthetically looking Truck in each class. It was an extremely tough process with so many great trucks to choose from. Once all the decisions were in, the lucky winners were Eric Krush with his Krimson Krusher Truck taking Home the Best Axial Retro Monster Truck Award, Mikey Mascia with his Grave Robber Axial Mini Monster Truck, Rafael Cox and His Axial Based Carolina Crusher Shafty Shoot Out truck and Dan Wyatt’s War Lord!

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The Race Class Action
In the Axial Mini Monster Truck Class competitors are limited to a 2.2 size tire/wheel combination. Several of the trucks in this class use the Axial AR60 solid axles which are found in several of their scale rock crawlers and Off Road vehicles including the AX10 Deadbolt truck (#AX90033). This is the platform that Monster Jam Driver Bari Musawwir would use to take Saturdays Top Qualifying position, followed closely by Russ Bryant of Michigan who was also sporting a modified Axial Deadbolt he calls “Fantom”!

On Race Day, the action was filled with some really close races on the tricky Chicago Style Track but when the smoke cleared it would be Bari Musawwir’s “Gunslinger” Axial Deadbolt holding on for the win, taking out Axial’s own John Schultz and his “Murder Nukizer” Truck. Clyde Delisle of Florida claimed 3rd place honors with his brand new “Bad News” Deadbolt as well!

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The Axial Shafty Shoot Out class is considered the Big Brother to the Mini Monster Truck Class as these trucks share most of the same platforms; however they are limited to a 2.6” size wheel and tire. Eighteen of the thirty three trucks competing in this class were outfitted with an Axial drive train and running gear! Once Saturdays Qualifying session was over, it would be John Schultz taking the TQ spot with his BKT Ride Truck sporting a KK2 Chassis, followed closely by Travis Mowery and his Pure Adrenalin CPE Barbarian, after a surprising racing bracket with the top qualifier being knocked out of contention in the 3rd round! The Final round saw Russ Bryant take out Trevor Adamo and his Launch Control Truck all the way from California in a great race! Mike Eckenrode of Pennsylvania Took home 3rd place!

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The rapidly growing Axial Retro Challenge class saw some great action! These old school trucks with their bouncy suspensions pay homage to the early years of how real Monster Trucks were constructed, detailed, and performed. These trucks are limited to only 4cell NiMH packs and 20 turn motors, or 45 turn motors and a 2S lipo. Even at its slower pace, this class is ultra competitive. Fast Qualifier Abdul Rascoe from Connecticut would be the man to beat all weekend long as he was pretty much unstoppable every time he took to the track! Tim Powers gave him a great race in the final round with his Bigfoot 6 Replica but Abduls Joker wheeled around the track for the win!

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In conclusion, this was a stellar event with a fantastic atmosphere due to the great group of Solid Axle Racers in attendance as well as the awesome race venue destination! We look forward to more events like this in the future. The Solid Axle Craze is very much alive and growing! We can’t wait to see what this event brings in the future! Until then, take care and we will be looking for those new Solid Axle builds to start popping up! For complete results and photo album visit: www.4LinkNats.com

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