Full Option RTR Deadbolt

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Axial offers several optional upgrade parts for the RTR Deadbolt. Here is a quick run down of what is installed and why you may want to use these items.

A couple photos of the fully option RTR Deadbolt. Axial also offers clear replacement Deadbolt bodies, part number AX04039, for those that want to customize the look of their trucks.
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First option parts that can be seen here are the 2.2 Maxxis Trepador tires in our sticky R35 compound, part number AX12022. We also installed our VMS beadlock wheels, part number AX08061. We will cover more on the VMS wheels later on in this article.
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Body off shot!
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Next option part we installed is a 25t aluminum servo horn, part number AX30836. Axial’s HD aluminum servo horn provides more responsive steering with less chance of stripping the internal splines over the stock plastic servo horn. Clamping style head for secure mounting in high stress applications. Available in 23, 24 and 25 tooth spline counts.

Axial’s HD differential covers, part number AX30829. HD diff covers protect ring and pinion gears from being damaged by rocks, just like their 1:1 counterparts, all while adding a little bling to your ride.

Aluminum axle lockouts are another available option, part number AX30789. Axial’s aluminum axle lockouts are more rigid than the stock plastic lockouts, which will allow the vehicle to track better in all situations.

Another great upgrade is Axial’s aluminum shocks, part number AX30092. Aluminum shocks provide better dampening than the stock plastic shocks, especially when mated with our Delrin shock pistons. Aluminum shock bodies also dissipate heat better than the stock plastic bodies. Oversize 3.5mm shock shafts for rigidity. Great for high power applications and long run times. Axial also offer a complete line of various springs to fine tune your suspension as needed, see the complete parts list below for more info.

Another option part that is hiding behind the HD diff cover is Axial’s HD ring and pinion gears, part number AX30395. HD ring and pinion gears are more efficient than the stock aluminum ring and pinions. CNC machined for precision. Hardened steel for durability. Great for high power applications. Axial also offers hardened steel overdrive ring and pinion gear sets, part number AX30401, for a little extra wheel speed. We also offer an underdrive ring and pinion gear sets, part number AX30402, for a little more torque in binds.

Axial’s HD lower link mounts are another noteworthy upgrade, part number AX30830. Our HD lower link mounts allow users to fine tune ride height and wheelbase by providing more adjustment holes than the stock plastic units.

You can see a handful of options parts in this photo. First option is the aluminum knuckles, part number AX30760. Aluminum knuckles provide more responsive steering and help your vehicle track better at speeds and in the rocks. Another option shown is the Axial Aluminum C-hubs, part number AX30762. Aluminum C-hubs also help your vehicle track more consistently in all situations, especailly when used in conjunction with our aluminum knuckles. Also notice the AR60 universal axles, part number AX30780. Axial universal joint axles increase steering angle to 50 degrees, that’s 60% over the stock dogbone/drive cup setup. These universals provide smoother action for a higher performing, efficient drivetrain. The universal is oversized; typical for 1/8 scale vehicles and made of hardened steel so it’s capable of handling extreme power.

Our intention with this project was to build a solid axled basher that can handle a lot of power. Axial’s Vanguard Brushless System was the perfect fit to supply that power. The 2900KV brushless motor, part number AX24010, is more efficient that standard brushed motors and provides a lot more power for hill climbs and general monster truck style bashing over the stock set-up. Providing control for the brushless motor is our Vanguard ESC, part number AX24260. The Vanguard ESC has an array of features that can be programmed manually or with a Castle Link. Highlighted features include adjustable drag brake, lipo cutoff, traction control, motor timing, etc. Our Vanguard ESC is compatible with both brushed and brushless motors, so it can be run with either configuration. Standard Deans® Ultra Plug® battery connector included.

Another great upgrade is the Wraith Stage One link kit, part number AX30797. This kit is geared towards the Wraith, but also works great with the Deadbolt. Especially if you are going to compete at rock crawling competitions, as the wheelbase falls just under the 12 1/2″ max wheelbase limit. Our Stage One link Kit replaces all the stock plastic suspension links with high quality 7mm diameter aluminum links. Eliminates axle wrap and unwanted axle steer, especially in high power applications. Axial also offers machined heavy duty aluminum straight links, part number AX30790, to replace the stock plastic lower links as an alternative the the Stage One link kit.

Axial’s HD motor plate, part number AX30860. Our heavy duty motor plate is for any vehicle running our AX10 transmission. CNC machined from 4.5mm thick billet aluminum, with integrated heatsink fins to help motors run cooler on those all day expeditions. A must have for any R/C overland adventurist! Axial also offers 13t, 14t and 15t steel pinion gears and an 80t spur gear to give end users an array of gear ratios to choose from. Add more torque for low speed crawling to your Deadbolt by installing one of Axial’s optional brushed motors available in 27t and 55t configurations. Axial also offers a complete steel transmission gear set for even more durability, part number AX30708.

Once again for wheels we went with our VWS beadlocks, part number AX08061. VWS wheels allow users to tune foam set-ups and change tires at will for varying terrain and conditions. Another wheel option offered by Axial is our black 8 hole beadlock wheels, part number AX8097. These wheels offer a little wider overall stance which equals stability at high speeds. For low speed rock crawling you can increase your Deadbolt’s climbing abilities by adding Axial’s 2.2 Internal Weight Rings, part number AX30545. Add even more weight by utilizing Axial’s 2.2 Internal Wheel Weights for the Internal Wheel Weight Rings, part number AX30546.

You can see our R35 Ripsaw tires pictured here, part number AX12015. R35 Ripsaw tires offer both a realistic look for the image-conscious scale crawler and for those looking to up their performance game. This 2.2 Ripsaw offers an aggressive tread design, greater ground clearance, and is made from a R35 sticky compound. The VWS wheels include black aluminum rings, but I swapped those out for our Grey beadlock rings, part number AX08133, just to match the grey colored suspension links.

Complete Deadbolt option parts list:
AX8097 – 2.2 Black 8 Hole Beadlock Wheels (x2)
AX08061 – 2.2 VWS Beadlock Wheels (x2)
AX08133 – Grey VWS Beadlock Rings (x2)
AX08141 – 2.2 Trail Ready Beadlock Wheel – Black (x2)
AX08142 – 2.2 Trail Ready Beadlock Wheel – Black and Chrome (x2)
AX12015 – 2.2 R35 Ripsaw Tires (x2)
AX12022 – 2.2 Maxxis Trepador Tires (x2)
AX12021 – 2.2 BFGoodrich Krawler T/A Tires (x2)
AX30545 – 2.2 Internal Wheel Weight Rings (x2)
AX30546 – 2.2 Wheel Weight Inserts (x2)
AX30797 – Stage One Link Kit
AX30790 – Machined Heavy Duty Aluminum Straight Link 101mm (x2)
AX30469 – Machined Heavy Duty Aluminum High Clearance Upper Links (x2)
AX80057 – XR10 Linkage Set (x4 for all 8 links)
AX30395 – HD Ring and Pinion Gear Sets (stock gear ratio) (x2)
AX30401 – Overdrive HD Ring and Pinion Gear Sets (x2)
AX30402 – Underdrive HD Ring and Pinion Gear Sets (x2)
AX30571 – 13t Steel Pinion Gear
AX30569 – 14t Steel Pinion Gear
AX30573 – 15t Steel Pinion Gear
AX30665 – 80t Spur Gear
AX30708 – Steel Transmission Gear Set
AX30829 – HD Differential Covers (x2)
AX30860 – HD Motor Plate
AX30830 – HD Link Mounts (x2)
AX30834 – 23t HD Servo Horn
AX30835 – 24t HD Servo Horn
AX30836 – 25t HD Servo Horn
AX30762 – Aluminum Axle C-hub’s
AX30760 – Aluminum Knuckles
AX30789 – Aluminum Axle Lockouts
AX30092 – Aluminum Shocks (x2)
AX30780 – AR60 Universal Axle Set
AX24260 – AE-3 Vanguard ESC
AX24010 – Vanguard 2900KV Brushless Motor
AX24007 – 55 Turn Motor
AX24004 – 27 Turn Motor
AX04032 – Clear Ridgecrest Body
AX30223 – Black Springs 1.04 lbs/in (x2)
AX30224 – Purple Springs 1.43 lbs/in (x2)
AX30225 – Orange Springs 1.75 lbs/in (x2)
AX30218 – Red Springs 2.07 lbs/in (x2)
AX30219 – White Springs 2.47 lbs/in (x2)
AX30220 – Green Springs 2.85 lbs/in (x2)
AX30221 – Yellow Springs 3.27 lbs/in (x2)
AX30222 – Blue Springs 3.55 lbs/in (x2)

WB8 Driveshaft Upgrade

Have you ever done this to your WB8 driveshaft?  Turned your driveshaft into a broken piece of licorice.

This is my high speed Wraith running a Castle Creations 5700Kv on 3S Lipo battery.  This thing used to destroy plastic driveshafts.

I wanted to find an easy inexpensive fix.  The weak link of the WB8 is in the male half of the driveshaft, due to it being hollow for assembly, the shaft can collapse allowing it to then twist and eventually break.  So all we have to do is prevent the shaft from collapsing.  The answer came in Axial threaded aluminum pipe links.  Turns out the outside diameter of the threaded pipe is almost the same as the inside diameter of the driveshaft.  So here are the parts used:

Axial WB8 Driveshaft Set – AX30794

Axial Threaded Aluminum Pipe 6x106mm – Grey AX30516

I built two driveshaft to show you two different ways.  The first way is to fully assemble a female half and fully assemble a male half.

Cut the aluminum threaded pipe to about 45mm and then hammer it into the male half.

Note: Once you hammer the aluminum threaded pipe into the male half of the driveshaft, you will NOT be able to access the screw for the U-joint. Disassembly can only be done but cutting the shaft apart.

Here is the method I prefer.  Assemble two female halves.

Then cut a male half to remove the coupler part of the shaft so it is now a splined insert.

Then cut the threaded aluminum pipe to length and hammer into the plastic piece.

Your final product will be two female shafts connected with a floating splined insert.  

Note: you may have to cut the female halves to the required length for your application.

Here are the completed two options to strengthen your WB8 driveshaft.

Installed on my Wraith

Since doing this modification I have not had a driveshaft fail.  I’ll keep beating this Wraith to see what breaks next so we can continue to improve our products. Thanks for reading.

Bender’s AX10 Ridgecrest Stage 1

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!

The new Ridgecrest that was recently liberated from it’s box.

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.

Once all four screws have been removed, pull the battery tray out of the chassis.

A shot of the chassis after removing the battery tray.

Next we will have to remove the electronics tray. Start by unscrewing the top cap on the radio box.

Now remove the last two screws that hold the top half of the radio box in place.

Flip the top half of the radio box up and unplug the ESC and servo. It is important to pay attention when you unplug everything so you know how it goes back together.

Remove the wire routing tab from the motor wires.

Unplug the motor wires.

Then remove the wire routing tab for the on/off switch.

Remove the power switch.

Then remove the 4 screws holding the electronics tray in place, and remove the electronics tray.

An overall shot of the chassis with both trays removed.

Time to re-assemble. Start with the battery tray and bolt it into place out front where the electronics tray was located.

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.

Here’s a shot of the servo extension I used.

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.

The servo extension plugged into the steering servo.

Now install the first two screws that hold the top half of the radio box. Make sure your wires are neatly tucked in and clear of being pinched between the two halves of the box.

Grab the top cap for the radio box and route the antenna wire through the cap from the bottom.

Secure the top cap with the last two screws.

Plug the motor wires back together and secure them to the chassis plate with the wire routing tab.

Another overall shot of the chassis now that the battery tray is out front.

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.

Remove the screws holding the lower link and shock to the axle bracket.

Using a 2.5mm driver, remove the screws that hold the bracket into place on the axle.

Flip the bracket 180 degrees and re-install on the axle.

Re-attach your lower link and shock to the bracket.

In an effort to lower the ride height even more, I moved the upper shock mounts to the inner most hole on the side plates.

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.

Use the wire cutters to cut the small center row of lugs away from the tire.

Now do the same for the small outer lugs.

A shot of the tire tread after removing the tread blocks.

You can also cut the existing sipes/grooves in the center lugs deeper with a Dremel and cutoff wheel for better off camber performance.

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.

Here’s how the stance on this rig sits now.

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!!

Link – Stage Two Ridgecrest Build
Link – Stage Three Ridgecrest Build

Bender’s AX10 Ridgecrest Project Backyard Basher

Now that Axial’s new Ridgecrest is readily available I wanted to show one of the Ridgecrest projects I have been working on. For this project I just wanted to build a do it all trail runner/crawler/basher. The Ridgecrest is the perfect platform for this type of build in my opinion, because of the stout AR60 axles and the well tuned suspension geometry. The purpose of this build is to have a rig that can handle a lot of various situations from sandy hills, to rocks and roots, a little water, and possibly some urban bashing. This project will also probably be a loaner vehicle on occasion as well, so I want it to work decent in all situations. Here’s a rundown of what I changed, and why.

A couple shots with the body removed. I swapped the electronics and battery trays around so the battery now sits in front for better weight distribution.

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Swapping the two trays around was easy, the only thing required was a servo extension wire. The steering servo wire lead on this rig was a bit too short for me to reach the receiver after swapping the two trays around. Servo extensions can be found at most hobby shops and online retailers for less than $5, so it is a cheap and easy solution.

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Here you can see the junction where the servo wire and the servo extension meet. I used the stock wire guide to keep the wires out of harm’s way. Also notice I moved the on/off switch to the opposite side of the chassis, just to keep wires cleanly tucked away.

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I stretched the wheelbase on this Ridgecrest to help on big rock obstacles, and hill climbs. A longer wheelbase usually helps a rig’s capabilities in these situations. So, I installed our 106mm grey links, part number AX30516, to replace the old stock plastic lower links. Then, I used our grey machined high clearance links, part number AX30469, to replace the stock upper links. In order to stretch the wheelbase as much as possible I used our long curved XR10 rod ends on all the suspension links, part number AX80057. You will need 4 of the rod end parts trees total to complete the conversion, as well as M3 threaded studs to secure the rod ends to the links, part number AXA0187. You will need two packages of the threaded studs to complete the conversion. My wheelbase now sits at 13 1/2″.

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A shot of the link set-up.

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Here you can see I also installed our new AR60 machined link mounts, part number AX30830, on the axles as well. These link mounts are cool because they have multiple mounting points, which will help you fine tune wheelbase, ride height and shock angles as needed.

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Another modification that I made was the jump to XR10 beadlock wheels, part number AX08061, and R35 Ripsaw tires, part number AX12015. This mod is one of the best you can make, the difference in traction between the stock RTR Ripsaw tires and the better R35 compound tires is night and day.

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Last thing I changed was the springs on the shocks. The stock springs were a bit too stiff for my liking, so I swapped them out for our purple comp springs, part number AX30224.

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A few shots with the newly cut body.

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So far these few mods have really transformed this vehicle into a super capable basher/trail runner, that is extremely fun to drive. Keep an eye out for my next few Ridgecrest installments covering how to convert your Ridgecrest into a capable comp crawler.