Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build


Words and photos by Tony Phalen

Whenever I get a new vehicle, I like to take the first couple weeks to just drive it in box-stock form to learn about its traits; how it handles, any quirky nuances, etc. During this time I also take some time to review any hop ups that might become available, giving me an idea on how my long-term upgrade process is going to play out. Thankfully, the SCORE Trophy Truck shares the same platform as the Yeti Rock Racer, which means that there are a slew of performance goodies already available. Armed with a bag of aluminum bits, I decided it was time to install them prior to getting this rig all dirty. Not only did that make it a lot easier to deal with (read: no dirt!), it also looks much prettier in pictures. Time for an Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build!

Step 1

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Here are the parts I’ll be installing in this article. I’ve got quite a bit of work ahead; shocks, gears, machined parts and turnbuckles. A full list of the parts I installed is included at the bottom of this article.

Step 2

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Since I’m going to need to remove the center transmission for upgrades, I disconnected the motor wires from the ESC. Pay attention to how the wires connect; if you have a photographic memory, you’re good to go. If not (like me), you can mark them to keep things straight. I put one silver mark for the A wire, 2 for the B and 3 for the C.

Step 3

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build I’m going to be working on the front end of the SCORE TT first. I started by removing the top deck support brace. It requires the removal of 10 screws in two different lengths so, to keep things organized, I put them back in the holes after removal.

Step 4

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Once the top deck support brace has been lifted off, removal of the front clip is easy. There are 4 screws underneath the chassis and the two hinge pin screws. I also disconnected the fixed-length steering turnbuckles as well – I’m replacing them with adjustable ones.

Step 5

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Separate the gearbox from the shock tower by removing the 4 screws holding them together. I’m only working with the differential at this time so I set the rest of the front clip assembly aside. Note the orientation of the diff in the gearbox. You’ll want to make sure you re-install it the same way.

Step 6

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Next, I removed the differential and bevel gear assemblies from the gearbox. I’m replacing them with the AX30395 Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set shown in the picture. One thing to notice is that the assemblies have straight cut gears; this design is pretty strong and easy to machine. The new HD versions are helical cut, or machined with a slight angle in them. These are great for high-torque applications like crawlers or, in this case, hardcore trophy trucks! To replace, remove the 4 screws on the diff to release the gear, set the new gear in place and re-install the 4 screws. If you’re the tinkering type, you might think about adding some optional fluid to the diff prior to putting it back together (I did, 1000wt). The HD bevel gear is a one-piece unit so replacing the stock part is a simple pull-and-replace operation. One final step I performed was to remove the rubber stops that are installed in each diff outdrive. If you hold the diff on its side, you’ll see them down inside there. These are used to keep the dogbones tight and prevent them from ejecting during a hard crash, however they hinder the up and down suspension movement slightly. Since I’ll be replacing the dogbones with universals, they’re not needed anymore.

Step 7

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Next up was the AX31170 Machined Front Shock Tower and AX31169 Machined Body Post Mount. These parts are a direct bolt on and work the same as the stock parts, however as you can see there are a few extra pieces. I’ll get to those in a bit.

Step 8

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build I disassembled the front clip down to the front shock tower assembly. The only part I’ll be reusing from this is the plastic body post.

Step 9

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build I attached the AX31169 Machined Body Post Mount to the AX31170 Machined Front Shock Tower. Since this is an aluminum-to-aluminum connection, I used a dab of threadlocker on the screws to make sure they don’t loosen up. I slid the plastic body post into the mount and used the screws provided to secure.

Step 10

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build I’m ditching the stock dogbone setup for a set of Axial’s AX31135 94mm Universal Axle Set. These come as a pair, are pre-assembled and slide right into place.

Step 11

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build I re-assembled the front clip – the new shock tower to the gearbox and the front bumper to the tower. I left the shocks off for now since I was replacing them with a full set of Axial’s Icons. You can also see the aluminum upper shock mounts that are included with the aluminum shock tower.

Step 12

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build For strength and additional tuning, I’m adding a full set of front adjustable turnbuckles (AX31249 Yeti Turnbuckle Set). This kit includes an excellent build sheet, so assembly is very easy. Just build the turnbuckles to the appropriate lengths and you’re good to go. I would suggest keeping them separate during the build so you don’t mix up the steering links with the camber links; the two are different.

Step 13

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Before attaching the front clip back on the TT, I need to do a little work on the transmission. I pulled it from the TT and removed the gear cover, motor, plastic backing plate and plastic motor mount.

Step 14

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build I installed Axial’s AX31156 Machined Adjustable Motor Mount, a 2-piece unit that includes the main mount that attaches to the gearbox and a mount that attaches to the motor. The motor mount part swivels to adjust the gear mesh and uses an upper clamp to keep it securely in place. Because it’s aluminum, this system is SUPER strong and helps pull unwanted heat away from the motor. I re-attached the plastic backing plate followed by the spur gear assembly (I used Axial’s AX31161 32P 64T Steel Spur Gear and AX31164 Machined Slipper Plates in place of the stock parts). These upgrades look awesome and should make the gearbox virtually bulletproof. After I tightened everything up, I went ahead and re-installed the gearbox into the TT.

Step 15

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Time to get the front back together, so I started by sliding the front clip onto the chassis and securing with the 4 screws from underneath as well as the two hinge pins. I made sure to key the center universal into the outdrive located under the transmission. It’s a little tricky, so I would suggest rotating the transmission gears (using the back tires) until you see the slots in the outdrive; this will make it easier to key the universal. Next, I slid the front axles through the steering blocks, attaching the wheel hexes to keep them in place. I installed the steering and camber links, making sure to key the axle bones into the outdrives. A little care has to be taken here to make sure the axle bones stay inside the outdrive.

Step 16

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Now that the front is back on and looking good, it was time to move on to the rear clip and the installation of a lot of performance parts. The first thing I needed to do is separate the rear clip from the rest of the chassis; front cage screws, rear cage screws and the 4-link mounts. If you did it right, this is what you should be left with.

Step 17

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build My first plan of attack is the rear differential. To extract it, I needed to remove the diff cover, the straight axle hub carriers and the axles (just pull them out slightly). I also removed the two plastic diff-capture plates that hold the diff in place. Note the orientation of the diff gear inside the housing.

Step 18

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Replacement of the diff gear and bevel gear is the same as the front. Once completed, re-assemble by inserting the diff gear, diff-capture plates and axles (key and slide back into place). I installed the optional AX30789 AR60 OCP Aluminum Straight Axle Hub Carrier.

Step 19

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build To strengthen the rear end, I replaced the stock plastic 4-link mount with the AX31165 Machined 4-Link Mounts as well as added Axial’s AX31244 Upper Link Plate Set. Both are direct bolt ons; the Upper Link Plate Set uses existing holes in the plastic links.

Step 20

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build I also installed Axial’s AX31245 Lower Link Plate Set. These also bolt right on using existing holes in the plastic links. I would suggest installing and tightening the two end screws while leaving the centermost pair loose. They can be tightened up when you re-install the shocks and anti-roll bar.

Step 21

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Here is the rear clip assembled with all of the aluminum parts installed. You can see I’ve also added the AX31166 Machined Shock Mount Plates, AX30830 AR60 OCP Machined Link Mounts and AX31167 Machined Sway Bar Clamps. The Machined Sway Bar Clamps are a little hard to see, but I’ve added some additional pictures at the end that help show their install. When re-attaching the rear clip back to the chassis, add some threadlocker to the screws that secure the aluminum 4-link mounts. This will help prevent the screws from backing out when you’re out having a good time.

Step 22

Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build While I loved the look of the King shocks, I couldn’t pass up installing a full set of Axial’s Icons. Per the included instructions, I built a set of front and rears and installed them in place of the Kings. I have an additional set of shocks to create a dual-shock setup, but I’m going to give it a whirl with the single shocks first. The dual-shock install (and tuning) will be for a later article. As you can see from the pictures, the aluminum parts look awesome and will provide additional strength as well as give the truck a bit more of a ‘factory’ look. Time for me to get outside and get this thing dirty!

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

AX30395 Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 38T/13T (x2)

AX30789 AR60 OCP Aluminum Straight Axle Hub Carrier

AX30829 AR60 OCP Machined Low-Profile Differential Cover

AX30830 AR60 OCP Machined Link Mount

AX31135 Universal Axle Set 94mm

AX30836 Aluminum Servo Horn 25T

AX31136 Icon 87-125mm Aluminum Shock Set

AX31156 Machined Adjustable Motor Mount

AX31161 Steel Spur Gear 32P 64T

AX31164 Machined Slipper Plate

AX31165 Machined 4 Link Mounts

AX31166 Machined Shock Mount Plates

AX31167 Machined Sway Bar Clamp

AX31169 Machined Body Post Mount

AX31170 Machined Front Shock Tower

AX31172 Icon 67-90mm Aluminum Shock Set

AX31244 Upper Link Plate Set

AX31245 Lower Link Plate Set

AX31249 Yeti Turnbuckle Set

Additional Photos Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build IMG_0552 IMG_0557 IMG_0555 IMG_0556

Rock Racing Tires


yeti rock racing

If you didn’t already know, tires make the single biggest difference in the overall performance of a competition vehicle. A fast motor will increase top speed, but if you want lower lap times, if you want to be in front of the competition, if you want to win, it is absolutely essential you spend time to getting the right tire setup on your Axial Racing vehicle. This includes tread pattern, rubber compound, size, inserts and even, to some extent, wheels.

While all Axial Racing vehicles include high-performance scale tires, there is no single best tire. What works perfectly at one rock racing track simply may not work at all at another track. Also, track conditions change, so what worked at one point in a race day might not be the ideal choice later in the same day.

Rock racing is tricky because what works exceptionally well on rocks is unlikely to work on high-speed dirt sections and vice versa. It is essentially impossible to pick out a rock racing tire without making some sort of compromise. The specific track you are racing on will determine which way you want to compromise performance.


Tread Pattern
The tread is the most obvious feature of a tire. All of the other features in a tire design matter to varying degrees, but it’s hard to argue that tread pattern makes a big difference.

Treads with taller, flexible lugs can sometimes be beneficial on rocks, but they are unlikely to do well on typical hard racing surfaces where the tread easily folds over. When the lug folds over, it provides inconsistent and unpredictable handling as they can slightly squirm around. If a track has a lot of silt, which is very common, tall lugs do help. Most racing-specific tires, however, have short lugs, so if the rock racing track you’re competing on has a lot of fast sections, select a tires with smaller, closer-spaced lugs.

Large voids (open spaces) between lugs help keep tires from clogging with soft, wet dirt. If the track is muddy due to weather conditions or heavy watering by the track crew, consider a tire with large spaces between the treads such as the Axial BFGoodrich Krawler T/A tire.


Another part of the tread to look at is the sidewall. Tires such as the Axial Maxxis Trepador and Axial Ripsaw have significant tread wrapping down the side of the tire carcass. These side treads can be a huge advantage on the rocky section and typically won’t impact handling on the fast sections.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match tires to achieve the desired handling. Often rock racers have a hard time with squirrelly handling on the fast sections and at the start. Going with a less aggressive front tire can help reduce oversteer. If the car slides (not spins out) in the corners, it will benefit a more aggressive front tire and might need more traction overall.


Rubber Compound
There are numerous rubber compounds to choose from. Softer compounds such as Axial’s R35 compound (white dot) are softer and stickier. Soft compounds provide more traction, but wear faster. A soft compound such as R35 is almost always better for rock racing.

In the same way treads can be mixed and matched, different compounds can be used the front compared to the rear. It might make sense to start with R35 compound with the rear tires only.


Often, when selecting tires for rock crawling, the focus is on tire height, but width is just as important when choosing a rock racing tire. In general, and with all things being equal, a wider tire has an increased contact patch and will provide more traction. Narrow tires up front teamed up with wider rear tires can be an ideal setup. This is especially worth trying if your truck is struggling to track well in the corners.

While width is important when looking for the right front to rear balance, height is still important. The main benefit of taller tires is increased ground clearance. Taller tires also have taller sidewalls since we only use a few wheel sizes in R/C. Taller sidewalls have no benefit on the fast sections, but tall sidewalls do allow for a more flexible tire that can wrap around rocks and aid in climbing.


In full-size tires, compressed air supports the tire. There are a few exceptions, of course. In R/C, foam inserts replaces the air, and just like the air inside a full-size tire, the foam supports the tire. Firmer foam is like higher PSI and softer foam is like less PSI.

Foam can be divided into four groups: open-cell, closed cell, memory, and multi-stage.

Open-cell foam is the most common type of foam found in R/C. Not all open-cell foam is the same; there are countless varieties. This is the same for all of the foam types. Axial Racing includes a medium density (firmness) foam insert.

Closed-cell foam is molded foam and in the last five years has become the most common type of foam used with racing vehicles. A solid closed-cell insert is, however, almost always too firm to work well for rock racing.

Memory foam is often used in rock crawling, but it can have some ill effects when rock racing. Memory foam is heavier than both open- and closed-cell foam. This helps with rock crawling, but can actually cause accelerated parts wear. Unlike traditional foam, memory foam is slow to return to its original shape after encountering an obstacle. This characteristic of memory foam helps when rock crawling where going slow is the norm. The memory foam conforms to and wraps around obstacles. When rock racing, if memory foam is compressed it will cause an out-of-balance tires and erratic handling.

Multi-stage foams use more than one type of foam and allow you to have a “best of both worlds” setup. Just about any combination is possible, but the best setup for rock racing would be a closed-cell inner ring surrounded by an open-cell outer ring.



How the foam fits inside the tire also impacts how firm it feels. For rock racing, it is best to use a foam insert properly sized to the tire. An oversized foam insert will make the foam firmer than possibly desired and an undersized foam will provide erratic handling as it moves around inside the tire. In high-speed racing, a slight air gap (space between outside top of the foam and inside of the tread are) will increase traction without hampering handling as long air gap isn’t too large. Creating a consistent air gap when using open-cell foam can be difficult, but with careful attention to detail it is possible.

An important item to consider is that foam inserts wear out. Sometimes tires might not show a lot of visible wear, but the inserts inside have broken down. Open-cell foam wears out the fastest. Often simply squeezing a tire doesn’t demonstrate how the foam is holding up. Instead, squeeze all of the tires and make sure the foam rebounds at the same in rate in all of the tires. Carefully feel the tires to see if the is an increased gap between the tire and the foam insert. If you’re using bead lock wheels, disassembling the tires and wheels may be in order.


Where rock crawlers often favor heavier aluminum wheels, lightweight wheels are best rock racing. Increasing rotational mass, such as with heavy wheels, is never desirable on a high-speed vehicle. In fact, lightweight and more flexible wheels will most likely improve handling over bumps and jumps.

While bead lock wheels have the advantages of being easily reused and unlikely to fail (have a tire come apart) if properly installed, they are heavier. Glue-up style one-piece wheels are often appropriately flexible and lightweight, which, as stated, are good qualities for racing.

Yeti™ Trophy Truck® – Geared for Speed


Straight out of the box, the Yeti Trophy Truck features gearing (16T pinion / 64T spur gear) best suited for extended run time on a 3S LiPo 5000 mAh battery. While this gearing yields a healthy amount of run time on both 2S and 3S (perfect for extended outdoor adventures), as customers, we are always looking for MORE SPEED. This is likely due to the fact that once people experience just how capable a Yeti Trophy Truck is in the wild, the tendency to want more speed becomes an overwhelming thought. Truth is… it can handle more, although more than what Axial offers with regard to available pinion gears.

After extensive testing with a variety of battery / pinion / spur gear combinations, we came to the following conclusion for best run time and speed on 2S and 3S:

2S 5000 mAh – 21T pinion / 64T spur gear • top speed 20mph • 15 minutes of run time 3S 5000 mAh - 21T pinion / 64T spur gear • top speed 32mph • 20 minutes of run time

The largest pinion we currently offer is 17T (AX30843 Pinion Gear 32P 17T – Steel (5mm Motor Shaft)), which will give you more speed than the stock 16T pinion gear, but not much. Please keep in mind that going with pinion gears higher than 21T will put more strain on your motor, resulting in potentially dangerous higher temperatures. For our test, we used a Robinson Racing 21T pinion gear (

Axial Papercraft Vehicle Kit Boxes


Being the die-hard Axial fan that you are, a while back you may have noticed the Papercraft Accessories blog that was posted up just before the RECON G6 B-Day II Scale event. Within the post you’ll find gas cans, pieces of luggage, wrapped presents, toolboxes, and even a boom box. Pretty cool considering that if the crafts ever got damaged you could easily print, cut, and put together a new one.

Now that some time has gone by, we figured it would be a great time to update the papercraft assortment to include ALL the current and past Axial vehicle boxes! Yes, ALL BOXES, which includes the original AX10™ Scorpion, EXO™, XR10™ and even the new Yeti™ SCORE® Trophy Truck®!

Just when you thought your scale garage/work shop scene was fully sorted out… Time for papercraft!

Scrambling to open the box immediately after delivery drops it off!

PC_all boxes-8430-2

Where it all started, AX10™ Scorpion
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10™ Vehicles

SCX10 II™ 2000 Jeep® Cherokee 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – Kit
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10 II™ 2000 Jeep® Cherokee 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10™ Ram Power Wagon
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10™ Jeep® Wrangler G6™ Falken Edition 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10™ Deadbolt™ 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited C/R Edition 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10™ Jeep® Wrangler G6 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – Kit
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – Kit
(click vehicle name for file)

2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Papercraft How To VIDEO of the 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Papercraft

SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10™ Trail Honcho™ 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

SCX10™ Dingo™ 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – Kit
(click vehicle name for file)

Wraith™ Vehicles:

Wraith™ Spawn 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – Kit
(click vehicle name for file)

Wraith™ Spawn 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™-Poison Spyder Rock Racer 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

Wraith™ Rock Racer 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – Kit
(click vehicle name for file)

Wraith™ Rock Racer 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

Yeti™ Vehicles:

Yeti™ SCORE® Trophy Truck® 1/10 Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

Yeti XL™ 1/8th Scale Electric 4WD – Kit
(click vehicle name for file)

Yeti XL™ 1/8th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

Yeti™ Rock Racer 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

Yeti™ Rock Racer 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – Kit

AX10™ Vehicles:

AX10™ Deadbolt™ 1/10 Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

AX10™ Ridgecrest™ 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

EXO™ Vehicles:

EXO™ Terra Buggy – 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD Terra Buggy – RTR
(click vehicle name for file)

EXO™ Terra Buggy – 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD Terra Buggy – Kit
(click vehicle name for file)


XR10™ – 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD Rock Crawler Competition Kit
(click vehicle name for file)


Original Axial Recon G6 BDay Bash II Scale Papercraft Accessories Blog Post

2015 CKRC/U4RC NorCal-SoCal Shootout








The “2015 CKRC/U4RC NorCal-SoCal Shootout” is now a chapter in the r/c history books. That’s right, history was made on 6/20/15 at Berchard R/C Raceway inside the Glen Helen Motorsports Park, with the first ever “regional level” R/C rock race event. There were championship titles on the line for each of the 6 different current U4RC classes. All of which were “highly” contested with 60+ entries for the event. U4RC has really stepped it up to bring the best experience to ALL of its enthusiasts by providing a “live feed” broadcasted worldwide of the entire event. Who would have ever thought that such a raw form of R/C racing born from the merging of the R/C endurance event KOTC and “parking lot” short course racing behind the old RCP Crawlers, would turn out this successful? . The drivers’ giveaway and raffle topped $3500 worth of hard core r/c swag! The items ranged from Axial Racing RTRs and kits, to Vanquish RC high end hop-ups to Holmes Hobbies’ quality electronic products and the list goes on and on!


There were racers in attendance from all over the Western U.S. including; SoCal, NorCal, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oregon. The pits were filled with a “who is who” of insiders from the R/C crawling world, including racers and visitors from Axial Racing, CKRC Hobbies, Voodoo Tires, TCS Crawlers, Pit Bull Tires, Tekin, Vanquish RC, B.A.D. Graphix and many more. The Shootout’s racing action was absolutely the best we have seen to date in U4RC. Every class was a “battle” until the buzzer rang at the end of each Main.




1.9 Trail
class was a feverish fight all day long. Those little 1.9” clad rigs really take a beating while entertaining the crowd of onlookers. This class is based off of the SCX10 platform for the most part. Top honors in 1.9 Trail went to; 1st Johnny Stephens, 2nd place went to Anthonee Ramirez and John Ingold took home a 3rd place trophy for his efforts. This class, and others will be split by a Pro/Limited classification for the upcoming series due to the broad spectrum of ability levels of both driver and rig within the class.

Adam Baker won top honors in 1.9 Comp class. While 2nd place went to Austin Daynes and Scott Coomes of team Whistler Racing took home a 3rd place finish.

1.9 Trophy is the mini version of our grass roots class “2.2 Trophy”. These are highly realistic, all metal chassis’, 7lb minimum, racecars. The “Mini-Beast” chassis operated by RC Fabworks owner Mike Duncan took top honors, followed closely by Team Vanquish driver Dan Wilson, also running a “Mini-Beast” chassis. The third driver on this podium was Team Tekin and VP driver Michael Pham in a custom “one-off” chassis. For those of you that like scale realism, this is one of the two U4 classes that require a highly realistic looking race rig. They look and sound awesome battling it out, on course.

2.2 Comp Limited was definitely a tough class to achieve a podium finish in. All of the podium finishers were racing with modified Axial Wraiths. The rigs’ suspensions are fairly limited in this class to keep racing as fair as possible. 1st place trophy went to Michael Pham, while 2nd place went to Team Whistler co-founder Chris Bailey. The final podium spot for the 2.2 Comp Limited class went to Brian Hood from NorCal-U4RC. This class will also be split for the upcoming series. A special thank you has to go out to Brian Hood for throwing down some of the most passionate, accurate and entertaining announcing we have seen in a long while!

2.2 Comp Open class saw the largest number of entries and it’s no wonder with Axials’ release of the Yeti in 2014. Absolutely the wildest action of the day went on in this class. Yetis were putting down the fastest lap times all day long. The IFS/solid axle configuration works very well on rugged U4RC tracks. Coming out on top of the 2.2 Open class were Mike Duncan (RC Fabworks), followed in 2nd place by Axial/Voodoo team driver and R/C crawling icon Jake Wright. Grabbing a respectable 3rd place finish was Whistler Racing’s Mikey Foerster. These drivers should be very proud of their finishing results because 2.2 Open racing was heavily contested. Team Vanquish driver Michael Pham threw down the fastest overall lap of the event and took home a crisp $100 bill to prove it!

2.2 Trophy class is where the U4RC craze all started from. These race rigs are full custom, all metal chassis’ with the most stringent rules to help keep the class as realistic as possible to their 1:1 counterparts. The rigs in this class are also constantly progressing to keep up with advancements in full size rock racing. Like the smaller 1.9 Trophy rigs, the sound (metal chassis banging off rocks and together) and the visual enjoyment (very realistic) encountered while watching trophy cars race is unmatched by any other form of R/C racing! Team Pro-Line driver Rich Boltz took home the championship with his FletchBuilt chassis. He was followed closely by Team Vanquish/Voodoo driver Dan Wilson in his RC Fabworks Beast rig. The 3rd spot on the podium went to RCP driver Chris Pickering. Chris was also running a FletchBuilt chassis.

In conclusion, U4RC would like to thank Axial Racing for their continued support of not only R/C rock racing, but for supporting the many different forms of R/C events around the globe. Axial really does seem to care about getting a fun, reliable, realistic product into the hands of R/C enthusiasts worldwide. A final thanks goes out to all of the U4RC supporters everywhere. It’s your involvement that got U4 to where it is today and without its’ supporters U4RC would probably be fading out instead of still growing!

1.9trail1 1.9trail2 1.9trail 2.2limited 1.9trophy1 1.9trophy 1.9trail4 2.2open(scottkdriving) 2.2open(scottkbackground) 2.2open 2.2trophy2.jpg 2.2trophy1.jpg 2.2trophy driverstand 10991269_624908584311968_710770773286643754_n 2.2trophy4 2.2trophy3









































































































































For more info on U4RC rock racing please visit us at , U4RC/Facebook or on

words: Jerry Tobin–U4RC
photos: James Goad

AXIALFEST 2015 JRC Giveaway


JRC is taking over the AXIALFEST Giveaway! Custom concept builder, Judd Rummage has taken the four Axial Racing RTRs and over $2000.00 in Vanquish parts that are slated to be given away at AXIALFEST 2015 and has transformed that pile of parts and stock vehicles into four JRC custom concept vehicles. Come check it out Judd did four Photoshop renderings of what he wanted these rigs to look like. Then, he built them. Come see the concept next to a photo of the real thing you won’t believe how close it is. Sorry no long build threads or tons of process pictures, just all business and must be seen in person to get the full effect.

JRC is the very first full service, professional graphic design, marketing and vehicle conception service dedicated to the sport and culture surrounding Off Road Vehicles. We operate in both radio controlled scale and full size markets. JRC offers a full range of graphic design services for everyone and has worked with a diverse list of clients, from the average custom scale builder, to large off road giants like Axial Racing, Vanquish products and Rebel Off Road. We offer consulting, branding, marketing, graphic design, logos, icons, stickers, banners, packaging, t-shirts, apparel design, vehicle skins, scale photography, video editing, ads, social media, web, product design and product development. We can consult with you and nail down the whole look of your new project before you even get started buying and building. We can enhance your whole build with a custom graphics concept package that will blow peoples minds. If you want a complete build we can handle that to. We deal with all the best manufactures and vendors directly, to bring the very best in chassis and parts packages. Weather your a pro or just the average builder, we can enhance your next build in ways you never imagined.


Vanquish was the first introduce realistic high voltage lighting solutions for RC trucks. Their partnership with Rigid Industries lighting has led to the evolution some of the brightest RC vehicles lights on the market. This model is Vanquish themed and features a Vanqusih parts package valued over $1000.00. JRC celebrates the adventure night driving with this dark stealthy night predator. Featuring JRC’s exclusive “night camo” pattern. You will be turning heads by day or night if you are the lucky winner of this model.

Vanquish upgrades include:

Currie Axles

Vanquish eight-hole shooter wheels with SLW hubs

Axial HD diff and lockers front and rear with under driven rear

Axial Falkin R35 Wild peak tires

Currie Ti link and steer set

Vanquish Stage one kit

JRC graphic full skin graphics dress up

Vanquish Rigid 6 inch LED light bar

vanquish wrangert TOP 3-4 REAR VIEW FRONT 3-4 FRONT VIEW BOTTOM 3-4 REAR LOGO CLOSEUP JRC_GiveAway-1868



Vanquish “ORANGE CRUSH” Wraith SPAWN body concept
Axial Celebrates their Wraith line this year with the release of the “SPAWN”. JRC couldn’t wait to get a hold of one of these bodies. JRC tackles the 2.2 sector in this concept with a unique chopped body and cage design. This vehicle features Axial’s rugged Wraith based chassis design, with terrain hungry 2.2 tire size for absolute trail domination. You get all of the great advantages of an Axial RTR combined with a full body wrapped Vanquish Products themed graphics package. Lets not forget the full arsenal of Vanquish products installed. I can’t believe this awesome trail beast is going to be given away. The Vanquish parts package alone is valued over $1000.00.

Parts for this build include:

Vanquish OMF wheels with SLW hubs

Currie Axles

HD diff and lockers front and rear with under driven rear

Axial Trepador R35 tires

Currie Ti link and steer set

Vanquish Wraith stage one kit

JRC graphic full skin graphics dress up

Vanquish Rigid 5 inch LED light bar



2015 marks the 10 year anniversary of Axial Racing. They were founded in 2005 and since then have risen to the top of the radio controlled off road vehicle market. Models like the SCX10 and Wraith have propelled Axial to new levels of RC fun. To top it all off 2015 marks the introduction of the Axial YETI.  This race machine exemplifies the Axial spirit, so what better choice for the 10th anniversary themed vehicle. This Anniversary themed vehicle feature a full body wrapped graphics package over a completely RTR YETI Model. This vehicle features all of the usual JRC detail touches including a full custom interior paint job as well.




In the spirit of the Recon G6 Radio Controlled Adventure Racing series we present the “G6 SCOUT TRUCK”. This model features unique styling based on the lifestyle of G6 racing.   If parker had a pre runner race truck, this is what it would look like. The “Scout” features unique styling features, such as shaved fenders and cage. The “topo map” graphics will keep you grounded and navigating in the right direction. The Axial RTR package set up will get you where you want to go. This vehicle is up to the challenge of scouting and testing today’s toughest G6 courses in style.










Axle and Suspension Designs Explained

solid axle articulation

Axial Racing vehicles are patterned after full-size off-road vehicles, and at Axial, scale realism is more than skin deep. That means that Axial’s RC models are more than just realistic bodies on top of universal or generic platforms. The SCX10, for example, features solid axles and a linked suspension. The EXO Terra Buggy, on the other hand, has what is called independent suspension, front and rear. The Yeti has independent front suspension and a solid rear axle. In addition to axle types, there are different suspension types found on the same axle designs. Here are the basics of axle and suspension designs and what they are generally best for. sc10 solid axle

Solid Axle

The solid axle gets its name from the solid axle housing that goes from one side to the other, not the axle shafts inside. The internal axle shafts aren’t actually a single solid piece going all the way across. Inside the housing, there is an axle shaft on each side. This is true in the full-size world and with Axial axles. Axial’s design is extremely similar to a real solid axle. The AX10, SCX10 and Wraith all feature solid axles front and rear. The SCX10 features a narrower axle design; the Wraith platform and the current AX10 feature Axial’s wider AR60 axle that is the RC equivalent of a full floating 1-ton design. wraith solid axle

Often the terms live axle and solid axle are used interchangeably. Most solid axles are live axles, but they aren’t the same thing. A live axle is any axle that is powered and not free rolling. When rock crawling, the solid axle is often the preferred design. In addition to the durability solid axles are known for, they also don’t lose ground clearance as a tire is pushed up during suspension articulation. The easiest way to visualize this to grab a pen or pencil and imagine it is a solid axle. Tilt one end up and over an obstacle and you can see how by driving tires up and over obstacles makes maintaining ground clearance easy. This exercise also makes it easy to see why it’s often best to place tires on rocks in the trail instead of trying to straddle them. independent

Independent Suspension

Independent suspension means the two opposing sides work independently from each other. If the right front tire hits a bump, the left front tire is not impacted. When speed is involved, the independent suspension is a better choice as it provides a much smoother ride. Keep in mind that when a tire on an independent setup encounters an obstacle, the tire and suspension components travel up, but the vehicle typically doesn’t. This allows the vehicle to go over rough terrain at a fast rate and remain stable. Picture all of the wheels moving up and down independently as a truck races across a desert terrain. The downside is when traversing rocks, the center section of the chassis will stay low to the ground as the tires move up and over rocks. Many full-size trucks have independent front suspensions (IFS) paired with a solid rear axle. This used to be common on only 2WD trucks, but is essentially the standard for the majority of factory trucks. There are many SUVs that have front and rear independent suspensions.


scx10 aluminum 3 link


A solid axle can be attached to the frame or chassis of the vehicle in a number of ways. Probably the oldest and simplest way is via a leaf spring setup. Vehicles that are engineered for better ride quality and articulation (suspension movement) now use coil springs. Using coil springs, however, requires the axle to be held in proper position (and still articulate or move). This is done via links. There are a variety of link setups. A 3-link setup, as the name implies, uses three links to connect the axle to the chassis. Take the SCX10, for example, the front suspension setup has two bottom links and a single upper Y-shaped link. Since the upper Y-shaped link attaches to the axle at one spot, this is called a traditional three link setup. To add a degree of confusion, the name a suspension design gets isn’t always based on the total number of links. This is because some suspension designs, even in R/C, will have a pan hard bar (or track bar) that helps locate the axle under the vehicle and keeps the axle housing from moving from side to side. So, someone may say they have a 3-link setup with a pan hard bar. This is a total of four links. It’s worth noting that a link design that is properly triangulated will not need a pan hard bar.


wraith 4 link


The Wraith uses a traditional triangulated 4-link suspension design. A close look reveals that at the axle the lower links are mounted far apart and then closer together at the chassis. The opposite is the case for the upper links, which have an even more pronounced triangulation. This design properly positions the axle, allows for plenty of articulation and is very strong. The previously mentioned Wraith has a 4-link setup front and rear. Depending of the particular version, you are most likely to find a 4-link rear suspension on the SCX10. The Yeti uses a 4-link rear suspension. And, the current AX10 platform, Ridgecrest and Deadbolt, use 4-links front and rear. The XR10 competition crawler also uses a 4-link design front and rear.


Example of an IFS and 4-Link vehicle: Yeti XL

John Schultz’s Winning Deadbolt


Fresh off the tarmac from the 2015 No Limit RC Monster Truck World Finals held at Dennis Anderson’s Diggers Dungeon in Poplar North Carolina, John Schultz, Axial Ambassador, dropped off his custom built Deadbolt Monster Truck conversion at Axial HQ for a closer look.  It’s important to note, Solid Axle was the biggest class in attendance, 70 trucks raced and a total of 80 trucks present, many of which featured Axial’s AR60 axles.


Upon first peek it might be hard to spot the Deadbolt backbone, but upon a second glance it’ll be more obvious, as will the dusting of Wraith and Yeti parts. We’ll be featuring a more in-depth build report on the truck shortly. In the meantime, here’s a quick parts list and detailed photos of the truck. Lets not forget photos, CLICK HERE for more photos.

JohnS_BKT_Truck_WP-5 JohnS_BKT_Truck_WP-4 JohnS_BKT_Truck_WP-3 JohnS_BKT_Truck_WP-2 JohnS_BKT_Truck_WP-7 JohnS_BKT_Truck_WP-8 JohnS_BKT_Truck_WP-1

Axial Parts List:

AX31109 – Yeti™ Rear 4 Link Set, F&R

AX30782 – Wraith Rear Sway Bar Set (Soft, Medium, Firm)

AX30781 – Wraith Front Sway Bar Set (Soft, Medium, Firm)

AX30708 – AX10 Locked Transmission – Complete Metal Gear Set – Steel (3pcs)

AX30829 – AR60 OCP Machined Low-Profile Differential Cover (Hard Anodized)

AX30830 – AR60 OCP Machined Link Mounts (Hard Anodized) (2pcs)

AX30836 – Aluminum Servo Horn 25T (Hard Anodized)

AX30780 – AR60 OCP Universal Axle Set F&R

AX30789 – AR60 OCP Aluminum Straight Axle Hub Carrier (2pcs)

AX30395 – Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 38T/13T (Rear Axle)

AX30401 – Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set – 36T/14T (Front Axle, Overdrive)

AX30760 – XR10 Aluminum Steering Knuckle (Black) (2pcs)

AX30762 – XR10 Aluminum C-Hub Carrier (Black) (2pcs)

Other Parts:

Tires – 10114-02 – Pro-Line Racing Destroyer 2.6” Solid Axle Monster Tire F&R

Wheels – Clod Buster Rims and Adapters F&R

HPI – 88055 - Wheelie King Axle Wideners F&R

HPI – 6589 - Wheelie King Red/Soft Springs

HPI – 87600 – Wheelie King Differentials

Body – 3252-00 – Pro-Line Racing Ford F-250 Body

Graphics/Paint – BKT Ride Truck Graphics

ESC/Motor – 3087 – Novak Electronics – Crusher ESC w/4PHD 4X4 SCT BL Motor

Battery – DTXC1964 – Duratrax – 2s 5000mAh 35c LiPo

Servo – Savox – SV1271SG

What is Rock Racing?


Axial offers vehicles identified as rock crawlers and as rock racers such as the SCX10 and the Yeti, respectively. To make the perfect selection when purchasing your R/C vehicle, you need to know the difference between rock crawling and rock racing.

Rock crawling has been around as long as there have been off-road vehicles like the classic Jeep and rocks to drive them on. The Rubicon Trail in northern California might have originally been used by settlers in covered wagons, but the rocks on that trail have probably seen more rubber tires than wagon wheels. When people think of rock crawling, they often think of this iconic trail or a similar scene and driving over rock formations with beautiful vistas. They see rock crawling as slow, enjoyable and relaxing. They also recognize that it’s challenging. This is recreational rock crawling. It can be a pretty tame trip down an easy trail with a few rocks to negotiate or a hardcore excursion with ample body damage and winching. Recreational rock crawling led to the creation of competitive rock crawling. You probably already know that if it is automotive in nature, it can and will be made into a competition.


Rock crawling, as the name implies, generally takes place on rocky terrain and is not about going fast, but sometimes the skinny pedal is the only way to get up and over something. Not all rock crawling is competitive, of course, but when it is a competition, time is a factor and, thus, speed is a factor. Hence, you’ll see plenty of throttle used at rock crawling competitions. The course is most often marked with such items such as cones, tape or rope. Hitting markers results in penalties. So, competitive crawling requires a mix of speed and finesse. You won’t win if you finish with the fastest time, but hit every marker on the course and racked up the time penalties. Conversely, you won’t win a rock crawling competition if you miss every marker with a perfectly executed and clean run, but take all day to finish the course. As described previously, rock crawling is also a popular recreational motorsport. In this case, rock crawling is often called trail riding. Again, as long as the first Jeeps were available to the public, this type of rock crawling has existed.

rock racing

In the same way that just about anything automotive can be made into a competition, any automotive competition can increase in intensity if given a little time. Thus rock crawling has given us rock racing. Rock racing comes in many forms. The first type of rock racing evolved from rock crawling competitions that focused more on speed and less on the finesse needed to avoid markers and the accompanying penalties. Some rock racing competitions feature side-by-side racing by running two vehicles on the course at once. One of the more popular forms of rock racing came from a challenge made between desert racers and rock crawlers. The challenge became an annual event called the King of the Hammers. This race combined high speed desert racing and grueling rock crawling. Both forms of racing have high attrition rates and require specialized equipment.

Besides the increased speeds, one of the biggest differences between rock crawling and rock racing is that most rock racing has the whole field on course at once. Again, some small course rock racing might feature two vehicles that are running partially separated courses, but Ultra4 style racing such as the King of the Hammers has the whole field racing at once. This creates an interesting element as isn’t always easy to pass a competitor who’s stuck on the rocks you also need to get up and over.

rock racing 3

R/C rock racing is mostly patterned after the growing full-size Ultra4 style of racing. While people are R/C rock racing all around the country and world, one organization has stood out as a leading in developing a race format, rules and in promoting events. That racing body is U4RC. Following is an interview that helps explain what rock racing and U4RC are all about.

rock racing 6

The R/C community is starting to hear more and more about U4RC, but who is behind this still relatively new organization? U4RC is; Jerry Tobin (owner/founder), Brian Jones (owner/co-founder) and Jerry Ellifritz (owner/promoter). Between the three owners of U4RC there is a very solid background in R/C. Jerry Tobin has been in the SoCal R/C crawling scene since 2005. Jerry competed in competitive R/C crawling at a national level for several seasons and was ranked in the top 15 for USRCCA Super class. In 2009, Tobin created the infamous “King of the Compound” R/C endurance rock/desert race which U4RC, as we know it today, was born from. Brian Jones was around when R/C rock crawling was in its infancy and still on the pages of the monster truck forums, which stemmed from originally. Brian has been highly involved over the years in many aspects of growth in the crawling segment of R/C, including exhibitions, trade shows and was one of the original owners of RCP Crawlers. Brian too, was a national level ranked competitive crawler. He even attended the first USRCCA Nationals event in Moab, Utah. Jerry Ellifritz has been involved in R/C crawling for about five years, and comes from the scale side of the hobby originally. In those five years, Jerry has immersed himself deeply in R/C crawling including coordinating “G6” scale events, several one-off scale events and, of course, U4RC. Jerry’s involvement with U4 has proven to be invaluable to the advancement of this exciting, new segment of R/C.

Tell us about U4RC? What is its mission? Who is it geared towards? U4RC is an R/C rock racing organization that was launched in 2012. Our mission is to deliver R/C racing with a real, grass roots operating style and feel to it, unlike what is mostly available to the “go fast” R/C community. Currently the majority of the racers are from the R/C crawling world, although we are surprised constantly by the influx of inquiries and new racers from the “go fast” community. We feel U4RC is a great “crossover” of several genres, mainly because “racers” as well as “scalers” can find common ground within the classes available through U4RC. The class structure is set up so that everyone from a “newbie” with a box stock RTR rig, (SCX10, Spawn, Yeti, Wraith) all the way to advanced custom tuber chassis “builders/racers” have a competitive, fun class to run in.

How many tracks are affiliated with U4RC and what are they typically like? The list of tracks is growing quickly throughout the nation and globally, with tracks in SoCal, NorCal, Washington, Arizona, Florida, Minnesota and so forth. There are currently at least a dozen dedicated U4RC tracks at R/C facilities nationally. There are also U4RC tracks and clubs globally, including Canada, Australia, Austria, South America, Italy, Poland and so on (too many places to list).

Given that U4RC is modeled after full-size rock racing, tracks are typically a design that is different from what is considered the “norm” in R/C off-road racing. U4 tracks are not generally groomed (with the exception of watering), there is no sticky stuff, and you will never see a broom used on a U4 track. In contrast, our tracks usually include one or two rock gardens, a hill climb obstacle, elevation changes, jumps, whoops, wide open straights, stutter jumps, semi-tight technical sections, moguls, sand/gravel pits, etc.

What is the U4RC race format? U4RC runs a heads up heat, LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier), Main style racing format, where top finishing positions are key in every “Heat” round for advancement to the “Main” races. We feel this format is the purest way to find the best of the best for the day. Many forms of R/C racing run a “quickest time” advancement structure during lower rounds. Not at U4RC, we want to avoid drivers having an opportunity to sandbag early in the day by just getting a good “hot lap” time in and not conserving the rig because the track itself is a challenge along with the fellow racers you’re up against.

U4RC, like the full-size competition it models, combines go-fast racing and extreme rock crawling. Who usually does better, the racer types or the rock crawlers? That is a difficult question to accurately answer due to the varying terrains on the different U4RC tracks. The racer types definitely excel on the faster, less technical tracks where high speed vehicle control is key. The crawlers that learn to “go fast” well tend to be very successful due to the fact that you have to conserve your rig to a certain extent during the course of a U4 race. Overall the fastest racers to date in U4RC are the rock crawling crowd, which is very similar scenario when compared to our full size counterparts. Once the racer types learn to conserve their rigs, look out!

What classes are there in U4RC? Describe how the Axial Yeti, Wraith and SCX10 typically fit in the various classes? There are six classes in U4RC racing currently. There is a class available for every Axial rig made at this point. The classes are 1.9 Trail, 1.9 Comp, 1.9 Trophy, 2.2 Comp (Limited), 2.2 Comp (Open) and 2.2 Trophy. The SCX10 platform falls into the 1.9 Trail class, which is intended for trail rigs such as (but not limited to) a “G6” or “1.9 Deadbolt” or “Falken” SCX10. For Wraith owners, there is 2.2 Comp (limited), which is limited to a Solid/Solid axle configuration. The Wraith “Spawn” rock racer is a great starting point for this class. All Wraith models are legal for this class in their stock configuration. Axial Yeti owners have a place to race in 2.2 Comp (Open), which is open to the IFS/Solid axle configuration of the Yeti. The Yetis have proven to totally dominate 2.2 Comp Open since its release last year. Not to be forgotten is the fact that the majority of the 1.9 and 2.2 Trophy class rigs are either built using the SCX10 (1.9) and Wraiths (2.2) as their base for the builds.

 Is there a class for the Axial Yeti XL? We are currently writing rules for the next series that will include a class for the Axial Yeti XL. The XL hit the market just after the current rules were released last year. Given the success and performance of the RTR version and the recently released kit version, we definitely will provide a place for XL Yeti owners to compete. U4RC track in the future will be designed with consideration of the Yeti XL.

What goes into a good U4RC vehicle? Probably the most important thing would be choosing the right components. U4RC racing is hard on parts so choosing the right upgrades for your application is a must.  In an entry-level class where your car is close to stock, the smart thing would be to upgrade the smaller parts before, say, throwing a 3S pack and a 4000+ Kv motor in it. Those things are more suited for the fully built rigs of the mod and trophy classes.  Another very important aspect of setting up a car is suspension.  Good shocks, springs and the right oil combo makes a huge difference.  Since we race at different tracks, with varying technical levels and obstacles, that means the driver needs to be on top of their set-up at all times. Of course, as in all racing, tires are also a big deal. Some drivers actually sipe their own tires for different tracks, just as in the 1:1 world.  Fortunately, we have recently had companies designing not only tires, but many other parts specifically for U4RC racing and the results have been outstanding. If you take a look at our sponsor list you will see what I mean.

There’s an old saying in racing that to finish first you must first finish. That seems to have been suited for Ultra4 racing. Do you have any driving advice you can share for U4RC racers? You nailed it 100% with that statement. That old adage couldn’t apply any more that to U4RC racing. A conservative driving style will get your rig to the finish line, because you are racing against other drivers as well as the challenging terrain. The racers that have a “wide open” driving style generally run a higher risk of catastrophic equipment failures. This is due to the nature of U4 racing and the built-in obstacles throughout the track. Don’t expect the “turn marshal” to win the race for you. Keeping the rubber side down is the way to go. Walk the track prior to your race and identify any obstacles that you will want to avoid or gather your game plan for tackling those obstacles. Final bit of advice is to drive. Get out, drive your rig and learn how it reacts to your inputs from the transmitter.

What do you see in the future for U4RC? We believe that U4RC will bridge the gap between the R/C rock crawling community and the R/C racer community. With the amount of scale realism required from the rules and the extremely fast paced action on the track, it has aspects that both sides will be drawn to. U4RC is holding our first regional level event here on the West Coast this June that is sure to see attendance of U4 racers from all our neighboring states. There has also been overwhelming support and interest from many of the top manufactures in the R/C world, which leads us to believe our future looks bright.

rock racing 7

Photos courtesy of U4RC

Gearing for Speed


The Yeti, Yeti XL and EXO Terra Buggy all have one thing in common. All three are built to be able to go fast, and the thing about speed is you always want more. Many factors contribute to how fast a vehicle goes. The main factors include, but are not limited to, the motor, battery, and gearing. While upgrading the motor and battery are common ways to increase speed, gearing also makes a big difference but does so at a fraction of the cost of other modifications. The other thing to know is gearing changes are often needed when making the previously mentioned motor and battery changes.

pinion and spur

Gearing is primarily influenced by what are often called the primary gears, which are the pinion and spur. The pinion is the small gear that attaches directly to the motor’s output shaft.

plastic spur

The spur gear is much larger and is spun by the moving spur gear. The pinion gear is most often metal and spur gears are most often a composite plastic.


There are many options available in the radio control hobby. As such plastic pinions are available, but should never be used for Axial vehicles. Metal spur gears are available and are, in fact stock, on both the kit and RTR Yeti XL vehicles.

The most common question after purchasing an RC vehicle is “how do I make it faster?” As previously mentioned, motors and batteries make a big difference, but gearing is a significant part. The key part is installing a larger tooth count pinion gear will make a vehicle faster. It will also decrease runtime and increase the heat in components such as the motor, speed control and even battery. Installing a smaller tooth-count spur gear will provide the same results. Again, bigger pinion, more speed. Smaller spur, more speed. Speed comes at the expense of more heat and excessive heat will ruin components.


When installing a new motor, gearing has to be addressed. The stock gearing has been optimized for the stock motor and expected battery. Sometimes nothing has to change, but gearing must be addressed. Often, a smaller pinion is needed to keep temperatures in check. If a battery change is made from NiMH to a 2-cell LiPo or further to a 3-cell LiPo, a significant gearing change may be needed. Often the best high performance setup is a high voltage battery with a mild motor and gearing.

In the end, what most people are confused about is how changing gearing impacts speed. The bottom line is a larger pinion gear will make your Axial vehicle faster. A smaller spur gear will have the same effect.