Bender’s Formula Offroad Build: Part 1

Formula Offroad (aka FOFF) is a sport that has always intrigued me. These guys have to be some of the craziest/bravest drivers in all of motor sports. They build these custom “Jeeps” sporting upwards of 1000hp and nitrous to climb the steep walls of sandpits. Adorned with monster paddle tires these rigs can drive up steep sandy faces that most people wouldn’t even think possible. Similar to rock crawling there are gates laid out on the hill side that drivers must negotiate in order to finish, points are given for each set of gates they successfully clear. They also do a time trial type course too, where the fastest time is the determining factor. One thing that I as an R/C enthusiast has always been attracted too is hill climbs. After watching a few of the newest 1:1 FOFF videos, it sparked a fire under me. So, I decided it was time to build an R/C version of these 1:1 monsters. My intent with this project was to build a realistic looking version of the real thing and see how capable I can make it.

For those that have never seen a 1:1 FOFF event.

Specs for this build:
Axial SCX10 kit
Futaba 4PK radio
Futaba S9157 steering servo
Traxxas VXL brushless system
MaxAmps 5250mah 3S lipo
Pro-line Sand Paws – front
Panther paddles – rear
2.2 Axial 8 hole beadlock wheels
Narrowed HPI Rubicon body








Body off shots:
In order to mount the battery directly over the front axle, and lower the overall ride height of the chassis, I had to do 2 things. One, mount the steering servo outside the frame rails. Steering is a little limited with this set-up, but at high speeds less steering is easier to control. And two, flip the tranny around so the motor endbell is facing the rear of the truck, which gives me more room for my battery.


BTA steering:
This set-up took a while to dial in, in order for everything to clear as the suspension cycles. But, it is working great so far. One thing to keep in mind when mounting your servo like this, double check to make sure your tires aren’t going to hit the servo while steering.




Narrowed body:
In order to get the look right on this build, I had to narrow a body. The 1:1 FOFF rigs have the full paddle tire outside the body panels. I could have added wheel wideners to get that same look without narrowing the body. But, the wideners will add a lot of stress to your axle housings if you take a big fall. So, I cut just over an inch out of the center of this body, and re-attached the 2 halves with back to back servo posts, spare Lexan, and a little Shoo Goo.



Video of this SCX10:

Recognizing the potential this aspect of R/C has, recently added a Formula Offroad section on their forum.

Existing Axial parts list:
1 – SCX10 Kit (AX90014)
2 – 2.2 Wheels (AX8097)
1 – Spur gear cover (AX80078)
1 – AX10 Wheel hex (AX30429)
1 – Aluminum knuckles (AX30496)
2 – Driveshafts (AX80011)
1 – 35mm grey posts (AXA1424)
1 – 91mm grey posts (AX30524)
1 – 15mm grey posts (AXA1420)

Axial parts yet to be added:
2 – 4 Link parts tree (AX80043)
1 – Steel transmission outputs (AX30544)
2 – HD ring and pinion gears (AX30395)

If you like driving R/C’s at high speed off road, then you will love driving one of these FOFF builds. High speeds on flat ground is one thing, high speeds on a steep sandy hillside is another. So fun!!

See Part 2 of the build HERE.

13 thoughts on “Bender’s Formula Offroad Build: Part 1

  1. wow! i wasnt too sure as i read the post… that this would hold my attention…but holy cow man. that does look like some fun right there….

    questions -

    do you have it tuned to the point of gasing up thehill and letting off the trigger to level it out or are you breaking a little while flying to level her out?

    how did you break it? what was happening when you lost your passenger side wheel, knucle and whatever else came off?

    thansk for posting, def worth looking into….


    • It levels out pretty good in the air, if you just get off the gas. If the front end is really vertical, then a little tap of the brakes levels it out too.

      I broke coming off a 6 foot ledge on the gas, missed the landing and hit the flats which broke the C-hub and knuckle.

    • I am not running any weight, as it would hinder wheel speed. OD gears would work great for this application, but not really mandatory. I limited the shocks internally by about 1/2″ total.

  2. We have had RC Formula Offroad races in Finland for few years already. There has been five or six different classes during years for both electric and nitro racers. Last year there were not enough competitors on nitro class the class was cancelled. This years championship series has three different classes: SC, Modified and Unlimited. SC is for short course trucks and the easiest one to start, Modified and Unlimited are for rc formula offroad racers built for RC FOFF racing without compromise. You may find more information and lots of pictures and videos from RC Formula Offroad forum ( where you can also find competition and technical rules.

  3. Hey Bender,

    What are link lengths(uppers&lowers) used for this great build..


    • I am running 106mm lower links out front, with another 15mm standoff added in. So, the total length of just the front links is 121mm, plus I am running XR10 rod ends, which are longer then the SCX10 rod ends. The rear lower links are 98mm, with standard Axial rod ends. The rear uppers are 91mm links with standard SCX10 rod ends and our plastic 4 link. The front uppers are 70mm links with XR10 rod ends. I tried numerous link set-ups and this is where I ended up with this build.


  5. Hi Bender, this sure is one heck of a good looking FOFF! Thanks for the inspiration, I have just started a FOFF build myself, I`ll be extatic if mine turns out half as good looking as yours! I see a lot of packages from eBay and RC4WD in my future :-D

    Stian from Norway

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