Axial Wraith Sway Bar Sets

Axial Wraith Sway Bar Sets

Front – AX30781

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layout

front-installed

Rear – AX30782

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rear-layout

rear-installed

Is your Wraith set-up for high speed rock racing, or G6 style events? Then this is the option part you have been waiting for: the Axial Wraith Sway Bar Kits. Designed for high speed this system will let you soften up your suspension for jumps, while keeping torque twist and body lean to a minimum during acceleration. A sway bar’s main function is to control body roll, yet still allow your shocks to move vertically with the changing terrain. What does all this mean? It means more stability at high speed. A must have upgrade for any would be rock racer.

CNC machined for precision.

Black anodized aluminum sway bar arms.

Each kit includes three different steel sway bars for fine tuning body roll and suspension articulation (soft, medium and firm).

Laser etched Axial logos.

All required hardware is included.

Simple bolt on application.

Kits available for front and rear separately.

 

Wraith Kit Build – Scale Details

Over the holidays I found some time to start adding scale details to the step by step Wraith kit build. I still have a little more work to do, but I wanted to update the blog with what I have done so far. Most of my time was spent detailing the rear “cargo” area of the Wraith. My intent with the scale details was to give this Wraith the look that it was out for a day long trail run. So, there are no tents, kayaks, firewood, etc., just what you would see loaded up for a day trip. I also added a driver figure to the cab. After some extensive searching for a normal looking guy, that actually fit the scale of the Wraith, I ended up going with the Sam Fisher action figure from the popular “Splinter Cell” line of video games. So, when the wife asked what I wanted for X-mas, I told her Sam Fisher!! She didn’t seem all that impressed, but like the wonderful wife she is, she searched it out and bought it for me. Thanks babe!

On to the details…….a few shots of the rear cargo area. I added a couple Pro-line scale accessories like the Hi-lift jack, axe, cooler and gas can.

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Next, I fabbed up some panels out of styrene and painted them black to box the rear lower portion of the cage in. I attached the panels to the extra holes in the rear shock tower, and added our scale battery from the EXO kit. It is sitting on a shelf for now, but I will be making a battery strap for the top, and I plan to add wires going to the terminals as well. Another thing you will see is I added aluminum panels to the rear of the cage. These are the inserts from the wings of the Honcho bumper, Part # AX30530. I held the aluminum inserts from the bumper in place on the cage, then scribed the hole location using the hole in the cage gusset as a guide. I used a punch to mark the center of the hole, then drill it out to .100 diameter. I tapped the holes for M3 screws, and attached them to the cage with M3 flathead screws. Last thing you will see is I added our Lexan gas tank from the Honcho, Part # AX80046. I cut just the gas tank portion out of the Lexan flatbed, and attached it to the shock tower/chassis brace.

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Moving on to the back of the cargo area. You can see I added the radiator from our EXO kit as well. If you remove the rear lights from the bottom of the cage, you will see the hole spacing is perfectly matched to the radiator. I used our long M3 set screws to attach the bottom of the radiator. I did drill the cage and radiator mounting holes for M3 screws though, so you may need to open them up slightly before the set screws will thread in. To cap the top of the radiator off I cut a section of Honcho cage, Part # AX80046. The piece I used butts up against the back of the Honcho cab, it is the bottom bar. You will notice the hole spacing is perfectly matched to the radiator as well. I used a couple M3 self tapping screws to tie the tube to the top of the radiator. Then bent the ends of the tube in to try and match the profile of the existing Wraith cage. One last detail on the radiator is the radiator hose. I used an 1/8″ drill bit to drill a shallow hole in the top right corner of the radiator. Then, bent a small piece of 1/8″ solder at 90 degrees and pressed it into the hole. Last thing needed was some black nitro fuel line, which slides over the solder perfectly. Next, I added some scale mesh to the rear tailgate area of the cage. That mesh started life as a business card holder, the scale is perfect for this application. I made a cardboard template to fit the rear first, then used that to cut the mesh to size. A little Shoe Goo is all that is needed to hold it in place. Of course, I added one of my old Colorado vanity plates to the mesh as a final touch.

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A few shots of Sam himself. In order to get him in the drivers seat without his head hitting the cage, I had to remove the lower portion of the Wraith seat. Sam is basically sitting on the Lexan floor pan of the Wraith. I drilled and tapped the back of the seat, used a little Shoe Goo, and attached it to the Lexan floor pan too. Some flat black shoe laces we used for his lap belt. Last thing needed was to lengthen the steering column. I just cut the steering column in half and found some rubber hose that fit over the OD of the steering column. I cut the hose to the length needed, and re-attached the steering wheel.

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Next thing I wanted to address was the hood on the Wraith. Those that have seen this build-up know I moved the battery to the front. But, it can be a pain to change batteries when using the stock screws to hold the hood on. I have seen a few guys use the cable tie downs as hood latches, then install a couple body posts, and use standard body clips to hold the hood down. I like that idea, but wanted a more scale look. After checking out few set-ups, I got a chance to see Scott Hughes dad’s set-up. He used magnets to attach the hood to the chassis. Bingo, perfect! Thanks for the idea Don. After a quick trip to Ace hardware I was on my way back home with some 3/4″ round magnets and 1/4″ cable tie downs. After debating for a few, I decided to hinge the hood backwards so the hood isn’t in my way when making battery changes. I had to trim the lower part of the grill so it would clear the tube chassis when it was opened. Once I installed the hinges, I looked around for the best place to mount the magnets. After some measuring I found a spot for them right beside the stock hood mounts. I had to use an X-acto to trim the plastic tubing away a little so the magnets would sit properly for this application. Once I could press them in between the tube work, I need something underneath the magnets to hold them from pushing down and eventually out of the tube work. I ended up using our 2/3A cell carbon fiber battery mounts for the AX10 axles. I drilled the existing hood mount holes all the way through the tube. Using a couple flathead self tapping screws I attach the battery mounts from the bottom of the cage. For added security I used Shoe Goo again to hold the magnets in place. Next, I dropped the 2nd set of magnets in place on top of the set that is now tied to the chassis. This set will also be held in place by Shoe Goo. Once I had the hood marked where the magnets need to be, I secured them to the hood with a couple more dabs of Goo. Make sure the polarity of the magnets is correct before securing them with Shoe Goo, otherwise it’ll be tough to close the hood.

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A few action shots……..

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I am even adding scale rock rash to my diff covers.

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That covers this round of detailing, stay tuned for more.

Add 4 Wheel Steering to Your Wraith

One modification that I wanted to make to the Wraith kit build I did here on the blog is 4 wheel steering. Driving a rig with four wheel steering is extremely fun, especially on a scaler that will see a lot of technical terrain. So, I recently gathered all the parts I would need to make this mod. In this article I will cover the parts used and give a few tips for making this conversion as simple as possible. Let’s get started……

Parts list for 4ws conversion:

AX80073 – AR60 OCP Steering Linkage

AX30777 – AR60 OCP Servo Plate

AX30078 – Zero Ackerman Steering Plates

AX30780 – Wraith CVD’s

AX30760 – XR10 Aluminum Knuckles

AX30762 – XR10 Aluminum C-hubs

AX30450 – Steel Flange Pipes

AX80072 – Servo Post Parts Tree

AX30524 – Grey 91mm links

AXA1221 – 5x11mm Bearings

AXA1230 – 5x15mm Bearings

AXA1417 – Grey 5mm spacer for steering

AXA1428 – Grey 55mm standoff

AXA1331 – Steel Flanged Balls

AXA465 – M3x10mm Self tapping Flathead screws

AXA434 – M3x8mm Self tapping Buttonhead screws

AXA119 – M3x20mm Buttonhead screws

AXA115 – M3x10mm Buttonhead Screws (x3)

A few photos of the major parts required:

Steering linkage

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Steering plates for knuckles

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Servo plate

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Aluminum knuckles

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CVD’s

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Aluminum C-hubs

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Steel flange pipes

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Steel flanged balls

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Before we get started there are a couple things I need to mention. One, I stretched the wheelbase of this Wraith already by replacing the stock rear lower links with our XR10 94mm lower links. This moved the rear axle back just over 6mm, or about a 1/4″. To extend the upper links to match the newly lengthened lowers, I used our long curved XR10 rod ends at the chassis instead of the short curved rod ends. You can see the new lowers and longer rod ends on the uppers in this photo.

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Another mod I made was to flip the plastic rear upper shock mount/chassis cross member upside down. This lowered the rear of my Wraith a little, which lowers the overall center of gravity. I also added a grey 55mm threaded standoff between the shock mounts for a little extra beef. I will explain why in a minute.

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One thing I notice right away when I tried to mock the rear servo up, is the lack of uptravel in the suspension due to the servo case hitting the bottom of the tube chassis. The servo case hits the chassis almost immediately when you try to cycle the suspension. To fix this I removed the rear plastic lower chassis brace and replaced it with one of our 91mm grey lower links from the SCX10′s. I bolted the 91mm link into place where the widest part of the lower chassis brace normally sits. You could also cut the stock plastic chassis brace, and just use the long section to tie the 2 halves of the tube frame together. The aluminum link will provide a lot more rigidity though, so I went that route. Here you can see the brace I removed.

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Look carefully and you can see the new 91mm link just below the upper links in this photo. Adding that 91mm link and the 55mm standoff between the shock mounts seems to replace any lost structural integrity from removing the stock rear lower chassis brace.

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After the lower rear chassis brace is removed/replaced you can mount the servo plate to the rear axle and attach the steering servo. I am using Futaba’s S9157 servos for steering duties on both axles. Here is a shot of my rear servo and servo plate before installation. I used the short self tapping M3x8mm buttonhead screws to attach the servo tabs to the servo plate. I will use the M3x10mm self tapping flathead screws to tie the servo plate to the axle. Then, I will use the M3x10mm buttonhead screws to attach the servo to the tabs.

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If you haven’t already, remove the rear wheels, drive hexes and cross pins. Next remove the rear plastic straight axle lockouts, and inner axle shafts. In order to remove the inner axle shafts, you will need to remove one of the screws holding the lower link/shock mounts in order to get the inner axles out of the housing. Replace the straight axles with the new CVD’s, attach the C-hubs to the axle, install the bearings into your steering knuckles, bolt the steering plates onto the knuckles using four of the M3x10mm buttonhead screws, insert the flange pipes into the knuckles and slide them into place over the C-hubs. Secure the knuckles to the C-hubs with four more M3x10mm screws. Then re-install the cross pins and drive hexes. Next we can install the rear steering link. One thing you will notice is the steering link has to be run upside down to clear the differential cover. Not a big deal, but you will need to drill the existing .100 diameter hole in the tie rod that the drag link secures too, all the way through the linkage. Then use one of the 5mm spacers between the drag link and tie rod with the long M3x20mm buttonhead screw to tie everything together. I will eventually trim the plastic boss hanging below the steering linkage, I left it there for now so people can visually see what I am talking about.

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A shot with everything buttoned up and ready to roll. Don’t forget to re-install the M3 screws you removed to get the rear axle shafts out too.

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Here you can see at full compression of the rear suspension, the servo sits perfectly in the rear cargo area without any interference from the chassis. Since I stretched the wheelbase a little, I did have to trim the cage a little where the plastic chassis brace attaches to the back of the tube frame. If you are still running the stock rear upper and lower links this shouldn’t be an issue.

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One last adjustment I made was to zero out the caster angle in the rear steer to make life on the rear servo a little easier. To do this I added a 3mm grey spacer (Part# AXA1415) to the lower links at the rear axle.

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It is hard to see in this photo, but the rear steering kingpins are now perpendicular to the bench my Wraith is sitting on. This means the caster is set to zero degrees. Adding positive or negative caster will put more stress on the rear servo, and it will struggle to center itself in hard binds.

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Overall stance now…..

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One thing to keep in mind when adding rear steer to any vehicle, you may need to add a Castle BEC to your system, depending on the torque rating on the servos you use they may overload whatever ESC you are running. I am sporting a Tekin RS Pro ESC, Tekin 10.5t motor, Thunder Power 5300mah 2S lipo and dual Futaba S9157 servos. To my surprise after driving for a few hours with this set-up, the ESC was only overloaded a few times while trying to throttle out of a bind and steering with both axles simultaneously. I am going to try and gear my Wraith down a little to help alleviate that issue. But, in order to have smooth performance at all times installing a BEC is the only way to go.

Another thing to keep in mind is you will need at least a 3 channel radio, with a 3 position 3rd channel switch, to have independent control of your front and rear steering set-ups. I am using my Futaba 4PK radio with my Wraith. The 4PK allows me to set the rear steer up for 5 positions, center, 50% right, 50% left, 100% right and 100% left. Some radios will only allow you to steer the rear from center to full throw left or right. Only a dual stick radio will give you full proportional control of both steering set-ups. Now, you can run a 4ws set-up on a 2 channel radio as well, if you use a Y-harness to plug the servos in to work together. But, that set-up will give you 4ws all the time, there is no way to control the servos separately. Just a few things to keep in mind before you dive into converting your Wraith to 4 wheel steer.

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build In Action

I finally got a chance to shoot a few action shots, and video of my Wraith kit build. I don’t have the video edited yet, because I have been too busy working on the Exo release, but it’s coming soon. For this first shakedown run I used a 5300mah 2S lipo, and it gave me a good combination of wheelspeed and torque, with barely any noticeable “cogging”. Next I plan on dropping a 3S pack in it to see which set-up I like better. Here’s a few of the better shots I got, it’s tough to drive and shoot pictures and video at the same time. Still fun though!!

On to the photos……

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There’s a few teaser photos for you guys, hopefully I can get the video edited soon.

2011 SEMA Show – Bender Edition

As most of you know, Axial attended the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada recently. We had been secretly working with some strategic technical partners to give a sneak peek at the show of our latest vehicle, the Exo. Since Axial is predominantly known for making R/C crawlers, the release of the Exo was a big surprise to the general public because it was so vastly different then our previous vehicles. So, a handful of us made the trip to SEMA to witness the reactions and get some first hand feedback. This was my first trip to SEMA, and it was amazing to say the least. There is so much to see, that it is tough to cover everything. We were only in town for a few days, and barely scratched the surface of what SEMA had to offer. Armed with my camera and a backpack, I ventured out into the sea of people and shiny metal components. Here are a few of the photos I snapped along the way.

Cool low-rider Dually……

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

…..with some serious chariot-like wheel spikes.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got to love green and black.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

They had a drift track set-up in an empty parking lot. Spectators could take a ride along with them if they wanted.

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If you are into Jeeps, like me, there was no shortage of eye candy at the show.

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A few more shots outside on the first day.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Sweet Overland Journal JK, with integrated roof rack tent.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another sweet 4 door Jeep JK.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More random goodness from inside.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got milk?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Our first stop was at the Griffin booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

What do we have here?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Raw metal and carbon fiber together just looks cool.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Wilwood booth

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Wilwood Wraith

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Cool Jeep pick-up.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Shannon Campbell’s rock racer, IFS front and solid axle rear. I have seen this rig in action a few times at King of the Hammers, and it’s just sick!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Tron Audi built by West Coast Customs

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Raceline wheels booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Raceline Wraith was on display too.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More randomness…..

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Walker Evans wheels.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Custom 4 door Jeep JK 6X6 pick-up………..say that 10 times in a row as fast as you can.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Next stop was the Icon Vehicle Dynamics booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another custom JK build. Not really my style, but I can appreciate the time that went into it.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Dana Spicer booth. If you are looking for tough off-road axles, most people start here.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got driveshafts?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There were tons of cool trucks to drool on at the show as well.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Or maybe old Broncos are your thing?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

How about an old school Bronco built to play in the desert? One of my favorite vehicles from the show.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More desert vehicles.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Cool Jeepspeed build.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There were a few sand-rails on display too.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More photos from around the show.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

After lunch we ran into a couple of Rodney’s old friends, Dennis and Ryan Anderson.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Chevy displayed several variations of their new Sonic. I have to admit for a small car, these things are pretty cool.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got ear plugs?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another one of Rodney’s old friends/co-workers Andy Williamson (right), he is one of the masterminds behind the Chevy Sonic display.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I even managed to spy a few nice full suspension mountain bikes, another one of my hobbies.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Giant’s Reign X1. I have a 2010 X2 at home.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More random shots……

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I don’t remember the ice cream truck in our neighborhood looking anything like this when I was a young lad. Kids these days have it made!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More Jeep based vehicles.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

My favorite Jeep from the show, AEV’s 4 door JK pick-up.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Next we went by the Hankook booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Does this tread pattern look familiar?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

A little F1 action, Kimi Raikkonen’s Mercedes.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More spy shots…… not very often you see a Ferrari that isn’t red.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There was an immense number of wheels on display.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I think they made these custom for either Liberace or Elton John.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

My last stop for the day was the Turn Key booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Even Charlene, the Turn Key model, couldn’t keep her hands of the Exo.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Woah, my feet and back were beat after a few days!! Those are my highlights from the 2011 SEMA show. If you have never been, it is well worth the trip for anyone that considers themselves a gearhead.

Here’s one last little sneak peek for you guys……………..enjoy!!

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part VII – Electronics Install

Here is the final installment of our 7 part Wraith kit build series. For this post I will cover the electronics I am using, and placement in the chassis. Wiring this truck is a little tougher then normal, because of the tube chassis and interior tray. Proper planning is needed to pull off a clean install. My first objective with this wiring job was keeping it clean. I didn’t want to see a bunch of electronics or wires while the vehicle is running, it takes away from the overall scale look. The plan was to shoe-horn as much of the electronics as I could under the interior. Here is how it all played out.

For the motor and speed control I went with Tekin’s RS Pro ESC, and 10.5t brushless motor. This combo should give me a decent combo of wheel speed and torque with a 2S lipo. I am using my Futaba 4PK receiver and radio, as well as a Futaba S9452 servo for steering duties.

I used the ESC for mock-up to see where it would fit under the interior before I started wiring everything up. It took a few tries to get it properly positioned so it would fit without interference. I ended up using an AX10 servo mount for the ESC mount. I attached it to one of the holes in the top of the transmission. Then used double stick tape to attach the ESC. Once I finalized the ESC position, I soldered everything up as needed.

A few shots of the transmission and electronics before installing it back into my Wraith.

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The wiring……

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The ESC shelf……

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For the receiver mount I used the stock Wraith electronics box, but modified it a little to work with my set-up. I moved the battery up front, so it is now positioned behind the dashboard. I did this to put more weight bias out front, which will help in technical rock sections. In order to mount my battery up front I knew I would have to fab a battery tray of some sort. After staring at the front of my Wraith for a while it hit me…………just modify the stock battery tray instead. I basically ended up cutting the stock tray in half lengthwise, and bolting it into position where the stock ESC would normally sit in an RTR Wraith. Then added a few pieces of foam to fill any gaps between the tray and battery. I was even able to use the stock battery straps, which was a nice bonus.

A shot of the newly revised battery tray.

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You will have to cut away a lot of the interior out front for the battery and tray to clear without issue.

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The tray installed…..

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A few photos with the battery in place. You can also see the new hole I added to the lid of the receiver box, this just made the wiring job a tad easier, and it moved my servo wires away from the battery tray as well.

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Time to re-install the body panels, and it’s ready to go!

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I will have action shots and video soon, so stay tuned!!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part VI – Final Assembly

For the final installment of our Wraith kit build series we will turn this beast into a roller. We will finish the chassis assembly, marry the chassis to the transmission and axles, install the body panels, mount the tires to the wheels and bolt them up to the axles. Start on page 34 of the manual, at step 34.

Find bag F in your remaining parts supply.

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All the parts required to complete step 34.

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Starting with the rear shock tower, bolt it up to the left chassis plate with the supplied hardware.

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Then move forward to the lower part of what will be the windshield area.

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Next cross member.

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Last one at the very front.

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Now we can move to step 35 and install the top of the cab.

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Step 36 will complete the main chassis structure. Everything needed to complete this step.

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I started at the rear shock tower again, install the supplied 3x12mm self tapping screw. At this point we need to just start assembling the cage at all the points required.

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Rear frame cross member.

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Upper cage area.

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Lower cross member in the rear, under the battery tray.

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Rear cross member again.

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Front A-pillar area.

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Top of the cab again.

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Front shock tower and cross member.

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Next I installed the second support for the front bumper.

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Tighten up that second bumper support, and the last frame cross member in the front.

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Complete chassis.

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Install the last few screws to secure the interior.

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On to step 37, and page 36 in the manual. Everything needed to complete this step.

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Start by installing the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the big light buckets.

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Flip the light buckets over and snap the clear lens into place.

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Snap the light guards into place.

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Install the light buckets into position on the front bumper.

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Attach the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the small round light buckets.

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Snap the clear lens into place.

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Install the light guards next.

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Bolt the small light buckets up to the front grill’s tube work.

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Step 38, and everything needed.

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Set the front grill tube work into place, and attach using the supplied 3x12mm screws.

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Set the front bumper into place next.

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Install the supplied 3x18mm screws.

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Step 39, attaching the chassis to the skid plate and axles.

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Set the chassis into place over the skid plate, and attach using the supplied hardware.

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Next we will bolt the shocks up to the shock towers. I deviated from the instructions a little here too. I moved the upper shock mounts in towards the center of the Wraith. I did this to lower the ride height a little, and to soften up the shocks.

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Shocks all mounted up.

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Time to move on to the tires and wheels.

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First thing I did was open up the breather holes in the wheels. I chased the existing holes with an 1/8″ drill bit. This will help the tires conform to the terrain a little better. Stock on left, modified on right.

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Next tuning tip I will throw out there is to trim the edges of the inner diameter on the foams. This will let the beads of the tire sit in their natural position. It also makes gluing the tires a little easier, as it stops the foam from working it’s way into the bead seats while you are trying to glue your tires.

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You can see here that you don’t need to cut much, keep your cut about a 1/4 – 3/8″ wide max.

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With the foam installed, you can see there is no interference between the foam and the tire’s bead seat.

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Next slide the wheel inside the tire, and seat the bead properly. I usually glue my tires little by little, with “stitches” of glue. Add a dab of CA to the bead seat, and seat the tire into place. Then spin the tire 180 degrees and add another stitch of glue, then let the tire sit for a few minutes. Then, repeat these steps until the tires are glued all the way around the inner and outer beads.

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All glued up. I love the looks of these wheels in black!

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Next we will move on to step 43. Find bag G in your dwindling parts stash.

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Everything needed to bolt the wheels up.

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Thread the small M3 set screws into the drive hexes part way.

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Slide the drive pins through the outer axles.

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Install the hex into place over the drive pin, and tighten down the M3 set screw.

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Bolt the wheels and tires up to the axles.

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It’s a roller!!

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Here’s a little sneak peek at a part not yet released from the Axial arsenal, aluminum diff covers. Sexy!

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Now we can ream the holes out in the body panels and mount them. Wallah!

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Close-up shots of the hood, side panels and interior.

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Mandatory articulation shots.

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There you have it, a complete step by step build of Axial’s Wraith Kit. I will be doing more articles with this particular build in the near future too, like electronics install, hop-up parts, tuning tips, etc. And of course there will be video too, so stay tuned!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 7

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part V – Chassis

Next step in our Wraith kit build is the assembly of the chassis. Flip to page 26 in the Wraith kit manual, start with step 25.

Find bag E and the corresponding parts required from the various parts trees.

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We will start with the light buckets, grab everything you will need to complete this step.

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Grab the first light bucket and mounting bracket.

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Insert the light bucket, part number AX80045B-5, inside the mounting bracket, part number AX80045B-2.

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Install the LED holder, part number AX80045A-1, on the backside of the light bucket with the supplied 2x6mm screws.

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Tie the bucket and bracket together using another 2x6mm screw.

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Now snap the light bucket lens into place.

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Repeat the last few steps for the second light bucket.

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Grab the remaining parts needed to complete step 25.

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Install the light buckets to the bottom of the rear frame cross member, part number AX80077-001-2.

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Tie part number AX80082-1 to the rear frame cross member assembly.

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Now install the battery tray as directed with the supplied 2.6x8mm flat head screws.

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Jump to page 27 and step 26. Lay everything out needed for this step.

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Tie the lower part of the tube frame to the upper left side of the chassis.

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Install the left shock mount next.

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Last thing we need to do for step 26 is install the front bumper support and radio box base.

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Step 27 is next, lay everything out you’ll need to complete this step.

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Assemble the right side just like you did the left side. At this point I installed the battery tray on the right side chassis plate, even though the instructions say to mount it to the left side chassis assembly. Either method will work fine, it has no bearing on the assembly process.

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Next we will prep the radio box.

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Start by applying the thin strip of foam to the top half of the radio box.

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Then install the other foam strip on the top cap of the radio box.

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Attach the bottom half of the radio box to the frame support.

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Flipping to page 30 you will see it’s time to start on the body panels. All the panels laid out like a blank canvas. Make sure you wash the inside of the body panels with soap and water before painting. Regular dish detergent will work fine. This will help the paint stick to the panels properly. It’s a bummer to spend time painting a body all up only to have the paint flake off during your first rollover because you skipped this step. The instructions suggest cutting the panels out first, then washing them and paint last. I washed the panels first, then paint and trim last. Again, either method works great, it’s just personal preference.

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The theme for this build will be black on black!! Here you can see the painted roof and dash panels.

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Next I trimmed the dash per the instructions.

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Dressing up the dash with some decals. An X-acto works great for applying small decals.

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For the Wraith side panels and hood I am going to do something a little different. I am going to use the over spray film as a paint mask. I am going to paint parts of these few panels on the outside, and the inside, to get a gloss black on flat black effect. Keeping it simple I laid out the paint job as desired on the outside of the body panels with electrical tape.

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The hood.

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I am even going to carry the paint job into the interior a little, with one flat black strip on the transmission tunnel.

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Now use your X-acto to cut the desired areas to be painted on the outside of the body away.

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Peel your cut areas away very carefully. If your cuts aren’t nice and clean, when you remove these pieces it may pull up the rest of your over spray film at the same time. Patients is key here, take your time.

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Next I painted the inside of the body panels black.

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While the paint dried I moved on to assembling the Corbeau seats.

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Slide the back rest of the seats into place.

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Move the seat back into position, and secure using the supplied 3x12mm self tapping screws.

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Using my X-acto knife again to position the seat detail stickers.

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Both seats assembled and detailed.

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Back to the body panels. Now that the inside of the panels have been painted with a few light coats, it’s time to paint the outside. Take a minute to do one last visual scan to ensure the over spray film isn’t pulled up in an area it shouldn’t be. Then paint the outside of the panels. I use very light coats of paint to get the desired coverage needed, and to keep the paint a consistent color. Once this coat of paint on the outside is dry, you can remove the over spray film.

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Subtle but cool!!

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A couple shots with the flash directed at the body to show the contrast.

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Interior.

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Next I rough cut the panels out with Lexan scissors close to my final cut lines.

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Then I go back and cut the panels to size as needed. Cutting the body twice takes a little extra time, but your body lines will be a lot cleaner using this method compared to cutting it on the body lines the first time.

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It’s best to use a body reamer to cut the front grill area cleanly for the chassis tubes that will hold the front bumper. Use a reamer to punch the holes in position, then cut the remaining body out with scissors.

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Simple sticker scheme for the side panels.

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Time to add some detail to that interior. Using your body reamer, punch all the holes needed in the interior tray to finish detailing it.

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After applying the interior decals, we can add the cool scale bits into the driver’s compartment.

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Attach the shifters to the proper spots in the interior.

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Finish building the dashboard.

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Finish the interior by bolting in the seats and dash.

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Now we will attach the interior to the left side of the chassis assembly. Once I set the interior into place I noticed that it wasn’t sitting square to the chassis. Closer inspection exposed the culprit. There is a boss molded into the roll cage that allows you to bolt the body panels on. This tab was hitting the interior floor pan before I could get it into position. So, a little trimming with the body scissors was in need. I just had to elongate the scallops on the sides of the floor pan beside the seats and everything fit fine after that.

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Install the supplied 2.6x6mm self tapping screws into the floor pan and roll cage.

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That wraps up this installment of our Wraith kit build series. Next steps will be the last to make it a complete rolling chassis. We are getting close!!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 6

Step 7

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part IV – Transmission

For Part IV of our Wraith kit build I will cover assembly of the transmission. The transmission for the Wraith is still based off our proven AX10 and SCX10 transmissions. Assembly is still very similar as well, with just a few minor changes. So, let’s get started!

Go to page 22 in the kit manual, start at step 19. Find bag D and your plastic transmission housing parts tree.

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All the parts needed to complete this step.

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Grab your slipper drive gear shaft, 20t drive gear and 1.5x8mm cross pin. Slide the cross pin through the hole in the end of the shaft.

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Now slide the 20t drive gear into place over the pin.

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Install a 5x10mm bearing on each side of the 20t drive gear.

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Slide the shaft into the top hole in the transmission case.

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Install two more 5x10mm bearings into the small plastic idler gear, then slide the 5x18mm shaft through the bearings.

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Insert the gear into the transmission case beside the first gear/shaft assembly.

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Now it’s time to assemble the main spool gear. Everything needed for this step. Notice I left out the small plastic ring, labeled AX80051 in the instructions, that is suppose to be sandwiched between the transmission outputs. It’s not needed, that is a misprint in the manual.

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Install the main drive gear between the two transmission outputs.

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Add a dab of thread lock to the screws that will hold the main drive gear assembly together. It’s not noted in the manual, but it is a good idea. These screws see a lot of stress, especially with big motors and batteries.

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Go around the 3 screws holding the main gear assembly, and torque them down as evenly as you can. Then install the 8x16mm and 15x21mm bearings over the outputs.

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Now add a thin layer of grease the main drive gear.

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Drop the main gear into the transmission case. Give the whole assembly a spin to spread the grease evenly over the gears.

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Moving on to step 20. Everything required to complete this step.

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Slide the 2nd half of the transmission case into place.

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Install the small plastic spacer over the slipper clutch gear shaft, part number AX80051-8.

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Slide the spacer into the recess in the transmission housing.

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Install the backside of the spur gear cover into place over the slipper shaft.

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Set the motor plate into place over the spur gear cover.

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Install the 3x15mm self tapping screw into the transmission case to tie the two halves together.

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Add a dab of thread lock to the 3x25mm screws for the motor plate.

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Thread the 25mm screws into the motor plate, and torque them down evenly as needed.

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Moving on to step 21, grab everything you need to build the slipper clutch.

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Start with assembling the spur gear. Grab the outer slipper plate, spur gear, three 3x6mm cap head screws and three flat washers.

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Slide the flat washers over the screws, slide the screws through the spur gear and thread them into the outer slipper plate. Torque the screws down evenly.

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Now slide the second 1.5mm pin into place in the slipper shaft.

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Install the inner slipper plate over the drive pin.

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Slide the spur gear assembly into plate so the friction pad is sandwiched between the slipper plates.

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Install the biggest flat washer into place on the slipper shaft, part number AXA1091.

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Slide the slipper spring into place next.

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Install the smaller flat washer, part number AXA1071.

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Now start the M4 Nylock screw onto the slipper shaft. You will need a way to hold the transmission outputs still while you tighten down the slipper clutch. Easiest way I found was inserting something into the transmission output holes. Then tighten down the slipper clutch as needed. I usually tighten mine all the way down until the nut stops, then back it off 1-2 full turns for a good starting point.

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Slipper clutch complete.

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Next we will tackle the spur gear cover, and finish the transmission assembly. Everything needed to complete this step.

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Install the short M3 set screw into the 20t pinion gear.

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Install the single 5x11mm bearing into the backside of the transmission cover, part number AX80051-1.

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Pop the small round plastic cover into place on the backside of the transmission slipper shaft, part number AX80051-7.

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Now slide the back transmission cover into place over the rear output.

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Install the 3x12mm self tapping plastic screws into the backside of the transmission cover, on each side of the transmission output.

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Now install the 3x6mm screws into the top of the transmission housing.

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Grab the front side of your spur gear cover.

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Install the spur gear cover over the spur gear.

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Tie the spur gear cover to the transmission using the supplied 2.6x10mm flat head self tapping screws.

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Next tie the transmission to the kit’s skid plate. Everything required for this step.

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Use the four self tapping plastic screws to tie the transmission to the skid plate. Note that 2 screws are slightly shorter, make sure they go into the proper holes to avoid stripping out the transmission mounting holes.

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Install a male half shaft to the spur gear side of the transmission output.

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Now grab your front axle, the skid plate/transmission assembly and required screws to complete this step.

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Start by mating the driveshafts, then install the upper links into position on the skid plate using the supplied 3x15mm self tapping screws. Lastly, flip the whole assembly over and install the long 3x20mm set screws through the lower links.

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Grab your rear axle and repeat the last few steps.

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And you’re done! It’s really starting to take shape now.

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That takes care of this installment of our step by step Wraith kit build. Next up, we will start assembling the roll cage/chassis.

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part II – Shocks and Driveshafts

For this installment of our Wraith kit build I will cover shock and driveshaft assembly. Start off by finding bag B.

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Another upgrade I am going to use on this build is metal flange balls. I will be using these in all the rod ends on this kit. They have a little smoother action then the plastic flange balls, and are a lot more durable over time.

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First step will be prepping the shock cartridges. Here you can see all the parts required to make a complete cartridge.

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Install the bigger clear o-ring over the shock cartridge body.

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Apply a little grease to your cartridge o-rings. Put a dab of grease on your finger and work the grease all over the o-rings before dropping them into your shock cartridges. This will help prevent tearing the o-ring during assembly.

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Install the first o-ring into the shock cartridge.

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Now set the plastic spacer (Part #AX80035-4) into place on top of the first o-ring.

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Lube up the second o-ring and install it on top of the plastic spacer.

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Now snap the top cap of the shock cartridge into place.

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Grab your shock shafts, washers, pistons and Nylock nuts. I used the three-holed pistons for this build, to speed up the action of the shocks a little.

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Install one flat washer onto the shock shaft, slide the shock piston into place, install the second flat washer and tighten the Nylock nut down until it stops.

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Insert the shock shaft into the shock cartridge from the top cap side, and wipe away any excess grease from the shock shaft threads.

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Slide the rubber bump stop over the shock shaft.

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Snap the metal flange ball into the shock rod ends, and thread them onto the shock shafts.

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Install the shock bladders into the shock caps. Make sure the bladder is properly seated down into the cap before threading it onto the shock body. This will help keep the bladder from distorting as you tighten the shock cap, and eliminate any chance for leaks.

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Install the threaded pre-load collar onto the shock body, then install the cap.

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Fill the shock body up with oil until it touches the threads inside the shock body. Make sure you let all air bubbles rise to the top of the oil and dissipate before starting assembly.

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Thread the shock cartridge/shaft assembly a couple turns into the shock body, oil should start overflowing at this point. If no oil seeps out, fill the shock body with a little more oil.

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Compress the shock shaft until it bottoms out to allow any air bubbles and excess oil to escape. You can do this by holding the shock shaft in the compressed position and thread the shock cartridge all the way into the body as tight as you can with your fingers. The shaft will rebound a bit when you let go of it, which is normal. Now grab a 10mm box wrench and tighten the cartridge down all the way. Cycle the shock a few times at this point and look for leaks between the cartridge and shock body. If you still see a little oil bleeding out, tighten the cartridge up more.

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Investing in a 10mm wrench for the shock cartridges is key in my opinion, it’ll make rebuilding your shocks so much easier. I spent $7 on this wrench with a ratcheting box end at Ace Hardware. You can also just buy a standard 10mm wrench for about $4. Pliers can be used to tighten the cartridges too. But, over time the pliers can ruin the hex on the plastic cartridges, especially if the pliers slip off the hex while you are tightening everything up.

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Now install the springs, lower spring cups and shock bushings. That completes the shocks.

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Next we will move onto the driveshafts. Go to step 10 in the manual, and find bag C.

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All the parts needed to complete this step.

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First thing we’ll do is slide the u-joint axle pin holder into the driveshaft output.

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Line up the hole in the pin with the slot in the output.

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Slide the driveshaft coupler over the ball end of the output, line up the 1.5mm hole with the slot in the output, and hole in the center pin. Then, slide the 1.5x11mm pin through the whole assembly.

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Slide the 1.5x11mm pin in until it’s flush on both sides.

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Grab the plastic driveshaft retainer ring and slide it into place.

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Next we will attach the metal u-joints to the plastic half shafts. Grab one of the female plastic half shafts, one of the u-joint assemblies and an M3 flat head screw.

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Add a dab of thread lock to the threads of the flat head screw.

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Insert the screw into the driveshaft from the splined end with a 2mm driver.

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Now slide the half shaft onto the coupler, and tighten down the M3 flat head screw.

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Repeat the above steps 3 more times and the driveshafts will be complete.

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That will do it for this installment of our Wraith kit build. Next step we will tackle is the link assembly, so stay tuned!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7