4th Annual So-Cal Off Road Truck Show 6-30-12

It was a perfect June day for the 4th Annual So-Cal Off Road Truck Show and Axial was happy to attend for the 3rd year running. This year 4Wheel Parts of Compton was kind enough to open its gates allowing off roaders from all over Southern California to display their rigs. From a bone stock 1950′s GMC pickup to pre-runner style trucks to all out rock crawlers this show had something for everyone. The California Off-Road Vehicle Association, CORVA, was on site handling the announcing duties as well as the raffle. This organization works tirelessly to keep our trail’s open for us to enjoy; please visit their website for information on how you can help: www.corva.org. Although we did not have any natural rock to play on I was able to make a challenging little course with a few artificial rocks and a wood ladder. It was difficult to get all 4 tires up on the rock without using too much gas and going right up and over the rock. Once on the rock you hoped you were facing the ladder because there wasn’t much room to maneuver without falling off the rock. The skill level of the drivers was impressive and most had prior R/C experience. The EXO RTR was a hot topic since it was just released and not yet in stores. Those who were lucky enough to get behind the wheel were surprised with its top speed and excellent handling. Just before the raffle 4Wheel Parts brought out the RTI ramp for anyone who wanted to test their flex out. A crowd drew as more and more rigs, including a 2wd pre-runner, tested the fruits of their labor. One rig went a little too far and flopped over to the crowds delight and cheers, see the pic and video link below. Lastly was the much anticipated CORVA raffle. Raffle items included a Smittybilt 8,000lb winch donated by 4Wheel Parts, a LED Light Bar by Tough-Light, even a ride in a Class 1 trophy truck by Engage. This year CORVA had a separate raffle specifically for the Axial Trail Honcho and I was honored to draw the winning ticket that belonged to Alex Ayala. This was a great way to spend a summer Saturday and we will be back next year for more off roading eye candy!

Big thanks to Pepe Palomo of Global Offroad Supply for organizing yet another great show! www.globaloffroadsupply.com
Also a big thanks to Nicole Pearson for the great pictures! http://www.pearsonimages.com

4th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
The Axial booth in all its glory!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
On Top: AX90019 Ridgecrest, Left: AX90022 Trail Honcho RTR, Middle: AX90018 Wraith RTR, Right: AX90024 EXO RTR

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Front: AX90024 EXO RTR, Behind: AX90019 AX10 Ridgecrest RTR

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Kids, and some adults, were drawn to the rigs as if they had some sort of magnetic field emanating from them. Axial wasn’t complaining!

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th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
John Rocha of Road///Race Motorsports very capable Willy’s Jeep.

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Nothing like a ‘home-grown’ Toyota with plenty of battle wounds to prove you don’t necessarily need 30K-50K in a rig to have fun and get in a magazine article or two!

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This Jeep means business!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
The Storm Trooper edition Toyota Tundra complete with white tint. As you can see the Tundra’s were represented very well here. All of them were super clean and well built!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
I would NOT want to plop down on these nice seats after spending a day working under the Toyota….haha!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Sand ramp’s anyone? Did you know Axial makes scale sand ramps? AX80112 is the part number and they can be purchased from your local hobby shop. To view them visit the Axial website: http://www.axialracing.com/products/ax80112

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Alex Ayala’s CJ7. Get a look at that GIANT D-ring hanging off the front end?! Alex was also the proud winner of the Honcho RTR raffle, congrats!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
No off roading truck show is complete without a Suzuki Samurai with Toyota Axles. I believe the Chevy bow-tie represents the current power plant. The ol’ Suzuki 1.3L 4cyl is probably not up to the task of pushing all this extra steel!

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What if you need to replace the headlight bezel? It’s these questions that keep me up at night……

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
This was a Jeep at one point in its life. I think……

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Engage was displaying these trick LED light bars from Tough-Light. A lucky raffle winner took one of these home, thanks Engage!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Admire’ers of the various sharpie markings from trail dings and dents.

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
See the guy leaning against the yellow Jeep Cherokee in the background? He was driving his heavily modified Honcho from his Jeep and managed to make it across, now that’s skill! He also had a very nice Wraith in his collection. Thanks for the support!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
I know this ‘course’ doesn’t look very challenging but it was. Once the right line was found the 100% stock Wraith, Ridgecrest, and Honcho were all able to make it across the ladder.

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Two future Axial vehicle owners. Which one to get is the only question, decisions decisions…..

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th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
The EXO RTR got a lot of attention since it just came out that week. Many show attendees were into short course racing and were anxious to see the new EXO RTR in person.

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
With her nimble handling, brisk acceleration, and awesome top speed, the EXO RTR impressed even the most seasoned short course drivers. Drivers quote of the day: ‘Wow, the EXO RTR seems to handle way better then my [insert brand/model here]?!?!’ That’s what we want to hear!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
RTI ramp time! This Suburban did very well for its size.

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Full pull! Talk about crossed up?!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
V8 powered Tacoma doing WORK!

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Someone had to do it and that someone was Richard Flores of the ‘Rock Brawlers’. For a great video of the action click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Quh-FyG3DBY&feature=youtu.be

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
John’s Willy’s never fails to impress! Hey what’s that waiting in line behind him?

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
The Wraith would never miss an opportunity to tackle the RTI ramp! Alex measured up the wheelbase and we heading up the ramp….

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Oh yea! Scale full pull? Haha!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Once again Wayne Ford of CORVA, along with the CORVA crew, did a great job with the raffle. This year they had a separate raffle for the AX90022 Honcho RTR which became very popular. Other great prizes were raffled off as well.

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
The winning ticket belonged to Alex and boy was he happy! He double-downed winning in the standard raffle as well?! I’d say he had a good day!

th Annual SoCal Off-Road Truck Show 6-30-12
Nothing like a Honcho to put a smile on your face!

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.

Axial EXO – How to swap batteries

Now that the EXO Terra Buggy has officially been announced, I want to take some time and highlight a few of the features. For this post I want to cover how to swap the batteries and show a couple of the subtle but cool details on the EXO battery tray assembly. Our patent pending quick release battery tray makes swapping the battery in the EXO really easy to do, with minimal down time between runs.

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A few photos of the battery tray with the body and cage removed.

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Here you can see the rubber battery straps lock into the battery tray tabs securely. The straps have steel pins pressed into the ends of them, the ends of the pins are what tie into the battery tray tabs.

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Grab the tab on the end of the rubber battery strap, pull down and release the pins from the battery tray tabs to remove the battery. No body clips or threaded nuts required. Notice the battery tray is two separate pieces too. I will explain why in a minute.

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To aid in removing the battery, the battery tray tabs fold down out of the way. Once they are folded down, the opposite end of the tabs help lift the battery out of the tray too.

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Notice the M3 screws and slots in the battery tray as well.

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I grabbed one of our 2S lipos to show how easy it is to make adjustments to the battery tray. Here is where the two piece tray is key. I set the battery into place first to see where it sits.

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Once you install your battery into the tray you can adjust the two halves of the battery tray to fit the battery as needed. The two halves of the tray are mounted to the chassis with M3 screws as I mentioned earlier. Because the battery trays have slots built into the mounting tabs, you can adjust the size of the tray to fit most batteries. Here you can see that the tray is a little too long to hold this battery properly right now.

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I backed the M3 screws off in the battery tray halves and snugged them up to the battery before tightening them up again. Now you can see the tray fits this battery like a glove.

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Another cool feature to this battery tray is the the rubber straps. There is adjustments built into those as well. You can fine tune the straps to fit different height battery packs if need be too. A close up shot of the stationary side of the battery strap, and it’s different mounting options. Three holes in the strap and two holes in the battery tray give you a handful of options to fine tune the straps.

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Here are a few more photos showing how to change the battery with the cage and body installed.

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The passenger side of the EXO has 2 body posts and clips that hold the side panel on. Remove those 2 body clips, pop the side panel off and you have access to the battery.

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As I mentioned earlier, grab the tab on the end of the strap, pull down and release to remove the battery.

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Fold the battery tabs back to pop the battery up out of the tray.

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Then remove the battery.

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Grab a freshly charged battery.

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Slide the battery into place.

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Secure the battery using the rubber straps.

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Then reinstall the passenger side body panel.

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Time to go tear it up!!

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That covers the EXO battery tray, and it’s adjustments. Keep an eye out for more blog articles covering different features on the EXO in the near future too.

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.

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 III – Links

For part 3 of the Wraith kit build we will cover building the links. I am also going to use a few upgrade parts in this step as well. Go to page 18 in the instruction manual, start with step 11.

All the parts required to build the lower links. Notice I am using the metal flange balls again for the lower links.

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Here you can see everything needed to build a single lower link. Use a 1.5mm driver to install the M3 threaded rod half way into the rod ends.

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Pop the flange balls into the rod ends and screw them into the lower links. Make sure the long curved rod ends are facing opposite ways. All 4 lower links completed.

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For the next step I am going to upgrade from the stock plastic upper links to our machined aluminum high clearance links in grey, part number AX30469, for extra durability. You will also need our M3 threaded studs and 2 packages of the metal flange balls I mentioned earlier. You can use the extra short curved rod ends that are included in the Wraith kit to build these links too.

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All the parts laid out to build a single upper link.

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Pop the metal flange balls into the rod ends. Install the M3 threaded rod half way into the rod ends, and thread them into the upper links. Again, make sure the rod ends are facing away from each other.

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All 4 upper links completed.

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Now it’s time to tie the links to the axles. Start with the front axle, then grab one driveshaft, 2 lower links and the required hardware.

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Slide the output of the driveshaft onto the pinion shaft, install the M3 screw shaft and tighten up as needed. You don’t need to go overboard torquing the driveshaft screw either, just snug it up. Then tie the lower links to the lower hole in the shock/link mounts.

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Next we will install the upper links and shocks.

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Start with the upper links, and install the long side of the links into the upper link mount on the axle. Secure the upper links to the axle with the supplied M3x30mm screw and Nylock nut. Then install the lower shock mounts into the upper hole on the link/shock mounts and secure.

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Moving on the front servo mount and steering linkage.

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Assemble the servo mount plate and servo posts. Use your steering servo to set the width between the servo posts before tightening them down.

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Install the servo mount onto the top of the front axle.

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Next we will install the servo arms on the knuckles. Use the extra M3 machined screws from the first installment of this build, if you are using aluminum knuckles and C-hubs. They are the same length as the M3 screws used for the kingpins in the knuckles.

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Now install your steering servo.

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Find your steering links and hardware. Here are all the parts required for this step.

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Install the flange balls into your steering linkage, I am swapping out the plastic balls for metal again in this step too.

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Secure the drag link to the steering tie rod using the supplied M3x12mm self tapping screw.

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Install the servo arm onto the opposite end of the drag link.

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Install the supplied M3x15mm screws into the knuckle steer arms from the top.

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Now secure the steering tie rod to the bottom of the knuckle arms.

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Slide the servo horn onto the output shaft of the servo, and attach using the supplied M3x6mm screw.

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Last step for this installment is rear links and shocks. Start at step 17 in the manual. These few steps are just about identical to the front axle assembly.

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Attach the driveshaft and lower links.

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Grab your upper links and shocks, and secure them to the axle like you did for the front.

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Both axles complete, with shocks, links and driveshafts installed.

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That takes care of this installment of the Wraith kit build. Up next, building the transmission.

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 4

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