Being a SoCal native, I’ve never had a reason to build a RC vehicle with a snow plow attachment. After a move to Connecticut back in 2013, it occurred to me why a slew of snow-moving builds pop up in that latter months of the year. Funny thing is I never took advantage of this situation, that is, until I moved BACK to sunny Southern California in 2015. After seeing a bunch of videos on YouTube with guys plowing their front yards, a friend (in CT) hit me up wanting me to build a custom rig for her husband for his birthday.
The entire build was pretty awesome, but for this article I’m going to just run through the quick steps of attaching RC4WD’s plow unit on the SCX10 Ram Power Wagon.
My first step in any build is to lay out the parts so I know what I’m working with. We have our SCX10 and the parts from RC4WD’s Snow Plow unit – a pretty simple plow that comes almost completely assembled. A few extra pieces come with the kit to attach it to the frame rails on the SCX10. You’ll also need a spare servo, preferably one with a decent amount of torque.
The plow attaches to the SCX10 between the frame rails. To get to this area, we need to first remove the stock plastic cap. Two screws is all it takes, then give the plastic cap a good pull to remove it.
Assemble the bumper mount as shown. You’ll want to make sure the two mounting ‘tabs’ (red arrow) are tilted up; this angles the plow correctly once installed. Also take note of the flat area on the plow mounts (green arrow) – notice the flat spot is pointing down. I suggest using blue threadlocker on all the screws here to prevent them from falling out.
Time to install the servo, however before you do, I suggest removing all of the screws (one at a time) and re-installing with a dab of blue threadlocker. I also advise removing the plow blade entirely during the install.
Moving on – slide the servo into place and attach (don’t forget your blue threadlocker). Attach one end of the chain to the servo horn and the other end to the bottom plow pickup. Typically, servos come with the output shaft set at 90°, so let’s start by attaching the servo horn angled up a bit like the photo. We can adjust the ‘pull height’ after we have the entire unit installed. You can re-install the plow blade at this point.
Attach the bumper mount assembly (from Step 3) to the plow assembly. The mount slides into ‘keyed’ slots in the back of the plow assembly. Blue threadlocker is suggested here.
Slide the mounting tabs between the frame rails and secure with the button head screws. Again, blue threadlocker is suggested here as well.
Remove the receiver box top and feed the servo lead into the box. Axial uses a 3-channel Tactic radio system, so thankfully there is an open port for the plug – port 3. Re-install the receiver box top.
Now, before you head on out to remove some snow, we need to test the plow for proper operation. Turn the transmitter on, then plug in the battery and turn the SCX10 on. There are two buttons right under your thumb (on the transmitter) – one raises the plow, the other lowers it. Go ahead and give it a quick test. If the buttons raise and lower the plow, you’re good to go. If you want the plow to raise up more, you have 2 options; 1) remove the servo horn and angle it up more or 2), shorten the chain by changing the attachment points.
Whenever I get a new vehicle, I like to take the first couple weeks to just drive it in box-stock form to learn about its traits; how it handles, any quirky nuances, etc. During this time I also take some time to review any hop ups that might become available, giving me an idea on how my long-term upgrade process is going to play out. Thankfully, the SCORE Trophy Truck shares the same platform as the Yeti Rock Racer, which means that there are a slew of performance goodies already available. Armed with a bag of aluminum bits, I decided it was time to install them prior to getting this rig all dirty. Not only did that make it a lot easier to deal with (read: no dirt!), it also looks much prettier in pictures. Time for an Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck Full Option Build!
Here are the parts I’ll be installing in this article. I’ve got quite a bit of work ahead; shocks, gears, machined parts and turnbuckles. A full list of the parts I installed is included at the bottom of this article.
Since I’m going to need to remove the center transmission for upgrades, I disconnected the motor wires from the ESC. Pay attention to how the wires connect; if you have a photographic memory, you’re good to go. If not (like me), you can mark them to keep things straight. I put one silver mark for the A wire, 2 for the B and 3 for the C.
I’m going to be working on the front end of the SCORE TT first. I started by removing the top deck support brace. It requires the removal of 10 screws in two different lengths so, to keep things organized, I put them back in the holes after removal.
Once the top deck support brace has been lifted off, removal of the front clip is easy. There are 4 screws underneath the chassis and the two hinge pin screws. I also disconnected the fixed-length steering turnbuckles as well – I’m replacing them with adjustable ones.
Separate the gearbox from the shock tower by removing the 4 screws holding them together. I’m only working with the differential at this time so I set the rest of the front clip assembly aside. Note the orientation of the diff in the gearbox. You’ll want to make sure you re-install it the same way.
Next, I removed the differential and bevel gear assemblies from the gearbox. I’m replacing them with the AX30395 Heavy Duty Bevel Gear Set shown in the picture. One thing to notice is that the assemblies have straight cut gears; this design is pretty strong and easy to machine. The new HD versions are helical cut, or machined with a slight angle in them. These are great for high-torque applications like crawlers or, in this case, hardcore trophy trucks! To replace, remove the 4 screws on the diff to release the gear, set the new gear in place and re-install the 4 screws. If you’re the tinkering type, you might think about adding some optional fluid to the diff prior to putting it back together (I did, 1000wt). The HD bevel gear is a one-piece unit so replacing the stock part is a simple pull-and-replace operation. One final step I performed was to remove the rubber stops that are installed in each diff outdrive. If you hold the diff on its side, you’ll see them down inside there. These are used to keep the dogbones tight and prevent them from ejecting during a hard crash, however they hinder the up and down suspension movement slightly. Since I’ll be replacing the dogbones with universals, they’re not needed anymore.
I’m ditching the stock dogbone setup for a set of Axial’s AX31135 94mm Universal Axle Set. These come as a pair, are pre-assembled and slide right into place.
I re-assembled the front clip – the new shock tower to the gearbox and the front bumper to the tower. I left the shocks off for now since I was replacing them with a full set of Axial’s Icons. You can also see the aluminum upper shock mounts that are included with the aluminum shock tower.
For strength and additional tuning, I’m adding a full set of front adjustable turnbuckles (AX31249 Yeti Turnbuckle Set). This kit includes an excellent build sheet, so assembly is very easy. Just build the turnbuckles to the appropriate lengths and you’re good to go. I would suggest keeping them separate during the build so you don’t mix up the steering links with the camber links; the two are different.
Before attaching the front clip back on the TT, I need to do a little work on the transmission. I pulled it from the TT and removed the gear cover, motor, plastic backing plate and plastic motor mount.
I installed Axial’s AX31156 Machined Adjustable Motor Mount, a 2-piece unit that includes the main mount that attaches to the gearbox and a mount that attaches to the motor. The motor mount part swivels to adjust the gear mesh and uses an upper clamp to keep it securely in place. Because it’s aluminum, this system is SUPER strong and helps pull unwanted heat away from the motor. I re-attached the plastic backing plate followed by the spur gear assembly (I used Axial’s AX31161 32P 64T Steel Spur Gear and AX31164 Machined Slipper Plates in place of the stock parts). These upgrades look awesome and should make the gearbox virtually bulletproof. After I tightened everything up, I went ahead and re-installed the gearbox into the TT.
Time to get the front back together, so I started by sliding the front clip onto the chassis and securing with the 4 screws from underneath as well as the two hinge pins. I made sure to key the center universal into the outdrive located under the transmission. It’s a little tricky, so I would suggest rotating the transmission gears (using the back tires) until you see the slots in the outdrive; this will make it easier to key the universal. Next, I slid the front axles through the steering blocks, attaching the wheel hexes to keep them in place. I installed the steering and camber links, making sure to key the axle bones into the outdrives. A little care has to be taken here to make sure the axle bones stay inside the outdrive.
Now that the front is back on and looking good, it was time to move on to the rear clip and the installation of a lot of performance parts. The first thing I needed to do is separate the rear clip from the rest of the chassis; front cage screws, rear cage screws and the 4-link mounts. If you did it right, this is what you should be left with.
My first plan of attack is the rear differential. To extract it, I needed to remove the diff cover, the straight axle hub carriers and the axles (just pull them out slightly). I also removed the two plastic diff-capture plates that hold the diff in place. Note the orientation of the diff gear inside the housing.
Replacement of the diff gear and bevel gear is the same as the front. Once completed, re-assemble by inserting the diff gear, diff-capture plates and axles (key and slide back into place). I installed the optional AX30789 AR60 OCP Aluminum Straight Axle Hub Carrier.
I also installed Axial’s AX31245 Lower Link Plate Set. These also bolt right on using existing holes in the plastic links. I would suggest installing and tightening the two end screws while leaving the centermost pair loose. They can be tightened up when you re-install the shocks and anti-roll bar.
Here is the rear clip assembled with all of the aluminum parts installed. You can see I’ve also added the AX31166 Machined Shock Mount Plates, AX30830 AR60 OCP Machined Link Mounts and AX31167 Machined Sway Bar Clamps. The Machined Sway Bar Clamps are a little hard to see, but I’ve added some additional pictures at the end that help show their install. When re-attaching the rear clip back to the chassis, add some threadlocker to the screws that secure the aluminum 4-link mounts. This will help prevent the screws from backing out when you’re out having a good time.
While I loved the look of the King shocks, I couldn’t pass up installing a full set of Axial’s Icons. Per the included instructions, I built a set of front and rears and installed them in place of the Kings. I have an additional set of shocks to create a dual-shock setup, but I’m going to give it a whirl with the single shocks first. The dual-shock install (and tuning) will be for a later article. As you can see from the pictures, the aluminum parts look awesome and will provide additional strength as well as give the truck a bit more of a ‘factory’ look. Time for me to get outside and get this thing dirty!
Axial Driver Jake Hallenbeck – NorCal Rock Racing – 2014 Finale
Words & photos: Michael Plunkett
With this being Nor Cal Rock Racing’s Championship race, we all knew that Jake being the defending 2013 Champion, might as well have a bull’s-eye on his back! Every team had one thing in mind, “beating Jake Hallenbeck!” As things were getting started and heat races were being randomly drawn, Jake found out he had been drawn to start in the back of the pack. Starting in the back forces Jake to work his way through slower traffic, which sometimes is a challenge in itself on a course like this.
With the two other power house teams of concern drawing the same heat race, this would give us an idea of how the rest of the day was going to go. Jake found himself being held up by certain drivers, slowing him down considerably. By the end of the race, Jake had worked his way up to finish 2nd behind his closest competitor in the points standings. This was going to be a showdown!
As the team was going over the car in the pits, Jake found out that they had a transmission cooler failure. Without a spare cooler, they decided to bypass the trans-cooler altogether and hope for the best.
Starting in the back of heat race 2 once again meant that Jake would have to rely on his skills to get him out in front to secure a better starting position for the main event. As the race started and Jake charged through the pack, he suffered a broken axle in the first rock pile. He maintained his pace the best he could to finish that heat in what appeared to be 4th place. Jake and his team quickly went to work pulling the axle, and in the meantime damaged the inner seal.
Fortunately, with Trail Gear’s large fill cap on their axles, they were able to get a pry bar in there so they could get the axle changed without having to pull the entire axle apart to put the seal housing back in. As it was, they finished with minutes to spare for the start of the main event!
When the teams lined up for the main event, I could see Jon Cagliero starting in the front row. Jon was only two points behind Jake in the points race. Jake was forced to start mid-pack and have to work his way through traffic once again! With the lineup in place and the sun in their eyes, the race for the Championship was about to begin!
From what I could see, Jake got a great hole shot and by the first and second rock pile he found himself in 3rd place. He drove the wheels off his bomber buggy and began to reel in the leaders…until his engine’s heating issue began to come back and haunt him. He was forced to pace himself for the longer main event so he could be in the hunt at the finish. He maintained his 3rd place position throughout the race until he got over taken by a car during a yellow flag.
Out of his control at that point, Jake knew he needed to gain that position back and get closer to the front for a chance to keep his lead in the points standings. With one lap to go, Jake overtook that 3rd position again but was running out of time to catch the leaders. When the race came to an end, Gary Ferravanti Sr. crossed the line first, followed by Jon Cagliero, and Jake finishing in 3rd and collecting another podium finish!
With the results of the race in place, it was time to figure out the point standings and who would be the 2014 Season Champion! With Jon Cagliero finishing the race in 2nd and Jake finishing in 3rd, it meant that they were tied in points for the 2014 season. With nothing in the rule book stating what to do in the case of a tie, John Goodby of Nor Cal Rock Racing decided to go with a motocross rule that states whoever crossed the finish line first between the two points leaders would be the new Champion.
Like the true Sportsman and Champion that Jake Hallenbeck is, he looked at Goodby and stated, “As long as you will assure me that this will be in the rule books in the future, I am good with that.” In the same breath, Jake asked John if he could deliver the Championship trophy to Jon Cagliero himself. Goodby agreed as long as he could be present. They together they delivered the trophy to Jon Cagliero and named him the 2014 Nor Cal Rock Racing Champion! It’s never easy in racing to except a 2nd place finish, but Jake did it with grace and style.
As the season concludes, I look forward to seeing if Jake can pick up new sponsors in the off season so he too can upgrade his rig to what most of the powerhouse rigs are running. Jake proves to me that you can stay on the podium with driving skills alone, but to be able to win races consistently you have to equal the playing field and run Independent Front Suspension with big horsepower!
All in all, in two years of racing the Ultra4 class, Jake has achieved a Nor Cal Championship, a tie for another Nor Cal Championship, The Ultra4 Racing series Rookie of the Year Award, and is still in contention in the 2014 Ultra4 Racing Series on driving ability alone. If given the Independent Front Suspension and the horsepower other teams are running, in my opinion, Jake Hallenbeck would be a force to be reckoned with!
Johnson Valley, CA. 2-10-14 – Casey Currie returned for the 2014 Griffin King of the Hammers this past weekend, expectations for a win may not have been met, but the odds of finishing the race were on Curries side. The week long event took place in Johnson Valley, CA where over 40,000 off-road/rock crawling enthusiasts flocked to watch 158 entries take their chance at the 150 mile brutal course.
After Curries 3rd place finish in Wednesdays UTV race, he helped his uncle, John Currie prepare for Thursdays Every Man Challenge. John qualified 1st for the race. Just miles into the start of the race, John gained a significant lead on the other competitors and continued to hold that lead all the way to the finish.
“We make sure that racing is fun for our entire family and it was great to see my Uncle as well as my brother finish on the podium.” Stated Casey Currie. “Knowing that my uncle won the EMC in the same vehicle I raced on Friday solidified my concerns on being a top competitor for the King of the Hammers race.”
Casey qualified the #88 Ultra 4 truck in the 44th starting position. The race began at 8am sharp and once on the course, Currie set a steady pace for the first lap. The first lap of the race consisted of dry lake-beds, sand washes and dunes. Currie finished the lap with no major issues and came into the main pit physically in the 20th position.
Laps 2 and 3 were more demanding and difficult with the course making its way through Clawhammer, Wrecking Ball, Chocolate Thunder and more. These laps would take there toll on numerous Ultra 4’s. Some out of the race, others rolled over and giving it all they have to get back on all fours. Currie and co-rider, Oren managed to make the right decision when making their way up the waterfalls.
“It is important to have a co-rider with you that is smart, calm and can assess the situation. This is just what Oren does.” Said Currie.
As Currie made his way up “Backdoor” one of the hardest obstacles of the course, Oren had the challenge of guiding Currie up the slippery rocks. Other stuck vehicles would block the best lines and another vehicle would roll on its lid right next to them. This would be the only part of the course that would set the team back on time, but it wasn’t long before they made their way to the top and continued towards the finish.
In ten hours and 50 minutes, Currie and Oren crossed the finish line. Once at the finish the celebration was well deserved as the team got the results of a 14th place finish. This was worth celebrating since the #88 Ultra 4 was the first vehicle to come in that had only 14inches of travel, where as all the other finished had 20inches.
“We couldn’t be happier with our finish. It was a long day out there and the course was rough. The ruts were huge and dealing with other stuck competitors was a challenge. There is always the chance that they can take you out as well. Finishing in the top 15 out 158 speaks volumes of our team and the vehicle. Big thanks to everyone who puts this race together and on a great week of racing.” Stated Currie.
As Social Media is all the rage… OK, way of life now… We did as many early adopters do and started a FaceBook page at the early onset. Since then and after widespread adaptation, FaceBook developed the more business oriented page for company’s. So without further ado, Axial presents the official Axial Company FaceBook page:
SO, what this means is that on July 28th, 2011 our “friends” page will be going away and we will no longer populate this page with information as our attention will focus just on the one company page mentioned above.
The RECON G6 CHALLENGE “Gamblers Paradise” Las Vegas
Date: April 2nd, 2011
Location: Some N.E. hillside outside Las Vegas, Nevada
Words: Rodney “GCRad1” Wills
Images: Brandon Coonce & Rodney Wills
The year Twenty-Eleven has barely started and the RECON Crew has already and totally changed the game of having R/C fun in a friendly environment!
The G6 Challenges first started in January with “Erzberg” and “Folsom G6 Blues,” February saw “Love of Rock” and “Folsom G6 Blues part Duex,” then March brought on the “Maddness.” Finally, April was not fooling around with “Gamblers Paradise!” All in all, six events of G-six’ism this year!
The casual bystander would view the landscape for a G6 Challenge as beautiful to view from a distance but would not consider the terrain and environment as “friendly,” but for the adventure G6’ers, the rougher and less traveled, the better! But what is this G6 Challenge that has Trail Honcho’s in a frenzy to adventure into the unknown?
The Gamblers Paradise Edition of the G6 Challenge was actually a “no gamble – all win” event with spectacular al la natural landscape, awesome weather and course design on the Scalers’ list of paradise-type terrain! Yes, this event was EPIC for the adventure enthusiast!
While on a previous G6 Challenge in Reno, I did a little sample driving as I spent most of my time filming and shooting photos. I had such a blast with the little time I drove my rig at the “Maddness” event, that this time I wanted more seat-time! Jeff Johns [Axial President] and myself went out to participate in this event from start to finish. With two very stock SCX10’s in hand, we wanted to get the full flavor of fun and a full-day of seat-time… ok, steering-walking time. Either way, it was the adventure of the unknown we were chasing!
Here is Jeff just past #20-Trail Marker into the 100-TM course:
The G6 Challenge events are comprised of three trails ranging from 50 to 200 course markers- pretty much however many Brian Parker feels like putting in that day, but with heavy emphasis on “challenge” as in the most challenging courses set in natural terrain. At G6 Challenge events, two guys work together as “trail buddies.” The mission is that one person drives his rig and the other guy goes along as “co-pilot” alerting the driver to course directions while scoring his driver. Once the driver finishes a trail, the participants switch duties for the same course and repeat for the other trails. Yes, this is the honor system with nine million ways to seek the gray area. But hey, this is the very reason we are seeing a flip as the other side coin has nine million rules to follow. At the end of the day, we currently only need/want general guidelines for some wild style adventure fun!!!
Jeff Johns, Axial President getting his G6 ON! Yes, our president is also an enthusiast!
Jeff and I being first time G6’ers, we were also trail-buddies and driving showroom bone-stockers! Can we make it any harder!? From a participant standpoint, it is very easy to show up and run at one of these events! As the event was getting underway, I couldn’t hold back my urge to snap a couple of shots of the other adventure seekers as Jeff was making ready his SCX10 murdered-out Honcho. OK. So his rig is not that stock, he has custom flat black paint and a couple of scale accessories.
It dawned on me that while I understood the rules, I was not familiar with the score keeping process and in just a few moments we would be out on a trail, clock ticking and no way of returning to G6 base-camp to ask about rules and scoring, so I made a quick inquiry about rules right as Jeff approached the start line. Talk about cutting it close!
“Rules – EASY! Don’t hit trail markers and don’t hit boundaries. Have FUN!,” stated Stewart G. with assistance from Brad Bailey while starting other G6’ers out onto the three trails simultaneously. OK, so that is (I hope) rather simple, I thought and we started our adventure in the “deep-end of the pool” with the 100-trail marker course!
StewartG [center] of RECON, the man behind the digital clocks and all things keeping up with Brian Parker [right].
The coolest thing about participating in the “chase of adventure” at a G6 Challenge is that it is not about the podium finish. It’s about the massive amount of seat-time driving and possibly surviving the unknown unscathed and then, sharing stories at the end of the day- “How in the heck did you clean TM-24 on the 100-course?” “Did you see that Bender-6X walk-it!” “Did you get passed by the Swanson Swagger!?”
WELL. Let me tell you! I personally witnessed the “Swanson Swagger!” I got passed on the 100-course by the man himself, Mr. Tom “Swagger” Swanson, somewhere after TM-66 and before TM-75 on the radical terrain of the 100-course. I was in disbelief, but the “rumor” is in fact true! “The Swagger” as he will now be known, was walking, not running, in a brisk and smooth manner as he somehow piloted his SCX10 Dingo [the only one at the event] through the Vegas outback. As he navigated his rig past and was a few feet ahead, he shouted back for me to look on the left as he thought he may have seen a cleaner line for me to attempt. I looked in a fit of frustration and why yes, I saw the line! HOW THE HECK!? I’m laughing as I line my Sharpe Camo’ed SCX10 Honcho up to the rock and could only punch the skinny pedal and succeeded in launching my rig up the rock on the left side only to take out the course marker on the right. Luck will only take you so far and did at this point as some of my previous course marker clearings where finessed in complete amazement even to myself and stage partner. I’m sure everyone knows of what I speak, everyone needs video to capture the proof of pure amazement.
Here at TM-74 is where I would be passed by Tom “Swagger” Swanson:
I pulled out of the way in order for Tom to have a clean-through line. Also, I was attempting to reverse through the trail marker diagonally without having to winch without the winch I do not have and without the use of the stage buddy winch. Tom of course needed no stinking winch as he boosted up the ledge on the third approach!
Tom Swanson in action – standing for a brief moment.
Later at the G6 Base Camp, I asked Tom Swanson for some of his hysterical magical swagger to be sprinkled on my rig to make up the difference in driving talent that expired and without instant renewal, back there around TM-68. He graciously popped the Dingo’s bonnet [it was European] and showed me his personal outback setup! This is the comradery that the G6 Challenge members have! It’s us that have to survive both the outback wilderness defined by the trail markers of Brian Parker and the G6 Crew. It’s all part of the mystery and adventure that happens at the G6 Challenges.
We came, we drove and we performed our wilderness clean-up duty!
Brian Parker and Brad Bailey of RECON Present Thom Kowatch [center] his First Place “Wagon Wheel” Award
Brandon Coonce of Axial Inc., is presented the Second Place “ashes to ashes – dust to dust” Award
Brain Parker presents Tom Swanson with the Third Place “Vegas Desert Shark Landmark” Award
TOUGH LUCK AWARD:
Brent Brammer is presented the Tough Luck “G-Degree Good Apple” Award. Brent battled electric gremlins from the very start but fought them through the 100-TM course and the first 50-TM course before expiring his battle. This was inauguration to the G6 family.
Brad “Bender” Dumont’s 6XSCX10 set the fastest time on the 100-TM Course!!!
G6 Participants where given the first public viewing of the Wraith Rock Racer!
You can bank on there being more… more G6 Challenge in store!
So, I guess the word is out that we are releasing a new vehicle.While everyone is wanting it, “LIKE RIGHT NOW!!!,” we are still doing our initial playing, I mean testing. Did I say that out loud? And we have had our fair share of rain in Southern California that would make Dennis Anderson proud to host his Muddy Motorsports Park in our backyard!
So, for all you East Coast’ers – this one is for you! It was hard work trying to get all scalistic and paint all this mud on, so we just did it the authentic way and bashed it through the biggest mud holes we could find!