Axial – The Official R/C vehicles of Ultra4 Racing – King of the Hammers 2016

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
(Mission Viejo, CA) January 11, 2016.

Axial R/C Inc., A subsidiary of Hobbico Inc., is proud to announce Axial as the Official R/C Vehicles of Ultra4 / King of the Hammers for 2016.

Ultra4 Racing is the latest and greatest off road motorsport event on earth. This style of racing challenges man to a duel with the elements. Unlike standard off road racing in a stadium or in the wide open desert, Ultra4 vehicles face challenges that no other motorsport demands. Competitors are not only made to cross vast areas of open desert, they also travel up boulder strewn canyons and negotiate terrain that appears impassable. To compete in such a demanding environment, competitors build custom four wheel drive vehicles that are made to crawl over the harshest terrain, then conquer the wide open desert at exhilarating triple digit speeds. This element of automotive enthusiasm is precisely what Axial R/C has set out to deliver in 1:10 scale, so the relationship between Axial R/C and Ultra4 is a very natural fit.

Axial’s roots are directly tied to motorsports, especially competitive rock crawling. As full size competitive rock crawling transcended into what is now rock racing, the sport became globally recognized in a short five years, most notably the King of the Hammers [KOH] held annually in Johnson Valley, California. Axial followed suit with its own version of vehicles that translated well within this segment of the off road community. Axial has been very off-road lifestyle driven and fits perfectly with Ultra4 and the King of the Hammers event which is the mecca of enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of rock racing. Axial will be on site at the 2016 King of the Hammers offering enthusiasts an opportunity to experience the endless fun that these rock racing and trail navigating R/Cs have to offer.

Come out and join us at the 2016 King of the Hammers in the Axial compound located smack dab in the middle of Hammertown, USA. This year’s compound will feature a rock racing track and a scale trail where you can traverse a challenging course with your SCX10 vehicles and rip around the track with your Yeti, Wraith or RR10 Bomber. The scale trail will be open for runs during the day, then be closed down for some rock racing in the evenings.

Axial to support drivers chasing the Crown
In 2016, the Axial team will be supporting, following, and cheering on several teams competing in events all week long. Please show these teams some love!

Randy Slawson – Bomber Fab
Casey Currie
Savvy Motorsports
Desert Turtle Racing
Poison Spyder Motorsports
Cody Waggoner – LaserNut
Tom Wayes

The schedule for Axial events is as follows:

Axial Booth open daily Tuesday through Friday 9 AM until Race completion nightly

Tuesday February 2nd, 2016
11-1 Scale Adventure
1:30-2:30 Scale Adventure
3-5 Track open Practice
6PM Outlaw KOH Race for points

Wednesday February 3rd, 2016
11-1 Scale Adventure
1:30-2:30 Scale Adventure
3-5 Track open Practice
6PM Outlaw KOH Race for points

Thursday February 4th, 2016
11-1 Scale Adventure
1:30-2:30 Scale Adventure
3-5 Track open Practice
6PM Outlaw KOH Race for points
Awards immediately following Final Race.

Friday Feb 5th, 2016
Race Day – Get out in the desert and watch the full size racers go for broke chasing the coveted crown and title of “King of the Hammers” for 2016

Outlaw Classes Rules:
1.9 Axial Based Chassis (Except Yeti)
2.2 Axial Based Chassis (Except Yeti)
Yeti Trophy Trucks
Yeti Class (No XL)

Demo Rules:
One try per day – per person
Under 18 – Parent MUST be present.
If you have your own rig, Scale rules apply, Respect the Course!!

**Important Note for 2016**  
There will NOT be a G6 event on Saturday at this year’s King of the Hammers.

About Axial
Founded in 2005, Axial R/C, Inc. has quickly became a global brand leader of hobby grade radio controlled products as Axial is a company of enthusiasts for enthusiasts. We manufacture chassis and accessory products predominantly for the Rock Crawling and Overland Adventure segments, with design emphasis on rugged construction and scale realism. Axial is regularly involved in local and national events which allow us to keep our finger on the pulse of R/C culture, thus earning us awards every year from 2007 through 2010, including “Best Truck”, “Most Innovative”, “Best Engineered Product of the Year”, and “People’s Choice.”

For more information on Axial and Axial products please visit www.axialracing.comtwitter.com/axialracingfacebook.com/axialincyoutube.com/axialvideos

About Ultra4
Ultra4 Racing is the official website of Hammerking Productions. The founders of Hammerking are the force behind the toughest one-day off-road race on the planet: King of The Hammers. King of the Hammers takes place each year in February, on public lands in Johnson Valley, CA. The race has evolved from 12 teams racing for bragging rights and a case of beer, to more than 150 teams competing before thousands of fans both live and online. Due to the incredible success of King of the Hammers, Hammerking has created an equally difficult off-road endurance race called The Stampede which occurs annually in Reno, NV.

In addition to these races, Hammerking has established a racing class known as the Ultra4 class. The defining characteristic of this class is that all cars must be capable of 4-wheel drive. Beyond that, the class is unlimited, which means these cars come in all shapes and sizes and are capable of speeds over 100+ MPH and still contain gear ratios as low as 100 to 1 for technical rock crawling.

To give these cars and their drivers a chance to showcase their unique capabilities, Hammerking has formed the Ultra4 Racing series. The series challenges drivers to compete in a wide variety of terrain from endurance desert racing to competition-style rock crawls to short course racing. Hammerking currently produces five of the six races in the series on their own. The races take place on both public lands and in private motorsports parks across the country including: Exit 28 Motorsports Park in Nevada, Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania and Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

If you would like to know more about Hammerking, Ultra4, the races produced and/or the movies created, please visit www.ultra4racing.comtwitter.com/Ultra4racingfacebook.com/Ultra4Racingyoutube.com/HeavyMetalConcepts

 

Axial Driver Jake Hallenbeck – NorCal Rock Racing – 2014 Finale

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

Axial Driver Jake Hallenbeck Rocks Utah Ultra4 race

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Axial Driver Jake Hallenbeck Rocks Utah Ultra4 race

2014 American Rock Sports Challenge, Toole, UT

words and photos by: Mike Plunkett

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As usual , when Jake Hallenbeck of Marked Motorsports shows up to the track in the Axial sponsored
Bomber car. Everyone recognizes how well the car has been prepped just by the way it looks.
After the prep is all complete, Jake and his boys spend hours detailing the car for every event, and it
shows! ( I’ve even witnessed him washing it between heat races)

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Fridays Practice went smoothly. While most of the teams spent all their time trying to perfect times through their
favorite lines. Jake, I noticed, spent most of his time driving alternate lines in the event of a course pile-up.
Racing rarely comes without issues so planning ahead is sometimes key. (Great tactics if you ask me).

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Qualifying started out as expected until Jake had an axle break half way through the course slowing them considerably. He finished the coarse with a time of 2:07 minutes qualifying them 15th overall.

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With the days activities coming to a close the rain started coming down heavily. They were forced to make an axle swap in less than ideal conditions. The team was able to get the axle completed that evening so they could get rested and wait to find out where they would be placed for saturday’s prelims.

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It rained most of the night but by Saturday morning the sun was shinning. The nights rain made a muddy mess
of the track! It was some of the worst I have ever seen at an Ultra4 race! Luckily, Jake and the team found themselves in the 5th prelim of the day. This meant the mud had dried out only “slightly” making the track a little easier to navigate. And I do mean “slightly” as Jakes bomber is pictured. (Below) The mud was some of the worst i have ever seen at an ultra4 race. The race cars were unrecognizable to most.

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Lining up 5th in the prelims would mean he would have to charge to the front to gain a better starting position
for the main event. As prelim 5 unfolded, traffic in the rocks worsened. They also found themselves battling a power issue from the motor that they thought was cured from the previous race! They sercombed and were able to finish 4th in their heat race guaranteeing them a spot in the main event. Not the starting position they were shooting for, but a spot in the main none the less.

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With a few hours to the main event the team decided to clean up the mud acquired during the race. They also dug into the car once again in search of their power loss issue. Checking codes, temperatures of each cylinders, wiring, fuel pumps, and anything else they could have missed.

Based on their prelim times the line up was set for the main event. Jake and Co-dog Bernie found themselves to be starting 10th off the line. He knew he needed to be closer to the front to be within striking distance of those over powered IFS cars and have a chance at a podium finish.

As the main race began things started out as expected. Those IFS cars took off in a blistering pace, forcing Jake to push the car that much harder. Running a fast, yet consistent race was keeping him in the hunt, but at this pace he also found the cars power issues were still there and it was running hot at over 250 degrees!

I have been photographing and watching Jake since he started Ultra4 just a little over a year ago. Jake is known for waiting for drivers ahead to make mistakes and then pouncing. Could he hold out long enough and wait for those powerhouses to make a mistake? The mistakes were beginning to unfold but without the engine power, and what appeared to be some slower lap times, I wasnt sure if it was going to happen this time.

All of a sudden he began to run the buggy hard! It was time to pounce and see where the cards stacked. I scrambled to run around the track and get photos and thats when things got rather confusing! One leader rolled, another lost his lead and was forced to run on a flat front tire, teams were being slowed for recovery vehicles, and in general, I don’t think anyone knew what position they were in anymore!

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When the checkered flag was thrown, we all knew Loren Healy had won but we were being told Jake was running in 2nd or 3rd? By the time I arrived at the podium officials had spent several minutes of checking the electronic transponders and sorting things out. Dave Cole of Ultra4 announced Jake finished 4th behind Loren Healy, Jason Scherer, and Erik Miller in that order.

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Considering the issues they had and a couple hundred horsepower shy of what the leaders were running, it ended up being a pretty good weekend for the Axial sponsored team! Im proud of Jake and his Marked Motorsports team for staying smooth and consistent as he does so well. Jake, you can run with most anyone! Good job you guys…

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Jeeping with Casey Currie at EJS2014

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Casey Currie is an absolute Jeep fanatic. Anyone who follows Casey can see this plain as day, though until you spend a few days with him, you can’t truly know how bad he has it. All hours of the night, in the worst weather conditions, regardless of what is going on or what time it is, Casey is ready to go wheeling. At this years’ EJS, we jumped in the Axial grocery getter, soccer mom mall crawler, whatever you want to call it, and headed out to meet with Casey. He said he had both of his JKs and he was ready to have some Moab fun.

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Upon arrival, we see that Casey wasted no time modifying both of his Jeeps. His full size rig was all decked out. We also noticed his Scale JK was equipped with Vanquish Currie Rock Jock axles, Vanquish Rigid Industries light bar, Vanquish front dig, RC4WD Warn Winch. He chose the 55t Axial motor running on 3s for smooth crawling. Once we arrived on Hell’s revenge, he immediately jumped out of his full size JK and started attacking the rock with his SCX10.

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Casey always immediately goes for the “Man’s Line”

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We just had to get some video to share with you, check it out!

2012 “King” – Erik Miller – To Run Axial Wraith in Ultra4 G6

Erik Miller is one of those guys that exemplifies the off road life style. His first vehicle was a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4, which he got from his dad at age 16. Once into College, Erik had to balance all of his different interests like all college students, trying to discover his path. His focus back at that time was primarily placed on the aggressive and competitive sport of Ice Hockey. Anyone who knows about Ice Hockey will tell you that it takes a tremendous amount of dedication to master the craft. Erik was also very interested in off-roading, and found himself behind the wheel of a new Jeep, a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon TJ. In 2004 he accompanied his grandfather to a Jeep Jamboree event in Paragon Adventure park which is what really hooked him on the rock crawling side of off-roading. After that he built up the TJ into a stock/modified competitive crawler and began competing in 2005. His passion for this developed quickly, and like any very competitive individual, Erik excelled in his ventures.

He was hitting the local events and having fun as a hobbyist through 2009 when his first big break came along. He competed at the qualifier for KOH at Rausch Creek off-road park. This was his first taste of the high speed aspect of rock racing and knew this is what he wanted to do. His finishing position at this event was enough to qualify him to run in the 2010 KOH event. After researching the KOH event further, he decided if he was going to be competitive with the likes of Shannon Campbell and Jason Scherer, it was time to build up a proper rock buggy. With his business booming, the team at Miller Motorsports secured a Twisted Creations pro-mod rock buggy named Twisty. Twisty became the center of attention for the team with heavy focus put on development, seat time and testing. These efforts paid off very well for the team earning them a 5th place finish at the 2010 King of the Hammers event. After a slew of victories and an IEC championship in 2010, the team once again contested King of the Hammers in 2011. The Team secured a 14th position finish in 2011 after some steering woes during the event. In 2012 the team was back and more prepared than ever. There are very few times in life when everything seems to click, the 2012 King of the Hammers event was one of those times. The Miller Motorsports team had finally reached the ultimate goal and was crowned the King, winning the extremely competitive 2012 King of the Hammers event.

After the success in the 2012 season, Erik decided it was time to build a new Rock Buggy. They have been working very hard to prepare this buggy for 2013 King of the Hammers. The week at KOH will be a very busy one for Erik, as he will compete in 3 races throughout the week. On Thursday, he will revisit his first vehicle, the 1998 Jeep grand Cherokee, fully built up to compete in the stock class. On Friday he will put his new buggy through its paces in effort to defend his throne. On Saturday he will mix it up a little and compete in the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 R/C event with a Heavy Metal Concepts built 1/10 scale Axial Wraith.

Erik is very passionate about rock racing, and not afraid to get after the skinny pedal. It is very hard to illustrate this through text, so we rounded up a few photos courtesy of Heavy Metal Concepts to show you Erik in action!

Check out this Heavy Metal Concepts video of Erik and the team getting after it!

To check out the latest Rock Buggy build for the 2013 King of the Hammers “Two Twisted”, click here.

To learn more about Erik Miller and his motorsports efforts please visit his website here.

To stay up to date with the Wraith build for the RECON Ultra4 G6 at KOH please like and follow Heavy Metal Concepts Facebook page here

For more information on the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 at KOH, click here

As always thanks for checking out the Axial blog and sharing it with your friends!

Axial Teams with Poison Spyder – 2013 Season

Axial is proud to announce the continued partnership with Poison Spyder for 2013 and beyond. The partnership between Axial and Poison Spyder is a perfect match. Poison Spyder is a company built around the off-road lifestyle, much like Axial. The McRae family and the entire Poison Spyder family for that matter, are enthusiasts. When they are not in the shop with their noses to the grindstone producing top shelf Jeep gear, they are out on the trail, enjoying what nature has to offer with friends, fans and customers. This business philosophy is shared by Axial, as we all love what we do, providing the equipment for like minded individuals and families to bring smiles and endless fun.

We are fast approaching one of the most anticipated events for 2013, the Ultra4 King of the Hammers. This event has been called the toughest 1 day off road event in the world, and attracts off-road enthusiasts and press from all over the planet. Last year, Larry McRae and co-driver Shad Kennedy were the masterminds behind a new race vehicle. The Venom Chassis dubbed BFH (Built for the Hammers)was a success out of the box. The Poison Spyder crew are not starngers to competitive rock crawling events, though this was quite an undertaking. The crew competed and won the EMC (Every Man Challenge) in the modified class, in the vehicle’s first outing. This year, after countless days of testing, the Poison Spyder racing team is back and will contest the unlimited class in the same vehicle with a few modifications.

Here is a shot of the BFH in the shop being prepared

On the ground and ready to be loaded for testing

Out in the desert with “Daddy Long Legs”

Larry doesn’t just race this rig, he also brings it out to some events such as TDS (Tierra Del Sol) as seen here

A little over a week ago, Larry traveled to the 4Wheel Parts HQ in California for the live drawing for starting/qualifying positions. This year he will qualify for his KOH starting position. He will be 62nd in line to get his qualifying time. He spent some time on the air talking with Dave Cole and all of his fans about his efforts.

We wish Larry, Shad and the entire crew the best of luck at KOH 2013!

Rumor has it, the race vehcile will have a new graphic scheme this year, if these shirts are any indication, it should look awesome!

They have these shirts for sale on the Poison Spyder website, if you are interested, get yours here.

Larry’s week out at KOH will not end on Friday with the KOH main event, he will stay through Saturday and compete in the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 at King of the Hammers. Larry will be piloting an Axial Wraith in the 2.2 Adventurist class. This is your chance to rub paint with one of the big boys! For more information on the G6 event click here.

To check out Poison Spyder’s efforts at the King of the Hammers last year, click here.

Tire Cutting 101

When it comes to scale trail runs, mud bogging, competition crawling and racing, tires are one of the most important aspects of your vehicle. Without proper traction it can be tough to hold your intended line in the rocks or around the track. Having multiple sets of tires in your arsenal is always a good idea in order to be prepared for any and all conditions. But, for the budget crawler, basher and racer having numerous sets of tires and wheels isn’t always a feasible option. There are ways to improve your existing tires and wheels though, and all it requires is a little time at the work bench. For this tire cutting article we will show you a few ways to get more traction out of your stock or existing tires, with little to no money out of your pocket. There are numerous ways to cut tires for better performance. Siping, read cutting, tires is a technology used in the 1:1 off-road world for everything from rock crawling to baja, mud bogging and even full size monster trucks. Tire cutting can be used to get better forward bite, better lateral bite, and even help to avoid mud from packing into certain tread patterns. You can also cut the side wall lugs to soften up the overall feel of the tires carcass as well. There are many aspects to this technology/art form.

A good example to start with for the scale crawlers is the stock R40 compound Axial Ripsaw tires that are original equipment on the RTR Wraith and new RTR Ridgecrest. These tires have a great tread pattern with aggressive lugs for hardcore off road terrain. But, the compound on these is quite a bit harder than the softer R35 Axial Ripsaw tires. Here are a few different methods you can use to get the most out of your stock RTR Ripsaw tires. Only tools needed are a good pair of small wire cutters, a Dremel with a cutoff wheel and a little bit of your time.

Wire cutters used.

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Dremel and cutoff wheel used.

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A stock uncut tire before we get started.

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First thing I wanted to improve upon was forward bite, and the ability to clean sticky mud out of the tire lugs. The tires I am using for this article will be bolted up to a 2.2 scaler/rock racer which will see a wide variety of terrain. I started by cutting the smaller rows of lugs completely out of the tires for a super aggressive tread pattern that will have the ability to shed mud and wet dirt, using a small pair of wire cutters. This cut will also soften the carcass up and allow for more forward bite in technical rock sections, similar to airing a 1:1 tire down for more grip and better ride. If your wire cutters are too small to span the entire lug you are trying to remove, you can cut half of the lug and slide the cutters along the base of the lug for a second cut as needed. I had to use this method on the biggest lugs.

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Next cut the smaller center lugs out on the same row.

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Here is how that same tire looks when the first round of cutting is complete.

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A profile shot after the first round with the wire cutters.

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A photo of all the lugs removed from the 4 tires.

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Next I want to improve the tires performance on the rocks in off camber situations. To do this I will use my Dremel and cut the existing tire grooves in the center lugs down to the tire’s carcass. Here you can see it grooves before I modify them.

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Position the Dremel over the lug to be cut and follow the existing groove to make it deeper.

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Keep your RPMs on the Dremel high enough to cut the lug without bogging the motor down. Gently apply pressure until the cutoff wheel cuts the full depth of the lug. Be careful not to go too deep and cut all the way through the tire, take your time and be patient. You can also do this to the outer lugs if you find you need more bite, or sidewall flex. Another way to get more flex out of your tires is to open up the breather holes in the wheels. I drilled out the existing breather holes in these wheels to twice the stock diameter.

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Finished tire

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Here’s a few shots to show the overall look on my “Project Backyard Basher Ridgecrest.” These tires really give it a lot more aggressive look, similar to what you would see on the “Rock Bouncers” from down in the southeast.

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Following these tips will improve overall performance on the stock RTR Ripsaw tires as well as other tires on the market, especially if they are molded in a firm rubber compound.

Bender’s AX10 Ridgecrest Project Backyard Basher

Now that Axial’s new Ridgecrest is readily available I wanted to show one of the Ridgecrest projects I have been working on. For this project I just wanted to build a do it all trail runner/crawler/basher. The Ridgecrest is the perfect platform for this type of build in my opinion, because of the stout AR60 axles and the well tuned suspension geometry. The purpose of this build is to have a rig that can handle a lot of various situations from sandy hills, to rocks and roots, a little water, and possibly some urban bashing. This project will also probably be a loaner vehicle on occasion as well, so I want it to work decent in all situations. Here’s a rundown of what I changed, and why.

A couple shots with the body removed. I swapped the electronics and battery trays around so the battery now sits in front for better weight distribution.

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Swapping the two trays around was easy, the only thing required was a servo extension wire. The steering servo wire lead on this rig was a bit too short for me to reach the receiver after swapping the two trays around. Servo extensions can be found at most hobby shops and online retailers for less than $5, so it is a cheap and easy solution.

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Here you can see the junction where the servo wire and the servo extension meet. I used the stock wire guide to keep the wires out of harm’s way. Also notice I moved the on/off switch to the opposite side of the chassis, just to keep wires cleanly tucked away.

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I stretched the wheelbase on this Ridgecrest to help on big rock obstacles, and hill climbs. A longer wheelbase usually helps a rig’s capabilities in these situations. So, I installed our 106mm grey links, part number AX30516, to replace the old stock plastic lower links. Then, I used our grey machined high clearance links, part number AX30469, to replace the stock upper links. In order to stretch the wheelbase as much as possible I used our long curved XR10 rod ends on all the suspension links, part number AX80057. You will need 4 of the rod end parts trees total to complete the conversion, as well as M3 threaded studs to secure the rod ends to the links, part number AXA0187. You will need two packages of the threaded studs to complete the conversion. My wheelbase now sits at 13 1/2″.

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A shot of the link set-up.

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Here you can see I also installed our new AR60 machined link mounts, part number AX30830, on the axles as well. These link mounts are cool because they have multiple mounting points, which will help you fine tune wheelbase, ride height and shock angles as needed.

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Another modification that I made was the jump to XR10 beadlock wheels, part number AX08061, and R35 Ripsaw tires, part number AX12015. This mod is one of the best you can make, the difference in traction between the stock RTR Ripsaw tires and the better R35 compound tires is night and day.

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Last thing I changed was the springs on the shocks. The stock springs were a bit too stiff for my liking, so I swapped them out for our purple comp springs, part number AX30224.

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A few shots with the newly cut body.

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So far these few mods have really transformed this vehicle into a super capable basher/trail runner, that is extremely fun to drive. Keep an eye out for my next few Ridgecrest installments covering how to convert your Ridgecrest into a capable comp crawler.

Jake Wright Takes the Win at ECC 2012

Team Axial driver Jake Wright made the long trek down to Alabama from southern California with his XR10 for the 2012 East Coast Championships, aka ECC. ECC usually brings in drivers from all over the US to compete for the east coast crown. After a long hard fought battle with talented drivers from around the country, Axial’s very own Jake Wright managed to take the win and the cash prize back to California with him. Congrats Jake!! We are proud to have you on the team!!

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Photos courtesy of Ryan Bean.

Rat Rod Formula Off Road Build

A little update on this Rat Rod FOFF build that was featured in the 100th issue of RC Driver. Now that the 100th issue has been out for a few weeks I figured it was a good time to show some detailed chassis shots. Like my last FOFF build it began life as an SCX10 Honcho. I started off by stripping the donor Honcho down to the bare frame rails. I had a certain look that I wanted to achieve with this build, which was kind of an “old school hot rod” feel. I knew that the Rat Rod body was going to be blacked out by painting it on the outside for a “flat black” look. I also knew I was going to paint the rock rings white to kind of give the wheels and tires that “white wall” look. I also knew I wanted the suspension and steering links to be colored to set them off from the rest of the build. After debating for about 3 seconds what color to go with on the links, I knew that the old school Axial green would fit the bill perfectly. Here’s a few highlights from the build process.

A few photos of the front shock towers. I moved them forward on the chassis, flipped them 180* and swapped the left and right sides to match the contour of the chassis rails. The stock frame cross member between the shock towers in these photos is for mock-up only. I ended up using the stock frame cross member that ties the radio box to the frame rails and the stock rear cross member to cap the front of the frame rails.

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I upgraded to aluminum SCX10 shock bodies, and used the stock plastic motor plate spacers for the transmission to limit the travel internally, 2 per shock shaft gave me the desired ride height and shock travel I needed. Overall length on the shocks is now 80mm. For springs I used 2 short soft springs (Part #AX30200) back to back on each shock.

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Here you can see the motor plate spacers on the shock shaft.

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A shot of the front link set-up. Lower links are 106mm (Part #AX30441) plus a 15mm standoff (Part #AXA1311) with long straight XR10 rod ends (Part #AX80057). The uppers are 70mm threaded standoffs (Part #AXA1322) with 3mm spacers (Part #AXA1303) and long straight XR10 rod ends. The front axle will also use our plastic upper 4 link mount (Part #AX80043). Notice I also moved the upper link mounts on the chassis from the stock location. The holes are already in the frame rails, but they need to be drilled out to an 1/8″ for M3 hardware.

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I copied my original FOFF’s behind the axle steering for this build as well. Here you can see I shaved the axle housing a little to clear the steering tie rod.

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A few shots of the chassis mounted servo plate. Take your time with placement of the plate on the rails, to be sure to get a proper fit. Bolt your servo up to the servo plate. Then, hold it up against the chassis and scribe the profile of the plate on the rails to make sure your holes are drilled in the proper location.

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A few shots with the servo mounted. I used a stock SCX10 RTR servo for mock-up. I ordered a Futaba S9156 servo to handle the steering duties.

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Here you can see the 6mm spacer (Part #AXA1306) I used on the servo horn to move the drag link away from the upper links. The size on this spacer may vary depending on the servo and servo horn used.

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For the drag link I used our 91mm (Part #30524) link. I put a slight bend in the link at the steering knuckle with one of our curved upper link rod ends in order to put less stress on the steering knuckle. My original FOFF build used a standoff at the knuckle with a straight drag link and that set-up put too much stress on the knuckle arm, which left me with a few broken knuckles in really hard crashes. This set-up relieves a lot of that stress.

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A few photos of the rear suspension set-up. Lower links are 98mm (Part #AX30443) with stock rod ends, the uppers are 91mm with stock rod ends.

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In order to keep the 48p gears in good working order, I installed Axial’s spur gear cover (Part #AX80078) to keep debris out of the pinion and spur gear.

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To mount the ESC, receiver and the battery I used two of our standard battery plates (Part #AX30483). For the electronics I cut about 1 1/4″ off one end of the aluminum battery plate to shorten it up, then drilled and tapped into the stock rear frame cross member. In order to mount the battery plate I drilled and countersunk two holes to line up with the stock front frame cross member where the radio box normally sits.

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An overall shot of the chassis.

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A few shots with the body mounted.

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For the cage work I used a stock Dingo roll cage (Part #AX80042) cut to fit the width of the body.

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The 2.2 wheels I used on this build are now discontinued, but our black 8 hole beadlock wheels (Part #AX8097) are still readily available. The tires are Panther paddle tires. I sanded the stock rock rings with some fine sand paper, and spray painted them white for that old school look.

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Here you can see the rear portion of the chassis protruded beyond the bed of the body. I eventually used a Dremel and cutoff wheel to trim the frame rails flush with the body, which gave it a lot cleaner look.

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The front of the Rat Rod (Part #AX4016) body is very narrow. I had to cut the sides of the hood to clear the shock towers and servo. It was a little tedious to get the fit right, but 100% worth the time it took.

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That covers a few of the custom build details on this Rat Rod FOFF. I will try to shoot some video soon. I will post up here on the blog when I am finished. Until then, I think it’s time to charge a few batteries and go scout some locations.

To see more Formula Offroad builds be sure to check out the forums on www.rccrawler.com