We recently posted a video to Youtube of our favorite tools and parts we bring with us when we hit the trails (see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZxm84NMJr0). With some further brainstorming, we came up with a cool idea that let’s your SCX10 II carry it’s own spare parts! All you need is a Yeti fuel cell fitted between the trucks shock hoops. Here’s how to do it.
Before installing the fuel cell, I attached the top and added a pair of AXA0113 M3x6mm BH screws to the holes I won’t be using. This is not really necessary but does help give the cell a more ‘finished’ look.
TIP:Prior to installation, paint the fuel cell. This will give your rig a more finished look.
The first install step is to remove the top shock mount screws. This gives us access to the bracing between the shock mount hoops.
Slide the assembled fuel cell in between the shock hoops as shown and line up the holes with the bosses on the cell. Secure with the AZA144 M3x8mm FH screws and AXA1105 Cone Washers. The red arrow points to the mounting location.
Boom! That’s it! You can take the lid off, pour your spare parts in there and close it back up. The fuel cell could also be used to house lighting or winch controllers, but be warned that it is not waterproof.
While prepping my truck for this years #AXIALFEST2017 (ok, my wife’s truck), I happened to notice one of my fellow co-workers bolting on a set of inner fenders onto his SCX10 II XJ. I asked him where he got those and he informed me it was an actual Axial product, just maybe one that wasn’t so well known.
Of course, I had to investigate further – AX31150 is in fact a molded piece of .40″ clear Lexan that not only includes 4 inner fenders, it also has floor panels for trucks that don’t have them (the SCX10 for example). In addition to giving you extra space to mount electronics, it also acts as a barrier to help keep mud, water and other debris from entering the chassis.
As you can see, it comes clear and can be painted any color you want (I’m going with from-the-factory black). A strip of double-sided tape is included to securely attach them to the side rails. Another cool thing is that they are a universal fit; you can trim them to match almost any body you decide to use.
So, for those of you that like to do some serious trailing but are worried about splashing grit and grime all up in your chassis, here’s a simple solution. I’ve added a few pix of these mounted on the SCX10 II, however as you can see I’ve left off the floor panels since this particular truck already comes with them.
AXIAL #3X815 RVRCC – April 9, 2017 – Rockford, IL
words: Steve Martin
photos: Tom Knuth
April 9, 2017 was an AMAZING day in Rockford, IL. The week leading up to the event had us a little worried as it was raining and drizzling non stop Sunday-Thursday. We had several water crossing planned and had several meetings coming up with plan C, D, E, F and even G! The crawling gods shined upon us Friday morning with sunny skies, warm temps and 25-45mph winds! Saturday it was still sunny and windy so the water went down and the mud dried up.
Sunday morning our crew showed up at 5am to get the final gates set. With the event “gates” opening at 7:30 we had a couple hours to get ready.
At 6:30 drivers started showing up and waiting in line in their cars to get a good pit spot. By 7:15 the line grew to 20 cars so we decided to let them in early as everything was 100% ready to go!
Registration went very smooth as we used an online system since we had internet connection so we could use our tablets, phones and lap- tops! Total paid registration was at 117 drivers bringing a total of 350 rigs! The event was setup for a single run because of the length but we encouraged them to bring extras just in case!
During registration the driver was instructed to bring up their one vehicle for inspection of theme points as well as to get a picture inside of the scale garage. By 8:15am all of the pre-registered drivers were ready to hit the trail early (perk for pre- registering) as we already did their drivers meeting online the week before. So by 8:25am we had 50 drivers ready to pick which of the 3 sections they wanted to start with to tackle the 165 total gates. At 10am we had our “Day Of” drivers meeting and the remaining 67 drivers had the same decision to make. Section 1 was 80% new from last year and Section 2 was 100% new while Section 3 followed the same path as prior runs, but was still over 50% new.
For those that started in Section 1 they were in for a “treat” of over 100’ of side hill mixed with extreme uphill and downhill challenges.
Just when they were done pulling their hair out and cursing the dirt we went to a nice level ground, which led into the creek bed. As long as they stayed to the side, they would be fine in the scale (mid axle) depth. However if they decided to hit the throttle finger to hard…well… the truck would take a small dip up to many roofs. Sometimes those that crawl, forget crawling is slow. This section re-
After the creek side run you had to go across a bridge to get to the other side and continue on section one for another 40 gates! We got your tires clogged with dirt, made you get a little wet and clean out the dirt, only to go up a bridge and across to our Log Jam section. Some words were spoken through clenched teeth, but the mouth was still in the shape of a smile.
You had to walk across a grassy section to get to the start of section 2. It was amazing to watch their faces when they started the walk across the grass toward the flags. At first they were laughing and smiling, but once they got a little closer they heard the sound of running water. Their look went to confusion for a few steps until they seen the rope bridge and then the smiles returned even bigger. Little did they know that smile would soon turn to concentration as they tackled the hardest of the sections.
This section focused on log climbs, rock hills, winch points, creek runs and mud.. LOTS OF MUD!!
Not a single person could have elected to bypass the mud by marking their card, but they did risk the teasing by their peers so many tried…. Very few made it through without check marking the HOG box. We should have named this the HOG farm section!
At the point we needed to give them a break, or at least a false sense of getting a break, which is what we did. This section started off pretty easy luring them into a nice Sunday drive along the waters edge until..well.. It wasn’t a nice quiet drive any longer! Here we threw some water and rock sections in for good measures along with a nice log ride (which has a large hole in the middle that LOVES to swallow trucks) and our much talked about “A-Frame bridge” which we do not share pictures of but you may find a few floating around. This is not a normal little A-Frame as we like to go big here. And by big I mean it is over 6’ tall and has a running length of about 18 feet made up of branches and chicken wire that is anything BUT level. This is a near guarantee HOG/Catch if one is not watching all 4 corners of their rig!
The fastest person to make it through the entire course was 2 hours and 45 minutes. Yes this was an ex-RC racer who still believes speed over finesse and you can pretty much guarantee I would not be a passenger in his 1:1 rig off road. The longest person on the trail was just over 8 hours and they ended up not able to finish. The average time for those that completed the full trail was about 5 hours while many ended up marking DNF on their card and simply going into “Fun Run” mode without having to worry about marking all of the flags. We had about a 70% DNF rate but it is hard to tell who broke and didn’t finish vs those that were having way to much fun and didn’t want to keep marking their card as everyone was smiling at the end of the day! Drivers who broke their registered rig were allowed to turn in their card and grab another truck and enjoy a fun run.
An Adventure to Gooseberry Mesa with Cannondale Bikes
Story: Rodney Wills
Photos: John Cary & Rodney Wills
Sometimes all the stars align and fun happens!
I’ve known Mark Weir for a while now. He’s been asking us to get together and make some collaborative fun happen. Mark Weir is not from the R/C industry, but he has a lot of fun with his rigs. It’s what Weir does in his full-size world that has a lot of our attention as he is a bit of a celebrity within the bicycle industry. In my digital rolodex, I label him “TOUGH GUY!”
His place of work, Wilderness Trail Bikes [WTB], described Mark as a well-rounded rider who specializes in suffering. Mark Weir, age 43, has remained a successful and dominant force in downhill and endurance racing throughout his career.
There are numerous interviews with him, just type in “Mark Weir MTB” and you will find plenty! Now that you’ve done your who’s-who-research, on with this moment in time.
While Mark and I have been plotting for what seems like years, we discussed it a little more seriously at #AXIALFEST2015. The stars finally aligned and planning started to happen with a window of opportunity! Phone text messages turned into emails, email chains started adding more recipients, and dates and plans were laid out into a bonafided plan!
With all the plans laid out, it was time to GO!
LOCATION: GOOSEBERRY MESA, UTAH
I’m making notes on paper maps with details to a location I have never been to and most likely will be arriving at this location in the dark! I need details.
Why yes, I should be using GPS… but I’m OLD SCHOOL!
On the road again! The local mountains are already showing signs of snow and as we traverse through the Cajon Pass, we see a little sugar sprinkles of snow.
We start making the long grade in route to Las Vegas on the 15FWY.
It was sunny all morning… then it gets cloudy… and then it starts sprinkling.
It’s one of those moments and you think you’re ok with it all… then you notice that tell-tale sign… those sprinkles are hitting your windshield in a way that makes you pay a bit more attention. I ask my co-pilot, “do you see that?! I think its going to snow on us!” You can see the snow is covering the ground and is snowing hard! It’s hard to show it in the photos, but it’s coming down!
You can see the snow flying in the air as I shoot out the side window. The ground was covered!
First dirt road I could find. I’m overly excited to get some photos of the ADV80 in the snow! Yes, living in Southern California, I don’t see too much snow, so I am easily excited! That’s John Cary’s rig behind me with its factory white-camo paint scheme to blend in to such environments.
Snow is still falling and we are making our own little fresh two-tracks. We are looking for enough space to get the R/C rigs out!
Who’s from Southern California? Shorts in a snow storm.
This looks like a great road to come explore, but that will have to be another day! We don’t have too much time to mess around as we will already be landing in our destination after dark.
Here I am getting some images of our rigs in the snow.
Guess who is wearing flip flops and it’s not me or John Schultz. Yep, John Cary is the culprit! I also find myself surrounded by JK’s!
The Axial SCX10 just looks so at home in the snow!
John Cary is looking not so at home in his short sleeves and shorts with flip flops… in the middle of the desert… in the middle of the snow…. But he’s a trooper!
The ADV80 showing just how serious the snow is in such a short period of time!
The Axial YETI SCORE® TROPHY TRUCK® sitting in the snow. Hmmm, I wonder… I wonder if it has ever snowed at any of the Baja events as they do have some serious mountains to cross.
By the time we get to Las Vegas the sky is clearing up a bit. No stops here, we keep on trucking!
We make our fuel stop at Muddy River Bar & Grill in Moapa, Nevada. This kind of fuel!
Hamburgers with bacon and egg and IT WAS GOOD!
It’s a process….
I say it every time I pass through here… I need a couple of days exploring all the little dirt roads I see alongside the 15FWY outside of Littlefield, NV as it crisscrosses over the Virgin River. There is a little campground called Virgin River Canyon Campground that might make for the first night’s stop. Simply need more time to explore and so-so many places to see!!! But once again, carrying on… mission ahead.
We stop in to visit with Dixie 4Wheel Drive in St. George, Utah as they have been carrying our product for a while now!
This is Sharlett Thompson and her and her husband Milt along with the Wada family have built Dixie 4 Wheel Drive into a nationally renowned Off-Road Store, modification, and repair facility. They are located on the same property purchased in 1948, Dixie 4 Wheel Drive operates out of a 12,000 SQFT state of the art off-road facility.
This is a full size hobby shop that also carries our toys! If you are passing through St. George, it’s always great to know a good off-road / RC hobby shop! You never know when you need help even if they specialize in Jeep & Axial products.
It’s not the fact that this wheel failed, you wonder what forces where at play to make it break! That is some serious load!
The Dixie guys invite us out for a quick trail run just minutes from the shop!
EPIC TRAIL that we must come back to!
While we would love to spend more time here, we simply have to get going as we have our main mission ahead of us!
Just outside of Hurricane, Utah we are in search of a little dirt road. We found it and had a few choices in dirt roads along the way, but we eventually found our location!
Once we arrive, we want to light our area so we go for the RIGID scene lights so we can see what we are dealing with.
Then we start the unpacking process!
RIGID scene lights lighting up our work area!
Once camp is set, its food time and the JetBoil stove with Mountain House food has been our staple for a many adventures!
Mountain House’s Beef Stroganoff seems to be the group’s favorite, but the Spaghetti with Meat Sauce is my favorite.
Camping just requires a fire and a big foot sighting!
Speaking of big foot, John Cary and myself are impressed with John Schultz’s idea of a one-man tent! Look at that foot print!
The ADV80 is not afraid of, but regularly participates in IH8MUD.com’s forum. Yes, it’s a Land Cruiser thing…
Camping, bikes, 4X4 1:1 & R/C are in store for this outing!
Daybreak reminds us just what we had encountered coming in under the light of stars. We just didn’t see how red the mud is here!
Now we know where the graphic theme came from! While it doesn’t look like much, it was more sticky-snotty than splashy-mucky.
JetBoil repeat but with the added help of the AeroPress coffee maker! This time we only use the JetBoil for heating coffee water…
BECAUSE JOHN CARY IS A CHEF!!! John Schultz is his assistant sous-chef.
We are NOT going hungry out here in the wilderness!
This yurt is what we had to find in the middle of the night to know we were at the location spot!
Regardless of a yurt though…
When you wake up and see this!!!
And we see a bunch of these guys popping out from behind the trees and bushes.
Preparation quickly begins early in the AM as the Cannondale MTB team has descended onto the Gooseberry Mesa from all across the USA through the night.
We need more artists in RC! This is such the cool piece of art.
Marco Osborne begins his bike preparation. Mark has told us to keep a keen eye on this one… Jake Hamm (camera) “is my studio set up yet?”
IFHT film’s Matt Dennison is on site to do his creative video action!
Matt stated, “Let’s see how many MTB’er can bunny hop over this box!”
Mr. Ben Cruz, this would be our first real-world experience with Ben. Mark Weir was asked to write and intro for an interview by PinkBike on Mr. Cruz.
Weir stated, “When I think of Ben, I think of myself, never to think that this was his intention but things that he does seem to leave you unbalanced with self-position. Some of the best times in my life have been with him, what’s crazy is that those best times came to us in places when we had the worst things happing. Like I said it’s all riddles.”
Go read the whole enchilada on Ben Cruz: http://www.pinkbike.com/news/ben-cruz-getting-to-know-interview-2016.html
Matt Ohran – “Who is running this operation?! I’m the one with pink tape, you have the pink bike with the pink bar tassels only because you cut my course!”
But lets get down to why are we all here? Because of this man, Mr. Mark Weir! If you forgot already, scroll back to the top and start all over…
Camelback is continuous in their development of hydration systems!
The team would take off from our camp location and myself and the media crew would hop into the ADV80 and meet them at the next location. Oh, I guess this is a good time to tell you what is about to go down. It’s the end of the season for the riders, but Matt wants to squeeze a friendly competition out of them! Notice the number plates on the bikes? A get-together-fun-ride, but with points for bragging rights! WITH A TWIST! Axial scale trail action is going to be apart of the wager! A few of the guys are into scale trailing and the others have never touched an R/C car before! This is going to be interesting! But end of the day, its all about fun and working together!
Mark Weir = BRAAAAP!
Keegan Swenson is so fast we did not catch a profile photo of him at the beginning of the event, so we will just kick off right here! He’s only been racing professionally since 2013 and already has a top-10 finish at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cups! Follow him at: https://www.instagram.com/keegels99
Bart Gillespie on the move!
Mark Weir, Marco Osborne, Ben Cruz and Keegan Swenson discuss the fine art of of being fast and the benefits… we get to sit and wait.
3-2-1 GO! Matt is timing everything!
DeLorme is like, “Where’s my talent?!” I got action photos to shoot!”
Lauren Bingham, just point your camera right here sir!
Chris Bingham, “My kids are so fast!”
Keegan Swenson is a CX machine!
Jason Moeschler simply out for a good time at speed!
Nick Dru BRAAP bombing.
Ben Cruz, “They went that way… yep! That way….”
Bryn Bingham getting his action on. I met him on this trip and have had the pleasure of following him on Instagram and have seen so much progression from him in just this year – he spends a lot of time on the back wheel these days learning his manual craft! Check him out: https://www.instagram.com/brynnerthepinner
He puts a little English on it…
Mark Weir throwing rocks at John Cary’s camera and body.
Bart Gillespie knows its all about time and is not playing around!
Marco Osborne showing the science of speed.
Matthew DeLorme showing how to stylize a photo with the tongue out, or is it exasperation from hauling camera gear at speed?
The ADV80 hauls all! Aside from the media crew, its hauling food and drinks for the crew.
This was an awesome moment! You are never really lost… You are just temporarily displaced. You are always somewhere on the map…
While positioning myself next to a rock to shoot the riders coming through, I look over and see this little mystery of nature. WIND-WOOD-ROCK. This is going to be an interesting thing to see in like 20-years.
Day-1 is done and Marco looks to be sitting in the lead. But things could easily change tomorrow… maybe the terrain, maybe the rules… who knows… it’s anyone’s game!
After some riding, it’s lunch time! Anyone recognize this guy from #AXIALFEST2016? Yes sir, that is Chris Cru Jones of Altra Running shoes.
Fuel for athletes.
Scale trail time! For most in this bunch, it was their first time ever on the R/C controller!
After the R/C scale trail session it was dinner time, fire side chat time to hear some great stories from Mark Weir and Jason Moeschler.
Then, it was time for our favorite scale trail time!!!! NIGHT TIME!
This was by far my favorite time as I get to participate with my buddies. I get to wheel as well! Usually I have the big camera in my hands. Sometimes the cell phone images have to work, because, believe it or not, I actually like to drive too! We had a great night wheeling! I think this is the moment that “clicked” for all of those who had not been wheeling before.
Back to camp in the wee hours and a little late night snack… Wood fired pizza…
The Mark Weir way!
Moments like these make memories and friends forever. It may be years before we get to do this again with each other, but we will forever look for the moment again!
When I told you Matthew DeLorme is the camera guy who hauls his own weight, we’re not kidding you! That is a heavy lens and Matthew does not hold tightly on the brakes!
The road literally stops here! But the MTB trails rolls right off the side and DOWN!!!
There is a small discussion about how the day went and who stood where in points.
The group gets ready for the next portion of the event and John Schultz goes over how the scale trail portion of the event is about to go down. While they were out on the pedals, Schultz designed a 100+ trail marked course for these guys to drive through.
OH IT’S OFFICIAL!
And Ben Cruz is chomping at the bit to get on trail.
Customization is important, even at an impromptu event such as this one! Bragging rights is a high-stakes claim! Bart knows the game! “I may not be an R/C regular, but looking factory is key! See, I got my personal name stickers for everything! Mostly to keep Mark and Ben off my stuff! I’m not as factory as they are, so I have to keep’em in check!” hehehe
Mark Weir set’s off on the trail first since he is the most vet of his bunch.
Marco Osborne sets off in chase. Some do-ball with the video camera is in the way of the photographer… oh, that’s me! OOOPS sorry John!
Bryn Bingham is learning the fine art crawling and having a blast very differently from his high-speed point-and-shoot R/C rigs.
Nick Dru doing what Nick does… speed and style as he quickly approaches Bryn. It’s very interesting to see how each individual approaches the trail. Some love the low-speed technical approach, others like the “rock race” approach. Not that one is better than the other, it’s just shows personal temperament and personality.
Jake Hamm is into 1:1 wheeling and is totally enjoying the relationship of Axial’s real esthetic and drivability. Note his heat regulation beanie. He said it’s how he blocks the open window wind noise. Matt Dennison of IFHT shooting his mini-classic.
Mark Weir is such the enthusiast, encourager, heckler, and is simply passionate about his hobbies. He finishes his lap and comes back to Jason Moeschler who started after him, to see how he is doing on his lap.
Jason Moeshcler is a technician on the pedals and the steering wheel! I think mountain bikers just naturally understand and enjoy the pursuit of scale trailing. Along with motorcyclists, 4X4’ers, dentists, doctors, fabricators and badminton instructors. Yep, everyone!
Chris Cru Jones is totally into the scale trail action as well. After meeting him this weekend is when I began to share with him the ideas for the first ever Ultra 5K Enduro at AXIALFEST2016. If you were there, you know he works for the adventure running shoe company, ALTRA. Hence the ALTRA ULTRA 5K Enduro!
Mark is very proficient with R/C and has found our format of scale trailing suited to his outdoor activities.
Mark Weir and Nick Dru getting the scale trail fix on!
R/C & MTB on the Gooseberry Mesa.
This is not an easy task, egos and reputations are at an all time high! Controversy is created for creative strategy haggling!
Hold on kids… I may be a high-poster, but….
The overall winner is…. MARCO OSBORNE with Keegan and Weir flanking him.
IFHT-Matt telling it from his lens-view perspective.
Things started to get a little blurry around the fire on the last night of our trip.
And then… Mark has an announcement to make and John Schultz is armed with the gift-ammo in the background. Let’s get it straight, Mark Weir is a certified R/C nut and he wants to share his hobby with his riding compadres! We love him for his enthusiasm as he brings infectious fun!
Marco Osborne – congratulations on the first place finish and showing us the awesome dirt whips! As you can see here, he is a little speechless!
Keegan Swenson – congrats on the second place finish!
Nick Dru – best sportsman!
Matt Dennison of IFHT, just because he hates all! hehehe
Jason Moeschler is simply gifted!
Mark Weir is taking his time on this one… building the anticipation…
Ben Cruz is simply stoked on life and we love him for it!
I simply can not leave out our man!
So Mark, come on back up here!
Mark made a special announcement recognizing John Schultz for all his hard work!
It took all this so I could finally hang out with my buddy, but what better way?!
Then I have to ride back home with these two John’s… John Cary on the left.
Then I have to ride back home with these two John’s… John Schultz on the right…
And that’s a rap from Gooseberry Mesa!
Atop the ADV80 is Will Dennison of IFHT working on his film. With no further ado, here is his film account of the time spent on Gooseberry Mesa.
Since KOH we have been enjoying our rig, the Turtle, by going out wheeling a few times and also determining what we needed to do to get ready for our next race. As we worked on the Turtle we realized that we needed to spend some time better tuning our Rock Krawler shocks, in order to improve the overall ride and handling of the vehicle. We took the Turtle out for a few test runs and got the shocks dialed in pretty well. Being a couple of rookies, we know we are not going to get it perfect but we sure feel like we got it close, and none the less we are learning a lot about tuning. Race weekend came and we were as dialed as we were going to be, so we loaded up the Turtle and all our gear and headed for the Ultra4 4 Wheel Parts Grand Prix at Glen Helen Raceway. Friday morning consisted of several things — registration, drivers meeting, practice (2 sessions), qualifying, and then another drivers meeting. Saturday was filled with prelims, the main event, and then an after party.
Friday morning, we got all checked in at registration, grabbed a bite to eat and then headed over to the drivers meeting. At the meeting they covered the course layout for the weekend, some things to watch out for on course, and the break down of practice groups. After the meeting Darin and I agreed that we would share the driving this weekend and alternate each session. He would drive Practice 1 and Qualifying, and I would drive Practice 2 and Prelims. We suited up and headed out for Practice 1. Basically this was to get a hang of the track and feel out how the car was going to handle. We picked up our speed a bit and were getting down in the 5:15’s by the end of practice. We headed back to the pits after the session and made a couple small changes and then got back in the Turtle for Practice 2. This was my turn to drive and the objective was the same — Get the hang of the track and feel the car work. We were both able to get our lap times down in the 5:15’s but we noticed that our temps were getting a little too high. We took the Turtle back to the pits to discuss a game plan to try to get the temps down. We gave the car a once over and swapped out the coolant for 100% water to help keep the temps down, and adjusted our sway bar setting to try and get the car tighter in the turns. Again we suited up, and headed out to run our qualifying laps. The Turtle ran great during the session, the temps were a bit cooler, but not the best. We were able to pull off a time to get us a 9th position start in the Prelims out of 17 other rigs. For only being our second race, and first Grand Prix, we felt great with our results.
Saturday, RACE DAY was upon us, and we had to get lined up early to run our Prelims at 8:45 AM. No time to change anything on our car but we were able to finalize our plan to try and get the temps down. We got lined up in our starting order, 9th back from the leader. We went into the race with the game plan of keeping the car safe and not over-pushing anything. We were OK starting 9th in the main and just wanted to get through the race. The green flag dropped and we were on the move. We were able to pass a couple of rigs and things were going great. We came over a hill leading into a flat section with a couple chicanes. We set the Turtle into a nice left handed drift to hug the inside course marker (giant Caterpillar tire) and then out of nowhere we hit a rut and hooked up. The Turtle was sent head-on for the tire. I tried to counter steer to the right to avoid the tire but it was to late. BOOM — We hit the tire like it was a wall, it sent us up in the air on the two right side wheels. So in a corrective attempt I cranked the wheels to the right and gassed it, hoping that we would be able to drive out of it, but to no avail. Over we went, rolling on the passenger side and coming to a haul back on the drive side. We had successfully rolled the Turtle for the first time. Darin and I checked in with each other to make sure we were good. The track officials rushed over to make sure we were OK and let us know they were going to flip us up-right. They got to work and we were back on our wheels quickly. We fired up the car and began to drive slowly to see if we could feel anything wrong. While I was sitting there on our side all I could think is “There goes our starting position”. I was feeling a little bummed but knew I had to get back in the groove of the race and finish it. We had time for a couple more laps in the Prelims so I started to pick up pace again. We brought the Turtle to the finish safely and then had to wait for the race results to be posted. To our surprise we stayed in 9th place, meaning we didn’t gain or lose any spots. It would have been nice to improve our starting position but we were happy to take the 9th spot.
Now that the Prelims were out of the way it was time to do some work on the rig to try and get the temps under control. Aaron from Fleet Works Services came up with a couple good ideas, top secret stuff. He went to work getting the car prepped for our main event. He was a great addition to the team as he has quite a bit of knowledge prepping race cars and working with teams at the races.
It was getting close to time to get ready for the main and Darin overheard on the PA that our class was getting lined up for the main. We were shocked as that was 30 minutes earlier than the original start time. We went into a mad scramble to get suited up and in the car. We sent one of our team members over to the track official to let them know we were on our way and his response was “We are all lined up, you can start from the back of the field.” Oh boy — That meant we had to start 19th instead of 9th. We made it over just in time as they started rolling the field out… and yes, we were in last place with a lot of cars in front of us. Instead of getting discouraged with the officials or about being in last place, we decided to take this opportunity to work on our passing skills and make the best of the situation. There were 6 rigs in front of us in the stock class and we knew we had to get past them ASAP to be able to run down the other rigs in our class. Our first pass came exiting turn one just after the green flag, and then our second and third shortly after that. We continued to work the field, making a couple more passes on lap one. By the time we finished our first lap we had gained 6 positions. Now we knew that if we were going to catch anymore we were going to have to push the Turtle as best we could. We were hoping that Aaron’s magical prep was going to keep the temps down and let us do the work we needed to. On the second lap we made another pass and then on the third we caught up to the lead pack of 4600 class rigs battling for position. Unfortunately for them, on the third lap one stalled on a hill and then two more got in a wreck just in front of us. That moved us into 10th during the third lap. On the 4th lap we caught up to another rig and were able race him down the front stretch of the short course and stuff inside to make the pass at the end of the section. By that point the leaders had us in their sights and were reeling us in. We knew that their cars were much better than ours and we were planning to just let them by. After the start line on lap 5 the leader was on our tail and he was letting us know with a few solid bumps on the triple up-hill singles, and then we let them pass to avoid getting taken out. Towards the exit of the short course section there was a rig rolled over, meaning for us another pass. Somewhere along the line we gained a few more positions simply by other rigs being in the hot pits or breaking out. Our temps were looking good and we just kept driving our race as though we were not in contention with anyone. We wanted to make it to the finish line and that is exactly what we did. We were able to bring the Turtle home to a finish on lap 10 in a VERY respectable 6th place… after starting 19th.
Oh yeah… a little exciting moment was that our in-car fire extinguisher got knocked loose and was bouncing around between the seats. We opted to swing by the hot pits and hand it off to one of our crew. No one needs projectiles in the race car. We would like to thank all of our sponsors for helping us get the Turtle to where it is today. ProComp Tires, Rock Krawler Suspension, Axial Racing, Poison Spyder Customs, Raceline Wheels, DJ Safety, Fuel Safe, Rugged Radios, Magnaflow Exhaust, J. E. Reel Drivelines, CTM Racing, Rugged Routes, Lasernut, Currie Enterprises, sPOD, Artec Industries, PRP Seats, Luxwurx, A1 Higher Graphics
When setting out to build a trail worthy rig, so many things go through your mind. What do you expect from the rig? What do you plan to do with it? What budget do you have to work with? These are all extremely important things to consider when selecting the donor vehicle. However, just know that no matter what you plan for, there will be extras needed, to include the expectations, plans, and budget. Building a 4×4 vehicle to go deep into the elements is not an easy task, and like most things in life, you get what you pay for. This means you have to outfit your choice with the best components available within your budget that will allow you to attain your goals.
This is not at all unlike developing the new SCX10, as all of the same parameters are considered, to include performance expectations and budget restraints. Not budget restraints for development, but budget restraints of our fans and customers. We often read the forums and see what people would like to see in the Axial vehicles. We are forced to make some difficult decisions when finalizing the package, as we want to include the world with these rigs, but also don’t want to ask for $699 for an RTR to get in the game. It is like that with all Axial products, so we do our best to aim for the sweet spot, enough features to perform at the top level, with a reasonable price tag. This is not an easy task. We are faced with the same decisions when building a full size rig. Do we want a supercharged V8, 1000 minimum on the RTI ramp, seating for 4, bulletproof axles? Of course we do, but the budget doesn’t allow for all of them, so we settle for what we can and have a blast doing it.
One of the most common things we read is…. “Oh no, not another Jeep vehicle”, well, I am here to tell you that most of us are Jeep people, so get over it. The Jeep brand is synonymous with the art of back country exploration with extreme reliability, exactly what we strive for with our little brand. It is a perfect marriage and we are happy.
When looking into new options for the new SCX10, we did what all outdoor enthusiasts do, we went into the woods to think about it, to do a little research. We were checking out all the rigs out on the trail and noticed that the XJ was a very popular rig for the most hardcore wheeler and for family back road exploration. We saw XJ’s that were exo-caged on 40′s all the way to bone stock 4×4′s loaded with the whole family and dog. This platform was exactly what we were looking for. It is one of the most popular 4×4 vehicles ever built, with millions of them on the road. Some say that Jeep actually invented the SUV with this release. It was not adapted right away for off-road use, as the old guard (Read: Wrangler, CJ5 and CJ7 owners) looked down upon these Jeeps, calling them cars with big tires, and promptly showing their owners the direction toward the nearest shopping mall or soccer field.
Some XJ inspiration we found on YouTube…
I personally had this experience with my 1993 Jeep grand Cherokee, I was given directions to the soccer field, immediately preceding my climbing an extremely nasty Granite rock face on Los Coyotes Indian reservation back in 1996. The CJ owners immediately began to bicker and argue that the other should climb it. Neither one did, nor did they express themselves again to me on the trail. They learned that day that a Unitized chassis wasn’t the end of the world, and that coil springs are like magic. The Cherokee (XJ) shared the same front suspension with the ZJ, though the XJ had leaf springs in the back, something the Jeep guys were used to back then. Any of the XJ’s and ZJ’s on the trail were hand built, as there were very few aftermarket components available with the exception of suspension which was primarily available to fit larger tires. We told some of our JK friends about our XJ desires and they immediately started flowing some memes our way, most of which we cant publish, but here are a few gems that made us laugh…
Thanks for the support guys…sheesh.
Fast forward 20 years, and these old grocery getters, mall crawlers or soccer field shuttlers are now extremely common to find on the trail. The off-road community has more than accepted them and many aftermarket companies now make a decent living supporting them. The hard part, finding a clean one-owner version with no rust and low miles, kind of like finding a Unicorn. One of Axial’s more predominant partners, Currie Enterprises, was at the forefront of developing suspension for these rigs so that they could be raced in a desert series called Jeep Speed back in the day. We consulted the Currie family and were introduced to Matt Chapman, the owner of the Cherokee that we based our SCX10XJ off of. As we have done in the past, we like to build the full size version of our scale rigs (see here…) to go out and experience what they can do, and stay on the forefront with regards to what the community is doing. At this time, Matt’s Cherokee was bone stock, as it had just been purchased and not modified yet. We elected to team with Matt and the Currie’s in effort to help develop the Full size XJ into an awesome trail machine all the while developing and testing our SCX10 II in tandem.
Here is a shot of Matt’s XJ when he got it, no rust with 150K miles…
After a good amount of research, we started to compile a list of necessities. We knew the rig had to be able to go with 4 door JK’s on 37′s, as most of Matt’s friends were rolling newer JK’s. We needed at least 35″ tires. Fitting 35′s under the Cherokee would require some proper fender flares and keeps the cops in Moab at bay. Notch Customs said “35″ tires with a 4″ lift, some welding required”. Currie makes a great suspension system for the XJ as well as their bulletproof Rock Jock 44 axles, and you know we love the performance of Icon Shocks. So, what we really needed was some armor. We looked long and hard at so many companies making XJ parts, and there is some awesome stuff out there. Russ at Notch Customs introduced us to JCR Off-Road, who ended up having one of the most complete armor systems available. Then we needed some lighting, the natural choice was Rigid powered by sPOD. Almost forgot wheels and tires. In effort to make the full size version look more like the RC, we elected to run a 35X12.50X17 BFG KO2 All Terrain wrapped around Method Mesh wheels. The 17″ wheel looks closer to a 1.9 than a 15″ wheel. Of course we needed some nice tone out of the 4.0 straight 6, so the XJ would need a Magnaflow exhaust. We had some details to sort but the main wish list was assembled!
First things first, the rig had to be made as reliable as possible by going through everything mechanical. We changed all the fluids, belts, hoses, pretty much everything we could to ensure reliability.
So, building a full size rig is just like building a scaler, get the base kit, then select all the options you wish to install. Here is our list!
2000 Jeep Cherokee XJ Parts list:
Currie Rock Jock 44 front high pinion axle with 4:56 gears
Currie Rock Jock 44 rear axle with 4:56 gears
Currie Rock Jock 4.5″ suspension system
Currie Antirock Sway bar system
EATON E-Locker rear, Detroit Locker front
JCR Vanguard Front winch bumper – No stinger
JCR Rear Bumper – tire carrier ready
JCR XJ Classic sliders
JCR Transfer case skid plate
JCR Gas tank skid plate
JCR Adventure roof rack
Notch Customs fender flares
Rigid 50″ E-Series LED bar
Rigid Dually x2 (front and rear bumper)
PSC Ram assist kit – steering
ICON Vehicle Dynamics 2.0 Aluminum shocks
sPOD – Source with Bluetooth control
17X9 Method Wheels – Mesh (5)
35X12.50X17 BFGoodrick KO2 All Terrain tires (5)
Before we started the build process, Jamie Seymour, Axial’s R&D Industrial Designer and resident rendering expert whipped up this drawing for us to envision the build…
Stay tuned as we add more of this story in the coming weeks……
A couple weeks ago I showed you how to install headlights, taillights and a roof mounted light bar on your Yeti SCORE Retro Trophy Truck body. It was a pretty simple process – but what if you have a standard Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck body? Well, thankfully the procedure is the same with just a few minor tweaks.
You’ll need a few tools to complete this job, listed here:
1. Body reamer or something similar to enlarge the holes in the plastic headlight/taillight parts.
2. Shoo Goo or something similar to secure the LEDs in place.
3. Hobby Knife.
4. Silver Sharpie. Optional, but great for that extra detail.
5. Tape. Black for securing wires to the cage, clear for securing wires to the inside of the body.
6. Y-connector for combining the front and rear light strings into one.
7. 6″ (or longer) servo lead extension.
I’ve also included all the Axial parts needed at the bottom of the article.
Let’s get started!
The first step will be to remove and modify the front and rear light buckets to accept a pair of LEDs a piece. The front bucket has only 1 hole – the left red arrow shows where you can ream out the hole to add a 2nd LED. Ream only a little at a time, test fitting the LED until it pushes in nice and snug. The rear bucket (on the right) has two holes, but you’ll need to make the lower one a little bigger to accept the larger LED. Again, open the hole a little at a time until the LED sits nice and snug.
I added a little detail to the front light buckets using a silver Sharpie. It’s not necessary by any means, but I do like the way it highlights the all-black buckets.
Re-install the front light buckets to the body and press the LEDs in place. Use a dab of Shoo Goo to hold the LEDs in place, letting it dry thoroughly. Route the wires as needed using clear tape to hold them down. Try to keep them in the raised sections of the body so the tires won’t hit them when traveling through rough, rocky terrain. I’ve also installed one of the 3-Port High-Output LED Controllers on the front hood. Route the left and right headlight strings over and plug them into the side-by-side plugs.
Using the same procedure as we used for the front, install the buckets and LEDs to the rear of the TT.
Run the LED power wires along the rear cage as shown, using the black tape to hold them in place. If you want to do a super trick, feed the wires through some black shrink tubing prior to attaching them.
The 2nd 3-Port High-Output LED Controller is mounted to the underside of the roof. Route the left and right taillight strings along the cage and plug them into the side-by-side plugs in the controller. I would suggest mounting the controller so that side-by-side plugs face the rear; if you decide to install a roof-mounted lightbar, it can plug into the single high-output plug facing the front.
Take both leads from the 3-Port High-Output Controllers and run them to either side of the TT body, using the clear tape to keep them in place. You may notice that the leads use 2 wires (and a mini-JST plug) while the Y-connector uses a 3-wire plug. That’s OK - just make sure that when you connect them, the black wire mates up to the black wire (or in this case, the brown wire).
Flip your TT over and remove the little hatch on the bottom of the chassis. This reveals the receiver we’ll need to plug the light string into. Pop the receiver off the tape and pull it out slightly, like the picture. You’ll also, at this time, want to remove the top black spacer in the clear silicone plug (the spacer is shown just to the left of the receiver box). Now, carefully feed your 6″ extension from the topside of the truck down to the receiver box. It’s a little tricky and you might have to push some other wires out of the way, but it is possible – and I suggest doing it from the top down.
Once you have it through, plug the 6″ extension into port #3, making sure the black wire (or brown wire) is facing the same way as the black wires already installed. Now, press the extension wire into the clear silicone plug, taking up the space of the black spacer you removed earlier.
Flip the truck over and you should have about this much of the 6″ extension left sticking out. Adjust how much of the extension is left (if necessary), flip the TT back over and press the receiver back into the box. Coil up any excess extension wire, push it into the receiver box and re-install the receiver box door.
Set the driver interior back into place, mate the Y-connector on the body to the 6″ extension and re-install the body.
Our SCORE Trophy Truck body is now ready for some night time driving. Plug the battery in, flip the switch on and check out your fantastic work! Here’s an example of how it should look when you’re finished:
Did you know that the Axial Yeti SCORE Trophy Truck comes pre-configured for LED lighting? Yup, that’s right, all you have to do is attain and install the LEDs, route the wiring to the receiver and enjoy some brightly lit evening drives.
In this article, I’ll take you through the step-by-step process of installing a full set of LEDs in the front and rear buckets as well as adding an Axial Universal Rigid Light Bar Set. In addition to all the lighting components (listed at the end of the article), you’ll also need a few other tools to make the installation easy.
1. Body reamer or something similar to enlarge the holes in the plastic headlight/taillight parts and for making holes in the body.
2. Shoo Goo or something similar to secure the LEDs in place.
3. Hobby Knife.
4. Silver Sharpie. Optional, but great for that extra detail.
5. Tape. Black for securing wires to the cage, clear for securing wires to the inside of the body.
6. Y-connector for combining the front and rear light strings into one.
7. 6″ (or longer) servo lead extension.
Before installing the LEDs in the light buckets, there is a little bit of prep work that needs to be done first. The buckets have provisions for 2 LEDs; 1 standard headlight and one smaller turn signal. Since I wanted to have both sockets use the super bright LEDs (for a headlight and driving/fog light), I had to use the reamer to open the hole up in the smaller socket to fit the larger LED. Widen the hole in small increments, test fitting the LED a couple times until the fit is nice and snug.
For some added detail, I highlighted the area with a silver Sharpie. I think it turned out pretty cool looking and having it mounted behind the Lexan body helps protect it.
Once you have the front buckets mounted, press fit the LEDs into the them. We have two solutions to securing the LEDs; you can use the supplied cap and screw (left LED) or Shoo Goo (right LED). Either method works great but since I didn’t have enough of the small 2-56 screws to complete the project, I opted for Shoo Goo.
Using the same procedure, install the buckets and LEDs on the rear of the Retro TT body. You’ll need to ream out the smaller hole in this bucket as well. Since I was using the red tail light stickers on the rear of the Retro body, I opted to use white LEDs. You could also use red ones here instead for more red lighting – I listed the red LED part numbers at the end as well.
Route the rear LED power leads along the rear cage and secure with the black tape. This helps keep the wires away from the spinning tires. If you have some available, you can feed the wires through some shrink tubing for added protection.
Build and mount Axial’s roof-mounted LED bar. A slit can be cut into the roof to pass the wires through. We won’t get into detail about building it – it’s pretty simple. Just take a little extra care to make sure it’s mounted square on the roof.
Flip the Retro TT body over and feed both the front and rear LED power leads into an AX31097 3-Port High Output LED Controller (use double-sided tape to secure the controllers on the body). The roof mounted LED light bar will connect to the high-output port on the rear 3-Port High Output LED Controller. Masterfully tape all the wires down using the clear tape.
Feed the 3-Port High Output LED Controller leads to the side of the body and tape them down using the clear tape. Take your Y-connector and connect them as shown. The LED controller wires use a 2-wire, mini JST plug – our Y-connector has standard 3-wire plug. Just make sure the black wires match up and you’ll be good to go. You can add a little extra tape here to secure any additional wires.
Next, we’ll be installing the 6″ extension, so start by removing the little door on the bottom of your TT to expose the receiver compartment. You may need to ‘pop’ the receiver off of the tape used to secure it to make this a little easier. You’ll also need to remove the little black spacer used in the clear silicone grommet. We’ll be filling that space with the new 6″ wire.
I found it way easier to feed the 6″ extension down to the box from the top of the truck and into the box. Insert the 6″ extension plug into your receiver with the negative wire (black or brown) towards the outside of the receiver. Press the wire into the clear silicone grommet, making sure it’s down below the top of the grommet.
Turn the truck over and inspect how much of the 6″ extension you have available. This picture shows an adequate amount you’ll need. Flip the TT back over, press the receiver back into place and coil up any additional wire into the receiver box. Replace the receiver box cover.
Install the plastic interior in place, connect the lighting power wires (black to brown in this case) and fit the Retro body to your TT. We’ve left enough slack in the wire to remove the body without having to unplug the wires each time, but if you feel it’s too long you can always shorten the lead by pulling a little more into the receiver box.
And just like that, we’ve got some very bright lights on our Retro bodied TT! Here’s an example of how it should look when you’re finished: