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

Axial Travelogue: AWCC Finals 2011

Wors & Photos: Rodney Wills

With a few weeks of fever-pitch AWCC pre-event preparation behind us, we were excited to get out of the office! There is just something about traveling and getting out to see new landscapes that is exciting. We have our GPS coordinates set for Cisco Grove Campground located just below Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. With this being a road trip with opportunity to see old friends, make new ones, camp out in tents, drive R/C vehicles in the name of competition and get our G6 challenge on, all makes for a fun trip in store!

June 21, 2011, It was the Tuesday prior to the AWCC Finals weekend. Brad “Bender” Dumont and myself are loaded into the ADV80 like well rehearsed Mt Everest sherpa’s with a military CH-47 Chinook!
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
It’s just the two of us traveling in my rig, but we are loaded to the roof! I was avoiding the wind drag as I have a fully capable roof rack. But we are liable to pick up something on the way back and may need valuable cargo space!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Our route starts with the 91-FWY that sends the largest portion of Orange County residents from the O.C. Eastwardly. Our road-trip should be approximately a twelve hour seated endevor as we are choosing to drive up the more scenic HWY 395 to the Sierra’s.

No trip is without the potential for drama and or accidentals. Brad and I are just in morning motion as we drive along, the morning sun is starting to creep over the mountains. Everything is just clicking along serene and smooth as we making our way from the 91FWY and onto the 15FWY. The 15FWY has this section before the Cajon Pass that is rough due to the amount of heavy loaded trucks getting out of “Dodge” but more known more for 18-wheelers getting knocking over due to high winds, and while it may have had the smallest of breezes we witnessed this horrific accident first hand!
Motorcycle accident on the 15FWY - East Bound June 21, 2011

But wind did not strike this rider down as we where traveling east. He was struck by a tire that came from a vehicle traveling in the west bound lane. The tire struck the motorcycle diagonally on his front wheel at such speed that it knocked the motorcycle over and out of control. Look at the image above and note how the front fender is bent inward as this was the impact point of the car tire that flew from the other side of the freeway. We never saw the wheel coming from the other lane as the bike blocked our vision of the flying tire! I had to change lanes quick to avoid running over the motorcycle and rider as they slid from two lanes left of me. It was a horrific moment! The rider was coherent, but suffered a broken left arm from our observation. Police and peramedics where quick onto the scene. Another driver stopped along with a few others, but this particular driver was behind us and saw the tire come from the other lane. Brad and I looked at each other with grief and disbelief and we both knew at that moment, if it was not for the biker, that tire would have hit my rig for sure! Talk about early wake up!!! Once CHP & paramedics arrived and we update them of the situation I chose to continue on and chose to do so as I have seen and been involved in my fair share of motorcycle accidents. I can handle all of my own pain but get the “heebeegeebee’s” with other’s pain. All this gives me the flashbacks for which I have to count my blessings and I now always ride with the “jewelry” Leatt Brace!

OK, let’s get back to calm and serene:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
AND SCENIC! Cool old ghost town in-them-there-hills!
ATK 605 First Outting to the DESERT! July 2010
In “desert season” you will see hundreds of off roaders from from all vehicular aspects hanging round the ghost town of Randsburg. Especially the General Store and they serve food and AWESOME MILK SHAKES!
Randsburg General Store in Randsburg, CA. ATK 605 First Outting to the DESERT! July 2010

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Jeff and Brent are traveling in the AXL Motorhome as we meet up along the freeway.

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
It’s June and still signs of snow on the mountains as we skirt the Sequoia National Forest.

Refuel time:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Brent’s girlfriend hooked him/us up with some cupcakes!!! WOW! Talk about refueling!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Back on the road and next stop is Bishop with a purpose!


GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
The main purpose to stop in Bishop is for the Meadow Farms Country Smoke House! This was tipped off to the Axial Crew by Scott Hughes as this has been a family traditional stop off. It must be his squirrel activity keeping his slim stature if this is his eating spot!

The door at Meadow Farms Country Smoke House…

All kinds come through here!
And all kinds of cool vehicles come through the parking lot too:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
My ADV80 will get the overland expedition treatment one day! Things to add and check off the list:
__ Snorkel
__ Winch
__ Suspension
__ Rear Mounted Spare
__ Gas / Water Can
__ GET A/C FIXED FIRST!!!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Back on the road…

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Co-piloting and cupcakes make for nap nap time. Bender bending time – teleporting himself to the rocks already…

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Snow coverage is a bit thicker as we traverse north.

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Got any more of those cupcakes in there? Just put one on the stick and hand it out the window!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Mono Lake

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
She will be coming around the mountain when she comes… How does that song go? The AXL-MH rolling into the big metropolitan city of Bridgeport, Ca.
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Where they watch paint dry for fun:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
The all-mighty ADV80!

More scenic views as we are making our way to the “big mountains!”
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground

Hey, what are those things called again?
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
SIGNS! Oh yea, almost forgot! And we get to make a navigational change too!
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Just up and over that little hill and we will be looking down onto Lake Tahoe!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
It’s been over fifteen years since I have seen this lake!


And back to Southern California in the blink of an eye! Did Brad take over this thread? Did he teleport himself through the event and back home already?

No… Just some good ol’ Lake Tahoe road construction…

More climbing and we know we are getting close!
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Coming up on Donner Pass and I get a history lesson!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Now we know we are close!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Check in time and sort the details… Pink floaties or purple raft?

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Camp is made and time for some quick dinner from chef Brent Brammer. Have you seen his cooking show? The one with the BBQ and pork chops… oh, sorry, they had to take that one down too!?

Brent fires up the quick stove:
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground

This would be my first experience with Brent in the woods…

His cooking is simply AWESOME!!!

GCRad1's HWY 395 Trip to Axial West Coast Championships AWCC 2011 at Cisco Grove Campground
Night:30 and good night! It was a long day! Time to crawl into my sleeping bag.