Magam Trophy 2010

Not sure how many of you, if any, have heard of this race/rally. I recently stumbled across some video on YouTube from the 2010 Magam Trophy event. I must admit I was impressed to say the least, these guys are pretty hardcore. I could see this event being shrunk down to meet our scale R/C fix pretty easily. A big powerful winch would be mandatory too after watching some of this footage.

Link to website:

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pl&u=http://www.magamtrophy.pl/&ei=sWfzTuLBG4PnsQLa2rC8AQ&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEUQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3DMagam%2BTrophy%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26hs%3DM67%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26prmd%3Dimvns

A few videos:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Looks crazy fun to me!!

2011 SEMA Show – Bender Edition

As most of you know, Axial attended the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada recently. We had been secretly working with some strategic technical partners to give a sneak peek at the show of our latest vehicle, the Exo. Since Axial is predominantly known for making R/C crawlers, the release of the Exo was a big surprise to the general public because it was so vastly different then our previous vehicles. So, a handful of us made the trip to SEMA to witness the reactions and get some first hand feedback. This was my first trip to SEMA, and it was amazing to say the least. There is so much to see, that it is tough to cover everything. We were only in town for a few days, and barely scratched the surface of what SEMA had to offer. Armed with my camera and a backpack, I ventured out into the sea of people and shiny metal components. Here are a few of the photos I snapped along the way.

Cool low-rider Dually……

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

…..with some serious chariot-like wheel spikes.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got to love green and black.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

They had a drift track set-up in an empty parking lot. Spectators could take a ride along with them if they wanted.

SEMA---Brad-017

If you are into Jeeps, like me, there was no shortage of eye candy at the show.

SEMA---Brad-024

A few more shots outside on the first day.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Sweet Overland Journal JK, with integrated roof rack tent.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another sweet 4 door Jeep JK.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More random goodness from inside.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got milk?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Our first stop was at the Griffin booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

What do we have here?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Raw metal and carbon fiber together just looks cool.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Wilwood booth

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Wilwood Wraith

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Cool Jeep pick-up.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Shannon Campbell’s rock racer, IFS front and solid axle rear. I have seen this rig in action a few times at King of the Hammers, and it’s just sick!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Tron Audi built by West Coast Customs

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Raceline wheels booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Raceline Wraith was on display too.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More randomness…..

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Walker Evans wheels.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Custom 4 door Jeep JK 6X6 pick-up………..say that 10 times in a row as fast as you can.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Next stop was the Icon Vehicle Dynamics booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another custom JK build. Not really my style, but I can appreciate the time that went into it.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

The Dana Spicer booth. If you are looking for tough off-road axles, most people start here.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got driveshafts?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There were tons of cool trucks to drool on at the show as well.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Or maybe old Broncos are your thing?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

How about an old school Bronco built to play in the desert? One of my favorite vehicles from the show.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More desert vehicles.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Cool Jeepspeed build.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There were a few sand-rails on display too.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More photos from around the show.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

After lunch we ran into a couple of Rodney’s old friends, Dennis and Ryan Anderson.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Chevy displayed several variations of their new Sonic. I have to admit for a small car, these things are pretty cool.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Got ear plugs?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Another one of Rodney’s old friends/co-workers Andy Williamson (right), he is one of the masterminds behind the Chevy Sonic display.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I even managed to spy a few nice full suspension mountain bikes, another one of my hobbies.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Giant’s Reign X1. I have a 2010 X2 at home.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More random shots……

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I don’t remember the ice cream truck in our neighborhood looking anything like this when I was a young lad. Kids these days have it made!

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More Jeep based vehicles.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

My favorite Jeep from the show, AEV’s 4 door JK pick-up.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Next we went by the Hankook booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Does this tread pattern look familiar?

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

A little F1 action, Kimi Raikkonen’s Mercedes.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

More spy shots…… not very often you see a Ferrari that isn’t red.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

There was an immense number of wheels on display.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

I think they made these custom for either Liberace or Elton John.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

My last stop for the day was the Turn Key booth.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Even Charlene, the Turn Key model, couldn’t keep her hands of the Exo.

SEMA 2011 Axial's Brad "Bender" Dumont

Woah, my feet and back were beat after a few days!! Those are my highlights from the 2011 SEMA show. If you have never been, it is well worth the trip for anyone that considers themselves a gearhead.

Here’s one last little sneak peek for you guys……………..enjoy!!

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part VI – Final Assembly

For the final installment of our Wraith kit build series we will turn this beast into a roller. We will finish the chassis assembly, marry the chassis to the transmission and axles, install the body panels, mount the tires to the wheels and bolt them up to the axles. Start on page 34 of the manual, at step 34.

Find bag F in your remaining parts supply.

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All the parts required to complete step 34.

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Starting with the rear shock tower, bolt it up to the left chassis plate with the supplied hardware.

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Then move forward to the lower part of what will be the windshield area.

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Next cross member.

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Last one at the very front.

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Now we can move to step 35 and install the top of the cab.

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Step 36 will complete the main chassis structure. Everything needed to complete this step.

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I started at the rear shock tower again, install the supplied 3x12mm self tapping screw. At this point we need to just start assembling the cage at all the points required.

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Rear frame cross member.

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Upper cage area.

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Lower cross member in the rear, under the battery tray.

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Rear cross member again.

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Front A-pillar area.

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Top of the cab again.

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Front shock tower and cross member.

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Next I installed the second support for the front bumper.

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Tighten up that second bumper support, and the last frame cross member in the front.

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Complete chassis.

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Install the last few screws to secure the interior.

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On to step 37, and page 36 in the manual. Everything needed to complete this step.

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Start by installing the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the big light buckets.

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Flip the light buckets over and snap the clear lens into place.

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Snap the light guards into place.

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Install the light buckets into position on the front bumper.

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Attach the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the small round light buckets.

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Snap the clear lens into place.

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Install the light guards next.

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Bolt the small light buckets up to the front grill’s tube work.

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Step 38, and everything needed.

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Set the front grill tube work into place, and attach using the supplied 3x12mm screws.

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Set the front bumper into place next.

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Install the supplied 3x18mm screws.

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Step 39, attaching the chassis to the skid plate and axles.

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Set the chassis into place over the skid plate, and attach using the supplied hardware.

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Next we will bolt the shocks up to the shock towers. I deviated from the instructions a little here too. I moved the upper shock mounts in towards the center of the Wraith. I did this to lower the ride height a little, and to soften up the shocks.

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Shocks all mounted up.

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Time to move on to the tires and wheels.

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First thing I did was open up the breather holes in the wheels. I chased the existing holes with an 1/8″ drill bit. This will help the tires conform to the terrain a little better. Stock on left, modified on right.

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Next tuning tip I will throw out there is to trim the edges of the inner diameter on the foams. This will let the beads of the tire sit in their natural position. It also makes gluing the tires a little easier, as it stops the foam from working it’s way into the bead seats while you are trying to glue your tires.

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You can see here that you don’t need to cut much, keep your cut about a 1/4 – 3/8″ wide max.

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With the foam installed, you can see there is no interference between the foam and the tire’s bead seat.

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Next slide the wheel inside the tire, and seat the bead properly. I usually glue my tires little by little, with “stitches” of glue. Add a dab of CA to the bead seat, and seat the tire into place. Then spin the tire 180 degrees and add another stitch of glue, then let the tire sit for a few minutes. Then, repeat these steps until the tires are glued all the way around the inner and outer beads.

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All glued up. I love the looks of these wheels in black!

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Next we will move on to step 43. Find bag G in your dwindling parts stash.

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Everything needed to bolt the wheels up.

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Thread the small M3 set screws into the drive hexes part way.

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Slide the drive pins through the outer axles.

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Install the hex into place over the drive pin, and tighten down the M3 set screw.

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Bolt the wheels and tires up to the axles.

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It’s a roller!!

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Here’s a little sneak peek at a part not yet released from the Axial arsenal, aluminum diff covers. Sexy!

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Now we can ream the holes out in the body panels and mount them. Wallah!

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Close-up shots of the hood, side panels and interior.

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Mandatory articulation shots.

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There you have it, a complete step by step build of Axial’s Wraith Kit. I will be doing more articles with this particular build in the near future too, like electronics install, hop-up parts, tuning tips, etc. And of course there will be video too, so stay tuned!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 7

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part V – Chassis

Next step in our Wraith kit build is the assembly of the chassis. Flip to page 26 in the Wraith kit manual, start with step 25.

Find bag E and the corresponding parts required from the various parts trees.

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We will start with the light buckets, grab everything you will need to complete this step.

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Grab the first light bucket and mounting bracket.

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Insert the light bucket, part number AX80045B-5, inside the mounting bracket, part number AX80045B-2.

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Install the LED holder, part number AX80045A-1, on the backside of the light bucket with the supplied 2x6mm screws.

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Tie the bucket and bracket together using another 2x6mm screw.

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Now snap the light bucket lens into place.

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Repeat the last few steps for the second light bucket.

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Grab the remaining parts needed to complete step 25.

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Install the light buckets to the bottom of the rear frame cross member, part number AX80077-001-2.

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Tie part number AX80082-1 to the rear frame cross member assembly.

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Now install the battery tray as directed with the supplied 2.6x8mm flat head screws.

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Jump to page 27 and step 26. Lay everything out needed for this step.

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Tie the lower part of the tube frame to the upper left side of the chassis.

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Install the left shock mount next.

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Last thing we need to do for step 26 is install the front bumper support and radio box base.

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Step 27 is next, lay everything out you’ll need to complete this step.

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Assemble the right side just like you did the left side. At this point I installed the battery tray on the right side chassis plate, even though the instructions say to mount it to the left side chassis assembly. Either method will work fine, it has no bearing on the assembly process.

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Next we will prep the radio box.

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Start by applying the thin strip of foam to the top half of the radio box.

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Then install the other foam strip on the top cap of the radio box.

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Attach the bottom half of the radio box to the frame support.

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Flipping to page 30 you will see it’s time to start on the body panels. All the panels laid out like a blank canvas. Make sure you wash the inside of the body panels with soap and water before painting. Regular dish detergent will work fine. This will help the paint stick to the panels properly. It’s a bummer to spend time painting a body all up only to have the paint flake off during your first rollover because you skipped this step. The instructions suggest cutting the panels out first, then washing them and paint last. I washed the panels first, then paint and trim last. Again, either method works great, it’s just personal preference.

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The theme for this build will be black on black!! Here you can see the painted roof and dash panels.

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Next I trimmed the dash per the instructions.

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Dressing up the dash with some decals. An X-acto works great for applying small decals.

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For the Wraith side panels and hood I am going to do something a little different. I am going to use the over spray film as a paint mask. I am going to paint parts of these few panels on the outside, and the inside, to get a gloss black on flat black effect. Keeping it simple I laid out the paint job as desired on the outside of the body panels with electrical tape.

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The hood.

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I am even going to carry the paint job into the interior a little, with one flat black strip on the transmission tunnel.

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Now use your X-acto to cut the desired areas to be painted on the outside of the body away.

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Peel your cut areas away very carefully. If your cuts aren’t nice and clean, when you remove these pieces it may pull up the rest of your over spray film at the same time. Patients is key here, take your time.

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Next I painted the inside of the body panels black.

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While the paint dried I moved on to assembling the Corbeau seats.

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Slide the back rest of the seats into place.

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Move the seat back into position, and secure using the supplied 3x12mm self tapping screws.

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Using my X-acto knife again to position the seat detail stickers.

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Both seats assembled and detailed.

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Back to the body panels. Now that the inside of the panels have been painted with a few light coats, it’s time to paint the outside. Take a minute to do one last visual scan to ensure the over spray film isn’t pulled up in an area it shouldn’t be. Then paint the outside of the panels. I use very light coats of paint to get the desired coverage needed, and to keep the paint a consistent color. Once this coat of paint on the outside is dry, you can remove the over spray film.

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Subtle but cool!!

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A couple shots with the flash directed at the body to show the contrast.

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Interior.

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Next I rough cut the panels out with Lexan scissors close to my final cut lines.

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Then I go back and cut the panels to size as needed. Cutting the body twice takes a little extra time, but your body lines will be a lot cleaner using this method compared to cutting it on the body lines the first time.

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It’s best to use a body reamer to cut the front grill area cleanly for the chassis tubes that will hold the front bumper. Use a reamer to punch the holes in position, then cut the remaining body out with scissors.

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Simple sticker scheme for the side panels.

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Time to add some detail to that interior. Using your body reamer, punch all the holes needed in the interior tray to finish detailing it.

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After applying the interior decals, we can add the cool scale bits into the driver’s compartment.

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Attach the shifters to the proper spots in the interior.

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Finish building the dashboard.

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Finish the interior by bolting in the seats and dash.

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Now we will attach the interior to the left side of the chassis assembly. Once I set the interior into place I noticed that it wasn’t sitting square to the chassis. Closer inspection exposed the culprit. There is a boss molded into the roll cage that allows you to bolt the body panels on. This tab was hitting the interior floor pan before I could get it into position. So, a little trimming with the body scissors was in need. I just had to elongate the scallops on the sides of the floor pan beside the seats and everything fit fine after that.

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Install the supplied 2.6x6mm self tapping screws into the floor pan and roll cage.

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That wraps up this installment of our Wraith kit build series. Next steps will be the last to make it a complete rolling chassis. We are getting close!!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 6

Step 7

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part IV – Transmission

For Part IV of our Wraith kit build I will cover assembly of the transmission. The transmission for the Wraith is still based off our proven AX10 and SCX10 transmissions. Assembly is still very similar as well, with just a few minor changes. So, let’s get started!

Go to page 22 in the kit manual, start at step 19. Find bag D and your plastic transmission housing parts tree.

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All the parts needed to complete this step.

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Grab your slipper drive gear shaft, 20t drive gear and 1.5x8mm cross pin. Slide the cross pin through the hole in the end of the shaft.

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Now slide the 20t drive gear into place over the pin.

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Install a 5x10mm bearing on each side of the 20t drive gear.

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Slide the shaft into the top hole in the transmission case.

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Install two more 5x10mm bearings into the small plastic idler gear, then slide the 5x18mm shaft through the bearings.

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Insert the gear into the transmission case beside the first gear/shaft assembly.

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Now it’s time to assemble the main spool gear. Everything needed for this step. Notice I left out the small plastic ring, labeled AX80051 in the instructions, that is suppose to be sandwiched between the transmission outputs. It’s not needed, that is a misprint in the manual.

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Install the main drive gear between the two transmission outputs.

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Add a dab of thread lock to the screws that will hold the main drive gear assembly together. It’s not noted in the manual, but it is a good idea. These screws see a lot of stress, especially with big motors and batteries.

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Go around the 3 screws holding the main gear assembly, and torque them down as evenly as you can. Then install the 8x16mm and 15x21mm bearings over the outputs.

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Now add a thin layer of grease the main drive gear.

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Drop the main gear into the transmission case. Give the whole assembly a spin to spread the grease evenly over the gears.

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Moving on to step 20. Everything required to complete this step.

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Slide the 2nd half of the transmission case into place.

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Install the small plastic spacer over the slipper clutch gear shaft, part number AX80051-8.

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Slide the spacer into the recess in the transmission housing.

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Install the backside of the spur gear cover into place over the slipper shaft.

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Set the motor plate into place over the spur gear cover.

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Install the 3x15mm self tapping screw into the transmission case to tie the two halves together.

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Add a dab of thread lock to the 3x25mm screws for the motor plate.

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Thread the 25mm screws into the motor plate, and torque them down evenly as needed.

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Moving on to step 21, grab everything you need to build the slipper clutch.

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Start with assembling the spur gear. Grab the outer slipper plate, spur gear, three 3x6mm cap head screws and three flat washers.

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Slide the flat washers over the screws, slide the screws through the spur gear and thread them into the outer slipper plate. Torque the screws down evenly.

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Now slide the second 1.5mm pin into place in the slipper shaft.

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Install the inner slipper plate over the drive pin.

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Slide the spur gear assembly into plate so the friction pad is sandwiched between the slipper plates.

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Install the biggest flat washer into place on the slipper shaft, part number AXA1091.

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Slide the slipper spring into place next.

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Install the smaller flat washer, part number AXA1071.

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Now start the M4 Nylock screw onto the slipper shaft. You will need a way to hold the transmission outputs still while you tighten down the slipper clutch. Easiest way I found was inserting something into the transmission output holes. Then tighten down the slipper clutch as needed. I usually tighten mine all the way down until the nut stops, then back it off 1-2 full turns for a good starting point.

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Slipper clutch complete.

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Next we will tackle the spur gear cover, and finish the transmission assembly. Everything needed to complete this step.

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Install the short M3 set screw into the 20t pinion gear.

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Install the single 5x11mm bearing into the backside of the transmission cover, part number AX80051-1.

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Pop the small round plastic cover into place on the backside of the transmission slipper shaft, part number AX80051-7.

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Now slide the back transmission cover into place over the rear output.

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Install the 3x12mm self tapping plastic screws into the backside of the transmission cover, on each side of the transmission output.

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Now install the 3x6mm screws into the top of the transmission housing.

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Grab the front side of your spur gear cover.

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Install the spur gear cover over the spur gear.

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Tie the spur gear cover to the transmission using the supplied 2.6x10mm flat head self tapping screws.

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Next tie the transmission to the kit’s skid plate. Everything required for this step.

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Use the four self tapping plastic screws to tie the transmission to the skid plate. Note that 2 screws are slightly shorter, make sure they go into the proper holes to avoid stripping out the transmission mounting holes.

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Install a male half shaft to the spur gear side of the transmission output.

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Now grab your front axle, the skid plate/transmission assembly and required screws to complete this step.

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Start by mating the driveshafts, then install the upper links into position on the skid plate using the supplied 3x15mm self tapping screws. Lastly, flip the whole assembly over and install the long 3x20mm set screws through the lower links.

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Grab your rear axle and repeat the last few steps.

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And you’re done! It’s really starting to take shape now.

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That takes care of this installment of our step by step Wraith kit build. Next up, we will start assembling the roll cage/chassis.

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part III – Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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All 4 upper links completed.

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

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

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Next we will install the upper links and shocks.

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

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Moving on the front servo mount and steering linkage.

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

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

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

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Now install your steering servo.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Attach the driveshaft and lower links.

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

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

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

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part II – Shocks and Driveshafts

For this installment of our Wraith kit build I will cover shock and driveshaft assembly. Start off by finding bag B.

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Another upgrade I am going to use on this build is metal flange balls. I will be using these in all the rod ends on this kit. They have a little smoother action then the plastic flange balls, and are a lot more durable over time.

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First step will be prepping the shock cartridges. Here you can see all the parts required to make a complete cartridge.

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Install the bigger clear o-ring over the shock cartridge body.

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Apply a little grease to your cartridge o-rings. Put a dab of grease on your finger and work the grease all over the o-rings before dropping them into your shock cartridges. This will help prevent tearing the o-ring during assembly.

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Install the first o-ring into the shock cartridge.

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Now set the plastic spacer (Part #AX80035-4) into place on top of the first o-ring.

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Lube up the second o-ring and install it on top of the plastic spacer.

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Now snap the top cap of the shock cartridge into place.

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Grab your shock shafts, washers, pistons and Nylock nuts. I used the three-holed pistons for this build, to speed up the action of the shocks a little.

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Install one flat washer onto the shock shaft, slide the shock piston into place, install the second flat washer and tighten the Nylock nut down until it stops.

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Insert the shock shaft into the shock cartridge from the top cap side, and wipe away any excess grease from the shock shaft threads.

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Slide the rubber bump stop over the shock shaft.

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Snap the metal flange ball into the shock rod ends, and thread them onto the shock shafts.

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Install the shock bladders into the shock caps. Make sure the bladder is properly seated down into the cap before threading it onto the shock body. This will help keep the bladder from distorting as you tighten the shock cap, and eliminate any chance for leaks.

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Install the threaded pre-load collar onto the shock body, then install the cap.

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Fill the shock body up with oil until it touches the threads inside the shock body. Make sure you let all air bubbles rise to the top of the oil and dissipate before starting assembly.

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Thread the shock cartridge/shaft assembly a couple turns into the shock body, oil should start overflowing at this point. If no oil seeps out, fill the shock body with a little more oil.

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Compress the shock shaft until it bottoms out to allow any air bubbles and excess oil to escape. You can do this by holding the shock shaft in the compressed position and thread the shock cartridge all the way into the body as tight as you can with your fingers. The shaft will rebound a bit when you let go of it, which is normal. Now grab a 10mm box wrench and tighten the cartridge down all the way. Cycle the shock a few times at this point and look for leaks between the cartridge and shock body. If you still see a little oil bleeding out, tighten the cartridge up more.

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Investing in a 10mm wrench for the shock cartridges is key in my opinion, it’ll make rebuilding your shocks so much easier. I spent $7 on this wrench with a ratcheting box end at Ace Hardware. You can also just buy a standard 10mm wrench for about $4. Pliers can be used to tighten the cartridges too. But, over time the pliers can ruin the hex on the plastic cartridges, especially if the pliers slip off the hex while you are tightening everything up.

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Now install the springs, lower spring cups and shock bushings. That completes the shocks.

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Next we will move onto the driveshafts. Go to step 10 in the manual, and find bag C.

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All the parts needed to complete this step.

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First thing we’ll do is slide the u-joint axle pin holder into the driveshaft output.

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Line up the hole in the pin with the slot in the output.

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Slide the driveshaft coupler over the ball end of the output, line up the 1.5mm hole with the slot in the output, and hole in the center pin. Then, slide the 1.5x11mm pin through the whole assembly.

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Slide the 1.5x11mm pin in until it’s flush on both sides.

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Grab the plastic driveshaft retainer ring and slide it into place.

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Next we will attach the metal u-joints to the plastic half shafts. Grab one of the female plastic half shafts, one of the u-joint assemblies and an M3 flat head screw.

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Add a dab of thread lock to the threads of the flat head screw.

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Insert the screw into the driveshaft from the splined end with a 2mm driver.

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Now slide the half shaft onto the coupler, and tighten down the M3 flat head screw.

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Repeat the above steps 3 more times and the driveshafts will be complete.

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That will do it for this installment of our Wraith kit build. Next step we will tackle is the link assembly, so stay tuned!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Axial’s Coverage of the 2011 Nationals

Axial attended the 2011 USRCCA Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada this past weekend. This is the biggest R/C crawling competition of the year. In order to compete at this event you must either win the qualifying series in your area, or sign up for the last chance qualifier (LCQ), and hope you make the cut into the main event. This event is in it’s sixth year, and still building momentum. Here’s a few highlights from this year’s competition.

Thursday was the first day of competition. There were 75+ drivers total signed up for LCQ, and all of them were hoping for a chance to make the main event on Saturday. The competition was about to get very tight.

The driver’s meeting on LCQ morning.

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Shortly after the driver’s meeting, courses were open and the competition was underway.

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Team Axial driver Dean Hsiao in attack mode.

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Team Vanquish and Team Axial driver Brian Parker doing work!

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Looks like Brian drove his XR10 to Vegas from Reno by the looks of those tires.

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There were plenty of XR10 based rigs to watch, with many different set-ups.

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The view from the top of the rocks.

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Me and my sombrero working it.

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A view of the top course, as drivers await their turn.

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Team Axial driver Jake Wright working his custom XR10.

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Axial’s good friend Yoshiaki Kataoka made the trek all the way from Japan with 6 of his closet crawler companions to compete in this year’s event. This is the fourth year Yoshiaki has made the trip to the US for this event.

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Scott Hughes squirreling his way through one of the tougher gates.

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After the main event Saturday, only 5 would make the finals on Sunday out of 101 drivers.

The talented 5 are……..

1st Brian Lorenz -111

2nd Scott Hughes -110

3rd Joel Gatlin -100

4th Nabil Jamali -99

5th Darwin James -97

Jason Hensel conducts the drivers meeting on Sunday morning.

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The event was broadcasted live over the internet so anyone that couldn’t attend this competition could watch from home by logging onto www.rccrawler.com

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Bulu Production’s Brett Carlson gives me the stink eye, as he records the drivers meeting.

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After the driver’s meeting the top 5 took to the finals course in hopes of pulling off the victory for that “2011 National Championship” title. Driver order was picked randomly out of a hat. Once the driver’s name was called, they had 30 seconds to start the course………….no pressure!!

Joel Gatlin was chosen first.

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This off camber gate was tough to negotiate, as soon as you approached it, your rig would start to unload. Most drivers quickly got on the throttle as their rig started to roll. But, the lip after the gate made it tough to get progress with the rear tires because it would instantly flip you off the obstacle as soon as your front tires touched it.

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Next up was Brian Lorenz.

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That same off camber gate bites another competitor.

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Scott Hughes was chosen to go 3rd.

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That nasty off camber gate looking straight on. Scott and I had decided before the top five started that the best way through this gate cleanly, was to back down below it first, then drive up through. Worked like a charm!

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Nabil Jamali’s name was drawn next.

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Darwin James was lucky enough to be the last driver to run.

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And the winners are………..

1st place Brian Lorenz

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2nd place Scott Hughes

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3rd place Nabil Jamali

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That wraps up the 2011 Nationals coverage. Keep an eye out for details on next year’s event. Special thanks to Steven Kautz, Mark Reel and Jeff Johns for helping me take photos.

Axial XR10 Delivers 1-2 Punch at 2011 USRCCA Nationals

Axial recently attended the 2011 USRCCA Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada. This event brings in the best drivers from around the world to compete for a chance to be the top R/C crawler on the planet. This year for the main event there were over 100 crawlers battling it out for that one top spot. After a long hot day of incredibly tight competition two XR10′s were standing at the top of the podium. Axial would like to congratulate Brian “Burbo” Lorenz (left) for his first place finish, and Scott “Squirrel” Hughes (right) for taking the top 2 positions this year with their XR10′s. Way to do work drivers!!

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Wraith Tuning Tips

The Wraith is a very capable rig out of the box. But, as usual, there are ways to improve it’s performance to make it even better. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your Wraith with minimal cash out of pocket, and a little time/effort spent at the workbench.

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Soften up the suspension:

The Wraith’s suspension is a little stiff out of the box, if you plan on just bashing with it as is. If you add scale accessories, a driver figure, spare tire, use a standard 6 cell stick pack, etc. it is probably about right. I left my Wraith pretty much stock, and found myself wanting a little bit softer suspension for those high speed rocky sections of trail. First thing I did was grab two packages of our “black” super soft comp shock springs, Part# AX30223 x 2. I rebuilt all four shocks using our 30wt oil, our 3 hole shock pistons and soft springs. If you don’t have 3 hole pistons, you can drill the existing holes out in the standard 2 hole pistons so they are just a tad bigger. Making this modification almost converts the Wraith to a “droop” suspension set-up, meaning there is very little “up” travel to the shocks, it’s almost all “down” travel. Under the it’s own weight sitting on a shelf, my shocks sit about mid-way into their overall stroke. How is that better you ask? This made my Wraith a lot more stable at speeds, as it lowered the overall center of gravity. This mod also helps it floats over rocks at full speed a lot better too, because the shocks can cycle through their travel more efficiently. As the tires come off the ground at speed the shocks extend under the weight of the axles, which will help absorb that next bump in the trail. If I had to suggest only one modification to a fellow Wraith owner, this would be the tip I give them. It makes a huge difference in how the Wraith handles at speed and over jumps.

The springs.

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The shock ride height after making this mod.

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Aluminum servo horn:

Another great mod is going to an aluminum servo horn on the steering servo, that is compatible with Futaba servos. Using an aluminum arm instead of plastic is a lot more durable, and helps your steering track a little straighter in the rough stuff at speeds. The plastic steering linkage will still flex enough in hard crashes to protect your servo. Plus, the stock Wraith servo has metal gears which most RTR’s don’t have.

Steel ball studs:

For performance reasons, I like to replace any plastic ball studs with steel. Ball studs are the pivot points that allow your links to cycle through their travel. The steel ball studs will smooth out the motion on your suspension and steering links. Over time dirt will work it’s way into either set-up and wear parts out. But, with steel ball studs the dirt is less likely to hinder link movement. This mod works very well when done alongside the shock rebuilding tips I mentioned earlier. All you will need is 4 packages of our steel ball studs/flanged balls, Part# AXA1331 x 4. I don’t have a link for these, but your local hobby shop or online retailer can get the correct parts with that number.

The ball studs/flange balls.

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Taking time to make these few adjustments will make a pretty big difference in how a Wraith performs, especially at speed on rough terrain. Happy Trails!!