The Full Size Connection

Axial is different than any company I have ever worked with before. These guys are the real deal enthusiasts; the parking lot at the Axial offices is regularly decorated with capable off-road trail rigs. This enthusiasm for full scale adventure translates directly into the scale products we have all come to enjoy.

While hanging around the office after hours, a conversation sparked up about full size trail rigs. The VP of Axial, Jeff Johns had recently parted company with his 99 Jeep TJ and was in the market for a new rig. The debate immediately kicked off as to what vehicle he should build next, and the opinions were all over the map. Eventually the discussion led where every good 4×4 discussion leads, right into the age old Jeep vs. Toyota battle. The strongest argument going was the idea of building a full size Honcho, which would be really cool! We could model the bed and cage exactly like our 1/10 Honcho and hit the trail with a full size SCX10.

With this debate in full swing regarding a new trail rig for Jeff, I started looking into the full size vehicles owned by the guys behind the Axial brand, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. One of the reasons this brand is so successful is because they are authentic. Authentic to the point that when they are not on a scale trail run with their Axial rigs, they are on the full size trail with their 1:1 rig enjoying the outdoor life with their families. To illustrate this, I thought I would share a few shots of the rigs owned and enjoyed by the Axial staff and Axial team members…. check it out!!

Axial Employee 1:1 rigs:

Here is the 99 Jeep TJ that Jeff Johns [Axial Vice President] had to let go due to room constraints. This rig was really well prepared, I am sure he is sorry to see it go!

 

Here are some shots of Matt Kearney’s [Axial's VP of Product Design] 1973 Ford Bronco Ranger out on the trail.

 

This is the 1992 80 Series Landcruiser that belongs to Rodney Wills [Axial Global Marketing Director].

Here is our resident Jeep JK expert Randall Davis’ 2007 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited [Axial Logistics / IT]

 

Randall even has a “proper” custom hood ornament!!!

Brad “Bender” Dumont [Axial Marketing Department] recently let his Jeep go as well while preparing for a new addition to his family. We expect to see him back in the game soon, either way we couldn’t leave out his 99 Jeep Wrangler TJ

Andrew Obannon [Axial Sales Assistant] is one of the more hardcore wheelers of the group, he isnt scared to take his 85 Toyota 4Runner through its paces and then some!

 

And then there is your humble scribe, Scott G. [Marketing Special Projects] and my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee (or soccer mom station wagon as it get called on the trail)
First a shot of my 93, from back in the day…

and my 98 I am working on bringing back to proper spec.

 

Dont hate on the station wagon!!

The influence and direction of this company not only comes from internal, but also from a huge support network out on the trails. Our Axial team drivers are selected for their knowlege, not only in the scale 4×4 world, but also for their depth of knowlege in the 1:1 field. It is the goal of Axial to bring the most authentic experience to our customers and fans, and we feel our team drivers really assist and compliment this mission and contribute significantly to all of our success. Check out some of these guys in action!

Axial Team driver 1:1 rigs:

The one and only Brian Parker, he is usually out influencing the market with his passion for events and the outdoor lifestyle. So where does he get his motivation from? From spending time out in nature with good friends enjoying his off-road vehicles. His 83 toyota called “Lexus” is his favorite rig, it is said to be “powered by chevy, geared by Toyota and driven by a Jeeper” … Only Parker!

It’s all about getting away from civilization and exploring earth with friends…. Parker loves his Yamaha Grizzly 660.

Ryan Gerrish…. This man has owned so many vehicles that are on our wish list…… here are just a few!

Our man Zach Chatelain, he is always at the top of the leader board in the scale comp scene, and he knows how to get around in the back woods in his 2011 Toyota Tacoma!

Here is Dean Hsiao frequenting the trails that the world famous “King of the Hammers” are held on in Johnson Valley in his beloved 1983 Toyots SR5, ya, he’s not scared either!!

Then we have Patrick Norton, another scale crawling master showing us the ultimate location for him to show off his 2004 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, We wanna go!!

 

Check out Jake Wright and his Toyota Tuber going for it on the rocks!

Our Man Mark Reel is rocking a 2007 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Ok Jeff, you have quite the decision ahead of you. I guess the good news is that no matter what vehicle you choose to build, there will never be a shortage of friends to hit the trail with!!

Axial EXO – How to swap batteries

Now that the EXO Terra Buggy has officially been announced, I want to take some time and highlight a few of the features. For this post I want to cover how to swap the batteries and show a couple of the subtle but cool details on the EXO battery tray assembly. Our patent pending quick release battery tray makes swapping the battery in the EXO really easy to do, with minimal down time between runs.

battery-access

A few photos of the battery tray with the body and cage removed.

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Here you can see the rubber battery straps lock into the battery tray tabs securely. The straps have steel pins pressed into the ends of them, the ends of the pins are what tie into the battery tray tabs.

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Grab the tab on the end of the rubber battery strap, pull down and release the pins from the battery tray tabs to remove the battery. No body clips or threaded nuts required. Notice the battery tray is two separate pieces too. I will explain why in a minute.

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To aid in removing the battery, the battery tray tabs fold down out of the way. Once they are folded down, the opposite end of the tabs help lift the battery out of the tray too.

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Notice the M3 screws and slots in the battery tray as well.

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I grabbed one of our 2S lipos to show how easy it is to make adjustments to the battery tray. Here is where the two piece tray is key. I set the battery into place first to see where it sits.

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Once you install your battery into the tray you can adjust the two halves of the battery tray to fit the battery as needed. The two halves of the tray are mounted to the chassis with M3 screws as I mentioned earlier. Because the battery trays have slots built into the mounting tabs, you can adjust the size of the tray to fit most batteries. Here you can see that the tray is a little too long to hold this battery properly right now.

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I backed the M3 screws off in the battery tray halves and snugged them up to the battery before tightening them up again. Now you can see the tray fits this battery like a glove.

exo-061

Another cool feature to this battery tray is the the rubber straps. There is adjustments built into those as well. You can fine tune the straps to fit different height battery packs if need be too. A close up shot of the stationary side of the battery strap, and it’s different mounting options. Three holes in the strap and two holes in the battery tray give you a handful of options to fine tune the straps.

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Here are a few more photos showing how to change the battery with the cage and body installed.

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The passenger side of the EXO has 2 body posts and clips that hold the side panel on. Remove those 2 body clips, pop the side panel off and you have access to the battery.

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exo-011

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As I mentioned earlier, grab the tab on the end of the strap, pull down and release to remove the battery.

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Fold the battery tabs back to pop the battery up out of the tray.

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Then remove the battery.

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Grab a freshly charged battery.

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Slide the battery into place.

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Secure the battery using the rubber straps.

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Then reinstall the passenger side body panel.

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Time to go tear it up!!

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That covers the EXO battery tray, and it’s adjustments. Keep an eye out for more blog articles covering different features on the EXO in the near future too.

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!!