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

Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part I – Axles

Now that the Wraith kits are hitting hobby shops, we figured it would be a perfect time for another step by step build. I recently built up one of these kits and took photos of each and every step. Over the next few days you will see this build progress, step by step, with photos and descriptions. I will also show a few different option/upgrade parts as well with this particular build. For the first step in this build we will go over what’s inside the box, then start with the construction of the axles.

Prepping my desk for the build.

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A peak inside the box shows all the goodies!

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Here you can see the contents of the kit laid out.

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The decals and instruction manual.

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Step 1 in the manual says locate bag A.

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Find the hardware bag, which contains all the metal parts required for this build. Open it up and look for bag A.

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Bag A located.

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Bag A’s contents.

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Here are all the parts required to build both differentials.

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Start off with what you need to build the first ring gear assembly.

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First thing we’ll do is install the locker in the plastic differential case, and place the differential gasket over the ring gear.

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Now mate the differential case to the ring gear and attach using the supplied 2mm screws. Then slide the bearings over the bosses on each side of the differential. Repeat these steps for both assemblies.

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Assembling the pinion gear is next. Insert the 2mm pin through the pinion shaft hole closest to the end of the shaft with the E-clip groove cut into it, and slide the pinion gear into place over the pin. Then snap the E-clip into place with a pair of needle nose pliers.

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Locate the AR60 axle housings and snap the plastic tabs off.

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Trim any excess plastic away from the housing with an X-acto.

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Find the differential cover parts tree.

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Here are all the parts required for step 2.

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Start with the first housing and the parts needed for assembly.

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Insert the first 5×11 bearing into the backside of the AR60 housing.

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Slide the 2nd 5×11 bearing into place on the pinion shaft.

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Press the pinion gear into the housing.

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Insert the differential assembly into the housing next. Make sure you note the direction the ring gear is suppose to be facing too. The teeth of the ring gear should be facing the short side of the housing for the front axle.

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Install the bearing caps with the supplied self tapping screws.

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Apply a little grease to the ring and pinion gears. Don’t go overboard with the grease either, a light coat that fully covers the gears is more then enough.

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Grab your differential cover and four 2mm screws.

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Install the diff cover with the supplied hardware. Also note the direction of the diff cover placement too.

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Now repeat the above steps for the rear axle. Again note the direction of the ring gear, the teeth should be facing the long side axle tube for the rear axle. This would be a good time to mark the axles so you know which one is for the front and rear. I marked the front axle with an “F” underneath the differential on the outside of the housing with a marker. Otherwise it’s easy to get the 2 axles confused during the build.

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That completes step 2.

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For step 3 I will be adding a few option parts, like aluminum C-hubs, knuckles and 3x10mm M3 screws, instead of the self tapping plastic screws. When you upgrade to the aluminum C-hubs the self tapping screws can no longer be used, since the C’s are tapped for M3 hardware.

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Slide the axle C’s into place, again note the direction in the manual.

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Insert the self tapping screws into the C-hubs.

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Install the 5×11 bearings into the ends of the axle tubes.

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Next step may seem off, but squirt a dab of Loctite on the flats of the axle shafts before installing them in the housing. This is done to minimize the slop between the locker and axle shafts.

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Slide the CVD axles into place.

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Now it’s time to prep the aluminum knuckles.

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Install the required bearings.

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Insert the flange pipes into the knuckles, slide the knuckles over the outer stub axles and install the 3x10mm M3 screws.

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Repeat the last few steps for the opposite side of the front axle. and Step 3 is done.

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Onto the rear housing, everything needed laid out for ease of assembly.

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Again add a dab of Loctite to the axle shaft flats before installing them. Slide the two 5×11 bearings into place and insert the rear straight axles into the housing.

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Slide the plastic lockouts into place and attach using the supplied hardware.

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Moving on to step 5, and the front axle. First thing I did was install the M3 set screws into the bottom of the axle housing.

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Grab the proper plastic axle truss and set it into place on top of the front housing.

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Attach the truss with the supplied hardware.

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Next we will attach the link/shock mounts. For this step I found the best way to get the Nylock nuts seated into the link/shock mounts was to use a small pick tool. Slide the Nylock nut onto the end of the pick, insert the nut into the link/shock mount, then twist and pull the pick out. The nut should stay seated in place.

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Attach the link/shock mounts with the supplied M3X16mm screws. Note the direction of these as well, they can be bolted on upside down by accident with ease.

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Repeat the last couple steps to finish off the rear axle. Both axles completed.

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That takes care of the first few steps in this build covering the axles. Next step will be shock build up and tuning.

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

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!!

Axial AE-2 ESC Set-up and Programming

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Set-up tips for installing and programming Axial’s AE-2 ESC.

Set-up:

1. Mount ESC in an area that is well ventilated, and isolated from vibration and shock.

2. Connect ESC wires to the motor(s).

3. Plug the receiver wire into the throttle channel on your receiver.

4. Before plugging the battery into the ESC, make sure your transmitter is on and that the throttle trim is set to zero.

5. Double check that the battery wires on the ESC are wired correctly, red on red and black on black. **Reversing the polarity will permanently damage the ESC**

6. Plug the battery into the ESC, with the ESC switch in the “off” position.

7. Apply full throttle on the transmitter.

8. Turn the ESC on while applying full throttle.

9. The ESC will emit a series of beeps through the motor with the “Red” LED.

10. Continue applying full throttle until the ESC blinks “Green” and emits a series of beeps to finalize the full throttle endpoint.

11. Once the ESC blinks “Red”, apply full brake/reverse, and hold.

12. The ESC will emit a series of beeps while blinking “Red” to finalize the reverse/brake endpoint.

13. Return the throttle to neutral and the ESC will emit a series of beeps to finalize the neutral point.

14. The ESC will emit one last series of beeps confirming the ESC is ready to go.

15. Apply throttle to make sure motor turns in the proper direction. To reverse the direction of the motor, switch the wires going to the motor.

Notes:

1. If ESC set-up does not initialize while holding full throttle, try switching the throttle reverse switch on the transmitter. Also double check that the throttle trim is still set to zero.

2. Lipo “Cut-off” is set to “On” from the factory.

3. Use the “Castle Link” to access the advanced settings in this ESC.

Specifications:

Input Voltage – 6 cell NiCad/NiMH or 2cell lipo**

Size – 1.7″ x 1.24″

Weight – 45 Grams

Motor Limit – 19t

On-Resistance FET – .0018

Rated/Peak Current – 106A Peak

Braking Current – 106A Peak

BEC Voltage – 5.0V/2A Peak

PWM Frequency – 6KHZ

**You can run higher voltage batteries such as a 7 cell NiCad/NiMH or 3 cell lipo with the installation of a “Castle BEC”

Manually programming Axial’s AE-2 ESC

Here are a few tips for programming Axial’s AE-2 ESC, without a computer or “Castle Link”.

You can manually adjust 3 of the most important settings in the AE-2 ESC.

1. Lipo Cut-off

2. Drag Brake

3. Reverse

Manual programming

Follow these steps to change settings on your Axial AE-2 ESC without a computer.

*Remove your pinion gear before calibration and manual programming as a safety precaution!*

STEP 1: Start with the transmitter ON and the ESC switched OFF and not connected to the battery.

STEP 2: Plug a battery into the ESC. Hold full throttle on the transmitter and turn the ESC switch ON. After a few seconds you will get the four rings in a row signaling full throttle calibration. Keep on holding full throttle. After a few more seconds, you will hear another four rings in a row. After the second group of four rings, relax the throttle to neutral. If you have successfully entered programming mode, the ESC will beep twice, pause, and repeat the two beeps.

STEP 3: The programming sequence is always presented in sequential order and always starts with the first setting (None) within the first section (Voltage Cutoff). The first beep(s) signifies which section of the programming you are in and the second beep(s) signifies which setting is waiting for a “yes” or “no” answer. As you go sequentially through the options, you will need to answer “yes” by holding full throttle, or answer “no” by holding full brake until the ESC accepts your answer by beeping rapidly. Once an answer has been accepted, relax the throttle back to neutral for the next question. After a “no” answer is accepted, the ESC will then present you with the next option in that section. After a “yes” answer is accepted, the ESC knows you aren’t interested in any other option in that section, so it skips to the first option in the next section.

Settings and explanations

The following section explains all the settings available to you via manual programming and what each one does to change the reactions of the ESC in order to tune it to your specific preferences. More settings are available via “Castle Link”.

1. Cutoff Voltage

Sets the voltage at which the ESC lowers or removes power to the motor in order to either keep the battery at a safe minimum voltage (Lithium Polymer cells) or the radio system working reliably (NiCad/NiMH cells).

Setting 1: None

Does not cut off or limit the motor due to low voltage. Do not use with any Lithium Polymer packs!

Use this setting ONLY with NiCad or NiMH packs. With continued driving, the radio system may eventually cease to deliver pulses to the servo and ESC, and the vehicle will not be under control.

You will irreversibly damage Lithium Polymer packs with this setting!

Setting 2: Auto-LiPo (Default)

This setting allows you to go back and forth between 2 and 3 cell LiPo packs without having to change the cutoff voltage for each one. The ESC automatically sets the cutoff voltage correctly for a 2 or 3 cell pack when that pack is plugged in.

2. Drag Brake

Sets the amount of drag brake applied at neutral throttle to simulate the slight braking effect of a neutral brushed motor while coasting.

Setting 1: Drag Brake OFF

Vehicle will coast with almost no resistance from the motor at neutral throttle.

Setting 2: Drag Brake 15%

Very Low amount of braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle

Setting 3: Drag brake 25%

Low amount of braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle

Setting 4: Drag Brake 40%

More braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle.

Setting 5: Drag Brake 50%

Fairly high braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle.

Setting 6: Drag Brake 100% (Default)

Full braking effect from the motor at neutral throttle.

3. Brake / Reverse Type

Sets whether reverse is enabled or not, and exactly how it can be accessed.

Setting 1: Reverse Lockout

This setting allows the use of reverse only after the ESC senses two seconds of neutral throttle. Use it for race practice sessions and bashing, but check with your race director to see if this setting is allowed for actual racing.

Setting 2: Forward/Brake Only

Use this setting for actual sanctioned racing events. Reverse cannot be accessed under any circumstances with this setting.

Setting 3: Forward/Brake/Reverse (Default)

Reverse or forward is accessible at any time after the ESC brakes to zero motor RPM.

Axial Car ESC Programming Reference:

1: Voltage Cutoff

Option 1 : None

Option 2 : Auto-LiPo (D)*

2: Drag Brake

Option 1 : Disabled

Option 2 : 15%

Option 3 : 25%

Option 4 : 40%

Option 5 : 50%

Option 6: 100% (D)*

3: Brake/Reverse Type

Option 1 : Reverse Lockout

Option 2 : Forward/Brake Only

Option 3 : Forward/Brake/Reverse (D)*

(D)* = Default setting from the factory

Wraith Steering Upgrades

Here are a few tips for upgrading the steering on your Wraith. The stock Wraith steering components are pretty stout right out of the box. But, upgrading to aluminum components will give you a little extra piece of mind when it comes to sweating breakage while out on the trail. Here’s a quick “how to” for upgrading your Wraith’s steering set-up to aluminum components.

A picture of the new parts needed.

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Where’s the beef? All the components needed removed from their packaging. You will only need 8 of the 10 screws in part’s bag AXA115. Some of the self tapping plastic screws will no longer be needed.

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Start by removing the wheels and tires from the front axle.

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Loosen the M3 set screw in the drive hex, then remove it and the drive pin from the stub axle.

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Next remove the 2 screws holding the steer arm on the knuckle.

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Using a 2mm driver, remove the 2 screws that hold the knuckle on the C-hub.

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Now remove the 2 self-tapping screws that hold the C-hub on the axle housing.

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Slide the new aluminum C-hub into place and attach using the existing hardware.

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Remove the bearings and stub shaft from the old plastic knuckle, and install them into the new aluminum knuckle.

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After installing the steel kingpin sleeves into the knuckle, slide the knuckle into place on the C-hub and tighten it down using the new M3x10mm button head screws. Make sure the knuckles are oriented properly, and are attached to the proper side of the axle housing. And as with the stock knuckles, the double captured arms aren’t used.

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Use two more of the new M3X10 screws to re-attach the steering arm to the knuckle. If you are running the stock wheels, you can add some small spacers under the knuckle steer arm in order to take a little of the stock “toe in” out. If you are running our XR10 beadlock wheels, there isn’t much room for this mod.

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Last thing we need to do for this side in re-install the cross pin and drive hex.

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Now repeat the above steps for the opposite side on the front axle.

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And you’re done, time to go hit the local rock pile!!

Wraith Maintenance and Cleaning Tips

It’s inevitable, if you drive your R/C’s like they should be driven they are going to get dirty. Like everything else worth having, they will need to be cleaned/maintained. Especially if you drive your rigs in mud and water. While some people view this as a chore, it must be done to get the most life and best performance out of your rig and it’s inner workings. Here’s a short list of tips to help you clean/maintain your R/C’s in less time.

Hose

If your vehicle is waterproof, then a hose can be the best way to wash your vehicle off when it is really dirty/muddy. But, be aware that rust will set in on any steel surface eventually. WD40 can work great for keeping rust at bay, if you spray your metal parts down after being submersed in water, or hosed off. Another thing to keep in mind is WD40 will break grease down over time. So, re-greasing the gears and bearings is recommended regularly. You don’t need to re-grease everything after every cleaning. But, it may be a good habit to get into in order for your inner metal components to last as long as possible.

Compressed air

This is the method I use the most. If you own, or have access to, an air compressor. This is one of the best methods to clean an R/C car in my opinion. You should be able to remove any dust, or clumps of dried mud without much drama. I would like to stress that safety glasses are a must for this method. Last thing you want to happen is to start blowing off your rig, only to get blasted in the eyes with dirt and debris. Not fun! After you blow off the bulk of any stuck on dirt and mud, you can use a brush to finish the clean-up. I went to the local hardware store and bought a pack of 3 assorted sized paint brushes. It is nice to have an assortment of sizes, the small brushes work extremely well in tight areas.

Pledge

This is another method I have seen used by some nitro racers. The Pledge actually shines your whole car up nicely, similar to using Armor All on your 1:1 vehicle. The oils in the Pledge will actually help keep rust at bay as well. Basically, you spray your whole car down with Pledge, and wipe everything off with a shop rag. Try not to saturate your electronics either, if they are not protected by a box or balloons. If the electronics aren’t protected, spray the cleaner on your rag, then wipe your vehicle down.

Motul

Motul “Shine & Go” is another spray on cleaner that can be used to clean your rigs after a hard day on the trails. It is originally designed for cleaning plastic fairings on motorcycles, and interiors on 1:1 vehicles. But, it also works really well for cleaning RC cars and trucks, especially lexan bodies and panels. Just spray a light coat on and wipe down with a clean rag, for that shiny “new” look. Use in a well ventilated area, and avoid soaking your electronics.

Following these tips should help keep your rig clean and in good working order, without taking you away from your next adventure for too long.

Wraith Steering Tips

Now that the Wraith’s have been out on the market for a bit. We have had a few people mention that they were getting some bind in the stock steering linkage. So, for this article I will be going over a few simple tips to help smooth out the steering on your Wraith. The biggest culprit for getting steering bind on the Wraith’s is dirt. After a few battery packs off-road dust will work it’s way into your steering and suspension ball studs. Ball studs are the pivot points in any steering or suspension link set-up. The ball studs press into the rod ends, and provide the links the freedom to move as the steering and suspension cycle through their travel. If dirt and debris work their way into the ball studs, it will start to cause bind. Bind in the steering can cause servos to overheat and even burn out, as well as excessive wear in the steering components.

Since there are no super mini micro torque wrenches available for our niche sport, we have to be careful how much force we use to tighten up our suspension and steering links. Especially when is comes to plastic self tapping screws. The Wraith comes with plastic ball studs stock as well. If the screws that pass through them are over tightened, it will distort the ball stud and cause the steering to bind as well as limited overall movement. So, be vigilant in your maintenance schedule, but don’t overdo it when you are checking the torque specs on your plastic self tapping screws. The best thing you can do to help avoid these issues is upgrading to steel ball studs, (Part # AXA1331) which are 100 times more durable then plastic. I am also going to upgrade this Wraith’s steering system with an aluminum servo horn for added piece of mind and strength. Here are a few tips on the conversion.

Here you can see I removed the servo horn from the servo. At this point the linkage should move freely without bind, if it doesn’t, then upgrading the ball studs will fix the issue. Here you can see this one is a little sticky.

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Removing the servo horn revealed that the plastic ball stud in this linkage was in fact crushed down a little.

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To remove the stock ball stud, I use a pair of wire cutters. Squeeze lightly around the neck of the ball stud and pop it out of the steering link.

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Here you can see the old damaged ball stud on the left and the new ball stud on the right.

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Use a pair of pliers to install the new metal ball stud as shown.

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After installing a metal ball stud and aluminum servo horn, you can see the linkage will move freely now. If you still have a little bind, or sticky feel after installing the metal ball stud. Run a couple packs through your truck and everything should seat in and work smoothly after that.

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Now repeat the above steps on the other 3 points in the steering linkage locations, opposite end of the drag link and at the steering knuckles. Then, you should be back in business. Again, if the linkage still feels sticky. Run a battery or two through your truck and the linkage should free up. Sometimes dirt gets embedded in the plastic, so cleaning your steering link holes before installing the new ball studs is a good idea too.

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Ink-n-Iron Festival in Long Beach, CA

Ink-n-Iron Festival in Long Beach, CA on June 5th – 7th at the Queen Mary.

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“The best tattoo artists in the world and a series of additional events will make this 2009 festival a hit. There will be 280 artists from 30 States and 25 Countries representing all the tattoo styles pricking away with their machines in an exciting atmosphere, where a car show and music become an integral part of the event, mingling with the artistic expressions of the artists at work. This convention will be both a sort of art gallery and community festival.” – from the Ink’n’Iron website.

This was my first year attending the event, but I’m definitely going to go back next year because this was a really great event. The pics really don’t do the event justice because I got too caught up checking out the phenomenal art of all the tattoo artists, ton of hot chic’s, and the badass rat rod bikes. The easy access to the beer also proved be detrimental to my picture taking ability.

Anybody wanting to go next year, make sure you pay online $35 vs. the hefty $40 door charge. These rates may seem high, but they have a ton of vendors, bands, cabaret burlesque show, aeriel showgirls, car show, food, and tons more. Plus, the event goes till 2 a.m.!

The last pic of the fried chicken is from Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken in Compton off of Alondra.  I had been hankering for some soul food, but R&R had a half hour wait that we didn’t want to wait around for.  Flossie’s in Torrance was freak’n closed by 8:25 on a Saturday night, so we ended up in Compton for some Honey’s.  This place has some really good biscuits, and the fried chicken skin and coating is like nothing else I’ve ever had – super thin, and super freak’n crispy.  I wouldn’t say it’s the best chicken I’ve ever had because I still have to give that honor up to chains like Popeye’s, not to mention all the supermarkets with half-way decent fried chicken for basically chump change.  Also, the sauces at Honey’s is funky.  The citrus sauce was a peppery asian inspired sauce and the hot sauce wasn’t my hands-down preferred favorite Lousiana hot sauce.

The events website
http://www.ink-n-iron.com/

Myspace page
http://www.myspace.com/inkandironfestival

2008 Pin-up Pageant Gallery
http://www.ink-n-iron.com/gallery.asp?id=pictures_08/pageant
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