Rat Rod Formula Off Road Build

A little update on this Rat Rod FOFF build that was featured in the 100th issue of RC Driver. Now that the 100th issue has been out for a few weeks I figured it was a good time to show some detailed chassis shots. Like my last FOFF build it began life as an SCX10 Honcho. I started off by stripping the donor Honcho down to the bare frame rails. I had a certain look that I wanted to achieve with this build, which was kind of an “old school hot rod” feel. I knew that the Rat Rod body was going to be blacked out by painting it on the outside for a “flat black” look. I also knew I was going to paint the rock rings white to kind of give the wheels and tires that “white wall” look. I also knew I wanted the suspension and steering links to be colored to set them off from the rest of the build. After debating for about 3 seconds what color to go with on the links, I knew that the old school Axial green would fit the bill perfectly. Here’s a few highlights from the build process.

A few photos of the front shock towers. I moved them forward on the chassis, flipped them 180* and swapped the left and right sides to match the contour of the chassis rails. The stock frame cross member between the shock towers in these photos is for mock-up only. I ended up using the stock frame cross member that ties the radio box to the frame rails and the stock rear cross member to cap the front of the frame rails.

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I upgraded to aluminum SCX10 shock bodies, and used the stock plastic motor plate spacers for the transmission to limit the travel internally, 2 per shock shaft gave me the desired ride height and shock travel I needed. Overall length on the shocks is now 80mm. For springs I used 2 short soft springs (Part #AX30200) back to back on each shock.

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Here you can see the motor plate spacers on the shock shaft.

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A shot of the front link set-up. Lower links are 106mm (Part #AX30441) plus a 15mm standoff (Part #AXA1311) with long straight XR10 rod ends (Part #AX80057). The uppers are 70mm threaded standoffs (Part #AXA1322) with 3mm spacers (Part #AXA1303) and long straight XR10 rod ends. The front axle will also use our plastic upper 4 link mount (Part #AX80043). Notice I also moved the upper link mounts on the chassis from the stock location. The holes are already in the frame rails, but they need to be drilled out to an 1/8″ for M3 hardware.

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I copied my original FOFF’s behind the axle steering for this build as well. Here you can see I shaved the axle housing a little to clear the steering tie rod.

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A few shots of the chassis mounted servo plate. Take your time with placement of the plate on the rails, to be sure to get a proper fit. Bolt your servo up to the servo plate. Then, hold it up against the chassis and scribe the profile of the plate on the rails to make sure your holes are drilled in the proper location.

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A few shots with the servo mounted. I used a stock SCX10 RTR servo for mock-up. I ordered a Futaba S9156 servo to handle the steering duties.

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Here you can see the 6mm spacer (Part #AXA1306) I used on the servo horn to move the drag link away from the upper links. The size on this spacer may vary depending on the servo and servo horn used.

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For the drag link I used our 91mm (Part #30524) link. I put a slight bend in the link at the steering knuckle with one of our curved upper link rod ends in order to put less stress on the steering knuckle. My original FOFF build used a standoff at the knuckle with a straight drag link and that set-up put too much stress on the knuckle arm, which left me with a few broken knuckles in really hard crashes. This set-up relieves a lot of that stress.

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A few photos of the rear suspension set-up. Lower links are 98mm (Part #AX30443) with stock rod ends, the uppers are 91mm with stock rod ends.

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In order to keep the 48p gears in good working order, I installed Axial’s spur gear cover (Part #AX80078) to keep debris out of the pinion and spur gear.

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To mount the ESC, receiver and the battery I used two of our standard battery plates (Part #AX30483). For the electronics I cut about 1 1/4″ off one end of the aluminum battery plate to shorten it up, then drilled and tapped into the stock rear frame cross member. In order to mount the battery plate I drilled and countersunk two holes to line up with the stock front frame cross member where the radio box normally sits.

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An overall shot of the chassis.

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A few shots with the body mounted.

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For the cage work I used a stock Dingo roll cage (Part #AX80042) cut to fit the width of the body.

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The 2.2 wheels I used on this build are now discontinued, but our black 8 hole beadlock wheels (Part #AX8097) are still readily available. The tires are Panther paddle tires. I sanded the stock rock rings with some fine sand paper, and spray painted them white for that old school look.

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Here you can see the rear portion of the chassis protruded beyond the bed of the body. I eventually used a Dremel and cutoff wheel to trim the frame rails flush with the body, which gave it a lot cleaner look.

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The front of the Rat Rod (Part #AX4016) body is very narrow. I had to cut the sides of the hood to clear the shock towers and servo. It was a little tedious to get the fit right, but 100% worth the time it took.

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That covers a few of the custom build details on this Rat Rod FOFF. I will try to shoot some video soon. I will post up here on the blog when I am finished. Until then, I think it’s time to charge a few batteries and go scout some locations.

To see more Formula Offroad builds be sure to check out the forums on www.rccrawler.com

FOFF SCX10 in 100th Issue of RC Driver

RC Driver magazine has hit a milestone…………….their 100th issue is about to hit newstands. Axial would like to congratulate them on this historic feat, way to go guys!! One vehicle that is featured in this special 100th edition magazine is a custom formula offroad SCX10 that I built a few months back. I sent a sneak peek photo of this rig to Ty Giebel, the man behind this article, while it was in the build process. I instantly got a message back saying he wanted to do an article for RC Driver featuring this Rat Rod FOFF in a future edition of the magazine. It was tough to finish the build, knowing that the first squeeze of the trigger wasn’t going to be made by my hand. But, in end I couldn’t turn him down as I knew he would truly do this rig justice with a spectacular article and photos. Here’s a few teaser photos of the new 100th issue, and this Rat Rod FOFF build. There is more to come on this particular rig, but for now this will have to hold you over. If you want to see more, look for this issue at your local newstand.

Cover shot.

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Cover page for article.

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Last couple shots.

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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

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

Wroncho Action Shots

I went out last night for a little shakedown run with my Honcho. For those that missed it, I recently swapped the stock axles out for Wraith axles. Wraith axles under a Honcho, equals the “Wroncho Build”. This gave me a wider footprint and the full width one ton axle look. I do need to make a few tweaks to the suspension, but so far it is pretty fun to drive. It is amazing how much more stable it is at high speeds, because of the extra width.

For those that haven’t seen this Honcho before, here is a link to my original build thread on RCCrawler. The full evolution of this truck can be seen there.
http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/axial-scx-10/221956-benders-honcho-now-sporting-wraith-axles.html

On to the pictures……
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After I make a few changes to the suspension, I will get out and shoot some video. I will post the video here on our blog when I am done.

Link to how this project got started:
http://wordpress.axialracing.com/?p=754600000

Link to the video:
http://wordpress.axialracing.com/?p=789800000

RD’s Adventures – 2010 Tierra Del Sol

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We set up camp with Poison Spyder and BlueRibbon Coalition and some other friends. It was great to hang out with all these peeps and get to know them. I could not believe how many people were out attending the event even though the rain was coming. The clouds covered the sky all day and looked like it was going to let loose any minute.

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We were able to join in with them on the JK Owners run Saturday even though we don’t own a JK…. Thanks, what a great group of guys.
Larry of Poison Spyder was a great trail lead for us and showed us around Truckhaven. Here are a few pics from the run.

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Here’s another guy trying to do what Larry did…. Not soo much!!!

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Adam driving his Adamantium through a notch and sticking it.

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Me pulling a line but playing conservative with the new top on.

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My recovery team stored nicely in the back

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Bond was great at clearing the way for the others.

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Papa Smurf made everything look easy on the run.

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Shad cruising the Carnivore which is like a Cadillac on Steroids

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Looks could be deceiving…. Scaler??

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These guys were told to meet at the corner of “Robinson Jeep” and “McAlpine”. Seriously that street sign is out there.

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Group shot of the 20 rigs that got the tour of Truckhaven

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At Raffle time the people came out in surprising numbers to try to win a prize. There was more than $100,000 in prizes this year . Of the thousands that showed up, Rhet Votaw of Santa Fe Springs and Steven Diaz of Los Angeles were the lucky winners of an Axial Ready-To-Crawl Crawler. And shortly after the raffle was over the rain started and did not let up.

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On Sunday we decided to head out to find an over-look that I had not been too since I was a child. The place is called Fonts Point and it overlooks the badlands. On a clear day the view is endless. The really strange part is that you don’t really drive up hill or anything to get there… it’s like the land just comes to an end and you are 1300 feet above everything else.

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