Axial’s latest Wraith™ release is fully licensed by Poison Spyder Customs. The new Axial Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ also comes with a new fully licensed Jeep body, that is painted to match the real 1:1 Poison Spyder Ultra4 buggy driven by Larry McRae and Shad Kennedy. Ultra4 Racing combines the best of both off road racing worlds including high speed desert action and hard core rock racing. The Axial Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ appeals to fans of this event series because it offers some of the same spectacular abilities. Featuring a full tubular chassis and a detailed interior just like the full size counterparts, the realism offered by this vehicle is second to none. The Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ is built with traditional straight axles allowing for maximum suspension articulation. This vehicle features differential lockers front and rear, just like its full size counterpart. With lockers and maximum articulation, there isn’t anywhere you can’t take this rock racing machine! Let’s take a look inside the Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ and see what new features it has to offer.
A photo of the 1:1 Poison Spyder Customs Ultra4 buggy tearing it up on the dry lake of Johnson Valley! Poison Spyder lives and breaths the off road lifestyle, just like Axial! On their days off Larry and Shad can usually be seen around the Johnson Valley area testing and tuning their latest line-up of products in a real world environment.
All new Trail Ready 2.2 beadlock wheels! Officially licensed Trail Ready HD Series beadlock wheels dressed in an aggressive all black style are easy to assemble and they work with most 2.2 tires. The hub design allows this wheel to mount to any Wraith, AX10 Ridgecrest or SCX10. Our IFD™ (Interchangeable Face Design) wheel system makes it easy to dress it up with a new look. Serrated wheel nuts provide plenty of bite to keep the wheel securely in place and they’re anodized blue for great looks! The new Trail Ready HD beadlock wheels feature a 3 piece wheel design, plastic hub adapters that eliminate the need for an aluminum hex hub, adjustable breather holes and a simple six screw system for ease of use. These wheels are also compatible with Vanquish Product’s popular SLW hubs, which allow you to change the offset of your wheels to fit your needs exactly.
A photo of the new wheels before assembly.
A few shots from the backside of the new wheel. Notice the adjustable breather holes, and new hubs. The breather hole adjustments are controlled by how the backside ring is timed to the main body of the wheel. Clocking the backside ring to various positions adjusts how much your tire and foam set-up are able to breath. Expose more breather holes for a softer set-up that will work great for crawling, as it allows the tires to conform to the terrain better. If your Wraith is set-up for high speed trail running and bashing less breather hole exposure will be the desired set-up, which will stiffen the tires up and lessen the chances of the sidewalls folding over at speed. The new hub design eliminates the need for a 12mm drive hex, as the hubs are designed to mate directly to the drive pins in the outer axles.
Next new feature that is included with the Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™ is licensed BF Goodrich tires. That’s right, officially licensed BFGoodrich Krawler™ T/A® KX tires! In the full-size offroad world, they are the winner of more rock-crawling championships than all other tires combined (Race spec tire, Years 2004 through 2008). The Axial version captures the same aggressive look you’ve been waiting for.
Another shot of the new wheel and tire combo!
Axial has lowered the overall ride height on the new Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™, by flipping the lower shock / link mounts on the axles 180 degrees. This helps keep the overall center of gravity lower on the new Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™, for better handling in all situations.
The next new feature is a fully licensed Jeep® Wrangler body, which is compatible with any Wraith, and is guaranteed to add some style to your ride!
Close-up shots of the Poison Spyder logos on the new body.
The Jeep hood sports the Poison Spyder logo, as well as the roof panel. Pretty slick!
That covers the biggest changes that have occurred to this new Jeep® Wrangler Wraith™. Keep an eye on your favorite retailer to see when they will be available!
Those of you that attended the 2012 King of the Hammers race may have seen the Axial demo booth that was set-up near the pit area. Axial ran a demo during the week of KOH with some of our new 2012 SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon RTR’s. This demo allowed anyone attending the King of the Hammers event to try their hand at driving one of our scale Jeeps on the obstacle course that was built on site. The demo ran twice a day for 2 hours at a time for 5 days, so there is 20 hours of drive time right off the bat. There was also a few extra credit runs at night with these trucks, so we will add another 10 hours of run time there to be on the safe side. We are now at about 30 hours of solid run time for the week, for each of these demos. We recently went to take a look at the condition of the the demo Jeeps in order to prep them for another Axial demo for the 2013 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. We grab the first demo JK, pulled it out of the box and was amazed to see how much wear and tear these rigs went through during their week at KOH. The demo rigs look like they had been used for a year, not a week. Everything was intact and working on all the demo SCX10′s too. I thought we put a lot of abuse on the SCX10-JK in the 3 days we spent on the Rubicon. But, the demo drivers at KOH have us beat by a mile as far as the abuse they inflicted upon these demo SCX10′s. Impressive!!
A few photos of the wear and tear. Starting with the front bumper and d-rings.
The front axle.
Chassis skid plate and lower links.
Front wheels. It’s hard to see but almost all the chrome is missing from the outer lip of the wheel.
Moving on to the body, the mirrors took on a bunch of rock rash, but are still intact.
Same goes for the Poison Spyder licensed Crusher Flares, lots of rock rash but they protected the body just like the real product is designed to do.
Rear Crusher Flares.
Again some impressive rock rash for only a few days of running. Way to do work KOH demo drivers!!
What is a RECON G6? If you have ever been to one of these events, the veterans will tell you, “It is whatever Parker wants it to be”. For those of you that are new and interested in these events, we take a look at the ins and outs of this revolutionary R/C scale event series.
2013 Rules & Guidelines
The RECON G6 is an r/c scale adventure that will test a driver’s ability and their r/c scalers capability. A driver will navigate their Axial vehicles through a stage marked with trail markers and perform mandatory skill sections and complete driver challenges along the way.
Goal: Finish all predetermined stages and complete all mandatory skill sections and driver challenges while maintaining a drivers log book and having fun.
Classes: There are several classes to choose from. A driver may only challenge themselves in more than one class if time allows and the second class is a different tire size. Each class will offer a driver different levels of fun with different challenges and guidelines.
-Adventurist 1.9 – This class is for drivers of 1.9 scale vehicles who enjoy a challenge. The Adventurist will demonstrate driving ability with more skill sections and more stage challenges and contend with the ever present break out time. This is the class for the driver who realizes that finishing the adventure is the goal. Drivers may use natural winch anchor points or be assisted by other Adventurists by a tow strap, winch, or another drivers shoe laces. The Adventurist may partner up with fellow Adventurist or several to experience the stage as a group and help each other reach the goal of finishing.
-Adventurist 2.2 – This Class is the same as the Adventurist 1.9 Class. Wraiths and Wronchos are at home in this class.
-Ultra 1.9 – This class is for drivers of 1.9 scale vehicles who take their scale challenge to the next level. An Ultra Driver will have to complete class specific stages and tasks and mandatory skill / driver challenges in the quickest time possible. This class is a more like a rally cross style stage with a quicker pace and more difficult mandatory challenges. Drivers of this class must use natural winch anchors points only or be helped from another Ultra Driver. Any outside assistance will result in a Stage DNF. There are no time restrictions for the Ultra Class Driver and a pee test for doping may not be mandatory, but highly recommended for any Ultra Class Driver who isn’t sweating.
-Ultra 2.2 – The same as the Ultra 1.9, except 2.2 tires are used.
-RECON G6 Teams – This Team Challenge is for 1.9 drivers who share one scale vehicle. This could be two friends or two family members that drive and maintain one scaler. Each team driver will be required to drive half of the total stage or any configuration of the stage as the Driver or Team Captain deems. If a stage is 200 trail markers, each driver will be responsible for driving half of the trail markers then handing the driving duties over to their teammate to complete the stage and finish. Keeping your vehicle together is part of the team challenge. While one team member is driving, the other will be their stage buddy. A Team driver may winch off their stage buddies shoe lace.
RECON G6 Scale Vehicle Requirements:
The rule of thumb here is simple; is it scale?
-Axial Vehicles or custom vehicles with Axial transmissions, Axial axles, Axial chassis or a significant amount of Axial products only.
-Your Axial based scale vehicle must be 1/10 car / truck with a scale chassis or custom tube scale chassis.
- Wheel sizes may be 1.55, 1.9, or 2.2, Tires that fit these wheels must be a licensed manufactured tire or knock offs. Tires must resemble the real thing and can only be siped or grooved. No other alterations may be made.
- A minimum of 5 scale items must be attached and remain attached to the vehicle. This may include mandatory scale items that may be used on stage for recoveries. The number of scale items may vary from event to event.
- A tow strap is mandatory on all vehicles at every event. A tow strap may be used to assist or recover other drivers on stage.
- All scale recovery items/tools, must be attached to the vehicle and after their use, be placed back on the vehicle. This includes sand ramps, tow straps, and hi-lift jacks. The only exception is lug wrench or nut driver. Real tools may be on the driver.
- All classes are allowed to use dig and 4 wheel steering on their scalers if they choose.
RECON G6 General Rules:
Rule #1 – NO HAND OF GOD. (HOG) A RECON G6 is all about driving. In keeping with the essence of the r/c scale scene a driver may not assist, stop, catch, or kick his/her vehicle. There are no penalties for electric winching or using your tow strap with help from another competitor or for reverses, so DRIVE SMART! The penalty is a DQ for hogging your scale vehicle. Performing on course repairs or having to touch your vehicle for recovery purposes is not hogging. Picking your vehicle up out of water, mud, sand, or rolling it over onto its wheels with your hand is all examples of hogging your vehicle, thus resulting in a disqualification. If this happens, log the HOG incident in your drivers log book and report it to G-Central.
Here is a brief video explaining this particular rule….
Rule #2 – A driver can not drive through a trail marker and reverse back through it to avoid trail obstacles. This will result in a DQ. A stage is directional and a driver must maintain the intended direction of travel. Reversing through the trail marker in the intended direction is ok and may be required during mandatory reverse skill sections.
Rule #3 – Mandatory skill sections are just that, MANDATORY! They will be located throughout a stage and will have an entrance and exit. There may or may not be a trail marker at a mandatory skill section. This does not mean you can bypass the section. Each class will have a mandatory skill section(s) and it will be marked with a class specific color boundary. A driver must drive their class mandatory skill section(s) only.
Rule #4 – HAVE FUN! The RECON G6 is the premier scale adventure event in the World. Each class has different parameters that must be met, but you are only cheating yourself out of one of the best experiences you will have with your r/c scaler by not driving with integrity and the willingness to perform each challenge in the spirit of scale r/c.
- A RECON G6 Main Stage will consist of a stage. The stage will take a driver through various terrain conditions and return them to G-Central where a driver may pit for repairs, eat lunch, or full fill a mandatory pit stop. Some drivers may choose to continue on with the stage, but all vehicle break downs that happen on stage, must be repaired at the spot of the breakage or return to G-Central or their pit and make the needed repairs. Then they can return to the area of the break down and continue.
-Trail Markers [1 min+/-] – Trail Markers are numbered and different colors to mark the stage route and direction of travel. The red trail marker is always on a driver’s right and is the intended direction of travel through the trail marker. The left trail marker denotes the stage a driver is on. A driver may not straddle a trail marker. A driver must get all 4 tires through the trail marker. If a driver dislodges a trail marker or steps on a trail marker, that driver is responsible for putting that trail marker back in to position. All trail markers must be traveled through. Missing any trail marker will result in a DNF. Any trail marker hit or dislodged will result in 1 min penalty to be logged in the driver log book.
- Stage Boundaries [5 min+/-] – There are several types of stage boundaries. A sponsored stage boundary is a boundary that displays G6 sponsors and is the only boundary section of a stage that multiple drivers can be in at the same time. All other boundaries are one driver at a time inside the boundary. A Pink boundary is always a time bonus; whether it is a driving section or a driver task, pink = time bonus. Orange ribbon marks 1.9 mandatory skill sections. Yellow ribbon marks Ultra Drivers mandatory skill sections. Blue ribbon marks the Wraith and 2.2 skill sections. All of the above mentioned boundary markers, if touched by a driver’s vehicle is a penalty. If a pink ribbon is touched, no time bonus will be awarded and the driver must finish the section and mark his/her boundary penalty.
- Mandatory Skill Sections are marked with the appropriate boundary ribbon and must be driven. A mandatory skill section may be driving through mud, water, snow, sand, or a taco stand. A driver may be asked to drive up or down a steep grade, handle a tarmac track or hook up to a pull sled and attempt a full pull. A mandatory skill section is designed to test the driver’s ability and his/her vehicle’s capability.
-G-Tags [15 min+/-] – G-Tags are additional placards on a trail marker. Think of a G-Tag as a check point. G-Tags will be placed along a stage and will be in a specific order. A driver that misses a trail marker with a G-Tag will receive a time penalty.
Penalty Winch [3 Min+/-] In the case that there is not a competitor there to help you with a pull strap, or you do not have a working winch, then you may employ the penalty winch. The penalty winch is a scale tow strap, lanyard, or winch line that you would operate with your hand acting as another vehicle to extract your stuck rig. The idea is to act as though your hand is another vehicle and pull the stuck or rolled over vehicle out of its situation in a “scale manner”. You must mark the use of the penalty winch down in the driver’s log book. It is always best to use an onboard working electric winch, or use a tow strap with the assistance from another competitor. Use of either of these methods does not result in a penalty.
Once a penalty winch (self used tow strap) is employed, it will be necessary to mark this down in the G6 driver’s log book.
- Driver Log Book – RECON G6 works on the honor system. All Drivers will be on stage, driving at the same time. The driver log book must be maintained and the necessary information must be logged or the driver will receive a time penalty for an incomplete log book. G-Tags, boundaries, and time bonuses are examples of what a driver will track in their log book. Filling out your log book correctly and accuratly could result in a time bonus.
- Driver Challenges are tasks that the driver must complete. A driver never knows what he or she will have to do, but rest assured, it will provide spectators (and organizer, Brian Parker) entertainment. Some examples of past tasks have been hop scotch, airsoft target shooting, or reaching into a bucket of guts for a time bonus. Driver challenges are random, and come from the depths of Brian Parker’s brain.
- Stage Challenges have drivers keeping their eyes wide open for objects of desire. A stage challenge that a driver completes may net them a time bonus or even swag. These challenges often include picking up extra cargo along the route. Returning this cargo to G Central is rewarded.
- “Not Mandatory, but Highly Recommended”, is a phrase often used to describe an event specific task. As stated, these tasks are not mandatory, but highly recommended and would behoove a driver to participate in this task.
- Stage etiquette should be adhered to at all times. Make 3 attempts at a trail obstacle and then winch or receive assistance from a fellow G6’er. Drive smart. There is no penalty for winching or having a fellow G6’er assist you. Faster drivers have the right of way.
- All scale items must remain attached to the vehicle. If sand ramp has to be used, it has to be replaced back on the vehicle. The mandatory tow strap must start attached to the G-Ride. After its first use, a driver may keep it in his/her pocket. All other scale items must be replaced after they are used. The number of scale items may change depending on the G6. In addition, a specific scale item may be required. A driver must meet these changing requirements.
- Time Bonuses [5 min+/-] – There are two types of time bonuses that a driver can earn. First, a driving time bonus must be completed cleanly to earn. If a driver has to assist their vehicle in any way or a boundary marker is touched or crossed by the vehicle, no time bonus will be awarded and the section may or may not have to be completed before a driver can move on, even if this means winching out of the section or being pulled out by a fellow G6’er. The second is a driver’s challenge. A driver must successfully complete the task to earn the time bonus.
- Driver’s Meeting Challenge is an online challenge that a driver must successfully complete to receive a time bonus or swag at the driver’s meeting.
- Pit Repairs -[No Penalty] – Every G6’er knows that sooner or later, no matter how much preparation went into their G-Ride, something is going to break. In the G6 Challenge, any breakage that happens on stage, must be repaired then and there. If the repair cannot be made on stage, then a G6′er may make a Pit Repair. Naturally, a driver may find a flat spot near the breakage spot that is out of the way of fellow G6’ers, that is perfectly ok, but if a driver needs to make the repairs in the pit, they need to head straight to the pits. After the pit repair has been completed, the driver must return to the spot where they removed thier scaler from the stage and continue. There will be no penalty when a driver removes his/her scaler from the stage for a Pit Repair. A driver’s time will not stop for Pit Repairs. A driver must finish with the scaler that they started with. No switching of scalers, if a scaler cannot be repaired, the driver must immediately inform G-Central of their DNF.
Battery reccomendations- Every G6 event will be different, therefor the required battery power for each event will differ. The average G6 event will last 3 hours, so make sure you have the battery power needed to go the distance! Pay close attention to the G6 intel specific to the event to make sure you have the mAh to do the job. Do some homework to know the economy of your rig. You can count mAh rating on the battery versus your run time and know what you will need based upon the estimated time for the event.
RECON G6 brings pure adventure, but with all fun adventures, things are always changing. Drivers need to read the intel thoroughly, because each RECON G6 is different in one way or another and that will never change. Pay extra attention to the statement, “This is not mandatory, but highly reccomended”, this is especially necessary if you want to have an advantage going into any RECON G6 event.
If you love driving your r/c scaler as much as we do and you breathe adventure, then light the lipo’s and come get your scaler fix…
…in a RECON G6!
The next G6 on the Calendar is the RECON Ultra4 G6 at King of the Hammers, this is the last event on the 2013 KOH schedule starting at noon on Saturday, if you own an Axial R/C, come out and get your fix in this historic RECON Ultra4 G6. For more information on this event, click here.
For more information on RECON crawlers, and to see past G6 events, please visit their site here.
To see more about the G6 on the Axial Blog, click here.
Erik Miller is one of those guys that exemplifies the off road life style. His first vehicle was a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4×4, which he got from his dad at age 16. Once into College, Erik had to balance all of his different interests like all college students, trying to discover his path. His focus back at that time was primarily placed on the aggressive and competitive sport of Ice Hockey. Anyone who knows about Ice Hockey will tell you that it takes a tremendous amount of dedication to master the craft. Erik was also very interested in off-roading, and found himself behind the wheel of a new Jeep, a 2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon TJ. In 2004 he accompanied his grandfather to a Jeep Jamboree event in Paragon Adventure park which is what really hooked him on the rock crawling side of off-roading. After that he built up the TJ into a stock/modified competitive crawler and began competing in 2005. His passion for this developed quickly, and like any very competitive individual, Erik excelled in his ventures.
He was hitting the local events and having fun as a hobbyist through 2009 when his first big break came along. He competed at the qualifier for KOH at Rausch Creek off-road park. This was his first taste of the high speed aspect of rock racing and knew this is what he wanted to do. His finishing position at this event was enough to qualify him to run in the 2010 KOH event. After researching the KOH event further, he decided if he was going to be competitive with the likes of Shannon Campbell and Jason Scherer, it was time to build up a proper rock buggy. With his business booming, the team at Miller Motorsports secured a Twisted Creations pro-mod rock buggy named Twisty. Twisty became the center of attention for the team with heavy focus put on development, seat time and testing. These efforts paid off very well for the team earning them a 5th place finish at the 2010 King of the Hammers event. After a slew of victories and an IEC championship in 2010, the team once again contested King of the Hammers in 2011. The Team secured a 14th position finish in 2011 after some steering woes during the event. In 2012 the team was back and more prepared than ever. There are very few times in life when everything seems to click, the 2012 King of the Hammers event was one of those times. The Miller Motorsports team had finally reached the ultimate goal and was crowned the King, winning the extremely competitive 2012 King of the Hammers event.
After the success in the 2012 season, Erik decided it was time to build a new Rock Buggy. They have been working very hard to prepare this buggy for 2013 King of the Hammers. The week at KOH will be a very busy one for Erik, as he will compete in 3 races throughout the week. On Thursday, he will revisit his first vehicle, the 1998 Jeep grand Cherokee, fully built up to compete in the stock class. On Friday he will put his new buggy through its paces in effort to defend his throne. On Saturday he will mix it up a little and compete in the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 R/C event with a Heavy Metal Concepts built 1/10 scale Axial Wraith.
Erik is very passionate about rock racing, and not afraid to get after the skinny pedal. It is very hard to illustrate this through text, so we rounded up a few photos courtesy of Heavy Metal Concepts to show you Erik in action!
Check out this Heavy Metal Concepts video of Erik and the team getting after it!
To check out the latest Rock Buggy build for the 2013 King of the Hammers “Two Twisted”, click here.
To learn more about Erik Miller and his motorsports efforts please visit his website here.
To stay up to date with the Wraith build for the RECON Ultra4 G6 at KOH please like and follow Heavy Metal Concepts Facebook page here
For more information on the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 at KOH, click here
As always thanks for checking out the Axial blog and sharing it with your friends!
Axial Racing & RECON Crawlers has brought r/c enthusiasts Big Events since 2007. The Axial West Coast Championships started the r/c crawling “Big Events” and was the first to ever have qualifying rounds and LCQ’s. Axial Racing and RECON Crawlers teamed up again to bring r/c enthusiasts and their families an r/c genre that has swept the World, known as the RECON G6. The RECON G6 is more than an event, it’s a Life Style. The King of the Hammers (KOH) and Ultra4 racing is also a life style and they are going to be getting their R/C scaler fix, in The Axial RECON G6. This is the last event on the 2013 KOH schedule starting at noon on Saturday, if you own an Axial R/C, come out and get your fix in this historic Axial RECON Ultra4 G6.
Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 Intel
When – Feburary 9, 2013
Where – King of the Hammers (exact location TBA soon)
Why – Because we’re G6′n and everyone knows it.
Drivers Meeting / Stage line up to start at high noon or 12pm.
Stage Start following the National Anthem. (12:30+/-)
G-Fee – $25.00
Bringing a power bar or Monster Ultra Zeros to G-Central is not mandatory, but highly recommended.
-A tow strap is mandatory. This can be a lanyard or shoe lace.
-5 scale items are mandatory. This may include side mirrors, seats, sleeping bags, ect.
-5 Ultra4 King of the Hammers scale items are not mandatory, but highly recommended. This could be a Griffin Radiator, Rigid Light Bar, Poison Spider Bumpers, ect.
-A KOH / Ultra4 scale sticker is not mandatory, but highly recommended.
-Running the number of your favorite Ultra4 racer is not mandatory, but highly recommeded.
-A spare tire is not mandatory, but highly recommended.
-A winch is not mandatory, but highly recommended.
Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 Course Description
The course will consist of 200 +/- trail markers. No whoops or silt beds. There may be some rocks.
I can’t think of any better way to start the year than a watching the best Ultra4 racers battling it out for one of the most coveted crowns in all of racing, the King of the Hammers. Are you going to be the first Axial RECON Ultra4 G6 King of the Hammers? You can answer that in person.
“The G-Crew will see you soon and remember…
…Come get your scaler fix, in the Axial RECON Ultra4 G6!”
Note: Registration, the Drivers Meeting Challenge (DMC), and more intel coming soon!
For the most up to date info and a conversation about this event, please visit the RECON Crawlers forum here.
About RECON G6
Founded in 2009, the RECON G6 event series is a lifestyle, an R/C scale fun adventure for the entire family. RECON G6 has held 30+ events over the course of four years in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington with approximately 1,200 participants during the 2011-2012 seasons.
Most R/C events through history have been held on closed courses. RECON G6 events are held in outdoor environments making use of the natural terrain. RECON G6 events are based around adventure and battling the environments and building camaraderie with fellow competitors. This is very much the same type of competitive event as the globally famous Camel Trophy Cup. Like these events, RECON G6 events are point to point challenges with special skill sections pitting man and machine against the elements.
R.E.C.O.N. has a goal to help drivers be the best R/C driver that they can be. R.E.C.O.N. will achieve this goal by constant commitment to driver training, designing challenging courses, rewarding good driving, and instituting the values of sportsmanship. R.E.C.O.N. understands that success does not come without adversity and how a driver handles adversity defines their character. R.E.C.O.N. will encourage drivers to strive for success, but to accept adversity with professionalism and integrity. R.E.C.O.N. will provide leadership to its drivers through a family friendly club environment.
We finally found some time to edit a highlight video from the 2012 Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah. Highlights include trail runs with Rebel Offroad on Hell’s Revenge, Poison Spider Mesa and Metal Masher. Also shot some footage at Area BFE with the R/C’s. We even found a little sand to play in for the Formula Offroad vehicles and the EXO.
It’s time for Part 2 of our Ridgecrest crawler build. For those that missed Stage 1, here is a link to that article in order to bring you up to speed. Stage 1 Ridgecrest crawler build
Out of the box the Ridgecrest is meant to be more of a basher, rather then a full on crawler. So, for Stage 2 of this build we will cover more tips, and option parts, to improve upon its crawling capabilities.
First thing we will work on for this installment is the steering. Out of the box the Ridgecrest comes equipped with a plastic servo horn, which works fine with the stock steering links. But, I want piece of mind when out crawling and don’t like making repairs in the field. So, I am going to install an aluminum servo horn, and upgrade the plastic ball studs to steel for a little smoother steering action. Some may think that upgrading the plastic steering links at this time is a more worthy modification. But, I actually like a little flex in my steering set-up on my crawlers. Some of you may recall I ran Delrin steering links on my competition crawler for years with good success. It’s really personal preference at this point.
Start by removing both front tires.
Use a 2mm driver and remove the button head screw from the servo output.
After removing the screw, slide the servo horn off the splines.
Now remove the plastic servo horn from the steering drag link.
Using a pair of wire cutters remove the plastic ball stud from the steering drag link.
Now we will replace the plastic ball stud with a steel stud.
Use a pair of pliers to pop the new steel stud into place.
The new replacement servo horn. There are a few different spline counts for the various servos that are available on the market. For RTR Axial vehicles you will need a 25 spline servo horn, which is compatible with Futaba and Savox servos as well.
Install the servo horn onto the drag link.
Now slide the servo horn into place on the servo output. Make sure your servo is centered before tightening everything up. Reinstall the button head screw to hold the new servo horn in place.
These new servo horns have small screws on each side of the head. When these screws are tightened down the servo horn actually clamps onto the servo’s output splines like a piranha. A must have for harsh conditions. Use a 1.5mm driver and gently tighten up both screws evenly.
Next we will pop a new steel stud into place at the opposite end of the drag link. Remove the self tapping screw that ties the drag link to the tie rod.
Pop the old stud out and replace with a steel ball stud.
Now remove the tie rod from the steering knuckles and replace the plastic ball studs there too.
After replacing the ball studs I left one end of the tie rod off the knuckle to access the differential cover. This is for my next modification.
Next we will install Axial’s HD diff covers to add some style, and even more beef, to those AR60 axles.
Use a 1.5mm driver and remove the 4 screws on each side of the stock plastic diff cover.
Remove the cover.
Insert the new diff cover and re-install the diff cover screws. Re-attach the steering tie rod to the knuckle when finished.
Now swap the rear cover out.
Next I am going to swap the stock plastic suspension links out for aluminum using our Wraith Stage 1 links kit.
Contents of the links pack laid out.
Start by assembling the 4 lower links.
Using a 1.5mm driver screw the threaded studs into the rod ends.
Make sure to trim any excess flashing away with an X-acto knife. This has no performance gain, it just makes for a cleaner install.
Once you have the threaded studs installed, assemble the lower links. Make sure the rod ends as facing opposite ways as shown in this photo. Pops the ball studs into place last.
Now move on to the upper links.
Repeat the same steps for the upper links. All 4 upper links assembled. Again make sure the rod ends are facing opposite each other.
Remove the lower links and swap them out for the new aluminum lowers.
Now swap the upper links out as well. Pay attention to the orientation of the upper links during assembly so all four are installed the same way.
Here you can see the front after completing the conversion to aluminum links. The aluminum will eliminate any link flex in hard binds, which makes for a more predictable vehicle.
Another mod I want to make for this Stage 2 build is the jump from Tamiya battery connectors to Dean’s Ultra Plugs. I plan on running small lipo packs in this build from here on out, and all my small packs have Dean’s plugs. So, the Tamiya plug had to go.
First thing I do after cutting the old plug off is to slide the heat shrink tubing for the Ultra Plug into place. Nothing is worse then installing new battery connectors and putting your soldering iron away, only to realize you forgot the slide the heat shrink on first. Doh!!
Strip a little of the wire’s insulation off the ends to be soldered, and twist the ends of the wire to prevent fraying.
Using your soldering iron, tin the ends of the wires a little with solder. Do the same to the tabs on the Dean’s plug as well.
Solder the new connector into place, make sure to double check the polarity is correct before plugging a battery in. Now slide the heat shrink tubing down over the terminals and heat them up with a lighter to seat/shrink them.
Here you can see I have a few older small 2S lipo packs that I will be using for this stage of this build.
Next modification I made was the jump to XR10 beadlock wheels and our sticky R35 compound Ripsaw tires. The difference in traction between these tires and the stock tires is unreal. I couldn’t scrape up a new set for this build so I borrowed my old set off the Project Backyard Basher Ridgecrest build. I also added some weight to the front wheels. This helps keep the front tires planted on steep climbs.
The Vanquish wheel weights slide right into the stock XR10 wheels.
Last modification for this round was a fresh new Ridgecrest body. I kept the paint job simple to show off the body lines a little better. A few shots of this build in it’s current state.
That takes care of Stage 2. I will try to shoot some video of this build as it sits now, before I move on to Stage 3. Stay tuned!!
As some of you may have seen I recently built up a new Axial Ridgecrest dubbed “Project Backyard Basher”. It was built for all around bashing, trail running and a little light duty crawling without adhering to any rules or specifications. I have been having a lot of fun with it in it’s current state. But, I also wanted to build another one up for entry level competitions. These competitions require your rig to fit certain criteria, like having a maximum wheelbase of 12 1/2″ for the 2.2 comp class. I wanted to do this build in a few different stages starting with some very basic mods and eventually evolve that into a hardcore crawler, with durability in mind. While the Ridgecrest is pretty stout right out of the box, I want to take it even further with vital option parts in key areas. Those modifications will come later though. For now, I want to see how capable I make this rig just spending a little time at the workbench. So, let’s get started!
The new Ridgecrest that was recently liberated from it’s box.
First thing I wanted to do was get as much weight over the front axle as possible. To do that I swapped the battery tray and electronics tray around so the battery will be in front. Start be removing the four screws that hold the battery tray in place.
Once all four screws have been removed, pull the battery tray out of the chassis.
A shot of the chassis after removing the battery tray.
Next we will have to remove the electronics tray. Start by unscrewing the top cap on the radio box.
Now remove the last two screws that hold the top half of the radio box in place.
Flip the top half of the radio box up and unplug the ESC and servo. It is important to pay attention when you unplug everything so you know how it goes back together.
Remove the wire routing tab from the motor wires.
Unplug the motor wires.
Then remove the wire routing tab for the on/off switch.
Remove the power switch.
Then remove the 4 screws holding the electronics tray in place, and remove the electronics tray.
An overall shot of the chassis with both trays removed.
Time to re-assemble. Start with the battery tray and bolt it into place out front where the electronics tray was located.
Re-install the electronics tray next. You will notice the servo wire lead is probably too short to plug back into the receiver now. No big deal, you will just need to spend a few bucks for a servo extension wire. This is basically an extension cord for your servo wire. Plug the servo lead into the female end of the extension, plug the other end into your receiver and you are ready to go. Notice I have already plugged everything back into it’s required place. Route the antenna wire out the top half of the radio box, and run the servo and ESC wires in from the top.
Here’s a shot of the servo extension I used.
I also moved the power switch to the opposite side of the chassis from the stock location, just to keep wires neatly routed along the chassis plates. Use the wire routing tab for the on/off switch and the steering servo wire.
The servo extension plugged into the steering servo.
Now install the first two screws that hold the top half of the radio box. Make sure your wires are neatly tucked in and clear of being pinched between the two halves of the box.
Grab the top cap for the radio box and route the antenna wire through the cap from the bottom.
Secure the top cap with the last two screws.
Plug the motor wires back together and secure them to the chassis plate with the wire routing tab.
Another overall shot of the chassis now that the battery tray is out front.
Next thing I wanted to improve upon is the ride height. I wanted to lower the overall stance of this Ridgecrest to help with off camber obstacles. This was also a simple no cost modification because you can flip the lower link mount/lower shock mounts on the axles to lower your ride height a little. First, remove your wheel and tire from the corner of the truck you are working on. Now you can clearly see the lower link/shock mount.
Remove the screws holding the lower link and shock to the axle bracket.
Using a 2.5mm driver, remove the screws that hold the bracket into place on the axle.
Flip the bracket 180 degrees and re-install on the axle.
Re-attach your lower link and shock to the bracket.
In an effort to lower the ride height even more, I moved the upper shock mounts to the inner most hole on the side plates.
Another inexpensive modification I made was going to softer shock springs. I installed our “Black” comp springs which are the softest we make. This will help the suspension conform to the terrain better.
Last thing I am going to do for this installment is cut the stock tires for better forward bite. The stock RTR Ripsaw tires are quite a bit harder than our soft R35 compound Ripsaw tires. So, cutting the stock tires is an inexpensive way to get a little better performance. I went around all 4 tires and cut the smallest row of lugs out using a pair of wire cutters. A shot of the stock Ripsaw tread pattern.
Use the wire cutters to cut the small center row of lugs away from the tire.
Now do the same for the small outer lugs.
A shot of the tire tread after removing the tread blocks.
You can also cut the existing sipes/grooves in the center lugs deeper with a Dremel and cutoff wheel for better off camber performance.
A shot of the finished tire. Another mod you can make to soften the stock tires is to open up the breather holes in the wheels. I used a 1/4″ drill bit and open up the existing holes to help the tires breath better and conform to the rocks.
Here’s how the stance on this rig sits now.
That does it for Stage 1 of this build. These few mods will help the overall crawling capability of a Ridgecrest right out of the box. Stay tuned for Stage 2 which will be coming soon!!
The first annual Axialfest was held this past weekend, June 22 – 24th, in Cisco Grove, CA. This event was known in the past as the “Axial West Coast Championships”, aka AWCC. This year’s event was geared towards “scale adventure” more so than a full on “competition”. While there are many classes to run, and trophies to win, this year’s event had a little different format to it, by offering numerous scale classes to compete in. Brian Parker’s new competition format known as “G6″ is slowly taking the country by storm. Parker and his group of Recon Crawlers set out to make this event all about driving your scale R/C truck on lengthy adventures. When I say lengthy adventures, I mean it. For example the first stage of the G6 challenge on Friday consisted of navigating 500 gates that were sporadically laid out in the woods surrounding Cisco Grove Campground, the base camp of our adventures for the weekend. These 500 gates are numbered and must be run in consecutive order. Sounds simple enough right? Well, it can be, if you can locate all the gates. Brain and his crew can be pretty creative when it comes to setting courses, and camouflaging gates. And keep in mind there are 3 stages to this G6 challenge, so 500 gates is only part of the 3 day adventure. In the end I believe some adventurists in attendance ran in excess of 1200 gates throughout the weekend. Here’s a run down from the event.
Axial base camp.
The mud pit, which would be used throughout the weekend.
Registration on Friday morning.
The Terra Cross track.
Competitors line up according to class for the start.
Brian Parker holds the driver’s meeting before releasing competitors out onto the course.
On to the action. A cool Crawlmaro replica made with a Wraith.
Brett Carlson from Bulu Productions made the trip down from Oregon to shoot a little video, as well as compete with his Wraith.
Driving out of a rollover will save time and penalty points if you don’t have a winch.
One of the challenges that had to be performed on this stage was a sled pull.
Here you can see the mud depth is keep scale for realism.
Teamwork is another key factor to making through all 500 gates. Competitors are allowed to help each other over obstacles if need be.
The start of day two’s Ultra Race. This was a class that required you to run the set course as fast as you can. If you are looking for a good fun cardio workout, this is the class for you.
The first turn was a bottle neck for the more densely populated classes.
Axial’s own Brandon Coonce took the holshot in his custom blue paneled Wraith.
Next class hits the ground running. This was the adventurist class if I remember right. This class wasn’t about speed, it was more about adventure. But, a quick start to get ahead of the competition is still a good idea until the group gets spread out on course.
Turn one mayhem.
Next class to depart for the starting area.
Turn one was a great vantage point again.
Ty Campbell from Tekin’s custom Wraith build hits the mud pit flying.
More turn one action.
Not very often you see a Gremlin sporting 54″ tires.
After all the classes got underway, I set out on foot with my camera to see what challenges lay ahead for our competitors. First driver I came across was my co-worker Brandon. He had a weird monstrosity strapped to the hood of his Wraith. I asked him as he went by what it was, and all I heard was something about a boat? Confused, I followed him up the trail for a bit until he hit a challenge section of the trail run. This challenge required those carrying kayaks or boats on their vehicles to launch their boats at the designated boat ramp, let the vessel float its way downstream to the designated pick-up zone, then recover your boat and load it back onto your rig before you continue on. Actually turned out to be very entertaining to watch, some boats sank in the “rapids” requiring the owner to tip toe their way out into the stream for a recovery. Here is where Brandon’s previously mentioned monstrosity/camp fabbed raft came into play. Constructed of a 2.2 Ripsaw tire, stock tire foam, Proline roof rack, Proline cooler and a little duct tape, this raft floated down the scale river like a champ!! Everyone was laughing as it floated by us.
A few other watercraft making their way downstream.
After completing a few hundred gates the trail leads the competitors back to base camp for a run through the mud pit.
Cupid’s set-up is looking pretty high-tech these days, he is now apparently sporting a compound bow!!
Meanwhile back at our campsite our XR10′s are still covered in shaving cream from the previous night’s “Rock Riot” event. It’s a long story………. click the link below the photo.
A little video of Brandon and I hitting the shaving cream pit first. Brandon had the honors of breaking trail, I am second. Listen to Parker laughing as we go through.
Our guard dog watched over the Axial RV while we were away.
One of my favorite scale vehicles from the weekend.
A few random campsites that were set-up properly for the disco themed weekend.
Time for some Terra Cross action. The TC races had a little something for everyone. There were classes for the SCX10, Wraith and EXO. Each class had its own variation of the track to run. This was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. It was the definition of backyard racing!!
First up for the heat races were the SCX10s.
Next up, the Wraith class.
And the EXO heat races were last.
Winner of the SCX10 Terra Cross Race was Matt Soileau
Start of the Wraith finals.
Taking the first Wraith Terra Cross victory was Axial team driver Ryan Gerrish.
Start of the EXO finals
Steve Brown of Vanquish Products tries to get his RTR EXO out of Ty Campbell’s way. Ty was by far the fastest guy on the track.
After all the dust settled, Ty Campbell took the win in the EXO Terra Cross.
Congrats to all the winners, you guys earned it! Here are a few highlights from the awards ceremony.
The future of our sport.
The Hawaii club sent this autographed banner to the event with signatures from the Hawaii G6 thanking Axial for their support. Thanks guys!!
That wraps up the 2012 Axialfestivies. If you can find a way to attend one of these G6 events you won’t be disappointed, especially if you own a scale R/C truck. Don’t forget to pack spare batteries either, because you are going to need them.