Project Wrexo – The Ingredients!

Overall chassis shots.

Detailed shots. Here you can see the details of the EXO front end. The front toe block was flipped 180* to get a little more kick-up.

A shot from the top out front. Here you can see one of the chassis braces running from the top of the bulkhead to the upper link mount on the Wraith skid. I also had to clock the steering servo so the servo horn cleared the cage work. It now runs parallel with the front driveshaft, which provides just enough clearance.

A shot of the rear axle and its suspension set-up. I used an old AX10 chassis plate to make the rear shock towers and sway bar mount.

The rear cage has been cut since these photos were taken, in order to mount a full size spare.

A couple finished shots with the spare tire mounted.

The ingredients:
AX90020 – Wraith Kit
AX90015 – EXO Kit
AX30091 – 67 – 90mm Aluminum Shocks (Front)
AX30222 – 14 x 70mm 3.55 lbs/in Blue Springs (Front)
AX30092 – 72 – 100mm Aluminum Shocks (Rear)
AX30224 – 14 x 70mm 1.43 lbs/in Purple Springs (Rear)
AX30825 – EXO Front Shock Tower (Front)
AX30811 – EXO F1 Toe Block (Front)
AX30812 – EXO F2 Toe Block (Front)
AX30815 – EXO Machined Steering Rack (Front)
AX30415 – EXO CVD’s (Front)
AX30781 – Wraith Front Sway Bar (Rear)
AX30829 – Wraith HD Differential Cover (Rear)
AX30402 – HD 43/13 Ring and Pinion Set (Rear)
AX30789 – Wraith Aluminum Lockouts (Rear)
AX30860 – HD Motor Plate
AX80059 – XR10 Lower Link Mount Sleeves
AX24260 – Vanguard Brushless ESC
AX24010 – Vanguard Brushless Motor
AX30836 – 25t HD Aluminum Servo Horn
AX12015 – R35 Ripsaw Tires
AX90001 – OG Axial Scorpion Chassis Plate (Rear upper shock towers)
AX30519 - 101mm x 30* grey links x2 – rear upper links
AXA1420 – 15mm grey post x2 – sway bar links
AXA1421 – 20mm grey post x1 – steering drag link
AXA1424 – 35mm grey post x2 – chassis brace ties upper/lower cage together
AXA1425 – 40mm grey post x2 – front upper links for IFS
AXA1427 – 50mm grey post x2 – steering tie rods
AXA1428 – 55mm grey post x2 – shock braces front and rear
AXA1429 – 60mm grey post x2 – rear upper roll cage supports
AXA1431 – 70mm grey post x1 – front bulkhead brace
AXA1413 – 1mm grey spacer x10 – washers and front upper suspension arms
AXA1414 – 2mm grey spacer x10 – washers, front bulkhead brace and steering drag link
AXA1415 – 3mm grey spacer x10 – chassis brace ties upper/lower cage together
AXA1416 – 4mm grey spacer x10 – rear lower links, sway bar
AXA1417 – 5mm grey spacer x10 – front chassis brace
AX30475 – 74.5mm grey links x3 – rear lower links and rear upper shock mount brace

All links and spacers listed are for the color grey, not red. All red links and the 74.5mm links are now discontinued.

Parts sourced from Vanquish Products.
Vanquish SSZ-Star Wheels (Soon to be re-released)
Vanquish .350 Hubs (Front)
Vanquish .600 Hubs (Rear)

Brandon’s Axial EXO RTR Terra Buggy goes Baja Bug!

The Axial EXO Terra Buggy stands out due is its unique looks and construction.  The integrated cage and multi-piece body seperates it from the norm, eliminating the standard body posts and bouncy lexan body found on most RC’s.  So what do you do when you feel the need to change the look of your EXO Terra Buggy?

First thing I did was find some inspiration.  While surfing the classified’s section on race-dezert I came across this heavily built VW Bug with an LS1 out back.  Perfect!  The EXO Terra Buggy is also V8 powered thanks to Turnkey.

Browsing Pro-Line’s website I found quite a few Baja Bug bodies.  After talking with them it looked like the Volkswagen Baja Bug Body 3283-62 was the best fit.

A few days later the fun began!  A quick trim and mock-up showed that this project had some potential. I started the build on my EXO Kit, so excuse its rough looks.

Some more trimming, fitting, and head scratching resulted in the following:

I immediately knew this body needed something to top it off…  How about Axial’s Universal Light Bar?  Part number: AX30709

Decision on the paint scheme was easy.  I know this is a VW and not a Toyota, but I couldn’t resist.

To finish off the lighting I installed a pair of the small round buckets included on the Axial Light Bucket Set.  Part Number: AX80045

Now for the fun part.  My AX90024 Axial EXO Terra Buggy RTR is still fresh and right out of the box.  Let the modifications begin.  With the body already trimmed to fit and the basic modifications required already laid out this was an easy build!

First things first, I removed those awesome green body panels. The rear wing was also removed for now.  Still undecided on the look with/without the wing.

Because the hood of the VW body is longer I had to look at finding a way to move the front bumper out of the way.  So for now I simply removed the bumper brace.  Add that to the pile of removed parts…

I also wanted to give this build more of a long travel stance.  Out of the box the EXO sets at about mid travel for ideal handling.  I decided to use some longer rear springs in the front to achieve the look I am after.  Some 14x70mm Firms did the trick.  Part Number: AX30221.

New longer springs vs. the stock front springs.  Both are Firm (Yellow) Springs.

End result, the new front stance.

To mount the VW baja body I decided to avoid using the existing hardware that was used to mount the EXO Terra Buggy body.  Instead I fabricated some body mounts.  Lots of ways to do this but here are the parts and placement I decided to go with.

I picked up some some threaded posts.  They were included with Traxxas TRA3727A.  The simply threaded into the existing hole that held down the old hood.

I also trimmed the hood mounts on the front to allow the body to sit as low as possible.  The two mounts circled in red were cut flush.

For the rear body mounts I dug through the parts box.  These started life as AX10 body mounts.  Part number: AX80005

I simply cut them to the required length and drilled a new hole in them.

Once my cut was cleaned up and I confirmed the length I used the existing holes on the EXO cage (where the original body mounts).  I used some M3x15mm Tapping Buttonheads that used to hold on the bumper compression brace.  Perfect length for this, and a great way to re-use parts from the “removed” pile.

The end result looks factory.  I even have some adjustment left to fine tune the fitment of the VW Baja Bug Body.

Next I decided to remove the rear light bezel.  The roof of the VW Baja Bug body will cover this, and removing this allowed me to get the body to set at the desired height.  Plus this gives me easy access to install the radiator.  Note: It is possible to remove the light bezel without removing the cage, I used an Axial 2.0mm ball driver.  Axial Part Number: AX20021

Guess what is included in the spare parts bag of the Axial EXO Terra Buggy RTR?  How about an officially licensed Griffin Radiator.  Score!

This parts tree is available separately as well.  Its a great accessory for your SCX10 or Wraith.  Part Number: AX80103

I decided to cut the radiator off and lay down some silver paint for scale realism.

Radiator assembly and installation.

Did you catch that additional parts tree with rod ends I showed in the picture of the radiator?  They provided a perfect solution for adjusting the position of the front bumper to fit the VW body.  I picked up some M3x25mm threaded turnbuckles, Part Number: AXA1633 to complete the assembly of the links. The following screws and nuts were used to mount the assembled links to the bumper and bulkhead:

M3x45mm Cap head.  Part Number: AXA0094
M3x18mm Button head.  Part Number: AXA118
M3 Thin Nylon Lock Nuts.  Part Number: AXA1052

Installed:

One thing I really liked about the 1:1 inspiration was the overall width and stance.  I decided to mimic this look by simply installing some front wheels and tires on the back of the EXO.  The EXO Terra Buggy comes with narrow front wheels/tires and standard rear wheels/tires.  To match the narrow wheels/tires on all 4 corners I needed the following parts:

2.2 3.0 Raceline Renegade Wheels – 34mm (Chrome/Black) Part Number: AX08106
2.2 3.0 Hankook Dynapro Mud Terrain Tires 34mm Part Number: AX120107

Getting close!!

Here is my final pile of removed parts.  Looks like my EXO Kit gets some fresh body panels and a new wing now!

Here is a shot of the cutouts on the hood to clear the shocks.  Also note the cutouts for the front bumper, this wasn’t necessary but I didn’t want to take away too much clearance from the front by pushing the bumper any further forward.

Hmm, something is missing back here.

Ahhh, my Turnkey V8!  Axial Part Number: AX04031

This also includes the seats and dash, I’m saving that for a potential part 2 of this build.

Trimmed, painted, and stickers applied.  Too easy!  My EXO RTR should be much faster now…

Install time, simply remove the 2 button head tapping screws holding on the center brace from each side and it comes right out. (4 Screws total)

I grabbed 4 of the M2.6 button heads that held all the original green body panels to the cage.  These will be used again to mount the motor.

Once mounted it simply slides into place.  The detail of the motor and radiator should definitely make this VW Baja Build stand out.

Ready for it?!?

The completed build is definitely very unique.  It was surprisingly simple to do as well!  The EXO Terra Buggy platform has a ton of potential for scale builds and replica’s.  Already brainstorming the next EXO based project, hope you enjoyed this one.

EXO Terra Buggy Build Tips: Motor Mount

The Axial EXO Terra buggy includes a very unique motor mount.  The adjustable mesh screw and the dovetail groove are both unique designs for ease of adjustment and maximum holding strength with minimal effort.

Lets go over the basic installation and assembly of the motor mount.

Step 1: With the motor mounted onto the slide use this screw to adjust your mesh.  You can slowly adjust the mesh as you tighten or loosen this screw, once set you will be able to remove the slide with the motor attached and install it again into the same exact position. Use a 2.5mm allen driver for this adjustment screw.

Step 2: Once the mesh is set install the M4 set screw in the top of the motor mount.  Do not tighten this screw all the way down yet.  Use a 2.0mm allen driver here.

Step 3: Continue tightening this set screw, you will feel the screw stop once it hits the motor mount slide shown by the green arrow on the step 3 image above.

Step 4: Once the screw has touched the motor mount slide you only need to turn it another 1/4 turn.  Or 90*.  This will snug up quickly and lock the motor slide into place.  Over tightening this set screw will cause damage to the motor mount or the motor mount slide.  1/4 turn is all you need here.

DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE M4 SETSCREW!  YOU WILL DAMAGE THE MOTOR MOUNT.

Here is an image from Step 22 in the EXO Kit manual.  You will see the slide attached to the motor, and the motor mount attached to the chassis.

**Worried that the extra 1/4 turn past snug isn’t enough?  Here is why it works.

The Motor Mount has a male dovetail, while the motor slide that the motor mount attaches to has a female dovetail.  When the M4 setscrew is tightened you are not only applying pressure to the point of the set screw, but also to the entire surface of that dovetail.  This increased surface area means you have that much more material holding the motor slide into place. Trust the surface area! Over tightening the set screw will actually decrease this surface area and potentially break the mount. AGAIN, DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN!

Here is an image of the added surfaces from the dovetail.  This is holding the motor mount slide into place.  Keep in mind these surfaces are on the front and back.

Axial EXO Status

Dear Axial fans, enthusiasts and potential customers,

We wish to express our sincerest apology for the delay of the AX90015 Axial EXO™ Terra Buggy.  We are working very closely with our global distribution partners in ensuring the EXO reaches retailers by March 13, 2012. At Axial, we hold ourselves to the highest quality standards possible. Our decision to delay the delivery of the EXO to market was made to assure you get the best brand experience possible.

Again, we are sorry for the delay and we are always very thankful for you choosing Axial as your product brand of choice.

Sincerely,
Axial

Axial EXO – How to swap batteries

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

battery-access

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Then remove the battery.

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Grab a freshly charged battery.

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Slide the battery into place.

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Secure the battery using the rubber straps.

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Then reinstall the passenger side body panel.

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Time to go tear it up!!

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