Building the full size SCX10XJ: Part 1

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Words: Scott G

When setting out to build a trail worthy rig, so many things go through your mind. What do you expect from the rig? What do you plan to do with it? What budget do you have to work with? These are all extremely important things to consider when selecting the donor vehicle. However, just know that no matter what you plan for, there will be extras needed, to include the expectations, plans, and budget. Building a 4×4 vehicle to go deep into the elements is not an easy task, and like most things in life, you get what you pay for. This means you have to outfit your choice with the best components available within your budget that will allow you to attain your goals.

This is not at all unlike developing the new SCX10, as all of the same parameters are considered, to include performance expectations and budget restraints. Not budget restraints for development, but budget restraints of our fans and customers. We often read the forums and see what people would like to see in the Axial vehicles. We are forced to make some difficult decisions when finalizing the package, as we want to include the world with these rigs, but also don’t want to ask for $699 for an RTR to get in the game. It is like that with all Axial products, so we do our best to aim for the sweet spot, enough features to perform at the top level, with a reasonable price tag. This is not an easy task. We are faced with the same decisions when building a full size rig. Do we want a supercharged V8, 1000 minimum on the RTI ramp, seating for 4, bulletproof axles? Of course we do, but the budget doesn’t allow for all of them, so we settle for what we can and have a blast doing it.

One of the most common things we read is…. “Oh no, not another Jeep vehicle”, well, I am here to tell you that most of us are Jeep people, so get over it. The Jeep brand is synonymous with the art of back country exploration with extreme reliability, exactly what we strive for with our little brand. It is a perfect marriage and we are happy.

When looking into new options for the new SCX10, we did what all outdoor enthusiasts do, we went into the woods to think about it, to do a little research. We were checking out all the rigs out on the trail and noticed that the XJ was a very popular rig for the most hardcore wheeler and for family back road exploration. We saw XJ’s that were exo-caged on 40′s all the way to bone stock 4×4′s loaded with the whole family and dog. This platform was exactly what we were looking for. It is one of the most popular 4×4 vehicles ever built, with millions of them on the road. Some say that Jeep actually invented the SUV with this release. It was not adapted right away for off-road use, as the old guard (Read: Wrangler, CJ5 and CJ7 owners) looked down upon these Jeeps, calling them cars with big tires, and promptly showing their owners the direction toward the nearest shopping mall or soccer field.

Some XJ inspiration we found on YouTube…

I personally had this experience with my 1993 Jeep grand Cherokee, I was given directions to the soccer field, immediately preceding my climbing an extremely nasty Granite rock face on Los Coyotes Indian reservation back in 1996. The CJ owners immediately began to bicker and argue that the other should climb it. Neither one did, nor did they express themselves again to me on the trail. They learned that day that a Unitized chassis wasn’t the end of the world, and that coil springs are like magic. The Cherokee (XJ) shared the same front suspension with the ZJ, though the XJ had leaf springs in the back, something the Jeep guys were used to back then. Any of the XJ’s and ZJ’s on the trail were hand built, as there were very few aftermarket components available with the exception of suspension which was primarily available to fit larger tires. We told some of our JK friends about our XJ desires and they immediately started flowing some memes our way, most of which we cant publish, but here are a few gems that made us laugh…

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Thanks for the support guys…sheesh.

Fast forward 20 years, and these old grocery getters, mall crawlers or soccer field shuttlers are now extremely common to find on the trail. The off-road community has more than accepted them and many aftermarket companies now make a decent living supporting them. The hard part, finding a clean one-owner version with no rust and low miles, kind of like finding a Unicorn. One of Axial’s more predominant partners, Currie Enterprises, was at the forefront of developing suspension for these rigs so that they could be raced in a desert series called Jeep Speed back in the day. We consulted the Currie family and were introduced to Matt Chapman, the owner of the Cherokee that we based our SCX10XJ off of. As we have done in the past, we like to build the full size version of our scale rigs (see here…) to go out and experience what they can do, and stay on the forefront with regards to what the community is doing. At this time, Matt’s Cherokee was bone stock, as it had just been purchased and not modified yet. We elected to team with Matt and the Currie’s in effort to help develop the Full size XJ into an awesome trail machine all the while developing and testing our SCX10 II in tandem.

Here is a shot of Matt’s XJ when he got it, no rust with 150K miles…

After a good amount of research, we started to compile a list of necessities. We knew the rig had to be able to go with 4 door JK’s on 37′s, as most of Matt’s friends were rolling newer JK’s. We needed at least 35″ tires. Fitting 35′s under the Cherokee would require some proper fender flares and keeps the cops in Moab at bay. Notch Customs said “35″ tires with a 4″ lift, some welding required”. Currie makes a great suspension system for the XJ as well as their bulletproof Rock Jock 44 axles, and you know we love the performance of Icon Shocks. So, what we really needed was some armor. We looked long and hard at so many companies making XJ parts, and there is some awesome stuff out there. Russ at Notch Customs introduced us to JCR Off-Road, who ended up having one of the most complete armor systems available. Then we needed some lighting, the natural choice was Rigid powered by sPOD. Almost forgot wheels and tires. In effort to make the full size version look more like the RC, we elected to run a 35X12.50X17 BFG KO2 All Terrain wrapped around Method Mesh wheels. The 17″ wheel looks closer to a 1.9 than a 15″ wheel. Of course we needed some nice tone out of the 4.0 straight 6, so the XJ would need a Magnaflow exhaust. We had some details to sort but the main wish list was assembled!

First things first, the rig had to be made as reliable as possible by going through everything mechanical. We changed all the fluids, belts, hoses, pretty much everything we could to ensure reliability.

So, building a full size rig is just like building a scaler, get the base kit, then select all the options you wish to install. Here is our list!

2000 Jeep Cherokee XJ Parts list:
Currie Rock Jock 44 front high pinion axle with 4:56 gears
Currie Rock Jock 44 rear axle with 4:56 gears
Currie Rock Jock 4.5″ suspension system
Currie Antirock Sway bar system
EATON E-Locker rear, Detroit Locker front
JCR Vanguard Front winch bumper – No stinger
JCR Rear Bumper – tire carrier ready
JCR XJ Classic sliders
JCR Transfer case skid plate
JCR Gas tank skid plate
JCR Adventure roof rack
Notch Customs fender flares
Rigid 50″ E-Series LED bar
Rigid Dually x2 (front and rear bumper)
PSC Ram assist kit – steering
ICON Vehicle Dynamics 2.0 Aluminum shocks
Magnaflow exhaust
sPOD – Source with Bluetooth control
17X9 Method Wheels – Mesh (5)
35X12.50X17 BFGoodrick KO2 All Terrain tires (5)

Before we started the build process, Jamie Seymour, Axial’s R&D Industrial Designer and resident rendering expert whipped up this drawing for us to envision the build…

Stay tuned as we add more of this story in the coming weeks……

Axial at Off Road EXPO 2014

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Off Road EXPO at the Pamona Fairplex is an event that you must attend if you live in the So Cal area. This is the big off road show where you get to see all the latest and greatest off road equipment. We were on the scene checking out some of the awesome rigs on site and snapping photos of the Axial rigs we could find at the show.

This year was different for Axial as we had quite a lot going on. We had demos going in the Poison Spyder booth, the Icon Vehicle Dynamics booth, and the Yeti XL was attracting eyeballs in the BFG booth for its first public appearance.

Many of the Axial marketing partners were also on site showing off their latest goodies…. Check it out!

Icon Vehicle Dynamics just picked up a big rig to take their products and show on the road. This beautiful rig grabbed tons of attention. Those that ventured over to see them got to try their hand wheeling some SCX10s. You would have the option of running the Ram Power Wagon, the Honcho or the JK.

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Have we mentioned we Love the ICON JK?

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and check out this awesome machine!!! I want this body for an SCX10!

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Camping anyone?

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Walker Evans Racing on site with this super clean JK!

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and of course Walker’s beautiful pre-runner buggy

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Rebel Off-Road always brings a crowd of people, and they should with their awesome selection of JK’s and other fun toys

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Does anyone else want 20 minutes alone in the desert with Method’s TT?

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Speaking of Method Wheels, check out this Shannon Campbell Replica Rock racer using Wraith and EXO parts that is almost completed. We found this in the Magnaflow booth

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Also cruising around the Magnaflow booth was this little desert package, ready for the dirt this winter season!

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They even had a Yeti on site!

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Our friends over at Rock Krawler made the trek from New York

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The Poison Spyder booth was a hit as always, completely jam packed with Jeep enthusiasts all day long!

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Crispy was out attracting people to the booth complete with a G6 mini Crispy

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Still one of our favorite JKs

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The Demo at Poison Spyder was fun all around.

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We stopped in to visit the Currie Family and check out their goodies. They had all their latest equipment on display along with their very high end Axial JKs

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Only Casey Currie would do this……

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and then do this 20 mins later….

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The infamous Jerry from U4RC made an appearance

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The BFG booth had a steady flow of people all day, most to see the new KO2 tire, and a few to check out the Yeti XL!

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BFG has an awesome 2 door, we want this one too….

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We bumped into sPOD in the main hall. They are using their SCX10 as part of their display system. So9 cool to hit the buttons on the sPOD, and the lights on the SCX10 light up!

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Our buddies at Nitro Gear getting ready for the crowds…

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Holy Billet Batman!

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Alex at AOE has been busy, his JK is looking ready for action!

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Here are a few parting shots for you, these kids have no idea how cool they are!

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Oh and did you want any Jeep with your tires?

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Scale Wheeling in Moab, Utah at EJS2014

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Every spring Axial heads out to beautiful Moab, Utah for Easter Jeep Safari. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth to enjoy outdoor activities. If you are into Jeeping, RC adventure crawling, mountain biking, hiking, or just plain amazing scenery, then Moab should be atop your list of places to visit and enjoy. For the entire week preceding Easter Sunday, the who’s who in the 4×4 industry converge on this little town to share their latest off-road equipment, and their time with their clients and friends from within and outside of the community.

For Corporate Jeep, their week begins the weekend before, where they publicly unveil their Jeep concepts for the year. The “Underground” teams of engineers get to take their dreamt up creations, share them with the world’s press and test them in the ultimate mecca for 4wd enthusiasts. These are the vehicles that we all drool over, and wish we had a 1/10 scale body to mount on our SCX10. Even if we can’t have the bodies yet, we can still take inspiration from their creations. This year had some very cool vehicles, check them out here

In downtown Moab on Wednesday night, Axial builds the Jeep R/C adventure course. This event is put on by Jeep as a customer appreciation night for all the loyal Jeep fans. Part of the lot is set aside for the Axial crew to come in and build a fun demo course. All you have to do is wait in line and you get to try your hand at some scale Jeeping in Moab! This year’s course was a little simpler than previous years, though the man-made obstacles were very cool!

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Just after the official Jeep BBQ event, the Axial staff heads off to the “Secret Spot” as it is affectionately called. There is really no secret about it, as it is located right off the main road on the way to steel bender. This spot, however, is absolutely perfect for some scale wheeling. This is the one time of the year that Axial gets a chance to spend some time with all their “Full size” marketing partners. So at about 9 pm, somewhere in the neighborhood of a half million dollars’ worth of Jeeps turn up for a little scale adventure crawl!

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After a brief safety chat regarding the cliffs we were about to crawl next to, we fired up the Rigid duallys (powered by 3S lipos of course) and shot a quick group pic before hitting the trail…..

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In all, there were 22 of us representing Axial, Poison Spyder, Currie Enterprises, Icon Vehicle Dynamics, Raceline Wheels, CRC, Pull Pal, Rigid Industries and Savvy Offroad. There is something about enjoying this hobby with this iconic group of guys that can’t be beat. This was probably the time of our lives, certainly when it came to our R/C Careers. We were amazed at how much transferred over from full size to scale. Some of the guys had never driven an R/C vehicle before and picked it up right away. We assume it helped having 20 of their closest friends there helping (Heckling).
Check out a few of the shots we were able to catch throughout the evening and during the rest of the week ….…

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The new Vanquish lights for the RC Jeeps are amazing!! These babies are stupid bright!

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The guys at Poison Spyder put together an awesome little video of the nights action, check it out here!

We were able to get out and do a little full size wheeling with the guys from Icon Vehicle Dynamics. They were kind enough to allow the Axial Grocery getter to come along for a little Hell’s Revenge adventure..
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Here is a cool test shot we did with Icon Vehicle dynamics

Axial – ICON Vehicle Dynamics 61-90mm Aluminum Shocks – Step by Step Build

AX30103 – Icon 61-90mm Aluminum Shock Set – 7mm piston (2pcs)

Now that we have released Axial’s newest scale shocks, which are officially licensed by Icon Vehicle Dynamics, I wanted to take some time to do a step by step build here on the blog to help people get the most out of their new shocks. These shocks are an improvement over our old SCX10 shocks, because of the new fully machined shock piston. The new piston provides a tighter fit inside the shock body which helps eliminate binds as the shock cycles through its travel. The new Icon shock bodies and reservoirs are clear anodized for durability and classic looks, which is a nice touch. Time to dig in and get our hands dirty!

A shot of the packaging. Each package contains all parts and hardware required to build two complete shocks.

I cut all the plastic parts I will need to get started off their respective parts trees.

Open the hardware bags and dump the contents out in a secure location so you don’t loose any vital parts.

Start by locating your aluminum shock bodies and the red o-rings. Apply a little grease to each o-ring before installing them into the shock bodies.

Once you have the o-ring lubed up drop it into place in the bottom of the shock body.

Now locate the plastic spacer that goes in between the o-rings, and install that on top of the first o-ring.

Grease the 2nd o-ring and install it into place on top of the plastic spacer in the shock body.

Next install the lower plastic cartridge and threaded preload adjuster onto the shock body.

Locate your shock shafts and e-clips next.

Install the first e-clip in the bottom slot on the shock shaft.

Slide the shock piston onto the shock shaft next.

Then, install the second e-clip to hold the piston in place.

Both shafts prepped and ready for the next step.

Now we can slide the shock shafts into the shock body from the top. Install the rubber bump stops and thread the rod ends into place as needed.

Apply the Icon decals to the shock reservoirs.

Using the supplied hardware, secure the shock reservoirs to the shock caps.

Insert the black o-rings into the shock cap, and make sure they are properly seated.

Now we will fill the shock body about 3/4 of the way with shock oil and cycle the shock piston to dissipate any and all air bubbles. Make sure the piston stays submersed in the oil while you cycle the shock to get rid of the air bubbles. Once the bubbles are gone fill the shock body until the oil is about 1/16th of an inch from the top of the shock body, so just shy of being full. Once the shock shaft is fully compressed, you should see the oil crown just above the top of the shock body. Screw the cap down tight while holding the shock shaft fully compressed. Once the cap is tight, wipe any excess oil away. Cycle the shock shaft a few times and listen for air bubbles. If you can hear air bubbles gurgling around inside the shock, start over and use a little more oil. Make sure all air bubbles are gone before re-assembling. If the shock shaft won’t compress all the way after this step, you have a little too much oil in the shock body. Remove the shock cap, and re-bleed the shock with a little less oil.

After you are finished bleeding the shock we can install the dual rate springs and spacers as needed.

Slide the springs over the shock body with the plastic spring retainer between the two springs.

Install the lower spring retainer next, and you are done!

That wraps up building Axial’s new fully licensed Icon shocks. Following these tips will help people get the most out of their new SCX10 shocks.

Scale Details – SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon

Axial’s latest SCX10 release is an officially licensed 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. It is an RTR vehicle, which means it is ready to go as soon as you remove it from the box. The detail and realism of this latest release is awesome to see in person. The molded plastic rollcage, fenders and bumpers are all realistic features you would see on any hardcore 1:1 trail rig. Also included are molded plastic tail lights, side view mirrors, steering wheel, gear shifter, D-rings and even a fuel filler assembly for the Fuel Safe fuel cell which adds even more realism to the overall look.

For this article I will cover how you can add a little more detail to your new SCX10, with parts that are included in the RTR box. I will also go over a few other mods that you can make that require no out of pocket cost and really add to the overall look of your new Jeep.

One of those mods that can be done for free is cleaning up the inner fender wells front and rear. You will notice some extra Lexan around the inner fender wells, where the Poison Spyder Crusher Flares meet the Lexan Jeep body. We will trim this excess Lexan away to give the inner wheel wells a cleaner look.

First thing we want to do is use a marker inside the body to color the excess Lexan that hangs below the Crusher Flare’s inner plastic mount.

Once all 4 inner wheel wells are marked, you can remove the Crusher Flares with a 1.5mm driver.

Now you can see your cut line is clearly marked on the inside of the body.

Use a pair of curved body scissors and a sharp X-acto to clean up the excess Lexan. Be sure to leave plenty of meat around the mounting holes, you will only be trimming away a small amount of excess Lexan.

After the trim job is complete.

Next I used my marker again to color what little excess body still remained, and hide the silver from being seen once the flares are bolted back into place.

Now you can bolt your flares back up on all four corners. It looks a lot cleaner now.

Next we will add some detail to our SCX10, with parts supplied in the RTR box. In the plastic parts bag that comes packed in the RTR box you will find a molded plastic fuel filler cap.

Installing the fuel cap, and other scale details, will be easier with the roll cage removed.

Using a 2mm driver remove the eight screws that hold the cage to the body.

Now set the fuel cap in place on the tank to sort out exact placement. I am going to mount it centered left to right on the fuel cell, and slightly closer to the rear of the gas tank.

I measured the overall distance between the molded studs on the bottom of the fuel cap. These stud help hold the cap assembly in place, and you will need to drill clearance holes for them in the fuel cell.

Now, using my calipers again, I measured the overall width of the center section on the fuel cell to find center.

Cut your previous fuel cell dimension in half and mark the center point with a marker.

Our spread on the molded studs from the fuel cap assembly was about .600 of an inch. Cut that in half and you get .300 of an inch from the stud to the mounting hole in the center of the fuel cap. Measure .300 out from the mark on the center of your fuel cell to get your drill points. Mark those points with a marker and drill them out with a body reamer.

Take your time when drilling / reaming the holes. Make sure you test fit the fuel cap assembly as you go. Once everything fits properly, you can move on to the next step.

Before we bolt the cap assembly into place, I will add the officially licensed Fuel Safe fuel cell sticker included in the RTR box.

Using an X-acto gently trim away the small pieces of the fuel cell sticker covering the body mounting, and fuel cap mounting holes.

Insert the fuel cap assembly into place on the fuel cell and secure with a short M3 screw. I used a shorty plastic self tapping screw to tie the cap to the tank. If you don’t have a really short screw, you can use something longer if you have a spacers to take up the extra slack. The screw I found was slightly longer than needed, so I used an old SCX10 shock piston as a spacer.

All done!

Next we will add a few more interior details, with decals that are supplied with the RTR. Remove the molded plastic gear shifter located between the front seats.

Located the interior decals on the sticker sheet.

Apply the decals to the center console and arm rest.

Use an X-acto to cut the mounting holes for the shifter.

Bolt the shifter back in place.

The sticker sheet even includes a Jeep decal for the center of the steering wheel.

Last thing we will add is the exterior hinge stickers for the doors and the rear tailgate.

Now we can bolt the roll cage back onto the body.

Close-up shots of added details.

Stay tuned for more……

Axial Visits ICON Vehicle Dynamics

You have probably noticed a lot more full size off-road company names featured on Axial vehicles as of late. These names are not just another marketing ploy, but instead relationships that Axial has developed to bring you the best products we can. We all know that R/C vehicles are scale representations of full size vehicles, so isn’t it natural that Axial would want to work with full size companies to make their products as accurate as possible? There are obviously components that can not be made to scale, due to the abuse that an R/C vehicle will see, which is way more intense than a full size rig would endure. Take an R/C car and let it tubmle off a 10′ rock, which would be scaled to a 100′ rock in full scale, where a full size vehicle would be literally totaled and made into scrap metal; your Axial rig keeps on ticking. So as you can imagine, not all components scale out just right. The theory however, when it comes to suspension geometry and suspension tuning crosses over extremely well. The Axial staff recently ventured out to Riverside, California to have a technical chat with Dylan Evans and company at ICON Vehicle Dynamics so I tagged along to bring you the scoop!

ICON Vehicle Dynamics is a very unique company staffed with some of the most talented suspension development experts in the nation. Headed up by SCORE off road racing champion Dylan Evans, who also knows rock crawling through his membership of the Poly Goats Four Wheel Drive Club of Cal Poly SLO; Evans and company know a thing or two about how to deal with rough terrain at all speeds. As the name implies, this company focuses on the unique characteristics of each vehicles dynamics (forces causing motion), and how to improve that vehicles ability to tackle rough terrain while significantly improving ride quality.

ICON Vehicle Dynamics is further unique due to their manufacturing process, which all takes place “in house” at their Riverside, Ca facility. The ICON Vehicle Dynamics philosophy demands the use of the highest quality raw materials available, construct the products in the USA and deliver to the consumer the best mix of top-shelf product and customer service. This philosophy has made ICON Vehicle Dynamics stand out in a sea of aftermarket companies and has them labelled as the place to go if you demand the best available.

Cool ICON Decal!

Here is a short video they have as an introductory to their company, check it out!

We started out our visit with ICON Vehicle Dynamics in their large meeting room, where we met with the marketing staff, the general manager, and the engineering staff. This gave both companies an opportunity to discuss the similarities between the two companies. It is amazing how we share the same customers and the same passion for the off road lifestyle

After the meeting, we were off to the warehouse and shop area to check out where the magic happens. I made a few pit stops on the way out of the offices to snap a few pictures of some cool stuff I saw laying around.

Very high tech Bypass shock for off-road racing

Our Axial EXO proudly on display!

The SCX10 Honcho articulated in the office

The line-up of Axial vehicles featuring ICON branding

I decided to peak out the windows from the upstairs office and sneak a few shots of the facility from a bird’s eye view.
Check out all those CnC machines!!

Our shop tour started in the warehouse where they house some of the stock, getting ready to be shipped out, It was amazing to see how many different products they stock, and to hear about how the shelves get refilled almost every day as product is shipped out.

The manufacturing side is what really had us drooling! These guys make some really impressive components.

Everything about ICON Vehicle Dynamics, from their design process, to the manufacturing all the way to packaging, is top notch! We were really looking forward to checking out the shock department, as these guys are known for mastering the ride quality as well as performance.

shock shafts for days!!

Bypass shock bodies freshly welded

Mounting sets ready for assembly

Resivoirs ready to be added

Here is Dylan discussing shock tuning with Axial’s Jeff Johns, Matt Kearney, Brandon Coonce and Jamie Seymour.

Not sure if you caught our blog on the SCX10JK where we installed the ICON suspension system (If not click here to read it), but we were running and testing some of their compression clicker shocks. We figured since we were here, we should go ahead and remove them to see how they were doing, as well as make a slight valving adjustment. We pulled the SCX10JK up in the shop, and Adrian (shock building master) got to work.

The first step was to remove all of the shocks

Once the shocks were off of the vehicle, Adrian set up the shock dyno, yes I said shock dyno! This is where these guys take technology to the next level to put their experience into scientific numbers.

The numbers from the shock are then placed on a graph in real time on a computer screen

The objective of the change was to make the shocks 25% lighter on the compression valving to make the clickers more effective through their range of adjustment. We found that the SCX10JK never went above 6-clicks even in the harshest of terrain. We had the pleasure of watching Dylan and Adrian work their magic on the Dyno and out in the shop as they dissassembled and re-assembled the shocks for the adjustments. We will let the pictures tell most of the story…

The shock pistons look quite a lot different than the average R/C shock piston. These pistons have valve shims that are designed to flex out of the way of piston holes to let fluid pass. The one unique feature of full size ICON shocks is their very drastic difference in tunability between compression and rebound settings. Were we would normally make changes in the R/C world with oil viscosity, these guys make changes with shims. They have been doing it long enough to know what shim stack will make the desired change, and only have to tear them down once and get it dialed in perfect!

The seal heads are similar to the R/C versions, here is a cut away version of the ICON seal head

Once the shocks are completely reassembled, it’s back to the dyno for a comparison check from the original numbers

Dylan fires up the dyno and then checks the graph on the lap top and confirms they are good to go!

While Adrian re-installs the shocks on the SCX10JK, Dylan, Brandon and Matt discuss some of the suspension tuning Dylan has been doing on his Axial EXO and Wraith. Dylan is also an R/C enthusiast and really gets into the deep technical theory conversation with Matt and Brandon.

It was extremely cool to be a fly on the wall while the head of R&D from both of these companies exchange theories and ideas. It will be very interesting to see where this corroboration leads in the future. One thing for sure, with Partners like ICON Vehicle Dynamics, there will not be an issue gathering insight into the full size world when developing the next Axial vehicles.

Thank you Dylan and Crew at Icon Vehicle Dynamics, we appreciate your hospitality, and look forward to future visits!

Please check out ICON Vehicle Dynamics on the web here.

 

Story by: Recce01
Photos: GCRad1

 

Axial “SCX10JK” tested – Moab, Utah for Easter Jeep Safari 2012

As we continue to build up our 2012 Jeep Rubicon we couldn’t help but notice the online buzz about Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, UT. The entire Rebel Off Road group were preparing their Jeeps for the event whilst putting time into our SCX10JK project. We decided that there was no better place to test our Jeep’s ability than to hit the world famous Moab rock trails. Moab has long been considered a Jeeper’s paradise, with roads that stretch hundreds of miles allowing people to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the USA. Our “SCX10JK” wasn’t completely finished (is any rig ever really finished?), but we figured it was in a state of completion that would suit traveling the world famous Moab trails, hopefully without drama.

We requested some time from our internal graphics master Scott Roberts to whip up some art for the JK. He was extremely busy with Axial day to day operations, so we requested that he keep it simple and clean. We wanted to make sure our partners had a little exposure on the side of the Jeep as well as adding a little character to our rig. Scott whipped up some nice simple graphics for us and took the time to install them over at Rebel Off Road. Thank you Scott!

The first spot we hit was Hell’s Revenge. This particular trail is strange in that you drive your vehicle on a literal sea of rock. You simply follow the rubber marks from past travelers and negotiate a rollercoaster of winding trails. This place has a surface unlike anything I have ever seen. They call it slick rock, but the reality is… it is anything but slick. Instead it is like sandpaper and offers a tremendous amount of grip. It is possible to walk up near vertical faces in your plain old skate shoes!

There are some very cool breaks in the rock sea where there are winding sand trails

There are also a few ledges you must climb up

Bond from Rebel Off Road was our fearless leader on this run, he and his entire group of Jeepers are all awesome people to roll the trail with.

Bond’s Jeep

My ride for the trip was with Jason from Rebel, this Jeep is so awesome!!!

Here we are stopped for lunch!

To learn more about Hell’s revenge,click here

The next adventure we went on was on a trail called Metal Masher, this has to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever been! This trail winds up the side of a mountain and eventually takes you to a plateau overlooking Beautiful Moab, Ut.

Bond always makes the rounds to discuss what the trail has to offer and makes sure everyone is fully prepared for adventure, Thanks Bond!

Bond and his extremely well prepared JK always takes the bonus lines!

Some of the dry waterfalls and steps you get to drive up on this trail are absolutely amazing!!

This trail is loaded with optional more challenging lines; this was one of those advanced lines, amazing what these Jeeps are capable of!

Bond needed a little help getting over this one, so Jason stepped up to lend a hand :)

The Jeep experience is really cool. When the group reaches an obstacle, they all gather around and watch each other give it a shot. It is awesome to see so many people work together to make sure everyone enjoys their experience!

The terrain of this place is mind blowing!!

Rolling through beautiful Moab with a group of likeminded enthusiasts is surreal, as is the capabilities of this rig, JR… You have a sick Jeep my friend!!

Every time we would stop for an obstacle, the Axial RC rigs would come out and offer the youngsters a chance to get some of their own crawling done!

To learn more about Metal Masher click here.

We have successfully put the Axial “SCX10JK” through its paces, and as projected, it performed flawlessly! The combination of parts we selected to arm this JK for battle, were absolutely perfect! The body protection from Poison Spyder did its job, only experiencing minor scrapes, the wheel and tire combo from Walker Evans Racing and Maxxis offered tons of strength and traction, the Suspension system from Icon flexed when needed and offered excellent ride quality both on road and off road. The Spicer equipped drive shafts propelled us to incredible places, the crew at Rebel Off Road did a tremendous job preparing the JK and guiding us through some of the most incredible terrain on earth! You will have to wait to get a report on the TJM winch and recovery equipment, as of yet, we haven’t had to use it!

To get the history on the Axial “SCX10JK”, please check out the following links! Be sure to check back often, as we will continue to build up the SCX10JK and fine tune it for maximum performance!

The Full Size Connection

Axial 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited

Axial Visits Rebel Off Road

Axial “SCX10JK” – Icon Suspension

Axial “SCX10JK” Armor – Poison Spyder Crusher Flares and Crusher Corners

Axial “SCX10JK” Armor – Poison Spyder Rocker Armor and Rocker Knockers

Axial “SCX10JK” Armor – Skid Plates from Rebel Off Road

Axial “SCX10JK” Walker Evans Wheels – Maxxis Tires – Rebel Roof Rack

Axial “SCX10JK” Armor – Poison Spyder Front and Rear Bumpers – TJM Winch

Off-Road EXPO 2011 Pomona, Ca

TJM at Off Road EXPO 2011
The Off-Road EXPO is held each year at the Pomona Fairplex located in sunny Southern California and has been the def-facto event for the off-road community for twelve years now. The “desert season” as we call it is upon us and everyone is getting restless and ready to enjoy the wide open desert! The Expo was started by Dirt Sports Magazine and recently acquired by Family Events, with this years show contining to deliver with yet another successful gathering, even in the “bubba-scrubb” of a “turn-down” economy. Even with the temperament of economy, aspirations and dreams are what fuel the off-road industry guided along with history and tradition. Maybe it’s just the reality of us wanting to escape into the far corners of the desert.. but before we do, people want to mingle and talk shop and shops want us talking shop and so do the manufactures! So, we talk shop and then we hit the deserts and mountains with the Halloween weekend being the first “big” weekend for the south-western portion of the United States.

I too have my dreams and for the last couple of years I personally have had my eyes out for anything relating to the “overland adventure” scene. Some say this is an emerging scene, and while I am a big campaigner for it, I just say I’m just getting old enough for it to be on my radar. I have been labeled a Chameleon as I have gone from Ivan Stewart fan with a Toyota desert pre-runner with wide front end and fenders, to rally cars, to adventure bikes and now overland style with a 80-Series Toyota Land Cruiser. Again, age… yes, I have actually seen Ivan Stewart race both in the stadium and in the desert for age identification.

What dreams are made of:
Axial at Off Road EXPO 2011
Axial at Off Road EXPO 2011
Camburg builds awesome rigs and putting it on display in this stripped to the bones fashion was super cool!

The opposite of baller is BUDGET and all of my projects have had a heavy emphasis on .99 cents and under portion of the budget spectrum! “What can we get for sixty three cents!?” So I fit right in there with the nominal mainstream of budget of most fender lizards, but we all have a dream! The EXPO is a great place to “dream” for a day or two about your next project while studying in detail the big guns. The off-road scene or industry, how ever you look at it, is unique. The people will dream for a day… then go home and start cutting, notching, bending, shaping and welding dreams together into what reality is… far from what was just seen at the show. BUT, its a learning process that everyone has to go through! Well, not everyone, just those on budgetary confinement. I did my learning process! Everyone has that first truck and passing tech inspection usually requires tow-straps and flat bed trucks with a few trips back and forth to the garage for a bit of re-sketching exercise on the cardboard, napkin, notepad, wall or just get after it and cut and jig some new drawn over mandrel.
CCB’s – Credit Card Ballers just buy it and wad it up within two miles as they have never driven thirty-two inches of travel at 21% interest rate.

Overland Journal at Off Road EXPO 2011
This year with the rising interest of overlanding, Off-Road Expo hosted the guys from Overland Journal and friends to come out and display. So, RTT’s – Roof Top Tents abound and I was in heaven! Yes, I have dreams of preparing my 80-Series Toyota Land Cruiser into an overland adventure machine, not a rock crawler and not a desert race support rig shod with 37″ leftover Projects. Yes, overlanding has a whole “other” set of principles.

On another “adventure front,” we posted on our Axial FaceBook page for our fans attending OffRoad EXPO to track the official Axial rigs on display in various booths. [see original post – link] We had specific placement and we knew others would have rigs as well, but we wanted to see if someone would list the correct companies. These chosen companies came about as a buddy of ours put some time together to make some custom graphics for Axial Wraiths and SCX10. Our buddy Cody Waggoner of Laser Cutting IPE made these cools stands for as well, so check these out!


Wilwood Brakes


Raceline Wheels


Area-BFE


Walker Evans Racing

AOE / Axial Wraith at Off Road EXPO 2011
AOE: American Overland Expedition

ICON Vehicle Dynamics / Axial SCX10 on display at Off Road EXPO 2011
ICON Vehicle Dynamics


And last but not least – OVERLAND JOURNAL!
While we only got five examples done, there are a few more to come with another notable show around the corner.

Winner of the FaceBook Expo Adventure: Daniel T. Noda
We sent him a nice little package for his time and efforts and just for having a little fun with us!

CRAWL Magazine at Off Road EXPO 2011
I also got to meet John Herrick, editor/publisher of CRAWL Magazine as well!

Also on the highlights list was meeting Del Albright of the BlueRibbon Coalition.

Del is on the right and left is Chris Collard of Overland Journal.

Everyday Del is out there spreading the word about land use and this is a major topic for those of us – ANYONE who enjoys the great outdoors of off-roading! I am not going to preach to you nor ask you to join a cult or political party. BUT, what I will ask you to do is – DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and form your OWN OPINION about what is really going on!

What you need to know about Del Albright is that while he is of wise nature “age,” he has gone to great lengths to communicate at the speed youth, to the younger folks with 1:1 steering wheels in hands. Albright has made a full adoption of the digital & social medium’s of communication. While the age-old ink on paper is still a staple, Del has also adopted the use of electronic blogging and FaceBook connectivity to spread the message about “Land Use, Access, Rubicon Trail and Volunteer Training!” So please visit his site www.delalbright.com and also like him on his FaceBook page too.

If all you do for now is “like” stay in touch with Del on his Facebook page and just start thinking…

All of the images from 2011 Off-Road EXPO Viewed in a SLIDESHOW::

The previous Off-Road Expo’s I have attended:
2010 EXPO

2009 EXPO

2007 Impact EXPO – Vegas

2006 EXPO

While your out there in cyberspace; stay in tune with us via our FB page. http://www.facebook.com/axialinc