Step By Step Wraith Kit Build – Part VI – Final Assembly

For the final installment of our Wraith kit build series we will turn this beast into a roller. We will finish the chassis assembly, marry the chassis to the transmission and axles, install the body panels, mount the tires to the wheels and bolt them up to the axles. Start on page 34 of the manual, at step 34.

Find bag F in your remaining parts supply.

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All the parts required to complete step 34.

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Starting with the rear shock tower, bolt it up to the left chassis plate with the supplied hardware.

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Then move forward to the lower part of what will be the windshield area.

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Next cross member.

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Last one at the very front.

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Now we can move to step 35 and install the top of the cab.

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Step 36 will complete the main chassis structure. Everything needed to complete this step.

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I started at the rear shock tower again, install the supplied 3x12mm self tapping screw. At this point we need to just start assembling the cage at all the points required.

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Rear frame cross member.

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Upper cage area.

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Lower cross member in the rear, under the battery tray.

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Rear cross member again.

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Front A-pillar area.

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Top of the cab again.

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Front shock tower and cross member.

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Next I installed the second support for the front bumper.

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Tighten up that second bumper support, and the last frame cross member in the front.

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Complete chassis.

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Install the last few screws to secure the interior.

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On to step 37, and page 36 in the manual. Everything needed to complete this step.

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Start by installing the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the big light buckets.

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Flip the light buckets over and snap the clear lens into place.

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Snap the light guards into place.

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Install the light buckets into position on the front bumper.

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Attach the plastic LED retainers on the backside of the small round light buckets.

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Snap the clear lens into place.

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Install the light guards next.

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Bolt the small light buckets up to the front grill’s tube work.

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Step 38, and everything needed.

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Set the front grill tube work into place, and attach using the supplied 3x12mm screws.

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Set the front bumper into place next.

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Install the supplied 3x18mm screws.

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Step 39, attaching the chassis to the skid plate and axles.

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Set the chassis into place over the skid plate, and attach using the supplied hardware.

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Next we will bolt the shocks up to the shock towers. I deviated from the instructions a little here too. I moved the upper shock mounts in towards the center of the Wraith. I did this to lower the ride height a little, and to soften up the shocks.

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Shocks all mounted up.

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Time to move on to the tires and wheels.

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First thing I did was open up the breather holes in the wheels. I chased the existing holes with an 1/8″ drill bit. This will help the tires conform to the terrain a little better. Stock on left, modified on right.

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Next tuning tip I will throw out there is to trim the edges of the inner diameter on the foams. This will let the beads of the tire sit in their natural position. It also makes gluing the tires a little easier, as it stops the foam from working it’s way into the bead seats while you are trying to glue your tires.

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You can see here that you don’t need to cut much, keep your cut about a 1/4 – 3/8″ wide max.

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With the foam installed, you can see there is no interference between the foam and the tire’s bead seat.

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Next slide the wheel inside the tire, and seat the bead properly. I usually glue my tires little by little, with “stitches” of glue. Add a dab of CA to the bead seat, and seat the tire into place. Then spin the tire 180 degrees and add another stitch of glue, then let the tire sit for a few minutes. Then, repeat these steps until the tires are glued all the way around the inner and outer beads.

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All glued up. I love the looks of these wheels in black!

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Next we will move on to step 43. Find bag G in your dwindling parts stash.

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Everything needed to bolt the wheels up.

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Thread the small M3 set screws into the drive hexes part way.

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Slide the drive pins through the outer axles.

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Install the hex into place over the drive pin, and tighten down the M3 set screw.

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Bolt the wheels and tires up to the axles.

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It’s a roller!!

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Here’s a little sneak peek at a part not yet released from the Axial arsenal, aluminum diff covers. Sexy!

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Now we can ream the holes out in the body panels and mount them. Wallah!

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Close-up shots of the hood, side panels and interior.

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Mandatory articulation shots.

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There you have it, a complete step by step build of Axial’s Wraith Kit. I will be doing more articles with this particular build in the near future too, like electronics install, hop-up parts, tuning tips, etc. And of course there will be video too, so stay tuned!

Axial Wraith Kit Build Series

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 7

Wraith Steering Upgrades

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

A picture of the new parts needed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wraith Steering Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Bender’s Formula Offroad Build: Part 1

Formula Offroad (aka FOFF) is a sport that has always intrigued me. These guys have to be some of the craziest/bravest drivers in all of motor sports. They build these custom “Jeeps” sporting upwards of 1000hp and nitrous to climb the steep walls of sandpits. Adorned with monster paddle tires these rigs can drive up steep sandy faces that most people wouldn’t even think possible. Similar to rock crawling there are gates laid out on the hill side that drivers must negotiate in order to finish, points are given for each set of gates they successfully clear. They also do a time trial type course too, where the fastest time is the determining factor. One thing that I as an R/C enthusiast has always been attracted too is hill climbs. After watching a few of the newest 1:1 FOFF videos, it sparked a fire under me. So, I decided it was time to build an R/C version of these 1:1 monsters. My intent with this project was to build a realistic looking version of the real thing and see how capable I can make it.

For those that have never seen a 1:1 FOFF event.

Specs for this build:
Axial SCX10 kit
Futaba 4PK radio
Futaba S9157 steering servo
Traxxas VXL brushless system
MaxAmps 5250mah 3S lipo
Pro-line Sand Paws – front
Panther paddles – rear
2.2 Axial 8 hole beadlock wheels
Narrowed HPI Rubicon body

Photos:
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Body off shots:
In order to mount the battery directly over the front axle, and lower the overall ride height of the chassis, I had to do 2 things. One, mount the steering servo outside the frame rails. Steering is a little limited with this set-up, but at high speeds less steering is easier to control. And two, flip the tranny around so the motor endbell is facing the rear of the truck, which gives me more room for my battery.
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BTA steering:
This set-up took a while to dial in, in order for everything to clear as the suspension cycles. But, it is working great so far. One thing to keep in mind when mounting your servo like this, double check to make sure your tires aren’t going to hit the servo while steering.
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Narrowed body:
In order to get the look right on this build, I had to narrow a body. The 1:1 FOFF rigs have the full paddle tire outside the body panels. I could have added wheel wideners to get that same look without narrowing the body. But, the wideners will add a lot of stress to your axle housings if you take a big fall. So, I cut just over an inch out of the center of this body, and re-attached the 2 halves with back to back servo posts, spare Lexan, and a little Shoo Goo.
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Video of this SCX10:

Recognizing the potential this aspect of R/C has, RCCrawler.com recently added a Formula Offroad section on their forum.
http://www.rccrawler.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=210

Existing Axial parts list:
1 – SCX10 Kit (AX90014)
2 – 2.2 Wheels (AX8097)
1 – Spur gear cover (AX80078)
1 – AX10 Wheel hex (AX30429)
1 – Aluminum knuckles (AX30496)
2 – Driveshafts (AX80011)
1 – 35mm grey posts (AXA1424)
1 – 91mm grey posts (AX30524)
1 – 15mm grey posts (AXA1420)

Axial parts yet to be added:
2 – 4 Link parts tree (AX80043)
1 – Steel transmission outputs (AX30544)
2 – HD ring and pinion gears (AX30395)

If you like driving R/C’s at high speed off road, then you will love driving one of these FOFF builds. High speeds on flat ground is one thing, high speeds on a steep sandy hillside is another. So fun!!

See Part 2 of the build HERE.