Rat Rod Formula Off Road Build

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

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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


An overall shot of the chassis.


A few shots with the body mounted.


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


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


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


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


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

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

FOFF SCX10 in 100th Issue of RC Driver

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

Cover shot.


Cover page for article.


Last couple shots.



Frequently Asked Customer Service Questions

I decided to sit down with our customer service reps recently to see what kind of questions they get asked the most on a week to week basis. Some of the questions they get asked I expected, and some I didn’t. So, I decided to highlight the most popular questions here on the blog, with answers. Hopefully, this will help newcomers find solutions for their issues even faster.

Electronic FAQs:
Q: Can I program or bind my AE-1 ESC (Speed control)?
A: No programming or binding is necessary on the AE-1 ESC.

Q: Can I purchase the AS-2 Servo?
A: We do not sell the AS-2 servo separately. We recommend getting a servo with at least the same torque specs which is 120oz at 6 volts.

Q: I am using the new 2.4 radio system (AX-2) and I have no forward or reverse.
A: Rebind radio system.

Q: How many cells or volts can the AE-1 ESC handle?
A: 6 cell (7.2 volt) , 7cell (8.4 volts) or a 2s Lipo (7.4 volts) Please note AE-1 ESC does not have a Lipo cutoff. AE-1 ESC requires a low voltage cutoff if using lipo batteries.

Q: How many cells or volts can the AE-2 ESC handle?
A: 6 cell (7.2 volt) or a 2s Lipo (7.4 volts). AE-2 ESC comes stock with lipo cutoff.

Nitro Engine FAQs:
Q: What is the stock needle settings on my Axial Racing engine?
A: The Low and Mid range needles stock settings are flush. The high speed needle should be set even with the grove on the high speed assembly or 3 ½ – 4 turns from closed. All Axial Racing engines are preset from the factory for break in. We recommend using Axial Racing fuel filters (Part # AX0504, AX0501 or AX0502).

Service and Repairs:
Q: If I have a problem with Axial Racing products who should I contact?
A: For Service on your Axial Racing Product contact our customer service department.

Q: What temperature should I be running my engine at?
A: No Higher than 275°

Q: What size battery can I fit in my XR10? Can you recommend a battery?
A: The max battery size you can use is 30mmx25mmx90mm give or take a few mm. I would recommend any 2-3S 25c or more and up to 1800mah. Please see the links or part numbers below of a few batteries our team drivers use.

MaxAmps 1800mah 3S Lipo

MaxAmps 1300mah 3S Lipo

MaxAmps 860mah 3S Lipo

Other packs that are compatible
TP1250-3SP45 1250mAh 3-Cell/3S 11.1V 6C 45C 90C 7.5A 56A 112A 115 18 x 31 x 92
TP1750-3SP45 1750mAh 3-Cell/3S 11.1V 6C 45C 90C 10.5A 78A 157A 153 25 x 31 x 92
Common Sense Lectron Pro 11.1 volt – 1150mAh 25C Li-Poly Pack #3S1150-25-L

Q: What is the best set up for my XR10 Chassis?
A: This is a tricky question. The ideal setup really depends on the type of terrain you drive on. Large smooth rock surfaces with gradual transitions usually lead to a course having lots of steep climbs and side-hilling. On this type of terrain it’s ideal to run a lower center clearance to keep the XR10 as stable as possible by getting the weight of the chassis lower. The opposite would be terrain with lots of abrupt transitions and undercut climbs, this would require a higher center clearance to allow for the chassis to easily “break-over” these obstacles without getting hung up or thrown off your line.
A: Please see the link below of some of our team driver set ups. You can always follow our blog for the latest tips and news.

Q: Can I convert my ax10 into a SCX10?
A: Yes. Refer to the link below on Axial’s Blog for more information on this conversion.