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

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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An overall shot of the chassis.

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A few shots with the body mounted.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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
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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