SCX10 II Trail Honcho Truck Tips & Tricks For Noobs

TrailTruck_Tips&Tricks

Getting your RC adventure underway has never been easier with the well equipped, affordable SCX10 II Trail Honcho ready to run. This revival of the original Honcho body, from the famed SCX10, now features an updated electronics package combined with improved SCX10 II platform. It’s aimed at getting anyone into the hobby and on the trails with success. It of course is also a great truck for the seasoned enthusiast. But our focus here is on the many who will pick up an RC transmitter for the first time with the Trail Honcho and we want their first adventure to be the best of many trail driving experiences to come. Here we’ll go over all the basics from the unboxing to checking over your rig for its first run, tips for your first drive and tricks to keep it in proper running order.
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UNBOX
Before just diving into your new RC adventure, take the time to unbox and educate yourself about everything that encompases your new Honcho kit. Inside the box, you’ll need to cut the zip-ties securing the truck to the inner box support. Remove the radio from it’s packaging and dip into the bag with instructions and accessories. The most important step here is to read the manual. Although we’re walking you through the paces here, it is always best to familiarize yourself with the manual in case you have any questions in the future. After your up to par with manual, take a look at what is included with the kit. You’ll find a bag of “extra parts” these parts are unused during the assembly of the kit and may be used for future projects once you get hooked on your Axial adventures and trust us, you will get hooked. There will also be some basic tools in the kit, these should be transferred to your adventure backpack as they make great tools for on-trail repairs. And finally you’ll notice some green “domes” we’ll talk about this later.

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GET IT RUNNING
We’re moving onto the fun part; getting your Honcho going. First remove the four body clips that secure the body to the chassis, remove the body completely and set it aside. Now you can access the battery tray. At some point at your local hobby shop or online, you’ve purchased a battery and charger for the rig. Locate the battery tray and unhook the Velcro strap. Slide your charged battery into the tray and secure the velcro back in place to retain the battery. Next move to the transmitter and install four AA batteries that you supply into the radio. Power the radio on using the switch on the face of the radio. Now move back to the SCX10 II and plug in the battery. The battery plug is your on/off switch for the truck. Tip: The radio is always on first and off last. Your SCX10 II is now powered up and ready to go after placing the body back on the truck and securing it with the four clips.

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RUNNING CHECK
Head outdoors and place the Honcho on the ground for a quick systems check. The electronics should be dialed in from the factory, but things can happen. You’ll want to check to make sure your trims are set properly. First is your truck moving on its own when you power it up? If so, you will need to use the throttle trim on your radio to reset your neutral point. Use either button for throttle trim to find the neutral. If you tap the trim on one side and the truck starts moving more, it means you’ll need to use the opposite button to get the throttle back to neutral. Keep tapping the button until the car stops (is at its neutral point.) With the throttle set, check to see if the truck tracks straight. With the vehicle pointing away from you, give the truck a little throttle. Note if the truck tends to “drift” towards the left or right. If so, use your steering trim to find the neutral point of the steering in a similar fashion to the throttle adjustment.
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GET THE FEEL
Wait! Now that your truck is trimmed, you probably have the urge to pin the throttle and see what the truck can do. We’ll get there. First start by driving slow in a figure eight pattern. This means giving the truck a little bit of throttle trigger input and steering the truck in a figure eight pattern; turn the wheel right, go straight a bit, turn the wheel to the left, repeat. This will help you get a feel for how the steering feels reversed when coming towards you. When the truck is going away from you, steering the radio wheel to the right will always turn the truck to the right, but will feel reversed coming back towards you. Get a feel for the throttle range in both forwards and reverse. Note: the throttle is not an on/off switch and is proportional. In trail truck driving much of your rock crawling adventures will happen at a slower speed.
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TACKLE YOUR FIRST OBSTACLE
Before going out and driving on the gnarliest terrain you can find, practice on something less harsh. Find small hills or rocks with a slight incline to drive on. First drive straight up and down the obstacle. Note the amount of throttle it takes to make the incline and how the drag brake in the speed control affects the decline. Next drive up on an angle. Like a real vehicle, the trucks center of gravity may want to cause the truck to roll over. Determining the type of angle you can drive on before the truck wants to roll over is all a part of developing driving skill.

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DRIVE POINTS
With a general feel of how the Honcho drives, you can venture out for tougher obstacles. Find steeper inclines, off-set rock ledges, varying rock surfaces and use your newfound vehicle control to try and get your truck over the terrain. Think about where the wheels need to be places on rocks, how much steering you need to use, how much throttle and where will the truck be positioned when you’ve tackled what’s in front of you. Remember, you need to set yourself up for the next obstacle too. Then it will become time to refine your lines, challenge yourself and that’s where those little green domes come in that you found in the kit. These green things are gate markers and they are set on trail courses for your rig to pass through. They’re usually placed in positions that will challenge your skill. Find challenging parts on your trial and place these markers so you can practice driving through gates.

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ROLL OVERS
What happens when your truck rolls over? Well, in real life, if a truck rolls over, no big hand reaches down from the sky to flip it back over. So, you need to use vehicle control to try and right the truck. If the Honcho is completely upside down, try using throttle and steering to “wiggle” the truck over. Or towards a nearby object. The point is to get the wheels to grab onto something to help pull it back over. If the truck is on its side, you can turn into the ground and give it throttle. This will oftentimes pull the truck out of the roll over and back onto its wheels.

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FIND NEW ADVENTURES
The rest of your driver education is up to you. To improve your skill, try locating nearby parks or even an urban adventure away from the public. Finding new places to have an adventure each time you go out with the Honcho will improve your driving skill. But in the bigger picture, you’re also going out and finding new adventures for yourself. Adventures that will not only build skills and love for a hobby, but will also build memories.
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MAINTENANCE
Once your adventure outdoors is over, you’re not exactly done with your Honcho rig. A maintained rig is always a well performing rig. Take the time to remove any dirt and debris from the truck. A simple 2” paintbrush and a little elbow grease knocking off dirt from the truck can clean it up. Compressed air works as well. If your adventure lead you into the wetlands, take a look at our Driveline Maintenance Tips to help you with your clean-up procedures.
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OPTIONS
At some point, You’ll want to join the custom club. Installing option parts to make your honcho stand out or to make it more durable for the adventures you’ll put the rig through. Here are five option parts we recommend you take a look at when taking your SCX10 II Honcho to the next level.  

Gear Set (48P 28T, 48P 52T)
Part- AX31585
If you read the story of the Honcho taking on the Redonda Ridge Adventure, you saw the rough terrain eventually took its toll on the transmission gears. Luckily this is an inexpensive upgrade up to steel gears if you feel your truck needs it.

Aluminum Servo Horn 25T (Hard Anodized)
Part- AX30836
The steering is among one of the most abused parts of any vehicle. Swapping the stock plastic servo horn for the aluminum option could prevent any unwanted steering issues on the trail.

M4 Serrated Nylon Lock Nut
Part- AXA1046
For obvious reasons the wheels endure a lot of abuse during use. This on occasion can lead to a wheel nut backing off. The locking serrated nuts grab onto the wheels for extra security.

SCX10 TR Links Set – 12.3″ (313mm) WB
Part- AX30550
Although the links on the SCX10 II Honcho have been greatly improved over the previous units on the SCX10, upgrading to aluminum links is a popular upgrade for many adventurers.

Steering Upgrade Kit
Part- AX30426
Like the suspension links, the stock plastic steering link can take a lot of abuse and flex during use. In this set, you can use the long link to upgrade your SCX10 II.

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KEEP IT INTERESTING
With your new found hobby and new found key to adventure, keep things interesting by continuing to drive on new trails, build new courses in your backyard, continually modify and upgrade your Honcho to reflect you, your likes and interests. Every day is a new adventure behind the wheel of the Honcho and can give you new found enjoyment outdoors while learning new sets of skill. When you do conquer a new challenge, be certain to document your experience with a photo on social media and give it the hashtag #AxialAdventures so other adventurers can see what you’re up to.

 

Desert Turtle Racing KOH 2018 Race Recap

Desert Turtle Racing KOH 2018 Race Recap

KOH 2018 Race Week:
First and foremost, we were stoked to be setting up our pits in the Lasernut Laser Town hanger. We arrived at Laser Town and got the Turtle set up in the hanger and set up all our camp stuff. We did a little last minute shock tuning on the Rock Krawler shocks to get them dialed in for race day, then headed over to get registered for the race. Monday was our qualifying day and in practice we discovered that the motor was running not so peppy. We learned that we had to shift to 4-Lo just to get up the hill climb and then shift back into 4-Hi to finish the lap. It hurt our qualifying times a bit but we were still able to get an 11th in class start for Thursday’s race. We also discovered that we had a melted coil pack and spark plug that were causing the engine to run poorly. We were able to get in a run around Lap 1 of the KOH course and mark down some trouble spots on GPS as well as set up our lines to get through the new “Notches” area that Ultra4 added to the course this year. We were feeling pretty good about the course of Lap 1 and the car was running well. We headed out for a pre-run of Lap 2 and got through a couple trails but unfortunately cracked the oil pan on a couple big hits and that caused us to call the pre-running extremely short. A big part of our pit support this year was provided by Dust Junkies Racing and they just so happened to be near where we broke down and gave us a helping hand to get back to Laser Town. We spent the rest of our pre-running time hunting down an oil pan and making repairs to the rig and studying the course map.

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KOH 2018 EMC Race Day:
Let’s just start with, the green flag dropped and we were off and running! Darin was behind the wheel and ready to attack the desert lap. The first few miles had us on edge, knowing that race nerves can cause you to overdrive the rig and/or potentially suffer flats. As we clicked off the early miles we passed many rigs that had suffered exactly that, and a couple others with some quick driving decisions. We were able to maintain a good pace and cruise through unscathed. As we passed by RM12 we felt the rig was doing well. We radioed to Dust Junkies at Remote Pit 1 that we didn’t need a tire change and opted pass through without a stop. They responded with “Well done. We’ll catch you on the flip side at RM48”. We waved on the way by the pits and were feeling great about the rig. We kept clicking off the miles, passing other racers along the way. As we arrived at “The Notches” a little ways past RM24 we followed a couple other rigs into the banner area. Again, we passed a few others that were floundering in the rocks not knowing where to go. We stuck to our pre-planned route and managed to maneuver around a couple more. As we exited, we were on the tail of a 4800 rig and we decided to go for the pass in a whooped-out section to the drivers left. We made the pass, but we also went for a good ride when the front end got bucked pretty high, and we were reminded that we needed to tone it back.

 

We got back on our pace as we rounded the half-way point at RM32, and we continued carrying a good pace, picking our way through the tight desert section before reaching RM47, where we again needed to radio to the Dust Junkies at Remote Pit 1 what our plans were. We chatted for a bit about how the rig was doing, we were not hearing any strange sounds, and we again didn’t need to stop for a tire change. We hit the pit zone and again gave the big thumbs up as we passed by. Heading out crossing the base line we knew the speeds were going to pick up as we rounded the big bend at RM52. Around RM54 we had a close encounter with a bird — this bird was about 20 feet off the deck and clocking us for speed about 50 feet off the front passenger corner of the rig. At least it seemed that close. So we mashed the gas to pick up the pace and see what they would do. We gave them the applause and enjoyed the camera man hanging off the side of the helicopter. Let’s hope it makes the cut into some footage somewhere.

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We reached the intersection at the baseline exit and headed out across the dry, dusty Melville lakebed. At times we couldn’t see much more than a few feet in front of us. Picking our way up into the top of Resolution, preparing for our drop down it and Backdoor, we knew we had just a couple more miles before we were back to Main. We had a bit of a close call at Backdoor — we got in a little bit of a hurry to prevent another rig from passing us and did a great nose pose with the rear tires straight up in the air. We hit the gas to prevent the roll-over and hit the rear bumper hard on the rock wall behind us… BUT we were down and all four wheels and the rig was still moving. We called in to pits that we were down but took a hard hit and would need to look the rig over really well. We made the last of the little climbs before hitting the short course and the Main Pits. At this point we were pretty stoked Darin just had a VERY clean run on Lap 1 and suffered ZERO flats with our Falken tires. We had a feeling that we were sitting in a pretty good position and it was time to change drivers.

And so the race continues… Lap 2 — Randall is now in the driver’s seat and ready to take on the rock sections. Before we got there, we had to run through the first 8 miles of the Lap 1 again, and then around the desert for another 9 miles before reaching Remote Pit 2A. Again, we kept a descent pace intent on not overdriving the rig. As we reached Remote Pit 2A the rig was feeling pretty good and we called in to let them know that we would just be passing by. We headed into the first rock trail, Boulder Dash, and made pretty quick work of it. We headed down Upper Big Johnson and continued across the valley and around to the bottom of Wrecking Ball. While we were in Wrecking Ball we had a few difficulties leading up to the waterfall but cruised right up the bypass line and continued on. At RM85 we headed over to Fissure Mountain to run across the top of the range and down to Sledgehammer. Another new thing for the Ultra4 race this year was the addition of two trails at RM90, Idle Issues and Her Problem, two trails that I did not get to pre-run nor even see. As we approached the trail we saw the trail markers but the terrain looked untraveled and there were no obvious lines. There was no stopping us on this trail we picked it apart, as if we were cutting a new trail. We had a little trouble getting through Chocolate Thunder but were able to keep our cool and get back on track.

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Once we got over into Jack North we felt something strange in the steering and decided we should stop and take a look. What we discovered was the mount on the axle for the Hydro Assist Ram has been torn off and the Ram was just hanging there cycling left and right. We also discovered that all of the drive flange bolts on the rear axle (BOTH SIDES!) had backed out and we were leaking a ton of gear oil. We tightened up the flange bolts, removed the hydro-ram and capped the hydro lines so we could continue the race. We wheeled up to the crux of Jack North and, like a replay of last year, Darin got out and spotted the rigs through and then got us through and we headed for Jack Hammer. The problem with not having Hydro Assist is that every rock the tires come in contact with will jolt the tires one way or another and that makes it very difficult to steer and stay on the line that you need to get over the rocks. Coming down Jack Hammer we made sure to plan way ahead and keep the car on the right line. Heading up the sand hills at RM93 was pretty fun with the new motor screaming as we made our way. We got around to Hells Gate and continued to struggle with the ability to steer and stay on the right line. Thankfully we had a new ZEON 10 winch from Warn on the rig to get us quickly un-stuck when necessary.

We cruised down Devils Slide and headed over into Sunbonnet Pass. We came upon a few other rigs in the trail and made passes when we could but also got stuck a few times, and again had to use the winch to get unstuck. Somewhere in Sunbonnet we got lodged between two big rocks and had to use our jack to get out, which cost us a significant amount of time. At that point we also discovered that we had cracked the oil pan again and it is was dripping. We took some time to look at the leak and see if we could spot the crack. We debated continuing the race with the leak but the concern was, if we cracked the oil pan even worse, we could damage the motor and possibly be stuck in a trail until the race is over. We agreed that we would make our way out of Sunbonnet and then reassess the condition of the rig. It’s always a hard decision to make but we had to make it. We decided to make our way to the stock bypass split at RM100 and call the race. We didn’t want to risk severe damage to the motor and didn’t want a late-night team recovery after the race. We got in touch with our pit crew at Remote Pit 2B and had them relay to Race Ops that we were out of the race at RM100.

Conclusion:
We finished our race as the 1st place DNF, putting us officially in 4th place by progression. Yes, you read that right — There were only three 4500 class rigs that finished the race, and only another nine rigs in the 4800 class. This race was a difficult one — Not because of the number of rock trails or a difficult desert lap, but because Mother Nature has not rained on the Hammer trails in some time, and that caused the dirt to be very dusty and the rocks to be covered in dust, and some holes to be extra deep.

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We would like to give a special thanks to several sponsors – To Off Road Development for providing the shop space for us to get ready for KOH. To Sucuri Security for stepping on board to support the team this year. To Warn for going above and beyond standard customer service to solve our winching issues. To Dust Junkies Racing for providing pit space and pit support at the race. To Lasernut for providing us space in the Laser Town Hanger at KOH. To Rock Krawler for their continued support in our race program. To Falken for providing ZERO flats this year on the Wildpeak M/T tires. And to our DTR team… Without them we would not be able to do what we do. We are a team that is more like a family and we are all in it together. Even though we did not finish, we did not lose. We come away smarter and stronger. We are still a young team and we continue to learn at every race.

Thanks to all of our sponsors for your continued support: Rock Krawler Suspension | Falken Tire | Sucuri Security | Axial Racing | Poison Spyder Customs | Raceline Wheels | DJ Safety | Fuel Safe | Rugged Radios | J. E. Reel | Rugged Routes | Lasernut | Currie Enterprises | Magnaflow | CTM Racing | sPOD | Artec Industries | PRP Seats | Luxwurx | Warn | Sharq Skinz | DGP Motion Media | Factor55 | 212 Performance Gloves | Off Road Development | Pacific Advisors | SoCal Services | Beachview Insurance | Villa Landscape Products | SoCal Land Maintenance | EctoVentures

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Hiking the Redonda Ridge with an SCX10 Trail Honcho

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Hiking the  Redonda Ridge with an SCX10 Trail Honcho

Words & Photos: Rodney “GCRad1″ Wills

Hopefully you’ve read the lead-up stories:
Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17
PACK CONTENTS FOR A SCX10 TRAIL HIKE
Getting There – SCX10 Hike Over Redonda Ridge – Big Bear, California
 Axial AX90059 SCX10 II™ Trail Honcho 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR

All the planning is sorted, now we are about to do this thing! We wake up early, I think my alarm went off at 6:00am. Didn’t sleep that well, I think I was too excited.
Too much planning made for too much anticipation.
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It’s Wednesday Morning, October 25th, and I get myself physically prepared; Altra Lone Peak 3.0 Trail shoes, Stance Training Crew socks and Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes for cramp prevention as its going to be a warm day.
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I load the beloved SCX10 Trail Honcho into my ADV80 and we get ready to depart camp and make our way down to the the start of the trail just past Crab Flats Campground. We will start here (Google Map Link) at the Redonda Ridge 1W17 trail marker sign. Four of us will be walking the trail and John Schultz and ScottG will be taking the two vehicles back to camp awaiting our return to camp later this afternoon – evening.
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Last minute morning bits; I get my water bladder filled and of course I have my Hammer Nutrition Heed pre-mix going!
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John Schultz hooked me up! I have a magnetized hood so I don’t loose my body clips!
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Rather simple and rather simple silly cool! Schultz learned it from somewhere and we will make a little blog about it at a later date.
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Load in the first battery and mark the time of start.
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OFFICIAL START: 9:05am Wednesday October 25th, 2017
Axial Trail Honcho Hike Over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17 is now underway!!!Redonda Ridge Planning-7
This first portion of trail is actually down hill. Everyone is in good spirits!
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I can’t help it, I shoot photos of everything… even the trees. And the landscape! I love the textures and the colors. I’ve been known to “#textures” on my IG before. I can hear my buddy Jarod DeAnda laughing now, “your and your #texture hashtag.”
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Big Bear is a mix or a transitional point from the desert to the mountains, depending on your location on the mountain, you can get a mix of cactus and pine trees of which we will see both today along ridge route to Big Pine Flats.
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The SCX10 Trail Honcho doing what its suppose to do, trailing along.
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Still working our way down hill.
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The sun is warming up quickly, but luckily we still have some shade as we make our way down to the creek, but once over we are fully exposed and will be in “up hill mode!”
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Trails crossing… should put us right about here on Google Maps.

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Keep on mini truckin’ hehehe That’s funny! I know all the GMC dude’s rock the #TinyTrucks tag. I’m an og Mini-Truckin’ dude! I’m going to see if I can dig that old hat out!
We might upset some folks… hehehe
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BRAAAP! off the air craft landing strip shrapnel – the OG Sand Ladder aka Marston Mat. Know your overland-spec history yo! Look it up!
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We are almost to the creek crossing, more like stream crossing, but it is coming up soon.Redonda Ridge Planning-28
I’m usually the one hauling the video camera on these missions so it’s a bit strange for me to see my colleagues carrying the gear.
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It’s been at least a month since my previous crossing and the water level is going down quickly.
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Anthony Rivas got roped into hiking this trip with us and he is doing what he does best, directing some social media shots!
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Hey look! It’s not me on the vid-cam, it’s Scott Roberts doing the video camera action! While most people don’t see or know much about this man right here, he has worked here at Axial with me since 2011. Everything you see visually from Axial basically comes from this man or at least across his desk.
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We crossed over it at the creek crossing, the PCT runs along it through here making yet another appearance in my face! It keeps calling me… But not a full blown thru-hike, maybe just the SoCal weekend section hiking…
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The SCX10 Trail Honcho looks down on the PCT like, “I got this!”
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Who is a fan of desert tan, green eggs and ham mixed with DJ Red Alert.
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Since we left the creek crossing it has become very apparent that THE ASCENT IS ON!
The trail surface to this point has been mostly course sand mixed DG based.
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But as we continue on and up, rocks are starting to litter the trail.
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Also too, after the creek crossing, we are out of the tree cover and exposed to the sun.

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The crew said there was suppose to be a picnic table set up at this GPS point location. Something about pre-paid Amazon air drone delivery service…
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I keep on trucking as I want to get the SCX10 Trail Honcho into rockier conditions!
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The crew finally gives up in protest about the picnic table. “We are canceling our PayPal payment!” The sun laughs and turns up the temperature and add some incline for good measure.
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See! Cactus… on the edge of the forest!
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Climbing…
Climbing…
Climbing…

At the one shade spot…
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We see deer tracks.
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Little ones…Redonda Ridge Planning-51
Hey guys, where you at?
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Carrying on our climb dance!
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Climbing… It’s what the SCX10 Trail Honcho eats for breakfast.
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Climbing… It’s what the SCX10 Trail Honcho dream about before breakfast. Redonda Ridge Planning-59
Climbing… It’s what the SCX10 Trail Honcho does at high noon.
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Climbing… It’s what the SCX10 Trail Honcho does just for fun!
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We make the first major climb for what seems like two hours straight…
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but we finally reach a little plato of earth… Redonda Ridge Planning-67 Redonda Ridge Planning-68
POSER SHOTS! Scroll back up three images…. The guys are asking if the trail goes up over those hills.. “The trail looks like it goes over…” I ignore or I think I said, “yea, naa, I think it cuts around to the right out of sight… Time to roll!”
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From our moment of flat perch, we get to see down this little canyon and its cool to see the small batches of trees. Feels like some wilderness to me!  Redonda Ridge Planning-71
“Therezzz GOLD IN DEM DAR HILLS!!! FOOLS GOLD YO!!!” I gotta’keep the spirits high!
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It’s cool to see the terrain change.
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More #texture change.
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I think this is my favorite shot of the trip. I saw the setting as I was walking up to the crest, stopped, snapped one photo and said, “Yep! Leave it chance and see how the “film” comes out!” Came out all right…
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As the SCX10 Trail Honcho takes in the view, I check the spot to see what it looks like from the front. It’s not as cool of a shot but see that trail we are coming up! Yes sir, we are doing this thing!
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I circle back around to verify the animal footprints. Small one here, but I did see some larger “kitty cat” prints earlier, most  likely a healthy bobcat.
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The Axial SCX10 Trail Honcho is its proper surroundings.
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Trail Honcho bossing the moto trail, but the gnar lay ahead.Redonda Ridge Planning-83
I nicknamed this “scary bush.” Especially if we was coming through here at night.
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The tree is still wearing it’s charred skin from the Butler Peak fire of which I think was back in 2007.
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Did I ever tell you that I actually like shooting photos? But just look at that trail! It’s an “ALL BRAAAP!” section! But wait…
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Now we are getting into some gnar! It’s not easy to get a 2D photo to show the dynamic perspective of hills and their steepness, but take note of Scott Roberts walking ahead, you get a little since of the angle here.
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Maybe this will give you a perspective… Rest stop! SR & Rivas taking a breather, because they can see what lays ahead… ANOTHER HILL!Redonda Ridge Planning-91
The Trail Honcho is upholding it’s SCX10 heritage and just eats up each mile regardless of steepness.
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Meanwhile the steepness is eating up my crew. “Look SR, we have to climb that hill, that other hill behind that and then that other one way back there…”
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Kinda’ spectacular out here!
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Interesting how the cross section view of this tree’s rings looks like four trees in one.
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The SCX10 Trail Honcho just churning out the climbs.
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This trail has obviously been here for a while and been well “knobby traveled” but you have to wonder, who did it first? Who cut this trail? Was it an Indian foot path before? One day I need to stop into Malcolm Smith Motorsports and ask Malcolm directly as this trail is called the Malcolm Smith Trail. But there is very little historical information about this trail online.Redonda Ridge Planning-99
Same photo as the one preceding this one, but I wanted to show the ridge of which we traveled. We’re kinda’ out here! Yes, civilization is just over the mountain the in the background, but your still out here… We haven’t seen anyone else all day… and I like that.
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The SCX10 Trail Honcho takes the hard line just for fun I however will walk the easy path.
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More gnar please.

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The SCX10 Trail Honcho FINALLY runs out of gas! It would… just feet from a nice shady flat area.
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Good thing I have my Schizzle-magnets! I’m a fan! Thanks John!
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Battery #2 loaded and battery #1 marked with the elapse time.Redonda Ridge Planning-108
Just a few more feet and my view looks like this and I join the crew in the shade.
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While I’ve been self-fueling all along, we take a static moment to enjoy our nutrition bars.
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Time to roll!
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With another crest of a hill reveals another view!
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And then more climbing!!!
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While spectacular, the views keep showing those climbs… Redonda Ridge Planning-116
Here you get a little sense of the climb as you can see the crew pushing on.
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I like this shot! I think it shows a bit more of the hill but the view is spectacular!
Redonda Ridge Planning-120
But the climb has a summit and a summit reveals more.. See that little trail thread? Talk about onion layers! Redonda Ridge Planning-122
We take a moment in the shade.
Redonda Ridge Planning-123
I know you guys are on the Altra Trail Running shoe tip, but are you on the Trial Gator tip? I’m diggin my shoe gators! As goofy looking as they are, they’re total function! With the small gravel-DG-dirt, the gators are perfect for keeping all that stuff out of my shoes!
Get some! https://www.altrarunning.com/gear/men

Redonda Ridge Planning-126
SCX10 Trail Honcho is back in the trail saddle.
Redonda Ridge Planning-124
The sun is starting to throw the long shadows…Redonda Ridge Planning-125
The team is working to push themselves forward as elevation and the rate of steepness has not given in!
Redonda Ridge Planning-127

We start to get into another step section, but its been steep all along. I guess it’s more like a steep chute.
Redonda Ridge Planning-128
Y
ou sorta’ get a sense of steepness from this view, but regardless I’m just shooting it for the view, the memory, the way the sun is flaring.
Just as I drop the camera back to my side, I’m having to get after this little section. I actually start to wonder if I can actually make this section! I won’t say I am nervous yet as I know I can trail blaze the SCX10 Trail Honcho around if I have to, but it will be limited space to do so. I stay in the trough or chute of a trail and work the rig through the boulder and then in the deep heavy granular sand or DG – decomposed granite. The combination of having to use wheel speed to push up hill in the DG while also the tires dig down and find bite on the rocks below… I hear it… Wait, what? I don’t want to hear that!!!
OH NO! NO FORWARD MOMO.. MO – MOTION!
Redonda Ridge Planning-128a
After we diagnose the issue, Tony takes my tools and jumps into action so I can
document the wrench action.
Redonda Ridge Planning-128b
Again, dig the magnet trick as we can drop the screws here on the underside and the body clips are on the top side.
Redonda Ridge Planning-128d
As suspected, idler gear gone fishing for the afternoon.
Redonda Ridge Planning-128c
Redonda Ridge Planning-128e
We fish out what debris we can in preparation to install a new gear.  Redonda Ridge Planning-128g
We install a metal idler gear Mr. AX31585 Redonda Ridge Planning-128h
Field repair is almost complete!
Redonda Ridge Planning-128j
Redonda Ridge Planning-128m
Buttoning it all back together and we will be back in action in moments!

Redonda Ridge Planning-129
Now we are back in action and started where we pulled off and it’s the start of
the nasty climbs!
Redonda Ridge Planning-133
As you can see, there is a cleaner easier path to take, but what is the fun in that?!
I came here to put the rig through its paces on the rugged trail of the Redonda Ridge.
I could have just stayed home and drove circles around in the parking lot, but that is not my idea of fun! Being out here is fun, while it is both grueling on my body and the SCX10 Trail Honcho. But it’s worth it as it’s an additional layer of testing.Redonda Ridge Planning-131
These climbs also showcase some scenic views!
Redonda Ridge Planning-134
Photos never seem to capture the true steepness of a hill, but looking at ScottR and Rivas as they make their way up, shows a bit of how steep this section truly is. When I begin to question if I will be able to drive a section due to the steepness, I really start looking creative driving lines!  Redonda Ridge Planning-134a
When you see motorcycle parts on the ground, you know its a tough section.
Redonda Ridge Planning-136
But we are “still not out of the woods” yet, insert “rocks” in place of woods. Yes, we are still in the woods, with rocks strewn about! hehehe   Redonda Ridge Planning-138
Rivas making his way up. The team has come to the conclusion that there is no end in hills, they just keep rolling at us. Only to discover around each bend, more hill!
Redonda Ridge Planning-140a
And more hill it is!
Redonda Ridge Planning-140
The lighting from the sun is just awesome! We are within the “golden hour” and I could sit on this hillside and shoot till dark!
Redonda Ridge Planning-141 Redonda Ridge Planning-142
But, I only snap off a couple and keep moving as I knew we have at least a mile or two further to go and we will be hiking in the dark.
Redonda Ridge Planning-135
The sun is is about to drop behind the mountains and the ground bush on our mountain is blocking some of that light, but we finally made it through that section! Redonda Ridge Planning-143  Redonda Ridge Planning-145
You just want a lounge chair and a big dinner as this is the perfect wide-screen!
Redonda Ridge Planning-146
But we must keep going, the SCX10 Trail Honcho marches on!Redonda Ridge Planning-147
Another big boulder garden! Who plants these things?!
Who would want these things to grown like this?
Redonda Ridge Planning-148
The SCX10 Trail Honcho makes no worries of such matters and see’s only the playground in mother nature’s garden of rocks.  Redonda Ridge Planning-150
WHAT?! A moment of downhill or even flatness is a happy moment!

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Only to be defused by another uphill climb as Tony makes more reveling with his headlamp that we will be engulfed by darkness on the backside of this climb.
Redonda Ridge Planning-153
Everyone is beat tired, but the view is magical.
Redonda Ridge Planning-180
Battery change time!
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There is both excitement and angst in the air from the crew. The hills are behind us, the darkness is ahead of us.

Maybe the last climb? Redonda Ridge Planning-172
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Hike team headlamps streaking by.Redonda Ridge Planning-174
The SCX10 Trail Honcho awaits the last of the team to pass for the final view of darkness and the final decent to the trail gate at Crab Flats. The end is near, just ahead down a dark mountainside with ZERO moon light. We make our way down and ScottG is awaiting us, with lights on in the rig, we can see how much further we have and the excitement builds for the team!  “GET US OFF THIS TRAIL!” is what a think I heard! Redonda Ridge Planning-181
WE ARE HERE – WE ARE HERE – WE ARE HERE!!!Redonda Ridge Planning-184
We extract the third and final battery out of the SCX10 Trail Honcho and mark the times.

OFFICIAL FINISH: 7:30PM Wednesday October 25th, 2017

Total mileage: 9.68 mile / Total Elapse Time: 10-hrs & 25-mins
Redonda Ridge Planning-183
This trip epic, awesome, fun, grueling and was a big learning curve!
The crew will forever remember this trip! Redonda Ridge Planning-185
That’s a wrap! Spark Arresters Required!

Redonda Ridge Planning-186
Back at camp, ScottG aka “BKGriller” makes HAMBURGERS for the HUNGRY!!!

Redonda Ridge Planning-189
[L2R] Tony Phalen (cam-2), ScottR (cam-1), Rodney Wills (SCX10 Pilot), John Schultz (team basecamp & rig prep), Anthony Rivas of Rivas Concepts (guest & social documentary) ScottG (team basecamp & trail transpo & chief).

See the rig:
Axial AX90059 SCX10 II™ Trail Honcho 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR

Planning a SCX10 Hike over Redonda Ridge OHV Trail 1W17
PACK CONTENTS FOR A SCX10 TRAIL HIKE
Getting There – An SCX10 Hike Over Redonda Ridge
Axial AX90059 SCX10 II™ Trail Honcho 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR
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About the Author: Redonda Ridge Planning-191
Rodney Wills may not have been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but he was more than compensated for it by being able to grow up behind the wheel. At eight years old he started driving heavy equipment on his uncle’s farm. Flouting child labor laws, his uncle would put him to work; he would get him started and jump off the tractor, and have Rodney cut and plow fields. The uncle found Rodney a willing employee. Now, while he did not engage in any tractor races, the seed had been planted (literally); the passion for driving already raced through his veins.

Later on in Alabama, Rodney would drive his father’s old pickup truck. As young teenagers sometimes do, he would sneak the truck out to splash in the mud on the local country back roads. Rodney did not limit himself to four-wheel rides, however. Motorcycles were always apart of family life and Rodney had started riding at age five. Racing came at age six on the dirt oval flat track at Talladega. Trail riding was an everyday thing in the backyard woods and local mountains.

Magazines would introduce Rodney to skateboarding and then BMX in 1977. Normal by today standards but then in rural Alabama, Rodney was way ahead of his peers. Just like his hobbies, his life went in the order of Art, Music, and Cars. His passions led him to the California College of Arts and Crafts after two years at the Atlanta College of Arts and Crafts. After achieving a bachelors degree of art in graphic design, Rodney went on to work ten years in the snow, skate and surf industry through his art, working for the famous O’Neill wetsuit company. Next came music as the art director for the car audio speaker manufacturer Image Dynamics. That led to Rodney starting the import car culture lifestyle magazine, TMRm’zine [1996-2000]. This magazine put the “lifestyle” label on the import market that has now grown to enormous proportions in the automotive industry. For the next 10-years Rodney worked in magazine publishing. During a meeting between colleagues, Wills was helping an event promoter make his event better, which lead to a more in-depth connection to the R/C industry pulling Rodney in to work for HPI Racing [2006-2010]. Since 2010, Rodney has worked for Axial as Global Marketing Director coming up with wacky ideas such as this.

Video documentary of the Axial SCX10 Rubicon Trek

SCX10_II_Rubicon_trekADV
Words/Photos: Rodney Wills

Back in 2013, we published a series of blog posts that I wrote documenting our efforts to take a bone-stock 1/10th scale Axial AX90028 SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR out of the box and drive it over the world renowned full-size Rubicon Trail.

Our Rubicon Trek took place in October of 2012, and those blog posts reflect each day’s events from start to finish. What those blog posts did not show is the video footage documenting this trip – until now! We have two video’s; one at 9-minutes long talking about the trip over video footage and the second one at 55-minutes that shows a lot more footage for your milk & cookies viewing pleasure.

The photos from that trip was purely secondary to the docu-trip as they were shot with a little Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS pocket camera carried in my pocket. The video camera and heavy duty tripod was the “heavy equipment” weighing in at 19-lbs. I did not shoot every square inch of the 15+ mile trail, so there was a lot of shoulder time with the camera as getting in-and-out of the Jeep was not practical as we had all the camp gear and equipment spread out in the Jeep once we were on trail. Regardless of the rigors I personally went through, I am very stoked to have the opportunity to plan, execute and document this trip. These videos reflect the Axial SCX10’s pure performance capabilities.

Need a jump-link to those previous blog post?
http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts?cat=814

 

The Perfect Fit: SORRCA Class 1 Ready SCX10 / SCX10 II | PART 6: TREADS

AX17_SCX10_II_SORRCA_CLASS1_part5Treads

In our mission to show you how the Axial SCX10 and SCX10 II are a perfect fit for SORRCA Class 1 events, we’ve organized the rules and broke them down into six total focus groups. We’ve reached the final focus and that is the wheels, tires and widths to fit your vehicle in. This topic requires some thought and product purchase choices will require work on your part to make sure your rig complies. Let’s dive in.

FOCUS 6: TREADS
SORRCA Rule • 106mm / 4.19″ Max tire size including spares.

nitto_tire_800px
Looks like the Axial Perfect Fit has hit a snag. Unfortunately, the treads within the Axial tire line-up are on the larger side of the SORRCA rule and therefore you’ll need to search for tires that fit this rule and your traction needs. If you are trying to keep that factory look, consider using a licensed wheel from the Axial selection HERE.


 

SORRCA Rule • Wheels must be aligned within the body wheel wells (center of wheels to center of wheel wells +/- 1/2 inch total combined)

SORRCA Rule • The tread of the tires cannot extend outside of the wheel wells more than 1/2 of the tread width, flairs can be added to reach minimum spec.

Team KNK Hardware TTC4 2017-88
When choosing your wheel and tire combination, you’ll want to make certain that the wheel off-set is correct, consider hex hub widths, and tire overhang on the rim so it does not exceed the measurements provided by SORRCA. The vehicle above has wheels that are obviously outside of the body width; this rig would not fit within SORRCA’s rules.


SORRCA Rule • Tires can never extend beyond the body’s bumpers or the rear of any truck bed. (Any stingers,fairleads, shackles, bolts, etc. are not considered part of a bumper when determining this.)

ax90046_SCX10_2-34_800px

As Axial SCX10 and SCX10 II’s arrive from the factory, the wheels and tires are located behind the bumpers. When lengthening links or altering bumper positions, you’ll want to make sure the wheels will still fit behind the bumper. If you are making modifications as such, make sure you fit within some of the previous rules mentioned in our series like sectioning and bobbing.


 

SORRCA Rule • Gates will be a minimum of 11″ wide (so mind your width).

Team KNK Hardware TTC4 2017-165

Gate width plays a key role in determining the width of your trail rig once you start customizing. The stock SCX10 width is 8.8” and the SCX10 is 8.9” which will leave some space to clear gates as long as your wheel and tire choice combination result in a factory width in order to fit under the body. If you choose a combination that is wider, you’re putting the squeeze on your rig through the gates. A bigger concern is the angles in which you need to proceed through some gates if a minimum 11” gate is used. Things can get tight.

GET SORRCA READY
That wraps up the series on the Axial SCX10/ SCX10 II Perfect Fit for SORRCA blog focus. SORRCA has done an excellent job in providing guidelines for everyone to follow so the rigs stay scale and the competition stays close. Our descriptions of how scale Axial trucks fit into these rule sets has been interpereted and presented to the best of our knowledge. Both Axial trail truck platforms continue to be the perfect choice for drivers who want to drive scale, customize with ease and tackle the trails with commanding performance.

 

The Perfect Fit: SORRCA Class 1 Ready SCX10 / SCX10 II | PART 5: BED

AX17_SCX10_II_SORRCA_CLASS_part5

Throughout this series, we discussed how the out of the box 2000 Jeep® Cherokee 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – RTR and 2000 Jeep® Cherokee 1/10th Scale Electric 4WD – Kit fit within SORRCA guidlines right out of the box with no additional work on your part. With slight modifications, other Axial SCX10 based rigs can be easily altered to fit within those guidlines using Axial accessories. Our fifth focus on getting your SCX10/ SCX10 II Class 1 ready discusses truck bed rules and what they mean if you decide to add a truck type body to your trail machine.

FOCUS 5: BED

SORRCA Rule • Bobbing a truck bed is allowed, but must follow all body specs.

An example of "Bobbing" a bed would be to remove the material between the two red lines on the body above. After the material is removed, the tail-gate is reattached to the bed.

An example of “Bobbing” a bed would be to remove the material between the two red lines on the NuKizer body above. After the material is removed, the tail-gate is reattached to the bed.

Bobbing a truck bed is the practice of removing a section of the bed from the left to right side between the rear wheel-well and tailgate. This reduction in the overhang lessens the chances of the bed dragging on the ground during an ascent or hanging up on an obstacle as you cross it. The Jeep NuKizer 715 Body,Jeep Mighty FC Body and 2015 Ram 2500 Power Wagon would be examples of Axial truck bodies with beds that “could” be Bobbed. But these vehicles already have short rear sections and the implications of reattaching a Lexan tailgate on bed with minimal performance gain detours most custom modelers. Bobbing can’t be done on an XJ or Wrangler body either as this falls into the sectioning rule discussed in Part 4 of this series.


 

SORRCA Rule • Dovetailing is not allowed.

Dovetail

Dovetailing is the practice of angling the fenders in towards the center of the vehicle. This requires the center section of the hood or bed to be narrowed at the end and remains wider at the center of the vehicle. Dovetailing improves clearance of the vehicle when approaching obstacles on the trail. Factory Axial bodies are designed to look scale with approval from licensing partners so the vehicle is represented properly. Any Axial scale body will conform to this rule unless you modify it.


 

SORRCA Rule • Truggies are not allowed. Flatbeds with full length rail chassis are allowed. The bed must be as wide as the cab the entire length of the bed. Cab only not allowed.

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Truggies look pretty cool, we’ll admit it, hint hint Honcho! But unfortunately the Honcho body from Axial would not fit into Class 1 SORCCA rules. A truggy is made up of a cab with a cage style rear bed, a specialized vehicle you would hardly ever see on the road. Flatbeds however are seen on the roads so there is no stopping you in locating a Honcho body or using the cab from the Dodge Ram and fitting a custom made flatbed to your SCX10. Keep in mind that the flatbed must run the length of the frame rails and must be as wide as the body you use.

GET SORRCA READY
When getting your SCX10 model ready for a SORRCA event, many will be able to skip this focus here when using a factory XJ, Rubicon, or Wrangler unlimited Axial body. But Axial does offer options for you to get creative with traditional bed equippped truck offerings so you can customize your rig to fit your scale taste. Just one more SORRCA Class 1 Focus to go, and there we will discuss treads. Keep an eye out!

The Perfect Fit: SORRCA Class 1 Ready SCX10 / SCX10 II | PART 4: BODY

AX17_SCX10_II_SORRCA_CLASS_part4

We left you hanging there in Part 3 didn’t we? We tell you not to modify the body and then tell you about a follow up blog on Body Mods. Well, here we are to show you a little can be done and some things to completely steer clear from doing. SORRCA in efforts to keep rigs on the trail in a recognizable scale form has determined performance gaining modifications like boat siding and sectioning bodies will not be permitted within the Class 1 rules. Here are some details to consider when preparing your Axial SCX10 or SCX10 II for a SORRCA event.

FOCUS 4: BODY MODS

SORRCA Rule • Boat sides are not allowed.

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The flat sides of the SCX10™ II 2017 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited CRC edition conform to the SORRCA rule set.

Ok Gilligan, you can’t modify your ship in order to run it ashore. Boat siding is a process in which the lower rocker panel and sometime door area is bent to an inward facing angle. This is done to help gain body ground clearance and also allow the body to glide over rocks and obstacles rather than possibly getting hung up. The angle of the modified panel simulates the angled hull of the boat which is how the name came about. All of Axial’s bodies from the 2000 Jeep® Cherokee, to the 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon and even the new 2017 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited CRC all have body sides perpendicular to the ground and fit within the rules. Resist the urge to tweak your Axial body with a pair of seaming pliers and you’re good to go.


 

SORRCA Rule  • Any removal of material from behind the front wheel well (except trim/molding) is considered a boat side.

Cutting the body along the red line would be considered 'Boat Siding."

Cutting the body along the red line would be considered ‘Boat Siding.”

Put the scissors down and step away from the body. It is ok to trim your fender flares or molding from the body, but in doing so, make certain not to remove material from the fender on an angle greater than the removed flare. Simply altering the angle of the wheel-well opening is considered boat siding and can gain an advantage on the trail as well as take away from the scale look SORRCA is trying to maintain. 


 

SORRCA Rule • Sectioning or narrowing of the body is not allowed.

Trug

Sectioning and narrowing a body, although more commonly practiced on ABS hardbodies because they are easier to glue back together is a way to reduce the chances of the body hanging up on rocks and obstacles. In this practice you are physically taking material away from the body in order to gain precious clearance that can help you gain an advantage. In doing so, you take away from the realistic scale appearance of a factory look.

 

GET SORRCA READY
If you are looking for every advantage possible during a SORRCA event, running factory Axial bodies with minor tweaks is an advantage. Consider the lightweight Lexan SCX10 II Jeep Cherokee XJ or Jeep Rubicon or Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with the flares removed. This will give you additional wheel clearance that could make a difference on the trails. On to Part 5; bed time…

The Perfect Fit: SORRCA Class 1 Ready SCX10 / SCX10 II | PART 3: BODY

AX17_SCX10_II_SORRCA_CLASS_part3

Onto part Three of our SCX10 and SCX10 II SORRCA fitment guide and in this installment, we’re going to talk about the body. We’ve seen many builders get creative with Axial bodies, turning them from clear Lexan shells into unique scale masterpieces. Of course being unique is what sets you and your rig apart from others, but in SORRCA’s Class 1 guidelines, it appears it should be done in a way that maintains a realistic scale look.

FOCUS 3: BODY
SORRCA Rule • Bodies should be mounted in a realistic position in relation to the chassis (like a 1:1 would be).

SORRCA 3

Well, if you thought you were going to shift a cab body all the way to the back of your rig like some George Barris creation, it may not fly under SORRCA rules. The rule is pretty self explanatory, the body should be placed in a realistic position. Axial’s SCX10 II with XJ body fits in these rules as long as you follow the body instructions on the kit version or leave your RTR as is. Axial’s other body offerings on the SCX10 chassis can easily fit these rules as long as your imagination doesn’t go too far off track during your build.


 

SORRCA Rule • Vehicle must have a windshield that fills the entire windshield frame.

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You’re in luck, every Axial body comes with a windshield and as long as you don’t go wielding your rotary tool or hack at the windshield with your scissors in some sort of jaws of life incident, passing this rule should be a breeze. The SCX10 II XJ has a full windshield, the Wrangler Rubicon, full windshield, you get the idea.


 

SORRCA Rule • The vehicles body must be mostly intact. Only mild trimming is allowed, such as removing: flairs, trim, molding & a hardtop. If the hardtop is removed, a full interior is required (no extreme trimming of bodies allowed)

ax90028_scx10_jeep_rtr_chassis_20_800x533

Let’s face it, customizing your rig is one of the best parts of the scale model scene, but SORRCA wants to see your modifications done within reason. The key here is to be scale and of course rigs like the SCX10 II Jeep XJ, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon fall right into place with the scale rules. If you do choose to run the Unlimited Wrangler Rubicon body, it can be used with or without the cap. The Rubicon’s molded interior qualifies as a full interior. The XJ has a full roof, so of course it doesn’t need an interior unless you add one. If however you do want to chop the top or even add scale points, you can get creative and used an interior chopped out of the Rubicon body as the interior for your XJ. Is it an replica interior? Obviously no, but it is an interior option that can be utilized. Remember, one of the best parts of scale crawling is using your imagination and craftsmanship.

GET SORRCA READY
There are always some that want to twist or bend the rules and we understand the urge. It is those what if’s that can really help make your rig into something that stands out from the rest and may perform better too. But SORRCA’s intent is obvious, the RC trails should be filled with vehicles that look scale in Class 1. Next up in our SORRCA fitment guide; Body Mods. Wait what? We just told you not to modify the body. Stay tuned!

SCX10 II Rubicon Trail Adventure With Photo Pro Brad Perry

 

SCX10 II Rubicon Trail Adventure

Mention the name Rubicon Trail and just about anyone you speak to will say they’ve heard of it whether they are into 4×4 off-roading or not. If by some reason, like you’ve been abducted by aliens for most of your life and you’ve never heard of the Rubicon Trail, here is the short of it. The trail’s origination actually began as an Indian trading route and in the 1800’s became a service road, but over time lessened in use and the terrain degraded. The scenic trail with unique terrain then became a favorite for explorers and adventurers. In the early 1950’s, the trail sprung back to life as the Jeepers Jamboree event picked the trail as its home. The trail that spans from from Georgetown, CA to Tahoma, CA at Lake Tahoe and has basically become internationally known as an ultimate destination for hiking, 4X4′s, motorcycle or quad, or mountain bike adventures.

That leads us to the story of Brad Perry, a hiker, adventurist, professional photographer and more importantly, an Axial RC fanatic. Brad joined the media at Axialfest 2017 and captured some amazing moments from the event, so our eyes were on his work. Then he posted a photo (above) from his recent trek on the Rubicon Trail, that he organized himself, to his social media. Brad had our attention once again and we got a hold of him to tell his story of the trip.

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About:
Name: Brad Perry
Age: 32
Hometown: Born and raised in Livermore, CA but I have lived in South Lake Tahoe, CA for the past 11 years
Profession: Owner of Von Perry Photography and Freelance photographer
Hobbies: Bouldering, Hiking, Riding all types of bikes

Prep:
Prior hikes – I hike almost every day for work. If I’m not out shooting some kind of action sports, I’m in my local area hiking around with my wife, dog and RC. When it comes to the Rubicon I had hiked the trail multiple times for other photo assignments so I had a lot of prior knowledge of the trail.
Physical prep – I knew I could hike the mileage with no issue but I had to do a lot of overall prep. I did 3 prior hikes that were around 12-14 miles each. I had to figure out what mileage the truck was getting so I didn’t run out of battery power and I had to figure out my overall pace so I could plan on being picked up at the finish.

Gear:
Clothing  – Shorts and my Axial t-shirt
Shoes – Altra Timps
Backpack –North Face Mega Mouth
Headlamp- Petzl Tikka
Supplies – Sony A7s Camera, Canon 16-35mm and a 50mm lens, folding tripod, iPhone6s, tools if anything breaks on trail.
Extra parts – Front and rear drivelines, C-hubs and knuckles, steering servo, a servo horn and a few misc screws.

Nutrition:
Food and hydration – Two PB&J sandwiches, one Cliff Bar and some beef jerky. Two Lemonade Rockstar Recovery energy drinks. 50oz of Skratch Labs exercise hydration mix and 50oz of water.

BVP03rv

The Rig:
Axial SCX10 II RTR
Upgrades – Axial 1.9 BFGoodrich Krawler T/A’s, Vanquish shock hoops, Vanquish Method 105’s, CI single stage foams, HR hardened trans gears, Proline 4runner body
Special mods – None
Electronics – Castle Mamba-X with a 1410 3800kv brushless system. Spektrum DX4C radio system. Stock steering servo.
Lighting  No lighting on the rig.
Batteries – I took 6 Venom 2s 5000mha 50c batteries. I used about 28,500mha in total.
The radios batteries held up just fine.

BVP61rv

Challenges:
The trail itself is very challenging just to hike. It’s not your normal well groomed hiking trail. Lots of loose rock and silt covered slabs. Traction and footing is a constant issue. I knew I wanted to go fast but I needed to be safe at the same time. Twisting an ankle out that far with no support is something you have in the back of your mind the whole time. I was also on the trail during very low traffic times so the hopes of a ride out were low.

Tough obstacles- I had it in my mind that areas like Big Sluice and Little Sluice were going to be my biggest issues. The water crossing at Buck Island was also a worry. Funny thing was the hardest obstacle ended up being the Buck Island Dam. It’s a little taller than a curb and is only passible in one direction with the truck. When you go the other way you have to go way up by the bathrooms and down into one of the trailside camps. The other thing that had me worried was the amount of silt on the trail. In some places it was 3 inches deep. Other than that the SCX10 II handled it all like a champ.

Damage:
I only had one issue on both passes and it was a total mistake. In the first few hours of my first trip I bent over to tie my shoe and hit the trigger. I sent my truck into a huge rock at full speed and stripped the plastic servo horn. I quickly pulled out the tools and had it fixed in minutes. The overall performance of the SCX10 II RTR was amazing.

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HOG- On my first trip I rolled 6 times in total but only ended up on my roof turtled twice to where I had to pick it up. On the second trip I had a few more because I was going a lot faster. There were no points where the truck couldn’t make it up something and I had to pick it up over the obstacle. That’s one of the best parts of this trail.
Memorable Moment- It’s hard to narrow down just one part of the trail as being the most memorable. One of my favorite areas on the trail is the top of the slabs overlooking Buck Island Lake and the whole surrounding valley. My most memorable moment was an older gentlemen asking me if I was hiking or driving the trail? I chuckled and said both. I have to place the tires in the right places don’t I? He laughed and agreed.

BVP34rv

Overall Experience- I started both of my hikes around 4AM completely solo. Hiking on the Loon Lake side on the open granite slabs under the stars was great. On my second trip leaving Tahoma you have about 6 miles of heavily wooded trail. I found my mind racing a little at times thinking I was hearing animals in the bushes. Wondering if a bear was going to come out and start chasing the truck like a playful dog. I did both of my trips mid-week so I ran into very little traffic on the trail. I only saw 2 people my first time and 6 or so on the second. The trail is really amazing because it’s consistently challenging end to end. Even if you try to make it easy on yourself you still end up doing a great deal of difficult crawling. I stopped at the same places along the trail on both trips. I took breaks at Buck Island and Observation Point and then ate food at the middle point at Rubicon Springs. When I first did the trail I parked my car at Loon Lake and left it there with the plan of picking it up the next day. I had so much fun the first time I took two days to recover and hiked it back the other direction to pick my car up. The Rubicon is a blast and I would do it again any time.

I definitely have a few people to thank for the helping get this done. Everyone at CKRC, Castle Creations, Venom Power, SF Threads, Scale Ultra, SBG, Altra Running and Axial Racing! I also couldn’t have done this without the support of my wife. She sat in a parking lot waiting to pick me up with no cell service for hours, then 2 days later woke up at 3am to drop me off so I could do it all again.

BVP43rv

Trip Stats
Trip 1
Start-The Rubicon sign at the Loon Lake Staging
Finish-The sign at “Tahoma Staging” – McKinney-Rubicon Springs Staging
Miles: 15.77
Time: 8 hours 31 minutes 46 seconds
Vert: 2744ft
Rest: 3-10 minute breaks
Weight: Backpack was 21lbs

Trip 2
Start: The sign at “Tahoma Staging” – McKinney-Rubicon Springs Staging
Finish: The Rubicon sign at the Loon Lake Staging
Miles 15.77
Time: 6 hours 42 minutes 47 seconds
Vert: 2502ft
Rest 3-10 minute breaks
Weight: backpack 21lbs

BVP27

Adventure Inspiration
Brad’s trip was certainly an exciting trip from the details given and through some amazing photos. His trip was not the first time an RC rig hit the Rubicon Trail. Among many others, the Axial team hit the trails too with the release of the SCX10™ 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon; you can see that adventure HERE. We’re sure there will be many more adventures too that will hit the terrain with an Axial RC trail machine in hand. But Brad’s story is inspirational. Brad hit the trail alone, with the right amount of supplies and a nearly stock SCX10 II rig that made the length of the trail without major issue. Also in record time for an RC machine with Brad pushing hard both driving and hiking. We hope this inspires you to take your Axial Adventure to the next level too. Find and design your own RC experience and be sure to tag it with #AxialAdventure as it is becoming a way of life that many want to see and share.

BVP66rv BVP64rv BVP63rv BVP60rv BVP53rv BVP39rv BVP37rv BVP21rv BVP19rv BVP16rv BVP14rv BVP10rv BVP04rv BVP02rv

How To – Program Your ESC For NiMH Batteries

 

Program_NiMH_Batteries

Axial’s Ready-to-Run (RTR) vehicles are true hobby-grade products and, as such, they use sophisticated electronic components. One of the primary advantages to such high-tech gear is adjustability and an area of adjustability includes battery type. Axial’s electronic speed controls (ESCs) are designed to be used with a variety of battery chemistry types and can, and should, be adjusted for the type of battery you’re using.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As a safety measure, Axial uses the LiPo setting as the default setting on the ESC, but NiMH batteries, are often recommended for use with RTRs. NiMH batteries will provide best performance when the ESC is used in NiMH mode.

nimh_and_lipo

LiPo batteries must be run with the ESC set in LiPo for safe use. This isn’t optional. When properly set in LiPo mode, Axial ESCs are designed to eliminate the chance of over discharging the battery and permanently damaging it, which is a potential safety issue. As such, LiPo batteries should never be used in any other mode other than LiPo mode on the ESC.

NiMH batteries will work in LiPo mode, but there will be a noticeable reduction in performance that will suddenly become apparent as the pack starts to lose voltage (discharge). This is because LiPo mode has what is called LiPo cutoff or low voltage cutoff. As the voltage drops in the NiMH pack, it is still delivering usable power, but the LiPo cutoff engages and impairs performance. The LiPo cutoff is designed to reduce power to the motor in order to keep the battery at a safe minimum voltage. Let’s go over setting up NiMh mode on the various Axial ESC offerings so you can get maximum performance when using this type of battery.


 

axial ae-2 esc

AE-2. The AE-2 is a brushed motor speed control. While Castle Creation’s Castle Link system can be used to link the ESC up to a computer (availabe as an aftermarket item,) for ease of use, the AE-2 can be programmed manually by using the throttle trigger on your transmitter to indicate yes or or no to selections as you scroll through each option. To get the best performance when using a NiMH, the ESC should be programmed to operate in NiMH mode.

When programming, as a safety measure, remove the pinion from the motor. This will prevent the gears and/or vehicle from moving and causing damage to the vehicle or you. Turn the transmitter on and then connect a freshly charged battery to the ESC. Hold full throttle and turn on the ESC. You will hear four tones from the ESC and then another four tones. After the second series of four tones, release the throttle. The ESC will beep twice indicating you’re in programming mode.

There are three settings that can be adjusted on the AE-3. Each setting, in turn, has a varying number of options. You will use your transmitter’s throttle to select yes (full throttle) or no (full brake) for each option. When you select yes, the next setting will come up. Every time you select no, you will toggle to the next option within that setting. When you select yes or no, wait for a continuous tone and let the throttle go to neutral. If you selected yes, the ESC will go to the next setting.

To change to NiMH mode, you will need to go to the first setting. Remember, LiPo batteries must be used LiPo mode.

Setting 1 LiPo Cutoff
Option 1: None (NiMH mode)
Option 2: Auto-LiPo*

Setting 2 Drag Brake
Option 1: Disabled
Option 2: 15%
Option 3: 25%
Option 4: 40%
Option 5: 50%
Option 6: 100%*

3: Brake/Reverse Type
Option 1: Reverse enabled (2-second lockout)
Option 2: Reverse disabled
Option 3: Forward/Brake/Reverse*
* = Default factory setting

For additional reference, view the manual: HERE


 

axial ae-3 esc

Vanguard AE-3. The Vanguard AE-3 is a brushless motor speed control. It comes preprogrammed in the “Auto-LiPo” mode. Like the AE-2, you can use the Castle-Link to program the ESC with your PC, but you can also manually program the ESC with your transmitter.

When programming, as a safety measure, remove the pinion from the motor. This will prevent the gears and/or vehicle from moving and causing damage to the vehicle or you. Turn the transmitter on and then connect a freshly charged battery to the ESC. Hold full throttle and then turn on the ESC. You will hear four tones from the ESC and then another four tones. After the second series of four tones, release the throttle. The ESC will beep twice indicating you’re in programming mode.

There are nine settings that can be adjusted. Each setting, in turn, has a varying number of options. You will use your transmitter’s throttle to select yes (full throttle) or no (full brake) for each option. When you select yes, the next setting will come up. Every time you select no, you will toggle to the next option within that setting. When you select yes or no, wait for a continuous tone and let the throttle go to neutral. If you selected yes, the ESC will go to the next setting.

To change to NiMH mode, you will need to go through settings one through six to get to setting seven, which changes the battery mode. Remember, LiPo batteries must be used LiPo mode.

Setting 1 Brake/Reverse Type
Option 1: With Reverse*
Option 2: Without Reverse
Option 3: Crawler Reverse. No delay from throttle to brake to reverse.

Setting 2 Brake Amount
Option 1: 25% Power
Option 2: 50% Power*
Option 3: 75% Power
Option 4: 100% Power

Setting 3 Reverse Amount
Option 1: 25% Power
Option 2: 50% Power*
Option 3: 75% Power
Option 4: 100% Power

Setting 4 Punch/Traction Control
Option 1: High
Option 2: Medium
Option 3: Low
Option 4: Lowest
Option 5: Disabled*

Setting 5 Drag Brake
Option 1: Drag Brake off*
Option 2: Drag Brake 10%
Option 3: Drag Brake 20%
Option 4: Drag Brake 30%
Option 5: Drag Brake 40%

Setting 6 Dead Band
Option 1: Large – 0.1500 ms
Option 2: Normal – 0.1000 ms*
Option 3: Small – 0.0750 ms
Option 4: Very Small – 0.0500 ms
Option 5: Smallest – 0.0250 ms

Setting 7 Cutoff Voltage
Option 1: No low-voltage cutoff
Option 2: Auto-Lipo*
Option 3: 5v
Option 4: 6v
Option 5: 9v
Option 6: 12v

Setting 8 Motor Timing
Option 1: Lowest
Option 2: Normal*
Option 3: Highest

Setting 9 Motor Type
Option 1: Brushless*
Option 2: Brushed Reversing
Option 3: Brushed High Power
* = Default factory setting

For additional reference, view the manual: HERE


 

axial ae-5 esc

AE-5. The AE-5 is a brushed speed control and is by far the easiest ESC to program. To switch from the factory LiPo mode, remove the “jumper” and move it over one position. Not only is this ESC easy to program, it’s also waterproof.

For additional reference, view the manual: HERE

Axial AE-5


 

ae-1

AE-1. Axial’s AE-1 ESC does not have a LiPo cutoff. If you use LiPo batteries in a vehicle equipped with an AE-1 ESC you must use a separate LiPo low-voltage cut-off device. Axial does not sell a separate LiPo cut-off device, so the best choice would be to upgrade to an ESC such as the Axial AE-5 (see above), which is extremely easy to program and waterproof.