Project Wrexo – Body Off Photos

Most of you have seen a couple sneak peek photos of the latest project I have been working on dubbed “Project Wrexo.” Here are a few more teaser shots for you to check out. More details will be released on this project soon, as well as some video. So stay tuned to Axial’s blog for the latest!

Vanquish – Currie Rock Jock Axle Install – Wraith

As some of you may have seen, I recently wrote an article about swapping stock SCX10 housings out for the aluminum Currie Rock Jock axle housings from Vanquish Products. Vanquish has now taken these axle housings a step further by offering them for the Wraith as well. The assembly on these axles is very similar to the SCX10 version, which is fairly simple. The two biggest differences between the axles is the SCX10 ring and pinion assembly is centered on the axle, and the axle tubes are equal lengths. The Wraith version has the offset ring and pinion assembly with one short axle tube and one long.

I came back from lunch a few days ago to find that the “Vanquish Fairy” had left some parts on my desk for me. One quick look and I knew exactly what was in the package. Time to install some bling on my custom Wroncho build. Let’s get busy!

A shot of the front and rear axles.

I started with the rear axle, here you can see all the parts are sealed in separate bags to prevent damage during shipping.

Once you have your old axles torn down, grab the pinion gear and the two bearings used to support it.

Install a bearing on the pinion shaft and press it into the axle housing by hand.

Now set your ring gear assembly into place.

Use the supplied M3 hardware to secure the bearing caps that hold the ring gear assembly.

Time for the axle tubes. Here you can see the parts and tools required. A set of snap ring pliers are needed for this step.

Insert a 5x11mm bearing into the end of the axle tube, and install the snap ring to hold it in place.

Slide the axle shafts into place next.

Then install the drive pins and hexes.

Completed axle tubes ready for install.

Now insert the long axle tube into the axle housing opposite the ring gear.

Add a dab of blue thread lock to the M3 set screw.

Install the M3 set screw into the axle housing to locate the tube. Then do the same for the short side axle tube.

Now install the axle truss per the instructions to properly time the whole assembly.

Now install your four M3 set screws that secure the axle tubes to the center section. Don’t forget to add a dab of thread lock to these as well.

Now remove the axle truss so you can install the differential cover.

Add a little grease to the ring and pinion gears before installing the diff cover.

This is also a good time to fill the unused holes in the axle tubes with the provided set screws in the axle kit. Add a little thread lock to each one so they stay in place. Make sure you leave the holes needed to secure the axle truss empty as well.

Now install the diff cover using the supplied hardware.

Re-install the axle truss using thread lock per the instructions.

Install the link mounts.

Last but not least, install the differential skid plate.

Now we will move on to the front axle.

Dissect your front axle and set the parts you will reuse aside.

Grab the front axle’s center section and the rest of the parts required to complete this step.

Slide the pinion gear and bearings into the center section.

Drop the ring gear assembly in the housing and install the bearing caps with the supplied hardware.

Locate your axle tubes and the required set screws.

Insert the axle tubes into the housing’s center section and install the M3 set screws to locate the tubes.

Temporarily install the axle truss.

Add a little thread lock to the set screws used to tie the tubes to the center section.

Install the set screws to lock the axle tubes into place.

Remove the axle truss, grease the gears and install the differential cover.

Install the supplied set screws into the unused holes on the axle tubes.

Now you can used thread lock and install the axle truss permanently.

Bolt the link mounts into place on the axle.

Install the plastic skid plate on the axle’s center section.

Slide a 5x11mm bearing into the ends of the axle tubes.

I am using the Vanquish chassis mounted steering kit on this build, so I installed the 3 link mount on the axle tube at this time.

Install the inner axles, c-hubs, knuckles, steering tie rod and you are done.

That wraps up the Vanquish Rock Jock axle swap for the AR60 axles. For those that missed the SCX10 axle housing swap, here is a link to that article.
http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts/1073902689

Custom Rock Sliders

Here’s a few tips on making your own custom length rock sliders out of stock plastic Axial rock sliders that are included with all SCX10 vehicles. The stock sliders look great and are fully functional. But, for a few of my custom builds the rock sliders are too short to use, when compared to the length of the body’s rocker panels. I have been wanting to extend the stock rock sliders for these projects, but never got around to it. Brandon recently extended a set for one of his custom builds and they turned out pretty nice. So, I decided it was time I modded a set for myself to see how it would work. Here are a few tips to help anyone that wants to attempt this same modification.

You will need 2 sets of rock sliders to make one extended set. First thing I did was cut the rock sliders as needed. To get the length I wanted I needed to leave 7 holes in front half and 4 holes for the second half.

After I cut the sliders to length I drilled holes in the ends that were cut. I than wallowed out the holes with a drill bit so they would be tapered.

Using some plastic from an old parts tree I made some pins to press into the 2 halves of the rock sliders.

Now you will need to check the fit of the mating part. Chances are you will have to do some more trimming on the pins to make everything line up properly. Take your time here and check the overall fit often. Once everything lines up, you can use some tire glue to join the two halves together.

I had to drill new holes in the frame for the rock slider’s mounting tabs, since the sliders are now longer the mounting points on the frame rails have to be re-located.

Overall shot of the finished product.

Project Wrexo – Bender’s Latest Custom Build

Now that Axial is the official R/C company of Ultra 4 Racing, I figured it was time to build a proper Ultra 4 R/C vehicle. If you are not familiar with Ultra 4 Racing it basically combines low speed “rock crawling” with high speed “baja” style racing. So, your vehicle has to be able to handle technical rock sections and high speed desert bumps in the same race, on the same day. Most hardcore off-road enthusiasts know a solid axle set-up front and rear rules in low speed rock crawling. And most of those same off-road fans know that independent suspension rules for high speed and jumps. There are a few competitors in Ultra 4 Racing that have been mixing the two set-ups together for a suspension system that works decent in both situations. Shannon Campbell was the first to try this, if I am not mistaken, and he has had great success winning the King of the Hammers crown in 2008 and 2011. Shannon’s rig runs independent suspension up front and a solid axle set-up in the rear. This latest custom build has been dubbed “Project Wrexo” and follows suit with that hybrid suspension set-up. Here’s a little sneak peek at this new build, more details and info to come soon so keep an eye on Axial’s blog and Facebook page.

Vanquish – Currie Rock Jock Axle Install – SCX10

I was finally able to get my grubby hands on a set of the new Vanquish / Currie Rock Jock axle housings. These are fully licensed replicas of the custom 1 ton axles Currie Enterprises makes for 1:1 rock crawlers and King of the Hammers style vehicles. The 1:1 axles feature a high pinion center differential housing, which helps move your driveshafts up out of harms way. This feature also rotates the differential cover up to help avoid hitting the cover on rocks, and possibly damaging a ring gear. These new Vanquish axle housings have the same features as their 1:1 counter parts, and are fully machined from billet aluminum. Every part in this kit is a work of art. For those that aren’t familiar with my background, I was a machinist for about 15 years before coming to work for Axial. So I really appreciate the effort Vanquish put into these, as it had to be very time consuming. Especially since these housings are compatible with all the stock Axial internals, a nice bonus for sure! The machine work is executed perfectly too, with no sharp edges or burrs to be found on any of the parts. Great quality control is key, and Vanquish has it down!! Let’s get started on the conversion!

A shot of the front and rear axles, as well as the link kit for the axle install.

We will be performing surgery on my old Dingo which I converted into the new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.

I started with the rear axle first. A shot of all the components included with the axle kit.

Start by removing the wheels and tires.

Then unbolt the upper links, lower links and shocks from the axle housing. Then remove the rear axle.

I am going to install a few upgrades while I am making the conversion too. First up is a set of HD under drive ring and pinion gears. These gears are made from hardened steel, and are helical cut for strength and durability.

Remove the rear axle lockouts, and slide the inner axles out of the housing. I also removed the outer 5x11mm bearings as well.

Unbolt the rear axle housing, and split the case open to gain access to the ring and pinion gears.

Pull the ring and pinion out of the housing and remove the ring gear from the locker assembly. Take care not to rip the gasket between the ring gear and case, as we will need to re-use it.

After installing the new ring gear, grab the rear center section of the housing.

Slide one of the 5x11mm bearings onto the pinion shaft and insert it into place in the new housing. Then install the second 5x11mm bearing to support the drivesahft side of the pinion gear.

Insert the ring gear assembly into the housing next, and install the supplied bearing caps over the bearings.

A close-up photo of the bearing caps. Notice they can only be installed one way, the bigger diameter supports the bearings on each side of the ring gear assembly.

Next grab your axle tubes, inner axles, bearing and snap rings needed to complete this step.

You will need a set of snap ring pliers to complete this step. They can be found at any hardware or auto parts stores. Keep in mind there are specific tools for inner and outer snap rings, so make sure what you get will work. This set of snap ring pliers can pull double duty and works for either style snap ring, which is nice.

Compress the snap ring and insert it into place in the end of the axle tube.

A shot of the snap ring installed. The ring comes very close to rubbing the axle shaft, but it does clear when fully supported by all bearings.

Once both axle shafts and snap rings are in place you can install the drive pins and hexes.

Grab some blue thread lock for the next step, which is installing the tubes into the center section.

Add a dab of thread lock to the supplied M3 set screws, and insert them per the instructions to temporarily hold the tubes in place.

Both axle tubes in place, ready for the next step.

Locate the supplied axle truss and hardware.

Install the axle truss to locate/time the two axle tubes to the center section. Then, per the instructions, install the four M3 set screws that secure the axle tubes to the center section. Make sure the tops of the set screws are flush, or just below flush with the center section’s outer lip. The screws will go in a little tight, but they will go in.

Once the tubes are secured, remove the axle truss, and install the differential cover. Don’t forget to grease the ring and pinion gears before bolting the differential cover into place.

Now re-install the axle truss using blue thread lock. You can also install the link mounts at this time too.

Screw the supplied plastic differential skid to the center section of the axle housing. This piece will let the axles slide over obstacles easier than if it was just the aluminum.

You will notice there are holes in the axle tubes that aren’t utilized at this time. I installed some small M3 set screws into these holes, with a dab of blue thread lock, to keep debris out of the housings.

Notice the machined “weld marks” to replicate a real 1:1 axle truss. Another cool feature these axles offer to complete the scale look.

Rear axle done!!

Now we will move on to the front axle.

Remove the wheels, tires and all hardware that holds the front axle in place.

Remove the steering links, unbolt the c-hubs and remove the knuckle assembly with the inner axles intact.

Split the axle case to gain access to the ring and pinon gears.

If applicable, install the new ring gear onto the locker assembly.

Again, slide a 5x11mm bearing over the pinion shaft and slide it into place in the housing.

Insert the axle tubes into place per the instructions. Then install the two M3 set screws to hold the tubes in place.

Temporarily install the axle truss to locate/time the axle tubes.

Apply a little blue thread lock to the four set screws and install them to secure the axle tubes. Then remove the axle truss.

Install the four tiny set screws into the front differential cover.

Then, bolt the differential cover into place. Again, don’t forget to grease the ring and pinon gears.

Now we can install the axle truss with blue thread lock per the instructions.

Flip the axle around and install the link mounts next.

Attach the center differential skid plate with the supplied screws.

Next I installed the servo mount for the steering servo.

Locate your front knuckle/axle assemblies.

One mod I did have to make was to my aluminum c-hubs. The Axial c-hubs are threaded for use with set screws in the stock plastic housing. But, the Vanquish housing is threaded aluminum too, which just won’t work together as the threads will never be timed properly. Keep in mind the stock plastic c-hubs will bolt right up with zero issues. To fix the issue I ran into I drilled the c-hub holes out to an 1/8″ diameter to clear the M3 screws. You will need to drill the bottom hole out in front and the top hole out in back. You can also drill all four out too without any issues. They will still bolt back up to plastic housings if need be.

A shot of the complete front axle. I am going to try and keep my high clearance knuckles in use with these housings. Just need to sling them under my Jeep to see how it will all play out.

A shot of both complete axles ready to be transplanted into my SCX10. So sick!!

For more info on these housings, and a ton of other killer products, be sure to visit the Vanquish website.
http://www.vanquishproducts.com/

Keep an eye out for the next blog post that will cover installing them into my SCX10.

Body Tech – 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Kit

Now that the “kit version” of Axial’s 2012 Jeep® Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon has been released I wanted to go over some tips on painting and assembling the body. This is Axial’s most detailed body to date, with several plastic bolt on accessories. There are numerous holes to be drilled in specific locations for all the “bolt on” accessories. This post is meant to help show people what order to assemble / paint this new body to get the best results. So, let’s get started!!

For this body I wanted the cut lines to be really clean, so instead of using standard Lexan body scissors, I used a new X-acto knife to cut out the body and hardtop. This method works great, but you have to be very careful not to veer off your intended cut line. Take your time and you shouldn’t have any issues. So, the first thing I did was use the knife to cut the hardtop lines.

Slowly follow the cut lines on the hardtop with the X-acto. You don’t have to push down very hard either. You are not trying to cut through the Lexan, you just want to score it with the blade.

After I have scored the body lines, I used Lexan scissors to rough the body out. Here you can see I stayed away from the finish cut lines with the scissors.

Once the excess Lexan is cut away you can start peeling the last bits of Lexan away from the body. You will basically be tearing the body on the score lines you created with the X-acto.

Here you can see the hardtop is cut out and ready for the next step.

Now add your window masks, and label the paint scheme if needed. I am using white and black for this particular body.

Next I cut the windshield out with scissors and applied the paint mask for the window.

Using the X-acto method again, I cut the main body out as needed. Then, I applied the paint masks for the headlights and turn signals because I want to add lights down the road.

Using a body reamer go ahead and ream the roll cage mounting holes around the interior to fit 3mm hardware.

Now assemble the roll cage complete.

Go ahead and bolt the roll cage to the body.

Out back the roll cage has a spare tire brace incorporated into the cage. Just loosen it up a little and flip it up and out of the way for now.

Now we will fit the hardtop to the body to mark the screw holes that hold the top into place. I used electrical tape on the sides of the body and hardtop to hold the top while I fine tuned it’s fit on the body.

At this point I took the time to mark any areas that may interfere with final assembly with a marker. Here you can see the hardtop lines will need to be trimmed a bit to clear the screws that hold the windshield in place.

Before you mark any holes to be drilled in the top, make sure your body lines match up on both sides.

Once all the body lines are properly lined up, go ahead and tape the top down to the main body, and mark the holes for the hardtop with a marker.

After the holes are all marked, remove the top and drill the holes as needed. Be careful not to go too big with these holes, as the screws for the top are smaller than the standard M3 hardware.

At this point I went ahead and notched the front of the hardtop to clear the windshield screws.

Now set your windshield in place and mark the holes to secure it to the roll cage.

Be careful drilling these holes as well, since there isn’t much excess material to work with. The hole should fall right between the molded studs in the windshield frame.

Now we can assemble the hard top, body and windshield to make sure everything fits properly.

Looking good!! At this point you can remove the hardtop and flip the spare tire brace back down. Slide the hardtop back into place until the brace touches the rear window and mark the hole for the brace to come through. Then, ream your hole to size so it slides over the spare tire brace.

Now we can turn our attention to the smaller details like tail lights, mirrors, shifter, steering wheel, etc. I used calipers to measure the distance between the molded stud on the tail lights and the mounting hole.

Next, I went ahead and marked the body with my calipers for where the tail lights should sit. We will drill our holes on that scribed line the proper distance apart.

The side of the tail light should sit almost flush with the outside of the body, so mark your holes as needed.

Test fit parts as you go to ensure proper fit.

We will take the same steps to mount the mirrors as we did to mount the tail lights. Measure the spread between the molded stud and the mounting hole on the mirror.

I measured from the top of the half door down .300, or just over a 1/4″, to the first hole for the mirror. Then moved down another .200 per my measurement, so the bottom hole is 1/2″ from the top of the door.

To keep the holes in line, I measure another .300 from the door seam to the mirror holes.

Ream your holes and double check the fit.

Now it’s time to mark the holes for the Poison Spyder Crusher Flares. I found the best way to do this was to use the plastic backing for the flares as a template to mark the holes. Set the proper back plate in place on the inside of the body, line everything up, and carefully mark your hole locations. You can also tape them in place, then mark the holes, to ensure they don’t move on you.

Holes marked……..

………and drilled.

Next up are the body mount holes. Set your body in place on top of the body posts, and carefully line it up front to back, and side to side.

Mark the body mounts on the outside of the body with your marker.

Partially ream the holes out and double check to make sure everything lines up properly.

If everything looks good, drill the holes out to size.

Last few items to take care of are the steering wheel, and shifter. To mark the steering wheel hole I just used my calipers to find the exact center of the panel the wheel mounts to, and marked it.

Drill your hole and double check the fit.

To mark the shifter holes, I held the shifter up to the inside of the body and marked the holes as needed.

And done!!

Now, we get to take the entire body apart, and remove all plastic accessories. Tedious yes, but needed to get a clean finished product. Now it is time to start painting. I chose white and black for the colors on this build to give it that “Stormtrooper” affect. I think Mr. Lucas would be proud!

I started by laying down a few good coats of rattle can white to the inside of the body, windshield and hardtop.

You will notice that some spots, like this seat, on the body aren’t covered with white very well. Most of those areas will be painted flat black on the outside of the body later. So, I didn’t worry about getting complete coverage in those areas.

After the coats of white were dry, I backed everything in black, like I usually do.

To paint the interior flat black, I cut the over spray film out of the interior area only with an X-acto. Then, carefully peeled it away so it didn’t pull any areas I don’t want painted away from the body. Take your time here as well. After you spray the interior, peel the rest of the over spray film off the body and it should look like this.

I followed the same procedure for the interior, as I did for the hard top. Cut the over spray film as needed, and peel it away before painting the flat black. I used a second set of window masks on the outside of the windows on the hardtop, so the windows will remain clear after paint. But, you can just leave the over spray film on the windows by cutting around it with your X-acto and use that as your paint mask.

Remove all window masks at this time. I used the tip of my knife to peel a corner up enough to grab with my fingers.

Notice I have a little white bleeding through the rear windows.

I used a marker to cover the paint, and once the window decal is in place it will still look pretty clean.

Apply the window decals.

Next we will apply all interior decals.

For the seats I tried something different. I only cut the center of the seat decals out with my knife and applied the center portion only.

Apply the exterior decals next.

Don’t forget your mirror and tail light decals.

Attach the tail lights to the body.

Install the steering wheel, don’t forget the Jeep decal that goes in the center.

Shifter installed.

Apply the windshield decal.

Before I bolted the Crusher Flares on I used my marker to color anything that will be inside the wheel well black, just for a cleaner look.

Now we can bolt the cage into place, add the windshield and install the hardtop. Notice there is a small white strip between the hardtop and the black rear quarter panel stickers. To fix this, I removed the top and broke out my trusty black marker and colored that strip of white in. You could also use vinyl, or electrical tape to cover it too.

If you find the sides of the hardtop wanting to bow out away from the body, you can use double stick tape on the tops of the doors to hold them tight.

The finished product.

Whew! That covers detailing your new Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon kit body. A few things I would have done differently. One, make sure you get your base color of paint up inside the tops of the doors as best you can. This area’s coverage was a little thinner than I expected it to be, and you can see some shading from the black paint at certain angles. Two, I would have left the sides of the hardtop a little longer and trimmed after paint. The black paint left a shadow along the bottom of the sides. Not critical stuff, but just a few things to keep in mind. Good luck with your build and post it up on our Facebook page when you are done, we would love to see it.
http://www.facebook.com/axialinc?ref=hl

WB8 Driveshaft Upgrade

Have you ever done this to your WB8 driveshaft?  Turned your driveshaft into a broken piece of licorice.

This is my high speed Wraith running a Castle Creations 5700Kv on 3S Lipo battery.  This thing used to destroy plastic driveshafts.

I wanted to find an easy inexpensive fix.  The weak link of the WB8 is in the male half of the driveshaft, due to it being hollow for assembly, the shaft can collapse allowing it to then twist and eventually break.  So all we have to do is prevent the shaft from collapsing.  The answer came in Axial threaded aluminum pipe links.  Turns out the outside diameter of the threaded pipe is almost the same as the inside diameter of the driveshaft.  So here are the parts used:

Axial WB8 Driveshaft Set – AX30794

Axial Threaded Aluminum Pipe 6x106mm – Grey AX30516

I built two driveshaft to show you two different ways.  The first way is to fully assemble a female half and fully assemble a male half.

Cut the aluminum threaded pipe to about 45mm and then hammer it into the male half.

Note: Once you hammer the aluminum threaded pipe into the male half of the driveshaft, you will NOT be able to access the screw for the U-joint. Disassembly can only be done but cutting the shaft apart.

Here is the method I prefer.  Assemble two female halves.

Then cut a male half to remove the coupler part of the shaft so it is now a splined insert.

Then cut the threaded aluminum pipe to length and hammer into the plastic piece.

Your final product will be two female shafts connected with a floating splined insert.  

Note: you may have to cut the female halves to the required length for your application.

Here are the completed two options to strengthen your WB8 driveshaft.

Installed on my Wraith

Since doing this modification I have not had a driveshaft fail.  I’ll keep beating this Wraith to see what breaks next so we can continue to improve our products. Thanks for reading.

Axial “SCX10JK” s-POD Source and Rigid Industries Lighting

We have been slowly working on finishing up some final touches to the SCX10JK. As we all know, the work is never really done on a trail rig, but it is cool to get to that point where everything is in good working order, and you have some time to do some stuff that has been on hold. In our case, it was time to look at turning night into day.

While doing an extensive amount of research about off road lighting, we found this company called Rigid Industries. These guys are at the forefront of the LED light bar movement. It appears as though many of the lighting companies are going the way of LED, and most looking at the low profile option of light bars instead of the traditional round lamp and reflector housings. At the front of this pack sits Rigid Industries, innovating and setting the benchmark. The light bars they have developed have paved the way for almost every off road light manufacturer. The Jeep JK has been the most popular vehicle to showcase this lighting option, so there are lots of options for Rigid lights and mounting systems.

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Once again we headed over to Rebel Off Road to discuss these options for our JK. While discussing the options for the lighting the subject of power distribution arose. Rebel promptly recommended the s-POD Source.

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The s-POD Source is a dream come true for those looking for the perfect way to power accessories without having to build a complicated wiring system or worry about having a negative effect on the factory wiring. Most new vehicles these days have a very sophisticated wiring system that is built for diagnostics. This means that almost every wire is monitored in the amount of current that passes through it. This means any extra demands of that wire over and above its intended purpose will throw a code warning the driver that there is a potential problem with the vehicle wiring system. The s-POD Source is designed to take power directly from the vehicle’s battery and distribute it to 6 potential aftermarket options. This was exactly what we needed!

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We promptly ordered up the components to get the job done to include:
[1]s-POD Source
[1] Rigid Industries 50” E-Series Light Bar Combo
[1] Rigid Industries 10” E-Series Light Bar
[3] Rigid Industries Dually lights
[1] Poison Spyder Roof light bar mount
[1] Set Poison Spyder A-Pilar light mounts
[1] Fairlead mount for bumper light

Once the components arrived, we sent all the parts and the Jeep to Rebel Off Road to be outfitted. To start, Rebel mounted the s-POD and ran all the wiring, as well as mounted the mounting brackets for the lights
The Poison Spyder A-Pilar Mounts

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The Poison Spyder front Fairlead mount

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The s-POD comes with a direct fit mount for the Jeep JK vehicle.

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You simply hook up the positive and negative included wiring, and you are ready to power whatever you want.

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There is then 1 wiring harness that you run inside the vehicle to a vehicle specific switch panel. This panel for the Jeep JK is placed in between the sun visors, a perfect out of the way spot, yet easily reachable by the driver.

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The next step was to run the wiring to the lamp locations. Here is a shot of the a-pilar wiring location. Notice the awesome waterproof plugs that are provided with the Rigid Industries Lights

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With the wiring completed and the brackets in place, it was as simple as bolting the lights up and plugging them in!

The A-Pilar lights are small but offer a ton of light, as well as some quick side to side aiming options

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The 10” E-Series light mounted on the front bumper is a great light to illuminate what is directly in front of the vehicle

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The roof mounted Rigid Industries 50” E-Series lamp puts out massive amounts of light, and will be used to illuminate longer distances for higher speed night travel. This combo bar offers reflectors that also light up to the side of the vehicle for a wide range of viewing at night. It is mounted to a silver powder coated Poison Spyder LED bar mount.

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We are very much looking forward to hitting the trail at night, now that we will be able to see! These things even blind you during the day time!!

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For more information of these great products, please visit Rigid Industries here and s-POD here

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

Axial “SCX10JK” Wilwood Brakes- Massive Stopping Power!

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

The Full Size Connection

Axial 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited

Axial Visits Rebel Off Road

Axial “SCX10JK” – Icon Suspension

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

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

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

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

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

Bender’s AX10 Ridgecrest – Stage 3

Here is the final installment of my Ridgecrest crawler build, Stage 3. For this stage of the build I will be adding AR60 universals, aluminum shocks, under drive ring and pinion for rear axle, aluminum c-hubs, aluminum knuckles, aluminum lockouts, HD motor plate and a 55t motor. I will also be adding a few hop-ups from Vanquish Products as well. If you have never heard of Vanquish Products, check them out!! Their machine work and quality control is second to none. I will be adding a set of their DH wheels and titanium steering links to this build. So, let’s get started!!

The first hop-up I started with is the under drive ring and pinion for the rear axle. Adding the slower gear set to the rear axle will keep the front axle spinning faster in all situations. This will help with tight turns, and getting the front tires to pull up steep ledges. It can also help alleviate torque twist/chassis roll while on the throttle, which all shaft driven crawlers suffer from. The difference in the gearing between the front and rear after this modification is very slight, but it makes a pretty big difference. The old ring and pinion had a 13t pinion, with a 38t ring gear. This HD under drive combo has a 13t pinion and a 43t ring gear. It may sound like a big difference, but it really isn’t. Original ratio was 2.92:1. The new ratio for the rear axle is 3.30:1.

Since I will be tearing into both axles, I started by removing all 4 tires with my 7mm driver.

After removing the tires use a 1.5mm driver to remove the drive hexes and cross pins.

Now we can remove the two screws that hold the rear axle lockouts in place. Slide the lockouts off the housing, and just let them hang there for now.

Then loosen the driveshaft set screw at the rear axle housing, and set the male half of the driveshaft aside for now.

Next we can pull the differential cover off to access the ring and pinion.

Now remove the plastic bearing retainers using a 2mm driver.

Make sure the axle shafts are pulled out of the differential assembly. Then you can remove the differential. I used a paper towel to wipe most of the grease away, makes working on the assembly a lot easier.

Remove the 4 screws holding the ring gear to the plastic diff housing. Pull the bearing off the ring gear as well.

Now pull the ring gear off the diff housing. Be careful not to rip the gasket that goes in between the gear and housing. You will want to re-use those with the new ring gear.

Set the gasket into place on the new ring gear so the hole pattern lines up.

Now you can re-assemble the differential, and slide the bearing into place on the new ring gear.

Slide the old pinion gear out of the axle housing.

Now slide the new HD pinion into the axle housing. Double check that both bearings are still in place at this time too.

Set the differential assembly into place, after applying a light coat of grease to the ring gear.

Re-install the plastic bearing retainers.

Slide the axle shafts back into the differential assembly. Notice I also installed some aluminum lockouts at this time too.

Next I will install a 55t motor for more torque and better low speed throttle resolution. I will be running this with a small 3S lipo, I have some older 1550mah packs that should work perfect.

Start by unplugging the stock motor from the ESC.

Then remove both set screws that hold the driveshafts to the transmission outputs.

Remove the four screws that hold the battery tray in place. Remember that I moved the battery tray from the back to the front during Stage 1.

Lay the chassis on it’s side and remove the four screws that hold the transmission into place.

With the transmission out of the chassis, you can remove the spur gear cover to access the motor mount screws.

Using a 2.5mm driver remove the motor mount screws.

Remove the motor from the transmission.

Now we can pull the pinion off the motor’s output shaft.

While I have the transmission out on the bench I am going to swap the stock motor plate for our new HD motor plate. The newer plate has integrated heatsinks machined into it to help dissipate heat.

In order to install the new motor plate we will have to remove the slipper clutch/spur gear assembly. Using a 7mm nut driver remove the slipper nut, spring and washers.

Slide the spur gear off the shaft, and remove the drive pin.

Using a 2.5mm driver remove the motor plate from the transmission.

Set the new motor plate in place and attach with the existing 3mm screws.

Next we can bolt the spur gear assembly back into place, don’t forget to install the cross pin first.

Now we can install the new 55t motor. I already installed the pinion gear onto the motor shaft. We just need to set the proper gear mesh and tighten everything down. The easiest way to set gear mesh is by inserting a small piece of paper between the spur gear and the pinion gear. Hold the two gears together with the paper in between and tighten your motor mount screws. Remove the paper and you should have a little bit of play between the two gears, which means you are good to go.

Re-install the spur gear cover next. Now you can bolt the transmission back into the chassis, and re-attach the driveshafts.

Next I will be swapping out the stock plastic shocks for our aluminum competition shocks. The aluminum shocks have a lot more consistent feel to them, and are smooth as silk when properly built.

Here is a link that will give you some tips for proper build up of our competition shocks.
http://www.axialracing.com/blog_posts/1132

A shot of the freshly assembled shocks.

One change I made here was to use the rubber bushings that come with the new aluminum shocks in the shock cap, instead of the plastic ball studs. In order to keep the bushings in good working order, and free to move back and forth a little, I swapped the self tapping plastic screws for machined M3 flathead screws. The finer threads on the M3 screw shouldn’t tear the upper shock bushing like the stock self tapper would over time. I also went with a flathead screw over a buttonhead to let the upper shock cap pivot better as the suspension cycles.

All installed and ready to go!

Next we will address the front axle. I am going to install AR60 universals, aluminum c-hubs, aluminum knuckles and Vanquish Products titanium steering links.

Universals.

C-hubs.

Knuckles.

Vanquish steering links.

Start by removing the drive hexes and cross pins.

Then remove the servo horn and steering linkage.

Remove the four screws that hold the c-hub and knuckle assembly on the axle housing.

Next we need to remove the inner axles. But, to get them out of the housing you will need to remove one screw from each lower shock/link mount. Removing those will allow the flange on the inner axles to slide out with out hanging up on the link mount screws.

Slide the new aluminum c-hubs into place. I clocked them back just a little to help with tight turns. Make sure the c-hubs are oriented correctly, the longer ear on the hubs should be on the bottom of the axle.

Here you can see they are slightly clocked, but not to the most extreme point.

Install the c-hub screws top and bottom for both sides.

Grab the universals next.

Slide the universals into the housing and seat them into the diff assembly.

Now you can re-install the two screws we removed from the lower link mounts to get the stock inner axles out of the housing.

You will need the bearings, king pin sleeves and kingpin screws from the old knuckle/c-hub assembly. So, pull them apart and grab what you need to build the new knuckles up and bolt them into place on the c-hubs.

If you are struggling with installing the new bearings, use the old outer axle to line them up properly and press them into place.

Install the kingpin sleeves into the new knuckles and slide them over the c-hubs. Make sure the kingpins sleeves stay in place.

You will need to replace the old self tapping knuckle screws with 10mm long machined M3 screws. The stock knuckles were held in place by plastic self tapping screws, but you can’t use those screws in the new c-hubs as the hubs have a machined M3 thread in them. So, you will need some M3X10MM machined screws to complete this step. Part number for those is AXA115. There are 10 screws per package, so one pack is enough to do the job.

Next we need to bolt the tie rod arms onto the knuckles. But, you will need to swap the stock plastic self tappers for machined screws again. Luckily they are the same length as the kingpin screws from the previous step, and you will have some leftover to use here as well.

Now we will assemble the Vanquish tie rod and drag link. Pretty straight forward, thread the rod ends onto the linkage and pop the ball studs into place. You will have to fine tune the lengths of both the tie rod and the drag link once they are bolted up, in order to ensure the tires are straight and the servo horn has even throw to both sides.

Next I installed my Vanquish DH comp wheels. They are machined aluminum, and the weight of them alone should be sufficient in most situations. If I find the front is too light I will add some weighted slugs to the front wheels.

A few finished shots of this rig as it sits now.

Mandatory flex shots.

That wraps up Stage 3 of this Ridgecrest crawler build. I am going to try and shoot some video of this stage too, just to see/show the difference in performance over Stage 2. Stay tuned!!

Link – Stage One Ridgecrest Build
Link – Stage Two Ridgecrest Build

Parts list for the three stages of this build.

Stage one
AX30223 Black competition springs (x2)

Stage two
AXA1331 Steel ball studs (x5)
AX30836 Aluminum 25 spline servo horn
AX30829 Aluminum differential cover (x2)
AX30797 Aluminum link kit
AX12015 R35 Ripsaw tires (x2)
AX08061 XR10 beadlock wheels
Vanquish wheel weights

Stage three
AX30402 HD 43/13 ring and pinion gears (rear axle only)
AX30789 Aluminum rear axle lockouts
AX24007 55t motor
AX30860 HD motor plate
AX30092 Aluminum comp shocks (x2)
AX30780 AR60 CVD’s
AX30762 Aluminum c-hubs
AX30760 Aluminum knuckles
VPS03122 Vanquish titanium drag link
VPS03110 Vanquish titanium tie rod
Vanquish 2.2 Aluminum wheels
Vanquish wheel weights (x2)

Brandon’s Axial EXO RTR Terra Buggy goes Baja Bug!

The Axial EXO Terra Buggy stands out due is its unique looks and construction.  The integrated cage and multi-piece body seperates it from the norm, eliminating the standard body posts and bouncy lexan body found on most RC’s.  So what do you do when you feel the need to change the look of your EXO Terra Buggy?

First thing I did was find some inspiration.  While surfing the classified’s section on race-dezert I came across this heavily built VW Bug with an LS1 out back.  Perfect!  The EXO Terra Buggy is also V8 powered thanks to Turnkey.

Browsing Pro-Line’s website I found quite a few Baja Bug bodies.  After talking with them it looked like the Volkswagen Baja Bug Body 3283-62 was the best fit.

A few days later the fun began!  A quick trim and mock-up showed that this project had some potential. I started the build on my EXO Kit, so excuse its rough looks.

Some more trimming, fitting, and head scratching resulted in the following:

I immediately knew this body needed something to top it off…  How about Axial’s Universal Light Bar?  Part number: AX30709

Decision on the paint scheme was easy.  I know this is a VW and not a Toyota, but I couldn’t resist.

To finish off the lighting I installed a pair of the small round buckets included on the Axial Light Bucket Set.  Part Number: AX80045

Now for the fun part.  My AX90024 Axial EXO Terra Buggy RTR is still fresh and right out of the box.  Let the modifications begin.  With the body already trimmed to fit and the basic modifications required already laid out this was an easy build!

First things first, I removed those awesome green body panels. The rear wing was also removed for now.  Still undecided on the look with/without the wing.

Because the hood of the VW body is longer I had to look at finding a way to move the front bumper out of the way.  So for now I simply removed the bumper brace.  Add that to the pile of removed parts…

I also wanted to give this build more of a long travel stance.  Out of the box the EXO sets at about mid travel for ideal handling.  I decided to use some longer rear springs in the front to achieve the look I am after.  Some 14x70mm Firms did the trick.  Part Number: AX30221.

New longer springs vs. the stock front springs.  Both are Firm (Yellow) Springs.

End result, the new front stance.

To mount the VW baja body I decided to avoid using the existing hardware that was used to mount the EXO Terra Buggy body.  Instead I fabricated some body mounts.  Lots of ways to do this but here are the parts and placement I decided to go with.

I picked up some some threaded posts.  They were included with Traxxas TRA3727A.  The simply threaded into the existing hole that held down the old hood.

I also trimmed the hood mounts on the front to allow the body to sit as low as possible.  The two mounts circled in red were cut flush.

For the rear body mounts I dug through the parts box.  These started life as AX10 body mounts.  Part number: AX80005

I simply cut them to the required length and drilled a new hole in them.

Once my cut was cleaned up and I confirmed the length I used the existing holes on the EXO cage (where the original body mounts).  I used some M3x15mm Tapping Buttonheads that used to hold on the bumper compression brace.  Perfect length for this, and a great way to re-use parts from the “removed” pile.

The end result looks factory.  I even have some adjustment left to fine tune the fitment of the VW Baja Bug Body.

Next I decided to remove the rear light bezel.  The roof of the VW Baja Bug body will cover this, and removing this allowed me to get the body to set at the desired height.  Plus this gives me easy access to install the radiator.  Note: It is possible to remove the light bezel without removing the cage, I used an Axial 2.0mm ball driver.  Axial Part Number: AX20021

Guess what is included in the spare parts bag of the Axial EXO Terra Buggy RTR?  How about an officially licensed Griffin Radiator.  Score!

This parts tree is available separately as well.  Its a great accessory for your SCX10 or Wraith.  Part Number: AX80103

I decided to cut the radiator off and lay down some silver paint for scale realism.

Radiator assembly and installation.

Did you catch that additional parts tree with rod ends I showed in the picture of the radiator?  They provided a perfect solution for adjusting the position of the front bumper to fit the VW body.  I picked up some M3x25mm threaded turnbuckles, Part Number: AXA1633 to complete the assembly of the links. The following screws and nuts were used to mount the assembled links to the bumper and bulkhead:

M3x45mm Cap head.  Part Number: AXA0094
M3x18mm Button head.  Part Number: AXA118
M3 Thin Nylon Lock Nuts.  Part Number: AXA1052

Installed:

One thing I really liked about the 1:1 inspiration was the overall width and stance.  I decided to mimic this look by simply installing some front wheels and tires on the back of the EXO.  The EXO Terra Buggy comes with narrow front wheels/tires and standard rear wheels/tires.  To match the narrow wheels/tires on all 4 corners I needed the following parts:

2.2 3.0 Raceline Renegade Wheels – 34mm (Chrome/Black) Part Number: AX08106
2.2 3.0 Hankook Dynapro Mud Terrain Tires 34mm Part Number: AX120107

Getting close!!

Here is my final pile of removed parts.  Looks like my EXO Kit gets some fresh body panels and a new wing now!

Here is a shot of the cutouts on the hood to clear the shocks.  Also note the cutouts for the front bumper, this wasn’t necessary but I didn’t want to take away too much clearance from the front by pushing the bumper any further forward.

Hmm, something is missing back here.

Ahhh, my Turnkey V8!  Axial Part Number: AX04031

This also includes the seats and dash, I’m saving that for a potential part 2 of this build.

Trimmed, painted, and stickers applied.  Too easy!  My EXO RTR should be much faster now…

Install time, simply remove the 2 button head tapping screws holding on the center brace from each side and it comes right out. (4 Screws total)

I grabbed 4 of the M2.6 button heads that held all the original green body panels to the cage.  These will be used again to mount the motor.

Once mounted it simply slides into place.  The detail of the motor and radiator should definitely make this VW Baja Build stand out.

Ready for it?!?

The completed build is definitely very unique.  It was surprisingly simple to do as well!  The EXO Terra Buggy platform has a ton of potential for scale builds and replica’s.  Already brainstorming the next EXO based project, hope you enjoyed this one.