Bender’s AX10 Ridgecrest Stage 2

It’s time for Part 2 of our Ridgecrest crawler build. For those that missed Stage 1, here is a link to that article in order to bring you up to speed.
Stage 1 Ridgecrest crawler build

Out of the box the Ridgecrest is meant to be more of a basher, rather then a full on crawler. So, for Stage 2 of this build we will cover more tips, and option parts, to improve upon its crawling capabilities.

First thing we will work on for this installment is the steering. Out of the box the Ridgecrest comes equipped with a plastic servo horn, which works fine with the stock steering links. But, I want piece of mind when out crawling and don’t like making repairs in the field. So, I am going to install an aluminum servo horn, and upgrade the plastic ball studs to steel for a little smoother steering action. Some may think that upgrading the plastic steering links at this time is a more worthy modification. But, I actually like a little flex in my steering set-up on my crawlers. Some of you may recall I ran Delrin steering links on my competition crawler for years with good success. It’s really personal preference at this point.

Start by removing both front tires.

Use a 2mm driver and remove the button head screw from the servo output.

After removing the screw, slide the servo horn off the splines.

Now remove the plastic servo horn from the steering drag link.

Using a pair of wire cutters remove the plastic ball stud from the steering drag link.

Now we will replace the plastic ball stud with a steel stud.

Use a pair of pliers to pop the new steel stud into place.

The new replacement servo horn. There are a few different spline counts for the various servos that are available on the market. For RTR Axial vehicles you will need a 25 spline servo horn, which is compatible with Futaba and Savox servos as well.

Install the servo horn onto the drag link.

Now slide the servo horn into place on the servo output. Make sure your servo is centered before tightening everything up. Reinstall the button head screw to hold the new servo horn in place.

These new servo horns have small screws on each side of the head. When these screws are tightened down the servo horn actually clamps onto the servo’s output splines like a piranha. A must have for harsh conditions. Use a 1.5mm driver and gently tighten up both screws evenly.

Next we will pop a new steel stud into place at the opposite end of the drag link. Remove the self tapping screw that ties the drag link to the tie rod.

Pop the old stud out and replace with a steel ball stud.

Now remove the tie rod from the steering knuckles and replace the plastic ball studs there too.

After replacing the ball studs I left one end of the tie rod off the knuckle to access the differential cover. This is for my next modification.

Next we will install Axial’s HD diff covers to add some style, and even more beef, to those AR60 axles.

Use a 1.5mm driver and remove the 4 screws on each side of the stock plastic diff cover.

Remove the cover.

Insert the new diff cover and re-install the diff cover screws. Re-attach the steering tie rod to the knuckle when finished.

Now swap the rear cover out.

Styling!

Next I am going to swap the stock plastic suspension links out for aluminum using our Wraith Stage 1 links kit.

Contents of the links pack laid out.

Start by assembling the 4 lower links.

Using a 1.5mm driver screw the threaded studs into the rod ends.

Make sure to trim any excess flashing away with an X-acto knife. This has no performance gain, it just makes for a cleaner install.

Once you have the threaded studs installed, assemble the lower links. Make sure the rod ends as facing opposite ways as shown in this photo. Pops the ball studs into place last.

Now move on to the upper links.

Repeat the same steps for the upper links. All 4 upper links assembled. Again make sure the rod ends are facing opposite each other.

Remove the lower links and swap them out for the new aluminum lowers.

Now swap the upper links out as well. Pay attention to the orientation of the upper links during assembly so all four are installed the same way.

Here you can see the front after completing the conversion to aluminum links. The aluminum will eliminate any link flex in hard binds, which makes for a more predictable vehicle.

Another mod I want to make for this Stage 2 build is the jump from Tamiya battery connectors to Dean’s Ultra Plugs. I plan on running small lipo packs in this build from here on out, and all my small packs have Dean’s plugs. So, the Tamiya plug had to go.

Snip, Snip!!

First thing I do after cutting the old plug off is to slide the heat shrink tubing for the Ultra Plug into place. Nothing is worse then installing new battery connectors and putting your soldering iron away, only to realize you forgot the slide the heat shrink on first. Doh!!

Strip a little of the wire’s insulation off the ends to be soldered, and twist the ends of the wire to prevent fraying.

Using your soldering iron, tin the ends of the wires a little with solder. Do the same to the tabs on the Dean’s plug as well.

Solder the new connector into place, make sure to double check the polarity is correct before plugging a battery in. Now slide the heat shrink tubing down over the terminals and heat them up with a lighter to seat/shrink them.

Here you can see I have a few older small 2S lipo packs that I will be using for this stage of this build.

Next modification I made was the jump to XR10 beadlock wheels and our sticky R35 compound Ripsaw tires. The difference in traction between these tires and the stock tires is unreal. I couldn’t scrape up a new set for this build so I borrowed my old set off the Project Backyard Basher Ridgecrest build. I also added some weight to the front wheels. This helps keep the front tires planted on steep climbs.

The Vanquish wheel weights slide right into the stock XR10 wheels.

Last modification for this round was a fresh new Ridgecrest body. I kept the paint job simple to show off the body lines a little better. A few shots of this build in it’s current state.

That takes care of Stage 2. I will try to shoot some video of this build as it sits now, before I move on to Stage 3. Stay tuned!!

Link – Stage One Ridgecrest Build
Link – Stage Three Ridgecrest Build

The video is up!!

AX10 Ridgecrest – Stage 2 Upgrades

Upgrades continue to the AX10 Ridgecrest transforming it into a mean rock crawling machine.  If you followed the Stage 1 Upgrades, we moved the battery to the front, added beadlock wheels with weights, R35 tires, upgraded the shocks and lowered the ride height.  After initial testing we had greatly improved rock crawling performance, but we has some tire rub on the body due to the lower ride height and we knew this vehicle has so much more potential.  So it’s time to address the tire rub and beef up the suspension as we move towards serious rock crawling performance.

To start I marked the body where I would be cutting away.  I use tape to create my cut edges.  It’s easy to lay down, keeps your lines straight and you can simply peel and re-apply until you like what you got, just like a painter would do.  I use my circle templates to draw the radius of the corners.  When you’re happy, start cutting.

I opened up the wheel arches quite a bit, cut the front grill off, shortening the hood which reduces the front over hang and cut about 3/4″ off the lower rockers because I’m going to want the body to sit as low as possible on the chassis.  Then I marked a straight line and gave the lower rockers a fold so the body tucks into the chassis to prevent it from getting caught up on the rocks.

Now lets get to the suspension upgrades.  The AX10 Ridgecrest uses Wraith links so it’s easy to install a Wraith Stage 1 Aluminum Links Kit.  I’m also adding Axial AR60 OCP Machined Link Mounts for their strength and adjust ability.

AX30797 - Wraith Stage 1 Aluminum Links Kit (1)

AX30830 – Axial AR60 OCP Machined Link Mounts (2)

First I installed the aluminum link mounts to the axle housings, again up side down to help lower the center of gravity.  The links include instructions and assemble easily.  Once assembled you can install on the Ridgecrest.  Install the lower links into the axle mounts and then to the skid plate.  It’s the same screw that hold the sid ecage to the skid plate.  The upper links attach to the axle thrust and then to the cage side and have three attachment points which effect anti squat.  I’m starting in the stock center position for all mounts and we can adjust after getting some rock time.

Then I added an aluminum servo horn.

AX30826 – Aluminum Servo Horn 25T (1)

Next I added aluminum C-hubs and knuckles and upgraded the dog bones to hardened steel universals.  The universals allow for 50° of steering which is 60% more than the stock dogbones, plus they operate smoother thus are more efficient.  The hardened steel can handle all the torque we should throw at this vehicle in the future.  The steering knuckles and C-Hub carrier are XR10 aluminum option parts so they are much stronger than the plastic and install easily.

AX30760 – XR10 Aluminum Steering Knuckle (1)

AX30762 – XR10 Aluminum C-Hub Carrier (1)

AX30780 – AR60 Universal Axle Set (1)

AXA115 – M3x10mm Hex Socket Button Head Machine Screws

Disassemble the stock plastic knuckles and remove the C-hub from the axle.  The dog bones should slide out.  You may have to remove one of the link mount bolts that passes through the axle to get the dog bone out and install the universal.

With the new parts, put your aluminum C-hub on first, then slide your universal into the axle with bearing installed.  Then assemble the knuckle.  All your bearings from the plastic parts transfer over.  You will want to get some machined screws for attaching the knuckles to the C-hub and attaching the steering arms to the knuckles.  Here’s Bender’s install post.

Once the front axle was assembled I knew that plastic steering tie rod wasn’t going to cut it.  Axial doesn’t have an upgrade for this part but our good friends at Vanquish have the ultimate upgrade, Titanium Steering Links Kit.

So here’s the chassis with the upgrades so far.

And the the body re-installed all trimmed up.  I used shorter body posts to sit the body as low as possible on the chassis.

Crawling performance is again greatly improved on the rocks compared to the stock RTR, but if we really want to crawl, we are in need of a gearing change.  So we still have some more to do in Stage 3, over/under drive hardened gears, a 27T motor and pinion and spur.  And we’ll see if we find anything else we can do to get this Ridgecrest ready for a shafty comp.

AX10 Ridgecrest – Stage 1 Upgrades

With the release of the AX10 Ridgecrest, there’s been some chatter about it’s capabilities as a crawler.  Is it staying true to the AX10 name?  Well as part of the Axial design team, I can tell you we worked hard to insure this.  Though out of the box the Ridgecrest may have a bit more speed than a traditional crawler, wider axles and some exterior scale details, following in the tracks of it’s rock racer big brother the Wraith, with a few simple mods, the Ridgecrest can easily be a strong rock crawler.

Here’s the AX10 Ridgecrest as it sits out of the box.

First things first, let’s get the body off and move that battery to the front.  The battery tray is held in place with 4 M3 cap head screws and it’s the same with the electronics tray.

Simply remove all 8 screws and the trays are free.  You’ll have to open the radio box and unplug the steering servo as the servo wire is not quite long enough to reach the radio box when it’s installed in the rear position of the chassis.

At this point you can install the battery tray up front and the electronics in the rear of the chassis.  As for your servo wire you can purchase a servo wire extender for just a few dollars, or I had a junk servo, stole the wire and soldered the wires together to extend mine.

Next, lets get some weight in those wheels.  Using Axial parts I got some interior wheel weight rings, weight inserts, 2.2 beadlock wheels and Ripsaw 2.2 tires in R35 compound.

AX30545 – 2.2 Internal Wheel Weight Ring (2)

AX30546 – 2.2 Internal Wheel Weight Inserts 21g/0.75lbs (2)

AX12015 – 2.2 Ripsaw Tires R35 Compound (2)

AX8061 – Axial 2.2 VWS Beadlock Wheels Set (Black) (2)

I added just three weights to each ring for the front wheels.  Using all 6 weights would have made the wheels too heavy.  We need just enough weight for good traction and stability.

Each front wheel ended up weighing 13.05oz, as compared to a stock wheel weighing only 5.57oz.

Next it was time to work on the shocks and lower the center of gravity.  A simple trick on AR60 OCP axles is to flip the link/shock mount to lower the chassis. Some additional tech.

Utilizing the stock shocks, I disassembled and added aluminum bodies, aluminum caps, Delrin machined pistons and super soft springs.  When reassembling I used 30wt shock oil.

AX30111 – Aluminum Shock Caps (2)

AX30120 – Aluminum Shock Body 12×47.5mm (2)

AX30438 – 10mm Machined Piston – 1.2 (1)

AX30223 – Spring 14x70mm 1.04lbs/in – Black (2)

When installing the shocks, I used the upper mounting hole that lays the shocks back more, inward towards the center of the chassis.

Back together with just a few hours of work and here’s the modified chassis layout.

And here’s the fruits of our labor.  The Ridgecrest looks mean.  Time to take it out for some quick testing to see the dramatic improvement in crawling capability.

The front is planted.  Traction and grab of the front tires is greatly improved and I can get the front way up, with less chance of roll over.  Articulation is great and the suspension articulates smoothly with the new shock parts.  This is only Stage 1.  Next time we’ll add aluminum links, create some more tire clearance and really get this thing crawling.

 

Axial “SCX10JK” – Icon Vehicle Dynamics Suspension

icon-opener

We have officially placed the Axial 2012 Jeep Rubicon Unlimited “SCX10JK” in the capable hands of Rebel Off Road for them to start the build. The first thing on the to do list was a proper suspension system. We have had Icon Vehicle Dynamics as one of our marketing partners for quite some time now, and have decided to run their “Jeep JK 4.5″ complete suspension system” found here. We are also working with Dylan Evans, their head engineer to further test their new compression clicker reservoir shocks on our JK, talk about some incredible shocks, we can’t wait to run these on the trail! I personally have worked with Dylan for many years on different motorsport projects, and am really excited to see these guys working together on this. I am confident that this suspension system will suit our needs and surpass our expectations. Dylan is a mastermind at tuning shock and spring combinations for the best of both worlds, day to day driving, as well as a healthy dose of off-road abuse. Take a look at this suspension system as we break down the different components, and what purpose they will serve.

The new Icon Suspension System consists of:
Upper and lower front links
Upper and lower rear links
Front and rear springs
Front and rear pan hard bars
Front and rear pan hard brackets
Front lower shock mounts
Front reservoir mounts
Front and rear bump stop spacers
Extended sway bar links
Front and rear 2.5″ body Compression Clicker Reservoir shocks

Here is a shot of the entire system laid out on the Rebel shop floor..

With the Axial SCX10JK up on the rack, it is time to get to work and tear it apart..

The suspension links have a brilliant design. First off we have some race car parts with these huge heim joints, because strength is paramount in any suspension system. Second, Icon have developed a 2 stage threaded adjustment system. This means you simply place the link in place on the vehicle, then you adjust the length to desired spec, then tighten down. No more of this remove the link, adjust it, then replace it. It makes setting the caster on solid axle vehicle as easy as it gets!

The links themselves are designed for maximum flex. Pictured here are stock links with Icon links. You can see that the flex for the stock arm is meant to come from flex in the bushings and the arm itself. The Icon arm, has a race spec heim on one end and a Johnny Joint style joint on the other, meaning that the link is allowed to articulate throughout its range of motion without any resistance from rubber or torsional twist from the arm.

The front upper arms are designed to flex from one side and solid mount to flexible bushings in the Axle housing, these solid mounts have also been beefed up significantly.

The front and rear Icon springs are quite a bit taller than the stock springs, and should provide plenty of extra ground clearance, as well as the perfect rate once the vehicle is outfitted for battle.

The pan hard or “track” bars from Icon feature a much stronger and lighter tubular design. The ends of the Icon bars are equipped with heims or Urethane bushings which is a significant upgrade from stock.

The shocks for this project are probably the most striking change from stock. It is hard to imagine running on stock shocks after seeing these 2.5″ reservoir bad boys from Icon….
Rear Shocks

Front Shock

The install of the suspension system goes really smooth, at least that is what the staff at Rebel makes it look like.
Here is the front suspension before and after Icon links.

The front springs and shocks are huge!!

The compression clickers on the reservoir are going to be awesome, we cant wait!

The lower shock mount moves the shock out for clearance during full articulation.

And pictured with the reservoir mount in place, almost ready to rock!

The rear suspension was next on the list.
In stock form…

With the Icon links…..

Rear sway bar links

Rear springs and shocks

Completed rear suspension

The suspension stage of this project is only the beginning, be sure to check back in the coming weeks to see this vehicle coming together. We intend to build a proper Jeep JK with the highest quality products and then take it out and hit the trails. For the history on how this vehicle came about please check out our earlier blog postings here….
The Full Size Connection

Axial 2012 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited

Axial Visits Rebel Off Road

To learn more about Icon Vehicle Dynamics and see some more of their high end suspension components be sure to visit their website here.

EXO Terra Buggy Build Tips: Motor Mount

The Axial EXO Terra buggy includes a very unique motor mount.  The adjustable mesh screw and the dovetail groove are both unique designs for ease of adjustment and maximum holding strength with minimal effort.

Lets go over the basic installation and assembly of the motor mount.

Step 1: With the motor mounted onto the slide use this screw to adjust your mesh.  You can slowly adjust the mesh as you tighten or loosen this screw, once set you will be able to remove the slide with the motor attached and install it again into the same exact position. Use a 2.5mm allen driver for this adjustment screw.

Step 2: Once the mesh is set install the M4 set screw in the top of the motor mount.  Do not tighten this screw all the way down yet.  Use a 2.0mm allen driver here.

Step 3: Continue tightening this set screw, you will feel the screw stop once it hits the motor mount slide shown by the green arrow on the step 3 image above.

Step 4: Once the screw has touched the motor mount slide you only need to turn it another 1/4 turn.  Or 90*.  This will snug up quickly and lock the motor slide into place.  Over tightening this set screw will cause damage to the motor mount or the motor mount slide.  1/4 turn is all you need here.

DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN THE M4 SETSCREW!  YOU WILL DAMAGE THE MOTOR MOUNT.

Here is an image from Step 22 in the EXO Kit manual.  You will see the slide attached to the motor, and the motor mount attached to the chassis.

**Worried that the extra 1/4 turn past snug isn’t enough?  Here is why it works.

The Motor Mount has a male dovetail, while the motor slide that the motor mount attaches to has a female dovetail.  When the M4 setscrew is tightened you are not only applying pressure to the point of the set screw, but also to the entire surface of that dovetail.  This increased surface area means you have that much more material holding the motor slide into place. Trust the surface area! Over tightening the set screw will actually decrease this surface area and potentially break the mount. AGAIN, DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN!

Here is an image of the added surfaces from the dovetail.  This is holding the motor mount slide into place.  Keep in mind these surfaces are on the front and back.

Brandon’s Formula Offroad Build: Part 3: Insight into the AR60 Axle Design

See Part 2 of the build HERE.
See Part 1 of the build HERE.

Wanted to share the latest updates to my Formula Offroad build. When I first built this rig using AX10 axles the Wraith™ had just hit the market. At the time I thought it would be great to have those new AR60 axles found in the Wraith™ underneath my Formula Offroad rig. Well its been long enough, time to get it done!

But first, I will explain a few of the advantages of the AR60 axles for this application.

Axial R&D developed the new AR60 axles for a few reason’s. First, we wanted the Wraith™ to perform well at higher speeds. Speed isn’t all about straight line performance, stability is important as well. The AX10 axles with some wideners would not have cut it. To increase handling ability at speeds we needed to utilize a design with proper scrub radius. So what is Scrub radius and why is it so important for handling? Scrub Radius is determined by the kingpin location on the steering knuckles and hubs. Draw an imaginary line to the ground through the kingpin screws and ideally that imaginary line lands close to the center of the tire to achieve the ideal scrub radius.

Ideal, or zero scrub radius occurs when the kingpin line meets the ground at the center of the tire.

Here is a pic I found to help explain Scrub Radius (aka pivot angle radius):

Now lets take a look at the AR60 axle by drawing a similar diagram.

The Blue line is the imaginary line I mentioned above. The screws this imaginary line travels through are the kingpin screws. The red “X” at the bottom of the tire is the location that the kingpin line meets the ground. You can see this very close to the center of the tire therefore the scrub radius is minimal.

On 1:1 cars you want this scrub radius to be as close to zero as possible. Vehicles with a large scrub radius require powerful steering systems to move the tire when steering. Cars with zero scrub radius can usually be driven without power steering. So this brings us to another important reason to reduce scrub radius. The larger the scrub radius the higher the torque required to steer it, therefore you need a stronger steering servo on your RC car. Keeping the scrub radius to a minimum will let your steering servo work at its full potential and use the steering torque efficiently.

Lets look at my old setup using the AX10 axles and a wide offset wheel to achieve the width I wanted. Keep in mind that this is extreme due to the wheels I was using. Axial’s current products that utilize the AX10 axle do not exhibit this large scrub radius.

Here you can see the distance from the center of the tire where it meets the ground is a good distance away from the red X. This creates a very large scrub radius.

There are few other important things to note when looking at the comparisons above. See how the imaginary line through the kingpin screws is at an incline on the AR60 axle? This is due to the inclined kingpin screws compared to the vertical kingpin screws on the AX10 axles. This inclined kingpin design was originally used on the XR10 competition Rock Crawler. It effectively moves the imaginary line closer to the center of the tire. The extra width of the AR60 axle and the incline kingpin angle both work together to increase handling, stability, and steering efficiency.

When Axial R&D started looking into Kingpin Inclination during the design of the XR10 competition Rock Crawler we found that the 1:1 automotive industry settled on an inclined kingpin angle of 7-9 degrees. Anything more and the contact patch of the tire is decreased during steering. The XR10 and AR60 axles utilize 8 degrees of kingpin inclination.

Another example of kingpin inclination can be seen on a Dana 44 Axle, its always cool to see real world 1:1 technology trickle down into the RC industry.

The second major design focus on the AR60 axles was strength. The Wraith™ was designed to handle more more speed and larger tires than any previous Axial product. The AR60 axle utilizes a 1 piece molded axle housing with thicker axle tubes. By removing the seam of the 2 piece axle housing and increasing the thickness the strength increase is substantial.

The third major design focus of the AR60 axle was adjustability. Some key adjustable features include:

  • The AR60 axle can easily be flipped for a left or right offset pumpkin. The offset pumpkin allows for more clearance under a larger area of the axle and properly aligns the axle output with the transmission output to create a more efficient drivetrain.
  • The lower link/shock mounts can be flipped to adjust height and anti-squat.
  • Remove the diff cover and you can access the ring and pinion. Again this can also be flipped to keep the same rotation when you flip the axle housing to change the offset of the pumpkin.
  • Caster angle can be changed in 18* increments to drastically change driving/handling characteristics.
  • Upper 4 link truss is designed to be modular and act as a true truss to stiffen the axle housing.

Here is a exploded view showing the removal of the ring gear. Again Axial R&D took inspiration from 1:1 axles and the accessibility of the ring & pinion. It never gets old having to tear into an AR60 axle, its just too cool the way it comes apart and the diff cover gives you access to the axle internals.

Flipping the axles is also very easy. For this part of my Formula Offroad build I opted to install them flipped when compared to the Wraith. This was done to keep the transmission in the same orientation. If the AR60 axles did not have the capability to easily be flipped I would have been forced to rethink my whole build. The current transmission position allows me to run a full size 2 or 3S lipo pack under the hood. Once the axles were flipped all I had to do was flip the differentials inside the axle to correct the rotation. This extra adjustment is a great feature for changing the rotation to accommodate electronics or fighting torque twist.

Along with flipping the axles, the lower link/shock mounts can be flipped to further fine tune the suspension. Anti-squat characteristics are determined by the location of the links at the chassis and the axle. Triangulation and link separation is key when setting up a 4 link suspension, the AR60 axles give you that extra adjustability needed with the lower link mounts. Take a look at the image below, the green line running through the center of the axle helps to show the difference when the link mounts are flipped (link mounts shown in blue). If you need to replace a lower link mount its an easy part to change out that does not require the entire AR60 axle housing to be replaced. Axial also sells a machined aluminum lower link mount AX30830.

Here are a few initial build pictures of the AR60 axles underneath my Formula Offroad rig. Because this is a custom build I did have to make some slight adjustments to bolt on the AR60 axles and still utilize the full stroke of the shocks without interfering. I will update this post with some more detailed photos soon.

I also opted to upgrade the driveshafts to the new AX30794 WB8 versions. The new WB8 driveshafts utilize a CV style joint that is rebuild-able.

The wheels are the new Axial 2.2/3.0 Narrow Raceline Renegade for the EXO Terra Buggy. Tires are Pro-Line SC Slingshots.

More build pics coming soon! Also need to get some electronics sorted out. Stay tuned, thanks for looking!

Not sure what Formula Offroad RC’s are all about? Check out the RCCrawler.com Formula Offroad Forum HERE

Want to see a FOFF RC in action? Check out Bender’s video HERE

Wraith RTR Spare Tire Mod

I wanted to create more of a two-seater race style buggy. Something with the looks along the line of an Ultra 4 racer or KOH racer.

First I chopped off the back of the cage by cutting at the base of the C and D pillars and then at the back of the center support between the B pillar of the roof cage.

Trim the Lexan roof to fit the shortened roof cage.

Sand the rough cut edges of the cage to a smooth finish.

Using 7x60mm grey posts (AXA1429), M3x16mm set screws (AXA186), rod ends (AX80005), and flanged balls (AXA1331), I created the new rear down tube supports.

I trimmed the center support of the roof to make room for the ball flange. I bored out the rod end to slip over the rear shock brace tube. I trimmed up a piece of flat Lexan to create a cover for the battery area.

Next is to create the spare tire carrier. I started by using the spare tire mount from the Axial SCX10 Trail Honcho. It already has a really good angle to carry the tire.

I used a couple spacers 4x6mm (AXA1453) and 6x6mm (AXA1355) to lift the carrier up to fit the Ripsaw tire. I also put cone washers (AXA1104) underneath the Lexan to add strength. The last thing I had to do was trim the tire mount post of the carrier and add a hex hub (AXA30429) to keep the tire in place.

So there ya have it!!!! One Axial Wraith with an Ultra 4 style setup that has an aggressive unique look. With a little patience and a open Saturday afternoon you create the same look.

Budget XR10 Build

Most people know that the XR10 is meant to be a full on comp specific crawler. But, it can also be built up as a backyard/sportsman class crawler as well. I am going to guess that 95% of the XR10′s that are out there are running front and rear dig, with a semi expensive 3 or 4 channel radio. For this article I wanted to build a basic XR10, with a single speed control and basic 2 channel radio to keep cost down. Then, I am going to go out and shoot some video of it running comp style lines just to see how capable I can make it.

The basis for this build is the standard XR10 kit that I used in my 5 part step by step build a while back. A few pictures with the body mounted.

basic-xr10-build-015

basic-xr10-build-013

basic-xr10-build-017

basic-xr10-build-024

I wired our AE-2 ESC up to standard 55t motors. I ran the motor wire leads to the rear motor first, then tapped into those to the front motor with more wire. It can work fine wired the opposite way too, I went this route just because of how I positioned the ESC in the chassis. For batteries I am running my MaxAmps 1300mah 2s packs. They fit perfectly in the stock battery location, without interfering with the upper links. Plus, they are super light which helps keep my center of gravity low. I am running the stock 14t pinion gears on the motors. I may end up staggering the pinions by running a 14t out front and a 13t in the rear.

basic-xr10-build-101

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A few more shots with the body off.

basic-xr10-build-118

basic-xr10-build-106

All wired up and ready to hit the rocks. I installed our weight rings that are included in the kit for the front wheels, then loaded the wheels up with Vanquish slugs to keep the bulk of the weight biased towards the front.

basic-xr10-build-066

Now it’s time to go test it out. Keep an eye out for the video, we will have some very soon.

Brandon’s SCX10 Unimog Build

Mercedes Unimogs

I have a fascination with Unimogs, these seemingly unstable and over sized trucks.  The places they can go and terrain they are capable of traversing is incredible.  Not to mention how cool they look when you see one out on the trail or even the streets.

I had the opportunity to pick up one of these Unimog 406 bodies from a friend of mine and I started planning a build using the SCX10 Dingo RTR as my starting platform.

First thing I did was paint the body.  I took some random shrubbery  and mixed paint to create a scale camo paint scheme on the outside of the body.  The inside of the body is painted rust and backed with black.  Hopefully it wears well after some good use.

I also made a custom light bar using some parts from the new Axial Wraith AX90018.  The locations to mount two outside lights were already there, all I had to do was add a the 3 middle lights.  Axial’s Simple LED system from the Dingo along with a new 5 LED string powers this light bar.  I used the oval fog lights from the AX80045 Light bucket sets.  To finish off the body I installed a snorkel that I had in my random box of scale goodies.

The Dingo Chassis was modified slightly.  I cut about 1.25″ off the back of the frame and shortened the rear wheelbase about0.25″.  The front suspension received a Hand Bros CMS kit.  The factory shocks were replaced with a set of Pro-Line Scale shocks.  All the original Dingo bumpers and rock sliders were removed. A Futaba S9156 handles the steering duties, with 300+ oz/in it should be more than enough.  The front bumper was kept very simple, just a piece of 1/8″ rectangle stock and 1/4″ round steel brazed together and bolted on.  I also installed a fair-lead that is recessed to keep it from getting too banged up.

The Dingo chassis also received the following Axial Option Parts:

AX30549 Aluminum links pack

AX30495 & AX30496 Aluminum C Hubs and Steering Knuckles

AX30464 Universal Set

Next I started on the rear cage structure.  I wanted to keep it as simple as possible and my main goal was to hide the transmission.  The cage also has some diamond plate styrene integrated into it for the flatbed section and transmission cover.  The finished cage received a coat of black paint and a waterproof receiver box from the AX90018 Wraith.

With the new rear cage/flat-bed installed I got everything wired up.  The box on the rear between the shock towers holds a Tekin FXR.  I also moved the Axial battery plate and mounted it perpendicular to the chassis and as low as I could get it without interfering with the Drive shaft.  This allows me to run a very high capacity 2S or 3S lipo.  My battery of choice is the MaxAmps 2S 6500mah LiPo.

Final assembly required some custom front body mounts.  The upper body mounts are integrated into the top bar of the rear cage and the front body mounts are shifted forward with a piece of bent aluminum stock (this will give me a good foundation for the interior in the future as well).

Cant forget the spare tire and tie downs!  Made from the wife’s hair ties and paperclips.

Final Pics, for now at least.  Scale builds never really end ;)  Thank you Axial Marketing for the awesome photo’s.

First run!  Thank you HB_Crawler for posting the pictures on SoCalRCRC.