For Bashers, By Bashers!

Axial SCX10 Pulling Truck Conversion: Part One

The Axial SCX10 is the most popular scale 4×4 crawler of all time. It’s the main reason the genre is so popular today. But did you know the versatile SCX10 is also partly responsible for the surge in r/c pulling?

Due to the massive popularity and ease of modibility of trucks like the Axial SCX10, scale off-road clubs are starting to dabble in pulling just as quick as they can get their hands on a sled.  Put a ziptie on the rear of your scaler and BAM – instant “street stock” puller. Maybe you are interested in taking it a step further? In this article I’ll show you how to set the truck up for one of the hottest and most budget conscious classes in r/c pulling – Pro-Stock Truck.

The Pro-Stock classes in 1:1 pulling (both diesel and gas flavors) are a big crowd favorite due to the fact that the pieces of iron you see rumbling down the track are usually pretty good representations of the truck models you’d find on the street. This has spilled over into r/c, as it doesn’t take much to go from crawler to dedicated puller. Here are a few shots of full size pro-stockers that I took last summer while out and about.

The model that I’m using in particular for this project is an SCX10 Deadbolt that we had laying around the office, but the mods are pretty much the same no matter which Ready-to-Run version you choose. These things make killer pro-stockers and are by far the most popular model you’ll see in this class. Speaking of the class, here are the rules I’m adhering to. I’ll be hooking with the Central Illinois R/C Pullers and these are taken from their rulebook:

 1.9 Pro-Stock 4wd Truck Electric:

Motor: Limit of one 27 Turn or higher motor. (Brushed only)
Battery: 2 cell Lipo or 6 cell NiMH. Battery must be concealed.
Chassis: Must be a factory production chassis.
Tires: Any scale 1.9″ tire or Tamiya TLT-1 tire legal.
Weight: Maximum weight of 8lbs.
Dimensions: 24” max length. 11 ½” max width. The furthest point forward can be no more than 20” from the center of the rear axle.
Wheelbase: 12 ¾” Max. center of rear axle to center of the front axle.
Hitch: 2 ½” Max Height. Must be fixed. Must be a minimum 3″ back from axle centerline.
Other: This class will be for shaft drive trucks. No direct drives allowed. A drive line that includes universal joints is required. Any scale appearing body is allowed. Wheels must fit in the body wheel openings.

Let’s start the conversion shall we? Before you can pull anything you’ll need a hitch. I’m using a Level3RC SCX10 hitch that I scored off eBay. To install it you’ll need to remove the rear chassis brace and slide it in. Two screws and locknuts in the old brace holes were added to assure it cannot slide out. I used some spare hardware and a steel S-hook to both make the desired 3″ off axle centerline rule and to be able to accommodate a variety of sled hook sizes. After a cinching down it’s rock solid.

An Axial Aluminum Link Kit (part #AX30550) is integral to the project. Plastic links are a big no-no for pulling as they will easily bend under the stress causing all sorts of problems. Start off by using the longer 106mm links on the bottom rear. I then made the back top links to my desired length by using the combination of spacers that you can see in a pic below. For the bottom front links I used the recommended 96mm pair. You can leave the front top 3-link plastic because you’ll be using those metal links for something else.

Next up is the weight bar. Pulling trucks need weight boxes to counter balance the tremendous force being applied to the rear end by the sled. You have to keep that front axle planted and making traction. This is why the majority of a 4×4 puller’s weight needs to be up front. The hacked together aluminum weight bar I’m using (hooray band saw and scrap aluminum channel!) is installed where the stock bumper mount and front chassis brace would be. I drilled the mount plate out to use the same frame rail holes that the stock brace utilizes. The custom lead John Deere style scale tractor weights, made by ace scale pulling company Sutton Motorsports, are 3 oz a piece. I now have about 3 lbs hanging off the front end!

Time to setup the rear. You need to remove the rear shocks completely and replace them with two of the included aluminum upper links. A pulling truck has to have the rear end completely locked to help transfer the weight of the truck and sled into maximum traction. You also have to have a consistent hitch height. The higher the hitch, the more mechanical advantage the vehicle has over the sled. This is why you must keep hitch height at the max allowed by rule. Otherwise you are shortchanging your run! As you’ll also see in one of the pics below, I’ve adjusted the drop hitch and rear lock out bar positions to be right at the legal hitch height of 2.5″.

You may notice in one of the pics above that those aren’t exactly the stock tires. Much like in the full size world, there is debate between r/c clubs on which tires should be legal. Some make it mandatory to use 1.9 scaling tires but others (like the group I’m about to pull with) allow actual pulling rubber. Tamiya TLT-1 tires and wheels are super popular since they look and act very close to 1:1 pulling tires. You can easily cut them to “sharpen” the tread for added traction when allowed. Since they are legal with this group it’s what I’m using. The wheels have a 12mm hex so they bolt right up to the SCX10 with no modification needed.

The truck is now at competition weight (much more on this during part 2 of this series), I’ve painted the weight rack, cinched down the shocks to support all the weight on the front and added a Deans battery connector. I also tightened up the slipper. Almost time to rumble!

For the final piece of the puzzle this thing needed a truck body. I nixed the stock green Deadbolt lexan for an Axial Ram Power Wagon (part #AX31132). Big thanks must go, again, to Sutton Motorsports for laying down the paint. I wanted something inspired by the legendary Bill “Maverick” Golden and his series of “Little Red Wagon” MOPAR drag vans. I think he hit it out of the park! I also added some red SSD scale locking hubs to put a cherry on top.

Now that’s what I’m talking about! This SCX10 is now ready to make a competitive hook. How will it do? Checkout Part 2!

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Posted by in Axial, Featured Posts, Projects on Monday, March 23rd, 2015 at 4:11 pm

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