It’s ALIVE! I recently received the final and most important piece of my build; the tractor tires and wheels. After a quick shot of flat black paint it was time to mount em’ up and see what this thing could do. Click the “Read More” below to see Part 3 of this Axial Deadbolt to Mega Truck build series.
Last week I started converting our stock Axial Deadbolt to a full blown mega/monster truck with help from a CPE Barbarian chassis. In part 2 I’m detailing what parts I changed from the stock setup, offering initial testing impressions, and showing off what body I’m going to top the truck with. Let’s get to it. Click ‘Read More’
Being a scale/crawler dude can be tough when you are surrounded by speed demons like the majority of Big Squid staffers. Let’s be honest with ourselves here – scalers aren’t exactly known for high speed thrills. I think Cubby wanted to kill me when I built the Axial RECON G6 SCX10 for review and put in a slow 18.5 crawler system! I’ve never built a scale truck where speed (and jumpability) was the end goal. That needed to change. Building a scale mega truck is just what the doctor ordered! (If you are unfamiliar with what a “mega truck” is checkout my column here.)
I knew I wanted to base the truck off of the Axial Deadbolt platform due to the stout AR60 axles, rugged transmission, rabid aftermarket support, and my familiarity with the model. I’m getting to the point where I think I could build a truck just with all the spare Axial parts I’ve accumulated over the years. I also knew that for this truck to do everything I wanted I’d have to get pretty wild with the modifications. It would need a powerful brushless system, had to be waterproofed for deep mud, needed big tractor tires to navigate said mud, and required a suspension that could handle speed and air. A very tall order.
The crux of this build is a Crawford Performance Engineering (CPE) Barbarian chassis (pic below). It turns an Axial Wraith, Deadbolt, or Ridgecrest into a scale monster/mega truck by utilizing the stock axles, shocks, transmission, and other miscellaneous pieces. The all aluminum 1:1 inspired frame features heavy duty links and sway bars and adds about an inch of wheelbase to the stock Deadbolt. This has become the hot setup in scale monster truck racing and I’m pretty excited to build a mud truck out of it.
With my plans now in place I ordered a slew of parts. I already had the motor on hand so I decided to throw that in the stock truck and see how the drivetrain would handle it without any modification. I pulled out the RTR ESC and 20t motor to install a Castle Mamba Max Pro 6900 kv system. Go big or go home! The result was impressive. The big motor yanked the front wheels up with hardly any throttle (see the top pic). The change in power was akin to going from a V6 to a super-charged big block. I’m also happy to report that the stock Axial drivetrain held up to this big power with no breakage whatsoever. It also jumped surprisingly well considering this vehicle was presumably designed without hang time being a big priority.
After a little over a week, all my parts had finally arrived. It was time to start building. Part 2 of this series is coming up very soon, but here’s a teaser (see below) showing off the Barbarian chassis with the Deadbolt rear end partly installed.
Before we go, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the tires I’m planning on using. Can you say cut & shut Clodbuster wheels/tires narrowed to about 2 inches? That should nail the tractor look I’m going for. Look for Part 2 of this build series coming soon!
For a long time THE Cub Reporter and I have been wanting to buy some tanks, hop them up, and do some serious bashing. The tanks had to be durable, go at least 20 mph, and be able to huck big ramps. Needless to say, we didn’t find any that would work for our demands.
What do we do when we can’t find something that will work? We make our own, here is our BigSquidRC project vehicle – the Axial Exo TERROR Buggy.
Our project started life with our well worn review machine, an original Axial Exo Terra Buggy kit. Its life has seen lots of ugly, from our normal torture tests to 2 tours of duty as an iHobby demo vehicle. Thankfully it is up to full combat status with mods from ST Racing Concepts and RPM Products.
Next up was a call to the crew over at RC4WD for a set of their Predator Tracks. RC4WD does not make an adapter kit for the Exo, so we knew it was up to us to make them fit.
The Process -
With all parts in hand, it was time to spin some wrenches. Step 1 was a rough test fit. We found out the input hex on the Predator tracks was the same size as the wheel hex on the Exo, 12mm, but we needed wider/thicker hexes for clearance reasons. The fix was easy enough by simply bolting on some wider hexes from an RC4WD Predator adapter kit for an Axial Wraith.
Step 2 was to limit the articulation of the tracks. Without limiters the tracks would just spin around the axle like an extremely unbalanced tire. The fix for articulation was actually fairly simple. In the rear we threaded cap head screws into the pre-existing holes in the hubs, and longer grub type screws into the front. The screws, front and rear, went into the holes normally filled with grub screws to keep the hinge pins from falling out. A bit of grinding and bending was needed to tweak the articulation on these.
Next we had some binding issues. We installed some shims behind the axle cross pins of the wheel hexes, which helped in one aspect, but we also had to do some Dremel work on the inner supports of the Predator tracks. We also had to ditch the end caps on the tracks. All in all, the project wasn’t super hard, but there is a heavy dose of custom work involved.
We were told be multiple people that our project just would not work. In the end our 3S Dynamite Lipo, Castle 1410 powered TERROR buggy topped out at 26 mph and could indeed pound big wood ramps. It tore across grassy fields and threw huge rooster tails on dirt.
Turning was not nearly as bad as we expected it to be. The TERROR Buggy basically drove like an Exo with very hard tires. Because of the track system, our TERROR buggy got very little mechanical grip on dirt or pavement, drifting around corners. On soft surfaces it didn’t dig in and bury itself, it stayed on top and simply hauled butt.
One of our biggest concerns going into the project was being able to keep the tracks on. That turned out to be a non-issue, at least for us up to 26 mph. We did throw a track twice, but that was at lower speeds and caused by the loose mulch we were driving in, not by the tracks de-railing themselves or by them stretching at speed.
We did have one recurring problem, temperature of the power system. Even when rolling freely for a track system, the tracks present a lot more resistance than a normal set of wheels and tires. We were thermalling out in just over 5 minutes, a problem that could most likely be fixed by running 2S instead of 3, gearing down, and/or installing a Mamba Pro with a 1415 motor.
Our “Exo on tracks” project massively exceeding our expectations. The TERROR is a total animal on pretty much any surface and it was shocking that it could make short work of the double jumps on the local racetrack. It took some time to get the bugs worked out, but once done it turned out fast and handled better than we expected. A normal Exo is faster and handles better, but it certainly isn’t the beast, or the head turner, that the TERROR is.
Click Here for more projects from BigSquidRC.
Axial TERROR Buggy Gallery 1
Axial TERROR Buggy Gallery 2
Check it out in action! Make sure to watch it HD!
Modding The Helion Dominus Part 5 – Installing Upgraded Off Road Tires
The Helion Dominus has proven itself an extremely poplar bash machine, so popular in fact that it won BigSquid’s March Bashness contest against some very stiff competition. Many of the people that have chosen the Dominus as their basher of choice use it strictly off road. While the stock Dominus tires do a sufficient job off road, they are far from offering the best traction possible. Over the last few months we have tried a multitude of different tires on our Dominus and have determined that we like the Pro-Line Badlands the best for all around off road bashing.
Here is what is needed to properly install a set of Pro-Line Badlands on your Dominus….
Modding The Helion Dominus Part 4 – Installing A Brushless System
No other single modification will give your Dominus such a dramatic increase in shear power as the installation of a brushless power system. Today I’ll be walking you through what it takes to install a brushless motor and speed controller in your Helion Dominus. If you are an old pro you can do this in your sleep but if you are new to the hobby I hope these instructions help you out.
Well to say that I was excited to see that Kyosho was bringing out a Mini-Z Motorcycle would be a major understatement. Then you toss on the layer of details that Mini-Z is known for and that it was going to be a replica of the Yamaha M1 and I pretty much had to buy a bib cuz I was non-stop drooling at every pic I could find. Being the type that can’t stand running the same rig as everyone else has I had to put my spin on it. For me there is no better rider than Valentino Rossi when it comes to on-road motorcycle racing so I had to pay homage to him on this one. Like most involved in this Hobby I love all things with wheels and details and some of what I collect are scale motorcycles. Maisto is a huge supplier of said bikes that can usually be had for under 5 bucks at you’re favorite toy stop. Doing a quick search I found they made a copy of his 06 ride with Camel being the lead sponsor. Oddly enough I didn’t have these in my stable yet so I ordered up a couple. The details and fit and finish are really good on these scale beauties right out of the box so the only problem was could I make them fit onto the Mini-Z Moto that is already too small to possibly have as much going on as it does. Keep reading to get the details of the build..
The latest issue of HobbyTown‘s Hobby Outlook digital magazine has just been published and we have, once again, contributed an article of awesome utility. We show you how to assemble an all in one portable charging box. Inside the easy to carry case you will find two chargers, a power distribution panel, and 12 volt battery to power it all when away from the grid. You can read the magazine embedded after the break or you can click on through to the Hobby Outlook page for a look at the current and past issues. Our article starts on page 12.
Since we have been covering more RC drag racing lately, we have been getting questions about how to get started in the drag racing scene. Many questions are “where did you get the King Squid?” and “how do I get one?” Well, those are the questions I am going to answer here. It’s going to be a pretty short project, since RC dragsters are really pretty simple.
(We have a newer ramp design, which you can read about at this link.)
When we set out to build a ramp, we had a few restrictions:
- The ramp has to be portable (has to fit in our trucks).
- The ramp has to be adjustable (height and ramp curve).
- The ramp has to be sturdy.
- Time to bash: Can be built in a weekend.