How To – Sand Blasting with the ECX 4WD Circuit
The BigSquidRC Bash Crew is firmly anchored in the Midwest, home to luscious top soil and sticky clay. One surface we don’t get a chance to drive on much is sand, therefore we forget that much of the world is covered with the stuff. After spending so much time in sandy SoCal this year, we decided it was time make a sand blasting machine.
For the project we grabbed our faithful ECX 4WD Circuit. The 4WD Circuit has done us well over the last few months, and due to its 4wd system and lightweight chassis, we thought it would make a great sand machine.
The first concern we had for our project was tires. We wanted to go with much larger units, specifically sand paddles, for maximum traction. It was easy to find the perfect tire for our needs, the Pro-Line Sand Paw 2.8″ is much larger than stock and comes with huge paddles. For wheels we opted for Pro-Line 2.8″ Desperados, they had the style we were looking for, are extremely hard to break, and mounted right up to our Circuit.
With the wheels/tires set, we then went searching for a body that would really set off our Circuit. With the scale look all the rage, we went with a 1972 Chevy C-10 body also from Pro-Line. The Chevy body gave our truck an entirely different look and mounted up easily.
All of our nearby sand areas are really rough, thus we wanted to go with a shock upgrade to help smooth things out. We’ve found that Pro-Line PowerStroke shocks work well through extra bumpy sections, so we popped on a set of their rear SCT PowerStrokes to both the front and rear of our truck. The PowerStrokes are slightly shorter than the stock shocks so we had to do some slight modifications to retain the same downtravel as before. We drilled new holes in the rear a-arms and used different mounting holes on the front tower to accomplish this task.
Let’s face it, sand likes to bog down the power of anything it touches, therefore we bolted in crazy amounts of torque. We used a Castle Creations Mamba Max Pro speed controller in conjunction with a Castle 1415 motor to give our truck insane pull. Of course that type of system needs a lot of current for maximum power, so we enlisted a MaxAmps 3S 5450 LiPo battery to supply the juice.
How did our creation turn out? Absolutely thrilling! One stab of the throttle was all it took to know the 4WD Circuit can be made into a sand spewing beast. The Sand Paw tires provided incredible traction while the Castle & MaxAmps power system pumped out more than enough yank for standing backflips and 30 mph+ wheelies on sand. We also learned not to stand too close, more than one Bash Crew member got seriously roosted by our new project.
We also learned that we had pushed our Circuit too far. After only a couple of packs the stock drivetrain could not keep up with the insane power system. Since our initial test runs we’ve taken out the long can 1415 and bolted in a more conservative Castle 1410. The 1410 still has plenty of torque for blasting through the sand, but doesn’t tear up the drivetrain as quickly.
We also noticed that the stock servo wasn’t quite up to the job of handling the new larger tires. Since the pictures were taken we’ve taken out the stock servo and replaced it with a 7965 from Hitec and have had no more issues with steering.
Want to read more about the 4WD Circuit? Check out This Link right here on BigSquidRC.