Everybody’s Scalin’ – The Deal with Axle Tubes
Earlier this week Gmade announced they were releasing factory axle tube weights for their Sawback trucks and it got me thinking – hey, I’ve never talked about axle tubes!
In all the popular scaler axle housings, the space between your pumpkin gears and axle tip is typically empty, save for the dog bone. The axle tube inserts into this area, therefore filling the space and making a solid piece. Depending on the material used, this can have a different effect on the vehicle. Let’s discuss the two different types.
While the axle tube (or beef tube) looks pretty much identical to a weight tube, they are made of lightweight aluminum with the main purpose being to reinforce the plastic housings. This is especially popular with those that run the Axial AR60 axle for rock racing and monster truck duty. Without them it’s quite common to shear or snap the housings under extreme use. These work as a nice stopgap and can drastically improve the life of the piece (and your internals by proxy). Yes, it can also add additional weight but it’s pretty minimal and well worth the trade off.
Made of a heavy material like brass or steel, the purpose of the weight tube is what the name implies – add a bunch of weight low, normally on the front end, to optimize vertical crawling. It also will strengthen the housing like it’s lighter weight brother. Just be aware this added weight can really put a stress on your drivetrain and cause the plastic parts to wear out. You will most definitely want aluminum c-hubs and knuckles if you go with this setup. Closed cell foams are also smart as standard ones will flat spot quick. A common setup for heavy duty scale crawling is to put a weight tube in the front and lighter axle tube in the rear.
So that’s it, pretty simple right? Regardless of which you use, these are awesome hop-ups to have. They may not be a “sexy” mod that adds bling or scale appeal but, trust me, when you’re climbing a boulder or smack a rock at 20 mph you’ll be VERY happy you have ’em installed.
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