Losing Grip – Looks, performance or durability?
As I see it, there’s three different roads to chose between when upgrading an Axial SCX10-3: scale looks, performance or durability. Some upgrades tick not one, but two boxes, other upgrades will be an improvement in one area, and an actual detriment in another. Example on the former: aluminum wheels look good, and also add weight down low, hence improving both looks and performance. Example on the latter: a steel roof rack stuffed with scale accessories looks amazing, but adds a lot of weight at the very top, making the car more prone to tipping over.
Which way to chose then? Each to his own, of course, but here’s my thinking.
Upgrades for durability is, at least in my case, hardly needed. For my rock racers and bouncers, I went all in for durability, as in the SSD diamond axles pictured above. For the SCX10 I am not the least worried that things might brake; it’s not overly heavy and geared for a maximum speed of around 15 mph. Staying true to the specs of the Mamba Micro ESC I intend to keep it below 8 lbs. Less weight equals less breakages. It now weighs, battery and all, six pounds, twelve ounces (3086 grams) . This means I have a margin of one pounds and three ounces (540 grams) for upgrades, not a lot. Where to put it? Durability not needed, looks or performance remains.
Does the SCX10 need anything in the looks department? Not as far as I am concerned. I know that a lot of you (hello Jeremy!) like to add all kinds of spare accessories, but this isn’t my cup of tea. Well, at least not if I have to choose, as in this case. When on the trails and rocks, my SCX10 will be accompanied by two highly capable 2.2 rigs, if it is to stay on their tails, any upgrades will have to be aimed at performance.
With a Holmes Hobby Puller Pro Stubby V2 2700kV, a Castle Creations Mamba Micro X, and a 500 oz-in servo from Savox (SW-2210SG), the electronics department is well catered for. My main worry is climbing and side-hilling capability, since I know these will be the biggest challenges on the terrain around where I live.
On the want list: as much weight as possible, as far down as possible, as good looking as possible. As I’ve said before, I hate buying twice, better to go for the best from the start. There’s a lot of different portal covers and knuckles out there, but the one manufacturer that ticks all the boxes, is Samix RC. At least that’s what it seemed like looking at the specs, so I got myself a pair of portal covers and knuckles. As soon as they arrived and I had a proper look, was very impressed by the finish, and immediately ordered a second pair of portal covers, this according to my principle of ”order a little at a time, enjoy the procuring process and spend a lot on postage”.
Samix RC’s brass portal covers weigh in at 55 grams each, 88 grams with an optional tuning weight. Together with their 8mm hexes and scale brake rotors, it sums up at 196 grams for a pair. The complete front package with knuckles weighs in at 315 grams. All in all just over 500 grams, right down at the axles, as far down as it can possibly go. In my case that is roughly 15 percent of the total weight of the car! The 8mm hexes also widens the stance a bit, adding even more to side hilling capability. The combination of a wider stance and a lower center of gravity ought to make quite a difference in crawling performance.
I am still in the process of properly evaluating this upgrade, measuring things like center of gravity before and after, doing before and after runs and such. If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I have a soft spot for physics, geometry and objective facts. Rest assured that these portal covers and knuckles will be scrutinised.
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