Mid last year, I started with my first RC rock crawler - a Axial AX10 RTR - and I loved everybit of it. But very quickly this little monster gets you very addicted and "forces" you towards the modification path. The early mods were very basics (like softer springs and different bodyshell).
The plan is now to make it a competition ready crawler with two key requirements: it must look like a vehicle (so no tuber shell) and keep the budget as low as possible (otherwise it will cost more than my Land Rover Discovery !).
This is the direction that I am taking in term of the look & feel. The Crawler will be based on the Axial AX10 chassis with a Bowler body made by Kamtec.
RockRipper Beadlock Wheels
The fist new modification was to change the wheels. I was looking for a set of black wheels a bit more sturdy than the original ones. For that matter I visited the RC4WD store and found the 2.2 Rock Ripper. RC4WD classify them as entry model and not for competition use, but those guys are at the leading edge of the game and I'm still no-where in their league. But for the newbie, those wheels are perfect.
Made of plastic, the cost is kept to a minimum, but they have some features very useful for the serious rock crawler:
- narrow design - that helps the tyres sidewall to work better on the rock
- build-in metal thread insert - means no more damaged thread when you over-tighten the beadlock screws.
Sparcs Comp Shocks
The second change was the shock absorbers.
The Axial stock shocks are quite good, no question there, but at the end of the day they are from an RTR kit, and made of plastic.
These new shocks are made by RC4WD and seem to have been designed for my project.
I fitted them with the rod on top, which is like the shocks in my real-size off-roader. By doing that I wanted to limit the chance of having them rubbing against the mounting.
The location and mounting of those new shocks was what took the most time, and tries & errors.
The springs are very soft and lets the whole vehicle articulates very easily. The question marks are around how much torque twist I'll get when I fit my new motor and the whole truck balance in step climbs or side slopes. But you can adjust the springs to help that
Another winner from RC4WD. This company can design and produce some very high quality components for the crawlers and scalers. Some of them are very expensive, but others are very affordable and it would be a miss not to put them in your shortlist the next time you look for an upgrade of your RC.
After fitting wheels and shocks, I can say that I am very pleased with the result. I only need to fine tune the shocks and I'll be ready for the next upgrade; motor and ESC.
So stay tuned...