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Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project

This article was originally published in RC Driver’s August 2015 issue.
Photos by Walter Sidas

A FINE FINISH The inspiration for the color on my rig came from a Jeep I see at the local Starbucks when I drive by it every afternoon. I bet the dude never takes his Jeep off-road, but the color of his Wrangler was cool nonetheless. The color is burnt orange so I turned to Tamiya spray paints to replicate the color. I used Tamiya transparent orange and backed it with copper and then black. The color came out great.

Bring on the Bolt On!

There are a few RC vehicles on the market that seem to have an endless number of aftermarket parts available and the Axial SCX10 is one of those machines. It seems like wherever you look online, there is a totally custom SCX10 that has some parts you’ve never seen before. While researching some of our past SCX10 based projects we came across lines of parts that got our creative wheels turning and we were dreaming of new projects to come before some other projects were even finished. The parts we found were offered by Asiatees.com and were items they sell from overseas. The manufacturer of the parts was TopCad and Boom Racing so we ordered up some items and mixed in a few other parts from Axial and Hot Racing to build a wild new trail truck to add to the office trail truck collection for our daily trail drives. Have you been checking out options from these companies? Check out this project build to see just a small selection of what they have to offer.

PARTS LIST

Axial

  • SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Kit- AX9027
  • Weight Ring- AX30547
  • 8-hole Beadlocks- AX8087
  • Falken Wildpeak tires- AX31143
  • SCX10 TR Link Set- AX31142

TopCad

  • Carbon Servo Plate- 22487
  • HD Chassis Performance Set- 22482
  • Rear Hub Conversion- 22484
  • Front Universal Joints- 22405
  • Top Rock Crawler ESC- 79808
  • 35T Top Motor- 79809

Boom Racing

  • Upper & Lower Chassis Links- BRSCX07GM
  • Front C-Hub- BRSCX03BK
  • Front Knuckle- BRSCX01BK
  • Pineapple Transmission Gear Set- BRQ32119
  • Winch- BRQ90229GM
  • Super Bright LED Light Set- LB0002

Turnigy

  • Trackstar TS-910 Servo- 922000035-0

Hot Racing

  • HD Spiral Bevel Gear Set 38T/13T- SWRA9383
  • Aluminum Gear Box Cover- SCP32X01
  • Piggyback 90mm Shocks- SCX90CX01
  • Aluminum Rock Rails- SCX33RV01
  • Center Gear Case- SCP3801

Team FastEddy

  • Bearing/ Screw Kit Combo- SCX10Combo LRP
  • Hyper Pack 4600mAh NiCd Battery- 71140

Tactic

  • TTX300 3-Channel- TACJ0300
Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-9
GOT FRAMED The frame rail kit is actually from TopCad and it comes with all of the cross brace pieces machined in aluminum. To bolt the project together I turned to Team FastEddy for his SCX10 stainless screw kit which gives you all the hardware needed to get an SCX10 assembled. But back to the frame kit, the rails are very similar to the stock rails which are a stamped steel. The cross braces are a near replica of the stock pieces, just in aluminum. The kit has the front bumper brace for a Honcho, so I had to use the stock plastic cross brace to fit the Poison Spyder bumper on my Jeep setup.

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-16
AXLE ARMOR To keep the axle ends shored up, I installed TopCad aluminum lockouts. These machined aluminum pieces keep the rear axle stable and slide on to the stock axle without modification. New wheel hexes are supplied with the lockouts which are wider than stock but unfortunately are not tapped with a set-screw to secure them to the axle shafts. Here you can also see the Boom Racing suspension links. These solid, one-piece links have a unique look and have steel pivot balls at each end.

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-13
RUGGED UNDERBELLY With the truck rubber up, you can see the TopCad aluminum center skid/ transmission mount. It’s machined well and the transmission bolts up without issue. Here you can also see the steel universal driveshafts that come with the chassis set. These things are impressive; they are heavy with multiple splines that won’t strip out and heavy duty universal joints to connect to the drive yokes. The universals have a small E-clip on one cross pin that allows you to disassemble the universal

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-17
SOLID MOUNTS The full chassis kit comes with aluminum body posts for the front and rear that will slide into TopCad shock mounts. The posts are nice and thick and won’t bend if you roll the truck, but I did have to use the stock posts in the rear of the rig to work with the Axial Rubicon body

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-14
POWER PACKAGE TopCad offers a basic waterproof electronic speed control and 35T brushed motor combo. The motor can is a modified style 540-size so it can be rebuilt and the brushes replaced when it wears. The ESC comes fitted with bullet connectors for easy installation and the heatsink is massive to help dissipate heat, but makes mounting in the factory position a little tight. Oddly the switch for the ESC is also massive so it takes up a lot of space, but on the good side the ESC is auto-programming so you just turn it on and go.

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-15
BULKY BLOCKS Upgrading the steering knuckles and carriers is something SCX10 owners do quite often so it was also a bolt up on this rig. Boom Racing offers these aluminum goodies shown here. They are basically machined to near replicas of the stock plastic pieces, just in aluminum and black anodized. Included with the knuckles are bearings and bronze bushings for the knuckles to pivot on. The fit and finish are great; just make certain to threadlock the pivot screws. Then if you look behind the knuckles, you’ll see TopCad’s universal axles with unique bronze finish. They have a large universal joint and cross pin and a sleeve over the pin to keep it secure.

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-20
TOUGH TRANSMISSION Other than the gear cover backplate and the slipper clutch with hardware, nothing in this transmission is stock. Starting on the outside, I turned to Hot Racing for their aluminum transmission case and gear cover. The tranny is nicely machined, black anodized and the edges jeweled. Inside the case, Team FastEddy bearings were used to support the gears, which are from Boom Racing. The Boom Racing steel gears are a diagonal cut tooth for the main gear, idler and top shaft so they all mate perfectly together. The gear kit also includes a diagonal cut steel spur and pinion. When it is all together it appears to be a bulletproof setup with the only issue being the universal driveshaft hits the gearcover, so I had to use a Dremel to grind the cover for clearance.

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-18
TERRAIN TIRES There is a lot of talk about Axial’s new Falken Wildpeak M/T tires so I had to try them out. The tires are a soft compound with an aggressive tread and a side edge to help grab the rocks and terrain. I mounted these up on Axial’s beadlock rims and used Pro-Line racing serrated nuts to keep them securely in place. Inside the front tires I also installed Axial’s weight ring that

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-26
SECURE SERVO To bolt the servo to the axle, I used a TopCad carbon fiber mounting plate with aluminum servo mounts. The mount is strong and does the job, plain and simple. To link the steering up, an Axial aluminum link steering kit was assembled with Axial’s ball ends and bolted to the steering components.

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-23
STURDY SHOCKS To damp the axles on the project, Hot Racing’s piggyback shocks were bolted to the aluminum shock mounts. The HR shocks are all aluminum even down to the shock ends and spring perches. The caps are fitted with a bleeder hole to get the air out and three different springs with varying spring rates are included for tuning the rebound. The shocks are pretty impressive, they feel smooth and show no signs of leaks.

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-25
STEP UP Some people prefer rock sliders, but these Hot Racing side steps looked too cool bolted onto our rig. The steps come anodized black like you see here with the step plates machined for a silver look and the HR logo etched on the deck. The steps come with the posts but the frame mounts are TopCad

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-27
LET THERE BE LIGHT When going off-roading, you may find yourself running all the way into the night, so you’d better have the ability to light things up. The Axial Rubicon body comes with light buckets so I used a Boom Racing lighting kit to shine some light at both ends of the truck. The light set comes with bright white, blue and red lights with long wires and connectors to hook everything up. I broke out the soldering iron and rewired the lights to accommodate my mounting locations and when I was done I wound up with a great, low-hassle lighting setup.

 

Wild Axial SCX10 RC Jeep Project-24
WINCH UP If you plan on hitting the tough trails in scale form, then you’ll need to have a scale winch ready to pull you out of trouble. Boom Racing has this great looking manual electric winch that you can fit to any trail machine. What drew me to the Boom Racing winch was its steel cable and the metal framework of the winch housing. The small motor is covered by a ribbed black heatsink and the unit has a cool overall look. I call it a manual electric winch because you have to manually flip a toggle switch mounted on the truck to power the winch in or out.

ON THE TRAIL

Project Gone Wild SCX10 looked almost too good to get dirty but it had to be done so we headed off to a local hiking trail to have fun out in the rugged terrain. With the switches on and the lights powered up I set the truck down and gave it a squirt of throttle to check out the speed. Instantly I was happy with the power the TopCad motor puts out. It’s not a trail blazing speed, but plenty of scale style power with the torque necessary for climbing. Then I cranked the wheels to turn the truck around and noticed way too much wheel camber. It turns out I had the knuckle carriers on backwards. Such a newb, I know. It’s so embarrassing after building about a dozen SCX10’s. After some photos, I fixed the issue and headed back out to find that the truck steers well with the Trackstar servo swinging the wheels. Now it was time to see how it fared on the tough stuff. I found some ledges and figured out a line and started my ascent up a hill. The Axial Falken tires were fantastic. The rubber wrapped around the rock edges and there was plenty of grip to pull the rig over some nasty gaps. The suspension articulated and the truck twisted and turned over rocks and tree roots. But I did manage to get the truck pretty hung up in one section where I was happy to have an excuse to try out the winch. I flipped the switch in the cab and rolled out the line, wrapped it around a root and then flipped the switch back to reel in the cable. The front bumper flexed a lot, but it did manage to free up the truck from its hang-up. Looks like I’ll be hunting for a solid bumper setup in the future. My only other issue with the build was the universal front axles. While on the trail, I was pushing the rig to the limits on a ledge and rolled the truck. It fell off the ledge and landed on some rocks below. The fall caused the stub axle to snap at the wheel hex cross pin hole. Although the axles look cool, if you grab them for your machine, you might want to consider the durability factor.

WRAP-UP

Another SCX10 project wrapped up and I must say I just never get tired of building these rigs and there never seems to be an end to the number of option parts available for this chassis. A large majority of parts were ordered from Asiatees.com and are shipped from overseas, but that process was quick and easy and I wound up with a number of unique parts that helped me build an exciting trail truck. The look of the Jeep off-roader turned out great and it was backed up with great performance other than one small mishap… so far. I plan on running this rig hard during our RC Driver editor play outings. 

LINKS

Asiatees (TopCad, Boom Racing) asiatees.com
Axial Racing axialracing.com, (949) 600-8642
LRP distributed by Team Associated, teamassociated.com, (714) 850-9342
Hot Racing hot-racing.com Team Fast Eddy teamfasteddy.com, (707) 360-0190
Tactic distributed exclusively by Great Planes Model Distributors hobbico.com, (800) 682-8948
Turnigy hobbyking.com

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