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Thread: The RockDragon by SmallDragon

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Old 06-12-2010, 08:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Germany
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Default The RockDragon by SmallDragon

The Rock Dragon

The evolution of my Axial AX10 ARTC

Hey Dudes,
this is a report about the evolution of my Axial AX10 ARTC.

It took me a litle while and one wrong choice (HPI Crawler King) before I started with crawlers. But after I saw the first ones in action I wanted one of hose amazing vehicles.
After some research I decided to start with an AX10 ARTC. One of the reasons was at that time Losi had big problems here in germany with the availability of spare parts. Another was that I wasn't sure if I would go more in the scaler or crawler section. And since I had a HPI Crawler King already I wouldn't have to buy whole new electronics.

So I bought me a Graupner V4R+ ESC and used the HPI 55T from my Crawler King as engine. The decision for a servo was no big deal, because for me there is only on choice, the Savöx 1256TG.
It is a 20 kg titanium geared digital servo wich I am runing in almost all my cars. They are nearly indestructible and fast enough even for my competition nitros. And they are not to expensive.
After a few testruns I noticed the obviouse and made some minor changes to the crawler. Like changing the NiMh bateries into some 2S LiPo and puting it on the front axle and puting weights in the wheels. The normal stuff what you have to do with most stock crawlers.
Even this litle changes made a big difference for the car and it's capabilitiys and I went with this for a while again.

After my first meeting with some of my friends on "real" crawler terain it was time for the next changes. Because I couldn't realy compete with them and was stucked in situations where the other crawlers came through easily. The problems where the stock tires and the chassis. The stock wheels of the AX10 ARTC are the ProLine Hammers, normaly a good choice for crawlers. But on the Axial kit they used a rubber compund wich is to hard and dosn't give you enough grip on rocks. Also they are to small for my opinion and the vehicle has not enough ground clearancy on the axles. To make no more compromises I choosed the ProLine Titus Wheels, with the weights, and the ProLine Chisle tires in the soft version. Next thing I realised on the meeting was that you don't need the amount of ground clearance in the center, if you have a good chassis. The AX10 ARTC hase the longest dämpers from all the Axial vehicles and together with the high clearance links the CoG is way to high.
To solve that problem I bought the Bender SWX chassis. Next advantage from that choice is the whide of the whole thing. It is a very narrow chassis wich makes it possible to crawl through realy small gaps. Also it has a geometry wich gives me the option to drive the whole thing in a droop setup. Wich I tried out for a few runs.
The links of the whole thing are a litle bit shorter, since the chassis itself is longer than the stock one and the used alluminium is much harder. These things together make the whole vehicle stiffer an gives you more control over the whole thing. The CoG comes also a little bit more to the downside, and it has more points for different damper positions. I know it is a litle expensive but it is worth every cent.
And no surprise the next testruns showed me again a whole new world of driving on rocks.

The next problem I recogniced was the realy huge turn circle of the car. One of the disadvatages of locked differentials. Also has the Axial not a ver big stearing angle, because the are using the wrong kind of screws on the axles (behind the knuckles) and no DIG. Since I dosn't want to buy a new transmitter (I use the DX3S, wich has only 2 positions on the 3rd channel switch) and I am a grat fan of 4 wheel stearing my next decision was made. Buy a second servo and the 4WS kit for the car. Also I changed the screws behind the knuckels and changed the axle drive shafts on the front axle into real CVDs, to increase the stearing angle. To avoid bracking the center driveshafts, wich can easily happen on those high torque crawler things, I also changed the plastik ones into some MIP heavy duty ones.

The latest change was a new bodie shell. from the beginnig on I didn't liked the stock axial one. The colour was not realy my kind, it was to high and looked to much like a cheap tuber imitation.
But in fakt I knew I would not only drive the thing on bare rocks but also want to drive it in the woods more trial like I am using two diferent types of bodies on the car.
for real crawling I started with a JConcepts Gate Crusher, wich I painted in green camouflage. It is a realy nice and low boddie with a cool agressive look. But for competition like crawling it is not completly ideal. It is a litle to wide and the long flat roof is a real disadvantage if your car lands on the top side. Then you are stucked there and have no other choice than to put it back on the wheels by hand. And that brings me to the latest change on the RockDragon.
My new crawling bodie shell is now a PorLine Baja Bug, wich I painted in anodized blue and silver with some red/orange flames. On of the best crawler bodies out there. You can put it realy low on the chassis, it is realy narrow and the round roof gives you the oportunity to crawl back on the wheels with out touching the car.
My "trial" bodie is the Spider from ProLine. This is a real nice Lexan imitation of a tuber chassis. wich looks realy scale like on the AX10. I know for a comp crawler it is way to big. But the wheels don't loke so oversiced like on the real comp. tubers.
And for a litle more scale look I used the ProLine light bar set with a Light system from Sanwa. So it has real functioning lights. 4 LEDs on the roof bar, 2 LEDs on the hood (wich go brighter in full speed), brake 2 rear/breaking LEDs and 2 revers driving LEDs.

So that's all about my first real crawler. I don't count the Crawler King, because you can't realy use that one on crawler terain and I drove it only for about 3-4 batterie charges.
For the moment I am realy satisfied so far with my RockDragon. But don't think thats all you will read about it. Because I wan't to compete on the Supercrawl next year I am already thinking about the next changes or buing the new Axial XR10.
Reason for that is that with my RockDragon as it is now there will be now calss where I can start with it. for a Superclass it is to small and in the 2.2 Pro Class is no 4WS allowed. So I am thinking if I will start in the 2.2 Sportsman class, for that I have to change back to the "normal" rear axle or starting in the 2.2 Pro class with the new XR10.
But the next small change wich is on the list will be changing the plastik knuckles into Alluminium. But they are not available at the moment.

So long and thanks for the fish!

P.S.: Almost forgot:
Here are some pictures of the car in it's different stages of evolution, for videos tune in to my Youtube channel.






Last edited by SmallDragon; 06-12-2010 at 09:08 PM.
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