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Thread: CaptMatt's XJ Build

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Old 06-04-2016, 12:40 AM   #1
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Default CaptMatt's XJ Build

Hello Everyone! I wanted to start a build thread to chronicle my XJ build. This SCX10 is my 2nd kit build, I finished a Tamiya XV-01 about a month ago and had a blast. I have a Wraith Spawn RTR also and have been thinking about a SCX. When Axial announced the XJ kit (V2 or not) I pre-ordered immediately!

Why? Because I have a 1997 Cherokee! I love the newer body style and was disappointed only the older body was on the market before. Here is my truck, I've only had it since Aug '15, but I love it! The mods are fairly mild, 3.5" lift, JK Rubicon wheels/tires, and LED headlights. I've got flares sitting in the garage waiting to go on too. I'm looking for an "inspired by" type of build, I'll be painting either black or gunmetal and would really like to maybe add the pinstripe in also. Here she is:


Now, on with my build! I'll be using a TTX300, Savox SW1210, Axial beadlocks (for now) on this build. Also a Holmes Torquemaster 27T and the BRXL ESC.



I had no issues with the axles, both went together just fine. I do not really like putting together links, but I managed without any major incident. The upper links for the rear axle do have a pretty decent confusion point in the directions, where the 1:1 drawing shows the ends at a different angle from how they need to be.


The shocks presented a decent challenge. I'm not great at shocks, but these are hard to bleed and somewhat hard to assemble. My biggest issue was that the upper spring perch didn't want to just thread on. The threads don't continue 100% of the way through, so I had to do some trimming to get the top threads cleaned out enough to thread onto the shock body. The picture below kind of shows how the collar just stopped. Very frustrating.


Got the transmission/transfer case assembled with no issues. I work at a company that produces automatic transmissions, so I appreciate the detail in the cases that they've added to make them look a little more real, even if it mounts up in the truck backwards.


And I ended with the driveshafts tonight. One major issue - A missing pin! I managed to scavenge some others out of my spare parts, but I don't have any that are long enough to pin the ball end to the cup. I'll have to look around town tomorrow to see what I can find.


That's where I'm signing off for now. I hope to keep this updated with my progress. If anyone has specific questions let me know!

Last edited by CaptMatt15; 06-04-2016 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

Nice start, sir. Kits are the way to go!
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

I'm putting my kit together and the transmission as a whole feels ratchety. Was yours this way any at all?
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by realsickclown View Post
I'm putting my kit together and the transmission as a whole feels ratchety. Was yours this way any at all?
"The large gear in the trans has a slot for a pin in each side, they are not the same depth. If the trans feels rough flip the gear over, that smoothed it out." According to the other build thread...
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by realsickclown View Post
I'm putting my kit together and the transmission as a whole feels ratchety. Was yours this way any at all?
So far my transmission seems OK. I must've been lucky and installed the gear the 'right' way the first time.

I have completed the chassis now, and am working on trimming the body. I'll post another update tonight with my pics so far. First impressions from driving the chassis on the floor some is that the steering angle is killer, I finally know what I've been missing with my Wraith's stock setup.

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Old 06-04-2016, 09:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by I2adioActive View Post
"The large gear in the trans has a slot for a pin in each side, they are not the same depth. If the trans feels rough flip the gear over, that smoothed it out." According to the other build thread...
You have got to be kidding me!
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Old 06-04-2016, 09:43 PM   #7
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Today's Update!

So today I started early and picked up some super long 2mm pins in order to make an 11mm pin that my kit was missing for my driveshafts. I cut one of the long ones down to just over 11mm and then filed it to the perfect length to let the plastic cover slide on. The build can keep moving, thank goodness.

After that fix, I spent the AM putting the subassemblies I built up yesterday together. Ended up with a my full chassis nicely assembled. Only had a few hic-ups, mainly from me not following directions all that well.


Followed up that with the electronics, bumpers, body mounts, etc as called out in the manual. I put the ESC opposite the receiver box just to make everything look visually even. I LOVE the bumpers, especially since I've considered JCR parts for my 1:1 XJ before.


I mounted up my tires on Axial Beadlocks for now. They assembled nice and easy and the gray rings will match my paint plans as well.


And then we were in driving chassis mode! I am VERY impressed by the steering angle, but my Wraith Spawn is still all stock up front in the steering department. Can also commend that it articulates well when driving over my dog's large rawhide bone...


Cutting out the body opening for the grill, with the thin portion below staying, was a HUGE pain. Lots of small trimming adjustments after getting the opening there. Then I got the million other holes bored for the body posts and accessories. I present Ghost XJ!


I'm now prepping the body for paint, getting that all washed up and masked so tomorrow afternoon I can get paint done and be finished. Maybe even get out and take some pics in the woods too!

Overall the build has been pretty good. The plastic that the motor mount is made of is VERY hard compared to most of the other plastics, so installing parts onto the mount and the 2 small transmission supports was a serious pain. As mentioned I kept making very small mistakes and had to flip stuff upside-down a few times to fix it. I'm really happy with the scale details and the accuracy of the body, very happy with my choice to pick up this kit. Can't wait to see it in paint!
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

Very nice build; thanks for providing the pics and details!

I just received my kit on Friday and am anxious to start the build! Still waiting on the electronics to arrive, but I have the same set of Axial bead locks on my bench. Based upon your pics, I think they look really nice with the BF Goodrich Tires mounted up! Can't wait to see your finished body work!
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Old 06-05-2016, 12:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

I flipped that pineapple gear and that fixed the ratchety issue, thanks.
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Old 06-05-2016, 11:30 PM   #10
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Today's job was paint - and I'm not the best painter in the world by any means. I am pretty slow and methodical in my prep and coats so far, this is only the 2nd body I've ever painted, and the first with more than one color.

Anyway, prep left my body shell looking like this (I put the window masks on after this picture):


I picked Tamiya Gunmetal (PS-23) for the body, with Tamiya Black for the flares and hood stripes. After my methodical painting session, I ended up with:




Then I started ataching all the accessories to the body as I'm dead tired tonight and dont feel like stickers, haha. The mirrors probably need to go on after window stickers, so I'll probably pull the drivers side one tomorrow. The roof rack went on OK - I had to "prethread" the inside "nut strips" of plastic outside the truck as its pretty hard to start the fresh plastic with the angled surface they give you. I used some counter-sunk screws for the grill, the kit calls for button head machine screws, to make sure they sink into the provided areas as flush as possible too.



And that is how she sits tonight. I'm very happy with the paint. The plan for tomorrow is decals and to get some pictures of the paint in the daylight!

Last edited by CaptMatt15; 06-05-2016 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 06-06-2016, 07:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

Nice choice in paint colors looks great, good call on the grill screws too.


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Old 06-06-2016, 07:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

Wicked XJ! The grill screws may look better black?
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by sic1to View Post
Wicked XJ! The grill screws may look better black?
There are turn signal decals that go over those 2 screw holes, so silver should be OK. I went with the counter-sunk heads in order to get the decal to be smoother after application. The press shots of the White XJ from the box clearly show bulges of the round-top heads in the decal.
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Old 06-06-2016, 11:33 AM   #14
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Yeah good point
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

Looks great Matt! RC4WD has some beadlocks that match your 1:1 rig, if you can handle the price...

Octane 1.9" Beadlock Wheels
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

Gorgeous! I was considering the same color so it is awesome to see it completed. Thanks for sharing your build and looking forward to some pics out on the trail!


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Old 06-06-2016, 12:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

I like your style on the 1:1 . . Heres mine 4.5" on 33" km2. . These wheels look so good on the XJs

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Old 06-06-2016, 05:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

Great job; love the Gunmetal! That is definitely a color that I am considering for my kit!
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:05 PM   #19
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Default Re: CaptMatt's XJ Build

And the build is finally complete!




Notes - I HATE the way axial has their window stickers. I found it VERY difficult to get them on both straight and with no bubbles. So now my windows look kinda dirty and like I just drove through a giant bug storm with the little bubbles that are left. I much prefer the way Tamiya gives you the window surrounds to put on in individual pieces. From now on with Axial kits I'll probably trim out the "glass" and just put the rubber decals on.

Otherwise I'm looking forward to picking out a winch, light bar, and light kit to complete this build in full. For now the next mission is to get out and get it dirty!
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:09 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Wes S. View Post
Looks great Matt! RC4WD has some beadlocks that match your 1:1 rig, if you can handle the price...

Octane 1.9" Beadlock Wheels
I have seen the RC4WD Octane wheels before. Since I decided to not paint this body all black, I also chose to spend a little less on the wheels for now and go with something else. I really like the way the dark gray lock rings match the paint.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CilCo View Post
Gorgeous! I was considering the same color so it is awesome to see it completed. Thanks for sharing your build and looking forward to some pics out on the trail!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter80 View Post
Great job; love the Gunmetal! That is definitely a color that I am considering for my kit!
Glad I could give y'all a sample of what this looks like! I found a SCT painted up in Gunmetal and Black when googling the combination and I knew it would be a winner. My wife and I decided on the black Jeep decals/logos to add to the "stealth" appearance as well. I think they turned out great!
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