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Thread: Micro Racer's Mil-Spec Mall Crawler

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Old 06-12-2020, 01:50 AM   #1
Rock Crawler
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: San Diego
Posts: 605
Default Micro Racer's Mil-Spec Mall Crawler

Okay, so this is a bit of a weird one. Y'all know how sometimes you just find this one part that is so awesome you have to build a truck for it? This truck is basically that idea, but for pretty much every component.

If anybody flips through my other build threads, they might notice I really like fiddly extra bits. Why does my D90 have a full set of telemetry, including RPM? Why does my Dingo have three waterproof receiver boxes and two battery trays? Why did I start building an 8x8 other than to have one more axle than my 6x6? I like keeping my trucks fairly function-over-form, but it's fun to have a few extra odd bits here and there.

But I digress. This whole truck started with the Hot Racing transmission case for the SCX10.2 Kit. Everybody likes aluminum transmission cases, but how about a big, beefy, black-anodized brick of aluminum (topped off with an STRC motor plate)?

That's the stuff... But why would I disgrace such an ostentatious housing with stock internals, nevermind leaving it a single speed? Before Axial took approximately two centuries to release their own 2-speed, when I originally started building this truck, the only quality option was the SSD gears.

Unfortunately, I still had a bunch of issues with the gears. I'm not sure if the Hot Racing case was out of spec or thicker than the stock plastic, but I had several places where the gears would contact the housing. At least aluminum files down easily. Even at that, it appears HR made some changes themselves, as evidenced by the post-anodize milling on the inside of the case. (There's a bunch of patches of white lithium grease; the only file mark is on the beveled edge above the silver.)

Besides interference with the transmission case, at least two gears had a bur along the edge of the teeth, or were possibly cut too tall, as the gears were gritty and seemed to crash into each other at several points in rotation. Though the hardened steel took longer than the aluminum housing, I broke out the file again knocked down the edges of the gear teeth.

With the transmission finally together smoothly, I tried to figure out what chassis to build around it. At one point, I thought of throwing trailing arms on an SCX10 and even bought a set of SuperShafty arms, but I decided not too and those arms now happily live on my TRX-4 buggy. And then Element released their IFS conversion for the Enduro (and SCX10 with an adapter plate).

Perfect! You may notice several things in this picture: my transmission is backwards/actually the correct direction, I have a CVD coupler on the IFS diff output, and some gold wheels.

The transmission is indeed backwards, mostly for weight bias, but also because Axial apparently didn't understand what a bell housing was when they originally designed the SCX10.2. Because of this flip, the front transmission output is tucked up over the skid plate, so much that a regular WB8HD or equivalent driveshaft is too thick and hits- well- basically everything. I managed to discover that a Yeti front driveshaft (AX31139) is almost exactly the correct length, and is significantly skinnier than anything else. With some tweaking to the transfer case and output shaft, the 103mm CVD shaft squeezes in nicely.

OBSERVE MY OBSCENELY GOLD WHEELS. I did say this truck was entirely constructed of silly parts, right? SSD Challenger 1.9 wheels certainly check the box for crazy wheels. But alas, the inner edge of the wheel catches the bottom rod end of the IFS, and completely locks against the steering arm attached to the knuckle.

I already have the Element steel hexes on the IFS, so I don't really want to use other, wider hexes. Instead, I have a set of SSD +3mm Brake Rotor Hubs on order to push the wheels out just a little bit. But what are shiny wheels without paradoxically heavy duty tires? MALL CRAWLER.

Proline's Grunt 1.9 tires (G8 compound) are a suitably chunky contrast to the gold.

At the rear of the truck, I decided to strip down my spare stock multi-piece rear axle and rebuild it with an SSD Diamond Pro44 housing. The SSD axle makes the stock gears run much smoother, even without any extra shimming.

This axle housing and the SSD 305mm link set are probably the only parts on this truck that are specifically for function. I spent way too much time shimming the stock housings on my D90, just for them to run buttery smooth without any extra effort when I swapped to the SSD housings on that rig.

So here's the chassis as it sits right now.

And with the Nukizer body I will be running on it. What a wonderfully hilarious conglomeration of over-the-top parts and shenanigans.

Obviously, I still need more parts. A BowHouse RC transmission mount along with Element's IFS adapter plate are currently being printed by Shapeways, my brake rotors are in the mail, but I still need shocks and some electronics before this Mall Crawler can get dirty.

Let me know what y'all think of this so far, and if you have any weird part suggestions for the rest of the truck!
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Old 07-17-2020, 01:24 PM   #2
Pebble Pounder
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Olympia
Posts: 170
Default Re: Micro Racer's Mil-Spec Mall Crawler

I like it! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the build
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