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Thread: 1stGen Joins the Party (build thread)

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Old 08-03-2020, 06:33 PM   #1
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Default 1stGen Joins the Party (build thread)

I've been racing RC competitive since the 90's, but never really had any interest in crawlers until a few months ago.

Got a Capra to get the feet wet with the wife and kids, and Dad got an SCX10.3 kit to build up.

Pretty run of the mill build thanks to a decent manual, the "before you bulid" thread here, and my experience with race kits through the ages.


Axles were straightforward, nice and snug on the fit and finish.


Shocks weren't the best I've every built, but far from the worst. Learned with the Capra, a healthy dose of green slime makes everything smoother and less leaky.


Here's where I start to deviate from previous builds. From the first time I saw this SCX transmission, I thought it looked awesome, but the real deal is aluminum, not black. So I stacked up the transmission housing before building, and hit it with a light coat of aluminum colored paint. I also figured any wear from handling or light spots in coverage would pre-weather it to look like a used (and dirty in the crevices) real-deal.


For power, I'm un-retiring a 17.5 race motor from about 8 years ago, with an 11T pinion.


Links went really quick with an extra set of hands. My dad, who's never been into RC much, was really digging the realism, so he helped out with some allen drivers to hold the links parallel, and I was able to turn the links and tighten the turnbuckles evenly and quickly. Building the 10 links might have actually gone faster than the 6 turnbuckles on my second XRay XB2C build I finished on Saturday, with the extra set of hands.


Driveshafts, again, pretty standard fare. Kind of reminded me of my days racing Traxxas Revo's in the early days of the Truggy class, with fewer e-clips.


Here's where things started getting annoying compared to a race kit. The link-topus gets a mind of it's own trying to get it all connected sometimes.


I heeded the advice to pre-thread the shock towers, but I used a 3mm Cap Screw from my stash of hardware. Stronger head, no risk to the kit hardware. Worked well.


Conquered the link-topus. Somehow in all my reading and video watching, I missed any mention of the chassis rails being steel/metal. Makes sense, but was a minor surprise to me.


Electronics population is going to get pretty tight with my list. SR515, 2x KST X12-508 Servos, Protek 370TBL Steering Servo, Tekin RX4, and Castle BEC 2.0, being fed by a Protek 3s 4500mAh Shorty.


2-speed servo required some creative mounting. The front upper link mount keys into the chassis rail, and the lower skid, so I ended up shaving the part, dropping down to just 1 screw, and hoping for the best long-term Just wasn't any other way to get the servo lead to clear the space. I'm sure the Spektrum "proper" servo fits just fine, but again


Everything mounted, ready to solder things in. The 2 speed servo took a couple 2mm spacers under the mounting ears as well, but all secure now. I had picked up some XRay micro servo savers to make my linkages. BUT, the servo savers are micro in size, but meant for regular size servo splines. I attempted to bed the servo adapters with some epoxy to make them work, but apparently my epoxy is old, and it never set hard enough to work properly. I'm sure I'll use the servo savers for something else some other time, but on spring tension and self-recentering ability, they would have been absolutely perfect if the spline sizes matched up to micro servos.


Everything wired and happy. The Castle BEC 2.0 is feeding only the steering servo. The Tekin BEC is set to 7.4V and is feeding the receiver and micro servos. I don't have the remote drag brake adjustment for the RX4 connected right now, I have the fan installed instead. I *think* I can get the lead connected and still get the receiver box cover back on if the need arises.

The Carbon Fiber links are some defunct front-end torsion links for a 1/12 scale BMI Copperhead, they seemed to have a good offset for the 2-speed and dig connections to the KST servo horns (since my servo savers didn't work out). They also don't have a lot of twist or play, so I was able to get a good 3 position setup for the dig, and the 2 speed functions smoothly as well.

That's as far as I've gotten so far. I'm completely undecided on paint scheme, colors, interior, any of it. Plenty of options, but the final result will likely be as much a surprise for you all as it will be for me.

The engine cover will also get detail painted, but it will be a lot easier to remove than the transmission would have been, which is why the transmission got sprayed from the very beginning.
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Old 08-10-2020, 07:24 AM   #2
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Love the idea on painting the transmission housing. I just started my kit build this past weekend and mirrored your build with the painted transmission housing. I'd used a Testors paint pen, which made it quite easy.

As we were without power for the past 6 days from the storm, still need to solder connectors for electronics.

I'd also completed getting my old SCX10 original kit running last week. Having gotten it ~11 years ago and built most of but never run when life got in the way, it's an interesting comparison. I've got an effectively new SCX10 original chassis next to the new SCX10.3. So many more scale details on the new chassis, including fenders. The spur/pinion on the original was all exposed. Though a later revision to original SCX10 added a small cover to provide at least some protection to those gears. Tires on the new SCX10.3 are much wider and taller than original kit tires from SCX10 original. The axle pumpkins are much smaller on the new kit. Fun to see the comparison on changes.
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Old 08-10-2020, 09:22 AM   #3
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I don't know that I'd have the patience to paint the transmission housing entirely with a paint pen.

I'm still sitting here with a body and interior with fully cured liquid mask waiting on me to make up my mind how it's going to get all painted up.
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Old 08-13-2020, 09:32 PM   #4
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Got the body and interior painted this week, finally.

Ultimately couldn't decide what to paint it, so I had my wife pick colors and went with it. Mix of Tamiya spray cans and airbrush paints. Been a while since I painted something without mixing paint brands.



Interior was entirely painted from the underside, no overspray film used as masking, except when I used flattener on the driver. Anybody thinking of using liquid mask and painting it all from the underside like I did, seriously reconsider. What a nerve racking pain in the posterior that was. Didn't get a picture, but the roll cage was painted Tamiya flat black as well.



Driver didn't turn out half-bad either, though I chickened out on my plan to add some stubble detail.


And finally got a chance to get it on the indoor crawler course at the local track for Thursday race night.


I wish I'd taken an overall picture of the entire area. There's a big mix of obstacles, and when new elements are added, it's with the intent that they be challenging, WITHOUT requiring a winch.

This rotary ramp fits the bill. My Capra has no issue climbing, but has so far been unsuccessful descending this feature without going hands-on. The SCX10.3 descended first try, dig dragging the whole way down, and needing two reverse bumps with dig, but made it with nothing but transmitter input.



Overall, I only had about 15 minutes of driving time between race heats, but from the time I set the truck down, I hit every feature I wanted to on the course with no issues, no rollovers, and no intervention needed. The praise heaped on this truck is earned, IMO.




Only thing missing is to throw a light kit on this truck, even on an indoor lit course, it looks a little off without some lights I think.

Also going to pull the fan off the RX4 (unneeded), and get the remote drag adjust hooked up. I think I have it set at 50 or 60% right now, and there were some elements I wanted just a little more drag brake on.

The old 17.5 Trinity D3 seems like it'll be just fine, it's got enough grunt on 3s that having the 2 speed choice is actually noticeable, at least to me. Most elements on the track's course can be done in 1st gear, but there's some elements that require boldness, and the extra speed of 2nd was the difference between tire spinning and risking a roll, and cresting the top.

Very happy with this rig overall, looking forward to scraping up this currently shiny body.
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Old 08-13-2020, 09:54 PM   #5
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Very nice looking clean well built rig, congrats on the build! Glad you enjoyed it. I will say, you look like youíre definitely spoiled with that indoor track. Nice looking features


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Old 08-13-2020, 10:19 PM   #6
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Very nice looking clean well built rig, congrats on the build! Glad you enjoyed it. I will say, you look like youíre definitely spoiled with that indoor track. Nice looking features


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Full disclosure, I run the website for the track, but I don't get paid or compensated by them for anything, in fact, they keep costing me money.

But yeah, this new indoor track is awesome. Indoor carpet onroad (oval once a month), carpet offroad (separate track), crawler course, mini-z track.

They're in the process of finishing up a mini-crawler table, and there's talk of slot cars at some point.

Oval racing this weekend, which they have a live video feed when they're running events on liverc.com.

https://coastalrcoffroad.liverc.com/live/ - Offroad
https://coastalrconroad.liverc.com/live/ - Onroad/oval

https://coastalrcspeedway.com/
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Old 08-13-2020, 10:51 PM   #7
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Man thatís awesome, great setup for sure.
Oh the good old days of running mini-zís! My dad here, dezracer99, has some friends with a storage unit that we use to lay down some pvc pipe on Thursday nights shoot some 20 years ago.. but lots of fun running the Zís and micro rs4ís


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Old 08-16-2020, 01:03 PM   #8
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Some more pictures of the track's crawler course. SCX10.3 got a workout this weekend with the rest of the family getting some trigger time, and more risks being taken. Some awkward "landings" from the upper deck down to the base rounded rocks may have occurred... Body holds up great though, and I think it might even look a bit better with some character.





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Old 08-16-2020, 04:26 PM   #9
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How did you paint the hardtop?
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Old 08-16-2020, 07:29 PM   #10
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How did you paint the hardtop?
Inside and outside was painted Tamiya XF-85 Rubber Black.

Liquid mask on the inside, cut the overspray film to paint the outside while keeping the windows clear.

The rubber black has a nice flat rubberized plastic look and feel to it I think works well, and scratches to the paint on the outside just reveals scratched lexan painted black, or shiny sections of black lexan.
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:32 PM   #11
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Good looking track man, glad itís holding up. They always look better with some ďcharacterĒ haha!


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Old 08-16-2020, 08:45 PM   #12
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Good looking track man, glad it’s holding up. They always look better with some “character” haha!


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Yeah, I'm really not upset with any body scratches.

Although, on thing did bug me enough that I've got a full vehicle lighting kit inbound. The "dark" corners aren't really dark enough to "need" lights, but all the crawlers that do have lights look cooler in those corners, so this jeep's gotta have it.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:02 PM   #13
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Haha right on man, Iíve been looking at getting some powershift kits for a couple of my rigs... Because why not ha. I wouldnít mind doing a couple night runs, the weather has been nice enough


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Old 08-16-2020, 09:16 PM   #14
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I went with the mytrickrc full kit, because I didn't feel like building a single connector cable between the body and chassis myself, and I didn't want to have to track down all the individual lighting bits and 3d printed parts, just get it all in one package, and anything I don't feel like installing can just be left in the box.

Also the lighting controller seems pretty fully featured, which is also of interest to me.

I'd looked into building my own arduino based lighting controller, but I had to be honest, between my work schedule (which is currently an international project), and race schedule when I am home, there's not really any time for me to be messing around and never getting it done.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:42 PM   #15
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I just looked that kit up, looks pretty solid and the price is right.
I totally know what you mean though. Sometimes there just isnít enough hours in the day


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Old 08-20-2020, 03:51 PM   #16
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The MyTrickRC Light Kit (specific to the 10.3 Rubicon) showed up today, and I wasted no time slapping it on the truck.

I like the kit, and I figured this update post was going to be little more than a ride-along on how I put it all in place.

But, there's a few things I'm not super thrilled about that I'll get into as they come up. This kit should fit my purposes just fine, and none of my gripes are deal breakers (currently), just me being picky.

For starters, here's how it comes, sitting on the unpadded envelope it showed up in. No damage to anything, so I'm not going to complain about what kind of stuff I'm throwing away they sent me.



And unpacked:

Which leads to gripe the first: Not much in the way of documentation. To be fair, what is in the kit only fits in a limited number of ways on the body, but as my first light kit, there was a bit of part shuffling in order to figure out where everything is "supposed" to go. The initial confusion started with the 5mm LEDs intended to be used with the ring headlights being packaged with the tail light 5mm LEDs. The high intensity LEDs meant for the interior lighting was packaged with the ring headlights.

I'm most often a smart guy, so only about 5 minutes lost here, just seems like an easily correctable oversight in not having a picto-list of items and their functions in the kit.

On to populating lighting locations:
The "center" 5mm headlights are straight forward:



The "ring" headlights get double sided taped into the included 3d printed buckets, and then pressed on around the 5mm center headlights. The 3d printed buckets have some anti-rotation features that key into the chrome reflectors to keep them from spinning.



When mounted back on the body, the ring headlights press firmly against the headlight recesses in the lexan body, which takes a bit of alignment pressure to get the mounting screws back in.


Tail lights use these 3d printed separators for realism, I guess. They're handed, so if one doesn't fit, use the other one.


Everything in the rear back together leads to the second gripe, the Y portion of combining to a single plug to go to the light controller could be a lot closer to the power plug to give more routing options that aren't right down the middle of the body. Both the headlights and tail lights are configured this way, and I'd have much rather been able to use more than 1 of the wire routing hooks at each corner.



I hadn't planned on doing the interior dash lights, but the kit came with them, so I cleaned off the paint from the required areas: (EDIT: For those that haven't painted the interior and are installing lights from the start, the kit does include pre-cut masking for the dash lighting areas)


And glued the included 3d printed light boxes to the lexan.


And then later cut free the oval shaped box, cleaned the paint from the dash (instead of the glove box area), and re-glued it in the proper place in front of the driver. The high intensity LED boards get double sided taped to the boxes. I trimmed the round cut tape even with the LED boards so there wasn't any exposed adhesive when everything was mounted.


Got the DG-1 controller mounted in what I thought was the perfect area, to find out later it doesn't clear the shock tower brace to get the body on. Anyway, got everything connected up and tested.




Here's where I found an error in the DG-1 documentation:
For connections, I had:
A: Ring Headlights
B: Rock Lights
C: Interior Lights
D: not connected
E: Brake Lights (configured for Drag brakes)
F: 5mm Headlights

As you can see, I found that ports C and D have a low intensity turn-on in mode 2. There is the option to change how the brake lights behave, which is useful. I'd have liked to see channel C or D have the option to pick an intensity independent of the mode. The interior looks a bit silly fully lit up, and I think having the rock lights being variable in intensity is slightly less dumb than only having them on in one mode only.


Speaking of rock lights, they installed fairly straight forward, but as the mounts are 3d printed at a pretty coarse setting and all 4 as one printed piece, I recommend cutting the mounts apart instead of trying to break them apart and pulling any layers apart.

Another gripe here: The rock light mounts in the rear are too tall, and they hit the interior tray, making you squish everything together to get the body mounted. I'll probably take them back off and see if I can sand them down enough to clear, or make my own alternative, but it's pretty annoying at the moment.

Since I mentioned earlier that my original mounting spot for the controller won't work, here's where I ended up with it, at the suggestion of my wife:

That's a piece of battery strapping tape (for racing) over the red status LED so it doesn't bleed light under the truck as aggressively.

Another gripe here: The potted wire connections to the controller are a nice touch, however, the body harness wires in the potting going to a floppy transition where the main jacket strip point is covered with heat shrink and then left to live it's life unsupported is going to make me keep a closer eye on those wires than I think I should have to. I deal with potted electrical connections pretty frequently in my line of work, and we would have potted everything up to the main cable jacket, even at the expense of flexibility of the cable and controller mounting options, in favor of a better longevity of the wire.

The XH to JST power adapter was a nice inclusion, to power the lighting system from a balance plug on a 2s or 3s pack. I had a JST plug left over from previous projects and just added that to the battery posts on the RX4 so I have just a single power connection to make each time I turn the truck on.

With the final mounting home of the controller and the length/positioning of the body to chassis harness and plugs, I can still just remove the rear clips and hinge open the body to connect or disconnect the battery, but it does take a bit more time to install the body than it used to. Enough so that I'm exploring different battery disconnect accessory options in order to minimize the body removal requirements now.


I did end up using channel 5 to be able to change lighting modes remotely. I had planned on using channel 5 for drag brake on the RX4, but if that becomes something I want to change frequently, I'll probably just permanently install a gen 3 hotwire to be able to tune it from my phone.

After I took this photo, I changed to button E on my DX5 Pro on a momentary, since you can't go "backwards" through the modes, only up to mode 4, and then back down to mode 0 (off), so it was a convenient change.

I think that about covers it. If anyone has any questions, let me know, and I'll do my best to answer them.


Last edited by 1stGen; 08-21-2020 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 08-21-2020, 09:54 AM   #17
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Ha! That last pic makes it look like a monster truck.


Good lookin' truck all around.
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Old 08-21-2020, 10:15 AM   #18
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Ha! That last pic makes it look like a monster truck.


Good lookin' truck all around.
Thanks.

Yeah, at full bright, those rock lights cast some shadow. In person, they seem dimmer, until you notice the wheel/tire shadow. In photos, everything looks bright as hell.

The ring headlights are no joke though. I think the only brighter LEDs I have in the house are my WML's.

I did experience the front drive shaft pop-out I'd seen others complain about last night doing some hooligan driving on flat ground. For anyone interested in pre-emptively curing that ailment, I cut some 3m foam earplugs in half lengthwise, and then shortened the length up to about 2/3rds of the original and put the pieces in the hollow section of the front driveshafts. There's enough squish to not interfere with the drive shaft telescoping, but enough spring back to keep the center section... centered.

In the rear, I used another ear plug cut in half lengthwise, but didn't shorten the length. No worries about it popping free, but I think it looks better with the center section kept centered, and I already had the truck flipped over.

If I spent more time on it, I'd probably find some springs to do the same job, as the earplugs will eventually "fail" from fatigue, quicker if they get wet.

For now, it should be fine though.
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:12 PM   #19
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Well...

My modification to the front third link mount to the center skid resulted in destroying my center skid after a particularly brutal fall from about 6 ft tonight between racing rounds.

Treal aluminum center skid and portal weights inbound (which would have probably prevented said brutal fall).
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Old 08-28-2020, 01:31 PM   #20
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Surgery Day.


I knew it was going to be a risk modifying the front upper link mount, and only running one bolt. To be honest, if the track's crawler course had stayed one level, with a max tumble height of of about 3 feet, everything would probably still be stock on the center skid. But, the upper level is about 6 feet up now, and if it's there, ya gotta crawl it, so here we are.




The Treal aluminum replacement is clearanced just as I was extra hopeful it would be for the shift servo. Of note: the screws for the upper links run "backwards" from the stock bolt on bits. This means they don't have to be tightened as much since they'll be semi-captive by the frame rails, but also means trying different mounting point setups is now way more involved. I suppose you could just use the bolt on the threaded side running to a plain hole and retain the ability to quickly change geometry, but that runs counter to how things are done any other time, and this way is a tiny bit cleaner of a look assembled.


No more trying to balance squishing the servo lead shimming up the minimum amount to cut down on flex. Now the servo is mounted down firm, and the servo lead has clearance.


Anyway, back together. The threads are nice and smooth, but as with all Chinesium parts, be careful how much torque you put on things. I didn't run into any issues where it felt like threads were giving up, but I check my stuff over pretty regularly too. If things appear to be loosening regularly, I'll go back in with vibra-tite or some low grade thread lock.


I went with this skid because I wanted to avoid destroying another stock skid (which would happen with the grinding needed to use the servos I'm using), and it was available on Amazon quickly. I don't know how this one is going to hold up, though my initial thought is that it is going to do just fine.

As always, this may move my failure point to another part, but I'm fine with that, as almost anything else is going to be more accessible than replacing a center skid.

I had also ordered brass portal covers to see about stabilizing the truck enough on off-camber climbing that the type of fall that lead to breaking the center skid would be less common, but they haven't made it yet.
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