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Old 04-05-2019, 06:20 PM   #1
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Default Wraith 1.9.2

It's been a few years since I've bought a shiny new rig, and I'd be lying if I said that I didn't get a tingly feeling when the FedEx truck pulled into my driveway today to deliver the new Wraith 1.9. Because I did.

This is my 4th new Axial rig (#8 in total), so my expectations were on par with what came in the box. I'll get to the likes and dislikes later.

Years ago, like many others, I built my own mini Wraith, and it quickly became one of my most favorite rigs. With careful planning, some crafty design work, and reasonably competent driving, it was and still is, a nearly indestructible mountain goat. Since it was the only rig that survived the culling when I decided to take a break, it will be my benchmark for the new OEM version.




I like the look of the OEM tires, and I dare say that the compound isn't terrible, but the tread pattern just doesn't work with the local landscape. I chose to pick up a set from Duratrax because A) they were fairly cheap, B) I've had great performance from the brand before, and C) the Super Swamper style tread design does well here. They are a bit taller than OEM, and sadly my worn out CI foams are too short for them, but they'll do the job. I paired them with a set of wheels I squirrelled away from my DCW days.




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Old 04-05-2019, 06:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

Great looking wheel/tire combo!
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

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Originally Posted by durok View Post
Great looking wheel/tire combo!
I think so too. Nothing fancy, and black is always fashionable.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

On to the likes/dislikes.


Likes:

*It looks good. The body is great, and the scrape-away paint is a brilliant touch. I dig battle scars. My OG 1.9 Wraith has beat up, scraped up, bent up aluminum body panels and I won't replace them until they fall off.
*The stock tire/wheel combo is decent. RTR tires have come a long, long way over the years, and it gets harder to complain about them. Yes, they weeble wobble around, but you can't win them all, and at the end of the day it's only a cosmetic issue.
*This is my first rig with the AR44 axles, and I like them. More streamlined and greater attention to detail.
*Aluminum hexes. I know it's silly, but I actually said "oh hey, look at that" when I saw them. So, yeah, thanks for those.
*Driveshafts that don't twist apart on the first run. I still own Axial driveshaft rings, and there are NIB Maxx shafts hanging on the wall. The struggle was real.
*The plastic links seem to fairly robust, which is another RTR item that has improved nicely. Thankfully, gone are the days of noodley suspension parts.
*The IC3 battery connection is a great improvement over the Deans connection. I've been using XT60's for a few years and really like them, and while they are very similar to the IC3, they aren't compatible. It got cut off and replaced.
*The radio is decent enough. The range is fine, it has all the adjustments you'd expect to find, and only needs 4 AA's to run. However, in the crawler world, and this is common knowledge for anyone who wheels with any serious intent at all, anything less than a 3 channel is borderline unacceptable.
*The lights are a nice touch. I haven't researched it at all, but they appear to be expandable.
*As is the flip up hood and rx box disguised as an LS engine.
*Up front battery tray. It's a no brainer. I would have been dismayed to find it still in the back.
*The other electronics also seem decent enough. Not stellar, but acceptable.
*Boatsides, fenderwell liners, and CMS. All good things that I'm happy to see.
*The 3 link suspension is a nice scale touch that works like it should. Yes, you get reduced travel when you compress the front end evenly, and yes, there is some side-to-side movement when the suspension is fully cycled, but that is the nature of the 3 link. Does it matter? Not one bit. Apart from taking a 3 linked rig off of some sweet jumps, I have never been in a position where I wished for more front compression, and as long as the 3 link is built properly, the side-to-side sway is kept to a minimum and bump steer is nearly non-existent.
*Overall it's a decent out-of-the-box rig. No regerts.


Dislikes:

First, the whiny bits.

*Nitpicky #1 - Wobbly tires. Yes, it's cosmetic, and no, it doesn't affect performance, but still. It's fairly ridiculous to pull a nearly $400 rig out of the box and watch it run down the road like it's wearing high heels and it's 7/8 of the way through a pub crawl.
*Nitpicky #2 - IC3 connector. Yes, I like them, and it's nice to see advancements in technology, but they could have included a Deans adapter. Or maybe I've been away too long. Take it how you want it.
*Nitpicky #3 - No battery strap and the semi-adjustable battery tray. Axial smartly put the battery where we've been putting them since the OG Wraith hit the streets. That's good. It's designed for full length packs and is adjustable for pack thickness. That's also good. What is bad is that A) they're depending on the hood to keep them in place, and B) those of us that like short packs are SOL due to the design that only supports the far ends of the packs and the massive amount of empty air in between. Granted, it's an easy mod to make, but kind of a downer.
*Nitpicky #4 - A rubber ring around the wheel on the transmitter would have greatly increased the feel. I understand that it's a cheap radio, but a little rubber is a minor cost for a massive improvement.

On to the more serious grumblings...

*Price point vs value. Don't get me wrong, I like this rig. My first Axial was the ARTR Scorpion, and this is light years ahead of that. However, for nearly 4 bills, I kind of expect a few things to be better than they are. I'm a practical guy, and while I understand the reasons behind licenced products, I don't care about them. They aren't any better because of the name you paid money to rent, and I'd happily trade them for real parts that improve performance. Parts which are listed below.
*Stupid dogbones. These should not exist any more. Not for this kind of money.
*Traxxas figured out decades ago how to make a good, inexpensive shock that doesn't leak and continues to be the go-to for low to medium budget builds. Why hasn't Axial? The current offerings are the same as the old offerings on nearly every generation of rig they've ever made.
*And I quote, "The suspension geometry utilizes a 4-Link design for the rear which is optimized to reduce axle steer and torque twist. It also helps with steep off-camber climbs by having the proper amount of anti-squat and roll characteristics.". No. It is not optimized for anything other than packaging and production costs. It is the same crappy geometry that they've been using (and that the aftermarket has been correcting) since their first scale chassis debuted a decade ago. The first few minutes that I spent on the rocks today confirmed my suspicions that while there are improvements to climbing ability, absolutely none of it is due to suspension geometry. Zip, zero, zilch. It's as flippy floppy and tumbly as every box stock Axial scale rig I've ever driven.
*Glue on wheels. They used to give us beadlocks. They weren't awesome, but they were still pretty darn good and a feature that as a noob, I was thankful to have. Sure, you can buy some Chinese knockoffs for stupid low prices these days, but beadlocks would just be something that adds a sense of value.
*Overall an experienced person can tell with certainty that improvements have been made over the years. That is inarguable. Axials design department is not spiraling out of control into the abyss. You can tell that they are paying attention. But considering how long they've been around, and the mountainous amount of experience and information that they have access to, the lack of refinement in key areas is noticed and a bit disappointing. Luckily they are surrounded by a strong aftermarket to pick up the slack. I look forward to seeing what becomes of this little rig because it does have great potential. I wouldn't have bought it otherwise.

Last edited by Duuuuuuuude; 04-09-2019 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

I hate the fact you bring up it's almost $400.

But man its rare for me to actually consider dropping that much on a rig because... Well, its neato.

Really enjoy your straightforward thoughts on this. Thanks and I'm glad you went for it. Sounds like you are too!

*almost forgot...
RESPEK
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

Excellent Review to kick things off Duuuuuuuude.

It truly is a wonder that Axial still hasnít bothered to find themselves decent, cost-effective shock to run in their 1.9 rigs...

My local hobby store has this rig unboxed on their counter so I checked it out recently. Itís cool to see a Wraith sized to run with the 1.9 scalers. No doubt I wanted one in that moment, still do it looks like. I do agree though, the price point seems off, more than a good set of shocks worth me thinks.

Anyhow, money come in, money go out. In to see an Axial get the performance treatment

Thanks for coming to play yo
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

Great write up and analysis. If this rig was priced appropriately or included the right parts to justify the price, I’d own one. And I know I’m not even close to the only one who shares that sentiment. At what point do lost sales start to cost more than putting together a truck with the right pieces?

Either way, look forward to seeing how this one evolves.
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:50 AM   #8
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

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If this rig was priced appropriately or included the right parts to justify the price, Iíd own one.
That's me right now. There's no way I'm dropping $370 on something that I'm going to immediately replace the wheels/tires, shocks, dogbone axles and all of the electronics. If they put out a kit, I'll preorder it and I don't preorder anything. As it stands, I'm keeping my out for a used one.
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shinchu View Post
I hate the fact you bring up it's almost $400.

But man its rare for me to actually consider dropping that much on a rig because... Well, its neato.

Really enjoy your straightforward thoughts on this. Thanks and I'm glad you went for it. Sounds like you are too!

*almost forgot...
RESPEK
It is neato. The price tag is a little on the heavy side, but I have to consider that I've got at least 3 times that wrapped up in my DIY 1.9 Wraith. If I can bring this one close to it in terms of performance and reliability with less investment, then the price is reasonable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smog View Post
Excellent Review to kick things off Duuuuuuuude.

It truly is a wonder that Axial still hasn’t bothered to find themselves decent, cost-effective shock to run in their 1.9 rigs...
It boggles the mind that a brand new rig is still using 10 year old designs that weren't very good to begin with and that everybody continually gripes about.

It also boggles the mind that a really nice set of tiny truck aftermarket shocks cost nearly as much as a good set of Bilsteins for my life sized 4Runner. But I digress...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LSXGMC View Post
Great write up and analysis. If this rig was priced appropriately or included the right parts to justify the price, I’d own one. And I know I’m not even close to the only one who shares that sentiment. At what point do lost sales start to cost more than putting together a truck with the right pieces?

Either way, look forward to seeing how this one evolves.
I have no doubt that Axial will sell a ton of these. The Wraith is a much loved and proven platform and for the most part, everything else about it has been tried and tested and reliably does what it is supposed to do. But yeah, I agree with your price vs parts statement.


Anyway, I'm looking at a warm but rainy weekend, and thanks to a change in my work schedule I'm starting day #2 of a 4 day weekend. The plan is to shove some food in my face, put some pants on, and try to bring to life the ideas that have been brewing for the past week. If anyone is at all familiar with what I brought to the table for the OG Wraith, you've got a good idea of what to expect for this one.

Enjoy your weekends, I'll post updates when I can.

Last edited by Duuuuuuuude; 04-06-2019 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

I have one as well. I will be putting it through the paces today. Be careful with the front of the cage where the bumper mounts to. it breaks easily.
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Old 04-06-2019, 10:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

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I have one as well. I will be putting it through the paces today. Be careful with the front of the cage where the bumper mounts to. it breaks easily.
Saw that. A fix is on my to do list.
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

Awesome man, congrats and welcome to the wobbly wheel club lmao !!!
Can't wait to see what you got in store for this.
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Old 04-06-2019, 05:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

Great write up, dude. Many solid points and I had similar expectations and feelings.

At $30 cheaper itíd feel like a much better value. Or ditch the dog bones and at least throw in the aluminum icon shocks and leave the price the same. Overall itís an axial rtr so like you said, temper the expectations and one should be happy enough with the rig.

Excited to see your build with this truck. Wheels and tires are a great start.
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Old 04-06-2019, 08:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

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Saw that. A fix is on my to do list.
ended up rebreaking my fix today...
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

So today was spent taking things apart, poking around, and doing a little r&d work.

I really don't have any more complaints. I like the new trans design with its metal gears that are much easier to access. The locking spring cups on the shocks are nice, as are the spools inside the axles and the much beefier knuckles.

Due to how tight everything is packaged in the chassis, doing what I want to do is proving to be a challenge. Not that it can't be done, I'm just trying to figure out the least labor intensive method retaining the most amount of stock parts. Today was Plan A, tommorow is Plan B.
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

Check out Harleys free fastback mod!

https://youtu.be/GfER1vyQdsI
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

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Originally Posted by Duuuuuuuude View Post
Check out Harleys free fastback mod!

https://youtu.be/GfER1vyQdsI
It's on my list of things to do after I get my links. I think I will stay with a plastic lid but heat and bend down like his.
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:28 PM   #18
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

are the links in the spare parts bag too long for the fastback mod?
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:40 PM   #19
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

So some progress...Plan B is coming along really well. Got a few more things to check, then I'm on to part 2.

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are the links in the spare parts bag too long for the fastback mod?
I don't think so, but I could be wrong.
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: Wraith 1.9.2

Cool wraith.
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