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Old 01-20-2019, 09:41 PM   #41
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Default Thloftus’ Rock Rey Basher

Shorter update this time, although it came with a fair share of ‘opportunities for personal growth,’ !

We attached the front brace to the bulkhead. The installation for this piece was straightforward; neat design with a slot mount that’s tied into the bulkhead through the chassis plate. No worries about the king pins for the A-arms falling out.


We also assembled the cage. This was more painful (hence the personal growth) since the only tool I have that fit the screws was a hex key and man, the keyway is small on the fasteners. This coupled with 1 cm or more of screw depth for most of the fasteners led to several rounds of hand cramps and asking the kids to step out so I could melt down without setting a bad example (hats off, though, to the sturdy connections). Could be worse, but I’m happy it’s done, Lol!


The cage looks great except that I wish it was black and the narrow nose is a little different. I may try dying the mud guards in the front to see if there’s any hope for dying the rest of it. Paint is also an option and probably easier ...

I can’t decide what to do with these body mounts that stick out at the bottom. I’d like to make my own panels and have them flush against the sides of the cage. Maybe time for a little trimming with the Dremel, :thumbsup:!




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Old 01-21-2019, 08:52 AM   #42
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Default Re: Thloftus’ Rock Rey Basher

I don't know how you assembled the cage with an L-key! More power to you. I used my Craftsman electric screwdriver and MIP Speed Tips.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:43 PM   #43
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I don't know how you assembled the cage with an L-key! More power to you. I used my Craftsman electric screwdriver and MIP Speed Tips.

Definitely jealous, it was not a fun experience, lol!


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Old 01-27-2019, 10:06 PM   #44
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I finally took the plunge and picked an ESC and motor. I’ve been wanting to try a Hobbywing setup in this rig and after careful thought (i.e., endless agonizing), I decided to go with the Hobbywing Xerun XR8 SCT brushless ESC and 3660SD G2 3600 kV motor. I also picked up the LCD program box. It’s a sweet setup and I’m excited to see how it runs once the truck is together - something like 2-3 years from now given our build pace, Lol!



It’s fun to have a full-up ESC/motor combo; it’s a first for me and great to know the ESC and motor should work well together or at least are meant to work together.

I also looked carefully at the Xerun SCT Pro, which is a great ESC and less expensive. But given my intended driving, decided to go for the higher current rating on the XR8. Plus the 15 Amp peak internal BEC is hopefully enough to feed my Savox servo without using an external BEC and the extra programming options look fun. More hours of dorking-out over settings, Lol! A 10% off coupon at AMain didn’t hurt either and basically pushed me over the edge. The LCD programming box should be a nice way to program the ESC and enables connecting it to a computer and using the Hobbywing ESC software; also fairly inexpensive considering what it does at $25.

The next step was to make a platform for the ESC. I don’t have a 3D printer and so made a plate out of .06” thick Styrene sheet that I picked up at The Crawl Space. I’ve never made anything with Styrene before; this seemed simple enough for a first go. Here’s the cardboard template I used to set the dimensions and hole placement. I didn’t have any card stock or similar and instead used the center from a roll of paper towels; it didn’t want to lay flat, but more or less worked anyway - like getting the kids to do chores, Lol!


Here’s the plate installed in the rig. Almost pro except for the color difference along the far-side edge where I made the cuts. I was mostly happy that it fit without a re-do, Lol!


And with the ESC on top. Seems sturdy enough and plenty of room for the receiver in the back. I wish there were three mounting posts for the ESC plate rather than two; will be interesting to see if the ESC rocks back and forth enough as currently mounted to cause any fatigue or other failures in the plate.




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Old 01-28-2019, 07:47 AM   #45
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Looks nice. If you want the color of the cut edge to match the other edges, just take a lighter and quickly run it over that edge. It'll melt the plastic just enough to bring the shiny back.
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Old 01-28-2019, 11:52 AM   #46
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HobbyWing makes great stuff. A lot of their ESCs don't have crawler/instant reverse though. Not sure if you want that, but if you do that's something I'd check before using it.

The plate looks good. I didn't want to do that because it raises up the weight of the ESC.
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:12 PM   #47
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That’s a great system tons of power and super smooth running that exact combo in my proline mt 4.
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Old 01-28-2019, 09:56 PM   #48
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Looks nice. If you want the color of the cut edge to match the other edges, just take a lighter and quickly run it over that edge. It'll melt the plastic just enough to bring the shiny back.

Nice, thank you!


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Old 01-28-2019, 10:07 PM   #49
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HobbyWing makes great stuff. A lot of their ESCs don't have crawler/instant reverse though. Not sure if you want that, but if you do that's something I'd check before using it.
Fair question, I may have taken this for granted before you asked, ! Thankfully, this ESC supports three modes, forward/brake, forward/reverse/brake (or ‘double click’ for reverse, possibly the most annoying ESC setup ever), and forward/reverse, which is the crawler instant reverse mode. This last one is the setup I plan to use.

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The plate looks good. I didn't want to do that because it raises up the weight of the ESC.
Thank you! I had the same thought about raising the ESC and almost mounted it directly to the chassis instead. It fit fine between the two risers, but I was afraid it would rub on the rear sway bar - although I think there’s enough clearance and this is probably fine? Fun to play with the Styrene anyway ...




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Old 01-28-2019, 10:11 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by DatsunDave View Post
That’s a great system tons of power and super smooth running that exact combo in my proline mt 4.

Good to hear! I’m looking forward to running it once the rig is all together.


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Old 02-03-2019, 09:45 AM   #51
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The kit comes with plate for mounting the speed controller power plug to the chassis, which is a nice feature I haven’t seen elsewhere. Sadly the mount is designed for EC3 plugs. I hadn’t even heard of these before this kit - somehow relevant given my vast and expansive knowledge, ! Others have 3D printed their own plates for other plug styles, but I don’t have a printer. That’s twice when I could have used one in this build alone, though, so my case is getting stronger all the time!

Onward with EC3’s!

I bought some raw EC3 connectors thinking I could make my own cable for the speed controller and a second one to adapt the chassis-mounted EC3 to the Dean’s on my batteries. Way too many needless interfaces but I thought it would be a straightforward soldering job, especially since I’d previously conquered soldering Dean’s connectors without melting the plastic body and expected this to be the hardest part. My first Dean’s, btw, was a bloodbath due to not having a large enough solder tip.

Like any responsible hobbyist, I watched a YouTube video from a reputable vendor about assembling EC3’s and was feeling pretty good about it all until I actually tried making the first one. Soldering the wire into the pins was fine, but then I couldn’t get the pins to snap into the plastic bodies. The video said to push them in place with a 1.5 mm hex driver or in my case a 1/16” driver which is only 0.09 mm larger and seemed close enough? The video also recommended pushing the pin in while still burning hot from the soldering. Why not.

I don’t know what kind of sadistic destroyer of souls came up with the hex driver idea, but Wow, my skills were certainly not up to the task. When the pin wouldn’t seat, I kept pushing harder (always the best option) until eventually the hex driver slipped out, narrowly missed my hand, and embedded itself in my work table. All without making the slightest dent in seating the pin. I think it was laughing at me; hard to hear over the post-stab gasping. My kids loved the ‘Daddy just stabbed the table’ part, Lol! True connoisseurs of carnage!

I switched to a small screwdriver and after about an hour got one side of the first connector locked in - although the pin didn’t look far enough in to me. Not exactly satisfying. Some of the insulation near the pin was torn, but it was inside the plastic body and I thought the next one couldn’t be worse. False hope foolish mortal! The second half, or at least my patience, stalled out even sooner. I was clearly doing something wrong - but I prefer to blame the connector design and keep my RC builder ego intact, Lol!

Road trip to the hobby store!

This time I bought some pre-made pigtails and Voila, fully installed in 15 min!




The picture count is in proportion to my suffering.

Added bonus is no concerns about partially seated plugs and thus the possibility for ‘lighting up’ the car with flaky, high current connections. Kids would love this, but big bummer for Dad.

I wanted a pigtail with 12 gauge wire, which is the size Hobbywing supplied with the ESC. The hobby store didn’t have anything larger than 13 gauge, which is rated for nearly the same maximum current, so it should be ok although less manly. Maybe using the larger wire with EC3 connectors was my problem? Who knows. I’m not sure I care anymore, Lol!


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Old 02-03-2019, 08:58 PM   #52
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The next step for us was installing the motor. High hopes for greater ease since no exotic connectors, Lol! The motor came nicely packaged


And includes silicone insulated 12 gauge wire plus two sensor cables, one around 6” long and another that’s longer.


Installed the pinion and attached the motor to the transmission via the hatch on the bottom of the chassis. First time I’ve used a mount that automatically sets the gear mesh. It looks ok of the extent that I could check. We’ll find out after a few packs, !


Soldered up the wires between the ESC and the motor. The concave pins on both are very nice and make it easy to seat the wire. Not the most pro soldering job ever, but should get the job done. We Also strung the servo wires after wrapping them in black loom and adding a black extension to the receiver. The Savox color scheme is a little too loud for me, Lol!


And with the sensor cable in place. Getting closer!



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Old 02-09-2019, 10:18 PM   #53
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Couple more goodies arrived in the mail: Proline Powerstroke XT shocks for the rear and a 1.5 mm driver to go with my Team Associated set


Learned my lesson building the cage with a L-wrench, Lol! I also realized the rear Bomber shocks were way too short for the rear of the RR and that I could instead mount them on the front. The Powerstroke XT’s are awesome shocks and were too much to resist!

The next step was installing the interior and light bar on the cage. I didn’t like the visor stickers for the drivers and instead tried painting their visors with oil-based paint pens. I wanted visors to be silver, but the pen died (despite being fresh out of the package), so the passenger is blue. I can’t decide if I like it or not. Good news is the paint comes off easily with acetone, which doesn’t seem to effect the plastic - found this out the fun way when my first silver pen decided to unload unexpectedly, ! So I may redo the passenger whenever I regain the desire to drop another $5 on pens that die right away, Lol! I also painted the entire interior with dull coat - I like the dull finish and plan to use it for the rest of the rig.


Here’s the interior installed into the cage with the light bar. So much easier to deal with the cage screws with a proper 1.5 mm driver!




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Old 02-09-2019, 11:29 PM   #54
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I decided to bind the transmitter before installing the cage due to the lack of access afterward. So I made a cable adapter from the chassis-mounted EC3 to the Deans on my batteries. The adapter is long enough to easily tuck the final connection into the battery compartment.


If it looks pro, part of it is, Lol! I’m definitely avoiding home-made EC3 connectors for now. I’m happy, though, with the Deans half and how quickly it came together. The first time I tried to solder a Deans, the plug ended up all mangled with half the plastic scorched black.

The binding process was easy and the ESC comes preset to auto-detect the cell count, so that part was straightforward also. I’ll program it properly before we take it out the first time. The servo and motor both work fine and the axles spin in the correct direction without any channel reversing. It’s loud, especially at full throttle!

We installed the cage and shocks. Yay again for a proper 1.5 mm driver! The cage installation instructions are not entirely clear, especially the way the age interlocks with the rear shock towers. We figured it out in the end, but had to stare at some internet photos of completed rigs before understanding how to finish it.

Here’s where it stands today. I look it to the dining room for better lighting; the towel is to protect my wife’s table.



Close-ups of the front and rear shocks. I like the way it’s turning out!



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Old 02-10-2019, 05:57 PM   #55
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Looking good! I installed the Proline shocks on Friday. Love them.

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Old 02-10-2019, 08:18 PM   #56
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Looking good! I installed the Proline shocks on Friday. Love them.

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No doubt they’re fantastic!


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Old 02-15-2019, 02:01 PM   #57
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Great looking build! I'll be following this closely...
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