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Thread: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

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Old 07-23-2019, 08:03 AM   #1
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Default Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

Hello all,

First a huge thank you, Iíve been lurking for a while and this site is a fantastic resource for the newb.

I took my 2 smallish boys to one of the monster jam events in the uk earlier this year. They were already hooked on YouTube videos but its the new best thing in the world. Iím an engineer by profession, I like tinkering and fixing things so the combination of small reckless miniature people and me with screwdrivers was too tempting to pass.

Walk forward a few weeks and I had sourced a max d from hobby king and the last gravedigger on the shelf from a LHS. This post max d only, the gravedigger is in a cupboard until I get a bit more experience.

The first thing I did was read every smt10 post on this forum with the manual in front of me write up a huge parts list! The idea is to go for durability of parts and controllable speed which allows my eldest in particular to have fun without worrying too much. Over the course of a couple of weeks we ended up with:

Jconcepts Ď51 panel truck body
Jconcepts tributes (black) beadlocks (silver) renegades
SSD transmission gears
Mip driveshaft
Axial HD UD diff gears
Hot racing solid diff locker
SSD C-hubs, knuckles and steering links
Savox 1231 servo
Servo extension leads
Vanquish lockouts
KNK SMT10 screws

First up, the body. Wanted to preserve the max d body for show so the jconcepts needed to go on as soon as. I have never cut or painted a body but I made a lot of airfix in my youth! Went for something simple that my kids would recognise from YouTube and ended up with...



2 colours, Tamiya polycarbonate painted inside. Masked and sprayed the blue first followed by the silver. Iím pretty delighted TBH. It isnít perfect but no major goofs. Swapped out mounting posts for the long ones and used a few stock stickers and ended up with...



If Iím super critical I could have trimmed it more as the front wheels foul the body with full lock and the springs compressed and I should have followed the blue down to the bottom below the door. Still pretty chuffed though.

Transmission and drive upgrades next...



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Old 07-23-2019, 08:26 AM   #2
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Default Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

Next transmission.

I missed something from the parts list - xtra speed axle tubes. What a pain they were. Iím sure theyíll be worth it but the holes do not line up and out of the box itís missing a hole where the front axle brace screw protrudes into the axle. You either have to grind the screw short or as I did make a new hole in the axle tube.

Even then the holes for the c hub and the holes for the upper link mount screws didnít both align. Whichever I installed first knocked the other out of whack and I ended up with a file having to adjust and make room. Not fun. Add on top having to grind the collar on the rear axles to get them through and more than once I had to question my own sanity. As it was I stripped the thread on a one of the c-hub fixings but got there in the end.

Replacing the axle gears was straight forward enough and an appropriate amount of Halfords Teflon bike grease should have everything lubed nicely for the foreseeable future.

Installed the hot racing locker in the rear and had the same issue with it not locking the axle tight that others have seen. A few mm of steel dropped into the locker was required to keep the axle from moving. Iím running an open diff on the front and that went back together nicely.

Vanquish lockers are great.

Mip driveshafts were easy.

Ssd gears in the transmission case was easy and a bit more Teflon grease should keep everything happy.

2 more parts forgotten from the list, 56t 32p steel Robinson gears and 12t on the motor were added with new slipper pads.

Here I made a mistake. I either didnít align the gears properly, it slipped out of alignment during running or I did not lube enough or often enough. Fast forward 5 packs on 2s I took the cover off to find this:





Still not sure what happened but would like to know how I screwed up so I donít do it again!

Back to the build, everything looks good... wheels and running next.

Last edited by MT-Mark; 07-23-2019 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

With the truck runnable we bashed it around our garden a bit which is one quite a big slope. After a couple of packs on 2s and with the truck even slower than it was out of the box we got here:



That is an unhappy situation. Needed to get the renegades on ASAP. I have never glued wheels to tires and Iím not sure I ever want to again! The renegades are great though. The beadlocks hide most of the evils hiding beneath, only 1 of them ended up tolerably wobbly and it really was worth it.




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Old 07-23-2019, 08:59 AM   #4
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Default Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

With the renegades on the stock servo was feeble and wasnít coping. The savox was an easy install (as long as you have a servo extension lead) and has made a massive difference. Replacing the 12t worn gear that I turned to metal dust with a 16t stock has also brought us back to just about out-the-box levels of speed.

So what would I change:

Iíd trim the body more. It needs a bit more off the front bumper (fender) and I could have got my lines better from the rear wheel arches to the rear of the truck.

I got completely muddled by grease. I now have a stock of lithium, wet ceramic and Teflon. So far the Teflon wins for me. I probably should have checked the lube/mesh on my gears a bit more often.

Iíd have bought aluminium beef tubes rather than the knock off Chinese version.

The mips are expensive and complete overkill. I bought on the basis theyíd last a long time and cope with more torque later, which they probably will but Iíve seen some great tutorials on improving the stock plastic drive and that would probably have been more than adequate as well as costing A LOT less.

Iíd have had some elastic bands and an extra person to help me glue the tires to the wheels. Iím too impatient and wheels are a big investment that itís worth getting right.

Things Iím happy with:

The paint job. Simple, recognisable and didnít take too long.

The speed. Yes itís slow but my 7 year old is driving it and being slow isnít a bad thing at the moment. The transmission is built to cope with a lot of power but Iím expecting a lot of abuse from learner drivers and durability was something I wanted. Itís good to know I could drop in 3s or even brushless if I wanted without having to make any other changes.

The wheels and big servo. Just fab.

The future:

Iím considering replacing the axles... we shall see.

Inevitably more speed will be needed at some point.

For now I need to make some proper jumps!

That is all. Thanks for indulging me. A few pics to wrap up.


Last edited by MT-Mark; 07-23-2019 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

Nice job mark! U got a really good start at an awesome rig. On the spur gear, i went for plastic vs metal. Mainly beacuse of the issue u have n its quiter. Also i went with the PL big hit servo saver, dun stripped one servo lol. Its helped tremendously since i got it, dang trees n poles tend to jump out of nowhere lol. Plus i went with the HR swaybar kit as well, way to much body roll without it. May check out my thread in the misc section under the mega/monster trucks. Heres a link for the PL servo saver n some pics of my m/t. Built mine from ground up based of axial scx10/10.2

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F192582036160

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Old 07-24-2019, 03:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

Hey, nice rig!

I hadnít really thought of a servo saver but if it adds durability to what is a pretty expensive component it is probably a sensible call - its another thing to add to the next long list of upgrades.

Iíve been mulling over next steps today. With a 16/56t and UD axle gears the stock axial motor is getting pretty hot even on 2s, mainly thanks to driving mostly through untidy back garden grass which is also a 1/20 hill. A tiny bit more speed wouldnít be a terrible thing either.

The mad engineer in me wants to replace parts but I suppose the simplest option is dropping a couple of teeth off the pinion and going 3s?
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Old 07-24-2019, 03:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

Thanks much appreciated. Servo saver is definantly worth it.

Thats wat john holmes at holmes hobbies says, gear down volt up. Im stickin with my 4s, but i did drop 3 teeth on my pinion. I took it to work with me n come to find out my esc is toast. No lights, no fan, n no pop wen i plug the 2nd batt in. Rather disappointin lol.

The parts list never stops my friend. Theres always somethin else to upgrade or add to our rigs lol. Its not so much a hobby as it is an addiction. One leads to another, to another, to another, etc.

Keep up the good work. Bring on the pics too. Subd!

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Old 07-24-2019, 09:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

Check out the Xtra Speed axles. They are only like $25 each but are pretty well made and plenty strong. They are a little heavy (basically cheap cast metal), but i think the low weight helps keep the truck planted. Vanquish aluminum axles are nice but like 3x the price.

Ive been running a Kimbrough 124 servo saver. It does ok, but definitely gets overpowered by the huge J-Concept Gold Years.... but at like $8 i can live with it.

When you bump up the power, get yourself a wheelie bar from RH Designs (you can find them on Facebook).

I got the solid axle MT bug earlier this year. Got lucky and picked up a new SMT10 off HobbyKing a few months back. Ive put a ton of time and money into tweaking it but its easily one of my favorite bashers. I picked up some cheap skateboard ramps used locally and just run it in the back yard. The big appeal i think is you don't need a lot of space to have fun with it.

I'm running a Mamba X with a sensored 3800kv motor. With a 14t pinion its great for the backyard on 2S. On 3S it will do a standing backflip. The stock plastic driveshafts are holding up well, but the center splined section is starting to twist pretty bad. I'm not a huge fan of the open diffs but i think it actually saves the drivetrain... i don't think Axial had huge wheels and tires in mind when they made the AR60's lol. I'm experimenting with using diff oil in the open diffs... i just filled the rear with 100k wt oil. The diff's arent well sealed so not sure if its all going to seep out or not yet. I bought some o-rings to seal it up next time i've got it apart.
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

3s is on order and I have 11 and 13t pinions ready to go, hopefully theyíll be here over the weekend!

Being in the UK Iíve been looking at the SSD axles as the vanquish v2 ocp is almost impossible to find. The ssd diamonds look nice and looking at the specs the wide rear diamond for the yeti would mean I wouldnít need the 25mm wheel offsets for the renegades, they should slot directly onto the axles? Not cheap though!

What Iíd really like for the proper scale look, increase in strength, cost, availability of spares and to keep the weight down is the centred ssd Hd d60 plastic axle rear and front but Iím not sure it would be possible to mod either the stock plastic or optional aluminium upper mount to take a servo mount so it could be used on the front? I have searched but havenít seen anyone try this yet.

Iíve tried a few of the xtra speed components, some are still in my spares box and havenít made it into the car. Absolutely cheaper than the equivalent but the tolerances and accuracy of mounting holes has been variable. It might be worth the risk though, the cost is attractive.

Things to do, things to think about!
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Old 07-25-2019, 05:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

Heres the axles, diff covers (mine are blue), servo/link mount i have on mine. I used the stock lockouts on the rear, stock c-hubs on front with aluminum vanquish knuckles. I cant find the aluminum knuckles. The servo mount fits to these axles perfectly.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F293113027369

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F362474330080

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F264013543493



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Old 07-26-2019, 11:23 AM   #11
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Default Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

Does anyone know if the ssd scx10 Panhard / link mount SSD00173 will fit an ar60 length ssd d60 centred axle? This would give me a link mount on an ar60 that would also take a servo - is it that easy?

The diff gears should turn the wheels the same way and mounting c hubs etc should be fine since the dimensions are the same as the stock ar60 itís just the dimensions of the mounting screws and whether the pumpkin is the same size.

I suppose the only problem is that no one makes universals for a centred front ar60 length axle that I know of! Oh well back to the drawing board.

Last edited by MT-Mark; 07-26-2019 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 08-05-2019, 05:28 AM   #12
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Default Re: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

I’m still on 2s! My order got cancelled as the last in stock battery turned out to be defective on test before it got sent out.

More parts are on the way though including:

Reedy Radon 17t brushed motor
Hobbywing 1080 80A esc
Hobbywing 10BL120
Hobbywing 3650 10.5T 3600kv
Fasteddy bearings for axles and transmission
Spare pinions

Has anyone run the 10BL120 / 3650 combo in an smt10 with 2.6 tyres? I’m wondering what pinion to go for if I keep the 56t spur in there on 2s initially?

It’ll be interesting to compare the brushed and brushless setups. Both have nominal Kv ratings of 3600 and my plan is to end up with one truck brushless and one brushed and then see what I like and work out to go from there. Talking of the other truck it’s still in its box but parts are gradually being acquired and that’ll probably end up as the brushless one. Still waiting on driveshaft, wheels and a few gears before that build commences.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: Intro / SMT10 upgrades 2 weeks in

So weíre still having fun!

As a quick reminder Iím running an all metal drivetrain, ssd transmission gears, 11t Robinson pinion, 56t Robinson spur, mip driveshafts, axial HD underdrive in the axle and 2S Lipo.

Iím about as low on gearing as is possible without loosing the motor cover, maybe I could drop 2 teeth on the motor pinion, but when I dropped the reedy motor in I had an expectation that it would be fine. Well the speed was better over the stock 27t axial motor but it got hot after just one pack. Very hot....



As it turns out I also cooked the stock Axial AE5 ESC so it was a great excuse to rip the whole lot out and drop in the cheapo HobbyWing brushless setup (10BL120 plus QuicRun 3650 3600kv). The plus: same size, weight, sensored and its really simple to setup. The negative:it isnít waterproof so Iíll have to stick to dry running for now.

Having dropped it in the attraction of brushless became pretty obvious. With a 3600KV motor and with the efficiency and lower drag of the motor the speed is spot on. I love the configurable drag brake and everything stayed warm but not melting! Jumps are a great improvement and backflips / donuts become a reality.





The waterproof thing though. The park the backflip photo was taken is right next to a lake and it had been raining a fair bit the previous couple of days. My 7 year old ran through what looked like grass and ended up being 3 inch long grass sticking up through 2 1/2 inches of water. It was pretty spectacular the first time he did it without realising and the 2 subsequent times I did it on purpose! Unsurprisingly the ESC wasnít really happy with this at all and made this known by resetting itself to default config. Still everything has dried out pretty well and itís all still working. I have learned 2 things: donít take your gear outside itís defined operating envelope and I need to increase the envelope to include running in the wet because it is a lot of fun!

No complaints with the ESC/Motor for dry running though and they will be staying as an option for when conditions are suitable.

What I have done is order a hobbywing max10 SCT, 3300KV 3660 hobbywing motor and a 40kg waterproof savox servo. All are waterproof and the price ok in a sale (£100). I think these are going to go in the max d chassis and Iíll drop the 10bl120 in the gravedigger that is still in the cupboard at the moment.

One last thing Iíve done is experiment with 3S. Specifically Iíve been on the lookout for a cheap battery and hobbyking had their rhinos in stock so I jumped on a 5000mah 50C 3s. Itís just too long by about 3mm. I can make it fit by propping up one end and putting the battery tray on an angle but itís not ideal long term.



The truck is now what I would consider Ďfastí and requires control to not roll over in and corners and ensure it lands flat after jumps. The increased air has also started to put stress on some components like links.



I like the option of running either and will try and work out a way of extending the gate which limits the length of the battery tray.

Iím also planning the 2nd truck and have more parts coming. Iíve used some of my holiday cash on SSD diamond axles and links which I am looking forward to playing with. More later on that!

Lastly a couple of questions. Has anyone experienced the MIP driveshafts rubbing on the upper links at full compression? Iím not so worried whilst itís plastic against metal but I want to put titanium upper links in and Iím concerned Iím going to get breakages if this continues. Is it something Iíve done or is there a workaround?

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