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Old 06-16-2014, 02:15 PM   #1
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Default The working man's comp worthy rig

This is for all of the people that have ever said...

A) A Redcat is a waste of money because you have to replace everything. (funny how these types forget that they had to replace everything on their Bergs, Bully 1's, and Axials)
B) A Redcat is a waste of money because they have inherent limitations that will prevent them from ever being viable for anything other than your back yard rock garden.
C) A Redcat is a waste of money because there is no after market support.
(Unless you use all of the Axial, Traxxas, Team Associated, Mthead, Billet Works Designs, and all of the generic stuff that fits everything. And those are just the ones I've already used. Who knows how much more I could find if I had a wallet that let me experiment a little more.)

This will be a theoretical build thread where I am going to try and build an imaginary rig that would be comp worthy or comp viable. I'm not saying a rig that merely passes the bar for entry (proper length, no rear steer, etc;), but could compete and potentially place on the podium as long as the driver could do the same. The real goal is to do all of this for what the more expensive brands would pay for just a set of axles.

This is an open source build and everyone's participation is encouraged. If you know of a cheaper but still effective part, please feel free to bring up for discussion. If you are a first timer looking to get into crawling, feel free to asks any questions.

I am going to do it in stages so that a person with a working Redcat can just do pieces at a time and still keep their rig running while it gradually improves.

So the first definition we need to discuss is what the bar will be set at for the price of a nice set of axles. We'll start with bone stock Bully 2's for $350 and if you do any upgrades at all your looking at $400. For around that same amount, you could also get the D-lux exceed based bergish axles that are probably a lot lighter than the Bully's (but I bet they aren't much lighter than the Redcats). You could also step up and get the top of the line D-lux mac daddy axles for around $600. I'll set the bar at under $400 so that we can know that the most anyone else will have for that is 2 axles and a rim or 2 for the price of our imaginary rtr comp worthy crawler.

The next definition to deal with is how we define a "worthy" crawler. Here's what I'll be shooting for (but would like more input on)...

1) 4.5 pounds (+/- .5 pounds) seems to be a pretty standard weight these days. So I'll shoot for that.
2) front and rear proportional dig
3) good COG and weight bias (60/40 right?)
4) durable enough to make it through at least 1 full course with out repairs
5) tires and traction that won't hold us back
6) Am I missing something? What am I forgetting?

So the goal of this theoretical build thread will be to achieve all of that, (+whatever I forgot) for the price of a decent set of axles (IE:$400 or less).

Wish me luck...
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:41 PM   #2
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Phase 1...
It might be nice to start with a complete used (running or non running) Redcat RS10. This would come in handy for extra screws, or maybe the links, and stuff like that. I got my last used one for around $95. For our purposes here in the "Working mans theoretical build thread" we will start from the ground up with no parts what so ever.

Axles: redcat axle | eBay Redcat baby ! Duh. $50 for 2 of them.

Chassis: Gmade R1 Tube Chassis Set 51400 | eBay A gmade R-1 is fairly light weight and kinda cool looking for right around $40. I have a feeling that chassis probably doesn't have the best geometry but if you wanted bodiless it fits the budget. I'm going to guess that these guys Chassis*::*RCP*Crawlers have 3 better chassis for the same money. Verdict is for a progress chassis because I know people have won comps with those, so nobody will be able to say it's our chassis that's holding our theoretical rig back.

Links: I need help for this one. For now I'm going with these C.I. "Universal" Rear High Clearance Delrin Lower Link They are Delrin, so they'll be nice and light, they are universal so I know they will fit, and it looks like $20 for a complete set. If anyone knows of a good place to get Aluminum or Titanium that we would cut and bend ourselves for similar money...I'd be all ears.

Rod ends: Either way we will need some of these, so let's add in $5 for that.

Running total so far
Axles $50
Chassis $40
Links $20
Rod ends $5
Total so far = $115

Yikes it's adding up fast and we are just barely getting started.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overkel View Post
This is for all of the people that have ever said...

A) A Redcat is a waste of money because you have to replace everything. (funny how these types forget that they had to replace everything on their Bergs, Bully 1's, and Axials)
B) A Redcat is a waste of money because they have inherent limitations that will prevent them from ever being viable for anything other than your back yard rock garden.
C) A Redcat is a waste of money because there is no after market support.
(Unless you use all of the Axial, Traxxas, Team Associated, Mthead, Billet Works Designs, and all of the generic stuff that fits everything. And those are just the ones I've already used. Who knows how much more I could find if I had a wallet that let me experiment a little more.)

This will be a theoretical build thread where I am going to try and build an imaginary rig that would be comp worthy or comp viable. I'm not saying a rig that merely passes the bar for entry (proper length, no rear steer, etc;), but could compete and potentially place on the podium as long as the driver could do the same. The real goal is to do all of this for what the more expensive brands would pay for just a set of axles.

This is an open source build and everyone's participation is encouraged. If you know of a cheaper but still effective part, please feel free to bring up for discussion. If you are a first timer looking to get into crawling, feel free to asks any questions.

I am going to do it in stages so that a person with a working Redcat can just do pieces at a time and still keep their rig running while it gradually improves.

So the first definition we need to discuss is what the bar will be set at for the price of a nice set of axles. We'll start with bone stock Bully 2's for $350 and if you do any upgrades at all your looking at $400. For around that same amount, you could also get the D-lux exceed based bergish axles that are probably a lot lighter than the Bully's (but I bet they aren't much lighter than the Redcats). You could also step up and get the top of the line D-lux mac daddy axles for around $600. I'll set the bar at under $400 so that we can know that the most anyone else will have for that is 2 axles and a rim or 2 for the price of our imaginary rtr comp worthy crawler.

The next definition to deal with is how we define a "worthy" crawler. Here's what I'll be shooting for (but would like more input on)...

1) 4.5 pounds (+/- .5 pounds) seems to be a pretty standard weight these days. So I'll shoot for that.
2) front and rear proportional dig
3) good COG and weight bias (60/40 right?)
4) durable enough to make it through at least 1 full course with out repairs
5) tires and traction that won't hold us back
6) Am I missing something? What am I forgetting?

So the goal of this theoretical build thread will be to achieve all of that, (+whatever I forgot) for the price of a decent set of axles (IE:$400 or less).

Wish me luck...

Good luck, I am working on an Axial based 2.2s that fits those parameters.

A comp rig in the Pacific Northwest must be waterproof (cause we must crawl underwater or 1 month a year.)

It is pouring buckets as I type.......
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Last edited by Dostradamas; 06-16-2014 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Weather update
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

I am in Oregon as well. Luckily no rain ATM.
But since you mentioned it, I will add waterproofing in just to make it a more complete challenge.

Edit: I just got that rain... you weren't kidding about it.

Last edited by Overkel; 06-16-2014 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Phase 2....
Motors and electronics.

Motors: Radio Control Planes, Helicopters, Cars, Boats, FPV and Quadcopters - Hobbyking* Super light weight. The only thing I don't know about these is if they have enough torque to flip the rig over if it was upside down. I've just never tried it. We could just get a really low profile body and tallish tires so that it could drive upside down and flip itself over by running into a rock if it were really a problem. Outside of that they should be just fine for the fairly light weight rig we are going to end up with. So far we have an aluminum (or carbon fiber for $20 bucks more) body, Delrin links, and the lightest motors you will ever see on a crawler. To go with Redcat axles that one would think are on the lighter side of things themselves. We'll call it $30 for the pair to keep the numbers nice and even.

Esc's: Radio Control Planes, Helicopters, Cars, Boats, FPV and Quadcopters - Hobbyking* These we will decase and shrink wrap or spray for water proofing. i'll also call it $30 for the pair just to keep the numbers even.

RX/TX: E Sky 4 Channel ppm Transmitter Model Et 0404 FM 72MHz w 72 870 MHz Crystal | eBay as much as I love that 6 channel flysky with the digital screen for $50...We are going with this one for the theoretical build because all we really need is 4 channels to get the proportional dig...$20.

Running total: $115+
Motors: $30
Esc's: $30
Transmitter: $20
New total = $195

I'm feeling better about this now. Only half way to our price barrier and we have way more than half a crawler. Maybe I'll be able to squeeze in the nicer controller or get the carbon fiber chassis after all? So far the controller is the only place we have really cut corners to make the price point work.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overkel View Post
Links: I need help for this one. For now I'm going with these C.I. "Universal" Rear High Clearance Delrin Lower Link ... If anyone knows of a good place to get Aluminum or Titanium that we would cut and bend ourselves for similar money... I'd be all ears.
You need upper links as well. That's another $20...
I spent like $4 (including 20% sales tax) in a hardware store for 1m of aluminium tube and M4 threaded steel rod. That's enough material to make a complete set of uppers and lowers, although not quite as light weight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overkel View Post
Rod ends: Either way we will need some of these, so let's add in $5 for that.
Re-using the one's at hand, right?
16 Traxxas ends (that's two bags with a dozen in each) are more like $15.

Running total so far
Axles $50
Chassis $40
Links $4
Rod ends $5 +$10
Total so far = $109
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:33 PM   #7
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Motors: Hobbyking* Super light weight. The only thing I don't know about these is if they have enough torque ...
But do they run smooth enough without sensor?
I fear they'll be cogging the rig way off the podium...
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:38 PM   #8
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Phase 3....
Traction.

Wheels: 6 Bolt Performance Wheel; 2.2"; 1" Width; Pair Hmm let's see what we have here....1" wide, lightest thing on the planet for $25 ? I'm in ! Where do I sign?

Hubs: Axial AX80128 Wheel Hub Adapter 2 Narrow 2 Wide | eBay ok here we go again...lightest weight you'll find and stupid cheap? That'll doer. I'll call it $10 for hubs.

I'm feeling pretty good about the Wheels and hubs so I'll go ahead and step up to the plate on the foams and tires. I'll also stick with Crawler innovations for ease of shipping (theoretically speaking of course).

Foams: Double Deuce Foams Let's call it $25, but they are the goods.

Tires: Ottsix Voodoo 2.2 Tire pair $80 ouchie...but they don't need to be cut and shut to fit the rims and peeps rave about them, so it's hard to say no.
Here is a plan B in case we go over budget... 4 Four Losi Rock Claws Crawler Tires Memory Foams 2 2 1 10 Comp Night LCC LNC | eBay You can find these all day everyday on Ebay for right around the same $30 you are seeing here. That almost always comes with foams too and they would certainly do in a pinch.

Running total: $195 +
Wheels: $25
Hubs: $10
Foams: $25
Tires: $80 ouchies
New total = $335

Oh man are we there yet? That's starting to get pretty close. The good news is that I can still shave $75 off on tires and foams if I need to. That would give me plenty of breathing room.
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Olle P View Post
But do they run smooth enough without sensor?
I fear they'll be cogging the rig way off the podium...
The way to address cogging with out sensors is to Volt up and gear down.
So a 3s battery and 8 tooth pinion from RC4WD does the trick for me. Stepping up a bit on the RX/TX doesn't hurt either.

I get a teeny bit of cogging once in a while, but that is only when I am applying so little throttle that it wouldn't go over anything anyway. If you are using any throttle at all they seem to be just fine.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Phase 4....
Filling in some gaps.

Upper connecting rods: $20 (Thank you Olle I knew I forgot something there)

Pinions: $10 you have to have these because the motors I am using have a 3mm shaft, so the stockers (2.3mm?) won't fit. You would also need to grind a smooth spot so that a set screw will work. 9 Tooth 32 Pitch Steel Pinion Gear I'm going with the 9 tooth for now because I don't have hardly any cogging with those and prefer the extra wheel speed.

Batteries: Radio Control Planes, Helicopters, Cars, Boats, FPV and Quadcopters - Hobbyking* You've got to love that 45-90c discharge. It helps to get rid of any motor cogging and also helps with wheel speed once again. Two of these should get you almost an hour of run time so we'll step up and get 2 here...$20.

Rs10 metal gears: $15 I only put them in the front for weight and just try to keep a real good mesh in the back. I do thrash the back ones from time to time, but have gotten pretty quick at switching them out, and like everything else here...they're cheap.

Misc: Some Deans plugs (or whatever you prefer) and some wire to harness the 2 esc's together....$10? Let's say another $10 for nuts and bolts just to be safe.

Running total: $335
Upper links: $20
Pinions:$10
Batts: $20
Metal gears: $15
Misc: $20
New total = $420

Hmmmm....what am I forgetting?

Last edited by Overkel; 06-16-2014 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:11 PM   #11
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Aha! ....a Servo.

Well sorry neat guy tires and foams, it was a fun dream for awhile. We are going to have to part ways with the $105 version and go with the $30 ones for now. (They'll prolly need to be narrowed to work on those rims....my imaginary work is never done) That way we can squeeze this in.... RC High Torque 563 8 oz in 40 6kg cm Metal Gear Coreless Motor Digital Servo | eBay

I am so proud of this find. 563oz for about $100 less than the Hitec 7950/80's that every one uses? Hellz yeah ! Nobody can say it is the servo holding us back now.$50

New total -$70 +$50 = $400 bones right on the button !
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Old 06-16-2014, 04:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Whoopsie not so fast there. We still have one thing (that I forgot to even add into the comp worthy definition) holding us back....

Turning radius ! This is going to put us over budget, but it is sooo totally worth it and kind of mandatory if we really want to achieve true comp worthy status.

CVD universals: New Traxxas Slash 1 10 2WD Axles Rear Rustler Stampede RL3 | eBay These need a little messaging with a dremmel but otherwise go right in. The positives of this universal joint design is virtually unlimited turning angle. There is some potential for binding do to the universal design versus a regular cvd style, that I have not tested out yet because I am still waiting for these to come in the mail. Hot Racing Axial AX10 Scorpion SCX10 Aluminum Max Steering Knuckle SCP21M01 | eBay

Right now I have shaved off the steering stops on my real Redcat, but the stock knuckles will still run into their nubs a little bit. I am expecting these high steer knuckles to get me into rare territory in terms of steering angle. As long as I don't start binding, it should allow for some pretty serious turning. I'll let you know how it goes when the new knuckles get here later this week.

So what am I forgetting now?
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

I like the idea of it.

Now let me give you some constructive critisim.

First there is steering. A pudium worthy rig will have 50+ degrees of steering. Your not going to get it out of those shafts, especially since the redcat wastes steering before you even turn the wheel with the elevated diff.

Second is the motors. They won't have the down hill control/startup that will be required for a podium level rig. Gearing down and volting up was mentioned. That will make things better but still not fix the down hill control that sucks with any brushless motor. Gearing down a 950kv motor also results in a lack of wheel speed to jump gaps. I also doubt they would have enough power to get you upright after a roll or out of a serious bind. A podium level rig has to be able to power out of a bind instead of taking a reverse or reposition.

Number three builds off of the end of number two. Strength. Since we need the rig to be able to power out of binds it needs to be very strong. The mentioned front shafts would not be up to the task. The mentioned servo clearly has brass gears. You need a titanium gear servo so that a tumble doesn't cost you a repair.

All in all I think you have put together a rig that you could take to comps and have a lot of fun with. Its not however, something that your going to be able to be successful at chasing the points championship with. It simply has to many shortcomings to be a podium level rig.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:52 PM   #14
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Looking at your list I don't see shocks accounted for.

Last edited by Calderwood; 06-16-2014 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Interesting thread. Pics soon?
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Old 06-16-2014, 08:51 PM   #16
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

I don't comp and have never comped, so my constructive criticism can be taken with a grain of salt. I've seen countless threads on making the RS10 into a comp worthy rig, however there's one thing I've simply never seen. I've never seen someone take what you can learn in the other MOA comp rig forums and adapt some of those things to the RS10. In addition to simply buying parts and bolting them together, you need to spend the time learning how to tune the rig to get it to out-perform the competition and put in your time driving it.

Now, with that said, the G-Made R1 chassis isn't a great comp chassis. Any chassis under the sun can be bolted to RS10 axles and you're better off going with a proven comp chassis. It will allow you a lot of adjustment when it comes to link and shock placement. I also don't recommend wasting your time with plastic rims that you have to glue tires to simply because they're light. This goes back to the tuning comment I made before...comp guys appear to spend a lot of time tuning tires and foam, so a good/lightweight beadlock wheel would be a better option. If low-budget is what you're after, you're better off shopping the classifieds on here.

I agree with Calderwood. I would have gladly taken my RS10 build to comps and would have probably had a blast with it, but I wouldn't expect these rigs to outperform comp rigs that guys dump a ton of money into.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:56 PM   #17
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I have not run brushless so take my input with that in mind. I think the 390 cans are up to the task if given 3s through a crawler ESC. The ESCs you are listing for 30 a pair are not crawler ESCs and I can't see how you are going to make that set up work for you. A pair of sidewinder micros or an HH smash from the FS threads here would be more realistic IMO I got mine for $65. The 540 mod adds weight and I think the 390 cans would wake up and provide enough wheel speed if given a good dose of juice. I might have to test my theory out.

You don't list batteries. You'll need a number of small ones ready to go. Turnigy Nanotech have the best delivery of power IMO. Even the 2S are pretty decent but you can't win a comp on 2S.

I have to wonder if that RX/TX combo is going to give you the control you need. Hi Def is a must if you want good control. I was amazed at how much better my RS10 performed with a FlySky GTB and 7950 installed...I was shocked. I bit the big salam and bought an Airtronics MT4. It's the best money I have spent on RC. Awesome programmable controller. But it's a $200 investment.

That Hong Kong servo will strip out and you can't send it in for a rebuild or even find a rebuild kit for it to have on hand. Torque means little if the gears strip out the minute you bind. A more reasonable choice is the $85 Savox or Hitec. I'd go with a 7954 and be nice to it. Titanium gears are not exactly optional. I've seen rebuild kits with Ti gears so it's obvious even Ti will give it up sooner or later...steel soon..brass immediately. Gotta be realistic about the servo...it's the hardest working part of the rig. And every thing the servo works against must be strong or you are not getting the full monty. Links, knuckles, c hubs, rims...if any of that is plastic it's going to bend and flex and then you can't get that level of control you really need.

And of course there is steering angle and width to think about. The RS10 axles are just too damn narrow to work right with shock on axle set ups. Wheel spacers are like a crutch. You need to widen the axles. So factor in a Suji style axle widening with real c hubs that can be clocked independently of the axle. That might be beyond the average RS10 owner. I took a different route and made some C sections to bolt onto the axle...but they are hinky. Clearance for a big universal is problematic with my mod. It might be problematic with the Suji mod I dunno.

About the chassis. I would totally go home brew on chassis and links. It makes no sense to me to buy what I know I can easily make. But that might be beyond the average RS10 owner. I dunno. All it is cutting board material, a jig saw or even a hand scroll saw, a drill and bam you got a chassis. I found the RS10 shocks are really not that bad...if you have a good chassis you can put on the right springs (Losi Mini T assortment for tuning) get some decent results. Light links from 3/16 aluminum are easily threaded with a die. $20 in tools, $10 in rod and $15 in ends and you can get r done right.

I get what you are trying to do...but I think you've got to be more realistic about it. Show me your Uni mod in action with 56 degrees or more of angle pulling you out of a crevice or some other bind without twisitng into a black twizzler or pulling the springs of the shocks or wrapping the tires around the servo or lowers. I have yet to see a steering mod for these axles that I would call durable. Even my XR10 wraps the tires around the links and it's damn near 11" track in the front. The more you steer the more you find you need to clear out of the way as the tires deform.

Just my thoughts on the matter...I've been dialing my RS10 in on a daily basis just about and it's still not up to the task of running a comp. But it's a pretty good free crawler.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:09 PM   #18
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Wow there's some really good input here. I did forget a few parts (Shocks, maybe a servo mount, etc). I have learned a lot and appreciate all of the inputs. It definitely looks like there will be no podium finishes for $400. However I do intend to keep adding to this thread with the hope of expanding the knowledge base and raising the bar a bit in terms of the ultimate potential for this budget minded starter crawler, AKA Redcat Rs10.

I am really glad that some one caught the copper gears in that servo. Can't believe I missed that.

For those doubting the CV's I chose here is an option you might prefer G Maxx CVD Drive Shafts for Traxxas Slash 2WD Amp Rustler XL 5 Amp VXL | eBay I went with the Traxxas ones for price and the ease of making them fit. I'm not really sure what tool I'd use to shorten these, while I know the traxxas ones could be done with little more than an exacto knife and some sand paper, or better yet a simple Dremmel tool.
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Old 06-21-2014, 12:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

Here's another CVD option I've been looking at lately. Associated Electrics 89099 Center CVA Set RC8 | eBay

Now this is a center diff so there would have to be a different tip on the end by the wheels and hubs. It also still has the dogbone on one end. Which is something I was trying to avoid. Luckily I have a lot of friends with different RC vehicles so whenever one of them gets any new parts I can always hold them up to my Redcat to see if it would fit. This part looks like it would drop right in as far as length and width goes (assuming I could find the right tip for the wheel side). It felt very strong and solid in my hand and the turning angle was surprisingly good. If anyone can link the proper end piece, I might just go ahead and try one of these for the sake of experimentation.
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Old 06-21-2014, 02:14 PM   #20
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Default Re: The working man's comp worthy rig

I went creeking today with my RS10 no shell. Had a friend up visiting and I wanted him to see how much fun it is messing around in the mud and water and still trying to climb rocks all with a slightly underpowered MOA. We ran through 3 batts before the bugs and humidity got to him. He's a city boy so I forgive him for being weak in the knees. I think if you look at strengthening all the weak points of the RS10 without aiming too high (podium finishes) you'll actually have a really good all purpose vehicle that can go anywhere and do anything pretty well...which is not the case with more specialized vehicles. I think the main let down on the RS10 is the axle design...and no amount of modding will make them as good as axles that cost as much as 2 or 3 complete RedCats. It took me a while to to get to that POV. But that doesn't lower the fun meter reading for me when I get my RS10 out and go for a run.
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