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Old 06-05-2016, 03:32 PM   #1
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Default Used Ascender newbie crawler school

So, to cut a long story short, I'm new here having just got back into RC after 15 years only playing with 1:1 stuff. I've landed a used Ascender off eBay, it came with a esc, brushed 35T crawl motor and Savox servo for 170 (about $250), which I thought was pretty good... I hope this thread will help me get some questions answered and also help some other Newbies.

It took me about 10 minutes to unpack my purchase, chuck in a new 2.4ghz receiver and shorty lipo and head out and play in the forest with my boy and his FS racing buggy.



I spent more time upside down than I did on the wheels, but there were issues not connected to the driver:

The steering looked weird, with loads of reverse camber:





It appears the previous owner hadn't read this forum and fitted a 66mm upper link, sadly I didn't get any spares with my purchase so I've had to order some new 61mm links.

The truck also has Boomerang Type 1 internal Spring shocks, they sit too high, don't flex and limit travel, so they've got to go. It does flex when sat, but not at speed:



Other issues are:
There's a lighting controller that I have no idea how to function, so today was spent with hazards flashing all day.
The pinion is oddly worn
The truck appears to have mostly been used on the beach, so it's very rusty, but has little rock rash
The tyres have already pulled off the crappy non-beadlock wheels

I've got two weeks to get it sorted before I go for a weekend wheeling in Wales with the 1:1 race team (1 x Ultra4 unlimited, 1 x Ultra4 modified/trophy raid, 1 x challenge plus my chase truck and couple of other buddies). It will be the perfect test with loads of rocks!
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Old 06-06-2016, 04:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

Congrats on your first scaler, and sorry to hear its been beaten around and not built properly.

With all the info on here you'll have it up to scratch soon. You can get stainless screw sets for most makes and models, haven't got a link to any but searching "crawler" on eBay will show up many many great things.

If the screws are that rusty, the bearings will for sure be the same, so maybe look at some new ones."thumbs"

Keep us updated and glad to see you found scalerc.co.uk too.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:32 PM   #3
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

Amazingly enough, I've now stripped down the gearbox and axles and the internals are glistening and clean. They obviously seal pretty good. The pinion bearings are a little crusty and rough, but they'll run for now. Next on the to do list is re set-up the front links and strip down the shocks to see if I can soften and lower them at all.
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

Quote:
Originally Posted by northernerbill View Post
Congrats on your first scaler, and sorry to hear its been beaten around and not built properly.

With all the info on here you'll have it up to scratch soon. You can get stainless screw sets for most makes and models, haven't got a link to any but searching "crawler" on eBay will show up many many great things.

If the screws are that rusty, the bearings will for sure be the same, so maybe look at some new ones."thumbs"

Keep us updated and glad to see you found scalerc.co.uk too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasticbadger View Post
...They obviously seal pretty good. The pinion bearings are a little crusty and rough, but they'll run for now. Next on the to do list is re set-up the front links and strip down the shocks to see if I can soften and lower them at all.
Bearings are only $1 each, Avid RC Bearings and Accessories for radio controlled vehicles, your one stop shop for RC bearings, RC wheels, RC accessories, RC springs, and much more. and order a couple packs in the sizes you need, replace them while you're in there if they're gritty and still have new spares.
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Old 06-07-2016, 04:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

A good set of average priced beadlocks will be an advantage in the future. Changing foams and stuff it will get old reglueing. Also beef patties will help you you need a wheel that uses slw style hubs to use the beef patties. Also beef tubes brass!

149 r/c worx team driver

Last edited by snapon boy; 06-08-2016 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 06-11-2016, 02:36 PM   #6
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

so, I've managed to collect the parts to start my rebuild. New 61mm links, used original shocks, used Axial 1.9" beadlocks:



After a strip down, new shocks and adjusted links it sat way better. I'm a great believer that a 1:1 crawler should sit low with the majority of travel in droop, which it now does:



Sorted out the front end geometry with the correct 61mm links:



New beadlocks look great, they're Axial 1.9" with the original tyres:





Then I took it for a quick test out in the forest with the kids, it performs sooooo much better, much more stable and crawls better. Sorry for the pics, these are all while my 8yo daughter was driving:





Next weekend will be the big test, I'm off on a 1:1 weekend at the UK King of Wales Ultra4 site so will be taking the Ascender and testing it on some proper rocks!
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

Looks good!
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Old 06-21-2016, 04:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

So, a great weekend was had up in Wales with some serious 1:1 and scale wheeling fun to be had. The Vaterra was excellent, so capable in the big rocks, but it took a beating! Here's some pics:











Damage report is:

1 bent rear lower link (so bent it hit and bent the top link)
1 bent front lower link
bent track bar
front drive shaft grub screws coming loose - rounded off, so I need new grubs
wires pulled out of rear bumper 'hazard light' LEDs
Plenty of rock rash everywhere
Body trashed

I think my driving might be a little over-zealous, I wasn't being gentle. At one point I made it 20 foot up a steeper than 1:1 climb only to barrel roll the whole way back down, so a little damage is probably to be expected. In fact I'm very impressed how well it's survived! Time now to fix it up and decide what to do about the body!
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Old 06-21-2016, 05:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

My 7yo son driving:



And our 1:1 fleet for the weekend, left to right, challenge spec Defender 90, Ultra4 buggy, Ultra4 Modified Defender, challenge spec Defender 90, my Landcruiser:

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Old 06-21-2016, 05:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasticbadger View Post
So, a great weekend was had up in Wales with some serious 1:1 and scale wheeling fun to be had. The Vaterra was excellent, so capable in the big rocks, but it took a beating! Here's some pics:

Damage report is:

1 bent rear lower link (so bent it hit and bent the top link)
1 bent front lower link
bent track bar
front drive shaft grub screws coming loose - rounded off, so I need new grubs
wires pulled out of rear bumper 'hazard light' LEDs
Plenty of rock rash everywhere
Body trashed

I think my driving might be a little over-zealous, I wasn't being gentle. At one point I made it 20 foot up a steeper than 1:1 climb only to barrel roll the whole way back down, so a little damage is probably to be expected. In fact I'm very impressed how well it's survived! Time now to fix it up and decide what to do about the body!
Looks like fun weekend. Buy some Vaterra HD machined aluminum lower links, SSD or Lunsford titanium upper links and track bar, these all use the very good stock Vaterra end links.
Lunsford Racing 4mm X 111mm link will replace stock tie-rod, just drill out the plastic end links to 0.125" (1/8"), lube the ends with chapstick and screw it all together. This setup is strong, allows to add slight toe-out for even more steering and little more up travel because of the smaller OD of the link.

Driveshaft grub screws, needs lots of blue loctite, I had to re-do mine couple times because I didn't clean off all the leftover oils on the metals from manufacturing. Make sure that you use two grubs screws on both ends of the shafts, tighten securely but not so tight you round out the inside of the screw where the driver fits in.

Re-wire lights maybe with different wire routing, zip-tie it all up out of the way, leave a little slack in the wires.

Body can be washed up with dish soap and hot water, dried off, reinforced on the inside with mesh type drywall tape, then several layers of E6000 (same company as ShoeGoo, but runnier), use thin coats of E6000 over the tape, let dry overnight, then add another layer of E6000, three coats should be plenty, sometimes only needs two. Depends on how beat it is. I like throttle too.
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

if there is no damage then you were not having fun.

one of my buddies uses 2 bodies, one for when he is out there doing fun stuff
the other for when he gets home and cleans up the rig.
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

I was trying to decide what to do about the bashed up body and how improve the clearance when my brother in law passed me this:



It's HPI Savage 1/8 jeep shell and measures up nicely. I'll keep the long wheelbase and end up with a scale-ish 1/8 jeep on 37" tyres. It fits well on first trim:





I chucked some paint at it and made up some rear body posts, it's satin cleared VW Bright Orange on the outside for a more scale look. It's not a great job, but will be fine for beating until I plump for a hard body:





I need to tuck the front bumper in further (that's with no spacers in the pics) and sort out the rear bumper and sliders, so it will give way better clearance than the Blazer. I quite like it, especially for a freebie!
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: Used Ascender newbie crawler school

I've only had two or three runs with the Jeep body and it's fine, much less bulky than the Blazer, better clearances and less weight. BUT, I really want to have something more bespoke and more scale - a proper Class 2 build (I don't know when/whether I'll compete). So I figured I'd get my new workshop built (delayed due to a back injury) then build something more custom. Then look what turned up in the post, I'd better get that workshop built!



Sat on the Ascenders 313mm wheelbase:



It's got a full scale interior, so I'll need to go forward motor to keep that. I'll need to shorten the wheelbase a bit, plus I'm thinking full external roll cage and LOTS of arch trimming...
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