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Mad Ax

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About Mad Ax

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    Lurking among the gothic shadows of Bath
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    Streetfighters, motorbikes, fiction writing

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  1. Good to hear that. I haven't had a chance to fill mine yet but am planning a workshop day tomorrow, getting the clod running is one of many priorities
  2. http://www.rcmart.com/100mm-desert-lizard-stage-internal-spring-damper-pair-black-crawler-p-70749.html?cPath=389_390 Buying RC shock absorbers has become something of a painful experience in recent years. A decade ago, when I just cared about alloy bling, I could buy a set of 100mm blue anodized shocks from Ebay and they would cost next to nothing, be here in a week and fit on just about anything. They usually came with both soft and hard springs and a selection of pistons and spare oil seals and, after a fashion, they worked. Then there came a time when shocks started to turn up without ball ends. I have a handful of shocks that have a ball-end size unknown to the rest of the universe. Worse still some came with non-balled top fittings, so they could only be installed where they would rotate one way. OK for a buggy with independent suspension but no good for a rigid axle truck that must allow for universal movement. And once one starts trying to tune such a shock, even more problems are encountered. The difference between soft and hard springs is minimal, and hard to tell by hand. Most might be hard enough for a fast buggy but are way too hard for a crawler. In some cases I've had to install a heavily-angled shock to get the spring rate I need, which is OK for performance but terrible for scale appearance. Fitting springs from other shocks is hit-and-miss as the spring ID varies according to, well, I can only assume the mood of the designer. I have a set of shocks that generally feel quite nice but are too fat for any of the springs I have. Of course there are good shocks out there. Tamiya are brilliant, but pricey. Traxxas are good but too chunky for many 1:10 applications. Kyosho and Schumacher have quality products but I've found their range expensive and baffling. Some dedicated crawler brands promised much but delivery was poor - badly-sealing, oversprung (again!) and rough in operation. A year or so ago I discovered Turnigy - they made a variety of shock styles in a range of sizes. They looked good and (apart from the usual missing ball end problem) worked nicely. But when I came to buy new shocks for my Mod Clod, I found they have disappeared from the market. Gah, does a good thing never last..? In the end I decided to chance some Yeah Racing articles from RCMart. I didn't fancy the long postage or the risk of customs, but honestly I had no choice. Just to be sure, I ordered 4 pairs - I have a couple of rigs to fit out - as well as 2 pairs of cheaper Xtra Speed 100mm internal spring dampers. The package arrived yesterday, after more than a fortnight waiting. That's a long time even for RCMart - a day later I later ordered other stuff from them and it arrived a week earlier - so I guess they had a stock problem. But so far it seems to have been worth the wait. First impressions count, and the Desert Lizard 100mm Internal Spring Shock is well-presented in an attractive windowed box. Environmental impact of transporting large boxes notwithstanding, the product looks great before it comes out of the packaging. Inside the shocks are nicely protected in a foam tray (there are cutouts in the tray so I guess the same packaging is used for other size options), and are pre-fitted with soft springs in a droop configuration. Also included are medium and hard droop springs, and soft, medium and hard full-length springs. The difference between the springs is noticeable in the hand and they are way, way softer than the older 100mm shocks that I have removed from the clod because they are rock solid. There's also a bunch of hardware - mounting screws of various lengths, spare seals, ball ends (!!), and alternate piston options. The installed piston is a 4-hole. Shock operation is not the smoothest in the universe but it feels solid. I added some Green Slime to the shaft to keep it slick and smooth. Droop probably isn't quite the right setup for a mod clod, so I experimented with the full length soft spring. It felt very soft, and on first install into the Clod it almost bottomed out under droop, so I opted for a medium spring all round. Now there's a little sag with placed onto the work bench, but not a lot. I'd like a little more. When lifting a wheel the clod now articulates fully, although when dropped it still prefers to bounce on the tyres and not the shocks. I guess that's just a clod trait, owing to the heavy unsprung axles and big soft tyres. It will lift a wheel when pushed in a tight circle (both my diffs are currently locked) but otherwise the wheels seem to stay planted. Realistically I think the only way to get a more scale response from the suspension is to add weight to the chassis, which seems a little pointless, but the truck is now night-and-day different to how it was before, as in, the suspension now actually moves. There is one negative review on RCMart saying the shocks started leaking after being filled with oil. I haven't filled mine yet - I was hoping to get happy with the spring rate before adding oil. If they leak, I'll no doubt update about it here - and possibly try Tamiya o-rings in place of the Yeah Racing ones. Behold the shocks in all their glory. My only complaint so far is that there doesn't seem to be an 80mm option. These would be absolutely perfect on my Class 1 Yota rig in a droop configuration, as the current shocks are some terrible cheap option installed with the softest spring I can find and no oil. That's just about the only way I can run the rig and get any kind of compliance in it. Further updates will follow once these have had some running time.
  3. Think it's happened to all of us at some time or other. Ebay is possibly the worst, cars are described as "used" or "restoration project" but that can mean anything - "used" could mean "has been in use and will run straight away" or could mean "had been used to death". I don't usually argue with sellers if something isn't what expect because so much is open to interpretation. Also English is not everyone's native language and language is not everyone's strong point. I will usually go to the effort of writing a detailed description of stuff I'm selling but some people are happy to sell on a one-liner that says almost nothing. I once bought a used Bear Hawk for restoration, it was so good it only needed a new body to make a good runner. An NIB body came up cheap but I foolishly sold it on to a colleague for little money. I even sold him the NIB body, unpainted. He gave it to his 5 year old son. I was quite sickened when he brought it in a week later, badly sprayed with no primer, decals roughly cut with what looked like a wood saw, split and jagged and badly placed and covered in thumb prints. I really missed that car, too. It took me a while to find another at a good price, and it was a basket case. I had to replace most of the plastic parts to make an acceptable runner, and the body, while complete, needed a lot of gluing to make it sound for running. You win some, you lose some
  4. How do you intend to run your creation once it's built? Are you looking for a car that has the right drivetrain that will sit on the shelf, or do you expect to be able to drive it on the rough stuff and have fun? This is a question that crops up from time to time and is usually answered by pointing out that RWD rally is very hard to drive in 1:10 scale. There is a reason why most 1:10 touring and rally is either FWD or AWD. Normal hooman beens don't have the reactions required to correct slides at that scale. Now if you want something that's mostly there, you can probably do this using an M04. TL01 arms will give you standard touring width, and extra chassis extension parts will adjust the length to more or less where you need it to be. You might be able to flip the TL-01 arms to adjust further. Alternatively it's quite easy to make custom-length chassis plates for the M04 out of aluminium, GRP or graphite sheet. The M04 has a mid-motor layout that provides the traction you need at the rear, the extra wheelbase should improve stability and the extra width might help too. I'm not sure how much ride height you can get from a TL/M04 hybrid - consider using CVDs in the rear to give more suspension angle without losing the dogbone, and look at the hubs to see if a bit of creative dremeling will get a bit more lift. The M04 was never the most capable car in the stable but it might work. Addition of a gyro might make it driveable enough. 1:10 RWD buggies have had much more development over the years, so if you were looking for something capable then that's where I would consider starting. Your problems will be wheelbase, track width and body clearance. But with some customising and some clever parts mixing you might be able to build something suitable. You will lose performance by narrowing the track and reducing the suspension travel but it might be the best compromise.
  5. @geniusanthony is that a JConcepts Silverado body? https://www.jconcepts.net/shop/1988-chevy-silverado-monster-truck-body
  6. Still a fair bit of work to do before I can even test-run: resolve steering problem pad battery compartment and make safe for soft case LiPo fix electronics to outside of chassis and then still more to do before the truck can be considered finished: fit body posts measure, design and cut shock towers fit shock towers and CVA shocks fit turnbuckles and CVDs to all corners test-run disassemble, sand and paint all alu components prep, paint and decal body
  7. Did a bit more work on Monday night. I had hoped to be in the workshop on Sunday night but a recent cold snap took ambient temps down around freezing for a few days - still comparatively mild for the time of year but too cold for spending a few hours in a workshop with no heating. In fairness I had spent a large part of the day in the workshop working on some household lighting projects, but I'd come in, had a hot shower and cooked dinner since then, and the thought of putting my dirty clothes back on to go outside wasn't appealing. Anyway, no such fears accompanied my Monday evening, so I wrapped myself up in warm clothes, dug out the jigsaw and got cutting. Bear with me because I'm "between cameras" at the mo - I don't like getting our family camera out in the workshop when I'm cutting aluminium or getting oily fingers, and my phone was perched on the shelf playing German industrial music through an ancient Sony hi-fi amp and some oldskool Wharfedale speakers, so I couldn't even take skanky phone pics. Anyway - both chassis plates were cut and all the holes drilled. The only real tricky part was making the slotted hole for the servo posts. I could have drilled exclusively for my servo size but wanted to allow for some adjustment later. I then screwed both chassis plates firmly together to tidy up all the rough jigsaw cuts with a file and make sure everything fitted perfectly. I had to take quite a lot of meat off for the motors to protrude but otherwise the plates were perfect. Oh, the servo is now off-centre and the horn doesn't twist properly, but I need to investigate my proposed steering solution anyway. I am considering 3 possible options but I'll have to wait until workshop time on Sunday to decide which to use. I got everything more or less ready to assemble but by that time it was late, I was freezing, and covered in polishing wax and aluminium swarf, so I left everything where it was and came in for a shower. Last night I found 30 spare minutes to bolt the chassis together and see how it looked. It looks somewhat leaner than expected Shortened chassis requires cut-outs so stock body post locations can be retained Stock chassis spacer used to make battery compartment closing panel Off-centre servo issue still to be resolved. Battery compartment takes a soft 3S or a hard-case 2S stick pack Side-on shot shows how much ground clearance was lost as a result of adding 8 degrees of caster
  8. Another vote for Spektrum if you want a branded radio. I use an older DX3c which I bought new for less than £100 at a local model expo a few years back. For a while it was possible to get cheap Spektrum-compatible receivers from Hobbyking - less than £10 inc. postage got an ORX-300 receiver. Unfortunately receivers are no longer available for older Spektrum radios (due to some radio law, I think an EU law) but a new Spektrum shouldn't have that problem. If you do buy used then check what type of receivers and ask here if you're in any doubt. I also use Flysky radios. Actually I buy the Turnigy-branded models but they are identical. The FS-i6 is a 6-channel (flashable to 8 or 9, IIRC) aero stick radio but can be programmed to work with cars. Less than £50 for radio and single receiver. Extra receivers are around £12 IIRC. I think it supports up to 10 models but I've not got that many on mine. Check the 'mode' before you buy - some have a throttle ratchet on the left stick, some on the right. If you want to drive 'normal' then you want a regular spring on teh left and the ratchet on the right. If you later expand into more channels and extra functions (like winches, lights, etc) then you can buy the parts needed to convert the ratchet to a spring. The FS-i6x has pretty much the same features in a stupid-looking package for people who like to look ultra-modern and smooth around the edges. I also have a Turnigy GT5 wheel radio. It appears to be good value for money and has lots of features but I had some issues with dodgy cable routing in my Tx causing a bad connection. I can't say all are like that because there are some videos online, but it's worth accepting that Flysky / Turnigy / whatever are not built to the same standards as Spektrum / Futaba / Sanwa / KO. Avoid Carson transmitters like the plague.
  9. from the state of this thread, I think people have been using other three letter acronyms that rhyme with MSC... I am totally digging the Clod love in this thread. Every time I stick a LiPo in my clod, another polar bear drowns
  10. Welcome to the board Lunchbox and Midnight Pumpkin are great fun back-yard bashers but don't expect high-tech performance. They are designed to be bouncy and unstable. Actually they're mostly designed to do wheelies, so unless you have a steady throttle finger you'll spend more time putting it back on its wheels than you will driving. At one time they seemed to be the 'go-to' recommendation for kids, although the hard bodies can crack and the body mounts are a known weak point. There are upgraded body mounts available online to cure this problem. I have a Lunchbox set aside for when my daughter is older (she will be 3 next month, so not quite ready for it yet, although she has enjoyed pushing it around the floor). If you want something the kids can play with, the Mad Bull seems to be among the favourite recommendations. I've not had one but they often come out top in recommendations. They're very similar to the Lunchbox / Midnight Pumpkin but have a lower profile, so are harder to tip over. All three are simple builds that you and the kids could enjoy together. The Monster Beetle is a classic oldskool favourite. Tamiya didn't update it much with the re-release so it still has the weak differential. With standard motors (or reduced power for the youngsters) it may well be fine, lots of people have said they've had no problems at all. There is an aftermarket diff available if you did have problems / want to fit a faster motor later. It's a more involved build but looks fantastic when it's done. The Clod is a different prospect again. Like the others it still has its flaws - don't expect Traxxas-level speed or handling or reliability. Just expect an enormous box of clunky awesomeness, a fun build and a gorgeous body. Lots of people run them as-is with no upgrades but if you wanted to modify later, the only limit is your imagination, skill with cutting tools, or wallet depth. With a modern radio you can slow down any car to help with learning to pilot it. Most people (myself included) would advise fitting bearings when you build the kit - otherwise generally accepted wisdom for newcomers is to leave the mods alone until you've driven it and worked out what you want / need. Let's face it, if you've read any posts here before signing up, you're not asking which of the above to get - you're asking which order to get them in
  11. Third rule: a hex wrench for the pinion grub screw
  12. I think there's got to be a common ground between "learning not to break it" and "accepting that breakages will happen." When I first started out I found I was breaking stuff a lot, mostly because my driving skills weren't all that good but also because I wasn't really sure what was an acceptable level of punishment. Some people do just like to push things hard to see if they'll break. If that's what you like then fair enough, it's your money, but if I was coming home with a breakage on every run I'd be looking at how and where I'm driving. I would say that driving anywhere where you might run hard into a concrete barrier isn't great - so either run slowly or find somewhere else to run. That said, Broxtowe's astro track has an outer wall made of concrete blocks and it's possible to drive a buggy up onto part of the wall and run full-throttle into a block. I know because I've done it by accident during a race. Amazingly my Hotshot survived with only a dislocated front suspension - a few seconds fiddling and it was running again. I think that was more luck than sturdy design. I also think a higher level of breakages / failures is acceptable if you're custom-modding stuff. I like to do custom builds, and every run is a test-run, so it's normal that things will break more often. And also, if you visit the skate park with the intention of "sending" or doing backflips or anything else that the DT-02 wasn't really designed for then you can probably expect to break a few parts that would survive the roughness of the race track without any issues.
  13. A couple of years ago there was a non-tamiya rtr corolla for sale at the Bristol Model Expo. Looked like a 1:10 body and good detail. I forget the mfr, looked like it was old stock that had hung around in a model shop for ages. It wasn't expensive either but I passed it up at the time. Would have made a good basher body so I can run my 03fs
  14. awesome, thanks will upload some more photos next week when new parts arrive
  15. That sounds like a super deal. There are still some original bodies around if you want one. I have a sneaking suspicion that Racecraft RC might have one? racecraftrc.co.uk Not listed on his website but I bought a Corolla body from him last summer and he sneakily mentioned that he had a second. Might be worth dropping him a message to see if he still has it. (Tell him Alex from Trowbridge sent you ) I have my NIB body and would love to run it in the Iconic Cup this year but with bodies being rare and expensive I'm a bit reluctant. Well keep an eye on whatever that GT1 re-release is as that might be a good source of bodies. HPI Saxo / 106 bodies used to be common but with HPI's difficulties a lot of older bodies have disappeared from the market.
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