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Big Jon

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  1. Without getting into any of the engineering discussion concerning springs, to get the right springs for your applications, start hoarding (and properly sorting) springs. Save every "extra" spring, buy spring sets out of the bargain bin at the LHS, pick up those random boxes of spring and shock parts at the swap meet, order a spring set or two to round out an internet order. Springs are relatively cheap, so before long, you'll have a nice big assortment to choose from, and experimenting with shock tuning is definitely enjoyable. There's nothing wrong with hoarding RC parts! Springs, shocks, shock parts, hardware, extra plastics, gears of all sorts, body accessories, driver figures... All of that stuff has uses for the serious hobbyist.
  2. Using TRF rod guides in the YR shocks really tightens up the wobbly shafts. The shocks on my XV-01 are a hodgepodge of YR and TRF parts at this point, and I've used the TRF guides in YR and MST shocks to tighten them up. The YR shocks are definitely worth the money, even if you change the o-rings and rod guides during the build. Far better than any other "budget" shock, and better than a lot of "premium" ones.
  3. If you're in Texas, I have a couple in stock at the Dallas Hobbytown.
  4. We do quite a bit of crawling here in Texas. There's no "wrong" way to go about it, really. If you're looking for a good performing stock build with high levels of scale realism, try the Axial SCX-10.3. It has excellent quantity, nicely detailed plastics, and a superb body set. You'll need at least four channels to use all of the stock features (two-speed and dig), five if you want a winch. The rig is a very capable trailer stone stock, and is an excellent rock grinder with some extra weight up front and down low. Even the stock tires are pretty good, although steel or aluminum headlocks would be my first addition. Of course, a killer light kit is a must-have. As for electronics, I use everything from a 3800kv Castle on 3S to a cheapy 13t five slot. Big HP lets you have the wheel speed for long climbs, while the sensored motor gives you the control for technical work, but there's no need to go nuts, especially for trail work, as long as you can get about eight mph or so. Save the money for a steering servo. There's no such thing as enough for a crawler, and make sure that the BEC has enough power to run it properly. Leaf sprung rigs like the TF2 are very scale and fun, but suffer from durability issues when used hard, and can't handle much power at all. You are also restricted on tire size, because there just isn't much room. The coil spring Gelande chassis is much more durable, while still being more scale. Don't worry too much about those huge flex pics you see on Facebook. Too much flex makes the rig hard to drive precisely, it ruins the sidehill performance, exacerbates torque twist, and won't let you carry a wheel over a gap. Crawling/trailing is an awful lot of fun. Anything with locked diffs and a deep gear ratio will "work", just with different levels of performance and scale realism. The deep gear ratio is vital, though. Also, stay away from work gear axles for trailing. They're really great for comp rigs, but need way too much maintenance and motor to be good on the trail. One quick brag - we're going camping this weekend, and have already planned each day's hikes. We should be able to run about 30 miles over three days on some really fun trails. Between the three of us, we're bringing either eight or nine well-sorted trail rigs, and are tackling a 12 mile loop on Saturday.
  5. As an aside, Tamiya's fine white primer is my "flat white" of choice when building plastic models. Much better coverage than anything else I've tried, and lays on very, very thin. And, yeah, a good gloss clear followed by a cut and buff really makes for the showroom shine. Lay on enough that you don't cut through to the color, especially with metallics.
  6. Thanks, man! It's just black zip ties and o-rings!
  7. Is Speed Passion still in business? I really like their stuff, haven't seen it for sale in forever. Got a few motors and speedos around, great linear power.
  8. I'm about to start an Axial SCX10.3 kit. This one will be built as a relatively stock lightweight endurance trail rig, with very reliable but mid-level electronics. Run time and reliability will be the goals, not absolute trail performance. I've been really getting into endurance trailing lately, and I want something to take on overnight backcountry hikes. My current rigs are really only good for day trips in the 20 mile range (I can only carry so many batteries), and this is my first Axial, so it should be fun. It'll get a killer light kit so I can hike easily after dark, the ability to carry 10,000 mAh, and, ideally, require little or no trail repair so I don't have to carry spare electronics.
  9. It fit there, honestly, and seems to work ok. I really have no idea if it would work better elsewhere, because I haven't tried. I'm always trying to make this thing a little better. At the very low gain I prefer, do you think that it would be more effective positioned up front? This is the only gyro I've used on any of my cars, and it widens my setup window without getting in the way. Kinda takes the edge off on slippery surfaces. I turn it off if there's traction or I want more aggression.
  10. The top front chassis brace isn't reinforced. Yeah, it's stiff; the reinforced part feels like a rock. Red diff o-rings, lots of green slime, and aluminum diff covers will really help the diffs to seal. Lightly chamfering the screw holes in the diff cups helps too, and it's free.
  11. Well, this beater certainly doesn't look like this anymore... After at least a hundred packs, I've changed the springs to Tamiya's soft Rally springs, broken off the rear wing, and smoked a whole bunch of tires. I've worn a nice groove in my front yard, too. COVID cancelled this year's rally season for us, so no race results to report.
  12. My (re) build thread is around here somewhere.... I'll bump it if I can find it. I'm using a high torque servo saver with an extra spring to give me some front end protection (broke arms and steering arms with an aluminum horn), and I'll install the fenders if it's muddy. I made them wider and longer with sheet styrene and duct tape.
  13. Element Enduro Gatekeeper with the optional IFS conversion, 3500+ kv on 3s, and your choice of scale body, perhaps? Yeah, it's based on a trail chassis, but the IFS/trailing arm suspension should improve high speed handling over the 3 link/4 link, and the driveline is perfectly capable of handling the horsepower. Associated kits are nice enough to build, and I've been really happy with my Enduro based trail rig. Just passed 100 trail miles with it. You could do an Ivan Stewart Hilux, for example. Finally, the Losi Baja Rey isn't a kit, but checks the rest of the boxes nicely, and is a unique and good performing rig.
  14. They stole your stuff, then mailed it back when you noticed and complained. Call it a coincidence, but an awful lot of guys that work day labor for moving companies bring cars into the shop that they "found". How many of you guys have ever found an unattended RC car?
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