Approximately 6 weeks ago I started disassembling my old 1986 Blackfoot to make some needed repairs. One part K8, or I guess it's called an upright, the boss where the steering linkage connects broke off. Both parts J8 and J9 were cracked at the shock mount boss, one had two cracks. Even though I had fixed the toe-in issue by centering the steering servo I've ordered and received replacement AMPro "zero toe-in" uprights. Since parts J8 and J9 are intact except for the cracks I've ordered and received the AMPro "custom swingarm brace". They fit very tight. No other broken parts found.
My original plan was to double up the J8 and J9 parts. In other words add a J9 to the J8 side of the chassis and a J8 to the J9 side. By using spacers between them and screwing them to the original mounting points the shock mount would be sandwiched between each pair. This would eliminate any twisting moment on the J8/J9 parts. As it is I'm using a thru screw to now mount the shocks.
Here is a partial list of what I've found on the net by searching for Blackfoot/Frog/Subaru Brat/Lancia Rally/Monster Beetle mods.
Two modelers have adapted ball bearing pivots to the swing arms. Two similar, but different, approaches. The swingarm's on my original 1986 Blackfoot with the shocks disconnected and the wheels /tires removed will freely pivot up and down as they are, with wheel bearing grease on the pivot points. Minimal wear on the pivots. The big advantage I see with the ball bearing approach is that the swingarm's pivot through the transmission is strengthened and the through bolt support eliminates the swingarm from flexing at the transmission. This should help prevent the DB from popping out.
Two modelers have 6x4 ORV's, one a Monster Beetle and one a Blackfoot. Again, both used similar but different approaches.
One modeler had the most extreme mods IMHO. He had converted both ends of a Frog to inline, bellcrank/push rod shock operation. He turned the transmission upside down, with the motor mounted on the bottom. The motor mounting was changed so that a long pinion wasn't needed. The motor weight on the bottom had to help with lowering the CG. He didn't butcher up the ORV chassis but did drill a few extra holes.
I'm going to attempt to grandchild proof this truck by replacing/adding parts as above and most importantly, slowing it down. The original tire set was dry rotted so I've replaced them. The original body is in great shape but I'm going to buy something Lexan to add survivability. I have another 1986 Blackfoot, NIB, that I'm building up for me, same mods except for slowing it down. I've locked the diff in the original Blackfoot and have a MIP ball diff for original Blackfoot #2. I'm adding a second steering servo to both trucks to add a little more front end weight. #1 has the stock silver can and #2 has a Tamiya Torque Tuned 25T brushed motor for a couple of thousand more RPM.
One other thing I'm looking to modify in the immediate future is the front end. I've seen a couple of ORV chassis vehicles with ball links on both ends of radius arm(s). The stock setup adds both stiffness and slop to the front end, this I will do to #1. #2 on the other hand is going to have a double wishbone suspension with-out the radius arm. I want the front suspension arms to move freely with a minimum of slop just like the rear swingarms do.
Truck #1 has an ESC and I need to order one for Truck #2. I have the ESC set with a jumper to "forward with brake" only to minimize transmission stress from grandchild operation. It has a "crawler" position, what would happen if I set the jumper to "crawler"???????
Any recommendations for a Lexan truck body.?????? The local Hobby Store closed so it's not possible to go in and browse their inventory to find a suitable wheelbase body.