Model: 58347: Lunchbox
Status: Project
Date: 1-Dec-2018
Comments: 3
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This model is the result of running several other kit-stock models at the beach and having leftover parts from other builds.

For years my wife and I have taken the kids to the beaches on the Carolina coast for summer vacations, and many times I took a standard kit model with me to run in the sand. On smooth, packed, wet sand a Lunch Box was a lot of fun; it could pull wheelies and do some nice skids, but it tended to roll over a lot in the rough, dry sand people walk through. Similarly, a Grasshopper would accelerate like a dart in the smooth, packed sand and pull some fun skids, but it would always get caught in the dry sand. The Mad Bull was possibly the best compromise I found for handling both wet and dry sand, but that compromise meant it lacked some of the uncertainty / fun factor of the other two models. Still, it was probably one of the better choices for a beach vacation.

As the years went by I built multiple Lunch Boxes for the kids and me, even a nice animal-themed one, and that left me with some spare parts. I also did a fully hopped-up CR01 inspired by all the metal in vintage Erector Sets, and again there were many spare parts. So with all these spare parts lying around and an upcoming beach vacation, a few years ago I thought it would be cool to combine the bullet-proof gearbox of a Lunch Box with the chassis of a CR01. The idea was to make it as crazy fun as a regular Lunch Box, but give it a little more suspension so it could handle rougher sand.

So, this hybrid beach basher is the result of many years of driving re-releases at the beach and wanting to find a use for some spare parts. How to describe this mongrel?

- The front axle is a plastic CR01 unit with no internals. Leftover GPM steering knuckles were meant to provide some strength. I had to buy some Frog axle stubs (which are longer) to accommodate both the bearings in the knuckles and the bearings in the front Lunch Box wheels. Because the steering is in front of the axle, the Ackermann is completely reversed. To compensate for that I swapped the linkage attachment points on the servo horn. So instead of the outside wheel steering more than the inside wheel, both turn in parallel to each other -- an improvement. The front axle is linked to the side plates with leftover GPM parts, and the kit CR01 dampers have (DT02/DF02?) soft silver springs.

- The center skid plate acts as a battery tray. Some screws with nitro fuel tubing slipped over them provide a decent friction fit for a shorty LiPo battery, and then a strip of Velcro wrapped around the battery and skid plate keeps the battery from popping up. Part of the upper CR01 mechanism deck contains the ESC and receiver electronics. The body mounts are leftover TB03/TA05 mounts cut short and mounted sideways, much like a regular Lunch Box.

- The rear axle is a standard Lunch Box/Grasshopper unit that has been reversed and drilled for ball connectors so it could be linked to the chassis plates. The lower links are some of the same leftover GPM parts, but the upper links are leftover 3Racing bent links; these clear the girth of the center gearbox section but still provide the angles needed. The original Lunch Box gearbox mounting feature is repurposed as an impromptu wheelie bar using a threaded rod and some RC airplane tires/wheels. The motor rotation is reversed via a setting in the Castle ESC. The same CR01 dampers and DT/DF springs are used in the rear.

- The Parma Lunch Box shell is a spare I had in my collection, and it was just a quick spray job using orange, silver, and translucent blue. The Parma skull decals are meant to convey the 'zero concerns given,' in-your-face, craziness of the combination of parts. You'll notice the front axle width is more than the rear axle width. So what?

In the end I took this to the beach a few times, and I would say it definitely has its own character. In the street and in the side yard it feels terribly tentative at high speed. At the beach the suspension does actually work pretty well in rough sand, but the longer wheelbase and higher front weight means it won't pull wheelies in the wet packed sand. It still runs at a decent high speed in the sand overall, and I can toss this from waist-level to the ground with zero concerns.

Anyhow, like 'The Expendable' touring car, this is another model to be used for enjoyment without any concern about preserving it. Most of my models are in the house where the temperature and humidity are under control; this one sits in the garage on top of a drill press just waiting to be taken somewhere at any time.




Insane LB hybrid - I love it !!! - great story too



Love the mish-mosh of parts used...awesome hybrid!!



Paul- nice basher!!! I remember you showing this to me when I was down in your neck of the woods last year in July!

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