The Axial SCX10 Rubicon – solid axle RC fun!

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Summer might be wrapping up but that doesn’t mean back yard RC fun has to. This little truck – even in it’s stock out of the box form – can turn a pile of rocks in your back yard into a pile of good times. The Axial SCX10 Rubicon Jeep as a RTR (ready to run) kit comes with almost everything you need to hit the yard or any rock pile very quickly and enjoy a great RC crawling experience right out of the box.  Batteries not included.. DOH!  but getting those is easy. Yay!  And if you want to you can perform a few fairly easy modifications to dramatically improve this little guy’s grip on steep surfaces.

Like this:  I did make it up this… once.  But I did it!  It looks way steeper in person.. 🙂

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This truck is the Axial SCX10 “2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon” and it’s built on the same platform as one of Axial’s best selling trucks, the “Trail Honcho”. A 1/10th scale RC truck with a 12.3 inch metal ladder chassis, solid axles, and locked differentials.   This truck designed to do one thing – crawl over stuff!   This version can be had for about $350 and comes with just about all you need.   In it’s stock form it’s a very sturdy truck, a capable crawler, with a nice 2.4ghz radio system and all around great electronics plus metal drive train.  You will need a battery for the truck.  I suggest a 7.2v lipo battery, a lipo charger, and then the 4 AA batteries (for the radio) to get road… er, rock ready.    Ebay or online hobby shops are good places to get the lipo battery and charger.  I suggest, for ease of compatibility with connectors and long run times, get a Venom 7.2v 2s 5000mah 20c ‘hard case’ lipo with the universal connector kit.  You can get these for about $40 at Tower Hobbies.  Tower also has a bunch of very basic and inexpensive lipo chargers.  The Great Planes 3s AC/DC charger is one, about $30.   With that battery fully charged you will get about 2 hours of drive time.

For a stock RC crawler, this is one of the best trucks you can buy imo.  You’d really have to go way out of your way to break things on it, but with all things geek, we never like leaving things stock.  With a few fairly simple upgrades you can beef it up even more and improve it’s crawl-ability considerably.   The very first thing to do is to move the battery tray to the front of the truck, this will keep the majority of the weight forward and really help keep the front end on the ground when you are at a steep incline.   There are several tutorials on how to do this on youtube and also right on Axial’s site.  All the parts you need for this are in the box with the RTR version of the truck.  One thing you will want to get is a decent set of metric allen wrenches in 1.5, 2, and 2.5mm sizes.  This will make your modding life way easier.

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If you only do one mod, this should be it for sure.  The added weight in the front helps keep one wheel on the ground while maxing the articulation out which gives you tons more grip, especially on steep inclines.   I also put a little adhesive weather stripping on the ends of my battery to keep it firmly planted in the tray.   With the battery up front this little guy will go just about where ever you point it.

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Right up those brick stairs.. no problemo!   The trick with crawling though, easy on the throttle finger, you don’t want to charge up things… you ease your way up, using the steering as you go, little changes in course can be backed out if they are going bad…  The stock motor and speed controller have a brake drag built in, so when you let off the throttle, the truck stays put pretty well, even on a steep incline.  So slow and easy is the key..  The slow truck penetrates the rock!  Er.. blade?  Shield?  Well.. that’s another story…

So back to modding.  I did a few extra mods to my SCX10 that are definitely worth while if you like the tinkering.

– Axial aluminum servo horn 25t – ebay – $13

– Proline 6060-00 Powerstroke scaler shocks (front and rear comes in the kit) – ebay- $60

– Heavy Duty Aluminum Drag Link (steering links) – ebay – $25  (Search for ‘SCX10 aluminum drag link’)

– Heavy Duty Aluminum 4-link kit (front and rear) – ebay – $37  (Search for ‘SCX10 aluminum 4-link kit honcho’ that’s the one with the 12.3 inch wheel base)

(one word of advice, avoid Hot Racing upgrades.. they might be inexpensive but they are pretty low quality.  Look for stuff made by enthusiasts, like Five_Star_Machine, that’s where I got my links)

These 4 items beef up the plastic counterparts with higher quality stronger parts that have a lot less flex in them.  The stock plastic links are very ok, but they do flex a lot and when they do you can loose grip in hard to get to places.   With all of these installed the truck would drive up and over just about anything I pointed it at in my little rock pile.   And they look cool too.

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So while it might not be RC fun on the super cheap, it’s super fun.  If you like tinkering you can go bananas with these trucks.  There are literally endless amounts of upgrades.  Water proof electronics, brushless motors, speed controllers you can program on your PC (throttle curves, brake curves, drag brake amount), better servos, light kits, titanium drive train parts, machined aluminum wheels, and more tires than you might find at Sears Auto… Just to rattle off a few.   The community that rallies around these trucks is also very very active and people on the enthusiast forums are generally quite helpful and friendly.   If you get the upgrade bug, Ebay and places like RP hobby and Tower Hobbies are great sources for all the hop ups and anything else you might need.  But be careful, the upgrade bug is very addicting.  Pace yourself and have fun!  🙂   (and just avoid Hot Racing upgrades, it really is garbage.. you have been warned!)

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Here’s a little video showing the suspension acting like a real truck.  As you’ll see it’s got a little pep when you want to go faster but be careful with those high speed turns!

Happy trails!

 

DJ Rose

Thunder cats ho!

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