I’ve always felt that the best part of the R/C hobby was in the build. Sure I’ve bought ready to run models before but it’s just never the same. There’s just something about staying up to the wee hours of the morning building a kit that really makes this hobby special. It’s finally that time, time to build our Axial Scorpion project truck!
Part 3: The Build
Building the Axial Scorpion is quite easy. There are some things to watch out for along the way but overall it’s a quick and easy build. Follow along as we build our Axial Scorpion and we’ll give you some pointers when we can.
The first part of building the Axial AX10 is the axles. The Scorpion’s axles are molded of plastic and contain metal gears. As with any true rock crawler there are no differentials, instead there is are included lockers. What is surprising is that Axial went through the trouble of anodizing the aluminum lockers which will never be seen once installed. Building the axles is very straight forward. Something to look out for though is that you need to be sure to press the pinion gear and the bearing it rides on well into the axle. If you don’t push it in far enough the pinion will stick too far into the case resulting in too tight of a gear mesh causing premature wear. After assembly try turning the axles and if they roll smoothly all is good.
Be sure to follow the included instruction update!
Here is a picture of the ring and pinion gears before going into the axle
The ring gear with the anodized aluminum locker. Although we haven’t had any problems with the locker in our truck Axial has release a sintered metal upgrade locker.
Here is the locker built with the axles and bearings installed.
The axle case with the gears installed
Another of the case with gears installed
The completed axles
Another of the completed axles. I can only imagine how many other projects people will use these things in in the future. Although they aren’t completely scale in appearance they are very well built and would work fine numerous scale projects.
Here are the completed suspension links. The AX10 uses a three link setup that gets roughly 70 degree of articulation. Overall they were very easy to assemble. Just keep on an eye on the direction you install the ball ends.
The completed Axial driveshafts. We have found these to be a weak link in the drivetrain. (more on that in part 4) Be sure to use the included thread lock on the setscrews that hold the drive shafts to the axles/transmission otherwise they’ll come loose in minutes.
The shocks on the AX10 are made of plastic. They include a spacer that Axial instructs you to install on the lower part of the shock shaft. However it’s a very common mod to install the spacer on the shaft before installing it in the shock body. The result is a lower center of gravity. Here we are filling the shock with the supplied 30wt fluid. Just fill it almost completely and then slowly move the shaft in and out to remove any air bubbles that are in there. Once you’ve got the air out, fill it up the rest of the way and install the cap. When installed the ball ends on the end of the shaft be very careful not to scratch or nick the shaft. We found that putting a heavy towel around the shaft and holding it with a pair pliers worked best. Just be sure the pliers aren’t scratching the shaft!
Here are the completed axle assemblies with the shocks and suspension links installed. The most time consuming part so far was assembling the shocks.
Another shot of the assembled axle/links/shocks.
Here are the assembled beadlocks with Axial Rock Lizard tires installed. These took us the better of three hours to assemble!!! My fingers were completely raw afterwards. It is suggested that you get yourself a good set of allen/hex drivers and wear gloves. You may want to watch this video on youtube for a better idea of how to assemble these. BTW get ready for a skunk in your house. When the Axial arrived at our doorstep we smelled a funky odor coming from the box. With further inspection we found that it was the tires that smelled so bad.
We assembled our beadlocks with the supplied uncut supplied foams. However you can cut the foam inserts for more tire flex. Another common modification is to fill the tire will BBs or stick on lead weights. The result is a heavier front end which increases traction and improves climbing ability. We may try one of these mods in the future, though the thought of taking the beadlocks back apart doesn’t sound too appealing.
The next item that needs to be assembled is the truck’s transmission. It’s a very quick and simple assembly. Be sure to use threadlock and grease where the owners manual suggests. However be careful not to install too much grease as it will add unneeded friction to the drivetrain.
Another of the transmission just before slapping the cases together.
The assembled transmission
Here are the electronics on the radio tray. The electronics are attached to the bottom side of the radio/battery tray with the supplied servo tape. I suggest you check and double check the fit before you tape them in place because it’s a tight fit. After this picture was taken we wrapped our receiver in a balloon to make it waterproof. Our Quantum Runner Reverse ESC is already waterproof. The Axial is a blast to run in the snow!
Here is the assembled Scorpion chassis. I believe it took a good eight hours of assembly to get to this point but that includes taking photos and the horror of assembling the bead locks.
Here it is with the wheels, tires, and electronics installed.
The obligatory articulation shot!
Another articulation shot!
The Integy 45t pro lathe motor installed.
The front steering setup. We installed the standard Futaba servo included with our radio. It has plastic gears which have been OK so far. However if you want to be on the safe side you might want to either go with a metal gear servo or install one of the supplied servo savers. With this setup you place your battery pack on the radio/battery tray but Axial also sells a mount that allows you to lower the truck’s center of gravity by placing your battery on the front axle. It’s definitely something you’ll want to look into if you’re into competitive rock crawling. For our purposes this setup works fine.
The rear axle setup. We used the supplied steering lockouts for our truck, but with Axial’s rear steer kit you can easily make your truck 4ws.
Check out that awesome articulation!!!! LOL just kidding
The truck fully assembled less body.
Be sure to check back for part four where we will take the truck out on the rocks and give you our impressions of it’s performance and durability.