It has been a while since I made a post, but that is not because I haven’t been working on my RC cars and trucks. Oh yes, I’ve been deep into a world of testing and tuning to make sure that the RC’s are on point and ready for the trail, field, or whatever terrain they come across. To keep you guys up to date on what’s happening with builds like the Blue Brute, seen on the Radio Control Patrol YouTube channel, I have decided to create a new series called “Behind The Build.”
Behind The Build will take you behind the scenes with Radio Control Patrol.
I will try my best to be as open-minded and honest about the products I use, why I chose them, and will keep the format of Behind the Build very straightforward and easy to follow with lots of pictures and sometimes video. There will also be links to all the products used within the text in bold colored links.
The first episode of Behind the Build will be about an RC trail truck that we call the Blue Brute here at RC Patrol. This RC was started a while ago and has evolved into a very savvy trail truck in the end. There are a number of upgrades on the rig in which help it to perform much better than stock. The Blue Brute started out as a now discontinued Axial Racing Jeep Rubicon Kit, intended for my wife, but her interests were stronger towards the basher-style RC trucks. Instead, the Axial Racing Jeep Rubicon Kit turned into a project of my own for RC Patrol. You could choose any of the SCX10 platforms with 12.3 wheelbase to complete such a product as all the parts fit the same.
If you would like to see the Blue Brute prior to upgrades, then you can check out the Poor Man’s Dually Build post.
Although the dual rear wheels and semi-flat bed of the Poor Man’s Dually were to my liking, I found that I wanted more of a new school wheel and tire combination and a custom flatbed instead. Making the truck a bit more trail savvy was also a concern. The stock parts definitely are okay, but were not going to hold up to the censored brushless setup very long. However, they did last for a good amount of time. Nothing has broken, but I intend on driving the rig a lot harder, and some beefier parts definitely would help out in the long run.
So let’s get to the point of this post, and look at what’s inside the Blue Brute!
The first stop was the transmission department
It’s a fact that an all metal gear transmission is going to be more durable in a trail rig especially one equipped with brushless power. I looked to the company Hot Racing and found a pretty decent transmission that has held up good in the Blue Brute to this day.
– Hardened steel spur gear and internal gears
– Full sealed ball bearings
– Locked output gear
– Billet machined aluminum transmission case and motor mount
– Transmission case is anodized black with secondary-processed machined beveled edges
– Motor mount plate and gear hub are anodized green
– Super duty adjustable metallic-pad slipper system
– Heavy duty 32 pitch 57 tooth steel main spur gear
– Assembled and ready to install
The model that I received appeared to have a dig unit/housing attached to it. I am not using it, but it’s kinda handy to have it around in case I find use in the future.
My Team Novak Ballistic Crawler Motor mounted right up to the transmission with ease, and the transmission fit in the SCX10 like a glove.
I chose to use a 11 tooth pinion, and I also bought a 13 tooth pinion, both from Hot Racing, to fit to the motor. The lower tooth count would in turn provide more torque for the larger tires that were to be installed on the rig. I just love the sound of the metal gears, but to those not aware, you must make sure to set the mesh properly, or you will wear the gears out prematurely.
The Ballistic Crawler Motor has plenty of torque and, with the timing boost, a nice amount of wheel speed as well. I’m completely satisfied the Team Novak TimBuk 2 combo in the Blue Brute! The system provides more than enough wheel speed and very acceptable torque. Compared to stock there is no competition. Also, the system only runs on 2S Lipo power, which means cheaper batteries and lower motor temperatures. The timing boost makes up for the lack of 3S power and once engaged does provide a substantial boost in speed.
The next upgrade on the list was a proper servo.
Since I intended on putting 2.2 wheels and tires on this rig, I knew that I would need a lot of torque. I started looking for high torque servo alternatives and found the perfect candidate.
I found the Savox Digital SA – 1230 SG to be just the servo I needed for this build. With nearly 500 ounce/inches of torque and only 6V operating power, the servo throws the 2.2 wheels around with no problem. Metal gears are included as well in the SA-1230SG and it comes in an aluminum case.
Dimensions (mm): 40.3×20.2×45.0
Weight (g): 79.0
Speed (@4.8V sec/60): .20
Torque (@4.8V oz-in): 417.0
Speed (@6.0V sec/60): .16
Torque (@6.0V oz-in): 500
Gear: Unique Steel
Case: Full Aluminum
25 Tooth Spline
- Combines leading edge technology with super high 12 bit (4096) resolution and unique steel gears
- Super light-weight
- Coreless motor provides extremely high speed, incredible efficiency, and low power consumption
- Extremely strong unique steel gears ensure long-life and durability
- The full aluminum case design not only looks good but also allows for cooler and smoother operating temps
- Our servos are totally green – from materials to production, these servos are environmentally friendly
- Ideal for giant scale aircraft, monster truck, 1/8 scale
I completed the servo installation off with a aluminum servo horn as well.
I found most of them work just well although the ones with set screws do look a bit sturdier. One more thing that you would need with this particular servo would be a BEC to help out with powering the servo. A 6V BEC would be required for the Savox 1230 SG servo to operate at its maximum capabilities. There is no need to worry when using the Novak Timbuk 2 set up, for they include a 6V BEC and Glitch Buster in the package. A very big thumbs up for Team Novak.
Axle components were needed so I found some fit for the job.
Steering knuckles, C-hubs, and Rear lockouts were next on the list of upgrades for the SCX10. For this department I chose a company that I am familiar with, ST Racing Concepts. I have used their products in the past, and in my opinion, the aluminum is pretty solid and craftsmanship up to par. Their prices are pretty decent as well and make upgrading an RC much more economically feasible. They also have a very decent customer service department, and I say that from personal experience. I had a problem with one of their parts… provided an email explaining the situation… and that was all it took for me to receive a new part and a decal sheet from the company. This all took less than two weeks I might note which is pretty fast turnaround in my book.
Here are the Aluminum Steering knuckles, C-hubs and Rear lockouts for the SCX10 from ST Racing Concepts.
At the time of my order, they did not have silver available, so I ordered green and gunmetal, which was all that was in stock from the store in which I ordered. Nothing a little Easy Oven couldn’t cleanup and strip so that I could polish with a bit of metal polish. I used Mother’s aluminum polish with a Dremel and brought the pieces to a pretty decent shine.
I chose to go aluminum with the suspension components mainly because of the brushless power and the larger wheels. The stock plastics have held up on my other SCX10’s with no problem, but this is the first one to have a brushless motor. I think the aluminum will hold up better in the long run. I must admit it does give a more sturdy and aggressive look as well, with a bit of eye candy appeal.
Take note that some of the parts from ST Racing Concepts are listed as being for the AX10, which has some of the same front suspension parts as the SCX10. Several of the parts are interchangeable.
All the aluminum parts mounted up perfectly and of course were fit with new bearings and a set of Traxxas Aluminum 12 mm hexes in blue. I also swapped the stock hardware out for stainless steel screws. Stainless steel usually holds up longer than the stock screws included in most RC kits, plus they are more resistant to rust.
The Blue Brute was starting to look a lot more sturdy and as intended, trail savvy!
Next it was time for some exterior modifications to make the rig look a little more unique. I chose to use the Axial Racing Light Buckets upfront instead of decals for the headlights. These buckets are super easy to use, come with a semi-realistic lens cover, and a bucket to hold your LED lights. They mount to the body through a hole in which you must cut and are held in place with the hex head screw. I have used the light buckets on several rigs, and they have proved to hold up over time and look damn good indeed.
I went ahead and did some major fender trimming to make sure that the wheels clear.
The first set of wheels I wanted to try were 2.2 inches . I knew that even with a lift kit the 2.2 would scrub on hard articulation of the suspension. The trimming was easy to perform with a dremel and a sanding drum. For a lot of my RC related projects, I have found myself very fond of the Proto-Form Better Edge System. With the rounded shape of the drum, it is very easy to get into the wheel well area and make perfect rounded cuts. Much easier than shears alone, and a very clean look indeed.
Perfecting the body for the build.
There is also a sanding block that goes along with the system. I use it for straight lines and evening out the flat sides of your RC bodies. It is called the Better Edge System Sanding Block from Protoform; it really gets the job done.
These two tools have been in my arsenal for some time now and work well. I commend Proto-Form, as well as Pro-Line Racing, for their excellent job making quality products. Even outside of the RC world, I found use for the Better Edge System. The possibilities continue to come forth the more crafty I become with my hobby.
Make sure to use code: RCPatrol10 to receive 10% off your order on www.prolineracing.com
What about shafts?
Indeed there was a need for some new driveshafts. When you install brushless sensored power with stock plastic shafts, there could be an issue. I looked into a company called JunFac for a set of steel shafts to fit the Blue Brute. They had just what I was looking for with a carbon steel driveshaft for the SCX10. Make sure to pick the right ones for your wheelbase if you purchase a set of these shafts. I chose the Universal Shafts for the Axial Honcho by JunFac. They fit like a glove and are built strong. This is not the first set of JunFac driveshafts I have installed on a trail truck. I have a set installed on the Mega/Mud truck as well running on 4s Lipo. The shafts are still holding up well and do not come loose at all.
That will conclude update 1 of the Behind The Build series.
Next it is time for some Pro-Line Racing scale gear to tighten things up a bit. I will also be building a flatbed for the rig.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this post. Stay tuned for the next Behind The Build series of the Blue Brute coming soon.
Thanks for reading…
Radio Control Patrol