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Old 04-21-2020, 09:39 AM
jwilkinson01 jwilkinson01 is offline
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Default Total newbie - looking for advice

Hi everybody! So first off I am a total newbie here so I apologize for any stupid questions. I have to admit I already tried to post this on another forum, received a message that my post had to be “approved”, 10 days later I haven't heard anything and it still isn't posted. Maybe I exceeded a character limit that I wasn't warned about? I know my posts are always really long, writing technical documentation is part of my real world job, so I have a tendency to over explain, so I apologize in advance.

RC or RC 4x4s have never been a hobby of mine, I have actually always been into jeeps (1:1 scale) and crawling from the drivers seat. So here's how I got here, my son (11) was given an old monogram tornado from one of my coworkers, it actually seems to work, I can charge the battery, turn on the power and the wheels spin like crazy, which since it's 35 years old is freaking amazing, but I can't control it so I think it's either a transmitter or receiver issue. I am sure if I took the time to dive into it I could figure something out. But that's not why I am here. After the discovery of, and soon disappointment with, the Tornado my son pulled out a cheap old new bright Grave Digger he has had for years, he has been obsessed with Monster trucks since age 3. And within a few days he broke it because it wasn't really built for jumping or other actual monster truck type activities, which as a kid is what he wants it to do.

So with internet access and waaaaay too much free time since we are on Armageddon lock down, my son found an Axial Grave Digger, but at age 11 and with his recent track record I am not shelling out $300 USD. SO back to the internet, he finds a bunch of YouTube videos of a guy with an awesome James Bondish accent and an even more awesome lambo in his garage that combines the cheap Walmart RC Grave Digger with parts from crawlers on Banggood and makes a pretty sweet little 1:24 4 wheel steer buggy. I already have a broken cheap Grave Digger but it is 1:15. So doing research on Banggood today, I found the WPL C14 in 1:16 and was thinking I could do something similar, but having been in the RC hobby for, oh, about 10 days now, I am not sure if all my brilliant ideas are actually just nonsense, so I am looking for sage advice from the community of experts.

I know a lot of people on here are building super detailed replicas and low speed crawlers that are just amazing, and I hope some day my son and I get to that point when he is more mature, (I hope he gets the bug for real Jeeps too, but that's an even more expensive hobby and he need a real job first). But for now I am looking for a more cost effective way to build a basher that can take the abuse and go fast and jump like monster trucks really do. Oh yeah, and let's not forget 4 wheel steering.

I was thinking of using the C14/C24 kit to get a frame, axles, suspension, etc, using the existing body and roll cage from broken Grave Digger, ala lambo guy, some extra parts and upgrades and voila, building an RC that actually behaves like a monster truck, bringing Grave Digger back from the dead (pun intended). I thought I could just buy parts and pieces instead of kit but it seems more economical to actually buy the kit and that way even if the Monster Truck is a failure I can still build the Yota. But if I find I am straying too far from the kit that may change.

I don't want to waste money making mistakes if others already know what works best and I can learn from their experiences. I need it to be fast, but not unstable fast. I am not sure if the 180 motor in the kit or the 370 upgrade option will be too slow since this is designed for crawling. I know a battery upgrade can help, but to what extent I am not sure. I know brushless is an option but is that just too fast?

So question number one: Can anyone recommend a not too expensive motor/metal gearbox/ESC/battery combination?

For the four wheel steer I will use a second front axle and servo in the rear. I am not sure if the turn radius on these guys is tight enough to sit in one spot and do donuts like the real monster trucks do. I was thinking of going with one of the U-joint style sterring axle upgrades with metal gears for tighter turning and durability. However, I am not entirely sure what to look for in a controller, I found some videos on YT where others have used controllers that allow them to have different steering setups, such as front only steering, rear only, then tie the front and rear together to go same direction (crab-like) or opposite directions (donuts) but while they showed the RC performing the actions they never showed or even mentioned the controller.

So questions number two and three, what kind of controller will allow for the different steering options without killing my budget and being over complicated and what is a good digital servo that will fit and take the abuse?

Sorry no matter how hard I try I can't write a brief post, I better cut it off here. I am sure there will be many more questions to follow until we have a finished project or my wife kills the project at the drawing board.

I look forward to your responses, thank you in advance!!!
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2020, 12:30 PM
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Thorsteenster Thorsteenster is offline
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I know I'm not really answering what your asking, but honestly I'd recommend just going with the Axial. $300 RTR is a good price, and it's ready to go, vs tinkering with bashing together a custom project. While the project may seem enticing, it may not turn out too well, may end up costing as much or even consuming quite a bit of time. Granted time is somewhat available during these times, however, to an 11 year old seeing a potential toy to play with, there's no time!

Here's a link to it on RPP, he's a vendor here. Shoot him a PM, maybe he can hook you up with a combo deal including a battery and charger.
https://www.rpphobby.com/product_p/axi03019.htm
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Old 04-21-2020, 02:13 PM
jwilkinson01 jwilkinson01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorsteenster View Post
I know I'm not really answering what your asking, but honestly I'd recommend just going with the Axial. $300 RTR is a good price, and it's ready to go, vs tinkering with bashing together a custom project. While the project may seem enticing, it may not turn out too well, may end up costing as much or even consuming quite a bit of time. Granted time is somewhat available during these times, however, to an 11 year old seeing a potential toy to play with, there's no time!

Here's a link to it on RPP, he's a vendor here. Shoot him a PM, maybe he can hook you up with a combo deal including a battery and charger.
https://www.rpphobby.com/product_p/axi03019.htm
Thank you Thorsteenster. You actually provided exactly what I asked for, which is advice from someone more knowledgeable than myself. $300 is a lot to push through my financial oversight committee (she who must be obeyed) at the moment. I can't say I am ready to give up on the project idea right now but your advice is also not falling on deaf ears.
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Old 04-21-2020, 06:29 PM
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heartless heartless is offline
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I am gonna have to agree with Thornsteener on this one.. If the youngun has his heart set on "Grave Digger", get the Axial kit - it is worth the cost, and various pieces and parts are easy to come by when (not if) something breaks. (we are talking about a youngster here, lol)

Another alternative, in my opinion, would be the Traxxas brand.. another one with huge market support - lots of aftermarket parts available as well.
We have about 8 different Traxxas RCs here - Slash, mini Revo, and Rustler mostly. They are a blast to run and bash around with. Pretty durable, too, but things do eventually break if you run into things often enough, or hard enough. lol
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:59 AM
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350TacoZilla 350TacoZilla is offline
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Yeah the axial for $300 isnt bad really in long run.

2nd option would be along the lines heartless mentioned. It won't looking as scale correct as the axial one but traxxas builds some pretty durable stuff that are fun for kiddos (and adult kids).
Their 1\10 grave digger is 2wd which I kinda dislike idea of so I would do a telluride with their 1\10 grave digger body and wheels. If you want it scaled down more they have a 1\16 one too but dont have much experience with them.

Ebay usually has tellurides for $125-150. Might be easier to get it past accounting in smaller chunks of $$ at a time.
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Old 04-23-2020, 07:17 AM
jwilkinson01 jwilkinson01 is offline
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Thanks everyone, as it turns out your advice is right on the money. After looking into it further I confirmed my ideas were not going to work. The models I was looking at would not be any good for going "fast" as steering would be terribly unstable since the axles are "locked" - coming from the real 4x4 world where being able to lock your axles is an expensive upgrade I hadn't thought about the axles not being open but it makes sense that they are much cheaper to manufacture that way in the RC world.

TacoZilla - I will look into your suggestions on Ebay as there is no way the boss will approve the SCX10 at this time.
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