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Wheely King Rock Crawler


Long time R/C nut with lots of cars/trucks/planes/boats to his credit...

...found out about a new segment of R/C lately centered around rock crawling.  There are almost zero dedicated kits for rock crawlers out there (but that may change soon) so everyone takes an existing kit and turns it into one with a custom chassis or stretching out an existing one.  They add parts like locking differentials, low speed high torque motors, and wheels & tires with functioning bead locks.  This kind of stuff is right up my alley.

I started Phase 1 of my build with a kit called the Wheely King made by HPI.  It is a fun little scale monster truck that features live axle 4WD and the battery is in the rear for some good wheely action...

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After the following modifications, I have a good basic rock crawler:

  • 1/10 scale Ford Bronco body custom painted

  • Red Bull graphics printed with inkjet on Avery label material

  • Longer 4-link bars

  • Longer drive shafts

  • 45T lathe motor

  • Differential lockers front and rear

  • Axial bead lock wheels and rock lizard tires

  • Front axle servo mount and high torque servo

  • Flipped chassis to put battery weight up front

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Phase 2 is underway.  It will feature a full tube "buggy" style frame with a higher ground clearance, but lower CG (trust me) and will be able to handle even more difficult terrain...more to come.


Phase 2

The base/skid plate was made from a cheap Wal-mart cutting board.  This material is way cheaper than most plastics like nylon or delrin, and is very tough.  The transmission I am using is an old B2 stealth buggy transmission that was laying around.  It has a differential locker installed.

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The new tube frame is starting to take some shape.  This is actually 3/16" brake tubing welded together with the MIG.  Still need to clean up the joints some along with lots of other work to get it done.  With the comparison pic, you can see that there is more ground clearance but the overall CG will be lower at the same time.

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The brazing supplies came in over the last week.  As an exercise for learning the process I brazed on all the 4-40 nuts that will hold the body panels in place along with a battery holder up front.  The brazing process was pretty easy for the most part...I wish that I would have used it for the rest of the frame.  Next time...

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The body panels are cut from aluminum and drilled to mount on the frame.

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Both the frame and panels were painted.  The frame is simply some red Duplicolor.  The body panels were painted with a blue pearl straight over the aluminum for an anodized effect.  I also sanded the panels in one direction to give some interest under the paint as well.

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Phase 3 - GC-1 Comp Chassis

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New Wheely King Project - Quick and easy Grave Digger monster truck

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