New Arrival Yesterday

I love Brown Santa,he/she always brings me things right when tracking info says he/she will,and it’s almost never anything bad,LOL! Usually,UPS doesn’t get here until around or just after 8PM when they deliver,but the past couple of weeks they’ve been getting here mid day (the Wife had ordered some things recently…it isn’t always me ordering new stuffs :P ). Anyways,just before a visit from good friend Josh (who just finished Basic Training and AIT last week,this same friend whose wedding I’m in 8 or 9 days) who was in full BTU (camo uniform ;) ) after having been to see his new C.O.*

Anyways,a few pics…

001 002 003 004

I was a bit surprised with the stock body. By that I mean,surprised how much I actually like it in person. See,pics and videos of SCX10 Trail Honcho’s running stock bodies are ALL OVER the internet (in RC circles,I mean :P ) and one tends to grow jaded to seeing so many of the same things over and over for a couple of years,so (as you know) I was expecting to not like it so much,and to replace it with something else. It looks to my eye much better in person than what I was expecting though….I may just keep and run it for a while (I’ve certainly gotten my money’s worth on the stock body on my other SCX10,the ’12 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited seen in the back ground behind the Honcho).

I won’t be running it for a few days,so there’s no/won’t be any action shots yet. I was very fortunate with my other SCX10 (lets just call them Jeep Rubi and Honcho to keep confusion down,LOL) in that when I didn’t give it a “once-over” when fresh from the box and everything worked fine,as it should,and everything was set properly from the factory. Not that I have reason to or expect less from Axial with this new Honcho,but it’s always a wise idea to do a basic tear-down,check,tighten,adjust and lube everything before first run**. It’s also a good opportunity to make any changes or water-proofing while you’re at it (for eg: what better time to yank both axles and pull them apart to fill full of marine grease than when you’ve just yanked them to add any-type of lube because you know most manufacturers skimp on anything resembling lube during initial assembly?). I may make a few alterations while at it too,like modifying the rock rails (those are the “running boards/steps” underneath it’s “doors” for those that don’t know) to sit a bit higher/closer to the body for better clearance,and I will probably relocate the battery tray to the front of the chassis for better weight distribution before it’s first run as well (I still need to do this on the Jeep Rubi,over a year later,hahaha!).

Anyways,I’m well pleased with it,even more so than I expected to be in some respects (the body). I’ll leave you with a few pics of it with the wheels/tires I will be running on it. These are Axial beadlock 8 hole wheels (amazingly similar to “Soft 8″ wheels for real trucks,which aren’t beadlocks) wrapped in Pro-Line TSL Super Swamper tires,which only have 1 run on them (as seen in the last pic of the Jeep Rubi-I didn’t like them so much on the Jeep Rubi,they seemed a bit too small for scale to my eye,though are the same 1.9 standard).

5 6 7 8

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*Was great to see him and catch up a bit :D

**I personally know someone who doesn’t do this,and wasn’t so fortunate with his one Jeep Rubi RTR,as his pinion and spur gear weren’t properly adjusted/meshed together,which quickly stripped his plastic spur gear. I very inexpensive fix true,but 2-3 miles into a remote trail away from your ride makes it a very annoying fix too ;)

Posted in General Life Stuff, General RC Banter, RC Build Projects | Leave a comment

SCX10 Chassis Pics For a Friend

Here’s a couple of the bare frame before major assembly on kit versions…

assembled-frame scx1011

A couple of stock pics pulled from Axial’s website before they removed/discontinued this version (you will note that the battery tray has been relocated to the front of the chassis on each of these,no battery in the pics obviously)…

axial-scx10-trail-honcho-bonus-pic-4 SYHO1-2

 

Lastly,a couple of pics with the battery trays untouched (rear of chassis position)…

chassis1 IMGP0152-5

Hope it’s easier to see what I was talking about than to understand my poor description-skills :P :)

o

Posted in RC Build Projects | 2 Comments

Decision Made,New Axial SCX10 On It’s Way

Well,I came into a little unexpected/extra cash this week*,so after discussing it with the Wife,I headed my browser over to my old friend Tower Hobbies** to shop for a new SCX10 this week.

They’re still sold out of almost every Axial SCX10*** until “Early August”,and I’m both impatient,and wanted to take advantage of the great current monthly special,so I ordered up the only RTR SCX10 they have in stock,the Trail Honcho. As I understand it,the Honcho is recently discontinued from the line-up (it’s no longer listed on Axial’s website),so this may have been a last chance at a brand new Honcho as well. These have a list price of $355.98 almost everywhere (Tower included),with a free 3000Mah battery pack included,free shipping and July’s discount,I got it for $317 shipped to my door. Not bad,I’m happy about it (realizing that had I waited until August,I could potentially have gotten a Deadbolt shipped for well under $300,I’m still happy with it).

Of course,for the most part,an SCX10 is an SCX10 is an SCX10 underneath the shell,with minor exceptions. That said,the Honcho is the least expensive model to include working lights (2 up front,2 out back). IMO,the Honcho’s Toyota Tacoma-ish body (a half-cab with flat bed in the rear) is a decent looking shell,but I’ll most likely ditch it in favor of something else (there’s just SO DANG MANY of them all over the web,LOL!),like that Proline Comanche (Jeep MJ) body or something-the Honcho has the 12.3″ wheelbase and that’s a direct fit,making it an easy choice. The only question there is,do I go full-body MJ (cab and bed),or cut/modify the body to be a cab-only and use the stock/included flat bed? I’ll probably go full-body,we’ll see.

Anyways,it should arrive sometime next week,I’ll do an unboxing post when it arrives. Probably won’t do one of those “unboxing videos”,as there’s already a ton of them on Youtube(.com).  A few pics of Trail Honchos pulled from a Google search for pics of it…

ax90022_pic5_hires_web

axi90022_1 honcho_01

21-AX90022-x-Revell-SCX10-Trail-Honcho-RTR-Axial-AX90022_10 AX90022__21798 ax90022-scx10-honcho-09 Axial-SCX10-Trail-Honcho-RTR-1 gallery1 scx10_1

1530_retouched

A quicky update on the Jeep’s recent performance issues-Dad and I found (and repaired) the major of 2 coolant leaks (the other will just have to remain a “very small,slow leak” for now,as the housing for the thermostat-it’s dripping very slowly there-is an at risk part for easy breakage,and I’ll be pulling it to install a new thermostat before winter sets in anyways),and discovered that it was showering several sensors in the engine compartment. After fixing it (and refilling the coolant level) and cleaning up said sensors,it’s been running fine,and cool (around 180 degrees with electric fan on,200 without),though I haven’t towed anything with it yet (waiting on the non-temporary license plate for the camper currently,the temp one expired ;) ).

 

Happy weekend everyone :)

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*I had this old,falling-apart utility trailer sitting at my dad’s (I’ve owned it for about 12-13 years,the last several it’s just been sitting and slowly rotting away,on a whim (and now owning several brand new trailers as he’s becoming a dealer-we certainly didn’t need this one ;) ) he drug it out of the weeds,repaired a broken weld,parked it beside the road (in his driveway) and slapped a For Sale sign on it just to see,and sold it for $200 within 2 hours,LOL :P )

**I do believe in supporting my LHS (Local Hobby Shop),but we don’t have any non-national chain stores in the area that I’m aware of. The thing is,our local shop,Tower Hobbies,is ludicrously expensive on lots of things,especially their hourly wages on any repairs (often much higher than mechanics of 1:1/real vehicles),just because they can. Besides that,Tower has the exact same pricing (if not less expensive) than they do. Then,buying in person,one pays sales tax,where Tower has free shipping,plus monthly discount codes making it substantially less expensive to order from them as opposed to Hobby Town (not even factoring in the time spent going,wear on your vehicle and fuel,the inherent risk of driving anywhere when one really doesn’t need to,etc).

***They have in stock the Trail Honcho RTR,and Dingo Kit (like the one I had several months back and never built)

Posted in Camper, Cherokee, Jeep, Jeep Project, RC Build Projects | 2 Comments

Yet Another Weekly Post of Not Much :p

Life as usual around here,nothing much going on,just day to day living,chores,spending time with the Wife and Kids.

After having sat for several days un-moved/un-driven,I loaded up a hatch full of recyclables the other day in the Jeep and hauled them off. While driving,it runs fine as always,but for some reason it has developed a fairly bad “miss” at idle speed…it stalled out on me twice at intersections,something new there,though I’ve just gotten both too lazy and too caught up in Summer cleaning (think “Spring Cleaning” a few months late :P ) to mess with it as of yet. Well,that and it’s been raining lots and there’s no access to a place inside to work on anything. It’s a nice sunny,(very) warm day out today,but I just don’t feel like being out doors in the heat while getting greasy. It will keep/still need looking into later this week,maybe I’ll run it down to Dad’s house and give us something to do together and a reason to visit.

I have actually charged batteries and ran my (Axial) SCX10 a couple of times,though I haven’t yet installed any of those dusty upgrades I’ve had for months,LOL! It was fun,as expected. I didn’t load up and head to any trails or anything,just ran it down below a friend’s/neighbor’s unit down by the creek that runs on that side of the street so I could get it muddy. Today,I cleaned up/cleared off a table in the kitchen/dining area of the house (that’s only used to collect junk and dust ;) ) and set up a place I can wrench on RC’s,both in anticipation of the off-chance I do decide to order up a new rig,and to have place to work on em (now that I’ve “turned in the shed”,though they’ve still not came and collected it as of yet,it still sits here).

In the next 2 weeks,I will pay the “new” Camry payment,and tomorrow I will pay the camper’s first,leaving a balance of 59 payments on each. I suppose I really need tear into the Jeep this week (as opposed to later),no sense in owning a camper with a payment,especially not being able to park it at home mind you,if there’s no way to tow it anywhere and use it,LOL!

The kids have 3 weeks from today until they go back to school (YES!!! WOOHOO!!! OH YES…..er….um,did I type that out loud? LOL! Naw,actually,I dread it as much as they do,I’ll miss em :) ),and the Boy has a round of shots to take yet,so I guess we’ll start back-to-school-shopping soon,and I need be making both a doctor appointment (for checkups and his vaccinations),dentist checkups and such. Hard to believe,but the Girl is going to be a Senior,and will graduate this year… :( Time flies too fast,it does,I’m…WE are so proud of her :)

On the potential new RC rig,I had some interest in one I found slightly used (“ran ONE time,seriously,one time in my paved driveway” the ad said) Tamiya CC01 roller (no electrics),it certainly looked like a brand new,freshly assembled kit,and the owner finished the body (Toyota FJ Cruiser body) very nicely. At $175 shipped,I was very interested in it,and most likely would have PayPal’d the money to him tomorrow when the Wife gets paid (with her ok,of course ;) ),but it sold about 15 minutes after I messaged him asking about it. Wasn’t meant to be,I suppose :P

I’ve pretty much ruled out a G Made Sawback. I dig them,but to my eye they look a bit off-scale…off kilt…for a 1/10 scale trail rig. Not that I won’t want and/or buy one later down the road,but not right now. Actually,I’ve ruled out buying/building any kits for now,at least until I have a better,more permanent work station,or until I acclimate to the new setup (not having a workshop that I could choose to go out to) inside the house. Besides,I’m experiencing a sense of need for some good old fashioned euphoric instant gratification,LOL,so I’m looking specifically at RTR’s*.

Seeing as how RC4WD’s RTR’s entry pricing is well over $400** (and in need of several mods to trail/crawl at half of what a stock Axial rig crawls at),as much as I dig their scale realism (which can’t be touched by Axial’s scale-ness),I’ve ruled them out for now as well (I suppose one of their could be the next kit I build though,but the entry pricing of their kits is $400 before electrics are added…) ,which leaves me with my old friend Axial. Not a bad thing,mind you,as not only are they a leader in the field,but their rigs have served me well and point blank,I likes em.

I was thinking about building a “scaler” of a pre-98 Jeep Cherokee,using Proline’s 1992 XJ body,which has an 11.8″ wheelbase,so technically buying an Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler G6 RTR (or kit,for that matter),with it’s shorter 12.0″ wheelbase seems the simplest (the SCX10 Deadbolt,Wrangler Rubicon like mine,and Wrangler Rubicon CRC editions all have a 12.3″ wheelbase),so it seems to me there’d be less cutting of links to do (understanding that it’d be the same lengths cut on either)…well,probably not any difference,but I’m digging the extra parts unique to that version (light bar,tires,etc) so that’s what I’m going with,hahaha! :P

It’s occurred to me,however,that Proline’s Jeep Camanche (MJ,where-as the Cherokees like mine are an “XJ”) comes out of the baggies with a 12.3″ wheelbase,so no mods would need be made to build an MJ scaler with even the least expensive new SCX10 RTR (the Deadbolt,$299.99 shipped at Tower Hobbies),and even with those bodies selling $10-15 higher than the XJ bodies,that would be the most cost effective direction to go. Those bodies look a bit “off” to my eye,though (despite that nearly all pick-up truck bodies for 1/10 scale crawlers have no depth to their truck beds,to clear the RC bits),I’m thinking that the bed looks a bit too short compared to 1:1 (real) trucks,like it’s been “bobbed” (shortened) or similar. Here’s a few pics (pulled from a Google search of “MJ Comanche pics) of a real one and Proline’s body done up on (what looks to be) SCX10’s.

b7925d634733e10018bde80fd0d302b2 di-jeep_comanche_pickup-d74a3d750711990ef15b23c0ec4bd8a4 DSC_1001 JeepComanche_700 jeep-comanche-cut-out-fender-flares-bushwacker Jeep-Comanche-Pioneer

3333-00-2 3335-00-3 3335-00-4 3362-00-2 gallery3 jeep-comanche-05 Picture-225

I dunno…after looking at these pics,LOL,it doesn’t look so “off” to my eye (other than the lack of bed depth-ness). I may just go this route,we’ll see what kind of budget (and kit/body availability I find) when then time comes.

Anyways,nothing really going on around here,just thinking out loud. I hope everyone else is enjoying their Summers as well as we are :)

 

*Ready To Run ;)

**The RC4WD Trail Stomper can be bought for around $300 in RTR form…but comes with a cheesy-looking (personal opinion) lexan body (not the super accurate looking hard body the TF2 and Gellande II have),and sacrifices what trail capabilty they do have to meet the $300 price point,for eg it comes with friction (non-oil filled) shocks,just like the toys at Wal-Mart ;)

Posted in Camper, Cherokee, General Life Stuff, General RC Banter, Jeep, Jeep Project, RC Build Projects, RC Trail Running, XJ | Leave a comment

Just A Weekly Post Of Not Much

It’s been a rather uneventful week around here,with not much going on. Trying to get the house back to it’s level of pre-trip messy (because post trip messy is just too messy :P ),emptied out the shed and have it ready for pick-up*,relaxed and enjoyed some time with the Wife and kids,watched a few DVD’s…same old same old.

The Jeep continues to leak a bit of coolant. I haven’t really made effort to track down the leak as of yet,but I suppose I will this week coming. I’ve had to add a total of about 1.5 gallons of water in the last 2 weeks,but I’ve done quite a bit of running around in it. Seems like an excessive amount,but for the mileage I’ve put on it,it isn’t really.It HAS TO BE leaking either around the clamps of the hose I installed,or around the thermostat housing (which is what I suspect),so it should be neither too difficult to track down,nor too difficult to repair.

I de-black-snaked Dad’s garage for him when I went in to clear out a spot to house everything from the shed,at least as many as I could find (6 rat/black snakes,non-venomous mind you),and got everything in there. Packing up the RC gear really kinda put me back into the mood to charge battery pack and run the (Axial) SCX10 a bit,so I brought it and a few bits for it back home with me,I will probably run it at Warrior’s Path state park’s mtn bike trails,as a few of the “Expert Level” trails** have some good features/challenges. If I do,I’ll shoot some pics to post.

I’m being modest about how “in the mood” I am for RC right now,LOL,all I’ve been doing online is perusing RC forums,and I’ve also gotten a hankering for a new rig again,so I suppose I’ll start a fund for one. I’m torn between building an RC4WD Trail Finder 2 (or Gellande) or a G-Made Sawback with an eye for building the most scale realistic rig I’ve ever owned,or buy another Axial SXC10 RTR or kit and a Proline Jeep Cherokee body***. IDK yet if I’ll even buy another one this year,time will tell.

We refinanced the Camry this past week. Besides having paid it’s 12th (of 72) payments this month,the credit union who gave us financing on the camper seems to really want all of our business,as when they called for the obligatory after-purchase survey,they made an offer to buy out our existing loan. I won’t shout out the new interest rate,but suffice to say that our payment dropped nearly $100 per month when we went with them…that’s significant! It also just about covers the difference between the shed payment I’ve gained back and the camper payment,heehee :D

My young friend whose been in Basic Training and AIT all year (the one whose Best Man I will be next month when he marries) is supposed to leave for home two days from now,it will be cool to see him and fiance again soon. I imagine they’re both uberly excited…I know I am :)

As it’s been (how many…) weeks (now?) since I have cycled (road OR trail),I’m concretely decided that I will be selling the On One Inbred 29″er now. I think the Boy and I will make a day trip to Blacksburg,VA to ride the Pandapas Pond trails first (probably next week some time) first,as those trails perfectly suit 29″ wheels and singlespeeds,then clean it up and leave it at the LBS on the used For Sale floor. I will also break down the Xtracycle,most likely,and post it up on eBay for sale****,as well as lots of gear and parts that I’ve been hoarding/holding onto for “someday”. Simplifying things…something needed inside the house as much as inside the bike shack.

As for the camper and trips,none will be taken until the cooling system issue is found and dealt with on the Jeep,but we intend at least one trip per month,even if it’s only a short one (technically,being a >2 hour drive with good traffic flow and weather,Pigeon Forge is a short trip too….so I suppose that what I mean is “even if a REALLY short trip”,LOL,like a local campground for the weekend,or a semi-local state park or similar). I would also like to get a few nights in tent camping before school starts back next month.

Anyways,as the title says…not much going on around here,just day to day life things,nothing noteworthy,which I consider a good thing some months…without much going on,there’s not much going wrong either,hahaha,and we’ve been enjoying one another and time spent with. My wish is that everyone of you have enjoyed as uneventful of a time as we have been enjoying :)

 

 

 

*If you don’t remember,I’m turning it in,as it’s monthly fees will pay 2/3 of the camper payment

**Those trails are a bit technical,but they are also the trails that I taught the Boy to ride trails on. I’m like that,”handle/prepare for the worst,then everything else will seem easy” is sort-of the way I do things. For another example,when I taught my children to shoot last year,I taught them both with a small framed,snub-nosed .357 Magnum loaded with +P ammo for some recoil-they both did very well,mind you,and now when they shoot any other handgun,it’s easy for them :)

***The RC4WD TF2 (and Gellande) is $400 for the kit (less radio/receiver and ESC),or about $450-460  for the RTR,the G-Made Sawback comes as a kit only (as far as I know) for around $260 or so (is also the least capable or the ones I mention in stock form,but I find it appealing none-the-less),and Axial now has several variants of the SXC10,with RTR’s priced from $300 (SCX10 Deadbolt) to $410 (a new variant I can’t recall the name of,basically a twin to my ’12 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited RTR,but has a different paint scheme,new licensed tires and included light bar with LED’s installed),with the Honcho apparently being discontinued (Tower Hobbies has a few at $355 shipped),and a Jeep G6 version coming in at $350,not to mention all of the kits they have in the current lineup.

****As I will be building a shanty/shack/mini-shed,just enough to keep bicycles locked and protected from the weather,I won’t have as much space to house/park them all,so some things simply must go. In all honesty,I really only need TWO bicycles…One mtn bike,and one road bike. As is,that I’m keeping the Surly Troll and Origin 8 700CX bikes,I will have two where each can be make-shift ready for any terrain.

Posted in Camper, Cherokee, General Life Stuff, General RC Banter, Jeep, Smaller Living, Tents, XJ, Xtracycle | 6 Comments

The First Trip

This will be brief,as there’s really only so much I can say about the enjoying of sitting around doing not much of anything for four days,LOL,nor are there many pics to post (how many pics of a family relaxing can one take,after-all?).

We did in fact head out to Pigeon Forge,TN last week for the holiday with the new camper,and my parents did in fact tag along in theirs,settling into 2 sites in front of/behind the other. As Dad’s camper has a grille on the back end,we did most of the cooking there,though the Wife,kids and I did take in a dinner-show (at the Comedy Club) and ate out once besides that (trusty,faithfully always great Logan’s Roadhouse where I eat exactly the same meal each time…steak cooked medium well,2 baked potatoes and 157 rolls :P ),other than that,just lots of sitting and talking together,watching dvd’s outdoors,walking Moonlight all over (our beloved dog ;) ),card/board game playing,and riding around on Pop’s golf cart (really should have shot a pic of that with the Daughter driving,hahaha!).

We did thoroughly enjoy the trip,despite the heat,the Independence Day traffic*,and the lack of real funds to go out and do much.

The Jeep did fine towing the camper,even the 4 hour 23 minute drive in 92 degree temps from the campground back to I40 as we left yesterday (did I mention that was only 6.6 miles….?). It did want to run a little warm mid way home down I81,but I was pushing it a bit on some of the steeper hills,but it never ran so hot that I needed to pull over or anything. Loaded,the camper does squat the rear end of it fairly low (more than expected),but I’ve known for months now that it’s rear shocks (and possibly it’s rear leaf springs) are worn and could use replacement. I may look into a “load leveler” (not sure what they’re called) bar to add between the tongue of the camper and hitch of the Jeep,as that would raise the rear end by taking lots of weight off of the hitch. I was told there probably isn’t one for my application at Crowder RV,but researching online says otherwise,we’ll see. We may just replace/upgrade the shocks and springs.

It was pretty obvious that for us to go long distances,or very often (at least during the heat of mid-summer) that we need look into,shall I say,a more robust (or better suited to towing) tow vehicle. The Jeep did fine,but it’s not an ideal tow rig,and may become less-so as I modify for better off-road performance. We discussed this for next Spring,thinking maybe a V8 Jeep WJ (2nd gen Grand Cherokee),or even a late 90’s (modern-ish drivetrain ;) ) full size van,either one of those “conversion vans” with their upgraded/styled interior and raised roof,or find a decently low mileage “church van”** with all of it’s seats removed behind the first bench. We’ll see. For now though,we had a good time,and at least 2 of us (the Wife and me ;) ) are anxious to go again soon.

The few pics we shot***…

001 002 (2) 003 (2) 004 (2) 005 (2) 006

 

 

 

*As some of you know,I’m a former long haul truck driver. I’ve driven all over these United States,lots of Mexico and most of Canada (I’ve been up into Alaska as well). Let me just say….I’ve rarely,if ever,seen traffic worse anywhere in all of my travels than what we drove through in Pigeon Forge TN on the way out,LOL!

**These are almost always 3/4 ton vans,with nearly as high of a payload/towing capacity as a similarly spec’d 3/4 ton truck,plus being and extended body over their respective longest wheelbase,removing all of the un-needed bench seats is like having a built-in bike/shed/toy hauler taken along with us-it could even easily be converted for camping inside of itself :)

***These are rare pics,my friend…the Wife almost NEVER allows anyone to shoot one of her these past few years,feeling badly for “having let herself go”,but in reality,her weight gain which seems to make her timid to be seen in pics was due to health issues,not “letting herself go” as she says. The other pic (the one where the Wife is caught shoving a tasty treat into her mouth,LOL) is of my parent’s camper with most all of us sitting outside enjoying dinner together :)

Posted in Camper, Cherokee, General Life Stuff, Jeep, Touring, Vans, XJ | 2 Comments

Road life motivation

The DC:

Love these guys,and am SO excited for their upcoming trip,hoping to get op to see them face to face as they roll through close to me :D

Originally posted on arrows west:

I know the long weekend is over, but heres some motivation to take your mind back to the woods.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/71385845″>Tomorrow Somewhere New</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/darkrye”>Dark Rye</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

We are CRAZY busy preparing to move out of our home and prep for this trip. Sorry to keep all of you guessing!

Our Indiegogo is ALMOST over and we are SO CLOSE to making our goal, if you can please help support! Buy a book, give us a dollar, whatevs! Thanks guys.

-Rob

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Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments