For many of you, scale trucks may seem slow and boring to drive. For many others, the scale trucks are simply the way to go. The die-hard scale truck fans like to install many scale gadgets to their trucks like shovels, coolers, gas cans, lights, figurines and winches. However, I prefer their off-road capabilities to their scale realism. This could explain why I’ve opted to not install such “scale gadgets” to my project.
I love my Axial Dingo, in all my RC vehicles I own, this is the one that requires the less maintenance. In fact, I never had to replace a broken or a worn out part. Before that project, I never opened the diffs or the tranny. All I have done so far was to plug the battery and run the truck wherever I can imagine, mud, water, snow… Name it! Absolutely ZERO maintenance and ZERO broken parts. Even the stock steering servo was still fully functional after more than 30 packs under “heavy metal” conditions. The only part I’ve replaced is the stock ESC after a complete submersion in water…Ouch!
For this first part of my Dingo project, I went with parts that, I believe, can make a big difference to my truck. Unfortunately, for an unknown reason, some items seem to be discontinued but they still available at some hobby shops or online stores.
The first upgrade I did was to replace the stock shocks pair two pairs of Pro-Line’s Power Stroke shocks. The Power Stroke shocks are factory assembled and all I’ve had to do was to fill them with shock oil. I used lighter shock oil (20wt) because I’ll run my truck outside at very low temperature and I wanted to keep the shocks as smooth as possible. The shocks have aluminum threaded body and cap. They use a dual-stage springs system to maximize the suspension’s movement on different surfaces and speeds. Single stage springs are also included in the kit. The shocks are 90mm long but they can reach 95mm by installing the included +5mm shock end. The shocks don’t just look cool, they are also incredibly smooth. It took me just 15 minutes to install the four shocks.
The tires and wheels:
What will have been this project without new tires and new wheels? My choice has ended on Pro-Line Interco TSL SX Super Swamper 1.9” tires mounted on Pro-Line Titus 1.9” black Bead-Loc wheels. The tires look like the full scale ones and the G8 compound is really soft and sticky. I have let my truck sitting on a box for few hours and when I took off the truck, the tires were almost glued to the box. Memory foam inserts are included with the tires, this foam adds a lot of traction to the tires. The spaced lugs on each side of the tire really increase the forward traction while the central section of the tread offers good side traction. This is a good all around tire.
A total of 4oz of internal weight is included with each Pro-Line Titus wheels. Of course you can add or remove weight according to your preferences. For this project, I’ve used all the weights that came with the wheels for a total of 16oz for the four wheels. Some will say it is better to have a heavier front end to increase climbing capabilities but in this case, I thought it would be nice to have all the weights installed. Mounting the tire to the wheel is super easy, the Titus wheels use a bead lock system, no glue is required. All I’ve had to do was to insert the wheel into the tire, place the aluminum ring and to tighten the 12 stainless steel screws. Once mounted and tightened together, the wheels and tires look really realistic. The memory foam and the venting hole make the tire very soft. I can’t wait to try them on rocks and dirt, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed!
For comparison, an Interco Swamper 1.9″ tire mounted on a Titus wheel with all weights installed exactly weight 230gr compared to the 117gr of the stock wheel and tire.
To top my Dingo, I’ve picked the Pro-Line 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon body. The body is really well detailed and made out of thick .060 lexan for extra durability. I first wanted to paint the fenders and top in black and then paint the body with a bright color like red or yellow. However, I’ve decided to paint the whole truck with a very dark brown color. The final job doesn’t look bad and the included stickers have added more realism to my paint job.
To prevent mud, water, dirt and snow from entering the chassis, I’ve added a Pro-Line PL-C Floor Pan. This lexan floor is awesome, it really helps to prevent debris from entering the chassis from the wheels wells. The floor pan will not stop all debris but after a full hour riding in the snow, absolutely no snow has entered the chassis keeping my ESC dry. Cutting the floor pan is a little tricky, make sure you carefully take all your measurements before cutting and trimming the floor pan. For what I intend to do with my Dingo, the floor pan is a must have add-on.
I only did a little modification to the drivetrain. I’ve added Axial’s driveshaft rings. They are the best to prevent the driveshafts from popping off. They are made of aluminum and are really easy to install. Two setscrews keep the ring in place.
At this time, I didn’t feel the need to upgrade any other parts of the drivetrain. So far, all my Dingo’s drivetrain components are still in perfect condition, all this with minimal (read no) maintenance.
Because my Dingo is the RTR version, I was feeling jealous of the kit version because it comes with aluminum links. The stock plastic links are good but I wanted something more rigid. The links installation was quite easy but it requires a little more time than what I was predicting. The new aluminum links really increase the realism of my Dingo. That’s one of the very first upgrade I will recommend.
Radio and receiver:
To control my Dingo, I didn’t want to use my high-end transmitter because most of the time, I run my truck in mud or when it rains. I prefer to keep my expensive radio away from those dangerous conditions. This is why I’ve decided to go a Team Associated 2.4GHz, the one that comes with AE’s RTR vehicles. This is an affordable 2.4GHz radio with just enough features for what I plan to do with the truck. The receiver is very small and it fits very well into the compact Dingo’s radio box. Since the radio is 2.4GHz and I usually stand just few foot away of my truck, I’ve kept the antenna inside the radio box.
I’m really satisfied with my project. With all the new parts installed my truck looks cool and performs better. The aluminum links kit, the floor pan and the tires/wheels are my favourite upgrades. When I’ve tested the truck, the outside temperature was -7C (19F). After 30 minutes at this temperature, the shock oil is thick as molasses and this greatly limits the suspension travel. The tires become harder which reduces traction.
I’m not sure yet what will be the second part of this project. At this time, I plan to add a gear cover, few others aluminum parts and maybe some 2.2” tires. Stay tuned to MyRCBox.com!
Items used for this project:
Pro-Line Interco TSL SX Super Swamper 1.9” Tires. PN: 1163-14 (http://prolineracing.com/tires/interco-tsl-sx-super-swamper-1.9/)
Pro-Line Titus 1.9” Black Bead-Loc wheels PN: 2712-05 (http://prolineracing.com/wheels/titus-1.9-black/black-bead-loc-front-or-rear-wheels/)
Pro-Line 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon body PN: 3222-00 (http://prolineracing.com/bodies/2009-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-clear-body/)
Pro-Line PL-C Floor Pan PN: 3338-00 (http://prolineracing.com/bodies/pl-c-floor-pan/)
Pro-Line Power Stroke Scaler Shocks PN:6060-00 (http://prolineracing.com/performance-parts/power-stroke-scaler-shocks-90mm-95mm/)
Axial Driveshaft rings PN: AX30501 )
Axial Links Kit PN: AX30549 )