1/10 4WD build

95PGTTech

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221
I believe we (my son James and I) have found the functional limit of our 2WD Ruckus. Build thread here:
https://www.ecxforum.com/threads/hi-from-nj.3270/

It had just become too powerful, too much grip, too short wheelbase for what we were doing with it. It was a wheelie machine that no amount of front weight or turning down the tx or ESC was helping with. Finally James put it into a metal guard rail at ~50kph. I was looking at more metal components in the front end and a wheelie bar from a Traxxas. The real solution was put a weaker motor in it, put crappier tires on it, or put a weak battery in it, none of which I liked. The idea of going 4WD had always been in the back of my head, so before dropping the coin on the upgrades I did some research. I was assuming we would be jumping over to Traxxas for parts availability, but the heads up comparisons of the Ruckus and the Stampede, I was surprised to see the Ruckus getting better reviews (from the chassis perspective, nothing else we leave stock). As an added benefit, that would allow my son to keep his beloved Paw Patrol Ruckus body (painted by my dad the slot car guru). But 4WD 1/10 Ruckus are HARD to find.

While putting together an order, this popped up on my Facebook feed from a RC group I'm on. Bone stock and needing a radio and transmitter, but working. We agreed on a price that worked for the two of us and he got it over to me quick.
 

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95PGTTech

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It was a little dirty when we first got it. Cleaned the battery hold down when I swapped in a battery you can see the difference. Put in the spektrum receiver I had from the 2wd pile of OEM parts and used the radio as well. Made a quick bind plug for it. Swapped out the servo for the amazon 25kg units we like. Someone ran this hard and put it away wet. I have to use the stock horn/servo saver for now because the aluminum horn that comes with the new servo is too long - I ordered what I think will be the correct one.

Tried to do a really good cleaning of the chassis. I still need to disassemble the front and rear suspension but it's 90% better. Put in a 4300kw motor I had sitting around because the stock one is making some odd noises and feels very crunchy - moreso than just the feeling of the magnets cogging. Using our stock 2wd body for now for testing. Prolines are borrowed from our 2wd ruckus - didn't even bother to run it on the rock hard amazon sct wheels this came with. These badlands are out of this world good.

Front end got a little light/floaty on 3s, but nothing like the uncontrollable wheelie monster on the 2wd. Probably move this motor and 2s over to that and put the big hobbywing esc/motor on this. ordered up a bunch of little parts we want to swap.
 

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95PGTTech

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Messages
221
2s = 33 km/h, 3s = 50 km/h. You can see the terrain we run on, probably significantly faster on an asphalt or similar surface. Let it cool after about five minutes on the 3s the ESC and stock motor really isn't set up for it but did fine. Barely got warm to the touch, but tried to be safe anyway. Blowing out our equipment when we are done is one of James favorite jobs.
 

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95PGTTech

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Messages
221
So far just cleaning it and running it. Seems to have taken a few good whacks already. In general the parts are significantly more robust than the 2WD. For all intents and purposes, they are two entirely different trucks that just share the same name and the body. Literally nothing between them is interchangeable down to the smallest part like wheel hexes.

We are running into a lot of parts UNavailability, and what I believe is a bad ESC. 10BL120 on order.
 

95PGTTech

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Messages
221
Like my GPS mount? LOL. Normally I wouldn't be so quick to run one of the most expensive single pieces of the RC out front like that, but view my previous pics of 50kph hit it took in that case and you'll see why I'm ok with it. Cheap front end weight. I should probably paint a part of it some really bright color so if I lose it in the lawn...

Receiver came in so we can use the controller we prefer. Waiting on the bracket for it. No more losing body pins, installed Du-Bro retainers. I recommend 4mm pilot hole, then ream out slowly until a tight fit.

Installed 25T servo horn. Had to remove the two servo bracket screws from the bottom of the chassis because the stock steering saver is so big you need to pull the whole servo out of the RC to get it off. New horn goes on and off without having to do that. The servo came with a steering horn originally that was too long, it made the steering arm hit the chassis. I measured the stock one and it was the same as the middle hole on this one (16mm). Hot-Racing isn't carrying anything anymore, so all parts are basically going to have to be this trial and error process. Here's the link

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PQMB9KL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I cheat - I put the horn on guesstimate with no bolt, then turn on the radio and RC. The steering self centers, I make sure the trim on the radio is zero, then I pull the horn off and install it at 12 o'clock. Run it lock to lock to test, orange loctite.

Waiting on more parts to arrive before we run it again (chiefly the ESC but also little things like wheel hexes and bearing kit). Wheel hexes are also discontinued by Hot Racing, stock ones have a lot of wear at the pin. I think I may have sourced some that will work after I pulled the front steering hubs off and took some measurements. Trying to chase down aftermarket aluminum front steering hubs, Hot Racing confirmed they haven't produced parts for 1/10 4wd in about 3 years they've just been selling off old stock and when it's gone it's gone. Same we ran into on our 2wd. Some "lifetime warranty." Broke 2 of their parts, wasn't able to warranty either.
 

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slick2500

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399
Location
Rapid City SD

95PGTTech

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Messages
221
One thing to note the diffs in the 4wd do not hold up to 3s power very well. There was a thread about it on the Ultimate Rc forums back in the day.
I can get way back machine to show me the main directory of the Ecx subforum but the thread was never saved on there. https://web.archive.org/web/20150331122043/http://www.ultimaterc.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=399
Some of the threads will show some won't 😔

Dang, seems like there was a lot of info there I could have used. I was able to find some new old stock of stuff I wanted to upgrade last night like hubs and wheel hexes, but I think the reality that this is a dying brand is setting in. I’m not into this thing too much, and we did already learn that 4x4 is absolutely what we need for what we do with a RC. We will probably end up moving into something like a slash with a LCG and a MT conversion to mimmick what we like so much about this chassis.

One of my 2S batteries has a cell I can’t get above 3.8v and it’s relatively new. Maybe that was some of the problem. ESC should be here tomorrow. Worked more on our 2WD today, this car we set the body height better and mounted the low voltage alarm.
 

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slick2500

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Messages
399
Location
Rapid City SD
Dang, seems like there was a lot of info there I could have used. I was able to find some new old stock of stuff I wanted to upgrade last night like hubs and wheel hexes, but I think the reality that this is a dying brand is setting in. I’m not into this thing too much, and we did already learn that 4x4 is absolutely what we need for what we do with a RC. We will probably end up moving into something like a slash with a LCG and a MT conversion to mimmick what we like so much about this chassis.

One of my 2S batteries has a cell I can’t get above 3.8v and it’s relatively new. Maybe that was some of the problem. ESC should be here tomorrow. Worked more on our 2WD today, this car we set the body height better and mounted the low voltage alarm.

Slashpede 4x4 is the way to go.
20200515_181328.jpg

And before I forget the Ecx 4x4 platform is based on the Himoto E10 platform. I do not know what parts will work but I do know that the chassis, center driveshaft and slipper assembly are different. I'm pretty sure the gearboxes, a arms, shock towers and hubs are the same but cannot confirm this.

Here is the Irontrack/Himoto Bowie https://www.nitrorcx.com/16c553-red-rtr-24g.html
 

95PGTTech

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221
10BL120 installed. Goes pretty good on 2S and 3S. It was just boiling the tires today on 3S because the grass was wet. 2S it went 38kph, 3S I couldn't get the GNSS to connect to the phone and then we ended up losing it in the yard. Apparently the Hobbywing card we have took a crap too. No way I'm trying to program this ESC with the SET button.

Rear hubs, wheel bearings, wheel hexes, new pins arrived and installed. I can't stand Hot Racing, but there really isn't alternatives (I didn't have the E10 info at the time I ordered). ECX used to make aluminum parts for this, they are nearly unobtanium. There's a lot from a RC shop that's selling off all their ECX stuff on eBay right now but they want an arm and a leg for a collection of mostly stock parts. I have a lead on front hubs (steering knuckles) and front and rear shock towers and the bellcrank. That's pretty much what I want to upgrade, I like leaving arms plastic. I'll do the Traxxas arms again on the steering stuff.
 

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95PGTTech

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221
Slashpede 4x4 is the way to go.
View attachment 7537

And before I forget the Ecx 4x4 platform is based on the Himoto E10 platform. I do not know what parts will work but I do know that the chassis, center driveshaft and slipper assembly are different. I'm pretty sure the gearboxes, a arms, shock towers and hubs are the same but cannot confirm this.

Here is the Irontrack/Himoto Bowie https://www.nitrorcx.com/16c553-red-rtr-24g.html

I thought I remembered someone mentioning that this thing was a copy of some RC I'd never heard of, thanks! Yeah, Slashpede seems to be right up our alley. High speed big tire basher.
 

95PGTTech

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Messages
221
So...ran it and broke some crap LOL. Decided to mount the ESC on/off switch inboard after a rock caught it mounted outboard 3x. Never would have thought it would take that much abuse in that location. Got the GPS wet and it lost connection to the phone, then lost it entirely. Still haven't recovered it days later, but it's likely junk anyway based on reviews online. More annoyed I lost the case, LOL. Hobbywing ESC card decided to stop working, ordered another after testing it on another brushed and a brushless Hobbywing ESC I have. It just straight doesn't power up.

Melted the rear outer wheel bearing of the side I didn't do yet. Noticed when we were done the wheel had a lot of slop in it. Heat in the wheel bearing transmitted into the wheel hex, the hub, then started spinning the 4x16 washer I made for the wheels, melting it into the hub, then slicing up the wheel nut (see how thin the flange is). Proline wheels are awesome and I had a wheel hub on my door the next day. Finished rebuilding the rear differential, bearings etc. and packed it full of grease. I did end up installing the matching rear hub stuff so now that's done other than waiting on shims to arrive. Cut up some more foam to better secure the 3S when I put it in there. On this motor (goolrc 4300kv), it really needs the 3S 100C for the terrain we do. I'll re-eval when we eventually put the big setup we have in it (Hobbywing Max10 SCT and 3660 4000kv).

Just for my reference in the future gearing is 9/45. Neither one have that labeled on them.
 

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95PGTTech

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221
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almost forgot - RC stuff drying on the kitchen table. Mom says at least it’s not the transmission of my Cobra again or one of my motorcycle engines 🤣
 

95PGTTech

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221
The unobtainables have arrived. Searched the far reaches of the internet and found a hobby shop with some old ECX 1/10 4wd stock collecting dust. Got the front hubs and steering setup I wanted. Ended up taking the front and rear shock towers too as a package deal for a good price.

Basically everything else hot racing is on the way or here already. Motor mount, suspension and steering braces. Took the slipper apart to install the metal spur gear. New pads on the way.

Took one of the front wheels off to measure the steering arm length and found the stock hex had spun inside the proline wheel. Odd. Replaced the wheel hub. Rear suspension and diff is completely done and back in. Got the X6FG receiver in so we can use the Dumbo RC radio we prefer.

In the slipper/vice pic you can see the main driveshaft. See that area up front that’s bare? It looks like the shaft self-clearanced at some point against the arm that comes off the steering horn but I can’t find any matching wear on the steering part.
 

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slick2500

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Messages
399
Location
Rapid City SD
The unobtainables have arrived. Searched the far reaches of the internet and found a hobby shop with some old ECX 1/10 4wd stock collecting dust. Got the front hubs and steering setup I wanted. Ended up taking the front and rear shock towers too as a package deal for a good price.

Basically everything else hot racing is on the way or here already. Motor mount, suspension and steering braces. Took the slipper apart to install the metal spur gear. New pads on the way.

Took one of the front wheels off to measure the steering arm length and found the stock hex had spun inside the proline wheel. Odd. Replaced the wheel hub. Rear suspension and diff is completely done and back in. Got the X6FG receiver in so we can use the Dumbo RC radio we prefer.

In the slipper/vice pic you can see the main driveshaft. See that area up front that’s bare? It looks like the shaft self-clearanced at some point against the arm that comes off the steering horn but I can’t find any matching wear on the steering part.
I forgot to post on your Facebook but that looks like a rock got stuck in there.
 

95PGTTech

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Messages
221
I forgot to post on your Facebook but that looks like a rock got stuck in there.

Wow that’s super unlucky. Some guy in Australia has one it’s going to take over a month to get here. Since it’s symmetrical I’ll just run it backward for now. Trying to move the weak spot away from where it could (unlikely) happen again. The rest of the shaft is pretty well surrounded in the torque tube (for lack of a better term).
 

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95PGTTech

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Started on the front suspension, I took some pics since it's pretty involved. new front upper and lower control arms (I needed the upper caster adjustment clips and it only comes as a complete arm set, so since I have them I'll put them in). new control arm pins, ECX aluminum shock tower, cleaned out the diff and lubed it with grease like I did the rear, all new bearings from Fast Eddy).
 

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95PGTTech

Well-Known Member
Messages
221
ECX aluminum/roller bearing steering bellcrank/steering saver setup. Hot Racing pin braces front and rear, upper pin brace, upper steering trapezoid brace, ECX front hubs/steering blocks. Front left was binding hard as I turned it, worst when wheels straight. I thought I was crazy I felt like the axle was too long (turns out, I wasn't). Took everything apart and inspected, reassembled. I measured the steering rod

Went out and ran it, after a very short time the goolrc 3650 went up in smoke. Like, way shorter run time than I would have even thought to check its temp. Even more fun, couldn't get one of the screws out of the motor plate so I got to spend some time drilling out the broken screw (without mangling the no-longer-available motor plate).
 

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95PGTTech

Well-Known Member
Messages
221
Set the body to a bit more reasonable height (higher). So after some investigating, the front left is completely locked up, likely what caused the motor heat/failure. Even after letting it cool down, motor turns very "chunky" and as soon as throttle is applied all 3 wires get HOT and smoke.

In the previous post you can see the two bearings. Axle still feels really tight. When I take both axles out, everything works fine - slipper, center driveshaft, front differential. With no axle in, everything rotates fine at the wheel side too so it's not the bearings. Front right isn't fantastic, but front left is way too tight. If I don't connect the upper ball joint bolt (effectively lengthening the axle) everything rotates smoothly. As soon as I connect that bolt, the axle binds.

I put the stock plastic front knuckles back on, problems solved. WTF. I checked to make sure the bearings were in the new one correctly, I checked they were on the right side left/right (you really can't install them backwards even though they aren't marked, when they are on the wrong side the front wheels have like 15 degrees of positive camber). So I pulled the inner bearings out of the new knuckle and the old to compare them, identical 10x15x4. Then I measured the machined recess in the knuckle itself. In the aluminum ECX ones it is 4.01mm. In the stock ones, it's 5.37mm. There ya go, the plastic one is allowing the front axles 1.3mm more room to move in and out during suspension movement and turning.

My first thought was to find somewhere to machine the ECX aluminum ones 1mm deeper, but an alternative I came up with was find a bearing 1mm less thick (10x15x3). Seemed like a simple solution, until I realized that's not a common size ANYWHERE. Boca is about the only company on the planet it seems that makes one that's not open (but as you can see $$$ - the two bearings cost nearly what the knuckles did - oh well, pay to play). I sent an email off to ECX, but I'm not expecting much help. I can't really even order another set to see if I got a mis-machined unit, I can only find one other set on the entire internet and I'd have to fork out $150+ because it's part of a larger bulk lot a hobby shop is unloading of new old stock.

For now, I'm leaving the stock front hubs in. The only motor I have on hand with a 3.175 shaft right now is a brushed 15T stock dynamite motor and matching ESC - which resulted in the hilariously slow 16mile/h GPS on 2S. That was on the driveway, in the grass it was probably 8-9mph. Whatever, it was fine for a diagnostic run to demonstrate all these chassis and suspension changes everything is working fine (awaiting the resolution of the front hubs, obviously).

I was able to get a 5mm mod1 pinion so I could throw my goolrc 3660 3800kv in (orange) while we wait for the big Hobbywing bullet to get here (the 3652 that matches this ESC) which yielded a much better 43mph and some impressive power wheelies...now our 4wd needs a wheelie bar LOL! We watched the temps closely because the smallest pinion we could find was an 11, but even at just 180F measured, we let the smoke out of this thing too. Same problem, motor started chugging/cogging, let it cool down and the wires are smoking hot. Maybe the problem is the 3S battery, who knows. Hobbywing motor just arrived so I'm going to get off the computer and go put that in. Hopefully we don't let the smoke out of that, LOL!
 

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