If you look around the web, you’ll find tons of Axial SCX10 rigs around. Also, you’ll find a lot of them modified–mine included. I didn’t leave it stock for long. In November of 2013, I started the STRC SCX10 upgrade build. I was happy with both the looks and performance of the first batch of parts I changed over, so I had to keep going. Isn’t that the case with just about every build? Hop-up parts are like those potato chips. Once you start, it’s really hard to stop. So, here we are now with the second installment of ST Racing Concepts (STRC) parts for the SCX10.
THE GOODS (PART TWO)
FRONT & REAR SHOCK TOWERS
Sold in pairs, these aluminum pieces directly bolt on in place of your existing plastic ones. They are significantly more durable and won’t flex. In extreme use, the stock plastic towers can fail. STRC’s parts are available in the silver, green, gun metal and black. Silver was my personal choice because they really popped out from the rest of the chassis. They also matched the rest of the build perfectly. 3 mm fine threaded hardware is included for assembly.
NOTE: You must use the fine threaded 3 mm screws in the hardware bag when bolting into the optional rear aluminum “H” chassis brace.
FRONT & REAR BUMPER MOUNTS
These beefy mounts feature beveled edges and easily fit in the stock frame rails. In the past, I’ve run into aluminum parts with fitment issues, but these bolted right up. Again, the stock parts are plastic and secure with self tapping hardware, while these also come with 3 mm fine threaded hardware for assembly. The only hardware you need to reuse from stock are the set screws that secure the actual bumper stub mounts. Again, these parts are available in the silver, green, gun metal and black.
REAR CHASSIS H BRACE
Besides adding some bling, this piece greatly reduces frame twist. Excessive twist can cause fatigue on parts. The aluminum H brace will remedy this issue. As mentioned above, you must use the fine threaded 3mm screws in the hardware bag. The stock screws are a course self tapping thread and will not thread properly.
ALUMINUM SHOCK BODIES & RESERVOIRS
Shocks are a key component and could literally be one of those things that, when out on the trails or the rocks, that can be the difference between you making over obstacles and just spinning your tires. Sure, the reservoirs are just for looks, but it’s not like the stock Axial ones do you any good either. STRC offers the reservoirs separately to finish off the whole look if desired. The shock bodies are threaded and come with an aluminum threaded adjuster nut. What’s really cool about these threaded nut collars is they have a captured O-ring inside the threads. When threading then up and down on the shock body, the O-ring helps keep things in place. The stock shocks don’t have this little but important detail because they are all plastic, but not all aftermarket manufacturers do either. Like the other STRC aluminum parts, the shock parts are available in the silver, green, gun metal and black. I went with gun metal so they don’t get lost on the silver shock towers. See below for assembly tips.
ALUMINUM CHASSIS SIDE RAIL MOUNTS
Last, but not least are the side rail mounts for the SCX10. Because the rock sliders mount to them, these mounts can be subjected to a lot of abuse. Part of the stock mounts that gets wrecked all too offten is the tab that the mounting screws go through. When this screw gets tightened, the stock plastic part’s tab easily gets crushed and distorts. This, of course, is not an issue with aluminum.
STRC SHOCK BUILDING TIPS
Before I show the end results of this build, I wanted to do a little house cleaning and provide a little helpful reminders when it comes to re-building the shocks. Let’s get started:
Remove the stock shock cap and reservoir and discard the old fluid. In a pinch, if the fluid is still good and perfectly clear, you could reuse it, but you will need to add more as lots of the excess fluid stays behind along inside walls of the shock bodies. I recommend using new fluid and new seals. Axial sells replacement O-rings (AXA1179). Starting fresh with new fluid and O-rings is ideal.
NOTE: When removing the shock ball end (the lower shock mount), use a cloth to protect the shock shaft from tool marks from ordinary pliers. STRC also sells a tool specifically made for gripping shock shafts without damaging them (ST22353). Damaged shafts will leak!
Once you have the old shocks completely disassembled, you can start re building with the new components. Seen above, the reservoir is screwed to the stock shock cap. The lower shock body O-rings (if being reused) and insulator needs to be transferred over. Don’t forget those shock shaft bump stops! While you can coat the O-rings with shock fluid, I recommend using a lubricant specifically made for shock seals such as Team Associated’s Green Slime. Use a liberal amount of lubricant on the O-rings. Assemble the shocks and fill with fluid. Start bleeding out the air by stroking the internal piston up and down to disloge any air trapped under the base of the shock piston. Let the shocks sit straight up with the caps off for a few minutes. Letting the shocks sit allows all the air bubbles to raise to the surface and makes for better shock operation. Once you feel the shock fluid is air bubble free, cap off the shocks and finish with the spring, spacer and lower cup assembly. I like to push the piston all the way up when screwing on the upper cap. This reduces rebound, which a shock on a crawler doesn’t really need and allows they shock to just slow and damp the suspension and not act like a spring.
The second part to the STRC upgrades for the SCX10 do look great, but even more importantly they make the SCX10 more durable. The aluminum is light weight but strong. The front and rear shock towers do make a big difference in durability and climbing. I wasn’t able to notice less flex from the remote point of view, but with plastic components you know it exists. Having aluminum in its place does make a difference in durability–especially when you’re using high quality aluminum parts. The shocks themselves are great and I love the attention to detail that went into the O-ring captured threaded shock body collars. I admit the shock reservoir are purely for show, but that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with a little bling here and there. The front and rear bumper mounts are a great upgrade. This is especially true if you plan on using a winch or maybe a hitch to pull a scale trailer later on. The aluminum side rock slider mounts, in my opinion, should have been offered out the box. They do help with keeping the rails in place and hold up better on the rocks and trails.
Last note, these upgrades didn’t require any further parts to install. Not like the first part of the build where you needed some extra stock Axial parts to install. Take note of that when sorting through what upgrades you want to achieve. Is everything you need in the parts bag? What gets switched over? Or What else do I need to buy?
To see part 1 of this build, click here