RC4WD Trail Finder 2 Scale Truck Build
Well after watching YouTube videos of it from djmedic2008 I just knew one day I would like to have one. Well that day has come, since my LHS was having a Boxing Day sale I figured this was the best time to get it and since I had multiple LHS Gift Certificates I got myself a nice X-mas/Boxing Day Gift.
This is the up to date list of components in this build so far.
RC4WD Trail Finder 2 Project
T Series Heavy Duty Rock Crawling Motor 35T
Castle Creations Sidewinder3 Waterproof ESC Set to Brushed
(2) Hitec HS-5646WP High Voltage, High Torque, Programmable Digital Waterproof Servo Steering & Shifter Operating @ 7.1v
#2 & #3 Aluminum Bumper Mounts
Tough Armor Front Steel Tube Bumper
Bulldog 9300XT Scale Winch (Black) Operating @ 7.1v controlled via Brushed ESC, winch line replace with Ice Fishing Line.
Tuff Truck Saddle Tool Box
3RACING LEDLight System
Castle Creations 10A bec Set @ 7.1v
(2) SR410 4-Channel DSMR Sport Surface Receiver RX#1) Throttle, Steering, H/L Speed & Winch Control RX#2) Used for LED Controller & Functional Interior Steering
DX4S 4-Channel DSMR Radio
Adding Scale Functioning Features.
So of course when you have a "Scale Truck" or any scale RC you kind of want to make it as scale looking as possible so of course I have a functioning light kit coming. The rc4wd Mojave body kit comes all prepared for scale lighting so this part is pretty much Plug & Play.
My first scale mod and topic for this post is directed to a component found in the interior of the body/cab and that is the Steering Wheel.
Since the Mojave Body comes with a separate dash and steering, making it functional was really not that hard, a small servo, 2/56 threaded rod, balsa, drilling, gluing and of course a little bit of Know How made this plain dash & steering into a functioning steering adding to the overall scale looks of this Scale Truck.
RC4WD Trail Finder 2 Steering Mod.
The video was taken prior to the final assembly of the steering wheel. In the video a toothpick was used to provide proper alignment and length needed for the threaded rod so in the video you will see the steering wheel start to wobble after numerous movements which this is no longer the case with the final product.
The Mojave Body is hard plastic and is yellow.
The paint scheme has yet to be determined and painting will only be done once every single detail has been test fitted.
My next detailing mod will be the scale light kit and I am also thinking of adding the scale functioning wipers. I want to try and make them myself but worst comes to worst rc4wd does have a Functional Windsheild Wiper Unit.
DIY Functional Windshield Wipers
Well this is my very first attempt at building my functioning wipers. (DIY)
Using an old small 9gr range servo (smallest I have) I opened it up and modified it to be 360 degree rotational. Drilled out the main output gear just enough so it slides over the pot no longer controlling the pot. Cut the stopper on the main output gear and VOILA 360degree rotating servo.
Couple bends here and there, homemade linkage here and there and this is the result.
For my first attempt, I only have one wiper right now but the second would be easy to duplicate and attached to the first wiper.
What, no intermittent wipers?!?!
Well I ordered a RC4WD 9300XT winch on Xmas and it arrived yesterday.
First thing I notice out of the bag is the bottom bracket, the one with the fairlead attached to it, winch is screwed to and the one that is what you bolt to the bumper as one corner all bent out of shape.
At first I was shocked, I did not think that part would have been made of thin metal but anyways it was fairly easy to flatten out the bent corner.
Spare motor/gearbox, controller everything is in the bag even a little note saying you don't get free replacement. Scale rig with not a lot of use I'm not worried about that.
So I connected everything to my radio using a 3 position switch and the winch starts to creep, no BIGGY I adjust my sub-trim and all is good.
Winch out and stop BUT What The Heck the winch starts to vibrate, not spooling in or out nor creeping, but the motor is moving so rapidly back and forth that the best way to describe it is it's vibrating.
Disconnected everything and reconnected, all is good until I spool out or in and when back to neutral it vibrates, so much that motor is getting hot and the controller appears to be getting hot also.
So there is a little adjustment pot on the controller but it's covered with some sort of adhesive. Took awhile but I got it off and now I reconnected everything and tested. Every single time after I switch back to neutral (stop) it vibrates.
Now by this time from spooling and unspooling with no load on it the steel cable (IMO junk) has completely tangled up on the roller.
Ok so now I will just take it apart to untangle and properly use something else for a winch cable/line. 4 Tiny and I mean tiny screw attaching the winch to bottom bracket.
First screw stripped head,
Second screw stripped head,
Third and Forth screw stripped heads. :(
Ok so now I am fuming, brand new just minutes out of the bag and this is what I have to deal with. Finally after hours of keeping my cool and using multiple different techniques and screw drivers finally I got one left to remove.
So I'm now not impressed and email RC4WD.
Reply says this is an almost 3 yrs old model and that they are working on a new one with better/stronger screw thread.
If I want I can go ahead and send it back to them and they will send me a new one.
The morning before I shipped a tiny little 2x2x3 item in a small padded env. to the U.S and they originally wanted 20$ so I’m not paying 20$ + dollars to ship it back to them.
The Winch is the very first thing I ordered directly from them, sad this is how my first dealing with them turned out.
They used some sort of permanent stuff to secure the screws in the frame making it pretty much impossible even when it would have come time to swap to the replacement motor/gearbox.
Now even if I use only 3 screws to remount the winch to the bracket, I need to find small enough screws to use in the first place.
Ok so I wasn't able to drill out the broken screw inside the frame and in trying to drill it out it started to pierce threw the casing so I just cut a small screw so it would just bite enough to hold that way my mind won't think about it too much with all new screws attached.
I'm not spooling back the stock cable so for now I wound some fishing line on it. The specs say 1.5KG (3.3lbs) so I got some 6lbs fishing line on it. If I snap the line I know I was close to double the spec’s pull rate.
The stock plastic bumper and bumper mount really bend when pulling but I got some aluminum bumper mounts already ordered so that will reduce some flex.
Knowing how I only have 3 screws attaching it to the mounting plate does annoy me a little so I will be keeping an eye out for their new version according to my email from them should be in the next couple of months.
Let’s hope the screw setup is better. Let’s also hope the controller is better also.
My 3 position setup doesn't work with the controller; I had to set it to proportional. Not a bad deal because now I have 4 speeds forward and reverse, the 4 speed is done with trim step adjustments on my radio.
Well I got another email from RC4WD and it looks like they will be sending me a new winch. Now I'm not sure if it's going to be a new winch as in a replacement or New as in their New model that was mentioned to be coming in the next couple of months.
I got this one working for now, I don't think it's going to see heavy duty work anytime soon so the 3 screws should hold it.
First experience with RC4WD wasn't the best but the Customer Service sure has impressed.
RC4WD Winch Update
I just got an email (1:00pm) saying my order has shipped and it contains tracking info. The part number listed is the winch I had ordered so I guess I am getting a replacement winch.
Now that's Customer Service, considering my original email to them about it was Friday night (very late) and they responded Saturday morning and now Monday afternoon my replacement winch is being shipped to me. This is pretty awesome service.
I generally only deal with LHS but considering how much I’m into this hobby (Air, Ground & Water) I only recently just started buying online and or ordering stuff directly from manufacturers/vendors.
Someone once told me there are good people in the hobby and he also reminded me that it also included vendors.
So far RC4WD gets TWO THUMBS UP from me.
Well one of the main reason I had a less than perfect experience with this winch is because the winch controller was acting funny and in doing so un-wound the stock winch cable and once there was no more tension on the cable it completely got messed up on the spool and got tangled in the gearbox shaft and spool so I had no choice to take it apart and where my other issues started.
With the winch controller under control for now and the winch fixed as best as I could I used regular fishing line as cable for temp.fix until something better was found.
RC4WD and I'm sure other vendors sell upgraded winch line in the form of
Synthetic Winch Rope. This particular rope is 2 Meters in length for $4.99.
Up to now using normal USPS shipping to Canada there shipping cost have been 8$ in the past so getting it here would cost me about 13$.
Well this morning I got an idea in the form of : ICE FISHING LINE.
• Sub Zero Tip-Up line is made of black, braided nylon that will not kink or freeze
• High strength and long life line with minimal stretch
•100 yard spool
•Available in 12, 15, 20 and 25 lbs (5, 6, 9 and 11 kg)
For $6.99 cnd I got the 15lbs strength and its 100yrds or 91.4meters. Now that's a good deal per length.
Winch Upgrade Update
Using an old soldering iron to melt/cut the rope, this method avoids the braided nylon rope from coming undone.
I have a little over 13ft or 160'' inches of rope spooled on the winch. Since this is Ice fishing rope I might as well use a fishing knot, I used a Trilene Knot. Instructions How to tie Trilene Knot.
That looks much better than my suggestion. Good work!
Thanks, I put a tiny drop of thin CA on the knot just to make sure it doesn't come un-done but this type of knot should be just perfect for this application
Trilene Knot Details
The Trilene Knot is a strong and reliable knot to join monofilament line to hooks, swivels and lures. It resists slippage and failures and is an excellent and stronger alternative to the Clinch Knot.
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