View Full Version : The Great Re-Build
02-08-2010, 03:37 PM
So I got a MERV as a general basher in the city. Totally neat truck with lots of fun upgrades and performance parts.
Out of the box:
During my FIRST pack I plowed into a curb. And this was the result:
End result: broken chassis, front bulkhead, steering parts, and one missing pin!
I had plans to install a bunch of aftermarket stuff that many people had recommended to improve the performance, I just didn't figure it'd be this soon!
so while I await the parts in the mail I've started the rebuild. One of the things I like about the MERV is the water resistance and I plan on keeping that intact. However, I have a Spektrum DX3E and spare rcvr how do I set up for binding w/o having to take off the radio cover all the time???
Answer: add a switch. drilled a hole insert switch and added a little green slime and we're water resistant again. (I'd have added o-rings but the neck on the switch isn't long enough).
I'll be adding posts along the way on upgrades and why. I'm not focusing on bling, just durability.
02-08-2010, 03:53 PM
Thanks for doing this. Do you really have to bind the specktrum every time you use it?
02-08-2010, 03:59 PM
the switch is an awesome idea.
the telemetry receiver just squeezes in a little - i might just stop using it, though, because the temperature sensor keeps slipping free and the rpm gauge has been ripped clean off the cables.
ps: you only need to bind the spektrum (and other 2.4 radios, i presume) only once.
02-08-2010, 04:31 PM
He probably uses his Tx on other model(s), so he must re-bind each time
02-08-2010, 10:56 PM
strykerpilot66 is correct. I use the DX3E for my crawler, micro crawler, and now my MERV. I think the Traxxas systems are great and with the new version even better, but Spektrum seems to be the big dog in this arena.
On the plus side, my MERV must be a newer one b/c it has a little window on the case so you can confirm it's binding w/ the TX w/o having to take off the cover. Pretty good thinking on Traxxas part.
02-09-2010, 06:25 PM
Just a minor update: got an email that parts are in-bound! Expect to see new pics this weekend! Hurray I can get back to crashing, uh driving I mean, again!
On a side note, my little binding switch works perfectly. It also seemed to fix my braking problem. I noticed out of the box the brakes were really soft, even at low speeds. I re-calibrated the ESC a couple time but that didn't help. w/ the DX3E it is much more responsive. I have high hopes for a more durable and drivable experience in the coming week!
02-09-2010, 08:40 PM
I have a dx3.0 and it has a 4 model memory so unless you have more than that you only bind the once and change the model on your tx
Sorry just looked your tx up and it only has 1 model mem so sounds like a good idea with the switch but wouldn't a push button contact be better for binding ?
02-09-2010, 11:31 PM
Cool!!! I haven't seen the switch before.
02-09-2010, 11:46 PM
I was thinking about a push button but the switch. Already had and it was the right size.
02-11-2010, 05:18 PM
did some more work over lunch today. Here's what was broken already:
Interestingly the bulkhead in my stock kit had a 2cm long M3 screw to hold it together, yet the new bulkhead did not have the mounting for it. I wonder which one was the improvement? Probably the one in my box as it has the window in the receiver box for a 2.4GHz binding LED.
upgraded parts so far include:
GPM stainless steel tie-rods/turnbuckles (stronger than Aluminum although heavier).
BB in the rockers.
There's a good chance I'll get the GTR shocks as the lower cap on one of the front ones blew out in the crash. If it holds up great, otherwise...
02-12-2010, 11:24 AM
Installing electronics last night.
Builder's tip, put all the electronics in first, then try to shoe horn the motor in. Otherwise you'll be wrestling with it as you run servo leads.
02-12-2010, 01:42 PM
I bashed my front in on a trash can which resulted in just about the same thing. It's all fixed now (I cheated and got my lhs to do it for me....I couldn't deal with having to move everything over to a new chassis after having the merv for 2 weeks). I'm get a t-bone front and rear bumper for my merv now. It's a but fugly but I think it will do the trick in case I do another header into something. At least if I'm not going a million miles an hour...yes...that's my goal.
02-17-2010, 10:29 AM
I'm still waiting on parts guys, but I did get the shock boots from bad horse. The Toyz was fast for the first shipment but now it's going on 2+weeks! I guess the Olympics are gumming up the postal service here, eh?
The chassis as it is now:
Close up of the rear section:
One may ask, where's the front shocks? I put it all together and then realized that the steering brace is installed IN the front bulkhead! D'oh! I should have RTFM. So when I get my steering parts I have to completely disassemble. but since I had to put on the shock boots I didn't bother re-installing until ready.
02-20-2010, 06:22 PM
Ok, so I've finally got all the bits and put it back together. Man what a chore but it's finally done!
So upgraded parts:
Sprektrum radio set
GPM stainless steal tie/push rod set
HPI wheelie king wheels
Full Force RC skid plates (front, centre, rear)
The toyz wheelie bar
optional 16T pinion for larger tires.
Here it is set up for off road/BMX park bashing:
I can run it on the street like this but man it's a pig!
The new shoes compared to the stock:
just so that you know, I've had to gear down as low as possible with the stock spur gear. Even so, I should probably go lower. Went through a pack (3S thunderpower 1350mah 30C) and things were hot but no thermal. Basically this set up is for when I bomb around at the park or on a BMX track. The tires give extra obsorbtion on impacts and clearance. With the shock set up and everything its just right so I don't have to change springs/oil. Just swap shoes and pinion and go!
All a good build. I will have to replace the hub carriers as I noticed I got a hairline crack on one of them. Occasionally I'll have it pop out on a bad tumble. It'll only get worse each time so I guess I'll get the HR ones for extra strength.
The Full force skid plates are pretty nice but it does reduce clearance as the attach OVER the stock ones, instead of replacing them. Also, the rear set has screws that were a little too short. (ones gone missing already!) Otherwise a nice investment.
Going forward, Pro-line slipstream body for added airflow and performance, HR hub carriers, and GTR shocks if these don't hold up. (so far no issues)
That's all from Winter Olympic central!
02-20-2010, 06:39 PM
Great looking build man!
Look around on the fourms about flipping the transmission gears.
You could flip the gears and change to a larger pinion, If you look for WolfPlayers gearing spreadsheet it will let you calculate which pinion you need to reach a given speed with or without flipping your trans..
Make some vids when you go to the BMX track! I wanna see that thing jump!
02-20-2010, 08:42 PM
I already have that program and it's useful. I've also modified to determine what pinion for a given battery and tire diameter. I just happen to have a 16T laying around from my crawler. The nice thing is that it's a 10min change between off road and on road set up.
I will put up a running vid for sure! I did a little test with a simple little skate jump I have (like 15deg) and it'll land like a cat! Still wheelies which is funny with such big tires!
One other thing people may want to know:
front: tan springs/80wt
rear: black springs/80wt.
02-22-2010, 09:17 PM
Good job Man!
Can you please provide more details on the shock boots (i.e. exact hyperlink and/or how to)
As well I would appreciate a measurement of your shoes (diameter and width). They look mean
02-26-2010, 06:32 PM
Sorry to take so long to get back, been on a business trip.
I got the shock boots at http://www.badhorsie.com/products/shock-covers.html
Get the extra small in any colour you like.
The tires are Pro-line gladiators. 4.25" dia, 2" width. Run awesome on rough surface!
Here's a couple quick vids (sorry for the crappy shot, hard to drive and film w/ iphone)
and a little better one:
The rooster tail while blasting over rough terrain is SWEEET!!!
don't you love the weather we have for the Olympics? All that snow! haha!
Added lights too:
How are you powering your LEDs and what size are they?
02-26-2010, 07:30 PM
any range or glitch issues with just leaving the spektrum antenna in the receiver box? i always think of doing that and for some reason end up with a small antenna that stays under the body.
03-01-2010, 10:06 AM
The LED set is from 3Racing for a Summit light bar. you have to change the connector and add a resistor, but for $5 y not? I actually burnt out one in testing as I forgot to add the resistor! yikes! (470ohm if you're wondering)
As for the radio range, no issues I was running a whole soccer field with complete control.
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