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  1. #1
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    DiggerPede's Project: MERV Tear down, Clean Up, & Rebuilt

    Hello all! A few of the guys may know me from the other neck of the woods. Mainly the Stampede, ERBE, EMBE, Slash, & Sl4sh forums. I've been in RC for many years, way back in the early 90's. I got back into it a year and a half ago. I have fun with all my Rigs and they are all fun to bash in their different ways. LOL Anyways I purchased a used MERV on here a couple weeks ago from a Forum Member. It was delivered Saturday a few days ahead of schedule. Yay. This is going to be for my little boy's birthday, he will be turning 4, in a little over a month. He is going to be so surprised to have a truck of his own to take care of and drive. He currently loves to drive my 1/10 scale trucks and help me clean them. Its so awesome to have that kind of time with your kiddos.

    I busted open the package Saturday evening. I looked it over and threw the Traxxas 1400mah 2S Lipo pack in it to see how it ran. This sucker scoots like there is no tomorrow. I also picked up a Traxxas 3S Lipo from the same guy for a package deal. I tried it out to, it is just sweet. I can see owning one of these for myself to drive around the house in when the weather gets rought out. LOL

    Like I do with any of my used RC's I tear them down, clean up, and rebuild them. This one came with a few upgrades, here is the list.

    List:
    MERV VXL-3M 380 Can Brushless
    RPM A-Arms on all the way around
    RPM Knuckles
    Everything else is stock VXL with 2.4ghz Tx/Rx.

    Here are a couple of shots of the truck right out of the box.







    I'm re-gluing all the tires. They all had loose treads on the inside walls.


    The truck was a little dirty, but needed to be cleaned around whee all the oil/ grease was at. Nothing to serious. Good reason to learn the ins/ outs of the truck.




    It's a different animal. Nothing hard to do, just mini-sized compared to the 1/10 i'm used to. It has some good upgrades for him so far. The tires will be one of the first things to go, but they will suit him for a little while. At least wear them out. I want to show him stuff and let him pick out what he would like on there. I know in the future alloy pushrods, toe links, & GTR shocks. Probably some rockers to. Anything else anyone can recommend that would be good in the future? Oh and i'm not much of a fan for RPM Knuckles, i'd like to change them out to alloy HR ones. I think i'm going to keep the VXL system in there just in case he decides to vere off the road into a puddle. I'm a castle fan myself though. So far i've cleaned it all up, including the gears in the bulk. I use the RC concoction of denatured alcohol, degreaser, & WD-40. Some good stuff there. It'll look just like new, rather does already. The diffs sounded great and felt like they are still in check.

    I'll be posting more picks of the clean parts and re-build. Thanks for looking.
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  2. #2
    RC Racer
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    Go ahead and shim both diffs. A tbone skid plate/bumpers will be good for him to. Saved me many parts.


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  3. #3
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    Digger how do you find time to run your trucks with all these builds If this turns out like any of your other builds your 4yr old is going to have an awesome merv My 6yr old has a mini Digger and I geared him down to a 14/55 shortly after I installed the VXL in it. That thing was a rocket geared at 23/55 on 2s lipo and resulted in broken front and rear a-arms on the test run after he attempted a triple backflip off a tree
    No Limit RC of Maryland

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr.
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    if you don't know the shims you need are associated 21141,hr are good carriers i have good luck with gh cariers. t bone sounds like a great idea

  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Petertje60's Avatar
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    Hey Digger, my friend. Welcome to this corner of the forum.
    Don't tell me your Sl4sh is boring you already!

    I wonder what kind of machine you are going to make from this one. Anyhow, over here I'm ahead of you
    Nobody is born with experience

  6. #6
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    Tbone set probably. If you constantly are going to run 3s, i would look into some CVD's. I'm not a fun or rpm knuckles either, so hr sounds like a good upgrade.
    Once you get done working on a MERV then go to work on a bigger truck like the Maxx, it is like heaven!
    Emaxx #3903, MERV
    RPM/PROLINE

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I'll definitely take note. I'm planning on him just bashing around with a couple of 2S packs in parallel. I'm not sure how long these little packs last on the 380 can motors. I think the 2S I currently have is 2200mah. I'm looking at picking up a couple of the SPC 2S 2250 30c Packs for longer runtimes for him. I also just ordered the T-Bone Fr/ Rr bumpers. I also have a few other things in my Tower cart, i'll wait and see what else you guys can think of. Nothing really major at the moment. The wheels and such I want him to get involved with down the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by minirevobasher View Post
    Tbone set probably. If you constantly are going to run 3s, i would look into some CVD's. I'm not a fun or rpm knuckles either, so hr sounds like a good upgrade.
    Once you get done working on a MERV then go to work on a bigger truck like the Maxx, it is like heaven!
    I've had my fill with the EMBE ( Emaxx Brushless Edition ) and an ERBE ( E Revo Brushless Edition ). They arent to bad, just big and bulky. LOL

    @ Peter. Man i'm moving around aight I?? This is for my boy. He seen me tearing it a part and cleaning it up. It was in a million pieces he goes what are these baby tires for. Gave me this weird look like what the heck am I doing with such small tires. LOL He's a trip. I think he almost caught me?!?! He's going to be so surprised when he opens it up and see's it.

    This is what I have in my Tower cart:
    RPM Fr/ Rr Bumpers ( picking these up to )
    Fr/ Rr Body Mounts ( others have some road rash on the fronts )
    Traxxas Wing ( throw him a new one on there )
    1/16 Traxxas Parallel Connector
    Associated Diff Shim Set #21141
    Pactra Blue Streak & Brilliant Blue Polycarb Paints ( Not sure which one he'll like )

    Last edited by DiggerPede; 07-09-2012 at 02:07 PM.
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  8. #8
    Marshal Dadx2mj's Avatar
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    Seems people either love or hate the RPM knuckles. I bought a set when they first came out and have never had issue with them. My son has them on his MERV as well with no issue. I wonder if peopel who have issues have the pillow balls too tight and when it turns they hit the suspension arm causing the pillow ball to pop out? Just a thought I dont know but like I said I have had no issues with mine.
    BlindMan Racing
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  9. #9
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    yea my friend runs the rpm ones on his and i have them set at what the instructions say for them to get them to close to factory and he has a few runs through his and he's definitely not easy with it by any means and haven't had any issues with them. I run the HR aluminum knuckles on my MERV just was my preference liked the looks and wanted a set of black ones for my color combo.

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dadx2mj View Post
    Seems people either love or hate the RPM knuckles. I bought a set when they first came out and have never had issue with them. My son has them on his MERV as well with no issue. I wonder if peopel who have issues have the pillow balls too tight and when it turns they hit the suspension arm causing the pillow ball to pop out? Just a thought I dont know but like I said I have had no issues with mine.
    I'll see how these hold up maybe on a 1/16 scale RC they might hold up pretty good. The ones on my EMBE kept popping out. These will be on here for a little while for him.
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  11. #11
    Marshal Dadx2mj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiggerPede View Post
    I'll see how these hold up maybe on a 1/16 scale RC they might hold up pretty good. The ones on my EMBE kept popping out. These will be on here for a little while for him.
    For what it is worth, I have never tired this but RPM says if you have issues with the pillow ball popping out to first check the pillow ball adjustment as mentioned but to also boil the knuckle. They claim boiling it will return it to it's original shape if it has become miss formed. Might be worth a try for those having issues.
    BlindMan Racing
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  12. #12
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dadx2mj View Post
    For what it is worth, I have never tired this but RPM says if you have issues with the pillow ball popping out to first check the pillow ball adjustment as mentioned but to also boil the knuckle. They claim boiling it will return it to it's original shape if it has become miss formed. Might be worth a try for those having issues.
    Sounds good. I have them sitting to the side, I could use them on my ERBE if they ever bust up. LOL I moved up to Tekno's and never had any problems since.

    Any good pointers on the MERV Dad?
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  13. #13
    Marshal Dadx2mj's Avatar
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    Any good pointers on the MERV Dad?
    I duno if I just got lucky or what but my MERV has required so little attention it is amazing to me. The truck is 3 years old and believe it or not I have yet to pull the tranny on the truck. I put RPM arms and knuckles on it, some STRC shock bodies just cuz, replaced the servo with a HS-85 MG and stuck in an old MM I had just so I could tune it on the computer, the stock ESC still worked fine. I eventually shimmed my diffs and put heavier fluid in the front and tuned my suspension suing Black springs and 80 weight oil but mostly I just drive and beat on the lil truck and it just keeps running. Even my drive shafts are still the exact same ones that came on the truck when I got it as is the clutch, spur gear and just about everything else not mentioned above.
    BlindMan Racing
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  14. #14
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    That's kewl. I've tore into the truck. Everything looks good so far besides some of the dirt that was hanging around. I just like to inspect everything and clean it up so at least I know its good to go. My little boy will be very good with cleaning it and caring for it. I had a blast scooting it through the house for fun. I wouldnt mind picking one up myself just for those indoor occasions. It looks really nimble though. I'm picking up a few parts, and may just let him do his thing with it and eventually upgrade it if necessary. It's just hard for me to keep stuff stock w/o making it my own i guess. LOL
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiggerPede View Post
    That's kewl. I've tore into the truck. Everything looks good so far besides some of the dirt that was hanging around. I just like to inspect everything and clean it up so at least I know its good to go. My little boy will be very good with cleaning it and caring for it. I had a blast scooting it through the house for fun. I wouldnt mind picking one up myself just for those indoor occasions. It looks really nimble though. I'm picking up a few parts, and may just let him do his thing with it and eventually upgrade it if necessary. It's just hard for me to keep stuff stock w/o making it my own i guess. LOL
    Lol. If the cars are mine, they don't last long stock either lol. The only things i have broke are knuckles and front a arms.
    Emaxx #3903, MERV
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  16. #16
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Update: HR, GTR, & Stock Replacement Parts.... LOL

    Well I said I wasnt going to do it but I did anyways. Arhhhhh LOL Here is the list of goodies I ordered for the little guys MERV. This is just a mere start to get him fixed up in the right direction.

    I havent thrown it back together yet, knowing I will probably do this. Plus I needed to shim the Fr/Rr Diffs. I thought I had some that would fit. I picked up the much recommended Associated p/n 21141. This was one of my main concerns for added durability to the truck. Well as everything else goes with me I like making the truck better in performance and looks. He is going to be so suprised when he opens the box and see's this. Here is what I just ordered about 10 mins ago....

    Tower:
    Traxxas Wing ( spare )
    RPM Black Fr/ Rr Bumpers
    Traxxas Fr/ Rr Body Mounts & Posts ( Front posts had road rash )
    Traxxas Parallel Y Harness
    Associated Diff Shim Set 21141
    Pactra Polycarb Blue Streak/ Brilliant Blue ( not sure which one he will like )
    Traxxas Aluminum Heat Sink
    Traxxas GTR Shocks
    Proline SVT Raptor Body

    The-Toyz:
    HR Aluminum Fr Rocker Arms
    HR Aluminum Rr Rocker Arms
    HR Blue Clamp Wheel Hubs
    HR Fr Shock Damper
    The-Toyz Red Bent Body Clips
    The-Toyz 201 Black Rim/ Tire Set

    These a few days ago:
    T-Bone Racing Fr/Rr Bumpers
    The-Toyz Lg Lipo Sack ( Just for his bats, He'll love it )

    Everything RC:
    HR Rr Shock Mount

    There it is!! I'll prolly want to upgrade the Pushrods, Steering, & Toe links. See how they hold up if i'll upgrade them, which i'm sure I will down the road. Probably the HR ones as they look really sweet.

    Picks will soon follow once these goodies start rolling in. I have a little over a month to get this sucker together and tested up.

    Thanks for looking. Let me know what you think. To late to change it up, but maybe some other areas.
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  17. #17
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    sounds like your son's gonna have a pretty sweet birthday gift! your not looking to adopt are ya? lol

  18. #18
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    Wow. You son is a lucky kid!
    It is going to be a sweet MERV and i like the raptor too!
    Emaxx #3903, MERV
    RPM/PROLINE

  19. #19
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Update: T-Bone Racing Fr/ Rr bumpers & Lipo Sack

    One of the 3 packages came in yesterday. This is my first order I made on Monday and it came in yesterday. I really like the T-Bone bumpers. They are going to protect his little rig from impacts really well. Also in the package was a Lipo sack just for his batts. Now for the last 2 which should be in next week one day. I really need the Tower order so I can shim the diffs. Then I can start rock'n & roll'n.

    T-Bone Racing Fr/Rr Bumpers:


    Lipo Sack:
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  20. #20
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    Man thats gonna be one awesome merv! I'm hopefully picking up a new one at my lhs after work today and this is just getting me more excited to buy it! And definitely going to get some of the upgrades y'all mentioned as well. Haha


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  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    ^^^ Thanks man!! It's really a lot of fun tearing them down and building them back up. I learn a lot from doing that. I have yet to tear its big brother down yet though, ERBE. That will probably be my next project after this one.

    My other plans are to tape the stock Talons and re glue the insides as they were already coming unglued. Good reasont to go ahead and do that.
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  22. #22
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    I love your builds, they are so awesome!

  23. #23
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    your kid is a lucky fellow to have such a great dad like you

    nice topic Pede

    will be following this one from now

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    Yeah I wouldn't mind seeing the finished product
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  25. #25
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    How much was the t bone?
    Emaxx #3903, MERV
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  26. #26
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rc driver dude View Post
    I love your builds, they are so awesome!
    I appreciate it!! I hope to keep this one real detailed, not really a whole lot going on as my Desert Rat Sl4sh build.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mossie View Post
    your kid is a lucky fellow to have such a great dad like you

    nice topic Pede

    will be following this one from now

    TWO thumbs UP!!!
    I'm a very lucky Dad to have such an awesome kid. I'll link you to pics of my kiddos later on tonight. Its in the Alley Forum. I also have a build in the Pede forum on my Digger.


    Quote Originally Posted by flanders125 View Post
    Yeah I wouldn't mind seeing the finished product
    It'll be coming. Looks like the other parts I just ordered will be coming in sooner than expected. The only thing is I have to work on the rig real late so the little booger doesnt know whats going on. LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by minirevobasher View Post
    How much was the t bone?
    It was $26.95 Not to bad for both the Fr/ Rr.
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  27. #27
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    Looking forward to the pictures
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  28. #28
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Small update. Yesterday I received the package from The-Toyz. Here are pictures of the parts. Today the mailman delivered the other snitch mount. I don't have a pic of it, I'll post it with the last of the past that should be here Monday. Then I'll start putting this sucker together.

    The-Toyz Tires:


    Bent body clips:


    HR Axle Clamps, Fr Shock Mount, Fr/ Rr Rocker Arms




    Not much, still working on the rest of the stuff. Mainly the biggest little part, the shims. LOL oh I finished the stock treads, taped and re glued them. Not sure if I'll throw them on or not.

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  29. #29
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    Looking real good can't wait to see it all together.
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  30. #30
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    definitely post some pics

  31. #31
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Update: Stock Merv Body Painted

    My little guy has been wanting to paint a Lid for a long time. He calls them Tops. Well Sunday I prepped the Stock Traxxas Merv body for some paint. We started out with an Irridescent clear, I let him have at it. Being the body is a lot smaller than what i'm used to and was a tad harder for him he sprayed just a little to much. Not really a big deal, it was the Father & Son experience that was the most awesome thing. After a couple coats of that we painted the body Red. He even helped and put a few graphics on. It's a basher body for him so he's going to love it. He still thinks its Daddy's baby truck. LOL He's going to freak out when I give it to him.

    I have another body to paint up for him. Its the Proline Raptor SVT Body. He wants that one in blue.
    <>

    <>

    <>

    <>

    <>

    <>
    It has a kind of ice look to it.

    Thanks for looking.
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  32. #32
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    O man you know he's going to go crazy when he finds out that it's his. The top
    Looks great better than anything I could paint. Can't wait to see it fully assembled.
    Stampede VXL
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  33. #33
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Update: Tower Hobbies Order Has Arrived

    I received another package of goodies for the build. I was waiting for the TA 21141 Shim Set to go full steam ahead on getting her put back together. I'm so excited to finally piece together the upgrades and parts to complete this rig. I'll take my time and spend the better part of the week finishing this little project up. Reason being i'll work on this while the little booger is catching some ZZZzzzzz's. LOL

    Traxxas Body Mounts, Wing, & Alloy Motor Mount:


    Traxxas Parallel Adapter & TA 21141 Shims:


    RPM Fr/ Rr Bumper:


    Traxxas GTR Shocks:


    Pactra Blue Streak & Brilliant Blue:


    F-150 SVT Raptor:

    <>


    This sums up all the parts. Now time to get her back together.
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  34. #34
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. thedreadedend's Avatar
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    I gave you an hour.......must be close to done .... no? Lol for a lil boys truck, chassis braces and t-bone 3 piece skid/bumpers will save you some long hours of fix,n, rather than bashin. Something to consider.. not the prettiest but very affective combo for a collision prone driver like the kids tend to be.
    Last edited by thedreadedend; 07-17-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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  35. #35
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    That raptor is going to look sweet blue!
    I used some blue pactra paint and here it is done:
    Emaxx #3903, MERV
    RPM/PROLINE

  36. #36
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    Update: Shimmed Fr/ Rr Diffs

    I was able to start working on this little project last night. Didnt get as far as I wanted. The shimming went really well. It only required 2 shims per diff. The only thing I really don't care for is the gap ( split )that is left on the bulks. They were that way when I busted them apart and still that way now. I know most of it wil be covered up but still. I'm guessing/ hoping an upgrade in alloy ones will be much better. This might be a mod in the future. Anyways it'll be good for now. We don't drive in sandy area's much, but dirt will find its way there i'm sure.

    This is how far I made it. I actually did more but didnt take any shots. I'll hopefully get to do more this evening.









    The shimming came out great. Thanks for the help guys. I need to tear down my other big rigs and check the diffs on them ( ERBE & EMBE ). Woohoo, more project work.
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  37. #37
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    sweet project and how to build up

    keep the good work up
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  38. #38
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Update: Near Completion

    I finally finished her up. Well mostly I have Traxxas Alloy Pushrods coming anytime this week. I worked Saturday night and yesterday after lunch. I ran across a few issues that didnt seem to work right, then got them to work. I was trying to do to much in a short period of time. LOL It came out really sharp. I'm impressed!!! All the current upgrades and new parts have been installed.

    I ran the truck indoors for about 15 minutes to burn up a pack. It is a blast indoors, can only imagine when the little guy gets to drive it with me outside. I had to make some steering adjustments, wasnt to bad, then it was good to go.

    Anyways, here are the pics.













    ....TBC.....
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  39. #39
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    ....Continued......









    Thanks for looking guys. Hope you like it. The Pushrods will be going on by the end of the week hopefully. I'll post it with those pics to.
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  40. #40
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    SuperB and clean project

    i like the blue , red black theme

    i just think , no being sure your son will like this one very very much

    TWO thumbs up nice project and build topic
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