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Unbelievable RC

Project: Ultimate Rustler

Supension Front - Low-CG Shock Mounting:

Click to enlarge

One day in February '03 I found myself marveling over the new Team Associated RC10 B4, er, I mean, studying it for design flaws, and one particular feature caught my eye. They moved the shock tower forward a tad, and moved the shocks behind the tower. This lowers the center of gravity! Think about it -- normally a shock tower is raked towards the rear, with the shocks in front of and above it. Swap their positions and you actually lower the heavier shocks in relation to the chassis. Then I looked at my Rustler and said, "Hey, I can do that."

I took an SRT graphite shock tower and cut out most of the lower center section so that it will fit over the tip of the upper deck and onto the front of the front bulkhead. See the first photo below for clarification. The shocks get mounted to the tower with the help of 4-Tec shock spacers, part #4365. You'll want to use a 3x20mm screw (make sure it doesn't have a washer head) and locknut to secure each shock and be careful not to overtighten -- the shock should be able to rotate around the upper mount with little effort. I also slipped a 3/16" length of fuel tubing over each front shock shaft to limit uptravel.

Click to enlarge  Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge  Click to enlarge

Now down to the a-arm. With a 1/8th" bit, I drilled clear through the shock mounting holes on each a-arm. With a high-speed cutting bit, I Dremelled out the thin web of plastic behind where the shock originally mounted. The lower eyelet of the shock gets slipped into the new space and affixed with the help of a long (24mm or more) 3mm screw, a locknut, and spacers as necessary (I used a single conical washer). Finally, camber links get swapped to the front, backing the inner ball stud (stock camber links won't work) with a tightly-affixed flat nut since there's nothing to thread it into.

There are a number of options that can be used for new body mounts. The Duratrax Evader front mount would work well (also available as the Losi XXT mount, since the Evader is practically a copy of the XXT) without modification. Just line it up to the tower, mark & drill two mounting holes, and affix it with two screws. To get the lowest possible body mounting position, I took a couple of posts from an RPM RC10GT/T/T2 truck mount set and bent them up in the center with the help of the flame from a cigarette lighter to soften the plastic. They're attached with short 3mm screws from the other side, through holes I drilled in the shock tower.

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