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  1. #1
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Project: TRX4 Tonka Tow Truck

    I have a project I am working on where the chassis and WB have to match the body, and I am using the TRX4. Once I get it done I will post up a proper build thread, but given all of the work still to be done, it will be a while.

    For this project I needed the WB to be just 9 1/8", that made me get creative. the back end wasn't that big of a challenge, it is just a shortened 4-link, but the front end with the pan-hard bar challenged me a bit.

    Also, the suspension is really short. I am running droop in the front with a compressed eye-to-eye length of 80mm. The back is even shorter and I am still looking for shocks, I am thinking of maybe 4-Tec. For now I just put solid links where the shocks would go, but I am amazed how much articulation I am getting.

    Untitled by Scott O, on Flickr

    Untitled by Scott O, on Flickr

    Untitled by Scott O, on Flickr

    Untitled by Scott O, on Flickr
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  2. #2
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    Awesome, just what you needed I imagine, lol. Least that's what the wife would tell me. Looking forward to a build thread. What body you have planned for it? Or is it a surprise?

  3. #3
    RC Racer
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    Short WB sounds fun.
    CJ5 or an old Army GP would be killer!
    Could you reverse the steering servo to point the horn rearward, and move it forward to make the links line up better. It looks really awkward where they are now.
    Last edited by Stircrayzy; 01-01-2019 at 12:39 AM.

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike mechanic View Post
    Awesome, just what you needed I imagine, lol. Least that's what the wife would tell me. Looking forward to a build thread. What body you have planned for it? Or is it a surprise?
    It is a surprise for now, just hoping everything comes together the way I have it in my head.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stircrayzy View Post
    Short WB sounds fun.
    CJ5 or an old Army GP would be killer!
    Could you reverse the steering servo to point the horn rearward, and move it forward to make the links line up better. It looks really awkward where they are now.
    Great suggestion. Basically what you see is a mock-up, as I start getting the electronics and such installed things will move and have to adjust.
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  5. #5
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Progress continues on this project. I am starting to get the parts and pieces put together, but it is a little disheartening to know that it all has to come apart before it can all go back together again.

    But, I do have one major shareable milestone in the bag...

    Untitled by Scott O, on Flickr
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  6. #6
    RC Racer
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    Tire style says either Unimog, or Bobcat.
    LOL

  7. #7
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    More work on McShorty... Other than a few odds and ends, the chassis is almost ready. The body is almost ready as well, almost time to strip and repaint. One thing really left to do, and it is really giving me fits to get it right, but that is half the fun of this project.

    Here are a couple of pics...

    This one shows the difference in WB from my 12.3" TRX4 and McShorty.

    by

    The drive shafts took a little bit to get right as well...
    by
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  8. #8
    RC Racer
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    Looks like you'll have a lot of leverage working against those front shock mounts.

  9. #9
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stircrayzy View Post
    Looks like you'll have a lot of leverage working against those front shock mounts.
    Good observation. Luckily Traxxas made them beefy enough to handle the load. Just for kicks and giggles, I put double the amount of weight that the chassis will see between the front shock towers, there was just a hint of deflection, so it is, for the most part, good. But, if I get worried about it I'll put a brace on the back side of it.
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Now it gets serious... 12 channels!!!

    Untitled by , on Flickr

    Just need to install the kit to get it out of mode 2 and we'll be in business.

    As far as the truck itself goes, just waiting for Spring, literally... It is too cold in my garage for stripping and painting right now. Can't wait until it warms up, 10*/f almost feels like shorts and tanktop weather...
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  11. #11
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    12 channels, wow, what to do with all thoses channels? Lol. Still looking forward to more pictures please....waiting very patiently. Bet its going to be something great.

  12. #12
    RC Qualifier Sp2deSummit's Avatar
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    Can't wait to see the finished project! I like those wheels.
    @Bike mechanic- Maybe he needs loads of winches...
    I like free stuff!

  13. #13
    RC Champion FnFancy's Avatar
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    I really like those wheels and tires, can you share some info on part numbers?
    Its alright son I'll fix it when you break it

  14. #14
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bike mechanic View Post
    12 channels, wow, what to do with all thoses channels? Lol. Still looking forward to more pictures please....waiting very patiently. Bet its going to be something great.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sp2deSummit View Post
    Can't wait to see the finished project! I like those wheels.
    @Bike mechanic- Maybe he needs loads of winches...
    Just waiting for the thaw so I can work on the body, hoping some time in April I'll have the body repainted and start putting the whole mess together.

    The channel list, so far...

    1. Steering
    2. Throttle
    3. Transmission
    4. Forward Winch
    5. Boom #1
    6. Boom Winch #1
    7. Boom #2
    8. Boom Winch #2
    9. Front Light Bar
    10. Bed working Lights
    11. Emergency lights

    I might be able to combine the lights, but if I have the channels open, I'll likely give them their own.

    Quote Originally Posted by FnFancy View Post
    I really like those wheels and tires, can you share some info on part numbers?
    Here are the wheels...

    https://www.amazon.com/RCLIONS-Alumi...s%2C335&sr=8-9

    They mount up nicely. I am not sure what they were thinking with the center cap, there is no way to mount it with the wheel on the axle.

    The tires are from RC4WD.

    https://store.rc4wd.com/MIL-SPEC-ZXL...es_p_1957.html
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  15. #15
    RC Qualifier Sp2deSummit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greatscott View Post
    The channel list, so far...

    4. Forward Winch
    5. Boom #1
    6. Boom Winch #1
    7. Boom #2
    8. Boom Winch #2

    I might be able to combine the lights, but if I have the channels open, I'll likely give them their own.

    https://store.rc4wd.com/MIL-SPEC-ZXL...es_p_1957.html
    I am cornfused, are you making a tow truck? What are the booms, and what are they for? I think a tow truck would be legit!
    I like free stuff!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sp2deSummit View Post
    I am cornfused, are you making a tow truck? What are the booms, and what are they for? I think a tow truck would be legit!
    That's what I'm thinking too. A tow truck. That would be cool.

  17. #17
    RC Qualifier SummitonSlingrs's Avatar
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    Looks cool Greatscott!! The channel list leans towards a Tow Truck...? Some of those old ones had pretty short wheelbase and a couple booms...???

    Excited to see what you have in store.
    -A
    Sla2hP4deXSummitRusty2TRX4Bigfoot#14TEC2.0Rally

  18. #18
    RC Qualifier SummitonSlingrs's Avatar
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    Maybe something like this??? Yeah you have me interested...!
    This is Tonka but you get the point... Would be cool converted to RC.
    Sla2hP4deXSummitRusty2TRX4Bigfoot#14TEC2.0Rally

  19. #19
    RC Qualifier Sp2deSummit's Avatar
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    Yes it would! Hard part would be putting steering on it. But a crawler tow-truck would be even better!
    I like free stuff!

  20. #20
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SummitonSlingrs View Post
    Maybe something like this??? Yeah you have me interested...!
    This is Tonka but you get the point... Would be cool converted to RC.
    Well, cat's out of the bag... That is exactly what I am working on.
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  21. #21
    RC Qualifier SummitonSlingrs's Avatar
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    What really...!! I stumbled on that pic on ebay and thought GreatScott!!!!
    Very Cool. Excited to see it!!
    Sla2hP4deXSummitRusty2TRX4Bigfoot#14TEC2.0Rally

  22. #22
    RC Racer
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    Thats funny! I remember my cousins having that truck when i was a kid

  23. #23
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Basically I have the servos for the arms and the winches mocked up and function, and removed, the body is fitted and everything is pretty much lined up and ready, just have to wait until I can strip the old point off and put down etching primer and paint. The front lights are almost done, and have the holes drilled for the back lights, it will also have a light bar for the front and work lights for the back.

    Normally I like to get a RC project all wrapped up and move on to something else, but I think this will be a project that I work on in stages, getting all of the core fit-up and functionality working right, then add to it as the spirit moves me.
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  24. #24
    RC Qualifier Sp2deSummit's Avatar
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    Do you have any new updates on this?
    I like free stuff!

  25. #25
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sp2deSummit View Post
    Do you have any new updates on this?
    Not really, I am flap-sanding the old paint off of the body right now, but taking my time doing it. I am really waiting for my garage to be consistently above 60*/f so I can start painting. I am guessing here in the next couple of weeks I'll be able to make significant progress.

    The painting has me a little nervous, so I am taking it slow, and will test out the who procedure on base (which I am not using), to make sure I have the technique down. Here is the process, as I understand it...

    • Remove paint (in progress)
    • Wipe down with mineral spirits
    • Paint with self-etching primer and sand anywhere that runs
    • Paint with primer sealer, and wet sand (400)
    • Paint with color coat. Just like lexan painting, several light coats to prevent runs.
    • Overcoat with clear lacquer.

    We'll see how it goes...
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  26. #26
    RC Qualifier Sp2deSummit's Avatar
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    Ok, cool! I hope the painting goes to plan.
    I like free stuff!

  27. #27
    RC Racer
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    Love it. Hope you have plans for that rotating beacon to light up (and rotate or blink)

  28. #28
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ben1272 View Post
    Love it. Hope you have plans for that rotating beacon to light up (and rotate or blink)
    Its going to have more than its fair share of lights, but right now there are no plans of having that particular one on the truck.
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  29. #29

  30. #30
    RC Qualifier Sp2deSummit's Avatar
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    Oh man, those look sweet! Have you tried them before ben? I wonder how well they work.
    I like free stuff!

  31. #31
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ben1272 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Sp2deSummit View Post
    Oh man, those look sweet! Have you tried them before ben? I wonder how well they work.
    You people suck and are costing me money…. I just ordered two of those...
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  32. #32
    RC Qualifier Sp2deSummit's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry

    Not really , hopefully you won't regret your decision!
    I like free stuff!

  33. #33
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sp2deSummit View Post
    I'm so sorry

    Not really , hopefully you won't regret your decision!
    Finally got two of these in, they too a while. Connected one up and tested it, here are the results...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWV6-O1Snrc
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  34. #34
    RC Racer
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    Hey! That's awesome, I'm glad they are as cool as they are! Your Tonka conversion is going to be awesome! You are making me think about converting my own tonka dump truck.....

  35. #35
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    FINALLY!!!

    Now that it is in the 70s in the Inland Northwest, I can start painting!!!!

    Progress will be a little slow while putting down primer, my paint booth just isn't big enough to accomidate a lot of parts, so I am deviding the truck up into 3rds. Here is the first 3rd...

    The masts and cab are going to be white, but I have not settled on a color for the body yet...

    by , on Flickr
    Submarine Qualified, Chief Inducted, Navy Retired

  36. #36
    RC Qualifier Sp2deSummit's Avatar
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    Oh yeah! Can't wait to see it all painted up finally
    I like free stuff!

  37. #37
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Everything is primed, starting with the color...

    by , on Flickr
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  38. #38
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Greatscott's Avatar
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    Well, went with blue... Don't know why, it just felt right...

    by , on Flickr
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  39. #39
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    Looking good. Cant wait to see the final product. Once your all done I would love to see a short video of all thoses channels busy with the cables and everything.

  40. #40
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Wolfslash16's Avatar
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    Absolutely loving your build, I love seeing Tonka trucks into into Rc's.
    Is owning 27 RC's too many? No way!

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