The Most Effective Strategies in Building Rock Crawlers

Rock crawling could be a costly habit especially to those who wants to have a more advanced enhancements and upgrades on their vehicle units. It may be too impractical to spend so much on something which may only last for a couple of months or weeks or may only be destroyed by the difficult terrains. However, a lot of people are still willing to take the risk and just believe that the amount that they spend in this hobby is incomparable to the joy and satisfaction that it provides in return.

While it is true that the satisfaction and fulfillment that rock crawling brings is more than the amount of money that one spends, would it not be more fun if one can have the same benefits and enjoy the same hobby and not spend much? Would it not be more fulfilling to be able to experience the same pleasure but with a lower expenditure?

If lack of ideas and resources are the reasons why a lot of people just turn blind in their rock crawler units and parts purchases, you might want to continue reading. This article aims to give you ideas and guidance in choosing the best RC crawlers. This is also intended to give you clear steps on how to build RC crawlers from scratch which in a way will be a great way to save more money.

Let us start with knowing what you really want and knowing what you can afford as of this moment. If you are really into rock crawling and still does not have enough funds, you might want to consider scaling down your vision and try remote control rock crawling vehicles instead. This article will provide all the needed information that will help you convert your remote controlled vehicle into a rock crawling monster.

One thing that should be considered in starting RC crawling hobby is to know that power is something that is more essential compared to speed. Rock crawling requires a powerful monster to overcome steep surfaces and is able to be maneuvered in rocky and difficult obstacles. Chassis and tires are the most important things in the RC vehicle. So, if you want to continue building your own rock crawler, please read on!

Rock Crawler

Start your RC Crawler Training Here

Before we go ahead in building a custom RC Rock Crawler, there are a lot parts that one still needs to be familiar with. So, let’s get it started!

  1. Axles –Tamiya TLT is one of the most recommended since a lot of people will be able to use its axles and hardware. Also, it is recommended to lock the differentials inside the axle case for rock crawling which can be done by using JB Weld, hot glue or another gear to the differentials.
  1. Chassis – Bender SW2 is one of the best chassis in the market
  1. Links –One can use an all thread rod and Traxxas rod ends which can make the custom links suit to the wheelbase.
  1. Transmission- Traxxas Stampede, Rustler, Bandit tranny are few of the most reliable transmissions available in the market. Locking differentials are recommended here to give both the front and rear axles with equal power.
  1. Driveshafts –Connects the output on the tranny to the output on the axle. One will need two driveshafts and yokes to attach the tranny and axles. Traxxas are the most effective and very affordable.
  1. Shocks –Duratrax, Integy and Traxxas are three top companies when it comes to dependable shocks that is compatible with crawlers and scale vehicles.
  2. Tires/ Wheels –Proline is best recommended tire company for rock crawling. A lot of people also prefers front electric stampede wheels since they are very effective and affordable. A 2.2 wheel size is always compatible with rock crawlers but there are other brands which might need adaptors to prevent rubbing at full lock.

Building a Custom RC Rock Crawler like a Pro


Source: Wikipedia

Bender Customs is the only name that stands out above the rest when it comes to RC parts and rock crawling units. It owns the highest and most dependable chassis parts in the market. Now, let us take a closer look on how they build their units and learn from their most effective ways:

  1. Use TLT-1 axles to be able to have a 2.2 shaft driven truck. One can find this axle by buying a brand new Tamiya TLT-1 Rock Buster Kit and use the parts to build the axles for the project.
  1. For front and rear spooled differentials use JB Weld and cold weld epoxy to have lockers and spools to the RC applications.
  1. Assemble the axle with the carriers, axle shafts, bearings, ring and pinions, stub shafts, steering knuckles and axle housings.
  1. Then, install the optional Bender Customs Upper Link Mounts.
  1. Next, link your axles up to that shiny new Bender Customs Chassis.
  1. After that, put your cross braces in.
  1. Get power from the tranny to the axles by using Traxxas steel output yokes instead of the plastic ones.
  1. The M2 rubber compound found in Proline tires are unbeatable on the rocks. Thus, we recommend using it for this rock crawling vehicle.
  1. The installation is almost complete now. The electronics is also very important but that would greatly depend on your preferences. What we recommend is to run a 7.2 battery pack by using a small piece of Velcro and a loose fitting zip tie for security.

Traxxas Summit Crawler

Rc Rock Crawler

Source: Wikipedia

The Traxxas Summit has been making rounds since the day that it was released. A lot of people has believed its hardcore off-road power and extreme rock capability. It is a great stock especially with T-Lock remote locking differentials and transmitter-operated high and low transmission. Once upgraded, it becomes more powerful, more durable and has more traction.

  • Electronics and Chassis

Swap out all the electronics and convert the Summit into a fulltime crawler. Then, lock the differential permanently. Always remember to use small lengths of wire to keep the differential levers in place.

  • Focus on the Suspension Units

For those who will be navigating difficult terrains, focus on the suspension units. Add a front and rear HD Steering Knuckles to add more strength to complement its 6x15mm outer bearing.

  • Body, Wheels and Tires

Add a Summit ExoCage to protect the body during multiple rollovers. In softening the tires, cut the stock inner foam into a star-shaped pattern. Also, add nine ounces of lead weight to the front tires.

Again, Summit has been one of the most powerful and reliable rock crawlers in the market. It boasts all the ideal features of a rock crawler but will definitely provide an extreme satisfaction once upgraded and enhanced. One thing is for sure, as the time goes by, there will be a continuous improvements in the future that will bring enjoyment and more pleasure to all RC Rock Crawling avid fans.


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