Throughout my RC journey, I have always bought RTRs and customized them. Whether it was removing all stock parts and adding aftermarket parts or running them out of the box. In my current fleet, I have a mix of RTRs that I have modified and RCs that I have purchased from other RC enthusiasts that I have modified. After attending various RC competitions and events, I decided that I wanted to take a different approach and build my own competition truck from start to finish.
My vision was to build a tough lightweight Class 2 comp truck that was powerful and could handle various competition courses. I did some research but I did not know which company to choose that produced a competition ready product. There are quite a few companies that produce chassis kits and I wanted a proven competition ready chassis to build.
I reached out to a good friend of mine and excellent RC builder, Jeremy Kilburn. Jeremy recommended that I get the Team Garage Hack Sherpa chassis kit. I did my research and felt that this was the perfect chassis kit for a competition truck. I purchased the kit and was stoked for the build. I knew this build was going to be a different type of build, as I would have to purchase many other parts to get this truck running. I purchased the chassis kit and set a timeline of two months to complete the build.
I now had to plan out my electronics, motor, body, wheels, tires, shocks, axles, driveshafts, links, parts, and accessories. First was the power plant, I wanted a motor that had the right amount of power when I needed it and a reliable esc. I decided on Castle Creations Copperhead 10 ESC and a 2280kv slate motor. Next were the driveshafts and links. I went with my favorites, Incision Driveshafts and for links, I grabbed a set of In The Works high clearance links. For the transfer case driveshaft, I went with a shorter driveshaft by Super Shafty. Axle wise, I opted for Boom Racing’s Phat Axle 3-piece design.
My truck rides on Treal D Type wheels with Voodoo KLM/R tires. For servos and a winch, I chose to go with a Reefs RC Raw 500 and a Micro 99 Servo Winch. When it came to my choice of shocks, a set of Dessert Lizards by Yeah Racing did the trick. While I was building the Sherpa, Pro-Line Racing dropped their Cliffhanger Body. I liked the look of it and thought it would be perfect for this build. I snagged it and also ordered custom front and rear bumpers from A&M Garage.
When I received the Sherpa kit, I was very impressed with the craftsmanship of the chassis. Each part was labeled correctly and all required parts were in the box. It was now time to assemble the chassis. This was my first custom build so I took my time assembling the chassis. The chassis and all its included parts went together with no issues. Next, it was time to install the electronics, motor, links, wheels and tires, axles, shocks, and driveshafts. Again, all the parts installed with no issues.
Now it was time to work on the body. I wanted a different color for the body than most of my current bodies so I went with a shade of green that Tamyia offers. I didn’t run into any compatibility issues with any parts and I enjoyed this part of the build. What’s a rig without a name? As we know it is hard to name a rig but I made it simple, Cliff.
Once I finished the build, it was time to power it up and do some field-testing. I have a small rock course at my house and it enables me to obtain basic test data on trucks for adjustments and modifications. I powered Cliff up and she ran great but I noticed that I had to make some adjustments. After a couple more runs and adjustments, I felt that it was time to take the Sherpa out in the elements to really test the performance.
I found a state park with various terrains and trails. After testing on different trails and running on various rocks inclines, I was impressed with the climbing and agility capabilities of this rig. Cliff is now ready for the competition course. I really enjoyed building a custom build RC and plan to build another custom trucks in the future.
My advice to new builders: Create a vision of a build and make it your own. We are all going to make mistakes and this is how we learn and get better. Just keep building! Utilize the RC community, as it is a great resource for asking questions. And finally, join RC groups on social media platforms, as they are a great way to keep up on current trends in the industry and get your own name out there. Keep the hobby positive while having fun!
If you want to see more of this build, follow Peter Lundberg at Instagram “Rc_teamzone” where he posts build pictures and product updates on his various RC projects.