Rogue II Traxxas TRX-4 meets Axial Ryft. A "Traxxial"

Rogue II Traxxas TRX-4 meets Axial Ryft. A "Traxxial"

Final Build Photos

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Submitted By
Les Knoll
Denver, North Carolina, United States of America
Build Information
Readers Ride Title Rogue II Traxxas TRX-4 meets Axial Ryft. A "Traxxial"
Vehicle Class Rock Crawler, Buggy
Chassis Brand Traxxas
Chassis Model TRX-4 TRAXX
Body Brand Axial
Body Model Ryft
Power System Electric
Electric Motor Brand and Model Traxxas Tital 550 21 turn (3795)
Speed Control Brand and Model Traxxas XL-5 HV (3025)
Battery Brand and Model Traxxas 3S 5000mah
Wheels and Tires Brand and Model Traxxas TRAXX
Shocks Brand and Model Traxxas 7mm Bore GTS Aluminum Shocks front and rear
Axles Brand and Model Stock axles as on Traxxas Sport
Paint Brand and Model Krylon 2X Midnight blue on sides, hood and compartment top
Graphics Brand and Model Traxxas and Axial branding decals, Savox and Spectrum component decals, custom Rogue II name decal by Cedarleaf Custom Decals.
Scale Accessories Brand and Model GRC Ford V8 Engine simulation/cooling fan
Axial AX80045 Bucket light sets for headlights, taillights, "Rally" light bar and signals
Light System Brand and Model Headlights and light bar fed directly from Traxxas 3V lighting regulator. Brake lights, backing lights and turn signals are controlled by a custom programmed Arduino UNO "Every" microprocessor. Rear brake lights and rear turn signals are the rear running lights at increased brightness, backing lights are white LEDs and front turn signals are flashing yellow LEDs. Brake lights are programmed to turn on when throttle is at neutral (stop) and to sense deceleration from either forward or reverse (while running). Backing lights turn on only on reverse.
Radio System Brand and Model Spektrum SLT 3 Three channel.
Sound System Brand and Model None
Other Options Brand and Model Savox SA-1231-S steering servo
Hey OK 5 amp BEC
Further Description/Back Story ROGUE II A "TRAXXIAL" ROCK BUGGY

The TRX-4 with TRAXX is my first and to date only 1/10 RC truck. My only other is a 1/18 HK TEC Firewolf Crawler which I modified and named Rogue I because modifying a toy truck to a bad looking ride seemed kinda rogue to me. (Had nothing to do with Star Wars) . I really like the rock buggy looks of that cage body with large treads instead of tires. When I got my TRX-4 with TRAXX, I wanted that 'rock buggy' body style on it, too. Too bad Traxxas does not make that 🙁

I found a body conversion kit from Banggood in China . Ordered it, and waited eons for it to arrive. Now I know where the saying "Slow boat to China" comes from, there are slow boats FROM China, too.

I'm a newbie in this hobby so I was not aware of all that is available, so when I discovered the Axial Ryft, it was love at first sight! Of course Axial does not make TRAXX style treads or portal axles for it. Gotta do some kinda meld to get the Traxxas chassis and Axial body together. It would be a 'Traxxial!

Since My Bangood shipment was taking so long, I decided to try merging the Ryft body with the Traxxas chassis. After many trips to Hobbytown , I thought I had figured out a way to merge the great running TRX-4 TRAXX chassis with the great looking Ryft body. Fortunately, Hobbytown sells all the needed Ryft body parts as separate pieces so putting together the body I needed was just a matter of determining which parts to order.

When my Hobbytown shipment arrived, I assembled the Ryft body and laid it over the TRX-4 chassis. First thing I noticed was that the Traxxas fenders and running boards would have to go. Since the Traxxas shocks are mounted in the fenders, I had to make my own shock towers. I saw how those were done in pictures of the Banggood frame, and followed suit with four shock towers fabricated from .030" brass. Having been a scratchbuilder of small scale live steam locomotives for 20 years, these parts were no challenge. New running boards would have to be made to mount the Ryft body to the TRX-4 chassis. These were made from polystyrene; again previous scratchbuilding skills came in handy.

After the body was fit, I found I had to shorten the TRX-4 "C" channel frame both front and rear so as not to protrude from the Ryft body. Also modified in the process were the plastic end members on the frame. After some fitup, I had a running vehicle with the body and chassis I wanted. This was a nicely chopped compact little machine and I really liked the looks of it. It was turning out to be a 1/10 scale version of the rig I built out of the 1/18 scale Firewolf. The two look like father and son!

About this time, the Banggood rock buggy body finally arrived from China. Too late! I already had my Ryft body on my TRX-4 chassis, and I liked the looks of it better anyway. The Banggood body was quickly snapped up by another builder eager to build a vehicle similar to mine.

To finish off the looks of the vehicle, I added Axial AX80045 light buckets for headlights, taillights, a light bar to simulate rally lights, and backing and turn signals.

Lighting is wired with single strand magnet wire fastened to the underside of the Ryft tubular frame members with ACC cement, then painted flat black. The headlights and lightbar are fed off the Traxxas 3V optional lighting power supply, included with my original truck.

The taillights, backing lights and turn signals are controlled by an Arduino microprocessor which I programmed to read steering and throttle servo inputs, calibrated to the Traxxas ESC. The rear running lights on maximum brightness serve as brake lights and rear turn signals. The brakes come on when the throttle is in neutral or when deceleration is sensed from either forward or reverse directions. The turn signals take their cue from the steering servo input (full size vehicle drivers in my state could use this!) and the backing lights work only when the throttle is in reverse.

With the Axial body panels in place, there is still a lot of exposed vehicle interior in the front. This was taken care of with a GRC F76 Ford V8 engine/cooling fan kit. The fans are by no means waterproof and were omitted. The kit does not fit my TRX-4 as advertised, probably because of the off center motor mount. I raised it 1/4" so the exhaust headers cleared the frame. Just for the fun of it, I looked up the Ford V8 firing order and put the plug wires on the GRC kit on in that exact sequence. 1-3-7-2-6-5-4-8. I can barely close the hood now, everything fits by the skin of its teeth.

I ordered the Axial Ryft side and hood panels and painted them midnight blue. The styrene cover over the cockpit which conceals batteries and other components is painted the same color. A nice contrast to the flat black of the Ryft tube frame. Sponsor decals from Traxxas, Axial, Savox and Spektrum are on the body panels, as well as a custom made "Rogue II" name decal made by Cedarleaf Custom Decals, the company who supplies all the decals for my railroad models. Ryft body panel striping is in the background of the side panels.

I altered the battery hold-down so I could slide the battery in and out the back of the vehicle without taking off the body as must be done on many models. I also have a battery cutoff switch with pilot light on the rear so I do not have to go through plugging in and unplugging the battery with each use. There is a small catch lever installed on the bottom of the "C" channel on the left side so I can activate the Traxxas ESC without removing the body.

The rig's name is Rogue II, indicating it is the successor of my 1/18 scale Firewolf Rogue I, which started it all for me. I occasionally do some tough rock climbing because with the TRAXX, I can do it, but I prefer trail running with an occasional stream to ford or attacking dirt formations on construction sites. My skills as a driver are increasing as I learn my vehicle. I‘m not really hard on the truck as is evident by lack of parts failures. Most original Traxxas parts are still in use. I only upgrade when something fails, and that has primarily been electronics. Most of the original Traxxas components are doing just fine for me. That model TRX-4 was full of upgrades to begin with.

All in all, I am completely satisfied with the rig's looks and performance. Thanks to the tire set and change gears supplied by Traxxas, I can change from TRAXX to tires at will, and have a totally different vehicle to drive. I do like climbing better than extreme speed, and when people ask about top speed, I just say "It doesn't go fast, it just goes ANYWHERE!"

NOTE TO EDITOR: If some of my photos came to you distorted, Please let me know and I will email them to you directly.

Build Process Photos

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