If you end up continuously constructing and upgrading your automobiles, it’s inevitable that you find yourself with a field of spare components, and if you’re like me, you retain them organized indirectly, for me it’s by model. That’s how I ended up with a giant ’ole field of Traxxas components. Conserving issues organized permits me to shortly dig by means of the field for what I would like. I’m certain there are significantly better methods to arrange components however that is how I do it and it labored for my Legos as a child so I figured why not do the identical with my RC components?
Whereas I used to be digging by means of my Traxxas field, I seen that I had what seemed like the inspiration for a “spare components” TRX4 construct. I immediately had the urge to finish it. Having beforehand constructed rigs that featured all of the out there TRX4 our bodies Traxxas provided, I wished to make one thing totally different. I’ve to say that as a child the one truck that stands out and in the end obtained me hooked on monster vans was the long-lasting Bigfoot #1.
In the event you grew up within the 80s, you’ll know that Bigfoot was the unique monster truck. It made its debut at a time approach earlier than occasions comparable to Monster Jam even existed. And to a bit of boy rising up throughout that point, it was (and nonetheless is) an incredible sight to behold. Initially created as a approach to promote his 4×4 store, Bob Chandler, frequently modified the truck from 1974 by means of the 80s. The extremely modified F-250 Ford pick-up might be probably the most well-known vans in vehicular historical past.
In 1981 Chandler drove Bigfoot up and over a few junk vehicles, only for enjoyable, to see if he might do it. Nicely, evidently, the truck drove proper excessive of the vehicles, and the remainder is historical past. Branding our monster truck loving minds with the last word picture of what a monster truck is supposed to do, Bigfoot #1 was additionally the primary monster truck to drive over vehicles for an viewers in 1982. That’s the way it’s performed! Curiously, Bigfoot #1 has advanced over the many years and has seen 18 totally different tire and wheel combos. That’s sounding like what we do to our RC vans. Talking of RC vans, let’s get again to the construct.
I searched round my workshop for a Traxxas Stampede Bigfoot physique that I knew I had however was afraid to placed on the Stampede realizing it might simply get thrashed. Traxxas made the licensed model of the Bigfoot Traditional on a Stampede platform, which is a highly regarded RTR package for the corporate. After finding the physique, I did some research and discovered that reproduction Bigfoot wheels have been additionally out there from Traxxas. I obtained them ordered up from traxxas.com and commenced finding out how I ought to get the construct going.
As with all customized tasks, issues hardly ever go easily. I loosely assembled a rolling TRX4 chassis from my components bin to offer myself a basis to start out with. From what I perceive, the real-life Bigfoot #1 had four-wheel steering (4WS) included into it again in 1979 and Bigfoot was billed a 4x4x4. I’ll name my creation the TRX4x4x4. So to make issues extra difficult and tough for myself, I used two steer axles so I might give it Bigfoot #1’s lifelike 4-wheel steering motion.
Realizing that the wheelbase of the Stampede Bigfoot physique is way shorter than that of the TRX4, I spotted some critical package bashing was required to get the job performed. I took some measurements and broke out the Dremel and drilled and moved the shock towers and varied different components round to get issues nearer to suit the physique higher. Essentially the most difficult a part of this was that the hyperlinks have been all too lengthy, so with the assistance of a lathe and die set, I turned down and re-threaded the hyperlink so I might get the proper wheelbase.
At this level, the chassis was mocked up however I didn’t have physique mounts, a battery tray or any of the electronics put in but. I made a decision to check match the physique on the chassis to see what else I might have to change earlier than sourcing and putting in the aforementioned objects. Having a pre-painted and pre-drilled physique proved difficult to suit, so again into the components bin I went for some physique mounts. I discovered outdated Slash physique mounts that I might lower up and fasten to the chassis. Numerous reducing, grinding and epoxying later, landed me in a great place to get the physique mounted. Now I knew what sort of room I used to be working with for the electronics.
Whereas rummaging by means of the components bin, I discovered an outdated Slash On Board Audio (OBA) unit and one speaker so I used to be set on utilizing that as properly. The Traxxas OBA arrange makes use of the Slash physique to assist amplify the sound and with the Bigfoot physique mounted, I had simply sufficient room to mount the speaker on the battery tray and have it resonate off the physique. The OBA module was connected throughout the entrance shock tower for ease of adjustment.
Since I had a steering axle within the rear, I wanted to get a servo again there to actuate it so again within the bin I went. I got here up with a TRX4 servo mount left over from one of many lengthy arm conversions and a pair of Traxxas E-Revo 2.0 servos that might work nice in addition to two Traxxas Micro Shift Servos, one for two-speed transmission and the opposite one was for the entrance diff. The rear axle already had a locker in it however the entrance had the linkage to interact and disengage it so I connected the linkage, did some extra trimming with the Dremel and the bodily a part of the steering each entrance and rear was performed.
With an assembled chassis with electronics and physique mounted, I hit a roadblock with no approach to get the rear steering to operate. That is when my TRX4x4x4 venture went on the dreaded shelf of “by no means performed tasks.”
There it sat for nearly 4 months till I came upon a discussion board the place somebody had 4WS on their Traxxas TRX4. quarter-hour and $32 later, I too had the Bastens QuadSteer 4-Wheel Steering Management Module on the best way from bastens.com. I used to be excited to get issues occurring the venture once more. The great factor in regards to the Bastens QuadSteer module is that you should use a manufacturing unit Traxxas transmitter’s toggle change to alter and choose the form of steering you need, entrance, rear, crab or entrance and rear reverse. On a crawler, this may be very helpful however on this Bigfoot it was 100% for realism and the cool issue.
With my model of Bigfoot constructed and functioning, I used to be left with a birds nest of wires from the Traxxas BEC, 4 servos, the OBA arrange, the QuadSteer field with Y-connectors and a bunch of adapters that I stuffed into the TRX receiver field. I took the subsequent few days to scrub up shorten and loom all of the wiring for a a lot cleaner set up. I used Techflex Flexo PET loom that I’ve stored scraps of from having performed a number of 1:1 engine swaps and customized harnesses for racecars that I’ve labored on. The remnant of Techflex loom does wonders to cover wild wire nests.
With the whole lot tucked away and plugged in, it was time to crush some automobiles. Missing any alternate options, I took out one in all my Traxxas 4TEC 2.0’s to behave because the sacrificial crusher automobile. With the OBA cranked up, Bigfoot TRX4x4x4 was fired up, loud as might be and raring to go. The closely modified TRX4 primarily based monster truck did its job, cruising over the 4TEC 2.0 as if it have been a parking zone pace bump. All 4 wheels might steer in any variety of configurable methods. I couldn’t be extra happy with this venture that started life in a components bin.
In abstract, this was a extremely enjoyable construct and I’m certain it is going to get loads of consideration on the park or act as a dialog piece on the shelf. The Traxxas On Board Audio sounds superior, the licensed Bigfoot physique instantly brings me again to my childhood, the bouncy nature of the tires and brief wheelbase make it enjoyable to drive over issues and the 4 wheel steering is the icing on the cake of this traditional model Bigfoot TRX4x4x4. If you’d like a Traxxas Bigfoot however don’t have a giant field of Traxxas components to dig into, the corporate’s able to run Stampede-based Bigfoot No.1 could also be proper up your alley.
Textual content by Leigh Guarnieri and RCCA Workers
Photos by Leigh Guarnieri