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  • HOW TO: Build a clodbuster rock crawler

    I'd like to thank everyone for posting in here. There are no stupid questions so ask anything you are unsure about. I will make sure you don't get flamed on and will delete any posts that are not made with good intentions. This thread is kept clean and posts are deleted regularly. Any info you post that is useful will be added to this original post so please keep asking questions and posting answers if you know them. Thanks again and good luck with your new build.

    Please see the following vendors for your parts needs:, rock crawlers for sale RC RCP Crawlers Hustler Chassis Rock Crawling Axial Tamiya RC Crawler parts trucks xr10 progress moa, honcho wraith scale tires beadlock rims wheels bec m3 esc tekin novak rc4wd ckrc vanquish vp bj4 holmes hobbies tcs crawlers carbon fiber aluminum titanium crawl rock mountain RCX remote control radio controlled chassis shafty scx10 ax10, axial, traxxas, tamiya, hitec, crawler, rock crawling parts, trucks,


    Part 1: Buying the components
    Part 2: Construction and assorted notes

    How to build a Clodbuster Rock Crawler

    Part 1: Buying the components

    This guide is designed to help newcomers with the task of acquiring the numerous components needed to build a Clodbuster Rock Crawler.

    To make this all a little easier to use, I've compiled an abbreviated list for the beginner crawler to use. This list of parts is a good starting point for anyone to build a clod crawler. I've recommended components so you don't have to decide yourself. The majority of parts you will need to build your crawler are:

    Clod Axles
    Clod Chassis (you have to choose this one)
    Speed Control (recommend the the novak rooster crawler)
    Servos (recommend hitec 5998tg or 5995tg)
    tq3 system
    Batteries for truck (all but the stick can use whats listed below- subC 6 cell)
    Battery Charger (see recommended below)
    Tires (proline Moabs)
    Wheels (Proline beadlocks)
    Wheel Adapters ( ... 16514.html) or ... 16515.html
    Motors (Integy Lathe 65t with 8 tooth pinions)(or 35t warriors with 9t pinions)
    Diff Locks

    1) Clodbuster Axles

    2) High Torque Servos
    --Hitec HS-645MG Servos are the most popular. 133.31 oz/in at 6.0V
    --You can upgrade to digital and increased torque. HS-5645MG 164.2 oz/in at 6V[/url]
    --Hitec 5995TG - Robot servos provide the most torque, but at a high cost. 339 oz/in at 6V
    --Hitec 5998TG (180 degrees of rotation - programmable) - Robot servos provide the most torque, but at a high cost. 339 oz/in at 6V Note, this servo rotates 180 degrees. A normal servo only rotates 90 degrees. This helps preload the servo saver but may not be good for all applications

    3) Servo Savers (i would not recommend using any servo savers)
    --Kimbrough Gas Car/Truck Servo Saver #124
    --The Ofna Gas Car/Truck Servo Saver - Really good for the 180 degree rotation robot servo

    4) 4 Wheel Steering Kits. Some chassis kits come with steering, so check with the manufacturer of the chassis you are buying to see if the chassis kit comes with steering or not.
    --RcGuy 4 Wheel Steering Kit
    --rc4wd steering kit

    5) Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
    --Novak rooster crawler
    --Tekin rebel 2
    --The Novak Super Rooster was the standard ESC for rock crawling but is now discontinued. If you have one or can get one they are still a great choice for rock crawling.
    --If you have an EVX laying around, that can be used also. You can run one battery off your EVX, see how by clicking here.

    6) Radio System/Remote Control
    --The TQ3 with rear steer is very popular.
    --Spectrum DX6
    --Clod Mod Racing TQ3
    --The Futaba 4WD remote is also a good option

    7) Batteries
    --SMC 3600mAh Nimh packs are great
    --Or, a more economical choice if money is an issue, use DuraTrax Shark 6-Cell 1500mAh Sport Standard

    8.) Battery Charger
    --DuraTrax Piranha AC/DC Digital Peak Charger NiCd/NiMH

    9) Tires/Rims/Adapters
    --Axial Racing 8 Hole Beadlock Wheels
    --Pro-Line Moab tires are the most popular [/url]
    --Pro-Line Velocity rims for the Moabs or other 40 series tires (Requires clod to maxx wheel adapters, see below)[/url]
    --Pro-Line Mambo rims for the Moabs or other 40 series tires (Requires clod to maxx wheel adapters, see below)[/url]
    --E-Maxx and T-Maxx tires are fairly popular.
    --Imex items can be purchased directly from Imex.
    --IMEX JumboMaxx Swamp Dawgs for E-Maxx and T-Maxx
    --IMEX Rims for E-Maxx and T-Maxx
    --Or these clod to maxx adapters from TheCrawlerStore

    10) Motors
    --You need two motors for a clodbuster. Lathe motors are the most popular.
    -- I would recommend the 35t warrior motors from JP Customes
    --There are several motor mount manufacturers: Thunder Tech Racing, RcGuy, rc4wd, etc.
    --Low tooth count pinions. Recommend 9t pinion any smaller give very litte contact area over tranny gears

    11) Top link mounts.
    Some trucks such as the Vprime require upper link mounts.

    12) Diff Locks. These are needed to lock the differentials on the truck which is a must in rock crawling.

    Part 2: Construction

    Make sure to use locktight on any metal to metal hardware like a metal screw going into a metal part or into a metal nut.

    Nitro or gas powered r/c trucks do not make good crawlers at all for many reasons. Electric motors have allot more "control". You can control the torque and power you apply much more precisely. Electrics have instant reverse. Not all nitros even have reverse systems stock. Nitros free wheel (no brake or engine power) when the throttle on the radio is returned to neutral. This allows the truck to roll which you don't want to do when crawling on inclines.

    You can lock your differentials (diffs) using jb weld or hot glue or buying an actual locker.

    Four Wheel Steering:
    To make the most capable rock crawler you should setup four wheel steering (4ws - steer the front and rear wheels). You can use a Y servo cable to do this. The y cable is inexpensive ($4-$10) and you can get them at any local hobby shop or online hobby store. But this will give you full time 4ws which is not really that good. The best setup is an independent 4ws system. Setup like this, the front and rear servo are wired seperately into the receiver on different channels. For this you need to have at least a 3 channel radio system. The cheapest method to do this is to modify a tq3 system. You can buy the parts or a complete system from RCC vendors or you can modify your system with the info found here:

    I posted a pic of this when it was still in the works. Now it's done and I'm loving it. It's over the top but works very well. I wouldn't want a

    You can also use a 3 or more channel radio system. Different radio systems are listed above in part 1 of this article.

    Mounting servos:
    Here is some info on how to mount your servos to the clod axles. ... 546&page=3

    You should also cut off the 4 little knubs (steering stops) on each knuckle to increase turning radius. I use a pair of wire cutters or knips, but you can use a dremel tool with a cutoff wheel (use safety glasses) or any other means.

    About the super clodbuster kits:
    The super clod kit does not come with any type of controller and receiver, servos, batteries, or any wiring that you would use on a clod based crawler. the stock clod can't do much of anything. It's only worth buying for the axles.

    Making you own links:
    I recommend using 1/4" all thread, 1/4" brake line, and revo rod ends. cut the all thread to size and cut the brake line about 1/2" shorter. slide the all thread into the brake line and thread on revo rod ends onto the exposed all thread.

    Wiring your motors:

    Last edited by Rckcrwlr; 02-02-2010, 03:39 PM.