DIY Body-clip Pull Tabs

By: Tim Gluth

My initial level of love for my ECX Smash hasn't waned in the months after getting my new toy, I just wish I had more time to pop a battery pack in and drive it.  That aside, I did recently make a few adjustments to my latest "R/C garage" addition, specifically around cord management and body pin access.

As you can imagine, a 1/18 vehicle comes with many parts and pieces, and most of them are quite small. While this isn't a deterrent from getting a small-scale radio-controlled truck, it is something to consider and plan for.  The first few times I attached the body of my Smash to the posts, I kept dropping and fumbling around with the body pins.  They're not bad to take off and their slight angle actually helps you get a grip on them to pull them out.  However, they are tricky to keep track of and can fall or spring out of your hands if you're not careful.  Adding pull tabs for easier removal was the first item on my to-do list for tweaking this machine.

At first thought, I envisioned using paperclips as the pull tabs/bars and felt I could run a clip between the two pins for an easy removal solution.  That worked, but only in theory.  The paper clip was rather large when attached and I was sure it would (or could) snag on something when driving.  After I began working on my wire management inside the vehicle, I quickly came up with another solution.

Using a small, plastic zip-tie is a great way to make your own pull tabs for body pins.  The great thing about these are they can be customized to fit almost any size of pin (through various sizes of ties) and can be adjusted to give you the best amount of "pull space" for gripping and removing.  Not to mention, they're very inexpensive and can be easily replaced if you lose or break them.

Here are the steps to make your own set of zip-tie pull tabs:

  1. Buy a pack of plastic zip ties.  This shouldn't cost more than a few dollars at your local hardware store.  They do sell metal ties, but I think plastic would be more forgiving on the body.
  2. Loop the zip tie through the body pin and snug it up, leaving only a small loop for you to grab onto.  This is where you can use your own judgment to make the loop large enough to grasp.
  3. After you have the loop sized, cut off the excess "tail" and you're all set.

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