R/C Overhaul - Upgrading an Axial SCX10 "Classic"

By: Tim Gluth

How times change. A few years ago, I had myself convinced that there wasn’t much room in my R/C garage beyond what I had allotted for my Axial SCX10 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, Axial RR10 Bomber, and Redcat Racing RS10 Rockslide. Now, I have...a few more radio-controlled vehicles in my garage, with some of them seeing more action than others.

No matter what new machine may come through the door, I’ve always considered the SCX10 to be my favorite. Over the past year, however, it hasn’t seen much run time, as I’ve been distracted by other, newer models. After too much time on the shelf, it was time for a change.

Jeep Makeover

The Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon body that came with my ready-to-run (RTR) SCX10 has seen its own share of updates since I first pulled it out of the box. While I love the look that I’ve achieved with this lid, my love for a different Jeep model was too much to ignore.

After purchasing an Axial SCX10 II Jeep Cherokee clear body from Tower Hobbies (along with Axial’s CRCOffroad roof rack), I launched into my overhaul project. Slowly.

Winter weather pushed my painting project back into the Spring. Although things got off to a slow start, I made up for lost time quickly, while also coming to the realization that this project would provide its own set of challenges.

Body Swap: SCX10 vs SCX10 II

While the SCX10 and SCX10 II share a number of interchangeable parts, the body posts, bumpers, and certain measurements don’t mesh perfectly. The body posts on the Axial SCX10 have a different mounting post shape than that of the SCX10 II. Along with the different shape, the mounting holes are at different locations (when using stock SCX10 II body posts) between the two models. The Jeep Cherokee body is also longer than the Wrangler, meaning the bumpers will need to be pulled out to accommodate the length.

The bumper widths were also a factor, as the stock SCX10 Jeep Wrangler features a narrow front bumper and slightly narrower rear bumper. These differences threw a curve in my plans but didn’t derail the entire project.

I was able to track down a few 3D printable components (front, rear bumpers and rear body posts) to give me a “quick” fix. With the 3D printed items in place, I was able to see what I liked and what needed adjustments. I’ll eventually try my hand at designing my own bumpers, but for now, what I found will do the trick.

What about the Wheels?

I had previously swapped out the stock, plastic SCX10 wheels on my rig for a set of Boom Racing High-mass Aluminum beadlock wheels. While they looked great and added some overall weight to my crawler, in my view, they didn’t quite match up with the Jeep Cherokee body. With a number of wheel options on the market, I looked at a number of styles and found one that I felt matched the XJ body.

Wish.com has provided me with some interesting and low-cost finds, including this set of aluminum beadlock wheels from Injora. Although shipping took a bit longer, the wheels arrived in great shape and were quickly mounted to my SCX10.

But Wait, There’s More...

While I was ready to call this overhaul complete, AMain Hobbies presented a unique opportunity to me that was too good to pass up. Providing me with a selection of chassis, drivetrain, and steering updates, my overhaul project has gone from a purely cosmetic change to an inside-out renovation.

With this R/C upgrade project well underway, I’m enjoying the process but I’m also looking forward to getting this rig out on the trail, rocks, and whatever else I can manage to drive on. It’s a nice way to freshen up a vehicle that’s sat on my shelf for far too long.

A Video Intro to My SCX10 Overhaul Project


My “Axial SCX10 Overhaul” Parts List:

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