Newbie Clod Build

Talk about the Clod Buster, and all other motor on axle trucks here.
LLCoolDL
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Newbie Clod Build

Post by LLCoolDL »

Hi All,

My wife has just bought me a Clod, having wanted one as a child when I was an RC enthusiast racing buggies the thought of buying one now and modding it appeals to me!

I plan to build it as a standard CLOD just for sh*ts'n'giggles but my real plan is to use it as a base to build a Monster Truck (as in something that looks like a real monster truck)

I'm not racing it, I'm not using it for Rock Crawling, I want it to be the most bad *ss basher that can be made. I see this as a long term aim. I am not concerned about the electronics side but just for info it will be brushless lipo.

As I see it the easy thing to do would be to buy loads of bits'n'pieces from various places such as crawford engineering however at this moment in time I feel like that's cheating. I want to build the frame myself and whilst I will probably buy rods and connectors I want to machine as much of it myself as I can. I have no engineering experience but I'm a scientist and therefore a techie type.

I've been lurking for a while and read a lot of different things but I'm left with a head bursting of questions which I believe are so obvious to you that they don't appear to be asked / covered (or at least not that I found!).

My first three questions...

Are there different quality bearings or do I just buy the cheapest set I can find. For example I can buy a CLOD bearing set for £12 delivered. On the other hand I found a specialist bearing website selling individual bearings for £3 a piece (20 at £3 each is £60, plus the other 4 which I didn't look at the price of). Would I notice a difference in bearing quality or is that a waste of my cash?

I was originally considering 8 x G-made XD Piggyback 103mm shocks, running near vertical with 4 link suspension. I see a lot of builds with just 4 shocks and the position is at a (roughly) 45 degree angle (front to back and back to front). Why the difference from a lot of life sized monster trucks and the standard clod, noting the 8 shocks on a standard clod (I appreciate quality can play a big part)? I need to understand this before designing and building my chassis which I want to have as much clearance as possible/reasonable with a good amount of rotation between front and back (as with rock crawlers, eg. the G1 spider).

Last question, why wouldn't I want 4 wheel steering, this has always been an appeal for me as it makes the truck more life like?!

I really appreciate everyone's input and many thanks in advance.

Andy

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andymac0035
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Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by andymac0035 »

Welcome,
It's hard on your first build-up sometimes simply because there just so many ways to build a clod.

Bearings:
There are differences yes, but for the most part, you just need a good rubber sealed bearing.
If you want to be picky, you could go with metal shielded on the ones inside the gear cases, as they would not have to deal with dirt.
Be aware that failure is common on the smaller bearings that go on the counter gears with prolonged service with hi-powered brushless set-ups (over time, not right away).
So if you want to go hi-end with any bearings, I would do it there. Otherwise, I would retain the stock bronze bushing in that area.


Shocks:
Oh my..... that is so subjective... there is no single correct answer. The thing to keep in mind here is that unlike the real thing, a clodbuster has no engine or drive train weight to support. All of that weight is on the axles, so there is much less chassis weight to support. Set ups with more than 4 shocks are usually done for appearance. Laying the shocks at an angle allows for more travel and also softens the suspension. Softening the suspension as much as practical will help a lot. It will require the use of a good (anti) sway bar set up though.

4-wheel-steering:
Many shy away from this as it makes the truck harder to drive as the truck is modified to go faster. Having rear steer can indeed lead to unstable turns and lots of crashes, so keep that in mind. If tuned right however, it is a wonderful thing. Many use a 4-channel radio with channel mixing and can turn the rear steer on and off as they like. I don't have a 4 channel radio, so what I do is limit the throw on the rear steer and it helps a lot in my trucks.

Hope this helps you some. Take your time and take your build in stages, enjoying each advance you make along your journey of building up your clodbuster.

LLCoolDL
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Joined: Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:49 pm

Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by LLCoolDL »

Many tanks for the reply.

Just ordered my bearings so thanks!

I hadn't considered the weight variance. I'm considering two batteries with the weight in the chassis rather than on the axles because of the axels breaking but I understand that the weight on the axles is beneficial for stability. I really like the look of the vertical shocks but I do want a lot of movement. I can't get in my head why having them vertical would prevent the movement, I'll have to mull this over!

I have no radio gear at present so will consider the four channel option, that could be a real benefit!

LLCoolDL
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Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by LLCoolDL »

I'm starting to think I should send the Clod back and buy the components I need separately given the amount of things I want upgrade :)

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SFC K
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Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by SFC K »

LLCoolDL wrote:I'm starting to think I should send the Clod back and buy the components I need separately given the amount of things I want upgrade :)
And that is where all the fun begins! Like Andy said, take baby steps as you upgrade. As you do you will see the benefits as you slowly upgrade. Drive it stock to see how it drives, and improve on it from their.

Bearings are the first thing to upgrade. Their is a sticky at the top of the Clod/MOA page that has a lot of tips to improve and don't cost a ton to do. Just a little elbow grease and some basic tools and you will be good to go as you dive into these beasts. :wink: Don't forget to have fun while you are at it!
Jeff

LLCoolDL
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Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by LLCoolDL »

So I have ordered a MAPI blow torch for brazing. Now I need to know what tube to use.

Is 316 stainless 6mmOD 1mm wall thickness suitable?

Could I use 6mm aluminium tube?

Does anyone know? I've searched but can't find anything!

Thanks
Andy

knightwind
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Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by knightwind »

in regards to your shock choice, i have used the gmade on a few clod builds. they offer several spring rates separately which is useful for tuning your suspension. Also a plus is the piggyback feature which works very well and is highly tunable. The downside for me is that they tend to leak. Not a deal breaker but it seems that however careful you are building you get a leaker or 2. They are my first choice for shocks unless its a hardcore racing truck, even then they are good but there opens up a world of better racing shocks. hope that helps a little

LLCoolDL
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Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by LLCoolDL »

Thanks for all the replies so far...

I have finished building stock (not putting the body on yet though) and am waiting for batteries and charger to arrive before running it.

Question about wheels /tyres, I have read a lot of different options but what I cant work out is what is best for bashing / jumping. I have read that I should drill extra air holes in the wheels and fill the tyre with a foam insert, but this seams to be what the rock crawlers do, is that correct?

I've also read that I should seal the hole in the wheel and glue the rims (I intend to glue the rims anyway) so that there is air locked in the tyres.

My impressions from the tyres on the truck are that in the current state large jumps will cause the tyres to collapse and they are very slow to return. I would have though blocking the holes would make an incredible amount of bounce?! I have no experience with foam inserts, perhaps no harm in just trying them but do I need to drill holes in my wheels to see the difference?!

HELP :)

LLCoolDL
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Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by LLCoolDL »

Ok so a thought I've just had...

Why does the clod have a direct drive shaft from gear box to wheel, why is the gear box not suspended above the wheels.

Probably not explained myself well. I've always had buggies at that was the only racing near me. This is my first monster truck.

It would be pretty easy to install a universal drive shaft and suspend the gear boxes above the wheels. It would improve ground clearance and improve jumping without the bounce?!

You would also have independent suspension?

I tried to upload a photo but it claims it contains an attacking vector?!

I'm failing to see the downside so I am sure I am missing something!?

percymon
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Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by percymon »

For bearings then rcbearings UK website is competitive on price, good availability and the quality is more than good enough. bought probably 50 sets from there. Of late I've bought sets from HK / Chinese eBay sellers and for the runtime (or lack of ) my models gets they have been fine so far.

Shocks are a big subject as Andy indicated. I do like the Gmade ones but every set I have ( in various types and lengths) leak, despite careful building and use of associated green slime on the seals. I've never had a set of Tamiay shocks leak, even the cheapest plastic CVA ones (but those are not good enough for a hard driven clod project) . Traxxas e max shocks are a cheap choice that work well (look for US eBay sellers who part out kits cheaply, normally sold in sets of 8 so you can sell 4 in the UK and get most of your purchase price back !), and just upgrade the top caps to metal ones when you really start big jumps. Proline shocks are good but comparatively expensive - well regarded but you're looking at ca £80 for 4 in the UK marketplace :(

Traxxas shocks on a otherwise std Clod

Image

And on the Gmade spider
Image

Gmade piggybacks on my CPE terminator

Image


Also consider in your design whether you want shocks directly linking the lower arms to the chassis, or a cantilever design. either way the axle will move in an arc relative to the chassis as it moves around.

wheelbase will also affect the stability and turning ability - most 'racing' Clods are still around the 13" wheelbase, some conversions alloy 11.5" right up to 16" (or more). 2 wheel steering on my Spider Clod doesn't make for a very manoeuvreable beast !. You potential choice of body may also determine where you want to be with wheelbase. Note a lot of the T/E Maxx bosies are nearer 1/8th scale, fairly wide and therefore tend to be set high on the chassis to allow for the wheels - fittign axle wideners is one answer , that helps stability in the corners, but also increases load on the knuckles/hubs

Tyres I run stock tyres on plastic stock rims - they are strong enough and light enough to perform. Heavy alloy beadlocks, like I have on my Gmade spider conversion are all well n good (strength, lower c of g, looks) but the extra weight really puts strain on the hubs and gearboxes internals, plus blunts acceleration.


As you are quickly discovering when you go the full mod chassis / links route you only buy the start point used Clod for the axles !. Its sometimes cheaper to just buy new axle components and then the modifications from then on.

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Sixtys Guy
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Re: Newbie Clod Build

Post by Sixtys Guy »

For tyres, I generally use the stock tyres, but add a few 1/8" holes to allow for less bounce on jumps. I don't use foams, I'm not sure that anyone would for the stock tyres.

Re; solid axle vs IS - Thats the whole point of owning a Clod or any other solid axle truck. It's about having something that is more realistic than something like a Traxxas truggy. It won't handle as well, jump as well and will break more easily that IS (generalising here). Welcome to Clod ownership!