Today I will look at the (1/8th scale) Axial Yeti XL builders kit. The Yeti XL is part of Axial’s rock racers series which also includes the 1/10 scale Yeti and 1/10 scale Wraith. What makes this vehicle different from other Axial products (Axial is known for scale crawler type vehicles) is that it is a combination of front independent suspension and a 4-link solid axle in the back. So once built it should have good stability at speed as it is not designed for crawling up rocks, but rather running in adverse terrain at speed (not necessarily an accurate statement but just the feeling I get from online vids and building it).
To begin with, the box the kit comes in is huge and packed full of goodies. 4 bags of plastics, 1 bag of fasteners/odds and ends, precut body panels, and 5 wheels and tires. When compared to other kits I have built this is definitely the largest and heaviest that I have put together.
As with most kits, the build began with the front clip (diff, diff housing, suspension uprights, lower control arms and moved to the rear clip (diff and axle housing). These steps are not particularly difficult, just time consuming as building differentials is my second least favorite thing to do with kits (first being turnbuckles). What I have found over the last few builds is that I need to prethread the diff housing by running down the screws and taking them back out. By doing this I have found that it reduces the likelihood that I deform the housing when I attach the drive gear/cover, as I have run into past issues with inconsistent tooth engagement with the input gearing. As this is a box build (outside of electronics) I ran with the recommended 20,000cst diff fluid front and rear.
Following the front clip and rear axle assemblies, it was time to install the front clip to the chassis. This proved to be fairly annoying as there were some issues with screw holes not lining up properly. In many cases I had to use toothpicks to make sure holes lined up correctly otherwise the screws would not thread into anything and cause damage. Outside of that minor issue the assembly went quickly. The chassis tub itself is made of plastic that has plenty of ribbing for strength and channels to run servo cords.
With the front clip installed to the chassis the rear 4-link suspension was constructed, were again I ran into alignment issues with the screw holes, which I solved with an hobby knife. The upper and lower arms are primarily plastic with either aluminum or more plastic as reinforcement to reduce flex and breakage. With the arms attached to the axle it was time to bring everything together and attached the rear to the chassis. This was not terribly difficult until I snapped a 1.5mm allen wrench off inside a set screw… Thankfully it did not require any major repair work and popped out as some persuasion with a scriber.
Lastly was the suspension and body structure. The shocks were big 16mm units that look very robust and were the easiest units I have put together to date. Following the instruction manual the front got 30wt oil and the rear 10wt oil. With all shocks full the piston was taken to full compression and the shock cap installed. This resulted in shocks that had, in my opinion, no need for additional bleeding. As for the body structure this was just multiple plastic parts screwed together to form a roll cage that polycarb panels will attach to after paint.
All that’s left now is to determine the body color, mount wheels and tires (with glue), and purchase electronics other than a receiver and steering servo. I am looking at either running Team Tekin products or going with Castle Creations (currently about 50/50 split on my vehicles). Both offer good choices for a vehicle of this size and mass, but it really comes down to where and when I will run the vehicle. I also need a pair of batteries, and for that I am probably going to get some MaxAmps 2S lipo’s.
(Picture of TLR 8ight-E 3.0 for size comparison as it is also 1/8th scale)
I will provide an after run review once it is up and going, so until then I will leave some pros/cons below;
-“Enclosed” battery compartment
-Precut body panels
-Easy to work on (for serving etc)
-Includes some needed upgrade parts over the ready to run version
-Difficult to assembly some parts due to hole alignment issues
-Possible durability concern with the rear prop shaft
-Motor/ESC: TBD (either Tekin RS8G2 w/ 2250kV brushless or Castle Mamba Monster 2 w/2200kV Brushless)
-Servo: Savox 1256SG
-Receiver: Spektrum DSM2 or DSMR
-Batteries: Planned MaxAmps 2x2S ~6000mAh
-Gearing: Stock 15T/68T