Axial Racing "XR10" 1/10th 4WD Electric Rock Crawler Kit

Axial Racing
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The Axial XR10 Design Team:
Brandon Coonce was the lead designer for the project, but one key difference with Axial is that you won't ever see any one designer take credit for the sole development of a product. Instead, the development and design of each project is a culmination of multiple individuals’ input. The end result is a well thought out and cohesive product stemmed from multiple perspectives. Without the input from Senior Lead Designer, Matt Kearney, “The Icon" Brad Dumont, and the rest of the staff at Axial, the XR10 may not have turned out as successfully as it has.

“When we first started this project, I knew we had to go well beyond anything that was out in the market; something that would revitalize the crawling segment by becoming more competitive in the 2.2 class, bringing new people into crawling, and creating the easiest 2.2 competitive comp crawler to set up at a great price point. As the leading rock crawling manufacturer in our industry, we wanted to show that we care about the sport just as much as our customers do. We took our experience from the award-winning AX10 and learned from the other entries in the crawler market to decide on a general direction. After spending extra time thinking and re-thinking every facet of the project, often times throwing out 90% of our work to prevent compromising our final goal, the end result was the XR10.” - Brandon Coonce and the Axial Design Team

When did the design process start?
We started the design process in mid August 2009, and we started tooling for the project in late February.

The tools of the trade:
All of our design work is done on PC workstations using SolidWorks 2010.

Where do you start when designing a vehicle like the XR10?

When starting the XR10 from the ground up we knew that it had to have individually powered axles, or “MOA” (Motor-on-Axle). The ability to power the axles individually for finite control is important. We took our experience from the AX10 and learned from the other entries in the crawler market to decide on a general direction. The axles were the key component and the most time was spent here investigating different styles to achieve the best ground clearance and lowest center of gravity without any sacrifices in other areas. Once the basic drive train was laid out we focused on adjustability and providing the customer with an axle that is complete out of the box. During the entire design process the chassis and suspension geometry played a major role in the placement of all the components.

What's the final drive ratio?

This is an important topic on the XR10. We tried quite a few different gear ratio’s and settled on 37.9:1 using the included 14T pinion in the kit. This is one of the highest gear ratios in the crawling market currently. Reason for this is wheel speed and run time. The two go hand in hand. Now using the XR10 you will be able to achieve more wheel speed with a higher turn motor (55T) giving you better run times. With the current advancement in motors and ESC’s available today you can still achieve a controlled low speed crawl with the gear ratio in the XR10.

What was the hardest to design on the XR10?
The style of gear reduction we decided on required a lot of work to achieve a compact and strong drive train. Working around this drive train and incorporating all the adjustment in the axle required some time. Steering was the biggest issue, and we wanted to be able to clock the motors (adjust the height and clearance) and still have the steering move with the axle without affecting the caster.

Some people may think a product is developed basically overnight, but what exactly is involved in the overall design process from concept to completion?

This definitely isn’t the case. Product design and development is a very time intensive process. We may have sent off the drawings for tooling in February, but once you start to see prototypes and initial samples, you may stumble upon features that need to be changed. Whether the changes include the product’s strength, aesthetics, or overall functionality, it’s definitely something most people don’t realize when they are viewing a completed product. The simplest items can sometimes require the most attention. Luckily with the support of the R&D Team, these potential problems or features were spotted early and I believe that the final product has reflected the collaborative effort that has gone into the XR10.

XR10 Features:

  • 37.9:1 gear ratio using the included 14T pinion. Gearbox allows for use of 12-19T pinions for gear ratios ranging from 44.2:1 through 27.9:1.
  • Dual motors allow you to easily adjust your front and rear gear ratios independently.
  • Compact and lightweight gearboxes keep the motor positioned closer to the axle housing and above the axle center line for extra clearance.
  • Aluminum chassis plates with durable composite plastic skid plate.
  • Chassis provides multiple upper link adjustment holes for suspension tuning and adjusting anti-squat.
  • Adjustable upper shock mounts included for fine tuning ride height and can be catered to your own personal driving style.
  • Adjustable body mounts provide finite adjustments for different angles and heights.
  • Removable electronics tray for easy maintenance and installation
  • Waterproof receiver box with wire routing guides for cleaner electronic routing/configuration.
  • Multiple ESC mounting plates and configurations
  • Low profile battery mount places the weight of the battery at a lower position in the vehicle to help lower the center of gravity.
  • Oversized rod ends with large 7mm aluminum links and durable composite plastic sleeves (replaceable).
  • Light durable composite plastic upper links also aid in lowering the center of gravity. 
  • Full ball bearings(oversized differential bearings)
  • Differentials: locked (spool)Suspension:4-link, double triangulated
  • 72-103mm shocks: includes aluminum bodies and 10mm machined Delrin pistons.

Front and rear specific strong durable composite plastic, lightweight axles:

  • Low profile axle housing design for maximum ground clearance.
  • Front steering axle with the ability to rotate (clock) the motor up/down.
  • Rear axle is 16mm narrower than the front axle to squeeze through tight gate layouts.

All New Behind the Axle (BTA) Steering *pat. pend.

  • Enclosed steering slide with turnbuckles to adjust toe in and toe out.
  • 8° kingpin angle helps keep scrub radius to a minimum, which equals less stress on your steering servo.
  • Durable composite plastic - strong double shear knuckle arms with replaceable aluminum draw link mount.
  • Splined adjustable c-hubs provide caster adjustments in 15° increments.

Oversized Universals:

  • Oversized 12.5mm universals with 4mm and 2.5mm cross pins.
  • Made of hardened steel
  • No backlash like dogbone setups
  • 45° of steering out of the box

Wheels: Axial 2.2 Competition Beadlocks

  • Includes CNC orange anodized rings.
  • Compatible with Vanquish patented wheel weight systems (Licensed by Vanquish Products)
  • Minimal beadlock hardware for assembly ease
  • Narrow offset to increase steering response and strength

Axial Hardline Body:
  • Competition inspired body – design, layout, and size all catered for optimum performance. 
  • Meets all U.S.R.C.C.A minimum requirements
  • Dove-tailed front and rear to minimize interference with tires.
  • Rounded roof line and cab forward design to improve roll-over recovery.

XR10 Specifications:
Wheelbase: 317.5mm (12.5”) Max
Front Wheel to Wheel (outside) Width: 260mm (10.20”)
Rear Wheel to Wheel (outside) Width: 241mm (9.50”)
Height: 5.25”-6.75” (133mm-172mm)
Ground Clearance:  1.75”-3.40” (44.5mm-86.5mm)
*Note: The height and ground clearance were measured with Pro-Line Chisels and memory foams with no weight added to the wheels.

Hardline Body Dimensions:
Length: 324mm (12.75”)
Width: 134mm (5.25”)
Height: 89mm (3.5”)

Needed to Complete:
Radio: 2, 3, 4 Channel
Servos: 1 (Standard Size)
Speed Control: single or dual
Motors: Dual 540 sized motors
Battery: Compact LiPo, 2/3a, LiFe packs (Maximum size 30mmx25mmx90mm)
Tires: Your choice of 2.2 tires and foams

This product was added to our catalog on September 10, 2010.

Friday, Nov 12 2010 (about 6 years ago)
Axial Racing "XR10" 1/10th 4WD Electric Rock Crawler Kit

I write reviews to try to help people who don't know anything about RC crawlers, but are thinking about trying it. That's where I was three years ago, before I became a shameless RC crawling junkie. Reviews helped me out a lot and I try to pass that along to the next batch of folks. I'm by no means an expert, but if my experience helps someone, so be it.

Ease of putting it all together: If you're a tinkerer, no problem at all. A lot more to this one than the AX10, but still a simple machine. Axial did a great job of grouping components into bags for stages of assembly. If you're addicted to tinkering, this one is even better than the AX10 for that.

Downsides I've bumped into so far:

Hinge on the bottom of the rear axle housing. Thinnest and most fragile piece of Delrin on the XR10, in a location that can receive a LOT of abuse by the rocks. Split a piece of polycarb tubing in half and Shoe-Goo'd it on and that took care of that.

I'm not a fan of using my $100 servo and the XR10 steering linkage as a battering ram, which is what it often is because of where it sits. (found cheap solution, see update below).

The servo is not a place to cut corners for the XR10. It's going to get seriously abused. Buy as powerful of a servo as you can power and afford. I am impressed enough with the power and durability of my Hitec 7954-SH that I could be a sales rep for them.

Third, the body...I had to trim mine in some funky ways to make it clear the servo, shocks, and tires. Not a big deal.

That's about it for downsides (so far...more found later). The XR10 is well thought out.

Misc note: The bent aluminum upper links from the AX10 work just fine, or at least they do with the setup I'm presently running. They're a touch longer, which is what I wanted.

Compared to my AX10, which I purchased almost three years ago...well, it's not even an apples-to-apples comparison. I've gone the shaft-driven, single-motor crawler (AX10) route. But now I've experienced the dual-motor MOA and there is no way I'm going back. No way.

In my opinion, the XR10 might not be a good starter for someone who's never messed with RCs unless they are fairly mechanically inclined, familiar with available component options, and can solder pretty well.

The AX10 is a much less dynamic crawler, has a whole lot fewer pieces, is exceedingly easy to assemble/disassemble and work on, and a great platform to become familiar with figuring out how things work, how to break them, getting past your fears of voiding product warranties, etc. Plus, you can pick up a used one for next to nothing now.

Battery: The XR10 was designed around a small LiPo (Lithium Polymer) for power. I have several small kids and don't need one more thing that requires attention to detail. NiMh cells are too bulky and too heavy for this one. I grabbed some 1050 mah LiFe (Lithium Iron Phosphate) 3S (3 cells, wired in series) packs from MaxAmps and have been exceedingly pleased with their fit and performance. I had to ditch the stock battery tray and electronics/Rx tray.

If you'd rather go the LiFe route than the LiPo route, here's what I did. Maybe it'll help you. I cut some 1/16" polycarbonate sheet to 198mm x 85 mm, put four 1/4" x 1/4" nylon spacers from Home Depot under it and now I have the full length inside the motors to mount everything. It gave me room for a Punk Dig 3D switch, Mamba Max Pro, CC BEC, Traxxas 2218 Rx, and my LiFe packs without hampering anything on the XR10. I used the L-shaped ESC bracket from the kit to mount my Rx to the rear body post mounts. Weight is all down low and most of it toward front. Battery is at very front, between upper links (vertical, not flat), which makes it a snap to pop in and out.

The LiFe packs net me about 70 minutes of run time with my two 55T motors, a Hitec 7954-SH servo, and PunkRC 3D dig switch.

All-in-all, I'd buy my XR10 again in a heartbeat. The thing is a mountain goat on the rocks. For a mass-market MOA crawler, Axial did a great job of managing the big picture of how the thing needed to be laid out to offer great capability at a manageable price-point.

Because I'm running low current-demand components, I removed every heavy-gauge wire and replaced them with Deans 16-ga Ultra Wire to give me more flex and room inside the XR10's chassis. I used Deans 2B Micro Connectors on everything except the connection between the ESC and battery (Traxxas connectors for that one). Space is limited inside the narrow XR10 chassis.

I'm running the stock XR10 wheels with ProLine Chisels (my longtime favorite) and the oversize foams, untrimmed, that come with the Chisels. The XR10 wheels work just fine for me and I've found them a snap to assemble/disassemble.

I've noticed a fair amount of flex from the Delrin steering knuckles, but considering they are really the only point of "give" on my XR10, that might be a good thing for getting more life out of the servo. At least at this point, the stock components seem solid enough that dropping a wad of cash on aluminum parts isn't even on my radar.

I'm running a 13T pinion front, 12T on the rear. Overdriving the front wheels a touch does wonders, in my opinion.

The XR10's rear is narrower than the front. Maybe this is handy for clearing gates in a comp, but it drove me crazy for the stuff I like to crawl on. The narrower rear caused my XR10 to corkscrew and flip upside down nearly every time I dropped one of the wheels into a hole or tried an overhang at any angle but straight up. Initially squared it up with some G-Made/JunFac wheel hex extenders, but have discovered that using stock AX10 wheels ("8-Hole" wheels, which I already had laying around) on the REAR only make the rear axle a few mm wider than the front and I've found this to be an incredibly more stable platform now and don't foresee ever returning to the corkscrew setup. I use the XR10 wheels on the front so I can use the Vanquish wheel weights if I need them. I never run weight in the rears so the AX10 wheels work great.

Wheel weights. I've experimented with a bunch of different combos of weight and suspension setups, all to find that I actually prefer my XR10 as light as possible. With extra weight in front, I could climb about 2-degrees steeper incline on my sandy-paint tuning board, but with the weight comes problems when I needed a wheel to hang over a cavity, among other things. I personally prefer no additional weight, memory foams, and good tires for the surface I'm on.

I've run only 7 packs through it so far (roughly 8 hours), but virtually all of it on stuff that continually strains my XR10, and my appreciation for its capability is only increasing. As far as capability, the XR10 is a mountain goat. Very impressive in my opinion.

11-27-10 update. Quite a few more packs cycled through my XR10. This is a fantastic RC crawler! Launched it into a bunch of crevices today that should have completely destroyed the gearboxes, but not a scratch on them. Constant serious binding under power, but not a single busted component. Durability wise, I'm impressed so far.

MOA vs. shafty crawler? MOA spanks shafties. I'll never go back to a shafty.

Other quick observations. The Chisels are still my preference for everything except when it's wet and cold out, even after almost three years now. They were getting worn a little so I swapped sides, which flipped the treads the other direction so I have new tread and they work like new now.

XR10 stock components are great quality, enough that I still find no reason to dole out the dough to jump to a bunch of aluminum (except for the round AX10 bent lower links for uppers on the XR10).

Making rear same width as front definitely improved things for my crawling style (very slow over courses that look like they should be impossible). No more corkscrewing on overhangs and holes.

Got tired of beating my pricey servo on rocks. Bought TRA5315 steering servo guard. Cut small slot to allow for horn to swing and cut one corner off to keep RF tire out of it when turning. Mounted one to lower servo screws to cover bottom half of servo, have other as spare. Ugly, but super cheap ($3 for two), super easy, and extremely tough.

A couple things I'd change on my build. Used lithium grease in gearboxes to be safe, but will be switching to a heavier, tackier grease. Not enough body to plain lithium grease. The antenna tube holder on electronics plate is right in middle of suspension adjustment holes and a pain in the fanny. If you're going to stick with the stock electronics tray, I'd snip the thing off and relocate the antenna.

(update 12-25-10) Shredded one of the final drive gears. And I did it with 55T motors. Should not have happened. Not impressed with quality of final gears, will see how other gears hold up. I'm leery. Whatever motors you choose, my hunch is you ought to plan on having to swap out at least both final gears (AX30551 & AX30552) in each tranni for hardened, machined ones. At moment, Hot Racing one of only sets out there ($70 for all four gears, two ea tranni, with shipping). Vanquish supposed to be coming out with some. The smaller bearings in the trannies don't strike me as stout and it may be slop from these smaller bearings that are the root of the gear shred. I'm either replacing the smaller ones with another brand or putting some bigger ones in.

(update 1-31-11)

Tried Panther Leopards with ProLine dual-stage OS mem foams, 1/4" width trimmed off firm foam, perfect fit, perfect foam. Removed all weight. Still love the Chisels, but Leopards my preferred tire now. My XR10 will hang and balance well over holes with zero additional weight. Sometimes I add two Vanquish slugs to each front to give me additional 3.5 oz or so when traction more important than balance. Increases traction, but also makes it more prone to flip, instead of hang, over holes. Swapped to Losi Gold springs in back (1.4 lbs/in) and Axial Black springs (1.04 lbs/in) in front, like mentioned on Axial site. I like the lighter springs.)
Augustin Mireles
Tuesday, Jun 28 2011 (about 6 years ago)
Axial Racing "XR10" 1/10th 4WD Electric Rock Crawler Kit
Well, let me give you my two cents. I have had my XR10 for a few months now and I have spent so much money replacing stock broken gears and over-flexed plastic links. The XR10 is advertised as "competition crawler" but, it is not "competition ready". I wish Axial would put out a product with already upgraded components like machined gears and the like. I understand that this is part of the business and make money on upgrades but, I do not see the benefit to any customer in getting a kit that a few weeks later would need aluminum links, machined gears, etc. Other than that it is a very nice crawler with the upgrades. I am new to RC crawling so I can not compare to other crawlers. I would have paid more than the 200 dollars for an already upgraded kit from the manufacturer and avoid the waste of money on crappy stock parts.)
Saturday, Nov 3 2012 (about 4 years ago)
Axial Racing "XR10" 1/10th 4WD Electric Rock Crawler Kit
just good,
excellent car
Eric Mathieu
Thursday, Apr 28 2011 (about 6 years ago)
Axial Racing "XR10" 1/10th 4WD Electric Rock Crawler Kit
I Love mine, I have 2x tekin T45 on it and the High clearance Link. It is pretty impressive. I'm running 3s 1600 25C.
Did I say I love it. That stuff crawls everything. this is fun. The most difficult part, is to get used to the remote to control that beast with independent axels

You'll have fun with it)
Alfredo Garcia III
Wednesday, May 4 2011 (about 6 years ago)
Axial Racing "XR10" 1/10th 4WD Electric Rock Crawler Kit
NEED HELP: Im new to rock crawling and Need help chossing a esc motor combo for this thing. i have three questions:

1. Since this thing needs two motors, do you need two esc?

2. Is there anyone out there that has two motors and ONE esc that can handle two motors?

3. Tell me what you recommend for motor/esc combo.

at the price it has now i want to pick this thing up but its the motor/esc thats keeping me back.

Thanks for all your help.........)
Saturday, Sep 18 2010 (about 7 years ago)
Axial Racing "XR10" 1/10th 4WD Electric Rock Crawler Kit
ive got one on the way i caint wait to try this thing out and see what it wll do on the rocks)