CR01 Rock Crawler
Recently rock crawling has gained popularity here in Southern California. Having done a few demos with Tamiya for the CR01 chassis I wanted my chance to showcase it in "the real world" and on the local hot spots to see how the stock out of the box unit compares to brands that specifically build their rigs purposely for rock crawling. I first ventured out to a local spot in Menifee where the terrain varies from dirt to rock to sand. The first thing I noticed with the CR01 with the Toyota Land Cruiser body was it being top heavy (or later what I would actually find was lack of weight all together) It would climb stuff well, plenty of power out of the stock Johnson/Mabuchi 540 brushed motor. The tires did well in gripping the rocks but not real well on the dirt but again did well in the sand. We set off for a two and a half hour hike/climb and the CR01 held its own against some modified crawlers. The downfalls I saw were lack of traction, articulation and steering angle/radius.
Upon talking to some of the local crawling guru's, a couple of local hobby shops and reading online I decided to make a couple of changes to the CR01. I first started by removing the sway bars and lowering the body based on the tires rubbing or very close to rubbing the body. I went again to the same location as before and found a drastic improvement! The added articulation helped the lack of grip in difficult areas and allowed the CR01 to maneuver through tight situations. The very next day I was asked to join a group of crawlers to a location in Temecula where the rocks were more difficult and the terrain of more of an expert level. I found the CR01 able to do 80% of what the others modified rigs of a different brand were doing. But 80% is not good enough we must improve. Enter more modifications!!
I started by purchasing some new tires and wheels from my local hobby shop. The concensus was that going to a 1.9 inch wheel rather than the 2.2 in wheel will yield better "squish" resulting in more traction and for this I went with Proline's Flat Iron tire with Axial bead lock wheels. Upon building the wheels it was suggested that I add weight to them. There are many different ways to do this but I opted for an easy and cheap way by using automotive wheel weights.
Once all of the wheels were completed I mounted up the tires and and bolted them on the CR01.
So afterward I snuck off to the local spot here in Temecula and tried out my new tires. The weight and the tires made the CR01 crawl over things I couldn't imagine doing before. HUGE difference!
After these tests with the new tires I changed out my servo for one with more torque and added the Tamiya/TRF 55g battery weight to the CR01 and prepped it for today.
So today I joined 35+ other crawlers as my good friend Jeff White organized the first annual 4th of July Creek Crawl here in Temecula. Here are a few pictures;