So the first of my three tips-n-tricks has to do with installing BeefTubes. Beeftubes help add some strength to your axle housings, while at the same time putting weight in the lowest stationary spot possible, the axles. Most will put weight in the wheels to add some weight down low to help lower the COG (center of gravity) as well. My trick on installing these is to help keep the tubes aligned during installation. As some of you know, you have to trim out the inner protion of the axle housings to allow room for the tubes. Once the housings are trimmed, makes sure to apply a light coat of grease to the tubes themselves and the rest of the internals to resist rusting if and when things get wet. But here's the tip. Put one of the screws in while the housing is apart like so.
Now when you put the two halves together they wont turn inside the housings, therefor keeping the holes lined up while you're re-assembling everything. Just put in the 4 screws in the center of the axle housing to hold the two halves together, and then install the C-Hubs or lockouts depending on your application. These Beeftubes can be purchased from RCC vendor biggin69
The second has to do with greasing your differentials. This was a lesson hard learned for myslef. Most people believe in the old addage that more is better, this is not the case when dealing with your differentials. Ive cracked open more than a few axle housings to find them either under greased or grossly over greased. When using your lube, you want to add enough to cover all of the teeth, and apply a thin coat to your bearings. I prefer Team3Six RokLub myself, and then I use some Lucas waterproof marine grease in the ends of the axles too. I apply a 1.5 inch spot on the main ring gear. Then turn the gears by hand to distribute the grease. Thats all you need.
If you use to little, gears will corrode, heat up and start chipping teeth. Not to mention the bearings will start forming surface rust that will lead to a Locked Up diff, and Im not talking about the good kind. To much grease will cause the gears to be under constant drag. The gears have to travel through the grease filled axle housing, leading to premature wear and tear or possibly broken parts under extreme power. This is a set out of my FOFF I built. When I recieved the axles they were packed with thick marine grease.
Seeing as how these were Wheely King axles, I cant attest to the heavy grease job being completely at fault. (WheelyKing axle housings have a tendency to spread under stress and therefor allowing gears to jump and snap teeth) But I can say that it definately didnt help matters to have them packed like they were. This is a very common mistake made by alot of people (myself included) that can be prevented with a little foresight while assembling the housings. Be sure to split open the housings every now and then to clean everything, check for damage and replace the old dirty grease. You can pick up a tube of Rok Lub from RCCs very own vendor team3six
My third and final tip has to do with scale body work. When using filler to skim a deep cavity, make sure to apply it to areas where it will be less than 1/8 deep. I use 3M spot filler putty for my body work. If I have area that's 1/8 or deeper, I'll use thin coats of the filler if I cant fill it with styrene. Here's where I learned my lesson. The sunroof on my Clod body just didnt agree with me, so I filled it in. I used some .40 white styrene to fill the hole, and then skimmed over it with the spot putty.
You can see in the picture how the sunroof area is darker than the rest of the filler. This is due to it being to thick. What happens is that it will crack when it dries, therefor leaving you with even more body work to do. Use a couple of thin coats and sand lightly in between to prevent this from happening. It took some work but I got the cracks out eventualy and was left with a smooth roof.
But the amount of extra work could've been avoided if I had used a couple of thinner coats. If you use a power sander on these bodies, apply some water with a wet rag throughout the sanding process to keep the plastic from heating up. Once it starts heating up, the plastic will ball up under the sanding pad and thereby create more work. It will also "grab" the filler and pull it out of and filled areas if the surface gets to hot during the sanding process. You can find the styrene at almost any local hobby shop or online, the spot putty/glazing putty can be purchased at Walmart or almost any automotive store.