I love my Axial Dingo, in all my RC vehicles I own, this is the one that requires the less maintenance. In fact, I never had to replace a broken or a worn out part. Before that project, I never opened the diffs or the transmission. All I have done so far was to plug the battery and run the truck wherever I can imagine, mud, water, snow… Name it! Absolutely ZERO maintenance and ZERO broken parts. Even the stock steering servo was still fully functional after more than 30 packs under “heavy metal” conditions. The only part I’ve replaced is the stock ESC after a complete submersion in water…Ouch!
For this first part of my Dingo project, I went with parts that, I believe, can make a big difference to my truck. Unfortunately, for an unknown reason, some items seem to be discontinued but they still available at some hobby shops or online stores.
The first upgrade I did was to replace the stock shocks pair two pairs of Pro-Line’s Power Stroke shocks. The Power Stroke shocks are factory assembled and all I’ve had to do was to fill them with shock oil. I used lighter shock oil (20wt) because I’ll run my truck outside at very low temperature and I wanted to keep the shocks as smooth as possible. The shocks have aluminum threaded body and cap. They use a dual-stage springs system to maximize the suspension’s movement on different surfaces and speeds. Single stage springs are also included in the kit. The shocks are 90mm long but they can reach 95mm by installing the included +5mm shock end. The shocks don’t just look cool, they are also incredibly smooth. It took me just 15 minutes to install the four shocks.
The tires and wheels:
What will have been this project without new tires and new wheels? My choice has ended on Pro-Line Interco TSL SX Super Swamper 1.9” tires mounted on Pro-Line Titus 1.9” black Bead-Loc wheels. The tires look like the full scale ones and the G8 compound is really soft and sticky. I have let my truck sitting on a box for few hours and when I took off the truck, the tires were almost glued to the box. Memory foam inserts are included with the tires, this foam adds a lot of traction to the tires. The spaced lugs on each side of the tire really increase the forward traction while the central section of the tread offers good side traction. This is a good all around tire.
A total of 4oz of internal weight is included with each Pro-Line Titus wheels. Of course you can add or remove weight according to your preferences. For this project, I’ve used all the weights that came with the wheels for a total of 16oz for the four wheels. Some will say it is better to have a heavier front end to increase climbing capabilities but in this case, I thought it would be nice to have all the weights installed. Mounting the tire to the wheel is super easy, the Titus wheels use a bead lock system, no glue is required. All I’ve had to do was to insert the wheel into the tire, place the aluminum ring and to tighten the 12 stainless steel screws. Once mounted and tightened together, the wheels and tires look really realistic. The memory foam and the venting hole make the tire very soft. I can’t wait to try them on rocks and dirt, I’m sure I won’t be disappointed!
To top my Dingo, I’ve picked the Pro-Line 2009 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon body. The body is really well detailed and made out of thick .060 lexan for extra durability. I first wanted to paint the fenders and top in black and then paint the body with a bright color like red or yellow. However, I’ve decided to paint the whole truck with a very dark brown color. The final job doesn’t look bad and the included stickers have added more realism to my paint job.
To prevent mud, water, dirt and snow from entering the chassis, I’ve added a Pro-Line PL-C Floor Pan. This lexan floor is awesome, it really helps to prevent debris from entering the chassis from the wheels wells. The floor pan will not stop all debris but after a full hour riding in the snow, absolutely no snow has entered the chassis keeping my ESC dry. Cutting the floor pan is a little tricky, make sure you carefully take all your measurements before cutting and trimming the floor pan. For what I intend to do with my Dingo, the floor pan is a must have add-on.