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Phase II
Well, I finally decided to try my hand at building a custom chassis. I've made my own cantilevers, braces, motor mounts, servo links and other parts before, but this is the first chassis that I've ever built from scratch... so it's kinda like a mile-stone for me.

The Chassis

The middle pic shows how the wheelbase has been lengthened to 12 ľ". This does 2 things: It makes the truck a more stable climber (although it was already VERY stable before) and it allows for the future installation of Clod wheels and rims.

On the right the custom chassis has a much lower profile than the stock setup. This pic shows the differences when the 2 chassis are placed side by side. This lowers the CG and helps in handling.

Servo Mount and Battery Holder

Here are some pics of the custom made servo mounts. I decided to retain the stock geometry of the steering setup to minimize bumpsteer. I did sketch some designs for alternative servo setups and this chassis can be modified in the future to accept those ideas.

The middle pic showas the servo installed. This setup is allows the steering servo to be accessed very easily, removing the steering servo on the stock chassis was quite a chore.

On the right, the Tamiya Quick Release Battery Holder was just too trick to pass up. No more snap pins for me! Itís spring loaded so all you do is lift up the end-piece, slide your battery in and let it go. Simple!

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With Wheels and Body

In the middle pic the electronics installed and fully loaded. The chassis was designed based on a few guidelines: lightweight, strong, low-profile/CG, good balance & longer wheelbase for optional clod tires.

I’m still running the stock Mabuchi 540s and standard servo on this truck. It was always intended as a budget basher that I didn’t intend to hop-up, but I couldn’t resist and built the chassis.

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Performance:
I ran a 2000 pack through the truck today and it handled great! The steering remains tight as ever although I thought the lengthened wheelbase would result in a little less steering - not very noticeable.The truck handled very well because of the lower CG. It was exceptionally stable!

The stability also shone as I took the truck hill climbing. It was tackling some grass slopes as steep as about 60 degrees pretty easily. Iím pretty sure it will lose some of this climbing prowess if I put in some clod wheels though because the raised height would probably cause the truck to tip backwards... but in this configuration this baby can sure climb! In the course of the bashing I hit some tree roots and the truck flipped several times down the hills, but it was good to see that it was unhurt. Itís lighter than my clod and A-1 so it doesnít really flip as hard.

Verdict:
The Dagger was a great basher from the start. Iíve always said that. Itís got more torque than any truck itís size because of the twin motors and an excellent handler. With the new chassis, the truck is more durable and ready to take on some clod rims and tires!

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Click here to proceed to Phase III.