ZipZap Monster Truck Articulation

by Clint

Start with a new ZZ Monster Truck.


Gather up some tools:

  • Phillips screw driver
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Nippy Cutter
  • Small files
  • CA glue
  • Mini hacksaw blade
  • Soldering iron
  • Needle nose pliers


The nippy cutter. It cuts through plastic like butter and makes this mod very simple. If you dont have one you can make do with a small hacksaw blade and an x-acto knife, but I highly suggest buying one.


(ratshack has them for 5$)

**This is not a tutorial on how to take apart and put together your ZZMT.
If you are not comfortable in doing so, then take some time learning how to do this before attempting the articulation mod. Full Responsibility is yours. I also suggest reading through the tutorial and undestanding each step before proceding as there are many cuts, and a wrong one may send your ZZMT to the scrap heap.

Ok, now take apart your ZZMT.


To remove the on/off switch in one peice cut away at the plastic holding in the wires. You _can_ just desolder it, but soldering it back together in that location is a bit difficult.


Remove the steering gear pins so they dont get in the way.
Just pull them out with some pliers.


Now for some fun, Turn the chassis upside down. We are separating the front from the rest of the chassis. Cut here…


And here…


As you cut through, it should look like this.


Fully separated.


Take the front end and your nippy cutters and trim just behind the ears. You can trim more off it later, it just depends on what body you are going to use.


Now cut this section off the rear off the chassis.


And cut here as well.




Now we trim the rear section, similar to what we did to the front.


Gear side. I keep the arch around the gears, less chance of the batteries making contact with them.


View from above. Leave those mounting holes, we will use them later to mount the PCB.


Now take the bottom plate and cut off the nubs.


Side shot.


If you want to retain the original charging method make it look like this.


If you dont care about the charging terminals, continue to cut away in small segments(the center shaft is fragile), until it looks like this.


Driveshaft section:
This tutorial will cover the hollow tube method. There are other methods.
Take a spare zz antenna.


We want to use the 3rd section, so make the cut on section 2 and section 4 and then push section 3 out through section 4 to separate.


The driveshaft gears can be a PITA to remove without mangling the gears or your hands. :???: But this is a very easy method to get it done. Cover both ends with a few wraps of electrical tape. Twist, and pull. One end will pop off. Yay!


Twist and Pull.


That was easy. No bandaids needed.


Find an xmod wheel spacer, you know one of those really small washers you bought on ebay for 4$ and keep it handy. Mine needed the washer to keep the gears from grinding, yours may not.


Cut the antenna tube so that it’s slightly shorter than the driveshaft and slide it onto the driveshaft.


Shave down this area so that the antenna tube fits snugly within. I had to shave down the top, and insides to allow enough room.


Test fit the driveshaft.
There should be enough room on both ends for the gear stops to sit between the antenna tube and the gears. Here’s a shot of me testing it with the front. You can see there’s still a similar ammount of space at the rear. You can also see the washer, I had to place it between the gear and the rear gear stops.


We are basically done, just put it all back together.
Build the front. Start with the steering.


Steering cover.


Front end all together with the driveshaft.(this could be made into a tutorial on it’s own)


(can you spot the booboo in this pic? two dolla to the first pimp to spot it.) lol

Attach the rear. Make sure it all spins freely, without binding and without gear clicking noise. Dont forget the on/off switch!!!


Now that everything spins ok, glue or tape the driveshaft tube to the bottom plate to keep the front end stable. I taped it as I plan to do more work to this zzmt.


Attach the PCB board using a spare cover screw to one of the mounting holes on the rear chassis. You can wrap some electrical tape to hold the battery in place. Re-solder all of your broken connections. (again this could be a whole nother tutorial, not getting into that here)


Cut the motor clip as the PCB gets in the way of the front tab and install the motor.


Charge and Enjoy!!!


To attach a body, just attach it to the rear clip. Cut off the clip on the front chassis to allow the whole unit to move inside the body.

Depending on your body style, you may have to trim some plastic off of the front chassis. I also add a very small drop of CA glue to the rear clip when attaching the body. This keeps it from falling off and it comes off easily when needed.


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