ZZ Monster Truck Articulation Tutorial

Learn how to chop a body properly, how to install alloy rims, and more. If it's about makin' it look good, it belongs here.
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Clint
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ZZ Monster Truck Articulation Tutorial

Post by Clint »

Start with a new ZZ Monster Truck.
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Gather up some tools:
Phillips screw driver
X-Acto Knife
Nippy Cutter
Small files
CA glue
Mini hacksaw blade
Soldering iron
Needle nose pliers
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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.
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(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.
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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.
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Remove the steering gear pins so they dont get in the way.
Just pull them out with some pliers.
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Now for some fun, Turn the chassis upside down. We are separating the
front from the rest of the chassis. Cut here...
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And here...
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As you cut through, it should look like this.
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Fully separated.
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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.
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Now cut this section off the rear off the chassis.
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And cut here as well.
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Pimp.
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Now we trim the rear section, similar to what we did to the front.
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Gear side. I keep the arch around the gears, less chance of the batteries
making contact with them.
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View from above. Leave those mounting holes, we will use them later
to mount the PCB.
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Now take the bottom plate and cut off the nubs.
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Side shot.
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If you want to retain the original charging method make it look
like this.
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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.
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Driveshaft section:
This tutorial will cover the hollow tube method. There are other methods.
Take a spare zz antenna.
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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.
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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!
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Twist and Pull.
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That was easy. No bandaids needed.
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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.
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Cut the antenna tube so that it's slightly shorter than the driveshaft
and slide it onto the driveshaft.
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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.
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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.
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We are basically done, just put it all back together.
Build the front. Start with the steering.
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Steering cover.
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Front end all together with the driveshaft.(this could be made into a tutorial on it's own)
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(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!!!
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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.
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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)
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Cut the motor clip as the PCB gets in the way of the front tab and
install the motor.
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Charge and Enjoy!!!
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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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-clint
Last edited by Clint on Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Maxximum Attack
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Post by Maxximum Attack »

May I add that you could probably shrink wrap the electronics to help water/sand/dust/cat shit proof the PCB. I'm on this right away, I'll be sure when going back up, to remember the steering spring :-)

Keep the 2 dollas and buy me something nice :oops:

Maxx
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Post by CaboWabo »

Damn fine tutorial Clint - thanks for doing it.
Clear, lots of pictures - what more could ya ask for?

I'ma sticky this mutha.
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Post by hue35 »

Clint! :-o
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Post by Tuner1989 »

What can i say clint besides, Nice work! :-)

I'm gonna get going on mine! :smile:
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Post by civicsr2cool »

i hope to do the same, but i want the rear independent of everything. the electronics up front. gonna have to make some mounts for it :???:
[]D [] []V[] []D
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Post by SuperFly »

My only question is how do you charge that sucker? Are you just clipping some clips on the battery leads or are you able to use any sort of charging pad?
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Post by Tuner1989 »

SuperFly wrote:My only question is how do you charge that sucker? Are you just clipping some clips on the battery leads or are you able to use any sort of charging pad?


Ditto, i would like to know also that is the only question i have in my head about this mod.
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Post by MotorGong »

Maxximum Attack wrote: remember the steering spring :-)
Keep the 2 dollas and buy me something nice :oops:


Maybe that's it, but I think it's the steering gear. That piece coming off of it should be in that front end slot? Is that the booboo perhaps?
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Very nice laid out tutorial. Talk about step-by-step! I feel very comfortable trying this myself now. Thanks Clint!
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Post by Clint »

MotorGong wrote:Maybe that's it, but I think it's the steering gear. That piece coming off of it should be in that front end slot? Is that the booboo perhaps?


:-o
Thats the booboo.

Tuner1989 wrote:
SuperFly wrote:My only question is how do you charge that sucker? Are you just clipping some clips on the battery leads or are you able to use any sort of charging pad?


Ditto, i would like to know also that is the only question i have in my head about this mod.


One option I showed was to leave the charger clips in place on the bottom plate, then you can charge as normal, except you just have to watch to make sure the front wheels dont tip from side to side or you lose contact on the pad.

You can leave the bottom plate like this, instead of cutting it all out.
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Post by Tuner1989 »

Got that, but i was wondering how you went about charging the batt's the way you set them up in the tutorial.
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Post by frizzen »

Great Tut, but I gotta throw something in...

Removing driveshaft gear: You can also hold the driveshaft with a pair of pliers, then slide a pair of needle nose in between the gear and first pair of pliers; little bit of wiggle and the plastic gear pops off.

-
I did a few things a little different, but it was little things like leaving it with stock charge plates, battery stays with the front section instead of rear, not removing as much of the electronics during teardown... And I haven't noticed the wheels going side/side on charge plate breaking contact with charger, but have had the chassis arch up and break contact.
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Clint
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Post by Clint »

Tuner1989 wrote:Got that, but i was wondering how you went about charging the batt's the way you set them up in the tutorial.

heh,
Actually, I didnt. It was already charged, and I uesd it for < 1 minute just to test it out. I dont use the nimhs, got me a stockpile of lipo's.

You could just run some leads to a couple alligator clips from the charger pad, and just hook the clips to the battery terminals while it's in the car.
There's a lot of possibilities...
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Post by ph2t »

damn fine tutorial clint, loving the pics, process, the whole thing.....

now if I only had 34 hours days I'd be set.


:-o

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Post by sg219 »

Great tut!!! Perfect pics and write up. :-o


CaboWabo wrote:Clear, lots of pictures - what more could ya ask for?


The pics to be saved in the BP gallery. :-o

Does Clint have a BP gallery? :???:
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