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Reef's RC Servo Winch Install

Our shop truck (Axial Wraith 1.9) was begging for the new Reef's RC servo winch  and wanted to show how we installed it along with products from some other great RC companies. 

We just want to say this isn't an exact how-to but more of a reference guide to what is required if you want to do this modification to your Axial Wraith 1.9.

Items used for this project:

DSM Off-Road: 

Reef's RC:

Intheworks rc: 

RC Guru Shack:

 

Miscellaneous Items Used: 

  • 2mm screws to mount the fair lead
  • Servo extension cables
  • 3 channel radio system to run the servo winch
  • Rod end with metal pivot ball
  • 3mm screws in random sizes

 

Tools Used:

  • 1.5mm & 2mm drivers
  • Wheel nut wrench
  • Drill with 1/16", 7/64" & 1/8" drill bits
  • Dremel rotary tool with cut off wheel and grinding stone
  • Lighter

 

Our shop truck was the perfect candidate for Reef's new servo winch kit. It's used hard and is a great platform for a variety of events. 

 

First, we removed the body.  The roof is held on with 5 small screws. The grille is held on with 4 small screws. We do not have the lights in ours, but if you do then you will want to remove those from the grille as well. They are held in with small clips secured to the back of the grille with little screws.

 

Then it's just a matter of removing 6 screws from each side of the body to remove the main shell. It's also a good idea to remove the wheels and tires to make it easier to work on.

Now we can start to remove the front servo mount and receiver box combo. Start with removing the front bumper and mount, and also in our case the Reef's RC bumper brace. Also, remove the 4 screws that go from the bottom to secure the receiver box cover and remove the cover. 

Next we removed the servo mount/receiver box combo. There's 4 screws on the sides and also a couple that secure the front shock hoop that need to be removed. You can then rotate the front shock hoops out of the way to make removal easier. You will also need to unhook the steering link from the servo horn. 

Here's the servo mount / receiver box combo removed from the truck. You will need to unplug the speed control from the receiver. Also, remove the panhard mount as it's going to be replaced with the heavy duty mount included with the dual servo mount.

 

Here's the old servo mount / receiver box combo next to the new intheworks rc dual servo mount. You can remove the receiver from the box by gently prying it out with a flat bade screwdriver. It's held in with double sided tape. Also, re-install the steering servo into the new mount using the factory servo screws.

You can then install the new mount into the truck. 

 

Rotate the shock hoops back down to hold the new mount in place and re-install the screws that were removed when the factory mount was removed from the truck. Note: We found removing the left side shock hoop all together made it easier to install the heavy duty panhard mount that's installed below.

 

Here's the 2 screws included with the new dual servo mount that are used to mount the new panhard mount. The longer screw goes to the front.

 

Here's the panhard mount in place. We chose to use the included nut between the mount and panhard link to add a little more space for the servo winch. You will need another 3mm nut if you go this route as the kit only includes 2. Make sure to use some blue thread locker for these nuts.

 

You can also attach the steering link back to the servo horn. 

 

The front bumper mount can also go back on and as shown our Reef's RC bumper mount brace.

 

Time to install the servo winch. We spaced ours up more with some small spacers (we actually used some 3x6x2.5mm bearings as spacers) to allow for more clearance for suspension travel. 

 

 

Time to add some winch line. First, drill out the hole in the included spool with a 1/16" drill bit to fit the DSM Off-Road synthetic line. Then mount it onto the servo. Make sure to use some blue thread locker on the screw. Then feed the winch line through the hole you drilled larger and up through the top. You can now use a lighter to melt the end of the winch line into a ball and pull it back down so the ball sits inside of the drum. 

 

Now you will need a guide to direct the winch line onto the center of the drum. We used a screw, nut, and Traxxas rod end we had in our parts bin. You will want something with a metal pivot ball so it doesn't melt when the line runs through it.

 

Screw the screw/nut combo into the rod end as shown:

 

Then you can cut the head off of the screw as shown. 

 

We chose to replace the front left servo winch mounting screw with our new winch line guide. 

 

Next we modified the front bumper and bumper mount for the winch line and fair lead to mount to it. We just drilled a hole through the center of the bumper mount. The line might wear through the mount but it won't hurt anything if it does.

 

For the bumper we used the fair lead as a template and drilled 2 1/16" holes for use with 2mm mounting screws (not included with fair lead) Then we used a cut off wheel in our Dremel tool to clearance the middle for the winch line. Note: The large hole below is not required, we used it to mount a kinetic self recovery system before replacing it with this servo winch.

Then just feed the winch line through the fair lead and mount the bumper back onto the truck.

 

The factory receiver box cover can be re-installed onto the truck and perfectly fits over the servo winch. 

 

Now we can install the RC Guru Shack receiver box in the rear of the truck. It fits snugly between the rear upper shock hoops. We drilled holes through the sides of the receiver box using the shock mounts as guides. Make sure to use a smaller drill bit than the holes in the shock mounts so that you can still thread in screws. We used a 7/64" drill bit. We used longer screws through the shocks that would reach the receiver box along with a second screw on each side through a different mounting hole so the receiver box was secured by 4 screws. It's very solid and as a side benefit it really helped to stiffen the shock mounts.

 

You can then mount the receiver inside of the new receiver box and run your servo, winch servo, and speed control wires to it. You may need servo extensions depending on your equipment used. Also, the stock radio system will not run the servo winch as it is only a 2 channel radio system.

Now that there's power to run the servo winch we can finish the winch line installation. We first added the Reef's RC winch line hook to the end of the DSM Off-Road winch line. Use a lighter to melt the end of the winch line into a ball and then tie the hook on with a figure 8 knot as shown:

 

To secure the hook to the truck we used a DSM Off-Road 6" Rapid Recovery Kit. It was easy to mount using the sway bar mounts using the included 3mm stainless steel shackles. This will keep tension on the winch line and also allow quick and easy deployment. 

 

That wraps up our installation of the Reef's RC servo winch into the Axial Wraith 1.9. We did not cover radio programming as it varies depending on what is used. You will just need a radio with a 3rd channel that can be set to 3 position. 



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