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::Gagak Rimang:: SKUNKWORKS - RC4WD Trail Finder 2

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  • ::Gagak Rimang:: SKUNKWORKS - RC4WD Trail Finder 2

    Hello RC4WD Community! Greetings from Singapore!

    Before we continue, a bit of background about myself.
    So basically, I am a big fan of two things: any offroad vehicles and things from the 70s and 80s.

    I became a Toyota Hilux fan since Top Gear aired "To Kill a Toyota" where it showed that no matter what you did to the it, it will just keep on running.

    Over here, owning a vehicle is particularly expensive. Buying a truck is only possible if you own a business.
    One day, it hit me: if I can't own an actual truck, perhaps I could build a scaled down version.

    I was first looking at the Tamiya Hilux/Tundra/Mountain Rider/Bruiser but the fact that the bed wasn't deep enough and the Hi-lift didn't look scale enough meant that I had to look else where.

    Long story short, I am now a proud owner of a Trail Finder 2.

    She is the RTR version. Bought her from a local guy who basically made her a shelf queen.

    I'm abit iffy on the colour and might change it sometime in the future. She has the Tamiya Mountain Rider graphics on which I'm not a big fan of.

    I have a lot planned for her so along the way I may ask some question and will require advice/guidance from you folks! Stay tuned as I document my journey building the truck of my dreams
    Last edited by Gagak Rimang; 04-18-2017, 11:03 PM.

  • #2
    Just a quick update.

    I have thought long and hard about what name to give my Toyota Hilux and decided to name her "SKUNKWORKS".

    I will be bring Skunkworks out for testing on Sunday to see what upgrades she needs.

    From a quick drive in the house, I can already tell her suspension and steering servo needs to be looked into.

    Pictures will come once I have her out on the trails!

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk


    • #3
      I contemplated on whether to run the stock suspensions or to modify the shocks and spring leafs on Skunkworks's maiden trail on Sunday.

      Playing around with the suspension and seeing how crazy stiff she is, I decided to remove the springs in the shocks, the smallest leaf in the front and both helper leaves in the rear.

      With the stock suspension setup:

      At 46mm, her rear wheel was already in the air.

      She could only manage a 30mm travel before the rear wheel was lifted off the ground.

      Surprisingly to me, after removing the shock springs and leaves, the amount of travel was exactly the same.

      I noticed that the front shackles were hitting the grill and also the travel on the front shocks were so little (maximum 10mm) before bottoming out.

      The rear on the other had good travel and articulation. I can only imagine how they would be once they've broken in.

      But the front though.

      No wonder the Gelande II shock hoops are a popular upgrade.

      We shall see what Skunkworks will tell me on Sunday.

      What do you guys think?


      • #4
        Noticed that the front tires were rubbing against the front grill. So I trimmed it.

        This is how she looks like with the trimmed grill mounted.


        • #5
          Took Skunkworks out on her maiden drive to test the overall drive-a-bility.

          CURRENT SETUP.
          1) Stock RTR

          1) Stock shocks with internal springs removed
          2) Front - Main leaf spring with long helper below.
          3) Rear - Only main leaf spring with o-rings top and bottom at each securing point.

          Things I noticed when driving:
          1) Articulation is good at the rear but almost non-existent in the front.
          2) When fully compressed at the rear, the leaf spring binds up and wouldn't go back to normal position.

          A few pictures from the drive

          Video is coming out soon too! Stay tuned for that!


          • #6
            As promised!

            Last edited by Gagak Rimang; 04-27-2017, 07:18 AM.


            • #7
              Very nice bud. You will note regret getting a TF, I love mine to bits. Enjoy yours and keep us posted.


              • #8
                I ordered the Gelande 2 front shock hoops and should expect it to arrive in 2 weeks.

                So here's the plan, with the taller shock hoops installed, I will see her Stance and how she looks.

                After that, I will order the front and rear revolver shackles and the Z-box and see if she sits any taller.

                With that, I then will know what length of shocks to go for - to stay with the stock length, go longer or possibly even reduce it.

                Some of you guys might say, "why not just order it all at once? You'll save on shipping". Well, I'd rather spend abit more on shipping then buying the wrong thing or worse - something that I don't actually need.

                Originally posted by new2rocks
                Welcome to TF2-land from an American that's been to Singapore just once (business trip years ago).
                I am planning to purchase the Old Man Emu shocks. Having been to Singapore and familiar with the weather here, what weight oil shocks would you recommend to put in the Old Mans? Do I have to remove the internal springs just like I did with the stock shocks?

                Enough about the performance side of things. Let's move on to her looks.

                With a name like SKUNKWORKS, it wouldn't be right to have her in red with white wheels. Besides, I don't really like she's mine if I don't paint her up myself.

                I couldn't decide between having a white or black body so I went with grey, or more specifically, gun metal grey.

                Her wheels shall be black.

                I know, it's not the most earth shattering colour choice but I think it will suit with her name 'Skunkworks'.

                First off, I removed all the wheels and soaked them in 99% isopropyl alcohol.

                I expect 24 hours should be enough to strip the paint and expose the bare metal.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Troopy View Post
                  Very nice bud. You will note regret getting a TF, I love mine to bits. Enjoy yours and keep us posted.
                  I have barely done anything it and I already love it!

                  Will surely update you guys from time to time!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Gagak Rimang View Post
                    I am planning to purchase the Old Man Emu shocks. Having been to Singapore and familiar with the weather here, what weight oil shocks would you recommend to put in the Old Mans? Do I have to remove the internal springs just like I did with the stock shocks?
                    For the RC4WD narrow-bodied shocks, I like using 3k or 5k diff fluid. That would be regardless of climate, but our summers are comparably hot and occasionally as humid as your typical weather, lol. And definitely remove the internal springs.

                    For what it's worth, if you're planning on OME's, I'd suggest ordering the 90mm length for front and rear straight away. Putting the longer shocks on now won't affect ride height (assuming the internal springs are removed), but it will allow you to see the impact of the other changes you make as you make them. If you try the other changes first while keeping the stock front shocks, you won't get much benefit at all out of the G2 hoops, or the Revolvers or Z-Boxes, because the stock shocks don't have anywhere near enough down travel to take advantage of the added leaf travel that the other changes will allow.

                    Good luck and keep us posted!
                    BowHouse RC
                    GCM #tinytruck Team
                    Team Helios RC

                    "Sometimes nothin' can be a pretty cool hand..."
                    - Cool Hand Luke


                    • #11
                      While waiting for my parts to arrive, I went ahead to respray my body to give it a whole new look befitting to her name 'SKUNKWORKS'.

                      Stripped away all outfittings and sanded her down.

                      Masked out the rear window both inside and out.

                      So after soaking the wheels for 24 hours in 99% isopropyl alcohol with absolutely zero outcome, I went ahead to just give the wheels a coat of Primer and some black paint. I used Tamiya's Fine Primer and Semi Gloss Black.

                      Looks good and I'm very happy with the outcome. Those silver nuts really make the wheels stand out IMO.

                      Putting on the wheels was quite challenging, so I came up with a method to put it on fairly easily which I will share in the next post.

                      So this is how SKUNKWORKS looks like with a primed body and black wheels. The rear bed is not yet done. I will concentrate on the front for now and give my undivided attention.



                      • #12
                        Putting on the wheels was quite the task.

                        Here's how I do it:

                        I lined up the holes and fitted 2 extremely long screws on opposite sides for ease of bolting it down. The proper screws are just too short and will not reach the other side at this stage.

                        I then bolted them down to lock in the beads and press the wheels together. Next, I put in a third screw and bolted it down too.

                        By now, the wheels are tight and I proceed on to put in the actual bolt on the opposite side of the third screw. At this stage the actual bolts can already reach the opposite side. Bolt it down. (sorry I forgot to take pictures from here onwards.m but I'll try to explain it as best as I can).

                        I put in the other 2 remaining bolts and I tighten all 6 down.

                        I then release the long screws one by one and replace them with the actual bolts.

                        Loosen all 6 bolts and tighten them back in a star pattern just like the 1:1.

                        This method has probably been done and shared but I thought I would just share it incase it's different.


                        • #13
                          The paint has been laid on Skunkworks. I shall let it cure for 24hrs before laying on the flat clear coat.

                          Now I know I said 'Gunmetal Grey' in the past few posts, but I checked my store before dropping by to my LHS and realised I had a few cans of Gloss Aluminum so I figured "Why not?"

                          Really happy with the outcome.

                          Meanwhile here are some photos


                          • #14
                            Back cab is done!

                            Now to decals, weathering and the final coat!


                            • #15
                              Blacked out her door and bed handles! SKUNKWORKS is all fixed up!

                              Don't have the right tools and materials to do the weathering and decals so this will have to do for now.

                              Brought her out for some trailing fun! Pictures and a new video coming soon! Stay tuned!