Associated MGT Build Up

My buildup of an Associated MGT from scratch... 

This will just be a few photos and pages of my chronicles to build an Associated MGT RC Monster Truck.
Rather than buy a RTR and then change out the parts I didn't like I decided to buy most of the components off eBay and put together the truck and set it up with the parts and hop-ups I wanted.

First some good links to get you started.

These core links will get you started and then you can surf the forums and find more information: RC Universe, R/C Tech, RC Nitro Talk and of course RC Car Action's forum. These forums are also a good additional source for parts, too but as always buyer beware. Check the feedback methods on the forums. I just discovered RC Driver magazine's forum as well and it is pretty good plus you get to talk to the authors.

These are the shocks modified with red and gold springs (at each corner) and the Associated FT aluminum caps. I also put fresh 40 wt. oil in each shock. 

This seems to be the recommended setup.The stock blue springs are said to be too soft. And the "fake" reservoir caps are weak.

I don't need a real good excuse to buy blue anodized aluminum!


<<< The MGT has really beefy shocks.

Here is my New Era Roll bar that I snagged off of eBay. This is very sturdy unit - much stronger then the stock 'wire' based roll bar. I think this would actually protect something. It is powder coated and made of chromemoly tubing.  The attachment points are pretty ingenious. Gives you just another little bit of room without messing anything up (except the radio door on the radio tray...).

I really like the way the roll bar makes this look. You can also see the Robinson Racing slipper clutch unit. I'm actually going to try it out using the stock plastic gear. I'm not planning on racing my truck - I think it will just be a basher.

This is the chassis guard (I call them grilles). I got these - front & back - from Hobby Etc. You can get them on eBay and some other places but sometimes the shipping takes a while. They look rough but it's just the picture. They are very smooth with a 'bare' aluminum edge across the top. Those are th stock front and rear skid plates but I did use the aftermarket aluminum diff clamps - blue anodized aluminum of course!

This is the right rear corner before the shocks are put on. Upper and lower arms, hub, 23mm adapter (used), axle, etc. You can also see the the rear skid plate / bumper mount is a Hardcore Racing Ti unit. I scored that off of eBay also but I'm afraid the front will probably end up being an Integy. I plan on stripping the chrome off the bumper inserts and dying them blue. I had to do some sanding to get them to fit in the HCR bracket. BTW, the Integy and HCR units look almost identical in pictures. But the HCR has a silver bumper bracket and the Integy is all anodized - in my case it's got's to be blue!

I also bought used axles and the ones that had slop in them I just installed the rebuild kit. That saved me some money. 

Here's a picture of the back end with the shocks mounted and the engine mounted. I bought a bling-bling blue anodized engine mount but didn't realize that they came in .21 and .28 sizes - and I bought .21. So, I just decided to paint the stock mount blue with Dupli-color engine enamel. I think it really looks good and pulls the "blue" theme in well. I need blue RPM arms too don't you think?

I wanted a good engine but didn't want to spend a fortune. It seems like the Axial .28 Spec 1s has gotten pretty good reviews around the forums. And you can't hardly beat the price or the warranty. I think it will be more then enough power for bashing and maybe enough for an occasional race. I will probably end up with a Tiger Drive or the Axial shaft starter backplate. It is the gray head engine.
Later note: it runs great and starts pretty easy (as long as you don't flood it). I really like how easily it idles. I think as long as you don't play gorilla with the pull start you won't have any problems. Gosh this pull start thing is sure convenient isn't it? And this engine in this truck flat out moves. I think it is pretty impressive and I'm now sold on Axial engines.

The pipe is a Losi LST2 pipe and header. They were purchased used off of eBay and I've stripped the paint off (long story - the condition of the pipe was better before me and the wire brush had an argument). And I have painted them blue engine enamel as well. The engine enamel is supposed to be good to 500 degrees F. The paint came out GREAT see picture above. Oh, if you look closely you can see the blue anodized aluminum fuel cap too! :-)

I have some used Moabs and Big Joes on the way. I want some Commando wheels but we'll have to see what kind of deal I can get on them. Update - commandos on the way! Here's a quick picture with some rear tires slapped on (Big Joes on Wabash wheels - wheels to be cleaned up and dyed black).

For the body, I'm planning on a '72 Chevy C10 long bed body (Pro-Line). Paint scheme is still up in the air but I'm hoping to pull off flames and blue pearl.

BTW, if you're interested in paint the paint section of R/C Tech is good but CFX Paint Works is fantastic. And there are also a lot of other good sources out there. I've had an airbrush for a zillion years and I'm trying to build up enough courage to just use it.

Important Radio / Servo Information 

Need to figure out the difference between Airtonics / Futaba / Hitec / JR receivers and servos? Look no further - this LINK  has wiring and pinouts. While this LINK is a gigantic list of servos and their specs. Very impressive. Thanks Fatlion - check out the rest of his site.
Also stumbled onto another good RC site  Alan's Hobby Model & RC FAQ Credit goes to Alan Tong. 

Labor Day Weekend

 Well, it's alive! I started this project on Memorial Day weekend and now it's finished - oh, okay running.
I found the Commando wheels and stripped the chrome from them (and the stock bumpers) with Simple Green - it really worked, and well. I removed the used Big Joes from the Wabash rims but alas the foams were rotten and being a holiday weekend with no local hobby shop around... I was out of luck. So, I just mounted up the Moabs for now on the rear. I like the rake it has but it is probably not good to run different sizes of tires.

I broke in the engine according to Cooper Fuels website or the best I could. I still don't entirely know what I'm doing but I got it running. That Axial engine started pretty easy and idled just fine - even when it was running rich. I've leaned it out but didn't know how far to go yet. But it is running and starts and idles.

Okay here are some good pictures - and yes I got it dirty!! :-) LOL. I had a couple of people tell me I can't have pictures of a monster truck unless they're dirty! So here you go.




Here's a couple of later pictures (9/17/2007). Just had a friend snap them at work in the parking garage. This is the HB LSP body I got from sweetdiesel off of the RC Nitro Talk forums. It fits remarkably well on the MGT. I have that Losi pipe that hangs off the side a bunch and the bulge on the drivers side of the truck does a pretty good job of covering that up.

Looks good doesn't it? I also cut a large 'chunk' of the pickup bed away around the engine to have access to the pull start.
I'm planning on stripping the body and trying my hand at airbrushing! I have a million different ideas. With this "basher" body it should be a perfect canvas. Also, note I took the pictures DIRTY. A couple of guys said you can't take pictures of clean trucks! (I do like cleaning it up though).

Video of MGT in my front yard.

Video of my granddaughter Hannah watching - FUNNY!!

Enough for now.