Maintenance is a huge part of the R/C hobby. Proper maintenance is vital for the longevity of your R/C truck. Neglected parts wear out and usually take other components with them. For this article we will go over how to clean and rebuild stock SCX10 shocks. While we have the shocks apart we will be upgrading the shock pistons to Axial’s licensed Icon Vehicle Dynamics SCX10 pistons. If you have a newer SCX10 vehicle, then chances are you already have these machined Delrin shock pistons. If you have an older SCX10 the machined pistons are an excellent upgrade. The machined pistons have a more precise fit in the shock bodies than the molded plastic counter parts, which will give your shocks a more consistent feel. Time to get our hands dirty!
First thing we need to do is remove the shocks. If the shocks are covered in dust spray them off with a shock cleaner before dis-assembly.
Next remove the lower spring cup, springs and plastic spring retainer.
Remove the top cap and dump the old oil out onto a rag or paper towel.
Use a pair of wire cutters to hold the shock shaft as close to the lower rod end as possible, and unscrew the rod end from the shock shaft.
Remove the lower bumpstop and pull the shock shaft out of the shock body.
If you are rebuilding your shocks, we suggest replacing all o-rings during the process. Unscrew the lower plastic shock cap to expose the o-rings.
Using a soft object like a zip tie remove the two shock shaft o-rings and single plastic spacer. Set the plastic spacer aside for re-assembly.
When installing the new o-rings grease them thoroughly before inserting them into the shock body. First o-ring in place.
Plastic spacer goes in next, between the o-rings.
Last greased o-ring inserted into place. Thread the lower plastic cap back onto the shock bodies and set them aside for now.
A shot of the new machined Delrin shock pistons.
Time to remove the old molded shock pistons. Use a sharp pick tool to remove the e-clip at the top of the shock shaft. We do this over a towel to catch the e-clip. Otherwise you risk it flying across your work shop.
New machined piston and e-clip in place.
Insert the shock shaft back into the shock body, add your rubber bumpstops and thread the rod end back into place.
Fill your shock body 3/4 of the way up with your oil and cycle the shock piston up and down while leaving it fully submersed in oil. This will bring any unwanted air bubbles to the top. Here you can see we were just shy on the amount of oil needed.
Add more oil and compress your shock to check for air bubbles.
Next thread the shock cap onto the the shock body while holding the shock compressed. It may take a few tries to get the right feel for it. Once the shock bottoms out, tighten the shock cap down snuggly. You should be able to cycle the shock fully without hearing any air bubbles squishing around inside the shock. If the shock won’t compress all the way down, there is still too much oil in the shock. The shaft should fully compress and rebound on its own slightly if built right. Install your springs, retainer and lower spring cup and you are done.
Maintenance isn’t the most glorious part of R/C, but it is a must to ensure top performance. You should definitely see a big difference in performance after the rebuild, especially if your shocks are dirty and low on oil. Time spent at the bench now doing preventive maintenance means less parts replaced down the road. Thanks for reading and maybe we will see you on the trail.