Over the weekend I commenced work on my miniature RC car.
I eventually settled on the Oxford Die-cast AEC pick-up truck, mainly because of the ground clearance beneath the chassis. The main risk of using this truck is the difference in size of the AEC trucks wheels compared to those provided with the conversion RC kit.
The first job was to remove the wheels and axles from the die-cast model. I wanted to see if it was possible to use the original wheels, so I knew I had to be careful. The Oxford Die-cast wheels are held onto the axle with an abrasive tipped axle (not quite a thread, but more a cross hatching).
The axle of the AEC truck with cross hatched tip.
This meant that a bit of gradual pulling (using a pin vice and brute strength) releases the wheels. I also realised that the Oxford Die-cast tyres are made of a similar rubber to those provided in my kit, which should be great for traction.
The next job was to provide enough space for the motor on the die-cast chassis. I cut away at the rear of the chassis with a mini drill armed with a disc cutter. After losing about five disc cutters, I managed to clear a nice space for the motor.
I soldered a small bit of wire to the brass gearbox, which acts as a simple harness to keep the motor inside the chassis.
Building the front axle
The steering axle is a lovely, simple kit. I didn’t realise that the kit is made so that the axle will move across the x, y and z axes, so I am very pleased (as I thought I would have to adapt it for up/down movement). The plastic is also very rigid, with little chance of distortion, it looks laser cut. The wheels supplied are quite small and the rear wheels are constructed to take a double tyre (which would look a bit silly on non-lorry models). In order to fit the AEC’s original wheels I replaced the kits brass axle pins and converted new ones out of the AEC axles. I didn’t want to risk widening the holes in the steering kit to take the wider AEC axles, so I milled down the AEC axles with a mini drill and a file.
To the left – newly milled axles, made out of the AEC axle. To the right – the kits original brass plunger axle.
The new axles fitted to the wheels
Fitting the steering axle
I decided that the steering column needed so much space beneath the body that it would be better to cut away the front of the AEC chassis and fit it directly to the cab. I also removed the mud guards, so the wheels wouldn’t collide with them.
Thoughts on progress so far
It was at this stage that I started to realise that the wheels were too far stretched out from the steering axle. This gives the impression of some monster truck adaptation, which I quite like.
Converted truck (to the right0 with widely spaced wheels.
The problem is that the rear axle is fixed in the motor gear box, and is nowhere near as lengthy as the front one. Thus when the back wheels go on, the final product will look a bit stupid. So my next task will be to carefully de-construct the steering axle and re-mill the front axles until they are a bit closer to the body.
I have ordered some spare axles (just in case).
Expect an update soon.