Trimming Out Off-Road bodies

We’ve all seen it, a guy or gal with a sweet looking paint job that appears to be cut out by Edward Scissor hands(look it up).  Once you get that sweet looking body painted the last thing you want to do is tear it up and ruin it cutting it out to fit your ride. Over the years I’ve picked up a few tricks and techniques to speed things up a little and help your bodies last a little longer. We’ll do the buggies first in this tip of the week!

First off gather all your tools and required items to begin the process. I personally use a Dremel with an assortment of bits including a large and small sanding drum, small tapered sanding stone(green) and a Protek sanding foam block , and last but not least an Exacto knife with brand new blade. DO NOT skip on the new blade here, you’ll regret it every time trust me.

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So first off is to rough trim the body. I try to do this before I paint my own bodies but since SikLidz has been painting them for me I get them untrimmed. Every painter does this differently than the other. The first thing to do is rough cut the body. DO NOT  try and cut the trim lines out the first time, you will generally make a mistake each time. I’ve yet to find a good way to put lexan back onto the body after cutting it off! So take your time and leave yourself 1/8″ to 1/4″ off the cut line so you can trim and finish cut the body later in the process. This is especially important in tight corners or areas that dive back into the shell.

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Once you get the rough cut done, you can use the sanding tools to begin carving the round pockets if your body has them. On this Yokomo Bmax2 body there are two main ones in the front that need to be trimmed out to clear the shock tower and front bulkhead. As you can see I start off with the larger sanding drum and work down to the small one. Note the head speed of the Dremel or rotary tool should be fast enough to remove material but not fast enough to melt the lexan. Your goal is to remove material, not melt it away.

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On this body there was another area that required a bit of patience to cut out nicely near the rear gear cover. Again take your time and focus on straight lines. Once you’ve got the straight lines done go back with the sanding drum and clean up the curves, again going slowly so you don’t remove too much material. You should end up with good clearance and clean lines on the body when  you’re done.

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I clean all the cut lines I exacto’d or used scissors on with the Protek foam sanding block to remove any burs or sharp edges. Last but not least is mounting it up. I personally run velcro on all my buggy bodies in the 1/10 classes. I try to keep unnecessary holes out of any body if I can help it. Velcro is easy to remove and rarely fails if you install it correctly. I run the “soft” side on the chassis so when I’m working on it, it’s not snagging things on the table. It doesn’t take much velcro to secure the body, I use 3/4″ sections about 1/2″ tall as long as the chassis side guards allow for it.

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There you have it!  Simple tips to get a nicely mounted body that should last quite a while. I have a few tricks for Short Course bodies that are more than enough to make up their own “Tip of the Week” so stay tuned.

Good Racing!

Trimming a body

Trimming a body

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