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design, prototype, production - Speed Buggy DB-17

design, prototype, production

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Speed Buggy DB-17

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Scale Truck and Offroad Builds >> Speed Buggy DB-17
Speed Buggy DB-17 Image
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The DesertBoy-17 has been around the world in many forms. Most of the builds tend to be truck body vehicles, or SC truck screamers, but in this case we went for a more scale, more original look. Here's the GCM Speed Buggy build. A DB-17 full kit with a one-off custom steel tube cage that's ready for a beating. Here's how we did it.
The GCM Racing DesertBoy kits are a bolt on conversion for the HPI Savage Flux. A simple and super tough, purpose built, long truck conversion that corrects for suspension geometry and balance in the long wheelbase format. Any one who has had the experience of driving a DB-17 will verify that the long wheelbase speed handling are a new experience in Savage driving, no matter what your battery power. We love to get an open space and just rip the truck at full blast around and over obstacles... just like a true buggy racer would do.... and now it looks the part. Beginning with a DB-17 conversion we built the truck using 6s battery power. With the battery bay so large in this truck, we had to add about 2.5 inches of hard foam to the tray to fill the hole. The batteries are secured with velcro loops around the entire block and through the holes in the Battery Tray Floor. There is no movement in the packs in this setup. It's solid as a rock and even have some air space on each side for air cooling if needed. The ESC uses the Mamba Monster ESC clip and is a direct bolt on to the front of the chassis plate on the left side. There's no movement with this setup either, and all the wiring in the truck is right up front. It's clean and easy.
With the bashing this Speed Buggy will handle, we opted for the center skidplate option as well. This keeps rocks and sand out of the dogbone area and keeps the truck from hanging up on stumps or brush that line the trails. This interlocks very easliy into the chassis parts and provides a clean lower section for the Buggy.
With the drivetrain and chassis completed, it was time to layout the tube work, and somehow make it removable for service, but strong enough to handle major abuse. With the Savage stock shock towers, it was easy to use the body mount holes for tube locations, and this works perfectly. The same mounting was used for the front and the rear, so with 4 clips, the cage comes off. As you can see in the pictures, with the tube work laid out and welded, then painted, it provides a super strong cage to protect every part of the chassis and components, but still allow easy removal. The pins that would hold the body posts before now lock the cage in place, and there's NO shock tower flex with this setup. The cage itself can easily handle a 200 pound man standing on top of it and it's just as strong when installed on the truck thanks to cross-tubes that rest directly on the frame of the truck. All the pressure points from the cage are transferred directly to the frame this way, and the shock towers are nothing more than points of location. We have a solid tube across the frame right behind the front shock tower, and another right across the top of the rear shock tower. It feels tight and ready for action.
With the cage finished, we cut and zip-tied some flat lexan panels to the Buggy. These are great to deflect rocks and dirt and keep the insides as clean as possible. And with the flat areas now available, we added some silver mist to the green on the inside, and then laid stickers on the outside. Hard to see in pictures, but the look of this thing in the sun with the silver mist and metal flake green is very sharp! The sponsor stickers give it the Buggy attitude and spice up the look as well.