So, what CHASSIS do I use if I want to build a General Lee rc car? Here is the fork in the road, option A) you already have a chassis and need to find a body to fit, or option B) you already have a body and need to find a chassis to fit.
Here is a list of typical chassis used:
Tamiya TT01, Tamiya M04L, Tamiya M06, Tamiya TA02
Duratrax Vendetta buggy and short course truck
HPI Cup racer
Various other 1/18th scale chassis ( Animus )
Check out the “Body” page and “Builds” page for more info as to what body fits different chassis.
Dudebro313 Duratrax Vendetta Type Chassis Build
Here’s my chassis, it’s really a Duratrax Vendetta 1/18 buggy ( or a short course truck would work,) that’s cut in half, and an aluminum plate was used to extend it for the right wheelbase. I chose the Duratrax Vendetta buggy due to the width at 165mm, bolted on a couple HPI 26mm width wheels in the front and it fit pretty good under the Malibu Intl. hard body. I could fit HPI 31mm width wheels in the back, so on they went.
There’s nothing special about the aluminum plate….it’s 6061 aluminum, about .090″ thick….I’ve got 4 or 5 bolts that hold the front end and rear end to the plate.
MrMarbles048 ( youtube )
HPI Cup Racer ( Discontinued in 2012,) catch em’ on Ebay,etc….
MrMarbles048 stretched the chassis on his build, he used two stock top chassis plates but the bottom plate was his own custom creation. I think it was 6061 aluminum, around .100″ thick, looks killer, really sweet work on his car. HPI chassis has adjustable width, so it will work with any body, a shame they don’t make them anymore. The second picture down shows the original chassis plate sitting on the custom aluminum chassis. Gives you an idea of how long the wheelbase needed to be extended.
Tamiya makes this chassis in many different variations, get em’ new, ebay, used…whatever you want.
For those of you who know what use to be here, the Author of those pdf’s and pictures asked me to remove them, you may contact him through his youtube channel if you need them.
In the example below, lawdog185 stretched his chassis with stock oem Tamiya ( # 50851 F Parts ) parts to get the right wheelbase. I’m not sure what the exact width is, but he had both the Malibu Intl. body and the HPI body mounted on it, and those are the two narrowest bodies to use.
I don’t know of any builds done with this chassis, but it is the next generation of “mini RWD” Tamiya chassis which replaces the M04L style. It has the right width specs, etc…and looks like it can be stretched without too many issues.
Nick Church ( youtube ) Tamiya TA02
Nick had to do extensive work to the control arms, drive shafts, steering to make this chassis work with the narrow bodies. I don’t have any close up pics of the previously mentioned work, but he had to narrow all of those pieces to make it work. By doing that, he retained his 4WD, which is really cool and shows his craftsmanship.
Tamiya TT01 style chassis ( stretched )
As you can see in the photo on the left, the front has some custom machined aluminum spacers to get the right wheelbase. A small warning about this style of stretching the chassis, look at the front steering tie rods, specifically their angle…..this is possibly on the limits of too much angle and might have negative effects on steering/handling.
Need an aluminum chassis plate to stretch your chassis but can’t make one?
Jason sent me a pic of an aluminum CNC chassis plate he made. I think it looks pretty good, and if it can help someone get their build started/finished, I support it. If you’re interested in buying one, please contact him directly, the info is in the picture. He said $60 shipped to lower 48 USA.