Manitou FJ62


Disclaimer, this post involves theft. Straight up theft.

At USTE I had some rear bumper damage, and decided to turn it into a good thing and rust up the spot a bit. I think it worked out.


Now, onto the theft....

At USTE I also witnessed some cool stuff, all sorts of new ideas there. Our friend Fourth Protocol had one that knocked me back. He added a rear under the car spare tire under his Work Truck Cruiser. I didn't want to fan boy too much so I said "That's cool" and we moved on. Knowing full well I had to do it. I loved the idea. While messing with the bumper, I decided to give it a go. Took a Gmade steel wheel cover, glued it to a tire, then trimmed the tire in half to fit. Had to add a small piece back into it where you can see under the tailgate above the bumper. Mounted a magnet to a piece that bolts into the receiver hitch in the chassis, and the wheel being steel it hangs on tight. I added some chain to mimic the lowering mechanism.

Then I remade the exhaust as it had a weird bend that didn't look right from below. So I took what I've learned here and cut up a lighter and went from there. I dig it.

You can also see the 1/18 RC4wd OME shocks. They fit with a little work and I think they're great on a CMAX.

Thanks for watching!







Here's some behind the scenes...muffler looks odd I loaded it up with Model Master exhaust buffing paint then knocked it down a bit.






Wanted to give the helical gear sets a shot, and the 62 was more in need of a gear set than I had expected. Anyway, here's a little video. It's not night and day quieter, but it is a bit. The trans and transfer will be my next move. A little shim check and a nice coat of grease.

You can see the rear driveshaft pop a bit in the video. It is also contributing to some of the noise. At USTE it wore down one of the internal ribs so it skips every now and then. It ends up on a downhill off throttle sounding like a manual trans grinding into a lower gear. If I could make it do it on demand it would be perfect. I have a new replacement driveshaft ready to go, but the gear grinder will remain until it actually won't work anymore. The sound is too funny.



Also resolved the steering wheel/driver arm issue I was having. The shoulder joint was way too stiff and would pull the steering wheel off the column. Having learned from members here, I removed the arm, attached the hand to the wheel, then slide the arm into the sweater and done. I also shortened the window a bit for a better view inside. Added seatbelts and a few other little items inside you can't see. Ha.

Hate the loud servo. Wish I went with a Reefs from the beginning, but this one's buried in the bay. So until I have to remove it it's staying.



Supporting Member
Yay! Sounds much better!

Good to have a nice mechanical soundtrack anyway, gives it more character.

Edit: that is a noisy servo though!


See! The servo is the most annoying! And I agree a little drivetrain noise is was just a little too much.

Last thing, I had wanted to make the steering linkage a bump shock. Got the longer of the RC4WD pieces, painted it yellow, lock-tighted in place, and used a decal from the 1/18 set. I dig it.





Supporting Member
Nice idea for the steering link, looks exactly like a 1:1 I was just reading about.

Putting some 1/18 shocks on my next order, many uses they seem to have!


Supporting Member
wow! just read through the whole thread, amazing work! also, my first RC build was a hornet as well! I was probably 12 ha!


Supporting Member
Question- don't want to clog up the thread but others might find it useful- got my 1/18 shocks in but they use tiny hardware. I can mount that to the frame no prob but am struggling with the axles, do the GCM axles have smaller holes or are there different 1/18 shocks that use standard 3mm hardware?



You have to pop the metal balls out of the shock mounts. I used a pair of needle nose and squoozed them out.


Had a few items I wanted to resolve on the 62, and finally spent enough late nights to get it mostly done.

So first thing, the Savox steering servo had to go. It was so damn loud. I'm done buying Savox. Swapped it out to a similar torque but dead quiet servo. I didn't go Reefs like I wanted to, but this one's pretty good for the price. Also up'd the motor for a little more hp. I wasn't trying to win races, but I struggled keeping up with the guys heading out to the trail. So went from a 40T Torquemaster Expert 550, says 550 but the can seems small?, to a 30T Torquemaster Pro 540. Happy with the change.


I also flocked the seats. I thought I took pictures but I can't find them, so just take my word. I had a hard time finding a grey I liked. I am OK with the color I found, but I'd be OKer if it was a bit darker. I'll get some pictures up later of them.

Since I had to split the MrCommaD motor in half to swap out the can, I spent a little time adding some paint and color to it. Mostly on the bottom half that I kinda rushed last time. So it looks nice and worn out now. Except that fancy new alternator...because the real one has a fancy new one too. Also added an oil dipstick.


Then the real fun one.

I always wanted to add smoke to one of my drift cars, but the units offered seemed more trouble than they're worth. And the drift cars tend to be tight on space. But the idea got me interwebing one night and I found I knew this was too much for the small car, but perfect for the big Cruiser. They're products are more catered to boats and tanks, but I thought it could be cool and I could make it work. I tried to figure out what I should purchase from them as there are a few different sizes and voltage requirements. I decided to just go old school and actually reach out to them and ask for assistance in choosing. I messaged them on Facebook and Jeff quickly got back to me. I explained I wanted to add a smoking exhaust system to a crawler but wasn't sure what would fit and which type of unit would work best for me. After several really nice conversations back and forth I was sorted. The unit was built, tested, and sent out within a few days. I even got a message a few days after receiving it to ensure it was all good and I wasn't having any issues. I had not had a chance to dig into the install so I hadn't even tested the unit, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fantastic customer service. Jeff was seriously that nice.

So the unit fit into a spot right behind the rear seat, which gave it plenty of air space for the fan to circulate air into the unit. Also gave me a way to sort of hide the tubing in the seat cavity. It comes with a huge piece of soft tubing, but to get the bends I wanted, and hoping it's sturdy enough for trail abuse, I used brake line. Soft line for the connections so there's some flex and it's sealed. I added an on/off switch in case it's a smoke free environment, or I run out of juice. Guessing I could find the nearest Subaru owner and get some vape juice in a bind. Ha! Zing!

If I was totally crazy I'd cut the body fuel filler door and run the fill tube for the smoker to that. Then build a hinge and new door. But I don't see that happening, then trying to match paint, and also cutting into the 3d printed body won't go well. So no.

The unit has 2 outlets. I ran the other one up front to the engine bay. Gives it a nice "hey that oil leak is hitting the exhaust manifold" look. I have a small plug for it if I ever want to shutter down. It also adds more tailpipe smoke when I close it off.

This was testing so don't judge the wiring. It has all since been cleaned up and zip tied.

Hope you dig it as much as I do.

Thanks for checking it out, hope everyone is safe out there.






Plan is to move the exhaust outlet up and out a bit to give it more ground clearance. I'll do that when I add some paint as well.

I added the music since listening to the motor wasn't fun, then Instagram deleted it because of the song...So you're getting the song version here. Haha


Something in 1:1 life we had been working on for a while finally happened. We adopted a Lab from the Lab Rescue. To make it official, I added him to the 62. We use a harness on Landon, so the little guy got that. Made a water bowl out of cap that looked like a water bowl to me. Don't want anyone yelling at me on the trail...dogs gotta have plenty of water. And of course a bone, because Who's a good boy!

I'm not a smoker, but I just kinda always saw The Old Man as a smoker. I thought the smoking cig was kinda cool. Although I will say don't smoke in the car with your pet. Apparently he prefers Camels.

I think I might be about done with the truck. Can't think of anything else I wanna do with it, besides run it more often.

Thanks for watching and reading along.