Remember back in the day, playing with your big Tonka truck, running it through everything, feeling like it was an awesome monster truck that could go anywhere? Or do you live in a relatively urban area and would love to go mudding but can't because it's too expensive and there's nowhere to go nearby? Or maybe you just like making cool things? Well, here's the project for you!
With some work , you'll be able to modify a classic, pressed steel, 1970's/1980's Tonka truck to fit on a remote controlled Traxxas Summit to make a scale looking monster truck to go exploring in. Not only that, you'll be able to drive as if you were in the driver's seat. It's not quite the same as going out in the real truck but it's a whole lot less expensive and can go just about anywhere you want and since it's scale, you can get the same sort of videos too!
This requires obtaining a HAM radio license or you can get by without a license and just drive it line of sight and enjoy the video later. Please abide by your local regulations regarding video transmission.
This instructable will go over how to modify a classic Tonka truck to fit on top of a Traxxas Summit. Additional components will be added to allow the camera to pan and tilt so you can look around and see your surroundings, much like you would if you were in a real truck. For added realism, you can use a GI Joe and Barbie doll to drive your truck all with a moving steering wheel.
The video below give you an idea of what you can expect.

You can see the truck drive on its own from inside the truck with this video! Around the baseball field, you can see the truck hunting for the waypoint. What's even more fun is seeing me in the side mirrors following in another truck!

Keep going to learn more!

Step 1: Parts / Tools You'll Need

As a note to avoid confusion with some of the pictures, I have made several versions of this truck and have pictures from all the builds so while the trucks may be different colors or different top styles, the actual modifications to the underlying body will be the same.

If you want a really basic setup, you'll need just a few things to buy:
1:10 Scale Traxxas Summit (DO NOT get the 1:16 scale version)
Pressed Steel Tonka Jeep from e-Bay
GoPro HD Hero or HD Hero 2 Camera (doesn't matter which version)
1x GoPro flat, sticky mount
1x GoPro J-buckle
1x GoPro extension

Just a few notes on the above items for however deep you go into the build. DO NOT get the 1:16 scale version as that is way too small. Yes, it's cheaper and a Summit but it won't work for this build.
When you look up the truck on e-Bay, use "pressed steel tonka bronco jeep" and you'll find it. Depending on the condition of the truck, prices will range from $25 shipped to $100+ for the really good condition trucks. If you're lucky, you can find one cheaper. If you're able to find a truck with the rack and gas can, that can add to the realism and it also makes for a good place to put the video transmission gear if you get your HAM radio license and go that far.
If you're making the really basic version, the GoPro Hero 3 will work fine too.

If you want to go all in, here are some more items you'll want:
7-8 channel radio system (I highly recommend the Futaba 9C if you can find it but the 2.4 GHz Futaba 8FG is fine)
1x Castle External BEC
1x Hitec HS-81 Servo
1x Futaba S3004 Servo
1x Hitec HS-55 Servo
1x Servo City Servo Blocks (Futaba version)
1x Servo Stretcher
1x 3/16" Servo to Shaft Coupler (Hitec version)
3x Servo Y-Harnesses (Futaba style, not Gangnam style)
4x Servo extensions (Futaba style and you'll possibly want more than 4 if you add more accessories later on)
1x Traxxas T-lock for differentials (If you have a 27 MHz radio Summit, it has one. All the 2.4 GHz stuff does not.)
1x Traxxas P2 Rockers
1x 4"x2"x1" project box
1x Dubro EZ Connector
1x Servo Reverser
2x Blind spot mirrors
1x GI Joe with Kung Fu Grip (e-Bay)
1x Barbie of your choice
1x Large zip tie
2x Thin, long zip ties
2x 6-32 3/8" screws
2x 4-40 1/2" screws and nuts, plus plastic spacers that go around the screw
1x 3/16" 2" long hex bolt (get lengths), fender washer, and lock nut
4-8x Large hitch pins
Piano wire
Hard foam to cut into small strips
Flat aluminum 3/4" x 1/8"
Double sided tape
Electrical tape
Masking tape

Drill with a selection of bits
Dremel tool
Square file
High-speed cut-off tool
Vice (not required but it makes things much easier)
Phillips screwdriver
Flathead screwdriver
S2 size square screwdriver bit
Blue Loctite
Hobby knife

As a safety note, you should always wear safety protection when you work with any sort of tool, especially when doing this project. The cut-off wheel, especially, puts off a whole lot of sparks and you want, at a minimum, eye and ear protection. I would highly recommend eye protection, hearing protection, and while using the Dremel to cut away the plastic, a filtering mask of some sort as the fumes are pretty strong at times. If you need a parent's help, please get their help! It would actually be an excellent project to do together!
<p>Great job, I'm waiting on all my parts, but the plan is to have something very close to your setup :)</p>
Nice. It takes some time to do but it's definitely a fun setup. Good luck!
<p>Wow what a great project! Everyone who's ever wanted to shrink down so they could drive their RC cars is in luck! One of our projects at Firgelli Automations was to build a few autonomous RC cars with our linear actuators and servos, but we got sidetracked in doing customer projects.. This is very inspiring. If you ever need linear actuators or servo motors give us a ring, we would love to see our product put to good use with your future projects! <a href="http://www.firgelliauto.com/default.php" rel="nofollow">http://www.firgelliauto.com/default.php</a></p>
This is amazing. I worked on a project with 3D-printed GoPro mounts for RC cars, but this is way beyond that. Great work!
Thanks! I spent way too much time on this but know it will be useful for those interested in something similar. I had hoped to get more views in time for the r/c contest to get more visibility but that's my fault for putting it off until the last week. I just had too much going on at the time.
You did spend a lot of time. But integrating head tracking and turning the steering wheel in the car? Never would've thought of that. The results are worth it.
Definitely worth it. I'll be adding to this instructable in the next two weeks to add head tracking information along with using video goggles as well and possibly antenna tracking for better reception if I get around to making something like that.
Very cool. I'm working on getting FPV going in a quad. Well, the FPV is working, but the quad had a crash and I'm waiting on a new motor.
Too bad to hear about the crash. It slows me down when my tri goes down.
Ooh, I was thinking about a tri or maybe even a y-6. How do you like it?
I like it a lot, mainly because it's much more portable as you can fold it up into a small size.
Yeah, that's pretty much exactly what I was excited about.
Only one word to say- ASTONISHING!
Thanks! I appreciate it.
Wow, this is really great! You put a lot of work into this and it really paid off as far as I can see. Now just imagine if you added an Oculus Rift and head tracking...
No need for an Oculus Rift. I'll be adding to this in a little with head tracking and video goggles that do the same thing. It's what I'm currently using and it works great.

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