Modding a tank...with zip tie suspension?

G4DiecastRacing Saturday, 2/6/2021

Hi everybody!  So my latest car mod has actually been a tank to enter the March of the Tanks race on the yet to be revealed Destruction Drop at Rust Belt Diecast Racing.   Check them out on Facebook for more information.  Great stuff!

I wanted to try something new that I saw done on one of the many YouTube videos I've watched on modding, and that is adding a zip tie suspension.  In reality, it will probably not improve the performance, agility, or speed on the obstacle course track at all, but I wanted to try and pull it off anyway.  Here is what I did and maybe it will give you some ideas if you ever want to try something like this yourself.

I started with three Tanknator castings, knowing I wanted to combine two of them and have one for back-up.

I cut two of the bases and put them back-to-back to make it as long as possible.  4" max. allowed.  I originally wanted to use two of the tank tops and match them together as well but decided to just use one in the end.

There was a lot of trial and error on how much length of the zip tie to keep exposed and have a working suspension with how heavy it will actually be.

I wanted to make it the maximum width of 1.5" for stability, so I cut the axles and made tubes to epoxy into a notch I cut out of the end of the zip tie.  There are additional cutouts in the tubes to glue the axles in place.

I soon discovered that the suspension was dropping too much with the anticipated weight of 170g.  So I shortened the length exposed of the zip tie by just adding more epoxy where it meets at the base.  In hindsight, I could have used two zip ties per side to hold more weight.  I added the metal screw for an additional anchor point for the epoxy to grab when gluing the top to the base.

I was originally going to add about 50g of weight to the open cavity in the turret, but decided it may become too top-heavy.  So I added the lego dude, which fit perfectly!

That's it!  I'm calling it "Shocks and Awe"!  Ha!  It only weighs 115g, which is light considering the race rules allow up to 300g. It was a fun project to try, even though the suspension will probably not make a difference at all.  I'm actually most concerned that the axles will fall out after a few big jumps!  We shall see!  :D


I love it!  I have no idea how it will fare, but it's amazing!

  • Thanks! It was a lot of work to get it finished, but I'm pleased the way it looks! — G4DiecastRacing
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redlinederby 2/6/21
Site manager

Wow, that's some innovation right there! Great idea on the zip ties...please report back after she rolls. Could be interesting results.

  • Thanks Brian! I was just borrowing the idea from someone else, but I may be the first to try it on a Tanknator for a race! I'll let you know how it goes! — G4DiecastRacing
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SpyDude 2/6/21

Okay, THIS is going to be interesting to see going down the track........

  • Yes, I really don't know what to expect! It may be a complete fail, but it was fun to make! — G4DiecastRacing
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GoldenOwl 2/8/21

Dude!! That thing is bad ass!!

  • Thanks GoldenOwl! I may have to make a special shelf in my workshop for this one! I just hope it doesn't completely fall apart! — G4DiecastRacing

thats rad for those ties for suspenion

  • Thank you! I want to try it again with a lifted truck someday. — G4DiecastRacing

Dude that is absolutely EPIC! Can't wait to see how it does in the comp.

  • Thanks! If it fails, I hope it fails spectacularly! — G4DiecastRacing
  • Going down in a big ball of flames is definitely that way to go down! lol — Kaiju_Colorado
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KPS_Kustomz 2/10/21

That turned out killer...I never thought to use zip ties for suspension!!!

  • Thanks! Here is a video from Diecast Show Customs using a tiny zip tie on a truck to give it an articulated suspension, which gave me the idea for the tank build: — G4DiecastRacing
  • Thank you brother, I'll check it out later today! Cheers — KPS_Kustomz
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EgoChubbs 2/10/21

so is this to resemble a form a leaf suspenion on trucks? i like the thought process behind it. for tracks with "hills" and jumps i think it would be great. if you shoot test run video i would love to see it.

  • Yes, it was built to race on a soon to be revealed open lane downhill obstacle course with jumps and lane-specific challenges. So a suspension may help a little, or not at all. But I don't want to test it out on any jumps before the race because I fear it may damage the alignment, or loosen the axles, or just fall apart! Lol! — G4DiecastRacing
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