The chassis assembly is next and this is a real stunner. 10th off road racers have long abandoned alloy chassis in favour of carbon fibre or moulded plastic / graphite composite - but where back in the day the quest for light weight was all the rage - these days many racers actually prefer a heavier car, which is more stable and better able to cope with the power of modern electrics.
The DEX410 chassis consists of a pressed main plate with machined alloy side pods to create a tub-like chassis - all hard anodised. The main chassis plate is flat except for the front and rear 'kick up' whilst the side pods attach with four screws each and really add stiffness and strength. It's a very alluring 'lump' when put together - you really will cry the first time you hit some rocks and scratch this baby.
The intricately machined alloy centre bulkhead / motor mount comes in two main pieces and is joined together by one screw before being firmly screwed onto the chassis from below by four screws.
The rear suspension mount at the front end & gearbox brace
The suspension on the DEX410 pivots inside steel balls which themselves sit inside alloy suspension mounts as you'd expect on such a high quality car. The rear block at the front of the car attaches at this point along with a brace for the front gearbox, but whilst the manual claims to be still on bag D, the part you're looking for is actually bag 'E' - this was the same for the gearbox screws, which weren't in the same stage as the rest of the page. We're told Durango are now aware of this and I guess it'll be remidied in later kits.
Because the manual has very little text - understanding just what you're looking for isn't always easy - there's no real colour coding so I spent a long time (admittedly at 3am everything is confusing) looking for what I mistakenly assumed must be a plastic part since there was no alloy part looking anything similar in bag D. Oh well, lesson learnt - 3am is too late to be building model cars and some parts of the build aren't quite in the correct bags, at least in this first wave of kits.
The towers are bolted to their respective front / rear bulkheads with four screws each. The front and rear bulkheads are the first large mouldings in the build and look very well done. The front shock tower took some effort to mount into the bulkhead - again, things were quite tight and it just needed a little patience.
The front and rear shock towers also carry the inner camber link (top link) mounts. These are cut from what looks like very high quality carbon fibre, and at 4mm thick these should take some beating. The camber link balls are screwed onto the tower - I went with the kit settings for now but there are plenty of options available, with two vertical rows of four mounting locations.
Front bulkhead halves
rear bulkhead halves attached to shock tower
The front shock tower slots down into the bulkhead
Rear bulkhead ready to be attached
The rear bulkhead with shock tower, suspension mount and chassis brace attached.
The large rear bulkhead also doubles up as the wing mount - the plastic is stiff but does have enough give to absorb impacts from the look of things. With the tower bolted on the two halves of the rear bulkhead are lined up to allow an alloy suspension mount to be pushed through - the suspension mounting recesses are offset and the block is labelled on either side as either +2 or -2, when combined with the rear mounting block(s) there are various setup changes possible with different antisquat and roll centre changes possible.
The forward suspension mount on the rear can be flipped to raise/lower the hinge pin
A large U-shaped carbon fibre brace is slotted into the bulkhead before the entire assembly is dropped onto the rear of the chassis and bolted in place - the carbon brace connecting the rear bulkhead to the side pods to add extra stiffness.
A soft plastic skid plate mounts onto the underside of the rear kick-up and is bolted through into the rear bulkhead to secure everything down nicely.
The Team Durango 'SAFE' banner from 2006 - the stuff of legend.