4x4 Possible Mega steering slop fix?

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Mentolio

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Hi all,
So can we agree that the steering on these Mega 4x4s is kinda sloppy? I don't notice it much in grass or off-road, but when I throw the street tires on it I spend more time re-trimming the steering than enjoying the run (at least until the lil bugger thermals!). So today I decided to pull it apart and see what I could do with it. I had seen someone suggest that Fast Eddy "may" be coming out with a bearing kit to replace the plastic bushings on both steering arms, so I started looking there. There was also significant slop from the servo saver.

My Granite 4x4 is only a week old, so I wondered: "how loose can these bushings be." I was surprised to find that they were EXTREMELY SLOPPY! I was blown away at how much side to side "wobble" I could get out of the steering arm shaft, EVEN WHILE IT WAS CAPTURED BY BOTH BUSHINGS. The slop I experienced I expect from a car that has some miles on it (like a year or more of hard miles). "Ok, no biggie...I've got a collection of older bearings to try." I thought to myself. The steering shaft is a 5mm shaft, and the bushings looked like 10mm OD bearings, so I tried them first. The bearings were loose in the steering arms, so that was a no go. Unfortunately, I didn't have any other bearings that were just a smidge larger in OD...but I did have some of those bronze (?) bushings that Duratrax started shipping Evaders with (instead of including bearings...thanks Duratrax☹️). Anyway I remembered they were always a tight fit in the plastic gears and wheels they arrived in, so I tried them. The bushings fit snug in the steering arms (not as tight as I would have liked, but I think they'll be fine), but they were almost 2mm too tall.

So I grabbed something flat, taped some sandpaper to it, and went to work. I got all four bushings worked down to 4mm, give or take. I cleaned them up, greased them up, and shoved them in. The slop I initially had was now gone!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z7JNQ32EXep9Mex8A

I was pretty stoked to try things out, but still had to address the sloppy servo saver. I had a spare Traxxas servo saver, and so thought I might try that out. Once I exposed the stocker, I noted that while they appeared to be of similar construction, the Traxxas unit was shorter (not as long at the horn). Big deal? Maybe not, but I thought that little bit of loss in length would negatively effect max steering angle (AKA: make my truck steer like a....um....truck instead of a sports car). I popped both SSs apart, and found that the Traxxas unit had a longer spring in it (I cannot say wether the rate is stiffer or not. If anything the Arrma spring seemed stiffer). Feeling adventurous, I swapped the springs out (after a lot of cussin' and fightin' with it!). With the truck up on a block (weight off the wheels), there is still some sloppiness in the steering, but I felt it was much improved over stock, so I put on the Banditos and headed out to my street for a test.

Results: DEFINITELY IMPROVED! The steering trim is now "set it and forget it." In spite of still having a bit of steering "wiggle" on the bench, the truck now tracks straight on pavement. I got through about ten minutes of run time, including small jumps (lawn edge, low curbs, and my apron) and high speed runs up and down the street (hi-speed being relative...it is still brushed). Once he's set on course, he holds true. So if the steering on your Mega 4x4 is as bad as mine was and is driving you nuts, you may want to try this fix. I hope it works for you as well as it worked for me!
 
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Mentolio

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While there may be more "flex" from the plastic tie rods and camber links (when under a load like landing a jump or turning under acceleration) I really don't see much slop that I can blame on them, at least reagarding my Granite not wanting to track in a straight line. Plastic or metal, they are (likely) using the same ball ends which is where any slop is going to come from. My only complaint regarding the links is their lack of adjustability. Of course I say this knowing how new my Granite is. Maybe after some more driving I'll see those plastic ball links start to get sloppy as the inside diameter wears away?
 

fmaramara

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Cool! Ive been meaning to take it apart but i was being lazy, thanks for paving the way! now to fins some bushing or bearings in that size.
 

ptr1ck

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Good work! The plastic rods do wear out on the plastic pivot balls rather quickly in my opinion. I am looking into a different solution myself.
 

Povell42

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Has anyone found a bearing that replaces the plastic bushing that is in the steering assembly, that does not require sanding?
 

DrvnbyNo1

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Has anyone found a bearing that replaces the plastic bushing that is in the steering assembly, that does not require sanding?
For the bellcrank? you can use 5x10x4 rubber sealed bearings. I just installed mine last night. perfect fit.
 

ptr1ck

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I've got some of the old bushings from a Kyosho Big Boss laying around that don't fit quite as tight as some 5x10x4 bearings. I'm ordering a couple more bearings as I only had 2.

I'm thinking of trying some very short pieces of 5mm ID silicone tube to keep the rod ends centered on my worn own pivot balls. I'm certain a chunk of slop would be taken care of if the rod ends could stay centered instead of falling down. Any thoughts?
 

ptr1ck

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Could try using metal pivot balls. I'm not a fan of the plastic ones.
I couldn't find any the right size. It looks like Hot Racing has some upcoming ones made of alyouminium. For the mean time, I've got a very short piece of tubing to keep the rod ends centered. It's taken as much slop out as swapping the plastic bushings to the bronze oilite. The last piece of slop for me seems to be coming from the pivot balls at the servo. I think they are smaller and I might have some metal ones that size.

Update: I used some metal pivot balls I had for my crawler to replace the ones at the steering servo link. I had to hit them with a grinder to make them shorter, but they work great so far.

Summary of mods for me:
Metal pivot balls for steering servo link.
About 2-3mm of silicone tube at the end of each of the standard pivot balls on the tie rods to keep the rod ends centered.
Bronze oilite 5x10x4 bushings replaced the plastic ones.
The total amount of play in the steering is down to about 15% of what it was before I started modding it.
 

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I also put 5x10x4 rubber shielded bearings in the steering and they fit perfect. I don't know the brand though they just came out of the plastic box full of unpackaged bearings at the LHS. I hope though that every 10mm OD bearing is true 10mm. I haven't worried about anything else although I did notice the servo saver play.
 

ptr1ck

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All my play at the servo was in the short link that connects to the servo saver. I'm using the Arrma servo saver that has the triangle shape. I tightened it down a bunch so there's not much saver action going on.
 
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I think my play was the saver itself and rotational like I could spin it back and forth a bit without the servo spline shaft moving but I haven't looked at in a while.
 

bicketybam

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All my play at the servo was in the short link that connects to the servo saver. I'm using the Arrma servo saver that has the triangle shape. I tightened it down a bunch so there's not much saver action going on.
What did you use in place of the short link? That's where I found the play on my set up.
 

bicketybam

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Here is what I came up with. I modified Traxxas part #5341X to replace the short link that goes from the servo arm to the steering assembly. I was unable to use the stock servo saver due to the size of the metal pivot balls.

20181115_170553.jpg
20181115_195847.jpg 20181115_195859.jpg

I also had to grind down one tiny section of the chassis where the bottom of the pivot balls was rubbing.

20181115_195926.jpg

There is still some play in the steering but it is much better.
 

ptr1ck

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I had the rubbing as well until I ground down the metal balls to not have the straight part. I bet if you do the silicone bushing mod to the tie rods you would get rid of most of the rest of the slop.
 

bicketybam

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I had the rubbing as well until I ground down the metal balls to not have the straight part. I bet if you do the silicone bushing mod to the tie rods you would get rid of most of the rest of the slop.
It was grind metal or grind plastic. I chose the plastic 👍
 

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