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-   -   Want to upgrade Z starter (http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/hirobo-support-forum-477/10961935-want-upgrade-z-starter.html)

Tman49 02-16-2012 01:04 PM

Want to upgrade Z starter
Hey guys,
I have a Z w/the belt start and want to get the top start mod for it. I believe I just need the clutch assembly and hex drive that looks like it will swap out for the original parts. Am I correct? Anyone know where the top start parts can be bought? Engine is .32
Thanks for any input

glydrjocky 05-25-2012 08:38 PM

RE: Want to upgrade Z starter

I've been out of the loop with the Shuttles the last few years. I was flying an old ZX from 2007 till 2009 or so. My ZX came with an OS .32 with the rope starter on it. That was actually the best set up for me as a beginner. I later purchased a Shuttle Plus with top start and compared the differences.

I believe the clutch support bearing in the ZX/ZXX has a smaller outside diameter where it sits in the frame and also the inside clutch spindle is a smaller diameter. The bearing that supports the top start clutch assembly in the Plus is the same as the bearings that support the main shaft. Not sure if you would need to up grade to the newer style frames that accept the bigger clutch bearing or if you could just get a bearing with a larger inside diameter for your old zxx frame bearing size.

There were alot of progressive improvements to the shuttle line, some compatible with the older shuttles and some not. I had a great time learning and upgrading as I went. Sadly it seems that parts are getting harder to come by and I have not seen the Shuttle offered for sale as a whole kit on MRC for some time.

I loved the Shuttle line and what it taught me will stick with me for life. I met some of the greatest people fixing up that old ZX and they have been awesome friends ever since.

Hope you can get your shuttle up and running. Drop me a line if I can answer and questions.


Tman49 05-26-2012 08:58 AM

RE: Want to upgrade Z starter
Thanks for the reply. Since I made that last post I decided to convert my shuttle to electric. I lucked out and got a good deal on another frame that had electric conversion started. It needed electronics and a few other parts. The parts I needed are around from several sources. Presently, I got the head, tail, and motor ready. I kept stock clutch hooked to a Hacker A40-10L 8P ET, 100 ICE LITE, two 3s in series. I am trying the GY520 w/S9254. I'm just at the programming stage now for the GY520. Included w/the deal was a Century .30 Airwolf fuselage. If I get the Shuttle to fly good I'll put it in the Airwolf. If not gotta find another heli.

I've only been flying helis since last Aug. Still trying to master another cp I have. The thing about this Shuttle is the weight. I haven't weighed it yet, but it is real heavy compared to anything I've been flying. I guess that makes it a good trainer. Right?
Take care

glydrjocky 05-26-2012 09:32 AM

RE: Want to upgrade Z starter
Sounds like a great plan for the shuttle. Not sure about the weight but they are made of "space age" strong plastics which seem pretty light. The shuttle does make a great trainer but you want to be sure that ALL of your linkages and bearings are smooth and notch free. I upgraded to the Shuttle plus blade grips that have a thrust bearing in the blade grip. This smoothed the collective and cyclic response night and day over the stock two bearing grips. My shuttle originally had bushing servos and I upgraded to ball bearing servos. I just kept working at it and what I ended up with was a very precise flying machine that was responsive and fun to fly. Helicopters are all about attention to detail.

I think the older Z shuttles had alot of bushings in the rotor system. The ZX replaced alot of the bushings with bearings so its a good upgrade to start with. I used both Hirobo and Boca bearings for my shuttles. Boca being the less expensive of the two.

Sounds like you have a good gyro and tail servo which is very important. I bought my ZX with an old mechanical gyro and replaced it with a JR410 shortly thereafter. The servo was an old JR 501 but I replaced that with an 810G sport tail servo and the difference was again night and day.

Hope you have good luck getting your Shuttle airborne.

Looking forward to seeing some pictures or video.

Take care,


Tman49 05-26-2012 07:58 PM

RE: Want to upgrade Z starter
Thanks for the advice. I'll look into the upgraded blade grips. I'm using some brand new old  hitec servos I had for another project. I was working on some linkages today.  I need to improve the tail rotor pitch action. I got to order a few things I need.

I'll post pics at a later date.
Take care

glydrjocky 05-27-2012 04:55 AM

RE: Want to upgrade Z starter
I just realized that you most likely have the Z style head with the flybar on top of the main rotor. The ZX had the flybar below the main rotor and this may have raised the height of the blades to help prevent boom strikes. The new blade grips with the thrust bearing are only going to work with the newer style ZX/ZXX head assembly.

Do you have the enclosed tail rotor case with the blades on the left side or do you have the newer open tail with the pulley visible and the blades on the right? The old Z tail had a wire traveling through the center of the drive shaft and was actuated by a bell crank from the opposite side. I personally like the open ZX style tail. There was no through wire just an external bell crank that moved the pitch slider bearing. Far superior system in my opinion. I had very good actuation on mine, but it does take patience. Its best to disconnect the individual components and feel for any binding in the system before connecting the whole thing. Take the blade grips apart and lube the bearings. Turn the thrust bearings between your fingers and feel for notches or roughness. The tail rotor main shaft bearings can wear quickly. Be sure they are smooth and free from play as well. I remember spending alot of time replacing tail rotor shafts and bearings. The tail shaft if relatively soft and bends like butta in a crash. The slightest bend in the shaft will set up a high freq vibration that just plays havoc with the boom and tail assembly. I dont think the Z originaly came with tail boom supports from the frame to the horizontal fin but they are well worth it. The Z tail boom may also be shorter which in turn requires a shorter belt than the ZX. You have to be careful that you are getting the right parts because the improvement progression was constant through the life of the Shuttle.

Tman49 05-28-2012 10:16 AM

RE: Want to upgrade Z starter
The heli I got recently is the ZX (main rotor on top). It has the TR on the right side while the Z has the TR on the left side. I've salvaged the landing gear, blades, boom supports, clutch assembly, and hardware from the Z to the ZX. You're right about the ZX boom being longer. I plan on getting a spare TR belt. I have a brass rod for the tail control rod. I think it may be too soft to do the job. What do you think? I didn't know about the tail shaft info. Thanks for that. Maybe I'll get a spare  one also. I found a place (VXB) to get bearings from cheap. Maybe I'll get a complete set of bearings. I don't think the cost is great or a waste  of $. I'm getting anxious, it's close to being ready to try out.

I have a concern w/the CC ICE 100 Lite I have. Manufacturer says not to use the bec of the unit. I think they assume the 5A bec isn't ample for most servos that are going to be used. The only digital servo I'm using (at this time) is the s9254 w/the GY520. New Hitec HS300 elsewhere.  The rx is a 8ch Corona FASST compatible. I need to figure out what amount of current the bec will see prior to flight. I think I'll be fine, but I want to know where the heli stands. Maybe one way is to check the data logging on the esc. I'll check manufacture product specs to see if load info is stated. Any ideas?

glydrjocky 06-12-2012 07:12 AM

RE: Want to upgrade Z starter
I'd say no to the brass rod, it won't be up to the task. I bent my push rod in a crash and replaced it with a steel rod available at many hobby stores. Not sure if they call it piano wire but it comes in 36 inch sections and I had a piece about .040 diameter. Just put a Z bent on the servo end and the tail bell crank locked down with a set screw like an EZ connector. That set up lasted forever and gave precise tail control.

Not very up to speed on electrics, just an old school nitro flyer here. Trying to learn though.


Tman49 06-17-2012 09:20 AM

RE: Want to upgrade Z starter
<span style="font-size: larger;">I thought I needed a stronger material for the control rod. Will get something soon. Been working 10 hr days recently. Thanks for the input. I been on the sim trying </span>to get some practice in. Gonna make some training gear soon for the Shuttle.

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