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Redcat Blackout PRO Steering Mods

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Old 03-14-2017, 10:53 AM
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KodeMechanic
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Default Redcat Blackout PRO Steering Mods

Just wanted to share a couple of steering mods I made to my Blackout PRO XBE. They'll work for all blackout PRO models. I ran my XBE a few weeks ago and got it muddy and while taking it apart, I snapped a few pics to document my steering mods.

First, if you've had problems with your servo saver spring/clip where your wheels dont come back to center, you should upgrade your servo saver. IF you have a blackout PRO model, you can simply replace the servo saver with an aluminum servo arm. I have them on 4 XBE PROs and no problems over the past 10 months. If you have the brushed blackout model, you dont want to use just the aluminum arm, you'll upgrade to a new servo saver. I've done that before the alum arms, but not going into detail here.



Second mod is to replace the ackerman arm with a turnbuckle or steering link. This requires removing the steering assembly, shorten the steering link by either drilling the holes an 1/8" in deeper in to the link ends or using a dremmel to trim off 1/8" on each end of the steel rod. This allows the link to be shortened the amount needed to mount it between the arms. screw a ball end into each steering arm and then connect them with the shortened link. Adjust as needed and it'll tighten up any slop or wear that used to be in the ackerman arm.



The final mod can be seen in the images above. I replaced the bushings (2 in each arm) with bearings. I'm not convinced that this helped a tremendous amount because my bushings were still in good shape, but I feel better for modding it. I believe the bearings were 5x8x2.5mm.

The other thing that I really recommend is attaching a gyro to your receiver/servo. It keeps the car running in a straight line flat out. Several videos on youtube about it for other RC cars. I first tried the HobbyKing, but it requires a 3ch radio, which we dont have. Then tried the TrackStar D-Spec Drift Gyro V2. Works on a stock blackout by just plugging it in and taping it down!

Let me know if you have any questions, but this did tighten up the steering in my blackout.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:13 PM
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Great suggestions! I finally got my slop fixed but unfortunately I took a much more expensive route. I wish I would've read your post first. I just posted looking for help and then I saw yours and I believe you may have the solution I need. First off, have you had issues with your Blackout tracking straight when accelerating? I feel like I have my alignment set up perfectly. When I cruise it goes perfectly straight. But when I accelerate it pulls hard to the right. It is beyond frustrating. In your experience is this normal as the Redcat rep told me it was? Do you have any ideas/suggestions for causes or fixes? Would the gyro you mentioned make this vehicle track straight when accelerating hard? I read about the gyro and I'm not real clear I understand exactly what it does. Thank you for your time and any input you have for me.
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Old 03-26-2017, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdub_white View Post
Great suggestions! I finally got my slop fixed but unfortunately I took a much more expensive route. I wish I would've read your post first. I just posted looking for help and then I saw yours and I believe you may have the solution I need. First off, have you had issues with your Blackout tracking straight when accelerating? I feel like I have my alignment set up perfectly. When I cruise it goes perfectly straight. But when I accelerate it pulls hard to the right. It is beyond frustrating. In your experience is this normal as the Redcat rep told me it was? Do you have any ideas/suggestions for causes or fixes? Would the gyro you mentioned make this vehicle track straight when accelerating hard? I read about the gyro and I'm not real clear I understand exactly what it does. Thank you for your time and any input you have for me.
I dont know if your tracking problem is the same thing I've seen, but if it is,then the Gyro will help. When I would get on the street and go full throttle, I could keep it on the road, but it was difficult. When I put a 3S lipo in, it was nearly impossible to keep on the road or even launch it at full throttle. I put on a $20 set of tires/wheels that made controlling it even worse, but it would wheelie and flip backward at full throttle, which was a bonus.

I upgraded the wheels/tires again and added the Gyro... now I can nail it full throttle with a 3S lipo and it tracks straight and will only veer slightly at full speed which is controllable. So the Gyro significantly helped me with tracking/steering/overall control. The gyro essentially keeps the front wheels pointed down the road, even if your car loses traction and the back end slides to one side. If you think about driving on snow/ice in a car... if you begin to spin out, you have to steer in the direction of the slide to straighten it back out. The gyro does this automatically on an RC.

I have some video of mine and I'm just learning to edit video, so it may take a couple of weeks to get it put on youtube, but I'll put a link here when I get it done.
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Old 03-27-2017, 08:36 PM
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Thank you so much for this great info. I've already decided I am going to order a gyro. I do have some advice to offer on the wheels/tires after trying different ones.The ones that ended up working great for me are the ones for the Redcat Avalanche. They have a nice offset which the Blackout needs because it has such a narrow stance. I also recently added some 25 mm hex wheel wideners and I am thrilled with these. Before I would turn my Blackout over all of the time and now with this super wide stance it is literally impossible to flip this thing. I can literally go into a turn at full speed and it may spin out but it will not flip over. I experimented with some different wideners and although I have yet to find a set that doesn't require some modifications on your behalf to fit perfectly the newest set I purchased require minimal modification. If you are interested I will be happy to pass this info along to you upon request. Thank you. Jeremy White
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:35 AM
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A couple of weeks ago I ordered a set of 25mm hub extenders. Unfortunately I didn't see that they were being shipped from China, so they wont arrive for another week or 2. I'm definitely interested in the ones you are using as I haven't tried any of these before and I've read that some of them will strip or break.

Hopefully the extenders will resolve a few problems I've created with my tire and shock upgrades. Tires are much wider/taller than stock and rub the chassis if I dont turn the limiter down. Shocks were upgraded to Traxxas big bores, but they don't quite fit and springs are too stiff so it rides much higher... more like a monster truck. I'm going to replace the big bores with redcat aluminum upgrades in a few months.
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Old 03-28-2017, 05:42 PM
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I do have the upgraded aluminum Redcat shocks and I am very happy with them. I have shopped the crap out of them for the best price and in my experience you can't beat this website for all Redcat upgrades www.redcatracing.toys.com . Check it out. You won't be sorry. So here is the skinny on my hub extenders that work best. I bet yours are GPM if they are from China and they are 25 mm.That is a good thing because I have found they work out very good with some slight modification. Assuming yours are GPM you will need to do the following. The end that goes in to your axle is too small so you will need to drill them out to 1/4", I'm sure in actuality it is the metric equivalent of 1/4" if you have metric drill bits. If not 1/4" will work just fine. I would recommend starting with a smaller size and working your way up to 1/4". You need to be careful because as you will notice when you get up to a 1/4"size hole you are running out of the thicker part of the aluminum on the hub extenders and I think it is important to keep this as thick as possible, especially if you are running 3s. Look at your axle and measure the thicker part (beyond the threads the part that has the hole for the pin) and this is how deep you need to drill your 1/4" hole. Just play with it and take your time. An additional step I took which I got the idea from another set of wideners I had and I highly recommend is to get some 3 mm set screws (which are hard to find) and get yourself a 3 mm tap if you don't already have one. Put at least 2 set screws in the hex wideners to help secure them on the axle. I just don't trust the little pins alone holding the wheel and the wideners on the axle. Also mine were a bit loose until I did this step. I hope this helps.If you would like some photos of this please send me your cell phone number and I will get them to you. Good luck. Jeremy
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Old 03-29-2017, 06:43 AM
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Thanks. I have a few metric bits, might grab a new set before the extensions arrive. Thanks for the info and the site. Looks like a good place to pick up some parts.
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Old 03-29-2017, 08:46 PM
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I'm stoked. I finally figured out my problem. I always use the heat shrink tubes when connecting the center drive shaft. Each time I cut off an old heat shrink tube I didn't completely remove all of it. So as pieces of old heat shrink tubes began to build up more on one side of the shaft than the other it causes the center drive shaft to become unbalanced.Thus causing it to pull. Now I'm tracking straight again and very happy. I'm still planning on ordering a gyro though. I'm very intrigued by this.Thanks for all of your help. Feel free to contact me if you have any issues installing your extensions when they arrive. Take care. Jeremy
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Old 03-29-2017, 09:07 PM
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One more thing. I checked out your gyro video. Very nice! I'm curious how long have you been running 3s on your Blackout? Have you had any issues or damage to gears or your esc? I have a 3s battery but have been very careful with it so far. A couple of upgrades I will recommend that were recommended to me and said to be very necessary when running 3s are the heat sink and the Wild Turbo Fan. Both of which are not expensive. The heat sink I purchased on the site I mentioned to you the other day redcatracing.toys and the *** fan I believe I found on Amazon or maybe Ebay. I read a thread once that Redcat said these were must have parts if running 3s on Blackouts. But if you are having no issues maybe this is incorrect. Either way I'm just putting it out there for you to consider if you haven't heard this before. Take care. Jeremy
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Old 03-30-2017, 10:30 AM
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Congrats on figuring out your problem. I have a heatsink and thermal compound that I haven't installed yet. I bought them when I put on the larger tires/wheels as I figured the addtl weight and ratio would heat up the motor a bit. I normally run 2s on the track and only use the 3s when I'm on the street or trying some big jumps. Even then I try to keep an eye on the motor/esc temp so I'm not overdoing anything. In the video you might notice the habit I have of feeling of the motor/esc when I swap batteries. I only have 2 of the 3s 2200mah batteries as well, so it keeps me from running for extended periods with 3s. Although, I'll probably buy 3s only as batteries die, but I'll have the heatsink installed by then and will also pickup the fan you mentioned. Wasn't sure if i needed to get a 12v fan or if the 6v would work.

A 6mm metric drill bit should be the right size for the hubs. I only had a few larger metric bits so now I have a 1.5mm - 6.5mm set arriving tomorrow so I should be ready to drill out the extensions when they arrive.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:49 PM
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Here is the fan that I am running. It is the one I read somewhere that they guys from Redcat recommend if running 3s. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 It is very easy to hook up.It is loud but that doesn't bother me at all. I'm glad you have got your drill bits on the way. What you might want to do, and I wish I would've done, is use one of the little drill stops that you can attach to your drill bit to make sure your depth is accurate and the same on each hole you drill out. Good luck
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:57 PM
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I realize the fan is unavailable on the link I gave you.It was around $14-15. I've seen them on Ebay and other places as well. I will tell you this is a bad azz little fan.
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