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Author Topic: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?  (Read 1879 times)

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Offline e-flite_rules

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How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« on: April 07, 2010, 23:09:11 PM »
Hi,

I often find that ball joints have excessive friction.  That must cause extra load on servos and maybe give rise to poor centering.

So does anyone have a "top tip" as to how to loosen them up? 

The style of link I'm talking about have a brass ball enclosed in a plastic molding into which the pushrod is screwed.

Thanks!

Offline Cactus

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 23:22:00 PM »
    
Quote
How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
trade in for a younger misses??

sillicon spray might help, don't remove any material
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Offline PDR

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 23:58:10 PM »
I'd be reluctant to put any wet lubricant on them as it tends to get dust stuck in it and this forms a grinding paste!

I've heard people say that applying a soldering iron to the brass ball for a few seconds (numbers between 5 and 20 seconds have been mentioned) softens the plastic and relieves stresses so that when the ball cools the link is a better fit. But I haven't tried this myself.

PDR
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Offline bugsb

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2010, 00:05:57 AM »
a ball joint reamer or a pair of pliers fit the parts together then just add a bit of pressure on the sides of the joint not to much
Ron
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Offline Phil_G

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2010, 00:36:36 AM »
I tighten a nut & bolt through the ball, stick the bolt in the dremel chuck, hold the socket & spin it up for a few seconds, jiggling the joint around as it spins.
Phil

Offline Bad Raven

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2010, 06:32:43 AM »
I have used the soldering iron technique as PDR mentions above quite a bit, but this on Mardave RC car balljoints only as so far as I have not found the need to do same with Heli or Plane ones, possibly as I only buy top quality ones for that use and they are lighter build anyway.

It actually works very well, makes the operation much smoother. (Some before were so stiff they were loading the servo saver up!). It's actually quite easy to tell the right length of time to heat, you stop and quench as soon as the ball moves by gravity with a short arm on it as a weight.

Not had a single failure afterwards despite the cars being used like Bangers at the Kids Club.

I discovered this method after years of in depth investigation and trial.......................i.e, a rotary disc resistance speed controller overheated when a kid left the car with the throttle trim up "parked" on it's wheels on a chair  (Wot's that funny smell??)...................and I found that the ball joint to the throttle servo arm was a superb fit afterwards!!   :'' 
The user formerly know as Bravedan........... Well if Prince can do it....................

Offline Andy J

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 07:22:24 AM »
To be honest I've never had a problem with the ball links I've used, though I've never used Protech ones.
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Offline Andy Sayle

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2010, 12:30:25 PM »
Use a small pair of pliers to gently squeeze the assembled ball link.  It is hard describe the amount of "squeezing" that is needed, but it will stretch the plastic ever so slightly, just enough to free up the link a little.  Start of gently, and increase until you get the desired effect.

This is standard practice on RC cars :)

Andy
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Offline steamysheep

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2010, 12:49:47 PM »
I like them stiff.... :af
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Offline The Saint. (Owen)

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2010, 16:09:14 PM »
My balls have never been a problem.  :study:
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Offline checkmate91

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Re: How do I loosen up stiff ball joints?
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2010, 23:17:58 PM »
Work them a lot by hand before fitting. Kinda agree with PDR about using lubricant which will attract dust and grit but if you're worried about the effect on servos you're possibly thinking of fitting the wrong ones...

 

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