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  1. #1
    RC Qualifier Flux Capacitor's Avatar
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    New use for old axle cross pins!

    I was tearing down my E-Maxx Brushless for some differential maintenance because I bought new diff carriers and started to think about an improvement that I could make because I was tired of the screw pins always backing out.

    I have tried exhaustive methods to stop the axle screw pins from backing out, such as:

    1)Super glue.
    2)Cutting aluminum cans to wrap a strip around the axle itself.
    3)Trying to plug the recess hole with something.

    None of those things were a permanent fix that either worked or was practical for routine maintenance.

    So I had an old set of axles and center axles that all still had their cross pins plus a couple of extra cross pins I always carry for replacement backups. You will need eight cross pins and sixteen new 1.5mm e-clips in all to complete this modification.

    The first thing I did was pull out my M42 Drill Hog bits that are worthy of drilling super hard metal such as the output gears from the differentials. You need to widen all the holes just a bit to fit the cross pins. You also need to drill the plastic axle holes that are small on one side.

    I first tried size 7/64 and the pins were really tight, so I went to 1/8th and it allowed the pin to slide through the output gears' holes easier. Don't worry if the cross pin has a little play as that won't matter because the stock plastic axles are molded to the shape of the flat spot on the output gears and all the screw pin really did anyway was just attach the axle to the output shafts and hold it there.

    The holes to widen are:

    1)The two output shaft holes from the transmission
    2)All three output shafts from two differentials for a total of six

    So a total of eight altogether and patience doing careful drill work, you'll end up having something that looks like this:



    In the circle, is the screw pin that I was referring to that always backs out on all my axles even when they are new. The cross pins are slightly longer than the screw pins; but just long enough to make it through the thickness of the axle and then you put your e-clips on!

    The occurrence with which I lose e-clips (because of laziness of not replacing old e-clips with new ones when removed) is rare because by design they just work better than a screw pin sometimes. I maybe lose one e-clip a year on my E-Maxx Brushless because of the rare occasion that something actually knocks one loose or off.

    It is very, very, rare to lose an e-clip versus a screw pin backing out, so I decided that even if it takes a little longer to service my differentials because of the added cross pins and e-clips; it sure beats the heck out of those screw pins coming loose and chewing my RPM bulkheads up!
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  2. #2
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    That’s a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing.

    I have this happen on the Tekno steel output cups on the 1/10 4x4’s and tighten them every pack or two. They don’t seem to ever back out too far, I think due to the deformation in the pin threads as they bottom out into the smaller diameter diff output shaft hole, but still a bit disconcerting.

    I’m wondering if longer screw pins are around? If so, perhaps an e clip groove could be cut in the protruding end? That way your idea could also be applied to steel output cups without having to drill the steel cup or output shaft.

    It seems your idea could be applied as is to steel output cups without drilling, the only downside I can see, (and what you’ve solved here by drilling to a consistent size), is a narrower pin wouldn’t make contact on the threaded side of the cup.

    Finding a longer pin would mean the pin would also still be making contact with the cup on the threaded side, but wouldn’t require drilling the steel?

    Thanks again, that’s a really inspiring idea.

  3. #3
    RC Qualifier Flux Capacitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosta View Post
    Thanks again, that’s a really inspiring idea.

    Thank you!

    You have some questions in your post that deserve good answers and I'm currently addressing a Rockwell hardness issue with steel axles and cups. Until that issue is addressed, I can't really say that I'm going to put my full attention into those just yet.

    Now as far as my truck:

    I ran it today through four sets of batteries and it was nice for a change not having to worry about a screw pin backing out. It was just getting to the point that it was ridiculous having to pull the vehicle in every ten minutes just to make sure a screw pin wasn't chewing away at my RPM bulkheads.

    I went through two sets of those bulkheads and I finally had enough and started to really think what could be done about it to solve the annoying problem of those darn screw pins backing out. If something pushes me enough to the point where someone wants more than 360° out of a revolution, I would be the one to figure it out because I was tired of burning through money of my own.

    I understand how engineers for Traxxas think. They design a vehicle so that it is light as possible and secondly, as serviceable as possible without hassle. Well, the second part, I understand more than I care to admit because it comes at a cost. That is their money making ingenuity, not a flaw. It takes me a whole twenty to thirty seconds more to remove the e-clips versus the screw pins, and I can live with that, because it doesn't cost me money to replace parts damaged by the pins backing out.

    In short, once I own a vehicle by Traxxas, I apply the real engineering that should go into them that they won't do because they would lose money if my techniques were applied from the get go, because parts wouldn't destroy other parts as quickly.

    People think Traxxas does not know what they are doing, when in reality, they do. They purposefully apply a design technique that will last a decent amount of time and then ultimately cost you twice as much to repair because one parts failure will cause another parts failure by design.

    Once someone gets tired of that (you test their patience to the point of insanity) they ultimately come up with something that makes more sense from an engineering perspective in regards to the reliability aspect versus how long it would actually take to service the failing part(s).

    Sure it takes me a little longer to service my differentials now; but at least I won't have to buy another set of bulkheads every other run because some guy in a cubicle half the world away is trying to figure out how to prevent guys like me from threatening their job.

    Believe it or not, there are people that are actually paid to figure out how to prevent the general public from being able to service the products that they own. I'm the deterrent to that type of reverse engineering and those types of people that have degrees just so they have something to hang on the wall in their lonely cubicle.

    I got so many ideas floating around right now that I'm seriously thinking it's time to call a patent office.
    Last edited by Flux Capacitor; 10-27-2019 at 09:53 PM. Reason: Additional Information.
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  4. #4
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    Some good points mate. It would be great to be a fly on the wall and know exactly what Traxxas’s design balance is of upholding the bottom line with spare parts sales, vs understandably not getting every aspect of the design right.

    Mistakes are obviously inevitable is design, especially with something as complex, and in as varied usage, as cars like this... and I do think we should definitely allow for a certain extent of human error... but as you are questioning, it does make you wonder about the balance of bottom line to customer experience sometimes.

    I totally agree with your design philosophy. When I’ve designed things I’ve genuinely done the best job I possibly could to make the user’s experience as pleasurable as possible. That includes as few breakages as possible, and easy and cheap maintenance when things inevitably do break.

    I think the old cut throat business models are way past their used by date and I’ve personally had success with a business model of genuinely caring everyone in the supply chain benefits. I think it works MUCH better, plus I sleep well knowing I’ve done the right thing.

    I think customers spend just as much in this model, and perhaps more, due to the overall experience being more enjoyable, and the goodwill created at all levels.

    A case in point is the bash armor bodies by proline. I was so tired of bodies breaking that I stopped buying new bodies years ago, just picked up second hand ones and reinforced them as was needed. But with the bash armor, although they’re rediculously priced, proline has started getting my customer dollar again. Because the product works, for me anyway.

    Another good point on Traxxas being very good at making their products easy to maintain for the lay user. I’ve just finished a build using a lot of stock parts that I had left over from upgrades. And man, it is such a streamlined process using the plastic parts and no threadlocking etc etc. Traxxas do do that exceptionally well.

    Lastly I read recently how an Arrma user was heating his drive cups up to orange hot and quenching them in old motor oil. He said they were noticeably harder after that. But then he said the dogbone pins were wearing quicker . Always moves down the line. Thought that may be of some help on the hardness track.

  5. #5
    RC Qualifier Flux Capacitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosta View Post
    Lastly I read recently how an Arrma user was heating his drive cups up to orange hot and quenching them in old motor oil. He said they were noticeably harder after that. But then he said the dogbone pins were wearing quicker . Always moves down the line. Thought that may be of some help on the hardness track.
    Therein lies the flaw with metal axles and drive cups. You can strengthen one aspect of the design only to have another link in the chain weaken as torsional velocity mass travels throughout the drive train. Which brings me to the subtle point of tempered verses metal forming verses machining.

    You mentioned a keyword called "quenching" which can be done various ways but it realistically all depends invariably how the raw product was first extrapolated and first formed into is predetermined shape. Ultimately, I think metal drive components are useless because I know of polymers and/or plastics that are ten times stronger than some steel counterparts used in similar applications. With polymers, it is the arrangement of the molecules that make them stronger. Shape is everything!

    My idea with the axle cross pins applied in stock plastic axles wasn't an idea to strengthen them; but rather a solution to a problem caused by torsional vibration and counter mass rotation twists that loosened a screw pin.
    Last edited by Flux Capacitor; 10-28-2019 at 12:12 AM.
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    And a good one too!

    My experience with the plastic shafts has only been with the original ones for 1/10, before the current beefier ones. They go ok on a slash but the stampede chews through them in a pack.

    Hence why they’ve been replaced by Teknos and why I’m hoping your solution might port over to them too.

    The Maxx plastic shafts have a similar e clip system for the cross pins, but it was your idea that made me hope that a hybrid solution might work for the cup pin backing out on the Teknos too.

  7. #7
    RC Qualifier Flux Capacitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosta View Post
    The Maxx plastic shafts have a similar e clip system for the cross pins, but it was your idea that made me hope that a hybrid solution might work for the cup pin backing out on the Teknos too.

    I just wanted to convey as realistically as possible that once you have a component that is stronger/harder than your next component (and as you so adequately put it) in the drivetrain, the weak link will immediately be revealed. That sometimes is by design and other times not.

    In the case with metal axles and cups, a different type of wear factor comes in and it isn't just about shock loads that are addressed with slipper clutches and patented Cush drives. A metal can be fashioned so hard sometimes that it becomes brittle yet has fantastic anti-friction traits.

    You can't have both strength and high wear properties mixed throughout the drivetrain components and expect a flawless result with all metal drivetrains. In other words, something has to have give so as in order to allow other components to function without breaking.
    Last edited by Flux Capacitor; 10-28-2019 at 12:45 AM. Reason: Correction.
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  8. #8
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    Gotcha

    I hope you get to work on these ideas and patent them soon mate. Sounds like you’re putting a lot of thought and knowledge into it.

    If you improve on the standard metal drivetrain I would say don’t delay in patenting it! Every manufacturer uses that method pretty much, you stand to make a LOT of money if you improve it!

  9. #9
    RC Qualifier Flux Capacitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosta View Post
    Gotcha

    I hope you get to work on these ideas and patent them soon mate. Sounds like you’re putting a lot of thought and knowledge into it.

    If you improve on the standard metal drivetrain I would say don’t delay in patenting it! Every manufacturer uses that method pretty much, you stand to make a LOT of money if you improve it!

    I appreciate what you are suggesting. The really frustrating thing about patents is they cost more money to file and patent attorneys make it all the more expensive. Ever since the Supreme Court made their ruling, the more simple your patent idea is, the more complex the filing of the patent is.

    The bottom line is, back before 1988, patents were simple and usually only contained a crude sketch and a couple of columns of fine print on a couple sheets of paper to protect your idea. Fast forward to now, and the little guy with an idea that can make companies millions, ends up being the one sued and shelling out of his own pocket the entire duration of the patent which is 20 years.

    People and companies have turned patents into a suing game because of greed and great ideas are left undiscovered or brought to market because of this greed. I had a patent attorney tell me this directly. He said that a majority of the patents he has filed for his clients have earned them more money by suing than the actual idea submitted in the patent alone.

    So basically what you are doing when you submit and have an attorney file a patent and it is approved; you are buying the rights to sue instead of buying the rights to protect your intellectual property or idea.

    That is outright disturbing if you ask me, because the idea of a patent is to make money from the idea or invention, not see who you can sue later just because your idea wasn't making the kind of money you thought it would.
    Last edited by Flux Capacitor; 10-30-2019 at 09:29 PM. Reason: Added frustration rant.
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  10. #10
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    That’s very interesting information mate. I didn’t know any of that.

  11. #11
    RC Qualifier Flux Capacitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosta View Post
    That’s very interesting information mate. I didn’t know any of that.
    The only reason I know, is because I have spoke with patent attorneys over the years that realize for one brief moment that honesty actually pays off when they don't lie to me, even if they didn't get a dime of my money.

    $15,000 is the last quote I got from a patent attorney and that didn't even include the filing fees.
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  12. #12
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    I can see why all the patent trolls are lawyers.

    I wonder if the idea of being a patent troll is patentable? . Ah that would be sweet justice, suing them out of the troll business.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by boosta View Post
    I can see why all the patent trolls are lawyers.

    I wonder if the idea of being a patent troll is patentable? . Ah that would be sweet justice, suing them out of the troll business.

    No doubt.

    But in all honesty, if you are the little guy and can't directly manufacture your invention or idea, you better be very wealthy and consider the patent pocket change compared to what you could be sued for.

    It is pretty sad when you've got multi-billion dollar corporations adjusting their ledgers because they know exactly how much they will be sued for each year.
    Last edited by Flux Capacitor; 10-30-2019 at 09:47 PM.
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  14. #14
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    You can't go wrong using cross pins and "E" clips (rather than screw pins) that's for sure. There are two ways (IMO) that you can go here. One way is using Flux's cross pins and "E" clip idea, and the other way is by using RED Loctite rather than BLUE Loctite. BLUE Loctite (what Traxxas uses) is a medium grip compound that may/may not require a heat gun to break it loose. RED Loctite is a compound that the only way you'll ever be able to break it loose is with a heat gun.

    I would say (IMO) the best way to go with securing axles and drive shafts would be dependent on which axles and drive shafts a person wants to use. If a person wants to use plastic Traxxas stock, I'd go with Flux's "E" clips and cross pins. If a person wants to use steel Traxxas CV's, I'd use Traxxas screw pins and change from Blue to RED Loctite.

    The reason for my madness, is because, a heat gun might damage the plastic if a person used RED Loctite to secure their screw pins on their plastic stock axles and drive shafts. Using Flux's idea of cross pins and "E" clips on Traxxas stock plastic axles and drive shafts (IMO) is a better way to go than taking a chance of melting (or warping) plastic parts by having to use a heat gun to break loose RED Loctite on screw pins.

    Traxxas steel CV's, however, can take the heat. So, if I was using them I'd go with RED Loctite and screw pins. The advantage here is having steel rather than plastic, faster/easier maintenance, and no modifications required for initial setup. I personally use the Traxxas steel CV's, screw pins, RED Loctite, and have had no issues with my screw pins backing out. But, if I were using the stock plastic Traxxas axles and drive shafts (like Flux does), I'd definitely think seriously about using his idea of installing cross pins secured by "E" clips. (IMO) his idea is the best way to go if using Traxxas stock plastic axles and drive shafts.
    Last edited by ReglarGuy; 11-03-2019 at 05:11 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReglarGuy View Post
    The reason for my madness, is because, a heat gun might damage the plastic if a person used RED Loctite to secure their screw pins on their plastic stock axles and drive shafts. Using Flux's idea of cross pins and "E" clips on Traxxas stock plastic axles and drive shafts (IMO) is a better way to go than taking a chance of melting (or warping) plastic parts by having to use a heat gun to break loose RED Loctite on screw pins.

    Madness or not, that RED Loctite® is definitely the ticket on steel CV's. I found a bottle from the 80's that was never opened by my old man and that stuff rocks! Just a pin drop of this stuff back when it was made for real, is incredible on every application I have applied it to.

    Notice the ingredient "Methacrylate Ester" is used in the newer stuff today just like back then; but it must have been processed differently back in the 80's because that old bottle I got works better than the newer Loctites® of today's generation:





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  16. #16
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. ReglarGuy's Avatar
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    Maybe, there's a chance that you accidently got a hold of RED aircraft grade from the 80's. There is definitely a performance difference between aircraft grade and automotive grade. Unfortunately (to the best of my knowledge), they don't mark the two differently as such. The only way you can tell is that the automotive grade is way cheaper than the aircraft grade, and the RED Loctite liquid in automotive grade is a pretty, shinny, candy apple red, rather than the duller looking RED of aircraft grade.

    From what I understand (it use to be this way, anyway, back when I worked for the airlines), you can only (unless you know somebody) get aircraft grade RED and Blue from aircraft suppliers. If you get Loctite from a auto-parts store (unless something has changed over the years) it's automotive grade. I personally use and have both BLUE/RED of both Aircraft/Automotive grades. Personally, I use automotive grade BLUE/RED on my RC stuff without issue, and keep my aircraft grade Loctite's for my motor-bikes.
    Last edited by ReglarGuy; 11-04-2019 at 06:26 PM.
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  17. #17
    RC Qualifier Flux Capacitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReglarGuy View Post
    From what I understand (it use to be this way, anyway, back when I worked for the airlines), you can only (unless you know somebody) get aircraft grade RED and Blue from aircraft suppliers. If you get Loctite from a auto-parts store (unless something has changed over the years) it's automotive grade. I personally use and have both BLUE/RED of both Aircraft/Automotive grades. Personally, I use automotive grade BLUE/RED on my RC stuff without issue, and keep my aircraft grade Loctite's for my motor-bikes.

    Then I'm definitely leaning toward aircraft grade, as my old man use to work on Aircraft Naval Carriers (Airman) and then that would leave me further to believe that the picture of the bottle I've posted is from the mid to late 70's or maybe even earlier.

    I did a reverse image look-up of bottle designs over the years of Red Loctite® and I haven't found an exact match for the front or rear labels of that bottle I posted above; but interestingly enough, my bottle on the back label exclusively features the "Loctite Corporation" logo.

    Fact 1:

    In 1963, American Sealants changed its name to the Loctite Corporation.

    Fact 2:

    In 1997, Loctite® was acquired as a flagship brand by Henkel, a German Fortune 500 company.

    Safe to say, my bottle is pretty old, and it is very unlikely you will see anyone else posting a Loctite® bottle with the Loctite Corporation logo on it like in my pictures.
    Last edited by Flux Capacitor; 11-05-2019 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Found Information.
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  18. #18
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    Challenge accepted. Except you cant really read it any more. Also most likely a 70s bottle from my dads stash found about 15 years ago. Its a 601, used for bearing and bushings. Its definitely automotive, he was a mechanic. I use it still for my rc stuff. Dont mean to further derail the thread but figured I'd share

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve g View Post
    Challenge accepted.
    Thanks for sharing!

    That counts because I can still see the partial Loctite® logo that is no longer used because of the buyout. You didn't derail anything; so no worries there, because I am the thread starter and that is what we were currently discussing.

    I'm down to about a quarter of a bottle now and will miss having the good stuff that use to be made back when companies cared about the quality of products versus profit due to greed and buyouts to avoid a supposed bankruptcy, when in reality someone made out very good while customers paid higher prices for a lesser grade product.

    Most MSDS sheets that I have read on Loctite® sold today have the shelf life at two years (24 Months) after opening the bottle - I say that only applies to the watered down versions of Loctite® today. I'm using a product that was made over 40 some years ago and it outperforms any Automotive Loctite® I can buy today. Better shelf life than a Twinkie, that's for sure.
    Last edited by Flux Capacitor; 11-06-2019 at 11:05 PM. Reason: Spelling Error.
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  20. #20
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    Great mod. I have never lost any pins or e-clips since I started putting a 1/2 inch wide band of shrink tubing over them.

  21. #21
    RC Qualifier Flux Capacitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Dawg View Post
    Great mod. I have never lost any pins or e-clips since I started putting a 1/2 inch wide band of shrink tubing over them.

    Thanks!

    A question though........do you have to heat the 1/2 inch shrink tubing or does it tight fit over the pin and e-clips snugly enough without having to heat it up? Come to think of it, I haven't seen the 1/2 inch wide shrink tubing in my local Lowe's for over a year now.

    I will have to get some online because I have asked my local Lowe's to get the 1/2 inch shrink tubing for quite some time and they give me the same answer I get everywhere.........we're out of stock.......bull crap, because I checked every other day for a week when they told me they were going to start carrying it and I'll bet they never even ordered it.

    I'm so sick of being lied to by retailers and of course the famous "We are out of stock" phrase every time I go to order something whether it be online or personally going to the store to buy something.

    How could every person in the U.S. possibly want the same things as me when I need them? I just don't get it. It could be something as simple as a toilet handle and I'll walk into Lowe's and sure enough every single toilet handle I saw there the day before will be out of stock when I need it the following day.
    Last edited by Flux Capacitor; 11-08-2019 at 10:38 PM. Reason: Rant!
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    I use this from this seller, it's water proof with the glue but still comes off when you need it to. I use needle nose pliers to widen the band a bit if I have too, but it takes minimal heat to apply and you won't melt the plastic shafts. I also use his 140mm stuff for batteries and to cover my homemade cap packs in multi colors including clear. I use the 19mm stuff for all my Traxxas, XT60 and XT90 connectors. 15 feet for under 6 bucks is a steal and the quality is amazing, they want 10 bucks here for 5 tubes of 1/2 inch, 6 inches long in a pack and that's not happening. Check all his heat shrink for whatever sizes you need make sure of the length and shipping and it's always been less then 3 weeks for shipping. I hope this helps.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Waterproof-...0AAOSwo3pWcQyx

  23. #23
    RC Qualifier Flux Capacitor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Dawg View Post
    I use this from this seller, it's water proof with the glue but still comes off when you need it to.

    O.K. - Thanks for the link! I will look around the store from the link on the eBay page you got me to.

    You are right though, that is the price ($10) I've seen for the 1/2 inch shrink tube as well for five tubes that are only six inches long on eBay and $8.50 at some local places around here.. Definitely a better deal to buy that size in bulk instead of trimmed to a specific size.
    Last edited by Flux Capacitor; 11-09-2019 at 01:54 PM.
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