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Thread: Steering slop

  1. #1
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    Steering slop

    Anyone have recommendations for correcting steering slop? My merv is very squirmy driving straight whether it be accelerating, decelerating or maintaining speed. I plan on driving it primarily on road or grass. Info on my truck: I replaced the bearings today and did camber & toe alignment. I have a savox metal gear servo and none of my end caps are worn out. I also eliminated slop in my rpm axle carriers.

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  2. #2
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Have you replaced the bushings in the steering(servo saver) to bearings?
    Where is the play coming from? Mine was in the bushings and stock pivotball caps. Fixed both items and the steering was tight.
    Possible worn parts in the stock plastic hollow balls and rod ends

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    Have you replaced the bushings in the steering(servo saver) to bearings?
    Where is the play coming from? Mine was in the bushings and stock pivotball caps. Fixed both items and the steering was tight.
    Possible worn parts in the stock plastic hollow balls and rod ends
    I have not replaced the bushings with bearings. Where can I get them? Also I don't think they are the problem as I can get the steering to move the tires about a 1/4" in either direction with light force. My wheel hubs may be playing a part as they seem to not be in the best condition. The hubs are the plastic stock ones and if I should change those what should I get? I put in steel hollow balls a while ago and they along with the caps are still in great condition.

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  4. #4
    RC Champion Acidic01's Avatar
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    The Merv is just sloppy stock. Either aluminum pivot ball caps or aluminum carriers. All my links have so much slop in them with rpm carriers. On 3s and the 380 motor it takes skill to get it to speed without flipping. The car just doesn't have the fine tuning of it's bigger brothers. Not that it's possible but it requires $$$. Or perhaps mine just tuned wrong

    Who knows if I can even get lined up for the ramp and jump. Rc car gods dictate if it sends or not

    But not nothing like cruising 30mph and punch it and it back flips wheelies.

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  5. #5
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    I haven't tried the RPM carriers so I don't know how rigid they are. I use the stock carriers with the Traxxas upgrade (accessory) aluminum pivot ball caps. With the aluminum caps they adjust the same and are as rigid as their bigger brother's.

  6. #6
    RC Champion Acidic01's Avatar
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    I have the rpm carriers and I don't care for them. I'd rather have the aluminum plugs.

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  7. #7
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extremercing View Post
    ..My wheel hubs may be playing a part as they seem to not be in the best condition. The hubs are the plastic stock ones and if I should change those what should I get?..
    If I wanted to upgrade mine I would probably go with the Traxxas aluminum upgrade. Part #7145X. I don't know if going with an aftermarket set would be too thick not allowing the wheel lock nut to fasten properly.

  8. #8
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    Who knows if I can even get lined up for the ramp and jump. Rc car gods dictate if it sends or not

    But not nothing like cruising 30mph and punch it and it back flips wheelies.


    And there lies your problem. Speed, durability or$. Take your pick.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acidic01 View Post
    The Merv is just sloppy stock. Either aluminum pivot ball caps or aluminum carriers. All my links have so much slop in them with rpm carriers. On 3s and the 380 motor it takes skill to get it to speed without flipping. The car just doesn't have the fine tuning of it's bigger brothers. Not that it's possible but it requires $$$. Or perhaps mine just tuned wrong

    Who knows if I can even get lined up for the ramp and jump. Rc car gods dictate if it sends or not

    But not nothing like cruising 30mph and punch it and it back flips wheelies.

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    My rpm carriers work great, when comparing tire movement relative to the chassis between my merv and revo they are similar. The steering isn't comparable though and is a lot worse on my merv than my revo. I do believe with the right parts I can get the fine tuning, which I know will put a dent in my wallet but I'm prepared to make this thing a monster. I don't run 3s, which I probably will get flamed for but I'm going to be driving it where a 3s ankle anihhilator skidding on its back is the last thing I need. I run 2s 2200 in parallel.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    I haven't tried the RPM carriers so I don't know how rigid they are. I use the stock carriers with the Traxxas upgrade (accessory) aluminum pivot ball caps. With the aluminum caps they adjust the same and are as rigid as their bigger brother's.
    I assume the rpm carriers are just as rigid. When I watch it while I'm ripping it around the front is squirrely from what I can only assume is steering related, the rear has hardly any give to turning or accelerating forces. If you think the traxxas stock carriers with aluminum caps are better I would rather pickup a full aluminum set (carrier and caps) for the same price for the front carriers. The aluminum would obviously be the most expensive to replace but they would also be the most rigid. I see no reason for swapping out the rear as I explained above that it works great as is.

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  11. #11
    RC Champion Acidic01's Avatar
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    I've pulled the pillow balls out of the rpm carriers. A bit finicky to get set up.

    If I was to do over again. I would just of gotten the aluminum caps. But I don't think I knew those were a option and say lhs with the rpm stuff.

    If I was to be racing or really wanted to get rid of slop. I'd go to aluminum hubs and at least adjustable links

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acidic01 View Post
    I've pulled the pillow balls out of the rpm carriers. A bit finicky to get set up.

    If I was to do over again. I would just of gotten the aluminum caps. But I don't think I knew those were a option and say lhs with the rpm stuff.

    If I was to be racing or really wanted to get rid of slop. I'd go to aluminum hubs and at least adjustable links

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    I put on the adjustable links within a couple of weeks of owning it. That was a few years ago. Couldn't stand not being able to adjust the toe. I just don't want the thing darting like crazy all over when I'm just driving straight. If I need to get a aluminum set I don't mind it. They are expensive but I will probably end up with more aluminum on it anyways for the added rigidity. Not going to go nuts and get a aluminum bulkhead or chassis though.

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  13. #13
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Flip the truck over and check the steering. Grab one wheel and turn it back and forth slightly to see where the play is coming from. Depending on where it's coming from that would help narrow it down. You should be able to see any movement all the way to the servo. Even the servo saver can be seen moving if it's weak.

    By chance do you have TSM? If you do try turning it down/off and see if it gets better.

  14. #14
    RC Champion Acidic01's Avatar
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    I don't think going to aluminum links will help if you already have adjustable metal links. Or have replacing link ends.

    For me I see slop is in 3 places. Pillow balls to hubs. Hub bearings and link balls.

    Some in a different post a while back mentioned putting little rubber I rings over the link balls. As it helps minimize the slop.

    I don't know what size to get. I have yet to get around to doing that mod. Along with adjustable links.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    Flip the truck over and check the steering. Grab one wheel and turn it back and forth slightly to see where the play is coming from. Depending on where it's coming from that would help narrow it down. You should be able to see any movement all the way to the servo. Even the servo saver can be seen moving if it's weak.

    By chance do you have TSM? If you do try turning it down/off and see if it gets better.
    I did do that and the servo saver had a fair bit of flex and the carriers did end up having a little movement too. I think I'll grab aluminum carriers for the front. I do have TSM but I have always kept it off. When talking about the saver should I replace it?

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  16. #16
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    I would only replace the saver if it lost its tightness. If the saver itself is not holding. If the whole assembly is moving a new one might not make it any better. It's going to be hard to eliminate all the slop, the best you can do is remove the majority of it. Also check your wheel bearings, as Acidic mentioned.

    Forgot to mention, I used AVID bearings to replace the bushings.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    I would only replace the saver if it lost its tightness. If the saver itself is not holding. If the whole assembly is moving a new one might not make it any better. It's going to be hard to eliminate all the slop, the best you can do is remove the majority of it. Also check your wheel bearings, as Acidic mentioned.

    Forgot to mention, I used AVID bearings to replace the bushings.
    I replaced the bearings a couple hours before making this post. They should be good and they all felt smooth before I put them in. I'm going to get some aluminum carriers from GPM as they seem to get the best reviews. I have to say that the integy ones look better but this is a performance upgrade and not completely for looks. Should I put some grease in the carriers or should they be fine? Only recently have I been replacing plastic with metal on my trucks.

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  18. #18
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    I never had aluminum carriers so really don't know. Probably some type of dry lube I would guess. At least that's what I would probable use. Using grease would collect dirt as there in no type of boot to cover them.

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    i've had the same problem for years. no matter what ive done, the merv just never drives in a straight line at high speeds. trust me when i say just learn to live with it as it will drive you insane if you try to do things to fix it. i have 3 other traxxas cars that drive straight, so i know its not me. so dont worry its not your fault, its the car.

  20. #20
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    I figured I'd update and thank those who helped me. My GPM axle carriers came in today and I put them on. I put it on the ground and gassed it and guess what? My death shake has almost completely disappeared. Took up most of my steering slop and drives like a arrow now. As for wear and tear we will see. Only thing left for me to fix is backlash in my servo. Probably won't though because it will be minimal gains. Thanks to grizzly and acidic for helping me figure out how to straighten up my truck.

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  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Squeegie's Avatar
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    Did you upgrade to the steel hollow balls as well? Good stuff!

    Have fun!
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    Yeah the steel hollow balls were the first upgrade I put on the truck when I got lipos for it. They've been on it for 3 years and only have had to replace 2.

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    I've got titanium pillow balls in aluminum carriers, with TSM and it works beautifully.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emaxx'ed View Post
    I've got titanium pillow balls in aluminum carriers, with TSM and it works beautifully.
    Is there a titanium screw kit? I've found a couple places that sell the pillow balls but not screws.

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  25. #25
    RC Champion Acidic01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extremercing View Post
    Is there a titanium screw kit? I've found a couple places that sell the pillow balls but not screws.

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    All I have seen is stainless steel screw kits. I can see titanium screws being very expressive. And then to get the same strength they would have to be larger.

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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acidic01 View Post
    All I have seen is stainless steel screw kits. I can see titanium screws being very expressive. And then to get the same strength they would have to be larger.

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    I'm just looking for screws for the skid plates because those keep rusting out from... skidding. The titantium oxide layer from titanium is what I need. Titanium that is made in the same dimensions as steel has ~80% the strength of steel, which isn't a big deal. Stainless may or may not fix the rusting depending on which alloy it is. Since most people just see stainless that's all they want. If you know of stainless screws made from a 300 series alloy, send me a link.

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  27. #27
    RC Champion Acidic01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extremercing View Post
    I'm just looking for screws for the skid plates because those keep rusting out from... skidding. The titantium oxide layer from titanium is what I need. Titanium that is made in the same dimensions as steel has ~80% the strength of steel, which isn't a big deal. Stainless may or may not fix the rusting depending on which alloy it is. Since most people just see stainless that's all they want. If you know of stainless screws made from a 300 series alloy, send me a link.

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    I've used rcscrewz to replace my rusting stock screws in my cars.

    From their faq page
    we use A2-70/A4-80 Stainless Steel Screws (Button, Socket & Countersunk Heads) Set Screws, Nuts & Washers. They are stronger than stock steel screws but not as strong as titanium

    I don't think a titanium screw will help with reducing wear on the skid plate screws. Just buy a bunch in the size and replace when you need to replace the skid plate.

    I don't have much run time on my cars since replacing with the rc screwz kits. So yet to see how they wear compared to stock.

    I would chew through a stock skid plate ever few months.



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  28. #28
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    Your slop may be fixed for now but I promise it will return with time. I've had my Merv for years and it's impossible to perm solve

    However I just installed the tsm receiver and it drives straight as can be. Im hoping this is a true perm fix

    Center diff also keeps it from wheeling at full throttle

  29. #29
    RC Champion zedorda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Acidic01 View Post
    I've used rcscrewz to replace my rusting stock screws in my cars.

    From their faq page
    we use A2-70/A4-80 Stainless Steel Screws (Button, Socket & Countersunk Heads) Set Screws, Nuts & Washers. They are stronger than stock steel screws but not as strong as titanium

    I don't think a titanium screw will help with reducing wear on the skid plate screws. Just buy a bunch in the size and replace when you need to replace the skid plate.

    I don't have much run time on my cars since replacing with the rc screwz kits. So yet to see how they wear compared to stock.

    I would chew through a stock skid plate ever few months.



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    I wouldn't be too confident in that FAQ data. Because no grade or type of stainless steel is stronger than the stock carbon steel screws that rust real fast.

    I use SS screws in all my RC rigs because they are still stronger than the plastic it is often screwed into. But most of what you find is 410 or lower grade. I will only use 431 or higher grades which are not cheap but still not comparable to the carbon steel.

    EDIT: I did alittle goggling of A4-80 stainless steel since it is not a standard grade but something made up by a company. Their main concern is corrosion resistance so they use 316 stainless steel to make A4-80 which is an alloy.

    https://midlandbrightsteels.co.uk/po...-steels/a4-80/
    Last edited by zedorda; 08-22-2020 at 10:57 PM.

  30. #30
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    Still a relative noob here, at least about many things. These hollow balls you all speak of, are they the pivot points in the tie rod ends? I have a TON of play in them and I have never replaced them before. Can I just buy a set, use a pliers to force the old ones out and pop some new ones in? Should I expect the actual rod ends to be loose even with the new balls, so therefore should I replace the entire rod and put the steel/aluminium hollow balls in the new rods?

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerWeasel View Post
    Still a relative noob here, at least about many things. These hollow balls you all speak of, are they the pivot points in the tie rod ends? I have a TON of play in them and I have never replaced them before. Can I just buy a set, use a pliers to force the old ones out and pop some new ones in? Should I expect the actual rod ends to be loose even with the new balls, so therefore should I replace the entire rod and put the steel/aluminium hollow balls in the new rods?
    Part #7028 is the one you should look for in the schematic. The plastic ones warp into cylinders after a little bit of use. I would highly recommend getting the steel ones which don't warp. Traxxas makes steel ones they are #7028X, 7028 is the plastic type. Also get a hollow ball extractor. Pliers work but can break the rods.

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    Last edited by Extremercing; 10-03-2020 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Also get a hollow ball extractor. Pliers work but can break the rods.

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