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Old 08-26-2006, 09:22 PM
Natedog Natedog is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 64
Make an adjustable draglink for your MLST

Special thanks to Jrgunn5150 for the original idea for this conversion! Yesteday I made an adjustable draglink for my MLST. This gives some adjustment so that you can get the twin steering servos working properly together.

Parts needed:!
1 Pkg of Associated RC18T ball ends (AE #: 21082). These are used because they have more stand-off than the Losi ball ends...which will require less bend in the draglink to clear the front input diffcup

1 Pkg Team Losi Rod End/Ball Cup Set (14): Mini-T (Team Losi #: LOSB1049)

1 Pkg Team Losi Mini-T Camber/Steering Link Set: Mini-T (stock black steel threaded rods) (Team Losi #: LOSB1031)

The assembly:

Remove the dual servo savers and z-bend center linkage from the MLST. Drill out the two holes (one per linkage arm) where the z-bend draglink goes into the servo saver bellcranks with a #43 (0.086") drill bit.

Put two of the AE long ballstuds in a drill chuck (do one ballstud at a time!) and use some 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper to sand them down until the Mini-T ball ends snap on firmly yet move easily on the ballstuds. Make sure that you sand the balls evenly!!! They must retain their ball shape so that the ball cups will stay on properly!!!

Once the ballstuds are sanded to proper size, screw them into the holes (where z-bend link was) so that the linkage will be on the bottom side of the servo savers. The screw threads of the ballstuds will face up when assembled on the truck.

Now use a Dremel with a cut-off wheel to trim the excess screw threads from the ballstuds. Be careful to do a little at a time and allow the metal to cool so that you don't melt the plastic linkage arms!

Take two ball cups and cut about 0.125" (1/8th inch) off the end where the tie-rod screws in. Then drill through the ballcups with a #51 (0.067") drill bit so that you can use a 1.5mm hex driver to remove/install the linkage without popping the ballcups on and off everytime. The ballcups will last longer because they aren't stretched everytime the linkage is removed or installed. After drilling and de-burring the ballcups, screw them all the way onto one of the longest rods in the tie-rod set 28mm (1.09375"). Make sure that the two ends are oriented in the same direction (so that the cups will snap onto the ball ends while facing the same direction. The open side of the ball cups will face up when assembled onto the MLST. Use needle nose pliers to hold the newly built linkage near the middle of the length and bend the rod slightly so that it is in a slight 'V' shape. The 'V' bend will go just under the front input diffcup and point at the ground when assembled on the MLST. Bend it just enough to clear the diffcup so that it doesn't rub at full left or right steering travel!!!

Once this is all done then adjust the rod ends on the linkage until the two steering servos are quiet while the steering is at rest (centered). Note the MLST must have a charged battery installed and the power switched on (rx and tx both on and steering at neutral!!!) Hold the truck upside down and make sure that both servo saver linkage arms are fully seated on the servos. DO NOT attach them with the screws, plastic retainers and springs yet! The linkage arms little raised cam sections must fully seat into the little v-notches in the saver arm center peices that go over the servo shaft splines. Adjust the rod ends until this fits properly.

Now that the new draglink is built and adjusted, you need to trim the two little round black plastic discs that retain the servo saver linkage arms and springs. Use a Dremel with a cut-off wheel to carefully trim the retainers outer edge until it is a tiny bit bigger than the diameter of the spring that seats on it. This is so that the retainer will not bind against the draglink ballcups. Note: the springs are wound so that they are a smaller outer diameter at one end...this end fits onto the black plastic retainer and faces down when assembled on the MLST!!! When the retainers are the correct size, attach them to the servos with the screws, springs and linkage arms. Re-attach the tie-rods to both front wheels. You're done, go out and re-center your steering trim and break some more parts!


OK tested this tonight and it works great! So well that when I smacked my neighbor's car tire at full speed, that I broke the stub axle off where the threads end (flush with the outer part of the wheel adapter hex)...the wheel went flying! That right front wheel had been wobbling for about a week and I assumed that the wheel center was getting ready to break out...but it must have been a bent/cracked stub axle. The steering linkage was fine!

Note if you have lots of steering travel still dialed in, you may need to use a Dremel inside the plastic chassis rails so that the ball ends don't hit at full left and right travel. I didn't need to as I dialed out some steering, but maybe after my center spool is added I'll need the steering travel back.
The Savage Nation
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Old 08-26-2006, 09:45 PM
Natedog Natedog is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 64
Savage030 took some pics of this mod for me, thanks!

Damage from hitting my real truck's tire last night:
The Savage Nation

Last edited by Natedog; 08-26-2006 at 10:11 PM.
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