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  • Great upgrade, but mediocre build quality

    posted by chrismtb on 10/10/2008
    0 0

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 week to 1 month

    Pros:

    Sturdy CNC'ed parts

    Makes it immune to most small and medium (maybe even large) crashes

    Looks great

    Cheapest CNC upgrade option i've seen

    Fixes a lot of problems with the original parts on Lama v4

    Didn't seem to add much weight

    Cons:

    Mediocre build quality

    Poor tolerances

    Does not perfectly fit Lama V4

    Needed modifications to work

    They should have included metal servo and swashplate links

    OtherThoughts:

    First some things that this fixes:

    The top stabilizer always used to fall off on the most minor crashes, this set has a top-cap held in by screws,which prevents this problem.

    On harder crashes, the blade holders (especially the balls on them) would break, the aluminum version is not prone to breaking

    Brass balls are not prone to wearing like the plastic ones

    Nicer swashplate

    Now, the problems I've had:

    The bottom blade holder that slides onto the outer shaft was too thin in parts, so I had to drill it out for it to fit

    The threads for one of the link balls were stripped on arrival and didn't hold it in, so I had to epoxy the ball in place

    Screws come loose easily, so use loctite (blue temporary version)

    Guide plate for swashplate link arms comes loose, so the link arms twist more than they should

    Guide plate is also too thin for the plastic link arms, so they need to be made thinner, I used a dremel tool with a sanding bit.

    Swashplate balls and rod stick out too far and rub on helicopter body, this isn't detrimental to performance, so I haven't fixed it yet.

    Blade screws come loose easily, so use loctite, but keep in mind they will be harder to replace - don't use red loctite

    If you use loctite on the blade screws, you don't need the nuts for them, which saves a lot of replacement time

    Bottomline:

    Overall, I think this is a good upgrade, but be prepared to make some significant modifications to the upgrade parts and some of your current parts. Have loctite, a dremel tool, a drill and epoxy handy, as you are likely to need them. Make sure you have some good small philips drivers. You will also most likely need to retune it after installing these parts by adjusting the servo links and possibly the proportional.

    In the end, it was definitely worth the work. It looks great and is much more immune to crashes to. The #1 annoyance before I installed this kit was the problem with the stabilizer bar popping off all the time, which this fixed. This replaces nearly all of the parts that you tend to break because of small and medium crashes.

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