Intro: Steering Drag Link for the RC18, V1.1
Team Associated's RC18 line of vehicles are a good way to get into the hobby. They're inexpensive and truly ready to run at about $140. They do however, have one glaring problem: Steering. The stock steering setup has so much flex that the car barely wants to turn, especially at speed. (Since this is a 4-wheel drive car, some understeer is expected, but this is ridiculous!) Even if you're not racing, you might still want to do this mod since it's not hard and improves the steering responsiveness. You could buy a part for this, but why buy when you can make?
Step 1: Supplies
To make this, we'll need:
-a piece of sturdy plastic (Don't use a CD as previously mentioned. I've made 2 from CDs now and they've both broken on the first crash. You can see one and what's left of the other on either side of the #5 plastic one in this crummy picture.) My piece of plastic came from the flat surface of a CD spindle.
-to print off the template picture in this step
-a cutting device (Dremel, hobby knife, &C.) and safety knowledge pertaining to the use of said device! This Instructable assumes that you already know proper safety procedures!
-1.5mm/ 3/32 inch hex wrench, included with the car
-Phillips head #1 screwdriver
Step 2: Transfer the Template to the Plastic
#5 plastic is more flexible than a CD, but it's still sturdy enough to drag the steering links back and forth. Since it's clear, just print the template out, put the plastic over it and trace with the Sharpie.
Step 3: Cutting the Piece Out
I'm using a Dremel for this because it has drill-like boring tools to make the holes. These holes will be slipping over ball joints and providing the strength to push and pull both wheels evenly. Therefore, you do not want to make the holes bigger than shown in the template! If you do, it will lose efficiency. I suggest drilling the holes first, before cutting the rest of it out. It's easier to handle like that.
Step 4: Disassembling the Front Suspension
Now to put your new steering drag link on your car.
1. Unscrew the links in the first picture.
2. Unscrew the tops of the shocks. You can take them off all the way if you'd like.
3. Turn the wheels in either direction and unscrew the steering link, then do the other side.
4. Pop the steering links off and remove the doglegs (mainly so they don't fall out later).
5. Remove the ball studs from the steering links and put the ball studs back in place. Also unscrew the the two Phillips head screws that hold the differential case together.
6. Carefully lift up on the differential case cover and slip the drag link under. Slide it over the steering ball link on each side. Make sure the drag link does not touch the drive shaft or chassis top. If it does, remove it and trim it.
7. Finally, reassemble everything in reverse order! Remember to test everything before you hit the throttle. If something doesn't set or comes apart, you don't want to lose control under power.
Step 5: Resources
This Instructable is a fleshing-out of instructions found here:
The original idea, instructions and template are property and copyright of Tony Phalen.