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  1. #1
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    Baldys Dual-Rate, Dual Spring Shocks

    So you've all heard about or have used the new version of Proline Powerstrokes available for our trucks. Yeah they are said to be good shocks, yes they are rediculously overpriced IMO, but are they worth spending 80-100 bucks on, and whats so special about them?

    Im gonna say no, they're not worth the money, and this is because there is nothing super special about them. First off, have a look for yourself at the internal and external components:



    Nothing too special about these shocks to warrant spending that kinda money if you ask me.

    How do they work?

    When you are going over small bumps on the driving surface, this compresses the top (softer) spring. Then Upon larger bumps and landings, once the top spring is nearly fully compressed, the power transfers over to the larger (stiffer) spring on the bottom. Its a very basic setup really, and this is old tech that Proline was far from first in coming up with, even with their first epic fail released in 2005. Quad Racers and Offroad enthusiasts have been doing this for many years, and aftermarket kits can be bought for most shocks to convert them to dual rate. I figure that if a simple kit can be a big deal for a regular quad or 1:1 offroad truck shock, then why not figure a way to do the same for our shocks.

    As most of you may already know, I run a fairly heavy truck. A Stock weight Stampede weighs in at 4.3lbs, while my Hot Racing P2de XL Tips the scales at 7.3lbs. Now if you dont like chassis slap when landing big air launches, imagine what my truck is like upon landing. I am currently using TeamBlueStar full aluminum, threaded-bodied shocks. I bought this set of shocks for 50 bucks and up until i installed the swami bar and aluminum chassis, they worked great, but they did need a lot of preload adjustment. They needed rebuilding in a bad way, and after getting no reply to my emails to the manufacturer about a rebuild kit, i tore them apart anyways. This is when i found out that all the parts from the Traxxas ultra shocks are a direct fit. I had a brand new set of ultras in the parts bin, so i swapped over the shafts with 2 hole pistons already installed on them, as well as the lower seals and spacers. All parts were a perfect fit. The only incompatible parts between the two brands is the traxxas pistons are too thick for the TBS shafts. No big deal, as i just swapped to all traxxas parts and the TBS shafts were getting worn anyways.

    Ok, now onto the dual-rate, dual-spring setup. The only thing special about the powerstrokes is the dual spring design.

    How are they setup to use dual springs?

    Exactly how it sounds, the only difference between powerstrokes and other shocks is that they use two springs instead of one. All the top (short) springs are softer springs than the lower springs. This is a little hard to explain in understandable terms, but, even the stiffest available top spring will still be softer than the softest available lower spring. This is so the top spring, no matter what the rate is, will always compress before the bottom spring starts compressing. This setup gives you a fully tunable first rate (top spring), which is the rate used for best tire to surface contact when driving on light terrain and small imperfections on the surface. Then the same tunability is also available for the second rate (lower spring), which is the rate used for larger bumps and surface imperfections, as well as for big air landings. With all this tunability, it cant help but be impressive.

    How do Make two springs fit together end to end?

    Look below in the pic of the powerstrokes rebuild kit. The part that looks like an large version of a plastic upper spring retainer is called the dual rate slider. It would be nice to just buy this set for ten bucks and slap them on but the diameter is too large. no worries though, cuz if you have extra shock parts laying around, just grab a couple spring retainers and some CA glue, glue two spring retainers back to back and your done.

    Powerstrokes rebuild kit:



    My truck would be too heavy for even the powerstroke springs, so i needed something a little stiffer to get rid of most of the chassis slap, so i opted to use front ultra springs for the upper spring and the original linear racing springs from the TBS shocks for the lower. This turned out to work very well. With all the available springs on the market that will fit the ultra shocks, it wont be hard to find a setup thatll work for any truck. For stock weight trucks, it may be necessary to get shorter front springs to use for the upper spring.i cant recall which front traxxas shocks have the shorter spring, i think its the bandit, but dont take my word on that one.









    So now that i have the shocks all mounted up, time to give them a workout, but nothing near me to do so. So i slapped together a new launch ramp with some junk wood i had laying around. (i used to skateboard many moons ago, so ive built quite a few vert ramps). Got this one done in about an hour and never used a tape measure once. lol. I used the plastic sheet off of an old coors light bar light (had it for years, but couldnt throw it away for some reason) to make the face of the ramp a little better looking and more weatherproof. then I threw on a bunch of rc decals I had Laying around.



    Last edited by BaldyDaniels; 02-27-2012 at 03:57 AM.
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  2. #2
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    What good is pictures of a new shock setup and a vert launch ramp without video right? Got that covered too!



    After reviewing that video, you can see that the shocks handled pretty good. Very minimal chassis slap, and they handled the small terrain very well too. Only problem is that the Tonys Screws top shock mount screw snapped and the shock swung outside the body. I then decided to go for the last crappy jump with the broken screw, resulting in the bent shock shaft. I ordered Tin shafts for my shocks, but does anyone have any ideas on stronger shock mounting hardware thats better than the tonys screws stuff?



    Oh yeah, and I need suggestions for some extremely strong 3.2" wheels, cuz apparently my rpm wheels arent up to the task. Oh yeah, and in case you were wondering, my custom made extended axles didnt bend in the slightest when the rpm wheels shattered, so that was a bonus for sure.







    And...my new little launch ramp worked soooo well that the swami paid the price too:

    Bent swami axle:



    Bent swami bar plate:





    So, in the end, the total cost of making my teambluestar aluminum shocks into dual-rate, dual-spring shocks = $0.00, cuz i had all parts laying around. But even if I were to buy extra front traxxas springs and 4 plastic spring retainers, the cost would be minimal. You may also have to change to a little thicker shock oil to make sure you dont get any rebound bounce upon landing due to the extra spring action.

    All in All I am very pleased with the way this turned out, so all thats left to say is:

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  3. #3
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    Very interesting write up, as always! A few things in there i may try for my next build as i really enjoy having the dual rate.

    As for the powerstrokes my pede is currently running them for a total of 88 so not far off the $100. A fairly expensive purchase, i think at the moment its the most i have spent on an upgrade. Im lookong at picking up the spring kits for them at the moment and they are 17 each so 36 for front and rear, giving me all the varying spring rates for the shocks. These kits come with the small upper springs and the larger lower springs, just a thought but they could be useful for the shock build you have made up, not sure as to what the wuality of the springs are but so far (touch wood) the shocks are the only thing that hasnt gone on me (and i snapped the proline front shock tower off on saturday :s - will post a pic later).

    I have nothing other than the stocks to compare them to at this point in time but i believe they are excellent shocks and have really enjoyed drivin on them. I should stiffen them up a bit i think to counter a bit more roll but i dont get a lot of chassis slap (since installing a traxxas preload space in the front) in fact there seems to be very little slap apart from the bigger jumps that would slap most anyways. Not sure if i think they are worth the price tag, it is a little high - especially as you say its not a unique design, but i wouldnt complain looking back at the purchase, and the only reason i wont be buying another set is to compare differences with other shock options, i will however keep these running as long as i can.

  4. #4
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    @JoesStampede, yes i had considered using the powerstrokes spring kit, but the spring diameter is 19mm which is too big for my teambluestar shocks and too big for even the traxxas big bores. There are a couple other companies that have dual rate, dual sspring shocks out, such as axial and rc4wd, so im currently hunting down the spring diameter specs for both of those to see if their spring kits wil work.

    axial dual rate shocks and springs










    rc4wd dual rates scale king shocks

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  5. #5
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    So is the bore of the prolines bigger than the big bores? Also is there a difference in the shaft diameteer between the two?

  6. #6
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoesStampede View Post
    So is the bore of the prolines bigger than the big bores? Also is there a difference in the shaft diameteer between the two?
    I know that the Inner diameter of the Powerstroke springs is 16.5mm and O.D. is 19mm and i'm pretty sure the big bores inner spring diameter is 15mm so im assuming that this is because the bodies have this much difference as well.

    Even the old style powerstrokes from 2005 were bigger than the big bores:



    its too bad too cuz the spring sets for the old ones are still available at a few places





    i found a pic on google of new powerstroke springs next to big bore springs



    Here are some pics that raptorpede posted over at urc to show the difference between powerstrokes, ultras and big bores:





    shaft diameter of the ultras and big bores is 3mm. shaft diameter of powerstrokes is 3.5mm.
    Last edited by BaldyDaniels; 02-27-2012 at 05:37 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Awesome, cheers for brining that together baldy, some useful comparisons there.

    Looks as though the shock body bore is about the same if not maybe slightly bigger on the BB's? But then there is the thicker shahft on the prolines. Ill be putting the big bores onto my rusty build in the next month or so, ill be able to make a few comparisons then myself, and i think ill try your dual spring set up on them. Oo cant wait till all of this is together.

    So much fun in all this and i still feel like im only just getting started!!

  8. #8
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Nice writeup baldy. I run Traxxas Ultras, BBs, and the Proline Powerstrokes ( PS ). On the PS I havent seen a reason why they cost so much, but they are a really nice setup. Besides them having dual rate, dual spring setup, the internals are really nice and easy to replace. No E-pins, they are an easy bolt up design. Also they have a screw cap on the bottom of the shock bodies, which i know you know and see all this. Also like you noted they have a 3.5mm shaft. Plus i like the threaded bodies so you can adjust the ride height. Some of those are an awesome plus. Are they a justifiable difference in cost i guess depends on the one using them. LOL Am I the hard core basher like everyone else, ehhh probably not, but I know how to go out and have fun. Believe me i get a wild hare every once in a while. haha

    I really like the axial dual rate piggy back shocks. I need to check the specs on those. Especially the length and such. If they are close enough man that would be an awesome setup.

    One good thing about ya bud, you have a good inovative mind. Open to finding a solution that will work with what ya got and make it better. Now i know why you did that writeup in the alley on, "If you think you are addicted to RC" LOL Good stuff there.

    I don't know if the Powerstroke Sc Universal Shock Mounting Kit would help ya out. I use it on my BBs and PS shocks and its done really well. Can't say if it would be any stronger than the Tony's screws. As the Tony's are a grade-5 if i can remember. You'd have to look for something stronger than that. If you do that will move the weak spot somewhere else. One of those kind of things, that you can't win for losing sometimes.

    •High quality 3mm hardware
    •Machined Delrin pivot balls for smooth action
    •Universal kit can be used on a wide veriety of SC trucks


    Yet again good writeup chief.
    Last edited by DiggerPede; 02-27-2012 at 06:54 AM.
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  9. #9
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. thedreadedend's Avatar
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    Baldy, nice write up. Looks like you've given up smother cool option for us owners that like to tinker and tune. I don't know how thick your tower is but I've always loved this hardware set from Tekno. It also solves the problem of striped shock mounting holes on thee tower.

    I've gotta push ya a bit Baldy, of you ever get your hands on some losi ten shocks, you'll end up swapping out every set you own on the big trucks lol. I can't believe how much bashing I've missed out on because of never giving them a shot. So much terrain to tackle now with a beet shock that will handle it, keeping the truck on its wheels at a stupid fast pace over terrain that would have pitched the truck to its lid before I had the losi shocks. You've got to try them. This weekend I drilled out the pistons and upped my fluid wt. And man oh man, the truck rips it up!
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  10. #10
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    get your hands on some losi ten shocks
    Which ones your running dread?
    LOSB0126 - Front/ Rear?
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  11. #11
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. thedreadedend's Avatar
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    Yup, that's the set. I've had some truck changing mods before but wow, these really made my 4wd a land and air assault vehicle lol. Like a missile!


    I've had good luck with the caps so I felt it was safe to switch over to the alloy caps and adjustment ring.
    Losi sells silver for soft, black for medium (comes on shocks, and gold springs for stiff action. Looks like I'll need the golds up front this week.
    Here's the 2wd mounted up.
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  12. #12
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. AbSoLooT1's Avatar
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    NICE write up baldy!!! Thats excellent brotha. I too have all those parts lyin around, I may have to jump all over this. Only thing im in need of to do so, is the short dual rate springs. Think I missed how ya got those ones....

    This will also give me the change to get some good usage outta my Losi different rate springs.

    Also, As for the front springs, Ya they are bandits. In this pic ya can see bandit front springs, next to some standard front length ones mounted on the shocks. They are around half inch shorter.



    Although alittle bit compressed, one can see how short the bandit springs are.



    But again, This is terrific, and I love the ramp!!! Not as much as ur truck did though I bet.. If ur truck came to life, it would be P.o'd!
    Last edited by AbSoLooT1; 02-27-2012 at 11:37 AM.

  13. #13
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. Petertje60's Avatar
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    Awesome write ups, gents. What would the Pede forum be without you?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petertje60 View Post
    Awesome write ups, gents. What would the Pede forum be without you?
    +10000

    Totally agree you guys are awesome, my pede wouldn't be where it is now without inspiration and help from you guys. That's to say it would still be in one piece stock and happy with no breaks haha!!

  15. #15
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    @dread, I was just checking those shocks out on eBay after your suggestion, and I see that the fronts are 12mm bore while the rears are 14mm bore. Is that correct? Does that mean I'd have to get two different rebuild kits when rebuilding them?

    L like those tekno mounts. My shock tower is hot racing aluminum and isn't much thicker than most, but it is a very rigid piece. I was already thinking of getting some tekno parts anyways to step up to 6mm axles, but after shattering the rpm wheels without bending one of my custom axles, I'm not sure I'll need to. I know you had the same wheel shattering issue a few weeks back. What's the strongest 3.2 wheel you've used? And does rpm give the same parts breakage guarantee for their wheels?
    Last edited by BaldyDaniels; 02-27-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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  16. #16
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    @Loot, those bandit springs would be the ones to use for the top (shorter) spring on the top of the rear shocks. My truck is really heavy and I needed extra spring, so I used ultra front springs for the top spring of the rear shocks. For the front shocks, I just used single rear springs on each side. Didn't need this mod for the front cuz it's not as heavy, but the rear of my truck is so heavy that it was starting to slap the ground like I wasn't using shocks at all.
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  17. #17
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    Honestly, Baldy Daniels, when I first read about your 7.3 lb HR Pede, I wasn't sure what to think...and then I saw your bashing vid at the worksite. I then realized that every ounce that has gone into your truck has made it one of the most durable trucks on the planet. and then to see this other vid with it jumping, man, much respect. That ride gets around nicely.

    Good luck with the suspension setup. I had been digging around on ebay looking to see whats available. If big bores from a 1/8th scale are where you want to get started with this project, I came across some duratrax 'Raze' shocks for not too much coin - all in the name of experimenting with.

  18. #18
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. thedreadedend's Avatar
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    The toughest $ to spend is a on the unknown parts.
    Baldy, ill look into the shocks, I didn't notice a difference in size but 2mm isn't much. I took some video like I said i would but haven't sent it out yet. I'll try to get it up this evening. With my 4wd, I still slap but it sure smooths things out. I can pound out some high speed runs right through some ridiculous terrain.
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  19. #19
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. rag6's Avatar
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    Traxxas on road springs would be the shortest trx option available. Not sure how stiff they are, but check in the street sport secdtion and ask the vintage guys how stiff those springs are. That car was light and may have the spring rate you need.

    Not trying to throw a chain in the spokes, but...

    Are your springs heavily compressed, without spacers with this setup?
    The way it is set up in the pics, it looks like there is a ton of preload on the springs, without any spacers. A shock spring (or dual springs in this case) should be about just as long as the space they are going to take up on a fully extended shock. The 2 spring combo should be ever so slightly loose, and not preloaded when no spacers(or the collars are backed all the way up on threaded shocks) are used. If the springs are compressed more than a 1/4" when the springs are installed, with no added preload, then the spring (or spring combo) is too long. I know you need more spring for the added weight, but if the spring is preloaded before you ever add preload, then there is no adjustment for ride height or droop. If the springs are a little too short, it is ok, because you can add preload to get it just right. Its not that the spring rate is wrong, it is getting the proper spring length. Shorten the spring combo somehow so that you must add at least a bit of preload to get the setup where you want it. Now, if the setup you have is working just fine, forget my last ramblings lol, but I have been nuts about suspension theory for the last 6 mo's, and this one issue came up when I shortened my racer slash mt shocks. Going over rough stuff, the truck was losing rear traction, and a shorter spring (same rate) with more spacers kept the tires on the surface and made a world of difference.

    By the way, gluing 2 upper shock collars together was
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  20. #20
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    @Oaks, thanks man. I hear ya about the HR Pede. When people here the total weight of it, I imagine they assume that it will handle like a boat anchor. Lol. But it is a far more capable truck than people think, and much more capable than a stock Pede for sure. A stock Pede may have a bit more acceleration due to being lighter, but if you can't control that power, then it's useless IMO. Don't get me wrong, I still love the unpredictable monstrosity that is the p2de, and that's why I own 5 of them. But I could never take one of my closer to stock pedes, and attempt most of the things I do with the HR P2de. For it's size and weight, it is a super solid and very agile truck that can still get up to 65mph+. It's core is pretty much indestructible, its just the other parts around it that always break, such a wheels, wheelie bars and bodies. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do for wheels now, cuz I figured rpm would have the strongest ones, but in the slow motion left rear wheel landing near the end of the video is where both wheels busted, the wheelie bar got tweaked and the shock mounting screw snapped, all in one fatal blow. I'm getting pretty good at dialing in the landings using the throttle and brakes, but there always seems to be one that goes squirrely on me, which is when the weight of the truck becomes the trucks own worst enemy.

    I thought for sure that when I heard the snap on that landing, that it would have been the rear protrac arm rather that both rpm wheels and a shock mount. Proline must be a little inconsistent in the strength of their plastic, or maybe now that it has grown in popularity they are simply producing them too fast to be as concerned with quality control, cuz I've had my protrac arms on the HR P2de for nearly 10 months, and have had a LOT of bad landings worse than this one without breakage. Yet I have been hearing about a lot of protrac breakage recently. Keep in mind that when I shot that video, it was about -5C outside. I've went through a lot of rpm breakages this year too, so it's made it hard for me to decide which parts are gonna be the strongest.

    Thanks again for the positive feedback, much appreciated.
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  21. #21
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    @Rag6, Thanks, I do appreciate and welcome all constructive criticism. This dual rate system is all new to me, so any help I can get is a bonus, that's the whole reason I posted this mod before perfecting it.

    You are correct, there is preload on the shocks from the springs being longer than needed, but when my truck is sitting on the ground, there is still some suspension droop allowing for shock down travel, just not as much as I would like. Also, when the shock is fully compressed, the springs could still be compressed even more, so they are not limiting the travel of the shock at all. I had thought about simply cutting a few coils off the top springs but then I'm sure they won't sit flush against the shock collar which would make them sit crooked and bind against the threaded body of the shock.

    Im going to look into those on road springs, will they fit onto the ultras? Cuz that's the spring diameter I need for the teambluestars. Would you happen to know the exact inner/outer spring diameter of the ultras? I had thought that ultras were 13mm, big bores 15mm and power strokes 19mm. The inner spring diameter of those dual rate axials is 12.5mm which is the same as the springs that came with the teambluestar shocks (black lower spring I used on this setup) and as you can see, the .5mm difference is not noticeable at all, nor does it affect the fit. If the ultra springs are in fact 13mm, then this would be ideal cuz I could just buy the axial dual rate spring sets and easily tune my suspension. This would also mean that the axial dual rate springs would fit onto the ultra shocks as well which would benefit all my other pedes that sport the ultras as well as benefit anyone here on the forum that uses the ultras too.

    How much suspension droop do you think is ideal? This would give me an idea of what to aim for when hunting down some better or more suitable fitting springs. Right now I've got maybe 3/8" of allowable down travel.

    I am liking this dual rate setup a lot, I just feel it would be better if everyone including myself could have the dual rate option for cheaper than it costs to buy the powerstrokes. I wouldn't mind having to spend 100 bucks on shocks for my HR P2de, but I have 4 other pedes, emaxx, and p4de that could all benefit from finding a cheap way to achieve the dual rate setup. If I bought powerstrokes for all my traxxas trucks, I'd be looking at 700 bucks. It's not that I couldn't pull this off, but the question is why would I, if I could figure a way to get all the trucks equipped with dual rates for 70 bucks? And also benefit anyone else that's having a hard time justifying 100 bucks for good shocks, all at the same time.

    Like I mentioned earlier, there is nothing out of the ordinary or special about the power strokes when comparing their inner workings to any other good traxxas shocks. And if a guy really figured that the .5mm difference in shaft diameter would make a world of difference, then teambluestar has all aluminum shocks for the 4x4 slash that have 4mm diameter shafts.

    Heres a little food for thought as well as a little project im working on at the moment. Any technical input that anyone could provide me in regards to this would be much appreciated:

    I know for a fact that rubber o rings for hydraulic rams can be bought in any size, and the bottom seal spacers are merely plastic, so what's stopping anyone from drilling out the shaft hole and seal recess of the shock and using a hardened grd. 8 steel or titanium shaft in any diameter they choose? Thread the ends for the shock rod end and the much talked about "locknut" instead of e-clips to hold the piston. Drill center piston hole to the diameter of the rod, get the appropriate size of seals for the cap and shaft in a bag of 100 for mere dollars and boom! You could have a 6mm diameter hardened steel or titanium shock shaft that you would likely never see bend. And with a little bit of time invested, and minimal amount of money could have an indestructible shock. The only limitation I can see is the fluid displacement causing pressure, which can always be accounted for by filling the shock reservoir while the shock is near fully compressed or by simply using piggyback shocks. Really all you need is full aluminum shock bodies to deal with the added pressure from displacement and hydraulic grade seals to deal with the same added pressure. Anybody got thoughts on this?
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  22. #22
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. rag6's Avatar
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    I am getting the feeling you can and will make anything lol. 6mm would prob be overkill, but I know the 3.5's on all my ofna shocks make a big difference. I cannot bend them. Maybe a 4mm shaft?

    If you are getting some sag, and the springs are not bottoming out at full shock compression, then the setup is matching the weight and is not a problem. The only issue is that you say you would like more sag. If you can shorten the spring a few mm, it would get you there. Not a problem if you shorten too much as you can add spacers. I forgot how much this truck weighs when I posted. May be an issue for a lighter vehicle though. How hard would it be to custom wind springs? Is there a way to hand produce them?
    Last edited by rag6; 02-28-2012 at 06:51 PM.
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  23. #23
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    +2 Rag6. Not wanting to co-sign too many things said on the forums, but BaldyDaniels, your last comment on this thread was profound. I read it and wondered, how does anyone comment back on that. I thought, this guy may go into 'the lab' and not come back out until the shocks are done.

    And not to knock the progressive rate idea, have you ever considered the dual shock setup like a MAXX truck? Once you got the kinks worked out on a dual shock method, you could still go back to the progressive idea. Personally, I'd like to see one shock per side get the job done for you and you're definitely on to something. Sometimes, just being in those shoes is enough to provoke thought. Have you thought about what spring rate you need, and what length shock is optimal?

  24. #24
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rag6 View Post
    I am getting the feeling you can and will make anything lol. 6mm would prob be overkill, but I know the 3.5's on all my ofna shocks make a big difference. I cannot bend them. Maybe a 4mm shaft?

    If you are getting some sag, and the springs are not bottoming out at full shock compression, then the setup is matching the weight and is not a problem. The only issue is that you say you would like more sag. If you can shorten the spring a few mm, it would get you there. Not a problem if you shorten too much as you can add spacers. I forgot how much this truck weighs when I posted. May be an issue for a lighter vehicle though. How hard would it be to custom wind springs? Is there a way to hand produce them?
    Necessity is the mother of invention! Lol. One thing that I've come to realize with the work I do, is that if you look hard enough, there is parts available for everything, you just have to be willing to look for them. And once you've had to look for extremely hard to find parts a few times, finding anything that will work for the pede becomes pretty routine. I'm sure the vintage guys know exactly what I'm talking about.

    I could hand wind springs with music wire, but then I'd have to get them powder coated, and if the heat I use to wind them is not exactly the same for every single wind, the rate would be affected. Just doesn't seem worth trying. And that's coming from me....I'm usually willing to try anything! Lol. After looking at the axial dual rates some more, and considering the low cost of buying their spring sets, I'm gonna buy a couple sets and see how that goes. Sure I could make my own springs or have them custom made, but it would become a hassle when I need replacements or change the weight of my truck. It also would make this whole thread kinda pointless to have on a forum, cuz then they would be specific to my truck only. I'd like to find a setup that anyone could slap on their ultras and get the same benefit as the power strokes, and at the same time cater to the needs of the guys who are building heavier 1/8 scale pedes and need the extra dampening power. The axial dual rate spring sets are looking promising, and if need be, I can use any front shock spring that fits the ultras for the lower spring on the rear shocks, which will open up way more tuning options than even the powerstrokes can offer. My goal here is to help my truck and at the same time give anyone the same opportunity to do the same to theirs without custom making parts. I know there is a few of us that would do it anyways cuz we're nuts, but it would be cool to give this option to anyone, for use on the same shocks their truck came with. Now that would be cool IMO.
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  25. #25
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. rag6's Avatar
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    My question about winding was geared toward the thought of shortening and remaking the bottom coils on the springs you have. Did not know you need heat to wind them. I had a couple of sets of springs custom made a few years back:
    http://traxxas.com/forums/showthread...-rate-springs.
    But did not know what was involved in winding them.

    I still use these on a lighter pede. The guy who was making them for me had some health issues and retired. It was pretty cool to have someone make them to my specs though...
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  26. #26
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaks View Post
    +2 Rag6. Not wanting to co-sign too many things said on the forums, but BaldyDaniels, your last comment on this thread was profound. I read it and wondered, how does anyone comment back on that. I thought, this guy may go into 'the lab' and not come back out until the shocks are done.

    And not to knock the progressive rate idea, have you ever considered the dual shock setup like a MAXX truck? Once you got the kinks worked out on a dual shock method, you could still go back to the progressive idea. Personally, I'd like to see one shock per side get the job done for you and you're definitely on to something. Sometimes, just being in those shoes is enough to provoke thought. Have you thought about what spring rate you need, and what length shock is optimal?
    The dual rate is different than a traditional progressive spring in regards to being able to independently change each rate. On a single progressive spring you have the two rates, but your limited to whatever those rates are. Now with the dual rates, you can change the rate of one or both springs, so the amount of combinations and tuning options for the shock become far greater. The more I look into the dual rate system, I can almost start to justify the cost of the powerstrokes, a lot of thought and engineering went into them. Wait!! I said ALMOST!! Lol. I still feel this can be done cheaper as an option for anyone's shocks using these other companies engineering and putting it to work on a different brand of shock. Put a traditional single spring on the powerstrokes and what do you have? Nothing much better than an aluminum, threaded body shock...doesn't seem so high tech now does it? Now buy a 10-15 buck dual spring setup, slap em on a 40 dollar set of shocks and what do you have? You have a 55 dollar set of powerstrokes. The powerstrokes are like kfc, without the 11 herbs and spices on the outside, it's just chicken. Lol
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  27. #27
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rag6 View Post
    My question about winding was geared toward the thought of shortening and remaking the bottom coils on the springs you have. Did not know you need heat to wind them. I had a couple of sets of springs custom made a few years back:
    http://traxxas.com/forums/showthread...-rate-springs.
    But did not know what was involved in winding them.

    I still use these on a lighter pede. The guy who was making them for me had some health issues and retired. It was pretty cool to have someone make them to my specs though...
    Really, I have no idea on how manufacturers make them, I'm assuming that they use a cold extrusion process to avoid the inconsistencies I mentioned and then some kind of hardening process with a uniform heat source. Using heat would be the way I would have to wind them myself using music wire, otherwise they would look pretty deformed when I was finished. Lol. I also have no idea how uniform the spring strength of music wire is throughout the whole length, nor do I know what the spring rate would be after winding, so that would be a little bit more trial and error than I'm willing to do, especially since this process has already been mastered. It could end up costing more than the powerstrokes. The fact is, that when buying powerstrokes, a lot of their cost is due to the proline name, and could also be a little bit of cost recoup from the last epic fail of the powerstrokes. This is the point I'm trying to prove with this thread. It can and will be done for less. Heck, it didnt cost me anything but an hour of my time to come up with mine and they work, they just need to be dialed in a little more.

    One more thing that I have trouble understanding is the shock mounting setup. Look at how the front shocks mount to the suspension arms...perfect setup and likely the strongest you'll ever get for a shock mount. Ever see one of those screws break? Now look at the rest of the shock mounting setup. Bet you've seen every one of those screws break at least once. This is another issue that I think these companies need to address. Any manufacturer that makes both the tower and the shock would be the most suitable one to do it. I've had towers twist and break at the mounting point and have many shock mount screws bend or snap in the same areas. Anywhere that is not held on both sides of the rod end will be prone to snapping either the hardware, the rod end, or the part it is mounted to. I think these companies are all too focused on the racing aspect and not enough on the basher market. Sure, parts need to be reliable and strong for racers, but not 25 feet of air, landing on asphalt strong! Man I need to get into manufacturing I think. Lol
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  28. #28
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    Baldy,
    Just browsing threw some of the post here but I didn't see a mention of coil bind. This is probably what broke the shock mount bolt. The coils are to close together. Once all the coils collapse together, something has to budge. If you could get the coils to be more spread out, you'll be good, IMO. On shock travel, lets sa the shock has a 2" stroke. Ideally at ride height you want the shock to be compressed about 1/2 way. This will give an even amount of rebound and compression. When you lift a truck, you get longer shocks. If you didn't the guts on the bottom of the shock shaft would be at the top of the shock. Wouldn't be good on a big rebound. Low riders are vice versa, shorter shock w/a smaller shock body and shorter piston.

    Great job btw. You'll get there. I'm sure of it!

  29. #29
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stampedenit View Post
    Baldy,
    Just browsing threw some of the post here but I didn't see a mention of coil bind. This is probably what broke the shock mount bolt. The coils are to close together. Once all the coils collapse together, something has to budge. If you could get the coils to be more spread out, you'll be good, IMO. On shock travel, lets sa the shock has a 2" stroke. Ideally at ride height you want the shock to be compressed about 1/2 way. This will give an even amount of rebound and compression. When you lift a truck, you get longer shocks. If you didn't the guts on the bottom of the shock shaft would be at the top of the shock. Wouldn't be good on a big rebound. Low riders are vice versa, shorter shock w/a smaller shock body and shorter piston.

    Great job btw. You'll get there. I'm sure of it!
    The shocks can fully compress well before the springs are fully compressed, I made sure of that before I put em on. The reason for the bent shock shaft was my fault. In the video when I slow the vid way down during the bad landing, you'll see that right after that my truck is bottomed right out. This was due to the shock mount screw snapping. I had checked the shock and the shaft wasn't bent, then I decided to take that last jump anyways and the shock managed to make it's way to the outside of the body and upon landing, bent the shaft. Not too worried though cuz I've got tons of replacement shafts and have tin ones on the way.

    There is no way I could ever run my truck at half droop and land the jumps that I do. There isn't a progressive shock spring available I don't think, that would be soft enough to allow for half droop and at the same time be stiff enough in that last half of shock travel to keep my truck from bottoming out upon landing from 10-15 feet onto flat ground. Rag6 and I had actually covered the fact that I have too much preload to begin with, that's why I'm gonna purchase the axial springs and see how they work.

    Thanks for the input man, it's all appreciated.
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  30. #30
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. DiggerPede's Avatar
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    Baldy, I must say you put a lot of time and effort into making things work. That is one reason I like reading your threads. At least one good thing you take constructive criticism very well. At least in the end you will come out with an amazing result that will help me and other with an awesome setup. Like you stated you have most of these parts laying around so it isnt costing you much if anything, other than the springs and tini shafts. I'm staying up on this thread, as there is tons of good info.
    Weak Revenge
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  31. #31
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    Well, I took rag6's advice and cut some of the winds off of the upper spring and it worked out perfectly. Thanks rag6! I now have the amount of droop I was looking for and almost all of the preload is gone, so I can use my threaded shock body adjustment again. Here's the end result:


    TeamBlueStar Dual-Rates:



    And as promised, for anyone else wanting dual rate springs on their ultra shocks, BB's or any other for that matter, for the rear shocks, just glue two upper spring collars back to back, use a front spring for the bottom (2nd spring rate) and exactly half of another front spring for the upper spring (1st spring rate) The pic below shows how the setup looks installed on Traxxas Ultra Shocks with Hot-Racing aluminum caps. They turned out really well, and IMO are some very sharp looking ultras!



    And heres how it looks on the Bone Stock Ultra shocks:



    There ya have it! Dual rate shocks for anyone, and offers the same tuning versatility as the powerstrokes. Now you can throw a soft upper spring on to keep contact with the road when going over the mild terrain, and have the stiff lower spring to soak up the big air landings. Or pick any co binational you want, using any brand of springs you prefer. For the front ultra shocks, you'll use 3/4 of a front spring for the lower spring and 1/4 of a front spring for the upper spring. The total cost of this mod for me was $0.00 cuz I had all the extra springs in the parts bin.

    Good luck and have fun!
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    Nice find about that. I've owned stock ultra's with tin shafts, big bores, and power-strokes and power-strokes are my favorites.

  33. #33
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. rag6's Avatar
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    SUCCSESS!!! Did not know if my input would help, but glad I piped up from the peanut gallery!
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  34. #34
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. AbSoLooT1's Avatar
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    NICE!! Those look great Baldy, nice work!! Looks really good for sure. I just might have to bust this out.

  35. #35
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! Yeah it worked out really good. I had my truck out with the TBS dual rate shocks and oh man it's perfect! I also hit the launch ramp some more cuz I just couldn't resist. Lol No breakage this time, so that's a bonus. Waiting on rpm to email me back and tell me if their wheels that I shattered will be covered under warranty. I could really care less whether they are or not cuz wheels are dirt cheap, I'm just curious to see whether or not they'll do it.

    @rag6, thanks again man, it saved me money and hassle! Can't beat that.




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  36. #36
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    Baldy those look excellent glad you got them to work. This looks to be a great setup without costing an arm and a leg. No pun intended. So correct me if I'm wrong you used all stock Traxxas springs cause in a post earlier you were talking about trying axial springs. Thanks for the great thread as I also am looking for a way to beef up my suspension.
    If it isn't broke It will be

  37. #37
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    If that chicken smells as good as it looks, I may have to buy me some! Thanks for providing help to the masses once again. Looking forward to the wheels and tires thread and whatever else your cooking for the Hot Racing p2de.
    Last edited by Oaks; 03-02-2012 at 01:32 AM.

  38. #38
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. AbSoLooT1's Avatar
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    I picked up some more of these springs, and realized they are totally perfect for doing this dual rate set-up, OR if someone wants to run black spings, in different rates and not have to use different colors.



    I had ones for the rear, So I thought, and purchased some for the front today.. Once I got home, I realized they are totally short.. Which is great for this. In the pic I grouped em together to show their sizes....

    The Two(packages) on the far right are REAR, 22t. These are Rear sizes for our truck.

    The Package on the very top, that is still for rears ( for Losi) is a few millimeters off the fronts for our trucks.

    and the 3 packages on the left, are half inch shorter than Bandit springs. So they are totally perfect for chop'n off alittle and doing this dual rate set-up.

    Last edited by AbSoLooT1; 03-02-2012 at 06:30 PM.

  39. #39
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    Baldy, I would absolutely give these a try! Sorry to be gone and not give a hand here but things have been pretty crazy with 2 builds + "life" lol.this all come together nice huh, and you didn't have to order or wait on a single thing. That's bonus! Best of all, you didn't spend any of the "hard money" as soon as the snow melts, im out jammin the pede and slash. The slash has some Killa shocks on it and pedes sportin the bi's so I may try this as soon as I get a feel for its current set up. Always room for improvement right. I'm still waiting on the shocks for my truck, got the guts ready to go but I ordered the bodies, caps, retainers. That's all for a heavy set truck though, and it will be up for it so, til then I will slap some springs on the table and see what I can do.
    Just as we create some cool stuff and companies take note, produce and sell, someone comes along and takes the money back. Right out of there hand and back to our pockets. Thanks Baldy, this ones a keeper.
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  40. #40
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. BaldyDaniels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by street-freaks View Post
    Baldy those look excellent glad you got them to work. This looks to be a great setup without costing an arm and a leg. No pun intended. So correct me if I'm wrong you used all stock Traxxas springs cause in a post earlier you were talking about trying axial springs. Thanks for the great thread as I also am looking for a way to beef up my suspension.
    Thanks man, the springs I used are the same diameter and length as Traxxas springs, but aren't all Traxxas brand. If you have a look at absoloot's recent post, he's got some really good suggestions for springs to use. You can use any spring you want really, as long as they are the same diameter as the Traxxas ones, this is what makes this mod so much better IMO, cuz now we're not stuck using one company's brand of springs. If they are the same diameter as the Traxxas ultras, you can mix and match whatever you want, giving you far more options for each rate on the shock. Not even powerstrokes offer that much versatility. And remember, that this mod doesn't have to be for just ultra shocks either. I originally did this mod for my teambluestars, and the only reason I refer to the ultras so much, is because they are the same spring diameter as the TbS. You can do this mod on any shock you like, so if you prefer the Traxxas big bores or any other brand of shock, you can get the dual rate setup on the shock of your choice by simply finding springs in the same diameter. If you have a brand of shock that you wanted to try this on, but can't find springs for, feel free to post up the inner diameter of the spring you do have and I'll help you find the ones you need.


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