In this third 'back to the basic' lesson, it is time for the steering. In the previous lessons, you have read how the camber and shocks affect the steering, but what if your wheels are not turning correctly. The complete setup of the truck needs to compliment each other. In this lesson we do not describe the servo, also the mechanics are very important to get the best steering as possible!
1. Servo Saver
Most of the drivers think that the servo saver is taking care of the expensive servo. That is partially true. A servo saver protects your steering servo's gears from becoming stripped out. Imagine you're turning right on a high speed turn and the truck slides, causing it to hit the curb (or pipe) pretty hard with the left front tire. This impact will momentarily try to turn your wheels the opposite direction, fighting against the servo. This can strip out the gears inside your servo. This type of situation happens to a lot of guys!
But a servo saver is also responsible for the handling of your truck. When the saver is too loose, you will see that your car does not turn well. It is always a mix between protection and the handling. In general, we can say that the blue threaded collar on the servo saver must be 1cm above of the chassis plate. When you like responsive steering, you have to tighten this collar so the spring is almost doing nothing, but be aware of the risk of damage your servo!
2. Toe Out
Toe Out is extremely important. Out of the box, the car has already toe out on the front wheels and we suggest to keep it that way. This setup will increase the steering response when entering a turn. Toe out will also provide more stability when driving a straight line. However, it will decrease steering when you are on power. A general rule of thumb is more toe out on technical track and less toe out on straight long tracks, but always toe out!!
3. Travel / EPA
Maybe you have experienced that your car is not able to turn as much as you would. Most of the time the travel of your steering is not adjusted correctly. One of the first things you must check is the travel of your steering. This is something that you can adjust within your transmitter, it is not a mechanical adjustment. Within the settings of your transmitter there is a setting available that is called Travel or EPA (End Point Adjustment). That's you friend to get maximum steering in a safe position.
Go to that particular menu setting and put your car on the ground. Now steer your wheels to the left (or right) and adjust the travel of your steering. But please be careful don't push the travel to far. It is important that the caster block just hit the front spindle carrier a little. Most of the time when your travel is going to far you can see this by the movement of the wishbone. If this is your situation please minimize the amount of travel.
As you can see on the picture above there is some space between the caster block and the front spindle carrier. With this setting the car is not able turn turn at it's maximum. Adjusting the travel (or Endpoint Adjustment) can solve this.
Because you have to do this on the ground you have to mount the tires. This causes that the most important area is very dark and you are not able to estimate the amount of travel correctly. A simple flashlight can help you to lighten up this area so you have a good view and setup the travel at it's maximum.
Please, always setup your toe out correctly before adjust the travel. This because the length of the linkage will affect the amount of travel!
4. Bump Steer
The position of the ball stud as on the above picture will give the truck bump out. So when you compress the suspension, the tires will gain toe out. When you invert the ball, you will have bump in. On the 5T you will probably always want bump out because you always want the maximum amount of steering. Generally, bump out will give more offpower steering.
This tutorial is part of the five 'Back 2 the Basics' lessons written by:
Todd Hodge (Surface Category Development Manager Team Losi Racing / TLR)
Ralf van Hattum (TLR Team Driver and founder Planet Losi Racing)
All Back 2 the Basics lessons can be found here.