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skom25

Ball connectors: Standard vs Hex

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Hi,

Talking shortly, I am big fan of hard steel hex ball connectors. I prefer them over standard ones.

I mean that:

image.png.599b521c0682f321e95b5c7df538c8ba.png

 Over that:

image.png.b8b691f389b3e6a613deff3d1e857b54.png

I found only one issue. Hex version is 1 mm shorter than standard connectors. 

IMG-20231106-090603033-2.jpg

Is this something I should worry? I can use e.g. 0.5 mm spacer but I do not want to use more, to not reduce thread length in part. What do you think?

@matisse I saw that you replaced all ball connectors in TT-02BR build. Any suggestions?

  

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I've used hex ball connectors without any trouble, its much easier adjusting shocks without "popping them" each time.

3 hours ago, alvinlwh said:

Use this type, they are TRF so must be the best.

eeRBvQa.jpg

 

Leave it to Tamiya to have a screwy "tier" system to something as simple as ball connectors!

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55 minutes ago, Kowalski86 said:

Leave it to Tamiya to have a screwy "tier" system to something as simple as ball connectors!

"Best" thing about these, you will need two different sized hexes to get them on. 

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9 hours ago, skom25 said:

Hi,

Talking shortly, I am big fan of hard steel hex ball connectors. I prefer them over standard ones.

I mean that:

image.png.599b521c0682f321e95b5c7df538c8ba.png

 Over that:

image.png.b8b691f389b3e6a613deff3d1e857b54.png

I found only one issue. Hex version is 1 mm shorter than standard connectors. 

IMG-20231106-090603033-2.jpg

Is this something I should worry? I can use e.g. 0.5 mm spacer but I do not want to use more, to not reduce thread length in part. What do you think?

@matisse I saw that you replaced all ball connectors in TT-02BR build. Any suggestions?

  

The steel ones are great, very  strong and require the standard 2mm hex driver which you are probably already using throughout the car. Obviously it only works if you are using open  face adjusters :). As you noticed they are low profile and it just gives you more options. If the geometry is important and you want to keep it similar to the regular ball studs you can simply shim them - the difference is 1.5mm.

Popping an adjuster off the ball stud is bad because it deforms the adjuster and creates play. So my advice is to never pop them off but rather remove the ball stud - the hex head on these are a life saver compared to attempting to turn the regular ones with a 5.5mm flat wrench from the base.

On your XV-01 you will have to decide if you want either 1) closed adjusters with a little foam ring - less dirt ingress but once the dirt is in you can't clean it without popping the adjuster off or 2) an open face adjuster which lets the dirt come in and out freely. The open face ones can simply be removed from the car and washed with soap and tap water every couple of hour which leaves it clean and feeling like new.

Edit: these hex head ball studs are expensive but you can easily 'make your own' by using a grub screw and your choice of ball nut plus some thread locker (see my M-05 build thread). The only drawback is that you then have to use a 1.5mm hex wrench which is not an issue for me.

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Grab some 1mm spacers and go for it. It will make a difference in areas like the ackerman angle for the steering, so by using these you're adding in extra tuning options!

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2 hours ago, matisse said:

Grab some 1mm spacers and go for it. It will make a difference in areas like the ackerman angle for the steering, do by using these you're adding in extra tubing options!

That's right, on a TT-02 the length of ball studs will affect bump steer (steering) and roll center (camber links).

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9 hours ago, Pylon80 said:

Popping an adjuster off the ball stud is bad because it deforms the adjuster and creates play. So my advice is to never pop them off but rather remove the ball stud - the hex head on these are a life saver compared to attempting to turn the regular ones with a 5.5mm flat wrench from the base.

That's both good info...yet bad for me, I'm always popping off the adjusters. Dunno how else to change springs.

This was my most convenient setup, hex-ball adjusters top, hex screws collar/washer below. The washers help protect the lower eyelets.

20231025_145403.thumb.jpg.b35e7c7b7da5cd443ffcde105f9ca907.jpg

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1 hour ago, Kowalski86 said:

That's both good info...yet bad for me, I'm always popping off the adjusters. Dunno how else to change springs.

This was my most convenient setup, hex-ball adjusters top, hex screws collar/washer below. The washers help protect the lower eyelets.

20231025_145403.thumb.jpg.b35e7c7b7da5cd443ffcde105f9ca907.jpg

Popping off shocks is even less advisable as the shock caps are not easy nor cheap to replace and once they develop play the leverage of the suspension really makes it noticeable at the wheel :(

When I must reuse shock tops but need to replace worn ball studs, I squash them carefully in a rubber jaw vise to ovalize them a bit (I put a supporting piece inside the cap to avoid collapsing it, for instance a short stand-off) and then the play is considerably reduced.

Edit: I see you do have hex ball studs at the top so you must be popping off the bottoms. I also use hex ball studs or the grub screws/ball nuts system at the bottom 👍 Also shock bottoms are easy to replace as the Tamiya short adjusters 50797 are a direct fit. I use them on all my dampers including the TRF's.

 😎

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4 hours ago, Pylon80 said:

Popping off shocks is even less advisable as the shock caps are not easy nor cheap to replace and once they develop play the leverage of the suspension really makes it noticeable at the wheel :(

Edit: I see you do have hex ball studs at the top so you must be popping off the bottoms. I also use hex ball studs or the grub screws/ball nuts system at the bottom 👍 Also shock bottoms are easy to replace as the Tamiya short adjusters 50797 are a direct fit. I use them on all my dampers including the TRF's.

 

With the setup above I use screws on the lower eyelets, in theory I could remove a shock without any popping. There is some play with a screw/collar but otherwise better in the long run.

If there's one good thing about friction shocks, it's that none of this is an issue!

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2 hours ago, Cynan said:

IMG_0152.jpeg

These have a tremendous amount of play as their diameter is a bit too small for the adjusters, unfortunately.

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On 11/6/2023 at 5:43 PM, Pylon80 said:

The steel ones are great, very  strong and require the standard 2mm hex driver which you are probably already using throughout the car. Obviously it only works if you are using open  face adjusters :). As you noticed they are low profile and it just gives you more options. If the geometry is important and you want to keep it similar to the regular ball studs you can simply shim them - the difference is 1.5mm.

Popping an adjuster off the ball stud is bad because it deforms the adjuster and creates play. So my advice is to never pop them off but rather remove the ball stud - the hex head on these are a life saver compared to attempting to turn the regular ones with a 5.5mm flat wrench from the base.

On your XV-01 you will have to decide if you want either 1) closed adjusters with a little foam ring - less dirt ingress but once the dirt is in you can't clean it without popping the adjuster off or 2) an open face adjuster which lets the dirt come in and out freely. The open face ones can simply be removed from the car and washed with soap and tap water every couple of hour which leaves it clean and feeling like new.

Edit: these hex head ball studs are expensive but you can easily 'make your own' by using a grub screw and your choice of ball nut plus some thread locker (see my M-05 build thread). The only drawback is that you then have to use a 1.5mm hex wrench which is not an issue for me.

Ah. Thanks. Is this the received wisdom then, if using open faced adjusters avoid the foam rings? I prefer open face than closed, all else being equal. 

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On 11/6/2023 at 9:07 AM, skom25 said:

Is this something I should worry? I can use e.g. 0.5 mm spacer but I do not want to use more, to not reduce thread length in part. What do you think?  

I would use a 1mm spacer in all places where it would change the geometry. If you fear the remaining thread is not enough, there is also an 8mm version of the hex ball connectors (53969).

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1 hour ago, BuggyDad said:

Ah. Thanks. Is this the received wisdom then, if using open faced adjusters avoid the foam rings? I prefer open face than closed, all else being equal. 

I don't know about any kind of consensus but it does seem to me that open adjusters defeat the purpose of foam rings 😉

 

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