One of the biggest issues with building the front end of the RC10F6 is the stock pivot balls and sockets. Out of the box, the fit between the balls and sockets is very tight and doesn’t allow the suspension to move freely. This article is going to cover how to free these joints up so that your front suspension can work at its fullest potential.
Note- For this article, we’re going to be using the Radtec/Roche hardcoated aluminum balls for the Xray X1 instead of the stock pivot balls. The methods in this article will also work with the stock plastic pivot balls included in the F6 kit.
You’ll need a couple of tools in order to free up the balls:
- A 2mm hex wrench
- A pivot ball tool (CRC and IRS both make great tools)
First, we’re going to use the pivot ball tool to insert the balls into the sockets. We mount the sockets into the arms before we install the balls.
When installing the balls for the first time, make sure that the back side of the tool is resting on the flange side of the pivot socket. The initial insertion will take more force, so we don’t want to damage the socket. Inserting the ball from this direction will help prevent this from happening.
Once the ball has been snapped into its socket, slide the assembly over your 2mm wrench and check for free movement. Ideally, you want the arm to fall under its own weight.
If the balls are too tight, you can free them up by using the pivot ball tool to remove and re-insert the balls a couple of times. I like to alternate directions when inserting/removing the balls. Be sure to check the fit after each insertion. You want to free the socket up just enough for free movement, but not enough that you add slop. If you go too far, the ball may pop out of the socket if you have an impact during a race.
If you’re using metal pivot balls, you can also speed up the process of freeing them up by inserting a M3 screw and lock nut. Chuck the screw up into a drill and spin the ball in the socket at low speed while working the arm around in different directions. Do not use this method with the stock plastic balls! It will produce too much heat and melt the balls.
After using the drill method, you may still need to remove/reinsert the balls a few more times with the pivot ball tool. Remember, once you’ve reached the point where the arm will fall under its own weight, stop and move on to the next ball.
Hopefully these tips will help you free up the front end of your F6 and provide you with the smoothest front end possible.