Got myself a used savage flux.

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olds97_lss

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After starting electric running 8 months ago with a brushless revo, I have really enjoyed it. So much so that I've converted my jato to electric and got a brushless 4x4 stampede. I've only run nitro once this year, but have run my electric rigs many many times.

Still, after running my savage-x earlier this summer, it made me remember why I enjoyed the savage. Tough as nails and big air all day long!

I tried getting a kershaw kit to convert my X, but that fell through, so I bought a used flux off ebay. Guessing it's an older model since the ESC isn't waterproof. I even had to buy a new rack to put it on because I ran out of room.

It showed up Monday before lunch then while on lunch, I spent some time with it (I work from home on Mondays). I went over it a bit to see what was what, tightened all the visible screws, took off the 17mm axle extensions/hubs, put on a set of traxxas 3.8 geodes with chevron tires instead the pinned tires/wheels on it. I had a spare set of 17mm hexes in a drawer and the HPI flanged nuts. Also re-situated the esc/wiring, threw in a spare receiver and got it setup on my radio. Plugged it into my pc to update the esc settings, it's an HPI Blur F360C. Adjusted the brake, reverse, punch, lipo cutoff... Had to solder on my own TRX connectors. Man that sucks. Trying to solder 10AWG wire is impossible with a 25W iron. Had to heat the tip with a torch, then it worked. I need to get a new iron.

It appears to have the adjustable suspension kit on it. It has LST shocks with FLM upper mounts and RC Raven dual rate springs. It also has alloy rear hubs and alloy front hubs/hub carriers. Needs a new roll bar and rear tower, both are cracked. The guy says he coated the circuit board of the ESC with something to waterproof it. Not sure how that will hold up to snow and wetness. Has a decent steering servo in it, not sure what though as it also has an RPM center skid, so I can't see the servo. Appears to have RPM arms on all 4 corners too.

Luckily, my SMC 9000mah 2S packs fit perfectly in it. I was afraid they would be too thick. I charged a couple up to go get a run in after work to figure out if I need to order stuff for the weekend. Made it 12 whole minutes into my first run and busted it pretty good. Snapped the battery tray on one side nearly off the thing and ripped an upper arm/ball end apart.

I have a spare tower/roll bar, so I can fix those, but had to order battery box mounts and hopefully the right ball ends for the upper arm.

The rig, I didn't take any photo's when I got it, only after I wrecked it:
2017-0807-SavageFlux01.jpg


The damage:
2017-0807-SavageFlux-BrokenBallend.jpg

2017-0807-SavageFlux-BrokenBatteryMount.jpg

2017-0807-SavageFlux-BrokenBatteryMountAndBallend.jpg



I forgot how irritating it can be to work on a savage... I ordered parts to fix the things I broke as well as a new roll bar, shock tower. After looking more closely, this thing has the adjustable suspension conversion kit on it and personally... I don't care for it. It makes the upper arms very weak as it connects to the hinge pin plate via a 3mm bolt with 6mm worth of stand offs. I can see that snapping a bolt off pretty easily. I've ordered replacement stock hinge pin holders and arms for when that happens.

Also, while replacing the shock tower on the rear, I had to tear the diff housing apart since it all interlocks. I noticed the rear diff felt very open, like it had grease only in it. Even though the guy said he rebuilt the diffs, a quick inspection suggests otherwise. The grease was clearly old and pretty dry, so I took it out and went to take it apart to find one of the diff cup screws had the head sheared off and what appeared to be damage to the cup caused by an attempt to get the stud out. I couldn't get it out either, so cleaned it out, found a couple chipped teeth on the large sun gears, put some 50k in it, replaced the bearings on it and the input pinion and put it all back together. I have a new diff coming in the mail as well for when that dies completely. It does have the machined BP ring gear and HD cup with the steel blocks for the cross bars, so that's good.

I received new plastic battery mounts, but decided that since I had to take the tvp's off to replace them, I'd try using some 1/8" thick angle iron to make my own. I wish I had noticed the lower supports weren't offset like the the uppers are, or I would have used angle iron for those as well. I did replace the short 1/2" screws with 3/4" or 1" screws though for those where they connect to the chassis. I bought 4 feet of the angle iron... but I lack the proper tools to work with it. Had to use a sawsall to cut it, so it's generally awful. May try to use a buddies band saw to cut up some 1" wide pieces so I can have them on hand later to raise the boxes up a bit so I can use the angle iron for the bottom braces as well. I'm afraid now it will break the ears off the boxes. Time will tell.

Since the motor mount bolts are blocked by the TVP (or they were), I noticed the spur mesh was tight on part of the rotation, so I adjusted that as well since I had it apart. Now I think the outer bolts are out far enough that I can adjust them a hair more if needed without taking the TVP off.

Also, it uses the FLM (I think) upper shock mounts for LST shocks. The 2 screw holes in those do not match the shock tower holes at all. Upon inspection of the broken tower, I noticed the holes were heavily reamed out so they could use the FLM mounts. The holes are about 2mm too far apart. That was annoying to deal with as well.

Buying used can be a lot of work... Someday I will learn.

The battery box mounts I made:
2017-0810-SavageFlux-BatteryTrayMountHigh.jpg

2017-0810-SavageFlux-BatteryTrayMountLow.jpg

2017-0810-SavageFlux-BatteryTrayMountSide.jpg


The FLM shock mounts:
2017-0811-SavageFlux-FLM-LSTShockMounts.jpg


Fixed the broken upper arm/ball end on my lunch today and just topped off a pair of packs to take it out for it's second run... this time I'll try to avoid getting 10+ feet of air under it long enough to see how long it runs on a set of packs.

2017-0811-SavageFlux-right.jpg
 

Certified Mike

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Sounds like you're off to a good start to making it your own. Isn't that kind of the point anyways??? It looks sharp in the pics. As long as you got a good price, I'm sure you will love it! Get thru the Mickey mousing and neglect as it sounds like you've found and you'll love it like it was your own from birth! ;) :hehe:
 

olds97_lss

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Made it 3 minutes into my second run... and destroyed the rear diff case. Seems a screw snuck it's way in there when I had it all apart last night cleaning/reassembling the diff.


On the plus side, while I drove home from the disappointing run, I remembered that I had some old diffs in a drawer from when I upgraded my X to BP diffs. So, while figuring out my diff issue and replacing the entire rear diff case with a spare new one I had, I also tore the diff back apart, took the other old diff apart to find that all it's internals were like new. The X came with alloy cups and the steel inserts just like the newer BP diffs do. So I cleaned it all up, filled it up with 50k and used the gears/cup from it so now I have 4 good screws on the ring gear and no chipped teeth inside. The screw that blew apart the diff case didn't appear to damage either the ring or pinion.

The busted case:
2017-0811-SavageFlux-CrackedDiffCase02.jpg


The screw:
2017-0811-SavageFlux-CrackedDiffCase-Screw01.jpg


It's kind of amusing considering I torched a 3 speed trans in a savage quite a few years back due to a lost screw.
2009-1228-SavageTransDamage-Screw.jpg

2009-1228-SavageTransDamage-Gear.jpg


I guess sometimes you have to learn twice.
 

Certified Mike

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I blew out a trans in my Revo due to a loose grub screw. I didn't have it right in the hole and it didn't take long to work it's way out (apparently) It happens. What can you do??? It doesn't sound like you made out all that badly over all anyways... A basically fresh diff! Even if you had to do a lil driving to shake the cobwebs loose to remember you had the stuff.;)
 

DXtreme1

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Buying used RCs is definitely a big gamble. When I do buy used RCs I'm always on the mindset to change and modify almost everything which avoids any disappointment and frustrations. I'm thinking that you could probably use L shaped aluminum bars to use for the battery mount and housing. It can also serve to dissipate heat off the battery. It's hard to explain and I have a design in mind but don't have 3D CAD to make the design and use it as an attachment. It would be lighter than steel.
 

Certified Mike

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Aluminum angle is avail in most home improvement centers and is far easier to work with hand tools and a dremel. Its a good idea. In this case, I would imagine (proper gauge alum) it would be plenty strong to do the job too!
 

olds97_lss

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Aluminum angle is avail in most home improvement centers and is far easier to work with hand tools and a dremel. Its a good idea. In this case, I would imagine (proper gauge alum) it would be plenty strong to do the job too!
The only stores I have are Menards and Lowes. Both of them carry only 1/16" thick angle stock. I can easily bend it with my hands, well pretty easily. I can grab the end and bend the angle pretty easily. Which is why I went with the angle iron. I couldn't bend it without whacking the concrete floor.

Believe me, if I could have sourced some 6061 aluminum 1/8" inch thick or more, I would have.

I took the truck out again today. Made it 10 minutes or so and ripped a screw out of the bottom of one of the shocks. It was way too short to do the job, especially since the arms are RPM, which is softer than stock. I ran long ass bolts through both shock mounts (front/rear side of the arm) with bolts I had with me. Then 10 minutes later, I snapped the top mount off one of the LST shocks.

The way the FLM upper mounts are made, they push the top of the shock out far enough so that the spring lightly hits the upper arm, but is still at an angle leaning forward in reference to the bottom of the shock. So, as the shock compresses, it's also receiving shearing force and putting pressure very unevenly on the upper shock mount.

I ran it with the broken shock just back and forth in the grass and did a lot of wheelies just to run out the pack. Then I ran my stampede... and it ate another spur gear due to a pebble or harsh landing. Not sure which, but it went from very quite (for a stampede) to noisy.

Anyway, the rest of the truck held up fine. I pushed it pretty hard. After I ran a pack through the stampede, I called it a day and came home. Then I dug through my savage parts and found a spare set of flux big bore shocks I bought to have backup for my other savage. I took off all the LST shocks and FLM mounts, then dumped the oil out of the spare flux shocks and put in some 40w (comes with 30 stock) and ordered a set of white springs like my other savage has. Also ordered more 50/60 weight as I was too low on both of those to fill 4 big ass shocks. As bad luck would have it, I had 1 bolt that would pass through the shock and tower to put a nut on the back. So, I got creative and made pins out of traxxas t-maxx hinge pins, then put collars on the back side instead of bolts. I used to have that on my t-maxx many years ago due to snapping bolts off all the time. I did have screws long enough to go through the front/rear shock mount on the RPM arms.

So, I intend on taking it out again tomorrow to see how it does. I know the shocks well be too soft, but to be honest, I wasn't really impressed at all with the LST shocks.

Footage from today:
 

olds97_lss

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Bash with the big bores, almost tagged a guy on a bike:

Kind of soft, which jars the chassis when it bottoms out on landings. Also had one of my solder joints almost come loose on me.

I ran my stampede for a pack, then went home to do a bit of wrenching on it and fix the solder joint on the savage, also added 10mm of shock spacers to the savage and went out again.

I ran it again after this back at the first skate park and broke it pretty good on a hard roof landing. Was distracted by a dog incessantly barking right behind me. I haven't edited that footage yet, but will post it up when I have.

Somewhere in the middle of the second video, things got a bit noisy again. The slipper was slipping and I stopped, adjusted it and locktighted it, but it still didn't sound right. I checked the mesh and it was more or less ok, but I noticed a lot of flecks of metal near the pinion/spur and the pinion is pretty worn. That red skate park is slick. The ground/concrete paint almost feels like your walking on wax, so it causes a lot of wheel spin which makes the motors heat up due to the higher RPM's happening a lot. My 2wd e-jato is really tough to drive there until you get used to it.

Got new springs, 50 and 60 weight shock oil on order and a RRP 21T pinion. I also ordered an RRP 20T in case the 21T is too much. I figure the wheels/tires I'm running are smaller diameter than what the rig came with, so going up 1T on the pinion would put me at about stock gearing. Will see how it does.
 

olds97_lss

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Some more running from this weekend. Only had 1 set of white springs, which I put on the rear and started with associated 50w oil in all 4 shocks. Busted the 2 front shock ends off within 5 minutes of each other during the first 20 minutes... took it home and refilled all 4 back with 40w, then made it through 2 cycles and did end up breaking one more front shock end. Hoping the second set of white springs in the mail help with that.

This weekend:
Skate park locally:

Skate park 35 minutes away:

Park running locally:
 

DXtreme1

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Have you sorted out your shock issues? Is it possible to install the shocks upside down on the Savage. My friends 1/10 scale short course truck had the same issue like what you have described and we re-installed the shocks upside down and it seemed to solve that issue.
 

olds97_lss

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Have you sorted out your shock issues? Is it possible to install the shocks upside down on the Savage. My friends 1/10 scale short course truck had the same issue like what you have described and we re-installed the shocks upside down and it seemed to solve that issue.
Well, I ran it pretty hard with lots of jumps last weekend (check out the vids) and the only issues I had were losing a couple bolts holding on my alloy axle carriers and my dogbone getting kinked when I hit a steel pole mid-flight.

I'm now running 40 wt associated oil in all 4 shocks, yellow springs on the rear, white on the front, as well as 28mm spacers with the short spring. Didn't break a single shock end this weekend or snap a wheel nut off like previously. The axial wheel nuts seem to be holding up much better than the HPI ones.

I had intended on running white springs all around, but one of the places I ordered from sent me yellows instead, so instead of sending them back, I just put them on the rear shocks. They are a step up in stiffness over white. Seemed to work out better anyway.
 

DXtreme1

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Nice. Glad to hear the shock issue seems it's all sorted out. As much as I enjoy wrenching and modding running our creations is the only way to reap the rewards from all the work we put into it.
 

olds97_lss

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Nice. Glad to hear the shock issue seems it's all sorted out. As much as I enjoy wrenching and modding running our creations is the only way to reap the rewards from all the work we put into it.
Yep. I kind of hit my height limit with my brushless revo. Now I just burn through rod ends and shock ends when I hit decent jumps. I figured that now that I have the flux, it can be my non-cold weather rig and my ERBE can be my snow rig. Since you tend to not jump as much in the winter due to cold temps making things brittle, it's still fun to bash around in the snow. Then when it's warm, I can air out the flux. :)

I think I could do a bit less damage with the ERBE if I ran the 7200mah packs in it vs the 9000mah packs. Less weight making it not slap the ground so hard off every jump.
 

olds97_lss

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Love the mud tires you used in it
Already replaced them with a set of pro-line trenchers. I've bought 12 of those mounted traxxas tires/wheels and at least half of them are so out of balance that they are nearly unusable at speed. Really ticks me off to spend that much money on brand new garbage.
 

NinoS

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Looks like a fun truck, reminds me of my xmaxx that was a blast, should not have traded it but it got me into Nitro so i'll take it.

Reading your post about about the screw in the diff, always a bummer finishing up a run with a nasty failure, especially one that's not immediately apparent what it is. When i first got into this hobby this time around that sort of thing would keep me up at night LOL...I sleep better when all vehicles are in working order! Fortunately the longer you go the more spares and tricks you have to get things going again.
 

olds97_lss

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Got a new motor/esc for my flux. Wasn't sure how waterproof the original was since it was the old blur esc. The previous owner said he sprayed stuff on the board, but odds are, he didn't remove the heat sink and get inbetween the fets.

Got the Castle Bamba Monster X with sensored 2200kv motor. I bought a cheap integy motor mount/clamp and ground out one of them so it would fit over the fins on the castle motor and I'm using the original clamp/mount on the front of the motor. I did have to lock the pinion on further out than with the flux/torque motor, but I think it will be ok. I also had to bend the motor wire tabs up quite a bit so they didn't make contact with the rear mount/clamp. I used a new grey high temp sensor safe rtv to seal all around the sensor wire on the motor. Also found out that the motor wires on a sensored esc have to be wired to the esc in the proper order or the motor just vibrates like a blender with lead shot in it.






Taking it out today to see how it compares. I ran it a little last night just to make sure I had the brakes set up with enough and the punch control was dialed back a bit.
 

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