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December 29, 2011

TD330303 – ‘408 Toe-in and kick-up inserts

Filed under: News,Tricks and Tips — Tags: , , , , — Stuart @ 11:46 am

The option part TD330303 ‘toe-in and kick-up inserts’ provide extra tuning options for the ‘408 series of vehicles.

When we talk about pivot blocks, we refer to them by two initial designations.  The first of these refers to which end of the car it belongs to – F for front and R for rear.  The second of the designations is the front or rear most of the blocks.  RF, for example means R – REAR of the car, F – front most facing of the rear hinge pin holders. FF means the FRONT block at the FRONT of the car.


The option inserts for the 408 provide extra options over the kit setup of the DNX408, DEX408 and DNX408T.  These control the front ‘kick up’, rear toe-angle and rear anti-squat.


kickupinserts1_0 The front kick-up is the angle of the front of the chassis and the suspension follows this in kit setup with neutral inserts that add or subtract nothing from the chassis angle of 10degrees. The option inserts give the option to change the angle by up to 1 degree in either direction using just the FR block – or on the DEX408 and DNX408T the FF block can also be tuned using the same inserts to give double the range of adjustment.


More Kick-Up will tend to ride the bumps better and the steering response will be reduced slightly. The vehicle will tend to ‘dive’ more under braking.

Less Kick-Up will tend to ‘hop’ over bumps rather than absorb them, the steering response will be sharper and there will be less dive under braking.

Right: The kick-up inserts used in only the FR block

The kick-up inserts are left and right handed and are marked with a dimple to show which way round the setting should be read.

The dimple facing upwards means you’re offsetting the pin by the labeled figure, and with the dimple facing downward the setting is subtractive. When using these inserts in the FR block then raising the hinge pin would effectively reduce the kick-up angle and vice versa for lowering the pin.


The DEX408 and DNX408T use revised designs for their pivot blocks which allows the use of these offset inserts in the FF location also. Using the inserts on the FF block (only possible on the DEX408 and DEX408T) would give the opposite effect to on the FR block, and moving the pin up (+1) will add kick-up angle. Using the inserts in the FF location along with the FR location gives a greater range of adjustment to the settings – between 8 degrees and 12 degrees total kick-up angle.

It is possible to fit the DNX408T FF hinge pin block on the DNX408 – giving the ability to use the option ‘kick-up’ inserts in the FF brace as well as providing more strength.


The rear inserts are split between anti-squat inserts in the RF block – and toe-in inserts in the RR block.

antisquat-2 The RF block is used to set the rear anti-squat angle and all the kits come supplied with inserts to change anti-squat between 2 and 3 degrees.The option inserts allow a range of adjustment between 1 degree and 5 degrees total. These inserts come supplied in matching pairs – the 1-5 and 2-4 inserts can be run on either side of the car but the setting which is the correct way round to be read (the lower number) is the one that’s in use.

Anti-Squat Effects:
Under acceleration the rear of the vehicle has a tendancy to squat down and compress the suspension, as the weight shifts rearwards. Anti-Squat refers to the angle of the inner hinge pins which have a degree of incline, with the rear of the pin lower than the leading edeg. This angle helps resist compression of the suspension when on-power, and can help the car rotate in corners.

Running more anti-squat will give more on power acceleration at the cost of bump-handling and is more suited to smoother, faster and higher traction surfaces.

Less anti-squat helps rear traction and bump-handling ability on rough or loose tracks. The rear end will be more locked-in through corners.


The possible settings with the standard roll-centre (RR blocks bolted direct to the chassis plate) is shown above and below. The example below shows the maximum possible anti-squat (5 degrees) using the shown insert – the red line shows the minimum anti-squat possible in this setup, which as explained in the illustration above, is 1 degree.


When using the +2mm high roll centre mod you’re raising the rear hangers 2mm whilst the front stays in place.  As a consequence of this you need to raise the front of the hinge pin to keep a similar anti-squat setting.

What does it do?  Take a look at the article we put together on the mod here:  +2mm Rear Roll Centre

With the +2mm rear raised roll centre mod on your car, you can expect the rear end to support itself more and have less roll in the corners – also helping the car over bumpy tracks and prevening it from bottoming out too easily.


The possible settings with the +2mm high roll centre mod are shown below. The example shows the maximum possible anti-squat possible (3 degrees) using the 5 degree insert shown below in the RF hanger.  The red line shows the minimum anti-squat using the 2 degree insert, which is ZERO.

antisquat-5 toe-inserts-3x
toe-inserts-1 The in-board toe settings are set by the insert in the RR block.  The original kit-supplied inserts only had a set 3 degrees of toe-in and this couldn’t be changed.  The option inserts give the ability to tune from 2.5 degrees all the way to 4 degrees of toe-in, in 0.5 degree steps.The four inserts supplied in the TD330303 optional inserts pack aren’t sided – meaning you can run them on either side of the car with the same effect. The number designations are embossed in both orientations to enable easier reading of the settings.

TOE-In explanation and effects:
Toe-In refers to the angle of the wheels when viewed from directly above. On the rear of the car this is set by both optional hubs and in this instance by the inner hinge-pins via the inserts. The inserts included in the optional kit give the ability to tune from 2.5 to 4 degrees of inner toe-in and when using the 1 degree hubs this setting can be tuned an extra 1 degree in either direction if desired.

More toe-in at the rear will help stabilise the back of the car and keep it tracking straight. The car will have a tendancy to understeer and feel easier to drive on power. This is best suited to looser tracks.

Less toe-in at the read will be faster in a straight line as there will be less tyre scrub. The rear of the car will be looser and the car will turn more easily. This is best suited to higher grip tracks.

November 29, 2011

Turnbuckle Build Guide


Having links pop-off during a heavy crash on the race track is frustrating but understandable – having them pop-off during adjustments however is possibly even more frustrating but it’s something you can prevent.  This guide is to help users build their turnbuckles to minimize the chances of them popping off during adjustments.

unpopped-adjustments Adjust settings without taking the link off

The steering and camber link ball cups on all 10th scale Team Durango vehicles have holes to allow adjustments without popping-off the link and it’s good practice to always use this method when making adjustments.

Every time you pop-off a link it gets a little looser and easier to pop-off next time – which could be during a crash or when making adjustments.  A 2.5mm hex driver can be simply poked through the ball cup to unwind the ball stud and reposition it in the desired location or to add/remove shims.

DEX210 front camber link: front210turnbucklescompared

locking-the-link The reason the links can pop-off during adjustment is due to the turnbuckle having too much friction inside the ball cup.

Left: Locking the link with hex tools will stop it popping off when adjusting.

A quick fix to stop the links popping off during adjustment is to put 2.5mm allen keys / hex drivers in each end of the link – locking the link and stopping it turning and popping off.  This works well for really tight links but isn’t a real long-term solution.

assemblelink To make adjustments easier first grease the threads of the turnbuckle – and then wind it fully in and out of the ball cup a couple of times to free things up. You want the grease the inside of the ball cup where the threads are – so make sure the grease gets inside and isn’t simply wiped-off when assembling the link.

Right: Thread the turnbuckle in and out a couple of times to help future adjustments.

An easy way to build the links is using a 3mm driver shaft placed through the ball cup to hold it in place whilst you turn the turnbuckle (or turn the ball cup whilst holding the turnbuckle). Don’t use anything with a smaller diameter as it might deform the ball cup.  The combination of the greased threads and running the turnbuckle in and out of the ball cup should make future adjustments a lot easier.

geasethreads A small dab of grease on the turnbuckle pre-ream Threaded all the way in

Using the DEX210 as an example – both the front camber and steering links are built with 1 or 2mm of un-threaded turnbuckle inside the ball cup, depending on setup – this makes adjustments hard even with the aforementioned preparation.  On the shortest possible front camber link setting, there’s a substantial length of un-threaded turnbuckle going into the ball cup, making adjustment less easy.

open-rodend The standard HD ball cup has no real accommodation for the un-threaded part of the turnbuckle reaming You can use a reamer to open up the ball cup a little

When building the links you can open them up slightly with a reamer to accommodate the slightly wider un-threaded part of the turnbuckle.  Don’t take out too much – you just want to make it less restrictive around the opening, which shouldn’t have any real impact on the hold of the threads which will be further inside than the reamer will travel.

reamed2 You don’t need to take out lots of material reamed Standard ‘HD’ ball cup left and reamed-out ball cup right.

Something often overlooked is having each end of the link centred so it’s free to move smoothly during normal operation.  If you adjust the links off the car and attach them, chances are the link will be mis-aligned.

Building the links in this way, using grease and winding the settings in and out – along with opening up the end of the ball cup slightly – will help reduce the chance of the link becoming stiff enough that it’ll twist off when adjusting.

LinkTurnAbove: The links should have plenty of room to move smoothly if aligned properly.

Keeping things together and resisting the temptation to simply ‘pop’ off the links when adjusting / maintaining the car will prolong their life and reduce the chances of them coming off in a crash.

April 19, 2011

+2mm Rear Roll Centre – DNX408

Filed under: News,Tricks and Tips — Tags: , — Stuart @ 3:01 pm

Raising the roll centre on the rear of the DNX408 is a modification some of our team drivers have been using recently to good effect and it’s a simple and cheap modification to implement using only Team Durango parts.

Pro Driver Billy Fischer says about the mod: “I feel that it gives the rear end of the car much more support for jumping and landing, as well as allowing the car to take the bumps better without bottoming out nearly as much.”

As standard the DNX408 can be built with 2 or 3 degrees of anti-squat and these settings are achieved with the various moulded inserts that push into the machined alloy hangers.  The rear-rear hanger inserts all currently use a central hole which is angled to match the off-set hole on the rear-front hanger inserts that set the anti-squat angle.

Using the RR 3/2 (rear inserts) and RF 3/2 (front) inserts on the back of the standard car gives 3 degrees of toe-in and 2 degrees of anti-squat.   To use this modification those are the inserts and angles you need to be running – the 3/3 items don’t have the same adjustment option.

TTT-408-RaisedPin-animationBefore and after – the +2mm Roll Centre mod.

To raise the inner hinge pin 2mm we need to raise up the rear-rear suspension hangers by that ammount as well as the front.  The rear hangers can be spaced up using the 2mm spacers from the DEX410 caster blocks – part number TD709004. You just need one packet of these since there’s 4 in the pack and that’s how many you’ll need.  Place the spacers under the rear-rear blocks and screw them down using longer 3×12 screws, part number TD704022 (the kit screws are 3x10mm).  You could use the kit-supplied 3x10mm screws but it’s sub-optimal and you risk damaging things since there’s less thread going into the blocks, you have been warned.

ttt-408-raisedpin-spacers1 The anodised spacers and longer 3 x 12mm cap head screws ready to attach the suspension hanger ttt-408-raisedpin-spacers2 Hanger attached and raised up 2mm.

To raise the leading end of the pin by the same ammount you can’t simply space up the rear-front hanger sine it’s trapped by the rear bulkhead but there’s an even simpler way – just swap the insers around so you’re using the right on the left, and left on the right.

ttt-408-raisedpin-insert1 The 3/2 rear-front insert has a low front pin hole ttt-408-raisedpin-insert2 Switching sides places the hole 2mm higher to match the rear-rear height

The inserts should then have the writing upside down – still using the 3/2 inserts. This raises the front end of the pin by 2mm to match the setting from the raised rear-rear hangers – keeping the 3/2 setting but raising the pin height and roll centre.

ttt-408-raisedpin-insertbrace Putting the left insert on the right and vice versa to raise the front end of the pin ttt-408-raisedpin-insertbrace2 The inserts should end up with the writing upside down

With the +2mm rear raised roll centre mod complete you can expect the rear end to support itself more and have less roll in the corners – also helping the car over bumpy tracks and prevening it from bottoming out too easily.


Parts required:

TD709004  – CASTER BLOCK SPACER 3x8x2.00mm (4pcs)

TD704022  – CAP HEAD HEX SCREW M3x12mm (10pcs)

April 12, 2011

DNX408 Shock Build Guide

Filed under: News,Tricks and Tips — Tags: , , , — Stuart @ 11:19 am

Shock absorbers are what keep your DNX408 glued to the track so getting them built ‘right’ is important to get the best handling car.  We polled some of our experienced team drivers for information on how they build their shocks so we could write a little guide to cover some of the areas where doing things the correct way can make a difference.

ttt-dnx408-trimpiston Trim any excess from the piston – carefully ttt-dnx408-threadlock Use mininal red threadlock

The first step to get your shock absorbers built correctly is to attach the piston to the shaft.  Make sure there is no excess flashing on the piston to ensure smooth movement. If there is any excess flashing, carefully trim it off.  The piston attaches to the shaft with a screw that will need to be threadlocked.  Here you can either use the red Team Durango threadlock provided in your DNX408 kit VERY sparingly, or use some less aggressive blue threadlock from a third party.  If you use too much red threadlock you might find it very hard to remove the small screw when you want to change pistons in the future. If this happens, you might have to soak the parts in acetone to break-down the threadlock.


Insert the shaft and piston into the shock body as we will use this to help build the seals and guides into the bottom of the shock body.  Pull the shock shaft all the way out of the bottom to expose the threads, and give these a plentiful dousing of shock oil.  The oil will allow you to push the o-rings over the threads without damaging them and ensure the shock seal assembly is fully pre-lubed and ready for use.   If needed, you can put another drop of oil on before the second o-ring.

ttt-dnx408-oilshaft Lube your shaft well ttt-dnx408-orings Place the o-rings and spacers on, using more oil as you go

The lower shaft guide should sit flush with the face of the red anodised lower cap.  The part looks similar on both sides and could easily confuse you into thinking you can assemble them either way around.  One side has a slightly smaller diameter and will sit down properly in the lower cap. You can test this easily by pushing it from the outside of the cap and testing which side ‘clicks’ into place. You can then push the shaft through the guide whist keeping hold of the red cap.

ttt-dnx408-rodguide The lower shaft guide is sided – small side down. ttt-dnx408-guideinstall2 Test the fit on the outside of the bottom cap to get the correct orientation, then push the shaft through.

With all the seals and guides in place, liberally oil the parts and carefully push them into the shock body.  The red bottom cap is the final part to be assembled.  You can put a dab of threadlock on the lower threads where the cap rests to ensure it won’t work loose.

ttt-dnx408-oilshaft2 Cover the assembled o-rings and guides – as well as shaft with more oil ttt-dnx408-insertorings After covering in oil – push the guides and o-rings in carefully

Slide the rubber shock boot over the shock shaft and attach the lower shock rod end to the shaft.  You can use the piston screw to slowly screw the shaft into the rod end and avoid scratching the shaft.  Of course to un-fasten this you’ll need to use something to clamp the shaft itself.

ttt-dnx408-screwoncap With the bottom cap o-ring in place around the threads, screw on the bottom cap. ttt-dnx408-screwrodend2 You can use the piston screw to attach the rod end.

Filling the shocks properly with oil is an important step and one you shouldn’t overlook the importance of this stage.  With the shaft extended all the way out, fill the shock body with oil until it’s a few milimeteres from the top.  Slowly push the shock shaft in and out a few times to work-out any air bubbles and then put the shock absorber assembly aside for the remaining air to bubble out.  A good tip here is to use a couple of wheels stacked up and simply pop the shock through and allow it to sit. After sitting for a few minutes, top-up the oil in the damper until it’s at the top.

ttt-dnx408-airout2 ttt-dnx408-airout

There are a couple of different ways of attaching the shock cap and diaphragm. Our team drivers use both of these methods.  The first, and simplest, way is to push the diaphragm into the top cap – taking care to ensure it is fully seated and the shape is intact. Push in the shock shaft to set rebound and place the cap over the now filled damper body and slowly start to screw it down.  Once you’ve got a few threads down, angle the shock slightly and hold the cap steady with the bleed-hole facing upwards.  Rotate the shock whilst keeping the cap steady as this will let the excess air out.  Tighten the top cap with finger pressure.

ttt-dnx408-diaphram ttt-dnx408-diaphram2
ttt-dnx408-shockcap1-2 ttt-dnx408-shockcap1-1

Another method that some of our drivers use is to push the shock shaft in to set the rebound and then place the diaphragm into the top of the shock body.  Using your index finger, push the diaphragm in and gently shuffle the diaphragm until it’s properly seated.  Pull down the shock shaft to put some negative pressure on the diaphragm and keep it in place while you attach the top cap and tighten it with finger pressure.

ttt-dnx408-diaphram1st-1 This can get messy ttt-dnx408-diaphram1st-2 Gently press down the diaphragm and wiggle it round to seat it fully
ttt-dnx408-diaphram1st-3 After pulling down the shaft, carefully attach the top cap making sure not to displace the diaphragm ttt-dnx408-diaphram1st-4

TTT-DNX408-reboundlogo2Setting the rebound the same on each side is important but actual settings are down to personal preference and track conditions. Rebound can be thought of like an air-spring which works in combination with the coil spring.  More rebound will stiffen the suspension as the damper is compressed.  Less rebound can allow the suspension to move freely and soak up the bumps. More rebound will handle big landings better and give more ‘pop’ off the lip of a jump as the suspension compresses and releases when the car takes off.

Finish off the shocks by cleaning all the excess oil off that might have spilt / been ejected during the build.  You can use motor spray / brake cleaner to clean up the dampers but be sure not to get any on the seals as this can cause them to swell up.

April 7, 2011

DNX408 Drive Shaft Boot Install

Filed under: News,Tricks and Tips — Tags: , — Stuart @ 11:09 am
The DNX408 comes with rubber boots to guard against dirt and water ingress and keep the CVD joint running nicely for a long time.  Getting the boots on without damaging them can be tricky though if you don’t use the proper technique.

To fit the boot properly you need to use care and don’t rush. Use a liberal covering of silicone (diff or shock) oil on the dog-bone end of the drive shaft and place the boot over the end – work the cover over slowly poking one side of the pin through the hole in the top of the boot.

Oiled and ready Well lubed dogbone is essential Ease the driveshaft through - pin first. Work one side out first

Slowly pull the boot to stretch it around the dog-bone  and other side of the pin.150wideTTT-solidgrey

Take it slow..... SLOW! Work the boot over the other side of the pin

JOB DONE!  Done!

Voila! No more torn boots.

April 6, 2011

DNX408 Gearbox Input ‘Snapring’ install procedure

Filed under: News,Tricks and Tips — Tags: , — Stuart @ 5:57 pm
408snapring-walkthru1 150wideTTT
Some drivers have had problems installing the ‘snapring’ that holds the input-shaft assemblies / bearings in place on the DNX408.  The snapring can easily ping into oblivion or the alloy gear bearing tube can be scratched if you don’t take care.

Place the snapring around the input shaft with the open ends inside the groove on the neck next to the bearing. Using some needle-nose pliars or similar, place one of the jaws on the centre outside edge of the snapring – and place the other jaw on the shoulder of the input shaft on the opposite side.  If you aren’t aligned perfectly you risk the snapring twisting off and springing across the room.

Installing the snapring: 408snapring-walkthru2x

Apply pressure slowly so you can ensure the snapring is moving into the groove and not sliding off at an angle.   With the snapring pushed all the way onto the input shaft make sure that it’s seated properly inside the groove by pushing the centre section toward the bearing.

The completed assembly: 408snapring-walkthru4

Removing the Snapring:
To remove the snapring for later disassembly or cleaning purposes you need to align the centre of the snap ring with the small recess on the input shaft.  This will allow you to use a small flat-bladed screw driver to lever the snapring out of position.  It could be wise to perform this action with a clear plastic bag around the assembly to prevent the snapring being lost.


Your local Team Durango distributor
T: 217-398-3630
F: 217-398-1104
Great Planes Model Distributors
1608 Interstate Drive
IL 61822, USA