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** Savage XL 5.9 RTR, X 4.6 RTR and X SS 4.6 Kits Now In Stock! **

Savage XL 5.9, X 4.6 and X SS 4.6 Kits Now In Stock!

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  Savage XL 3 speed teardown and second gear adjustment
Posted by Squid on Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:49 am (Read More... | 27 comments | Score: 0)
Savage-Central Tech Tips The XL transmission is fairly simple to work on.
In this first installment I will go thru the basic dis***embly for your average repair.
I roached my plastic gear after 7 gallons of abuse, so that's what I'm up to today.
I knew this was going to happen because the bearings in the trans have been bad for a while from running in the snow last winter.
But I'm lazy and low on funds so...
Guess it's time for new bearings and a $4 gear.

In some cases you will need to remove one of the TVP's and the engine plate.
That is only necesary when removal of the case is required.
Which is a little more time consuming, but I'll stick with the basics today.

First remove the rollbar, this is held on with 4 screws.
2 on each side of the truck.

Next, either rotate the air cleaner out of the way (what I do) or remove the air cleaner to access the remaining
3 screws that hold the upper case half of the trans on.

7 screws in total to remove top half of trans case.

Once the 3 screws in the recesses on top of the tranny are out,
Simply slide the top half of the trans case out with the spur gear attatched.

Top half removed-

Bottom half still in truck, gear ***embly removed-

Now you can pull the gear ***embly out of the trans.
The bearings are not held on the shaft, the case holds them in place so remove the bearings and set aside.
(Now is a good time to clean them)

Here is the main gear ***embly-

First step in dis***embling this is to remove the E-clip from the shaft.
Do this by simply inserting a small flathead screwdriver in the gap of the E
in the E-clip and twist the blade of the screwdriver.
Be sure to keep your finger on the E-clip so it does not fly away never to be found again.

Placement of screwdriver blade in E-clip-

E-clip removed-

Now the first gear on the shaft (the main drive gear that connects to the driveshafts) will slide off
and there will be a pin holding the next gear on.

Gear removed and pin still in shaft-

Slide the pin out and the plastic gear that is connected to the OWB (One Way Bearing) will slide off the shaft.

Pin removed-

Plastic gear/OWB removed-

Other side of OWB and gear-


This is as far as I had to go with the teardown, and all I had time to do at work today lol.

So for now you are at the point where you can replace the plastic gear,
or the OWB that is held onto the plastic gear with 3 screws.

Here's a couple pics of the trashed gear if you didn't notice it in the other pics.


I decided to fully tear down the trans and do a write up on how to set the shift point for second gear.
It's a good thing I did this because the bearings that second and third gear ride on are trashed.
So trashed in fact that the flange came off one of the bearings...

I will now continue from where I took the plastic first gear and OWB ***embly off.


To access the shift adjustment for second gear, you will need to remove the third gear clutch and third gear.
You want to remove the grubscrew that is centered with the main shaft and not the one that is offset.
The offset one is the shift point tension screw.

Center hole (shown with gear removed) and 86094 goes thru the shaft -

Under the first Z721 grubscrew there is a 86094 setscrew that goes thru the main shaft, remove this also.



Grubscrew and setscrew removed-

Now the clutch and third gear will slide off the shaft.
As well as second gear.
There is a washer in there, so keep track of that.
The washer goes between the 2 gears.

Finally the second gear clutch adjustment screw is accessible.

At this point the only part on the shaft will be the second gear clutch.
There is no need to remove this.

If you want the trans to hit second gear earlier-
Turn the screw that is offset from the main shaft counterclockwise
This will take some tension off the spring that counteracts the centrifugal force on the shifting pawl causing it to come out earlier.

If you want second gear to shift later-
Turn the screw that is offset from the main shaft clockwise.
This will put more pressure on the spring against the shift pawl.
Taking more centrifugal force for it to extend and grab the gear.

Do this in 1/4 turn increments.
You would be surprised how easy it is to overdo it.
Don't worry about having to get back into the trans and adjust it again.
After a couple times in, it's a real piece of cake and most likely you will get a result that you will like the first time around.

Third gear which can be adjusted with the truck ***embled via the hole in the trans case-
(note the cutout in the gear)

Second gear-
(note no cutout in the gear)

***embled main gears.
From right to left-
Far right- Main drive gear out to the wheels (steel)
Plastic first gear
Steel second gear
Far left- Steel third gear

Here's the bearing that sheared off the flange..

Don't forget to use blue loctite on the setscrews # 86094 and Z721!

Please comment if this was helpful, or if I have missed/gotten anything wrong.

I'm no expert, so if you jack up your truck from listening to me it ain't my fault.

Exploded views of the transmission are found on page 51 of the Savage XL manual.
This may help in re***embly, but I recomend laying the parts out as they come off.

Thanks for checking this out, hope it is helpful.

  Submission for how to shim a Savage diff.
Posted by Squid on Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:16 am (Read More... | 9815 bytes more | 17 comments | Score: 5)
Savage-Central Tech Tips This is how I shimmed out my Savage XL diffs, but it should be very similar for any Savage.
This should also work on just about any other diff, there are other places to use shims on different vehicles to get the same result.
Some vehicles you would install shims behind the outer race of the bearings, between the pinion and bearing, etc..

If you have the 2 spider gear setup you should install this while you are in there- http://www.hpiracing.com/products/en/87193/

If you have the plastic diff I would get one of these as well-

I got the XL new and it came with shims in a bag.
Z892 is the HPI PN# for the diff shims.
So if you got it used or didn't come with the shims there is the PN# and a link.

First take off the plastic clips that hold the bumper bars in the bulkhead.
I have a pair of needlenose pliers between the 2 shocks to pull the clips.

Clip removed.

Pull the bumper out of the holes.

Next remove the 2 screws on the bottom that are closest to the bumper.
These screws go into the diff case as well.

Now you can access the front screws in the diff case.
2 above the upper hinge pins.
And 2 below the alum brace that the upper hinge pins go thru.
If you are doing the rear - the turnbuckles need to be removed first.
I have a worn one and just put a washer to hold the plastic end on.

Order some turnbuckle ends. P/N # 85050 - comes with 4 on a tree and a whole bunch of other parts for $6
The turnbuckle ends WILL stretch out after a good crash or cartwheels!!!
This is a weak link and I like it that way.

Here's the turnbuckle ball end with the washer to hold on the worn end (arrow)
And the diff shims that should have come in the parts bags with the truck. (circle)

Diff case screw locations.

Case removed
Red arrows are 4 screws that hold the diff case in. (Besides the 2 on the bottom.) 6 screws total.
Green arrows are the hinge pin holes.

Diff without case half.

To pull the diff out you will need to get the dogbones out.
2 options.

1 Remove more suspention parts to take dogbones out.

2 Wiggle it...just a little bit.
Get the diff pulled out partially and let the suspention hang.
You should be able to push the dogbone into the wheel area just enough to slip the dogbone out of the diff cup.
It's not easy, but it will come out this way.

Diff and dogbones out.

Diff cleaned and Z164 30K heavy diff grease.

Next you need to remove the 4 screws in the back of the 43 tooth ring gear. (bevel gear)
Photo shown is with just 2 screws holding it together just for shimming.

This is best done by holding the diff on the table.
Down flat on the cup so you can push straight down towards the table with the screwdriver.
The screws are loctited in and take some effort to remove.
Be careful not to strip the screws.
I had to push down hard to keep from stripping the heads.

Now remove the spider gears after separating the diff from the ring gear.

Spider gears removed.

Keep them together until you clean and reassemble.

Now you can remove the diff shafts.
There is a pin going thru each of the shafts holding them in the ring, and the other in the cup.
Remove the # 87193 gears from the shafts.
Then remove the pins and the shafts will slide out.
I use needlenose in the diff cup to get the pin out of the shaft and to reinstall.
(No room for man hands in there)

Now I discard the paper gasket and clean the parts.
(I had no replacement gasket, so I just put a thin film of RTV on the cleaned diff cup before final attatchment of the ring gear)
Not using the gasket may lose some tolerance, but does not seem to be an issue.

There is a large washer that the retaining pins ride against from the last step.

Washer shown with pin and diff shaft.
(washers will be stuck to the insides with grease you will see them when you clean out the inside of diff)

Keep track of these and all other parts and put the 2 sides apart from each other.
This way they will go back in the same spot and keep the same wear pattern.

Now put the ring gear onto the empty diff cup and put 2 screws opposite each other and tighten it up..

Next set the empty diff back in the truck and check the play.
Hold the driveshaft under the truck at the pinion on the backside of the diff.
Check the play by holding the pinion still and wiggle (rotate up and down, not side to side) the ring gear to see if there's slop between the gears.
There probably is.
Now take the diff back out and take the bearing off of the ring gear side and install another shim.

Shims located between the bearing and diff. (red arrow)
(More shims on the gear side will bring the ring and pinion closer together.)

There should already be 1 shim from the factory on each side of the diff.
The manual shows on page 32 2 shims on each side, I tried that and it didn't feel right. Also, it doesen't come that way so....
Put the bearing back on.
Now that you have 2 shims on the ring gear side and 1 shim on the other side.
You can put the diff back in and check the play.
It should be minimal, if any.
A hair of play between the gears is okay, too tight and possible binding is not.
On full size diffs there is a "gear lash" spec that you measure with a dial indicator.
All the 1/1 diffs I have worked on had a hair of play. (not tight or no play)
The grease between the gears gives some "cushion" and takes up the minor slack and promotes lubrication between the ring and pinion.
If it's not right, you will have to keep changing the number of shims on each side to get the desired play.

Both my diffs shimmed the same.
2 shims on the ring gear side and 1 shim on the other side.

Don't forget to loctite the 4 screws on the ring gear.

You will need grease to put back in.
So if you don't have any, check the LHS and they should have something.
The Z164 grease is 30,000 weight.
I still use this on the ring and pinion.
I have changed the grease in the diff where the spider gears are sealed in.
What I used is something I had on hand.
Thick automotive clear silicone brake caliper lube.
The thicker the grease or fluid you use the less "give" there is between the wheels on that axle.

You can use whatever you want to try, but HPI recomends the 30K #Z164.



  body reinforcement
Posted by Squid on Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:48 am (Read More... | 13 comments | Savage-Central | Score: 0)
Savage-Central Tech Tips Thanks for this stanmodz

I've done this to several bodies and have had great results.

the common weak spot on all rc bodies are the body mount holes. once they rip through the body is trash.

this is my way to improve the body post hole strength
what you need
scrap lexan cut off from new body, or cut off of a old body
shoe goo or household amazing goop

first, i cut a piece of lexan the i trimmed off my new body(keep any big scraps to fix older bodies)

next, hold the piece on lexan over the post holes and mark em and ream em out

last, goop or goo the piece of lexan and line up the holes you reamed in it, press it on the body and let it dry over night
here's what you end up with

with the amazing goop, and lexan your body mount holes will be a lot stronger

  Build your own humpback with double the capacity
Posted by Squid on Thu Nov 11, 2010 4:50 am (Read More... | 27 comments | Savage-Central | Score: 2.5)
Savage-Central Tech Tips Nice write up thanks GSGA

Just did this and thought it might be useful as it's cheaper than buying a hump back and you end up with double the STD 1200mah capacity.

I used 5 x 2500mah nimh batteries, the wiring from a busted servo, an old bicycle innertube, some CA glue, a hot glue gun and a soldering iron etc.

First thing to do is glue the batts together.

I wrapped them in a band to stabilise them while I glued them using CA glue. The thin stuff is best here as the drops flow along the edges of the batts gluing them all along each joint.

I did 4 first as I was intending to stack them in a 3 x 2 layout to save modifying the rx box lid but this didn't work as the stack of 3 interfered with the rx mounting plate too much. This is where the hot glue gun came in to act as support for the top batt. You don't need this if you stack them in a square four configuration and then drop the last one in the centre of two of them.

Then I roughened up the ends of the batts ready for tinning with solder. I'd cut a lead off an old servo for the supply wiring and used the third wire for links on the batts.

Solder the wiring on making sure you solder negative to positive etc until you have only two terminals left which should be one positive and one negative.

Having a longer length of wire showing helps once you have connected it as when you cut the rest of the wire off you can then slide the insulation along exposing the wire Allowing you to then cut to the relevant length.

Next is to cut a length of the inner-tube. This is to wrap them in to protect the battery contacts/wiring and prevent any moisture etc.

Connect the servo wires left to the remaing two terminals making sure you have the polarity right for the output to the rx (if in doubt compare an existing battery if possible. Do not skip this step as it's better to check than blow your reciever, charger or worse!).

Fit the pre cut innertube over the lot, glue the ends flat to keep moisture out then fold them over and glue that down for extra security.

When you fit it into the receiver box you will have to cut the two strengtheners inside under the front of the lid to allow the lid to shut as the new battery is taller in this area. I used a pair of wirecutters chopping at an angle.

You will also need to trim the end of the plate the receiver mounts on to get clearance for when putting this back after the batts are in position.

At the end you should have a battery that lasts for ages and maintains power to the servos consistently for longer.

  Easier skid plate removal / diff access
Posted by Squid on Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:19 am (Read More... | 22 comments | Score: 5)
Savage-Central Tech Tips After toasting my second diff bearing and stripped a gear

I was looking for a easier way to access the Diff, shock tower, ect and heres what I did:

I simply took the skid plate off and trimmed the corners like this

I haven't seen any downfall to this. I did this on my X 4.1 so I can only say that it works on them.

Submitted by: luckytii7

Originaly posted by MrSnuggles

  quick fix for HPI's poor reverse module
Posted by Squid on Sat Apr 17, 2010 7:28 am (Read More... | 13 comments | Score: 0)
Savage-Central Tech Tips i dare say that many people like myself have had no end of trouble with the reverse module on the sagave, especially it grenading itself.
i decided for a quick fix to put me on until i replace it with the proper kit that i could drop the servo all together and cut two slits into the metal selector plate and bend it in a little.
its not the best fix but it will keep you bashing until its sorted good and propper

i hope that it can help someone get through a weekend.

  Blue Groove Concepts Dual Offset Wheels
Posted by oarie on Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:35 am (Read More... | 16 comments | Savage-Central | Score: 1)
Savage-Central Reviews As soon as I heard about reviewing dual offset wheels I was pumped about being the one to put them through their paces.

Lets start with looks. 10 spoke wheels with the ability to be flipped around to change the offset. Before seeing them run the spokes look thin and fragile. In order to run them on my savage axles, I had to use the included hardware which includes four hex plates to fit behind the nut, and 4 17mm hexes. Unfortunately the 17mm hexes didnt fit over the savage axles. Luckily I had some 17mm aluminum hexes from HPI laying around and they fit into the wheels perfectly. So I decided to wrap them in Proline Badlands tires and bolt them to my savage. My savage has FLMs extended LCG TVPs so with the extra inch of offset wheels I expected the truck to stay planted without a problem.

There was still about 6 inches of snow on the ground when I first tested the wheels but the roads where dry. So I figured Id try some cornering and launches from a dead stop. Ive run offset wheels in the past and the handling was excellent and thats exactly what I got from Blue Grooves wheels. The wide stance from the wheels and extension from the ch***is kept the truck controlled and planted from hard launches on the pavement. So far Im very pleased with these wheels.
Once the snow cleared up I set up some ramps in the front yard and began to really test these wheels out. Jump after jump of WOT p***es jumping half way across my yard, they held up! Not one crack or chip. The ground was cold so I expected some of the hard hits and cart wheels out have done some damage but there was none.
Im strictly a basher so I put my trucks through their paces and Blue Grooves wheels kept right up.


  Savage 4.6 RTR Review
Posted by Squid on Sat Jul 21, 2007 6:26 am (Read More... | 13 comments | Score: 1.5)
Savage-Central Reviews HPI was good enough to send SC a Savage X 4.6 to do a review on, and after a few hours of bashing it and a couple weeks of club racing, I feel I have gotten a good feel for the truck.

The new F4.6 fired right up and idled beautifully through 2 tanks sitting on my break in stand. After a couple trouble free tanks doing some slow to mid speed circles and figure 8’s I put it on the track bone stock for the RC Pro-series event that was held at my local track.
A few changes were needed for the track:
1: The stock tires while being excellent for bashing around the yard and on a gravel driveway just didn’t have enough bite on the hard packed clay track. I found that the HPI Dirt Bonz worked very well with a little loose fluff on the track even when water was added to keep the dust down.
2: The shocks are too heavily sprung for a rough track. I removed 1 spring from each corner and all the preload spacers, and changed the shock fluid to 25wt oil. This lets the truck stay in better contact with the ground over the rough stuff. I tried to fit a sway bar to the front end, but none that were in stock at the LHS would fit. The bulks and lower arms have holes to mount a sway bar, but I cannot find one on HPI’s site. A sway bar may not be the answer, but the inside front tire is lifting going through corners, and I would like to try one to see if it helps.
3: The grease in the diffs was not heavy enough for racing. I opened up the easy access diffs and put 30,000 in the front, and 20,000 in the rear. This may be a bit on the heavy side, as the truck does push a little, but it is very predictable. Total time to open up both diffs add oil and reassemble was about 30 minutes. About 1/3 the time it would take with the old diff set up.
4: The stock dual disk brakes had awesome feel at first, but after only the Pro-series race, and 1 club race the disks shredded. Gluing the edges of the disks may have helped keep them together, but I was not able to get my hands on another set.

The easy access tranny is also a great improvement. Changing a spur gear takes about 10 minutes total time if you are replacing the same size gear. The top of the tranny comes off with 7 screws, and the spur shaft is in your hand. If you change spur sizes you will need to loosen up the motor and reset the mesh.

I did not use the stock radio gear, as I was going to be participating in a large race with over 200 entrants, I wanted the flexibility of my Synthesized gear for the race. I have used HPI’s radio gear in the past, and there is not a problem with it. I used the stock gear with my Savage .21 for an entire racing season with no problems.

Sadly, I am not able to say much more about the F4.6, as my receiver pack broke while landing a jump, the impact drove the throttle servo open, and the truck landed on its roof. The engine was wide open for about 30 seconds wheels in the air. I need to get a new piston and sleeve for it. I had about ½ gallon through the engine at the time, and for being so fresh, I was impressed with it. The front wheels were lifting easily on the track, I had to feather the throttle coming out of turns to keep them down. This engine shows great promise.

A week or so after the big race, I took the truck over to tbills place for some bashing. We set up a medium sized jump, and proceeded to put a hurting on the trucks. The RTR X 4.6 took everything I could throw at it. Badly landed jumps, and hard rollovers. I managed to keep from running head on into anything, but other than that I abused the truck pretty hard.

Over all, HPI has managed to up the racing capability of the Savage while maintaining its bash-ability. The X 4.6 RTR is a step forward in the evolution of the savage in my opinion.

After writing the bulk of this review, and having not yet posted it, The 2007 Northeast Bashfest came around. I took the new X 4.6 RTR to that and really handed out some punishment. After a full day of backflips, long jumps, missing the take off ramp completely, and other abuse, the only things I broke were a couple dog bones, a minor little bend of the TVP under the fuel tank, and 1 after market engine.
Bashfest Aftermath Thread

  2007 Northeast Bashfest
Posted by Squid on Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:19 am (Read More... | 17 comments | Savage-Central | Score: 3)
Savage-Central Bulletins
2007 Northeast Bashfest
AKA the 4th Annual Savage-Central Bashfest
Basically the same as we have done for the last few years. We will set up a big jump to launch off of. Occasionally the jump will be shut down for some track time, and we’ll run some laps. Being that the groups have been small, this loose format has suited us in the past. If the attndance gets much bigger, we may have to structure some events, but I am leaving it as a loosely organized bash for the time being.

July 14, 2007
Track opens at 9:00 AM

Team CRC Raceway, Rome NY. For directions, click the link, and there is a link for directions in the menu on the left.

Entry Fee: $15.00 per person, $25 for a family. No limit on vehicles, entry is per person/family not number of vehicles.

This started out with 5 attendees in 2004, each year attendance has doubled, there were approximatly 20 SC members and their friends or family in attendance. Hopefully this year we will have more.

HPI has learned of the event, and is sending a few things to give away as prizes. Also, they may send one of their representatives out, but due to the relativly short notice, that may not happen.

See the thread in our FORUMS for more details.

2004 bash pics

2005 pics Links to vids in this thread do not work.

2005 Video

2006 video Download

Hope to see you there!!!


2007 Vid is now up!!! Thanks to Zapper for putting it together. And thanks again to all those that attended, with out you guys, it wouldn't have happened.


  Never be without your temp gage again....
Posted by oarie on Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:26 pm (Read More... | 20 comments | Score: 0)
Savage-Central Tech Tips I got tired of never having my temp gage with me. I was originally going to velcro it onto my radio, but then I figured that I'd leave it behind anyways. I then decided to take one of my skiing extension type things(I have no idea what they're called) and attach it to my radio and temperature gage. Mine extension allows 2 feet of extension and then wraps itself back in. I'm sure these pics will help...

You'll need:
temperature gage
double sided tape
some sort of extension(optional)

Also, if you use the extension thing, you'll want to keep any slack out when placing your velcro, this way it isn't lose and rattling around.


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