Getting right to the point…these are just the coolest, most high-tech axles I have ever seen. If they perform half as good as they look they are ahead of the game. TVR was shooting for the toughest, smoothest, fastest axle with the greatest achievable angle. The intensive engineering involved to create the Ball-X is evident even at first sight, so if I had to bet one way or the other without any further investigating, I would bet they achieved it all.
Made by: TVR RC
Made for: Traxxas Revo and Maxx trucks
Materials: Hardened steel, spring steel, brass
Lots of Components
The Ball-X axles are made up of quite a few more parts than most other constant velocity style axles. The outer race and inner race are made of hardened steel and have grooves for the ball bearings. The inner race inserts into a brass cage, which floats in the outer race. Grease is applied to the bearings that float within the brass cage. The driveshaft is keyed with a hex into the inner race and is secured with a small screw into the hex end within the race. The axle is secured into the outer race with a hardened steel pin. An orange rubber dust boot tightly encloses the moving parts to keep it operating smoothly. Hardened steel diff outdrives are included.
The axles are partially assembled, saving you the tedious task of installing the tiny ball bearings. Grease needs to be applied to the bearings before the driveshaft is installed and secured. With the rubber boot put in place the unit is ready for installation onto the truck.
Installation is a fairly quick process. I removed the upper pillow ball, slid the axle out of the carrier then removed the pin from the diff outdrive. The new drive cup is easily installed on the outdrive, using the same pin. The Ball-X slides into the axle carrier and the upper pillow ball is reinstalled. After doing that three more times the truck is ready to run.
On the bench is where I would expect to find out if these were indeed smooth with maximum angle. With the truck up on a stand I let the suspension drop to its lowest position. With varying speed I turned the front wheels as far as they would go in each direction. With some assistance I compressed the suspension fully and did the same thing. I only noticed a slight notchy feel while rotating the new axle at its maximum throw, but once I got some actual drive time in, the uni’s broke in and that slight notchy feel went away. The axles operated flawlessly through several bash sessions with some hard hits and less than perfect landings off of big jumps. I’m convinced that these will have no problem living up to the claims made by TVR. Only time will tell, however, if they will truly outlast other axles.
All this technology comes at a steeper price than the nearest similar product but you can be confident you get what you pay for. TVR RC will be releasing Ball-X axles for other vehicles soon so keep checking their website for your vehicle.