EXI/Align ? - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 01-01-2011, 09:26 PM   #1
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EXI/Align ?

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What is the difference everything I have looked at shows that the parts are interchangeable so is EXI made by Align?
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Old 01-01-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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Re: EXI/Align ?

EXI and a lot of other 450 helis are what are called "Clones", meaning they copied the Align design. This sometimes works to our advantage as the parts are interchangeable. I sometimes joke most of them must come out the same factory door as even their packaging is identical.

There are a few caveats to that statement, though. There are now several versions of the 450 and the clones followed suit. If you order replacements or upgrades you should be aware of this and try and identify which version you need. In particular the earlier 450SE had the V1 and V2. Very close visually and the major difference in the head was the feathering shaft. In the V1 it was straight and both grip bearings were identical. With the V2 the main part of the shaft was larger, with a step at each end. The feathering shafts and grips for the V1 and V2 do not interchange.

Second, even though the quality of the clones has improved a lot, some areas are still notoriously weak. I used to do the setup on a local suppliers CopterX 450's and found slop in pretty much all of the linkages. Not much individualy, but add it all together and it made for a pretty loose control system. With a heli you do not want that at all.

That seems to have gotten better, (I see slop on some Align stuff as well). However, I almost always change out the clone main and tail drive gears and tail belt drives to legacy Align as they don't look very straight, strong or reliable, (the mesh is also not the best). In particular, I've seen the tail drive gear strip or come loose on the shaft.

I have no hands on with the newer PRO version yet. I do know the head is completely different than the earlier versions and now you also have the option of a torque shaft driven tail in place of the belt.

Regardless of which make or model, it pays to go through it with a fine tooth comb. Check ALL fasteners going into metal for Loctite, (do not use it anywhere near plastic as it causes degradation). Even in my legacy 600 I tore the preassembled mech down to check this and also have a look at proper assembly. Don't forget these are mass produced and they can make mistakes. With pretty much everything moving at high speeds things are under a lot of stress.
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