Check Your Falcons - Missing Loctite

We had a chance tonight to investigate a batch of Falcons we purchased in the summer 2021.

This batch also has no Loctite.

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We checked our falcons from summer 2021, also no loctite

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6 Falcons bought for the team about three or four weeks ago, 0 with any Loctite.

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FACT: 1351 and 299 checked all their falcons - a total of 16 - and none of them had loctite.

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We have also checked 6 late-2021 Falcons so far, and 5 of 6 were completely missing loctite. the 6th was missing it on all but 1 bolt.

Additionally we failed to remove the casing screws on 2 of our Falcons, one of the three screws on both stripping out before we were able to get it to turn at all. These Falcons are now rendered basically useless as we have no way to know if they are safe to use.

Any Falcons going onto our 2022 bot have been fixed. Disappointed this was something to spend time on again this season. I don’t have a count for you, but the overall sentiment was this was not fun.

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Falcons ordered during this build season. 6 falcons, I don’t think any had Loctite, several were hand tight. All fixed now, but it was an annoying use of scarce time. I had asked about it before we assembled stuff, but I think we’d all just assumed the issue had been fixed by now.

I have no skin is this game, 3512 is a NEO team atm, but from the reports shared here I’d hope CTRE/VEX/WCP will be issuing some product warnings very soon as this seems like it’s a widespread issue.

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Can I ask, what size star drivers are required to take the case off and check for Loctite?

T10 for the case screws, T8 for the shaft screws.

We ordered 16 falcons from CTRE 11/21, so far each that we’ve checked needed loctite on the shaft screws.

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If this is a widespread issue, Vex should send T10 and T8 drivers and some Loctite to everybody who purchased falcons so teams can fix the issues. Those aren’t very common tools that everybody has in their toolbox.

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We’ve been having a lot of trouble with the torx screws stripping. Make sure you have good quality tools.

I don’t know our exact numbers, but I believe the majority of our ~18 (?) Falcons had little or no locktite. It has been a time-consuming project for our electrical students to correct.

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Thank you for this recommendation. Too often, I fall into the, we’ll we will not need it often, so cheaper is better right? trap.

@rocknthehawk T10 for the case screws, T8 for the shaft screws.

This is really important info too.

I also think it might be nice if they posted some directions. If we were not on CD, we would not know about this and would not have known where to begin with fixing it.

This is going to be a legitimate question for pit scouts to ask about

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Highly recommend you read this post I linked earlier

Our team has been using Wera or Wiha brands.

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Thanks for linking that. I’d been vaguely aware of that thread in the past, but don’t think I followed it at the time.

After reading that I am wondering if there are other things we should be checking as we go through these, or if there is a more detailed procedure for how to do this without putting them back together incorrectly.

As one example, do we need to be concerned about potential issues with the shaft bearing clearance? What is the current best practice for doing a rebuild?

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Hey @DRow and @jon_jack do y’all have an official guide on fixing this either on your site or on here? We are working on it, this weekend and I want to give a student+mentor a guide that they can refer to when working on it.

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I remember fixing this exact issue in our first-batch Falcons in 2020, and finding that a surprising amount of the screws had no loctite. It was a huge pain to fix all of them and took two or three people two days to finish, stripping two casing screws in the process, rendering those motors dangerous to use since we had no way of fixing them. Reassembling the motors was also a huge pain cause the motor magnets attracted the ferrous screws, making it really hard to line them up in the hole. I’m really disappointed that this is still an issue two years and three revisions later. Fixing our small mountain of Falcons is one of my only bad memories from FRC.