View Full Version : The Steering Sensor (Potentiometer POT) Cleaning, Replacing, Fixing, Lubing

2006.12.29, 12:20 AM
I was just messing around with my MR02, which use to have a perfect, glitch free servo, however after some race time it eventualy developed the dreaded inaccurate steering sensor issue, the "Bad Pot Plague".

The common fix is to remove it and replace it... just to have it happen again. And since some shops are ripping ppl off and charing 15-30$ for this $2.00 part... its not the best of solutions.

It is also possible to shoot it with some motor/electrical cleaner, wich only works for a short time, before it starts doing it again, often before the first race is over.

As of now my current recomendation for steering issues, that are not related to the receiver obviously... is to LUBRICATE THE STEERING SENSOR POT! This should last longer than just shooting it with spray cleaner... since the cleaner/lube stays in there longer and does not just evaporate.

The stuff I used both cleans and lubricates switches, just typical switch lube should do the trick a small beed of it will work fine... Kyosho should have this done durring assembly, or TBM (the ppl that make the pots) should do it before being shipped to Kyosho... my guess is they are supose to, but they went cheap and skipped a step!

To get the lubricant in there, just pop the clear washer/cap off, and use a blade tip to put a drop in there... then put it backtogehter and move the steering back and forth to spread it around...

Before I did this, my car was not centering at all propperly, and while slowly going right, it would occationaly jerk left.. and visa versa... it was horible, I was going all over the track... now I can go super slow and it goes exactly where I tell it too with out taking an insane detour to the other side of the steering range.

I used: CaiLube L260Cp wich I got in surplus along time ago for other reasons... I have also used it as com drops ;), it works but its nothing special... but in the POT its a world of difference! If this works out I will tell the shop to stock some of this stuff... I knew I would find a good use for it some day :). Some old mechanical speed controls came with switch lube you can might be able to use this stuff... but no clue if its the same as what I used.

I would like some others with similar issues, to test this on their cars, dont do it if it is your only race ready car, it could have side effects that I do not know about yet... so those that have spare cars, with steering issues... give this a try and report back here!

My guess is a lot of those with good lap times.. already do this ;).
I looked for posts saying to do this, but none turned up in the searches I did... What is odd is I had this idea a long time ago but I did not think the pot internals were exposed enough to get anything in there, then I took a closer look, and its all open inside once that clear plastic cap is removed...

2006.12.29, 12:26 AM
Glad to see your steering POT is working again Drac. Sounds like you've discovered an easy fix to a common problem.

2006.12.29, 12:29 AM
I did not realize how bad my problem was until I drove CrazyBenze Car ;).. I thought it was just my driving!!!! LOL!!! hahaha

2006.12.29, 01:37 AM
Would Dielectic Grease be the same thing? It is electrical contact grease, and I have used it in stock differentials before for lube. I have an 01 I might try this in since I dont race it, just holds paper down right now with a pretty body on it ;)

2006.12.29, 07:28 AM
No clue if that will work, Dielectric means it does NOT conduct electricty, the stuff I use is intended to conduct... it even has copper added to it to make sure it does.

2006.12.29, 08:35 AM
thats strange, I would think that stuff would bridge the contacts and keep them from functioning properly. :confused:

2006.12.29, 11:52 AM
you only add enough for it to wet and clean it... you dont pack it full ;)

2007.02.13, 11:39 PM
It still works fine after this fix.

2007.02.28, 11:23 PM
really helpful man, im gonna try this with an mr01 pot that recently went a bit off kilter.

keep us updated on whats going down with it!

2007.04.17, 06:52 PM
Glad I saw this post. I was just investigating the steering jerk problem. Cleaning the pot worked great. Made the car much more predictable to drive. I used DeoxIT to clean it and DeoxIT Gold to protect it. That's just what I have laying around. I noticed the three tabs for the wires are rivited on with open rivets. They create a thru holes that open to the inside of the pot. There are two more holes on top of the pot that are also thru holes. I used a sealant to cover the 3 holes on the tab. Used electrical tape to cover the top holes because they are too large to seal with the sealant I have, and used sealant to further secure the electrical tape. Now steering is new car smooth. Hopefully, the pots will last longer sealed up this way. The sealed pot worked great after a weekend of runs. Another unsealed one shows very slight signs of jerk in steering.

2007.04.28, 07:58 AM
Two questions.

I have Trinity Royal Oil and Comm Drops, which is better to clean and lubricate the pot?

Also, my default steering setting(if my controller is set at 0 trim) for my MR015 is off center. How do I go about fixing this so it will be centered when i start up without having to adjust the trim?

2007.04.28, 08:41 AM
you need to take off the cover for the electrics,turn car on,centre trim on controller,adjust the small silver pot on the board that one of the servo wires connects to untill your wheels lign up

2007.04.28, 09:55 AM
I guess comm drops would be closer to switch lube...

Its not the fact that your lubricating the pot, its the fact that your putting a conductive material inbetween the contacts so its always got a steady contact going, instead of hit and miss as it seams to have "stock" or when its dirty. This is what switch lube does as apose to other materials.

Oil would not be good to use...

2007.04.30, 04:15 AM
drac does it again... great tip drac! mods pls make this a sticky.... :D

2008.01.06, 09:16 PM
here is a question that was sent to me via pm:

Sorry to bother you with this dumb question. Normally I am able to find any answers through other's posts. I have a few questions how do make a post or ask a new question on the forum. My steering servo is glitching back and forth I tried the paper trick and that work for a while, I have taken the car apart and tried to see if the motor still glitches, it does not but it runs continuously. Is it supposed to do this.

2008.01.06, 11:27 PM
can i use tamiya switch lubricant for the pot.. it would be help full if someone can post a pic on whichpart should i put the luricant in.. :)

is smooth driving can prevent the pot from going crazy.. i drive like crap in the 1st month when i got my awd and it gone crazy recently and replaced it with new pot.. not ye tlubricate it for now.. how long will the pot last if i put lubricant on it?

2008.02.05, 11:53 PM
Hi Draconious

Thank you for sharing your solution to this problem. I used Voodoo comm drops on my pot and it tranquilized the jitters down greatly.:D

Thank you

2008.02.24, 12:20 AM
my 02 RM is a day old. should i spray some switch lube on the pot now, or wait until it gets bad? i dont want to risk wrecking anything if nothing has to be fixed. it was $140... :rolleyes:

btw, z's are SWEET!!!!