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Old 12-23-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
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Default Aluminum vs Titanium screws?

Read some stuff that aluminum is lighter than titanium (and screws are MUCH cheaper too...) Has anyone used aluminum screws instead of titanium or steel?
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:11 PM   #2
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aluminum is lighter (it should be as aluminum is lighter than titanium.) but…titanium is much stronger. It is very easy to strip aluminum screws, and you don't want to use them in areas that will be stresses, as they will bend and break, whereas ti. will not have any of these problems.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:31 PM   #3
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The advantage of titanium is that for the same volume you have more strength. Titanium is heavier, and stronger than aluminum. So if you make something out of titanium, it will have less mass but more strength than aluminum. Therefore it will be lighter.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:41 AM   #4
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most screws supplied with rtr's and cheap, sometimes expensive kits, are aluminium, because they're lighter. They aren't as strong, but if you don't screw them in with an electric drill then they should be fine for a long time. When they rust and/or break, you can just buy more as they are more common and a lot cheaper. However, it might not be a bad idea to put titanium screws on important areas of the car such as the motor mount, front bulkhead (if you have one), certain parts of the chassis, suspension arms, etc...
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:06 AM   #5
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I've used many aluminum screws in both pan cars and touring cars - even with brand new, high-end tools, aluminum is simply too soft to torque and retorque more than once before the fastener is junk.

More often than not, I'll use steel/stainless steel screws. If I need to save a few grams, I'll splurge for titanium.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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So would it be alright to use aluminum screws in the upper deck and on the shock towers? This is on an Xray. I don't really torque them down. More just finger tight.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:07 AM   #7
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Not all high end tools are good enough to use on aluminum screws. You need a good ground carbide bit that fits tight in the screw head to keep from stripping them out. So far the best ones I have found for aluminum are the MIP Thorp wrenches and the Bolink wrenches. But you have to be careful with these wrenches because carbide, while strong, is brittle so the small .050 wrench can be easy to snap. Any of the high end molded or cast wrenches are not going to work as well since they usually don't fit tight in the screw.

Also not all titanium is the same. Some are better than others. For example the titanium Tamiya uses is very soft and strips easily. The titanium Lunsford uses is top notch. I've been using the 3Racing titanium screws lately and they are pretty decent, better than Tamiya but not quite as good as Lunsford.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:08 AM   #8
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Oh and don't use a ball end wrench on aluminum...they don't fit as tight and don't have enough surface area engaging the screw so they will strip them out even faster.
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Old 12-24-2013, 11:06 AM   #9
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Hyujmn,

I'd steer clear of aluminum anywhere on your car. The weight savings over ti will be minimal, but the potential to strip is much higher. I'd even suggest just sticking with the black oxide coated steel screws. But if you want to spend the money, RSD's titanium screws are nice. I use them in my car and the hex is pretty deep which makes them a little more strip resistant.

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Old 12-24-2013, 02:54 PM   #10
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I have a set of the gravity Rc titanium screws for the t4 new in package if you're interested.
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Old 12-24-2013, 07:54 PM   #11
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I've used aluminum screws in all my cars, including 1/8 scale off-road buggies. My rule of thumb is if the screw goes into plastic, then aluminum screws are fine. If the screw goes into a steel or aluminum part, then I use a steel or titanium screw. I don't use stainless screws at all, because they are softer that the black hardened steels screws

Make sure to get the 7075 aluminum screws and a good set of drivers. I use EDS, and they are super tight in the aluminum screws I get from fastener express.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChickenRC View Post
most screws supplied with rtr's and cheap, sometimes expensive kits, are aluminium, because they're lighter. They aren't as strong, but if you don't screw them in with an electric drill then they should be fine for a long time. When they rust and/or break, you can just buy more as they are more common and a lot cheaper. However, it might not be a bad idea to put titanium screws on important areas of the car such as the motor mount, front bulkhead (if you have one), certain parts of the chassis, suspension arms, etc...
what rtrs and cheap kits use aluminum screws??? the only kits I have seen them used are high end pan cars, and high end touring cars.

I don't think they would use them in the cars you mentioned, as they are more expensive than steel, and not nearly as durable.
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Old 12-25-2013, 05:04 PM   #13
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I generally stay with the kit steel screws for the bottom of the chassis and the ones holding the upper deck to the bulkheads. The bottom screws keep the CoG low, and I torque the upper desk screws kinda hard to keep it from tweaking. The rest is up to you. Aluminum screws I consider it to be cosmetic, like adding some color accent to the car. Plus, the cars these days are pretty light and sometimes even have to add weight to make regulations.
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:42 PM   #14
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Have both screw sets, in two different t4 '14s as many of you dallas guys know. I check my cars for tweak every time I run them. I beat the crap out the alu car, the 17.5 car, and don't have any more tweak in that car than I do the Ti car.

Do what you wish with your money, the alu screw's are physically half the weight of the Ti screws, and hold up just find in my top deck/shock towers/bulk heads, and the top of the steering posts of my car.
the only change I intend on making is putting the Ti or steel screws back in the upper deck of the servo mount.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:01 PM   #15
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What is wrong with the plain steel screws? If you are going for bling, disregard what I am asking.

Last edited by ThePanda; 12-25-2013 at 09:27 PM.
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