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UDI007 Voyager Radio Controlled Boat Upgrades

I was Out West last week. The house where I was staying has a pool, so I procured a USA Toyz UDI007 'Voyager' radio controlled boat to play with. I had also read about some mods/improvements for it, and I did those.

Set up an informal work space right beside the pool. Sort of like The Dungeon, but with substantially better views, ventilation, and natural light. Fortunately I also had a nice tool box full of good tools at my disposal, so this went well.

The boat is a good compromise between a really cheap toy and a serious R/C model.

We'll be adding some additional waterproofing, relubing the drive/propshaft, and protecting the electrical connectors.

With the hatch removed, we can access the innards.

The motor gets hot, so the manufacturer wisely fitted it with a simple water cooling coil. There is a water intake hose (blue arrow) attached to a small scoop under the hull.

That hose runs to the coil (silver coil around motor on the right), and then another hose (green arrow) exits the port side of the hull. (Me talk boat terms!).

We're going to put some silicone around those connections to make sure water can't get in. You can see the white silicone applied at the factory around a couple connections already.

I'm going to remove the driveshaft and relube it with marine grease. Removing the shaft will also give me better access to the intake of the cooling hose.

There's a mount that holds the front of the shaft in place. We remove those 2 screws.

Then remove the 2 screws holding the motor mount down.

Now we can lift the ends of the motor and the propshaft and separate the drive on the motor from the shaft.

Remove the nut holding the propeller onto the shaft. I didn't have a small enough wrench on hand to fit the nut, so I carefully used pliers to remove it.

Nice vintage Craftsman pliers.

The prop is threaded, so you'll need to unscrew it from the shaft also.

No expense was spared here to make sure the prop doesn't come off and wind up in the bottom of a lake.

I have a lifetime supply of marine grease. I'll use a tiny bit on the drive shaft on this boat.

Gently tilt the brass propshaft upward and you'll be able to slide the inside drive out.

The prop end of the shaft is held in mainly with silicone, so I didn't want to force the whole thing out - just raise it enough to get the drive out.

I cleaned the old lube off and stuck the shaft into the tube of grease to coat it.

Any excess will be forced out the open end of the shaft when the drive is put back in. It doesn't take a lot of grease to lubricate the drive.

With the propshaft raised up, I put more silicone around the point where the shaft enters the boat.

I also put silicone around the cooling hose where it enters also.

And we put silicone around the exit for the hose as well.

The idea is to close up the points where water might enter. I don't think it will be totally waterproof, but the less water that can get in, the better - and the less chance the motor, receiver, servo, or connectors could get damaged.

There's a rubber cone that the servo pushrod for the rudder passes through. The stern rides low in the water, so this is a place where water can enter.

The cone slides right out from the hole it's mounted in.

I packed it with marine grease - to lubricate the rod, but mainly to keep water out.

Then I put the cone back on and put silicone around it to seal the outside.

Finally, we'll put some dielectric grease on all of the electrical connectors.

There are 4 points in the wiring where there are connectors. The all come apart easily.

I used a toothpick to put the grease on all the connectors. Thrilling, huh?

Here's everything reassembled. It only took about 20 minutes to do this. Now we're ready for a test voyage.

The gasket around the hatch doesn't fit that tightly, so I'm using "hatch tape" (aka PVC electrical tape) around its perimeter to get a better seal.

I also wrapped the electrical connectors with the tape for extra insurance against water.

Whoo hoo!

Lots of fun.

The boat's pretty fast - I can only pilot it on full throttle before I run out of pool. I'd like to try it on a lake.

More of a close up shot.

I fiddled with the adjustments on the servo arms and got it to turn tighter than it did originally. Now I can make complete circles easily in the pool.

I managed to capsize it a couple of times, and only a small amount of water got into the boat - which I think is pretty good.


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