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Phantom 3 Crack Repairs

Discussion in 'Pro/Adv Discussion' started by BuckRogers, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. BuckRogers

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    So, many of you have experienced cracks with your phantom 3. So have I. I decided instead of waiting 8 weeks for the repair process, I'd fix it myself. I won't illustrate how to open the shell. There are videos on youtube that will help with that. Once your shell is opened and you unplug the GPS, set the top shell aside. You will need a #8 and #6 Torx.

    After I removed my shell, one of the plastic parts that connects the two shells fell out onto the floor, I guess the crack was through and through. It was not fractured during the process of removing the shell, it was actually a place where I had a crack already. One of the other plastic pieces on the other arm was cracked but still intact.

    I purchased Bondic from amazon for 22 dollars and used that to repair the cracks and seal all the areas. The tube of Bonic has enough for all four arms of the phantom. So I did. I went around everything that has a place where a screw could be inserted. The bond is pretty strong and you will see in one of the videos where I tap the bondic and it resonates a sound like the the bond has hardened. Like I said, the bondic has enough to go around every screw hole. I also coated the center area under the motor to secure that area and form a solid piece between the four motor mount holes. I am happy with the repair. While I was in there, I just went ahead an treated the other two arms where I did not have cracks. These cracks were there when I bought the phantom. I didn't know the severity until more people started indicating they had cracks.

    After observation of the posts that were broken, I have come to the conslusion that it's improper manufacture. These posts are very fragile at the base.

    Broken piece
    [​IMG]

    Application of Bondic
    [​IMG]

    URL=http://s284.photobucket.com/user/Pdoc11/media/image3_zpsj77lzwyy.jpg.html][​IMG][/URL]

    Cure

    [​IMG]

    Resolution with all areas treated including the center of the arm under the motor.
    [​IMG]



     
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  2. ScottyT

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    Good work. You look like you had cracks in the 2 inside rear screws also. How much flying had you done with it?

    Don't believe we can get Bondic here in Oz, but I'll be doing similar today with just general epoxy glue unless I can find something better at the hardware store. I'll probably end up putting a cable tie on the 2 rear arms also. Has to be done, unfortunately.
     
  3. BuckRogers

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    Off and on for about three weeks. Decided I'd better fix it now and reinforce some areas before they got bad.

    Some pearls
    1. the screws have blue loctite preinstalled
    2. Take your time with the shell. Take out all screws and work from the ends towards the middle. There are locking tabs around the the landing gear and in the center of each side. Those can be tricky. Press the lower shell inwards to release the tabs. Use a butter knife to help. You will hear a click. Two clicks per arm, then tackle the central tabs, starting with the front by the decal.
    3. Apply the Bonic to all areas and let it sit a little to go into any cracks. It has the consistency of medium CA glue. Then bond with the UV light it comes with. It only takes about 4 seconds per location
    4. make sure you tighten back the four central screws on each arm They are on the underside. Torque the arms and tighten those screws until the arms no longer torque. My arms torques too much and I think thats probably why I had cracks. Other than this just being inferior design.
    5. slightly torque motors from side to side to make sure they are secure. Good luck.

    The only thing hard about this we separating the shells. Just be patient and don't get aggressive. it was an easy 30 minute task. It feels much more rigid now and very solid. I may put ties on the arms as suggested but I don't think it's a deal killer.

    Tab locations
    Photo borrowed from the net

    [​IMG]
     
    #3 BuckRogers, Jul 9, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2015
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  4. ScottyT

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    Ouch.This DJI representative's response to our non-issue is rather interesting:
    http://forum.dji.com/forum.php?mod=redirect&goto=findpost&ptid=23532&pid=167306&fromuid=52180

    "I just turned my P3P upside down. I fly this thing all the time and I am not gentle with it. I have the braking set at factory defaults and it is tame compared to my Inspire. I have no cracks at all. I have to smile when I see users that have never flown their P3's and say they have cracks. I looked at their photographs and enlarge them. I will be honest, I don't see any cracks. I have seen some casting imperfections. DJI has stated that they will replace the shells if there are cracks in them. I am not denying that there have been some units with cracks around the screws. We don't know the exact cause and are still investigating. Understand, I can point to many more users that have stated no cracks vs those that are having the issue. I know of no other craft that users take out magnifying glasses to examine them."
     
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  5. BuckRogers

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    While it may be true that he doesn't have cracks, something like over 20 people do. You can't dismiss those people. He has admitted to some units with cracks and investigating the cause. It probably won't help us though, only future molds if they make changes.
     
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  6. AbsPapa

    AbsPapa Guest

    A person would think that the manufacturer would maybe put out a bulletin or even a recall because of stress cracks on the shell. Something is wrong with the design if that many people are having this issue. I know its maybe just a few considering how many they have sold. Its possible all crafts have stress cracks to small to see with the naked eye. And, if the cracks are occurring inside the shell and maybe not on the outside, the pilot is not required to make that type of inspection inside the shell.
     
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  7. ScottyT

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    Indeed. I imagine many more will come out of the woodwork, in time.

    I'm guessing we should be worried about the cracks? These screws are there for a reason, right?
     
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  8. AbsPapa

    AbsPapa Guest

    Look how heavy/thick the screw chase is in comparison to the thickness of the plastic of the shell itself. The general shell plastic skin is very thin.
     
  9. bobmyers

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    You can bet that the cracking phenomena has been investigated by DJI and measures put into place to correct the causes if they are manufacturing or assembly issues. They don't have anything to gain by letting those buyers complain and continue on the daily crack discussion and trash DJI discussion. They cant stop the current discussions but they wont be guilty of producing 1000 Phantoms per day that continue to have cracking issues.

    The guy responding (DJI rep) may be trying to convey a different message. " DJI has stated that they will replace the shells if there are cracks in them" Say what? I don't know what else anyone could ask for.????

    No, I don't work for DJI, nor have any financial interest. I just own a P3 that does have some issues, but in six months, I probably wont even remember these that we are talking about to day. I pre ordered the P3, got it, screwed up one of the motors myself, replaced it with a Phantom 2 upgrade motor-- couldn't get one from DJI-- and have been flying it about 3 months now. It if gets some cracks, I wont be waiting on DJI to admit fault and replace the shell. I will repair those issues and keep flying it. (Yes I know it is out of warranty because I opened it up and dared to replace the motor.

    Cheers and Happy flying.:):):)
     
  10. AbsPapa

    AbsPapa Guest

    If mine breaks can I send it to you to fix?
     
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  11. ScottyT

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    Sure they will be. I just found his post quite condescending - as if it was our own fault for looking too hard.
    In his defence, I bet he gets a bit annoyed with some of the nonsense tirades some people post.

    So why did you replace your motor (and just one motor)?.
     
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  12. bobmyers

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    I screwed it up putting on prop guard mounts, and not paying attention to what I was doing. BTW, the Phantom 2 upgrade motor is and exact replica of the Phantom 3 motor, electrically and physically-- looks like to me they only changed the part number. I cant tell any difference in the flight characteristics of the Phantom with the P2 replacement. Since I got an original pre order Phantom, neither DJI or nor any of the dealers had a replacement P3 motor at the time.
     
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  13. YolevonALLin

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    No cracks here YET bit I saw someone saying zip ties n the ends helps prevent it. True? If so, why
    ? Thanks!
     
  14. YolevonALLin

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Did I do this correctly? They are tight, but I didn't pull them like super tight... You guys sure they aren't going to make it worse? I don't have cracks yet, looking toward prevention.

    From the other thread that a guy got a brand new one with them already there... It got me thinking.. Its either an 1)isolated mold issue ,aka could be a large percentage, but not all, 2) it's a defect that can happen to anyone, and 3) one or the above AND dji is sending out refurbished units as New and happened to miss this.. The reason this is a possibility is because if it's not a mold issue, but a defect causing a week flight stress point, and there's No way it could come brand new out of the box with this.

    I've always had a hunch that dji is selling refurbished phantoms as new when my first brand new one came with some odd scratches and scuffs on the camera and gimbal, a loose gimbal wire, and just happened to have fatal software errors 3 flights in... Too many thinks to happen to a new unit for it to be just bad manufacturing. I think they are refurbing parts and then putting them back on main production line without proper testing.

    Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk
     
  15. ScottyT

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    Thanks, good to know. I'll be putting the prop guard mounts on shortly, also.
     
  16. bobmyers

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    check the screw lengths that come with them, I wound up cutting 3mm off mine just to be safe. You want them to not project past the motor flange over 1mm when they are tight. The bolts that came with mine didn,t damage the motor, but after I damaged the motor and was replacing it, I noticed that the screws supplied with the prop guards projected about 3 mm past the motor flange hole when it was tightened-- so I got out the old trusty Dremel with a metal cutting disk and made them a little shorter:).
     
  17. contact23

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    20 flights in and crack in bolt hole not impressed
     
  18. Kman

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    Awesome job on the repairs. Looks great. How does Bondic do in heat? How easy was it to work with?
     
  19. Kman

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    I'm the guy you're talking about. My new unit doesn't have stress cracks like I stated in the video, but the right rear arm, inside screw hole has some mold marks in the EXACT location my first unit cracked at. It's hard to see in the video. I wish you guys could all see my P3 in person.

    I loosened the shell mounting screws and re-torqued them to hand tight on my new unit. I also added zip-ties to each arm. They need to be as tight as possible. The shell pieces by themselves are weak and twist. When they are screwed together they are extremely strong. What happens is the cracking occurs and the shells become weak because they aren't tight together. The zip-ties adds support to keep the two pieces together.

    Clearly DJI knows there is an issue. If not why would they send me a brand new unit and then have me send my cracked unit in?
     
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  20. contact23

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    20 flights in and a chunk gone out of one bolt hole, inexcusable
     

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