MJX X600 Sealed Ball Bearing Mod / Upgrade

MJX X600 X601H Ball Bearing Upgrade
Hello Fellow Dronerz,

Today I am going to show you how to mod/upgrade your MJX X600 with sealed ball bearings.

 MJX X600
Buy Now: $55.64 from Amazon
Buy Now: $38.99 from BangGood
Manufacturer’s Site
Flight Style: Freestyle
Size: 38.5×42.5×6.0cm / 15.1″x16.7″x2.3″
Weight: 175g / 0.38lbs
FAA Registration Required: No
Range: 150m / 492 feet
Flight Time: 10 minutes
Battery: 2 Cell 7.4V 700mAh 25C
Camera: Optional

Why?

This process is by no means mandatory, but highly recommended to extend the motor life of your X600. Out of the box, the X600 comes with grease lubricated copper coated steel bushings.

First, because of the high RPMs the motor is pushing, the grease eventually ends up splattered all over the inside of the motor pod. Without proper lubrication, you get more friction.

Second, the grease attracts grit, which can also cause additional friction.

Too much friction on a motor will cause it to burn out.

I lost a motor after less that 1 hour total flight time (stock battery, approx. 10 minutes flight time per charge, lost a motor on the 5th flight). I was a noob and was shocked this happened so fast.  So of course I went to order some spare motors, and found it was common for the X600 motors to burn out rather fast.  And that a sealed ball bearing upgrade would help extend motor life.

To compare, I also have a JXD 509G, which came with sealed ball bearings out of the box, and what looks like the exact same size motors. I have over 4 hours flight time with the 509G, and not a single motor lost yet.

Getting Started:

First, you will need a 12 pack of sealed ball bearings, since you will need two for each motor pod.

I found a few places to order bearings, first thing I learned through, make sure you get sealed bearings, you don’t want your balls exposed…  Just another place to collect dirt, sand, and grit.  Plus, depending on the country, law enforcement might frown upon you going to the park with your balls exposed.  Okay, all puns aside, back to business.

I ordered a 12 pack (perfect size for the X600) from MassiveRC:
(If you order here, please mention UltimateDroneMatrix.com in the notes at checkout)
http://www.massiverc.com/Shop/en/399-ball-bearing-upgrade-kit-3x6x2mm-shielded-set-of-12.html
12 Pack of Massive RC Sealed Ball Bearings

You can also buy them from BangGood, get a 10 Pack for $4.99, and 2 Singles for $1.09 each, $7.17 total!!!
Please Note: Again, you need 12 bearings total, so buy one 10-Pack, and 2 Singles together.

10 Pack of Φ6*Φ3*2 Bearings 10 Pack of 6x3x2mm Bearings
Buy Now: $4.99 from BangGood
Buy one of these.
Single Φ6*Φ3*2 Bearing Single 6x3x2mm Bearing
Buy Now: $1.09 from BangGood
And buy two of these.

Here is an example of unsealed bearings (notice you can see the balls are exposed), which should be avoided (just another place to collect dirt/grit):
http://www.aliexpress.com/item/RC-MJX-X600-hexacopter-spare-Parts-motor-base-with-upgraded-bearing-for-MJX-X600-wifi-FPV/32419816095.html

Do you have any other recommendations for where to buy some sealed ball bearings?
Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

Disclaimer: Proceed at your own risk.  I only recommend trying this if you have experience fidgeting and tinkering with small gadgets, parts, electronics, etc…  I will not be held responsible if you somehow damage or destroy your drone during this process.  I will however, be more then happy to provide suggestions should you get stuck.

Here are the tools you will need for this project:
Tools Needed
Micro Philips Head Screw Driver (Plus Driver)
Micro Flat Head Screw Driver (Minus Driver)
Large Flat Head Screw Driver (Minus Driver)
Needle Nose Pliers
Tweezers
Tooth Brush (or other small 90° Angle Brush)
Small Straight Brush

Before starting , I would recommend creating a template of the top and bottom halves of the motor pods.  This will help to make sure the screws go back in the correct place when reassembling the motor pod.
X600-Template

First, remove the main screw on the bottom of the motor pod securing it to the main frame.
X600-02

Then, on the top of the drone, there is a little tab you will need to depress slightly to remove the motor pod.
X600 Motor Pod Tab

I then had to grip the arm and use my index finger and thumb to apply force in the directions indicated below.
DSC00012

While applying force with one hand, I used the opposite hand to depress the plastic tab using a flat head screw driver to fully remove the motor pod.
Unlocking Motor Pod Tab

With a little pressure, the motor pod should pop right off.
I highly recommend doing the motor pods one at a time, so as to not mix up props or motors.
X600-15

Next you will need to remove the prop guard, as it is blocking another screw on the motor pod.  There is only one screw needed to remove the prop guard.
Prop Guard Screw

Next you will want to remove the propeller.  Again, just one screw, but be very careful with this one.  When unscrewing, it only goes so far before the screw will not come out any further.  This is where I used the needle nose plyers to grab the screw head, and slowly twist it counter clockwise while pulling the screw out ever so slightly.
Prop Screw

Next you need to remove the two screws for the motor cap, center and right side.  Then pop the motor cap off and set it aside.  After that, remove the three screws on the top, left, and bottom of the motor pod and set those aside.
Motor Cap and Motor Pod Screws

That’s not it yet, there is still one screw located inside the motor pod under the motor cap.  Some people have mentioned it is not necessary to replace this screw when reassembling the motor pod.  I however feel it was put there for a reason, and does contribute to the overall structural integrity of the motor pod.  Let’s be honest, the manufactures try to cut costs as much as possible, so they would not put a screw there if it wasn’t needed.
Interior Motor Pod Screw

Now you can remove the bottom cover of the motor pod exposing the gear and pinion.  You can grab the gear and pull straight down to remove the pinion.
Exposed Gear and Pinion

Take this opportunity to remove the grit and grime off the gear and pinion using the tooth brush and a napkin.  Also, do not forget to clean the smaller gear on the motor itself.
Gear and Pinion

Take a moment to clean the motor pod itself as well.  Here you can see the base assembly, with the factory applied grease splattered all over the inside.  This is where the straight brush comes in handy.
Motor Pod Base Assembly

From here, I used the micro flat head screw driver to push the copper bushing out from behind.
Brass Bushing Removal

Here you can see the ball bearings vs the copper bushings.
Notice on the ball bearings I got, they have a raised lip in the center on one side, then are beveled in on the other.  Make sure the raised lip is always facing the inside of the motor pod.  The extra millimeters gained from having the raised lips facing out can cause unwanted friction between the bearings, gear, and propeller.  I learned this the hard way after reassembling the motor pod, and testing prop rotation.  I noticed it was now very difficult to rotate the prop.  I was tearing my hair out for a good 15 minutes, and thought I had bad bearings.  I noticed this when inspecting the remaining bearings, and quickly disassembled the offending pod, flipped the bearings, and put it back together.  Problem fixed.
Ball Bearings vs. Brass Bushings

Here is a shot of the bearing installed correctly, with the inner lip facing in.
Ball Bearing Installed Correctly

From here on out, it is simply reassembling and reattaching the motor pod.  Just follow these steps in reverse to put everything back together.

I hope this helps in your quest to obtain aeronautical bliss.  I have to say, the MJX X600 is one of the best budget drones for freestyle flight out there so far.  I really enjoy doing anything I can do to increase its performance and reliability.  With that said, I will have the “Ultimate Transmitter Mod” tutorial coming up soon.

Do you have any questions, suggestions, or comments?  I would really love to hear from you.  Please let me know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Thanks,
Chris

11 responses to “MJX X600 Sealed Ball Bearing Mod / Upgrade

  1. Hello, There are quite a few tutorials on this subject but I have found yours to be the best. I am relatively new to hexacopters and quads and I do admit there is a lot I need to learn but am looking forward to learning. I have recently purchased a MJX X600, I have memorized your instructions and even ordered the appropriate bearings you have linked to (these things are a whole lot smaller than in your pics, wow). I do have some questions that no one has addressed about this subject, Is this procedure mandatory? My X600 seems to fly just fine from the factory, why would I want to do this? And if I choose to not do this now, will I be forced (due to normal wear) to do this in the future whether I want to or not?
    Thank you in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jim,

      Thank you for your compliments and your questions. I used your questions to modify the tutorial above. I really appreciate it!

      This process is by no means mandatory, but highly recommended to extend the motor life of your X600. Out of the box, the X600 comes with grease lubricated brass (or copper) coated steel bushings.

      First, because of the high RPMs the motor is pushing, the grease eventually ends up splattered all over the inside of the motor pod. Without proper lubrication, you get more friction.

      Second, the grease attracts grit, which can cause additional friction.

      Too much friction on a motor will cause it to burn out.

      I lost a motor after less that 1 hour total flight time. (Stock battery, approx. 10 minutes flight time, lost a motor on the 5th flight). I was a noob and was shocked this happened so fast. So of course I went to order some spare motors, and found it was common for the X600 motors to burn out rather fast. And that a sealed ball bearing upgrade would help extend motor life.

      To compare, I also have a JXD 509G, which came with sealed ball bearings out of the box, and what looks like the exact same size motors. I have over 4 hours flight time with the 509G, and not a single motor lost yet.

      I hope this helps.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

  2. Thanks for the quick reply. This info helps a lot and I believe I will be changing out the bushings for bearings sometime this week.
    Again Thanks

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello, do you still continue to lube the bearings as well? Or do you just let them run as is and let them run dry when and if preexisting lube eventually wears off? Thanks in advance

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Joe,

      Good question, I am not sure how long you have to fly this guy for the bearings to run dry. I have about 4 hours total flight time now on the sealed ball bearings, and that’s not really that much. I also fly a JXD 509G, which came with sealed ball bearings out of the box, and have about 10 hours flight time with that model. Either way, that is nothing compared to the amount of time I spent on my skateboard as a kid. The bearings are basically the same design, and I ran them for many hours a day, for several years straight. I destroyed the plywood board first before I ever came close to burning out the bearings. Have you ever had a skateboard, rollerblades, roller-skates, razor scooter as a kid and remember having to lube the bearings? With that said, I totally believe this is something you will never need to worry about during the life expectancy of the X600. But if you are flying in the dusty desert and crashing in the dirt/sand all the time, I don’t think a little WD-40 would do any harm. Anyway, hope this helps. I will keep this in the back of my mind and post an update if/when I ever do burn through some bearings. Thanks again for the awesome question!

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

    • Hi,

      I actually do not know. I scoured the interwebs for a few hours to no avail. I though there would at least be something on RCGroups.com. The only thing I could find was pictures of the replacement copper bushings, which look exactly like the ones for the X600. I would say it is worth a shot for the low price.

      If you do decide to go for it, can you please let me know how it works out? Then I can update the page to help other droners.

      Thanks,
      Chris

      Like

  4. Everyone already said it, so i won’t regurgitate the same stuff, but good post and good guide. Cleaning the pinion/spur gears is a good point and should be done often (I find the landings suck up a lot of dirt, and it becomes a grindfest in there). Cant wait to do this mod.

    Like

  5. Chris,
    Thank you for this great tutorial!
    I just got my hands on this hexacopter and wanted to improve it’s performance and I came upon your DIY bearing mod. I’ve order the ball bearings and will be attempting the swop soon!

    Also, I wanted to bring to your attention about lubricants… You should NEVER use WD-40 or any petroleum-based lubes with plastics, especially tiny plastic gears. It will weaken/dissolve the part!!! Thought you should know.
    I’ve found this out ages ago the hard way…

    Like

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