Squashed Body Tubes

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Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2009
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I am building a Quest X-15. Both ends of the BT are slightly out of round. I tried squeezing the end slightly and inserting the nose cone but when I remove the NC it is still out of round. I am thinking on spraying the BT with water or using steam any suggestions?
If one end worse than the other, use that as the motor mount end. Once the mount is glued in place, the centering rings will pull the tube back into shape. After the rocket is built, store it with the cone on (we usually do that anyway). It should take care of itself unless there is a crease. A little steam from a clothes iron might help, but I would avoid doing that if possible. Try the passive approach first.
I think I should mention a couple things about the Quest X-15 before you get started. It will require some added nose weight to get it to fly correctly. I don't believe the kit comes with any ballast. You'll need at least a half ounce of clay or bb's or something in the cone. Very unstable without.

You'll notice the long, horizontal, wing strakes are about 1/4-1/2 inch(can't remember the exact dimension) too long for the supplied body tube. I have a theory, such that, it's not the strakes that too long, but the tube that is too short. I think the shorter tube is a mistake in manufacturing and part of the reason for the instability. If your out of round tube is too far gone, you may consider replacing the tube and cutting it to the proper length to match the strakes or even longer. This may help cut down the amount of nose weight needed or eliminate the need altogether .

Quest T35 tube

You may even try contacting customer service at Quest(Nettie) explaining the problems you are having and see what they say to do.
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Thanks for the info. I was aware of the instability issue just didn't know how much weight was needed. Thanks. I didn't know about the short tube. I had a Totally Tubular that had a short tube and Quest sent me another kit with the right size tube maybe I'll drop them an Email.
I would contact Quest, they have replaced dammaged tubes for me in the past.
The idea posted by foose (to use the worst end for the MMT) is a good one.

For the front end, make a cardboard template with a hole to match the O.D. of the BT. Friction fit would be best but if you cut a template a little loose, wrap the outside of the BT with a few strips of paper to make the fit tighter. Do not glue any of this; the template will be removed after you work the BT itself. The template is only there to hold the BT round during the next step.

Apply some CA to the inside lip of the crimped BT. I use "dollar store" CA for this and it works just fine. (The kind that comes packaged with three or four little tubes on a card for a buck.) If you have fancy CA that will also work just fine. Drip a couple drops of CA into the front end of the BT and smear it around with a Qtip. Work it toward the lip, and maybe a half inch back into the front end. The objective is to SOAK it into the cardboard, not to build up a thick layer, so don't leave a puddle laying there to cure into a bump. Anyway, a few drops of CA at several locatns around the inside surface should be enough to reinforce the cardboard. Let cure thoroughly (like, overnight) and then remove the outer template.
Thanks again for all the input. I used a steam iron and a little steam with a NC inserted. It is much better. I like the CA technique too. Actually I usually soak the front end of the BT with CA on most of my rockets to give that end some more strength and durability, again thanks
Nettie at Quest customer service emailed me back and said they will send another X-15 kit :) Can't beat that for satisfying the customer. Thank you Nettie and Quest.
I would also like to add that every problem I have had with Rocket kit parts, decals or my own stupidity has been taken care of in the same manner. Hats off to all our vendors and Rocket Companies, especially Quest, Estes, Semroc, Flis, Pemberton, Hobbylinc. I am sure other vendors also have very good customer service just haven't had to call on them yet to prove it. :rolleyes:.