For those of you who are following the '41 No Show thread and WhatApp, this is old news.
I am writing this for other Warthog owners, EAF as well as guests.
My Warthog stick have become more and more sticky lately. Which is not old news to me. I have one of the first Warthogs; A low number #495 which was preordered and delivered in 2010. When it was released it was the best top of the line stock HOTAS you could buy.
As I am a frequent flyer (pun intended ;)) I know that nothing last forever, but servicering will extend the life of your stuff.
2012 - Just 2 years after my purchase the joystick started to stick in the forward position.
Although the stick had a valid warrenty, I gambled on the Thrustmaster to adhear to the warrenty even though I pulled it apart.
I found that the rubberseal on the springplate delaminate.
Thrustmaster was quick to respond and I recieved a new springplate with a rubberseal within two weeks.
2016 - After another 4 years the stick was starting to feel a little stick again. This time in all directions.
Unable to find the source of the problem, I removed and regreased the stick, which solved the problem.
2018 - For the last two years the stickyness of the stick have increased.
After pulling it apart I found that the springplate have expanded quite a lot and that the holes for the four guiding rods are rubbing against walls of the springplate (will add pictures later).
Comparing it to the original springplate which I have keept, it is easy to see that the springplate is the weak link. My original springplate have the issue as well, just on a smaller scale.
The reason for the fast deterioration and more pronounced cracks in the newer baseplate has happend becourse I choose not to switch the nylon plate which was on top of the old springplate, to the new springplate. It seems that the function of the nylonplate is to strenghening th springplate and prevent crack for developing.
I hope Thrustmaster will set you up with new parts again, then make sure you use all the parts.
Warthog stiction problem is quite well reported. It’s linked to getting dust and crap into the stick itself, there are covers to help protect against this, but they looked pants…I had an alternative solution.
Buy a cheap gearstick cover from eBay and attack it around the stick. I have a 10cm(isn) extension) and I have the gear stick gator from a VW Polo…no dust or dirt gets into the stick to mess up. Works like a dream
I have been using fleece dust-covers for since my cougar. Although they do not prevent dust intrusion during use, they do help during non-flying hours. The dustcover of a car is a cheap and nice solution
Having disassembled the stick several times I tend to disagree with most of the claims toward the stiction problem.
The connection point for the joystick handle resembles an umbrella, a sphere. All foreign objects will fall into an empty chamber and will only have access to the 4 small counter-springs. So unless the user shakes the stick and the dust gets up under the sphere (which by the way fits very tight and is locked) this wont cause any trouble.
The problems with the delamination of seal is not really an issue either. The “seal” is made of foam and its purpose is to dampens the return to center. It does not seal against anything.
The big troublemaker is the spring-plate which creates the centering. Centering is created by a big spring which presses the Spring-plate down on the Sphere. Physics dictates that force equals counter-force. Since the spring press down on the outside on the spring-plate, the sphere press up on the inside of the spring-plate. As the spring-plate is of inferior strength, the top of the spring-plate will expand outward (and creating cracks). Unfortunately the spring-plate are hold in place by 4 guiding rods. No matter the amount of grease the deformation of the holes they run through in the spring-plate will create stiction.
If someone could create a stronger stick-plate this problem could be solved once and for all.
The weight would have to be similar or the equilibrium of the big spring/counter-springs would change the center force.
I don’t see anyone doing this as the spring-plate seems to be a complex design.
BTW. The HOTAS is operational again and it haven’t been so nice in years. The nyogel grease, although expensive, is very nice and smooth. The stick feels heavier and there are no noises from it at all, but there are no stickiness even at the first move which is weird compared to what I am used to.