Thought I'd follow up on my earlier post. In spite of the problems, I ordered another unit from Dave at Tarot-rc-heli.com hoping I had just got a dud the first time around.
The new one came in and I pulled it apart. After removing the screws, one side slid off nicely but the other one only moved a few mm. It was nowhere near as stuck as the first part and with just a little more pulling, was also off the hub.
Yay! Both sides were assembled in the correct order!
There was no grease or Locktite but I wasn't expecting any. I lubed it all up and put it back together and torqued down both screws. One side was so perfectly nice and smooth and felt sooo good but the other was crunchy.
If I backed the tension off the screw it was passable and I could have red Locktited it and been done but I had to mess with it.
The bearings themselves didn't seem bad so I was puzzled. I ended up using the bearings from the new one and one of the grips from the first set. With both fasteners solidly torqued down now both grip sides were absolutely flawless. Locktited it up and did a final assembly - felt so good I kept rotating the grips.
Laid up next to the Align grips with 61MM KBDD blades, the overall length is pretty much identical or within 1/2 mm.
My story should have a happy ending right there but some additional stuff still has me doubting I can use the new thrust bearing grips.
I have an aftermarket parts compatibility issue.
I did a finger tight dry test install and it seemed okay. It wasn't - once I tightened up the arms and grub screw, it caused my Microheli tail pitch slider to bind PLUS, the weight on the grip prevented full travel on the slider as it was hitting the bearing on the slider.
I took a Dremel to the weight area for clearance and full slider travel. Tightened it up again and the dang thing was still binding. Called it a night and went to bed.
Took it apart again this morning in the daylight and with refreshed eyes and see the distance between the arm on each grip is closer together than the Align parts. I'm still not giving up yet. I'll try later to shave down the arms a half a mm or so each and see if it goes back together without binding the Microheli pitch slider stuff.
Argh! It might sound like I'm bitching but I really like figuring this stuff out. I like the Tarot grips and am really hoping to use them still.
Sorry for the blurrycam pics