P4A Shell Replacement - Landing Gear Questions

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After my 2 1/2 year old Phantom 4 Advanced developed a couple of stress cracks on the lower shell, I decided to attempt replacement myself. There are some very detailed videos on YouTube, which so far has made this project not terribly difficult. One thing I did not expect, however, is that the landing gear replacement would be the hardest part. The cavity in the gear that holds the compass PC board was full of some kind of silicon filler, and this had to be removed to get at the hex screws holding the gear to the old shell. I also found that I had to remove the tiny connector for the compass wiring harness to get the gear free from the old shell. Every YouTube video I've watched glosses over the landing gear replacement, while spending long minutes showing you in excruciating detail the removal of each and every hex screw on the bird.

So, a few questions:

- What purpose does that silicon filler serve? Do I need to replace it, and if so, what do I use?

- For the connector on the compass PC boards inside the gear legs, is it possible to put this in backwards? It seems that I've pushed it in firmly, and I'd hope it wouldn't be possible to install it the wrong way.

- In the event I screw something up on the landing gear, will a Phantom 4 Pro replacement landing gear set work on the Phantom 4 Advanced? I saw a P4P gear on Amazon that stated it's not suitable for a P4A. Not sure why that would be, although the P4P does support two channels vs. one on the P4A.

- Is there any way to be reasonably sure I've gotten that compass wiring connector back in correctly before putting the drone back together? Getting the shell apart is not a task I want to have to do twice; it was a bit of work.

If I've messed up anything in this shell replacement project, it will have been the landing gear replacement, so I'd like to head off problems before reassembly.

Thanks for any info y'all can give me on this.

John
 
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John, I have similar concerns with P4A stress cracks on lower shell.
I have sent for the part, just working up the cajones to do the job.
Following this thread closely.
 
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Andy, this is the primary video I used. It's for the P4P but the overall steps should be similar. The issue is the landing gear, which he doesn't really spend much time talking about. Good video otherwise. The great thing about the lower shell is you don't have to re-solder the motor wires or do anything with soldering at all.

 
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The compass connector coming from the drone going into the landing gear female receptacle has a top and bottom. Inserted the wrong way it will not connect even though it may appear to be inserted....repeated efforts will ruin the female connector on the compass and you’ll wind up needing another landing gear.

Look very closely at the male plug. You’ll see four tiny holes that line up with pins loacated at the top of the female connector. Looking at the female connector on the compass as if it were a rectangle, the bottom of the rectangle is glued to the compass. The pins are at the top of the rectangle and you want the male plug inserted with the 4 holes at the top of the rectangle.

It’s tricky. I use small curved hemostats. The antenna coax is a PITA - always in the way. Pull it out of the way and with patience you‘ll maneuver the plug in there. It’s optional, but I use hot glue at the base (where the landing gear screws go into the drone) to secure the wires into position. Be careful not to place glue where it interferes with seating the inspection port covers.

Good luck!
 
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Thanks for the reply, SouthTexas. I want to make sure I understand this completely. Sounds like the actual contacts on the compass are on the top of the connector, away from the board? If you reference the images linked below, should the one marked "Side 1" be facing toward the compass board, or "Side 2?"

skid1.jpg


skid2.jpg
 

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Looking at the Side 2 pic, the side with the 4 fingers goes inside the female connector where it is glued to the compass board. That will align the 4 tiny holes at the top of the plug with the pins at the top inside the female connector, away from (above) the compass board.
 
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Arghh. Wound up killing compass 2. Even if I could fix the plug, not sure I'd trust it, so ordered a new landing gear. The worst part is having to disassemble the drone again!
 
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Now you know how I know what I know about that bleeping connector.

Press on! 👍
 
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Well, I guess I'll get a new landing gear out of the issue... frankly, I could probably have gotten away with just buying the cables, but that would have been $18 vs. $35 for the full gear, and I'm not sure if I damaged the connector on the female side on the board. Thanks for info regardless, SouthTexas, appreciated.
 
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Job finished, was not expecting that landing gear curve ball! Good thing I ordered the full landing gear vs. just the cables. I cut the old leg apart to get a better look at the female receptical, and one of the contacts is bent inside there. No way I could have fixed that with the compass buried inside the leg.
83B34863-4630-4DE0-A667-F1DB0B0F147F.jpeg
 
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Congrats! Some of these repairs have minute details that are not obvious and can be quite confounding. Your experience with this connector was just like mine. Now we know there’s a specific way the plug must be inserted into the compass and it took a $35 goof-up to learn that lesson. Hopefully other folks will read this and avoid the same error.

A big THANK YOU to all the folks who share their repair successes and failures on this forum and on YouTube! And to those folks who come in here for help and post, “I’ll let you know if it works...” but never come back, PLEASE tell us your results, whether good or bad. It really helps the forum community. No kidding!
 
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Hi All,

Is it possible to change out the landing gear legs ONLY if ALL the wires compass etc are ok, as in this video of the P4??



Thanks Len
 

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