Day 3

After a few hours tinkering at the weekend the build is going well. 

Here is the progress so far. In total I’d estimate that this has taken about 4 hours work to get to this stage. I’ve really been taking my time and have been very thorough, lots of dry runs before loctiting parts together. I’m not in any rush and am savouring the build! 

I also took a great deal of care to get the frame sitting straight so the main shaft is able to spin freely. The trick I found was to tighten all screws on a really flat surface (Align recommend a glass surface), check the main frame and rotation of the main shaft, then undo the screws one at a time and re-seat them with loctite.

I bought some additional tools from These have been really useful and I’d definitely recommend picking these up. 

In this photo: the Feathering Shaft Wrench (HOT00005) on the right and the Align Hex drivers (HZ024) on the left. In the photo above you can also see the Align Repair Towels I bought (BG61549). They’re only £3 each and I couldn’t resist. It saves getting our own towels covered in loctite and grease too 🙂 

Another quick size comparison between the 550L and the 450 Plus. 

I’ve read a few things about Align supplied thread lock not being up to much, so I went ahead and bought some Zap stuff from I’ve used Zap products for years, so I figured their thread lock would be good, and it seems to be doing the job nicely. The red is permanent, used on bearings etc, and the blue for screws and regular metal-metal contacts. 

I bought some additional grease as well. Align supply a single 3cc tube in the 550L kit and, whilst I’m that’s enough for the build, I’m certain to use more in the future. 

The final additional tool is the swash leveller (H70118). Here is the 550 leveller next to the 450’s.

Anyway, time to stop writing the blog and get on with the build.