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Newsletter / Ezine

- Faster RC Car Tips


Tips That Will Help Make Your Car Go Faster

You can find plenty of rc tips in past issues of the RC Car Tips newsletter that would help make your rc car go faster. In addition, more tips can be found in this page.

General Speed Tips

A cheap way to make your rc car go faster than others is to build it right. That means that the gears and all rotating parts are properly lubricated and rotate freely. Make sure the gear mesh between the motor (pinion gear) and transmission (spur gear) is just right. Spacing is usually 1 newspaper thin distance.

Using light weight oil instead of grease will usually make the parts rotate more freely, but may also cause premature wear. I personally use WD40 to lubricate the ball bearings, bushings, and gears.

Straight line speed is fun, but for racing it is also important to tune the handling of your car. A great handling car is fun to drive and will lead to faster lap times. Basic starting point is to find the right balance of over steer / under steer that best suits your driving style. Then use the right combination of tires to achieve a good handling car, then fine tune by changing the shock springs, oil shock thickness, camber / caster settings, and ride height.

Gas RC Cars Speed Tips

The most important speed tip for gas rc cars is to have a properly tuned gas engine. You can download the free ebook "Secrets of Nitro RC Cars" for tips on how to tune r/c gas engines.

Factors that affect the engine performance are fuel/air mixture, quality of fuel, and the exhaust pipe (i.e. tuned pipe). The difficult part is that tuning one aspect (e.g. exhaust pipe length) affects other tuning factors (e.g. fuel/air mixture).

Two speed transmissions are also a must in gas engines. The first gear will improve acceleration, while the second gear will improve top speed. A basic guideline is that the car should accelerate in first gear, then after the engine reaches it's peak rpm (usually within 2 seconds), it should shift into second gear.

Electric RC Cars Speed Tips

The main components that contribute to the speed of electric powered rc cars is the battery pack, the speed controller, and the electric motor.

For stock, ready to run rc cars, the most significant factor in speed is the electric motor. Stock cars would usually come with a Mabuchi 540 or a slightly faster 20-turn stock motor. The key speed tip is to properly break in the motor brushes that touch the commutator. The more the brush surface conforms to the curve shape of the commutator, the more power you will get.

For modified rc cars, it is the combination of a good battery pack, electronic speed control, and modified motor that will give you a faster rc car. For battery packs, it is all about charging and discharging the battery pack correctly. Use a high quality peak detection charger designed for your specific battery type. Popular types are the Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) and the Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH).

For modified motors, the key idea is:

lower turns (e.g. 12-turn) = higher rpm = lower torque = use lower gear ratio (e.g. smaller pinion gear / larger spur gear)

high turns (e.g. 20-turn) = lower rpm = higher torque = use higher gear ratio (e.g. bigger pinion gear / smaller spur gear)

For ultimate motor performance, a hand wound modified motor is faster than a machine wound modified motor. However, hand wound modified motors are also more expensive.


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