How to Make RC Cars Faster
There are a few ways to make your RC car go faster. Some require more work, expertise, and money, and some are simple tweaks that can make a small difference. In this article, we’ll be talking about electric RC cars, not nitro RC cars. Nitro RC cars are powered by fuel. An electric motor and battery pack power electric RC cars.
We’ll also be focusing on hobby-grade RC cars, and not toy-grade RC cars. Hobby-grade cars are more expensive, but you can change, upgrade, and customize the parts. Upgrading and changing parts can get expensive. Here are a few easy and inexpensive tweaks that may make a small difference in your speed.
Maintenance and lubrication are essential. A lot of hobbyists try to avoid getting certain parts of the car wet and take great care in finding the right grease or lubricant. Others believe that instead of using grease, lighter oil like WD-40 might actually help things run faster.
Along with lubrication, just cleaning all of the working parts and making sure gears and parts move properly can help keep things from slowing down unnecessarily. Another trick you can try is to shape and mold the brushes to the armature by connecting the electric motor to a 3-volt battery, and letting it run for a couple of hours. This can help change the shape of the brushes and reduce friction.
Upgrading Your Battery
Upgrading your battery can give your motor a boost. Li-Po batteries will provide you with more power than the older Ni-Mh or Ni-Cad batteries. Be sure you don’t overdo it. Also, make sure you run and charge the batteries correctly. A motor upgrade with an ESC system will allow you to run the most powerful batteries.
Changing the Gear Ratio
Your RC car will have a small and large gear. By changing the size of one or both of the gears, you’ll change the gear ratio. The small gear is called a pinion gear; the larger plastic gear is the spur gear. Getting a larger pinion gear and a smaller spur gear can give you faster top speed. You’ll also get slower acceleration.
Your motor could also run hotter. Before you make any changes, it’s important to think about what your main objective is, because there are give and takes with most modifications. If quicker acceleration is your goal, make your pinion gear smaller, and increase the size of the spur gear. Remember, there are give and takes. This may be the perfect solution for a short race, but not a long one. This is a modification you can experiment with and adjust your speed for your car.
Upgrading Those Tires
Get some high-quality tires designed for the type of racing you do. Large tires with grip can go faster, but they also add weight. Changing the gearing may be a better option than getting giant tires. But then, getting good tires with the right amount of grip for your car and racing surface makes a lot of sense.
Lightening the Weight
Look for lightweight parts made from aluminum or graphite. Change out whatever weighs down the chassis. Carbon components are also lightweight. Remember the battery upgrade? It turns out that faster Li-Po batteries also weigh less. Less weight can mean less traction. It’s a good idea to consider which performance-enhancing upgrades will apply best to your situation.
Upgrading Your Motor
The faster the motor, the faster the car. Brushless motors are faster than the brushed motors. They are more expensive, too, but you can get the quicker brushless motor and ESC system, along with a more powerful Li-Po battery for a considerable speed boost. The brushless motors also run longer and are more efficient.
The electronic speed controller (ESC) will also need to be changed, but this will help you accommodate those new faster batteries. You can use the older Ni-Mh or Ni-Cad batteries with your new motor, but it defeats the purpose of all of the trouble and expense. The Li-Po batteries are what give your new system that needed boost.
Not all of these solutions make sense for every car. It could be easier and cheaper to just upgrade the car. However, hopefully, these suggestions can help you make your car as fast as it needs to be.