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How to Build a Drift RC Car

After hearing about people talking about the fast and furious, I was intrigued by Drift cars. In this article I will explain how you can build your own Drift car and reveal some recommendations for Kit cars if you prefer to go that route.

What things do you need to build an RC Drift Car? To build an RC drift car you will need a chassis, a 2-channel digital transmitter and receiver radio system, a brushless speed controller motor, a battery pack, body paint and perhaps ball bearings.

Now you know what things you will need to build it, let me explain, step-by-step, how you should build it. Keep reading to get the detail.

What is an RC Drift Car?

An RC drift car (Click for the best Drift Cars) is equipped with special almost no-traction tires to help the car slip into a skid, encourage and maintain controlled oversteer.

RC drift cars are often modified to allow the car to “drift” or when the angle of the rear tires is different than the slip angle of the front tires. The front wheels are pointed in the opposite direction of the turn and the driver is controlling the turn.

RC drift cars are fun and thrilling, but they are not recognized by RC racing clubs. However, if your want to have outside fun with a stunningly decorated car and a cool adrenaline rush, then build yourself a Drift RC car.

An RC Drift car represents driving RC driving art at its best. Your RC drift car when racing has screeching tires, fantastic maneuvers, demonstrates high speed, and dynamic control.

Keep in mind that since the release of the movie the “Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” RC drift driving has become very popular in both Japan and the US.

Enthusiasts realize it’s a bit difficult to have a full scale drift car, and this has made RC drifting a highly recognized sport in the RC car niche. Once you see an RC drift car race, and held an RC Drift car, you want to buy or build your own.

What things do you need to build an RC Drift Car?

First you select a body style like a 1:10 body reminiscent of life-sized drift cars. You will want a chassis for your RC drift car and the best chassis are four-wheel drive equipped.

Equipment you will also need include:

  • A paint dip tank
  • Paint
  • Drying Rack
  • Decals
  • Masking Tape
  • PVC pipe that you can get from a hardware store.

What other components do you need to build a drift car?

If you are not experienced at RC drift car crafter and racer, a 4 wheel-drive chassis will be best for you. You can customize your own RC Drift car by following building specification and models, or you can buy a complete kit at hobby shops and online.

Another important component is a motor. You need a high torque or a 19 turn motor. The standard Mabuchi 540 is great and will work in an RC drift car.

The PVC pipe for the tires should come from a ten foot long, two inch diameter PVC pipe. Make sure the pipe is as round as possible and don’t buy PVC pipe tht is oval shaped or deformed.

You can also purchase ABS pipes, but they are a bit softer than PVC pipe material. You could also use rubber tires wrapped in electrical tape to make them smooth.

The Building Process (Step-by-Step).

In this section I am going to explain, step-by-step, how you build your own RC Drift car:

  • Select your body style. Models that are 1:10 representations of real drift racing cars are popular.
  • Customize the body any way you want.
  • Use a paint dipping tank and dip the entire body of the car in the paint.
  • Set it on a cooling rack where it can get air circulation all the way around to dry evenly. This will give an even color all the way around the car.
  • Create detailed paint work and add decals to make the car your own. Use your imagination to create an RC drift car this truly unique.
  • Select a chassis. If you are a novice at building an RC drift car, use a chassis that is four-wheel drive. Four wheel drive chassis have distribution ratios that are heavier on the front. The idea is to have the front heavier than the rear. A heavier front end will allow the rear of the car to spin out when accelerating and move down the track faster.
  • Remove the rubber tires and wheels from the chassis. Rubber tires grip the surface of the road and will not drift properly. You will need to modify the tires.
  • Measure the diameter and width your tires. Cut the pipe into four equal pieces and make sure that they are the same width as the tires you removed. You will use these PVC pipe cuts as the replacement tires for your chassis.
  • Slide the tires made from PVC pipe over the wheel on your car’s chassis. Cover wheels in masking tape. After the wheels are covered you can install them back on the wheel mount. Do this with all four tires and set the tires tightly over the wheel base.
  • Next attach the wheels to the chassis. Tighten them up so they are secure. You do not want your tires falling off during a drift race.
  • Now, set the engine in position on the chassis. The engine should be electric. Nitro and gas engines do not work well for RC drift racing and could cause the RC to catch fire or smoke.An electric engine is lighter for the RC car’s manoeuvrability. You can purchase specialized drift care engines, but any light weight electric engine can work.
  • Attach the finished chassis to the body of the car. Follow the body manufacturer’s instructions when securing the chassis and the body.

Common problems when building a Drift RC Car

RC drift car just stops accelerating

At times, the RC drift car just stops accelerating. You look and everything is charged, the wheels turn, but the throttle just whines and does not move. A common problem could be something locking up the gears little a small pebble or piece of fabric.

There are also problems when you get the wrong sized accessories. PVC pipes can be slightly larger in diameter and this creates a problem. You may have to recut the pipe or purchase specialized drift tires.

Gearing your car for acceleration

You will also need to gear your car for acceleration and not for top speed. Common problems are not using a four-wheel drive machine and trying to customize a 2-wheel drive car.

Using a belt driven transmission

Another problem when building an RC drift car is using a belt driven transmission for your car. It is recommended to use a shaft drive for your car. You will get the best throttle response from a shaft driven car and the backlash which often happens due to belt design is avoided.

Related Questions:

Q. Are there any RC Car kits you can use for beginners?

Making your RC Drift Car from a kit is great for novice racers. Let me share some kits that you consider using:

Sakura D4 Drift Kit

One good kit is the Hobbypower 1:10 SAKURA D4 carbon and alloy remote car drift racing frame body kit (Click to see the reviews on Amazon).

Although 4-wheel drive RC cars are recommended this is a rear wheel drive 1:10 drift kit. The kit features all the weight centered at the rear of the car. The car also comes with extremely wide angle steering system. The car handles easily, and any beginner will appreciate the drifting experience.

Included is the main chassis, an upper deck and front and rear shock towers. You also receive a KIT-D4RWD internal gear ratio rated at 2.05, 2 belt drive system, and an ultra-wide angle universal driveshaft.

The height is adjustable and includes dampers & full bearings. There is a doublewide wishbone, 10 degree front caster angle, and adaptable upper suspension arms that sit up front. The car, when finished weights 750g.

Mazda RX-7 Drift Kit

A suggestion for your RC Drift Car hobby is a 1:10 Mazda RX-7 FD3S TT-02D 4WD On-Road Drift Special Kit (Click for reviews on Amazon). This high-end kit features a 1:10 gage remote car kit, a robust ABS mastic chassis, and a wheel that is 4-wheel drive, and a sport tune bushed motor.

You will also receive full ball bearings, CVA shocks, and a heatsink motor made from aluminum. You will need to complete the drift car with a 2-channel radio, compatible charger, 7.2 volt battery, and paint. Go to your local hobby store to purchase the right tools or you can order the right tools from hobby websites.

The Mazda RX-7 kit is a preferred among drift event goers. It was promoted by the animation series Initial D and the popular movie “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.” The classic body style can be customized and is just what you want to race on any hobby race track.

According to RC Drift enthusiasts, if you are performing the drifts, driving the RC drift car or just watching it race by on a track, the experience is empowering. What’s even better is building your own RC Drift Car, customizing it to make it your own, and putting it on the race track.