If you’re a RC car hobbyist or racer, you’re probably getting frustrated with the acceleration. You’re going to want to go faster. But you can’t. So, what do you do? Why scour the internet to figure out how to upgrade your RC car, of course! Upgrading your RC car might seem like an insurmountable task, but once you know what you’re looking for, it will be as easy 123.
How do you make an RC Car faster? There are several ways that you can do this; for example, you can change the gear ratio, you can experiment with different tyres, you can try to reduce the weight, or you can upgrade your Motor and ESC to a high-power brushless system! There are plenty of options out there to make your RC Car faster than before!
“Well, can’t I just look on YouTube and find easier ways to upgrade?” You can, however finding the exact video that you need amongst the infinite videos is definitely harder than reading through an article. Plus, we can link you to some of the best sites to get parts and other advice on your topic! Less work for a greater reward!
Should You Alter the Gear Ratio?
When it comes to upgrading your RC Car, the cheapest option is altering the Gear ratio. You can change the pinion or the spur gear for different sizes. What’s the pinion and the spur gear? Easy!
The pinion is the smaller gear on the motor and the spur gear is the larger plastic gear. If you change both of them, you’ll find an immediate change and get the maximum effect!
If you’re trying to reach a higher top speed, then a larger pinion and a smaller spur gear is the way to go! The larger gears have more teeth and smaller gears have less teeth.
Keep in mind that while you’ll get that higher top speed, you’ll have a slower acceleration and higher motor/esc temperature. For faster acceleration, you want a smaller pinion gear and larger spur gear. The catch is you’ll have a lower top speed.
You might be wondering which is the best to go for. If you’re racing somewhere with long stretches and fewer turns, go for the higher top speed. If you’re racing somewhere with more turns or not as many long speed runs, then go for the faster acceleration.
Will Changing the Tyres Work?
The short answer is yes it will! Because no two tracks are the same, the tires you choose will impact your driving! After all, you can’t drive without traction! This is a little more of a straight forward:
- For dry tarmac and road surfaces, you’ll want slick grip tyres.
- For grass and mud, go for full spike tyres.
- For Carpet and Astroturf, you want mini pins
- If you’re not sure or will be driving on lots of different surfaces, go for mini spikes!
Changing your tyres might seems like a waste of time, especially if you’re racing on all sorts of different surfaces. But just like a normal car. Try out different types of tyres to figure out which type you’d prefer to use!
How about reducing the weight?
You can reduce the weight in your car but be warned! Reducing the weight also reduces the traction. There are plenty of ways to reduce the weight. You can replace the heavier parts with graphite, light carbon, or aluminium parts.
You can also choose to light weight body or tires to reduce the weight. Another way to reduce weight and actually increase your power is to replace your battery. There are several lightweight, powerful batteries. If you have Ni-Cad or Ni-Mh battery packs, look into Li-po batteries.
This change will drastically reduce the weight of your car. Li-Po batteries are ideal for high-end Motor/Esc combos. Again, beware how much weight you’re removing! Consider adding a touch of weight to the front of your car. This will keep you from flipping over at the higher speeds.
Can you increase the power of your brushless ESC?
Yes, you can! Most of your RC Cars have a budget brushed or brushless motors in them. While this works for beginners or people who aren’t that serious, you won’t be able to push the car to the limits that you’d want.
Exchange the budget motor for something higher end. You’ll notice higher speeds from your car, including improved efficiency and longer run times! Be warned that some higher end motors, such as Novak GTB or Mamba Max, can cost more than the car you’re putting it in.
If you’re worried about the money, don’t worry! There are cheaper Chinese systems, Hobbyking and Turnigy most notably, that perform well for the money you’ll spend! You’ll want to keep in mind that the batteries that come in your car might not work the best for your newer motor, so be on the look for better batteries for that motor.
Will a more powerful Battery Help?
It can especially if you replace the motor. For more powerful motors, the Ni-Cad or Ni-Mh batteries are giving the power you need to run their full potential. Li-Po batteries are highly recommended if you keep them charged and run them the correct way.
If you’re wondering why changing your motor hasn’t impacted the way your car performs, and you haven’t replaced the batter, definitely look into the battery.
If you haven’t replaced the motor, it still helps to replace the battery with something of a higher voltage. Give you some extra power without breaking the bank. It really comes down to if you need/want to replace the motor or not.
Will replacing cheap Ball bearings and Bushings help?
Ok, look. You’re a professional RC car driver (or at least trying to be) and if there’s one thing that you know how to do is you know how to drive your car. However, you’ve probably noticed that your car is turning too much to one side.
Maybe it’s the steering trim and toe? More than likely, it’s a seized bearing. Your car has bunch of these in your car, of all different sizes, that allow your wheels to move freely.
You want to replace them to keep your wheels moving and grooving. In addition to regularly replacing your ball bearings, here are some extra tips:
- Don’t use a water-based cleaner on your bearings; they’ll rust.
- Acetone (which is cheap and easily available) is great for cleaning metal shielded bearings, removing old tires off rims, and cleaning new tires’ beads before mounting them.
- Apply some bearing oil with a small applicator tube to make keeping the oil in your bearings easier.
Depending on your skill level, you’re probably asking what on earth is the difference between a ball bearing and a bushing.
Aren’t they the same thing? Up above we talked about ball bearings; and a bushing is a thin tube that causes relative motion using sliding, as compared to rolling. A bushing might be called a sleeve bushing, but this is a redundant term.
The biggest difference between a ball bearing and a bushing is how they are categorized. A bushing falls under the general category of ball bearing while a ball bearing is not necessarily a bushing. Keeping track of both your bushing and your ball bearings is extremely important.
Do regular check ups on your cars, trucks, and buggies to make sure you’re running the best equipment and not the bare minimum.
Can Improving Your Driving Skills Help?
It certainly won’t hurt! You can upgrade your car with all the best parts, all the newest gadgets, and it won’t mean jack squat if you can’t back it up on the track. The easiest way to improve your skills? Practice!
As often as you can, you should get to the track. If you’re experimenting with different tyre types or different Gear ratios, you’ll definitely want to practice more. Different upgrades and parts require different driving.
The driving you’d after changing the gear ratio for a higher top speed is different than if you’ve changed it to achieve faster acceleration. Each of these has a specific track that it works better for and you’ll want to practice as many different ways as you can. After all, perfect practice makes perfect.
For Nitro Cars, how will changing the Clutch Bell & Spur Gear make your Car Faster?
If you have a nitro car, like a heavy monster truck or off-road buggy/truggy, it’s definitely worth looking into changing your clutch Bell and Spur Gear. If you have a larger clutch bell, you’ll be able to reach the top speed on your vehicle.
Swapping out the stock spur gear for a smaller one will also get that same effect. By doing this you will lower the acceleration speed. If you go too far with the gear changes, you’ll need to look at the springs or go with a heavier clutch shoe to keep it from bouncing around the track like a looney toon!
For Nitro Cars, how will “Opening the Carb” increase the speed?
In Layman’s terms, ‘opening the carb’ means opening the carburetor. On most RC Cars, there is a carb restrictor that you can tweak in order to increase the horsepower and fuel efficiency. There are multiple inserts that you can use to increase your power.
We suggest getting the biggest one you can get your hands on. By getting the biggest insert, you will be able to increase the RPM and the horsepower of your engine.
Pretty much the biggest insert that you can get will get you the best top speeds from your car. And if you’re giving yourself a headache trying to figure all this out, don’t you deserve the best of the best from your car?
For Nitro Cars, how will increasing the nitro percentage help?
Let’s talk Nitro Percentages! On average, most Nitro based RC Cars run at about 20% nitro percentages. While nitro cars might be hard to star (pick them up, use a hand help motor to spin the engine, and work the remote’s throttle at the same time), you do see better results over all.
Because it has its own oxygen supply, which helps in the combustion process, your car should start easier and run smoother. It’s relatively easy to increase the nitro levels in your fuel, however it means spending more cash as you do.
As the fuel percentage increases, be sure to check the head shims under you heat sink. The more nitro in the fuel, the more shims you’ll have to install. You’ll need to also check the heat range plug if you do an extreme change (say from 20% to 60%)
In case you’re wondering, if your engine has been displaced, it won’t impact the amount of nitro that you’re going to use. Again, more than 30% nitro in the fuel might require shimming the head in order to reduce the total compression ratio.
Investing in cold plugs may be useful, but not end-all. If you blow a plug, try decreasing the nitro in your fuel or checking the temperature of your cold plugs.
For Nitro Cars, how will Tweaking the Tune Pie help?
Believe it or not, your tune pipes can impact to how your engine performs and it’s also really pretty easy to adjust. First you have to open up the car and locate your exhaust system.
Changing the length of your exhaust system and the distance between the header and tuned pipe can affect the speed.
A longer exhaust system and a longer distance between the header and tuned pipe will increase the speed. It’s possible when you have a tuned pipe with a silicone coupler because there’s no fixed length to deal with.
You can increase engine RPM by a tuned piper if it has a gently tapered shape. Like I said, easy to adjust!
How much do RC car tyres cost?
Well, thankfully, of all the parts to repair or upgrade, the tires are the easiest and least expensive to do. If you’re racing on different types of track or want to experiment with different tire types, then you’re in luck!
The cheapest tires are about $5 and the other necessary parts, such as the rims or the buggies, can be as low as $3. If you’re looking for something in the higher price range, you’re looking at to drop between $120-$140 on tires or rims. Again, as all the part to replace go, this is the easiest to replace in work and in cost.
Keep an eye out on eBay or other retail sites, such as Amazon, that have parts at a lower cost.
How much do RC car motors cost?
Like all hobbies you might have, getting new or better parts might cost a pretty penny. When you start considering the cost of the motor, you really want to make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for. Some of the motors can cost as little as $10.
However, on the other end of that spectrum, there’s motors that cost over $400. If you consider that most of the best RC cars will set you back about $100 or more, you definitely want to make sure you know exactly the best parts without breaking the bank.
Keep your eye out on eBay or other retail sites like that. You might get lucky and find some really awesome parts within your budget! Get exactly what you need without breaking the bank!
How fast can an RC car go?
What if I told you that there are models of RC cars that can get up to 100 mph? You’d probably think I’m crazy or that I’m lying, maybe a bit of both. That’s not the case! While there is a difference between a brushless or nitro RC, most of the most expensive RC cars can reach speeds of 60+ MPH. For Example:
The Redcat Racing Rampage XB 1:5 Gas RTR RC buggy reaches speeds over 40 miles an hour and is about 500 dollars. You can also get a CIS Racing High Speed Sprint 2.4GHz 1:12 RTR Electric RC Car for $70 and go over 15 mph.
Don’t sneeze at the cheaper models though! The Formula-T Off road 1:18 RTR Electric RC Buggy can reach between 7 and 10 miles per hour. How much is it? 13 dollars! Below is a list of other popular RC cars and their average speeds:
- Maisto Rock Crawler- 5 mph
- Force1 Buggy – 12 mph
- GP Nextx S911 1/12- 35 mph
- Vatos RC VL-BG1513A- 25 mph
- Redcat Racing Volcano EPX Pro- 30 mph
- Traxxas Slash 4X4 platinum edition- 60 mph
- Redcat Racing Nitro Buggy – 35 mph
- Kyosho Inferno Neo 2.0- 40 mph
- Traxxas E-REVO VXL- 30 mph
- Redcat Racing Rampage XT- 35 mph.
No matter what you get you can always make the changes that we’ve talked about in this article! Really isn’t the speed limit on the track a suggestion?