Have you been driving the same RC Car for a while? If so, you might be thinking it’s time for an upgrade. Have you been wondering, How to make a RC Car faster? In This article I give you some tips on how you can accomplish that.
If you feel you’re not able to hit your full potential as an RC driver and it is your vehicle that is holding you back, there’s a few things you can do to give it some extra power.
Whether you’re planning on entering a race or simply want that adrenaline rush that comes from driving at higher speeds, making your RC faster is a great way to not only have more fun, but also get to know your car and the mechanics around RCs slightly better.
Upgrading your RC Car doesn’t have to cost an arm or a leg to accomplish. Here is a few steps to take and remember for when you want to know how to make a rc car faster.
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to increase the speed of your RC is by adjusting the gear ratio.
There’s two gears on your RC, the pinion gear and the spur gear. Both can be upgraded to give your RC either a faster top speed, or better acceleration.
Change the Pinion Gear
This is the gear which is attached directly to your motor. It is usually made from aluminium, steel or titanium.
They come in many different sizes and pitches and can easily be removed by a hex driver.
In general, the higher the teeth count on your pinion gear, the faster the RC will go.
This does not refer to acceleration, but instead the fastest top speed your RC can reach.
When changing the pinion gear, it’s important not to increase by too many teeth at once, as this can increase the temperature of your RC and potentially do some real damage.
Instead, increase the size of the pinion by one or two teeth at a time, and periodically check the temperature of your vehicle.
If you want a faster acceleration, go for a smaller pinion gear with less teeth.
This will help your car accelerate quicker off the start and, another advantage, won’t compromise the temperature of your car.
However, the trade-off is you’ll have a slower top speed, although it’ll take you less time to get there!
A smaller pinion gear is ideal for smaller spaces where you won’t have as much time to get up to speed, so need to get there fast!
When changing the pinion gear, it is important to know what size and pitch is currently on the car. I recommend looking at the pinion before buying the upgraded pinion. Not all but most gears have the tooth count and pitch stamped on the gear. If not, check the owners manual.
Change the Spur Gear
Next to upgrade is the larger plastic gear (Spur gear) which the pinion gear turns.
Adjusting the spur gear can also give you either a higher top speed or quicker acceleration, although the difference will be less noticeable than it is from adjusting the pinion gear.
Decreasing the size of the spur gear will give you a higher top speed but less acceleration, while increasing the size will result in faster acceleration with a lower top speed.
For best results, change both the pinion and the spur gear. What your temperature! If the temperature gets too high, then change to a lower tooth pinion.
If you need help with gearing check out my how to choose gearing article.
Upgrade Your Tires
Make sure your tires are designed for where you are driving. Using the wrong tires for the surface you are driving on will almost certainly slow down your vehicle.
If you want to make your RC faster, it’s imperative that you use the right tires for the surface.
If you are driving on road or tarmac, slicks are your best bet.
For slippery grass or mud, full spikes are the better option and mini pins are best for carpet. For an all-round good grip, mini spikes are the ideal choice.
Ensure you are using high quality tires. Using cheaper tires will not only mean the traction isn’t as good, they are also less durable.
This means you may end up spending more money in the long run, and you’ll be unlikely to reach those top speeds. Premium tires will ensure you can go faster and handle corners better.
This will massively reduce the likelihood of your RC spinning or rolling if you hit a corner too fast, again saving you money on maintenance which you can put towards upgrading your motor or other parts.
When it comes to what to look for in a tire, bigger is generally better, although of course there is a limit to this.
Tires with a bigger diameter can cover more ground per rotation, which will increase the speed – although it should be noted that bigger tires will also weigh more. If you have a 1/10 scale and are wanting fast speed runs on pavement, I recommend a set of 1/8 scale street wheels and tires. Of course this means installing 17mm hex adapters.
Upgrade Your Battery
Probably the easiest way to make a rc car faster is upgrading your battery. You can upgrade from a NiMh to a LiPo pack or from a LiPo to a bigger LiPo, this will certainly speed up your vehicle.
Not only are LiPo batteries lighter than NiMh batteries, they also boast more power.
The downside is they are slightly more difficult to use, more expensive and you will need to purchase a suitable charger.
When purchasing a LiPo pack to replace your NiMh, it’s important to make sure you buy a suitable replacement.
Read the manual, speak to someone at your local hobby shop, or check out any of the RC online forums to make sure the battery pack you purchase is suitable for your car.
If you have a 2-cell LiPo battery, you could consider upgrading it to a 3-cell. The 3-cell pack has a higher voltage output, meaning you will end up with more power.
The downside of this is that the 3-cell weigh slightly more.
Vehicles powered by a 3-cell LiPo packs are also much harder to control, you will feel the increase of power quite strongly when you first upgrade.
While this does make for a faster vehicle, be mindful that you could do some serious damage to your car if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Remember that these RC batteries are in no way comparable with the AAs fitted into your TV remote!
They must be handled, charged and disposed of with care and following manufacturer guidelines. Make sure you know how to care for LiPo batteries.
If you’re unsure whether a battery is suitable for your RC, Be sure you get professional advice, as the wrong battery in the wrong vehicle can be dangerous.
Upgrading the battery from NiMh to LiPo pack alone with no other upgrades will give you a substantial boost in power and speed.
Upgrade Your Motor
Depending on what sort of motor you currently use, you might want to consider upgrading.
Brushed motors are best for beginners, we’re assuming if you are wanting to get to higher speeds you have built more experience as an RC driver and are probably ready for something brushless.
Upgrading to a brushless motor is a great way to increase the speed of your car.
Brushless motors are technically more efficient than their brushed counterparts.
Less energy is lost through friction meaning the vehicle can travel faster and with more power.
This Is the opposite of brushed motors, in which the brushes convert electricity into motion with some of this energy lost through friction.
While upgrading to a brushless motor is a guaranteed way to increase the speed and power of your RC, they are slightly harder to drive, so inexperienced drivers should be a little more careful.
They may have more complicated steering, responsiveness or suspension, They are also more expensive to both purchase and maintain.
If you want to reach some seriously high speeds, you might be looking at more money than the cost of the RC itself. There are a lot of brushless motor options available.
Cheaper systems can be found online check out motors by kinexsis, Hobbyking or Turnigy which, although not quite as hardcore as the high-end motors, perform well for the money and will certainly increase your speed.
Drive Your RC Car
How to make a RC car faster? The most cost-effective way to make your RC car faster is to practise. You can upgrade your car to the max, if you can’t handle the rc car than what good is all that speed and power?
Too many people spend large amounts of money on upgrading and changing their RC car to reach better speeds, without actually knowing how to handle it properly.
The winners of races often aren’t those with the most expensive or best RC car.
The winners are usually the people who have perfected their technique and can navigate the track in a way others can’t.
It’s not just about going flat out full throttle, even though that is really fun.
It’s knowing when to push your RC and when to hold back a little.