Motors are the driving force behind your RC car and can make a difference in the vehicle’s overall performance. Choosing the correct motor for the car type and terrain will impact your RC car driving experience. The 540 and 550 motors are popular models, but which is the right fit for your RC car?
The 540 and 550 motors vary in size, torque, and speed and have different battery requirements. The larger 550 motor is better for larger, heavier RC cars where additional torque is needed to power the bigger car. The smaller, lighter 540 motor is preferred for lighter, smaller RC cars.
Electric motors can take some time to become familiar with for those new to the RC hobby. This is especially true when choosing the best electric RC motor for your car and driving style. Comparing the 540 and 550 motors will help you choose the right motor for your RC car.
540 Vs. 550 Which RC Motor Is Better
When comparing these two electric RC motors, it is not simple to say one is better than the other.
Choosing the right engine depends on how they are used, the size of the car, and the batteries used to power the motors.
We will investigate the main differences between the two motors so you can establish which one will fit your unique requirements.
The Size Difference Between The 540 And 550 Motors
One of the most significant differences between the 540 and 550 motors is the motor’s physical size. The motors have the same diameter but a noticeable difference in length.
While both motors have a 1.37 inch (35mm) diameter, the 550 motor length can vary between 2.16 inches and 3.5 inches (55mm – 90mm). The length of the 540 is 2 inches (50mm).
This size difference affects your RC car’s capacity to hold the motor.
If your RC car wasn’t designed to fit the longer 550 motor, you might need to modify it to make it work.
The additional size of the 550 electric motor allows more space inside the casing, or “can,” as it is known in the RC community. The extra space allows for longer, larger components in the case, whether the motor is brushed or brushless.
Battery Requirements For The 540 And 550 Motors
Even if your RC car can accommodate both motors, you might not gain any additional performance by swapping to a larger motor.
This lack of performance enhancement is because of the battery configuration in the car. To get the optimal performance from the 550 motors, you need to use 3s or 4s LiPo batteries.
The 540 motor typically runs best on 2s batteries.
In general, if your RC car came with a 540 motor, you would typically have 2s LiPo batteries. These batteries generally put out 8.4 volts, the maximum voltage you can use on a 540 motor without quickly overheating.
By contrast, 2s LiPo batteries do not have the amperage or voltage to drive the larger internal components in the 550 motors. You won’t see any performance increase using a 550 motor and 2s batteries.
However, powering the 550 motor with a 3s or 4s power pack will see significant power and speed benefit. It’s best to use a battery with a C4 rating because of the amps the motor draws from the power pack.
540 vs. 550 Motors: Power Differences
When talking about power, we refer to the motor’s torque and ability to pull heavier loads.
A motor with more power can drive a heavier RC car with larger wheels and improve performance over challenging or sandy terrain.
The 550 motor delivers more power or torque than the 540, making the 550 more suitable for larger RC vehicles, off-road RC vehicles, monster trucks, and crawlers.
540 vs. 550 Motors: Speed Differences
Many people think that the RPM of a motor translates to speed for an RC car, but this is only part of the equation. It’s actually the combination of RPM and torque that translates to an RC car’s speed.
The 540 motor has a higher RPM than the 550, which means it can spin much faster, but it lacks the low-end torque of the 550. The 540 reaches 18000rpm, more than 3 times the 5800rpm of the 550.
What does this mean for your RC car?
If you have a lightweight RC car such as two-wheel drive buggies or stadium trucks, the 540 motor will give good performance and speed. The lighter RC cars will be fast enough from a standing start to not detract from the car’s performance.
If a 540 is fitted into a heavier car or a four-wheel drive RC car, it will be sluggish off the line, and the friction from larger wheels and larger mass will not allow the 540 to reach the top RPM.
This is where the 550, with more torque in its power delivery, would be the better choice.
The higher torque allows the motor to overcome mass inertia and friction much easier than the high RPM, low torque 540 motor.
While the 550 has a lower RPM than the 540, the speed for the RC car using the 550 can be adjusted with appropriate gearing.
Should You Use The 540 Or The 550 Motor?
If you operate a larger RC vehicle with four-wheel-drive and larger tires, a 550 motor combined with a 3s or 4s power pack with a C4 rating would be your best choice.
It’s common to think that changing to a 550 motor in a smaller, two-wheel-drive RC car will supercharge it.
However, getting that elusive performance boost from a 550 motor is only possible if you upgrade to 3s or 4s LiPo batteries from NiMH batteries.
Examining these crucial aspects of your RC car before converting from a 540 to a 550 motor is critical.
Wrapping It Up
Driving an RC car is a fantastic hobby. However, as you get into the activity, you will begin experimenting with tweaking your car to get the best performance you can.
Understanding the pairing of components such as 540 and 550 electric motors with certain battery types and car sizes will become part of the knowledge you need to tweak performance.