How To Make An RC Car Faster

Going full-throttle on your RC Car is an exciting way to spend your afternoon. But what if the car is not fast enough!  

Reaching your RC car’s full potential requires a little experimentation and some upgraded performance parts.

So, how do you make an RC car faster?

A Radio Controlled Car can be made faster by making the car lighter and upgrading specific parts. Other potential upgrades include:

  • A larger lightweight battery.
  • Improved suspension and aerodynamics.
  • A brushless motor.
  • Larger tires.
  • A faster gear ratio. 

The tips in this article will provide valuable information about the setup of the RC car and how to improve its speed.  


Ways To Make A RC Car Faster

There are many different ways to make an RC car faster, ranging from replacing crucial parts, reducing weight, and cleaning.

The tips provided below are proven to increase the speed of an RC car, but finding the perfect balance will require practice.

Reduce Weight

Making an RC car lighter is a sure-fire way to make it faster. The heavier the car is, the slower it will go.

Even though this might sound like an easy task, it can be challenging. 

There will be several parts that can be replaced with lighter aluminum and graphite pieces.

The ultimate way to shed some weight is to trim the unnecessary areas on the RC car’s chassis, like the area around the speed control tray and battery socket. There is usually some extra material on the front and rear of the chassis that can be reduced.

Bear in mind that reducing weight on the car may change its balance, so it will handle differently from the original version.

Reducing the weight too much may result in the RC car being unstable at higher speeds or not having enough traction. So restrain yourself and do the surgery in phases.

Use the Right Tires

The tires on the RC car play a vital role in the car’s capabilities. 

A larger tire will be faster than a smaller tire, but a larger tire places more strain on the motor.

Once you choose the optimal tire size, its time to select the type of tire based on the driving environment. The different types of tires are:  

  • Slick Tires – smooth surfaces, asphalt
  • Paddle Tires – rocky and sandy terrain
  • Spiked Tires – muddy or wet terrain
  • Mini-Pined Tires – carpets and uneven terrain

The final setup for the tires will be to set their angle by using a camber gauge.

The wheels’ camber will determine if the car travels in a straight line or if it will crab. Crabbing will reduce the overall speed that the RC car can achieve due to extra drag.

Change Your RC Car’s Gear Ratios

Changing the ratio on the RC cars pinion or spur gear can yield excellent results, and it is easy to do.

Most RC enthusiasts will change both gears as a set rather than just one.

The Pinion Gear

The pinion gear is connected directly to the output shaft of the motor. 

Larger pinion gears have more teeth than smaller gears, but each gear has its own attributes. Changing the pinion gear to a larger size will boost top-end speed, but acceleration will decrease slightly.

The changes should be done gradually by increasing or decreasing the teeth 1 or 2 at a time, as it can affect the motor’s power.

The Spur Gear

The spur gear is turned by the pinion gear and is considerably larger with more teeth.

Decreasing the number of teeth on the spur gear will aid in the top-end speed, and more teeth will make the car slower but supply more torque to the wheels.

The same rule applies to the spur gear and pinion gear; make gradual changes.

Upgrade the Motor

The motor is the heart of the RC car, and swapping out your motor will definitely speed up the RC car, but it does cost substantially more.

There are two main types of RC car motors: brushed and brushless.

Most off-the-shelf RC cars will be equipped with the cheaper brushed motor, so brushless is the correct choice if the RC car is getting an upgrade.

However, upgrading to a faster brushless motor usually requires more than just replacing the motor itself.

You’ll almost always need to upgrade your ESC (Electronic Speed Controller). You may also need a new battery and gears to accommodate the extra power being put into the car.

Upgrading the motor can also affect the handling of RC cars, as brushless motors are more complicated to steer than their counterparts.

Still, the significant increase in speed may be worth it.

Upgrade the Battery Pack

Adding a new battery back to the RC car will make a huge difference, especially in its speed. The critical thing to understand is the voltage of a battery pack is the critical factor. 

There are two common types of batteries, Ni-MH (nickel-metal hydride) and LiPo (Lithium-Ion Polymer).

  • Ni-MH – Batteries have cells of 1.2 volts and are stacked in a pack of 4 to produce 4.8 volts.
  • LiPo – Batteries have single cells of 3.4 volts and are stacked in a pack of 2, 3, or 4 to produce more volts.

LiPo batteries have a larger voltage and are significantly lighter than Ni-MH batteries. Offering less weight and more power will improve the RC car’s speed. 

Before upgrading the battery, refer to the user manual to ensure that the motor in the RC car can handle the added voltage.

The downside is that more power will result in an RC car that’s harder to control.

Improve Your RC Car’s Aerodynamics

The less drag an RC car has, the faster it will go.

Replacing the car’s body with a lighter and sleeker design will aid in aerodynamics. Most RC car platforms have several different aerodynamic body styles to choose from, as well as personalized options.

Upgrade the Suspension

The suspension on an RC car plays a vital role in the handling and is often a neglected part. The suspension and shock absorbers should be maintained regularly.

It is a simple task of dusting, cleaning, and removing debris that may be stuck or hindering it from working optimally and replacing damaged parts. The suspension should also be set to the correct height for the terrain you’re driving on.

Replacing the Bearings

Most RC cars will come with brass bushings which have a lot of friction. 

Replacing these bushings with quality ball bearings will reduce friction, thus increasing speed. The motor does not have to work as hard with less friction, saving battery power.

Tighten the Nut Behind the Wheel

There’s an old saying: the best way to make your car faster is to tighten the nut behind the wheel.

In other words…You.

The easiest way to make your RC car faster is to practice and have fun with it.

Focus on improving your racing lines, hitting the apexes of the corners, and hitting each jump perfectly. That will make the RC car naturally faster on track.

More importantly, becoming proficient on the track will let you know where improvements can be made on the RC car.

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