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Are you unsatisfied with the performance of your budget-friendly RC car? Many RC enthusiasts don’t realize that even low-cost models can be significantly improved. Our article “How To Upgrade A Cheap RC Car? (7 Easy Steps)” provides a thorough yet manageable guide to boost the speed, handling and overall performance of your vehicle.

Ready to transform your basic toy into a high-octane machine? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Upgrading the motor of a cheap RC car is a cost-effective way to enhance its overall performance, speed, and control.
  • Adjusting the gear ratio by changing the pinion gear and spur gear can significantly improve your RC car’s velocity and performance.
  • Changing the tires of your RC car can greatly enhance traction, stability, and maneuverability on different surfaces.
  • Upgrading the batteries to high-capacity LiPo batteries can maximize power output and speed while investing in a quality charger ensures faster charging times. Balance charging helps maintain optimal battery performance.
  • Enhancing the suspension system with upgraded shock absorbers, stiffer springs, adjustable sway bars, ball bearings, and fine-tuning geometry improves handling and stability.
  • Enhancing the steering mechanism through upgrading servos, adjusting steering linkage, installing ball bearings, upgrading arms & bell crank improving alignment optimizes responsiveness & precision.
  • Customizing the body of an RC car with lightweight materials like polycarbonate or decals allows for unique personalization.

7 Easy Steps to Upgrade a Cheap RC Car

Upgrade your cheap RC car with these 7 easy steps, including upgrading the motor and adjusting the gear ratio for increased speed, changing the tires for better traction, improving the suspension and steering mechanism for enhanced handling, and customizing the body to make it unique.

Step 1: Upgrade the Motor

Boosting the speed and acceleration capacity of your cheap RC car often starts with a motor upgrade. Diving into this first step, here are some key insights you should consider:

  1. Understand that upgrading the motor is a cost – effective way to enhance your RC car’s overall performance.
  2. Approach your motor upgrade process with detailed instructions and pictures for better comprehension.
  3. Evaluate various motor options to choose the perfect fit for your RC car, enhancing both its speed and control.
  4. Acknowledge that improving the RC car’s motor could breathe new life into it, making it more enjoyable to drive.
  5. Ensure you follow a step-by-step guide specifically tailored for motor upgrades in order to avoid any pitfalls.
  6. Be open to experimenting with different motor modifications that can help find the perfect balance between speed and control.
  7. Keep in mind that upgrading the motor is just an initial but critical modification among many others you can make on a cheap RC car.

Step 2: Adjust the Gear Ratio

Optimizing the gear ratio of your RC car can lead to substantial improvements in its speed and performance. This is a critical step in the 7 easy steps to upgrade a cheap RC car.

  1. Start with examining the pinion gear and spur gear of your RC car, which are key players in your vehicle’s speed potential.
  2. Understand that changing the pinion gear, which directly connects to your motor’s output shaft, can significantly affect your RC car’s velocity.
  3. Consider adjusting the spur gear that meshes with the pinion gear to fine – tune your car’s overall performance.
  4. Balance speed enhancements with caution as gearing an RC car for higher speeds may overwork and heat up the engine faster.
  5. Keep in mind that optimizing the gear ratio isn’t the only way to enhance speed and performance of a budget-friendly RC car; include methods such as tire substitutions, battery upgrades, and weight reduction where possible.
  6. Coordinate all adjustments together for comprehensive performance enhancement; this includes managing changes in tires, batteries, and weight alongside your gear ratio tweaks.
  7. Refer to comprehensive guides or handbooks online that provide valuable knowledge on how best to adjust gears, other components, and overall strategy for upgrading RC cars.
  8. Explore options like Traxxas’ pinion/spur charts available online – an invaluable resource when determining suitable ratios for specific models of RC cars.
  9. Utilize calculators designed to determine ideal ratios based on various factors including motor size or desired velocity; these tools can be found readily available online.

Step 3: Change the Tires

Upgrading your RC car’s tires is a crucial step in enhancing performance and speed. Here are the key points to remember:

  1. Improved traction and grip: Upgraded tires can significantly boost your RC car’s grip on various surfaces, leading to better maneuverability.
  2. Increased stability: The right tires enhance stability during cornering or navigating across uneven terrain, making your RC car faster.
  3. Choose appropriate tires: Ensure you select the correct tread patterns and compounds suitable for different applications and track conditions.
  4. Easy upgrading process: Even with limited technical knowledge or experience, changing the tires of an RC car follows a straightforward procedure.
  5. Considerations beyond appearances: While aesthetics matter, focus more on compatibility and performance when picking new tires.
  6. Cost-effective speed boost: Compared to other modifications, upgrading the tires can be an economical way to enhance your cheap RC car’s performance.
  7. Range of aftermarket options: Take advantage of various aftermarket tire offerings tailored to specific needs and preferences.

Step 4: Upgrade the Batteries

To maximize the power and speed of your cheap RC car, upgrading the batteries is a crucial step. Here’s how you can easily upgrade the batteries:

  1. Choose the right battery: Shopping for the right battery is important for enhancing your RC car’s performance. Look for high-capacity batteries that offer a longer run time and increased power output.
  2. Consider LiPo batteries: Lithium Polymer (LiPo) batteries are popular among RC car enthusiasts due to their high power density and lightweight design. Upgrading to LiPo batteries can significantly improve your RC car’s speed and overall performance.
  3. Upgrade the charger: Along with upgrading the batteries, it’s essential to invest in a quality charger that is compatible with your new battery pack. A good charger can provide faster charging times and better control over the charging process.
  4. Optimize voltage: Increasing the voltage of your battery pack can give your RC car an instant speed boost. For example, using an 11.1V battery instead of a 7.4V one can greatly enhance acceleration and top speed.
  5. Balance charging: To ensure longevity and optimal performance of your upgraded battery, make sure to implement balance charging. This process helps equalize the charge level between individual cells within the battery pack, preventing any cell from being overcharged or discharged.
  6. Monitor temperature: While running your upgraded RC car, keep an eye on the battery temperature as excessive heat can damage both the battery and other components of the vehicle. Allow sufficient cooling time between runs to prevent overheating.
  7. Consider safety precautions: When upgrading to higher-capacity or higher-voltage batteries, it’s important to consider safety precautions such as using heat-resistant battery bags and ensuring proper insulation of connectors to prevent short circuits.

Step 5: Improve the Suspension

To upgrade the suspension of your cheap RC car, follow these simple steps:

  1. Upgrade the shock absorbers: Replace the stock shocks with high-quality oil-filled shocks to improve the overall performance and handling of your RC car.
  2. Consider stiffer springs: Upgrading to stiffer springs will help keep your RC car stable while cornering and provide better control over uneven terrains.
  3. Fine-tune the suspension geometry: Adjusting the camber, toe angle, and ride height can significantly enhance the handling and stability of your RC car.
  4. Opt for adjustable sway bars: Installing adjustable sway bars allows you to fine-tune the weight transfer during turns, helping prevent excessive body roll and improving overall grip.
  5. Upgrade to ball bearings: Replacing bushings with ball bearings in your suspension system reduces friction, resulting in smoother movements and improved durability.
  6. Add reinforcements: Strengthen weak points in the suspension by using additional braces or supports specifically designed for your RC car model.
  7. Experiment with different oils: By testing different viscosities of shock oil, you can fine-tune the dampening characteristics of your RC car’s suspension for optimal performance.

Step 6: Enhance the Steering Mechanism

Step 6: Enhance the Steering Mechanism

  1. Upgrade the Servo: The servo is responsible for turning the wheels of your RC car. Look for a high-quality servo with a higher torque rating for improved steering performance.
  2. Adjust Steering Linkage: Ensure that the steering linkage is properly aligned and free from any obstructions. You may need to adjust or replace any worn-out or damaged parts.
  3. Install Ball Bearings: Upgrading to ball bearings on the steering system can reduce friction and improve overall performance. This will provide smoother and more responsive steering.
  4. Upgrade Steering Arms: Consider upgrading your plastic steering arms with metal ones for increased durability and precision.
  5. Check Steering Geometry: Make sure that the front wheels are correctly aligned by adjusting toe-in and camber settings. This will optimize handling and cornering abilities.
  6. Upgrade Steering Bellcrank: The bellcrank is responsible for transferring movement from the servo to the wheels. Upgrading to a sturdier bellcrank system can help eliminate any play or slop in the steering mechanism.
  7. Fine-Tune Dual-Rate Settings: Most modern RC transmitters allow you to adjust dual-rate settings, which control how far the wheels turn in response to input from your controller. Experiment with different settings to find what works best for you.

Step 7: Customize the Body

Customizing the body of a cheap RC car is a fun and creative way to make it stand out from the crowd. By following these simple steps, you can give your RC car a unique and personalized look:

  1. Choose the right materials: When customizing the body of your RC car, consider using lightweight materials such as polycarbonate or Lexan. These materials are durable and easy to work with, allowing you to shape them according to your desired design.
  2. Prep the body: Before painting or applying any decals, make sure to thoroughly clean the body of your RC car. Remove any dust or grease using soap and water, and then dry it completely.
  3. Plan your design: Take some time to brainstorm and come up with a design that reflects your personality and preferences. You can draw inspiration from real-life racing cars, movie themes, or create something entirely unique.
  4. Paint it up: Using spray paint designed for use on plastic surfaces, apply thin coats of paint onto the body of your RC car in smooth even strokes. Allow each coat to dry before applying another layer.
  5. Add decals or stickers: To further enhance the appearance of your RC car, consider adding decals or stickers that complement your chosen design. Make sure to carefully position them and press out any air bubbles for a seamless finish.
  6. Protect with clear coat: Once you’re satisfied with the paint job and decal placement, protect it by applying a clear coat over the entire body. This will help prevent chipping and scratches while giving it a glossy finish.
  7. Final touches: To complete the customization process, add small details like side mirrors, spoilers, or even LED lights if desired. These finishing touches can take your RC car’s appearance to another level.

How To Upgrade A Cheap RC Car

How to Maintain Your Upgraded RC Car

Proper maintenance is essential for keeping your upgraded RC car in top shape and ensuring it lasts for a long time. Following these simple tips will help you prevent unnecessary wear and tear, avoid battery damage, and maximize the performance of your vehicle.

Firstly, make sure to clean your RC car regularly. Dust, dirt, and debris can build up on the chassis, motor, and suspension components, affecting their performance. Use a soft brush or compressed air to remove any particles from hard-to-reach areas.

Secondly, check all the nuts and bolts after every few runs. Vibrations from driving can cause them to loosen over time. Tighten them as needed to prevent parts from coming undone while you’re out on the track.

Thirdly, pay attention to your batteries. Avoid overcharging them as it can lead to damage or even overheating. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for charging times and always use a compatible charger.

Additionally, when storing your RC car between uses or during off-seasons, ensure that it is kept in a cool and dry place. Extreme temperatures or moisture can have detrimental effects on electronic components such as motors and batteries.

Lastly (but not least), don’t forget to perform regular inspections of the tires. Check for signs of wear or damage such as cracks or punctures. Replacing worn-out tires promptly will maintain optimal grip on various surfaces while preventing further complications down the line.

By following these easy maintenance steps outlined above along with providing proper care for your upgraded RC car; like cleaning regularly; checking nuts &bolts’ tightness; avoiding overcharging batteries ; proper storage & inspection of tyres , you’ll be able to enjoy extended lifespan out of your investment while maximizing its performance potential without breaking the bank!

How To Upgrade A Cheap RC Car – FAQs

1. What are some easy upgrades I can make to my cheap RC car?

There are several easy upgrades you can make to your cheap RC car, such as replacing the stock motor with a more powerful one, upgrading the tires and wheels for better traction, adding an upgraded battery for longer run times, and installing a higher-quality radio system for improved control.

2. Do I need any special tools or skills to upgrade my RC car?

While some upgrades may require basic tools like screwdrivers or pliers, most upgrades can be done with simple hand tools that are readily available. As for skills, basic knowledge of electronics and mechanics will come in handy but many tutorials and guides are available online to help beginners navigate the process.

3. Can I upgrade other components besides what is mentioned in the steps?

Absolutely! The steps provided outline common upgrades that most enthusiasts find beneficial. However, there is no limit to how far you can take upgrading your RC car. You can consider upgrades such as suspension systems, upgraded shock absorbers, metal gears, or even custom paint jobs if you’re looking to personalize your vehicle further.

4. Will upgrading my cheap RC car void its warranty?

It’s important to check with the manufacturer or retailer from whom you purchased your RC car regarding their warranty policy before making any modifications. In some cases, certain modifications may indeed void the warranty; however, this varies from brand to brand and model to model. It’s best practice always to verify beforehand so that there’s no risk of losing out on any potential coverage in case issues arise later on.

Henry Brighton

Henry Brighton

Henry Brighton is an avid RC car enthusiast with extensive knowledge about RC cars. He has been driving them since he was a child and has honed his skills over the years. He loves to share his passion and expertise in the field of RC cars.

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