- Laegendary Brand Team
As you gain experience with your RC cars, you might feel a growing desire to make your RC car go faster. Many out of the box cars are perfectly fine, but with a few tweaks or parts you can make them more exciting and potentially win races, show off at rallies, or just beat your best time on a track you set up in a field.
If you are looking for ways to make an electric RC car go faster, here are some RC car upgrades and RC tools that can help you "drive" faster without needing to purchase an entire new car (although you might want to anyway...many enthusiasts have multiple cars for different occasions).
How to Make RC Car Faster
There are two basic approaches for making your RC car faster. The first is to upgrade the car itself with new parts, and the second is to use rc tools to upgrade parts like the gear ratio.
These are obvious go-tos, the things people think about right away when they ask themselves how to make their RC car faster. Others might be less well known. Also, for some tasks, it's worth remembering that straight line speed is not always the best way to get a good time, and a car that is slower on paper may, in fact, be faster.
RC Car Upgrades
There are a variety of upgrades you can get that will make your car go faster, or make it more efficient in certain circumstances so that it is functionally faster for the use you intend it for.
Use the Right Tires
One of the easiest upgrades you can do is to make sure you are using the right tires. If your car has no traction, then you won't be going anywhere at any speed, whilst if the tires are causing too much drag they will slow you down, or wear out halfway through the race and leave you slipping and sliding.
There are two things to consider here:
- Grip. The tread and grip of your tires should be right for the surface. If you are running on dry tarmac, you want to use slicks (just like real race car drivers!). But if you are running on grass and/or wet mud, you will want full spike tires. There are also intermediate options such as mini pins and mini spikes. Experience will teach you which tire type to use, and if in doubt look at what more experienced enthusiasts are doing. For some off road vehicles, you might even want to fit tire chains.
- Compound. Tires have different compounds, which basically means that they are soft or hard, depending. You want soft tires when it's wet or there is dirt, medium in dry conditions, and hard in hot weather. Also, harder tires last longer, and you should also take this into account.
Make sure that the tires you choose are compatible with the vehicle you are running. Truck tires and car tires are different. But understanding tires can make a huge difference.
Upgrade Your Battery
If you notice your car is actually slowing down, it may simply not have the battery power it once did. On top of that, if you are still running a car with Ni-Mh or Ni-Cad batteries, consider upgrading to Li-Po. This can make a massive difference to your car's performance. Not only are these batteries more powerful, but they are also lighter, which improves the power to weight ratio further.
Just adding a more powerful battery on its own can give 15 to 20 mph more top speed. Make sure that the battery is the right size for your car's compartment. This is a very easy upgrade because batteries are designed to be swapped out anyway.
One word of caution: If your car starts overheating, you may have put in a battery that is too powerful for your motor and in this case you should downgrade. Otherwise, you can burn out the motor.
Another word of caution, never throw unwanted rechargeable batteries in the trash. Always recycle them properly. Old batteries in the regular trash are toxic and a fire hazard.
Upgrade to a Brushless Motor
Speaking of the motor, there is a large performance difference between the more typical (and cheaper) brushed motors and brushless motors. Many off the rack cars come with the former. Even if it is a brushless motor, it tends to be a low budget one.
Switching to a high performance motor can be quite amazing. You will also need to upgrade the electronic speed control (ESC). Brushless motors tend to be more efficient, which means they can run longer on a charge.
Bear in mind that you will also need to upgrade your battery, as a cheap battery isn't going to give you enough power and will essentially throttle your car, making the upgrades much less worth it.
A brushless motor will often run you more than the car itself costs. Also, some toy grade cars have a motor on each axle; typically these motors cannot be replaced and your best option is to look for a more expensive and more upgradeable car.
Get a More Aerodynamic Body Shell
If you are concerned with speed and don't really care about what your car looks like, you can remove the original truck or car shell and replace it with a high speed, aerodynamic shell. Not everyone is going to want to do this (after all, you bought that body style for a reason), but if you are going for a track record it might be worth considering.
Lighten Your Car's Load
Replacing parts of your car with lighter carbon, graphite or aluminum parts can also make it go faster by making it lighter. Lightweight wheels can be a particularly valuable move. However, the lighter your car, the less traction it will have. This can result in worse cornering.
If you are planning on drag racing your car or just trying to see how fast you can go, this isn't a big deal. If you are running for lap times or racing, though, you want to balance reducing weight with keeping enough traction and down force to make sure it stays on the track.
RC Tools to Make RC Cars Faster
First of all, if you are going to tweak your RC car, you will need an RC car stand. These are used to elevate the body and make the car easier to work on, kind of like jacking up a car in the garage. This should be one of the first tools you get.
Typically, switching out the battery does not take any tools. To replace the motor you will need a screwdriver. Take a look at your car and see what screwdrivers you will need. This can vary according to the make and model of the car. You might need a hex, Philips, or slot (straight) screwdriver in the appropriate size. If in doubt, check with the vendor or manufacturer.
However, if you are planning on switching out parts or changing your car's gear ratio, which can give you a higher top speed or faster acceleration, then you start to need a variety of tools. To change the gear ratio you should either:
- Go for a larger pinion gear (more teeth) and smaller spur gear (less teeth) for higher top speed, but slower acceleration.
- Go for a smaller pinion gear (less teeth) and larger spur gear for increased acceleration and torque, but a lower top speed, which is ideal for smaller tracks and for trucks.
At this point, it's time to consider buying an RC car tool kit. These kits will contain all of the tools you might need to upgrade your car, replace broken parts, etc, in a handy box.
And we're off!
Many people, once they get into RC cars, start wondering how to make their RC car faster. If this is you, then think about getting better tires, a more powerful motor and/or battery, and maybe switching out some parts for lighter ones. Visit the Laegendary YouTube channel for videos on how to replace rc parts!
If you do this you can make your RC car hobby even more fun, although be warned that when you really get into it you are likely to want more than one car...