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Make Your Rc Car Handle Like It Should Part I
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Make Your Rc Car Handle Like it Should Part I

Cruisin'

It’s funny when you think about it, but your RC car has suspension that is set up similar to your full scale 1:1 car. If you’re old enough to drive or own a car you might even understand a little bit about how your car feels when the suspension or tyres aren’t up to scratch or on the way out? Is your scaled down RC car any different to your full size car when it comes to handling? Let’s dig a little deeper shall we……….

It’s Not Always Smooth Sailing

If you’re a bit of a newbie to RC cars, and your genre of choice of car you own could either be an on-road or off-road RC car, it’s kind of tough trying to understand what’s right, wrong or normal in the handling department. For the purpose of this discussion we will talk about a typical scenario for your road going ride but the principle might also apply to all you off-roaders too. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to an ill handling RC car and I won’t claim to know how to resolve all your issues. A simple start would be the process of elimination if you think something might not look or feel right in the way your car is handling. In this 2 part article we will be looking at:

• Damper

• Springs

• Basic suspension geometry layout

• Tyres

Is it going to take an expert to figure this out?

Sometimes it’s the simple things that can cause a car to do strange things. Ever driven your car around a long or short sweeping corner and experienced a ‘traction’ roll? Ever heard the sound of the chassis scraping along the ground and is now scarred for life and looking like it just came out of some gangster movie because the ride height was to low? Do your RC car dampers look like an off shore oil rig that’s gone wrong? Let’s start by studying or looking at the strange behavior in your car’s handling.

I’ve known good drivers to get around a race track with faulty dampers and no oil in them and still make a car look and handle perfectly normal. For others the car will feel too spongy and can cause a lot of unnecessary roll. Too much of a rolling chassis can also contribute to tyres inadvertently grabbing into the bitumen and rolling the whole car over. Does your RC car handle like this?

It’s important to learn how to master the building of dampers so that you can get a consistent rebound in all four corners of your vehicle. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different numbered oil viscosity that some of these manufacturers have on offer. After a while you will notice little things positive and negative in the way your car reacts to say, a harder oil in the front and a softer oil in the back and vice versa. Springs also produce similar results. Start with the manufacturers default recommendation and go from there.

I hope you enjoyed this first part of my article and stay tuned for Part II on your RC tyre choice and taming your beast, until then stay cool and enjoy your RC car!


Street Talk

Hi Clark, like you I love slot-cars too and have many of them including scratch build one-offs! But your right RC cars are cooler and at the moment I have invested a fair bit of time and money in a velodrome Tamiya mini to reach hopefully a speed of around 85mph. This is yet to be tested due to bad weather as we are in winter over here in Australia but tomorrow there could be a good chance we will head out to do some speed runs as the weather looks to be clear. Check out our FaceBook page under RC-Thunderdome

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I'm an old slot-car fanboy. Some might have called me a semi pro. I spent way too much money on the hobby/sport. RC cars are so much cooler. I did some research awhile back. Man, those suckers are really fast. I couldn't believe it. When I make some money, I'll prob get back into model racing. I'll definitely ask you for advice.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

A lot of fun to be had, and very cool indeed!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

rc cars! I'm not so familiar about them but they look cool!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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