Modifying Your RC Car: 9 Ways to Make Your RC Car Faster

29th Nov 2021

There was a time when the only way to get more speed out of a radio-controlled car was to either get a faster model or build a new one on the workbench. Fortunately, boosting the speed of your RC car is a lot easier these days.

In fact, many modern models are specifically designed to go faster with certain adjustments. If you are looking to get the top speed out of your RC car, here are our 9 recommendations.

The 9 Best Ways To Make Your RC Vehicle Drive Faster

Trying out these following tricks can help to dramatically improve not only the speed but the overall performance figures of your model. As long as you don’t have to follow specific racing rules in order to compete in a league, any of these should work regardless of what model you might be working with.

1. Upgrade The Batteries

In real-life street racing circles, you can get weight reduction kits, which are replacement parts that are lighter and provide higher performance. In the RC world, the equivalent would be to switch out the Ni MH battery pack for one that is more powerful and weighs less, typically the Li-Po kind.

Traxxas 11.1V 5000mAh 3S LiPo Battery w/iD Connector

However, this can only happen if the model can actually handle it. Otherwise, installing the wrong battery is counterproductive and potentially costly.

2. Installing a Brushless Motor

Many ready-to-run (RTR) models are geared towards beginners, and they may not offer high speeds out of the box. However, they do provide easier handling in order to let novice drivers ease into the hobby.

These models are more likely to feature brushed motors. Brushless motors are typically speedier, but they may also require some getting used to in terms of handling.

Traxxas Velineon VXL-3s Brushless Waterproof Power System Motor/ESC

3. Playing With the Gear Ratio

RC drivers who enjoy spending time at the workbench and getting to know how their models work will enjoy this speedy upgrade. The gear mechanism of RC cars is not difficult to understand.

A larger pinion gear, meaning one that features more teeth, will generate more power and speed; however, this does not mean you should go with a larger spur. For appropriate fit, you may need to go to a smaller spur gear at the same time. A smaller spur gear results in the same effect as a larger pinion gear.

Traxxas 28T Pinion Gear (48 Pitch): Slash 2WD

4. Trying Out Different Tires

Street racers who understand traction and friction tend to pay close attention to road surfaces and the tires of their vehicles; they care about these factors more than they do about fuel octane and turbo kits.

Experienced RC drivers are similar. Too many drivers often pay more attention to tires than to a higher voltage or electronic speed control.

A living room floor with ceramic tile, for example, will require smooth tires for greater speed. Unfortunately, these tires perform poorly on carpeting, which is a surface that requires mini pins on the tires. When racing on outdoor spaces, you will want the knobby tires typically installed on RC trucks and buggies. You will be surprised how much of a difference the tires will make when trying to go faster.

5. Modify the Motor Timing

Many brushless motors have small dials on the side that represent the motor timing. Assuming that you’re able to completely power your car down, you can modify the motor timing to increase the RPM figures put out by the module.

If you go this route, then make sure that the motor housing receives plenty of air to cool it since doing so can greatly raise the temperature. If this isn’t a problem, however, then changing the timing can be one of the most effective ways to improve what might be called “horsepower” if you were working with a real-world automobile.

6. Fix Up the Suspension

Take a quick look at the suspension and any shock absorbers that are attached to your RC car’s wheel struts. Remove any dust or built-up debris that have attached themselves to the assembly and then tighten any parts that have gotten loose.

Those who aren’t using shock and diff oil will certainly want to give this a try as well, but don’t use too much since this could accidentally allow more dirt to stick to the bottom. If you want to enjoy a little more drifting action, then you may want to consider loosening some parts of the suspension as well.

7. Practice Your Cornering Skills

While it might not necessarily involve actually modifying your car per se, practicing your cornering skills is a great way to modify your own manner of driving. Don’t take corners too fast, since this can make you spin out, which in turn can make it actually take longer to get around a track.

Try to stay on the inside of any track you drive. Doing so can reduce the total amount of distance you have to drive as this is the shortest part of any loop.

8. Swap Out the Bearings

Some models don’t come with high-performance wheel bearings, so you might get better performance if you changed these out. You don’t have to replace the wheels or axles if you decide to go this route, however, so you can give this a try on almost any car that has a removal bearing set regardless of how much work you’re willing to do. Best of all, most bearing sets should be acceptable to judges of RC car races.

9. Clean the Existing Bearings

Assuming you don’t want to completely replace the bearings that you have in your model, you could try cleaning out the gunk on the current ones. Try a blaster bearing cleaning tool and see if a simple change like this can restore the initial functionality of your bearings.

RPM Bearing Blaster Bearing Cleaning Tool

Boost Your the Speed of Your RC Vehicle with RC Superstore

At the RC Superstore, our shop staff members are ready to provide answers to questions you may have about the products that can make your RC models speedier. To find out more about improving the speed of your RC vehicle, reach out to our team today.