If you're into RC cars and trucks, you'll know that not all vehicles are created equal. This short guide provides a basic understanding with meaningful ways to get more off-road performance out of your RC truck or buggy.1. Upgrade the Motor & ESC - Most hobby grade RC trucks that come in kit form and even ready to run include standard "brushed" electric motors and low to medium current output electronic speed controller (ESC).
Some of the newbies may not realize that simply upgrading to a more efficient and powerful "brushless" motor version can double, if not triple your radio controlled trucks power if you also match it up with a more powerful ESC and run the RC at higher voltage. Nitro and gas engines are a little different. If you're running the Traxxas Nitro Stampede or similar nitro truck, these engines are typically upgraded to a larger size (from a 3.3 to 4.6 size for example).
Upgrade the Battery Pack - When you do upgrade to a brushless motor and ESC setup, you gain not only higher efficiency and power, but these motors can often handle "double" the voltage. You can take advantage of this, by also using a higher voltage and higher amp capacity "Lipo" battery. Generally LIPOs are 3.7 volts per cell, whereas a Ni-Cad and NiMi version are only 1.2 volts per cell. Because of the higher energy density of LiPo and Lithium battery technology, you can often find a 3 cell (11.1 volts) lipo battery with more than double the "Amp Hour" storage capacity than a standard NiCad and NiMi battery pack, in roughly the same or just larger in size! If you have a larger RC truck with dual motors and battery packs, this means you'll need to upgrade both of them of course.3. Adjust Gearing For Torque - Okay, if you're really into the sport of RC truck off-road challenges, generally torque is preferred over top speed.
Luckily most hobby grade and even some toy grade RC trucks are made so you can easily change the gearing ratio for higher torque! Generally the Spur and Pinion gear (the pinion is the gear on the motors shaft) combination are easy changes in most RC trucks and cars and changed most often. Most hobby shops will carry plenty of gears for your model to step up your vehicles torque and take off power. If you're a crawler or running in any challenging off road course, torque is much preferred over top speed!4. Upgrade Your Tires - You have a few options here, but the "size" of the tire and the tread is what you want to look at the most here. Bigger tires are better. Taller tires increases your ability to navigate through harder tracks and wider tires improve your chances of gaining traction more in loose, muddy, and similar environments that are harder to gain traction in. Tires with one type of off-road tread may not be the best solution for all off road terrain.
Some off-road tire tread works better in loose mud, others better in snow, sand, or thicker mud. Basically you want a tread that can really "dig-in" the surface adequately enough to gain enough traction to move the vehicle forward and backward and not just spin its tires in place without going anywhere. Sounds simple, however this is often the most common mistake!5. Adjust reach truck Factory or Improve Suspension - Okay, if you're the regular off-road RC truck guy, you may not need overly concerned about your stock shock adjujstments or replacement, however if you are a "crawler" trying to conquer extreme boulders at very steep and sharp angles, long travel shocks tend to navigate over more diverse terrain without bottoming out, therefore are mandatory for crawling!We hope you enjoy our article and are really to explore the hobby of RC buggy and truck offroading. View the bio below for more info about the author. Whether you have an electric Traxxas Stampede, T-Maxx, a HPI Savage X, or a Losi Super Truck, these same tips typically apply and can be changed in most models.