Build Your Own RC Car

If you don’t mind getting dirty and like to tinker with things, you’ll definitely want to consider building your own RC vehicle. Build your own kits are complex and time consuming, but when it comes time for maintenance and repairs, nothing compares to knowing your RC car from the inside out. Though it is initially more difficult, you’ll find the experience comes in handy down the road when you want to change engines, or change the air filter.

Also, if you want to save money, you'll definitely want a build your own kit. This is ideal if you're on a limited budget: by building it yourself you can often get a better model. Other costs, such as batteries and fuel, are the same whether you build your own RC or choose a ready to run kit.

The length of time it takes to build your RC and just how difficult it is depends on the car, the manufacturer and your experience. Build your own kits feature complete, step-by-step, illustrated instructions that walk you through the process. Follow these instructions carefully, and do not expect to build your car in one sitting. Breaks will help you concentrate better and make fewer mistakes,€” remember even the pros take their time!

Before you begin, consult the following checklist to make sure you've got everything you need to get your RC up and running:
Your car's instruction manual
Read it over first! Before you begin assembling your RC, you should read through the instructions in order to anticipate difficult steps and head off potential disaster or wasted time later on. Take care not to get ahead or skip steps, as this could result in needing to start over again.
A notepad and pencil
In addition to making important notes in your instruction manual, you will also want to keep track of screw positions and settings. Pay special attention to lefts and rights, fronts and rears. Though these are usually marked on the parts themselves, you may need to make additional notes to make sure you get them right.
A well-lit, uncluttered building area
This should include a clean dry towel to prevent parts from bouncing and rolling, it will protect your bench (or the kitchen table), and it will absorb any liquid you spill. Be careful not to set up yourœpit in a place that could be disturbed, such as in reach of younger brothers and sisters. Cover your work with a cloth or towel when you’re not there to prevent any lost pieces. Finally, make sure there is ample light—a desk lamp will help a great deal—for you to see the inside of your car and its tiny parts.
Hardware trays
It is recommended to keep your small parts in a container of some sort, use take-out container lids, fishing-tackle boxes, and muffin tins are all suggestions to keep things organized. When you're building, be sure to keep everything sorted and separate.
• A small but select set of tools.
You’ll need a basic but good set of tools, including:
o Screwdriver: Nos. 1 and 2 Phillips-head drivers, a 1/4-inch flatblade screwdriver and a set of jeweler's screwdrivers are considered sufficient.
o Pliers: Pairs of slip-joint and needle-nose pliers are necessary, and nitro models may require channel-lock pliers for holding flywheels.
o Flush cutters: These are best for the fuel lines and other parts that require a close, clean cut.
o Hobby knife, no. 11 blades: Blades should be replaced often and the knife should always be used carefully and with supervision for younger drivers.
Soap, extra fuel tubing
A bar of soap can be used as a clean, dry lubricant for pieces that fit tightly or which fit through tight spots. Extra fuel tubing is useful for a number of things, like on the end of your screw driver to hold the screw in place while you get it into position.
Patience
More than anything, this is the biggest challenge; especially if this is your first build your own RC car. Following the illustrations closely and making sure you don’t rush or skip steps is the best way to ensure success. Above all, be patient—building an RC car from the ground up is tricky timeconsuming business that will only result in error and frustration if you rush it.

If you choose to build your own RC car or truck, it can be very rewarding, but bear in mind that it is quite difficult. Though electric RC cars are slightly easier to build than their nitro counterparts, it is still strongly recommended that new drivers gain experience running and maintaining a ready to run RC before they attempt to build one from scratch.

Next: What Type of RC Car

 

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