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Welcome to the Tech Tips! Here you will find a huge collection of super useful tips for both advanced and not so advanced Racers

Performance Tips
  1. Anti Fuel Bubble                                                                                                                  Engine vibrations can cause fuel in the fuel tank to bubble easily, causing air bubbles to form inside the fuel line to the engine. This can make the engine stall from lack of fuel. Loosening the screws that hold on the tank can keep the vibrations down. You can also use old o-rings between the screw and tank to help further cushion any vibrations

  2. Degrease Your Bearings
    When buying a new set of bearings, most come with grease all over. The grease is there to prevent rust and for long wear. But too much grease will create extra drag. So simply take a degreaser liquid and spray it on to remove the extra grease. Common degreaser include mineral spirites.

  3. Flexy Belts
    A free and easy way to improve the efficency and speed of your belts is to make them as thin as possible. This can be easily done by pressing sand paper against any moving belt. The recommended thickness of the belt is 1/2 the original thickness If you don't want to grind the belts down yourself, you can always purchase special belts that are pre-grinded to as thin as possible.
    Caution: The life of the belt will be shortened to a certain degree.

  4. Graphite Suspension Liquid
    Want your suspension to work a little bit smoother? Who doesn't? The next time you build or rebuild your vehicle's suspension, pick up some powdered graphite dry lube from your local hobby shop. It's used for many things including pine wood derby cars. Put a small amount of dry lube between your hinge pins and the parts they are going through. You can also put a small amount inside your ball cups before you snap them in place. Unlike oil or grease, the dry graphite doesn't attract dirt or dust and will keep your suspension working smoothly. Graphite lube is available through Pinecar and is called Hob-E-Lube (P358). If your local hobby shop doesn't carry it, ask them to order it for you. If you can't find powdered graphite in your area, you can also try using baby powder.

  5. Lower Body Ground Clearance
    This process is known as "Slamming" the body. By lowering your body, wind drag will be reduced to a minimum and provides a lower CG (Central Gravity) which will result in more speed and less chance of flipping your car.

  6. Polish Those Bushings
    No matter if it's a stock motor or bronze axle bushings, they need to be polished to get the best performance. Just stop by your favorite automotive store and pick up some "Mother's" aluminum polish paste. Just force some into the bushing and run the motor or axle slowly for about 5 minutes. The polish will turn black while it's doing it's job and may need to be replenished once or twice. Make sure you really clean out and oil the bushings before you race.

  7. Sticky Sauce(Courtesy of Robert Kressa , Mar 28 2002)
    When I was at the ROAR nats, I came across a particularly useful traction adding "juice". For those who don't have much traction on those slick tracks, this is just the thing. Take some diesel fuel and put it in a bottle with some type of sponge in it. If your car isn't getting traction, just spread a generous amount on the tire...and PRESTO you got traction!

  8. Work Those Shocks
    Before a race, it's important to pump your vehicle's shocks. This will help to release any air that may be in the shocks. If you listen closely when you do this, you can hear the shock oil smooth out as you pump the shocks. You will notice that your vehicle's suspension is more consistent through the first few laps of the race.

Body Tips
  1. color Laying
    When painting with multiple colors, always start with the darkest color you have, then remove the tapes, then move on to a lighter color. Sure, you've heard this before, but do you know why it works? The trick is when the guys who makes spray paint made colors, they made it such that darker colors are more opaque then others. Dark colors are made more opaque then lighter colors (Think of Coffee vs lemon tea). There for the light coats on your body is almost see through. So when you put black on top of it, the black could be seen because the lighter color is see through.

  2. Make Lots of Holes!
    When the motor of your RC over heats, performance is decreased by a noticeable factor. Make air intake holes close to the motor and allow a natural air flow to cool off the motor. Be careful not to cut too much, or else you may damage the overall structure of the body.

  3. Making Body Post Holes On Painted Bodies
    When mounting a painted body, put grease on the tips of the body posts and set the body on. Lift the body up and the grease will mark the spot where the holes should be drilled. If you mess up the first time you put it on, always clean the old marks off before doing it again. This way you won't get missed up from the new marks and the old bad marks.

  4. Making Paint Stick
    Before spraying your body, use a very fine steel wool, give the inside of the body a going over. This will slightly rough up the surface, without making big scratches, letting the paint bond better.

  5. Masking Tape Designs!
    In order to cut different designs and patterns out of masking tape or masking material, you can use pinking shears (which are normally used for cutting fabric). The shears are available in different cut patterns like jagged edges, waves, etc. The designs can be used to quickly and easily customize any paint job. Use a high-quality masking tape or masking material for the best results.

  6. Paint Mixing
    When you are trying to mix paint in a bottle, add a little pebble (piece of rock) before shaking it. This works just like the marble inside a conventional spray paint can to better mix the paints. And believe me, the difference is very dramatic!

  7. Paint Removal
    The best way to strip lexan bodies without damaging them seems to be brake-fluid. You have to apply it evenly and a brush would help strip the paint off. Remember to wash the clear body with soap water afterwords as well as your hands.

  8. Perfect Cooling Holes
    Don't rely on body scissors and a steady hand to cut a circular opening or wheel well. Instead, use a piece of scrap lexan as a compass; just anchor the lexan with a screw, and poke a hobby knife through the other end. Remember, the diameter of the opening will be twice the distance from the blade to the pivot. In this case, the blade is placed one inch from the pivot to cut a ROAR-legal 2" diamater cooling hole in a nitro car's windshield. Score the outline of the opening, then remove the scrap lexan and cut from the pivot hole to the scribe line with a pair of body scissors. Peel out the waste lexan and there you have it--a perfectly round hole.

  9. Pre Heat
    Just before you start painting your awesome body, pre heat it with a hair drier. This process will prevent the paint from bubbling up like drops of water.

  10. Protection
    Sick of getting a great body and a great paint job and then chipping it up on an asphalt track? Try going to your local hardware store and picking up some silicone. This is great for preventing splits and cracks in your body! Just squeeze it out around the inside of your body and you will never worry again

  11. Protection Against Body Post
    For a body cushion, try cutting a piece of fuel line and stick your body posts through the fuel line. This will prevent the body from getting scratched by the bottom part of the body post. The cushion also acts as a damper from a car roll, almost like oiled shocks as body posts. Note however over time the cushions will wear down due to friction from the body. Also, make sure the fuel line is big enough that it will not actually go through the holes on the body.

  12. Round Corners
    When cutting your body with what ever tool you have, never ever cut sharp corners. Cutting sharp corners increases the chance of ripping the body upon any impact. Always make all your cuts smooth with no sharp corners at all. Always round your corners, especially for your window cut outs (holes for ventilation) and wheel wells (the 4 holes for your wheels) those places is where the fragile body will place its stress on during an impact due to its nature of design.

  13. Shaving It Close
    Here's a tip when cutting lexan. Cut about 1/8 inch from the actual line where you want the final edge, then use a Dremel with a sanding drum on it and sand your way to the edge!

  14. Wing Reinforcement
    I've seen it too many times at races where the wing of a car get busted off its mount after being hit etc. Later I found out the screw that attached it to the body was ripped through the body itself. My solution to this is to add washers on both the wing and the body and check to see if they are lose after every race because those spots are barely visible but the effect is FATAL!

Maintenance Tips
  1. Belt Tensions Without a Belt Tensioner
    Front belt tension and side belt tension were an interesting problem to deal with on the 99?Vector. While in Florida this year one thing that Brian Bodine pointed out to me was that my front belt tension was too loose. His suggestion for repairing it was to take a business card and with a straight edge and an hobby knife cut about a 1/16th strip off of the long edge. Loosen the 4 screws holding the mid shaft block in place and then slip the business card strip into and under the front of the block. Then tighten them down evenly. This will tighten up the front belt and give some slack to the side belt. Fixed !!

  2. Gear Diff Cleaning
    The next time you rebuild your diff and you've removed the old diff balls, spray some plastic-safe motor cleaner on the diff gear to clean it off. After that, use a pipe cleaner and run it through the diff ball holes. Inspect each hole to make sure that you've cleaned them thoroughly before you begin to install the new balls. This will ensure that you've gotten all the dirt and grime out of the diff ball holes.

  3. Hidden Heat sink Dirt
    A clean engine will run at a lower temperature than one that's furnished with fuel residue. These residues are usually hidden between the fins of your engine heat sink. Use a pipe cleaner to remove any of those hidden dirt and fuel stuck to the fins.

  4. Increase Tire Life Span
    If your R/C car has four identical tires, you can maximize their life by rotating them as you would on a real car. It will take only a minute or two, but they'll last weeks longer. Start your first rotation by swapping the forward and back wheels. Next time you rotate, swap the front left wheel with the right front wheel and the left back wheel with the right back wheel. Repeat this process every 5 batteries used. Beware, you cannot do the left and right swap if your tires are threaded and are they directional.

  5. Pinion Gear Replacement Time
    After running your RC for a while, you will notice your vehicle makes weird noise. These noises could come from many places, one of which could be caused by the wearing out of your pinion gear. The pinion gear is the gear attached to your motor. The gear on the left is the one which has been worn out, the teeth on it looks like shark teethes. The gear next to it is a health pinion gear. Pinion gears is the easiest to wear out because it spins at the highest RPM of all gears which means it is subject to friction with other larger gears most often.

  6. Removing Glued Tires From Rims
    Never ever rip off the tires from the rims if they are glued together. This will leave little bits of rubber on the rims making the rims unusable. Always remove the tires by boiling the entire wheel in hot water. Boiling water will not be hot enough to melt either the rubber or the rim but it will be hot enough to disable most of the glue. *Caution* Kitchen will smell like burning condom

  7. Removing Servo Tape
    Don't get sore thumbs from trying to remove old servo tape by rubbing it off, or make a huge gooey mess by using motor cleaner. Instead, grab a heat gun or hair drier and heat up the servo tape. Remove the servo, ESC, or receiver. Apply the heat to the tape residue. Be careful not to melt anything. Once the tape has softened, it should come off easily.

  8. Repairing Body Damage
    Strong lexan repairs can be made with a hot glue gun. Use strapping tape to hold a tear in place while running a bead of hot glue along the inside of the tear. Reinforcement ribs can be applied along the inside the front bumper for extra strength.

  9. Shock oil leakage
    Many plastic and aluminum shock bodies and caps leak over time. This could be due to tightening those caps far too much. To fix this problem, purchase some Teflon tape at your local hardware store. Simply wrap the Teflon tape around the threads where necessary. When applying the tape, make sure the end of the tap points towards the direction in which you would turn to unscrew the cap.

  10. Storing your Car
    If you are going to put your car away for long periods of time, be sure to put it on some sort of stand or take off all four wheels of the car. If you don't, the tires is very likely to deform under pressure. The tires does not deform when running on the ground because the pressure is supported evenly during the wheel's rotations.

  11. Suspension Parts WEARS OUT FAST
    It seems a lot of people don't know it, but front suspension springs and T-plates wear out. If you run a pan car, be sure to check your front suspension springs every couple weeks. You'll find that they become "collapsed" after a dozen runs or so. T-plates should also be changed after 25 runs.

Assembly Tips
  1. Axle Nut Mounting
    When installing your wheels, make sure you do not over tighten the axle nuts..this will cause binding for sure!! Tighten up real good to seat the wheel then back off the nut and re tighten until it is snug...not TIGHT!! Spin the wheel by hand to make sure there is no binding!

  2. CA Glue Anti-Clog
    Nothing is worse than having a clogged bottle of CA glue when you need it the most. (OK, maybe a stolen car is worse!) To prevent such a situation, you should flick the base of the tip of the bottle while the cap is open. This will drive the CA Glue in the tip back down into the bottle therefore reducing the chance of it drying up. You than want to store the bottle with the tip pointing up to prevent further clogging.

  3. Gluing Tires
    When gluing tires to the rim, instead of running a bead of glue all around the tire, put one drop every 90 degrees on both sides..this holds the tire great and makes changing them simple! No more sore thumbs!

  4. Installing Receiver Antenna I
    If you are having a very hard time sticking those thin antenna wires in those tiny tubes, then you need to add some suspension oil. Just rub the liquid on the actual wire all the way up, then stick it in the tube. Warning, suspension liquids become sticky when dry, there for wash the tube and the wire before re installing.

  5. Installing Receiver Antenna II
    To easily thread your antenna wire through the antenna tube, first take some thin dental floss, and stick it in one end of the tube. Suck the floss through the tube. Now tie the floss to the end of your antenna wire, and slowly pull the floss back through the tube. When removing the antenna wire from the tube, first tie a piece of dental floss to the wire, and then pull the wire from the tube. Leave the floss in the tube to assist pulling the antenna wire back through again, as in the first tip.

  6. Installing Tires (the easy way)
    Have you ever bought a new kit that used three-piece wheels? Remember what a hassle it was to get the tires on those wheels? Any one who has had to perform this task knows it can be tough. To make your life easier try assembling those wheels and tires over a sink or bucket of soapy water. That's right, just as if you were about to do the dishes. Rinse the tires and wheels in the soapy water and assemble them just like the instructions tell you. The soap acts as a lubricant and dries easily without leaving a residue or mess.

  7. Pinion to Spur gear distance
    To determine the right pressure between the spur gear and pinion gear, take a piece of paper and run it between where the two gears meet. The paper should almost be cut through. If the paper is cut through the mesh is to tight. If it is hardly dented the mesh is to loose.

  8. Receiver Wire Coil Up(Courtesy of Jon Miller , Dec 21 2002)
    Don't like the look of your receiver wires hanging all over?? Use a small eyeglass screw driver or other small round object and wrap the wire around it making a coil..pull the screw driver out and you have a neat coiled wire!!

  9. Rusty Screw
    To prevent rusty screws paint them with a clear colored enamel paint such as Humbrol super enamel no.52 which is a light clear blue. It also gives the screw an anodized effect.

  10. Shock Oil bubble terminator
    The odd sound you hear when pressing up and down on your shocks is usually caused by not enough or bubbled shock oil. To prevent or fix this problem, fill your shocks to the top with the piston all the way at the bottom. Then slowly move this piston up and down about 4 times. By the end you will find that the shock oil is not filled to the top anymore. Now just add addition shock oil and close the cap. Ah, the sweet sound of silence.

  11. Sticky Screws I
    From time to time, every R/Cer has to install a screw that must be inserted horizontally or straight down. In these situations, more often than not, the place where the screw must go is in a nearly inaccessible spot. You can't even hold the screw in place with tweezers or pliers while trying to screw in the screw. To hold the screws on the screwdriver or hex-head wrench tip, apply a little diff grease, or any grease that is thick and sticky, to the end of the tool. Place the screw on the tool and carefully insert the tool and the screw into that hard-to-reach spot.

  12. Sticky Screws II
    Believe it or not, you can actually magnetize a screw driver! (SomeOne didn't listen in class...) This can be done by rubbing a piece of magnate on along your screw driver. However make sure you rub it in only one direction, either from tip to handle, or the other way around. And be careful not to place the magnate near electrical equipment! The effect of magnetism will last for about 24 hours

  13. Sticky Screws III
    I have magnetized screwdriver 20 years ago and they're as strong today as they were the day I did it. It's also easy to do: 1) Obtain about 2 feet of electrical wire (12 gauge or thicker will do); 2) Wrap wire around metal end of tool in a spiraling fashion leaving approximately 6 inches at either end dangling; 3) On a 12v battery, ground one end to the negative end, then quickly strike the other end onto the positive post. Repeat procedure approximately two to four times. That's it. The action creates a magnetic field that magnetizes the metal in the tool and will last literally... forever!

  14. Sticky Screws IV
    I am just starting the hobby my self and learnt alot. Most of all how expensive it can be; an easy and an inexpensive way to get your screws to stick is to use fuel hose on the end or your driver to hold your screw on!!

  15. Suspension Shaft Installation
    You've seen different methods of holding shock shafts while attaching rod ends. We've got a great method for you that's better than any you've ever seen. Place a small piece (about half an inch is all you need) of silicone fuel tubing over both noses of your needle-nose pliers. Once the tubing is in place, use the pliers to hold the shock shaft firmly while screwing on the rod end.

  16. Threading Plastic                                                                                                                  When you install ball-cups on your turnbuckles, slightly grease the threads with Chap-Stick, or bees wax for dry lubrication. It will make them thread much easier and hold stronger.

Saving Money
  1. Buy at where its made
    This is a given, but I'm going to remind you anyway. Always attempt to buy ANY product at the place where its made. This cuts down shipping cost and Tax if you live in a city where Tax applies. A great real life example would be a Tamiya 1400 SC battery stick for electric cars. This product is made in Japan and can be purchased in Canada for $30 15% Tax. The same product can be purchased in HongKong (a city near Japan) for as low as $10 with out tax. Get the point?

  2. Buy in Bulk
    Two items that you can buy in bulk and save just tons of money are "Litespeed" type battery connectors and 1/8" diff balls. A call to a industrial electrical supply house should net you the battery connectors and the diff balls can be found at ball bearing suppliers. How much will you save? Connectors will cost about $.75 each and diff balls about $8.00 per 1000. 'Nuf said?

  3. Home made Body Clip Holder
    After cutting short a body post, use the cut off portion to hold extra body clips.

  4. Home made Body Post
    Take those thick coat hangers not the wire one's and cut them into medium sized pieces then drill holes in the hanger so you can place your clips in.

  5. Home made receiver cover
    If you get a new motor that comes in a plastic case, cut the "dome" shaped case and tape it over your receiver (receiver sizes may vary). Then cut a (small) hole for the wires. It makes a perfect "free" cover for your dirty little demon.

  6. Pull Start String Alternative
    Instead of buying the over priced small bag of pull string from your local hobby store. Go to your local outdoor supply and get yourself a spool of 100 - 150 Lb fishing line. It will last much longer and It costs allot less!

Battery Specialist
  1. Assembling Battery Packs
    The best way I have found to assemble battery packs and still make them easy to take apart is with Shoe-Goo. It holds them together securely but can still be disassembled without damage. Shoe-Goo can be found at most department stores. 

  2. Battery Peak Charge (partial)
    Many charger offers two or more speed of charging. Slow charge and fast charge. A better (burst) of performance can be obtained by charging the battery at slow charge then peaking the speed to the highest towards the end. I recommend peaking it at around 75% full.
    Note: Fast charging with any charger and battery WILL shorten the life of the batteries an considerable amount. 

  3. Over Discharging
    Never leave your batteries on your discharger or connected to discharge lights too long. Extended discharge, or discharge below a safe voltage cut-off, can seriously damage your batteries. Yet many of us, whether we're playing around in front of the house, or out at the track practicing, will run our cars down until they can barely move. This is just as bad for your batteries, if not worse than leaving those batteries on your discharger. Once you see that your car has slowed down quite a bit, pull it over. For those people who like to use light bulb dischargers, be sure to unplug it as soon as the lights dim sharply. 

  4. Reconfigure those packs
    If you are using preassembled battery packs, you should change the way they are assembled. The wrap around the batteries increases the temperature. The tabs that connect each battery are not very good either. Re-assemble the pack in a side-by-side configuration with battery bars. You will notice a difference in battery temperature and overall performance.

Stroke Engine Tips
  1. Air Leaks on Carburetor
    Lots of people are always trying to stop air leaks on their carbs. I found a long time ago that no matter which type of carb you are using barrel or slide, the rubber boot that goes on the throttle barrel is a great place for air to leak in and ruin your carb settings. I always fill the boot up with either a light petroleum grease or vaseline. This tends to not only stop leaks but keeps it well lubed and free of dirt.

  2. Easy Start Up Method #1
    For some strange reason, engines tend to start better when they are nice and warm. This affect I cannot explain but the right temperature can be achieved by using a hair drier. Just simply blow your hair drier on the engine for a minute or two. Then your engine should start like a McLaren F1.

Car Insurance
  1. Boiling Plastics Explained
    Have you ever heard that boiling plastic parts makes them stronger and less likely to break? Well now you have. The legend is that if you boil any parts made with plastics, they increase in strength. Well, legend is wrong. Boiling plastics does not increase the strength of your parts, the process makes it more flexible and softer by introducing moisture back into the plastics. This means instead of cracking in 2 pieces, the plastic bends and give slack on impact.
    Note: 10 Minutes in boiling water is recommended.
    CAUTION: Nylon parts shrink when boiled.

  2. Heat Sink Protection
    In the event that the car flips over, and the body detaches as well, the top of the heat sink head will be scratched. To solve this, simply tie a zip tie around the tip fin, with the locking square part on top. Now if you flip over and lose your body, the zip tie will scrape the ground and not the head! CAUTION: Certain types of Zip tie may melt

  3. Preventing Cracks in Fiber Glass or Graphite
    To prevent the edges of a fiber glass or graphite from cracking, apply a bead of glue around the edge. Use a thin cyanoacrolate (super glue) . Apply a small amount to the edge and let it flow along the outer surface of it. Continue until the entire outside edges is shiny from the glue. Allow the glue to dry before re installing your fiber glass or graphite

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