DIY Homemade Electric RC Car: A Step-by-Step Guide
Electric radio-controlled (RC) cars are popular amongst hobbyists and enthusiasts alike. If you’re looking to make your own homemade electric RC car, it’s an exciting and rewarding process that allows you to tailor the car to your preferences, learn electronic skills, and have fun. It’s also a cost-effective way to get an RC car as it saves you the expense of buying a pre-built car. Although it can seem daunting to build your own RC car, with some experience in electronics and basic hand skills, it is a fun project that can yield impressive results. In this article, we will outline the basic steps involved in building an electric RC car, including selecting the components, design, assembly, and testing. With some preparation and focused work, you can have your own electric RC car up and running in no time.
- Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
Choosing the right Parts
When selecting parts for your DIY electric RC car, it’s essential to consider their compatibility and performance as well as their price. High-performance parts may be more costly but can provide more power to your car, while lower-priced parts may have limited functionality. To find the best parts, consider the following:
- Check reviews and ratings from various e-commerce websites.
- Look for parts that are compatible with your motor, battery, and ESC.
- Find a reputable store or brand that provides quality parts.
- Check the specifications of the parts before purchasing to ensure you get the right fit.
Websites and Shops
Some good websites and stores to buy parts include:
- RC Planet
- Horizon Hobby
How to choose my PC parts?
Choosing the right PC parts is essential for building a computer that performs well and meets your needs. Here are some steps to help you choose the right parts:
- Determine your budget
- Identify your needs and usage (gaming, video editing, multitasking, etc.)
- Choose a compatible CPU, GPU, motherboard, RAM, storage, and PSU according to your needs and budget
- Consider reviews, benchmarks, and compatibility lists for the parts you’re interested in
- Check the warranty and return policies before purchasing
Several websites can help you choose the right PC parts, like PCPartPicker, which allows you to compare prices, compatibility, and reviews for different parts. You can also check the products and reviews on sites like Amazon, Newegg, and Best Buy.
Designing the RC Car
Choosing the RC Car Design
Designing your homemade RC car can be a challenging but fun task, especially if you’re a creative person. Consider the following factors when choosing your design:
– The car’s purpose: whether it is for racing, off-road, or normal pavement driving
– The type of wheels and suspension to use
– The shape and size of your car chassis
– The materials you want to use to create the car
Sketching and Mapping Out the Parts Installation
When making a homemade electric RC car, it’s critical to have a precise plan. This plan needs to contain all necessary measurements and directions for the installation of parts. The following steps will be helpful:
– Sketch the design structure of your RC car
– Identify the parts placement on the structure before installation
– Measure and confirm the placement of the components
– Map out the wiring of the battery, receiver, and motor
Dimensions and Shape of the Chassis
Table: Example of Chassis Dimensions and Shape
| Type of RC Car | Length (inches) | Width (inches) | Height (inches) | Weight (lbs) |
| 1/18 scale car | 9.84 | 5.11 | 2.95 | 1.72 |
| 1/10 scale car | 15.74 | 7.48 | 4.33 | 4.12 |
| 1/8 scale car | 17.71 | 11.81 | 3.93 | 8.82 |
The chassis is the foundation of the RC car. The dimensions and shape of the chassis will depend on the type of electric RC car you want to make. You may consider the tables above for some guidance.
How to Make a RC Car Design?
To make a RC car design, follow the steps below:
- Decide on the type of RC car you want to make (on-road, off-road, drift, etc.)
- Choose the scale of the RC car (1/10, 1/12, 1/18, etc.)
- Select the chassis, motor, ESC, battery, and radio system
- Design the body of the RC car or choose a pre-made body
- Assemble the parts and paint the body if necessary
Assembling the Parts
Connecting the Parts Together
Assembling the electric RC car parts is the most critical aspect of completing the project. Here are some best practices when connecting the parts together:
– Start by installing the motor controller on the chassis
– Connect the wires and plugs according to the instruction manuals
– Set up the battery and power on the ESC (Electronic Speed Control)
– Finish by attaching the wheels and tires to the car
Wiring the Components to Operate the Car
Wiring the components of your homemade electric RC car together correctly is critical if you want it to function correctly. Below are some tips to make the wiring process more comfortable:
– Arrange the wires neatly and securely
– Connect the color-coded wires properly
– Test the connections after making them to ensure they work
– Use zip ties to secure the wires and prevent them from tangling
Installing the Battery and Setting up the Motor Controller
The battery and motor controller are two essential components of an electric RC car, and their installation is vital to the car’s performance. Here’s how to do it correctly:
– Confirm the voltage of the battery you want to use
– Connect the plugs between the motor controller, battery, and receiver
– Set up the motor controller to work with the specific type of battery you want, based on the device’s specifications.
How to make an electric RC car?
- Choose a chassis for your RC car.
- Select the right motor and battery for your car.
- Add a transmitter and receiver to control your car.
- Install the electronic speed controller to manage your car’s speed.
- Connect all the electronics to your car and test it.
There are many resources available online that can help you with designing, building and tuning your electric RC car such as RC Driver Magazine and RCGroups Forums. Additionally, hobby stores like HobbyKing, Tower Hobbies and RC Planet offer a wide range of products and accessories to help you build your own electric RC car.
Bodywork of the RC Car
Covering the Chassis
Once you have assembled and tested your RC car, you can begin working on the body of the vehicle to give it a personalized look. Below are some steps to cover the chassis of the car:
– Choose the material you want to use, such as polycarbonate or Styrene sheets
– Cut the material to the desired shape and size
– Use a heat gun to shape the material to contour around the car’s curves
– Apply the material to the car and secure with screws
Painting and Decorating the Body
After installing the body material on the car, you can paint and decorate the body to give it a stylish look. Here’s how to do it:
– Choose an affordable and high-quality paint
– Spray the base coat evenly and let it dry for at least 24 hours
– Use masking tape to create the desired design and colour scheme
– Apply additional coats of paint until the desired thickness is achieved
Cutting and Shaping the Materials to Fit the RC Car’s Design
The final stage of bodywork is to cut and shape the materials to fit the RC car design. Here are some tips to help you do it right:
– Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut the material accurately
– Measure and mark the material beforehand to prevent errors
– Use a sanding block or file to refine the cut edges and smooth them down
There are several online resources where you can purchase materials for your DIY electric RC car, such as websites like Amazon, Banggood, and eBay. You can also find detailed tutorials and guides on YouTube, RC car forums and other websites to help you build and customize your electric RC car.
What is a RC car body made of?
RC car bodies are usually made from a few different material options, such as:
- Poly Carbonate (Lexan)
- Abs Plastic
Poly Carbonate (Lexan) is the most popular material used in the manufacturing of RC car bodies. It is a type of plastic that is durable and impact-resistant. If you are looking for the best RC car bodies, you can check out websites like AMain Hobbies, Amazon, and Tower Hobbies.
Testing and Fine-tuning
Testing the Functionality of the RC Car
Once you have completed the assembly and bodywork of your electric RC car, it’s time to test it out. Here is what you should do:
- Turn on the transmitter and the car, and ensure they are properly synced
- Drive the car around on a flat surface to test the steering, brakes, and acceleration
- Observe any irregularities, such as jerky movements or signs of overheating, which may need fine-tuning
Finding and Fixing Weak Spots or Faulty Parts
If you encounter any issues during the testing stage, you will need to take steps to locate and fix the problem. Here’s how:
- Inspect each component of the car, including the wiring and connectors, for signs of wear, damage or defects
- Test each individual part to identify the cause of the issue
- Replace any weak or faulty parts as required
Improving Performance by Fine-tuning Settings
If your electric RC car is functioning correctly but you still want to boost its performance, there are several ways you can fine-tune it. These include:
- Adjusting the throttle and steering settings to optimize the car’s speed and handling
- Changing the gear ratio to increase torque or top speed
- Upgrading the battery or motor for more power
You can find various RC car speed controller, motor, battery, and other specialty products on websites like Hobbyking, Tower Hobbies, and AMain Hobbies. Follow these steps to build your own homemade electric RC car and enjoy an exciting and affordable new hobby.
What are the functions of an RC car?
- Turning left and right
- Driving forward and backwards
- Speed and steering control
- Some models can perform stunts like flips and jumps
If you’re in the market for an RC car, there are several websites and products available such as hobby shops, online retailers, and popular brands like Traxxas and Redcat Racing. Make sure to do your research to find a model that fits your needs and preferences.
Building your own electric RC car can be a gratifying experience that results in a high-quality, custom-made vehicle at a fraction of the cost of a pre-built model. Making your RC car from scratch allows you to learn about the various parts and how they work together, providing insight into the functions of the car that you would not otherwise gain. The satisfaction of driving a homemade car is even greater when you consider the time and effort that went into building it.
By following the basic steps outlined in this article, you can create an autonomous, battery-powered RC car that is unique to you. From selecting the right parts to tuning the car’s performance, you will have the opportunity to gain a wealth of knowledge and develop new skills. So if you have a passion for tinkering and want to explore the exciting world of remote controlled cars, creating a homemade electric RC car is an excellent place to start.