DIY Guide: Make Your Own RC Car Suspension System
Remote-controlled (RC) cars are popular among enthusiasts of all ages. These miniature machines come in different shapes, sizes and designs, and can reach remarkable speeds on any surface. Suspension system is a vital component of RC car’s overall performance, enabling it to handle rough terrains with ease, stabilize during turns and jumps, and absorb impacts from crashes. Building a custom suspension system can be an engaging and rewarding experience for RC car enthusiasts that want to fine-tune their vehicle for better performance on any given terrain. In this article, we’ll provide a step by step guide on how to make suspension for RC car, including types of suspension systems, necessary tools and materials, designing the system, building it, and testing it. With a little bit of patience and hard work, you can create a custom suspension system that will enhance your RC car’s performance and make it stand out among the competition.
Types of Suspension Systems
There are two main types of suspension systems for RC cars: independent and solid axle suspension. Here are their key features:
- Each wheel moves independently of one another
- Better handling on uneven terrain
- Less energy required to propel the car forward
- Popular types:
Solid Axle Suspension
- The two wheels on the same axle move together as one
- Better for high-speed racing
- Higher stability on flat surfaces
- Popular types:
- Panhard bar suspension
- Four-link suspension
If you’re not sure which type of suspension system to build, consider factors such as the terrain you’ll be driving on, the type of racing you’ll be doing, and your personal preferences. Websites such as RC Car Action offer helpful resources on the different types of suspension systems, including tutorials and product reviews.
What are the 4 types of suspension system?
There are four types of suspension systems used in automobiles, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. They include:
- Independent Front Suspension – Offers a smoother ride, better handling, and improved tire-traction while also being more expensive and complex than other types.
- Torsion Beam Suspension – Simple and cost-effective, but often criticized for its lack of comfort and performance.
- MacPherson Strut Suspension – Simple and cost-effective, with better handling than a torsion beam suspension, but has limited adjustability and can have increased wear on tires.
- Multi-Link Suspension – Advantages include better handling, stability, and traction, but are typically more expensive and complex than other types of suspensions.
If you are looking for more information on suspension systems or want to upgrade your own, check out websites like autozone.com, advanceautoparts.com, or rockauto.com for parts, tutorials, and helpful advice.
Materials and Tools Required for Building Suspension System
To build a suspension system for your RC car, you’ll need the right materials and tools. Here’s a list of the most commonly used items:
|Metal rods and pipes||Frame and support|
|Coil and leaf springs||Shock absorption|
|Shock absorbers||Damping and smoothing the suspension motion|
|Connectors||Joining the parts together|
- Pliers and cutters for cutting and shaping metal
- Spanner for tightening bolts and nuts
- Soldering iron for welding metal parts together
- Drill machine for making holes
In addition to the above materials and tools, you may also want to invest in high-quality shocks and springs to ensure the best performance. Many online retailers like Tower Hobbies offer a wide range of suspension system parts and tools, making it easy to find everything you need in one place. Before choosing your materials and tools, make sure to do thorough research to find the right fit for your RC car’s specific needs.
What tools are needed to replace a suspension?
To replace a suspension, you’ll need the following tools:
- Socket and wrench set
- Spring compressor
- Jack stands
- Hydraulic jack
- Torque wrench
- Penetrating oil
- Steering wheel holder
- Bushing press tool (if applicable)
Make sure to consult your vehicle’s user manual for specific instructions and safety measures. You can also refer to websites such as AutoZone or products such as the OEMTOOLS MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor to make the job easier and safer.
Designing the Suspension System
Before building the suspension system, it’s important to plan and design it first. Here are some tips to consider:
- Determine the wheelbase, the distance between the front and rear wheels
- Measure the distance between the rear wheels
- Measure the distance between the front wheels and the centrelines of the rear wheels
- Consider how much weight will be on each wheel
- Distribute weight evenly across the suspension system
Ease of use
- Consider accessibility for repairs and maintenance
- Ensure easy adjustability for different driving conditions and terrains
You can use software like SolidWorks to design and visualise your suspension system. You can also find pre-made designs and blueprints on websites like Thingiverse and RCgroups forum that you can modify for your specific needs. Once you have a design plan, it’s important to make adjustments as needed based on real-life testing. A successful suspension system is one that provides a smooth and stable ride while withstanding the pressure of tough terrains.
How do you calculate the design of suspension system?
Calculating the design of a suspension system involves several factors such as the vehicle’s weight, center of gravity, and intended use. Here are the basic steps to calculate the design of a suspension system:
- Determine the weight of the vehicle and its distribution.
- Calculate the vehicle’s center of gravity.
- Choose an appropriate spring rate and suspension travel based on the intended use of the vehicle.
- Design the suspension geometry to minimize unwanted camber and toe changes during movement.
- Calculate the motion ratio between the suspension and the wheel.
If you need further assistance in designing a suspension system, there are various websites and products available to help. Some popular websites include Racecar Engineering and Suspension Tuning School. Additionally, there are products such as suspension simulation software and suspension tuning guides available for purchase.
Building the Suspension System
Now that you have a design, it’s time to build the suspension system. Here are the basic steps:
Step 1: Gather all materials and tools
- Double-check that you have all necessary materials
- Ensure all tools are in good working condition
Step 2: Assemble the shock absorbers
- Connect the metal rod and coil together with a shock absorber
- Use pliers to tighten the shock absorber and ensure there is enough tension in the spring
Step 3: Construct the suspension arms
- Create suspension arms by bending metal rods into the right shape and size
- Use connectors to attach the suspension arms to the chassis of the RC car
Step 4: Connect the shock absorbers to the suspension arms
- Attach the shock absorbers to the suspension arms using connectors or custom-made mounts
- Ensure that the shock absorber can move up and down freely
Step 5: Install the suspension system onto the RC car chassis
- Connect the suspension arms to the wheels of the RC car
- Ensure that the suspension system is secure and does not wobble
There are many other techniques and variations for building a suspension system. Use these basic steps as a starting point and customize your design based on your needs and preferences. If you’re new to DIY RC car projects, consider purchasing a suspension kit from RC car websites like Horizon Hobby or Tower Hobbies. These kits include all necessary components and can be a great way to learn the basics of building a suspension system while still achieving optimal performance.
How Does a Suspension Work on an RC Car?
RC cars depend on their suspensions to maintain traction and stability over rough terrain. Here’s how it works:
- The suspension system comprises of shock absorbers, springs, and wishbones that work together to absorb impacts and bumps.
- When an RC car hits an obstacle, the shock absorbers compress, absorbing the impact.
- The springs absorb the shock by compressing and rebounding, helping to maintain the car’s balance and control.
- Wishbones connect the car’s wheels to the chassis and allow them to move up and down independently, increasing the car’s flexibility on uneven surfaces.
For more information on RC car suspensions or to purchase RC cars and accessories, visit websites such as www.horizonhobby.com or www.amainhobbies.com.
Testing the Suspension System
Testing the suspension system is crucial to ensure the successful performance of your RC car. Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Check the bounce
- Test the suspension system by pushing down on the car chassis
- Ensure that the car bounces back into place and doesn’t continue to bounce up and down
Step 2: Check the ground clearance
- Place the RC car on a flat surface and check that the distance between the chassis and ground is consistent on all wheels
- Modify the suspension system as needed to achieve optimal ground clearance
Step 3: Test on various terrains
- Test the RC car on various terrains such as rocks, hills, and flat surfaces
- Ensure that the suspension system responds well to these different terrains
Step 4: Make adjustments
- Make any necessary adjustments to the suspension system based on your testing
- Check that the suspension system is equal on all wheels, that there is adequate shock absorption, and that the car handles well on different terrains
Remember, it may take some trial and error to achieve the best performance from your new suspension system. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments if the car is not performing as expected. If you encounter any difficulties, consult online forums or RC car websites like RC Universe or RC Driver to get advice from experienced enthusiasts.
Building your own suspension system for your RC car is not only cost-effective but provides an opportunity to be creative and innovative. With the right materials and tools, designing and building a custom suspension system for your RC car can be an exciting and rewarding experience.
Remember these key points:
- Choose the right suspension system for your RC car
- Gather all of the necessary materials and tools before starting the build
- Design your suspension system before construction
- Test the system on various terrains and make any necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance
There are many resources available to help you design and build a custom suspension system for your RC car. Online forums and communities are great places to ask questions and get advice from experienced RC car enthusiasts. Additionally, websites such as HobbyKing or Tower Hobbies offer a range of materials and tools for building custom RC car components.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things when building your custom suspension system or making other modifications to your RC car. With a little practice and patience, you can create a one-of-a-kind, high-performance RC vehicle that fits your unique style and preferences. So, let your creativity run free and start building your dream RC car today!