ES­SEN­TIAL POST-RUN MAIN­TE­NANCE

Easy steps to keep your rig run­ning right

RC Car Action - - GETTING STARTED - BY MICHAEL WORTEL PHO­TOS BY JOEL NAVARRO

Main­tain­ing your RC ve­hi­cle is easy and doesn’t take very long, es­pe­cially if you stay on top of things af­ter ev­ery run. In or­der to prevent small is­sues from de­vel­op­ing into larger prob­lems, in­spect­ing your ve­hi­cle fre­quently is a great pre­ven­tive mea­sure. Some hob­by­ists and rac­ers will sug­gest a gru­el­ing post-run rou­tine, but that isn’t nec­es­sary. Sim­ply check­ing in on a few items af­ter ev­ery run is a great way to stay in the clear and keep your car per­form­ing its best.

1. TURN-OFF THE VE­HI­CLE

The first thing to do af­ter ev­ery run is sim­ple but im­por­tant: turn off the ve­hi­cle. Just make sure to turn off the ve­hi­cle’s power first; then turn off the trans­mit­ter. Pow­er­ing down the trans­mit­ter be­fore the ve­hi­cle can cre­ate a haz­ardous run­away, as the re­ceiver is sus­cep­ti­ble to out­side sig­nals when the trans­mit­ter is off.

2. UN­PLUG THE BAT­TERY

Even with the power turned off, some speed con­trols will still drain the bat­tery as long as it is plugged in, so you should al­ways un­plug the bat­tery af­ter use. Over-drain­ing a Lipo pack can sig­nif­i­cantly re­duce its per­for­mance and even dam­age it be­yond re­pair. Un­plug­ging the bat­tery also elim­i­nates the pos­si­bil­ity of ac­ci­den­tally turn­ing on the ve­hi­cle while it’s in stor­age.

3. RE­MOVE THE BODY

With the power safely off, un­clip the body and re­move it. Us­ing a paint brush or rag, wipe the in­side and out­side sur­faces clean. Next, in­spect the body posts or small cracks or wear. If there is any dam­age, it is easy and in­ex­pen­sive to re­place body posts.

4. DUST OFF THE CHAS­SIS AND ELEC­TRON­ICS

Use a brush or air com­pres­sor to dust off the elec­tron­ics. Dust en­ter­ing the elec­tron­ics cases can cause the units to mal­func­tion, so sweep­ing off sur­face de­bris will prevent fu­ture dam­age. If your ve­hi­cle or elec­tron­ics in­clude them, us­ing rub­ber caps to seal-off un­used re­ceiver ports is an easy way to keep things clean.

5. CHECK THE WHEELS/TIRES

Us­ing the 4-way wrench that came with your ve­hi­cle, un­screw the wheel nuts and re­move the wheels. Re­move any de­bris that has ac­cu­mu­lated around the drive axle end, and make sure the tires are com­pletely glued to the wheels. If the tires start com­ing unglued, sim­ply use a dab of thin CA to reat­tach the sec­tion.

6. SPIN THE DRIV­E­TRAIN

Through­out the course of a run, small de­bris like rocks and sticks (or in this case, an en­tire tree) can lodge them­selves in the drive axles and sus­pen­sion com­po­nents. Af­ter ev­ery run, pick up the ve­hi­cle and spin the driv­e­train. It should roll smoothly with­out bind­ing. If you see any­thing caught in the mov­ing parts, re­move it be­fore it works its way deeper into the driv­e­train or chas­sis.

7. IN­SPECT THE SHOCKS

In­spect the shocks af­ter ev­ery run. Make sure oil isn’t leak­ing onto the boot and that none of the preload spac­ers are miss­ing. Ac­tu­ate the sus­pen­sion by hand and feel for bind­ing. If any parts are miss­ing, re­place them. If a shock is leak­ing, don’t panic; they prob­a­bly just need a sim­ple re­build and O-ring change.

8. CHECK FOR LOOSE SCREWS

The vi­bra­tions of a mov­ing ve­hi­cle can cause screws to work them­selves loose, es­pe­cially where metal-to-metal con­tact oc­curs. Use the cor­rect size driv­ers to en­sure that all of the fas­ten­ers are tight, pre­vent­ing any­thing from com­ing com­pletely loose dur­ing your next run. If you find a miss­ing screw or nut, re­place it be­fore hit­ting the dirt again.

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