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Sep 13, 2018, 03:11 PM
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Careful!

RC cars drive you to bankruptcy!


Were you as dumb as I, you might figure before buying one of these RC trucks that, because they only escape two dimensions through brief, low-altitude parabolic flight, that maintenance and necessary upgrades, as well as tempting hop-ups, relative even to large airplanes would be minimal. Wrong!

Turns out there are as just as much electronics -- heck, my car has the vehicular counterpart to rate mode gyros (and it's impressive) -- if not more and whole lot more mechanics and stress on those mechanics involved, from transmission and gear ratios to shock absorbing modifications such as oil silicone "weight." Wheels, wheel offsets, tires, pre-mounted wheel/tire combos; if you want much better grip on the wet grass in my backyard, which wouldn't be the most sinister activity when trespassing, you'll need to drop $150 on a new set with a different tread pattern, or more if you're going up from 2.2" to 2.8" "monster" tires which require bigger whatevers to handle the torque, plus stuff to raise your suspension, and maybe some different sort of gear ratio -- or after having spent four hours combing the forums on that single topic, you change your mind and go the low center-of-gravity kit route. I have no idea how much that costs off-hand but given that whatever aluminum caster blocks and steering hubs are will run you forty or fifty bucks, it ain't cheap.

Oh and rust, what a frightening pain in the ass that says hello by day two: Once you learn what stainless steel is, you'll be scared away from buying a screw set because you hate stripped screws more than rust, so you stick with the stock, already-rusted screws you've got and commit to washing the car after every run, drying it with compressed air cans you'll need to buy (or, if you can afford the spousal points, steal your wife's hairdryer) and blast just about every metallic part surgically with WD-40 or CX you'll also need to buy, or decide whom to believe about hardened, coated alloy screws. Want to splash the saltwater at the beach? Want to drive full speed toward the water in order to, and I'm not making this up, drive on the water? Right, more maintenance, more additionally-expensive tires.

But driving on top of the water would of course drive the ladies wild, so it's worth the cash if you're a bachelor. Just keep that throttle up! I'm not kidding, you can drive these things on the water:

Slash 4X4: Hydroplane Jump On Water! (0 min 55 sec)

I've managed to escape having to spend beaucoup dollars on replacement parts for broken shocks and suspension arms by melting, fusing and shaping scrap plastic, but my boy deserves better than such inelegant repairs, so, one broken part by one, I'm springing for replacements and upgrades from plastic to aluminum even though that may strain and break the remaining plastic. I'll try my best to use the repair tricks I've learned from crashing untold numbers of planes to save cash and remind myself that the car is fast enough, no need for a beefier Castle ESC.

But if you're impulsive like me and buy this car, suddenly you're online with adding things like heat sinks and cooling fans to the ESC and motor. Scratch up the body and want a scale Ford 2017 F-150 plastic body? I would if it weren't $100, I need to spend that first on almost three out of four tires! Hey, my battery is far from dead, why did the car stop? Must be an overheated ESC or motor. Time to buy not only a heatsink, but a tube of thermal paste to reapply periodically.

This is just the iceberg tip as those of you with these cars and trucks know, me, I've only had the car for a week, but I've learned enough to need to warn those of you walking into your LHS to remind yourselves that you could buy bigger tires for your airplane for RC monster truck-like extreme taxiing, and, if in the mood, fly. Fly level, fly with zero air and groundspeed (hover), with some wind fly backwards, or fly vertically, fly while playing that Pink Floyd song about flying (which you can do in stereo with Frsky transmitters). But if you do buy one of these things, pay cash if you're married.

And get the aluminum shock caps.

Doug
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