Fastest Gear Ratio for RC Cars

Written by matthew cote
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Fastest Gear Ratio for RC Cars
Dialling in the ideal gear ratio can mean the difference between first and second place. (Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images)

One of the great things about hobby radio-controlled (RC) cars is the endless opportunity for customisation and upgrades. You can modify many aspects of your car to adjust the acceleration, agility, handling and overall speeds. One of the most influential aspects of your vehicle's performance is the gear ratio employed by the transmission. Learning how to maximise your vehicle's top speed using the optimum gear ratio will let you scorch the competition without changing your motor or battery pack!

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Transmission Gears

Loosen the fastener screws that secure the access panel to the vehicle's transmission. Remove the encasement to expose the two main gears: the pinion and the spur. The pinion gear is mounted directly on the motor shaft, and the spur gear is adjacent to the pinion, responsible for transferring the motor's energy into the drivetrain. Changing the relationship between these gears will affect your vehicle's performance.

Spur Gear

Remove the spur gear from the transmission by unscrewing the fastener bolt with a wrench. Install a spur gear with the largest number of teeth available. The teeth refer to the ridges lining the circumference of the gear. Use a spur gear with a much larger number of teeth than the pinion gear.

Pinion Gear

Remove the pinion gear from the motor shaft by loosening the stub screw in the side of the gear with an Allen wrench. Slide the pinion off the motor shaft, then install the pinion gear with the least number of teeth available. You want to establish a large gap between the number of teeth on the pinion and spur gears; the fewer teeth on the pinion gear the better.

Gear Ratio

You want to install a high gear ratio, which is defined by the difference between the number of teeth on the spur gear and the pinion gear. For example, 10 teeth on the pinion gear and 40 teeth on the spur gear will establish a 1:4 ratio, generating a higher top speed than a set-up with a 1:2 ratio.

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