Tech Table: 5 easy tricks to clean up your ride
Monday, Apr 16, 2012 11:42am
By Mike Garrison
Welcome to the first edition of the LRC Tech Table! At the LiveRC Tech Table we do more than just make sure your ride measures up, we keep you up to date on the latest tips, tricks, and how-to's for wrenching on your ride!
R/C car owners are often like full-size vehicle owners. Some hand wash their car daily, park alone in the back row to avoid dents, and apply all of the necessary wax and tire shine to keep it looking brand new. Others have never heard of a carwash, squeeze into the closest parking spot possible, and as long as they can get from point A to point B that is all that matters.
For those of you who like to keep your R/C cars neat and clean looking, we have put together 5 easy tricks to do so!
#1 - Polish and Air
One of the most well-known household cleaning products mixed with a little help from an air compressor can make the plastic parts of your car look brand new. Lightly spray the plastic parts of your car with furniture polish (Pledge lemon is my personal favorite), scrub with an old toothbrush, and simply blow away the residue with an air compressor! Not only will your plastics look fresh, they smell fresh too!
Notes: Pledge polish also acts as an excellent lexan body polish. DO NOT spray on electronics, servos, or motor.
#2 - Matching wires
Wiring is everywhere, especially in electric cars. One of the easiest way to clean up the look of your car is by using matching colored wires with small pieces of different color heat shrink tubing at each end to tell them apart. For instance, if you decide to use all black wires, simply place small pieces of different color heat shrink tubing on the ends to keep your ESC wires and battery leads from getting mixed up.
(Ryan Cavalieri's B4.1 with all black wiring)
Servo, transponder, and other various electronics usually have very small wiring, which is nearly impossible to replace with matching wire colors. Therefore, we get out the trusty permanent marker (color of your choice), and color those wires to match the rest of the larger wires as well!
#3 - Clean tires
Clean wheels and tires can make a HUGE difference in the appearance of your car, however, is most often the last thing racers want to do. Simplify the process by taking a small plastic container, kitchen cleaning brush, and some plastic epoxy and making your very own personal tire washer that sits right with you in your pit area. Apply the plastic epoxy to the back side of the brush, stick it down into the plastic container, and let it dry!
Once it is dry, fill it up just below the tips of the brushes, add a little soap (Simple Green is our favorite) and start scrubbing!
#4 - Straighten up
This trick is pretty straight forward and simple. When putting electronics, transponders, etc., in your car make sure they are straight and lined up neatly. Just because your chassis gives you room to spread them all out facing every which way, doesn't mean you have to. Compact all of your electronics together and organize them neatly on the chassis.
For example, in our Team Associated B4.1, we make sure our ESC, receiver, switch, and transponder are neatly lined up straight with the sides of the battery tray.
#5 - Wait it out
Our final trick to keeping your ride neat and clean is all brain power. On racedays track crews must water and work up a track to get it ready for the day. Chances are when the track opens it is going to be slightly less than ideal conditions. Mud, standing water, loose dirt, and dust will get worked off the track shortly as more and more drivers hit the track, HOWEVER, save your ride and DON'T be one of those guys!
Being one of the first guys on the track most often means you will return to the pits with a VERY dirty car, and for the few laps you ran (which most likely won't resemble race conditions) it isn't worth the hassle of cleaning! So Trick #5 - wait it out, and don't rush to get on a freshly watered/prepped track.
There you have our 5 easy tips and tricks to not only clean up the appearance of your car, but keep it clean too! Whether I am racing R/C cars, motocross, or anything else I live by one motto, "If you can't go fast, you have to look fast"!
Have some tips of your own? Share them below!