RC Car Droop: What It Is and How to Set It Up

Droop is an important part of suspension tuning, which is not really an exact science and also not a simple thing to do. You need to perform many adjustments and you need to learn your car’s technical specification very well in order to achieve higher performance on the race track.

Droop is the amount of down travel a suspension arm has and it can be set independently from front to rear and it should be the same from side to side. It is not actually a setting, but an attribute, because it is affected by the other settings you make on your suspension. Droop can allow or limit the weight transfer from one side to another, thus altering handling and control of your RC car. As we said above, it is not an exact science, because it differs greatly depending on your RC car model, on the track’s surface type or driving style. If you have set your droop correctly, you will be able to pass safely and without problems over bumps, holes and you will handle corners very well.

Droop is extremely helpful with handling weight transfer from front to rear in order to maximize traction and steering. It has an overall effect because it has also an effect on the side to side and end to end weight transfer. Let’s see exactly how you can notice your RC car’s droop. Put your car down on a flat surface and let the suspension settle down, this being actually the car’s ride height. Afterward, lift your car’s chassis up slowly until the tires begin to leave the ground. The actual distance from which your suspension is able to extend downwards before the tires leave the ground is called the droop value. You can adjust droop by adjusting down travel screws, which are basically screws in the chassis or suspension arms which limit the suspension travel. These screws aren’t the only determining factors in adjusting your RC cars droop. Any time ride height is changed, droop is also changed, but these changes can refer to springs, weight distribution, shock angle changes.

Droop is actually more important for on-road vehicles rather than for the off-road ones. When you adjust droop on your off-road, you should set the ride height. Don’t set it too high because you can hurt its performance in handling pot-holes on the track. Regarding on-road vehicles, droop plays an important role in maintaining maximum traction on acceleration.

So you can you tune this setting? Typically, less droop means less body roll. Less front droop can reduce the upward travel on acceleration and it improves high-speed steering ability. This setting is also better on high-speed smooth tracks. However, more front droop does basically the opposite: it increases front chassis upward travel on acceleration and reduces high-speed steering ability. This setting is better on rough tracks

Now, let’s move on to rear droop tuning. Less rear droop can reduce rear chassis upward travel under braking or off-throttle conditions and improves stability during braking. Like less front droop, it is also better on high-speed smooth tracks. Increased rear droop help with increasing chassis upward travel during braking or off-throttle conditions and improves steering in slow corners. As well as the increased rear front droop, it is helpful in off-road tracks, as well as in bumpy conditions.


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