Most RC cars feature quite a few adjustments possible for you to make in order to improve performance, handling, speed and agility on the race track. The suspension tuning options for your RC car are probably the most important settings you could do on your RC car in order to become a pro at RC racing.
An RC car’s drivetrain is composed out of the gears, wheels, and axles. This is an extremely important component for an RC car’s performance as it’s the one which gives the car motion when power is applied by the engine. They can be either made out of plastic or metal, especially if we’re talking about a nitro RC car. The RC car’s axles help your car’s overall performance and the way they are shaped and posed on the drivetrain can differ according to brand or type of RC car.
There are basically two types of axles than can fit into an RC car: inline and trailing axles. Their height can be adjusted to fit your preferences, style of driving and type of track. All these settings are integrated into the overall suspension tuning of an RC car. First, let’s talk about axle height and how it affects the car’s handling and overall performance capabilities.
Some RC cars, especially off-road RC cars, allow you to move the axle and steering block up or down from the center. How do you do that? If you want to lower the axle, you should place spacers or shims above it. This operation will result in a decrease in the car’s front grip while entering corners, but it will offer more grip on exiting from corners. In order to raise the axle, you need to place spacers or shims above. Correspondingly, raising the axle will grant more front grip for the RC car when entering corners. There’s also a middle position for the axle, achieved by placing one shim above and one shim below the steering block. This position is best for most racing conditions.
A trailing axle is a standard-setting on most RC cars and provides the best overall steering feeling. The axle is actually placed behind the kingpin, thus making the car easier to drive. But some RC cars use spacers or shims to move the steering block assembly forward or back. Remember that if you want the trailing axle to perform at its maximum, you should keep the steering block forward, in front of the trailing axle.
An inline axle is an optional steering setup and requires that different axles and steering blocks are used in the setting. An inline axle is always parallel or in line with the kingpin. When this setting is used, your RC car, especially your off-road one, will provide a much more aggressive steering feeling when entering and exiting corners. Because some vehicles use spacers or shims to move the steering block forward or back, you should know that if you want to use inline axles, you need to place the steering block behind the axle.
The main difference between inline axles and trailing axles in RC car is the fact that the trailing axles are much less aggressive than inline ones. That’s why they should be used on high-grip tracks. If you’re into off-road racing, you should seriously consider opting for the inline axles, which are able to handle the challenges of an off-road track. A useful tip would be to put your RC car to the test on each set to see which solution is the best for you on that specific type of racing track.