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Old 07-09-2011, 02:13 PM   #16
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2wd, 4wd. mid motor, rear motor, something new? Belt drive or shaft drive? You really need to sit down and figure this all out. If you want to do this to help with school you cannot let us answer all the questions and design the car for you.

Judging from the questions you are asking I am not sure you are ready to take on this kind of project just yet.

Have you built a RC car before?
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:20 PM   #17
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2wd, 4wd. mid motor, rear motor, something new? Belt drive or shaft drive? You really need to sit down and figure this all out. If you want to do this to help with school you cannot let us answer all the questions and design the car for you.

Judging from the questions you are asking I am not sure you are ready to take on this kind of project just yet.

Have you built a RC car before?
No, i haven't built a car before so i dont really know any parts or anything other than the obvious motor etc.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #18
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just buy a kit then. until you have an intimate knowledge of rc and cars in general you wont get too far with building your own.

buy a kit. race it for a season or two and get the hang of setting it up ect. figure out what you are breaking a lot and how you could design it to break less/perform the same/better.

if your planning to go to school for engineering, you need to develope the problem solving mindset. cant just google everything.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:57 PM   #19
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just buy a kit then. until you have an intimate knowledge of rc and cars in general you wont get too far with building your own.

buy a kit. race it for a season or two and get the hang of setting it up ect. figure out what you are breaking a lot and how you could design it to break less/perform the same/better.

if your planning to go to school for engineering, you need to develope the problem solving mindset. cant just google everything.
okay thanks.
so im guessing any kit would suffice?
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:25 PM   #20
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I'm glad you are pursuing engineering as a career- it is very rewarding and it will always challenge you mentally.

Now, just so you know my background, I am currently a student in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. I am the Controls Director for my university's Formula SAE team. If you don't know what Formula SAE is, look it up. It is quite interesting. (That is an understatement.)

Now onto your personal challenge to build an RC car from scratch-

Buying parts and putting them together in a "custom" fabricated way isn't engineering. Engineering involves extensive CAD work, Finite Element Analysis, and perhaps a lot of ANSYS depending on what your making. You also would need to have a $30,000 CNC to machine any aluminum parts you make. All the tolerances on RC parts are very small, so it is a challenge in every single way.
Basically what i'm saying is, you probably wouldn't learn much from buying random parts and doing custom fabricating. If you want to learn what engineering truly is, do well in highschool and get into a good engineering university. They will have the tools you need to understand what engineering is. Throwing parts together will end up being a waste of money and resources because you will not have the tools to complete the task in a fine matter.

Do you have Solidworks or Autodesk? If you don't, you can purchase them for a few hundred dollars. Or wait until you are an engineering student and get them both for free. I suggest trying to make simple parts (or replicating simple parts) on one of those programs and it will put you ahead when you make it into freshman year.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:30 PM   #21
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I'm glad you are pursuing engineering as a career- it is very rewarding and it will always challenge you mentally.

Now, just so you know my background, I am currently a student in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. I am the Controls Director for my university's Formula SAE team. If you don't know what Formula SAE is, look it up. It is quite interesting. (That is an understatement.)

Now onto your personal challenge to build an RC car from scratch-

Buying parts and putting them together in a "custom" fabricated way isn't engineering. Engineering involves extensive CAD work, Finite Element Analysis, and perhaps a lot of ANSYS depending on what your making. You also would need to have a $30,000 CNC to machine any aluminum parts you make. All the tolerances on RC parts are very small, so it is a challenge in every single way.
Basically what i'm saying is, you probably wouldn't learn much from buying random parts and doing custom fabricating. If you want to learn what engineering truly is, do well in highschool and get into a good engineering university. They will have the tools you need to understand what engineering is. Throwing parts together will end up being a waste of money and resources because you will not have the tools to complete the task in a fine matter.

Do you have Solidworks or Autodesk? If you don't, you can purchase them for a few hundred dollars. Or wait until you are an engineering student and get them both for free. I suggest trying to make simple parts (or replicating simple parts) on one of those programs and it will put you ahead when you make it into freshman year.
I can get both of those softwares.
So, you wouldnt recommend buying a kit then?
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:34 PM   #22
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I can get both of those softwares.
So, you wouldnt recommend buying a kit then?
No I recommend both. You should buy a kit, build it, and race it.

On the side you should also learn how to master Solidworks by trying to replicate the kit you just purchased.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:41 PM   #23
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No I recommend both. You should buy a kit, build it, and race it.

On the side you should also learn how to master Solidworks by trying to replicate the kit you just purchased.
Okay thanks
So, a $100-$150 kit would be fine?
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:42 PM   #24
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Lets say, i want to build an off road buggy.
what would i need then?
A lot!The offroad section has been around forever along with d-drive pancars 1/10 and 1/12 scale. I would start with the easy one which is 1/10 pancar and go from there. You can get the G10 fiberglass from C&M Cobra and design a chassis to work with what you want to build. Most everything else (axles, steering, Rear pods,)will come from suppliers out there since any prototype parts are going to cost big bucks. It can be done. The Mantisworks F1 is one of the best examples I have seen for building from scratch. And it took some looking around and long nights but I think you could come up with something new even if it's a small improvement for certain parts. Give it a shot.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:11 PM   #25
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sounds really interesting as a challenge.

One option is to get a "cheap" kit, 2wd buggy would be a good start or pan car and replicate the parts in other materials, I guess you will not "race" your project and maybe upgrade them to your own design.

I use to built 1/12th kits from epoxy plates when the chassis like Schumacher C car existed. I only bought the parts that were really needed or I could not find/make.

I really enjoyed that time, the problem in these days were how to fit the batteries logically in the chassis which is quite small, in these days we used 6 subC cells, and the electronics to keep a low CG, again the electronics in the
80s were bigger than the ones now.

Have a smooth T bar for suspension and use a different damping system.

put pictures of your project as it develops
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:24 PM   #26
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My advice would be build a pan car (an F1 or a 12th scale). They are much simpler. People still scratch build pan cars, and it is possible to come up with something better than the manufacturers. I haven't seen a good attempt at a scratch built offroader in a long time.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:25 PM   #27
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Lets say, i want to build an off road buggy.
what would i need then?
Then I would go ask the offroad dudes in the offroad thread.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:07 PM   #28
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I would suggest researching various kits first without buying. Tamiya for instance has a section on their website full of pdf instructions for their various kits. You can use these different instruction sets to visualize how different cars are pieced together and from there you can decide what parts you may actually need rather than dropping the money on a whole kit.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:31 PM   #29
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Lets say, i want to build an off road buggy.
what would i need then?
Well then, that becomes a whole lot easier to deal with. Start by heading over to http://store.rc4wd.com/ this is a one stop shop for everything you need with 4wd, scaler, crawlers etc.

To make a scaler or crawler, its petty easy in the way of parts, front and rear axles, front and rear 4 links, suspension, tires and rims, transmission, drive shafts, you can then make your chassis around those parts.

To finish off you will need transmitter and receiver, steering servo, high turn motor and esc, batteries and charger.

If you wanted to build something a little simpler, Funny Car, or Dragsters come to mind as well as Midget Speedcars and Sprintcars come to mind.

Sometimes its just cheaper to buy a kit and then make a new chassis for it out of 3 or 4mm tube steel and 1mm plate than it is to source all the individual parts. Being steel this gives you lots more options when it comes to welding, mig, tig, bronze brazing using mapp or acetylene gasses.

If you need any further assistance in locating things or with ideas on what to do, just PM me and i will see what i can do for you.

Also take a look at http://www.rjspeed.com/ some pretty simple kits here that are just asking to be reworked, Take the funnycar as an example, throw away the chassis and keep only the body, steering and rear axle, then build a new scale chassis for those components. Its a really easy place to start. Then find your local RC drag club and go race it. 5T motor, esc, lipo's and radio gear from hobbyking, all up less than $200 + the materials for your new chassis.

Last edited by RogerDaShrubber; 07-09-2011 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:40 PM   #30
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I would suggest researching various kits first without buying. Tamiya for instance has a section on their website full of pdf instructions for their various kits. You can use these different instruction sets to visualize how different cars are pieced together and from there you can decide what parts you may actually need rather than dropping the money on a whole kit.
There are much easier ways to do things than to go down this route. Its much easier to use solid axles and 4link suspensions then to make double wishbone independent suspensions.

http://store.rc4wd.com/T-Rex-60-Fron...xle_p_496.html These T-Rex axle sets are the most easiest place to start any project. Even if you end up milling up parts to make front independent suspension.

Trouble with the OP's post is we do not know what tools he has access to or is limited by.
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