Basic Guide to buying an RC Drift Car
Entry Level 4WD 50:50
· Easy to Drive
· Ready To Run anywhere
· Target is Asphalt Streets
· Upgradable Entry Point
Most out of the box ready to run drift cars are designed for high grip street running and aimed at beginners. Most are 4WD with an equal 50:50 split between the front and rear wheels.
Asphalt surfaces like most streets are where everyone starts. Because this is high grip. Full throttle application is mostly the use. The tyres will wear out quickly and run time is relatively short. Plastic is often the best on these surfaces as stones and debris can scrape the bottom of the car. Plastic can also absorb more impact that alloy, which will bend or break.
Flexible plastic chassis do not react much to suspension tuning. And most people don’t tune these stock cars. Because of the 4WD nature, the front wheels are often pointing straight once a drift is initiated and the weight, high speed and power will keep the slide.
Built to a price point, these are fun entry level drift machines. But they are always the source of upgrades to new directions.
The Next Level - 4WD Counter Steer (CS).
· Customise Ratio and Setting to suit surface
· Requires custom mechanical parts
· Tricking 4WD to Replicate RWD
As you start to chase realism in RC drift, speeds come down, battery life goes up and the need for sustained steering angle is a must. By changing a few components on your 50:50 drift car you can add more opposite lock to you driving style. Very few drift cars are Counter Steer OTB, but by changing pulleys and gears the front wheels can turn slower than the rear, you can create an imbalance in the 4wd power split up to 3:1 between the rear and front wheels. This helps the rear of the car slip while the front retains grip to steer. = More slide and More Grin.
A One-Way bearing can be used to make cool handbrake slides a possibility without all 4 wheels locking under brakes. Also more steering angle is required (about 45-55 degrees) One negative is that you may lose the ability to drive straight and quick hands become a necessity to catch the slides. For about 8 years, CS has been the main RC drift car for high level users. Good Solid Fun but specific setup suit different surfaces
Needed : CS Ratio Kit, One-Way, Steering & optional CVD depending on brand.
The New Direction Scale RWD RC Drifting.
· Real Scale RWD
· Requires custom mechanical and electronic parts
· Easy to setup for different surfaces
Only really gaining momentum in the last 2 years. RWD has quickly established itself as a force and the future direction for RC Drift. OTB there are still few drift chassis available. But more are now coming and there are many conversion kits on the market. For RWD you need to remove some components from a 50:50 but also add electronics and the ability for more steering.
The key to RWD is an Electronic Gyroscope. Much like RC Helicopters, it’s almost impossible to make the infinite tiny adjustments to balance your machine by hand. In a drift car the Gyro acts like a steering rack to slow the servo but also keep the servo in the correct position to prevent spinning. This is very similar to how a real car reacts when you let go of the steering wheel in a change of direction. Driving straight and at reduced angle is also possible. The most flexible for setup.
With only 2 wheels providing forward power, typically these cars are slightly slower equalling a bit more scale speed (depending on surface grip) and the angle is similar to what real machines achieve at different speeds. Low Grip slower surfaces like GCRC require more steering up to 75 degrees but this is equal to Formula D and D1 cars.
Needed : Gyro, front Steering Arm & front Knuckle upgrade depending on brand.
It’s possible to start at any point. Whichever you choose. Once you become accustomed to the driving behaviour and settings all drift cars can be fun and exciting.