|RC Cars and
Cars Ezine 14
Cars Ezine 14 - Acceleration vs. Top Speed, Gear Ratios
RCCARTIPS.com Newsletter / Ezine
Reading Time ~ 3 minutes
Vol 1, Issue 14 Subscribers: 845 September 3, 2003
* Acceleration vs. Top Speed
* Tip of the Day
* Beginners Articles
* Free Content
* Personal Notes
* Tell me...
ACCELERATION VS. TOP
Which is more fun, a car that accelerates quickly or one that has
a higher top speed? The answer would depend on how big a
space you have to play in, and would help you in choosing what
If you are limited to playing in areas 100 feet by 50 feet, a car
tuned or geared to accelerate quickly is best. 100 feet can be
covered in 4 - 5 seconds by a car using a stock electric motor,
3 seconds or less if you are using a modified motor.
However, there are times when running at full speed is desired. I
remember back in 1994, during this time of the month, I would
go to a local cinema parking lot, and run "superspeedway" style
around 3 lampposts. One lap would probably be around 300 feet
in distance, so tuning for high speed is the key to a fast lap time.
There was one day when my friend and myself were playing on
this empty parking lot. Our electric rc cars were probably
averaging 50 miles per hour when suddenly a New York Police
car pulled into the parking lot. I thought we would get into
trouble for speeding, but fortunately the cops enjoyed watching
and eventually left.
You might be asking, why can't I tune a car to do both? The
reason is that fast acceleration requires a low gearing setup, and
a high top speed requires a high gearing setup. If your car uses
a single speed transmission, you have no choice but to select one
or the other.
Fortunately, 2 speed transmissions allow you to setup up a car
to accelerate quickly in first gear, then have a high top speed in
second gear. Some of the 1/8 scale cars even use a 3 speed
transmission to really maximize acceleration and top speed.
TIP OF THE DAY
Low gear is the setup where the pinion gear (i.e. gear connected
to the motor) is small or has fewer number of teeth as compared
to the spur gear (i.e. gear connected to the transmission).
Gearing higher means that the number of teeth in the pinion gear
is increased, or the number of teeth in the spur gear is reduced.
For example, a car with a 20 tooth pinion and 86 spur has a
ratio of 20/86. The same car with a 23 tooth pinion and 86 spur
has as 23/86 ratio.
The 20/86 ratio is a lower gearing setup as compared to the
A lower gearing setup is usually easier on the electric motor and
batteries. If you are not familiar with what gearing to use, be on
the safe side and gear conservatively (i.e. lower gearing). Then
experiment by increasing the gear ratio until you get the balance
of acceleration and top speed suitable to the place or track you
are running on.
Next issue find out why and how overgearing is used to make a
car achieve faster lap times.
Terms and Vocabulary
RC Car Magazine Subscriptions
Nitro Engine Tuning Questions
Gas vs. Electric
On-road vs. Off-road
Car Driving Tips
Electric Battery Tips
RC Cars and Trucks for Sale
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