• Gearbox Rebuild on Generic Chinese RC Car

    I bought some cheap(ish) remote control cars from Amazon, although they're pretty good fun (and have taken some abuse) longevity has been somewhat mixed so far. An early failure was caused by the pinion being improperly fastened to the motor's shank, leading me to strip down the car to repair it.

    These cars also suffer from another issue - common to almost anything remote control with a gearbox: when you give it to a kid, they have a tendency to sometimes crash into things and not subsequently release the throttle, leading to stripped teeth in the gearbox.

    That's exactly what happened with one of the cars, marketed on Amazon under the mouthful of a name "Remote Control Car RC Cars Karting Car Electric Remote Control Off Road 2WD 1:16 Scale 2.4Ghz High Speed Racing Buggy Off-road Fast Radio Controlled Electric Model Cars" (though the box says "Warrior"). Although it can happen to almost any RC Toy, in this case it wasn't helped by the manufacturer using a brass pinion but plastic gearing.

    This documentation details the process I followed in order to replace the damaged gear and rebuild the gearbox

  • Gearbox Repair on ZFLIN RC Car

    I bought a couple of (relatively) cheap Remote Control off-roaders on Amazon - primarily for having a bit of fun driving them about in the garden.

    Although ostensible different brands, models and sellers, the two cars are exactly the same except for the colour of the wheels and the cowling fitted.

    The cars are:

    Although they differ on Amazon, the boxes both show as "Top Racing Series". The ZFlin car carries a model name of the "Pillager" whilst the other is the "Warrior".

    They were fairly cheap when I bought them, and unsurprisingly, are made in China. They do nip around quite nicely

    However, I hit an issue that's alluded to in some of the reviews (on both) - after a few outings the gearbox appears to fail.

    Initially, you get a slipping clutch effect where the motor will rev up quite a bit before the car starts moving, eventually degrading to it sitting stock still and just making a whining noise (the difference in time between these two states, in my case, was about 10 minutes of driving time). The assumption most have made is that the motor is overrated for the gearbox and has destroyed the gears.

    Inevitably, this happens after you've thrown the packaging away. As helpful as Amazon are, I didn't want to deal with their returns system, so I decided to strip the car down instead to see if it could be repaired.

    Turns out the issue is much simpler than I'd assumed. This documentation details how to (quite easily) repair the car.

  • Testing an amphibious RC car in the bath

  • "Testing" (definitely not just playing with, honest) a Norbase amphibious remote control car I bought from Amazon. It can do from water to land (and vice-versa) happily enough. The car is this one

  • ZFlin RC Car Driving on Grass

  • Short video of a ZFlin RC Car skitting about on a fairly rough lawn following a gearbox rebuild