HOW TO UNBOX YOUR RTR
VENT THE TIRES
Give your tires a good squeeze. Can you hear the
air rushing in and out of them? ;at’s bad. Many
RTRs have very small vents in the wheels, and
yet others don’t have any vents at all. Letting
your tires breathe and allowing the inner foam
inserts to work properly will o;er huge performance gains for almost any car or truck, and it’s
one of the most commonly overlooked steps in
unboxing any RTR.
Use a small pair of scissors to cut two 1/4-
inch holes in the center of the tire’s tread, located
180 degrees opposite of each other, and try
the squeeze trick again – the rushing air noise
should be significantly reduced, and you’ll feel
the tire return to form much faster than before.
;e holes in the tire have another added benefit,
too; any dirt or water that accumulates inside the
tire will be flung out through these vents.
TIGHTEN THE WHEEL NUTS
It’s not uncommon to see a racer lose a wheel
while on the racetrack, but it’s even more likely
to happen when you pull your RTR out of the
box to drive it. ;e plastic components used on
RC cars have a tendency to settle and break in
from the time your car was built, packaged, and
shipped to you, and this can lead to loose screws
and nuts everywhere. While the battery is charging before your maiden voyage, give your new
ride a thorough checking to make sure important
fasteners are snug and won’t fall o;. If you find
a metal screw that is threaded into metal has
come loose, add a small dab of thread-locking
compound before reinserting it.
TRIM THE BODY POSTS
Much like a football fan thrusting both arms in the air and yelling, “It’s good!” when
his favorite team kicks a game-winner, having excessive body posts sticking up
from your car is obnoxious and silly. Once you have the body clipped onto the car,
trim o; the field goal posts to which the body is mounted and sand them smooth.
Your car will look much better, and the posts won’t snag or catch on anything.
STICKER THE BODY
Adding decals to the body won’t improve
performance or durability, but your car will
never look this clean and pretty again. A well-organized application of decals and stickers can
transform even the most mundane rattle can
paint job, and does wonders for hiding the not-so-brilliant schemes found on some RTRs. Not
only do stickers add a personal touch to your
new rig, but they’ll stick better when the body
is clean and scratch-free. Just remember to
remove the protective film first.
Before You Leave the Store
Even though it’s called a “ready-to-run,” you’ll typically
need a few items that you won’t find in the box. If you’re
looking to start driving as soon as possible, start by
looking on the box or in the instruction manual for a list
of what you’ll need to complete the package. A number
of manufacturers have started including items like
batteries, chargers, and even AA’s for the transmitter,
but it’s important that you pick up these accessories
before you head home (or click “Checkout”). Here are a
few commonly required items and a suggestion of what
■ AA batteries – Traxxas Power Cell AAs (Item no. 2914,
■ Nitro fuel – Byron Originals 20% RACE 2000 Gen2
(Item no. 3130216, $10)
■ Fuel bottle – Pro Tek R/C “Fast Fill” (Item no. PTK-
■ Glow igniter – Hobbico Super Hot Shot 2 (Item no.
■ Charger – Hitec X1 AC Plus ( Item no. 44165, $63)
■ 7.2V NiMH battery – Venom Power 7.2V 4200mAh
(Item no. 1546, $29)
■ 2S LiPo – Reedy WolfPack 2S 5000mAh (Item no. 736,
Even though your new car came with basic assembly tools to help you
perform rudimentary repairs, you’ll find that wrenching on your ride is
more enjoyable with a proper set of tools, like this assortment from Team
CHECK RADIO RANGE AND SETTINGS
;is step is likely listed in the instructions you read earlier.
Check to make sure that the antenna wire is routed properly
through the antenna tube (and not coiled up inside of the
receiver box) and install the transmitter batteries. Install
the freshly charged battery pack, turn on the car, set it on
a secure car stand so that it won’t drive away. ;en, walk
away from the car while checking to see if the steering and
throttle/brake work correctly. If it works from about 100
feet away, you’re good to go.
;is is also a good time to make sure the radio settings are
correct, as the knobs may have been twisted in transit (or
at the hands of a previous customer who happened to peek
inside the box). Visually check the steering trim to make sure
the front tires are pointing straight ahead, and adjust the
throttle trim so that the car doesn’t creep when the trigger
is at neutral.
ONCE THAT’S ALL DONE…
…so is the checklist of what you need to do before you start
driving. Whether you’ve driven one RC car or 100, take it
easy when learning to control a new vehicle. And don’t forget
to have fun.