How to Duplicate & Prototype Your Own RC Car Parts Cheaply! UPDATED - APRIL 2017 !

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Introduction: How to Duplicate & Prototype Your Own RC Car Parts Cheaply! UPDATED - APRIL 2017 !

About: Always modifying something ! Some Simple Rules.. * if you havent taken it apart - you DONT truly own it ! * Tinkering is a way of Life :) * Do what makes you happy :) * Never Give Up * Do unto other...

Hi Folks!

As im STILL waiting for parts to arrive for my very 1st instructable, so here's another project to carry on with!

ive been out once a month ish racing my little 1/10th RC Nitro Buggy!

Slight History:

My Racing Buddy comes with me whenever he can and a few weeks ago his buggy's front suspension arm took a serious knock and broke off a major part where it connects to the rest of the car, ON A HINGE section!!!

Anyhoo, suffice to say that im a Jedi Master in the Art of Bodging, lol, and have a range of plastic glues, one of which cures very strong and becomes one with the part its fixed to & i also add extra of this stuff so that i can later shave it off so it further reinforces the repaired part...

Well, only a week later and Homer's gone and killed my beautiful repair job and not only that, i finally got my buggy working properly after a new clutch install and i'd had a MOJOR accident and totally had written-off a few parts on the front of MY car! The steering servo-saver had totally snapped-off from the servo-saver column (the bit that screws onto the servo linkage...) and the right side suspension arm had snapped in two places (See pic below) that meant i couldn't 'Bodge' a quick repair in the field and had to pack up everything only after a few hours of being out! (It was bloody-FREEEEEEEEZING by this point so wernt that fussed bout going home, lol)!

So I'd got back onto my fav RC Shopping Website, Ebay, lol, and STILL, even tho the parts were cheaper than the specialist shops, it was beginning to get expensive for just a poor mans hobby (Im very poor, lol) so i decided that im never again going to buy another plastic replaceable part for our buggies ever again, if i could help it...

So i went about dismantling my buggy and removed the irreparably damaged parts and started to make a mold for the front suspension arm.... Here's what i used and the costs, also NOTE that anything ive bought in BULK, will obviously last me ages and further aid me in the creation of different molds of a range of RC Car Parts!

--- ALWAYS REMEMBER.... WHATEVER YOU DO... SAFETY FIRST !!! ---

Ingredients:
Plasti Dip Clear (750ml) (Bulk Order)
Polymorph (Bulk Order)
Single Core Wire 1/0.6mm (Bulk Order) {For Reinforcing Parts!}
Petroleum Jelly (Tiny Tin !)

Tools:
Needle Nose Pliers (Short)
Heavy Duty Pliers (If and/or needed at-all !)
Plastic Glue Spreader (for even-coating of the parts)
Universal Vice (You dont have to use this but just buy it damn-it, its so cheap & it'll pay for itself each time you use it!)
Sharpie Marker Pen
METAL Ruler
Wire Strippers
Wire Cutters
Mini Precision Screwdriver
FlameLESS Gas Torch (Optional)
Dremel - with METAL drill bits
Small Disposable Plastic Tray (I used the plastic packaging that came with a new 13-port USB Powered Hub!)
Small Cut out piece of cardboard...

- SAFETY EQUIPMENT i USED-
EYE Safety Goggles
HEAT-Resistant Gloves (Optional - SO TAKE CARE WITH HOT THINGS)
Cutting Mat
Safety Knife
HEAT-RESISTANT GLASS DISH (Pyrex Brand if you can help-it !)
Slash-Resistant-GLOVES (I used-to work in the Security-Industry so already had these) {Optional - SO TAKE CARE}

-WARNINGS-

I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURY CAUSED BY YOU FOR NOT SAFELY CARRYING OUT THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT CAME WITH YOUR POLYMORPH OR AS A RESULT OF POOR SAFETY PRECAUTIONS NOT TAKEN BY YOU WITH THE USE OF BOILING WATER OR ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS INSTRUCTABLE - PLEASE HAVE AN ADULT SUPERVISING YOU IF UNDERAGE AND PLEASE USE EXTRA COMMON-SENSE, AS AND WHEN NEEDED....

Step 1: 1st - Make the Mould for Your RC Component (or Whatever You Need Duplicated!)

What you need to do here is 1st of all is to cut the plastic tray so that its a good size that can be easily handled as i had just used the plastic packaging from a new 13-Port USB Powered-Hub, and when you have found a suitable plastic container that you dont mind ruining: 

- Get the petroleum jelly and coat the inside of the Plastic Tray that we are going to use to temporarily hold our mould... Not so much that its easy to see that you've coated it, just enough to make our job later on of removing the rubber mould a heck of a lot easier!

- Next, Scoop out the Plasti-Dip, i used a top from a deodorant can and a pair of needle nose pliers to scoop it out of the tin... (See pic!) And just slightly fill the base of the plastic tray so you have, say, a 5mm layer of liquid rubber in the base of the tray...

- I waited about 2 hours until this 1st layer was only-partially cured, DO NOT let this 1st layer completely dry of the next layers WONT stick...
NOTE: Also when you leave the tray to part-cure (DRY), make DOUBLY-sure that the surface is totally LEVEL or as close to level as you can get - You might want to use a spirit level and measure horizontally & vertically that the surface is totally flat because when and as the layers are drying, you do not want the liquid rubber to cure at an angle so that it all collects in one corner!

- Repeat the above step so that you add another 5mm layer of Plasti-Dip liquid rubber so that you will now have a good generous 10mm/ish of liquid rubber in the base of the tray....Wait another 1-2 hours till its Partially-Cured...

Step 2: Grease the Suspension Arm More Than Liberally (OTT STYLE !)

Yaa, slight cheat here, i used coco butter, yes, my own supply because im a tart, lol, and also because i have run out of petroleum jelly!

- Make sure whatever you use, its grease-like but please, no moisturizer as i dont know what effect that'll have on the rubber as moisturizers are usually made of many hundreds of chemicals - so use something thats in its raw but pure form!

Step 3:

- Place the OTT (Over-The-Top) coated part into the middle of the tray (Still making sure that the 2nd layer of liquid rubber is only partly cured...) and also making sure that the last part of the piece you touched has also got a VERY generous coating of petroleum jelly on...

- Next, add enough liquid rubber all around the part NOT ON TOP OF IT, and in all the holes and gaps just enough to "just-about" reach the top of the part....

- To get most of the air bubbles out to the top, pick up the tray and only from a distance of roughly 15cm ish, GENTLY drop the tray onto your flat surface about 5-6 times, DO NOT do this too much or the petroleum jelly will become mixed in in-accurate places and your mold will not be an almost or exact copy and when its time to start using the polymorph the mold will be a very odd shape...

Step 4: Reinforcement Wire...

Now, because im totally fed-up with solid plastic parts always breaking, to be fair though, we go race our 1/10th buggies in the winter as well as the summer but during the extreme cold environments that theu are constantly in, the cold plastic parts dont really have much resistance when it comes to getting sharp-knocks and crashes into solid objects, the buggies me and me pal, Homer, have only have 0.15ci (2.5cc) Nitro powered engines, the smallest engines that are available for these RC Cars, but still, the amount of force they can crash into things with can be quite severe, and especially as our buggies manufacturer boasts that these things can go upto 65mph (105km/h) ish, so they extreme cold and sheer force of impact makes the cheap plastic parts brittle (the cold make em brittle, lol) so they instantly snap or break....

Right, back to the instructable, sorry, i get side-tracked, like now, lol...!

- Now, i fixed into my desktop vice a small precision screwdriver, as you can see in the pic below, ready for the wire to be twisted to add extra strength to it but 1st...

- You will need to strip the SINGLE-CORE wire, when i bought the wire, i bought them in 1 meter lengths and i just picked a colour that i dont and probably wont use in my electronics meddling... Purple it was, lol...

- I used a whole meter of wire to make each of the reinforcement wire-framework struts for my suspension arms, cut into two 500mm (or 50cm, whatever, lol) lengths, stripped and then i started twisting the wire together from the mid-point of each strip, one strip at a time... Check out the pics below...

Step 5: After the Mold Has Dried and Set - CAREFULLY Cut Only the TOP LAYER Off !

Yaa only cut the top layer of the rubber off of the mold, and because the suspension arm was greased OTT style, all you gotta do is VERY CAREFULLY  cut the top layer of rubber from the mold being very careful NOT to cut into your part, YOUR FINGERS, ffs, and take your EXTREME TIME WITH THIS - EVEN IF IT TAKES YOU A WEEK, fine....

At least it will save horribly cutting yourself as the rubber is VERY TOUGH and STRONG (if the REAL Plasti-Dip was bought...) so Again, TAKE-YOUR-SWEET-TIME with this step and also use a brand-new knife... I used a stanley knife that you can break away a small sliver of the knife (disposable) in order to keep using the sharpest parts of the knife...

Step 6: Melting the Polymorph... (AFTER THE MOLD Has Dried Again!)

Okay, now just follow the instructions that came with your polymorph thermoplastic, but if you didnt get any decent instructions, the link below is a cool 9-page .pdf with the full & unabridged instructions for how to use it PROPERLY and here we go with yet another pesky Disclaimer...

Polymorph Instructions (.pdf) (As its so cheap from this company that made these instructions, it would be cool if you had bought the polymorph from these people!)

-WARNINGS-

I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURY CAUSED BY YOU FOR NOT SAFELY CARRYING OUT THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT CAME WITH YOUR POLYMORPH OR AS A RESULT OF POOR SAFETY PRECAUTIONS NOT TAKEN BY YOU WITH THE USE OF BOILING WATER OR ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS INSTRUCTABLE - PLEASE HAVE AN ADULT SUPERVISING YOU IF UNDERAGE AND PLEASE USE EXTRA COMMON-SENSE, AS AND WHEN NEEDED....

USE A PLASTIC DISH THAT CAN BE USED FOR HOT WATER OR A PYREX OR A HEAT-RESISTANT GLASS DISH....


I also have an IR Thermometer to check the temp of the water, the instructions clearly states that NO-MORE than 60-65 DEGREES CELSIUS should be used to get polymorph started to become mold-able...

I always get a headache writing them disclaimers....ffs...

Right, back to the Fun part!

Now that you have your polymorph melted and have a small enough quantity mixed, 1st wrap little bits of it all over the wire framework that we created earlier on, gradually adding to it and keep an eye on how the part looks like that your trying to duplicate and add polymorph to as much of the wire framework as to copy the part being duplicated...

Step 7: LAST PART - DRILLING !!!!!

Well, congratulations if you've made it this far in another of my insufferably LONG instructables !!! Pat on the back is an order!!!

Last bit is to drill the holes identically to "Mirror" the original part...

USE  METAL DRILLING BITS because we used wire in the part, so this makes sense! lol

BUT BEFORE THE DRILLING !!!

INSPECT the parts and add more polymorph as needed to any sections that need it...

I have a flameless gas torch so its easier to do these things, originally i bought it for using with heatshrink on my cables and electronics messing about but it serves this purpose nicely AND i dont have to mess around with HOT water...

--- If you do invest in one of these, it'll come in handy !!!!

Step 8: ALL DONE !!!! INSTALL YOUR NEW PART TO YOUR RC VEHICLE !

And Go crack open a few beers ! (or a cream-soda if your under-age !!!)

Now you can DUPLICATE ANY part you want with the method/s i have shown you here and  ONLY keep buying the polymorph to use to create more parts !!!


THIS will save you so much money as your plasti-dip will last for AT-LEAST 20+ DIFFERENT molds of varying sizes so once you have the bulk stuff, you will only need to top-up the POLYMORPH !!!!

So have Fun & ALWAYS REMEMBER.... WHATEVER YOU DO... SAFETY FIRST !!!

also if you've got this far, please please be kind to rate my instructable as each one takes days if-not weeks to put together for free use for everyone - many thanks in advance !!


Polymorph here in the UK only costs £3.60 per 100 grams (£1.93 per 100g + £1.65 p&p) on ebay HERE

  ***   UPDATED   ***

MY SUSPENSION ARM costs 6.81 USD  = 4.29856 GBP from the LINK HERE but with the 100 grams of POLYMORPH bought from ebay, i can make 26-30 Suspension ARMS compared to BUYING JUST A PAIR from a specialist RC Website... I'll NEVER BUY ANOTHER PART AGAIN !!!

Step 9: Bonus: Shock-Absorbing BUMPER !!!

Well, whilst i'm still playing around with liquid rubber and all my gear hasn't been put away yet, here's aVERY QUICK MODthat will help PROTECT the Front-End of your RC Cars from High-Speed Impacts and more-or-less ACT like a REAL Car-Bumper !!!

You'll Need:
Polystyrene (The MOST-FIRM you can find {DENSE, lol})
Roofing-Grade Liquid Rubber ! (Click on the 2nd Picture on the website, something went wrong on the 1st!)
2 Short Pieces of Single-Core Wire (From Before!)
Plastic Glue Spreader

For IMMEDIATE Clean-Up:
Any Alcohol-Based Hand Gel
Cotton Face Pads (NOT that you should be getting ANY Liquid Rubber ANYWHERE Near your FACE ! lol !)

                                  And ALWAYS REMEMBER --- WHATEVER YOU DO --- SAFETY FIRST --- !!!

Ive also only realized that on certain web-browsers, IE, ffs.... Don't show ALL MY MAY INSTRUCTIONS that ive slapped on the HUNDREDS on photo's that are informing you of what to do, with what & How, i'll try to put the instructions here in the main text and only make short labels on the pictures themselves, but as ""I"" like to explain things VIA pictures and its also how ""I"" like to learn new things because i find it easier to "LOOK" at picture-instructions as in MY own humble opinion, its a better way of actually showing you whats going on with my methods!

So... If my pictures are virtually plain with no text, change your web browser! Firefox kept AUTO-CLOSING itself down on me ALL last year, IE i just dont trust as being safe, Chrome is FAR too SIMPLE for me and i have also been usingOpera from which ive NEVER had any problems in the last TEN YEARS of using it !!! So, as per usual, you are your own boss when it comes to what browser you like to use!

Anyhoo, here we go! (lol)

1.
Cut 3 pieces of Polystyrene, 4mm (W) x 6.5mm (L) and mine that i found in packaging was 15mm Thick !
Check out the Pics !!!

2.
PASTE a generous layet in-between all the polystyrene blocks and SANDWICH them together....

3.
STAB the LONG piece of single-core-wire through the TOP of the block and the SHORT piece at the BOTTOM (SEE PICS !)

4.
CLAMP the sandwiched polystyrene blocks onto a pair of helping hands, but clamp the LONG piece of wire to the helping-hands and USE the SHORT bits of wire that are only sticking out a TINY amount from each side of the sandwiched block to keep the entire thing steady whilst you paste on the THICK roofing liquid rubber!!!

5.
IF you get some of this stuff on your fingers, IMMEDIATELY clean it off with some alcohol hand gel dabbed onto a face-pad then simply wipe it off your fingers, TRUST ME, its better to do this BEFORE it turns into a NIGHTMARE of stick fingers then by the time you know-it, there will be rubberized finger prints EVERYWHERE and its a right-sod to get clean afterwards !!!

6.
Let Dry for ONLY 12 HOURS, the RE-COAT..... YOU IDEALLY WANT 3 to 4 THICK coats but you have to wait 12 hours between coats so you will need to take a few days to make these bumpers BUT its SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-WORTH-IT !!

Then AFTER the final coat, you need to allow it to fully dry and it took a good 48 hours for mine to dry completely, but a FURTHER 48 hours was needed BEFORE ROUGH handling !!!

The instructions on MY Roofing Liquid Rubber Said that if i wanted to double-coat anything then the standard time to wait between coats WAS 12 HOURS, whatever roofing-grade liquid-rubber YOU obtain, check the instructions to see what it say for it and follow as directed !

As soon as its all dry, i "Strapped" it to my Front Plastic Bumper and gave the WHOLE-ASSEMBLY a further 3 COATS, but a little thinner than before because at this point a week had gone past and i was VERY EAGER to start crashing, er, i meant driving my car again,lol !!!


Have Fun !!!

                                          And ALWAYS REMEMBER --- WHATEVER YOU DO --- SAFETY FIRST --- !!!

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    96 Comments

    Just a quick question from this most . What was the make and model of your buggy. Ive been trying 6 months to find s front suspensiom part you made . Any help would be helpful

    1 reply

    Howdy there :)

    major apologies for the really bad delay in replying, extremely bad health probs :(

    Yaa this Buggy was a NIGHTMARE to find the REAL name of, as i had bought it from ebay and the seller didnt even know what it was really called even though he made it appear that he knew lol

    The Make is: Victory Hawk

    Model Number; VH-X5

    This website seems to still source the parts but at stupidly high cost:

    http://www.gadgetgalaxy.com.au/Beast%20Nitro%20Buggy%20Spare%20Parts1.htm

    Specifications:

    http://hobbiestree.com/victory-hawk-1-10-vh-x5-rc-nitro-gas-powered-15cc-engine-4wd-off-road-rtr-racing-buggy.html

    More Spares:

    http://stores.ebay.com/HOBBYSPARE/VH-Beast-Victory-Hawk-Parts-/_i.html?rt=nc&_fsub=988888012&_sid=35869312&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1581&_pgn=1

    More Pics:

    https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/462604192951161377/

    But as you can see by the prices - its really NOT advisable to spend such silly amounts of cash on parts the WE KNOW 100% are going to FAIL at the slightest small accident, these parts are too brittle and fragile lol

    There is a better way i found out using "Casting Resin" - if you google that on youtube and google, itll show you how to:

    1. make a mold

    2. make high quality durable parts - BETTER than my instructable as i was just loearning how to do this with whatever i had on hand LOL

    again sorry for the really badly late reply :)

    Nice one .. Let me try. I spent a lots at RC cars and drones... Finally decided to make my own .. I am hoping to get as many help as i can

    1 reply

    its a great material to use, Polymorph, as when its made, it has some shock absorbing qualities, perfect for RC vehicles that are always banging into stuff lol

    Good luck and enjoy your new found freedom of making your own RC parts :))

    u could use hdpe plastic from bottle caps and stuff, melt them at 175°c and u get plastic pretty much for free. There are a few Instructables and YouTube video that teach u how to melt them and put them into a mold.Great Instructable by the way, keep up the good work, I love homemade rc car parts and being cheap is an extra bonus!

    Digging up an old instructable here... I am new to the RC hobby world and stumbled upon this last night after breaking ANOTHER a-arm on my Revo. This is something I am totally going to look into. Awesome instructable!

    1 reply

    hello & good day to you moesatriani !!!

    Your more-than-welcome !!

    Im really happy that this Guide has helped you out, from the most humble of people, i highly appreciate your great words and i hope to make many more in the near future !

    Why pay Extortionate prices for parts when we have the power to make them ourselves at a fraction of the cost ! lol !

    Happy Motoring !!!

    Major Thanks for the praise, really means alot for my humble contribution to the Homemade-RC parts section lol !!

    ;-)

    lol home made parts are the best... home made anything takes the prize! :)

    Once again many thanks for the great feedback !

    i am so happy others have this chance to make replacement parts on the cheap too without forking out the stupidly high prices the 'RC' world has set for, lets face it, bits of plastic lol !

    when it starts costing £10 (in the UK here lol !) for a pair of A-Arms then this doesnt stay a poor-mans hobby anymore lol x 2 !!

    thanks again for the awesome comment !!!

    ;-)

    Love your IBLE. Just an idea for ya about getting nice tight wrapped wire. Use a 'decorative Hook' from the hardware store and your vice. Take a nice LONG piece of wire (several feet) and clamp the loose ends in the vice. Take the Decorative hook and chuck the threaded end into a Battery Powered Drill. Pull GENTLY on the midpoint of the wire and pull the trigger.
    You can get as much or as little twist in your wire as you want, and (most importantly) the twist will be uniform the full length of your wire (averages out naturally). I've done this with Aluminum Welding wire and it works great. VERY stiff, and you COULD even weld it together.

    7 replies

    Perfect ! Another Great Method for everyones wire-wrangling days ! many many thanks ! so sorry for the Loooooooooooooooong Delay in responding ;-)

    Oh also, further analyzing your message, do you weld ??!!??

    Because i really really REALLY want a welding tool of some kind, i haven't the money at all to buy one but what would be a really cheap starter welding kit i could buy, if you do weld & also if you happen to know of a welding kit ala-shoe-string, lol

    Also its just food for thought for the future, but im always confused-to-hell & back when it comes to deciding whether or not to get a MIG, TIG or ARC welder !!!

    Anyhoo, A Major thanks again for your comments !!!

    :-)

    Me, I'm 'old school'. I prefered to learn from the most basic (Oxy/Acetelyne) and work my way up (to Arc Welding, then on to MIG and TIG). Not really NECESSARY, but you'd be stunned at how many of the BASIC techniques recur in every kind of welding.
    Really, it's just getting used to whatever tool you decide on. They allllllllll make a little pool of melted material, and add just enough to make a bead. Even Plastic welding is pretty simple, once you get a good method worked out. MOST important is being smooth and controlled in your movements which is pretty much an exclusive product of PRACTICE!!

    Yaa me dad is also 'old-school' & he's from where ive learnt the most from and the methods once used way-back-then are in pretty-much EVERYTHING we do nowadays & the new methods have either not changed at-all, of are only very slightly different to how they were once done!

    This is also why i like to learn the olden-ways 1st !!!

    After getting my workshop together (Flat-Packed-Shed {LARGE!} in the garden, lol ) i do intend my next step to be to get hold of a welding setup but 1st things 1st, its goingt o take a few months to put it up!!!

    Once again, thank you for the advice, it make the whole point & process of welding look so much less daunting for a simpleton like me !!!

    Another method i would suggest is that:
    1- put 2 spools of the required wire on a dowel and fix that dowel to some kind of rigid support (a vice will do.)
    2- In front of it add another dowel to act as a seperator. then
    3- route the wires around the standalone dowel, and twist it a few times.
    4- fix this twisted wire in the chuck of your Manual-drill (slow but more controlled), or power drill (way fast and uncontrollable), best way to use a drill with speed control.
    5- Start the Motor, and as the wire twists around eachother, walk away slowly, pulling the drill along with you, to make room for more twisted wire.
    6- Make the twisted wire as long as you want
    7- cut the twisted wire leaving some twists still in front of the standalone dowel, so you can make some more twisted wires, of any length you please / need.
    Adding a small sketch of the contraption.

    Wire Twisting Contraption.jpg

    That certianly would work, but, as you stated, pretty slow. I just generally have a policy of "Make more than you need", so I'm not trying to twist the 'perfect' amount of wire. And, with a Battery powered, adjustable speed drill, you can be pretty sure it won't 'get away' from you.

    OMG ! WOW !!

    You See... This is why i love this website ! People can all learn new things & FOR FREE !!!

    That sketch is AWESOME !!! I know its only a basic thing but i have NO talent what-so-ever even in microsoft paint or ANY other PC drawing software!!!! lol x2 !!!!

    As they always say, "Simple, Yet Effective" !!!

    Once again i am truly in your debt for learning something new chaitanya.vedak !!! A Great many humble thanks !!!

    I can see myself employing this very tactic with MKII of the suspension arms !!!