Introduction: Remote Control Lego Car (1997 Volvo 850)

Build your own remote control Lego car! The video and pictures above feature my Lego Volvo, a 14:1 scale model of one of my favourite cars, the late 90's Volvo 850 wagon. This instructable will show you how to build this model, but I'll also include tips for building Lego RC cars if you would like to design your own.

Lego RC intro tips:

  1. Make a plan. I printed out diagrams of the car I was modeling at a scale that matched my Lego wheels. Decide what features and functions you want. Determine your goals.
  2. Work from the inside out. Build your drivetrain and primary internal functions first, add structure to form a chassis, then start adding body panels and aesthetics.
  3. Consult the experts. Seek out how other successful Lego builders design specific elements such as transmissions, steering systems, or body panels.

Let us begin.

Step 1: Get the Pieces

These 837 pieces make up the entire inventory of my model. You don't necessarily need all of them as long as you have suitable replacements. You can get away with only a single large motor, but will lose some torque as a result. Feel free to select any colour scheme you like.

Online sources for parts:

  • brickowl
  • ebay
  • lego store

Challenge: I would love to see someone build the red Volvo wagon which was available at the same time as the green one.

Step 2: Primary Chassis

The chassis is a critical part of your car much like the skeleton in your body. Pay careful attention to these photos to ensure everything is there.

Lego RC Tip: Make sketches on graph paper or use Lego's Digital Designer software to get the sizing right for your drivetrain. Also, test out different gear ratios to ensure you have enough torque to drive your car but enough speed to have fun.

Step 3: Front End Chassis

This part forms the platform for front-wheel drive, steering, and the front-end body panels. Compact Lego steering systems may require special parts. You can get by without them in some cases but will end up with much bulk.

Lego RC tip: read up on differentials, universal joints, and ackerman steering to gain knowledge about front-wheel drive systems. Note, to save space I did not implement ackerman steering into my model.

Step 4: Rear and Side Frame

This part provides a mount point for side-paneling, the battery box, and the rear hatch. I only show one side, although it is identical on the other. Simply reverse everything to build the other side.

Lego RC tip: it is a good idea to make your battery box easily removeable for obvious reasons.

Step 5: Centre Frame and Interior Design

A few interior touches can make all the difference.

Step 6: Front Frame, Paneling, and Hood

Step 7: Rear Hatch

The working hatch allows for easy removable of the battery and control of the switch.

Step 8: Side Paneling

I've only show you one side here, but it is the same on the other side. It would be nice to be able to open all 4 doors, but I sacrificed that for stability.

Step 9: Roof and Finishing Touches

I covered the IRC receiver in brown elements to make it appear like luggage. The advantage is that it sits on top to save space and has better line-of-site to the remote.

Step 10: Drive

Time for a cruise through the country-side!

Thank you for reading, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Make it Move Contest 2016

Participated in the
Make it Move Contest 2016