Essential Components of RC Drift Cars

The art of drifting is one of the most intriguing and exciting things you will ever notice in a vehicle. It is impressive that a driver can over-steer a vehicle and maintain full control while turning even as traction in the tires or the rear wheels is lost. It’s a point that can be seen in RC drift cars right now.

If you would like to learn more about drifting, check out our friends at for there basics on drifting.

Today there are many RC drift cars on the market. But not all of these vehicles are made to be alike. Several parts have to go into such a great car so you will have a brilliant model that is easy to control.

You must look at how well the organization of the wheels while also observing how the engine is run. These points and many others can make a world of difference when you are choosing a proper drift car that you can easily control and have more fun.

The best part of RC drift cars is that they come in a variety of forms and, in many cases, can be customized to your liking. But even with these points in mind, you should still watch for how you are going to use such a vehicle to your liking. Let’s get a little closer into understanding how these cars can work so you can get the most out of one you in which you might be interested.

Check the Differentials

It is imperative that you check the differentials on the front and back parts of the RC car. Differential refers to the part used to drive wheels while letting them rotate at different speeds.

Without a differential, both wheels on the front or back would turn at the same rate. The differential is designed to allow the wheels to operate independently from one another, thus making drifting possible.

Rear Differential

Although you have the option to add a distinct differential onto the rear part of the vehicle, the rear wheels will have to be locked. That is, the differential must be stiff to where the wheels will not move separately from one another. When the wheels are locked, they will be connected to the same axle.

You can use a spool on the rear differential. The spool is a solid axle that locks the rear. This makes the car easier to control. More importantly, your car will not be at risk of doing doughnuts because you will have some control over how the drifting motion works. The rear wheels will work in the same manner so it should not be too hard to keep them intact.

Front Differential

For the front differential, it helps to use a ball or one-way setup. A ball-differential allows for the two wheels to have separate controls. A one-way differential lets the wheels spin one way while keeping them from turning in the other direction as you are drifting.

The differentials you use should be checked on your RC drift car to see that you have enough control over your vehicle, especially with the rear differential as that part must be kept intact.

How Is Power Divided?Toyota Chaser RC Drift Car

The power between the two differentials should be checked properly and regularly. In most cases, the power is split evenly between the front and rear. However, some models work with a 70-30 arrangement where the rear differential has more control as it creates a stable drifting motion.

Some RC cars offer adjustable chassis features that allow you to tune the differentials. You can loosen or strengthen them to allow a proper division of power in any case. These features are often on more advanced models. These models might be a little more complicated or otherwise tougher to adjust than the previous ones.

Check on any model you are interested in to see how well the power can work on the vehicle. You have to choose an option that features a good control setup that is not overly complicated or otherwise rough. The goal is giving you more power over whatever you are aiming to use at any given moment.

Does the Motor Have a Brush?

Depending on the model you find, you can either get a brushed or brushless motor. An RC drift car can drift faster when it has a brushless motor, yet a brushed motor might be useful if you are looking for a more traditional option for power. Still, each choice has benefits and drawbacks that you must review. You should evaluate both options based on how they run and whether they can provide with the adequate amount of power.

Brushed Motor

A motor with a brush will use a material to deliver a current to the motor. The brush will use traditional DC power.

A motor with brushes is easy to understand. It has a lower cost on average. However, it can produce a good amount of noise. It also has more parts that can wear out over time.

It is easier to control your drifting motion while using a brushed motor. As you drive with such an engine, the vehicle will generate enough timing for a proper drifting motion to be produced. It goes quickly so that a substantial drift is possible, but not too quick to where you might struggle to keep control. This works best if you are a newcomer to the world of RC drifting.

Brushless Motor

A brushless motor will produce its current in a field through an amplifier. This current is due to the energy that the battery linked to it produces.

A brushless motor will last for a longer period of time as it doesn’t have as many parts that can wear out. It doesn’t require as much maintenance as a brushed motor either; however, the initial cost for such a motor can be rather high.

The most prominent feature of such a motor is that it can run faster than a brushed motor. Therefore, the potential for you to get a longer and more efficient drift off of the vehicle is stronger than it would be with a brushed motor. Even so, brushless motors are best for you to use when you’re an experienced veteran with RC drift cars.

A good idea to consider is to think about how comfortable you are controlling something that goes fast. A brushless motor can cause a vehicle to go very quickly and it can be tough for some people to use an RC car this way. Check on how you can handle the controls on such a vehicle when you are choosing between a brushed and a brushless motor, particularly if you are new to the world of RC cars.

rc drift car chassis

How Are the Tires?

The tires on your RC drift cars must be capable of handling the pressure that they will experience while drifting. You don’t want cheaply-made tires that can break apart quickly.

The tires you will use must be a little harder than traditional tires for an RC vehicle. They must also come with a low traction rating so it is easier for them to glide on a surface.

ABS tires are the best ones to use on your vehicle. ABS, or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, is a type of rubber that is strong and rigid, yet able to resist all kinds of impact. It can also work on many surfaces without melting or otherwise becoming too weak. ABS rubber can handle strong sliding motions quite well.

PVC is another type of compound used on some tires. Polyvinyl chloride is very rigid and flexible. However, PVC tires can generate a good amount of dust depending their usage, thus keeping them from being as popular as ABS tires.

HDPE is softer in its texture but is still suitable for RC drift cars. High-density polyethylene pipe rubber can handle wear well without producing much fatigue in any case.

You must make sure the tires you use are sturdy and can last for a while without breaking apart from all that drifting. You should have great tires that will not weaken or otherwise be far too hard to use.

Choosing RC Car Tires for Any Surface

How Can You Maintain the Tires?

While the tires on such a vehicle can last for a while, there are times when the tires might wear out to the point where they will break apart and shred up. You will have to look at the requirements regarding maintaining and replacing the tires.

Check on how well the wheels on the car are built. Make sure that they come with enough grooves to support new treads that you might add on top of the tires. This extra step is to help you get your tires onto the vehicle in as little time as possible. Don’t forget to always use ones that will fit on the wheels without the risk of slipping off.

Gas or Electric?

The type of motor used in your RC drift cars should be analyzed based on the materials it uses for generating power. You can find some cars that run on electricity with a battery that is rechargeable. Other motors are made to run off of nitro gas.

Nitro Gas

A nitro gas-powered engine will create a more realistic style to your vehicle. Many RC drift car drivers prefer it for how it produces the typical sounds that you’d come to expect out of a more traditional vehicle. It might also be a more realistic choice when you consider how well it can run.

A nitro RC drift car will go for as long as you want it, as long as you add enough nitro gas. It can also resist water and should be a little faster than an electric model.

Still, a nitro gas-powered engine would require a special type of fuel that is different from what you’d get at a traditional gas station. That is, the mix of gas and oil in nitro gas is different from what traditional cars use. Such an engine can be tough for some people to maintain, and the fumes produced by these cars can be difficult for some people to handle.


An electric motor is different in that it works with a battery that can be recharged and added into the RC car. These types of batteries are easy to operate, use, and maintain quickly and effortlessly.

The amount of time you have for using your RC car will vary based on the charge of the battery. It might only last for about 20 to 40 minutes on a charge. Also, there are some cases where the capacity of your battery can shrink over time.

Learn more about the Basics of Electric RC Motors.

How Does It Build Up Speed?

The ability of the vehicle to build up speed is important to see. You have to get a vehicle that is capable of building up speed before you try to make a drift. Check on how well the engine can accelerate and see that it can produce enough speed so you can quickly get a good drift running. The acceleration will help you get more out of the drifting motion.

Madspeed drift king

Does the Scale of your RC Drift Cars Matter?

The scale, referring to the model size of the vehicle, is also an essential choice. You can find some 1/8 scale RC drift cars, but 1/10 and 1/12 models are also common.

A larger RC car will require more power for it to drift, as well as requiring a larger track space. Meanwhile, a smaller model works best for when you’re trying to control the car on a tighter track or a smaller area. Think about the environment where you will drive your car so you can figure out the particular scale you want to use.

It is often easier for newcomers to the RC drift car world to use vehicles with smaller scales. It is simpler to control a smaller RC drift car, thus making it relatively easy for you to make it work.

What About the Wheel Drive?

The wheel drive feature on an RC drift car is not something to be all that concerned about. In most cases, you’re going to use a drift car on a paved road. Therefore, you are better off just getting a two-wheel drive model. It is easier to work with and does not require as much maintenance as a four-wheel drive model.

Meanwhile, a four-wheel drive choice might be overkill when it comes to having such a car. This option is better suited towards off-road driving.

Review the Transmitter

The transmitter should be very easy for you to handle. It must have a design that is conducive to drifting and can transmit data to the vehicle quickly, thus making it easier for the vehicle to respond to a drifting motion. Check on how the transmitter is built so you will have an enjoyable time controlling the car and getting it to drift properly.

The transmitter must come with a series of suitably organized handles. The throttle and steering function must be separate from one another, yet positioned on the controller to where you will have a better grip.

Check Where You Will Drive It

The last tip is to look carefully at where you can drive your car. You will need to find a good friction-free ground that is wide open and has enough space to support drifting motions. The place you wish to drive is especially important if you are looking at larger-scale vehicles.

Carefully consider the surface on which you are driving your vehicle. The surface must not be too hard to drive on so you can get the most out of the vehicle.

If you are going to drive it on uneven surfaces, you might be better off with a drift car that can handle rugged terrain, such as a vehicle with tires that have additional grooves. Of course, there is always the option to get an RC car that makes it easy for you to switch out the tires, but it still helps to look at what you are getting out of that vehicle for the best possible results.

A Final Word on RC Drift Cars

Be certain when finding a quality RC drift car that you look at the many parts that come with it. These vehicles can be strong and unique, but they must be designed so that it is easy to control as well as being able to get the most out of any drifting moves you want to get out of it.

Feel free to test different RC drift cars before choosing to buy one. Check on the organization and how they operate so you can have an easier time with controlling one that can drift correctly. The key is to have an option that you can easily play along with and use while being easy to understand and learn.