1. A graphite chassis is a huge performance booster, but it can also cause serious radio-glitching problems if your antenna wire comes in contact with the graphite. To prevent this from happening, use a piece of heat-shrink tubing to further insulate the antenna where it touches the graphite. Just cut the correct length needed for your application, and slide it onto the antenna.
2. Even if you drive an electric car, always keep fuel line in your toolbox. Besides its intended use, fuel line can be cut to any length to make bushings, spacers and wire insulators, and it can be used for many quick-fix remedies at the track.
3. You can improve your rock crawler’s performance by adding weight to the front wheels. Doing so will reduce the risk of rollovers on steep inclines and will help keep the front tires on the ground. Pick up stick-on weights (available at most hobby shops), and stick them to the insides of the front wheels using the adhesive backing.
4. Safety pins make excellent body clips in a pinch. Toss a few of them in your pit box, just in case. They’ll keep you rolling and they won’t come off in a crash because the ends are closed up.
5. Blaster Products Corrosion Stop (Item no. 16-CSP; $5.50) is a spray-on lubricant that penetrates and resists water and displaces moisture to prevent corrosion. Spray it on your axles, bearings, turnbuckles and other metal parts and you’ll be able to run your vehicle in mud or rain without worrying about rusting or water damage. It’s also a great lubricant and all-purpose cleaner. Spray some on your manifold to remove stubborn oil and fuel deposits, or spray it on your chassis before running your car, and then dirt and other crud wipes away clean.
6. Before you paint your Lexan body, place the can of paint in hot water for around 5 minutes. To prep the body, warm it up with a heat gun for 30 seconds, but be careful not to place the tip of the heat gun too close—the body only needs to be slightly warm. The warm paint will stick to the warm body better and dry more quickly. Apply several light coats of paint, and you’ll have a perfectly painted body.
7. If you have a 27MHz AM radio that’s on the same channel as your racing buddy, swap your transmitter and receiver crystals; in other words, place the TX crystal in the receiver and the RX crystal in the transmitter. This will prevent interference with your buddy’s radio. Keep in mind that this tip only works on 27MHz AM crystals.
8. If you compete at events that do not strictly enforce fuel-capacity rules and you’d like to increase your nitro vehicle’s run time, install two fuel filters and an extra-long piece of fuel tubing between the fuel tank and the carburetor. You’ll gain a minute or two of run time.
9. The 4-cell receiver battery-pack holders that often come with nitro kits work fine, but AA cells can pop out of the holder during hard running. If a cell pops loose, it can cause a loss of signal. To prevent this, wrap electrical tape around the battery pack. The tape will hold the pack securely in place even during the hardest driving, but it will still be easy to remove.
10. To keep your radio box on through that hour long A-main without shutting off on you, cut a piece of Lexan to fit snugly around your on/off switch when it’s in the on position. Secure the Lexan to the radio box, so that your switch can’t turn off during a race. When tuning or bashing your vehicle, keep the lexan panel upside down so you can easily access the on/off function.