How to beat the heat

How to beat the heat! Six tips to keep cool


1. Heatsinks are a simple and effective way to help keep motors running cool. Usually made of aluminum, there are several types depending on the specific application. On touring cars and other vehicles where the motor is well exposed, a finned heatsink can attach directly to the motor to help disburse heat. Since space can often be tight on 2WD off-road vehicles, a heatsink motor plate that is milled for more surface area will help accomplish this task.


2. Trying to squeeze the most speed out of a vehicle can often cause people to gradually increase the size of their pinion gear by one or two teeth or even more. Unfortunately, over-gearing a vehicle will result in the motor running hotter and hotter, causing it to run inefficiently and eventually, burn out. Likewise, under-gearing a vehicle to increase run time will also cause the motor and battery to run hotter. Ensuring that your vehicle is geared correctly will keep it operating efficiently and will help keep the motor and battery cool.



3. When the body is fully secured on a vehicle, it will often do a great job keeping dirt and debris out of the chassis area. Unfortunely, this also limits air flow to the electronics under the hood. Using a body reamer or Lexan scissors to cut a few well-placed holes in the body to increase airflow and help keep motors, speed controls and even batteries operating at cooler temperatures. Even better, some bodies already have areas designed to be cut out for just this reason.


4. So, you just gave your vehicle a five or ten minute torture test on the track or at your favorite bashing spot. Before you head back out with another fully charged pack it is always a good idea to let your motor and speed control completely cool down. Running pack after pack will only cause the temperatures of the motor and speed control to increase and result in premature failure. It is also a good idea to let LiPo and NiMH batteries fully cool down before you recharge them, too.



5. The time you spend waiting for your vehicle to cool down can also be used productively to keep it running efficiently. Use this time to clean your vehicle and check it for worn parts, specifically bearings. If a bearing is worn out and seized up it can cause the entire drivetrain to work harder than it should and increase motor and speed control temperatures.


6. Small fans that can attach to the tops of speed controls and motor heatsinks, or that attach to strategic areas on a vehicle chassis to blow on electronics, are great ways to keep motors, speed controls and even batteries cool. They often plug in to open channels on receivers so they are easy to wire in. They use very little power so they will not impact run time, and they are fairly inexpensive.


These are just a few of the more cost-effective ways to keep your expensive RC machine running cool in the summer heat. While not all might apply to your vehicle, I'm sure you can use at least one to help prolong the life of your motor, speed control and battery.


Berry, Dean. "Beat the Heat." RC Driver . Sept 2012: n. page. Print.