Choosing the Right RC Body: A Comprehensive Guide for Enthusiasts
When you first started getting into RC cars, you probably didn’t think about the body of the car much beyond how cool it looked. That’s how most hobbyists start out. They buy the coolest-looking car they can find in their price range.
However, when you start to understand the hobby a bit more and understand what really makes a good RC car, you start to pay closer attention to each part and how it affects the overall quality of the car.
Unfortunately, the body still gets neglected fairly often in favor of the core systems, but it’s actually an imperative decision. You need a good body to encapsulate and protect the core parts of your car, maximize performance, and keep you from having to repeatedly invest in new bodies due to damage.
Today, we’re going to focus on the main factors you need to consider when choosing the right RC body for your car.
1: Ensure that the Material Used is High Quality
First and foremost, no matter what type of car you’re building and what it will be doing, you want to make sure the material used to make the body is one that will last. You don’t have to buy the most expensive body possible, but you definitely want to invest in one that isn’t going to degrade quickly or become damaged every time it takes a bump.
Plastic is going to be the main body material you find for RC car bodies. So, what you’re really looking at is the type of plastic used, such as impact-resistant ABS or other common plastics, and how well the manufacturer worked with that plastic to make the most of it.
This is especially crucial if you partake in rougher activities with your RC car such as off-roading, intense racing, and similar things. You don’t want to have to replace the body nonstop, or the cost will add up.
2: Weight Considerations in RC Cars
Weight matters a lot when you’re trying to maximize your car’s performance. The heavier your body is, the less speed your car is going to be able to generate. If it’s too light, it might be made with materials that are too thin to protect against impacts, and you’ll likely have control problems.
The ideal weight for your car is going to be largely dependent on the overall setup you have. You might need to experiment a bit, or you can make it easy by buying a body specifically built for your model of RC car as long as you don’t have a homebuilt car that obviously doesn’t have matching bodies available.
3: Ease of Repair
Eventually, you will need to make a repair. Even if you choose the right RC body, the bumps and wrecks will eventually put enough stress on the body that it cracks, chips, or otherwise requires maintenance.
You don’t want a body that is poorly made and likely to break in irreparable ways, and you don’t want one that’s going to require more than a plastic welding kit and a few basic tools to repair on your own.
Most plastic bodies are going to fit this criteria unless they’re extremely thin or thick. If the material is too thin and brittle, it’ll be likely to shatter. You're not going to make a patch or plastic weld that back together. If it’s too thick, even if the material is good, making repairs with traditional plastic welding methods is going to be difficult.
A body that balances flexibility, strength, and thickness well is optimal both for being able to repair it and for avoiding issues in the first place.
4: Price Balance
It doesn’t make sense to put a $100 custom body on a cheap DIY rig or something you grabbed at the local big box store. The body isn’t the core component of the vehicle, and obviously, price is something everyone thinks of when purchasing anything.
Ideally, you want to get an RC body that is price-balanced well against the mechanical components of the car itself. If you have a decent $200 model, getting a body that’s $70, $80, or even $100 or more, is justifiable. It’s protecting your investment in the mechanical components, and it wouldn’t make sense to go with an extra-cheap option that isn’t going to protect such an investment.
5: Ease of Installation
Installation is also something you need to think of. RC cars aren’t like actual cars. The body doesn’t go on and then never comes off until it’s being torn down for the scrap yard, and there’s also no real requirement for how the body attaches. Different makes and models will have different methods of installing the body.
You want a body that can go on easily with just a few screws or tabs to keep from having to spend forever messing with it, or if you’re buying a more high-end body, you’ll need to commit to trimming areas to match your car’s chassis, drilling your own holes to connect the body to the car, etc. That is optimal because then you control how the body connects to the car.
However, it’s not just the initial installation you need to think about. Quite a few types of repairs will require you to remove the body to work with the car’s mechanical components. You want to be able to do that over and over again without risking damaging the connection points.
Part of that has to do with build quality, but different attachment methods, or different choices during the initial installation process in the case of trimmable bodies, will impact this as well.
So, How to Choose the Right RC Body for You?
Considering these basic factors is a good start, but you also need to consider what it is you’re using the RC car for. Do you simply like to drive it around the driveway every once in a while, or do you go off-roading and racing with it?
In any case, you need a high-quality supplier to make sure your body looks and performs great without causing you problems or costing more than it’s worth. Delta Plastik USA is your go-to source for professionally molded, small-batch, RC car bodies that are a step above the competition. We offer a range of accessories, decals, Monster Truck Bodies, 1/5th RC Bodies, 1/7 Scale Bodies, Traxxas Slash Bodies, Arrma Vendetta 1/8, 1/8th GT 325mm Bodies, 1/10th Bodies, Speed Run Bodies, 1/8 GT2 360mm Bodies, 1/8 On-Road Bodies, 1/8 Vintage Bodies, 1/8 Off-Road, Thunder Truck Bodies, and many more! If you have any questions about our products, don’t hesitate to message us!