Greasing the bearings
in RC Cars
Some of the models use propelling kind of gears that look flashy and
gives the look of a spaceship or may be a helicopter. Well this all
has come into play for the reason that these days the judges in the
car racing events have started looking for ingenuity and creativity
of designs that not only makes the models look like state-of-art machines
but designs also add to the speed and enhances motor performances.
But in the end all kinds of models require regular maintenance. Whoever
has been into the play of remote control cars or trucks has been required
to do regular maintenance. Those with such flashy car models or extra
creative accessories or power enhancers on their models they need to
take care of the bearings used in such models. Greasing, oiling, cleaning,
managing, salvaging, inspecting the bearings and to grease the bearings
thus becomes a part and parcel of regular car maintenance.
One needs to ensure that the bearings are fully packed with fresh grease
for longest life expectancy while doing the building, repairing or re-building
the RC car or truck. Any a bearing will increase the drag slightly the
bearings will feel a little dragged compared to a new bearing, In other
words a bearing in a clutch support block turning at 10,000 rpm, will
expel more grease than a main shaft bearing turning at 1700 rpm. A bearing
with no grease will have very low resistance....for a while; same for
an oiled bearing. A greased bearing that has grease that stays in it,
at an adequate amount, will out perform an improperly lubed bearing,
both in longevity an smoothness.
Most new bearings seem to have a minimum of grease and very light duty
grease as well. It should be noted that the bearing manufacturers have
no idea where that bearing will end up, consequently low viscosity grease
is used. These "stock" greases are "gone" in some instances or in a
matter of minutes of running. In other areas they are diluted easily
with fuel residues and also cleaning fluids.
Greases come with different kind of bases. Some use Lithium base while
others are Aluminum oxide based grease, Teflon grease or Silicon Grease.
But the one using Aluminum oxide, Teflon, or Silicon give out easily
on high speed, high heat and high centrifugal force bearings. One of
the reasons behind the same is low viscosity factor existing with commercial
Oiling the bearings that have been greased is not really a very good
idea as this would tend to wash out and also lower the viscosity of
the grease in the bearing, allowing it to be expelled from the bearing
much more quickly. Oiling the bearings would inevitably invite dirt
also in the machine. Low viscosity grease, which is what seems to be
in new bearings, will tend to break down to an even lower viscosity
when subjected to all of this. This can also lead to dirty residue "seeping"
into the bearing.
When bearings need to be totally cleaned, use of mineral spirits is
recommended. But while using solvent it should be done where appropriate
ventilation is available and using glasses is also recommended to avoid
solvent getting into the eyes. It should be cautioned never to use compressed
air to blow the bearings into high speeds. This can cause the bearings
to expel the balls as high speed projectiles. New bearing should be
cleaned with lint free cloth on both sides before greasing. The expelled
grease should be discarded so as not to contaminate grease with your
In the end it is recommended to use the type of grease for an RC car
depending upon its end use. A car on off road running would tend to
use high viscosity grease where as one running on clean environment
would do good even with low viscosity grease.
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