What are Bearings?
All vehicles come equipped with either Ball Bearings or Oilite Bushings. True Ball Bearings, on the other hand, provide less rolling resistance, better efficiency (which leads to longer run times), and an overall faster car! The downside? Bearings need maintenance and they can be expensive! But, I would HIGHLY suggest Ball Bearings as your first performance upgrade (if you don’t have them already!).
There are two different types of Bearings commonly found in RC Kits: Rubber sealed and Teflon sealed. Rubber sealed bearing come with a thick rubber seal to help prevent dirt from entering and damaging the bearing. The Rubber sealed is the best for this, but it’s downside is that it does cause quite a bit of drag (still less than a Oilite Bushing, though). Teflon sealed Bearings have a small Telfon ring sealing the bearing. Upside? ALOT less drag and pretty easy to rebuild. Downside? Doesn’t protect very well against dirt. Your choice for Bearings will greatly depend on the surface (and area) you will be running on.
Tuning with Bearings
First, purchase a Ball Bearing kit at your local hobby store (or track). Every company sells an upgrade Bearing kit for every model of vehicle they offer. You will need to sit down and allow yourself a few hours (depending on your vehicle) to do the change-over. Remove all the bushings that are in your car and replace with the Ball Bearings. It’s pretty simple. Your car will experience faster speeds and longer run times.
If you can’t afford a whole Bearing kit at one time, you should at least replace the Bearings in the wheels. This will be the easiest and most cost effective Bearing upgrade you can do.
Back to the RC Suspension Tuning Guide.