Thanks to technology advancements, many crawlers come from the factory waterproof. That said, some aren’t waterproof. Fortunately, there is a workaround. Keeping that in mind, here is my guide on waterproofing an RC rock crawler:
With this article, I’ve purposed to guide you through waterproofing your RC rock crawler. Some of the parts are made of metal, and if they are exposed to water, they’ll rust. They include screws, linkages, bearings, and axles. Consequently, if your RC truck is exposed to water, leave it outside to dry completely.
So, how do we go about waterproofing an RC rock crawler? You have to be careful and patient since there are numerous parts to waterproof, and if done wrong, this will be a prolonged, tedious yet unproductive process.
The whole point is to seal the exposed metallic parts. It’s also possible that along the way, you’ll find different ways to achieve this and decide to use them instead, but I can attest to the effectiveness of the methods here.
Even though you might not intend to throw your rock crawler in water, waterproofing also comes in handy in keeping dust and debris away from the sealed components.
How To Waterproof an RC Rock Crawler
As pointed out, you’ll have to waterproof one part at a time. Let’s begin with the motor:
Usually, the motor doesn’t need waterproofing. Most of the time, people break in the RC motor using the underwater submersion technique. So, ensure it’s completely dry once you’re done submerging it in water, or else it will result in corrosion.
The engine’s bearings need oil, so lubricate them after your motor is dry.
While some people think servos don’t need waterproofing, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The servo has a circuit board that regulates its rotation, and it’s really hard to remove water when it accesses the servo box.
Waterproofing the Servo
This technique offers permanent results, which is why it is very common. Plasti-dip is a thick, smooth liquid that creates a rubber-like cover over the dipped component.
So, find some Plasti-dip and dip the servo in it. Dropping it gradually while holding the output shaft or utilizing silicone sealant would be best. Finally, ensure the space between the servo and output shaft is completely tight.
Next is the balloon method, which involves creating a small hole in the balloon. The hole needs to be tinier than the output shaft. Increase the diameter and fit the control horn over the component.
Remember that this technique will make the servo waterproof though not submersion-resistant. Tie the balloon’s open end, and you’re good to go.
Lastly, I present the silicone sealant method for waterproofing your servo. It leads to a stock-like look since, unlike the two first methods, you can’t tell what’s been done to it.
Split the servo case and apply small silicone sealant amounts when attaching them. Next, put the case back together and give the sealant time to dry. As for the section surrounding the output shaft, take a tiny grease-coated O-ring to create a closure when fitting the servo horn.
After waterproofing the servo, we’re off to work on the speed controller. While it is essential to waterproof the speed controller, it is rather cumbersome compared to the servo. This is because you can’t leave it in a container or balloon and let the liquid do its thing.
The speed controller tends to become hot and requires adequate ventilation. The objective is to take care of the speed controller, not ruin it. You might need to do it more times than once to guarantee it doesn’t overheat.
Luckily, rock crawlers don’t overheat that fast, though you need to be cautious. The most suitable option is purchasing a waterproof ESC. Otherwise, you’ll need to waterproof the component yourself. The process is the same as the servo though you can’t utilize the balloon technique.
The receiver is the other crucial part that needs waterproofing. It’s the communication hub between you and the rock crawler, and if you spoil it, it will be very pricey to replace.
Many RC crawler receivers are situated in a box where the lines come in and out of the receiver box in an organized manner. RC receiver boxes are compatible with all rock crawlers and require silicone sealant to cover the tiny gaps.
Again, if you have the time and skills, you can create a customized impermeable receiver box. If you don’t have a receiver box, you can opt for the balloon technique as with the servo. When utilizing this technique, don’t make any holes; place the antenna via the balloon’s entrance, and use a zip tie.
You can tightly wrap the other parts that require waterproofing in electric tape and apply a less viscous silicone spray. Further, you can utilize silicone sealant; it’s a reliable option. The objective is to dip the electrical leads in distinct ionic substances.
Once you’re done waterproofing the entire rock crawler, you can race it in wet surroundings. However, don’t forget to lubricate all the parts when you’re finished. You can use one of several reliable lubricants, like the WD-40 or liquid wrench.
What to Look for When purchasing an RC Rock Crawler
Your rock crawler requires ample torque to drive through tough and uneven terrain. So, look for a rock crawler with one or two motors and reduced gear ratios to provide reliable power at less speeds.
Pick an RC crawler with a flexible, powerful suspension system equipped with swift response shocks to increase the chances of having all wheels on the course moving forward when racing over huge obstacles.
Rock crawlers need locked differentials and 4-wheel drive to prevent power from being averted to wheels that are simply spinning or off-ground. This delivers improved traction over hurdles when racing.
Rock crawler racing comprises plenty of steering through and around different hurdles, hence the need for high-torque servos with metallic gears to facilitate effortless turning of the large wheels in small spaces.
Consider purchasing a rock crawler with four-wheel steering, which offers several steering modes for both rear and front wheels for making more difficult turns around hurdles.
RC crawlers have large wheels featuring treads that optimize traction when racing through the track. They are normally attached to the rim, so they don’t come off when driving over huge obstacles.
Waterproofing your RC car is important since it prolongs its lifespan and will leave it functioning adequately. If you don’t do it right and leave it in water, switching the spoilt parts can be very expensive.
Hopefully, this guide has been handy in helping you waterproof your RC rock crawler.