How to Build a DIY Gas-Powered RC Car from Scratch: A Beginner’s Guide

As an RC car hobbyist, the ultimate upgrade is definitely stepping into building your very own DIY gas-powered RC car from scratch. But to make sure you’re on the right track and following the right steps, you’re going to need a tried and trusted guide for this.

You might be wondering how to build a gas powered rc car from scratch? And is it even possible for a beginner to do so? Well, you’re surely in the right place to find out.

In this article, we’re going to talk about building your own DIY gas-powered RC car, the materials and equipment you’re going to need for the process, and every step from designing to fixing, assembling, and even starting the combustion engine of the car and having a fun time driving it.

So, without wasting any time, let’s get to it.


Materials Required to Build a Gas-Powered RC Car from Scratch

If you’re interested in building a combustion-engine remote-controlled car from scratch, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to check what tools, equipment, and materials you need. Here’s a list of the materials required for this DIY build process:

·        Metal Plates

·        Shears

·        2 Stroke Combustion Engine

·        Servomechanism

·        Oil-filled shocks

·        Axles and Wheels

·        Two-way Communication Antennas.

·        Resisters, Electrodes, Rods.

·        Soldering Iron, Screwdrivers, Drill machine.

·        Body Cover (Optional).

How to Build a Gas Powered RC Car from Scratch: Step-by-Step Guide

Now that you’ve checked your list of materials and tools required, it is time to get into the meaty part of the build. Let’s take a look at each of the steps you’re going to have to follow to build your DIY gas-powered remote-controlled car.

Step 1: Draw a Sketch or Design for Your RC Car

The first step of the DIY process is sketching out a design that you want to follow for the RC car. There is always the option of getting an assembly kit or even an RTR-kit but where’s the fun in that?

In the sketch, make the measurements, the adjustments, fixations, placement of different parts, and most importantly, the chassis of the car so that the sketch can practically be brought into a physical space.

Depending on your experience, you can draw a rough sketch or go for a properly labeled design with the right measurements so that it doesn’t take too long of a time to bring it to reality.

Step 2: Cutting and Shaping the Chassis

The next step after creating the sketch is to start working on the chassis. For this, you’re going to take the shears and the metal plates and start cutting them into shape. Make sure that you’re making the cuts and the shapes perfectly according to the measurements in the design.

Remember that the chassis’ size, durability, and strength are going to be very important as it will be holding all the components together. So, if you need to double down on each of the joints and frames, do that. It will help your RC car maintain its shape and durability over the long run.

Step 3: Fixing the Engine and Shocks

After assembling the frame of your gas-powered RC car, it is time actually to power it using a gas combustion engine. Using a 2 stroke engine would be ideal for your first DIY project because it’s cheaper and easier to manage. You’re going to place the gas-powered engine in the front center of the chassis you designed.

For now, keep the wires zip-tied to the side so you can access them in due time. The next thing you’re going to do is adjust the shocks to either side of the engine using screws and the screwdriver you kept on the side. The shocks must be pre-oiled so you don’t have to open the RC car up again to oil them for good performance.

Step 4: Assembling the Wheels and the Axles

Once you’re done adjusting the shocks of the car, the next step is to check the wheels into place. Attach the wheels with the shocks and make sure they’re working perfectly. An ideal way of checking their condition is spinning them around, all four of them.

If they’re in tip-top shape, the next step is to fix the axles. The axles are going to be responsible for moving the car in various directions upon communication from the remote controller. You’re going to place one of the axles on the front side of the chassis and one on the back of the frame.

It is now time to make the connections. Now you’re going to take one of the wires of the engine and connect it to the gear assembly of the back axle while the other will be connected to the front axle to ensure the axles move accordingly when the instructions are communicated through the controller.

Step 5: Installing the Servomechanism and the Resistors

One of the most important components in our DIY gas-powered RC car is going to be the servomechanism. You’re going to install it at the same level as you did the engine inside the chassis.

After that, you’re going to take the remote casing and drill within it so the resistors and electrodes can be placed within. After that, you’re going to take the trigger wire and connect it to the resistors.

Finally, within the hole, you’re going to slide a steel rod and also screw in the knobs on both sides for effective controlling and you’re done with the controller setup. But if you don’t want this, you can get a base remote controller from the market.

Step 6: Connecting the Remote-Controller with the Car

We’re almost at the end now. It is time to establish the connection between the RC car and the remote controller that will pass it instructions. You’re going to take one antenna, secure it on top of the remote controller itself.

While the other antenna is going to be placed on top of the RC car. And its time to then prime the engine, put in the fuel into the car, and get started with driving it around everywhere to your heart’s content!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Have more questions regarding building your own RC car? Here are some of the most frequently asked questions you can check out which will most likely answer them:

Q. Do Gas-powered RC Cars Consume a Lot of Fuel?

A. Not at all. Gas-powered RC cars consume very little fuel usually. A gallon can last for about 10-12 fill-ups for your car’s tank and could keep it running for a total of around 300-350 minutes.

Q. Is Building an RC Car easy for Beginners?

A. Building an RC car is definitely possible for beginners but that doesn’t mean that anyone can get up and start building one. If you have a passion for RC cars and the drive for them, then it will surely be easy, even on the first try.

Q. How to Start a Gas-Powered RC Car?

A. Starting a Gas-powered RC car is pretty easy. First, you’re going to use fuel primer for the engine to get it consumption-ready. Then, simply fill the gas tank and start the car without a problem. That’s all you need to do!

Final Words

With the right tools and techniques, and following the perfect guide such as this, you’re going to be done with building your very own gas-powered RC car in a very short time if you’re building in one go.

But it would be ideal for you to take your time if you’re a beginner. We hope we’ve answered your question on how to build a gas powered rc car from scratch so you move forward with the build in order to drive it all around. Thanks for reading!


Ashlynd Flowers
United States Air Force veteran (SSgt), who is dedicated to making a difference. Her experiences in the Air Force and as a Writer.
Ashlynd Flowers loves writing about RC cars, RC buggies, and RC trucks. She has a passion for these vehicles and loves to write about them in a way that is both educational and fun. Ashlynd is a contributing writer for RCBEE.NET. She has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to RC vehicles, and her articles are sure to be enjoyable and informative for readers.

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