Bashers Basics — Weight Distribution
I have had quite a few newcomers to the hobby ask me this simple statement, but complex question; “how can I make my crawler perform better”. While there are a multitude of different ways that one can increase the performance and ability of their crawler, one of the easiest and most impactful change that someone can make to their crawler is weight distribution. This concept is key not only in crawling, but in bashing, and racing as well. From a crawling standpoint, weight distribution can enhance grip, forward bite, and a lower centre of gravity.
The first technique to enhancing weight distribution is to relocate the electronics within your vehicle. For crawlers especially, forward biased weight distribution is helpful for enhancing forward bite when crawling uphill. The heaviest item that influences performance is battery location. There are some crawlers where batteries are mounted in a forward biased position, however it is often a good idea to make sure they are as far forward as possible, and as low as possible. The lower that your battery is mounted in your scaler, the lower the centre of gravity will be. To put into simple terms, the lower the centre of gravity, the harder it will be to tip the truck over. ESC’s, and other electronic equipment can also be moved to further improve performance, but the effect will be less noticeable as their weight is minimal.
The second technique for enhancing weight distribution is to place additional weights throughout your truck. these will have the greatest effect on your trucks handling, but can adversely effect durability and will make your truck less nimble if you add too much weight. To minimize the adverse effects of additional weights, placing weights within the rims of your wheels are suggested. While this increases unsprung mass, it will drastically lower the centre of gravity of the entire truck, giving it more stability, and more capable when crawling over tough terrain. This can also be translated to independent-suspension vehicles, where placing weights in the bottom of the battery bay (usually the lowest part of the vehicle) will enhance the centre of gravity. For vehicles where the their wheels spin at high speeds, it is not a good idea to put additional weights within the wheels, as it will increase wear on the drivetrain and suspension systems.
Finally, look out for excessive weight being added high up within the chassis or body, as this will counteract any progress you have made trying to lower the centre of gravity of your car. I hope this helped you guys out there from having to take the dreaded walk of shame to flip over your car! Happy bashing.