Follow this simple guide to turn your old 1/64 scale “Hot Wheels” car into an RC version.
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Wouldn’t it be great if “Hot Wheels” made mini-RC versions of your favorite cars? Well, it turns out they do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your own.
You can, with a few simple tools and a few components, create your own! Follow this guide to find out how.
But, before we get bogged down, we’ll need a few things first.
Tools and materials needed
With all of this in hand, we can now proceed with construction.
Step 1: Select your victim’s “Hot Wheels” car
Your first stop is to choose a “Hot Wheels” car to use. You can choose times to determine which is best, or just enter the first one you can find.
For this version, the creator uses a 1/64 scale Nissan Skyline GT-R R34, but you can use any other similar car. With your victim car selected, you can then move on to modifying it into your very own mini-RC car.
Step 2: Prepare the model car for construction
Next, remove the undercarriage from the “Hot Wheels” car. You will need to drill out the rivets and remove any screws that may be present. Take your time here and try not to damage the “Hot Wheels” car too much. Also, be sure to wear gloves, just in case.
Once complete, open the car and separate all interior features. Once this is complete, carefully remove the rest of the rivet points using a Dremel.
As before, take your time here and try not to unduly damage the “Hot Wheels” parts. Dremel other internal features to create as much space as possible to house RC components later.
Next, take your Dremel back and remove the rear parts of the undercarriage. Again, take your time and try to make an accurate, clean cut through the die cast metal.
Do the same for the front of the undercarriage. You basically want to remove all the pieces, starting from the rivet, keeping the center as much as possible.
Step 3: Prepare the RC component box
Next you will need to design the main internal case for the RC components. Use the CAD program you are most comfortable with.
You can find the CAD files used for this model here.
Once you’re happy, 3D print the model or ask a friend with a 3D printer to help.
Step 4: Build the RC Components
Together with the printed case, gather all the necessary RC components.
You can also remove the headlights and taillights using a modeling drill. These will be used to expose RC receivers and transmitters later.
With everything in hand, we can start assembling the RC parts and the interior of the car.
First, take the original “Hot Wheels” glass part that you removed earlier. Glue it to its original place before disassembling the model. This will help hide the RC components inside.
Next, take the original front wheels and mount them into the wheel mounts of the RC steering gear (also 3D printed). Use the original pins or other appropriately sized screws.
Assemble the rest of the steering assembly as needed.
Repeat for the other steering wheel as well. This will be tedious, so use tweezers and magnetic mini-screwdrivers to help.
Next, wire (and solder) the micro servo (for steering), micro motor (for propulsion), receiver, radio link, micro switch, ESC, and other components as required. needs. See image below for details.
As for the other wires, one will be used to connect the battery, another to recharge the battery later, and another to power the LED headlights that will be installed later.
Step 5: Continue reassembling the car
Next, take the other original “Hot Wheels” internal components, add adhesive and glue to the inside of the car’s main frame.
Next, take a short length of paper clip (or similar), bend it into a horseshoe shape, and connect the two main wheels together. Again, this will be tedious, so use tweezers to manipulate the parts.
Take another length of paper clip and bend it into a hook shape. Connect to the servo arm and insert it into the steering mechanism as shown in the video. Again, this will be tedious, so take your time.
See below for a more in-depth look at the steering mechanism.
Next, take a few short lengths of shrink wrap and wrap them around the main drive wheels. This will provide them with vital extra friction for the RC car when in action.
Mount the wheels on the main propulsion micromotor.
Step 6: Add LED lights and complete the RC car
Next, take some small LED lights, wire them up and solder them to the wiring, and connect to the main RC micro-electronic circuit. Glue the LEDs in place on the top chassis.
Connect the battery and make sure the switch is off. Next, glue or otherwise attach the RC components and their casing to the top of the car’s chassis.
Step 7: Test the build and have fun
With this, your “Hot Wheels” mini-RC car is effectively complete. Now you can turn on the switch and test drive your perfectly designed little RC car.
The steering must respond to the command and the main propulsion must also activate on demand. You can also check that the headlights are working as desired. This function will depend on your build. You may, for example, want the headlights to be always on.
If none of this happens, you may need to open the model and check the microelectronics for any wiring issues or errors.
The last thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the handling of the car before putting it through its paces.
Once that’s done, you’ll probably be looking for a new project to spend your free time. Can we recommend that you assemble and paint a realistic Soviet T-34 tank?
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