How to Choose the Right 1/10 Scale RC Body


How to Choose the Right 1/10 Scale RC Body


The first time you go looking for a new 1/10 scale RC body for your remote control car or truck, you may be surprised to find so many different sizes and styles in the same scale to choose from. One reason why is that bodies are among the most popular replacement parts for RC cars.

Although polycarbonate plastic (also known as Lexan®) RC car body shells are flexible and very durable, they’re also susceptible to scratches, cracks, and other damage when racing and bashing. And even if your 1/10 scale RC body doesn’t need replacement, there’s no easier way to give your radio control vehicle a fresh, new look than by changing bodies. It’s certainly cheaper than buying a whole new RC car!

To get an idea of how many different 1/10 scale RC body styles are available, check out the RC car and truck body selection at Horizon Hobby. You can buy them expertly factory-painted or clear and unfinished for adding your own custom colors. Choose direct replacements from your RC vehicle’s original manufacturer or browse the optional RC bodies available from Pro-Line and other highly respected brands.

One way to make sure a replacement 1/10 scale RC body will fit your RC car or truck is to buy another of the same body that was originally included with it in the box. Your car’s instruction manual should include an exploded view diagram, parts listing, or both. Check there for the part number of the direct replacement 1/10 scale RC body to purchase.

If you’re not just replacing the stock 1/10 scale RC body, however, you’ll need to make sure that the body you do buy is suitable for your RC car. Most bodies might be made to fit if you try hard enough, and if the dimensions are at least close. But can you just assume that if your remote control car or truck is 1/10 scale size, then any 1/10 scale RC body will fit?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple.

Not every 1/10 scale RC body is uniform in size.

This might seem odd to anyone unfamiliar with scale models, but two remote control cars or trucks that are each called 1/10 scale can nevertheless have significantly different dimensions. That’s because “scale” is a ratio that’s only meant to give a general idea of the model’s size compared to its real-world counterpart.

The exact dimensions from one 1/10 scale RC vehicle to another can vary as much as the dimensions of all the full-scale vehicles on the highway do. This means that a 1/10 scale RC body designed for one particular 1/10 scale model won’t fit every other 1/10 scale model. The scale might be the same, but the size is not universal.

Typically, 1/10 scale RC cars and 1/10 scale RC trucks measure around 20 inches long and 8 to 15 inches wide. But again, the exact dimensions vary. Picture your favorite real monster truck and favorite street car parked side by side, and then imagine each reduced to 1/10 their original size. Would the same body fit both? Not in real life, and not in RC.

What matters most when selecting a 1/10 scale RC body for your 1/10 scale model are two vehicle chassis measurements: wheelbase and width. If the description of the body you’re thinking of buying says that it fits those dimensions on an RC car, then you’re likely good to go.

Other factors that influence which 1/10 scale RC body you need.

The type or category of 1/10 scale radio control vehicle you own will also influence what 1/10 scale RC body you should buy. RC vehicles are generally divided into off-road or on-road categories. Most off-road models take the form of some kind of buggy or truck. There are classic buggies, crawlers, monster trucks, short course trucks, and many others. Each of these requires an appropriate 1/10 scale RC body.

When you compare an RC monster truck to an RC short course truck, the physical characteristics of the chassis can be very different even if both are 1/10 scale off-road vehicles. That’s another example of why it’s important to look past scale and make sure the measurements of the body you’re about to buy will match the requirements of the vehicle it will be mounted on.

Especially with 1/10 scale buggies, if you’re at all in doubt, it’s best to limit your choices of 1/10 scale RC bodies only to those whose product descriptions clearly indicate that they will fit your exact vehicle. Trucks, monster trucks, short course trucks, and truggies are a little more forgiving. But to be sure a body will fit, you should still confirm that the measurements are compatible.

Many of the 1/10 scale RC body options for on-road vehicles are based on racing regulations, which sometimes specify what body measurements are permitted in different classes of competition. You’ll find 1/10 scale RC bodies for electric touring cars with wheelbases of around 255-260mm; 1/10 scale RC bodies for drift and nitro touring cars that are 200mm wide; and so on.

How to be sure to get the right 1/10 scale RC body.

As long as the dimensions are pretty close, with a little effort you can probably get a 1/10 scale RC body to fit your 1/10 scale RC car or truck even if the body wasn’t specifically designed for it. The fit may not be perfect, so looks and performance may suffer somewhat as a result.

The best practice is to do your homework before you shop for a 1/10 scale RC body. Read the description of the body on its manufacturer’s web page and on the Horizon Hobby web site. Check for a list of compatible RC vehicles. Compare the body dimensions to the specifications for your RC car. In some cases, the manufacturer might mention additional vehicles that the body will fit if accessories such as extended body mounts are used. If that’s acceptable, be sure to include those accessories when you order your new 1/10 scale RC body.

Online RC forums can also be a good source of information and feedback from other hobbyists. Not every 1/10 scale RC body works on all 1/10 scale vehicles, but with a little search time you’ll be able to find one that’s an exact fit for you and your car.

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