Disassembling the RC car

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ArduinoArduino Tutorials and Guided Projects → Disassembling the RC car

Warning.png WARNING: Before starting make sure all batteries are removed from the vehicle and that it is turned off. If your RC car has a battery that can't be removed, please proceed with extra caution.

The first step in hacking any RC car is of course to disassemble it partially, so that we have access to its internal electronics and the ability to adequately place the Arduino and other necessary components.

Every RC car we will work with has a covering, or top, usually in one piece, that serves to make it look authentic and also serve as protection for the internal components. This is the first part we will remove.

The Interceptor with covering attached.
The Gymkhana with covering attached.
The Nakamichi with covering attached.

Some RC cars designed for easy body changes (such as the Nakamichi) will have easily removable pins holding the cover on. Take them out and remove the cover. If this is not the case, turn the RC car over and find the screws which hold the top onto the vehicle. Note that all the screws should not be removed, just the ones holding the top on. This may involve a little guesswork however it is often possible to simply look and see which ones are holding it and which ones are not. These screws tend to be towards the edges of the base. Remove them with the appropriate screwdriver.

location of the pins holding the covering to the chassis.
location of the screws holding the top of the Interceptor to the chassis.
location of the screws holding the top of the Gymkhana to the chassis.

Once the top has been removed, you can see the chassis of the vehicle.

The chassis of the Interceptor with top detached. It was held on by three screws.
The chassis of the Gyhmkhana with top detached. It was held on by four screws.
The chassis of the Nakamichi with top detached. It was held on by three pins.

Occasionally, the internal electronics of a vehicle will be contained in a secondary covering. This is usually easily removed.

The Interceptor's electronics exposed.
The Nakamichi's electronics exposed. Notice that we also removed the posts that served to hold the covering to the chassis.

Now you are ready to begin attaching the Arduino and its necessary components.