How to Build An Electric RC Pulling Tractor

How to Build An Electric RC Pulling Tractor in 4 Easy Steps?

You want to build a customized RC pulling tractor yourself. It can be frustrating trying to build an RC without knowing how to. Especially if you’re doing it from scratch.

Really, how to build an RC pulling tractor?

You have to first put together the parts. Then install the non-electrical parts before moving on to electrical parts like the servo, motor, and capacitor. Then you have to assemble the entire body with the assembled parts. Voila! You have a perfectly built RC pulling tractor. 

A short description like that is probably lacking as a proper tutorial. If you have a few minutes to spare, I have detailed instructions right here.

Let’s have a look, shall we?

How to Build The RC Pulling Tractor? 

The steps in this article are given in optimal order. Follow it accordingly to get the best results. Before we start, here is a look at the tools and parts you’ll need.

A diagram of RC Pulling Tractor
Source: Uky

Materials Required

In this section I’ll shortly brief you on the tools and materials you’ll need to use. RC pulling trucks are usually on a 1/14 scale. Its size is only slightly bigger than the size of a 1/16 scale RC.

Whichever size you choose, make sure to get all the RC Pulling Tractor parts accordingly-

  • Chassis
  • Front and back axle
  • Metal differential gears and housing
  • Driveshafts
  • Servo
  • Metal wheel plates
  • Front and back tires
  • ESC
  • Batteries
  • RC Body 
  • Screws and screwdrivers
  • Shoe glue and 3m double-sided tape
  • Grease
  • Sled

Some of the materials might seem similar to that of building a battleship that can shoot. But the process of both is actually different.

If you’re feeling lazy about buying all the individual parts, you can buy kits like this DIY Mercedes Model. Let’s talk about the materials in greater detail now. 

  • Chassis: If it’s your first time, consider buying a compatible chassis. On that note, I’d suggest the Power Crusher 1/64 case because this is the only chassis available online.

    However, if you’re searching for a more cost-effective solution. 3D printing is how you can build a chassis for your RC pulling tractor. But that isn’t the kind of chassis you can have. 
  • Tire: For the RC pulling tractor tires, use crawler tires. These will give your pulling tractor the much-needed grip. The front tires must be 2-3 times smaller than the rear tires. 
  • Non-Electric Internals: As for the axles, gears, drive shafts, and gear housings- metal is the best. Don’t forget to get a compatible sled with the body for your RC pulling a tractor to actually pull. 
  • Electric Internals: The most important internal of any RC pulling tractor is the engine or motor.

    Most opt for brushless motors. However, some enthusiasts use nitro engines for their RC pulling tractors. If you’re one of them, Dynamite .28 is a strong option.

    You can use batteries according to your RC motor. The same goes for the capacitor you’re going to buy.

    Make sure to take note of their sizes and if they’ll fit into the chassis. Otherwise, you’ll have to make space for them.

Note that, while putting together separately bought parts, there might be misfits. Make sure to buy parts that’ll fit together.

You’ve now all the parts you’ll need, it’s time to start building!

Step 1: Assemble the Parts & the Gears

You’ll primarily need to assemble the axles in this step. Here is how you can do it- 

  • Open your metal housings. You’ll see screws and screw holes inside to fit your gears. Use them to tighten the gears inside the housing. 
  • Don’t forget to attach the tubes to the gears before putting them into the axle. Use some grease on the gears before closing the housing. Install the driveshaft on the rear axle and you’re done.

    Note that the set screws on the axle might get stuck. However, you can unfasten the stuck set screw if you’re patient.
  • Set up the wheel plates with the tires so that you can put them on the axles. You can put the front wheels on the axle now. However, wait till the next step before you install the rear wheels.
  • You’ll also need to assemble the motor with the differential. Make sure the differential has a driveshaft on one side. Then you need to put that together with the motor.

After you’re done assembling these parts, It’s time to install the non-electric parts. 

Step 2: Install the Non-electric Parts

Let’s start putting the tractor together. First, install the non-electronic parts before moving on to the electronics. 

  • Starting with the axles, use pliers and screwdrivers to install them onto the chassis. The drive shaft should point inwards on the chassis. It’ll connect to the gears on the motor. 
  • After securing your axles on the chassis, move on to the wheels. If you’ve already installed the front wheels, install the rear wheels.

    The big crawler wheel might be a bit tricky to install. So you’ll have to balance the chassis. However, they have great grip and are one of the best tires for sand.

With the wheels installed, we now have to install the electronics. For that, take a look at the next step.

Step 3: Install the Electronics

I’ll get straight into installing the electronics. Here’s what you’re going to have to do- 

  • I’ll start with the servo. If your chassis doesn’t fit a servo, then you need a separate holder. You can buy or custom make it, and then screw it on your chassis.

    You then need to fit your servo onto the holder near the front axle. Connect your steering links to the servo horn, and you’re done!
  • Once you’re done with the servo, install the motor onto your chassis. Make sure to tighten the motor properly.

    The motor is the part that will work the most, and it might come off. You don’t want that, so pay more attention to this part.
  • When you’re done with the motor, connect the ESC to it. Your chassis should have an ESC plate. Stick your ESC on the plate using 3m double-sided tape. 
  • Then measure the length of the wires from the ESC to the motor. Cut the wires accordingly, and solder the wires on the motor.

    Don’t mess up the order, the wires should be labeled, to begin with. If you want, you can check your ESC using a multimeter.
  • After that, solder the battery wires of the ESC to the battery. Then you have to connect the motor wire to the ESC. Just push both ends into the ports on the ESC and the motor properly. 
  • Now what you have to do is set your capacitor. You can use shoe glue to stick the capacitor where you want it. Leave it to dry for a few hours.
  • Lastly, you need to calibrate your ESC to your controller.

That concludes the hard part. This is the part every DIY enthusiast looks forward to. Yeah, that’s right, it’s time to assemble the body!

Step 4: Assemble the Body

As you’re done with the internal structure, it’s time for decorations! All you’ve left to do is to decorate your RC and your own personality to it. 

An image of a Pulling Tractor
Source: YouTube

Without any further delays, let’s get you into assembling the body.  

  • Start with the motor covers and the battery fit. You might choose to use a battery box, then fit it to the chassis. 
  • Afterward, secure your RC body properly and you’re done!
  • Make sure, no screws are left loose. You don’t want your self-built pulling truck to fall apart midway!

Here’s a YouTube video further explaining the building process. I hope you understand it better after watching it. 

If you’ve managed to follow through on this part, congratulations! You’ve successfully built an RC pulling tractor from scratch. 

FAQs

Can I build a custom body for my RC?

Yes, you can. You can use a 3D printer to customize your RC’s outer body. Or, you can order custom bodies from stores. There is also the option for redesigning old RC bodies.

Do I have to use separate covers for my motor and batteries?

You need to cover your motor, batteries, and other electric parts. Anywhere that includes wiring and electricity flow, cover them. This is to protect them from water invasion and exposure to UV rays.

Do I have to use suspension/shocks?

Pulling tractors are usually for leveled ground, so there’s not much need for shocks. If you want to add some to your RC, feel free to do so.

Final Words

This is where I’ll part with you today. I hope you’re clear about how to build an RC-pulling tractor. You’ll be able to build a wonderful pulling tractor with this article’s help.

Make sure to follow basic safety measures before you start building your RC. And with that, you’re good to go!

So, until next time, take care!

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