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How to remove pinion gear from a remote control car?

What is a pinion gear

A pinion gear is a cylindrical gear that meshes with a rack in a rack-and-pinion mechanism that converts rotation into linear motion and vice versa. It’s the smaller of two intermeshed gears in an assembly of gears.

A pinion gear is an important part of the traditional drive train, and they’ve been used for decades as the fundamental motion facilitator of the conventional drive train. 

Pinion gears are used in different types of gearing systems like rack and pinion systems or ring and pinion systems. 

How can you remove a pinion gear from an rc car

pinion gear

To take the pinion gear off your RC is pretty straightforward, and can be done in a few steps.You can find the pinion gear located near the front or back of your remote-controlled car, depending on the model of your car.

It’s a small gear that connects the motor to the drivetrain of the vehicle. So, once you locate it, you can easily take it off. Remember that the pinion gear is a fundamental component of the RC car and that’s what determines the efficiency of its performance. 

The pinion gear transfers energy to the wheels and without it, the car will not move. 

We mentioned the article about what size electric motor do i need for my RC plane? in the previous article, we hope it can help you.

How to set up the pinion gear on a RC car

For RC cars, an integral part of their functioning is setting up the pinion gear. The pinion gear is a toothed wheel that provides the input of a typical gear reduction.

Connected to the DC gear motor, this pinion gear helps transfer current from the motor to the wheels, ensuring efficient power transmission and smooth operation.

It’s one of the essential parts for optimizing and maintaining the car’s performance. When setting up the pinion gear, you must use the right size, because it’ll affect the speed and the level of torque the RC car has. 

If set up correctly, the pinion will help reduce the drag, increase power output, and improve the speed of the car. However, the process of setting up a pinion on an RC car is not universal, the setting up process will depend on the type of RC car. 

Effect of changing pinion gear on an RC car

Replacing the pinion of your RC car can drastically switch up the performance of the car. The size of the pinion gear determines the level of torque that’s transferred, and this is responsible for acceleration and fuel efficiency.

The seven common types of pinion gears are; 11T, 12T, 13T, 14T, 15T, 16T, and 17 T. Each tooth on the pinion matches a specific amount of torque transferred from the motor to the drivetrain. 

This means that a bigger tooth will give a higher level of torque transference. So, if you want to up the speed of your RC car, then get a pinion gear with more teeth. But for better fuel efficiency, a small pinion gear with fewer teeth is recommended. 

For further improvement on the acceleration and speed of the RC car, you can adjust the angle relative to the spur gear, that’s after adjusting the size of the pinion gear.Also, this will further help in ensuring a smooth power delivery from your motor to the wheels. 

On that note, you should know that changing the pinion gear of an RC car will affect the belts and other components, so ensure all these components are compatible with the pinion gear before making any modifications. 

To avoid unnecessary stress, get a spare set of differentials in case the previous set isn’t compatible. In conclusion, changing the pinion gear of your RC can be a good way to fine-tune its performance.

By selecting the perfect size of gear, you can change how much torque is being transferred, which will then affect acceleration and top speed.

How to properly match the pinion gears on your RC car

pinion gears on your RC car

Remember that the combination of different spur gears and pinion gears will change the performance of your car. To set up your RC for fast acceleration, you will need a higher gear ratio than when you need it for just crawling over rough terrain. 

Some of the combinations that’ll help you:

  • Combining a small pinion gear with a larger spur gear will give your car top acceleration, but only for a short while.
  • Using a pinion gear that’s larger than the spur gear with give a slower acceleration, however, this is subject to increment when the motor gains momentum. 
  • The higher the tooth pitch on the pinion gear, the higher the speed of the car.

Types of pinion gears

Rack and pinion gears come in three different types.

1. Straight teeth

The straight teeth pinion gear has the tooth axis in a parallel position to the rotational axis. It runs parallel to the axis of the gear and the load movement is either manual or walk behind.

2. Helical teeth

This type of pinion gear gives non-stop engagement along the entire length of the tooth, and when compared to the straight teeth variant, it’s a quieter version.

Also, due to the increased length of contact, the helical gears can carry heavy loads, but when on parallel shafts they have opposite hands that generate a thrust component on both the rack and pinion gear.

This thrust can add more lateral loads to the structures. The helical tooth gears have a bit of similarity with spur gears in terms of plane rotation, but its teeth are twisted on a helical path in the axial direction. 

3. Roller pinion

This type of pinion drive implements bearing supported rollers that join with the teeth of that rack, to provide minimal backlash. 

Click to learn: What are the types of motors?

4. Based on quality

Rack and pinion gears are also differentiated based on their quality.

  • The variants with 5/6 teeth are very hardened and have ground-quality
  • The variants with 7/8 precision have hardened quality
  • 9/10 milled teeth are milled and have hardened quality

Application of pinion gears

When compared to other mechanisms, the rack and pinion gears have fewer mechanical advantages, but they make up for them by having a greater feedback and steering sensation. 

Also, in comparison to the friction drive of a wheel, the pinion gear provides a positive motion.

In a pinion railway, the rack positioned in the middle of the two rails connects with a pinion on the engine to allow the train to be pulled up in steep slopes. 

Application of pinion gears

Some of the applications of a rack and pinion gear:

The first use of pinion gears was in the railways functioning on high terrains (mountainlike).

Steering System of Cars: Pinion gears are used in the steering of cars to convert the rotational motion to the side-to-side motions on the wheel.

Typically, the wheel rotates a gear that controls the gear, so when the gear moves, it slides the rack to the left or right, depending on the direction the gear moves.

Due to the pinion gear’s ability to maintain comprehensive control over linear movement, they are always incorporated in a wide range of mechanized industrialized equipment and even common products as well. 

Pinion gears are incorporated in the manufacturing of small appliances, motorized toys, and even smart antenna systems. The reason it’s used is because it gives you the ability to adjust the speed of movement. 

Racks and pinions are utilized in the production of rotary motion in high-torque motion control operations. Pinion drives are used in machine tools to supply linear motion of slides and gantries.

Pinion gears also serve as good actuators for ball valves where the arc of the travel is only at a fixed angle.

Relationship between the pinion gears, spur gears, and helical gears

Pinion gears are linked and related to the spur gears and helical gears because any system that makes use of a rack and pinion gear set will need a combination of either spur or helical gears to promote motion and movement. 

The unique ability of the pinion gear to effortlessly merge with other gear systems makes it a fundamental gear that’s in high demand on the market.


Removing a pinion gear from your RC is not a technical task, but keep in mind that the pinion gear is what transfers current from the motor, through the drive train, and straight to the differential for the car. 

Similar to any geared system, the pinion system needs lubrication to stay efficient, as they are always installed as open and exposed systems. 

The major difference between the pinion gears and other drives is that they have their engaging elements in a closed space.

However, some pinion systems don’t need lubricants to operate. Lastly, don’t do extreme ratios when it comes to RC cars, so you don’t put too much pressure on your motor and burn it out. 

If you have other questions, you can click here to contact Donghui Motor. We have professional staff to answer your questions.

Post time:Sep-25-2020

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