How Do I Choose A Crawler Motor? Features To Consider

how do i choose a crawler motor

Rock crawling is a popular RC activity; it is an extreme form of off-road driving. You cannot use any RC car for rock crawling; it must be an RC rock crawler. Hence, you need to understand what to consider before you choose a crawler motor.

Choosing a crawler motor is not difficult if you know what you are looking for. The features to consider when choosing a crawler motor are the speed of the motor, where you are riding so that you know to get either a brushless or a brushed motor, the pole count, slot count, and your budget. 

There are different types of motors you can get for your RC crawler. Since all RC cars work with two types of motors, you need to know the best motor for rock crawling so that you can enjoy the activity.

Features To Consider When Choosing A Crawler Motor

If you are interested in RC rock crawling, you will have to get a suitable crawler motor for an RC rock crawler. However, there are some features you have to consider when picking a crawler motor.

Your Budget

Before purchasing anything, you must have a budget that determines how much you will spend. When you want to purchase an RC crawler motor, you can only spend the amount you have budgeted. So if you do not have a large budget, the quality of the motor you will get might be lesser. Hence, the more money you have, the higher quality of motor you can afford.

crawler motor exposed

Speed Of The Motor

The speed of the motor is one important factor in choosing a crawler motor. Brushless motors have their speed rated in KV, which is equivalent to RPMs per volt. Hence a 30 100KV motor will spend 30 100 RPMs per volt that you apply.

On the other hand, a brushed motor has its speed rated in the turns of the motor. If you are getting a brushed motor, it should be between the 27 turns to 35 turns range. In comparison, a brushless motor should be between 2800KV and 3300KV.

Terrain You Will Ride On

The terrain you will ride on determines the types of crawler motor you should get, either brushed or brushless. A brushless motor has a more sealed can that does not let a lot of debris inside. A brushed motor has some venting; the brushes are exposed and will get dirty a lot faster on the inside.

The Slot Count

The slots of the motor refer to the stator of the motor. Some motors have three slots, five slots, eighteen slots, and twelve slots. A motor with a high slot count will start up smoother than a motor with a lower slot count.

However, lower slot count motors can have more snap off the line, so they feel like they can have more torque. You can get either a higher slot count motor or a lower one depending on if you want a smoother start-up or more torque.

The Pole Count

The pole count refers to the number of permanent magnetic poles of the motor. Two pole rotors of a brushless motor are just one continuous magnet, whereas the four pole rotors of a brushed motor are four magnets on the rotor.

Having a high pole count motor reduces the weight on the motor, causes high motor efficiency, maximizes inner diameter to outer diameter ratio, and increases the frequency cogging torque.

What Turn Motor Is Best For Crawling?

The number of turns on a brushed motor refers to the number of wires wrapped around the armature of the part that it spins. While the number of turns on a brushless motor refers to how much wire is wrapped around the stator inside the motor.

The best turn motor for crawling is the 55t Torque Master or the 20t Crawl Master if you want to go slower and have a longer running time. The 55t Torque Master has 55 turns per volt, while the 20t Crawl Master has 20 turns per volt. You can use any of these two turn motors for your RC rock crawler as they are very strong and powerful.

However, if you are looking into a turn motor with more power and a higher wheel speed, you can get either a 13t Crawl Master or a 27t Torque Master. These turn motors will make your RC rock crawler move faster. Hence the best turn motor for crawling depends on how fast or slow you want your rock crawler to go.

What kV Is Best For Crawling?

As stated earlier, the kV of an RC car is the speed rate of the motor. The kV of a motor describes the revolutions per minute (RPM) a motor does per volt. kV is usually used with a brushless motor. The kV value of a motor is determined by the number of copper wires wrapped around the stator.

There are three best options for the kV of an RC rock crawler; 1200 kV, 1800 kV, and 2300 kV. The determinant of which kV to get depends on how fast you want your RC rock crawler to be. If you want your RC rock crawler to be very slow, the kV to use will be 1200 kV.

When you use a 1200 kV with a 1-volt power supply, you will get 1200 revolutions per minute. However, if you use it with a 10-volt power supply, you will get 12 revolutions per minute. This logic is the same for all other kV values.

If you want your vehicle to be slightly faster, you can use an 1800 kV. However, using a 2300 kV will allow you to drive your RC rock crawler both slowly and fast. The higher the KV number, the greater the revolutions per minute.

red and white crawler rc

Why Do Crawlers Use Brushed Motors?

There are two main types of motors; brushed and brushless motors. The main difference is that a brushed motor has a brush and commutators while a brushless motor does not. Brushless motors also have more speed, efficiency, and longevity than brushed motors. Most RC rock crawlers come with a brushed motor.

Crawlers used brushed motors because of the unrivaled low-speed control. Brushed motors have an option to increase or reduce the speed of the RC car. This feature is essential for rock crawling. To climb up a rock, you need more speed; descending requires less speed.

So, in a situation where you are transitioning from being stopped, especially when putting uphill or downhill, a brushed motor has the dragging on the commutator, which gives them a nice gentle slope into your throttle, and you will be able to go down or up without any accidents.

Rock crawlers do not require much speed; hence, using a brushed motor will be best as a brushless motor will generate more speed than a brushed motor. Brushed motors usually have their wheel speed calculated in turns. They are usually between 27 turns to 35 turns.

Final Thoughts

Rock Crawling is a fun and exciting RC activity. However, the strength and durability of your RC rock crawler depend on the motor. Every RC rock crawler will come with a motor, but sometimes the motor might not suit your needs, so you will have to get another.

Understanding the features to consider before choosing a crawler motor will play a great role in your choice. You will know what to look for in a motor before buying it, and after fixing it in your vehicle, you will have more fun using your RC rock crawler.

By Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher loves to play with new toys and dive into new hobbies. As a serial entrepreneur, work definitely comes first but there is always room for hobbies.