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RC Car Body Size Guide

When looking for a new body for any RC car, there are quite a few things to take into consideration. If you own a car that came standard with a body shell, you can obviously buy the exact same body and be sure it fits. In any other case, you will however need to make sure the body you are buying is suitable for your car.

From this article you'll find some basic guidelines that will help you choose a body that fits your car.

In some cases, the product information from the manufacturer will state what cars that particular body fits. If that’s not the case, you need to check given measurements, or info on what scale cars the body is intended for, and so on.

The most important information regarding body size is usually car type, size (scale), wheelbase and width.

Bodies are generally divided into off-road, or on-road bodies. Let’s start by looking at off-road body shells.

Off-Road Bodies

Off-Road cars most often come with either some type of “buggy”, or “truck” style body. Within that there are however big differences.

There are classic buggy bodies, truggy, trucks, short course trucks, monster trucks, crawlers and so on.

To give some general advice on how to choose bodies for these cars, check this list:

  • 1/10 2WD Buggy - generally the product information needs to state that the body fits your car
  • 1/10 4WD Buggy - generally the product information needs to state that the body fits your car
  • 1/10 Truck - can fit even if product info does not mention your car - check measurements
  • 1/10 Truggy - can fit even if product info does not mention your car - check measurements
  • 1/8 Buggy - generally the product information needs to state that the body fits your car
  • 1/8 Truggy - can fit even if product info does not mention your car - check measurements
  • Monster Trucks - can fit even if product info does not mention your car - check measurements
  • Short Course Trucks - can fit even if product info does not mention your car - check measurements
  • Crawlers - bodies selected by wheelbase and width. Scale gives only a hint of the proper dimensions

In this example above you see how big the difference in size is between a 1/10 buggy and 1/8 buggy body.

In this picture we have a Team Corally Triton monster truck body shell next to a 1/10 Short Course truck body. Both are 1/10 scale, but very different in size as you can see. A good example of why it's important to check some measurments and not just go by scale when you look for a body.

On-Road Bodies

The on-road bodies are even more specific, as many on-road cars are based around racing rules, and in these classes there has generally been rules which define some general body measurements.

Because of this, on-road bodies are generally marketed for a certain class, which can be anything from 1/12, 1/10, 1/8 and 1/5, and within those there are sveral different types of bodies as well. 

In the image above you see the difference between a 1/8 scale GT body and a normal 1/10 scale touring car body.

If we look closer at the popular 1/10 "touring car" bodies, even within that sector there are many variations. In the image here you see three different types, and there are even more!

Generally a 1/10 touring car body has a wheelbase of around 255-260mm. There are bodies of different width though, as some are for 200mm wide cars (some drifters, nitro touring cars etc.), and others are for 190mm wide cars. The bodies for 190mm wide cars are generally 190-195mm wide, and fit 1/10 electric tourings cars, Tamiya TT-01/TT-02 etc.

In the picture above you see a 1/10 TC racing body, next to a more realistic Tamiya body, and a 1/10 FWD class body. All of these are for the same wheelbase (255-260mm) and are about the same width (190-195mm).

Here is a closer look at the Bittydesign Hyper touring car racing body next to the Tamiya Subaru touring car body. As you can see, the Tamiya body is more realistic in proportions and details, and is significantly higher compared to the racing body. The Tamiya body is also made of a thicker material, and the rear wing is injection moulded plastic and not polycarbonate.

For racing, many official race series demand homologated bodies to be used, with the EFRA homologation list being the most used. We have a specific category for bodies on the EFRA list in our shop.

1/8th scale on-road bodies are available in a few different types, the main ones being prototype bodies of the extreme 1/8 On-Roadracing class, and 1/8 GT bodies. Above you see a 1/8 GT8 Corvette body shell.

The GT class is kind of unique in that there is not one standard size but two GT8 bodies are 310-315mm wide, but there are two different wheelbase standards - one being around 330mm, and the other around 360mm. So when choosing a body for these cars it's important to note this.

1/8 On-Road class bodies are 270mm wide and a wheelbase around 295mm.

Body Shell Materials

Most RC car bodies today are made from 0,5mm-1,5mm thick polycarbonate (PC) plastic. The GE product name "Lexan" is often used to describe this material. Polycarbonate is a transparent plastic that is very flexible and durable, and thesefore suitable for RC car bodies.

Some body shells are however made for PVC plastic - a similar material which is cheaper, but which is not as flexible and durable as polycarbonate.

Be aware of this difference when you look for body shells for your RC car.

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