RC Shock Oil Weight Explained: A Guide For Starters 

RC Shock Oil Weight Explained: A Guide For Starters
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Last Updated on August 30, 2021 by Mesbah Sakib

Racing or bashing regularly in bumpy tracks with a vehicle can wear its shocks out. However, using proper oils can prolong a shock’s lifespan. 

Hence, it’s important to use the correct shock oil weight in your RC vehicle. 

So, here’s how RC shock oil explained can help you-

Shock oil weight can alter the stiffness or snappiness of a spring. So, different vehicles use different shock oil weights. Also, a vehicle’s shock oil requirement changes depending on temperature. Finally, motor oil or engine oil can be used as a substitute under some conditions. 

All of these are independent topics and require further elaboration. Stay with us if you want to know them in detail. 

So, let’s head right in- 

RC Shock Oil Specs: What It Means And How It Works

Shocks stabilize the vehicle by absorbing bumps. Without proper oil, a shock tends to wear out pretty fast. As a result, you need to replace shock absorbers often.

A shock has two parts; piston and cylinder head. When a car falls on a bump, this piston goes up and hits the cylinder head.

Since the piston and cylinder rub against each other pretty often, it needs lubrication. This process can be smoothed by a proper shock oil. 

So, what does the weight of shock oil do to RC

Simply put, if you use a heavier shock oil weight, it’ll produce slower rebounds. The spring will feel stiffer. On the contrary, thinner fluid flows faster which results in snappy rebounds. In other words, more response at the cost of lubrication. 

Therefore, using heavy oil in lighter cars like buggies will slow their responses.

So, what does lighter weight shock oil do?

Lighter shock oil can flow faster for having lesser viscosity. In small cars, it improves responsiveness. It will also make the car, load and unload weights quickly. However, using too much light oil can make the car twitchy. 

That’s why you need proper RC shock oil weight for bashing. Usually, it’s around 40-50 wt depending on your car’s weight. 

Also, recommended RC shock oil for jumping is 55-70 wt. This depends on your car’s weight and the height of the jumps. Thicker oil and a proper suspension setup are a necessity if you’re interested in jumping. 

RC Shock Oil Weight Guide: Types And Effects

Here we’ve discussed the types of shock oils. Also, the reasons why you should adjust your oil’s viscosity according to the temperature. Finally, we’ve discussed the proper shock oil for different RC vehicle types. 

So, stay with us a bit longer and you’ll find some useful information. 

Types of RC Shock Oil 

There are two types of RC shock oils. Motor oil and silicone oil. Here, we’ve discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both oils. 

Silicone Shock Oil 

The main ingredient in RC shock oil is Silicone. Silicone can keep shocks properly lubricated while also working as an electrical insulator. 

Are there other benefits of silicone shock oil RC

The usage of silicone has increased recently because it’s harmless for your car. Also, it’s more effective than normal oil. Unlike motor oil, it doesn’t have any build-ups and works the same in both hot and cold weather. 

Speaking of silicone oil, here are some of our top choices – 

TEAM LOSI RACING Shock Oil
Traxxas 1667 30wt Silicone Shock Oil
Product Name
Product Name
TEAM LOSI RACING Shock Oil
Traxxas 1667 30wt Silicone Shock Oil

Now you can easily grab what you like and get started! 

Silicone oils can improve the performance of shocks. Even the best RC shocks can perform better when combined with proper oil. 

Motor Shock Oil

You can also use motor oil in RC shock. Motor oils aren’t as versatile as silicone oils. 

However, they are good RC shock oil substitutes for lubrication. Although motor oil solvent can harm your shocks, that’s highly unlikely. 

Effect of Weather & Viscosity On RC Shock Oil

However, the weather changes and so does oil’s viscosity. RC shock oil for winter should have lower viscosity. Likewise, in hot temperatures, you have to go higher. 

So, how should you adjust and change RC shock oil weight accordingly? 

A good tip is to increase 100 CST per 20 degrees. If you’re using 40wt or 350 CST oil, you can adjust your oil weight according to this method. The outside temperature must match with the oil weight. 

Shock oil should be changed every two weeks. Also, adjusting viscosity according to weather is a good practice. 

RC Shock Oil Weight Differences

We’ve already mentioned that shock oil weight is determined by the weight of the vehicle. Heavy and lightweight cars use thicker and thinner shock oils respectively.

To save you some time, we’ve made a small table for you – 

RC VehicleFront Shock Oil Weight (wt) Front Shock Oil Weight (CST)Rear Shock Oil Weight (wt) Rear Shock Oil Weight (CST)
1/10th Buggy 4WD27.5 - 30 wt 300 – 350 CST 25 - 30 wt 250 – 350 CST
1/10th Buggy 2WD30 - 35 wt350-450 CST27.5 - 32.5 wt300-400 CST
1/10th Touring 4WD32.5 wt 400 CST32.5 wt400 CST
1/10th Short Course 2WD27.5 - 30 wt300-350 CST25 - 30 wt250 - 350 CST
1/10th Short Course 4WD30 - 35 wt 350-450 CST30 - 32.5 wt350-400 CST
1/8th Buggy or Truggy32.5 - 45 wt400-600 CST30 - 40 wt350-500 CST

This will help you decide which shock oil weight you need. 

Viscosity or thickness of oils is mostly measured with the CST unit. Thinner oils are rated 100 CST and thicker oil can reach up to 1,000,000 CST. 

However, RC shock oil 800 and 1200 CST are recommended to use in bashers. These provide just enough lubrication while maintaining good responsiveness.  

So, what is the proper RC buggy shock oil weight for racing?

RC buggies use 300-350 CST in front shocks for racing. However, for the rear shocks, 250-350 CST is good enough. However, 2WD buggies require 350-450 CST because of extra stress on the front shocks.

On the other hand, the proper RC short course shock oil weight is 350-450 CST. For rear shocks, it requires 350-400 CST oil. On the contrary, 300-350 CST is all you need for a 2WD short course. 

Lastly, the proper RC car shock oil weight is 350-500 CST. However, 400 CST for both the front and the rear shock is an optimal option. 

RC Shock Oil Weight Conversion

First of all, different brands mix their oil differently. So there isn’t any accurate method of converting oil. 

The global standard of measuring oil viscosity is the centistokes or CST. Luckily, most brands use CST as a global unit. However, some brands use wt to measure viscosity. 

But you’re not out of luck! Luckily, most brands will include both units on their labels.

So, following the RC shock oil conversion chart won’t always make you precise. But it’ll certainly help you to reach an approximate value.  

That’s why we’ve made a small chart for you – 

CentiStokes (CST) Weight ( Wt) Approximate Weight ( Wt) 
100107.5
1501512.5
2502522.5
3003027.5
3503532.5
5005047.5
6006057.5
7507572.5

However, this conversion can be avoided by using the same brand of oil over and over again. This allows you to freely mix oil and accurately measure oil’s viscosity.

Be sure to take the approximate value into consideration as some oils might be different! 

RC Shock Oil Alternatives: Just In Case

Although you can use different oils as shock oils, they aren’t always good. Especially if you’re into bashing or hardcore racing. 

So, what’s a good RC shock oil alternative?

Generally, motor oils and engine oils are great alternatives. However, mineral oils or cooking oils can also be used. But you should know that they can corrode the shock or cause build-ups. 

On top of that, changing the oil after using different oils may seem difficult because of corrosion or build-ups. 

Also, DIY RC car shock oil from the hardware store isn’t great for shocks. It’s because motor oil weight isn’t the same as shock oil weight. So, even if the mixing is correct, the DIY shock oil might still damage your shock. 

So, we’ll advise you to use silicone oils because of their better lubrication and viscosity.

FAQs

Question: What does heavier shock oil do?

Answer: Thicker oil is a necessity for bashing. It improves lubrication and steering. Also, be sure to pick thicker oil for higher traction. 

Question: What is shock oil weight?

Answer: Shock oil weight indicates the thickness of the oil. Racing cars require lesser shock oil weight. On the other hand, bashers require thicker oil to withstand extreme bumps. Also, doing high jumps with any basher also requires thicker oil. 

Question: Can you use motor oil in RC shocks?

Answer: Motor oils can be used in RC shocks although they aren’t meant to be used. But it’s better to use silicone oil to run a proper suspension setup. Also, motors can leave build-ups that require cleaning. 

Conclusion

We’ve tried our best to provide everything on RC shock oil weight explained. Hopefully, now you know which shock oil weight you require. 

Also, don’t hesitate to use the comment section if you have any inquiries. We will do our best to solve your problem. 

Finally, good luck.

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