ARC R11 2019 Upgrade Kit Review

Touring cars are getting expensive!! The average high end race car is now around the £450-£500 mark in the UK and that is before you start to buy hop ups and spares and a lot of manufacturers are bringing out a new car each year… so another £450 gets spent.

One company who recognised that this is not sustainable is ARC. So each time they bring out a new car they also bring out an update kit so you can bring your previous year kit bang up to date.

This means that the R11 2018 that I ran outdoors and twice now indoors can be upgraded to become a full blown 2019 car. The upgrade kit is priced at £149.99 from Torque-RC at https://torque-rc.co.uk/collections/kits/products/arc-r11-2018-2019-upgrade-kit which is great if you have a 2018 car. If you don’t there is still the full R11 2019 kit https://torque-rc.co.uk/collections/kits/products/pre-order-arc-r11-2019-spec.

What do you get in the 2019 upgrade kit?

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The upgrade kit includes the following;

  • New lower bulkheads front and rear
  • New front bumper
  • A full set of the new ultra short shocks
  • New front steering blocks
  • New rear hubs
  • A plastic version of the 20T layshaft pulley

Taking each of these in turn showing the 18 parts alongside the new 19 parts…

New lower bulkheads front and rear
There are new versions of the front and rear bulkheads include in the upgrade kit (new one on right);

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The main feature is that the hole for the ball bearing held anti roll bars has been lowered… this in turn lowers the overall centre of gravity of the car.

When fitting the bulkheads one of the things I tend to do is remove the anodising from the bottom of them where they meet the chassis. This was one of the tips provided by Colin Jackson when building my 2018 car… you can read his other tips here;

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New front bumper
With the old bumper you had to cut the bumper down in size, this was actually recommended in the manual and I have no idea who ran the big bumper plastics! The new one is already small in size and it moves the body posts in 6mm. ARC have also raised the bottom a bit to reduce scrubbing during cornering.

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This shows the smaller new bumper plastic on the bottom

And the new bumper built up;

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A full set of the new ultra short shocks
We seem to be going through a phase of shocks getting shorter and shorter. I think it is a great tuning option and they are supposed to give quicker handling. Getting the new ultra short shocks in the 2019 car means that I now have the longer ones from the 2018 car as well as the shorter ones. I am hoping short will work well indoors where it is mainly flat and I want quick changes. Outdoors perhaps the longer version will be an option.

The new shock body;

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Getting ready to build;

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I use 1up Blue grease for the O-rings and while there is nothing at all wrong with the O-rings in the kit I use Axon O-rings for all the parts in my cars, shocks and diff;

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The shocks built up to be very smooth. ARC recommend dropping about 50cst from whatever oil you were using as the body is smaller, so I went with 350cst;

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In addition ARC also provide new front and rear shock towers to go with the new shocks;

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2019 shock towers are the top ones in the picture above.

And it does not end there as there will also be another optional shock tower.

The standard will require the use of long lower ball ends on the shocks that will provide more traction and rotation. The optional shock tower will use short lower ball ends giving the car even quicker response for use on higher traction surfaces or tracks with lots of chicanes.

Note that all the options continue to use the current short springs that you have so no more purchases required!

New front steering blocks
There was absolutely nothing wrong with the steering blocks on the 2018 car but one of the tuning options was to flip the steering upside down. This was an option I really liked but when you flip the steering you end up having to put 3-4mm of bump steer shims in to level the steering turnbuckles. For the 2019 car the steering block comes in two parts, the main hub and then carbon arm parts;

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This allows the carbon part to be mounted low so you can attach the steering turnbuckle without all the bump steer shims;

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Another feature is that the main plastic hub is now put in place with shims above and/or below them allowing you to raise and lower the hub in the caster block. This in turn raises or lowers the axle height by adding or removing shims.

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New rear hubs

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The new one only have one hole (2019 on the left);

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The old hubs had a bit of a reputation for being slightly off for toe in so ARC have replaced the 18 ones with a new hub that has only one hole position but, for me, more importantly gives a more precise rear toe angle and is supposed to be stronger as well.

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A plastic version of the 20T layshaft pulley
On the 2018 car there was a plastic 19T layshaft pulley and a 20T alloy one. I always took it that the blinky guys ran the 19T as it gives more torque and the alloy was for mod to give strength as well as make it smoother. The 2019 now provides both 19T and 20T in plastic so the upgrade kit gives you the 20T in plastic so you have the choice. As I run blinky I will be leaving the 18 pulleys in place.

The 2018 car has been pretty amazing so far and I really cannot wait to run the new additions that make the R11 2019. As always I have to thank Colin Jackson and Wayne Gorey from Torque-RC for the support and all the help that they, and the team, give me. A great bunch.