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FTX Vantage - Replacing the Esc

Replacing/mounting an ESC to FTX Vantage

Do you need to replace a broken ESC? Or do you need an upgrade? When choosing a new ESC, make sure it has the same or better performance characteristics than your old ESC. There are ESCs for brushed and brushless motors as well as ESCs for cars of different sizes. We recommend you get a programming card if you’re planning to get a ESCs with more versatile features if it doesn’t come with one. A programming card makes it a lot easier to manage the ESC settings.

When you’re buying a new ESC, it may be necessary to buy new connectors as well. It is common that the escs come without connectors, which means you’ll have soldering work to do either when you’re replacing the power connector or when you connect the ESC with the motor.

Replacing the ESC

Needed tools:

Let’s start by removing the old ESC.

  • If the motor wires are soldered directly to the motor solder tabs, you’ll need the soldering iron to remove the old soldering from the motor. It’s possible that the motor is connected with connectors, in which case it is enough to remove the connectors.
  • The receiver’s signal wire can be removed from the 2nd channel by pulling it. It could be a little tight and may not come out easily, so take a good grip on the connector and wiggle it while pulling.
  • Next, remove the ESC from the chassis. Usually the ESC is mounted with double-sided mounting tape, so you’ll need a moderate amount of force to remove it. If necessary, you can use a flat-blade screwdriver to pry it upwards. In larger 1:8 cars the ESC might be screwed in from the bottom, so you should check the manual before you start removing the ESC.
  • When the ESC is removed, use the brake cleaner (sprayed on a cloth) to remove glue residue and dirt from the chassis.

Mounting the new ESC

Before installing the ESC, you’ll need to make sure that the wires aren’t too long. Too long wires will result in power loss, but it’s good to have a little bit of extra length to make future maintenance easier. The battery wires should also be long enough to enable easy connections to all components in the car. Once the positioning plan of the ESC is made, you can start mounting it.

There are many different ways which you can do the mounting, but the final arrangement of the wires is easier once the ESC is mounted to the chassis. If arranging the components in your car is challenging, it may be easier to solder the wires before mounting the ESC to the chassis.

Note! If the power capasitors of your ESC are separate, it’s easier to solder them before mounting the ESC.

In this example, we’ll start by mounting the ESC to the chassis.

Mount the ESC using double-sided mounting tape as planned.

Next shorten the motor wires (if necessary) and solder them. Brushless motors have three wires (A, B, C) and brushed ones have two (+, -). If the motor has fixed wires with connectors, you need to make sure that the ESC wires to be connected with the connectors are of suitable length and then solder the connectors one wire at a time.

  • First, slip the first wire through the desired path to the motor connector and then then cut the wire with pliers.
  • Peel the end of the wire and solder it to the motor’s connector. If necessary, slip heat-shrink tubing on the wire before soldering.

  • Repeat with the rest of the wires.

  • In sensored systems remember to connect the Sensor wire

Next solder the wires going to the battery. The male connector is always soldered to the ESC wires (the connector with uncovered contacts).

Place the battery in its place to make the measuring of the wires easier.

Note! If there are multiple placement options for the battery, place it farthest possible so the wires will be long enough in case you want to move the battery later.

  • You can proceed the same way as with the motor, i.e. start by measuring the wire for the battery connectors.
  • Remember to slip in the heat shrink tubing before soldering.
  • Next, solder the connector with the ESC wires.

After this, make sure that the wires are all soldered the right way. Now the mounting is done.

Calibrating the esc

Next, you’ll need to calibrate the ESC. You’ll need to set the 0-point of the throttle channel and both maximun travel positions (throttle and brakes). ESC calibration is required so that the ESC works properly (excluding ESC’s with automatic calibration -> check the manual).

Pro tip: Before you start calibrating the ESC, we recommend you remove the pinion gear and wheels, so the car won’t rush suddenly if an error occurs during the calibration.

Each manufacturer has their own calibration procedure . Check the calibration instructions in the manual. In practice, when you turn on the ESC, it’ll be in calibration mode in which you will set the different positions for the throttle in the order stated in the manual. For example. Neutral - Max throttle – Max brake.

Once you’re done calibrating, restart the ESC and make sure that the calibration was successful.

Good luck!

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