RC Beginner Series – How to Change Pinion Gear and Set Gear Mesh

Team Associated

How easy is it to change out your pinion gear? What is gear mesh? What does changing the gearing do to an RC? All of these questions will be answered in this article and video.

On my very first RC, I turned to YouTube to find out exactly how to change a pinion gear. This would be my first step into wrenching on my RC and I didn’t want to screw it up. I later learned about proper gearing, gear mesh and exactly what happens to your RC when your gearing changes.


What is a pinion gear?

A pinion gear is the gear that’s attached directly to your motor. It’s attached typically by set screw and can easily be removed by a hex driver. Pinions do come in different pitch’s and sizes, so consult your owner’s manual for specifics.


What happens when you change your pinion gear?

The rule on pinion gears is the higher the teeth count, the faster you’ll go – or top end speed. You’ll also see a change in the amount of torque you have as well. Depending on your motor/ESC combo, your torque will decrease the higher you go in teeth count. You will see higher temperatures in your electronics with taller pinion gears, especially if your terrain changes from asphalt to off-road and grass. Consult your owner’s manual for temperature ranges to keep your electronics safe with the taller gearing. When changing pinion gears, you only want to jump 1-2 teeth at a time and check temperatures periodically while running your RC.

Please see the video above for details in changing the pinion gear for the Team Associated ProRally car. Keep in mind that changing the pinion gear in other vehicles may differ so consult your owner’s manual for specifics.


What is gear mesh?

Gear mesh is how closely spaced the pinion gear is to the spur gear. Too close of spacing can cause un-needed friction and wear on the components including higher temperatures and possible electronics failure. Too far of spacing can cause pinion and spur stripping and wear.

Please see the video for details in adjusting gear mesh.


Hopefully this article and video makes you a bit more comfortable working on your RC and getting the full potential out of it. The beauty of hobby grade RC is being able to work on it, change parts and enhance the performance.

Here’s some items mentioned in this video:

Team Associated hex driver set: amzn.to/2ujI1bt
Team Associated Threadlock: amzn.to/2tlv2cd
Team Associated 15t 32p Pinion Gear: amzn.to/2ujlWtw

The Team Associated ProRally 1/10th scale Brushless RTR Rally Car is available for a limited time at a smokin’ low price here:


RC Beginner Series Topics

Jan. –  Tools needed for your new RTR/Using your Owners Manual
Feb. – Battery Safety/Lipo rules/Battery Choices
Mar. – Ride Height Adjustment/Shock Collars
Apr. – Trims and Dual Rate on your Radio
MayClean Your RC – Compressed Air
Jun. – Changing your Pinion/Gear Mesh
JulyAdjusting Body Height
Aug. – Adjusting Turnbuckles – Camber/Toe
Sept. – Inspecting Bearings/Free Driveline
Oct. – Adjusting Slipper Clutch
Nov. – Inspecting Suspension/Free Suspension
Dec. – Shock positions


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