Model cars are great fun to look at, but who said you couldn't play with them, too? For example, new model car designs incorporate some nifty additions like hydraulics. Now it's possible to make a lowrider to display or use to entertain your friends. Building lowrider model cars and installing working hydraulics is easy, even for newer hobbyists.
Things You'll Need
- Lowrider model
- Hydraulics kit (optional)
Determine which kind of lowrider you want to buy and make. This is easy: just choose the car model you like the most and pick it up! Are you interested in a Chevy Impala? Would you like to make a souped-up Bel Air or even a Ford Fairlane? Models of many such classic cars are available in lowrider versions.
Grab a lowrider kit from a specialty store like Hobbytron.com (see Resources below). A lowrider kit is needed to adapt those model cars that don't already include the parts you need. Many lowrider kits are adaptable and can work with most of the lowriders you would want to build with only minor modification.
Follow the instructions of both the model and the hydraulic kit. This is where it can get tricky. You need to collate both sets of instructions and proceed on building the model as far as possible without making it difficult or impossible to install the hydraulics. As a rule, typical hydraulics kits need to be installed prior to placing the body on the chassis of the car.
Secure the hydraulics to the frame and tires. Independent kits usually permit you to glue the hydraulics to the chassis, although it's also possible to modify the chassis so you can add or remove the hydraulics later (drilling and screwing the pieces together, for example).
Test the hydraulics on your lowrider before securing the body to the chassis. This is as simple as connecting the guide wires and pressing each button on your hydraulics control. Also, you might want to test the limits of the hydraulics and consider adding weight to the model to give it more stability. Taping coins or pieces of metal to the chassis usually does the trick.
Place the body on the chassis of your model and glue/screw it in place.
Tips & Warnings
- Use glossy paints when you want to make your lowrider look authentic. Lowriders are known for having very reflective paint jobs, so using paints with more of a sheen help give your model cars that "freshly waxed" look.
- Follow the manufacturer's advice when building lowrider model cars and don't install wiring or hydraulics that would over tax the model. Wires can overheat and/or draw too much power and break the model.
- Be aware that model cars often ship with very small parts that could pose choking hazards to younger children. Always supervise younger hobbyists when they are building lowrider model cars.
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