Today I will be showing you two methods for raising the height of your next 1:64 scale custom creation. The focus however – and the real reason for this post today – is to share a brilliant guide from Sharon Tarshish (a customiser who needs no introduction around here) that will give you the know how to go and create adjustable working suspension…
“Did he just say Adjustable Working Suspension?!?”
But before “shit gets real” I thought I’d share a much quicker and simpler way of raising your Hot Wheels custom creations so that anyone who just wanted to raise the height of their ride and wasn’t looking for fancy adjustable suspension (that looks awesome when finished by the way) could quickly and easily do so.
I guess it would be fair to say that what you are receiving today is the … (wait for it) … long and short of raising your Hot Wheels.
How To Raise a Diecast Car Quickly & Easily
One of my readers sent me an email recently asking how to raise the height of their custom creation and wanting to know if there was an easy ‘hack’ that I could share. It got me thinking (after replying of course) that if I was going to share Sharon’s amazing adjustable suspension guide with you then I should prefix it with a quicker version and save us all the trouble of covering the topic in a different suspension related guide. Makes sense right?
*Maybe I just like keeping everyone in suspense 😉
My Hot Wheels Suspension Hack
Granted this isn’t really suspension, but it does effectively raise the height of the car and gives the desired look – assuming that desire doesn’t involve adjustable-ness 😉 Better still is the fact this ‘hack’ requires no tools, takes all of 5 minutes, and is incredibly easy to do.
- Remove the original wheels and axles and clip the base back on the vehicle.
- Cut a small groove or indent into the base directly under the original axle slots
- Place the new set of wheels onto the groove and make sure they are completely straight
- Put a TINY drop of superglue onto the centre and let it sit for at least 15 minutes
- Once set add another small drop and make sure the glue does not run down the axle onto the wheel (Tragedy!)
Here’s the above guide in picture form – excuse the lack of detail as I wrote this after the fact and used a custom from 6 months ago :p
This method is so quick and easy you’ll have time for a spot of Golf afterwards
And now for something requiring a tad more time and effort – but damn are the results well worth it!
This guide was kindly written and provided by Sharon Tarshish, but note that I have taken the basic steps and rewritten the guide and added extra details so as to make the process easier to follow. (I have confirmed with Sharon that my edits are inline with the guide as a whole before publishing so it has his seal of approval)
How To Create Adjustable Suspension in 1:64 Scale
Today Sharon will be showing us how to make adjustable suspension that raises the height of your custom diecast creation to whatever level you desire. The following image is to provide you with a better idea of what we are doing as well as provide that added incentive to create something badass with your newfound knowledge 😀
The first thing you will need to do is remove the plastic base and wheels (note that this method only works with plastic base diecast cars) I’m sure you need no assistance in this regard but for those just starting out or for anyone who wants to learn my kick ass method of removing the base so you can reattach it without the need for glue or screws, there’s a how to guide and video <– just follow the link 😉
Take your plastic base and drill 2 holes in the sides of the base above each axle. *Note that the only image provided (shown below) includes the metal clips that are made in step 3. So stop freaking out – we’ll get to that in a sec :p
*With Regards to the drilling of the holes in the base, Sharon says the following:
“I never drill holes. i just heat the U Part (of the Clips made in step 3) on direct flame and pierce it straight into place.”
Using steel or aluminium wire* you need to make 4 U shaped parts and bend it at the edge. (See below)
Now take your U Clips and glue them to the holes in the base. (I never drill holes. i just heat the U Part on direct flame and pierce it straight into place.)
Note that the longer the U part the longer the travel , and bigger wheels will be needed.
In order for the new wheels to have the rigidity to allow the entire axle to travel up and down you will need thicker axles (because I can tell you now that trying to use the normal 0.8mm gauge Hot Wheels axles will result in them bending slightly under the pressure, especially if you want to create that wonky axle rock-hopping look as Sharon so wonderfully demonstrated in the first image.) So with that in mind…
The next step is to make thicker axles (if and when this is required – I know many of the larger 4wd wheels like Monster Truck wheels for example come with thicker axles as standard)
- Take your thicker gauge wire (around the 1.6-2.0mm mark) and cut it to the desired length
- Attach one of the wheels to the axle (I personally use Superglue although Sharon says he uses direct flame to heat and force/pierce the thicker axle into the hole (the orange part if we’re using the below image as a guide)
- Feed your axle through the slots of the U clips and then attach the other wheel.
Now for the suspension effect i use a metal cable that is hard to bend and therefore has a springish quality. I take it from a bicycle’s shifting outer cable.
*I would recommend trying large paperclips if you can’t get hold of your neighbours bike.. ahem, I mean your own bike. Yeah totally your own I mean gosh!
Make a spring by creating a small circle in the middle with each end sticking out at around 120 degrees (see finished product in image 9 for a better idea of what you are actually doing)
Now drill 2 holes in middle of plastic base and using small screws attach the springs you made.
You can see how the ends of the ‘spring’ are pressing down (or up as it were in this image) and therefore always applying pressure to the wheels – thus forcing them back down when they go over a bump. You know, like how suspension works 😉
Note that if the U’s are too long you can bend them as Sharon has done (see below). In this way you can adjust the height of your car.
You can even get fancy and add differentials, drive shafts and all sorts of realistic elements to the build
Adjustable Suspension Customs by Sharon Tarshish
It wouldn’t be right to just end such an epic guide with a ‘thanks for coming’ so it gives me great pleasure to share with you some of the many incredibly badass customs that Sharon has created involving some form of raised suspension. Note that every one of these rolls true and has working suspension that can be adjusted to suit.
Oh but before you do – GO FOLLOW HIM ON INSTAGRAM @SharonTarshish
OK NOW I think it’s safe to say ‘thanks for reading’ but I’m also going to throw in a ‘share your thoughts and comment ya bums! – there’s an awful lot of you reading my stuff but not many voicing their approval or telling me to shut up already… and if you’re waiting for me to just shut up naturally then well, I hope you’re comfortable 😀
Thanks again to Sharon for sharing his wisdom and custom badassery with us – remember to show your appreciation by giving him a follow on IG – because he finally got himself over there LOL