One of the advantages of owning an SC10 is the wide variety of hop-ups (upgrade parts) available. If you are ready to upgrade your SC10 RTR or Kit, check out this list of must have hop-ups (minor and major).
Minor Hop-ups (low cost)
1. New Rear Tires (fronts too, if you have the $$). The most popular choice is the Goose Bump Tire by JConcepts. Other quality choices are the Pro-Line Caliber Tires or J-Concepts Subculture Tires. Chances are one of these tire options will be the best tires for your track, however, be sure to find out what other Short Course drivers are running at your local track to get your SC10 hooked up. Note: In general, you want to go with a soft compound for your rear tires, and a harder compound up front.
2. If you are having any problems with motor temp, get the Factory Team Milled Motor Plate and the Integy 5-fin Heat Sink. These products will help keep your motor running at safer temperatures. If your motor is getting too hot (see Motor temperature), the life of your motor could be shortened.
3. Get a chassis brace for the front end of your stock chassis. There is a quality plastic brace and bumper kit made by RPM Products for $16.95. See Broken Front Chassis and Chassis Brace Hop-ups for more info.
Major Hop-ups (higher cost but essential to any serious RC'er)
1. Go Brushless. If you are running a brushed motor system (like the SC10 RTR system) you should think about upgrading to a brushless system. Brushless motors require almost no maintenance and they will maintain their speed run after run. One of the best and most reasonably priced brushless motor/ESC combos is the Sidewinder or Mamba Max combo by Castle Creations. We think the Sidewinder ESC with 4600kV motor is the best choice for someone who needs brushless power but doesn't want to spend $200 plus. The Sidewinder ESC is also ready for LiPo batteries which is crucial for anyone thinking about running a brushless motor. There are certainly other options (like Novak or LRP) so do your research or ask your local hobby shop.
2. LiPo Batteries - This is another expensive upgrade but one that we think is worth mentioning for anyone interested in racing. If you are still running on NiCad's or NiMh's, you need to think about getting a LiPo as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this means you will have to buy a new charger, too. But if you have any long-term interest in RC, you need to get on the LiPo program. We suggest buying a Associated 682 WolfPack 6C 7.2V 3000mAh NiMH w/Deans connectors. This battery will give you 25 minutes of consistent, powerful run time. If you get two of these, you will be set for a quality practice session, 3 qualifiers, and a Main race. For more info on LiPo Batteries and Chargers, read LiPo Battery and Charger Setup for the SC10.
3. The introduction of 2.4GHz radios was revolutionary to the RC world. If you don't have a 2.4GHz (spread spectrum) radio, get one. These radios are great because everyone is able to have their own, unique frequency. This means no checking with other RC'ers before turning on your radio and no getting crossed up. These radios also have internal antennas with amazing range. A good one to start with is the Futaba 2PL Sport 2.4GHz for only $104.95. If you want to get a more advanced radio system, check out our post, SC10 Radio Hop-Up: Spektrum DX3R DSM2 3-Channel Surface Radio
Since this article was written, Team Associated has released a SC10 Brushless RTR that is retailing for about $260. We recommend this RTR for any new RC'ers out there who need a vehicle and electronics. For more info, read SC10 Brushless RTR.