I think I'll order the plastic gear, and set the punch to Level 3. I can just set it using the button on the esc. What should the gears sound like while powered, with the mesh set right? Or, if I got a smaller spur gear, i would get higher top speed, but would it make it easier to strip it, or would a bigger pinion gear be better to increase top speed?
to my knowledge, there are not any smaller spur gears for the caldera. so to re-gear it you would have to change the pinion gear or tire size.
a larger pinion gear will change your top speed. Dont go crazy tho...even a 1-2 tooth increase will make a difference.
And keep in mind that the higher the gearing, the more heat. This is especially true if you gear up for use on pavement...and then drive offroad. The current gearing is set of a mixture of surfaces. If you gear for top speed, dont take it offroading or it may overheat.
A heat sink, as well as fans can be used to offset increased gearing.
Models sound different with correct gearing....as different models have different pitch gears.
Basically, you want the pinion and spur gear to move freely (not rub or bind on eachother) but there should also be the least amount of spacing possible...so the teeth have the maximum surface availible to push on. Usually, a piece of paper between the gears ends up being the right spacing.
Also, take note of the condition of your pinion gear. Is it brass? If so, these will wear down over time. You will see the teeth become irregular in shape. Once this happens, its more likely you will strip a spur gear. Time to replace the pinion gear.