Tethered and Radio Controlled Model Engines
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RCScrapyard Radio Controlled Models

Glow / Nitro Engines for RC Models (General)

for Radio Controlled Model Enthusiasts and Collectors

   Each of the link pages listed below, contain an example image of the Manufacturer's or Brand's Glow / Nitro Engines, and if found, provides some detail, such as engine name, size, approximate year of production, country of origin, designer, maker and manufacturing company location.

Nitro Engines for RC Models
   The invention of the Glow Plug, by Ray Arden in 1948, created nothing less than a revolution in model engineering. From that point on, Control Line and RC was transformed, and with the new "Glow Plugs" having the same thread as the old Spark Plugs, old Ignition Engines could be instantly converted into Glow Engines.

   Fuelled by a mixture of nitromethane and methanol, the modern Nitro Engine Glow Plug has a platinum-iridium coil, that is initially heated using an electric current from a "Starter" to ignite the fuel and start the process. From this point, the heat produced from compression and combustion keeps the engine running until the flow of fuel is cut off or simply runs out.

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Airplane Engines Boat/Marine Engines Buggy Engines Helicopter Engines Truck Engines Truggy Engines Monster Truck Engines Touring Car Engines
Diesel Engines Four Stroke Engines Jet Engines Wankel Rotary Engines Water Cooled Engines Gas/Nitro Engines

Choosing the Correct Engine for your form of RC.

   Once you have made your choice of RC model, you need the right engine to get you where you want to be - out in front.

Engines for RC Touring / Drift Cars

   Nitro powered Touring cars require a specific ability. Your first consideration should be the tail pipe. A number of models will take only a rear tail pipe configuration, but the majority will accept the more conventional side pipe.

   Beginners should consider something with a moderate amount of power and a rotary carburettor for easier controlled handling. For top level tarmac track racing or those with more experience, look for an engine with good low end torque that has a slide valve carburettor to give you fast acceleration out of the corners.

Engines for RC Trucks, Truggys and Monster Trucks

   Unlike on road Touring Cars, Off Road Trucks, Truggys and Monster Trucks don't need that bottom end torque, unless you like to do wheelies. So something less powerful with a rotary carburettor will provide you with the smooth acceleration and less wheel spin required for controlled dirt track racing.

   If tarmac is your thing, where grip is not a problem and you have the experience, a slide carburettor may suit your needs better. Tail pipe choice is generally a matter of preference. Most trucks will accept both side and rear configurations.

Engines for RC Buggys

   By far the most popular Off Road Nitro RC Models there is a wide choice of Buggys out there, many of which now come with engine included.

   Most Buggy engines use a slide valve carburettor, but if you are new to RC you may be better off trying a rotary carburettor. High powered engines will throw up plenty of dust, but if you can't keep your Buggy on the track you are wasting your money. So something with less power may be better for you until you feel more confident.

Engines for RC Airplanes and Helicopters

   RC Aircraft Engines are generally much tougher than conventional Nitro engines, in that they must be capable of maintaining high RPM levels for long periods. Choosing the right Engine for flying models is also a little more complicated. First of all you should check the model manual and see what size and kind of engine is suggested.

   Charts and apps to calculate the right motor are widely available to help you choose, based on the scale of your model, wingspan and weight. Our suggestion is to always err towards over estimating your needs. Over powered is better than under powered.

Engines for RC Boats and Ships

   Nitro Engine choice for this version of RC is basically one of requirement and preference, depending on the type of model (eg. Speed Boat or War Ship) and the weight and length of the hull. Unlike the more conventional RC Nitro engine, Marine engines are generally water cooled.

If you intend to race your model, the weight of the Engine and fuel may have to be taken into consideration. If you are unsure, ask the more experienced racers at your local club for advice, they are always willing to help newcomers to the sport.

Why you should Break-In your New Engine

   If you were to examine a new nitro engine cylinder and the surface of the piston through a microscope, you would see thousands of grooves, peaks and troughs left by the reaming and honing process during production.

   As the piston slides up and down inside the cylinder, the peaks of the piston collide with those of the cylinder and break off to produce smaller and smaller peaks and troughs and after a short time produce almost perfectly smooth surfaces.

   This process must be done carefully, because if the engine is revved too high, the danger is that those peaks and troughs, instead of getting smaller, could rip chunks out of the surfaces reducing the efficiency of the engine.

How to Safely Break-In your Engine

1/   Before being used competitively, 2 or 3 tanks of fuel are usually enough to break-in your engine, but don't over rev the engine and try to keep it cool, below 160 degrees F (71 degrees C)

2/   To maximise your RC Gas engines power reduce air leaks as much as possible by using silicone sealant or high temperature gaskets where the carburettor and the exhaust manifold joins the engine block.

3/   As a rule, try to keep your engine temperature at around 210 F (99 C) and no higher than 225 degrees F (107 degrees C). If your engine temperature is higher than 225 F (107 C) try tweaking the mixture a little richer. If too cool (below 200 degrees F (93 degrees C)) tweak the mixture a little leaner.

Tell Tale Signs of a Lean burning engine.

1/   The engine dies at full throttle, or while simply idling.

2/   The Glow Plug element is white.

3/   The engine overheats (above 225 degrees F (107 degrees C))

Tell Tale Signs of a Rich burning engine.

1/   Blue smoke from the exhaust (tail) pipe.

2/   The smell of fuel from the exhaust (tail) pipe.

3/   Engine temperature below 200 degrees F (93 degrees C)

More Hints and Tips

   For more Radio Controlled Model Hints, Tips and Information, check out the list on the RCScrapyard Homepage. ▶ ▶

cc = Cubic Centimeters.
ci = Cubic Inches.

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Exhaust - Tail Pipes Glow Plugs Carburetors Fuel Tanks Starters Glow-Starter Batteries Engine Kill Switch
Engine Bearings and Bearing Sets Spur Gears Nitro Fuel Pinion Gears Radio Transmitters etc

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