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Five easy steps to a perfectly tuned engine

Five easy steps to a perfectly tuned engine

Nitro engines often need fine adjustment of the carburetor in order to get the most out of the engine and to avoid possible damage. Weather conditions and other variables can affect the tune so it’s a good idea to check the tune on your nitro engine when you fire it up for a day of bashing or racing. You may find this intimidating, but it’s actually very easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time to complete.

Check the glow plug and make sure the glow starter is fully charged

Before you think about starting your ...

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Updated: April 4, 2011 — 11:55 AM
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  1. Just to add my two cents on setting the idle, personally, I like setting it as low as I possibly can and not flame out when idling for 60 seconds. Why? Well, for one, it makes it handy when someone asks you something, as when you have the idle that low the engine is quiet enough to talk over. Also, it helps keep temps down in the summer. It also guarantees the clutch isn’t engaging, it conserves fuel, and I feel it reduces vibrations a bit.

    As for clearing it out right after starting, if I have an engine being touchy I’ll drive it around instead. I hate revving them with no load, and besides, with the load of moving the car around on it it will build heat a bit faster. Normally though, I keep my engines in a good enough tune where they don’t do this. Even cold they’ll idle for the 20-30 seconds it takes to fit the body and start driving.

    Lastly, bashers need not fine tune the carb to account for every day’s different weather. I go by the following metrics when I fire mine up:

    1. Idle well?
    2. Overheating?
    3. Sound happy?
    4. Plenty of blue smoke?

    If I get a Yes, No, Yes, Yes, in that order, then the motor’s in tune. Time to spin some donuts! Racers may need to constantly tweak and tinker, but bashers like me care more about doing wheelies right now than we do getting another 500RPMs on the long straight. As such we can live with a tune that is just a hair on the rich side of perfect and not mess with it for a while.

  2. my nitro rc runs great until it reaches operating tempatures.then it boggs really bad and dies ive tried tuning it from one end of the spectrum to the other and still can not make this car run right. im at a loss and have no clue what to do from here it dies when I break even though Ive set it where the idle gap doesn’t move at all when I break what do I do from here is it a bad engine?

    1. youre running lean on the low speed needle

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