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Old 01-30-2010, 04:57 PM   #16
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On my 185 dollar Dynamite Platinum .21, I'd get around a 7 minute run with good power. My 250 dollar Murnan Modified Novarossi .21 Limited has amazing power, and 10+ minutes on a tank.

I've tried a few different engines, and for the run time and performance of my Murnan Modified engine and the fairly low cost for a modded engine, it is by far my most favorite, and the best I have used.

But Modded engines aren't for everyone...

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Old 01-30-2010, 05:03 PM   #17
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my opinion. Unless you never crash. Then modded engines are not needed.
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:31 PM   #18
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You are gonna get a lot of different answers.
But here is a quick summarization which im sure people will also disagree on.
Is it needed? No.
Does it help? If its in proper hands.. yes.

Like I said in my previous post. I have a moded engine, I gained over a minute per tank and more power. So im happy.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:02 PM   #19
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As others have stated it depends on who it is . I run stock engines because i don't see paying 80 to 100 bucks for an extra minute or 2 of run time , but i am not that serious about r/c . I was heavily involved with motocross for 10 years trying to get my son to the pros . After he had a career ending injury last year we decided to try r/c . We have fun but just aren't that serious . If you need the extra run time go for it .
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:17 PM   #20
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some of these supposedly good engine 'tuners' have glitzy websites to entice you to give up your cash. bunch of bullocks if u ask me. mod'd engines are more fineline in terms of tune and therefore fussy if ur off a lil bit.

not to mention some of these pics of mod'd engines look simply like the guy took your engine apart on his bench and ran a dremel cartridge roll up and down the rod, hacked the piston skirt up, put fangs on ur sleeve, polished a wormwhole into ur crank while make the rotating mass look like a rearend gear. rubbish.

go stock, like good solid RTR buggies that are well prepared, it make the guys who spend mega crash cry (and spend more) when u rip them in qualifying and in the race when they FO.

R

PS-realize many people in here talk bout how they love their modified motors, even plugging the guy or especially if their 'sponsored'....but not seen here are how many guys/gals who race with the fella and snicker b/c he actually has a habit of FO most every rd or is really only good for the Cmain title each wk.
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:27 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ultegrasti View Post
not to mention some of these pics of mod'd engines look simply like the guy took your engine apart on his bench and ran a dremel cartridge roll up and down the rod, hacked the piston skirt up, put fangs on ur sleeve, polished a wormwhole into ur crank while make the rotating mass look like a rearend gear. rubbish.


Lmao!!
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Old 01-30-2010, 07:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveP View Post
Let me give you a little background so you know where I'm coming from. I've been working in the RC business for the better part of 26 years and I've been involved in RC for another few years. I helped to start Car Action Magazine in 1985, and for most of my years there and elsewhere, I've been the nitro engine guy. I've raced nitro for many years, been a mechanic/pit biotch for local, national and world championship races, and I've run and evaluated upwards of 1000 engines. I've also done my fair share of modifications for myself. Additionally, I have close relationships with some of the true engine gurus around the world and have spent countless hours on the phone and in person discussing engine technology, theory, modifications, etc. with many of them. I don't like to "resume in" to discussions like this, but it's good to know who is offering you advice on this topic.

MY response is going to be a little lengthy because I want to explain thoroughly my opinion on the subject. If you simply want to know the quick answer, I don't recommend spending money to modify an engine. If you're interested in knowing why, read on and I'll give you my opinion.

Many of the people that will give you feedback are either biased customers that have purchased modified engines and want to defend their purchase, "sponsored" drivers that are shills for their sponsor, or someone who modifies engines for a fee - most of which will tell you that they can make any engine better. There are a handful of people that modify engines that truly know what they're doing. There are hundreds more that are learning as they go, and at the expense of their customers. It takes MANY years of experience with RC nitro engines (not cars, snowmobiles, motorcycles, airplanes, helicopters or lawnmowers - REAL RC nitro engines) to even begin to know what modifications will be beneficial, and many more years to learn how to measure and execute the modifications in a productive manner that will not unnecessarily compromise performance elsewhere. None of the people that really know what they're doing after 30 years of experience are publishing step-by-step modification instructions on the internet. It doesn't really make sense to spend decades to learn your trade, then tell someone else how to do it so they can profit from your knowledge. So, much of what the average person can learn in a short period of time is either from others on the internet (who don't know what they're doing themselves) or by trial and error.

Nitro engines from 20-30 years ago were made using machines and manufacturing technology that couldn't efficiently produce the intricate features and tolerances needed to maximize power, efficiency and economy. CNC machines didn't exist for the most part, so the older engines were mostly machined by hand on manual mills. This created an opportunity for the quality to vary significantly from one engine to the other, and the time needed to take the engines to the next level was prohibitive because the cost would be astronomical for the average customer. In that environment, there were significant gains that could come from an experienced engine tuner. Ron Paris, Jean Paul (JP), Rody Roem and a few others were the engine tuners that emerged from that era as having a reputation for knowing their stuff.

Even those that are legends in the engine business concede that today's market is an entirely differently scenario. The advent of CNC machines evolved standard engines from a raw canvas back in the 80s to the refined, fully featured and more consistent engines of today. The precision and flexibility of modern casting and machining processes allow engine manufacturers to include the same features in production engines that were once only possible in the hand-modified engines of old. So the question becomes, how much more can be done to "improve" the performance of a modern nitro engine? Even if you know the answer to that question (there are few that do), the gains you can expect are minor at best, and it's rarely without exponentially compromising another aspect of engine performance that's also important in the overall picture. Manufacturers of quality engines spend thousands of hours testing and refining their products at the highest levels of competition. It affords them the opportunity to tune and tweak their engines to a refined balance of power, performance, efficiency and durability that produces the best overall package. To presume to know better than the engineers that design our best engines is, well, a little bit arrogant. These engineers work every day developing engines from a strong knowledge base and with mountains of test data from some of the world's best drivers. The deck is pretty well stacked against someone with just 5-10 years of nitro experience and a Dremel tool.

This brings me to your choice of engine. The aforementioned top quality engines are going to be tough, if not impossible to beat in ALL aspects of performance when they're modified by someone that lacks decades of high-level knowledge, and even then you're just trading more performance in one area for less in another. Some engine modifiers will strongly protest that they can improve power output without compromising fuel economy or durability, or increase economy without compromising power, etc. The truth is, in a "My Cousin Vinny" moment, the laws of physics do not cease to exist on just a few "modders" workbenches. You'll hear a laundry list of weasel words about how "my engines have more power AND more efficiency" etc. from many self-proclaimed prodigies, but the cold truth of it is, it doesn't happen. It's unfounded and unproven self promotion and you should clutch your wallet tightly.

Now, there is a class of engines, that I'll call copycat engines, which CAN benefit a little from a skilled engine tuner. These engines are usually "designed" by buying one of the proven high-quality engines and simply copying the specifications. The problem is, they're usually made with inferior quality materials, poor tolerances, and by people lacking the knowledge of the subtle nuances that can be as important as port timing and compression, but that can't be measured. It's here where you might realize some performance gains, but it will still not be at the level of the better engines in all aspects of performance. Which brings me to my last point – in the nitro engine market, you mostly get what you pay for. Some engines will offer SLIGHTLY better value than others, and over the short term, some engines may cost more or less due to fluctuating currency exchange rates, but over the long term, the better engines are going to cost you more, but they're also going to give you a better balance of all the best qualities that make a good engine. Some will attack the value of the better engines by seizing on instances when those engines were not perfect, and those moments do exist, but they don't define the long term value that you get from many of the better engines. It's an inconvenient truth to some that you mostly get what you pay for, but an unavoidable one that doesn't go away just because someone says otherwise.

So, long story short, I don't recommend modifying a good engine. In addition to losing some of your hard-earned money, you'll probably shorten the life of your engine and compromise an already-good balance of all those things that make good engines good.

Flame suit on...
good answer, best so far
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:07 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by tony montana View Post
my opinion. Unless you never crash. Then modded engines are not needed.
Well said
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:24 PM   #24
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I was just talking about that with my friend Brian...

Pretty good post I think.
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveP View Post
Let me give you a little background so you know where I'm coming from. I've been working in the RC business for the better part of 26 years and I've been involved in RC for another few years. I helped to start Car Action Magazine in 1985, and for most of my years there and elsewhere, I've been the nitro engine guy. I've raced nitro for many years, been a mechanic/pit biotch for local, national and world championship races, and I've run and evaluated upwards of 1000 engines. I've also done my fair share of modifications for myself. Additionally, I have close relationships with some of the true engine gurus around the world and have spent countless hours on the phone and in person discussing engine technology, theory, modifications, etc. with many of them. I don't like to "resume in" to discussions like this, but it's good to know who is offering you advice on this topic.

MY response is going to be a little lengthy because I want to explain thoroughly my opinion on the subject. If you simply want to know the quick answer, I don't recommend spending money to modify an engine. If you're interested in knowing why, read on and I'll give you my opinion.

Many of the people that will give you feedback are either biased customers that have purchased modified engines and want to defend their purchase, "sponsored" drivers that are shills for their sponsor, or someone who modifies engines for a fee - most of which will tell you that they can make any engine better. There are a handful of people that modify engines that truly know what they're doing. There are hundreds more that are learning as they go, and at the expense of their customers. It takes MANY years of experience with RC nitro engines (not cars, snowmobiles, motorcycles, airplanes, helicopters or lawnmowers - REAL RC nitro engines) to even begin to know what modifications will be beneficial, and many more years to learn how to measure and execute the modifications in a productive manner that will not unnecessarily compromise performance elsewhere. None of the people that really know what they're doing after 30 years of experience are publishing step-by-step modification instructions on the internet. It doesn't really make sense to spend decades to learn your trade, then tell someone else how to do it so they can profit from your knowledge. So, much of what the average person can learn in a short period of time is either from others on the internet (who don't know what they're doing themselves) or by trial and error.

Nitro engines from 20-30 years ago were made using machines and manufacturing technology that couldn't efficiently produce the intricate features and tolerances needed to maximize power, efficiency and economy. CNC machines didn't exist for the most part, so the older engines were mostly machined by hand on manual mills. This created an opportunity for the quality to vary significantly from one engine to the other, and the time needed to take the engines to the next level was prohibitive because the cost would be astronomical for the average customer. In that environment, there were significant gains that could come from an experienced engine tuner. Ron Paris, Jean Paul (JP), Rody Roem and a few others were the engine tuners that emerged from that era as having a reputation for knowing their stuff.

Even those that are legends in the engine business concede that today's market is an entirely differently scenario. The advent of CNC machines evolved standard engines from a raw canvas back in the 80s to the refined, fully featured and more consistent engines of today. The precision and flexibility of modern casting and machining processes allow engine manufacturers to include the same features in production engines that were once only possible in the hand-modified engines of old. So the question becomes, how much more can be done to "improve" the performance of a modern nitro engine? Even if you know the answer to that question (there are few that do), the gains you can expect are minor at best, and it's rarely without exponentially compromising another aspect of engine performance that's also important in the overall picture. Manufacturers of quality engines spend thousands of hours testing and refining their products at the highest levels of competition. It affords them the opportunity to tune and tweak their engines to a refined balance of power, performance, efficiency and durability that produces the best overall package. To presume to know better than the engineers that design our best engines is, well, a little bit arrogant. These engineers work every day developing engines from a strong knowledge base and with mountains of test data from some of the world's best drivers. The deck is pretty well stacked against someone with just 5-10 years of nitro experience and a Dremel tool.

This brings me to your choice of engine. The aforementioned top quality engines are going to be tough, if not impossible to beat in ALL aspects of performance when they're modified by someone that lacks decades of high-level knowledge, and even then you're just trading more performance in one area for less in another. Some engine modifiers will strongly protest that they can improve power output without compromising fuel economy or durability, or increase economy without compromising power, etc. The truth is, in a "My Cousin Vinny" moment, the laws of physics do not cease to exist on just a few "modders" workbenches. You'll hear a laundry list of weasel words about how "my engines have more power AND more efficiency" etc. from many self-proclaimed prodigies, but the cold truth of it is, it doesn't happen. It's unfounded and unproven self promotion and you should clutch your wallet tightly.

Now, there is a class of engines, that I'll call copycat engines, which CAN benefit a little from a skilled engine tuner. These engines are usually "designed" by buying one of the proven high-quality engines and simply copying the specifications. The problem is, they're usually made with inferior quality materials, poor tolerances, and by people lacking the knowledge of the subtle nuances that can be as important as port timing and compression, but that can't be measured. It's here where you might realize some performance gains, but it will still not be at the level of the better engines in all aspects of performance. Which brings me to my last point – in the nitro engine market, you mostly get what you pay for. Some engines will offer SLIGHTLY better value than others, and over the short term, some engines may cost more or less due to fluctuating currency exchange rates, but over the long term, the better engines are going to cost you more, but they're also going to give you a better balance of all the best qualities that make a good engine. Some will attack the value of the better engines by seizing on instances when those engines were not perfect, and those moments do exist, but they don't define the long term value that you get from many of the better engines. It's an inconvenient truth to some that you mostly get what you pay for, but an unavoidable one that doesn't go away just because someone says otherwise.

So, long story short, I don't recommend modifying a good engine. In addition to losing some of your hard-earned money, you'll probably shorten the life of your engine and compromise an already-good balance of all those things that make good engines good.

Flame suit on...
Just curious ?? best performance, fuel economy, workmanship, and longevity what would you consider to be the best overall engines for a buggy and truggy ..

Also whom do you consider to be the best guru modders??
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:14 PM   #26
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Jay, I'm not in the habit of listing the people that I think are the best in the field for a couple reasons. Some of them don't even offer their services to the public, and for the rest that do, I don't want to insult anyone by whether or not I list them as being one of the few. They rarely, if ever, frequent any forums.

As for the engine, there are various models from different brands that have been standouts over the years, but the current crop of O.S. competition engines are the ones that impress me the most. I have a lot of respect for other brands as well - but O.S. have a slight edge at the moment IMO.
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:33 AM   #27
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Jay, I'm not in the habit of listing the people that I think are the best in the field for a couple reasons. Some of them don't even offer their services to the public, and for the rest that do, I don't want to insult anyone by whether or not I list them as being one of the few. They rarely, if ever, frequent any forums.

As for the engine, there are various models from different brands that have been standouts over the years, but the current crop of O.S. competition engines are the ones that impress me the most. I have a lot of respect for other brands as well - but O.S. have a slight edge at the moment IMO.
Don't take this as a flame.Who would you be to down grade what knowledge someone else may or may not have,without knowing them.The so called guru's you speak of had to learn from somewhere did they not.I think its even more arrogant for you to bash someone when you have no idea who they are or what they may be capable of.Helping start a magazine doesnt make you an engine expert. The gentleman that started this post simply asked about what most thought of a modded engine.That doesnt include you bashing people or thier work.Its simply a personal choice just like what tire to run at a particular track.
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:54 AM   #28
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I have to say taht there is pretty bold statements in SteveP post. There is a lot of good info but also something I'd not put out as such "facts"

Modding in general. Saying you can't get gains from modding would be the same as saying there is no room for mfg's to improve their product. Put it any way you like this is the truth. However you don't need to be genious to understand that if you know your stuff and start from blank paper or basic set of parameters you can reach higher gains than if you are modifying a already screwed up design by some Mr. Quattrostaggione or Youkohama. Also it's clear that you can't promise +2min tank times with +40% power gains and +50% longevity. But saying you can't improve the engines efficiency is BS. Also the full efficiency gain you get is when you have the engine installed in your car and drive it not just some absolute figure on the test bench.

Gains. It's clear that if you select the higher end racing engines there is not as much room for improvement as there is in RTR engines and reason for that is also clear. So i'd quess this is like the situation with the racing engines "before the wall broke down" or something. So have RTR engine modded and no-one would be so blind to say there is no gains achieved or they would be sitting on their only working eye. Is it a good idea to have RTR engine modded ? For top level driver definitely not but for a club racing or for just pissing off other racers why not But again saying there is no improvement available is either because you really can't utilize the gain or you've just run in to these dremel guys rather than a real modder.

Materials quality and copying. It's a very bold statement grouping all newer engine mfg's as copycats and stating that they only use inferior materials etc. Only thing this proves is that the more traditional manufacturers are screwed because of the fact that these moderately (or should we say correctly) priced engines out performs their entry level stuff and competes head to head with their higher end engines so they are loosing on sales. No engine is perfect and as long as there is a single human on the chain from raw material manufacturing to parts manufacturing to assembly etc. there is room for error thus there will always be lemons on the baskets regardless of the brand. Now I'd like to get an explanation what this really means:

"Some will attack the value of the better engines by seizing on instances when those engines were not perfect, and those moments do exist, but they don't define the long term value that you get from many of the better engines."

To me it looks like: "yes we do have lemons but you should not blame us for that and besides I'm 100% sure sure that we'll sell you less lemons on the long run than the "copycat" manufacturer".
So how do you define a longer term value from a overprized engine ?

Then for the last to this copying thing. If one manufacturer copies another manufacturer design from 10years back and then starts to develop it further and comes up with a nice product. What do you care ?? It should be an old design worth nothing and there are newer nice models out already who claim to be the best anway. It's like saying we made a screwed up product back then but now we've learnt to do it right so don't buy that. And all of them are not copies (copy is something else than same bore&stroke + amount of ports) so this is weak statement anyway.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:10 AM   #29
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Hi Guys,

The reasons I Mod engines are not for more power but better drivability and economy. The side effect of this is more power and better top and bottom end but it’s not what I’m primarily looking for. I have worked on many types of two stroke engines such as outboards, standard and racing (technician 19 years), go cart engines (raced six years), model aircraft (started control line when I was ten, RC a few years later and still doing it), motorbikes (just finished rebuilding a Aprillia RS250, love the porting), all manner of car engines real and model and never any complaints from the customers. I say all this because even with all this experience and knowledge I still get it wrong when modding a 21 buggy engine but I love doing it and cant wait to try a new mod out at the track it’s like having a new engine. The engine that I am working on and have been since it was introduced is the OS Vspec and between my son Dale and I we run 4 of them, two standard and two modified. Dale has one modified and one standard as his and I the other two. We only occasionally run the stock engines and they have had only a few liters run through them, this provides a good basis for comparison. I have also done this with the Novarossi P5 a few years back and I still run the JP mills with a few mods that I found worked well in these engines with great success. I had no trouble getting the old RB S7 doing 8 mins on grass for some happy members of my club and the Hyper engines really respond to some tlc with no probs.
We ran the JP modified OS VSpec (Speed Prototype) at the 2006 Worlds and as yet Jean Paul had not seen the final product because it is cheaper to have the black anodizing and etching on the Heatsink done in the US needless to say he was quite pleased to see us with them. He offered to strip them down and clean the parts before the finals start which also gave him a chance to see how they were wearing. Dales had about 6 liters run through it and mine had about three at the time. We spent over an hour checking the motors out and swapping notes on modifying engines with his wife taking notes on the laptop, I walked away with some more knowledge and JP had a few new tricks to try as well.
Recently our modified OS motors helped us secure a first for Dale and a third for Myself at the Whiteman end of year windup held earlier this month in Perth.
I am going to be doing a Rossi for a guy at the club in the coming weeks so that should be interesting.

Btw I have been into RC for over 35 years and still love it.
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:35 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by ultegrasti View Post
some of these supposedly good engine 'tuners' have glitzy websites to entice you to give up your cash. bunch of bullocks if u ask me. mod'd engines are more fineline in terms of tune and therefore fussy if ur off a lil bit.

not to mention some of these pics of mod'd engines look simply like the guy took your engine apart on his bench and ran a dremel cartridge roll up and down the rod, hacked the piston skirt up, put fangs on ur sleeve, polished a wormwhole into ur crank while make the rotating mass look like a rearend gear. rubbish.

go stock, like good solid RTR buggies that are well prepared, it make the guys who spend mega crash cry (and spend more) when u rip them in qualifying and in the race when they FO.

R

PS-realize many people in here talk bout how they love their modified motors, even plugging the guy or especially if their 'sponsored'....but not seen here are how many guys/gals who race with the fella and snicker b/c he actually has a habit of FO most every rd or is really only good for the Cmain title each wk.
dude you are the man


i am serious when i say that

mods that matter make a difference , mods for looks are not what you want


with the engines today alot of the modifications are done from the factory and there are a handful of engines that can show improvements in tuning ( or modding if thats how you like to refer to it)

i will never pm you trying to get you to buy my "modded" stuff , that is 100% up to the customer to decide
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