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Old 07-25-2006, 09:16 PM   #1
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Default How to get started in Nitro

Well I am not completely new to nitro, and definately not new to RC. I have been wrenchin on my electric trucks for quite some time now. and my first truck I ever got was actually a revo, there was just too much hassle with it and I didn't have the patience for it. But now I think I do. Honestly, after building a custom rock crawler I feel like I have superpowers that just need some effort to release. I feel I can take on nitro now. I have an old nitro truck thats in pieces, I figured maybe I could take apart that engine and see how it all works. I really want an LST2 to race at my local track and backyard track, but a new one just isn't in the budget, and I am afraid if I buy a used one on ebay I will just have trouble with it and never be able to get it running consistently. I had this problem with my revo where I could start it up, go completely pinned and it seems if I got close to top speed and let off it would be fine, but If I gave it a little then let off it would stall, constantly. But I just love the LST's and the monster truck class at the local track is pretty much the only nitro class. Is there any DVD's or tutorials that are worth getting to teach me the basics and how to run and improve my nitro truck? How did you guys get into it, I guess it's just like electric, once you figure it out, it seems simple. Also, my local shop told me the Aftershock is a good truck and cheaper than the LST and shares most of the same qualities. Is the LST2 better? And what are the differences between the LST and LST2?
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Old 07-25-2006, 09:55 PM   #2
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I just started racing 1/8th scale off-road this spring after racing electric for 19 years. It's taken a lot of learning and work but I'm starting to get a little bit of a handle on it. Here's the important things I've learned so far:

- Get a temp gun. Raytek makes the most popular one.
- Ask around on here to find out what temperature ranges, glow plug and exhaust pipe works best for the engine you choose. Also find out if there are exhaust manifold gaskets available and whether they're included with the engine. (The OS RG motor doesn't have exhaust gaskets included with them, but they're available, and necessary)
- Also ask around to find out what clutch shoe and spring (if applicable) combo works best for the clutch you choose
- Use high-temp RTV on the following areas: Engine back plate, base of the carb, base of the high-speed needle
- Use JB Weld on the exhaust pipe pressure fitting
- Triple super ultra check your vehicle regularly for exhaust and fuel leaks. I found exhaust leaks that had cropped up on my car several tanks after I got it that were affecting performance. Don't forget to check the back of the engine and the exhaust pipe pressure fitting as well.
- Replace your fuel tubing regularly. Sometimes leaks develop in the tubing that you won't see until you remove the whole tube
- Make sure you see smoke when you jump on the throttle anywhere in the rev range. If you don't see smoke, you're too lean! For good examples of how much smoke you should see and when, head over to http://neo-buggy.net set yourself up an account, then go look in the video archive section and watch what the pro's cars look like on the track
- Don't perform needle adjustments before the engine is up to full operating temp. I've actually found that my needle adjustments that I make on the street in front of the house, even after I get the engine to temp, aren't quite right when I'm on the track. I usually have to richen both needles up a little.
- Adjust your high speed needle to get your overall engine temp first, then work on the low speed needle
- If your vehicle idles wonderfully for 30 seconds or more and drives away without any stumbling, your low end needle is way too lean. The motor should start loading up after about 10 seconds of idling at most.
- Easy way to adjust low speed needle: Get your high speed needle set, get the engine to full temp, then stop and idle for 5 seconds. Mash the throttle. You should get a good puff of smoke, and the motor should even stumble just a hair when the needle's right. If you get no smoke, or a little smoke and the vehicle pulls away with no stumble at all, you're too lean. Once you've gotten that set properly, run the vehicle around some and double check your temp again. You might need to move the high speed needle a little to get back to the temp range you want to be in.
- Check your clutch bell bearings regularly. If they starting binding, you'll get weird stalling issues that can send you on a wild goose chase.

Piece of cake, right? I wish they had fuel injection systems for these things. hehehe
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:39 AM   #3
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WOW kind of intimidating, but thanks for all the info. It's a handfull thats for sure, but I think I can do it. one step at a time...
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:09 AM   #4
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I say jump in head first......for the most part gas guys are helpful, and will return the favor from the help they received when they first started...
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Old 07-26-2006, 07:56 AM   #5
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Go with the after shock if you want an lst2. It is the same truck w/out the goodies and it has a brake w/out the reverse alrdy installed. Odds are the only parts you will realy need to titanium tie rods, hex adapters for t-maxx size tires, a good set of threaded shocks would help too. The electronics w/ the truck are great. The tires that come stock are realy too big and the t-maxx size ones will help the car to be much more nimble and perform better. Those huge tires just add too much un sprung weight.
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Old 07-26-2006, 07:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkarTisu
I just started racing 1/8th scale off-road this spring after racing electric for 19 years. It's taken a lot of learning and work but I'm starting to get a little bit of a handle on it. Here's the important things I've learned so far:

- Get a temp gun. Raytek makes the most popular one.
- Ask around on here to find out what temperature ranges, glow plug and exhaust pipe works best for the engine you choose. Also find out if there are exhaust manifold gaskets available and whether they're included with the engine. (The OS RG motor doesn't have exhaust gaskets included with them, but they're available, and necessary)
- Also ask around to find out what clutch shoe and spring (if applicable) combo works best for the clutch you choose
- Use high-temp RTV on the following areas: Engine back plate, base of the carb, base of the high-speed needle
- Use JB Weld on the exhaust pipe pressure fitting
- Triple super ultra check your vehicle regularly for exhaust and fuel leaks. I found exhaust leaks that had cropped up on my car several tanks after I got it that were affecting performance. Don't forget to check the back of the engine and the exhaust pipe pressure fitting as well.
- Replace your fuel tubing regularly. Sometimes leaks develop in the tubing that you won't see until you remove the whole tube
- Make sure you see smoke when you jump on the throttle anywhere in the rev range. If you don't see smoke, you're too lean! For good examples of how much smoke you should see and when, head over to http://neo-buggy.net set yourself up an account, then go look in the video archive section and watch what the pro's cars look like on the track
- Don't perform needle adjustments before the engine is up to full operating temp. I've actually found that my needle adjustments that I make on the street in front of the house, even after I get the engine to temp, aren't quite right when I'm on the track. I usually have to richen both needles up a little.
- Adjust your high speed needle to get your overall engine temp first, then work on the low speed needle
- If your vehicle idles wonderfully for 30 seconds or more and drives away without any stumbling, your low end needle is way too lean. The motor should start loading up after about 10 seconds of idling at most.
- Easy way to adjust low speed needle: Get your high speed needle set, get the engine to full temp, then stop and idle for 5 seconds. Mash the throttle. You should get a good puff of smoke, and the motor should even stumble just a hair when the needle's right. If you get no smoke, or a little smoke and the vehicle pulls away with no stumble at all, you're too lean. Once you've gotten that set properly, run the vehicle around some and double check your temp again. You might need to move the high speed needle a little to get back to the temp range you want to be in.
- Check your clutch bell bearings regularly. If they starting binding, you'll get weird stalling issues that can send you on a wild goose chase.

Piece of cake, right? I wish they had fuel injection systems for these things. hehehe

Skartisu....

Very nice post!! I'm just starting 1/8 scale myself and every point you made hit the nail on the head.

One question, A lot of pros are starting to say don't tune to temps, tune to performance. What are your thoughts on that?

Thanks
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Old 07-26-2006, 08:00 PM   #7
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Your goal is to tune your engine to perform the best it can while typicaly keeping below 235 deg. and above 200 deg. It is safe to take them up to about 250, however if the weather changes it could cause you problems and make things too lean. It is much safer to stay in this range. As long as your engine is running in that temp zone then adjust it untill you get it running the strongest. You can time it on long a straight to find out what the best setting is.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:56 PM   #8
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There are different schools of thought here. Some people are advocates of tuning their engines to be in a certain range of temperature. This works if you have a working knowledge of an engine. Sometimes, this is taken to the extreme, and I see racers struggling to get their engine under 235 degrees for temperature's sake. Then, the engine struggles to make good power, regardless of its tune.

On the other hand, I like to tune to the engine's performance. This takes some experience in nitro, and you have to know your engine. If they engine runs great 260 degrees, I will leave it there. I make sure that the engine is operating soundly, and no damage is done. Each engine is different, some run hot, others run cold. Tune to performance, and don't really on temp guns and constraining your engine to a set temperature.
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NP-1
There are different schools of thought here. Some people are advocates of tuning their engines to be in a certain range of temperature. This works if you have a working knowledge of an engine. Sometimes, this is taken to the extreme, and I see racers struggling to get their engine under 235 degrees for temperature's sake. Then, the engine struggles to make good power, regardless of its tune.

On the other hand, I like to tune to the engine's performance. This takes some experience in nitro, and you have to know your engine. If they engine runs great 260 degrees, I will leave it there. I make sure that the engine is operating soundly, and no damage is done. Each engine is different, some run hot, others run cold. Tune to performance, and don't really on temp guns and constraining your engine to a set temperature.

Exactly. The OS RG I run is known (notorious?) for running hot before it makes power. The way I'm doing it is tune for performance, then take a temp reading. In my case, my motor starts making power at 260 degrees. If I find that I've lost performance, then I use the temp to figure out which way to make an adjustment. If I'm cool, lean it out. If I'm hot, fatten it up.
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:03 AM   #10
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If you run the stock head...then temp's will be high.

My RG (with KH head) comes in solidly at 240....with some insane bottom end nut.
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