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Fantom Engine Manual = ABC Engine Bible

Fantom Engine Manual = ABC Engine Bible

Old 09-25-2005, 06:17 PM
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Default Fantom Engine Manual = ABC Engine Bible

Ok, I just posted this as a new thread because it has so much useful information regarding ABC engines. It's like an ABC engine bible and the info contained within it applies to all modern ABC engines.

So many people wonder the best way to run their engines in. So many people wonder whether it's a good idea to change fuels. All the answers are there.

Here it is:

Fantom .27 racing engine

This section covers important information useful in understanding the what, how and why of your new engine. To get a full understanding of the remainder of this manual, it is important that we cover some basic principles first. Please make sure you fully understand this section of the manual before proceeding. Your new Fantom engine is built using the latest ABC technology (aluminum, brass, chrome). Expansion of the piston is controlled by the percentage of silicon in the aluminum alloy; by matching the piston expansion to the expansion of the chrome plated brass cylinder-sleeve… both at normal operating temperatures (220º-290º F, the best running-fit can be obtained. (This subject will be covered in more detail, later in the manual, in the “Break-In” section.) The cooling fin area of the cylinder head regulates the temperature. When a carburetor mixture is set properly, the temperature of the engine should be of little concern. The flash point of certain modern lubricants found in high quality fuels is generally a minimum of 700º F; meaning as long as you are using high quality fuel, your engine is protected even in extreme temperature conditions… IF THE AIR-FUEL MIXTURE IS NOT SET LEAN. Unfortunately, over the years it has become customary to set the main needle valve by engine cylinder head temperature (usually called temperature tuning); however, this is a bad practice. Temperature tuning can lead to overly rich or overly lean needle settings – both can damage an ABC-type engine. Depending on the operating conditions (e.g., weather conditions, altitude, surface you are running on, fuel type, etc.), we have found that the FR21 and FR27 cylinder head temperatures (taken with a
temperature gun; aiming down inside at the glow plug area of the cylinder head) will generally range between 220º and 290º F; however, do not “temperature tune” to these temperatures.

Tune the engine following the guidelines set forth in the “Setting The Needle Valves For Optimum Performance” section of this manual, and consider the engine temperature a secondary issue. It is OK to check your engine’s temperature, as a reference point, but do not “temperature tune” your FR21 or FR27.

IMPORTANT: Just because the engine is designed to run up to 290º F, do not lean the primary (main) needle valve to achieve this head temperature, unless your operating conditions dictate it! It’s OK to run the engine this temperature ONLY if the air-fuel mixture is properly set for the operating conditions that YOU are running in. Also, don’t allow your engine to run too cool – you’re not protecting its longevity! Operating the engine “blubbering rich” will cool the cylinder-sleeve to the point where the piston will begin to rub excessively in the pinch-zone, because the cylinder-sleeve is not hot enough to expand to its intended designed
operating size. The pinch-zone is that necessary area around the top of the tapered cylinder-sleeve, where the piston comes in contact, creating the necessary seal for proper combustion chamber compression. Excessive rubbing due to under-expansion of the cylinder-sleeve produces pinch-zone wear. Pinch-zone wear produces combustion gas blow-by when the engine is up to normal temperature. Combustion gas blow-by produces loss of power…the number one reason that piston and cylinder-sleeve assemblies must be replaced.

IMPORTANT: Pinch-zone wear, resulting in loss of compression, is NOT covered by warranty. We have no control over what brand of fuel you use, and/or the way you operate your engine.Your FR21 or FR27 is built using the latest ABC technology, and will last just as long as any other brand of ABC type engine, as long as it is used in accordance with this instruction manual, therefore it is your responsibility to operate your engine properly, to obtain the longest usable life possible.

The Effect of Fuel
Different fuels drastically affect the way your engine will run. One manufacturer’s 30% nitro blend isn’t necessarily the same as
another’s – there are many variables: the type of oil (synthetic or castor), the amount of oil (% in the fuel blend), the oil blend (% synthetic, %castor), and oil quality will require a different needle valve setting for any engine. With this in mind, here are some rules to follow when fuel-tuning your engine:

• Lower oil content and/or lower nitro content require leaner needle settings.• Higher oil content and/or higher nitro content require richer needle settings.
• High oil content and/or low nitro content fuels are generally better for engine longevity.
• Low oil content and/or high nitro content fuels provide better engine performance, but reduce its longevity.
• By reducing the oil content in the fuel blend many properly tuned nitro engines will operate at a slightly reduced cylinder head temperature. Don't misinterpret reduced cylinder head temperature as protection against engine damage; to the contrary, less oil content will not protect the engine as well as higher oil content. The less-oil/cooler engine temperature phenomena is beyond the scope of this manual, however, the fact remains: Reduced oil content (10%, 9%, 8%, etc.) can lead to premature engine failure … if the air/fuel mixture becomes lean.

Although not all are directly related to fuel, the following list includes the most common causes for lean mixtures:
1. The primary needle valve is set too lean.
2. Incorrect gearing - placing too much load on the engine leads to increased head temperature, producing a lean setting.
3. A leak in the fuel system can produce a lean run from an otherwise correct needle setting.
4. Hot, humid weather conditions can produce a lean mixture setting as head temperatures rise from an otherwise correct needle setting.

In the final analysis, if you choose to use lower oil content fuel, you may gain performance advantages, but longevity will be sacrificed. Also, in low oil content fuel, there simply isn't enough lubricant present in the fuel-blend to defend against rapid temperature rise (due to out-of-control friction) from a lean mixture...you have sacrificed your margin for error against massive engine damage by running less oil.

The Effect of the Weather
Weather conditions also have an effect on how well your engine performs:
• High air temperature
• High humidity
• Low barometric pressure

These conditions contribute to low oxygen density within a given volume of air; low oxygen density demands that the engine’s needle valve be set leaner to ensure the correct air/fuel mixture ratio.
• Low air temperature
• Low humidity
• High barometric pressure

These conditions produce a higher oxygen density within a given volume of air; high oxygen density requires that the engine’s needle valve be set richer to ensure the correct air/fuel mixture ratio. Needle valves must always be properly adjusted for the engine to realize peak performance. Too little fuel for the amount of inducted oxygen and the engine will run lean; it will also be starved of the lubricant’s protective qualities – lubrication and cooling. Too much fuel for the amount of inducted oxygen and the engine will run rich; with excess fuel and lubricant, the engine will lack power. Increased oxygen density allows more fuel to be run through the engine, producing greater horsepower. Therefore, any engine will produce more horsepower with oxygen dense air conditions; this is why you will usually notice better engine performance in the spring and fall months.

IMPORTANT: In cold weather conditions (e.g., winter months and/or certain regions in the world) the outdoor temperature may make your engine run too cool. Remember, your FR21 or FR27 is designed to run best between 220º and 290º F, however, DO NOT lean the main needle to achieve these temperatures. The engine’s design is such that the engine will run at these temperatures in typical weather conditions that R/C vehicles are operated in (e.g., 55º to 90º). In colder weather conditions, to attain these temperatures, we recommend wrapping the cylinder head with aluminum tape (found at hardware stores), which insulates the cylinder head, helping the engine to run within its designed temperature range, without having to lean the needles to achieve this. REMEMBER: High temperatures produced by the engine design are good, but high temperatures produced by a lean needle setting are bad.

IMPORTANT: In hot weather conditions (e.g., summer months and/or certain regions in the world) the outdoor temperature may make your engine run hotter than the typical operating temperatures between 220º and 290º F. DO NOT overly richen the main needle to reduce you engine’s temperature in these conditions. The engine’s design is such that the engine will run at these temperatures in typical weather conditions that R/C vehicles are operated in (e.g., 55º to 90º). In hotter weather conditions you may see higher than typical engine temperatures, but don’t be alarmed, as long as your engine is tuned properly. Because of the engine’s design, we are more concerned with the engine running too cool, rather than too hot (when the engine is tuned properly), so most importantly make sure to follow the cold weather instructions above. In testing, we have operated our engines in excess of 350º F with no negative effects. For proper cooling you should cut a hole in the front
windshield and for extra cooling you can enlarge the cut out area of the body around the engine. Also, limiting the amount of time running the engine wide open will help maintain lower engine temperatures. REMEMBER: High temperatures produced by the engine design are good, but high temperatures produced by a lean needle setting are bad.
Although not related to the weather, elevation above sea level also has an effect on engine horsepower; higher altitudes produce lower barometric pressure and reduced oxygen density. The opposite is true of low elevations. The higher you are above sea level, the more you must lean the needle valve, and vice versa.

The Effect of Operating Conditions
Depending on your particular operating conditions, your engine and vehicle will need to be set up properly to maximize their potential. This mainly has to do with the surface you are running on. For example, if you are running on grass, your engine, clutch, and shift points (if applicable) will need to be tuned differently than if you were running on pavement or dirt. Different dirt conditions require specific tuning (e.g., loamy dirt puts a greater load on the engine compared to hard packed dirt). We have
found that with high load conditions (grass and loamy dirt), the engine runs best tuned slightly leaner, and the shift point (if applicable) set slightly later. In low load conditions (pavement or hard packed dirt), the engine runs best tuned slightly richer and the shift points (if applicable) set slightly early. Refer to your vehicle’s instruction manual for details regarding clutch set-up, gearing options & recommendations, and transmission shift points (if applicable).

IMPORTANT: No matter how you prefer to tune your vehicle (shift points, clutch set up, slipper, etc.), always make sure that the needle valves are set properly, for ideal engine operation, for the conditions that you are operating in. Don’t call your buddy, who lives across the state or country, and expect to use his settings – every operating condition is unique.

First, fill your fuel tank with a high quality hobby fuel, such as Fantom SC20 / SC30 Performance Blend or SC20R / SC30R Racing Blend Fuel. Typically, most people use 30% nitro content fuel in .21-.27 size engines to gain extra horsepower for the heavier vehicles that these size engines are commonly installed in.

IMPORTANT: Our research has shown that fuel quality plays a very important part in how long your engine will last and perform. There are many inferior fuels on the market – and they can cause premature wear and/or engine failure. We recommend that you use only Fantom Fuels for the best performance and longest engine life. Fantom also suggests Trinity® Monster Horsepower™ blended fuels as the only other recommended fuel.

The carburetor is factory set for easy starting in most climates, however, if you experience difficulty starting your engine for the first time, please refer to the Engine Operational Guidelines section of this manual for helpful information. Once the fuel tank is filled and the radio gear is turned-on, proceed by priming the engine by placing your finger over the exhaust outlet for a few seconds, while turning the engine over with either a starter box or pull start depending on your engine model; this will pressurize the fuel tank, moving fuel into the carburetor and engine. NOTE: This technique is also helpful in starting your engine any time
it won’t start within the first couple of seconds that you turn over the engine. By placing and removing your finger over the exhaust outlet, in two-second intervals, while turning over the engine, this maintains fuel pressure to the carburetor, which aids in starting the engine. Be careful not to overdo it though, as flooding can occur, making the engine difficult to start. With a little practice, you will learn the technique, and should find it very useful.

NOTE TO PULL START ENGINE OWNERS – It is very important that you DO NOT pull the starter rope out to its full length, as permanent damage could result, which is not covered by warranty. Use short, quick pulls, only pulling the rope out about 10 inches.

IMPORTANT: Make sure your glow plug igniter is fully charged. Insufficient power to the glow plug will result in poor starting or complete failure to start. Just because your glow plug glows (while checking it) does not mean that the glow plug is OK and/or that the glow igniter is charged enough.

A low charged igniter will make a glow plug glow, and a bad glow plug will still glow sometimes, but this does not guarantee that either is operating at 100%.We have found that the most common reasons for engine starting failures are due to bad glow plugs and/or igniter problems. A glow plug can go bad in less than one tank of fuel, so it is always wise to check this first if you are having difficulty starting your engine.

When starting your engine, a small amount of throttle may be needed; usually “blipping” the throttle on and off in small amounts (1/4 throttle or less) is recommended. Some of the more expensive radios are equipped with a push button feature that moves the throttle to a pre-set opening; this is especially helpful when trying to start an engine by yourself. Once fuel reaches the carburetor, the engine should start immediately. If it doesn’t, look at the fuel line to see if it contains fuel, check the needle valve settings, and glow plug and/or glow plug igniter. Because of the high compression of your new engine, it is sometimes necessary to loosen the glow plug 1/2 to 1 turn to relieve some of the engine’s compression; this will make it easier for the starter box or pull start to crank over your engine. Only perform this procedure if you experience difficulty starting your engine during the initial start up and first 2-3 tanks of fuel. After the first few tanks of fuel, the engine should be broken in sufficiently and will not require this tactic again. Once the engine starts, make sure to tighten the glow plug quickly – within the first 10 seconds of running.

As your engine starts for the first time – the break-in process begins. For most ABC-type engines it’s the most critical period of their useful lives … but few operators pay much attention to the details. In the old days, engine break-in consisted of running the iron or aluminum piston (ringed or lapped) within a steel cylinder-sleeve, very rich with lots of lube for hours and hours. This was intended to wear-in the engine’s rough spots, reduce friction, and improve power and longevity. Owners of modern ABC-type engines also demand peak power and longevity; fortunately, break-in is now an abbreviated process, requiring much less time with our method. Improvements are largely the result of CNC (computer numerical control) production machinery. These programmed robots make individual engine components that fit together almost perfectly – every time! This results in very little if any rough spots to smooth out. Despite such accuracy, metal components (primarily the piston and cylinder-sleeve) require heat-cycling to relieve the internal stresses due to their fabrication.

Therefore, heat-cycling (break-in) can be described as the process of heating and cooling the engine from its normal operating temperature, at WOT (wide open throttle), to ambient temperature – time after time – until it holds a peaked setting. Break-in (heat cycling) SHOULD NOT be considered the “wearing-in” of the internal parts as many manufacturers would like you to believe. Our heat cycling method only relieves the internal stresses of the metal parts that occur during the manufacturing

Here’s how to perform the job correctly:

1. Decide on a fuel (nitro and oil content).Your Fantom engine is designed to run best with at least 20% nitro, but no more than 30% nitro content. If you like a more “drivable” engine, choose 20%; if you like a lot of horsepower choose 30%. As previously mentioned, most people choose 30% nitro with .21-.27 size engines. Whichever type you choose, use the same fuel for break-in and everyday operation – for the life of the engine. Don’t indulge in the “fuel of the day” game – it only hastens the day when you will need a new piston and cylinder-sleeve set. Here’s why: Increased nitromethane content in the fuel causes combustion chamber temperatures to rise. This is normal since nitro is the primary power-producing ingredient in the fuel’s chemistry. As the temperature ncreases, so does the expansion of the piston and cylinder-sleeve. As described previously, the chrome-plated sleeve is engineered to expand more than the aluminum alloy piston – as controlled by the cooling ability of the cylinder head fins. With higher nitro content fuels (e.g., 30%), the piston to cylinder-sleeve running-fit (clearance) is a bit larger than with lower nitro fuel blends, because of higher combustion chamber temperatures produced with higher nitro content. Therefore, if you start by using 30% nitro fuel at the beginning of your engine’s life – with its tight pinch fit when cold – It will produce the best possible WOT performance characteristics if you continue to use the same fuel for the life of the piston and sleeve. If you change fuel – reduce the nitro content to say 20% - the engine will run good, but a bit of the pinch will wear away from the top of the piston because lower cylinder temperatures equate to less expansion of the cylinder-sleeve. If you then decide to switch back to the higher nitro fuel, the elevated temperature and expansion will produce greater piston clearance (due to its previous wear using 20%); the
elevated quantities of blow-by combustion gas will cause the engine to lose power.

These principles also hold true for oil content. By changing oil content, you may affect the temperature that the engine will run at, which in turn will affect the piston / cylinder-sleeve clearance, as described above.
The moral of the story is: It’s best not to change fuel, once the break-in process has begun.

2. Start your engine following the starting procedures previously covered.

3. IMPORTANT: Once started, begin running your vehicle around immediately, as described in step 4 below.

IMPORTANT: In the following break-in steps you may find what we explain to be different than what you are normally used to, but it is very important that you follow our instructions to obtain the best performance and longest engine life. This paragraph covers information that is very important in understanding the reasons for our break-in method, so please read it carefully. Our principles are based on common laws of physics, so our break-in process should make more sense once you
read the rest of this paragraph. In simple terms, your Fantom engine is a true ABC type engine, which means that there is a high silicon content aluminum alloy piston running inside of a brass sleeve that is plated with hard chrome plating. All ABC engines are designed with an interference fit, or in other words, the sleeve is actually tapered so that the piston is pinched at TDC (top dead center), when the piston reaches the top of its stroke. Since ABC engines don’t have piston rings, this “pinch” is required, in place of the rings, to create the necessary compression needed to burn the fuel efficiently, ultimately producing maximum horsepower, however, this “pinch” is actually designed to be too tight when the engine is cold, but there is a reason for this. When heat is applied to metal it expands, and different metals expand at different rates. Brass expands more than aluminum, thus the reason for the aluminum/brass combination, the intention being for the brass to expand more than the aluminum. The chrome plating serves as a very slippery and wear resistant surface for the piston to efficiently operate against. With that in mind, your engine is designed so that the top of the cylinder (sleeve) expands more than the piston itself, so that the fit between the piston and sleeve is optimal once the engine reaches the proper operating
temperature. For proper break-in and normal operation, your engine ALWAYS needs to come up to the proper temperature as quickly as possible, in order for the sleeve to expand enough to achieve optimal fit, otherwise the piston will scrub the sleeve too much causing premature wear, loss of compression, and ultimately the performance of your engine will diminish.

The sleeve will start expanding to the proper design parameters at approximately 205 degrees F., however, this does not mean that this is the normal operating temperature; it only means that you need to always get your engine up to at least this temperature as quickly as possible after the engine is started. Surprisingly, many companies today still recommend the oldfashioned way of breaking in an engine, as described earlier in this manual, but we have found that our method not only
makes more common sense, but helps your engine run much better and with more longevity. The old-fashioned method of break-in; running the engine at low temperatures and very rich for several tanks, destroys the piston prematurely. By breaking in your engine the old-fashioned way, the piston actually “wears in” to the cool and under expanded sleeve size. Once the break-in process is complete and you start running the engine up to normal temperatures, the sleeve expands further, but the piston is already “worn in” to the smaller sleeve size. Obviously this will cause lower compression, less power, and shorter piston and sleeve life. In contrast, using our method the piston and sleeve heat up quickly and to the designed size parameters immediately, eliminating the constant wearing of the piston against the sleeve.

4. Here’s the tricky part: to the best of your ability, immediately begin dialing-in the high speed needle valve for maximum RPM performance during the first tank of fuel (see more detailed information on setting the needles in the “SETTING THE NEEDLE VALVES FOR OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE” section further in this manual). During the break-in period make sure to keep your engine temperature at least 205º as previously mentioned by making 5 second (WOT) high speed passes back
and forth, on the type surface you prefer to operate on – this will keep the piston and sleeve hot enough while the operator tweaks the needle during quick pit stops. A helper is very handy for this critical operation! Ideally, get the needle valves set for maximum performance and a reliable idle as quickly as possible; generally within 5 WOT passes you should try to have it set. If performed correctly, the engine should be running near normal operating temperatures for the entire break-in
process. Depending on the operating surface, outdoor temperature, etc., your break-in temperature will range between 205º and 260º F., but this is on average, so don’t be alarmed if the temperature is higher. For the most part, you will see that the main difference between our break-in method and normal operation is that during break-in there is a cool down period required between each tank of fuel. Once the break-in period is finished, you will see normal temperatures range between 220º and 290º F. Following the above procedures, run the engine for a complete tank of fuel – then shut it down. Allow the engine to cool down COMPLETELY before re-starting.

5. Continue this process for 4 tanks of fuel; this heat-cycles all the metal parts inside your engine.

IMPORTANT: Do not let the engine sit and idle for its break-in. The piston and cylinder-sleeve will not get hot enough to expand properly, and the critical pinch-fit will disappear before you know it. In fact, we are more concerned about running an engine too cool, rather than too hot!

Carburetor settings should always be made after the engine has been brought up to normal operating temperature; this is accomplished by running the vehicle for a minute or so.

IMPORTANT: The needle valve settings will vary from day to day depending on outside weather conditions. Don’t expect your engine to run correctly over a period of time without adjusting the needle valves. Slight changes in weather conditions will require needle valve adjustments.
Weather conditions can change during the same day. For example, in a race situation, if you run a qualifier in the morning and another one in the afternoon, chances are the temperature will change, which means your carburetor will need to be readjusted.

There are 3 settings that can be adjusted:
1. The high-speed (main) needle valve (see: Figure A).
2. The low-speed needle valve (see: Figure B).
3. The idle adjustment screw (see: Figure C).
4. WARNING: DO NOT adjust the screw in figure D. This is not an adjustment screw.

IMPORTANT: Carburetors are very sensitive to minor adjustments. Any adjustments should be made in increments of 1/16th to 1/8th of-a-turn, at a time. New carburetors are factory pre-set for easy starting, but are not considered to be set for optimal performance. The following factory settings are good baseline reference settings if you experience difficulty tuning the engine … or if it won’t start:

• High-speed needle: 2-3/4 turns counter clockwise (CCW), out from closed.
• Low-speed needle: (see illustration 1)
• Idle adjustment (throttle stop): should be set so that the throttle is open
approximately .5mm from the “just-closed” position (see illustration 2).
Baseline settings were obtained in the following operating conditions:
• Hard packed dirt.
• 80º F (air temperature).
• Low humidity (60%)
• Using Fantom SC30 Fuel (30% nitro / 12% oil)

NOTE: Your baseline settings may differ slightly from ours.

High-Speed Needle Valve
1. Start with the high-speed (main) needle valve. This needle controls the amount of fuel allowed to pass through the carburetor at all times.Turning the screw clockwise (CW) makes the engine run leaner; CCW makes it run richer. Continue making small adjustments to this screw until maximum RPM and power is obtained.

IMPORTANT: Leaning the main needle too much may result in higher obtained RPM and power, but may starve the engine of lubrication. Be careful not to over-lean the engine, once you get close to optimal performance. A step too lean can result in permanent piston and cylinder-sleeve damage very quickly.

2. For maximum life, it is always best to run your engine slightly on the rich side, rather than too lean. When the engine is tuned for maximum performance, you should still be able to see light smoke coming from the pipe at full throttle.

3. Signs of overly rich mixture:
• Sputtering and/or bogging at mid to full-throttle.
• Sluggish acceleration with excessive blue smoke coming from the exhaust.
• Excessive unburned fuel exiting exhaust.

4. Signs of overly lean mixture:
• Sagging and/or erratic engine response.
• Sudden loss of power and/or engine cuts out during mid to full-throttle.
• Over-heating (not due to engine design, but rather by over-lean needle settings).
• No smoke coming from exhaust.
• Distorted, broken and/or white glow plug coil.
Both needle valve settings (too lean and too rich) can produce similar symptoms; be observant and careful when trying to determine what the engine is actually doing. If you get lost, refer to the factory needle settings.

WARNING: Prolonged too-lean operation of the engine produces a hot, lubrication-starved condition resulting in permanent damage, which is not covered by warranty.

Low-Speed Needle Valve (see illustration 1 for initial setting)

1. Next, adjust the low speed needle. This adjustment should always be made after the high-speed needle is set. This needle controls the low RPM throttle response, from approximately 0 to 1/4 throttle. Like the high-speed needle, turning the screw CW leans the mixture, while turning the screw CCW richens the mixture.
2. When properly set, the engine should not hesitate when throttle is applied; throttle response should be crisp.
3. The pinch test: by pinching the fuel line closed (at a point just before the fuel inlet of the carburetor), the engine should momentarily speed up and then quit; if it quits immediately – the needle is set too lean.

Setting the Idle-Speed (see illustration 2 for initial setting)

1. Turning the idle-speed screw CW increases engine rpm.
2. Turning the idle-screw CCW reduces engine rpm.

This setting is a personal preference adjustment; we like to set ours so that the engine idles just below clutch engagement.

Proper care is necessary for maintaining engine longevity, reliability, and maximum performance.We have no control over how you operate your engine, so it is your responsibility to maintain the proper care for your engine. Fantom is not responsible for engine problems related to improper use or care of your engine. Most engine problems are due to user error, so it is very important that you maintain your engine on a daily use basis to avoid preventable problems.

Because of the extreme conditions that model engines are exposed to (e.g. heat, vibration, etc.), all the screws and bolts on your engine must be regularly checked to avoid having them come loose, as air leaks from loose parts will cause damage to your engine that is NOT covered under warranty. For preventative maintenance, we recommend using a mild Locktite® compound on all the screws and bolts on your engine.

Air Filter
Never run your engine without an air filter (sold separately). An air filter prevents dirt, dust, and debris from entering the engine, which can cause quick and permanent damage that is not covered by warranty. It is extremely important to keep the air filter clean; a clean air filter allows the engine to “breathe” properly for maximum performance. As described earlier, increased airflow (oxygen) allows more fuel flow; in the proper proportion with air, increased fuel flow equals more horsepower. We recommend using high quality air filter oil, such as our Fantom Filter Fluid™ / Filter Wash™ maintenance kit (part # F20111) for the ultimate
air filter care. Whichever air filter oil you select, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Glow Plug
In the process of break-in and normal operation, you will periodically need to replace the glow plug. The frequency of plug changes will vary depending on products and operating conditions. Some of these include:

• Glow plug brand
• Needle valve settings
• Weather conditions

Checking the Glow Plug’s Condition
Under racing conditions, we generally replace the glow plug before the Main, as preventative maintenance. In general use conditions – change as needed. A simple way of checking the glow plug’s condition:
1. Start the engine.
2 For a few moments, while the engine is idling, leave the glow plug igniter on the glow plug and note the sound and/or rpm of the engine.
3. Next, remove the glow plug igniter and note the sound and/or rpm again.
4. After removing the igniter, if you notice a drop in RPM, or the engine sounds as if it is loading up with fuel, the glow plug should be replaced.
5. If the engine won’t start at all, this is also a good sign that the glow plug needs replacing, especially if the engine was running fine the last time you used it.
Alternative glow plugs to the stock Fantom F029 glow plug (part # FAN10421) include the McCoy MC59 or OS8 glow plugs.

After Running
After each day’s use, it’s important to run out any remaining fuel from the engine, fuel line and tank. Model car fuel contains methanol, which attracts moisture; if left inside your engine, this moisture will cause rust and corrosion – especially on ball bearings. After purging the engine of left over fuel, remove the glow plug and squirt a liberal amount of after run oil into the cylinder – through the glow plug hole; also squirt a liberal amount into the carburetor intake, making sure to use a needle
applicator to get the after run oil down onto the crankshaft. For superior after-run protection, we recommend our Fantom Rip Saver after-run lubricant (part # FAN20110). After applying the lubricant, turn the engine over a few times with a starter box or pull start, depending on your engine model; this helps to circulate the oil.

Keeping the outside of the engine clean will allow it to run cooler. Never allow heavy dirt deposits to accumulate on the outside of the crankcase or in between the heat sink head fins – overheating will occur.We recommend using a high quality spray cleaner to clean the outside of the engine and heat sink head; we discourage the use of denatured alcohol for this purpose – it’s a hygroscopic agent – it attracts rust producing moisture. For stubborn dirt and grime, an old toothbrush will help. Be careful not to allow any dirt or grime to be washed into the engine, through any of its orifices. If you plan on using a large quantity of cleaning agent, again – make certain there is a glow plug installed and the carburetor opening is covered. Never use water to clean your engine because of the metal parts that will rust and corrode.

All engines have a life span, no matter what brand.Your Fantom engine is constructed using the latest ABC type technology, and will last just as long as any other ABC-type engine – as long as the proper care is taken. When the time comes to rebuild your engine, this manual provides exploded views of the engine and carburetor, as well as a part number list for all the available replacement parts; this will aid you in disassembling and reassembling your engine, and ordering replacement parts. For
additional help, our tech support line is also available at 1-(269)-649-9583. Replacement parts are available wherever Fantom engines are sold. Fantom also offers a professional rebuild service for those customers who prefer not to service their engines themselves. This service is available at current shop rates and parts prices. Please call our tech support line for more details, or visit our web site at www.fantomracing.com

For extended periods of storage, we recommend disassembling the engine and generously coating all the internal parts of the engine with a high quality lubricant. Again, our Fantom Rip Saver lubricant (part # FAN20110) works great for this. After coating all the internal parts, reassemble the engine. A light mist of WD-40™ on the outside of the engine will also prevent any corrosion of external parts.
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Old 09-30-2005, 08:55 PM
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Very interesting. They really went down deep into specifics.

It would be a good idea if this was "stickied"

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Old 10-01-2005, 01:41 PM
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Yeah, it would be cool if RCTech stickied this info - it's really very good to have so much useful engine related info in one place. Perhaps if people PM futureal, it could happen.
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Old 05-11-2006, 07:57 PM
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horatio did you take the time to type that up? tell me you didnt. please
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Old 05-11-2006, 08:11 PM
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as i said and always do, Horatio help is book type help!
definitely da sticky info of the month!
i proposed!
but i do think it would be appopriate(spelling, ok?) in engine thread,
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:05 AM
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I suppose it would be better stickied in the engine section of the forum, I never really thought about that, good point! So often we talk about carb tuning here, I just put this thread here for convenient reference.
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Old 05-12-2006, 04:38 PM
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Here's another good site, just so you guys are aware

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Old 05-13-2006, 10:03 AM
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That's a good link. Nice info there!
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:58 AM
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Old 02-05-2007, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SUNTIGER1965

Open your main needle (HSN) 2 1/2 - 3 turns open from closed. Be careful when closing the needle to do it very gently - it shouldn't be closed tight under any circumstances. Try setting the idle mixture needle (LSN) so that the head of the LSN is flush with the carb. The tickover screw (idle speed screw) can be set so the gap as you look down the air take is 1mm at closed throttle.

Check your glow ignitor for full healthy charge. Check your glo plug element is nice and shiny and new and that when you apply the glow ignitor, it glows a nice healthy red/orange colour. Check your fuel, it should be the correct fuel for your car's engine and make sure it's fresh and not damp or dirty. Foamy fuel suggests all is not well. Check your fuel filter/s are clean. Just as importantly, make sure they are 100% sealed and not leaking air/fuel. Likewise, check your fuel lines for splits or holes.

Anything that allows fuel to leak out is also allowing air in. Not good! Always use an airfilter.

Engines that are stubborn to start are very tough on one-ways. One-ways are a real pain and highly stressed for engine starting duties, but things aren't so bad once the engine is run in and tuned correctly. Don't become de-moralised!
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