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Getting Started in Nitro

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Old 02-21-2019, 12:58 PM
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Default Getting Started in Nitro

Hello,
My son wants to really give 1/8 nitro buggy a go. I've only ever raced 1/10 electric off and on road so I'm not much help in getting started. So my question is what would be a good kit to buy used (Will buy new if he really likes it)? Is a used engine worth it how long to nitro engines last? I looked at RTR but I really want to use his radio etc. Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:11 PM
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take it from someone who went down this road..very recently. If this is his first R/C, see if you can sway him to go electric. Unlike myself, my son started with nitro buggy. Hated it because its too complicated. Switched him over to eTruggy and loves it. Tuning aspect can be scary lol.

If he is already comfortable with electric and wants to try his hand at nitro...

As for RTR, you can always just swap in his radio, etc. The RTR's are a good testing ground to see if he will like it. That way if he doesn't, you didn't spend too much.

I am an advocate for the TLR 8IGHT RTR.(check out my thread on it). Just a few key upgrades and its a real contender. Out of the box its pretty capable! Btw, that very buggy in the thread is for sale. (PM me if interested. Would need a starter box and radio equipment or could throw in the starter box for cost). The Dynamite motor on there is pretty decent and strong for a RTR. Holds good tune and hasn't given me a single problem.

Hope that helps!

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Old 02-21-2019, 02:23 PM
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There are really good deals on used kits on this site. I say buy one of those. RTR you are going to get frustrated with especially if you already have a radio. Stay away from used engines.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:20 PM
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My son started nitro at 10 years old and loved it out the gate. He loved the challenge. I got him the 1st Losi RTR and he grew from there. RTR is not the best, but it was perfect for him. Only thing I upgraded out the gate were the servos. Fast forward, he is now 21 and is in the process of building a TLR 8X and 8XE. I would say starting with nitro, just do one car. That way you both have time to learn the ins and outs. Warning: You both will need patience as there will be frustration until you really learn the ins and outs. I would totally suggest the TLR 8ight RTR. Evo is the man on this topic, and there are a few TLR Facebook pages where you can get help to questions you have.... Let me know if you have any questions... You can PM me.
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Evoking1230 View Post
take it from someone who went down this road..very recently. If this is his first R/C, see if you can sway him to go electric. Unlike myself, my son started with nitro buggy. Hated it because its too complicated. Switched him over to eTruggy and loves it. Tuning aspect can be scary lol.

If he is already comfortable with electric and wants to try his hand at nitro...

As for RTR, you can always just swap in his radio, etc. The RTR's are a good testing ground to see if he will like it. That way if he doesn't, you didn't spend too much.

I am an advocate for the TLR 8IGHT RTR.(check out my thread on it). Just a few key upgrades and its a real contender. Out of the box its pretty capable! Btw, that very buggy in the thread is for sale. (PM me if interested. Would need a starter box and radio equipment or could throw in the starter box for cost). The Dynamite motor on there is pretty decent and strong for a RTR. Holds good tune and hasn't given me a single problem.

Hope that helps!

I
Thanks for the info. He has been running electric 1/10 buggies and Truck for a while now.

I was comparing RTR vs electric 1/10 buggies etc. and they really can not compete. To many cheap playact items etc. What kind of upgrades are needed with the TLR?

Thanks!
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Old 02-21-2019, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by bphil49 View Post
There are really good deals on used kits on this site. I say buy one of those. RTR you are going to get frustrated with especially if you already have a radio. Stay away from used engines.
Are some cars really better than others. We recently switched from Kyosho to Associated on 1/10 electric because of competitiveness.
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:18 PM
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When i first got into 1/8 i was in a similar situation as you and your son. I mostly had experence in 1/10 electric. Always wanted a nirto buggy but was a little intimated by them. I decided to go nitro for a number of reasons. I knew i was going to have to travel to race, closest 1/8 tracks is 5 hours away and wanted to be able to get alot of track time when i could go to a track. I knew that nitro was going to be tough at first because nobody at my local club has nitro and i would have to learn everything for myself. I think an rtr would be a good way to go unless you and your son are serious racers that need the best equipment. The losi is probably the cheapest at $350 you cant even get a kit for that price. I would think you would want to get turnbuckles right away so you are able to adjust roll center and camber. Then just replace parts as they break or wear out. Another good rtr would be the kyosho tki4 readyset. It has all the good stuff already on it as for as tuning options. You can adjust camber, caster, wheelbase, toe, etc and is well a kyosho inferno one of the most succesfull 1/8 buggys in history. At only $500 is still cheaper than a new kit. Either way you go do yourself a favor and ditch the pull start and get a starter box. Nitro is tough at first but as long as you have someone to help you get the basics you will have no regrets. Nitro cars are very complicated, they have alot of things that electric cars simply do not have. If you only want to drive and work on setup go electric. If you dont mind a challenge and dont get frustrates easily go nitro it is so much more rewarding. Good luck amd have fun.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:59 AM
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Awesome, thanks; was the kind of info I was looking for. My son and I are kinda serious in the sense that we want to be competitive and not break because of cheap plastic parts. Thatís why I didnít think RTR would be a good fit. Iíll look at the options you laid out. Off the top, the Kyosho ready set sounds more enticing.
I have 2 1/8 scale tracks near me and more a couple hours away; so drive out to get practice time in wonít be that hard once daylight savings kicks in.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:58 AM
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It is great your son has you! Nitro is a two man sport. I think a lot of folks over look that, and for me it was the biggest issue. You see how cool nitro is, but you forget there is another guy down there helping with a very important job of pitting.

My first dive into 1/8 off road was nitro and it was a mistake (For me). I was new to racing and the biggest frustration for me was finding help to pit the car during races and practice. I did not know anyone at the time so I was running up and down those stairs ALL DAY tuning and fueling. I quickly sold the nitro and jumped right into an electric 1/8 setup. Now that I have a year of racing under my belt I have made a ton of great friends that would help pit for me if I asked. I hope to get back into nitro one day, but it will be a calculated team effort.
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Old 02-22-2019, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by ceh329 View Post
Thanks for the info. He has been running electric 1/10 buggies and Truck for a while now.

I was comparing RTR vs electric 1/10 buggies etc. and they really can not compete. To many cheap playact items etc. What kind of upgrades are needed with the TLR?

Thanks!
The TLR only needs the 4.0 shocks and towers. You can get away with the fixed length turnbuckles because its about -1 camber up front and -2 in the rear so usually ideal. The turnbuckles are cheap anyway.

Replace the pull start with a non-pull start backplate and get a starter box and you're all set.
(again, mine has all that good stuff on it and I'm willing to sell it for a good price that would be nowhere near you would spend on a new one plus upgrades if you went my route. Sorry had to insert shameless plug lol)

My son had the Kyosho Inferno NEO 2.0. Parts for it by me were very hard to come by. The motor on it is a bit finicky to tune. I'm no wizard at tuning but I do have about 10 years under my belt. Plus the pull start is probably the worst I've seen on a RTR lol.

As for the durability of the TLR, its a tank. A lot of misinformation will be posted that RTR's are weak and will break. This may be true, but not with this one.

I've taken some nasty cartwheels down the front straight and cased quite a few monster triple jumps and so far only things were 2 bent hinge pins and a cracked front arm. The F/R arms are the same as the 3.0 so the durability is there.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:10 AM
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Great post!
While RC is fun, its actually the learning of patients, mechanics, motor temps, measurements, and the value of maintenance that is truly valuable long term for your son. My son (8 yrs old) and I are both running Nitro this year. I'm so happy my son would rather be out in the garage with me working on RC cars over playing his video games, I think that is the real value, its nearly priceless these days.
I will also be running/racing the nitro Xray XB8 buggy later this year, so we built the Xray kit together, he handed me tools, sorted parts and measured screws as it went together. While I decided on an RTR for him, he really only needed to see a kit be put together once to get it, they are all so similar in how they work.

When you break in the motor have him drive, and practice pitting the car at your feet from day one for fuel/tune action. Get your hand signals down, nitro is loud, and you cant always hear from driver stand to pit, so tuning hand signals are key. Lots of tuning and clutch vids on youtube, use that resource.
I went over all the same questions you had during the selection of a buggy for him, and I decided on the $350 Losi RTR. We took our time running the motor in on the front drive, he learned what rich, lean, and how temping the motor was done. Its important to learn this in a calm environment, you need to hear the sound of the tune and understand it before heading into a hectic track environment.
The whole point of the RTR was a low cost learning machine, with an end goal of getting him onto the same chassis I will be running by spring racing. I just couldn't let him run a $1000+ race buggy while learning, it doesn't make sense. I originally thought my son was too young for nitro, but after coaching him to drive it cautiously like his electric buggy he really really picked it up quick for 8 years old. He noticed the blipp'ing of the throttle was different and levelling the car in the air took some learning, but I'm now of the opinion the younger the better to switch to nitro.

Upgrades to the Losi 8ight so far:
- We purchased a starter box. (we broke in the motor in using the pull start and ordered the other parts to install on first clutch maintenance)
- Dynamite pull start eliminator back plate $11.99 (DYNE1506) From Amain hobbies, gets rid of the pull start, they don't last long anyway.
- Non RTR Losi engine mounts used off Ebay for $10.00 (LOSA9154)
- Dont forget extra glow plugs, motor break-in will eat one, maybe two.
Also note, you can replace the entire RTR Dynamite .21 motor for $95.00 if something goes wrong, so that takes the pressure off a bit while learning.

Radio and electronics:
We upgraded the servos after day 3. Pulled the RTR servos out for backups, still in working condition. New servos made the car way easier to drive.
- 2X Protek 100T servos (ptk-100T) Obviously these are not high end racing servos, but a proper upgrade for an RTR.
- I believe you will need new matching servo horns also, I don't have the part number we used.
- We picked up two 1600mah receiver packs (DYN1453) to get lots of continuous practice time, and avoid the low battery runaway nitro buggy scenario. Throttle return spring/rubber band, and strong receiver pack charge will stop this from happening to you. Its a "thing" in nitro, dont be that guy. lol.
Its easy to change the radio receiver for your current radio, probably take you 15min. The radio it comes with is ok for a while, but a "real" radio would improve the buggy big time if you already have it.

Chassis:
Turnbuckles, we picked up the entire set off ebay for cheap. Again we didn't want to fully upgrade the RTR, and honestly the buggy drove fine in its stock form while my son learned. You might just wait and see how it feels before upgrading anything. To this day, with both of us driving it we haven't broken anything! We did bend the front lower arm pin holder, but fixed it with a pair of pliers in 5 minutes. That's how you do RTRs, try not to upgrade anything, replace broken parts, and run'em till they die. lol.

This is just how we did it so far, so I hope that helps a bit, sorry about the book. Most of all have fun, and enjoy building your team! I call it "putting on a race program". ...and as commented above in this thread, nitro is a team effort, the best team you can get is father/son team.

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Old 02-22-2019, 11:21 AM
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Awesome write up. My son is 12 and started racing electric 1/10 off-road this last summer. He has bought a couple of kits (Kyosho, Associated, Tamiya) and put them together and did a really good job with almost no help from me.

So, on the starter box, I see everyone says to get one. Is the pull start unreliable? Also, are starter boxes universal? Do you have to buy a Losi for the Losi car?
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Old 02-22-2019, 11:44 AM
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It's very nice to meet you Charles hit me up and yes hit up Keenan

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Old 02-22-2019, 11:45 AM
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Most starter boxes are Universal
Have used the sure start from protek but had issue with them iv been running the lrp witch has been great
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Old 02-22-2019, 12:52 PM
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@ceh329 your messages
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