Nitro or electric

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Old 11-05-2012, 11:31 AM
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Default Nitro or electric

I like nitro better but everyone says that they are really hard to work on and that u have to work on them all the time. And everyone says that they are hard to tune right. If I were to get a nitro I would get either the Losi or associated rtr 1/8 buggy. This would be my first nitro car to. But if you do have to work on them all the time then I will get and electric 1/8 buggy. So is all that stuff true about nitros?
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:38 AM
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If you are not familiar with tuning nitro engines, yes, running nitro is more challenging. It will require patience while you are learning the ins and outs of tuning nitro engines and tuning the clutch. Do you have to work more on a nitro car than an electric car? Maybe a little bit, but not that much. You will have to maintain the clutch and the clutch bearings, but with electric you have to maintain the bearings in the electric motor as well. If you have people at your local track that will be helping you out with your engine tuning and teaching you about it, then I would say go for nitro. If you will be learning everything on your own, you'd better be super motivated or go with electric.....
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:43 AM
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Ok well I race motocross and I'm used to tuning my bikes and stuff so I think that I might be ok.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:51 AM
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Nitro is not rocket science. There is a moderate learning curve to nitro, but that's what makes it a hobby and not a toy. It's far more exhilerating and rewarding than electric could ever be.

NITRO > electric.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:01 PM
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Tuning a nitro engine does take some patience and time to learn. It's not rocket science though and you can easily decrease the learning curve by learning from someone knows what they are doing.
Maintenance wise, not that much different. You still have to maintain your diffs and shocks in the same manner.
As pointed out, you have to maintain your clutch and motor. The motor really doesn't take much maintenance. I've put 10 gallons on a motor without ever opening it up, that's a lot of running.
For the clutch, I change the bearings regularly and shoes every couple of gallons. I also clean it really well after every race and sometimes have to file the aluminum off the edge of the shoe. That's about it. It's not like I spend a bunch of time, few minutes here and there.
I spent the same amount of time on my electric as my nitro, or close to it. There's not enough difference in time to stand out to me.

The question is do you want something that's easy or do you want to challenge yourself and learn a little about nitro engines?

Electric is easy once you get it setup. Plug in your battery and go. That comes with a price too. The electronics aren't as reliable as they should be with todays technology and can be frustrating.

Nitro, you will have to tune it as the weather changes. That's part of the fun though and adds another dynamic to the racing. It's more realistic to me, you have to factor in pit strategy. If you learn how to tune your motor correctly, it's almost as easy as electric to me. Sure you have to warm up the motor and fill it with gas, but that's it. Throw it down and run.

Both are fun, both have their pros and cons. If I had to choose just 1, it would be nitro all day. It's worth dealing with the learning curve.

What area are you from? I'm sure you can find someone locally to help you out.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:01 PM
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It's only hard work if you buy a RTR kit with a junky pullstart.
If you buy a half-decent engine it's quite easy.

Rule of thumb: buying a 2nd hand car is OK, buying a 2nd hand engine is NOT OK.

For example the Novarossi P5XL is a cheap but decent engine.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:04 PM
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brushless all the way.
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:06 PM
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I strictly race my 1/8 nitro...zero bashing. A club level race day for me equals 1 hr of driving on the track followed by 2 to 4 hours of cleaning and maintenance depending on what needs to be done and if I decide to rebuild diffs and shocks. An electric would be a little less work to clean because you aren't spilling fuel on the car but I would put just as much effort into working on it.

It is of course not necessary to do all this cleaning and maintenance but I don't wait for things to break or completely wear out because I'm trying to have fun and win races, not get mad at a car that falls apart mid-race.

There is a learning curve from day 1 with Nitro because you've got to learn how to properly set-up your radio/brakes/engines/clutch/air filter/fuel/glow pulg/etc.... You also have to learn how to properly start and break-in an engine. With electric, all you have to do is plug in the battery, turn on the ESC, calibrate the radio and drive. Getting help from another experienced Nitro guy is the best way to go....learning off the web and watching videos is a distant 2nd choice.

If you like being a mechanic, tinkering, and learning how things work, making lots of noise and smelling exhaust fumes then Nitro is for you. If you want to just play with your car and spend as little time as possible adjusting and tinkering to get it to go fast, then electric is probably for you.

Start-up costs are going to be very similar between the two power systems. Either way 1/8 scale is a fairly expensive hobby....be prepared. Both of those RTRs you listed would be a good start....the Losi is one of the best bang for buck setups as you get a decent radio and engine plus a starter box (pull starts are a pain in the @ss).
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Austin214 View Post
I like nitro better but everyone says that they are really hard to work on and that u have to work on them all the time. And everyone says that they are hard to tune right. If I were to get a nitro I would get either the Losi or associated rtr 1/8 buggy. This would be my first nitro car to. But if you do have to work on them all the time then I will get and electric 1/8 buggy. So is all that stuff true about nitros?
No, "all that stuff" is not true about nitros. You have some ADD teenager types that got defeated by a Traxxas RTR engine and gave up, taking the easy way out with electric(then blabbering all over the internet about how "hard" nitro is..) But even if electric is "easier", it's still like watching an action movie or NFL game on mute. Plow your grand into an electric 1/8 and watch it go woosh-woosh back and forth. Yawn.. For me it's mind-numbingly dull. But accept a bit of a learning curve - yes, actually investing some effort and acquiring some insight into something, and nitro will be far more rewarding. You will have mastered something, and will be rewarded with a little machine working away making killer power and blasting out the exhilerating music of 30,000 screaming RPM's...
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:17 PM
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45 minute mains or 8 minutes of premature discharge, which do you prefer?
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Old 11-05-2012, 12:45 PM
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My experiences with nitro have been good and very frustrating. First and foremost get a decent engine that isn't worn out! Follow reccomendations by people on here Werks b5, b6, novarossi p5 are all great engines that won't break the bank and tune great. A worn out engine will cause you to pull your hair out! The second thing I have learned is set the idle gap around .5-.7mm (after breakin of course) and do not touch the idle speed screw again. Adjust your idle with the low speed needle. The way I have learned is kind of harsh but seems to work, after the engine is at running temps and the high speed needle is close set the car on the starter and start leaning the low needle until you notice the engine bogging when you hit the throttle, then richen the low speed needle until your idle is where you want and the idle stays steady. This lets the engine tell you it's not lean because it isn't bogging and it isn't rich because the idle is steady. Some will say this is a crude way but it lets the engine tell you what it needs. This has to be done though with the engine at running temps and the high speed needle close to where it needs to be because it affects fuel flow all throught out the range. Once the low speed is set I rarely have to touch it again. This is by no means a guide just from past experiences.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:19 PM
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I wonder what kind of answers you'd get if you asked the same question in the Electric forum ?

I just got back into the hobby this past spring and I went all electric because that's all I've ever known. After seeing some nitros race and being taken under e_hartman_49348's wing I am now 100% nitro. The challenge of tuning adds even more fun for me. I totally agree that it is more satisfying to race Nitro than it is electric. That's not to say that I won't own another e-buggy but I will always love nitro.
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:35 PM
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Attached Thumbnails Nitro or electric-bangingheadagainstwall.gif  
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Old 11-05-2012, 01:38 PM
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Refuel-n-go or charge-n-wait....
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:50 PM
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Ok cool I don't really have anyone to teach me about them. Should I still get one?
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