RC Cars and Trucks

Nitro Engine Tuning by Josh Cyrul

Nitro Engine Tuning Tips by Josh Cyrul

Here is a quick summary of an article by Josh Cyrul on tuning nitro engines for racing. It involves 3 basic steps: 1) Clearing the engine, 2) tuning the bottom end, and 3) tuning the top end.

I. Clearing the Engine

These 4 steps will clear the engine of debris in preparation for race tuning.

  1. Raise idle to 1/4 turn. This will help prevent engine from stalling. This is the idle screw and not the low-end needle.
  2. Get engine temperature up to 150 degrees.
  3. Richen top end by a full turn.
  4. Holding carburetor wide open, continue richening top end until engine nearly stalls. This flushes out dirt, residue, or after-run oil from the carb and engine.

II. Begin Tuning the Bottom End

  1. First tune the bottom end.
  2. Listen to the idle.
  3. If idle slows and engine stalls, lean out the bottom-end needle.
  4. But if the idle speeds up, richen out the bottom-end needle.
  5. Set engine to idle for at least 1 minute before engines starts to stall.
  6. Once idle is consistent for 1 minute, lower idle screw setting as much as possible until engine stalls. Then open up idle screw setting by 1/8 of a turn.
  7. Engine should now idle consistently for at least 45+ seconds.

III. Begin Tuning the Top End

  1. Open to full throttle for no more than 2-3 seconds, then return to idle.
  2. Listen to engine and lean it out (top-end needle) until you hear a nice clean sound.
  3. Open the carb to full throttle for 2-3 seconds.
  4. Close the carb for 2-3 seconds.
  5. Open the carb to full throttle for 2-3 seconds.
  6. Engine should rev nice and clean during steps 3 to 5. If engine hesitates, it is too lean. If lean, richen the top-end needle.

Hope these tips help you out.

Joel M

R/C Hobby Shop
Recommended online hobby shop where you can buy fast rc cars and trucks in the USA.

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