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The RC Nitro Car Engine
The Radio Control Nitro Car Engine has evolved over the years into a very robust and reliable power unit, and modern nitro engines are much more reliable and powerful than they ever were. They vary greatly in size although the most popular and widely used engines are the small-block ones which generally range between the .10cu.in and .18cu.in capacity (cu.in. stands for cubic inch). They can have different features, such as rear or side exhaust; barrel or sliding carb; pullstart or non-pullstart etc... and can be modified too by replacing certain parts to increase performance, but an average rc car or truck owner will almost certainly just keep his or her nitro engine exactly as it was when it came out the factory, as the performance of the engine will be more than adequate for the model. Two typical rc model car nitro engines are shown below; a pullstart one (left) and non-pullstart (right): The basic parts of a nitro engine A model nitro engine consists of just the fundamental parts of any internal combustion engine. The cylinder head sits on top of the crankcase and has 'fins' which greatly increase the surface area to help cool the engine as it runs. Inside the cylinder head is the combustion chamber which is home to the piston. This is the part that moves up and down very quickly as the fuel and air mixture within the combustion chamber ignites. The piston is connected to the crankshaft, which is a horizontal shaft running through the crankcase and is connected to the clutch of the car. Sitting at the front of the engine on top of the crankshaft is the carburetor, which is the part of the engine that introduces the fuel into the crankcase. The fuel / air mixture is ignited by a glow plug which is screwed into the top of the cylinder head. The basic parts visible from the outside are shown in the diagram below: Slide versus Rotary/Barrel Carburettors Pictured below are two engines, one with a Slide carby and one with a rotary or barrel carby. The slide carby is operated at 90 degrees to the engine crackshaft (or engine main axis) in a straight direction, whereas the barrel carby is moved in the same direction as the engine crackshaft but rotated instead; as depicted by the curved red arrow. Slide carby's are considered to operate smoother and have more precision. Also since the slide carby is operated at 90 degrees to the engine crackshaft and typically the cars direction, the slide carby is less affected by rapid acceleration / decleration applied to the car.
Slide Carby Rotary/Barrel Carby
How to Start a Nitro Powered Engine There are three ways on how to start a nitro powered engine:
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pull start roto start starter box
simple pull cord attached to the engine casing a special backplate gearbox is installed in place of the pull starter unit. A handheld cordless drill with an extension on it fits onto the backplate and spins the engine has a spinning gear sticking out of the top of the box that spins the spur gear of the car when it's pushed down on top of the box. This can occur because there is an opening in the chassis allowing the car's spur gear to make contact with the starter box gear