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Nitro Car Running Problems And Tuning

 

Here are some symptoms of an engine that is running too lean:

 

1. Dies or "flames out" at full throttle.

2. The glow plug wire or "element" turns white.

3. A drop of water or spit on the engine heat immediately sizzles. Too hot.

4. Dies while just idling.

5. Dies while accelerating from idle. Note this can also be caused by a rich engine.

 

 

Here are some symptoms of an engine that is running too rich:

 

1. A lot of blue smoke from the exhaust pipe.

2. A lot of unburned fuel exiting the exhaust pipe.

3. Idles properly, but bogs down an dies when the throttle is full applied.

4. Never reaches full top speed.

5. Engine temperature is too cold (e.g. below 200 F degrees)

 

 

 

Setting your carb:

 

Start with the needles at factory recommended settings and make sure all your batteries are fully charged; The starter battery, if you use one, the glow igniter and the on-board receiver battery. Make absolutely sure you have a good glow plug with a bright glow, or install a new one.

Be very precise about closing both the LSN (Low Speed Needle) and the HSN (High Speed Needle) and carefully counting the turns to factory recommended openings.

Turn the Transmitter on, then the Receiver. (Tx and Rx)

Turn the throttle trim knob on the Tx down to zero and hold the trigger to full brake when adjusting the idle screw. That way, there's no way the carb can close completely and stall the car when you hit the brakes. 

Remove the air filter and look into the throat of the carburetor. You should have about a 1 to 2mm opening that looks

like this:

 

 

Start the engine. If it won't start without a little throttle trim applied, that's okay for now, since it's probably a little on the rich side. Let it idle, giving it little blips on the trigger to clear out the oil, till it warms up. When it's close to running temp, check the takeoff response by first using normal throttle, stopping it, and using quicker throttle as the engine starts to clear out. If you get a sluggish start, you'll need to start leaning the LSN by no more than 1/16 turn at a time, and test it several times before you lean it any more. 
It should start to take off with a more instant response as you get the LSN to the proper setting. You will most likely have to compensate for the leaner LSN setting by lowering your idle adjustment.
When your idle is good, and you're getting good response off the line, your LSN is set. Just make sure you monitor your temps closely, since a too lean LSN will will raise your temp to dangerous levels.
Start running the car at higher speeds, and adjust you HSN for wide open throttle. (WOT) You will need to make slight adjustments to the HSN regularly, for changes in the ambient temperature and humidity.
What you need to know about glow plugs:
Glow plugs are very important to the performance of your engine. You can also read your glow plugs to determine if you are running too rich or too lean.
A brand new glow plug has a wire or filament that is shiny. If after running the wire is still shiny and the bottom of the plug is wet, then you are running too rich. You are probably getting only 85% of the maximum engine power.
If the wire turns starts to turn gray, and the bottom of the filament is slightly wet, then you are almost near the peak engine power.
Once you have a gray wire, and the bottom of the plug is dry, you are at 100% maximum power.
Once the glow plug wire starts to distort, you have exceeded the maximum power and are running too lean. Adjust to a slightly rich setting.
Hot plugs are used for hot summer days, while cold plugs are designed for cold "winter" days.

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