A Complete Guide On Nitro RC Cars (Explained A-Z)

Nitro RC cars are hobby grade remote control cars that are powered by nitromethane gas. Their engines and mechanical components are very similar to real cars that we see on the roads. Nitro RC cars range from 1:10 to 1:5 scale and they often exceed speeds of 50 miles per hour (80km/h).

These are the ‘original’ RC cars since the first RC car ever produced was nitro powered.

They are designed for people who want to get more of a thrill than they do from electric RC cars, which just use batteries. Nitro RC cars offer quite an adrenaline rush!

How Do RC Nitro Motors Work?

Nitro RC cars are powered by internal combustion engines, which operate on the same principle as a real car. The motors of nitro RC cars run on highly-flammable fuel and oxygen becoming hot and expanding during the explosion cycle.

These expanding gases pass through a nozzle and spin a turbine, causing the shaft to rotate at very high speeds inside a metal housing. The rotating shaft is what powers the vehicle’s wheels and is typically connected to the transmission system, which provides different amounts of torque to each wheel depending on how fast or slow it is spinning.

What Are The Benefits of Nitro RC Cars That Make It So Popular?

The main benefits of nitro RC cars are:

Speed and performance:

The greater power and torque of nitro engines means that you can get your car up to top speed quickly, giving you the thrill of speeding quickly around corners and flying over jumps.

No charging is needed:

Nitro cars are powered by fuel and they don’t need to be recharged, so you can get started straight away and run your car all day long.

What are nitro RC cars

How Fast Does A Nitro RC Car Can Go?

The average nitro RC car can go between 30 to 55 miles per hour.
Some go faster, depending on how powerful the engine is, but are usually designed for racing or drag racing purposes only.

What is the fastest nitro-powered RC car? Is It Really As Fast As A Nissan GTR?

The fastest nitro-powered remote control car these days is the TRAXXAS XO-1, which is a car that can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour in just 6.2 seconds.

The XO-1 can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour at the same time it takes your neighbor’s Nissan GT-R to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour. It also has a top speed of 100+ miles per hour and is the first nitro-powered car to break 100 miles per hour.

What Fuel Does A Nitro RC Car Use?

Nitro fuel is a gasoline-like product that contains methanol, nitromethane, and oil as well as additives such as anti-corrosion chemicals or degumming agents.
The concentration of nitromethane in the fuel is usually 20%-30%, although it can be anything from 10 to 40 percent or more.

Why Do RC Cars Use Nitro?

Nitro is a good choice for RC car engines because it provides an excellent combination of power and economy. Its high energy ensures that your nitro RC car will perform very well in terms of acceleration and top speed, while its relatively low cost keeps overall running costs to a minimum.

Are Nitro RC Engines A 2-stroke?

The two common types of nitro engines are 2-stroke and 4-stroke, with many hobbyists preferring the first due to its higher reliability. As the name suggests, a 2-stroke engine completes one combustion cycle in just 2 strokes or rotations of the crankshaft, while a 4-stroke engine requires 4 strokes to do the same job.

How does A 2-stroke RC Engine work?

  1. A combination of gasoline and air is drawn into the crankcase on the first stroke as the piston rises, from the carburetor. The new fuel-air mixture enters the induction port and then goes into the combustion chamber as the piston descends.
  2. As the piston rises, the mixture is compressed, resulting in a flame that ignites the fuel/air mixture. Under pressure, hot gas delivers energy to force the piston down as it travels downward.
  3. As the piston descends, spent exhaust gases flow out of the combustion chamber through the exhaust port and the cycle restarts with fresh fuel being pushed into the induction port.

Are Nitro RC Cars Harder To Maintain?

They aren’t harder to maintain, but they still require maintenance. The most important thing about maintaining a nitro engine is keeping the engine clean after you take it for a run. This will help you prevent it from overheating or seizing, caused by dirt building up on the engine parts.

Corrosion can also be a problem if the car is not stored in a clean and dry place so you should always ensure that it’s kept somewhere dry.

After restoring your nitro RC, make sure to check the fuel lines for any cracks or chafing. If you find any, simply replace them with new ones.

Nitro engine break-in

When you first get your new nitro RC car, it is essential that you break in the engine. All modern engines need breaking in, and so are your RC nitro car.

Breaking-in means running the engine gently on a low-load setting. This is done by running it on a stand, while pressing the throttle trigger only slightly, to allow just enough power for keeping the car stable.

Don’t run your nitro RC car at full throttle or at high speeds during break-in. Following these steps will prevent a new engine from seizing and help keep it running for a long time.

Do nitro RC cars Use batteries?

Some nitro RC cars use batteries but they’re not for running the car or the engine. Nitro RC cars that have a servo in them use a small, inner-sized battery for the servo.

If there are other electrical components in the Nitro RC car, then they might use a battery as well.

Is nitro RC faster than electric? Which Provides The Best Performance?

Nitro RC cars are typically faster than electric RC cars, but there is a wide range of factors that affect performance. These include the car’s body weight, wheelbase as well as the power and torque delivered by the engine. Nitro powered cars tend to be lighter than equivalent electric-powered models and this contributes to their superior performance.

That being said, electric RC cars are becoming faster and more powerful every year. Companies are producing high-performance electric cars with huge amounts of torque, which can easily run rings around nitro-powered models.

How Can you make nitro fuel for Your RC cars and save a few bucks?

Yes, you can.  You’ll need methanol, nitromethane, and castor oil to create RC Nitro Fuel. The chemicals must be mixed in appropriate proportions. You may make either 20% or 30% fuel by mixing the components in different amounts.

Recipe to make 128 oz of 20% nitro and 12% oil for RC car engine:

  • 0.20 x 128 = 25.6 ounces of nitromethane.
  • 12% oil = .12 x 128 = 15.36 ounces of castor oil.
  • 68% methanol = .68 x 128 = 87.04 ounces methanol
  • 25.6 + 15.36 + 87.04 = 128oz

*Disclaimer: This is the recipe I’m using. If you choose to follow this recipe, it’s at your own risk. make sure you take any precautions needed to be safe and provide proper ventilation since we are dealing with flammable, volatile, and dangerous chemicals!

THIS IS AT YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY If you are not sure what you are doing, Don’t do it! Just buy fuel at your local hobby store.

Does RC car nitro fuel go bad? How Can You Tell and avoid ruining your car?

Even though it has a long shelf life, of about a year, it still goes bad and becomes unusable over time.

When nitro gets bad, it becomes thick and sticky. Sometimes, when it’s hot, it looks like water condenses in the container. Nitro that has gone bad will generate less power and produce more smoke.

How do you start a nitro engine in a few quick steps

RC nitro engines usually require a two-stroke glow plug to start the engine.

  1. First, make sure the engine has fuel in it.
  2. With short, rapid jabs, pull the recoil starter (Do not tug on the recoil cord all of its length since this will harm the starting spring and is rarely covered by the motor’s warranty.)
  3. If the pull start is difficult to pull, it indicates that the engine is flooded.
  4. If the engine is cold, a little bit of opening the throttle may be required to help it start.

So, Are nitro RC cars better than electric? Which Should You Buy?

The answer is “It depends.” A nitro RC car can be better than an electric one, but both of them have their pros and cons.  There isn’t a specific type that’s better than the other. If you want to get started with nitro RC cars, then you should know that it requires some maintenance and skill (but that’s the fun right?). You need to know how to take care of the internal combustion engine to keep your RC nitro car running for a long time. the performance and the feel of nitro RC cars are also a lot of fun since it runs and sounds like the real deal.