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RC Glossary

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New to the RC Hobbies? What does buggy, bulkhead, nitro mean in radio control car hobbies? Check out the glossary for remote control cars below.

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  • .12 --
  • In general, this is the smallest nitro type engine available for sedan remote control/ radio control cars. Many car kits come equipped with a .12-size engine. Some .12-size engines are more powerful than many .15-size engines, which indicates they are more efficient, have more tuning capability and/or larger carburetor openings. The "".12"" refers to the displacement size of the engine in cubic inches, much like a full-size engine.

  • .15 --
  • This is the second-largest generally available nitro type engine that is available for sedan remote control/ radio control cars. Most ready to run (RTR) car or truck kits come equipped with a .15-size engine. Although the larger displacement would lead you to believe the .15 engines are more powerful, there are some .12-size engines that are more powerful than many .15-size engines, which indicates they are more efficient, have more tuning capability and/or larger carburetor openings. Also worthy of noting is that .15 engines are not allowed in large sanctioned races in some countries, which could mean that a car or truck may not be allowed to participate in an organized race, because many race clubs or tracks follow these rules examples. The "".15"" refers to the displacement size of the engine in cubic inches, much like a full-size engine.
    NOTE: Some .15-size engines are ""big block"" engines, while most are based on the .12-size engine case. ""Big block"" engines won't fit in most 1/10 scale cars without modifications.

  • .21 --
  • This is the largest generally available nitro type engine that is available for remote control/ radio control cars. The "".15"" refers to the displacement size of the engine in cubic inches, much like a full-size engine.

    Another larger nitro engine that is available for RC cars. It usually has a much larger case and head than the .12 or .15s. These are common in most monster trucks. The ˇ§.21ˇ¨refers to the displacement size of the engine in cubic inches, much like a full-size engine.

  • .28 --
  • This is the largest nitro engine that is available for RC cars. Its case is the same as a .21, but the piston and sleeve have a larger outer diameter, resulting in a larger bore. As the other engines, the ˇ§.28ˇ¨ refers to the displacement size of the engine in cubic inches.

  • 2-Wheel-Drive vs 4-Wheel-Drive --
  • As in full-scale cars, there are two main drive types: two-wheel drive (2WD), where power is supplied to the two rear wheels, and four-wheel drive (4WD), where power is supplied to all four wheels. The 2WD vehicles are less expensive and require less overall assembly and maintenance than 4WD vehicles. Assembly and maintenance for 4WD vehicles tends to be more involved, though not necessarily more difficult.

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