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RC Glossary


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.


  • E Clip Tool --
  • A tool resembling an open ended wrench that aids in the installation and removal of E clips. E clip tools are sized to fit specific E clip sizes.

  • E-Clip --
  • A small device that holds cylindrical parts like hinge pins in place on the car.

  • Ears (Mounting Tabs) --
  • The mounting tabs most commonly found on servo cases, but can also be found on some ESC's and receivers. These tabs are slotted to allow the servo to be accurately positioned, and may be fitted with rubber grommets to help reduce vibration (though these grommets are rarely used for RC cars). The ears are a common weak spot, and are prone to breaking if overtightened or not tightened enough.

  • Electric --
  • This general term usually refers to the power source of the car, meaning it uses a battery pack.

  • Electric Motor íV Motor --
  • Electric motors convert electric (battery) power into rotational energy by creating a magnetic field between energized wire coils and magnets. Electric motors are used to propel electric powered models, but nitro models would be be useless without servo motors. Electric motors are available in a variety of sizes and styles to suit any RC need (or budget). For RC, the common types of electric motors are brushed, coreless, and brushless.

  • Electronic Speed Controller --
  • An electronic device that takes the power from the battery pack and the signal from the receiver and measures a certain amount of power to the car's motor. Only used in electric RC cars, boats and planes.?

  • EMF (Electromagnetic Feedback) --
  • EMF is how a brushless ESC can detect the position of the rotor in a sensorless brushless motor. EMF is basically 'variations' (feedback) in the current traveling through the power wires caused by the difference in the rotor's speed and position. EMF can cause glitching - this is most evident with brushed motors and slotted brushless motors. Capacitors are used to help tame EMF glitching.

  • Emulsion Shock --
  • When a shock compresses, the portion of the shaft entering the body displaces the shock oil. The oil needs a room to expand to compensate for this, or the shock will essentially 'lock up'. With emulsion style shocks (shocks without bladders or reservoirs), tiny air bubbles are left in the shock oil when the shock is built. These bubbles compress as the shock compresses, giving the oil room to expand. Over time, the air bubbles rise to the top of the shock, forming a pocket of air - so for best performance, emulsion shocks need to be 'pumped' a few times before running to re-emulsify the oil.

  • End Point Adjustment - EPA - ATV (Adjustable Travel Volume) --
  • An adjustment available on some radios that allows the user to shorten or lengthen the total travel of a servo. This adjustment is usually available for both directions of the servo's travel independently (such as throttle and brake). EPA is commonly used to shorten a servo's movement if it is binding and chattering from trying to move a linkage farther than physically possible (such as trying to open a carb past it's limit), or to increase a steering servo's movement to gain maximum steering throw. EPA allows the user to fine tune a servo for the model's specific needs or limits.

  • Endbell --
  • Part of an electric motor that 'caps' the motor can and supports the armature or rotor. On brushed motors, the endbell holds the brushes and electrical connections. Brushed motors have a single top (front) endbell, while brushless motors may have a top and bottom (back) endbell.

  • Engine --
  • In RC terms, this is a fuel-powered engine that provides the power for forward motion.

  • Engine Temp (Temperature) --
  • Engine temperature should only be used to verify that the needle settings are correct and not for actual tuning. An engine's temp is affected by many outside influences, such as air temp, humidity, and altitude. With that said, engine temp should be checked after the model is warmed up with at least 3 minutes of actual running. Small blocks are usually safe at around 220* to 290*, while big blocks are good at around 210* to 260*. When using a temp gun, the most accurate location to check the temp is at the glow plug, though some may check it on the side of the block. If you don't have a temp gun, a spit test will give you a good ballpark figure of how hot your engine is running.

  • EP - Electric Power --
  • Refers to a model that uses an electric motor (or motors) to drive the wheels. These models rely on electricity (i.e. batteries) to power the motors - and more batteries equals more power. EP models also require a speed controller.

  • ESC --
  • An abbreviation for Electronic Speed Controller

  • ESD íV Electro Static Dissipative --
  • You may find some tools that are rated ESD compliant - this means the tool dissipates static electricity, making it safe to work on electronic components without creating a short (a.k.a. 'zapping' or 'popping' connections). If your are going to work on sensitive electronics such as ESCs or receivers, it would behoove you to ensure your tools are ESD compliant.

  • Exhaust Deflector --
  • A small silicone tube resembling a bendy straw. An exhaust deflector is zip tied to the exhaust pipe stinger to help direct unspent fuel farther away from the chassis.

  • Exhaust Lead --
  • Refers to the duration between the time the exhaust port is opened and the time the transfer port is opened. During exhaust lead, the exhaust gases are allowed to depressurize (due to the expanding combustion chamber and gases exiting the exhaust port) before the transfer port opens, keeping the gases from leaking back into the crankcase.

  • Exhaust Port --
  • An opening in the side of a nitro engines sleeve that is opened and closed by the pistons movement.This port aligns with the exhaust opening on the block, and is used to expel exhaust gases into the pipe or muffler.

  • Exhaust Port Height --
  • Refers to the distance of the bottom of the exhaust port from BDC, expressed as a measurement of the distance the top of the piston travels from BDC to the bottom of the port (i.e. 3.87 mm from BDC).

  • Exhaust Spring Tool --
  • A specialty tool resembling an awl with a hook on the end that is used to manipulate header springs during installation and removal. Not only does this make the process easier, but it's also a great thumb saver.

  • Expo íV Exponential --
  • An adjustment available on most high end transmitters that allows a servo to move non-proportional to driver input at its center point. Expo speeds up or slows down a servo as it approaches or moves away from center point without affecting the servos total travel or speed. Negative (-) expo will slow down, or 'soften' the servos travel at center point, and is often used on steering to make a vehicle more controllable at high speeds. Positive (+) expo speeds up the servos travel at center point, making it feel 'twitchy'.

  • Externally Adjustable Shock --
  • A shock system that uses an indexed, 2 piece piston design. Rotating the spring perch alters the number of exposed holes in the piston, thus altering the shock's damping rate.

  • EZ Start --
  • A starting system for nitro engines. The engine has an electric motor attached to a one way bearing on the crank via a series of reduction gears. A separate hand held, battery powered unit is used to spin the motor (which spins the crank) while simultaneously igniting the glow plug. This is the only type of starting system that doesn't require a glow driver. It offers easy one button starting, but adds excess weight to the model due to the onboard starter motor and gear system (and the connector with its wires, if you're counting grams). EZ START is a trademark of TRAXXAS.

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