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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.

Air Leak --

This is a major enemy of nitro engines. Air leaks can cause a very inconsistent tune and excessive leaning of the air/fuel mixture (especially at high RPM). If you suddenly discover that the rc engine isn't holding a tune, an air leak is most likely the problem. The usual causes of an air leak are:

( 1 ) A poorly fitting fuel tank lid - The seal on most tanks can be adjusted by tightening a screw that applies pressure to the O ring seal. Make sure your lid snaps shut and creates a good seal.
( 2 ) Holes or cracks in the fuel tank - This can be tested by emptying and removing the tank, plugging the fuel line, then submerging the tank in water and blowing into the pressure line. If you see bubbles, you have found a leak. Leaks usually develop in fuel tanks at the mounting points (where stress is created) and at the seam where the two halves were joined. Fuel tank leaks may be quickly patched at the track with silicone, JB Weld, or even duct tape, but this is only temporary. In some cases, you may be able to carefully melt the crack closed with a hot soldering iron (make sure you empty and air out the tank first - nitro fuel is flammable). Still, pony up the $10 for a new tank ASAP, just to be safe.
( 3 ) Pinholes or tears in the fuel tubing - Fuel tubing is cheap, so if you even suspect that this is the culprit for an air leak, install some new stuff and eliminate any doubt. Also make sure the tubing is securely attached to the pressure fittings.
( 4 ) Rotted or cracked O rings in the fuel filter - Inspect the fuel filter O rings and replace them if there are any signs of cracks or damage. While you're there, don't forget to clean the filter, since this is often overlooked.
( 5 ) The carb or backplate isn't properly sealed against the block - Check to make sure the carb and backplate are properly sealed, and replace any cracked or damaged O rings and gaskets. Many people use sensor safe RTV silicone instead of gaskets, and it does not hurt to use it with O rings, either.
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