Gas Powered Remote Control Cars - Equipment and Accessories
RC Car tips and guide to remote control cars and trucks.
RC Cars and Trucks

About Gas RC Cars

 Equipment for Gas Cars

Gas cars are also commonly called nitro cars or nitro trucks.

Equipment For Gas Powered Remote Control Cars

If you are getting started into gas powered rc cars, this page will explain all the items and accessories you need to get started.

Gas Powered Car
First item to buy is the car itself. There are plenty to choose from... personally I prefer 1/10th scale touring nitro cars.

Touring cars have 4 wheel independent suspension, 4 wheel drive, and 2-speed transmissions capable of propelling car to speeds in excess of 50 mph.

gas powered remote control car

Nitro 2-Stroke Engine
Gas powered cars use 2-stroke engines. For 1/8 scale, .21 size engines are used. For 1/10 scale, .12 size engines are common.

Note that the engines can come either with a pull-start (PS) or non-pull start. Pull-start engines have a build in recoil starter, just pull the wire or rope to turn the engine's crankshaft.

For non-pull start engines, you will need to have a starter. The end of the starter is a rubber wheel, which is "bumped" against the flywheel of the engine to turn the crankshaft.

Warning: do not use a starter on a pull-start engine, you may damage the pull-start mechanism.

nitro gas engines

Nitro Fuel
These are specially blended fuel for rc gas cars. Be careful, the fuel used for model airplanes is different. Be specific in requesting for fuel for rc gas cars.

Fuel is also classified according to nitro content. The higher the nitro content, the more power. I personally use fuel with only 10% nitro, I find this is good enough to win races, and is cheaper than fuel with 15 - 20% nitro.

Nitro fuel and bottle

Glow Driver or Igniter
The nitro engines use a glow plug (similar to a spark plug of a real engine). To start the engine, this glow plug must be heated. 

A device called a glow driver or igniter, powered by a 1.5v battery, is used to heat the glow plug.

Picture of glow plug igniter.

Radio Control Unit
The radio control unit is the electronics that control the speed and direction of the car. A basic radio controller consists of the following:

a. transmitter

b. receiver

c. servos (2)

d. batter holder for the receiver

e. on/off switch

f. servo horns

Radio control equipment
AA Batteries and Charger
The transmitter (pictured above) needs 8AA sized batteries to produce 12 volts.

Rechargeable batteries will work, just note that a single  rechargeable AA batteries produces only 1.2 volts (alkaline produce 1.5 volts). 

Using 8AA rechargeable batteries will produce 9.6 volts, slightly less voltage than the ideal 12 volts. Still, most transmitters will work fine with 9.6 volts.

rc batteries

Radio system setup for gas rc carsBasic Radio System Setup

This is the basic radio system setup that is mounted inside a gas car or nitro rc truck. The receiver (1) sends signals to the servo that controls the speed (3) and the servo that controls the steering (4). 

The receiver is powered by 4-AA sized batteries (5) with an on/off switch (6).

Item (2) is a Futaba fail safe unit. Inserted between the servo and receiver, this optional item is very useful in fast gas powered cars. Basically if there is radio interference, the fail safe will reset the servo to a specific setting, for example in the braking position. So if there is any radio interference, the car will brake instead of going out of control.

Tips: Never, ever, cut the receiver antenna (wire). I know it is long... but trust me, do not cut it because it will cause your car to go out of control.

Buy a fail safe unit... it is an inexpensive option that can save your gas car from damage. (There was a time when we were playing on the roof deck of a parking lot, 6 floors above ground level. One of the cars lost control, flew into the air, and fell 6 stories onto the roof of a parked Toyota Corolla. A fail safe unit could have prevented this from happening).


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