While doing aftermarket upgrades to your RC racing machines can improve the performance of your RC vehicle, using performance fuel is probably the easiest available and the most effective alternative. Yeah, by performance fuel, we meant nitro fuel.
But what is Nitro RC Fuel? Though most RC enthusiasts including the experienced ones & beginners use nitro fuel, most of them still don’t know what exactly is nitro fuels. And this is what we are going to discuss in this article. While any nitro fuel labeled for RC use can be used in your RC vehicles, knowing a bit more about what constitutes nitro fuel will help you better choose the right fuel for your vehicle & driving style.
What is Nitro RC Fuel?
Nitro fuel is the fuel used in vehicles with a nitro engine. Unlike ordinary fuel used in vehicles, Nitro Fuels contain some portion (between 10% and 40%) of nitromethane mixed with methanol. Nitro fuel used in RC vehicles is called Nitro RC Fuel.
What are the constituents of nitro fuel?
If you have ever gone to a shop to get nitro fuel, you would know how daunting it can get. Especially If you look at the constituents in the fuel bottle, it can get more confusing. To have an edge in such situations, we recommend you to stay with us till the end.
Even though brands of nitro fuel differ, their basic constituents remain the same. The difference actually lies in the blend. Here are the constituents of nitro fuel.
Methanol, chemically known as methyl alcohol is the combustible component in the fuel. The simple hydrocarbon (a compound consisting only of hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen) burns in the presence of oxygen and releases energy that drives the RC vehicle. All that it needs is a spark plug or an ignition plug. When compared to normal gasoline, it generates higher energy when burnt.
But there is a flipside to having methanol in the nitro fuel, it is hygroscopic. It absorbs moisture from its surroundings. So, you must keep the fuel in a sealed environment.
Nitromethane is also a hydrocarbon but mixed with nitrogen which takes its burning temperatures above 4000°F. It can burn even without oxygen. It enhances the burning potential which takes the power output to the next level.
But remember that nitromethane increases the temperature inside the engine cabin. Further, heat stress on the engine walls would make it more prone to internal problems. To keep this situation under check, limiting the concentration percentage to less than 40% will do the trick. On an optimum, 20% can be chosen in general.
This part of the nitro fuel doesn’t add any combustion property to the fuel. Instead, it has another important role to play – keeping the engine healthy. To know more about its function, you need to understand some basic facts of stroke engine. A two-stroke engine doesn't have a crank case that is lubricated by oil, instead, the fuel has to be mixed with oil and supplied to the ignition point.
While the optimum concentration depends upon the purpose, ideally it should be less than 12% for racing RC cars and 20% if you are more concerned about engine life.
So the more the lubricant concentration, the more the engine life. But it should be kept in mind that increasing the concentration unchecked will depreciate the engine performance.
What is the ideal nitro fuel blend?
Your RC manual will specify the perfect blend of component concentration that can be used for your RC. But in case there is no mention of it, you have to make a consensus with the nearby hobby shop or trust the words of ‘your experts'.
The next big thing to deal with is the fuel brand you should use. While there are many prominent brands in the market each with its pros & cons, we choose not to recommend any specific brand. Instead, we would recommend you do some trial and error with the best brands available in the market and find your perfect fit.
Can I change the recommended blend?
Here comes the million-dollar question. But the answer to the question is kind of diplomatic. You can change if you want to, it’s all up to you.
Whether or not you should change the recommended blend depends on your desired output from your engine. If you have a racing DNA and push your RC to the limits, it’s a yes. But in that case, you shouldn’t just gamble through the percentages. You should keep the tolerance to less than 5% in all your changes.
A sudden increase of concentration greater than 10% can be significantly harmful to your engine. You should give proper attention to fine-tune the engine for the purpose. You can consider tuning the air-fuel mixture ratio or the amount of fuel injected. A case reverse holds here. A sudden and hard downshift from say 20% to 10%, also calls for a tuning.
Once you have found your ideal concentration you should stick to the same. Switching back and forth will reduce the engine life & performance. The case also holds for the brand of fuel. Once you have found your brand of fuel, it is not advisable to experiment with any other brand. Each brand has its own secret additives that are added to the fuel which will enhance the engine characteristics.
If you choose to switch between brands rapidly, your engine won’t have sufficient time to adapt to the brand.
On the bottom line, choosing your perfect fuel mix concentration involves a lot of trial and error which requires a lot of patience and perseverance. If you are not ready for the same, you shouldn’t be daring to do that.
Here at Absolute Hobbyz, we deal with everything for you RC enthusiasts. We deal with the best accessories and spare parts at competitive prices in the market. You can contact us at any time and we will be ready to offer you unconditional assistance dealing with RC cars. Grab the product in your wish list from our collection now.