What is a glow engine?
R/C models are powered in a variety of ways. Sailplanes and Gliders, for example, need no power source other than mother earth. Nearly all R/C vehicles, aircraft, boats and helicopters use Engines to propel them into action.
Most nitro R/C models use a 2- or 4-stroke glow engine. Typically, they range in displacement from .049 cu. in. to 1.2 cu. in. (80cc to 20cc) but can be smaller or larger.
Glow engines require a special fuel, called “glow fuel.” It contains methanol as the base, with varying amounts of nitromethane to increase the energy that the fuel can provide. Oil, pre-mixed into the fuel, lubricates and protects your engine. This is where our After Run oil Can add protection to your fuel system.
Two-Stroke vs. Four-Stroke
Many R/C models give you the option of installing a 2-stroke OR a 4-stroke glow engine. How do you know which is best?
Two-Stroke simply means that the engine “fires” (ignites the fuel in its combustion chamber) with every revolution of the piston. They’re a good place for new nitro modelers to start. Two-strokes are easier to operate, less vulnerable to problems if misused, and deliver more power for their size and weight.
Note: The engine’s carburetor supplies the fuel and air needed for combustion. A rotating throttle arm controls the AMOUNT of fuel and air that enters the combustion chamber. The high-speed needle valve controls the MIX or proportions of fuel vs. air at mid- to high-speeds. The idle mixture screw is similar to the high-speed needle valve, except that it controls the mix of fuel and air when the engine is only idling. When you’ve adjusted the high-speed and idle mixtures properly, your engine should operate smooth and steady throughout its speed range.
engines fire once with every two revolutions. They consume less fuel, sound more realistic, and provide more torque — but cost more, are harder to adjust and require more maintenance.
How does a glow engine work?
Most glow engines have a simple ignition system that uses a glow plug rather than a spark plug — so there’s no coil, magneto or points. The glow plug is heated by a battery-operated glow starter; meanwhile, the modeler uses a recoil starter, Electric 12V Starter or Starter Box to turn over the engine. When fuel enters the combustion chamber, it’s ignited by the heated glow plug — the engine now running, instantly gaining the momentum to continue running after any starter accessories are removed.
How do I care for a glow engine?
Take good care of your engine from day one, it will reward you with a long life of optimum performance.
- Keep your engine clean.
- Keep your engine dry.
- Use an after-run engine oil.
- Use a fuel that contains at least the amount of oil recommended by the engine manufacturer.
- Use fuel with the proper percentage of nitromethane, as recommended by the engine manufacturer.
Unlike the above R/C airplanes engines, cars and trucks come in a fairly narrow range of sizes — the most popular choices are 1/10 scale and 1/8 scale. So it’s not surprising that there are also fewer different engine sizes to consider when you set out to equip your R/C vehicle. The 1/10 scale models most often use .10, .12, .15 or .18 cubic inch engines. Drivers of 1/8 scale machines use a .21 to .30 cubic inch displacement.
Boat Engine has a water cooled head.