Here’s How To Start A Nitro RC Engine With A Drill

Many people have found themselves in a situation where they need to turn on their nitro engine but can’t do so by pulling the string. 

Little did they know that they could turn on their nitro engine with a drill. 

If you want to turn on your nitro engine with a drill, you will need to get a conversion kit for the engine. 

Nitro RC cars use nitro fuel, and you have to pull a string to turn on the engine. Even though owning and racing with this car is very fun, many people find it hard to turn it on. 

Starting a Nitro RC is much harder than turning a key in a car or pulling a trigger to start a car that uses batteries. 

Close-up of a drill

Starting a Nitro RC car requires a glow plug, the fuel, and using your muscles to pull the string, just like you would pull a string to start a lawnmower. 

Many people hate pulling the string multiple times in order to start their Nitro RC. That’s why many opt to use a battery-powered car or to simply start it with a drill. 

The pull string gets frayed and breaks when you use it for a long time. 

Most people are unprepared for this and they don’t expect their string to break. 

They can go out to race with their car and the string snaps and they can’t turn it back on. 

That’s why it’s better to turn your Nitro RC with a drill so you know that you will always be able to turn it on. 

Before you try to turn on your engine with a drill, you should know that you first have to remove the engine and replace the pull string with a drill start on your nitro engine. 

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to replace the pull start with a drill start.

Get a Conversion Kit

First, you will have to buy a conversion kit. In this kit, you will get all the parts you need in order to be able to start your engine with a drill. You can get this kit from various retailers.

You can check the price for a conversion kit from Amazon by clicking here.

Remove the Engine

Next, you will have to remove the engine. Start by removing the two bolts on either side of the slider mechanism. 

It might be a bit difficult to get to the bolts because you can’t reach them with any straight tools. 

You can use a ball wrench or a glow plug and go inside to the top of your cooling tower. 

Once you’ve removed the cooling tower, you can remove all four bolts. 

You should leave all the screws at the bottom of the cooling tower because it’s easier not to lose them this way. 

When you’ve removed the four screws it’s time to remove the throttle linkage. It will be between the steering servo and the power box. 

Once you’ve located it get a pair of pliers, it would be best if you got needle-nose ones. You will roll the part that sticks out with the pliers until it pops off. 

Even though you could pop it straight off, it might not be the best idea to do so, because if you do, you can bend the linkage, which will make everything much more complicated. 

Then, you will have to remove the wire from the high-speed needle. You can do this by simply pulling it off. 

Most engines will have a spring that goes all the way around your engine. 

To remove this spring, you will have to get some pliers and detach the spring. 

Related post: Are Nitro RC Cars Dangerous? Is There Need To Be Worried?

This part is much easier if you have someone holding the vehicle for you while you do it. Once you’ve removed the spring, you have to wiggle your engine out of the vehicle. 

Watch this helpful video for guidance to remove your RC Nitro engine;

Replace the Pull Start With a Drill Start

Once you’ve removed your engine you have to remove the pull starter on the back of your engine. 

Usually, it will be held on with 4 screws. Remove the 4 screws to remove the pull starter. 

Before you remove the fourth screw, make sure you’re holding the pull start against the engine because there are usually springs under it and you don’t want it to shoot right into your face. 

You can then throw away the pull start because you won’t be needing it anymore. 

Clean the area under the pull start before you move on and you can also clean your whole engine while it’s out. 

Next, you will get the new backplate from the conversion kit and slide it on under where your pull start used to be. 

Make sure the holes line up when you slide it on. Get the new screws from the conversion kit. You want to use those because they are longer. 

Once you screw it on, use the washers on the screws. 

Here’s a video to help with the process;

Put The Engine Back Into Your Vehicle

It might seem a bit challenging to install the engine into your vehicles if you’ve never done it before, but it’s actually pretty simple. 

Place the engine so that the flywheel is facing the front of your vehicle. When you’ve done that, grab a hold of the engine and flip your vehicle over. 

Then, you will put in only two screws that are diagonally from each other. 

Make sure these screws aren’t completely tight. Your engine should be able to freely slide up and down. 

You will only put in 2 screws so you can get the proper gear mesh. Flip the vehicle back over. 

The next step is to fasten the brake and the throttle linkage back to the servo horn. 

Connect the linkage back onto the servo horn with an Allen head screw. 

You should use the second hole on the left side of the T-shape. Next, connect the linkage to the bottom hole of the carburetor assembly. 

Now it’s time to do the breaks. 

You will hook the brake linkage onto the servo board. on the hole that is next to the throttle. 

It’s best to insert it coming from the top and then turning it 90 degrees. 

Reattach the brake linkage to the brake cam and secure it by tightening the grub screw. 

You have to reset the servo before you mount the servo horn. In order to reset the servo, you have to turn on both the car and the remote. 

Make sure that the throttle trim is centered and try out the throttle and brakes. Keep in mind that you should reset the servo to a neutral position. 

Then, replace the servo horn back on to the servo. Try to keep the T shape parallel to the edge of the surveillance.

Once you’ve aligned it properly, it’s time to screw in the screws to secure your servo. 

Make sure that the stopper that is colored silver is touching the Allen head screw or that it’s as close as possible. You are able to adjust this by loosening the grub screw. 

Now you’ll have to check that the throttle is set properly by looking inside the carburetor. Pull on the throttle and the carburetor should open all the way. 

Pull on the brake and see whether the carburetor stays in the same position. 

When you’re sure that everything works how it’s supposed to, it’s time to achieve the proper gear mesh. 

When you’re done with that, screw in the other 2 screws underneath the car and reattach the fuel line and the exhaust tube.

This video will help with re-installing the engine;

  1. Start your engine

Start by turning on the radio and turning on the receiver. Then it’s time to prime the engine. 

You can do this by taking off the back pressure tube and giving it a blow which will force the fuel through the car. 

The other way you can do this is to insert the drill starter system, block the exhaust, and turn the engine on. When your engine is primed, insert the igniter into the plug and insert the drill starter again. 

It might take a few seconds to turn on the engine because it needs to warm up.

Check out this video to prime your Nitro RC engine;

If starting your RC Nitro car with a pull start has caused you trouble and you’ve got to the point where you hate the thought of having to pull that damn string, now you know that there are other options.

Starting an RC Nitro engine with a drill may suit you a lot better and now you know the process to convert our Nitro car to a drill start.

I hope you found this article helpful. Please see my other content to help you through in this great hobby.

Please click here to see a wide selection of conversion kits and accessories from Amazon for your RC Nitro RC car.

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

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