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The Nitro Engine Supercharger Myth

By April 8, 2009

I've wondered what good can a supercharger do for a nitro engine. Well, I think the guy in these two videos pretty much sums it up for me... ABOSOLUTELY NOTHING!

A supercharger is a way of pumping more air into an engine in the belief that it gives it more power. It may work on some types of engines, but not nitro engines.

Yeah, I've seen some videos of "supercharged" RCs but the guys don't tell you much about what's going on or how much tuning it takes to keep it running. These videos from Squirrelrod dispute those supercharger claims.

  • Nitro Superchargers - good or bad PT 1
    Tells you what it does, how it's supposed to work, why it won't work on a nitro engine. A good detailed explanation.

  • Nitro Superchargers - good or bad PT 2
    In part 2 you get several views of the RC and see it in action including chasing the dog in the backyard -- before adding the supercharger. (Could have done without the music... let's hear the roar of the engine!). Then watch as the supercharger is installed and see how it performs (or not).

He tried to run the nitro engine as rich as possible (to keep it cool) and still nuked the insides. As Squirrelrod says towards the end of the second video, he paid roughly $150 for the supercharger and now would have to pay another $150 or so to get a new engine.

Tell me, do you think the idea of a supercharger is worth the money, worth trying? It didn't work for Squirrelrod, but I'm sure someone out there will want to prove it can work. Not me. I've got a lot less expensive ways to ruin a good nitro engine.


April 10, 2009 at 10:50 pm
(1) Racer 21 says:

Great videos…thanks for the info. It has always been my opinion that ‘messing’ with the systems on your rc vehicles will prove ineffective, and not worth the cost. Thanks for confirming!

April 14, 2009 at 12:18 pm
(2) RC Car fan says:

Great vids! Yep! I truly agree! Unless you’re a trained professional or an experienced player. You shouldn’t mess with rc car systems to avoid ineffectiveness.

December 6, 2009 at 4:52 pm
(3) hpimt2g3.0 says:

don’t know whats wrong with you people. my mt2 runs great with a supercharger. 1/4 turn richer and it fired right up. a few tweaks later and it’s perfect. I read a lot of these forums and I guess I shouldn’t expect so much from people who can’t even spell. up here in canada we just make our own parts,no hobby shops in this town.

February 8, 2010 at 1:48 pm
(4) tim says:

Well, your first statement is pretty much wrong right off the bat . . . superchargers *CAN* and *DOES* work wonderfully on nitro engines – ask the top fuel dragster community! I think what you meant was nitro *MODEL* engines, or more specifically, nitro *2 STROKE* model engines – there is no reason that it should not work on pretty much any four stroke engine, model or otherwise . . . .

Not being picky, but when you discredit yourself with a flub like that in your first statement, it’s harder to give any credibility to the rest of the article!

February 14, 2010 at 9:33 pm
(5) brian says:

When supercharging any engine. You do have to tune the engine and correct the air fuel ratio mixture to compensate for the manifold pressure. I run a supercharger on my nitro buggy and it runs fine. The only problem is that they cause you to burn more fuel. But if youíre just some kid who knows nothing about automotive technology, then donít supercharger your nitro rc cars, because you will fry your piston. But the superchargers do increase your power a lot. and they are safe if you’re not an idiot.

February 18, 2010 at 6:04 pm
(6) Tim 2 says:

tim: “I think what you meant was nitro *MODEL* engines”

Well this IS a site about RC models so it sorts of goes without saying that he’s talking about rc nitro. But then I guess maybe it does need to be spelled out for SOME idiots.

“you discredit yourself with a flub like that in your first statement, itís harder to give any credibility to the rest of the article”

You discredit yourself by your own flubs in not recognizing that the whole article is about rc nitro so it’s hard to give YOU any credibility.

not being picky or anything. just sayin’

December 4, 2010 at 11:15 am
(7) obxpicco says:

ok… well i dont have a supercharger on my car but i have often went into forums about them and all ive heard and makes since to me is that a rc nitro 2 stroke engine couldnt benefit from a supercharger because the intake and the exhaust “stroke” happen at the same time meanin if you pump extra air into the piston it wont build extra air/fuel pressure like a supercharger is suppose to instead it goes out the exhaust rendering the supercharger to not do anything super chargers only work in 4 strokes because the intake and exhaust stroke happen at differnt times meanin when it “inhales” the mix it shoves it into a closed area “the combustion chamber” and cant go any where else untill the exhaust stroke idk just my opinion, haha plus my car dont need any more power a tmaxx with a picco .28 thats to much for the stock and even the steal aftermarket hops ups to handle trust me i know

December 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm
(8) Jason Hallman says:

i have an 05 duratrax nitro evader with a super charger ive had it on the same engine for 5 years its performed wonderfully i noticed a difference imediatly it runs cooler and uses less fuel than it did when it had no charger i guess im not trying to disprove any one however it does help if you know how to set a supercharger up or yes u will burn your piston and sleave up sorry about your luck hope you will learn to read directions depending on your engine size you may need to use a RESTRICTOR PLATE for you supercharger and do some tuning lol.

December 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm
(9) Jason Hallman says:

i think the guy in the video is about 15yrs old and read a book to sound some what educated but he failed to read the supercharger instructions thats why he smoked his engine

December 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm
(10) Jason Hallman says:

ive also noticed in the video he failed to properly break the engine and in the first part he never ran the buggy in dirt like when he did with the supercharger id say maybe he’s the reason why his engine blew up so yes it is a bad idea to spend that kind of money on something u know nothing about u know people who cant swim they stay out of the *edit* water *edit* hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

December 4, 2010 at 10:55 pm
(11) Jason Hallman says:

now i was looking at everyones comments on the supercharger well think about this the tuned pipe is made to return unburnt fuel as well as compressed fuel back into the engine via sonic pulses so how is it any different with a supercharger im guessing u think it boosts it 100 psi or something what u have to realize is that the supercharger has les than 2lbs of boost at max rpm and overdrive given u were smart enough to use the proper tuned pipe with the charger the sonic impulses would have returned the charged air back to the combustion chamber just like it would on a non supercharged engine with that have been said please if your an idiot dont mess with nitro engines please get an electric model theres upgrades for those too.

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