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Electric vs. Nitro

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Nitro Engines
Engine on a Nitro Traxxas Rustler.

Engine on a Nitro Traxxas Rustler.

© M. James
Unlike electric motors, nitro engines rely on fuel instead of batteries to make them run. Nitro engines have carburetors, air filters, flywheels, clutches, pistons, glow plugs (similiar to spark plugs) and crank-shafts just like full-size gasoline-powered cars and trucks do. There is also a fuel system that includes a fuel tank and exhaust.

The head heatsink is the main part on a nitro or gas engine that dissipates the heat from the engine block. The full-size auto equivalent is the radiator and water pump that circulate coolant through the engine block to keep it from overheating. On nitro engines there are ways of regulating the temperature by means of tuning the carburetor to lessen or increase the amount of fuel that it mixes in combination with air (leaning or richening).

The ability to disperse heat through regulating the fuel/air mixture thus controlling the engine temperature is one of the few advantages that nitro or small scale gas engines have over electric motors.

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