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  1. #1
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    Cooling head bolt torque, and inspection questions.

    I have a 3.3 that I need to tear down and inspect before I start it. It has been sitting for a while (several years) and it was seized up. I let some Marvel Mystery Oil sit on top of the piston, for a while. I got it free and compression seems good. Once I get it apart, inspected, and cleaned up I am going to replace anything that needs.

    I never tore one down before. Is there anything in particular I should look out for? And the instructions call for the bolt torque for the cooling head to be 9 to11 inch pounds. I don't have a torque screwdriver. How critical is that torque to just do it by feel. I'm a heavy equipment mechanic, so I really don't do anything on this small of a scale But if I can do it by feel and just keep an eye on it, will I be ok? Maybe I am overthinking this? Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!
    Last edited by wrencher11; 04-19-2020 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Words

  2. #2
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Yeah man, no torque driver needed for nitro engine work. Screws going into non-metal mediums, gently tighten. Screws going into metal, snug down pretty well.

    Im a pretty hefty handed mechanic myself, so when I tighten the head bolts on any nitro engine, I tighten them about as tight as I can gripping the allen driver with just my thumb and pointer finger. No fist grip on the screw drivers ever, these are real small screws. Go by feel, do the star pattern for tightening (but im sure you knew that) and more importantly, just make sure you have good drivers. Poor fitting drivers will destroy the screws really fast. I recommend MIP hex drivers.

    Nitro motors are a million times more sensitive to dirt and debris inside them unlike real car engines. when re assembling the piston and sleeve especially, clean them until they're spotless, and only assemble with oil and with pristine clean hands. Clean every piece, every crack, get all the grime out. I recommend a tooth brush and a good liquid soap, and some elbow grease. Clean your tools as well! a single sand grain, dirt piece or anything *could* mess with your engine, so clean it all and it will stay clean.

    Good luck! Just be gentle with it and it'll come out great.

    -Mike

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    Yeah man, no torque driver needed for nitro engine work. Screws going into non-metal mediums, gently tighten. Screws going into metal, snug down pretty well.

    Im a pretty hefty handed mechanic myself, so when I tighten the head bolts on any nitro engine, I tighten them about as tight as I can gripping the allen driver with just my thumb and pointer finger. No fist grip on the screw drivers ever, these are real small screws. Go by feel, do the star pattern for tightening (but im sure you knew that) and more importantly, just make sure you have good drivers. Poor fitting drivers will destroy the screws really fast. I recommend MIP hex drivers.

    Nitro motors are a million times more sensitive to dirt and debris inside them unlike real car engines. when re assembling the piston and sleeve especially, clean them until they're spotless, and only assemble with oil and with pristine clean hands. Clean every piece, every crack, get all the grime out. I recommend a tooth brush and a good liquid soap, and some elbow grease. Clean your tools as well! a single sand grain, dirt piece or anything *could* mess with your engine, so clean it all and it will stay clean.

    Good luck! Just be gentle with it and it'll come out great.

    -Mike
    Great information, thank you! I feel better now! I do have some good Allen keys, they are the regular "L" shape. They are Snap-on brand, and they are very affordable, only a few dollars a piece. I will make sure to clean everything well, and try to limit the torque on the bolts.

  4. #4
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Let us know how she runs once you get it together! Also, the Traxxas carbs are extra finicky IMO. clean that sucker really well too, inside and out. It doesn't have many pieces, but take it all the way apart and clean everything, again I just use soap and water and a toothbrush. Buy new rubber seals for the carb if needed.

    Goodluck!
    Ah, snap on, I see you're a man of culture as well haha.

    -Mike

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    Let us know how she runs once you get it together! Also, the Traxxas carbs are extra finicky IMO. clean that sucker really well too, inside and out. It doesn't have many pieces, but take it all the way apart and clean everything, again I just use soap and water and a toothbrush. Buy new rubber seals for the carb if needed.

    Goodluck!
    Ah, snap on, I see you're a man of culture as well haha.

    -Mike
    I'll let you know how it goes once I get it back together. Thanks for mentioning the carb, I wouldn't have thought about cleaning it! I ordered new bearings for the engine and a seal kit for the carb. The engine is completely disassembled now, just started cleaning it tonight. Checked the pinch and it's great!

    Ah, snap on, I see you're a man of culture as well haha.
    Oh yeah! Just more stuff to buy off the truck once a week.

  6. #6
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Hahaha.

    For those bearings, be real careful putting the new ones in. Don't be afraid to use your oven and freezer to get things to fit real easy!

    What car is the 3.3 for anyhow?

    -Mike

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the tips!

    It's a T-Maxx, model 4908. I bought it new, bashed her hard for a while. And then life got in the way of my hobby. Now with the virus, my family and myself have some extra free time since we aren't so busy anymore. I figured it was time to get back at it.

    I also just purchased a Summit and that came on Monday Hopefully I can get my wife and girls interested more in the hobby.

  8. #8
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Nice!!! Im in the same boat as you man, virus cleared my schedule soooo back to RC it is again!
    The Summit looks super nice, I actually ordered a Mini one that comes hopefully tomorrow! I wanted it for FPV driving but also good normal bashing too.

    Maybe I should fix my T maxx too, I have the original classic one. Great trucks!

    I feel like Traxxas probably made thousand and thousands of dollars in the past few months over the normal quota haha.

    -Mike

  9. #9
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    Yeah the Summit is really nice. I didn't realize the size of it, compared to the T-Maxx. It's a good bit larger haha. If the mini one is like the full size, I think you'll like it! Your plans for it sounds cool! However I haven't had a chance to run it much, about 1/2 an hour. The weather hasn't been very nice all week, lot of rain and wind.

    Bring back your Maxx! It's funny that you said that, I text a friend a picture of the Summit tonight. I didn't know he had a Sportmaxx haha. So he is going to dust it off this weekend and see what it needs!

    You're right, Traxxas is probably busier than usual!

  10. #10
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Maybe I shall bust out the maxx and give it a proper playing with! It was pre-owned, so it's got a bunch of mismatched parts and all but it ran good! I'm just worried, it has a discontinued OS 18CVR engine which I can't get parts for anymore. So once that piston quits, that engine's done. Must have gotten like 20 gallons through it though, and that's after I got it used from someone else too! I'ts real beat up and disgusting, so maybe a full tear down and rebuild is in order. Maybe better servos too. And get rid of the AM radio stuff, haha.

    Super hyped to get my mini summit though, I got back into RC not just cus of the virus, but because I had a high-speed motorcycle accident and broke the smaller bone in my leg above my ankle. Doc says I'll be walking in 4-5 weeks though with therapy, so I was lucky! Typical dumb kid stuff on bikes got the best of me haha. Learned my lesson. But I want that mini summit for the FPV so that I can explore my house and yard again! Should be a blast of a time. I love my new and old nitros, but getting out to the bash spots with my leg is not easy right now, and I hate to subject my neighbors to the nitro noises all day.

    On a side note, I had no idea how loud the 3.3 was with the resonator pipe, like yeesh. My big block touring car is only a little louder, and they're both dual chamber exhausts. Can't imagine these motors with single chamber pipes...
    Weather yesterday was insane over here on the West coast, so yeah haven't had much time to play either.

    But there's plenty of fun projects coming along, and I intend to make the mini summit FPV gear waterproof as well, so that I can go tooling around the yard even with the rain!

    -Mike

  11. #11
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    Yeah you should break out the Maxx! Nothing like the smell of nitro! That's a lot of fuel through that engine, I'd say you got your money's worth from it! I still have the AM radio set up for mine too.

    Good luck with the leg healing up! It stinks that you can't get around too well right now. Hopefully all goes well there! I've done some (a lot haha) stupid stuff when I was younger too, but I got lucky a lot, but on the other hand not so lucky other times...

    They are pretty loud, I remember the first time I got mine out when we bought our house. The one house across from me were complaining about the noise, but they don't live there anymore. Haha it was only like an hour.

    Keep me posted on your projects, it sounds neat! I'm still cleaning up my engine here, the bearings came today and still waiting on the carb seals and I think the back plate o-ring. If all goes well this weekend, hopefully by Monday I'll have the engine back together and back in the Maxx.

  12. #12
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Nice! Yeah it's a bummer it's getting harder and harder to find places to play with nitro without someone getting mad. My buddies and I found a couple churches in my area that are great for onroad nitro stuff at night, they're out in the middle of nowhere, lit up, rarely used parking lots (once a week!) and no one is there 6/7 days of the week. Great place for parking lot races.

    Was hoping the mini summit would show today, but tracking says it's been delayed to tomorrow. Bummer. Oh well.
    This weekend ought to be fun though. I'll definitely get the FPV rig up and running and do some mods, and try to post up about it.

    At least electric doesn't make noise, but it's just not the same to me. I was saying in another thread today too, it's time traxxas stepped up and made a new nitro. And maybe a big block engine to replace the 3.3 as well while theyre at it! Would be pretty cool.

    -Mike

  13. #13
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    Yes, it is hard to find places to run. That's great that you guys have some options for good spots. I got a place to run nitro hard lol, but it is about a 20 minute drive. Which isn't bad but, when I only have a half hour or so of time to just work on tuning or adjustments it isn't worth driving over there some times. So the yard it is and hope my neighbors don't complain too much.

    It's frustrating when packages get delayed like that! When my Summit was delivered it sat from Friday to Monday at the distribution center about 45 minutes from my house. Was hoping UPS would deliver it on Saturday but they never came.
    Have fun unboxing it when it comes and running it around. You're going to feel like it's Christmas morning! I know I did!

    I agree electric isn't the same, although the only electric I have is the Summit. When I did get to run it briefly on Monday I was missing the smell and sound of the nitro! I was pleasantly surprised with how it performed though. That would be cool if they made a new model or engine! I would be down for that, I dunno if my better half would he though LOL!

  14. #14
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Yeah man I'm with you on that one, my gf is starting to question the 3 brand new rc cars that have showed up in the house since the quarantine LOL. Maybe a 4th one if I really get my heart set on something...

    Anyway yeah today was christmas morning for me, I got the mini summit around noon and already strapped on the FPV gear and took it for a spin with some lipos. It's a boatload of fun! Works really well actually. ESC gets a little hotter than I'd like but it drives great and the FPV is a blast. Already scoping out the biggest batteries I can fit in it to get more runtime too.

    But I may have to get out today and go burn some nitro. I'm getting that itch, you know? Haha. Plus I want to see how far the FPV range is at an open field. Once I wrap up some university work, this weekend will be all fun and games. I'll have to clear my desk and bust out the Tmaxx as well and get her all cleaned up and some fresh fuel lines. The gf and I may have to do some nitro touring racing as well!

    Hope you're having a fun weekend as well man!
    -Mike

  15. #15
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    Sounds like you did have a good time! That FPV sounds like it worked out very well for you!

    Haha I know what you mean about the nitro itch! I didn't have enough time to getting my engine and carb all cleaned up, life got in the way over the weekend. It's mostly cleaned up. Oh well, I did run the Summit some yesterday so that was a plus! Today the weather is pouring rain here, so stuck inside again. We had such a mild winter here, it was a bit unusual. Then once it warmed up, all rain haha. It is going to get nice, someday...

  16. #16
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    Got the old bearings out, and all cleaned up. It was all gummed up. New fuel lines, cleaned the tank. Got the new bearings in, and engine reassembled today. It was finally a beautiful day. Charged up the EZ start and hump pack. It fired right up. Got her tuned and ran 5 or 6 tanks! Runs great! Thanks for all the help!

  17. #17
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Something satisfying about the sound of nitro engines over electric. Puts a smile on me every time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    Something satisfying about the sound of nitro engines over electric. Puts a smile on me every time.
    Yes it is satisfying, I totally agree!! Not sure if the neighbors thought so though! Haha About an hour after I was done running my T-Maxx I heard another nitro running somewhere close to me! I should have went for a walk to see who it was and maybe make a friend to run with.

  19. #19
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrencher11 View Post
    I heard another nitro running somewhere close to me! I should have went for a walk to see who it was and maybe make a friend to run with.
    Dude the same thing is happening to me haha. I run mine, some neighbors come out to check it out, and next thing I know they are whipping out their trucks! A buddy I used to fly RC with found me doing nitro and said he had a slash 4x4, so now we bash the dirt hills by our houses now. He wouldn't have found out if it wasn't for the sound of nitro!

    Here in AZ at least, my neighbors don't mind nitro as much as other states I've lived in. I was a city kid, so naturally, people hate everything fun there lol, but out here everyone and their dog has a dirtbike, motorcycle, ATV, side-by-side, anything and everything that makes noise. So my little car is nothing unusual to hear roll down the street. My old timer neighbor actually really likes it, he comes out to watch when I run it sometimes.

    But to be considerate of the neighbors who may not like it, I don't run too often in front of my home.

    Nitro is life! Haha. Again, glad to hear shes running man!
    -Mike

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    Dude the same thing is happening to me haha. I run mine, some neighbors come out to check it out, and next thing I know they are whipping out their trucks! A buddy I used to fly RC with found me doing nitro and said he had a slash 4x4, so now we bash the dirt hills by our houses now. He wouldn't have found out if it wasn't for the sound of nitro!

    Here in AZ at least, my neighbors don't mind nitro as much as other states I've lived in. I was a city kid, so naturally, people hate everything fun there lol, but out here everyone and their dog has a dirtbike, motorcycle, ATV, side-by-side, anything and everything that makes noise. So my little car is nothing unusual to hear roll down the street. My old timer neighbor actually really likes it, he comes out to watch when I run it sometimes.

    But to be considerate of the neighbors who may not like it, I don't run too often in front of my home.

    Nitro is life! Haha. Again, glad to hear shes running man!
    -Mike
    That's awesome! It's kind of the same here, but mostly motorcycles and cars. Most of my neighbors are pretty cool with running my nitro. I got one neighbor that I get glared at when I run it, I dunno. Maybe it's my imagination. We don't really talk to them, we just keep to ourselves mostly. I'm glad she is running again too!

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