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  1. #1
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    Angry T-Maxx Classic Glow Plugs Melting?

    Hi,

    A bit frustrated here. Just spent $20 on 3 original Traxxas 3232x glow plugs. My old one seemed like it went out so I got some extras so I wouldn't have to wait. I put the first one in and the truck wouldn't start. EZ Start wand GP light still wasn't on. Tried grounding the GP to the head and got nothing. Tried my igniter and it glowed. Tried grounding the same GP to the block of my Pro .15 Nitro 4-Tec using its wiring but the same EZ Start wand and it lit up for a second and after that the GP wouldn't glow at all. So then I tried grounding the Nitro 4-Tec's GP to the block and it glowed for a second and stopped working completely. Now I have 2 broken Traxxas'. I did make sure my EZ Start wand was plugged in the right way after reading through some forums (though I don't see how I could plug it in wrong since one side of the plug is notched). Tried another plug and the Nitro 4-Tec's EZ Start and while it was a horrible start, eventually it started up. Interestingly I tried this plug in the glow igniter before starting and it wouldn't light up. It ran amazing. It was trying to pull wheelies which it hadn't done in a long time. After some time throttle bogged down and I realized a bit late that it was overheating. Checked the temps (almost 270F) and turned it off. After some time I tried to start it again and it started for 1 second then died. After that the 2nd GP was completely dead. I was completely confused as it ran great so I just put the 3rd one in. IIRC it tried to run again but I couldn't grab the remote to give throttle in time and it died. After this I noticed that the GP was not burnt but looked like the tiny filament inside had soldered itself together. There goes $20.

    TLDR: Went through 3 glow plugs and lost a 4th while testing with my other Traxxas. First one glowed and then stopped working when I used EZ Start and grounded against engine head. 2nd one started with different EZ Start and truck ran great. Started overheating so turned off and waited. Then tried to start again and only started for 1 sec then died and GP was dead. Tried 3rd glow plug and same 1 sec start then dead GP. Noticed that GP filament looked melted, GP didn't look burnt.

    I'm starting to wonder if my EZ Start wand is bad, though I have one from the Nitro 4-tec and 1 from the new T-Maxx. Also forgot to mention when grounding the glow plug wire on the head, the glow plug light came on on the wand. Completely stumped here. Sorry for the long post. Also my bad with the testing lol. Reading through my own post I didn't do a great job eliminating possible causes 1 by 1.

    Thanks for reading
    Len

  2. #2
    Marshal Double G's Avatar
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    Hold the base of the glow plug to the block or a non-anodized portion of the head. There is a reason why there is no anodizing inside the threads of the hole for the glow plug. If you feel it may be a wand issue then switch to a glow ignitor.
    The Super Derecho

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double G View Post
    Hold the base of the glow plug to the block or a non-anodized portion of the head. There is a reason why there is no anodizing inside the threads of the hole for the glow plug. If you feel it may be a wand issue then switch to a glow ignitor.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the TRX 2.5 doesn't have an anodized head? My Nitro 4-Tec's Pro .15 head is anodized blue but a part of it is scratched (yes lol I managed to flip a 4-Tec) so I held it there.

    I'm suspecting that too much power is going to the glow plug based on some forums, though I can't figure out why. Also I noticed that when charging my glow igniter the light on the charger only comes on when it's plugged in at an angle. Do you think my igniter is bad? If so any idea on how to fix it or should I just buy a new one?

    Thanks
    Len

  4. #4
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Your right. The 2.5 engine that comes with the classic is cast like the block is, not machined like the anodized heads.

    Your EZ start could be bad. I would try a new one if you got one. Also if the engine is lean that can cause the same glow plug issues.

  5. #5
    Marshal Double G's Avatar
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    2.5 - yes you are correct. 2.5R is anodized.
    The Super Derecho

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    Your right. The 2.5 engine that comes with the classic is cast like the block is, not machined like the anodized heads.

    Your EZ start could be bad. I would try a new one if you got one. Also if the engine is lean that can cause the same glow plug issues.
    I haven't messed with the LSN in ages, only the HSN a bit after it ran with the 2nd glow plug (it was overheating). No idea if anything changed since it won't start. I am running in a bit warmer weather now, would I need to richen the LSN to accommodate? Also I have 2 EZ Starts. One seems to be original to my Nitro 4-Tec which would mean it's around 20 years old. I'm amazed at how well it had been working. The other one came with my T-Maxx and is the newer (only 2 yr old) EZ Start 2 wand. I've used both wands on both cars and they've always worked fine. I did smell a slight burning smell once when I used the T-Maxx wand for a long time trying to start the 4-Tec after it sat for so long. Wand still worked fine up until a few weeks ago when the Maxx sounded horrible while starting (it sounded like the glow plug was struggling to ignite). After that it ran fine and even restarted fine after I flipped. The next time I tried to run it was when the glow plug wand light stopped turning on. I thought it was just the plug. That's where the first post begins.

    Other things to note: I tried my glow igniter, no luck. Interestingly it won't charge unless I put the charger in at an angle. I'm guessing either the battery is shot (it's 5 yrs old) or something that allows it to send power to the glow plug is just worn out.
    Also while I was waiting for the glow plugs gave the truck a good clean-up since I had an exhaust leak that left oily residue on everything. When I pulled the engine I just disconnected the throttle and pulled the engine, exhaust, fuel tank, and EZ Start wiring all out together so I don't think that would've caused any issues. Also upgraded the steering servo at that time.
    It just seems odd to me that both EZ Starts would stop working at the same time. Trying not to have to throw parts at it until it works. I know it's a bit confusing and I wish I had thought it through and tested my EZ Starts using different glow plugs. Got too excited after waiting a week for the plugs lol.

    Sorry for the long post, I can't manage to explain anything while keeping it short lol. Anyway anyone think of a more likely cause based on this?

    Thanks
    Last edited by Double G; 07-21-2020 at 07:42 AM. Reason: merge, duplicate

  7. #7
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    An exhaust leak will cause lean issues. The exhaust pressurizes the fuel tank which in turn pushes the fuel into the carb. So an exhaust leak is a bad thing.

    That leak in the exhaust is probably causing all your issues and there is nothing wrong with the EZ-starts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    An exhaust leak will cause lean issues. The exhaust pressurizes the fuel tank which in turn pushes the fuel into the carb. So an exhaust leak is a bad thing.

    That leak in the exhaust is probably causing all your issues and there is nothing wrong with the EZ-starts.
    Sorry forgot to mention I upgraded to a Resonator exhaust from a 3.3 a few months ago. Truck ran perfectly that one time it was able to start with the 2nd glow plug. It seems like there's a problem with the glow plug igniting but even my glow igniter didn't fix the problem. I may try to buy a new glow igniter and see if the glow plug side of my EZ Start wands have just gone bad

  9. #9
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    I'm thinking there is something else going on than the different igniters causing the glow plug damage.

    If there is something wrong with the igniters ruining the glow plugs you can try a simple test. Test the glow plug by lighting it with an igniter without running them in an engine, as described by Double G. You will see the glow plug "glow". Stop using the igniter and look at the glow plug. If the problem is with the igniters it will be noticeable. Either the glow plug will quickly stop glowing and melt while trying to test it or it will look the same or very close to a new one.

    Added info. The biggest reason for the EZ-start to stop powering the "glow" in the glow plug during starting is a frayed blue wire. If there is a cut or bare wire touching it won't light the glow plug.
    Last edited by grizzly03; 07-21-2020 at 02:44 PM. Reason: blue wire

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    I'm thinking there is something else going on than the different igniters causing the glow plug damage.

    If there is something wrong with the igniters ruining the glow plugs you can try a simple test. Test the glow plug by lighting it with an igniter without running them in an engine, as described by Double G. You will see the glow plug "glow". Stop using the igniter and look at the glow plug. If the problem is with the igniters it will be noticeable. Either the glow plug will quickly stop glowing and melt while trying to test it or it will look the same or very close to a new one.

    Added info. The biggest reason for the EZ-start to stop powering the "glow" in the glow plug during starting is a frayed blue wire. If there is a cut or bare wire touching it won't light the glow plug.
    So for the 1st glow plug that failed it wouldn't light while in my T-Maxx. I used the glow igniter to test it and it glowed. Since it didn't work in my T-Maxx, I used my Nitro 4-Tec with the T-Maxx glow plug on a non-anodized part of the head to test it. It glowed for a second then went out and didn't glow again. This really confused me because it wouldn't start the T-Maxx using the EZ Start but glowed outside of the engine with the igniter, then stopped working when I tested using a different Traxxas with the plug on the head. Also, my glow plug wire had frayed and so I put a lot of tape on it. The day I cleaned it up, I also removed the tape and shrink wrapped it. I tested the wire for continuity and it works fine. Also when I put the wire on the head with no GP the light turns on.

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    Wow. Just made the mistake of trying to talk to Traxxas live chat. I just wanted to see what they had to say. They said all the basic stuff that didn't help me. When they had nothing left to say they just stopped responding and left me waiting for 20 mins. Anyway I'm thinking of buying a new igniter and some more glow plugs to see if it's just an issue with the EZ Start sending power to the plug.


    Also forgot to mention one more thing- one of the pins on my EZ Start harness (I think either for the glow plug wire or ground wire) became loose a while ago. I don't think it's the cause of the problem though since I can get the GP light to turn on when I put the blue wire on the head.
    Last edited by len- tmaxx 2.5; 07-21-2020 at 07:47 PM.

  12. #12
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    I'm not really following your testing method. You started with a plug in the T-Maxx and while running it you overheated it. Then it wouldn't restart (overheating an engine can cause a glow plug to go bad). Then you put in a new plug and it wouldn't start? And/or it was running horrible. After the first glow plug when the engine overheated, did you richen up the high speed needle?

    The odds that more than one EZ start wand/controller went bad at the same time is highly unlikely. If you follow the test I explained in post #9 with a new glow plug that will help you narrow down the issue. If a wand/controller is bad this will show it.

    If you have a glow plug igniter (not the EZ start blue wire) you can use that on the glow plug and use the EZ start for turning it over.

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    Sorry lol my testing method was horrible, I was excited to get the truck running after a few weeks of waiting for plugs and I just kept throwing plugs at it. I ended up getting a new wand and it's working fine on my 4-Tec though my 4-Tec wand is also working fine. It took almost 2 hrs to start it (for some reason it was spitting fuel out the exhaust and wouldn't start, then I richened it a ton and it started???).

    I'm still waiting for the T-Maxx glow plugs, they should finally be here tomorrow. Basically on the first new plug in the T-Maxx it wouldn't start at all. While testing that plug it wouldn't work in the truck (hence why I suspected the EZ Start) but it lit in the manual igniter. Then while testing it in my 4-Tec's EZ Start outside the engine it just stopped glowing. Then on the second new plug it had a horrible start but ran perfect after it started. Then it overheated so I turned off the truck and richened the HSN. It didn't restart so first idea was to revert what I changed. I moved the HSN back but still nothing. Then tried a 3rd glow plug and it still didn't start. All the glow plugs look brand new but it looks like the tiny coil inside just melted into 1 piece instead of a coil.

    The crazy part is the only time I saw the glow plug go out and melt was while testing it using the EZ Start GP test method (ground to head) on another Traxxas. All the other times it went out in my engine. I am suspecting either defective glow plugs (unlikely) or that my T-Maxx EZ Start wand has gone bad. Now that I have a new one so it's a known good EZ Start wand I'll do some more organized testing and hopefully it starts right up.
    Last edited by len- tmaxx 2.5; 07-31-2020 at 10:37 AM.

  14. #14
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    IMHO, I would go with a glow ignitor and pull start. No need to maintain the wand battery, the ignitor can stay attached for the first few seconds after starting to keep the engine running, no need to lug the wand around just to start - just carry the ignitor.
    The Super Derecho

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    Quote Originally Posted by Double G View Post
    IMHO, I would go with a glow ignitor and pull start. No need to maintain the wand battery, the ignitor can stay attached for the first few seconds after starting to keep the engine running, no need to lug the wand around just to start - just carry the ignitor.
    I wish it was that easy. I tried this with my 4-Tec and since it sometimes takes so long to start (as seen above it took 2 hrs to get it to start after it sat) it becomes a pain. I had blisters on my fingers from pulling on the cord, and it ended up chafing on the shell and the cord just snapped. I was thinking of getting a nice metered glow igniter but an entire EZ Start wand was $10 cheaper.

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    Glow plugs just came in early! Will do some better testing this time. I think I'll set the tune to factory to be on the safe side. It's much hotter out than when I tuned it last so it's probably time to do it anyway.

  17. #17
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    There is something else going on if it takes that long. Engine condition and tune (carb settings) are the two biggest things that would affect starting. I also start mine on a block of wood with the tires of the ground so I can open the throttle slightly when starting.

    I have both an EZ-start and pull start vehicles. They both start in the same amount of time. Once I prime my engines it only takes a couple of pulls at most to start up. The EZ-start does make the priming easier over a pull-start.

  18. #18
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    I plug the exhaust with a foam ear plug. Tug the pull start 8-9 times which is about how much it takes for the fuel to enter the carb. Igniter on ( don’t need an expensive one, I use one that takes a single AA battery), and the a few pulls later the engine fires up. Leave the igniter on a few more seconds while revving the remove and go. Two hours to start means there are greater things wrong.
    The Super Derecho

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    It's possible that my 4-Tec engine is worn (20yr old engine) though it runs great once I get it started. Anyway for the T-Maxx I was amazed at what happened. I had left fuel in the tank which according to Traxxas is a big mistake but 90% of the tank was new fuel. Also I've never used after-run oil but I read about it and found some sitting with the old stuff from my 4-Tec. Even though it's after-run oil I decided to put some in before putting in the new plug. Found BDC and put some in, ran the EZ Start for a few secs. It sat for 5-10 minutes while I was getting some fuel and resetting the tune to factory. Anyway it started right up! I used my new EZ Start wand and I've never seen it start that fast. Of course something had to go wrong which turned out to be that my hump pack died right after I tested before starting. Charged the pack a little and was running strong but started overheating again. It was hot and humid so I leaned it though I was a bit confused as I thought you had to richen it when it bogs and overheats? Seemed to make an improvement but hump pack false peaked and died before I could test.

    Also one thing to note: A family member owned the 4-Tec before storage and apparently didn't use after-run oil much. Could that be the reason for the random inconsistent tune and startup? Oh I think I mentioned this before but it's using a short body generic hot aftermarket plug as Traxxas doesn't sell #3230 long body anymore.


    I keep getting mad over how bad my testing was, but I changed multiple things hoping to not fry more GPs. The 3 possible culprits are: 1. My original T-Maxx EZ Start 2 wand (it has heated up a few times when using it to try to start the 4-Tec out of storage) 2. My tune (it was last tuned in colder weather) 3. Defective glow plug or my old fuel fouling it (though I added new fuel to mix with it so not likely)
    Last edited by len- tmaxx 2.5; 07-31-2020 at 10:02 PM.

  20. #20
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Fuel that has been left out or not sealed goes bad. The fuel ingredients start to evaporate leaving extra oil and it also absorbs moisture from the air. Old fuel and old/new mixed fuel will give you a false tune. And then using a short plug will compound the issues your having. Your having problems from your own doing.

    1. I would get a correct plug either OS LC4, LC3 or Traxxas plug. I use hot plug with 20% and med plug with 30%. You can also use the med plug with 20% fuel.
    2. Use fresh fuel and not fuel that has been left out or mixed.
    3. Reset the carb to factory settings anytime you start having engine troubles that a small adjustment doesn't fix.

    IMHO Using old fuel and wrong plugs you are going to keep having problems and if you keep trying to make it work you can end up hurting the engine.
    Last edited by grizzly03; 08-01-2020 at 12:22 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    Fuel that has been left out or not sealed goes bad. The fuel ingredients start to evaporate leaving extra oil and it also absorbs moisture from the air. Old fuel and old/new mixed fuel will give you a false tune. And then using a short plug will compound the issues your having. Your having problems from your own doing.

    1. I would get a correct plug either OS LC4, LC3 or Traxxas plug. I use hot plug with 20% and med plug with 30%. You can also use the med plug with 20% fuel.
    2. Use fresh fuel and not fuel that has been left out or mixed.
    3. Reset the carb to factory settings anytime you start having engine troubles that a small adjustment doesn't fix.

    IMHO Using old fuel and wrong plugs you are going to keep having problems and if you keep trying to make it work you can end up hurting the engine.

    Ok I am a bit confused here:

    4-Tec: I found Traxxas threads where others were using an OS #6 in the Pro .15 (short plug) and they said it was fine. I looked everywhere for 3230 but Traxxas doesn’t sell it. Is there a good place to buy the OS long body plugs? I found them on google before I bought the ones I have but Amazon was going to take multiple weeks to ship. Traxxas says 3232x is for over 100 F temps in Pro .15. I’ll probably make a thread in the 4-Tec forums for this.


    Edit: 4-Tec Thread
    Pls continue the 4-Tec discussion here. Sorry for the confusion. I mentioned the 4-Tec a lot as I was using its EZ Start for testing.

    T-Maxx: So that explains why I couldn’t get it tuned just now. Just ran it a bunch and was working on the tune but had a bit a fuel left from yesterday. Is a day old fuel sitting in the tank bad already? Also is it fine to keep fuel in the quick fill bottle? Anyway I was trying to get it to shift as it wasn’t shifting like it used to. I couldn’t slow down fast enough and while turning I went into some bushes. It wasn’t buried deep but was on top of a few leaves and branches I guess. Anyway tried to reverse out and I guess something caught in the driveline and it just completely destroyed the spur gear.

    Questions:

    1) Any idea why it wouldn’t shift? I’m also stuck with the tune as it’s very hot and humid so I was thinking of leaning the HSN but it started cutting out when I leaned it from factory. I kept richening 1/4 but it kept overheating.
    2) I also have a rough idle. Is that the LSN and if so should I lean or richen?

    3) The spur gear is melted and seems much more warped than before ( it was always a tiny bit warped, is that an issue?). Could I have over tightened it causing the friction pegs not to slip?

    Thanks for the help,
    Len

    Also let me know if I should make a new thread for this since it isn’t related to the glow plug.
    Last edited by len- tmaxx 2.5; 08-01-2020 at 05:39 PM.

  22. #22
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    I'm not sure with the Pro.15 engine. I never used one. I did have trouble when I first started out with my 2.5 T-Maxx. My local hobby shop would keep giving me different glow plugs when my original one died. They said this one or that one will work. No matter what I did or how I tried to tune it, it just wouldn't run right. I went through two engines because of my ignorance believing that the different plugs they sold me where correct and it was my tuning. Ordered some Traxxas plugs and the next engine ran great again. After going through all that, I have stuck with either Traxxas plugs or the OS plugs and never had an issue even when trying different fuels. Others could have good luck but I didn't.

    As for storing fuel. I empty the fuel from the truck fuel tank back into the quick fill bottle. I then use that fuel first when I take the truck back out again. Then I'll add more to the quick fill bottle when it's used up. The fill bottle is better for storage as it is somewhat sealed, at least better than the fuel tank. As for fuel going bad from sitting in a fuel tank in 24hrs. It's possible. Rc fuel is made of alcohol which evaporates and absorbs moisture. If in a humid environment and near sunlight it would go bad even quicker.

    As for adjusting the shifting. I've had to change the transmission shift points because of a different tune due to a different temperature outside. If your truck is not shifting but the engine is running great that's ok. Just change the shift point. If your leaning the high speed needle to get the truck to shift, that's not good. Your hurting the engine by running it too lean. You can get more power by running lean, but at the expense of more wear & tear and possible engine damage.

    The slipper pegs and spur gear. If it's melted I would get new slipper pegs also. If they were worn down and you tightened the slipper. It would be tightening against the plastic not on the pegs. And that would cause the melting around the slipper assembly.

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    Thanks for the info on the fuel. I've actually replaced the slipper and pegs once but I might have tightened it too much. I think I fully tightened it then backed off 1/8 of a turn I think. How can I make sure it's adjusted correctly?

    Also are there any upgraded slipper clutches that are worth it? I am open to upgrading but I don't want to pay more unless it offers better reliability/performance. I found a Traxxas upgraded
    one but not sure how much of a benefit it has or if it's even compatible with my T-Maxx (mine is the 49104-1 current model). It says something about trannys without Optidrive but I don't think I have it? From a quick Google search it seems like Optidrive helps reverse work better by electronically controlling it but that doesn't make any sense to me. I would also go aftermarket if there is something better.

    Thanks

    Edit: Read more about Optidrive and found it's 3.3 only. Does the Classic have an equivalent failsafe with low voltage detection? I know it has a failsafe for losing connection but when my hump pack starts dying if I don't realize immediately and accelerate it will be delayed and sometimes it'll try to run away. It's a bit scary lol.
    Last edited by len- tmaxx 2.5; 08-02-2020 at 03:01 PM.

  24. #24
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    That upgrade kit would work great. It gets rid of the slipper pegs and is a much better setup. It's a revo-spec slipper and so much easier to use.
    As for a fail safe I have never used the Optidrive module. The Traxxas Rx should have a built in fail safe (page 13).
    I charge my NiMh receiver pack each time I take my truck out.

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