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  1. #1
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    Revo 3.3 died out of box

    I got my revo 3.3 today in the mail. I was pretty excited after work. I followed the instructions to a T getting it ready to be broken in. I got about 1/4 of the way through my first tank of gas (20% nitro fuel from Traxxas) doing a qaurter pull for 2 seconds. Weather was good today 80 degrees, not much humidity. Everything was going ok until the transmitter died.

    I charged it up and after that it was trying to turn over, but just wouldn't start. Eventually it stopped turning over and all that was working was the ez starter, but the motor wasn't turning over at that point, just the whining of the starter. Now it goes back and forth between the engine turning over but not starting, and then the starter just whining, but no turning over.

    I've tried switching glow plugs, turning upside down with the glow plug out and turning over in case it was flooded, I tried turning the flywheel so the piston wasn't stuck on the high end. I honestly don't know what to do. I've never owned an Rc vehicle this is my first. I'm pretty disappointed with it though. Feels like a lot of money and time wasted.

    I'd like to try and fix it rather than take it somewhere and pay more for something I've had less than 24 hours.. If anyone has an idea I'd really appreciate some advice. Thanks.

  2. #2
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear the nitro frustration story my friend. Hang in there, the Revo is a super fun truck, it will pay off I promise.

    Since it's your first car, let me lay down the line for ya. Most rc cars nowadays (by a massive majority, except race kits) are RTRs. They come pre built. Which means you're at the mercy of the overworked soul that put your kit together. For him it was the 37th Revo he built that day, and things get missed. It happens.

    First things I do with any new car, *no matter what*, is a bolt tightness check on literally everything, a mesh check on the motor/engine, and for nitros, I pull the head off to make sure there is no metal filings in the engine, and that there is sufficient oil for the first start ever. Common practice, I am definitely not alone on this. You can prevent stupid malfunctions by doing these things on any RC thing you get, period.

    Now as for your issue, you said you can hear the starter "whirring" or wining, right? Like the little motor is spinning, but the engine itself isn't actually turning over, yes? If this is true, then you likely have a slipping one-way bearing, and this is a rather common issue with nitro motors. It's a simple fix, but quite aggravating of an issue.

    Since your truck is so new, I would contact traxxas. Worst case, they turn you down a free $22 part. Best case, it costs you nothing but some time to get it fixed. The thing that made me really upset lately though is that Traxxas DOES NOT warranty engines or engine parts, period. They guarantee it to start the very first time, and that. is. it. They told me this personally.

    So I am not sure if the OWB counts as "engine parts", but it is worth inquiring for sure.

    The lazy mans immediate (but improper) solution is to drill a hole in the back of the ezstart plastic housing right behind the engine back plate, and then when the OWB is slipping and failing to start the engine, spray a very short burst of WD40 into the EZ start housing, which cleans the OWB, and thus helps it grab the starter shaft, and start your engine. This solution is very temporary, and will wear the parts down worse, because you're just forcing worn out parts to keep working. What usually happens is that the engine actually leaks oil/fuel ever so slowly out the back plate and on the OWB and the shaft, causing the slipping you're experiencing. This is unavoidable with every engine eventually. The severity varies wildly between engines though.

    Take the engine out of the truck, and remove the EZ start housing, and inspect the bearing and shaft. Would be happy to supply part numbers or diagrams if you need them, but take a crack at understanding the exploded diagrams for the revo, they are not too crazy.

    Just clean the parts first. Avoid automotive brake cleaner, use either "nitro cleaner" products or just plain soap, water, and a toothbrush. And what I do with my OWBs in my nitros, is I apply a little bit of silicone grease to them actually. They technically need a small amount of lubricant to prevent rust, reduce resistance when free spinning, and reduce wear. So in theory, engine oil/fuel shouldn't make the OWB slip, but it often aids in the problem forming.

    Good luck. It's pretty hard to mess things up in a nitro car as long as you don't lose parts or put them back in incorrectly. Take your time, use a parts tray/box, and go easy with the tools. No extreme force needed for anything.

    Hope this helps.

    -Mike

  3. #3
    Marshal Double G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    Sorry to hear the nitro frustration story my friend. Hang in there, the Revo is a super fun truck, it will pay off I promise.

    Since it's your first car, let me lay down the line for ya. Most rc cars nowadays (by a massive majority, except race kits) are RTRs. They come pre built. Which means you're at the mercy of the overworked soul that put your kit together. For him it was the 37th Revo he built that day, and things get missed. It happens.

    First things I do with any new car, *no matter what*, is a bolt tightness check on literally everything, a mesh check on the motor/engine, and for nitros, I pull the head off to make sure there is no metal filings in the engine, and that there is sufficient oil for the first start ever. Common practice, I am definitely not alone on this. You can prevent stupid malfunctions by doing these things on any RC thing you get, period.

    Now as for your issue, you said you can hear the starter "whirring" or wining, right? Like the little motor is spinning, but the engine itself isn't actually turning over, yes? If this is true, then you likely have a slipping one-way bearing, and this is a rather common issue with nitro motors. It's a simple fix, but quite aggravating of an issue.

    Since your truck is so new, I would contact traxxas. Worst case, they turn you down a free $22 part. Best case, it costs you nothing but some time to get it fixed. The thing that made me really upset lately though is that Traxxas DOES NOT warranty engines or engine parts, period. They guarantee it to start the very first time, and that. is. it. They told me this personally.

    So I am not sure if the OWB counts as "engine parts", but it is worth inquiring for sure.

    The lazy mans immediate (but improper) solution is to drill a hole in the back of the ezstart plastic housing right behind the engine back plate, and then when the OWB is slipping and failing to start the engine, spray a very short burst of WD40 into the EZ start housing, which cleans the OWB, and thus helps it grab the starter shaft, and start your engine. This solution is very temporary, and will wear the parts down worse, because you're just forcing worn out parts to keep working. What usually happens is that the engine actually leaks oil/fuel ever so slowly out the back plate and on the OWB and the shaft, causing the slipping you're experiencing. This is unavoidable with every engine eventually. The severity varies wildly between engines though.

    Take the engine out of the truck, and remove the EZ start housing, and inspect the bearing and shaft. Would be happy to supply part numbers or diagrams if you need them, but take a crack at understanding the exploded diagrams for the revo, they are not too crazy.

    Just clean the parts first. Avoid automotive brake cleaner, use either "nitro cleaner" products or just plain soap, water, and a toothbrush. And what I do with my OWBs in my nitros, is I apply a little bit of silicone grease to them actually. They technically need a small amount of lubricant to prevent rust, reduce resistance when free spinning, and reduce wear. So in theory, engine oil/fuel shouldn't make the OWB slip, but it often aids in the problem forming.

    Good luck. It's pretty hard to mess things up in a nitro car as long as you don't lose parts or put them back in incorrectly. Take your time, use a parts tray/box, and go easy with the tools. No extreme force needed for anything.

    Hope this helps.

    -Mike

    All very good information. However, this is the first time I've heard a report (in all the years I've been here and other places) where Traxxas has said there is no warranty on the engine. So unless they had a recent policy change I am very hesitant to believe this. The forum is not a replacement for Customer Service and on occasion an employee will chime in here and there it is unlikely that we will get their side of the story or explanation. Hundreds of threads point to the opposite where Traxxas has replaced the engine due to failure - within reason of course.
    The Super Derecho

  4. #4
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    I thought the same thing double G. I had bearings go out in one quart on a new 3.3 in my revo. Contacted them and the representative replied with this:

    The only warranty is the 30 day electronic warranty. *Unfortunately there is no warranty covering nitro engines. *So long as you are in the US you are welcome to send the engine in and our Lab Techs will determine if there was a manufacturing defect and if it can be handled at no charge. They will not cover crash damage, wear and tear, poor tuning, inadequate maintenance, incorrect fuel, abuse or neglect.

    I was upset to hear that. That's the exact email I got back.

    -Mike

  5. #5
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    Well, after a few hours of tinkering and looking over the gears in the starter I realised that the one way bearing on the gear looks to be spinning in the opposite direction it should be.

    It's definitely catching on the rod that connects to the piston, I took it out and spun it with my hand. There's a small arrow right on the one way barring to show which way it should be turning I believe, and it's spinning the opposite way causing it to not catch.

    Everything else inside the gear box looked fine. No broken teeth, and everything is catching, except the backwards one way barring gear..

  6. #6
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    The text on the bearing goes toward the engine.
    traxxas.com/support/How-Roller-Clutch-One-Way-Bearing

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    The text on the bearing goes toward the engine.
    traxxas.com/support/How-Roller-Clutch-One-Way-Bearing
    The one I have there is only one way it can go on because the one way bearing is stuck inside of the gear.

    But the way it is spinning is backwards.

    I tried to take it out and turn it around, but it's in the gear too good.

    It engages the starter shaft just fine, it's just being spun in the opposite direction because it seems the one way barring was inserted in the gear that turns it the wrong way.
    Last edited by Double G; 07-23-2020 at 07:13 AM. Reason: merge, clutter reduction

  8. #8
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    If the EZ start is spinning backwards, try swapping the red/black wires on the starter motor.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by grizzly03 View Post
    If the EZ start is spinning backwards, try swapping the red/black wires on the starter motor.
    I had that issue on my sons Revo 3.3.

    He tried to convert to electric, then decided not to. I was bored one day and put all the nitro stuff back on. Messed with it for a few days trying glow plugs, recharging nimh batteries...I hadn't even considered the EZStart spinning backwards until I started looking at my Revo 3.3 and noticed the position of the red/black wires. Fired right up basically after that switch.

  10. #10
    Marshal Double G's Avatar
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    On the EZ Start motor there is a red dot next to the tab where the red wire is to connect.

    The OWB can be installed backwards and that is why Traxxas reminds us that the lettering faces the engine. Make sure the washer is installed between the OWB and the back plate as well. Looking at the engine from the back, the proper rotation is clockwise; likewise, looking at it from the front the rotation is counter-clockwise (anticlockwise to our friends across the pond ).

    While you have it apart, clean the OWB and let it soak in motor oil (I use Mobil 1) for about 5 minutes. Wipe it off really well and install after cleaning the starter shaft.
    The Super Derecho

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double G View Post
    On the EZ Start motor there is a red dot next to the tab where the red wire is to connect.

    The OWB can be installed backwards and that is why Traxxas reminds us that the lettering faces the engine. Make sure the washer is installed between the OWB and the back plate as well. Looking at the engine from the back, the proper rotation is clockwise; likewise, looking at it from the front the rotation is counter-clockwise (anticlockwise to our friends across the pond ).

    While you have it apart, clean the OWB and let it soak in motor oil (I use Mobil 1) for about 5 minutes. Wipe it off really well and install after cleaning the starter shaft.
    I just got home and hooked it up. The positive and red dot were on the wrong side for the ez start motor.

    It is spinning the correct way now, and it's catching, no slippage. But it's like the ez start motor doesn't have enough power to turn the starter shaft now.

  12. #12
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    I tried started from bottom dead center too, no dice.

  13. #13
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    - Update -

    I loosened the glow plug and warmed up the block with a hair dryer. It's now turning over, but incredibly slow.

  14. #14
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    Can't believe these sell for about 600 bucks. Feels like a pretty big Rip off to me.

    Worst money spent. I have more time in to trying to fix this thing then actually using it.

  15. #15
    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grudzy View Post
    It is spinning the correct way now, and it's catching, no slippage. But it's like the ez start motor doesn't have enough power to turn the starter shaft now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grudzy View Post
    I tried started from bottom dead center too, no dice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grudzy View Post
    I loosened the glow plug and warmed up the block with a hair dryer. It's now turning over, but incredibly slow.
    Did you recharge the battery in the EZ-start? It sounds like it needs to be charged.

  16. #16
    Marshal Double G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grudzy View Post
    Can't believe these sell for about 600 bucks. Feels like a pretty big Rip off to me.

    Worst money spent. I have more time in to trying to fix this thing then actually using it.
    I bet most of us have been in that spot with our first nitro. I thought the same thing even after being in the hobby for a while and having a very good knowledge of internal combustion engines and automotive in general. But that is what the manual is for. That is what Traxxas's Customer Service is for. This forum; reputable YouTube videos.

    Nitro has a steep learning curve when it comes to running and tuning. Once you get the hang of it, it is very enjoyable.
    The Super Derecho

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