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Thread: Is nitro dead?

  1. #1
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    Is nitro dead?

    Hey guys! I've been out of RC for a while and looking to get back in. I've flown the helis / buggys and kind of got out around 2005 ish and it looks like so much has progressed since. Back then electric was crap, the only advantage of it was that you didn't have to tune it but it wasn't as fast but the life span on it was terrible, especially for the helis.

    Now, I see everything has changed. It looks like electric is the king, instant torque, more power, don't have to have all the "joys" of tuning the engine every time the temp drops 10 degrees, carrying nitro everywhere, getting it shipped, leaks, etc. However, I miss the good old smell of nitro, the clouds of smoke, and the sound of the vehicles tearing around. It looks like Traxxas still makes a few nitro products, the Revo 3.3 and a few others, but being that the ERevo is just a tad more I'm trying to figure out if it's a mistake that I'm leaning towards the 3.3 due to the old school style.

    I guess I'm just brainstorming outloud to see if everybody here on the same train of thought or should I get with the flow and go to new way of electric?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    RC Qualifier NitroBugg's Avatar
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    For me, Nitro powered vehicles will always be my first love! And I agree...the smell, the sound, the smoke, the tuning, and the mess are what I enjoy about it most. Electric has its place too, and I have a lot of joy driving and wrenching on those as well, but NOTHING will replace the "feel" of a nitro engine for me!

    Take a couple of LiPo batteries and drive electric cars for a few hours. Take a gallon of nitro, and drive all day! There's room for both. Get one of each.
    Last edited by NitroBugg; 11-16-2020 at 11:18 PM.

  3. #3
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    As a somewhat younger person, I started with electric everything. I had electric helicopters, airplanes, rc cars, drones, you name it. But I always remembered back when I was about 8 and watching my uncle break in and very first drive his brand new hpi savage. So when I was 16 I made my best rc car purchase yet and bought an old revo 2.5 for $65. I dropped a ported 3.3 in it and from the first time I popped a second gear wheelie there was no going back.



    So right now I don't have a big fleet of toys, but I would say that over half of them are glow ignition.(gasoline or nitro) I have also been collecting a few unique model airplane engines, so I might try and put one of those on my Revo some day.

    At least for me, both nitro and electric is here to stay. Nitro may take more work than an electric car, but when you drive it there is a sense of satisfaction that electric just can't give. (Plus they have cool sounds and smells!)

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    RC Qualifier ElectricPropils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob2.0 View Post
    As a somewhat younger person, I started with electric everything. I had electric helicopters, airplanes, rc cars, drones, you name it. But I always remembered back when I was about 8 and watching my uncle break in and very first drive his brand new hpi savage. So when I was 16 I made my best rc car purchase yet and bought an old revo 2.5 for $65. I dropped a ported 3.3 in it and from the first time I popped a second gear wheelie there was no going back.



    So right now I don't have a big fleet of toys, but I would say that over half of them are glow ignition.(gasoline or nitro) I have also been collecting a few unique model airplane engines, so I might try and put one of those on my Revo some day.

    At least for me, both nitro and electric is here to stay. Nitro may take more work than an electric car, but when you drive it there is a sense of satisfaction that electric just can't give. (Plus they have cool sounds and smells!)
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, nitro is fun and may have certain appeals to it but it doesn't bring in money like electric. I wouldn't be surprised if Traxxas is either A, is going to keep a small amount of nitro vehicles but not really expand on their selection. Or B, phase out their line of nitro vehicles all together and go all electric.
    The present is theirs; the future, is mine.

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    I definitely understand the appeals of electric. Infact I am the head person developing an electric paramotor for a company to try and compete with gas paramotors.

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    RC Qualifier ElectricPropils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob2.0 View Post
    I definitely understand the appeals of electric. Infact I am the head person developing an electric paramotor for a company to try and compete with gas paramotors.
    That's really impressive, you have my respect. I always thought it would be a good idea to create a company specialising in the production of custom electric motors, I even made a website for it in my entrepreneurship class.

    https://sites.google.com/k12.friscoi...n-systems/home

    It's not finished but there is direction.
    The present is theirs; the future, is mine.

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    Been doing this long enough to have owned and used NiCad batteries, tray dischargers, motor lathe (with a tabbed motor option), and brushed motors with rectangular brushes! Shoot, I remember racing a class called gas truck when there might be 7 or 8 heats of them at a regional race LOL. I like electric and nitro both. I love the lack of maintenance and the tuning ease of modern electric 1/10 vehicles. But I just can't get into 1/8 and bigger vehicles with an electric power plant. Just wrong not to have that sound, smell, and occasional aggravation someone mentioned earlier. I'll stick with nitro for the bigger vehicles, though I don't think you're going to see any new offerings, at least not for the "basher" market. And I still miss gas truck.

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    Awesome! If you decide to make custom motors we will need to get in touch.

    I think I am just a weird person as I really love unique things. So one day I will be developing a zero emission electric paramotor, and the next day be building a gas guzzling valveless pulse jet engine. So for me it comes down to how much satisfaction the rc car will provide in the end and I also really enjoy the uniqueness of a nitro rc car in todays world.

  9. #9
    RC Qualifier ElectricPropils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjtamu-redux View Post
    Been doing this long enough to have owned and used NiCad batteries, tray dischargers, motor lathe (with a tabbed motor option), and brushed motors with rectangular brushes! Shoot, I remember racing a class called gas truck when there might be 7 or 8 heats of them at a regional race LOL. I like electric and nitro both. I love the lack of maintenance and the tuning ease of modern electric 1/10 vehicles. But I just can't get into 1/8 and bigger vehicles with an electric power plant. Just wrong not to have that sound, smell, and occasional aggravation someone mentioned earlier. I'll stick with nitro for the bigger vehicles, though I don't think you're going to see any new offerings, at least not for the "basher" market. And I still miss gas truck.
    I like gas for larger vehicles (1/5 scale) , but 4-stroke is the way to go as you can just pour strait gas into there and the added time and effort of mixing oil is gone. Electric 1/5 scale is just scary, I mean 5hp of brushless power is insane. And electric hp is much different then gas hp.
    The present is theirs; the future, is mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricPropils View Post
    I mean 5hp of brushless power is insane. And electric hp is much different then gas hp.
    5hp is nothing, my electric paramotor will create 25hp+ six inches from your back and thats what I find scary. I am also planing on upgrading to a motor which will give 31hp.

    One thing I do want to try is taking one of our older prototype electric paramotors that had 4 motors and using each motor on the wheel hub of a really fast 1/5 rc car. That should give 5hp per tire or 20hp total on 12s I would need to rewind the motor for a MUCH lower KV though.

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    RC Qualifier ElectricPropils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob2.0 View Post
    5hp is nothing, my electric paramotor will create 25hp+ six inches from your back and thats what I find scary. I am also planing on upgrading to a motor which will give 31hp.

    One thing I do want to try is taking one of our older prototype electric paramotors that had 4 motors and using each motor on the wheel hub of a really fast 1/5 rc car. That should give 5hp per tire or 20hp total on 12s I would need to rewind the motor for a MUCH lower KV though.
    Well, I there is a pretty big difference between an RC car and a guy flying through the sky with a parachute.
    The present is theirs; the future, is mine.

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    your not wrong

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    RC Qualifier ElectricPropils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob2.0 View Post
    your not wrong
    I would like to see hoverboard motors on a very large RC car sometime in the future, I mean they can easily move a person so it would be cool to see all of that power on and RC. The fact that they are in-hub would mean that all of the weight is down low, and you don't need a solid axle or independent suspension (you could create your own type of suspension). The only thing you would really need to do is fit some sort of very large crawler tire on the motor.
    The present is theirs; the future, is mine.

  14. #14
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricPropils View Post
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, nitro is fun and may have certain appeals to it but it doesn't bring in money like electric. I wouldn't be surprised if Traxxas is either A, is going to keep a small amount of nitro vehicles but not really expand on their selection. Or B, phase out their line of nitro vehicles all together and go all electric.
    I hate this fact.
    Those of us who have been in the hobby for many years will understand the gratification of nitro, but the modern "hobbyist" and the modern "customer" has ruined the market IMO. People who literally could not be bothered to even read an instruction manual with deeeeeeep pockets, who complain when they explode their lipos on the first run because they didn't turn on LVC. People are so spoiled now that if it doesn't go 70mph out of the box immediately, they hate it.

    And that is what makes money. It sells, a lot. and I hate it.
    In my local basher club, I am one of maybe literally 2 people (out of maybe 40-50, we're big) who do nitro anymore. I love it to death, I did cars, 700 size helis, and bit of planes, and it is so rewarding. It makes me sad that there is only literally one good shop who has a tiny selection of nitro equipment left, because the owners and shop staff are old school and understand the love for it.

    I do electrics too, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't excite me as much. I get so into it with my nitro Revo at the bashes that I've convinced a few people to dip back into nitro. They see how much fun I am having and tried to do it again, but they couldn't put in any more effort than pouring fuel into it, and obviously it didn't work for them.

    It's becoming a lost art, knowing how to run nitro motors. And from the sound of many people in my club, so is knowing how to read a manual. Great people, but I swear sometimes googling their question would answer them all immediately.

    Weird thing too, Im only 22. I hang out with all the old farts at my flying and driving clubs, because they get it. Always have hung out with them, I like to think we have more fun sometimes. Never dropping nitro, no matter the costs or difficulties.

    -Mike

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    RC Champion grizzly03's Avatar
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    I agree that running a nitro engine is a reward in of itself, anybody can plug in a battery and go use their vehicle.
    I can tune my nitro truck and run all day having fun without looking for an outlet.

    It is disheartening that most are "I want what I want without needing to put forth effort." Too many have this idea of entitlement without the time put in. I enjoy the fact that I can look at my stuff and feel the satisfaction of knowing that I did that with my own hands. The journey is more rewarding than the destination.

  16. #16
    RC Qualifier ElectricPropils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebulous.cow View Post
    I hate this fact.
    Those of us who have been in the hobby for many years will understand the gratification of nitro, but the modern "hobbyist" and the modern "customer" has ruined the market IMO. People who literally could not be bothered to even read an instruction manual with deeeeeeep pockets, who complain when they explode their lipos on the first run because they didn't turn on LVC. People are so spoiled now that if it doesn't go 70mph out of the box immediately, they hate it.

    And that is what makes money. It sells, a lot. and I hate it.
    In my local basher club, I am one of maybe literally 2 people (out of maybe 40-50, we're big) who do nitro anymore. I love it to death, I did cars, 700 size helis, and bit of planes, and it is so rewarding. It makes me sad that there is only literally one good shop who has a tiny selection of nitro equipment left, because the owners and shop staff are old school and understand the love for it.

    I do electrics too, don't get me wrong. But it doesn't excite me as much. I get so into it with my nitro Revo at the bashes that I've convinced a few people to dip back into nitro. They see how much fun I am having and tried to do it again, but they couldn't put in any more effort than pouring fuel into it, and obviously it didn't work for them.

    It's becoming a lost art, knowing how to run nitro motors. And from the sound of many people in my club, so is knowing how to read a manual. Great people, but I swear sometimes googling their question would answer them all immediately.

    Weird thing too, Im only 22. I hang out with all the old farts at my flying and driving clubs, because they get it. Always have hung out with them, I like to think we have more fun sometimes. Never dropping nitro, no matter the costs or difficulties.

    -Mike
    I mean I've never tried nitro but it has always been on my mind. I honestly don't mind the tuning and all of that but the fuel is where I lose interest. I don't want to have to buy nitromethane from my local hobby shop every time I want to drive, I know that 16-17 runs off of a 14 dollar quart of fuel isn't that bad but for how much I drive.... I literally couldn't afford to drive my car. I do see a lot of benefits from the super long run times and the amazing sound but the overall performance is lacking compared to the high torque and speed of electric.

    Maybe sometime in the future I will buy a nitro rustler or something, I guess we will have to see.
    The present is theirs; the future, is mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricPropils View Post
    The overall performance is lacking compared to the high torque and speed of electric.
    With a stock trx3.3 engine in a big ~1/9 scale vehicle like the Revo or T-maxx this is completely true. But its not true in all cases.

    My revo 2.5 with a custom ported 3.3 can't keep its front tires on the ground in first or second gear. Also with the few people I have driven with and from driving my other rc cars, It appears like my revo will keep up with most of the other brands 4x4 brushless vehicles on 2s lipo.(won't keep up with a vxl 4x4 stampede or vxl 4x4 rustler on 2s but its not far behind.)

    On the other hand this big block revo will keep up with any rc car I have seen on 2s lipo and quite a few 3s vehicles:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vmF7stnNyg

    You can also find on youtube where people have gotten their nitro 4 tech up to 90+ mph with only a .21 engine(same size as the 3.3 engine) and over 100 mph with big blocks.

    So I believe with the right modifications you can get almost any nitro rc car up to comparable performance with a high power electric, but it will take lots of work and knowledge.

  18. #18
    RC Turnbuckle Jr. olds97_lss's Avatar
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    I bashed with nitro for almost 20 years. Had 10 or 11 nitro trucks until 3 years ago when I started running electric. I now have 7 electric and 2 nitro... kind of tells you which way I leaned.

    Nitro still has it's place for me though. Usually on a nice bash weather day when I have extra time.

    While electric is "easy", it's not overly easy to have electric trucks last you an entire 2-4 hour bash session. With a nitro, it was pretty easy to go an hour or two without breaking much. Burn through 500-1000cc's of fuel and have a good day.

    I'm lucky if I can get through 2 sets of packs in any single brushless truck in a bash day, and that's after a lot of upgrading. The speed and torque of brushless power is a bit intoxicating in itself. Once you air out a 6S truck at 50mph 10 feet over your head... it's hard to not want to do that every single time! LOL!

    One thing electric has taught me is how far you can really launch a truck before damage occurs. The last time I had nitro's out, I was launching them as far as they would go and had a good time. I never used to jump them that hard before. Was always afraid of breaking something. One thing I did miss was the easy backflips... with my nitro's, that takes a good ramp and a decent amount of luck.

    I doubt I'll ever get rid of the 2 nitro's I have left (big block revo and 21TM revo, both 3.3 chassis), but I also doubt I'll ever buy another one... maybe a good truggy now that I have a grass bmx track I run at a lot... but not likely.
    https://www.youtube.com/c/olds97lss

  19. #19
    RC Qualifier nebulous.cow's Avatar
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    Im with bob on this one. When me and my buddies get together, we do amateur races with no rules, and not to toot my own horn, but I win probably half the races with my revo with OS21 in it. Of course its more the driver than the car, but people still get mad that I beat em with that lol.
    THAT SAID, Bob is right. The right nitro engine in the right setup can be insanity. It usually takes more work and smarts, which makes it that much more impressive IMO, but if "sheer power" is your reason to not try nitro, do yourself a favor and go find some educational videos online. Watch some professional races, watch drag races, watch people jump savages over their houses. It is absolutely 100% possible.

    For any of us, no matter what vehicle we had to drive, a pro driver with a decent nitro race vehicle, onroad or off would absolutely school any club racer. Again, its not the car, its the driver. There's just more "driver" in nitro.

    But if you absolutely gotta have a truck that just explodes tires, does standing backflips, is generally uncontrollable and impossible to drive in a straight line without computer assistance, then yeah, get a 6s/8s beast and send it. To each their own, that's definitely still fun. But like Grizzly said, I am happier with my cars, winning the meme races, and jumping it like crazy if I had to put in the effort and knowledge to make it do that. Even if my truck doesn't fly the highest

    As for fuel cost, yeah its not good. But I think you'd find the cash if you came to like nitro. I started nitro when I was about 12, and you bet I saved up my allowance to buy a new gallon as soon as I could. Try before you decide its off the table!

    Good discussion fellas.
    -Mike

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