Products - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Vehicle FAQ
Battery Pack FAQ
Charger FAQ
Nitro Engine FAQ
Electric Motor FAQ
Other FAQ

I did not find the answer to my question here. How do I get further assistance?

My car's engine seems to smoke a lot. Does that mean I am running it too rich?

Not necessarily. If the engine is now smoking more than it has in the past, and everything else is exactly the same (same fuel, plug, conditions, etc), then your engine is probably running a little more rich than it has previously. But the amount of smoke is not an absolute indicator that an engine is running overly rich. Different fuels will smoke differently when the engine's properly-adjusted. Get the engine adjusted properly, and then see what kind of smoke trail you get. If the fuel smokes a lot, even though the engine's running well, your fuel has an oil that encourages smoke. Don't worry about the amount of smoke output, and never sacrifice your engine's oil intake just to minimize the 'vapor trail' it leaves when operating.

When will you come out with a (insert model type here)?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide any information on future releases or planned future kits. However, please use our Product Suggestion form, which will be forwarded directly to the appropriate product managers for future consideration. Thank you for your time and interest! We take your suggestions seriously, and use consumer's suggestions in our considerations for future products. Please note that our design cycle is long and planned well in advance, and that a model needs to have good popular appeal for us to seriously consider it.

I heard about a new product which is not yet listed on your web site. How can I get more information?

If a product is not yet listed on our web site, chances are good that we do not yet have information on that newly released product. Please visit your favorite hobby shop and our web site regularly for new technical information as it becomes available.

Can you tell me more about NiMH batteries and about charging them?

NiMH batteries are a viable new option for R/C power which provide much longer run time than similar capacity NiCD batteries. The only real concern is proper charging. NiMH, if it is to be fast charged, MUST be fast charged on a specialized charger called a delta peak. The normal peak process of a NiCD charger will overheat your NiMH batteries and dramatically shorten their life span before it ever recognizes the cells are properly charged. NiMH will slow charge just like NiCD cells.

Can I run my new Duratrax car in sandy conditions?

Sand is one of the most abrasive things that can get into your R/C vehicles. Offroad vehicles can be run on sand if you take extra care in preparing/cleaning the vehicle. First of all, clean the vehicle entirely before you run on sand. We recommend denatured alcohol in a squirt bottle, a rag, and a toothbrush. It does a pretty good job. To clean it well, partially disassemble the vehicle, ideally removing the gearbox, engine, and suspension. Re-lube any parts that as required after cleaning with the alcohol, such as bushings, bearings, and gears. Make sure that the lubricant gets only in the places that need it, as excess oil will attract dirt, dust and sand like a magnet.

How fast does this car go?

Unfortunately, we cannot estimate speed of our vehicles. Speed is dependent on a large variety of factors, including gearing, engine break-in, running surface, fuel and plug, assembly accuracy and, of course, driver skill.

What temperature is ideal for my engine?

It's not possible for us to give you an actual temperature or temperature range for your engine. The specific temperature is determined by too many factors. There is only one way to determine at what temperature your engine should be run - get it running just how you like it, then find out what temperature the engine reaches.

Make sure your engine is operating properly and providing the performance you expect. Be sure you are not overly lean and shortening your engine's lifespan. Use the exact setup every time...fuel, exhaust system, plug, measurement location, and so forth. If you change anything, the temperature will change. Once you have the engine running the way you want it, take your measurement. You will have to take measurements over time to find out how the weather affects it. As the air temperature and humidity change from day-to-day, the operating temperature will change. Eventually, you'll find a temperature range that you can use.

Engine temperature is not an absolute number for setting your engine. It is only a guide, and can help alert you to potential problems. The only sure way to make sure your engine is running correctly is to see how it's running. An engine can be operating at "correct" temperatures, but not running well, or seem to be running "hot" or "cold" yet is performing flawlessly.

Finally, use any temperatures you read about, or people tell you, as rough information. The only useful numbers are the ones you actually measure when your engine is running correctly. If your engine is running correctly, then what you measure is correct, even if some else says it's too high or too low. Don't worry about the differences. Each engine is in a unique installation with a unique set of circumstances, so there can be wide variances in engine temperature.

What does # of turns mean?

The # of turns on an electric motor stands for how many times the wire has been wrapped around the armature. The lower the turns, the higher the RPM the engine will produce, but the less torque (like 4th gear in a car). The higher the turns the more torque but the less top end speed (like first gear in a car). In general, lower wind motors are more expensive and are considered high performance "race" motors.

Part way through my run my Torq engine can't seem to draw enough fuel. I see bubbles in the fuel line and the engine coughs, sputters, or quits. What's wrong?

Several things can cause a loss of fuel pressure during the run (also seen as bubbles in the fuel lines).

  1. The most common cause is overheating. The engine is getting so hot it is vaporizing fuel in the fuel line at the side of the engine. Please try running your engine a few clicks richer to see if this resolves the problem. Note that if your engine will not immediately restart after refueling then the problem is almost definitely overheating.

  2. Bad fuel line. If a line in your tank is cracked or slightly split, it will exhibit this kind of behavior. Try replacing all fuel line in your vehicle.

  3. Bad tank. Again, a leaky seam in a tank will exhibit this kind of behavior.

  4. Insufficient exhaust pressure. If you have changed the exhaust on your engine, a section of the muffler has been lost, or the line to the muffler is insecurely attached, then you will encounter problems with fuel flow.

I used to own product X. I can't find it on your web site now. Do you still make it? If not, will you produce it again?

If the product you are seeking is anything other than an accessory or repair parts for another item, then unless a product is brand new, if it is not listed on our web site then the product is no longer produced. Unfortunately, we cannot answer whether or not a product will be reproduced in the future.

How can I replace my manual?

Please visit our manuals page where you may select and download the manual(s) you need.

Why does my recoil sometimes slip and not start my engine?

There are 2 reasons why the one-way bearing is not catching when the recoil is being pulled:

1. The one-way bearing is worn out and needs to be replaced.
    or
2. The one-way bearing has dirt and fuel in it and needs to be cleaned out. To do this, use some Engine Clearner or WD-40 (purchased from an Automotive Store or Hardware store of your choice). Clean bearing and let dry then lubricate (may use 4 in 1 oil or any weight shock oil).

How do I solder heavy gauge wire?

Soldering heavy gauge wire is one of those things that is an acquired skill. Like many things, once you learn it, it becomes relatively easy.

Silver solder will produce a MUCH stronger joint. It comes with a liquid flux. It is more sensitive to the correct temperature and it is also more expensive.

Start by making sure the wires are very clean. We recommend sanding them where they are to be soldered with 150 grit sandpaper. Then clean them with alcohol (isopropyl, rubbing alcohol). After they dry, tack glue the wires together, using as little CA as possible.

Next, coat the wires with a paste type of flux in the areas to be soldered and then wrap them with the wrapping wire. Coat this assembly with some more paste flux.

A 100 watt soldering iron will not get the assembly hot enough. A small propane torch will work well. If you have a larger household type of torch, don't turn it on full force. A flame about one inch long should work well. Heat the joint with the inner blue cone of the flame. The flux will bubble and start to burn off. When you think the joint is hot enough, remove the flame and apply the solder. Most types of solder will work. We usually use rosin core as that is what we usually have out.

If the joint is hot enough the solder will flow into the joint. If it doesn't flow, the joint is not hot enough. If the joint gets too hot, the flux will completely burn off and you will have to start all over again. If you do not remove the flame the solder will melt before it touches the wire, making it very difficult to get it to flow into the joint.

Done correctly, the joint will cool slightly as the solder flows in. When this happens the solder will stop flowing. Remove the solder and reheat the joint a little. Remove the heat and flow some more solder in. You might need to do this two or three times.

When you have enough solder in the joint, lightly wipe it with a wet rag to remove any excess solder.

Can you give me radio/car/driving/setup tips to run my X car under XX conditions?

Unfortunately, no. We do not have this type of information available as it will vary drastically based upon the model and condition of your car, your track conditions, driving style, fuels used, etc.

Why do I keep breaking parts in cold weather?

Cold temperatures cause all plastic and nylon parts to become more brittle and break easier. If you plan on running your vehicle in cold weather (below 45 degrees F), you may experience parts breaking easier than under normal operating conditions. If you must run in cold temperatures below 45 degrees F, one option to help limit breakage and increase the toughness of nylon parts (chassis, suspension arms, bulkheads, etc.) is by disassembling the vehicle and boiling only the nylon parts for 2 hours. This will cause the nylon parts to be more flexible than usual. Wait for the nylon parts to cool completely before reassembling. This will not solve all problems in cold weather running. If you have additional concerns please e-mail us on this web site.

Can I convert my Nitro Quake into an Axis?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

Can I convert my Maximum BX into an ST?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

Can I convert my Maximum ST into a BX?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

Note: There are two sets of positions in the lower suspension arm for the outer hinge pin. The BX uses the inner set of holes and ST uses the outer set of holes. You will have to move the hubs, hub carriers, and the outer hinge pins to the inner holes.

Can I convert my Maximum ST into an MT?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

Can I convert my Maximum ST into an ST Pro?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

Can I convert my Maximum MT into an MT Pro?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

Can I convert my Nitro Demon into an Axis?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

Can I convert my Nitro Demon into a Nitro Quake?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

Can I convert my Axis into a Nitro Quake?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

Can I convert my Nitro Quake into a Thunder Quake?

Yes. Please contact your favorite hobby shop to purchase the following items which you will need for the conversion:

The screw set numbers will contain extra screws of some types, and some sizes that are not used, but all must be ordered to get the minimum amount needed for others.

My new NiMH batteries don't seem to be charging to their full capacity. What's wrong?

When charging NiMH battery packs, assuming you are using a proper charger it can take several charge and discharge cycles before the battery packs will hold their full rated charge. You should find that the capacity of the NiMH battery packs will increase their capacity as they are run through several cycles.

If, after several charge/discharge cycles, the packs still don't form up and hold their full capacity, you may have bad packs, and they should be sent to us for checkout/replacement.

My nitro car runs fine but will not move. What's wrong?

If the engine will run correctly, but the car won't move, the most likely problem is that something has come loose in the drivetrain.

Start at the rear wheels and make sure the nuts that hold them onto the axles are tight. If they are loose, the axle will turn inside the wheels. Now move inward along the driveshafts to the differential case. If there are universal joints at the differential case, they are retained with small setscrews. They hold the drive joint onto the small stub shafts that come out of the case. If they have come loose a bit, the stub shaft will rotate, but the drive joint won't. Align the drive joint so that the setscrew will tighten onto the flat portion of the shaft. This may require some disassembly of the suspension to get access.

Finally, check the main gear, and make sure that it's tight on its shaft. If a slipper clutch is a bit loose, the main gear will turn, but power won't be transferred to the gearbox. You can easily see this when the engine's running. The gear will turn, but the shaft won't.

These ideas should help you to locate the problem. With gas-powered model cars, the engine's vibration will tend to loosen every nut, bolt, and screw in the model. As a result, there's about 1/2-1 hour's worth of maintenance required for every afternoon's running session. We hope these ideas help you locate the problem. If not, you can send us the model to see how we can help you.

Are your batteries charged or discharged when new?

All rechargable batteries are shipped in a discharged state for safety. Please charge your batteries fully and properly per the instructions prior to attempting to operate your model.

How does a mechanical speed control work? What advantage do I gain with an electronic one?

A mechanical speed control works via resistors. The speed control functions by resisting the current sent to the motor at three levels. Driving slow on the first speed causes the resistor to absorb a lot of current. The resistor will heat up as it discharges this energy. If you spend most of your driving at slow speeds, you run the risk of burning out your resistor.

An electric speed control (ESC) works under a different principle. There are no resistors. You also have the benefit of fully porportional speed. Since ESCs do not waste current through releasing heat from a resistor, you will get extended running time from your batteries.

Note that you will need to be sure the electronic speed control can handle the motor you intend to use. If the motor you use has less winds than the specifications of your speed control, you may damage the speed control, the motor, and potentially your car.

How do I change the spur gear?

The spur gear should not be glued on in any way. Remove the nut, 2 washers, spring, black plastic cap, shaft pin, slipper plate and slipper pad. You should now be able to slide the damaged gear off.

Can I put a pilot-shaft engine into the Axis?

No, the clutch will not fit a pilot-shaft engine.

Can I put a different body on my (1/8th scale, 1/10th scale, etc) car?

Absolutely. The general rule of thumb is "most 1/10 scale bodies will work on most 1/10 scale cars". The body might not fit exactly with the wheel wells and may need some additional trimming and possibly hole cutting for body mounting. You can simply find a body in the same scale as your vehicle and adjust it to fit your car.

How does motor choice affect my model's performance?

In electric motors, an increase in winds of armature wire (or how many wires are used - single, double, triple...) means an increase in top end speed. A decrease in winds means an increase in torque, or acceleration.

You can also change performance by changing gearing:
Pinion gears: More teeth = less torque, and less teeth= more torque.
Spur gears: More teeth= more torque, and less teeth = less torque but more speed.

Can IntelliPeak chargers be used to charge discharge AA NiCds?

The IntelliPeak series chargers with the discharge feature should not be used to discharge battery packs that are smaller that Sub-C's.

Can any of the Intellipeak chargers be used for charging and discharging Park Flier batteries?

Smaller than Sub-C, Park Flyer battery packs are not compatible with the IntelliPeak chargers (excluding the IntelliPeak ICE charger).

How long can I store unopened fuel? how about opened fuel?
  1. Unopened fuel which is stored out of direct sunlight is literally good for years. We have opened 10-year old containers and had the fuel be fully potent and usable. However, in general it is a good idea to use the fuel off your shelves annually, especially if exposed to sunlight.

  2. Once fuel has been opened, it has been exposed to air which includes moisture. Both water and sunlight are your fuel's enemy, so the more frequently or the longer it is exposed the more rapidly it will deteriorate. In general we recommend customers use all open containers of fuel in a single modeling season then properly discard any remaining fuel.
How do I break in an electric motor?

Ideally you'd like to run the motor at about 1/3-1/2 it's rated voltage with no load (without prop) for an hour or two—long enough to wear the brushes down without arcing.

R/C car modelers have special transformers for optimum break-in on high performance motors. If what you're working with is a typical 05 can motor, you can make your own system that works fairly well. Start with 2 alkaline D cell batteries and some spare 12 gauge wire. Simply hook the batteries up in series so you have a 3 volt power source and hook the wires to the appropriate terminals on the motor. Let the motor run until the batteries are dead.

My switch stopped working, and when I checked it, I found the black wire all corroded. The copper part looked dark and was brittle. What happened?

This is a case of what's been called "Black Wire Corrosion". Over time, the negative lead from the battery pack, through the switch harness, to the receiver will corrode until the copper wire becomes dark, almost black, and brittle. It no longer has the bright "coppery" look, and is no longer flexible.

The cause is storage of the system in a damp environment with the battery installed. The effect of the wire being connected to the battery pack, and the environmental moisture, will cause an electrical effect to promote corrosion of the wire. The corrosion usually starts at the battery pack and works its way towards the switch harness.

A "damp" environment does not necessarily mean that it's particularly humid. Storage in a garage or shed provides enough humidity to allow the corrosion to happen. The wet that gets brought into a garage from your car is enough. It will happen faster if the battery pack is not maintained and allowed to go flat. Keep the battery charged and cycle it regularly to prevent or slow down the corrosion.

The net result of black wire corrosion is to make the battery lead act like a resistor, which will prevent proper current flow from the battery pack to the receiver and servos. In some cases, the resistance can be high enough that during aerobatics, with all servos moving, the voltage at the receiver can drop enough to cause the receiver to quit. The model crashes as a result.

What can make this baffling is the fact that the R/C system may operate normally when tested. That's because the tests don't involve high loads upon the servos, so the voltage drop caused by the resistance of the corroded wire isn't enough to cause the receiver to quit.

Transmitter batteries can also be affected, but usually not as much because transmitters are usually stored in a friendlier environment. They still need to be checked periodically, though. When the corrosion gets bad enough, the transmitter will just not turn on. It's not likely that the transmitter will fail during a flight.

The effects on the corrosion would also be seen on the transmitter's power meter as low output. The battery pack gets blamed, gets replaced, and the problem goes away. That's because a new battery pack comes with new wires. Corrosion may never even be suspected or found in these cases.

There is no cure once black wire corrosion starts. You can only replace the wires. Prevention requires that your equipment be stored in a clean, dry environment, and maintain your batteries. Store them fully-charged and cycle them regularly. If you can't do that, then at least remove the batteries from your models, and store them, along with your transmitters, inside, where the temperature and humidity are fairly stable, compared to a garage or shed.

My car tends to strip gears in the gearbox.

When your model strips gears in the gearbox, it's usually a result of how the car's being driven. This is especially true if the smaller idle or counter gear tends to strip.

Usually, gears last quite a long time in normal use. What will cause a gear to strip or wear out quickly is usually dirt or abuse.

Dirt, of course, is an abrasive, which will very quickly cause your gears to wear out. Once the gears get worn a certain amount, they'll slip, and this will quickly cause stripping, as some gear teeth will be worn more than others, will skip, and the next tooth will clash when it tries to mesh. It will break or deform. Once you have a single broken or deformed gear tooth, it will tend to damage more gears.

Abuse, of course, will cause the gears to get damaged. Abuse does not necessarily mean that you have run the car into something, or have run it in what you consider an improper manner. Abuse just means the gear's been overstressed. It's more common than you think.

When you run the car off a jump, if you don't come off the throttle, the motor will tend to speed up because the wheels have become unloaded. When the car lands, the wheels will suddenly go from a high speed to a lower speed. This puts a tremendous strain on the gears. If you come completely off of the throttle, the same thing happens when the wheels hit and they suddenly speed up to the speed of the car.

The secret is to come off the throttle a little bit. This will keep the wheels from going too fast or too slow. When the car lands, the wheel speed will be closer to the right speed and the gears will be strained a lot less than if the wheels are moving really fast or really slow.

Finally, if the car's been in one too many wrecks, it's possible that the gearcase has become deformed. This can't be cured by any other means than replacement. A tranny rebuild is necessary.

I did not find the answer to my question here. How do I get further assistance?

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