Words and photos: Sylvain Lafrance
Since many years, Team Associated imports LRP’s products in North America. Every racers and bashers know (or should know) LRP’s chargers, motors, ESCs and batteries. With the nitro popularity, LRP and Team Associated decided to offer us few hot nitro engines. The engine I choose for my Thunder ST-1 is the LRP Z.28R Spec 3 Truggy engine.
This .28 engine have a good reputation on the web from racers and bashers and after seeing LRP’s adds in many magazines for a year now… I decided to buy one.
Installation and testing
As soon as I opened the box, I noticed that LRP included 3 different carb inserts with the engine, good documentation (in many different language), 2 stickers sheets and a 2007 catalog. Special note to the exhaust, carb and fuel inlet that are protected with rubber caps.
After reading the break in instructions and began to install the new engine in my truggy. I installed a complete new clutch kit, flywheel and engine mounts for this engine. So I can leave all the used hardware on my older engine for a quick change at the track if I have to swap engines.
With the new engine ready, I installed the ST-1 on my starter box, filled the tank, spinned the engine few seconds to prime the carb and as soon as I connected the glow starter the engine fired up. As always, I broke the engine in by following my break in technique which is very similar to the LRP’s break in technique. I had to lean a full turn the high speed needle and about 1/2 a turn the low speed needle to let the engine reach 190F-200F during break in. After the third tank I started to lean the engine at each tank and I let the engine cool down for 15 minutes between each tank with the piston at the bottom of the sleeve. The engine never stalled during the break in and was running rich enough.
Even if LRP recommends 4 tanks to fully break the engine in, I waited tank #7 before fine tuning the engine for optimal performance. I had absolutely no difficulty to adjust the carb’s needles. This engine is really easy to tune and holds his settings perfectly. The operating temp is between 230F and 250F and the engine produces a light blue smoke.
Now the engine was fully broken in and the carb’s needles adjusted for best performance, I did few I speed passes in front of my house just to see if the 38500 RPM advertised were true. And yes they are true. my ST-1 literally flies !!! I don’t have any speed device to measure how fast my ST-1 was going but I can say that it was going at least 7-8 MPH faster than before with the stock engine. The accelerations are awesome, my ST-1 pops wheelies on concrete and on grass.
I tested my “reborn” ST-1 on my track. The LRP Z.28R Spec 3 Truggy engine has no difficulties to make my ST-1 fly over jumps even those located right after tight 180 degrees turns. I had to take few laps to get familiar with all this extra power. I still use the included glow plug since tank #1. I didn’t have to change it after the break in. The engine is easy to start even when hot, never stalled and seems to idle forever. The fuel mileage seems to be good too. I didn’t calculate the runtime but I’m sure it’s equal or even superior to my ST-1′s stock .28 engine. LRP included two other carb inserts to fine tune performance and fuel economy.
ABC piston and sleeve
3 carb inserts included
Part number #LRP32809
Direct fit for truggies and 1/8 buggies
I’m more than satisfied with the LRP Z.28R Spec 3 Truggy engine. I’m impressed by how much power this engine delivers and by the power curve of this engine. There is no flat spot or on/off feeling trough the entire RPM range.
The street price is in the 170$US and at this price this engine offers the best bang for the bucks and it is supported by Team Associated which means a top quality service and parts available in almost every hobby shop. If you are looking for a great and affordable engine, don’t miss the LRP Z.28R Spec 3 Truggy engine. LRP also offers a similar pullstart version for monster trucks.
This engine likes to rev high and with his 8 intake ports produces enough power to let many expensive Italian race engines far behind you.
Click here for more LRP engines…. You can be sure, I’ll try to put my hands on a LRP .12 engine for my RC10GT2…
For more information, visit www.teamassociated.