We hear and read many things about nitro RC fuel. This is hard to tell what is right or what is wrong. To clear things, we have asked Byron Fuels to answer these questions about RC nitro fuel.
MyRCBox.com: Is there any danger to change nitro and oil percentage after the initial break in?
Byron Fuels: There is no “danger” but the engine may take a while adjusting to the different blend. Generally heat is associated with break in and changing oil and nitromethane percentages can produce a different heat range. There are generally nitro percentages recommended for specific engines by their manufacturers. It is advised not to exceed those recommendations. If you exceed the nitro percentage for which the engine was designed, you may have to shim the head to reduce compression and then you have given up a lot of gain with the higher nitro. Some engines may require slightly higher lubrications than others so you may want to stick within those recommendations. If you go below certain oil percentages, make sure the engine is broken in on those lower oil contents and you should be okay.
MyRCBox.com: Should we use RC nitro fuel to clean air filter?
Byron Fuels: Nitro fuel or straight methanol is a good cleaner.
MyRCBox.com: What are the best storage conditions for fuel?
Byron Fuels: If sealed and not subject to outside air, storage conditions may not be critical. It does not hurt to keep the fuel out of the sun and in dry conditions but a good bottle and good seal should protect in a variety of conditions. When we export product, we have no problems and some of that goes through a wide range of temps and atmospheric conditions. The key is a good material for the bottle and a good seal beneath the cap.
MyRCBox.com: How long can we store fuel? What happens after this period?
Byron Fuels: Again, capped tightly, fuel should last indefinitely. If it comes in contact with moisture laden air, it will absorb the moisture and if uncapped, the methanol and nitromethane will eventually evaporate, leaving oil only. But many of the myths associated with model fuel come from experiences with fossil fuels such as petroleum. We all know what happens when gasoline is left in a fuel tank unattended. Methanol based fuel is not subject to the same problems.
MyRCBox.com: Can we use helicopter or planes fuel in a RC vehicle?
Byron Fuels: Different fuels are designed for different operating temperatures, fuel delivery systems, and loads they are subject to. But model engines do not really care if they are in cars or airplanes. The different fuel formulas will simply produce the optimum desired results when used in the proper vehicle.
MyRCBox.com: Should we use different fuel for racing or for bashing?
Byron Fuels: This all depends upon what end results you want. I always like to explain this to modelers as if we are dealing with real full sized engines. The harder you work an engine, the sooner it is going to break. That is one of the laws of physics. Now, if you are racing, you want speed and power and you have to accept a certain level of parts wear and replacement. If everyone you compete with runs a high oil and lower nitromethane, then you all win in the end. But if some of your friends are running competition fuels and you want to run with them then you have a decision to make. If you do not compete and you want the engine to last a lifetime, run a higher oil content fuel and don’t worry about speed. The nice thing about modelers today is they have access to quality fuels with state of the art lubrication packages. Many of these will allow the engine to run hard and still be properly lubricated.
MyRCBox.com: What is the advantage and disadvantage of using fuel with higher nitro content?
Byron Fuels: Nitromethane is like the perfect fuel. It brings its own oxygen supply into the combustion process. If you run a fuel with a lower nitro content than your engine may like, you may find it starts harder and does not run as smoothly. But of course there is a point of diminishing returns as mentioned before when you start shimming to reduce compression caused by higher nitro. The engine manufacturer generally knows what is best.
MyRCBox.com: What are the differences between castor and synthetic oil?
Byron Fuels: Castor is a perfect heat carrier and prevents lean runs but it can be a bit dirtier than synthetic. Synthetic may not offer the same lean run protection but it is clean. There have been many improvements in both. Byron Castor has degumming agents which give you the protection of castor and the cleanliness of synthetic. Our synthetic is engineered with higher flash points and higher load carrying capacities so we have the best of both worlds.
MyRCBox.com: Different brands of model engine fuel can vary quite a bit in price. Where are the differences and what are the benefits?
Byron Fuels: Many modelers assume the performance punch the fuel delivers is based upon the quantity of nitromethane and the quantity of lubrication and do not appreciate the benefits of a well engineered fuel. In the case of Byron Fuels, our lubrication packages are specifically designed and tested for the specific application. The proper lubrication package can be just as important in the performance numbers as the combustibles. In the case of our RACE Gen2 Fuels, we incorporate a blend of 3 oils. One is a degummed and fortified castor, one is a medium viscosity synthetic and the third is a low viscosity synthetic. The way these fuels move around the engine, do their lubricating without inhibiting the potential performance of the engine is just as important in the long run as the amount of nitromethane. And custom designed lubricants are more costly than even nitromethane. The first difference in the Byron package can be seen in the ease of tuning. It takes more experience to appreciate the unequalled lubricating qualities of Byron Fuels. But our best customer is one who has experienced Byron Fuels before and appreciates the performance, protection and unique consistency from bottle to bottle.
For more information, visit www.byronfuels.com