Reedy is well known for their high performance batteries, motors and ESCs. The Reedy 121VR nitro engine is the first nitro engine ever made by Reedy. The Reedy 121VR is on the market for many months and raced by many Team Associated factory drivers and by many racers of different levels. I was eager to test this 3-port engine.
The .21 engine segment is extremely competitive. Buggy and truggy racers want high performance engines able to put them on the highest step on the podium. Today’s .21 nitro engines must be fuel efficient, able to give near 10 minutes of runtime, they must be well priced and must have the most linear power band. Does the Reedy 121VR engine have what it takes to play against the best nitro engines on the market? Keep on reading….
Once my Reedy 121VR engine was installed into my new Team Associated RC8T Championship Edition, I headed outside for the initial break in. I then filled the fuel tank with 30% nitro fuel and warmed the engine with my heat gun. This helps tight nitro engines to start easily because heat expands internal parts and this reduces the stress on the connecting rod. The Reedy 121VR is very tight, I recommend the use of a heat gun before starting the engine until it reaches the half gallon mark.
To prime the engine, I have blocked the tuned pipe with my finger and push on the truck to activate the starter box. When the fuel has reached the carburetor, I connected the glow starter and two or three seconds later, the engine fired up. I had to richen the high and low speed needles about 2 hours each. This can be different depending on the weather and climate of where you live. I have let the engine idle on the starter box for the entire first tank and watched the temperature once and a while to make sure the engine temperature was between 180F and 190F.
Something rare, the engine has idled the full tank without the need of small throttle blips. The temperature was steady at 184F with a good amount of oil pouring out of the tuned pipe. I have stopped the engine before the tank got empty to prevent the engine from running lean. I set the piston at the BDC (Bottom dead center) and let the engine fully cool down.
For the next three fuel tanks, I’ve continued to warm the engine up with my heat gun before each starts. For the second tank, I’ve let the engine idle on the starter box for about ¼ of the fuel tank. I then put the truck on its wheels and I have started to run the truck around with small throttle blips, about ¼ max. A lot of smoke and unburnt oil were coming out the tuned pipe as the engine was running rich. The engine didn’t stall and has idled perfectly and has never missed a beat. After each tank, I’ve let the engine completely cool down with the piston at BDC.
For the last fuel tanks of my breakin, I’ve lightly leaned the engine at every tank by about 1 hour until the engine performs well but still a bit on the rich side. At every tank, I gave more and more throttle to the engine without doing crazy fast with speed runs, just few blips and moderated accelerations. The engine potential was already noticeable during these tanks. At tank #8, I was near a perfect tuning for the weather condition of that day. The engine was running strong with good accelerations from stand still. The top speed was OK with a nice blue smoke coming out of the tuned pipe. The running temperature was in the 220-230F range. At this step, I felt comfortable with the performance of the Reedy 121VR engine. I knew it was still running rich and I have to wait few more fuel tanks to “race” tune the engine.
When my Reedy 121VR engine reached the 10 fuel tanks mark, I’ve installed a new glow plug and “race” tuned the engine. In my Team Associated RC8T Championship Edition truggy, my Reedy 121VR engine and Team Associated 2039 tuned pipe combo produced a good amount of torque but also more RPMs than I was expecting. The 2039 tuned pipe smooths the power band and gives more RPMs to the engine. This is an excellent engine/tuned pipe combo. From a standstill, the engine makes all four wheels spin with ease and quickly pushes my truggy to its top speed. Somewhere in the low 40’s mph. Accelerations are strong but controllable. No flat spot or lag in the power band. I can run the engine at any speed and squeeze the trigger and the engine will respond instantly with authority.
I’ve ran the engine on different days, under different climate and weather. The engine has always been easy to start but the most important, the engine was really easy to tune. Only minor tweaks (1-2 hour rich or lean) to the carburetor high speed needle was required to perfectly tune the engine. The engine has always responded well to my needles adjustments. I never tune my engines for a specific temperature but for performance. I have used my temperature gun only to “watch” the temperature and make sure the engine was running in a certain temperature range (200F-270F). Of course, the runtime depends of the weather and utilization but I have got average runtimes between 9.5 and 10.5 minutes on my RC8T with a 2039 Factory tuned pipe and the 8mm carburetor insert. You can use the included 7mm or 9mm inserts if you need more runtime or power.
What I liked:
- Easy to tune
- Smooth power band
- Excellent craftsmanship
- Can idle all day long!
- Well priced
What can be improved:
- Nothing came to my mind.
- 3+1 Port Chrome Plated Cylinder
- High Silicon CNC Machined Piston
- Knife Edged 7075 Aluminum Connecting Rod
- Polished Turbo Scoop Crankshaft with Silicone Insert
- Chrome Plated Back Plate with Turbo Scoop
- Precision Ball Bearings
- Lightweight Machined Aluminum Heatsink Head
- Oversized Finned Turbo Head Button
- Thermo Insulated Screw Mounted 2-Needle Carburetor
- 7.0mm, 8.0mm, and 9.0mm Air Restrictors
The Reedy 121VR engine is a charm to breakin and tune. It holds its tune all day long. The power band is also very predictable and smooth. This engine is a perfect choice for a buggy or a truggy. According to many racers, the Reedy 121VR likes to be run very hot, in the high 280F. However, I’ll wait my next RC8T project articles before confirming it. The Reedy 121VR engine is the kind of engine that newcomers will love for its ease of operating and racers will love for its performances. It is the best of two worlds!
I’ll continue to keep you informed on how my Reedy 121VR performs in my next RC8T project articles. Keep on reading MyRCBox.com by subscribing to our newsletter !
For more information, visit www.teamassociated.com