RC Fuels Nitromethane, Castor Oil, Synthetic, heli fuel, 4 stroke, etc...Fuel Q&A is here!

Making Nitro Fuel at Home?

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Old 09-09-2017, 05:54 AM
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BrickitSAM
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Default Making Nitro Fuel at Home?

I have read a few threads about making your own fuel for you Nitro RC car:
1. What's right amount of castor oil to use in the fuel, 12%?
2. Can you use synthetic oils? I have seen people saying they have but which brand-which type
3. Does it really require Nitro, people say they don't use nitro and just methane and it works fine for them or is that just for Planes-Heli's
4. Where do you find the stuff to make the fuel? your local auto store or a chemical plant
5. Finally, is it worth it, I have a TRX 3.3 and CN-16 engines and I want to save some money of fuel
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrickitSAM View Post
I have read a few threads about making your own fuel for you Nitro RC car:
1. What's right amount of castor oil to use in the fuel, 12%?
I use 10-12% total oil content in car fuel; I use a 60%/40% blend of castor/synthetic respectively.
2. Can you use synthetic oils? I have seen people saying they have but which brand-which type
Yes you can - and probably should use at least some synthetic oil. It keeps the varnish buildup under control. I use Klotz Techniplate because it's cheap enough and available locally. I believe it's PN is KL-200.
3. Does it really require Nitro, people say they don't use nitro and just methane and it works fine for them or is that just for Planes-Heli's
Nitromethane is not required, but makes the engine much more responsive and easier to tune. Methane is a gas (unless compressed) and as such cannot be used in a liquid fuel. Pure Nitromethane can be obtained from Torco through eBay or Amazon for around $50/gal. This is how I buy it.
4. Where do you find the stuff to make the fuel? your local auto store or a chemical plant
I buy methanol from a local oil company that sells racing fuels. It costs around $3/gal depending on the time of year. I get Klotz synthetic oil from a local go-kart shop for about $12/quart. Castor I've gotten from SPLUBE.com for $25/gal, and more recently $17/gal at BulkApothecary.com. Nitromethane as mentioned above - $50/gal from Torco through eBay or Amazon. High cost for the bulk of the materials, but my per gallon cost for car fuel is $15-20/gal versus $38/gal from the Hobby shop.
5. Finally, is it worth it, I have a TRX 3.3 and CN-16 engines and I want to save some money of fuel
For me, it's beyond worth it to mix my own fuel. I save huge $$$. I spend less than $100 annually on fuel which is roughly 5-8 gallons of fuel. Figure the cost of 5 gallons of fuel at $38/gal plus tax for Hobby shop fuel! If your Hobby shop fuel is significantly cheaper than my shops, then it may not be worth it to blend your own.

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Old 09-09-2017, 01:37 PM
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Ok thank you, I might try to buy it but since I don't have much money to spend so I might stick to Trx Top fuel, but the main thing is buying the nitromethane which I bet costs a lot for hazmat fees if I was to ship it
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrickitSAM View Post
Ok thank you, I might try to buy it but since I don't have much money to spend so I might stick to Trx Top fuel, but the main thing is buying the nitromethane which I bet costs a lot for hazmat fees if I was to ship it
I will tell you this - anything is better than Traxxas fuel. It's junk! It's got way too much oil in it - 16% oil last time I checked. Very poor performing fuel. The first time you run your homebrew fuel, you will be amazed by how much easier your engines are to tune on it than many commercial fuels available are.

If you get nitro from amazon or eBay from Torco, shipping is free. No hazmat crap attached to it. Methanol will carry hazmat fees if shipped. That I would find locally.

I forgot to add - I made a spreadsheet that breaks down the volumes, weights, costs, etc. of your fuel and it's components. It tells you how much of each component to add, what it weighs (I use a scale to mix/measure fuel components), and how much everything costs. Broken down into quarts or gallons. I have found this helpful to keep track of what fuel mixes I've done, what they cost, and so forth. It's kind of a work in progress though - still tweaking it as I go. My last batch of 20%/11% car fuel cost me $18.70/gal. That's about 51% cheaper than my Hobby shop.

Last edited by 1QwkSport2.5r; 09-09-2017 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1QwkSport2.5r View Post
I will tell you this - anything is better than Traxxas fuel. It's junk! It's got way too much oil in it - 16% oil last time I checked. Very poor performing fuel. The first time you run your homebrew fuel, you will be amazed by how much easier your engines are to tune on it than many commercial fuels available are.

If you get nitro from amazon or eBay from Torco, shipping is free. No hazmat crap attached to it. Methanol will carry hazmat fees if shipped. That I would find locally.

I forgot to add - I made a spreadsheet that breaks down the volumes, weights, costs, etc. of your fuel and it's components. It tells you how much of each component to add, what it weighs (I use a scale to mix/measure fuel components), and how much everything costs. Broken down into quarts or gallons. I have found this helpful to keep track of what fuel mixes I've done, what they cost, and so forth. It's kind of a work in progress though - still tweaking it as I go. My last batch of 20%/11% car fuel cost me $18.70/gal. That's about 51% cheaper than my Hobby shop.
Ok thanks! where is this spreadsheet? I might save up my money for a couple weeks and find things to do to be able to afford to make some homebrew, will also help my friend who is getting into the hobby
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:44 PM
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I'll see if I can protect it'll the spreadsheet and post it up somewhere. I made it in OpenOffice, but can export to Excel also.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:08 PM
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Another source for nitro and methanol not mentioned is automotive speed shops. That's where I get it.

Under certain circumstances, nitro can become shock sensitive, like the nitroglycerin you might have seen in the movies. To avoid this (somewhat remote) possibility, always add the nitro to your other ingredients; don't measure out the nitro first and add the other ingredients to the nitro.

Even just 5% nitro in your fuel can noticeably aid idle, transition, and tuning.

Edit/add: Take your own metal cans to the speed shops; they carry the nitromethane and methanol in bulk.

AV8TOR

Last edited by av8tor1977; 10-12-2017 at 06:15 PM.
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