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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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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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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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.

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Old 09-10-2017, 01:02 PM
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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.

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Old 10-27-2017, 11:07 AM
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Just found out Tractor supply sells methanol but they call is Methyl Hydrate Methyl Hydrate, 3.78 L, seems to be the same stuff, would that work, I'm going to get the Torco %100 Nitro, probably going to get the oil locally and castor oil at Walmart if I can find it.
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Old 10-27-2017, 06:27 PM
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If the methyl hydrate is more than $4 per gallon, find a different source. It should only be $3-4/gal.

Last edited by 1QwkSport2.5r; 10-27-2017 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:48 AM
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Just ordered the Torco Nitro, what's the best castor oil? I looked at this thread and it seems like there are mixed opinions but Bulk Apothecary seemed to be the highest reommended. I'm guessing the Klotz BeNOL is the right synthetic oil for nitro car engines?
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Old 10-30-2017, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BrickitSAM View Post
Just ordered the Torco Nitro, what's the best castor oil? I looked at this thread and it seems like there are mixed opinions but Bulk Apothecary seemed to be the highest reommended. I'm guessing the Klotz BeNOL is the right synthetic oil for nitro car engines?
BeNOL is castor oil, the different Techniplate is synthetic oil (if you choose to use Klotz).
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Old 10-30-2017, 04:58 PM
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Use virgin castor - bulk apothecary castor works great. Torco nitro is the good stuff. For synthetic oil - Klotz Techniplate is full synthetic, Klotz SuperTechniplate is 80/20 synthetic/benol blend.

There re has been talk that Redline makes a synthetic ester oil for blending in methanol that has a really high flashpoint, but this has not been verified. The gasser guys swear by redline oil, so it's supposed to be good.
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 1QwkSport2.5r View Post
Use virgin castor - bulk apothecary castor works great. Torco nitro is the good stuff. For synthetic oil - Klotz Techniplate is full synthetic, Klotz SuperTechniplate is 80/20 synthetic/benol blend.

There re has been talk that Redline makes a synthetic ester oil for blending in methanol that has a really high flashpoint, but this has not been verified. The gasser guys swear by redline oil, so it's supposed to be good.
Not to sure about the Flash point though...
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Old 10-31-2017, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Nitrovein View Post
Not to sure about the Flash point though...
I know. I posted a link to the same SDS on RCTech. It likely is a better alternative to Klotz though because of the ester base. Klotz Techniplate has a low-end flashpoint of 370F.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 1QwkSport2.5r View Post
I know. I posted a link to the same SDS on RCTech. It likely is a better alternative to Klotz though because of the ester base. Klotz Techniplate has a low-end flashpoint of 370F.
Attachment 2243122
Just went to RCtech and noticed that, I had the SDS, but was curious to the statement made.
It's a great oil, they have their act together at Redline, they make the best product they can and hope for profit, not the other way around like most others do.
But using standard mixing ratios with that oil and it won't work right, so it takes some time to figure it out.
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Old 10-31-2017, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Nitrovein View Post
Just went to RCtech and noticed that, I had the SDS, but was curious to the statement made.
It's a great oil, they have their act together at Redline, they make the best product they can and hope for profit, not the other way around like most others do.
But using standard mixing ratios with that oil and it won't work right, so it takes some time to figure it out.
Standard ratios with Redline doesn't work?
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by 1QwkSport2.5r View Post
Standard ratios with Redline doesn't work?
Everything gets a bit complicated as the engines are designed for regular fuel blends. There have been fuel mfg that has been down this road and given up.
But in the end it's worth it, no doubt!
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Nitrovein View Post
Everything gets a bit complicated as the engines are designed for regular fuel blends. There have been fuel mfg that has been down this road and given up.
But in the end it's worth it, no doubt!
I get that the engines are designed for a given fuel, but I don't entirely follow how using this oil would make it a "non-normal" fuel.. is it just a matter of using less oil because it's a better oil?
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by 1QwkSport2.5r View Post
I get that the engines are designed for a given fuel, but I don't entirely follow how using this oil would make it a "non-normal" fuel.. is it just a matter of using less oil because it's a better oil?
Well, yes, it is a better oil and you don't need the amount of oil that was for 50's engines with their metallurgy and tolerances (even with other oils).
But it also has a very low viscosity, so that can be a 'problem', at least in car engines. It also tunes differently, and I think that's one reason why people have had problems with this type of oils.
But it's all worth it in the end!
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Old 10-31-2017, 07:00 AM
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If you were to use this oil in a fuel for car/truck engines, what ratio would you use and would you use castor as well? I'd expect some castor, but probably not much based on our previous conversations.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:44 AM
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It's a complicated question, it depends on what you're looking for, different total percentages will want different ratios, as will different engines and use of engine.
Just trying to give you a hint here, you will have to try and see for yourself what you like with you engines and how you run them.
I do use castor oil, it is what I use to balance the mix.
Oh, while I remember it, don't use it during break in (well that goes for most synthetics actually).
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Old 11-02-2017, 02:52 PM
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Sorry for the late response, what I've gathered is use the Bulk Apothecary stuff and Klotz TechniPlate.
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:51 AM
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and for FAI fuel?
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Old 01-08-2018, 08:28 AM
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FAI fuel if used for competition FAI events for airplanes is 80% methanol and 20% castor oil. It varnishes up engines after a while, especially with lean runs. Just for regular flying, you can use the Techniplate and it will run cleaner. There is a small amount of castor mixed in with it at the factory. Nitro is not really needed, but helps with smoother running, better idle. If cost is a major factor, then castor is the cheapest. You just need to clean the motor every few hours with scotchbrite and acetone. If running cars, you will do things differently. Less oil.
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Old 01-08-2018, 09:25 AM
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Klotz techniplate is full synthetic, Super Techniplate is a blend of 80% techniplate and 20% benol. Benol is a modified castor that Klotz sells that mixes with glow fuel and gasoline.
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