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  1. #1

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    NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem

    Hello everybody. I just got a brand new Earthquake 3.5 few days ago off eBay. In spite of many negative posts all over internet I decided to go with Red Cat (maybe I shouldn't have). I am complete newbie to Nitro engines and R/C altogether. Anyway, I got my truck out of the box and started to brake-in the engine. Now I've read the manual that comes with it and also watched few videos on the subject, so I started the procedure. Engine started on 4th pull but on 1st tank it wasn't running smoothly. Anyway when it came to the point that I had to fill 2nd tank I needed to go away on urgent business so when I came back it was late at night to continue. Following morning I decided to continue breaking-in procedure but realize that the pull start won't move and engine will not turnover. I mean it feels like it's stuck. Since I am new to all this but good with hands I partially took the engine off and took apart the back plate with pull start.Then I put few drops of after-run oil in the engine to lubricate and after many tries finally turned the crankshaft. When I got it all in one piece again when glow plug in place it's really hard to pull the starter. If I take the plug off after few pulls it seems to be fine. Needless to say that it won't start. First I assumed the there was too much fuel in the engine so I drained excess fuel but it didn't help, even went through few different glow plugs. I don't have a LHS near by so I don't know what to do and who to ask, so I am asking for help here. What should I try next? I am not even sure if it has warranty and anyway I don't want to deal with hassle of shipping and receiving. Could the engine be defective? Sounded little weird on the 1st tank of fuel(little acceleration then deceleration). Do I need to buy a new engine? I would really appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    RE: NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem

    breakin is the biggest PITA ever...I hate doing it.
    Motor is hard to turn over when motor is new.
    That said, your issue does kinda sound like could have it too hot when you ran the first tank.
    Do you have a temp gun, and did you read the temps during the 1st tank?

    you may need to lean out the high speed needle some. It may be flooding the motor on the 1st pull every time you try to start.
    After each tank run, you have to lean out the high speed needle some anyway...thats how you slowly build up the engine temps and "seat" the piston to the cylinder wall.

    the engine is warrentied...but would only cover very obvious damage (crankshaft broken, blown bearing ect)
    Beyond that, they do have a lifetime engine exchange policy. you send in the old, and get a new one below retail cost.

    But generally speaking, if a nitro motor turns over and clearly sucks in fuel then it is a viable engine.



    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  3. #3

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    RE: NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem

    Thanks a lot for the reply. No, I don't have a temp gun. I am on the budget kind of, so all necessary gear I was planning to buy within next few weeks. I tried to adjust HSN and idle but no luck there. I'll try your suggestions and see how it goes but if nothing you suggested works do you think I should contact Red Cat support and try to exchange the engine? This is just my luck... lol... most of the time if I buy/get something new there is always something wrong. I would hope just once things will go smoothly. Since I am a newbie I would like to know from somebody's personal experience, is there a big difference between 1 speed and 2 speed nitro car/truck? I would like to know as much as possible about R/C. I am not planning on racing on the track or something, at least not until I learn how to handle R/C nitro better.

  4. #4
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    RE: NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem


    ORIGINAL: flameash

    Thanks a lot for the reply. No, I don't have a temp gun. I am on the budget kind of, so all necessary gear I was planning to buy within next few weeks. I tried to adjust HSN and idle but no luck there. I'll try your suggestions and see how it goes but if nothing you suggested works do you think I should contact Red Cat support and try to exchange the engine? This is just my luck... lol... most of the time if I buy/get something new there is always something wrong. I would hope just once things will go smoothly. Since I am a newbie I would like to know from somebody's personal experience, is there a big difference between 1 speed and 2 speed nitro car/truck? I would like to know as much as possible about R/C. I am not planning on racing on the track or something, at least not until I learn how to handle R/C nitro better.
    speaking in general terms, 1 speed is more durable and thus better for bashing while 2 speed allows for faster accelleration without sacraficing top speed.

    things to try
    test your glow plug. put it in the warmer and if you see the coil glow red then it should be good to use.

    see if fuel comes out the muffler. generally this means running rich, but it will also mean in your case that the motor has suction and is pulling fuel trhw it.
    And if its pulling fuel and not starting, then its more likely a bad needle setting/glow plug or something along those lines.

    I assume when you try to start the motor that you have the radio/truck turned on and the throttle setting at idle? (only ask cuase i have tried to start one with radio off and throttle was at 50% and it would not start that way)

    also, what fuel are you using? brand and nitro content?
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  5. #5

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    RE: NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem


    ORIGINAL: flameash

    Thanks a lot for the reply. No, I don't have a temp gun. I am on the budget kind of, so all necessary gear I was planning to buy within next few weeks. I tried to adjust HSN and idle but no luck there. I'll try your suggestions and see how it goes but if nothing you suggested works do you think I should contact Red Cat support and try to exchange the engine? This is just my luck... lol... most of the time if I buy/get something new there is always something wrong. I would hope just once things will go smoothly. Since I am a newbie I would like to know from somebody's personal experience, is there a big difference between 1 speed and 2 speed nitro car/truck? I would like to know as much as possible about R/C. I am not planning on racing on the track or something, at least not until I learn how to handle R/C nitro better.
    Make sure your comfortable with continuing before you break something. The break in process can be very simple or very complicated if you've never done it. Watch the videos and become familiar with the process. Ask any questions here and hopefully you'll get the answers you need. The forum can be a good problem solver. As you've already thought of, a flooded engine can either be tough to turn over with the pull start or almost impossible. If your sure it's not flooded you might just have a very tight sleave. It's common to happen. Many people suggest using a hair dryer to heat the head enough to make it easier to pull. I've had very tight engines before and have been able to loosen the glow plug just enough so that the compression is less, then once it fires up you can tighten it back up. Sputtering and eradict idle is common with an overly rich engine during break in, I wouldn't worry about it right now. Also, when you shut it down, you should turn the flywheel and get your piston back down to the bottom of its stroke to keep the sleave from contracting on it while it's cooling down.
    SELLING MONSOON XTR WITH UPGRADED AND LOTS OF SPARE PARTS - PM FOR DETAILS
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  6. #6
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    RE: NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem


    ORIGINAL: Dads like rc too


    ORIGINAL: flameash

    Thanks a lot for the reply. No, I don't have a temp gun. I am on the budget kind of, so all necessary gear I was planning to buy within next few weeks. I tried to adjust HSN and idle but no luck there. I'll try your suggestions and see how it goes but if nothing you suggested works do you think I should contact Red Cat support and try to exchange the engine? This is just my luck... lol... most of the time if I buy/get something new there is always something wrong. I would hope just once things will go smoothly. Since I am a newbie I would like to know from somebody's personal experience, is there a big difference between 1 speed and 2 speed nitro car/truck? I would like to know as much as possible about R/C. I am not planning on racing on the track or something, at least not until I learn how to handle R/C nitro better.
    Make sure your comfortable with continuing before you break something. The break in process can be very simple or very complicated if you've never done it. Watch the videos and become familiar with the process. Ask any questions here and hopefully you'll get the answers you need. The forum can be a good problem solver. As you've already thought of, a flooded engine can either be tough to turn over with the pull start or almost impossible. If your sure it's not flooded you might just have a very tight sleave. It's common to happen. Many people suggest using a hair dryer to heat the head enough to make it easier to pull. I've had very tight engines before and have been able to loosen the glow plug just enough so that the compression is less, then once it fires up you can tighten it back up. Sputtering and eradict idle is common with an overly rich engine during break in, I wouldn't worry about it right now. Also, when you shut it down, you should turn the flywheel and get your piston back down to the bottom of its stroke to keep the sleave from contracting on it while it's cooling down.
    Im thinking it was left at top dead center after the 1st run. Thats probly why it was soo hard to get turned over when he went to start it again for tank #2.
    Im betting it needs the needles tuned. I HATE breaking in a motor. Ive done it more than once and it still never goes smoothly!
    That said, if the time is taken to do it right the result is a motor that runs strong and is easy to tune.
    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  7. #7

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    RE: NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem


    ORIGINAL: nitrosportsandrunner

    Im thinking it was left at top dead center after the 1st run. Thats probly why it was soo hard to get turned over when he went to start it again for tank #2.
    Im betting it needs the needles tuned. I HATE breaking in a motor. Ive done it more than once and it still never goes smoothly!
    That said, if the time is taken to do it right the result is a motor that runs strong and is easy to tune.
    It's very possible it just got pinched. People can say what they want. Nitro break-ins only go one of two ways. Either extremely easy or horribly wrong. I don't care what people say, if you've never done it and don't have a friend with you, you will second guess yourself to death. Then there is no set answer as to what you need to do. By the book, you shouldn't have to adjust anything the first 5 or 6 tanks. Even when your starting to run in, if it's adjusted right, it will still run at speed, just overly rich. You will need to feather the throttle a bit to keep it from stalling. Many other times you will need to make but adjustment from the very first time you start it "which is considered wrong" but still necessary. I've found the SH engines to typically be the easiest to start and break in out of the box. Usually they fire up on the first or second pull when brand new, but of course if you've never done it, all it takes is you flooding it first and then it all goes down hill from there.
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  8. #8

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    RE: NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem

    I really appreciate your advices guys. Can't thank you enough. Now I am thinking that when the engine stopped after first tank the piston WAS at the top. Like I said I took the engine apart again to make sure there are not too much oil (after-run oil that I tried to lubricate the engine with) and cleaned it with air duster. I haven't had time to put it back together cause I have been busy at work and I also noticed that when I am turning camshaft with my fingers it makes barely noticeable click when piston reaches TDC. Is this normal? I am so sorry that I probably asking dumb questions ..... ha ha but it's easier to learn from knowledgeable person than try doing it yourself and completely mess up. I am planning to get back to work on that truck in a day or two. I also had a thought that maybe I should of went with electric but it doesn't give me personally great experience of working on mini engine, hear it running and smell of burning fuel.

  9. #9
    nitrosportsandrunner's Avatar
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    RE: NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem

    click sound is most likely the piston going from TDC to back down again. at that point the piston contacts the cylinder wall and begins to suck in air. There should be a bit of resistance at TDC when turning it by hand.

    SC10rs, 1/6 hummer crawler, Kyosho Twin Force, Lunchbox project, Techone P51,

  10. #10

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    RE: NEW RadCat Racing Earthquake 3.5 engine probem

    There is a resistance but it's not turning smoothly through entire cycle. It's more like there is two points of resistance at TDC ( I am sorry for my vocabulary, not familiar with some terms and expressions that's why sometimes it's hard for me to describe the situation). Anyway I will get back to working on it probably Friday. I'll let you guys know how it's going to turn out. Thanks again for all the advices.


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