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Nitro Vs. Gas R/C Buggys (For Racing)

Old 01-09-2024, 06:47 PM
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Default Nitro Vs. Gas R/C Buggys (For Racing)

Hello folks,


I am looking for a new hobby for myself and my three daughters, and have decided on RC buggies, for these reasons:

- We already do airplane RC
- They have 'toy' RC cars and love them
- We have a large (4 acre) rural yard and can build a track
- I used to race motocross, and buggy racing is similar

We have also decided on internal combustion-powered vehicles because they think that's "really cool," and I kind of still agree.

That means nitro/alcohol vs. gas. Here are my thoughts on that:

- A 1/8th scale track is more suitable for our back yard
- From my early RC plane days, I HATE the smell of methanol. Gasoline odor, OTOH, is divine
- I want kits, not ready-to-drive models with proprietary parts that can't be replaced, etc
- I can only find ONE nitro buggy kit: The Mugen Seiki MBX8R 1/8 Off-Road Competition Nitro Buggy Kit
- But I can find NO gas buggy kits! None at all!

So, I am torn. For some reason I LOVE small, cheap, two-stroke gas engines. They are easy to start, run great, smell great, and are super cheap for decent performance.

But my choice NEEDS to be a kit, and I see NO gas car kits.

Even tho I think nitro/methanol smells bad, I kind of like the performance aspect. I like the facts that there is competition in that area.

The girls will be happy with either choice. They just want IC - they want "real engines" like "real cars have."

By the way, they are 9, 11, and 13 years old.

Thank you in advance for any thoughts!
Old 01-09-2024, 10:18 PM
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You won’t find any gas kits because nitro engine size gassers suck. The bigger gas engines run fine, but require too big of a car to be worthwhile (1/5th scale). I’m the opposite of you - gas stinks and I hate gas burners. I run nitro trucks, boats, and planes. Mix the fuel myself for well over half the cost of commercial fuels.

TBH - a nitro kit is what you’ll find. Mugen, Losi, Tekno are three brands that have a great following and good parts support. I personally hate how center diff trucks drive. Buggies and truggies use center diffs. If you’re into competitive racing, those are your two options with Truggy being basically a buggy with big tires. I have a Losi 8T 3.0 race kit truggy. I have a modified Nova .21 in it, and it’s okay…. But it doesn’t drive like a truck (center diffs suck), and a .21 long stroke is kind of a turd. A short stroke .28 makes them much more fun to drive, and sometimes, will wheelie. BUT, I’m not a racer, so I do not find the benefits of a center diff useful. I’m actually going to try modding my truggy to use a transmission from an LST monster truck and drop a modified .28 into it. It would be a more respectable truck then, IMO.

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