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How to fit a Rotostart adpater to your nitro engine

How to fit a Rotostart  Power start adapter to your RC Nitro Car or Truck

If you looking to replace your pull starter with an electric roto-start then the following steps should help guide any newbie to do this relatively simple conversion.

I suggest you empty any remaining fuel before doing this conversion as the engine needs to be removed.

1. Is to remove the engine from the car, buggy or truck.

First, thing to do is to remove the throttle linkage from the engine by holding the servo horn firmly in one hand and remove the screw in the centre of the horn. Gentle prise and lift of the servo horn to allow you to remove the linkage from the engine. Take a mental note of which hole the link is in for reassembly later.

Remove the fuel lines from the engine inlet and exhaust silencer.

Underneath the car, remove the 4 screws holding in the engine. They should be tight and maybe held in with thread lock, so use a good quality screwdriver so not to damage the screw heads.

Now ease off the exhaust from the front silencer holder. The engine can now be removed from the model to work on.

If dirty, give the engine a general clean or wipe down before going any further. Protect the air intake against any loose dirt from entering the engine.

2. Removing the Pull starter.

Remove the 3 or 4 screws, depending on model, holding on the pull start. When remove the starter being careful not to let the mechanism to fall apart. Always hold the inner part and housing together else if it the spring comes out you probably won’t get is back together! Put some tape around the pull start to hold it together and put it away in case you ever want to use it again.

3. Installing the Geared Adapter Plate

Assuming your purchased the correct adapter for your engine, fit the adapter to the rear of the engine using the screws supplied with the adapter kit. Don’t use the original pull start screws as these will be too long and may damage the internals of the engine.

I would highly advice the use of a medium strength thread lock or Loctite here! If these screws work loose when running across rough terrain they will be lost forever are not a standard size to easily replace. You have been warned. You should tighten evenly, but not too tight. Check the adapter gear is free and not causing friction by being too tight.

The best way I find is to remove the glow plug and use the drive shaft in the kit to feel if all is free to turn. Once happy, leave the thread lock to cure overnight before using it.

4. Re-install the engine in reverse order of removal.

IMPORTANT- Aligning the engine with the spur gear or gears if a two speed model.

Partly put in the mounting screws so you can still move the engine. Check for squareness of the engine to the spur gear and make sure the mesh is not too tight or too loose. Now tighten two diagonal engine mount screws. Check the clutch bell is still correctly aligned and still free to turn. Nothing should be rubbing and the model should move freely on the bench. If not loosen the screws and try again. Once happy and two screws done up tight, apply thread lock to the other two screws and tighten. Now undo the first two screws again and apply some thread lock to these. Screw them back in. With all 4 screws tight, re-check the engine is still free to spin and aligned correctly.

It’s worth taking your time over this as any misalignment will cause rapid wearing of the spur gear.

5. Reattach the throttle linkage in the same hole you removed it from. Now before you put the servo horn back on, power up the radio Tx first then car to get the servo in the neutral position. Now align the horn so the throttle position is closed/idle position on the engine and push on the servo horn. Before putting the screw back in, TURN OFF the Car and TX. Now you can put the servo horn screw back in. (never use a screwdriver on a servo when its powered on as you may easily damage the gears in the servo!)

Lastly re fit the fuel lines to the inlet and exhaust. Oh and don’t forget the glow plug. You may want the re prime the lines before putting the glow plug back in.

Now charge your starter battery and allow time for the thread lock to cure.

Job done !

Next time – you will be able to do it with your eye closed!

Download a printable version for the workshop HERE all on one page for easy reference.

Posted in Nitro Engines, Repairs & Maintainance

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