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Here are some common questioned you've asked us.

Please also see our blog and RC Advice & Guide pages for gereral RC advice.

If you have a question you think other's would find helpfull, the please let us know and we will add it to our FAQ or write a blog article on it.


Q. Which is the fastest of the HSP XSTR Buggies, Pro or 'Top' spec? 

A. The short answer is the 'TOP' spec is faster than the 'PRO'

The PRO & TOP spec XSTR both share the same brushless programmable ESC but the TOP spec has a higher torque (lower KV) motor and different gearing as standard.

On the XSTR PRO & TOP models the brusless ESC's on both can be used for either NiMh (7.2-9.6V), LiPo 2S (7.4V) & 3S (11.1V) Lipo batteries.

Note - Some stocked items available elsewhere are not programmable so we reccommend you check first. All our PRO & TOP XSTR's are, which allowing easy cusomising / upgrading options later if needed. For added convieniance an optional programming box is also available for quick trackside adjustments for braking force, accelleration punch, brake drag etc.


Q. What's the link on a cord, in with the instruction manual used for?  

A. This is used when you need to 'bind' the transmitter to the receiver.

This is done at the factory for you on all new 2.4GHz models so you won't need it to get going. 'Binding' is done to link a transmitter and receiver together. It usually only needs doing once, but if a different transmitter or receiver is fitted you will need to bind them together using the link & CH3 on the receiver. (see your instruction manual on how to bind your Tx & Rx)

Here is a summary of the Binding sequence for HSP cars.

A. With the transmitter and receiver OFF, insert the Bind Plug into the receiver marked 'BIND/CH3'

B.  Turn on the Receiver and the two LED will start flashing meaning the receiver is in Bind mode.

C.  While holding in the 'Bind' button on the transmitter, Turn the transmitter on.

D.  Observe the LED on the receiver, if the LED stops flashing, then the binding has been successful. (This process can take upto 5 seconds)

E.  Release the button on the transmitter and remove the bind plug from the receiver.

F.  Power off both units. Then turn on the car followed by the Tx to check all is functioning correctly. If not the repeat the process again.


Frequently Asked Questions about your Nitro Car Radio Controlled Car:  

Q. Do I need anything else to run my Nitro model?

A. You will receive your model with the radio control (Transmitter / receiver) and servos fully installed. You will only therefore need to get 12 AA batteries (8 for the transmitter and 4 for the receiver in the Car), a rechargeable Glow Plug igniter and 15/16% Nitro hobby fuel (available at most hobby stores).

Q. How long will the fuel last?

A. The car will run for approx 10 – 15 minutes on a tank of fuel once run in and tuned correctly. You should be able to fill the tank about 10 – 15 times from a 1 litre fuel bottle.

Q. What caused the gears to strip?

A. The spur gear will be stripped or shredded if the pinion gear in the clutch bell does not have the correct mesh with the spur gear.  Essentially the clutch bell housing needs to correctly meshed and square with the main gear.

Q. The con rod on my model broke, why did this happen?

A. The con rod can break if the engine is revved without any load or if there is not enough fuel in the engine which causes the piston to jam. Do not rev the engine when the wheels are off the ground, if the flywheel is loose or if the model does a jump. Please note that con rods are not covered by the warranty although you can purchase as a spare part if they do break.

Q. Why are the wheels turning when I pull the pull start?

A. If the wheels turn when you pull the pull start it is likely the clutch shoes have melted. This can happen if the car has been incorrectly adjusted so that the brake is still on slightly when the throttle is in neutral, if the wheels / model is held still while the engine is revving or if the idle speed is too high. You will need to purchase a new clutch shoe to replace the melted one.

Q. How do I ensure I get correct gear mesh?

A. It will take a bit of practice but the easiest way is to put a piece of paper between the spur gear and pinion gear as you tighten the motor mount screws. The piece of paper should be impossible to remove after the motor is completely tightened except by turning the spur gear to rotate the paper out of place.

Without the paper turn the spur gear with your finger to feel the amount of movement or "play" there is between the spur gear and pinion gear. There should be very little play, but you should feel a little bit - this is the correct gear mesh. Remember to make sure the motor mount screws are very tight - use lock tight glue to keep them in place.  A big crash could move the motor towards or away from the spur gear, stripping it out. We always recommend securing the motor or engine mount screws with a medium strenght threadlock. Available here

Q. What caused the flywheel to wear away?

A. If the flywheel is not fitted tightly when the car is used it will, over time, be worn away.  Always check that the flywheel is tight before each run to prevent this from happening.

Q. Are you required to have a licence to use a nitro Radio Controlled car?

A. No a licence is not required. Remember simply to use common sense around where you use them – away from places where you will disturb others, damage property or injure someone if you lost control.

Q. What age range are nitro radio controlled cars suitable for?

A. We recommend nitro radio controlled cars for children of 14 years and over. Younger children would probably be able to drive them but might struggle with the speed and reaction times required to control them.  They are also likely to find it difficult to set up and maintain the cars.

Q. What kind of range does my nitro car have?

A. On average the car will have a range of 70-100 metres, however, we recommend that you complete a range check before use. Don't forget to fit the car antenna vertically with the supplied antenna pipe to get maximum range, even with the 2.4GHz short antenna's.

Q. How do I stop the engine from running?

A. If you cover the exhaust hole the engine will turn off a second or so later. Alternatively, pinch the inlet fuel pipe with your finger and thumb. The engine will stopped after 2-4 seconds.

Q. What fuel should I use?

A. Use a good branded fuel with a nitro content of 15/16% for breaking in and general use.  Higher percentage fuel increases the speed of the model but will make the engine hotter and costs more which is why it should ideally be used only for racing.  You can buy fuel from most hobby stores. Note, the higher the nitro content, the harder it is to start the engine.

Q. Why does the car keep losing compression?

A. There are a number of different factors that can impact the performance of the car and which should be considered if the car is losing compression:

·    Always start with a fresh new glow plug.

·   Set the mixture everyday for the ambient conditions (it is not uncommon to have to adjust the mixture throughout the day as the conditions change)

The factory settings are as follows:

·   High Speed Mixture (large screw) 2.5 turns out from fully screwed in.

·   Low Speed Mixture (in the middle of the carburetor throttle actuator arm) 1 and 3 quarter turns out from fully screwed in

·     Idle Screw: Venturi open 3mm

The above are the default settings assuming the following ambient conditions:
               Temperature: 15 degrees
               Barometric Pressure: 1013 HPA
               Altitude: 1000 feet above sea level
               Humidity: 40%

The car will need to have the settings adjusted where the ambient conditions are  different to these default levels.  If you haven’t been doing this the car could be running lean with corresponding damage to the motor.

·         Finally, check that the head bolts are on tight and that the glow plug and washer are also tight.

Q. What is causing the hot engine to keep cutting out?

A. It is likely that this is caused by the fuel evaporating in the carburetor before reaching the engine. In order to prevent this the engine needs to run cooler.

There are 3 ways to achieve this:

·    Make the mixture richer by winding out the low speed mixture screw 1/4 of a turn at a time and try again. Prime the engine before starting each time by putting your finger over the exhaust and pulling the cord 1-2 times.

·         Use a fuel with a lower Nitro percentage on a hot humid day.

·         Use a cooler Glow plug (they come in many different grades)

If the above don’t make any difference then try a different make of Nitro Fuel.

Q. What is and How to use a Glow Starter or Igniter?

A.  A glow starter is a tool you will need to start the engine in your nitro car.  Using simple finger pressure it locks on and off the glow pug in the cylinder head.  Once the glow starter is attached to the glow plug (on the cylinder head of the engine) the wire coil on the side of the glow plug glows and ignites the fuel in the engine. If your starting out you will need a Nitro Starter Kit (available here) which includes the charger as well as a rechargeable glow starter along  with the required tools, or just the replacement glow starter can be had here.

Q.  How do you use a glow starter?

A.  The first time you use a glow starter you will need to charge it.  To charge it insert the nut shaped charging end into the locking socket of the glow starter (the same way as when starting the engine).  Plug the charger into the wall socket to charge – the charging time is shown on the packaging.

Once charged, lock the glow starter onto the glow plug by placing it over it and adding gentle pressure with your palm and twist. You should feel the flow starter fixed onto the glow plug and the voltage meter should be registering a reading.

The engine is now ready to be started.

Q.  The engine has started but the car is not moving – what is wrong?

A. There are a number of reasons why this is happening;

·      On a 2 speed model the first gear (the bigger one) has a one-way bearing in the middle which sits on the gearbox and spins in one direction only.  In dirty or cold conditions these one-way bearings can fail preventing the car from moving.

·      The brake pads are too tight or have expanded after getting wet which has resulted in the brakes being engaged constantly.

·      A grub screw from one of the drive cups has come loose which means that the drive cup will rotate but not turn the shaft.

·      A part from inside the differentials has broken or come loose.


Maintenance Guide: Nitro RC Cars

This Maintenance Guide has been compiled to provide assistance with keeping your Nitro RC Car well maintained and to achieve great performance from it.

General Cleanliness
Keeping your RC Car clean is a good way of ensuring that any problems can be spotted early and dealt with.  Additionally, whilst cleaning the car you can give it a quick once over to check that everything is in order.   To clean your car use a large natural-hair bristle brush, available at hardware stores, to remove dust and dirt from the chassis and inside the body.  To get rid of tyre and asphalt marks from the outside of the body use denatured alcohol or motor spray.

Differentials help the car stay on the correct path when turning by allowing the outside wheels to spin faster than the inside wheels.

For gear differentials ensure you check the area around the diff shafts for leaks after 20 – 25 runs.  If grease is leaking take apart the diff and add more grease before reassembling.

On a car with ball differentials you will need to check the diffs every 5 runs.  To do this hold the spur gear and turn the wheel slowly checking to see if the action is smooth or ‘gritty’.  If the latter or the wheel is difficult to run the diff will need to be rebuilt.  Repeat the technique for the other diff.

It is possible to reuse diff rings and thrust washers twice before replacing – just switch them over to the smooth side.  You shouldn’t however use diff balls and thrust balls more than once and they should be replaced each time you rebuild a ball differential.

Shock absorbers let the tyres maintain contact with the racing surface by smoothing out irregularities in the track.  If you dont race you should have a quick look at the shocks before you run the car at the start of the session.  If you spot any leaks the shocks will need rebuilding.  This must be done with brand new o rings.

Racers on the other hand should check the shocks before and after each run. Again if you spot any leaks you need to rebuild the Shocks. They are likely to need to be rebuilt every ten to fifteen runs. Again never use old o rings.

Drive Shafts
Drive Shafts transfer power from the engine to the wheels.  Regardless of whether you race inside or outdoors they come under a lot of stress.  They should be checked at the start before racing looking for bends in the shafts or wear on the ends and replace any that are damaged.

Drive Cups
Drive Cups connect the drive shaft to the wheels and differentials and are held on by grub screws.  You need to ensure that the screws are on tight using strong threadlock on any that are loose.  A loose drive cup can cause damage to the differential or other components if left unattended.

Bushings are used to prevent direct contact between the various rotating parts on sport and budget kits.  They do not require any specific maintenance other than to be kept clean and greased well when first installed.

Ball Bearings
Ball bearings are used on pro level kits in place of bushings and make the car faster overall.  If the car has the standard shielded bearings you will simply need to brush them off every now and then.  You can put a little bit of oil on the bearing and let it soak in.

Gear Mesh
The Gear Mesh is the relationship between the primary drive gear (pinion or clutchbell) and the secondary drive gear (spur gear).  If the Gear Mesh is too tight excess friction can cause the engine to work too hard and melt the spur gear.  Alternatively, if it is too loose the pinion gear can strip the spur gear.

The easiest way to set a correct gear mesh on electric cars is to put a small piece of  paper between the pinion and spur gears and  tighten the motor to the motor mount. If you then remove the paper you will have the correct gear mesh.  For Nitro cars use the same technique but fold the paper in two before inserting as they can get away with a slightly looser gear mesh.

One-Way Diffs
It is important that every few runs the one way diff is taken out, the gear shafts are removed and the bearings inspected.  If there isn’t any grease on the bearings they should be re-lubricated with blue capped grease – you only need to use an amount equal to that on the end of a pin.  The lubrication of the bearings will prevent the differential from failing.