Bad Horsie Nitro RC Infrared Thermometer Mini Temp Gun

Your goal is to find the best performance without getting inconsistent idling and noting the temp.  This will be that specific engines optimum operating temp as all engines are different regardless if it is the same engine your friend has. As a basic rule, no glow engine runs consistently much past 300F. For 1/8 scale cars, you'll have the correct mixture when the temperature is somewhere in the 200F range.  The 1/10 scale cars usually run a little hotter, maybe around 250F but we've seen them run efficiently under 200F as well as just under 300F.  It just depends on what engine you have and how your vehicle is set-up. Most O.S. small blocks make good power in the 190-250F range.

Getting started

Get the engine up to running temperature, bring the car into the pits and immediately take a temperature reading.  Place the infrared thermometer directly over the engine and point it at the glow plug, and take a reading.

If the engine is too rich, the engine temperature will be colder than desired (and vice versa). If the engine is too lean, the engine temperature will be hotter than desired.  Go out on the track with the top end rich.  If you have got the mixture set right, there will be heavy smoke from the engine on the straightaway.  Run four or five full laps to get the engine up to running temperature before touching the carb.  Bring the car in, and take a temperature reading.  Start leaning out the top end by turning the adjusting screw only 1/12 turn at a time (picture a clock’s 12 even spaces).  Take your time doing the adjusting - don't be in a hurry. It may take a while.  Your goal will be to get the car to just "punch clean" when you come onto the straightaway, which is what it will do when the mixture is set properly.  

Note: Our infrared thermometer is preset for an emission factor of 0.95. Most surfaces have an emission factor of 0.8 to 0.98 (the darker and less reflective the surface, the greater the emission factor).  Please be aware that infrared thermometers are not suitable for measuring the temperature of polished metals, which have a very low emission factor. Affixing adhesive tape to polished metals, or painting them, increases the emission factor and reduces the inaccuracy of the measurement.  Most engine heads come anodized which allows for a good emission factor, however, some manufacturer's sell a polished bare metal head that will give less accurate readings to any infrared thermometer.  We suggest not using these heads unless you excel in engine tuning.

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