In this article we will explore why and how you have to clean your nitro air filter.
If you are running a nitro RC car sooner or later you will have to clean your nitro air filter, hopefully sooner. Here’s what it’s all about, a clean air filter allows more air in your nitro engine. Everyone knows that more air equals more power, so a clean air filter is one way of getting the most power out of your engine.
How often should you clean your nitro air filter depends on where you run your car. As a general rule, if you run your RC car on an on-road clean track you can get away with fewer cleanings. On the other hand if you run your RC car on dirty parking lots, around the neighborhood with lots of dust or off-road more frequent cleanings are required. The way I see it clean your air filter after the day’s end of bashing or racing so you have a clean air filter the next time out.
The good news is cleaning the nitro air filter is quite easy. Remember before you pry off the air filter from your engines carburetor make sure to remove as much dirt, grime and dust from the surrounding area with a brush or toothbrush. The fact is if this area is not clean you run the risk of debris falling into your carburetor/engine when removing the air filter; this could cost tons in repairs.
When you remove the nitro air filter from the carb, close it (the carb) off with a carburetor cap if you have one if not just insert a clean paper towel. This way you are sure nothing drops in your nitro engine by mistake.
If you run off road RC cars your filter element can be removed from the filter housing (most off-road cars have separate air filters and air filter housings). On road cars usually have the nitro air filter glued on the housing. Clean the housing using soap and warm water. For the air filter itself you can blast it with a spray cleaner. Most spray cleaners, kind of swell up the filter element, I don’t like that so I stick to plain old soap and warm water. So soap up the filter element run rinse it out with warm water and repeat until it’s completely clean.
Now comes the hardest part. Doing nothing and waiting for it to dry. And don’t forget never attach the filter on your nitro engine if it is damp or wet, you don’t want to damage your engine with the water. Having said that, after the filter is completely dry (use a clean paper towel to speed up the process) you have add oil the filter element. The way I see it an easy and clean way to do this is drop your filter(s) in a zip lock bag add a bit of air filter oil on the nitro air filter and squish it with your fingers to make sure you get oil on the entire air filter. (No sticky oil hands with the zip lock bag). When you are sure you oiled the entire element remove from plastic bag and remove the extra oil with a paper towel. All you have to do is squish the air filter with the paper towel until it barley leaves oil residue. Make sure you remove all the oil from the air filter housing.
Now you can reassemble the air filter and attach it to your RC car. Tip: us a zip-tie to secure the air filter to the carb, some cheap insurance to keep it in place in case you flip over, better safe than sorry.
So there you have it now you know how to clean your air filter. A clean air filter protects your nitro engine while allowing maximum power.