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Glow Plugs

Getting the best engine performance means choosing the right glow plug, which depends on a number of different factors – the engine type, air-fuel mix, nitro percentage, and even air temperature.

What's more, the right glow plug will change as conditions change. Keeping a range of glow plugs on hand will help you fine-tune glow heat and enjoy maximum performance under all conditions.

Generally, hot plugs provide better idle and acceleration than cold plugs. Cold plugs will produce more power but may idle more roughly and be harder to tune.

How to Choose the Right Glow Plug

The "right" glow plug for your engine is the one that gives you the best performance. And you can choose the right plug for any situation, just by following the guidelines below.

 

1. Engine Type

Guideline 1: Know what type of engine you have. Is it a standard - or a turbo?

Standard engines (engines with a 1-piece head) are most common. Standard plugs are easily available, inexpensive and fit almost all standard engines. Standard plugs are installed with a washer, which creates a compression seal with the head.

Many new O.S. engines are turbo engines, which feature a special 2-piece turbo head. The biggest benefit of turbo plugs is superior performance. Unlike standard plugs, turbo plugs (identified by a "P" in the description) feature a tapered "seat" that matches perfectly with the head. That creates a superior compression seal and with it, maximum efficiency and power. Turbo plugs are the choice for racers who want - and need - top performance.

A word of caution: you should never install a turbo plug in a standard engine or vice versa. Doing so risks doing serious (and expensive!) damage.

 

2. Displacement

Size matters to glow plugs. What size is your engine? A .12? .15? .21? Big engines have more mass and retain heat better. Smaller, lighter engines don't, and need the help a hotter plug can offer.

Guideline 2: The smaller the engine, the hotter the plug.

 

3. Fuel Nitromethane Content

What's the nitro percentage in your fuel? High-nitro fuels produce more power than low-nitro fuels, but also produce more heat.

Guideline 3: The higher the nitro content, the colder the plug.

 

4. Temperature

Smart modelers tend to keep a variety of glow plugs on hand. The reason? Because the "right" plug for your engine can change with the temperature. To achieve top performance, your choice of plug needs to change, too.

Guideline 4: The hotter the day, the colder the plug.

 

5, 6 & 7. Other Considerations

Here are a few other things you should know.

Hot plugs promote better idling and acceleration. If your engine runs rough or accelerates sluggishly, a hotter plug will help.

Cold plugs produce more power and may improve performance if your engine runs hot. The downside is rougher idling and more difficulty in tuning.

Where you run also plays a part. If the track/course has a lot of twists and turns, a hot plug is fine. If the track/course has long straights where you'll reach maximum rpm, a colder plug is best.

Fuel-air mix not only affects how your engine performs; it can also have an impact on how long your plug lasts. If you run rich, it means that you're using more fuel than necessary for top performance. Modelers are often advised to run rich during engine break-in, because it helps cool the engine. However, running too rich can also cause an engine to "bog down" or quit entirely. In addition, it also means that the glow element is being exposed to more contaminants than necessary, which shortens plug life.

Running lean means that you're using less fuel. "Leaning down" an engine has a positive effect on performance. However, care is needed here, because over-leaning an engine can harm it, by raising operating temperatures, "burn up" a plug before its time.




Manufacturer+ Product Image Item Name Price
NOSRAM T5 TURBO PLATINUM/IRIDIUM POWER PLUXX #94786

T5 TURBO PLATINUM/IRIDIUM POWER PLUXX #94786

R75.00

Add:

OS ENGINE OS LC3 GLOW PLUG

OS LC3 GLOW PLUG

HOT SURFACE STANDARD  OFF ROAD
R68.00

Add:

OS ENGINE OS NO.6 (A3) GLOW PLUG

OS NO.6 (A3) GLOW PLUG

HOT AIR FORMALLY A3
R68.00

Add:

OS ENGINE OS P3 TURBO GLOW PLUG

OS P3 TURBO GLOW PLUG

ULTRA HOT SURFACE TURBO OFF ROAD
R94.00

Add:

OS ENGINE OS P4 TURBO GLOW PLUG

OS P4 TURBO GLOW PLUG

SUPER HOT  SURFACE TURBO OFF ROAD  
R94.00

Add:

OS ENGINE OS P5 TURBO GLOW PLUG

OS P5 TURBO GLOW PLUG

VERY HOT SURFACE TURBO OFF ROAD
R109.00

Add:

OS ENGINE OS R5 GLOW PLUG

OS R5 GLOW PLUG

COLD SURFACE STANDARD ON/OFF ROAD Ideal for high Nitro applications
R75.00

Add:

OS ENGINE OS RP6 TURBO GLOW PLUG

OS RP6 TURBO GLOW PLUG

MEDIUM SURFACE TURBO ONN ROAD
R113.00

Add:

OS ENGINE OS RP7 TURBO GLOW PLUG

OS RP7 TURBO GLOW PLUG

COLD  SURFACE TURBO ONN ROAD
R116.00

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