Performance tuning, let the engine tell you. - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:55 PM   #1
Extreme RC Mods
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I am: Robin F
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Sylvan Lake AB

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Performance tuning, let the engine tell you.

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This is the way that I tune engines, there are many other ways to tune but I figured this is the most simple way to do it so I will share my info. This technique is for a fully broken in engine that is ready for a full performance tune. This tuning procedure will set your needles where they need to be for optimum performance, there is no guessing, the engine will tell you.

For this to work the engine has to be at running temps (or as close to it as possible) as well as having the standard .5-(1mm maximum) gap for the carb opening.

#1) High Speed Needle.
Pull a wot pass a couple times and listen what the engine does when you let off the throttle. As long as the rpm drops right to idle, the HSN is either good or on the rich side. At this point you can lean the HSN in 1/12 increments until the idle seems to hang a little after a wot pass, when it starts to idle high after a pass it is just on the lean side of a perfect tune. Back the HSN out 1/12 turn at a time after a wot pass until the engine drops right to idle after a pass. Now your HSN is set.

To give an explanation to what is happening is simple. If your HSN is too lean, after a wot pass when you let off the throttle the engine is still lean causing the idle to hang and idle high until the LSN has a chance to take over and meter the right amount of fuel to bring the idle down to normal running speed (given the LSN is set correctly)

Now if the opposite happens, after a wot pass when you let off the throttle, if it drops to a good idle right away and then starts to idle back up too high, this is a sign that the LSN is too lean. If it comes off wot with a good tune and will drop rpm nicely then the HSN is metering the fuel properly but once it hits idle the LSN being too lean will quickly take over causing the rpm to go back up.

#2) Low Speed Needle
Most of this setting was explained above but there are a few little tricks you can use to make sure the LSN is adjusted perfectly. We all know that you don't tune for temps but a temp gun is very handy for this part. After some wot passes with the engine good and warm, bring it in and let it sit for about 10 seconds. At this point take your temp gauge and hold it as steady as possible on the head, what you want to see is the temp dropping a degree every 4-5 seconds. You want the temp to drop very slightly at idle because when your off throttle the engine should be cooling, if not, the temps will keep pushing higher with on and off throttle running and will cause temp issues.

This is how I do it and I have tuned a lot of engines for people whether bashing or racing. I have seen across the board from beginners to veterans that when they hear the high idle after a pull, the first thing they go for is the LSN when in fact it is the HSN causing the issue. I hope it's not too hard to understand as typing it out is much harder then explaining it to someone first hand, if you have any questions feel free to ask.

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