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RC Nitro Car Glow Plugs

Choosing The Right Nitro RC Car Glow Plug.

Glow Plugs
Glow Plugs Available here

How do you select the correct Glow Plug for your application, and why ?

To do this you need to understand a little more of the theory behind the process. In glow fuel the catalytic
reaction is generated between the platinum in the glow plug coil
and the methanol in the fuel only. The Castor oil, synthetic oil and nitro methane in the fuel
etc do not generate a catalytic reaction with the platinum.

Next you need to understand that a certain surface area of platinum is required to generate a sufficient
catalytic reaction to keep the internal combustion process going. Also it is necessary to allow extra
surface area for the reaction to be great enough when it diminishes with the available methanol dropping
as in the case at motor idle. Simply put, cold plugs are manufactured using a thicker wire to give greater
surface area to facilitate a greater reaction and thus the required catalytic reaction where less methanol
is present in the fuel mixture.

So! More nitro means less methanol which in turn means a greater surface area to platinum will be
required to generate a sufficient catalytic reaction. Suddenly it all makes sense! To work out which
temperature plug to use, you need to know how much methanol is in your fuel, not how much nitro or oil.

As a rough rule of thumb
based on how much methanol is in your fuel:

80% methanol or above, use a hot plug.

70%-75% use a medium plug.

60%-70% use a cold plug.

60% or less use a very cold plug.

However many Nitro fuel Manufactures don't show the Methenol percent and instead show the nitro methane percent.

As a rough rule of thumb Based on the nitro methane percent:

Fuel containing 30% nitro methane or above, use a very cold Glow plug.

Fuel containing 30%-16% nitro methane use a
cold Glow plug.

Fuel containing 16%-10% nitro methane use a medium Glow plug.

Fuel containing 10% nitro methane or less use a
Hot Glow plug.

How Does A Glow Plug Work?

Contrary to what many have previously been lead to believe the following is an explanation of how a
glow plugfunctions in a motor. The plug is initially heated by applying a voltage (typically 1.5 volts) to it.
This is to cause it to glow so as to ignite the fuel at compression and start the internal combustion cycle.

Once the cycle has started, the power source can be disconnected, as with the heat generated at
combustion the CATALYTIC Reaction generated between the methanol and platinum in the plug coils
becomes sufficient to keep the process going. The catalytic reaction is a reaction whereby platinum will
glow in the presence of methyl alcohol vapour. This will happen without any external power source
being a


Idle Bars and Other Stuff

Again, contrary to what many believe, the idle bar on a glow plug is not necessarily what its name would
suggest. It is in fact to stop any fuel not vapourised from dousing the platinum coil of the glow plug by
dispersing it away from the coil.

Why are plated coils not as good as platinum alloy coils?

Plated coils suffer from very quick degeneration as the plating breaks down under operating conditions.
As bits of plating come off, the plug is effectively becoming a hotter and hotter unit until in a
comparatively short time it is

no longer able to perform its function. Conversely, a platinum alloy coil will still degenerate, but as it is
platinum alloy throughout, the surface remains as platinum alloy and the plug continues giving much the
same characteristics for quite a long time.

Plated coils are very poor value when compared to platinum alloy coiled glow plugs.