MonsterGT Pit Tips 

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The great tips below are from Radio Control Car Action magazine. I wnet through all their tips and selected the ones most appropriate for MGT racing. They have lots more fabulous info on their web site. Be sure and subscribe to their mag too!

Power Stroke shock boot seal The Pro-Line Power Stroke shocks have rubber boots installed to keep the shock shafts and seals clean. Unfortunately, the boots are not secured to the rod ends on the By-Pass shocks because they do not use springs or retainers. Use a small zip-tie to secure the bottoms of the boots to the shock-shaft rod ends. The zip-tie will prevent the boot from slipping off the rod end.
Improved fuel-tank lid seal The quick-fill caps on some fuel tanks won't close or seal completely when the rubber O-ring inside the cap is new or just dry. Some lids are adjustable; if yours isn't, apply a little grease to the O-ring to allow the cap to close completely and provide a better seal.
Vent for better handling The vent holes drilled into most monster truck rims are too small, so they don't allow the air to vent out fast enough when the vehicle lands from a jump or runs over obstacles. This can cause the tires to bounce excessively when going over bumps (instead of absorbing the impacts), which leads to erratic handling. Enlarging the holes slightly or drilling a few more similar size air-vent holes will help the air escape faster, and that will improve your truck's handling. A tapered reamer works great for enlarging the vent holes in the plastic rims.
Glitch Less Radio glitches are frustrating. If you've checked all of the radio components and you still have problems, try twisting the negative and positive wires that travel from the ESC to the motor around each other. Both wires produce electrical noise that causes interference, but if you twist them together, each cancels out the glitch-causing effect of the other to reduce or even eliminate the problematic noise.
Super-secure tuned pipe Tuned pipes are notorious for coming off the pipe hanger, especially during long Mains. In addition to applying thread-lock to the setscrew that secures the pipe to the hanger, slide an 1/8-inch linkage collar (available from Du-Bro) onto the pipe hanger as an extra precaution. Slide a few O-rings between the pipe and the collar for additional shock protection.
Easy Synthesized Receiver Access If your car uses a plastic box to protect the receiver and you have one of the new synthesized receivers, this tip is for you. Instead of disassembling the box whenever you need to change channels, install a hinged screw cover for easier access to the receiver dials. They are found in most hardware stores. Drill a hole into the receiver box that�s large enough for the cover and so it lines up with the receiver dials, then glue it in place. When you need to change the setting on the receiver, just flip open the screw cover.
Easy-access camber adjustment Dish wheels look great, but they make adjusting camber on vehicles with pivot-ball suspensions impossible; you have to remove them. Using a tapered reamer, make a hole that allows you to pass a hex wrench through the wheel and access the pivot balls to make quick and easy camber adjustments.
Clean with agitation Electric jewelry cleaners are great for cleaning small parts such as bearings and clutch components. The vibrating action works well to remove dirt and built-up gunk. The basket holds the parts and keeps them away from the dirt that falls to the bottom. For best results, fill the trough with jewelry cleaner or WD-40.
Neatness counts Instead of using nylon zip-ties that have to be cut and replaced when you need to do maintenance, use the plastic bindings that are used on small booklets. You can buy them at a stationery store. Simply cut them to the length you need and glue them into the chassis. You'll now easily be able to add or remove wires.
Secure your servos Run rubber grommets on your nitro vehicle's servos. They will reduce the likelihood of damage to the case ears, they'll decrease vibration, and they'll also help to prevent glitching.
Protective-film body repair Associated's clear protective film (item no. 6312) also works great to repair cracks and holes in Lexan bodies. Just cut a piece out and stick it on the crack in the body. The film will last a long time, and one sheet can be used to repair many bodies.
Prevent clutch slippage After rebuilding a new clutch and replacing the bearings, clean the grease out of the rear bearing (closest to the clutch) with motor spray. Also, blow out the bearing with an air compressor if you can. This will greatly reduce the life of that bearing, but it will prevent the clutch from slipping because the grease was thrown out of the bearing during the first few tanks after you replaced it.
Foam toolbox liners High-density foam works great for lining your toolbox drawers. The lining will protect your tools, parts, or whatever else you keep in your toolbox during transportation. Cut the foam to size, and install a piece in each compartment. Pick up big sheets of high-density foam at a hardware store or at Wal-Mart for less than $5 per sheet.
Cheap and effective circle cutter You can make a circle cutter from a 99-cent school-supply compass and a no. 11 hobby knife. Install the hobby knife in the clamp where you would normally put a pencil. Pass a screw through the graduated scale, and secure the screw with a nut on the other side. Once you have the compass set to the desired radius, tighten the nut to hold the setting while you cut. Perfect for cutting out cooling holes on bodies.
Transponder number reminder Store your AMB personal transponder numbers in your cell phone�s address book for easy access. You always have your cell phone in your pocket, so you'll be ready with your transponder number when the race director asks you for it.
Easy sticker-residue cleaner Use Duck Adhesive Remover, available at most shipping stores, to remove leftover sticker residue, tire marks, Sharpie marker outlines and just about anything that sticks to a Lexan body.
Avoid screw screw-ups To make sure you don't mix up the hardware when you take your car or truck apart for maintenance, put the screws back in the parts as you remove them. No more wondering which screw goes where.
Non-stick scissors To prevent servo-tape residue from sticking to your scissors, wet the blades before you cut the tape.
Glow-plug grabber A glow plug can fall out of the socket and be damaged when you remove it with a socket wrench. To prevent this from happening, cut a 2mm slice of fuel tubing, and put it into the wrench, as shown; secure it with a little Shoe-Goo. Now, the tubing will grab the glow plug and prevent it from falling out.
Easy engine-cooling scoop Venting your vehicle's Lexan body is a great way to help an engine run cooler, but holes in the windshield don't look scale. Instead, cut a scoop on the top of the body in front of the engine. Draw a rectangle, and then cut along three of its four sides. Make a flap by bending the Lexan downwards to direct air to the engine, as shown.
Stay-put fuel line If the fuel line on your nitro vehicle keeps slipping off the fuel-tank pick-up, double up the end of the fuel line. Slide a 3mm length of fuel line over the jaws of a pair of needle-nose pliers. Next, spread the piece of line, and slide it over the end of the fuel line that goes to the tank pick-up. The fuel line will be clamped into place.
Homemade nitro cleaner You can make your nitro-car cleaner easily and affordably by mixing two parts denatured alcohol with one part Simple Green. Store the cleaner inside a pump spray bottle, and top off the brew with a capful of WD-40. Be sure to shake the bottle before every application because the solvents separate over time. One gallon of denatured alcohol and a 2-liter bottle of Simple Green will make enough nitro cleaner to last months.
Multiple car setups with one radio Most computer radio systems have multiple model memories for storing setups. You can also use the model-memory feature to store different setups for just one vehicle. For example, have one model profile setup for asphalt and another for racing on carpet. Off-road racers can store setups for a variety of surfaces.
Magnetized screwdriver tip Some screws must be installed in places on your RC model that are hard to reach. To make wrenching easier, rub the tip of the screwdriver along the side of an electric motor. The powerful magnets inside the motor will magnetize the tip of the screwdriver, so the metal screws will stick to it.
Fuel-line shock cushions To protect your shocks from damage when landing off big jumps, slide 2 to 3mm lengths of silicone fuel line over the shock shafts. The fuel line will prevent the shock pistons from ramming into the bladders inside the shocks.
Ziploc air-filter holder Pick up a few spare air-filter elements and store them in a Ziploc bag. Pour air-filter lube into the bag, and you'll always have filters ready when you go racing. The oil won�t leak out, so you won't end up with a mess in your toolbox. Use the bag only to store clean, lubed filters.
Fuel-tubing shock bushing If you lose the plastic or metal shock bushing in the shock cap, substitute a 3mm slice of fuel tubing.
Cheap exhaust-tip plug To prevent oil and fuel from spilling out, use a foam earplug as an exhaust-tip plug. Push it into the exhaust tip after you've finished running your vehicle for the day, and you won't have to worry about spilling fuel and oil and making a mess.
Revive your Dremel tool bits Dremel sanding drums and tool bits can easily become glazed and dulled with normal use, especially if you grind a lot of plastic and Lexan. These materials melt quite easily from the friction of the sanding, and that can leave a mess of melted plastic on the drum. I've seen racers throw away those bits, and that is a waste. You can usually bring a Dremel bit back to life by grinding the surface with a diamond-faced file (available at most hardware stores). Install the bit on the Dremel, and spin it at 3/4 speed. Use the file to remove the glazed-over sections or melted plastic.
Secure antenna routing The antenna leads on most 75MHz receivers are longer than the antenna tubes that are provided with most RTRs. Extra wire sticking out of the antenna tube not only looks hack, it also exposes the antenna to damage. For a cleaner and more secure installation, cut 2mm off the open end of the rubber antenna cap, feed the antenna lead through the tube, and secure the extra wire to the outside of the antenna tube with the ring that you just cut. Then slide the endcap over the tip of the antenna.
Better receiver seal Dirt that accumulates inside your receiver can cause glitching. Open your receiver's case, shake out the dirt, and then close it. Seal the receiver case's seam with tape. Also cover the unused third channel or battery slot (if you run an electric car) with a clear piece of decal material or tape. This tip is also good for speed controls; you'd be surprised how much dirt can get in through the setup-button opening.
Easy-access module tool Colin attaches a small plastic screwdriver to the antenna on his Hitec CRX radio system (as shown) with a couple of loose-fitting zip-ties. This makes it easy for him to grab the screwdriver when he wants to adjust the frequency pots on the side of the Hitec Spectra module.
Laminated setup sheet Blake laminates his setup sheet and then writes his setup info on it with a Dry Erase marker so he can use the sheet over and over again. When you find a setup that's a keeper, just photocopy it. Any print shop will laminate your racer sheets for a small charge.
More secure preload adjusters Threaded-body shocks are very cool and easy to adjust, but the preload collars on some of those shocks have a tendency to �drift� and change the preload setting while you�re driving. Install preload clips above the knurled preload adjusters to prevent the collars from moving and changing your settings.
Q-Tips tips Cotton swabs are a great addition to your toolbox. You can use them to clean hard-to-reach areas on your car, like around the base of the carburetor and between wheel spokes.
I'm glovin' it To keep your hands clean while wrenching, painting bodies and gluing tires, wear latex gloves just like the full-scale auto mechanics do. Latex gloves are available at most hardware stores, and five bucks will get you approximately 25 pairs of gloves.
Zip-tie preload spacers Zip-ties make great preload spacers if you don't have enough clip-on spacers to properly adjust the preload on your shocks. Simply attach zip-ties around the top portion of the shock just above the spring retainer. Install the preload clips below the zip-tie to fine-tune your vehicle's ride height.
Body-mount cushions Installing foam cushions on the body posts will protect the body during crashes. It will also make your car or truck more quiet when going through the rough stuff because the body won't rattle. Novak speed controls include a foam packing that works perfectly. Cut the foam into four small 1/2x1/2-inch squares, and then make a hole in the centers so you can slide them over the body posts.
Turnbuckle tamer If your turnbuckle doesn't have a notch to indicate which side has the left-hand thread, just slip a ring of silicone insulation from a scrap of speed-control wire over the turnbuckle on the appropriate side. Now, when you remove a turnbuckle, you can easily identify which end is which when you reinstall it.
Cheap and convenient pit caddy Small plastic tool caddies like the one shown here are perfect for hauling your nitro support gear from the pits to the track. Most tool caddies have two or three compartments to store your glow-plug igniter, temp gun, shaft starter or EZ-Start, fuel bottle, tools, extra glow plugs and more. I picked up my caddy at the local hardware store for less than $4.
Manual throttle mod Any racer knows that turning on your radio in the pits is strictly forbidden, but in order to tune your nitro mill properly, you need to operate the throttle. The solution: make a manual throttle by using a long piece of throttle rod that's bent at a 90-degree angle. Tug on the upturned end with your finger, and you can actuate the carb without moving the throttle servo.
Cup-holder fuel caddy A cut-down cup holder or a foam drink cozy glued or pop-riveted to the side of your pit box makes a great caddy for small fuel bottles. For larger bottles, use a bicycle water-bottle cage.
On my Mark It's always a good idea to stop your engine with the piston at the bottom of its cycle, so when the engine cools and slightly contracts, the tapered sleeve won't squeeze the piston at the top and ruin the engine's close tolerances. To know when your piston is at the bottom of its cycle, remove the glow plug and turn the engine over manually until the piston travels down. Then mark the flywheel with a solid line at the bottom. Do this once, and you'll always know when the piston is in the proper position.
Hold Tight A fuel line popping off can end your day at the races. To prevent this, place a 1/2-inch section of heat-shrink tubing over the fuel line before you attach it. Then slip the fuel line and tubing onto the nipple and shrink it for a nice snug fit.
Safe Window Openings It's common practice to cut out windows and holes for ventilation or to gain access into nitro bodies. The sharp edges of a Lexan body can deliver a nasty scratch or even cut a crew member's finger as a car speeds in and out of the pits. To keep your digits safe, line the openings with fuel line. Just slit one side of the tubing and press it onto the exposed edge, and use a bit of glue to secure it.
Manual Minder Being organized is always a good thing, so every time you get a new RC car, three-hole punch the instruction manual and put it in a three-ring binder. Do the same to any supplemental sheets (such as parts lists). If you race, photocopy your setup sheets, and put them in a separate section of the binder.



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Last  update on: 4/19/12.