Clutch Play

RC Car Action - - TECH CENTER -

My nitro truck doesn’t run right. I re­ally have to rev it to get it go­ing, and then it seems as if some­thing’s slip­ping. I checked all the axle nuts and tightened the slip­per clutch, but it didn’t make a dif­fer­ence.

Good call on mak­ing sure that all your spin­ning stuff is prop­erly se­cured, but you didn’t fol­low the driv­e­train back far enough. The en­gine’s clutch is the likely cul­prit—or, to be more pre­cise, the clutch shoes. The clutch shoes are at­tached to posts pressed into the fly­wheel. As the fly­wheel spins, cen­trifu­gal force swings the shoes out­ward to con­tact the clutch bell and en­gage the driv­e­train. The shoes wear with use and also de­posit ma­te­rial in­side the clutch bell. Shoe wear, clutch-bell glaz­ing, or a com­bi­na­tion of both will even­tu­ally al­low any nitro ve­hi­cle's clutch to slip. The fix is to buy a new pair of clutch shoes. Traxxas sells the pair com­plete with clutch spring, and you should al­ways re­place the spring along with the shoes. Be­fore in­stalling the clutch bell over the shoes, clean the in­side of the clutch bell and use a scour­ing pad to re­move any glaz­ing. For a com­plete how-to on clutch care, check out our Septem­ber 2012 is­sue.

Clutch shoes wear with use. When re­plac­ing them, in­stall a new clutch spring as well.

Even new shoes will slip if the clutch bell is glazed or greasy in­side. Give it a good clean­ing be­fore you re­in­stall it.

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