How To Make Nitro Fuel

How To Make Nitro Fuel For RC? [3 Steps]

Commercially available nitro fuel can be frustrating at times. This is because most of the time, it doesn’t meet the requirements. Hence, making the fuel at home is the way to go. 

But how to make nitro fuel?

To make nitro fuel, you need methanol, nitromethane, and castor oil. You can either choose to make 20% nitro with 12% oil or 30% nitro with 12% oil depending on your needs. To make 20% nitro fuel, you’ll first need 25.6 ounce of nitromethane, 15.36 ounce castor oil and 87.04 ounce for methanol.

This was just a brief glance at the discussion. You must understand how to carry out these actions appropriately. So, spare us a few minutes.

Let’s begin!

RC Nitro Fuel- Basic Knowhow

We know you are waiting to know how you can make RC Nitro fuel at home. However, without having some basics, you won’t understand what we’re talking about. So let’s have a dive into basics of RC Nitro Fuel.

What is RC Nitro Fuel?

RC Nitro Fuel is basically a fuel based on methanol with a blend of nitromethane and oil. The blend of nitromethane makes it special. But be aware that it’s not the same as regular fuel.

The nitromethane in Nitro Fuel gives it better performance. Let’s get into more details below.

What is Nitro Fuel Made Of? For RC Cars and Trucks

RC nitro fuel is made of mainly 3 ingredients.

Oil, Nitromethane, and Methanol.

But here, the percentage of oil and nitromethane differs. Sometimes the percentage of nitromethane is 20%, sometimes it’s 30%. 

With the variation of percentage in nitromethane, oil percentage also changes. The oil percentage is generally 8-12%.

Is RC Nitro Fuel Same As Regular Car Fuel?

No, RC Nitro Fuel is not same as regular car fuel. 

You see, RC engines are of 2 types. The first type is the one that uses regular gas-powered engines. You can use regular fuel here just like your car.

The second type uses glow engines. They require glow plugs instead of spark plugs in regular engines. Here you cannot use regular fuel. You need nitro fuel specifically compatible with glow engines. We would come back with how you can make it in a bit.

Should You Make RC Nitro Fuel At Home?

Now comes the most important question. Is making homemade RC Nitro Fuel actually worth it?

I would say yes. Why? That’s because you can get a better performance in homemade Nitro fuel. For instance, I got a significant amount of better performance in my 20% nitro blend than 25% nitro fuel that I bought from the store.

On top of that, it also costs me almost $12-$18 less if I make Nitro fuel on my own than buying it. So I would say I got positive feedback on using homemade Nitro fuel for RC.

Comparison FactorsDIY Rc Nitro FuelCommercial RC Nitro Fuel
PerformanceBetterGood
CostLess by $15More by $15

How To Make RC Nitro Fuel? 3 Quick And Easy Steps

Some individuals aren’t too keen on making their own nitro fuel. That’s because it can be a bit dangerous. Fortunately for you, we’ve addressed all there is to making top-notch nitro fuel the safe way. 

It is also less expensive to produce your own nitro fuel than to buy it. 

Ingredients 

Before you begin, double-check that you have everything you need. Because you might be wondering where to buy rc nitro fuel near me? Here‘s where you can buy components of rc nitro fuel from-

Ingredients NeededEstimated CostOur Pick
Methanol$35-$40TORCO 100% Methanol
Nitromethane$45-$60TORCO RC 30 Percent Nitro
32 oz Measuring Cup$15-$20ACCUPOUR 32oz Measuring Pitcher
Castor Oil$8-$15Kate Blanc Castor Oil
Fuel Jug 1 gallon$10-$14Haven Lab Plastic Jug
Funnel$5-$7YLYL 6Pcs Metal Stainless Steel Funnel

Here, we’ve outlined how to make 20% and 30% nitro fuel in detail. For the purpose of argument, suppose you wish to manufacture 128 oz of nitro fuel. Here’s what you’ll have to do-

Step 1: Choose The Correct Proportion of Nitro Fuel Components

Finest RC rally cars use nitro fuel. You’ll need to know the exact amount of chemicals to make it. 

The measuring cup you’ll be using measures in ounces. So, you’ll be able to collect the required liquids easily. 

To make 20% nitro fuel, you’ll first need 25.6 oz of nitromethane. Then, you’ll need 15.36 oz of castor oil and 87.04 oz for methanol.

Are you looking to make 30% fuel? If so, first get 27 oz of nitromethane. Next, collect 16 oz of castor oil and finally 74.24 oz of methanol.

Step 2: Set Up The Apparatus

You’ll need to set up the apparatus first before you can make the nitro fuel.

To begin, set the scale on your waist level. After that, place the rag on the scale and the jug on top of it. Any accidental drips will be caught by the rag. 

Next, straighten the paper clip and bend it to form a large V.  Make sure the V is hung on the top of the jug. One side should be in and one side out. To finish setting up, place the funnel on top of the jug.

Now you’re all set to make the fuel.

Step 3: Mix Nitromethane, Methanol and Oil

We’ve finally reached the most crucial step of the guide. That is, making nitro fuel RC cars. After gathering the chemicals and setting up the apparatus, it’s time for the main event. You can make the nitro fuel according to the percentage of your choosing.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to turn on the scale. And then press the Tare button until it reads zero. Next, pour castor oil through the funnel into the jug until the scale reads 650g. 

Reset the scale to zero again. Then, pour in the nitromethane until the scale says 215g. Afterward, zero the scale again and pour methanol into the funnel until it reads 2300g.  On that note, here are the top two brands of scales that we recommend- 

We hope these scales will last you for a while. Let’s carry on with the process.

Lastly, put the cap on the jug and shake it vigorously. Kindly wait for a while to let all the chemicals dissolve. While you wait, you can check out the differences between nitro and electric RC.

You’ll know all the mixtures have dissolved together when the color turns cloudy white. Congratulations! You’ve now successfully made your own nitro fuel. 

RC Nitro Fuel for Car Vs Airplane- Is it the Same?

Well, no. Nitro fuel for rc car and airplane is not the same. Rc model airplane nitro fuel is a bit different.

You remember we used castor oil for making rc nitro fuel right? Why we used that? That’s because castor oil is used as a cooling agent for the glow engines in rc cars and trucks. Under high temperatures, it breaks down well to cool off the engine.

But rc aircrafts don’t run at such a high temperature like rc cars and trucks. That’s why, you don’t need castor oil here. What you need is synthetic oil here for making RC nitro fuel for airplanes. Or, you can also use a mix of synthetic and castor oil.

For RC airplane nitro fuel, 5-10% nitromethane should be used instead of 20-30% in rc cars.

What Precautions Should I Take While Making Nitro Fuel?

When making nitro fuel, highly combustible compounds are used. Please be cautious so that you don’t burn down your house. Additionally, these compounds shouldn’t be exposed to pets or children.

Keep at least 6 inches between yourself and any open flames. This includes the chemicals as well. On top of that, you should wear some sort of whole coverup suit for your body. You can check out Dickies Men’s Basic Blended Coverall. You can find it on amazon.

Make sure the chemical bottles’ seals are firmly attached. Also, handle the combustible with care to avoid spilling them everywhere. 

You should be safe as long as you take these steps. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. In that case, you can keep the First Alert EZ Fire Extinguishing Aerosol Spray. In case a fire breaks out. You can find it on amazon.

And that’s how you can make your own nitro fuel maintaining all the safety precautions. We hope this was a helpful guide!

How Long is RC Nitro Fuel Good For?

RC nitro fuel is good for 3 years if the seal is not broken. However, this is the worst-case scenario. That is if it’s not stored in a climate-controlled environment or kept in sunlight.

Other than that, RC fuel does not generally degrade over time. So, what is the shelf life of RC nitro fuel? You can use it even after 20 years if it doesn’t evaporate totally and maintained checking all the boxes

FAQs

Now we’ll be looking into some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this topic.

How do I store nitro fuel?

Nitrogen fuel should be stored in properly sealed containers. Keep it out of direct sunlight. Then, ensure that the storage is kept at the proper temperature. In that way, the chemicals inside won’t react. If properly kept, RC nitro fuel will last you for about 20 to 30 years.

Is it possible to make nitromethane at home?

Nope. Nitromethane is manufactured in industries by combining propane with nitric acid in its gas phase. High temperatures ranging from 350 to 450 degrees Celsius is required. This is simply not possible to do at home. Moreover, it’s a very complex process. 

How do I dispose of nitro fuel if it goes bad?

You can expose the fuel in the sun so that methanol and nitromethane evaporate. Then, pour the leftover oil into the garbage can and dispose of it. Or, you can pour fuel into your sink and wash it away. Alternatively, you could preserve the nitro fuel so that you can clean your engine.

Conclusion

Our thorough guide on how to make nitro fuel has come to an end.

Did you find our guide useful at all? Provided that you follow the instructions properly, there should be no issues. But, if the task seems too daunting, you can buy nitro fuel from the market.

Until next time. Take care and be safe!

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