How To Start A Nitro RC Car With A Drill

How To Start A Nitro RC Car With A Drill? [Your Complete Guide]


Does your RC car require pulling the string to start the engine? Often, the string shows some issues. This requires you to start the nitro engine in a different method. You want to start your nitro RC car with a drill.

But how to start a nitro RC car with a drill?

Well, first you need to remove the nitro engine from the car. Then remove the pull string and turn off the starter motor. Now, install the drill socket where the drill stick will go. Put the engine back in the car and connect the parts. Insert the drill tip in the socket to start your nitro car. 

This is just a short briefing on the full engine installation process. You have to read the entire article to get a complete guide.

Let’s dive into the details now!

Do Nitro Engines Come with a Drill Start Option? 

The answer is simply, no. In fact, there isn’t any nitro engine that has a pre-installed drill start option. You have to separately install the drill starter kit into the nitro engine to use this option.

Once you install the drill starter, you won’t be able to use the pull string anymore. But if you have chosen to upgrade your nitro engine, you shouldn’t worry about that. Drill starter is way more convenient than the pull string one. 

Remember, a drill starter does not change the way your nitro car works. It just starts the engine easier and faster so you can enjoy riding the car.

How to Start a Nitro RC Car With a Drill?- 6 Simple Steps

Starting a nitro RC car with a drill is easier than the pull string method. You don’t have to worry about the frequent string breaking. Plus if you don’t want to use a glow starter, this method will be useful. 

You’ll have to follow the 6 steps procedure to start your RC car with a drill. Once you start using a drill to start your RC car, you’re never going back.

Tools Required

Before you start the process, you must have an electric power starter kit. Without this, you cannot convert the nitro engine into a drill starter one.

Here’s the list of things you’ll have in the power starter kit-

  • Hex gear
  • Backing plate
  • Screws
  • Starter rod
  • Drill

Do not worry, we have a list of great quality power starter kits for you. Have a look-

Product 1
Product 2

Installing the power starter conversion kit will turn your nitro engine into a smooth one.

Now let’s hop on to the steps –

Step 1: Remove the Servo Horn

Removing a servo horn from the car is a little tricky. You need to be very careful in unscrewing every part. Use good quality hex screwdrivers to save your time.

First, you have to take out the servo horn of the nitro engine. You’ll see three hexagonal-shaped screws attached to the horns. One is on the brake actuator linkage and the other on the throttle linkage. 

Now, unscrew these two screws. Then unscrew the Allen screw which is on the top of the horn.

Step 2: Take Out the Nitro Engine from the Car

Now, you will have to remove the nitro engine. After removing the servo horn, you’ll see the underneath surface plate protecting the engine. 

Unscrew all the screws of the underneath surface plate and remove the plate. You’ll see the nitro engine, and the exhaust pipe will come off it without any force.

Now just pull off the fuel line and detach the engine. Once your nitro engine is fully detached, take it out.

Step 3: Remove the Pull Start 

Once you’re done with removing the engine, replace the pull starter. On the back of your engine, you’ll see a plastic cap-like part. That’s the pull start you have to remove. 

The pull start cap will be attached to the engine with 4 screws. Press the cap against the engine because there are springs under it. Take your time to unscrew, because the screws can be tightly stuck.

Unscrew the cap and remove it, you won’t be needing it anymore. Now, clean the full area of the pull start with a piece of cloth. 

Step 4: Set Up the Drill Starter

Now it’s time to use the power starter kit. Take the backplate out and slide it on the place of the pull string cap. Adjust the backplate and align the holes.

Take the new long screws from the starter kit. Screw them on the backplate and put the washers on the screws. 

Step 5: Put The Nitro Engine Back to its Place

Put the engine back to its place keeping the flywheel facing the front. Now holding the engine with one hand, flip over the car. 

Mount in the two diagonal screws of the engines loosely. Check if the engine can freely move up and down. Now, turn the car over again. Attach the throttle linkage, brake with hex screws to the servo horn.

On the left side of the car surface, there should be a T-shape hole. Connect that hole of the carburetor assembly with the throttle linkage. 

Now join the brake connector to the servo board. Reconnect the brake camera to the brake connector by tightening the screw. After reattaching the servo, reconnect the exhaust tube and fuel line.

Step 6: Start Your Nitro Car with the Drill

Now, turn the radio and the receiver on. Prime the engine by taking off the pressure tube. This will give a blow to the fuel flow of nitro the engine. 

Block the exhaust and insert the igniter into the plug. Attach the drill rod with the drill machine. Insert the drill rod head into the socket and turn on the drill. 

It’ll take 4-5 seconds to warm up and your engine will start immediately. Enjoy riding your new modified and high-performance nitro engine car

And we’ve successfully started the RC Nitro engine with a drill. This engine-starting process is the best way to start your car. 


Question: Can we use any drill machine we want to start the nitro engine?

Answer: You can use any drill machine, but the rod tip has to match the socket. It’s better to use the machine and rod that comes with the conversion kit. Or else, the backplate can get damaged.

Question: Do we need a glow plug after installing the drill starter?

Answer: Drill starter just helps to turn on the engine. The pull string method is time-consuming and you have to do it manually. Drill starter does the same thing in seconds, but it doesn’t change the engine mechanism. So yes, you need glow plugs after installing the drill starter.

Question: Does the use of a drill starter damage the engine?

Answer: No, using a drill starter does no harm to the nitro engine. If your engine shows any issue after installing the starter it must be for the other internal issues, not the starter.

Final Words

Hopefully, now you know how to start a nitro rc car with a drill. Once you adapt the process you’ll find it enjoyable and the easiest way of all.

We’re wrapping up now. Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us.

Till then, take care!

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