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RC engine work

If you have a Nitro or gas engine that needs work I have a service available. Only because I like doing this sort of thing to help people, I will be rebuilding or servicing RC engines starting this summer for local club members for the price of parts only. No labor, no mark up on parts ( if you need them ). If you have an injured engine or a tired one that needs help I will diagnose, give an estimate and repair, if you would like I can even bench test them for you. Over 2 decades of experience so I'm not looking to learn anything on your engine. I have satisfied club members from years past that you could verify my experience with. If you have questions please post a reply.

Re: RC engine work


I have my first customer, a 30ss Enya that has overdosed on Castor oil. I will give an update on the recovery of this engine. Its stripped and on the bench tonight. I expect to have it turned around in a day and back to the owner.

Re: RC engine work enya update

Well the little 30ss Enya has been through the dip tank and the piston now fits the cylinder with all of the castor buildup removed. It tightens slightly at the top of the sleeve as a well fitted ABC engine should. The owner of this little gem had repeated problems with the engine cutting out. What was happening was the cylinder fit was so tight from the castor build up that as the piston would expand from heat it would lose clearance and tighten up, stalling the engine. The friction fit was so bad with the castor buildup that the piston could not be pushed past half bore by hand! Reassembly tomorrow.

Re: RC engine work / back together.

The little 30 SS Enya is back together and ready for a test run. This engine is more than a few years old. The bearings surprisingly enough showed no signs of rust on the balls or races. There was only a fine layer of surface rust on the crank counterweight and the outer surface of the outer bearing race. One thing to note the head was installed 90 degrees out of alignment so I am sure that the cooling of this engine was not as good as it should have been. I have outfitted it with a new APC 9x6 prop and its been oiled. I will give results after its run.

Re: RC engine work / Test run

This is the last report on the little Enya 30 SS. It has been re-installed in the airplane that it came out of, and has been test run. It was tested at the Brooks Avaition Facility on Blackberry Lane in Lancaster by the facility owner John Brooks. I am told that the run up was excellent with minor carb adjustments being done. Field adjustments will be necessary for the change in temp and humidity but the "castor" removal and clean up was just what the doctor ordered. The engine turns over freely, revs up quickly and has a good consistent idle. 15% S&W fuel and an APC 9x6 prop..............

Re: .30 surpass tune up

Mike F. from Berlin has asked if I can take a look at a few ill running .30 surpass 4 strokes he has on a twin. I have agreed and will update everyone as I get through them. Hopefully we can make them pur so Mike can keep his twin engine from having to make any unscheduled "engine out" landings. I know from my B-17 that engines signing off on multis is not much fun.......

Re: RC engine work


I have found that the OS .30 Surpass 4 strokes are actually Magnum 4 strokes!!!! No big deal but here is what I have found so far. The port (left for you landlubbers) engine has some signs of bearing rust although it looks brand new inside other than that. The plug is too short to extend into the combustion chamber to the correct depth and the HS needle has a slight lip on the end from machining that could cause a flow problem. I will continue to tear them both down for corrections.I will run them on a test stand first then reinstall them into the airframe. This way I can isolate a tank issue if one exists. The props are 9X5 APCs. That sounds a little large for the low HP .30 4 strokes but time and a tach will prove out that question. I will post again as soon as I have made progress.

Re: .30 4 stroke Magnums

I found an odd design flaw in the Magnums cam timing mark. Most 4 stroke engines either have a timing mark to align with or a casting parting line or at minimum the timing mark is straight up or straight down with the piston at TDC. If you install the cam in the normal "lobe down" overlap position on this little Magnum and have the piston at TDC the intake valve will have interference contact with the piston through crank rotation!!!! YIKES! I guess this is the difference between refined Japanese designs and the lower cost chinese engines. Enya, YS, OS and Thunder Tiger all seem to be more service friendly than this magnum is. I put a degree wheel on the crank to make sure the valve timing was in the correct location with the cam timing mark seeming to be advanced and it is so it must be correct. Onward and upward, off to the test stand..........

Re: .30 4 stroke Magnums

Well the first .30 Magnum is off and running. 2 tanks of 15% S&W heli run through at the Brooks aviation facility. The Idle was not good until the end of the second tank but a 3800 RPM idle was obtained eventually. The carb barrel needed some machining work to enable it to operate correctly. The barrel would only throttle back to 1/2 throttle because of an interference fit between the carb body and the barrel. Very poor quality. This engine did make good power turning over 20,000 on an APC 9x6 prop !!! One thing I will note is this engine has very low static compression and because of this has poor restart ability. We will start on the other .30 magnum this week.

Re: .30 4 stroke mugnums

I have the second engines carb apart and the machining is different than on the last one. It comes closer to idle but does still hit the body with the end of the barrel before it closes. I guess this must be a problem with the little magnums. This engine might come closer to an idle than the first but in my mind still needs work. The rest of the engine looks good. I will also note that both of these engines had "short" two stroke glow plugs installed that no doubt would add to the poor idling issue. The long plug hole in the Magnum head has about 4 exposed threads once the plug is installed so you can imaging how shrouded the plugs element was with these "short" plugs. I will follow up with test stand results to show how these two engines compare.

Re: .30 4 stroke Magnums

Update, The second engine had the same issues with short plug, leaky intake manifold, poor carb machining and the funky cam timing. The cam timing is one to remember before you start your engine after a rebuild, "hand prop" it just to check for interference. I have never seen this be so critical on a nitro engine before this one. It ran up on the Brooks Aviation Facility test stand and had the same idle issue until the second tank was run through. Idle was about 5800 after the first tank and 3800 after the second. Ran up over 20,000 RPM with the 9X5 APC on S&W heli 15%. One note is these engines seem to have NO compression after running and hand proping them. I disassembled one just to check and its not a problem with the engine it must be the design or the fact it has a single ring with a wide end gap. I will reinstall the engines in the wing and then run them on their wing tanks to check for tank issues. Mike should have it back in about a week if all goes well.............

Re: 45 Saito

I have a new project that I havent had time to look at right away but I will do so soon. Joe Hoey has presented me with a Saito .45 4 stroke. I have to admit I am not a saito fan but hey that could change (no it couldnt). I will look into this one as soon as I get a chance and let everyone know the outcome.


Re: Saito .45

I have gone through Joe's Saito .45 and it has a clean bill of health. Other than being DRY and having some surface rust it was in good shape. I though it was interesting that the engine was a dry as an empty glass. No oil residue anywhere which is why on an unknown engine its always good to check it and oil it before running it. Running this one without any lubrication as I got it would have caused some damage. Off to the test stand with a balanced 10 X 6 installed for run up..............

Re: .45 Saito

Joes Saito has been bench run at Johns and is ready for flight. The engine ran well and is set up with a 10X6 for Joe to start with.


.52 Surpass 4 stroke

I have a new project. Mike has given me an ill .52 Surpass that needs bearings. I will keep everyone up to date as I tear down and go through it. I will be using the standard bearings that Boca sells for this engine.

.53 Enya

Well, the charity engine work seems to be picking up. Joe has awarded me his rather ill .53 Enya with a wobbling crankshaft to do some service work on. I will call Boca and order their standard bearing kit so we can get going. I cant stress enough to oil these 4 strokes HEAVILY when you put them away and make sure you run them out of gas at wide open throttle to make sure the crankcase is as clear as possible.

52 surpass 4 stroke

Well............. it needs more parts. This engine has typical off season storage rust that has accumulated and damaged parts over at least a few years. The cam and followers are not within service specifications and need to be replaced. The cost for the cam and followers are about $42.00 from Tower. I have e-mailed Mike and await his reply about the rebuild. It will need bearings but after a rebuild it should have significantly more power than it did before. remember that off season oil!!! Good thing you guys don't pay labor this one was not easy to disassemble.

.53 enya

I have just picked up a new victim. Nelson Fontain has dropped off his .53 with excessive crank play. Bearings have been ordered for all three current engine projects. I have'nt torn this one down yet but will do so very soon. I will update everyone as to the condition and how it runs afterward. For those Enya nuts out there you can still buy Enyas, you just need to do it direct to Japan. Go to to look at all of the engines and parts available. There will be no more distributors for Enya products.

Re: RC engine work

Bearings have arrived........... I have bearings for the enya engines and I have ordered the front and rear case gaskets as these two engines will need them. The first one I opened was Nelson's Enya and the gaskets shreaded themselves which is actually unusuall for the Enyas. The paper gaskets are usually a waxy type paper that sticks to the case or case cover then peels away cleanly from the other surface. The bummer is I had to order the gaskets from Japan directly . Hope I see them soon. I havent seen parts for Mikes Surpass but hope to have the parts soon. That one is out of the dip tank and looking brand new. The bearings in Mikes Surpass were some of the worst I have ever seen. Whoever had it before Mike bought it ran it and stored it with fuel residue for a long period of time. I will repost when I have them running.

Re: RC engine work

Poppys .46 Enya and Joe's .53 Enya are all done. Mikes .48 Surpass was sold to me and I will eventually get around to it.
Poppys was straight forward with bearings and gaskets. Joes had a failure on the rear bearing and had done some damage to the cam gears and housing. ITS IMPORTANT TO CATCH BAD BEARINGS EARLY. I was able to file the cam teeth a little and cleaned them up. The housing had to be sanded out to clear the gears as they were scored pretty bad. Harry has one next to do.

Till next time

Re: twin Saito .30s

Just to let everyone know so they can improve their own troubleshooting skills. One of our members has a twin engine plane that he is flying and enjoying very much. Prior to his enjoyment he was not having a good time. He had purchased a few new .30 Saitos (not cheap). I dont have to remind everyone how much I dont care for Saito engines but this was a case of poor quality and damaged parts combined. One engine had bearings that seemed to be set on the crank and case in the wrong position and caused the crank to bind and feel tight. The other poor running engine had a cracked intake manifold. After replacing the parts that were damaged and resetting the bearings in the case properly they both run very well. With some tuning and break in time they will just get better and better. Moral of the story? There is always a reason they run poorly, be persistent and ask questions of what you are looking at. If all else fails ask someone else.

Re: 48 surpass

Harrys .48 surpass is back in his plane and runnign well as far as I know. I flew a few flights with him the other night. It had the typical bearing woes seen from time and fuel attacking the bearings. Four strokes are much more critical due to the cam bearings that are very small and usually in a poor location to get enough oil. I run HELI in all of my four strokes and have good luck. It usually has 20% or better oil content and assures you get good bearing oil to those small bearings. Harrys .48 must be about 15 years or better old and had held up well but it started to become unreliable and you could feel crank play so it was time for a set of bearings. Glad his engine is up to snuff and I have his other .48 ready to disassemble and rebearing soon.

Re: RC engine work

I have the bearings and the screws for Harry Irvings second .48 Surpass that was ill. I will rebuild this one and hopefully Harry can mount it and use it again. His first .48 that was rebearinged runs like a new engine. It hauls his Kadet Senior ARF around with ease. Its one of my favorite planes of Harrys to fly. I will repost when this one is done.

Re: RC engine work

Joe Hoey dropped off a small .29 Enya that didnt need any work and a Royal .40 that is brand new and locked up tighter than you know what. I hope to be able to free it up without damage and get it fired up for Joe. It will need a complete tear down and reassembly. I would say 20 years of storage on "new engine" fish oil didnt help. The new engine storage oils that come on many engines isnt very good. Left in the humidity over the years they will lock up solid with rust. I would say thats what happened to this one.

Re: RC engine work

I just got an antique Super Tiger 56 back from Rusty that he disassembled and went through. This engine has sat idle for the last forty plus years. It was in surprisingly good shape and showed very little use. We put it on a test stand and it fired right up and ran like a top. I'll post some pictures of the engine in the "Show it Off" section of the site. A big thanks to Rusty for the service he provides.

Neal Wells

Re: RC engine work

Thanks for the nice words Neal. It was a pleasure to work on such a valued family treasure. Its also the first Super Tigre "56" that I ever worked on. After stripping it down and looking at it I was surprised. The quality was amazing and I was impressed with how it throttled. I have seen modern engines that didnt throttle up and down as well as this one. Its a bit on the loud side but hey so are Harley Davidsons and people like them just the same. Have fun with it this summer. Thanks again.