Whats Happening this week

Or Oh No!. its the end of the week  and I have nothing ready to post this week!

Well, first off, the last few weeks have been busy, with a trip to Hamilton Island with my wonderful new wife Diana for our honey moon, and then a trip to Wollongong the next weekend for my cousin’s 21st birthday, I haven’t done a whole lot

Our honeymoon coincided with our 3rd anniversary of seeing each other, so it served a double purpose.

For our anniversary, Diana was kind enough to buy me an awesome Ryobi 125mm angle grinder. Its great to have a good quality grinder, as the cheap ones seem to vibrate a bit more, and the switches of the ones I have are a bit poor, and so they are hard to turn on, and off.

Ryobi Angle Grinder

My new angle grinder, Thank you sweetie

I bought a lovely pair of butterfly shaped earings

Also, as there wasn’t much point flying such a large present halfway across the country, we bought each other a small gift. seeming Diana has just started studying again, I found here a cool Hello Kitty pencil case, and filled it with pens. Diana found me a cool solar powered robot kit, which reminds me, I need to build it. unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the pencil case, or the robot.

So what else have I been up to, apart from all this jet setting? not too much really.

Nitro car

My nitro exhaust is coming together slowly. I haven’t had much of a chance to run the car lately. I really should give it a run. Its looking like I’m going to go down the alloy path with the pipe, I have a nice thick plate for the mount. All I need to do now is everything else…. get a piece of suitably sized alloy pipe, work out how to bend it nicely, and in what shape I need it bent, and then get the two pieces brazed together


I’ve been trying to practice my welding here and there, whenever I have a chance. I currently need to source some more practice steel, as running stringers on plate gets old pretty quick

welding pad

Sure, all the practice helps, but what I really want to do is join steel

Vice stand Take 2

You may have seen the vice stand I made a while back, well its getting a makeover. I was never really happy with it, it was too light, and unstable, and had a tendency to rock. I have an old steel car rim kicking around the house, so my plan is to cut off the feet, and make it a bit shorter, then attach the pipe to the wheel rim, and maybe, depending on how it goes with its initial weight, I’ll add some concrete

vice stand

the old cross legs weren't that stable. I'm hoping by welding it to the car rim, it will be a lot more stable

Welding bench

well, my handy little welding bench is very handy, and I want to make it better. Recently at aldi’s there was a sale on fire extinguishers and fire blankets. I’m planning on adding both to the trolley, as I think it’s a really good idea, with all that molten metal flying around.

I’m also looking to improve the surface. currently the underlying surface is wood with a metal sheet on top. I was thinking of pouring  a concrete top in it instead of the wood, but I’m told that its not the greatest idea to get the concrete too hot, as it can crack or explode, So I’m not too sure. Maybe one solution is a fire brick lining, or maybe a single solid plate across the whole surface? I’m not sure yet.

That’s about it for now. Sorry for the non post today. I’ll try to have something with more substance for next time.

Learning to Silver Solder

I got it to flow!

My first successful effort. not neat, but it worked. This piece is just the brass pipe sitting on the brass strap.

So, before I can make my new exhaust header, I need to learn how to join the pipe, and the piece of metal.

I thought I would investigate brazing the pieces together, as it seems like the best way to join the two relatively small and thin pieces together.

Upon doing some reading online, there appeared to be 2 categories, Silver Soldering, and Brazing. Both seemed to be a very similar process, but there seems to be some difference between silver soldering and brazing, and my understanding those are:

  • Silver Soldering uses filler rods which contain, as the name suggests, Silver, whereas actual brazing uses bronze filler rods.
  • Brazing requires more heat, due to the bronze filler rods having a higher melting point, and as thus, you really want oxy/acetylene gas.
  • Silver Soldering isn’t very good at filling gaps, close fit up is needed. Brazing is much better at filling gaps in a workpiece.

Now, that may, or may not be completely accurate, but that’s my current understanding of the differences. I’m always willing to learn more if you are knowledgable of the matters.

the 2% sliver rods are what i'm using

These are the silver solder rods that I'm using. 2% seem to work. Higher silver content makes them melt at lower temperatures.

So, off to Bunnings to take a look at what they have. They are selling flux coated brazing rods suitable for what I want to do for $14 for a pack of 4 maybe 6, or much longer lengths (about a meter i think) of 2% silver rods for about $2 a length. Then, of course you have to add flux to the cost of the unfluxed rods, which adds about $15, but a small container of flux will last a long time, and is a lot cheaper if you are using more than a few lengths. I went with the 2% rods, and a container of flux.

Ezi-Weld flux

Ezi-Weld flux 602 silver soldering flux. You need to make sure you get Silver Solder flux, not soft solder flux, otherwise it won't work.

My first attempt didn’t go very well, I couldn’t really get the brazing rod to flow, But the next day I tried again, and things seemed to work much better.

I put my initial problem down to not enough heat. My first go I was trying to heat the brass on a 3/4 of paver brick, which I guess I needed to heat up too, before it would stop stealing heat from the brass. I also worked out there is a sweet spot in the gas torch where the most heat is generated. The first day I was playing around trying to work out that position.

My second go was done mostly on the other  1/4 of the paver, which seemed to heat up quicker. I’d learnt from the day before on where to hold the flame, and everything was great.

The second successful attempt, with the pipe mounted in a hold drilled in the plate.

After having some initial success, I decided to take it one step closer to the likely final product (the exhaust pipe for my nitro car).  I drilled a hole the same size as the pipe in the piece of brass, and inserted it to make sure it fit.

Cleaning up the pieces with a wire brush, i then fluxed both pieces, before refitting them together, and resting the workpiece on my paver brick.

Bottom of the thru hole

This is the bottom side of the thru hole joint. All of the solder was applied to the top, and was sucked thru to this side

I fired up the gas torch, with my new flint lighter, which is so much easier, as well as safer, then using matches. I’m so glad I picked up one of these bad boys. The silver solder flowed nicely and made its way right thru to the other side, as you can see from the picture above.

Flint lighter

I always thought these were just for oxy/acetylene torches, but they work perfectly for LPG too!

So, that’s the state of my silver soldering. Next will be having a go at trying to get the tight bends needed in the pipe. I’m still trying to decide if I want to do this in brass, or have a go at the aluminium, or just plain steel. Before I make that decision, I’ll have to do some weighing up, mostly of being able to get the right sized metal.

Anyway, that’s all from me for this week. Stay tuned till next week, when I find something else to talk about.

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Colt Nitro – Tuned exhaust upgrade

When I found these cheap tuned exhausts for “1/10 sized” RC engines (I’ll read that as about .15 engines, which seem to be the norm for this scale), I thought they seemed pretty cool, and cheap. If you search tuned pipe on ebay, you should get a range of different pipes. The store I bought mine from can be found HERE.

ebay picture of the exhaust

Here is the picture of the exhaust from the ebay store

The pipe was cheap, really cheap, at about $12.50 Australian. But are they too cheap? I guess we’ll find out. At this price, I wonder how “tuned” they really are, but that won’t stop me from giving it a go.

Assembling the pipe

The first delema I had was linking the manifold with the pipe. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the pipe needs a short piece of silicon tube to join the two, and it wasn’t supplied with the  pipe.

A trip to the local hardware store yelded a length of clear PVC pipe. I wanted silicone pipe, but they didn’t have any of that. It will be an experiment to see how the PVC holds up to the heat. My money is on not very well.

With the tube in hand, I went home to cut off a piece.

To get the piece of tube to fit tightly on the exhaust pipe and its header, I placed the tube in a cup of boiling water. This had the effect of softening it up, so I could get a firmer fit. I put zip ties on each end of the tube, so it held firmly onto the exhaust pipe, and the header.

Getting everything ready to join the header and the pipe.

ziptied pipe

The pipe with zip ties in place

Fitting the tuned exhaust

Before I could put the new pipe on the car, I had to pull the old pipe off. It wasn’t too difficult, but to get to one of the screws, I had to take the top off the radio box, and the arm off the throttle servo. After that, I had a clear shot straight to both screws. The screws undid easily, and the old exhaust dropped off.

When the exhaust does come off, you will want to be careful that you don’t loose, or damage the gasket which is between the exhaust and the engine. Should you want to put the old exhaust back on again, it will be easier if you already have the gasket. Otherwise you would have to make a new one.

I had to pull the top off the throttle servo to get to one of the screws which hold the exhaust on.

With the old exhaust now off, I was free to screw the new one on. Using the original screws, the new pipe bolted on nicely. I’ll note here that I didn’t fit any gasket between the engine and exhaust this time, but when it goes on properly, I will have to make one up.

When I got the pipe screwed on, it was clear that the pipe wasn’t going to be able to stay where it was. You’ll see in the photos that the pipe was litterally touching the fuel tank.

As you can see from this picture, the pipe touches the fuel tank, and is way too close to the front tire.


My future plan will be to attempt to modify things so there is some more clearance between the pipe and the tank. I’m actually thinking of having a go at making a custom header for the engine that will sit the pipe back a bit further, and away from the front wheels. Before I do that, I need to learn how to braze. The header that came with the pipe seems to be made out of aluminium alloy, but I think the new one will most likely be made out of brass and/or copper, which I see as the easiest and cheapest metal for me to work with.

So stay tuned

Fuel Filters and Body Pins

Fuel Filters

First off today we have the fuel filter. The name says what it does, it filters the fuel before it goes into the engine. On a small Ebay shopping expedition I bought  2 of them for the Colt. I figure its a small and cheap way to help protect my little car.

Contents of filter packet

This is what comes in the packet

When I opened the post packet, I saw that the two filters I bought both came with a spare filter element, which will be handy. Unless I break the outer filter part, i shouldn’t need to buy another filter for a while. The filters also came with a small black plastic device. a quick google search informed me that it is a fuel line clip for holding the fuel line (and/or cutting the fuel line off by sliding it into the thinner groove of the clip).

Installation was a fairly easy process, you simply cut the fuel line between the tank and the engine, and put the filter in the middle. You need to work the filter into the tube ends, which can be a little tricky.

Cutting the fuel line. The hose clamp came in handy here, as the tank still had fuel in it

It would have been a slightly easier process had I done it with an empty tank, but I chose to go with the option of leaving the fuel in the tank there to do the operation. The fuel line on the tank side was the hardest to get on, partly due to the fuel in the tank, and partly due to the length and position of the line.

The filter installed on the car

The filter installed on the car. Hopefully it isn't too close to the exhaust

Body Pins

The last time I took the car for a drive, I managed to loose one of the pins that hold the rear wing onto the rest of the car, so while I was gettting some bits and pieces I thought i’d grab some more of these too. it cost a couple of dollars for a packet of 10. There isn’t too much to them, so next time I need some, I’d be tempted to bend some up from paperclips or similar. we’ll see how they go.

The two different body pins. The chromed pin is an original one

The chrome pin is one that came with the car. Note the larger up turned curved section

When I fitted the new pins to the car, I did click to one major difference in design compared to the original pins. The new pins are quite a bit smaller, and sit flat. The original pins have a larger end, and curve up at the curved end, as to allow easier removal and insertion. For the time being, I have the new pins holding the wing on, as it doesn’t need to come off and on at all. I guess time will tell if they are a pain or not for the body.

So thats it for another installment. Tune in next week, when I will hopefully have the tuned pipe on the car, and will have given the car a run to try out the new upgrades.

Colt Buggy, Small Upgrades

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve bought a few things for the Colt Nitro car, to upgrade it a little, making it more reliable, and easier to maintain

First thing I bought was a new air filter. The original one wasn’t so dirty it was useless, but while i was at the hobby shop, i though I might as well add a new one.

Close up of the air filter

The new filter  is a nice purple chromed plastic one. It has a few improvements over the factory original.  It has a screw in the top you can remove, then the top comes off so you can clean the foam and and oil it.

I haven’t yet oiled the filter, but I will, next time

I get a chance to run the car.

slightly wider shot of the filter

The next purchase was the Fail Safe for the car:
Failsafe by the bag it came in

The Idea of the failsafe is to stop the car in the event it looses radio communication. Instead of sticking with open throttle, and going until it hits something, or free reving until the engine gives way, the failsafe applies the brakes (cutting the throttle), and the car stops. I believe a failsafe is almost a necessity, and I’ve had a few times where my car has lost communication, and wigs out (usually while the car is upside down)

It was really simple to install, simply plugging in line between the throttle servo and the radio receiver. In the photo below, the lead on the failsafe plugs into the radio receiver, and the throttle servo plugs into the port marked on the unit.

The next step is to turn both the transmitter and the reciever on, set the position of the throttle you want the failsafe to apply, and press the set button on the failsafe

The final step is finding somewhere on the car for the unit to sit. thankfully, it is so small that it wasn’t much issue at all. You can see in the photo below that the failsafe fitted perfectly in my electronics box for my car. You couldn’t tell that its on there, apart from when its doing its job!

The Failsafe installed in the car

Thats all I’ve got for you all today, I hope you all have fun.
Stay tuned in for my next installments of my nitro car tweaks – the “tuned” pipe, fuel filter and the clutch bell swap, coming as soon as they get here from world of the internet.

Colt 10 Buggy. The Info Sheet

So, You may realise, I’ve made an entry into the world of radio control cars, thanks to my then wonderful fiancée, now Loving wife, with my purchase of the Colt 10 Nitro “MARS” buggy.

The car is a 1:10 scale Nitro powered radio control car. I’m new to nitro powered radio control cars, and radio control cars of the grown ups toys, or “serious” radio control cars. As such, this has been a learning experience for me.

When I tried to look up stuff about it online, I came up with very little. The Colt website has a little info, but nothing substantial

I Figured, If I have bought this car, and failed at finding info about it online, than so have other people, so I’ve decided to make this page as a resource for it.

The first reference I’ll post here is the manufacturers website.

One of the first things I’m finding out is the cost of the car is just the beginning of spending money. Since the short time I’ve owned the buggy, I’ve already had to buy replacement front steering hub, and a bottle of shock absorber oil from two different accidents

so, if you are interested in getting into the hobby of radio control cars, be prepared to break stuff, and it’s always good to have spare parts

The next thing I realised is that a tool kit will come in handy sooner rather than later. With my car, I bought a starter kit, which came with a glow plug warmer, charger, a large multi purpose socket, a smaller socket, some screwdrivers, and a fuel bottle. a similar kit is pictured below

<Samsung NV3, Samsung VLUU NV3>

Everything in it is pretty handy, but, as its name implies, its really just a starter set. Pretty soon, You’ll want to expand your kit to your own needs.

Handy tools to have in your kit include:

  • Pliers
  • Knife
  • small spanners
  • larger screwdrivers

and the biggest tool i can think of is an air compressor. Especially if you will ever run your car in remotely dirty locations. They aren’t too expensive these days, and make it really easy to clean off the mud after a run.

Thats it for this post (it was written some time ago, but i hadn’t posted it. Just looking at it now, and it looks complete enough to post, so here you go). Once I accumulate more info on the car, i’ll post it here, and might even make a full reference page, depending on how much I find out.

I hope to post more up soon.


With another birthday passing me by recently, my wonderful fiance bought me a gift voucher at the local hobby shop, and with that gift voucher, I bought myself a very cool little toy: 

my colt nitro rc buggy

Nitro Buggy Yea!


It is a 1:10 scale Colt Nitro buggy, and I’m itching to give it a good running. After a rather wet, and busy weekend, I’ve managed to just get it broken in, and I am itching to get a good tune on it, and let it rip. I’ve found that in a muddy courtyard, its very good at picking up mud, and dog hair. As soon as the weather clears up, I’m going to take it out on the park out the front of our house, and have some fun! 

So in the future, expect to see some more on the car, as I get it dirty, and in quite likely, break stuff on it. Also, I’m sure I’ll be making tweaks so it too. Its going to be a whole lot of fun, I hope you will come along for the ride!